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  #11  
Old 07-15-2012, 11:57 PM
UnderMind UnderMind is offline
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This is a really great thread with lots of good food for thought. Thanks!

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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Wow. I just wrote a post in my personal blog on this exact issue.
Any chance of a link to that, LR?
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2012, 11:18 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Originally Posted by Roam View Post
Thanks Sparklepop! I appreciate your nuanced thinking on the situation and especially like the steak-chicken metaphor. You also sound like a cool person in general. I fully agree that addressing this in various ways like getting my needs met elsewhere etc. would help more than focusing as much on trying to ask her to help fulfill my needs. I feel you on NRE not decreasing my heat for my partners but they've complained in the past so maybe i'm deluding myself about its effect on me. Learning about other people's experience with NRE has helped reframe the situation better for myself. You pont on situational vs general expectations was very good too.
You are very welcome Roam! As for being a cool person in general. Ah, yes, I confess, I am