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  #41  
Old 07-12-2012, 06:44 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Thank you for addressing this. It's the kind of thing that helps me understand BF's mindset and the reason I appreciate this forum. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe that's exactly what he would do.
I know that's what I would do. But, i also don't consider my boyfriend secondary.
It HAD taken a ridiculous amount of time to get to where we are and it's not "evenly" broken up in terms of time/attention. But, a lot of that has to do with the difference in needs/desires.

My boyfriend is a much more independent person than my husband. He's also more.. private? For example, he would NEVER make out in front of another person-not ever. It just doesn't work for him. But, it doesn't bother him if my husband makes out with me (mildly) in front of him.
So, we don't make out in front of my husband-which would piss my husband off-but the REASON we don't make issue of the "double standard" is because we don't want to ANYWAY.

The same is true of sleeping. Both my boyfriend and I sleep better alone. So generally, I sleep with my husband at night (which allows bf to get some alone sleep for a couple hours). We go to bed about 10. Boyfriend gets home from work about 1, sleep by 2. Then, at 6 dh leaves for work and I move up to bf's room til he gets up about 9.
So, while i generally spend the nights with Maca, it isn't because he's "primary" or because GG is "secondary". It's because it is what works best for ALL of us.

I think that is the key difference actually.

Our boundary lists were made as a group. Not just Maca and I. We all discussed our individual needs/desires etc. None of us got EXACTLY what we'd want in a "perfect world" but we all got the most important things we needed and we all compromised for the benefit of the others.
Some things are still a work in progress. But, there's never been a point when I have allowed the importance of my bf to be ignored.
Even though Maca would have preferred that. In fact, that was our biggest struggle-because he did want me to flat out label it as a secondary relationship and lay things out so that he came first always.

We compromised where it was reasonable to compromise-because it wasn't important to GG and I or because it wasn't AS important to us as it was to Maca.
But, when it comes down to the bottomline-they both have equally meaningful places in my heart, in my family and in my life.
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  #42  
Old 07-12-2012, 06:55 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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TGIG, I won't re-quote everything, but thank you for some thoughtful answers.

He and I did talk last night--a bit obliquely, admittedly--about the issue of him going out with her on my one free night. I think it's more a matter of scheduling and planning ahead. As far as I can tell, she is entirely for this relationship (although me being not at all of the poly or kink world, it's very different from his usual relationships, and I suspect she has had some adjusting to do herself).

It was also a matter of it being a time and place he can see some friends he's seeing very little of lately as a result of being with me, and I understand that. I think it's a very easy fix for him to go to the events on the nights I'm not available rather than the nights I am. (And actually, he changed his plans regarding that particular night and I will be seeing him after all.)

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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
Seems like what you want for yourself may not line up with being in a secondary relationship, which is perfectly understandable.
It's possible I'm misrepresenting the actual situation. (I guess in part because there are so many aspects to it, it's hard to sum up any one of our individual stories in a few forum posts.) But right now, I actually am 95% happy with the situation. Right now, I don't want a husband, I don't want a boyfriend needing to see me every night, I don't need a man who expects to be introduced to the kids when they're still dealing with their father moving out and divorce (I never planned on anything remotely like serious dating this soon and didn't go out looking for it. I was loving being alone for awhile, in fact.) I don't particularly want a man in my house or involved in my finances--I'm still reeling from finding out what my ex-husband was up to financially and the complete devastation it would have brought down on me and the kids had I not filed. I'm happy having my own space, my own home.

There are days I wonder if I'll ever want to share a home or finances with a man again. It seems pretty risky when I still thank God every morning, noon, and night to have escaped with a roof still over my head and no diseases from his cheating. So really--it just may be that I will be happy with this situation forever.

But I'm looking at the future, trying to be realistic, and realizing most people eventually do come to want the whole package again, and it's highly likely I will. And it seems foolish to set myself up for a time when I'll almost certainly want what I almost certainly will not be able to have.

AC--I'm starting to feel like I've thread-jacked here, and apologize, but hope it will all be taken as a discussion of the issue at hand, of mono secondaries.
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  #43  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:10 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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I think that within my own heart I want to spend a good deal of my time with my husband and family and a good deal of time with C. Mostly I've been able to see C during the middle of the day on a weekday when the kids are at school and my husband is at work. I think I've been trying especially hard not to let any time with C infringe on time I would otherwise spend with my husband because I feel guilty about it -guilty for changing the rules of our marriage years into it.

My husband's attitude is, "Why should I give anything up? I don't owe C anything," and he has had a lot of conversations with me about needing me to devote more time to the kids and more time to him. I've offered to reduce hours at work (I run a business and am flexible that way) if he feels I'm neglecting anything at home, but I think maybe it just comes down to the idea that I'm off spending time with C when he is working or whatever. I push and push for him to take time to go enjoy whatever he wants to enjoy, whenever he wants to, but he has a hard time letting himself do that for some reason. (Other women don't interest him at all; I would just like him to pursue hobbies or sports or friendships.) So my time going out always exceeds his.

Sometimes I think how silly it is to try to make C have zero impact on my time with family, when no one minds at all if I take half an hour to go jogging or an evening to go dancing or an afternoon to spend with a woman friend. Shouldn't I be free to divide my time among my own priorities? Deep down I think I should, and I want my husband to see things in terms of what he needs and receives from me rather than how I spend time beyond that. But this poly guilt creeps in and I worry about spending too much time with C. And then, of course, I feel guilty for not offering C as much of my time as I'd like to give him (although he doesn't take half of what I offer).

I know it would open the door to a lot more time for both of them if I could be with them both together sometimes, but my husband will only do that if C and I give up physical intimacy. We strongly considered it, but we knew we could only ever manage if we thought it was temporary, and that didn't feel honest. It doesn't matter anyway, I guess, since C is too busy for more than a couple of hours every few weeks anyway.

I wonder what would happen if C ever "needed" me for anything? His life seems so complete without me that I can't imagine that ever happening, but if it did I hope my husband would want me to help.
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  #44  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:19 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
AC--I'm starting to feel like I've thread-jacked here, and apologize, but hope it will all be taken as a discussion of the issue at hand, of mono secondaries.
Not at all! Your experiences are definitely helpful for me to read about. You had me thinking for a while that you were definitely in a bad place (and probably C too) but now I think you are in a relationship that suits your current needs and will fulfill you enough to keep you going until you are ready for something more primary again (and maybe C is too). I've never liked the idea that a relationship that ends is a "failed" relationship, just one that outgrew its ability to benefit the people in it.
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  #45  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:33 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
You had me thinking for a while that you were definitely in a bad place (and probably C too) but now I think you are in a relationship that suits your current needs and will fulfill you enough to keep you going until you are ready for something more primary again (and maybe C is too). I've never liked the idea that a relationship that ends is a "failed" relationship, just one that outgrew its ability to benefit the people in it.
Funny how much talking it apparently takes me to be clear!

I suppose it is a difference in focus between looking at the present or looking at the future.

Interesting idea to re-define failure or success, and I think this is how BF looks at relationships--were they good at the time, why they ended, if they ended amicably and remained friends.

But fwiw, I do feel it's a little pointless to invest my heart and a lot of time and energy in something I know can't last, although I certainly seem to be investing the time and energy regardless.
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  #46  
Old 07-17-2012, 06:25 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Talk about not feeling valued...

About 4 weeks ago C told me he'd have some free time between last weekend and this when he'd be in my part of the state, and we decided we'd spend the time together. He later amended that to exclude Friday and Monday but we were planning on Tuesday morning through Friday morning (all the hours my husband was at work plus one evening of dinner and going out together). I've been looking forward to this ever since. I arranged to take time off work, and shuffled my schedule so I wouldn't have much else to have to do for the next three days, as well as lining up a babysitter so we could have some time to ourselves.

This evening he emailed to suggest coming Wednesday afternoon, so he could have some more time to do laundry and run errands, and catch up on sleep.

I feel like I work extremely hard to make a space for him in my life, even though I have a husband. He means that much to me. The emotional work I've done in conversations with my husband, the practical arrangements, all the soul searching I do. It's hard enough that most of our times together are his stopovers from one travel adventure to another, and at least half of them get canceled or shortened due to poor time planning. I chalk it up to his having a lot of things he loves to do, and not being good at estimating the time he needs in between for unpacking and repacking. But this... setting aside 3 days and then last minute changing it to one day and a half... it doesn't feel like he really wants to be with me.

He doesn't understand why I'm upset. He says he won't go with that suggestion to change plans, then, and he'll be here tomorrow after all, but he doesn't see why I would take it personally that he'd want to shorten our time together. He didn't realize I was taking time off work (I forwarded him three different emails in which I had written that I was taking time off). He thought three hotel nights would be too much money to spend. (He has a retirement budget that exceeds his actual spending by several thousand dollars a month.)

I guess it's not always the person with a primary partner who doesn't have enough time for their secondary. Even a monogamous secondary can make their girlfriend feel unimportant. I might just let this be the end.
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Last edited by AnotherConfused; 07-17-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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  #47  
Old 07-17-2012, 05:46 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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And in spite of making my feelings extremely clear, about needing to feel valued and always feeling like I'm put last, he emailed a cheery little note this morning to say he'd gone back to sleep a few times this morning and was coming half an hour later then scheduled. And later, another little note to say he'd spent some time on email with his former employer and would be another half hour late.

He's either incredibly clueless or he's actively trying to push me away, I think. Am I being oversensitive?

It feels like this to me:
Me: "I don't feel like I have an important place in your life, because you make so little time for me."
C:"No, you really are important to me; I'm just bad at scheduling. Here, I'll spend three days with you next month."
Me:"Great! I'll clear my schedule."
C, the night before:"Oh, do you mind if I come a day and a half late? I would rather do laundry tomorrow than see you, and you probably have to work anyway."
Me:"This really hurts my feelings. I feel like I'm your last priority."
C:"I don't see why this makes you feel that way, but ok. I'll be there tomorrow at 10:30."
Me:"See you at 10:30 then, but I'm still hurting."
C:"Mm, sleeping late felt good. See you at 11 instead."
Me: (fuming)
C:"Guess what? My former boss emailed me and I didn't have anything more important to do so I spent some time working for free. I'll see you at 11:30."

It's starting to make sense, his being single at age 57.
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  #48  
Old 07-17-2012, 06:49 PM
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Sounds like he's being an ass. I'd probably just let this dwindle.
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  #49  
Old 07-17-2012, 06:51 PM
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He was due here 20 minutes ago... no word about why he's delaying even more. If nothing else it will be entertaining to hear him explain.
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  #50  
Old 07-17-2012, 06:56 PM
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Some people are unreliable and are incapable of following-through on committments that they have made. To those people who believe very strongly in making commitments and sticking to them, these people seem flaky and uncaring.

This is who he is - you have made it very clear to him what your priorities and expectations are, and he seems incapable of living up to them. Based on what you have said so far, it doesn't seem malicious - just his character.

You said he is retired, so chances are this is the life he wants to have, and it would be foolhardy (and a bit disrespectful) to try to change that.

So you have to make a choice of whether you want to have a relationship with someone with these qualities, or not. If yes, then I'd suggest that you don't make any firm commitments, or rearrange your life to fit him in. If stuff fits, then it fits. If not, then *shrug* oh well.
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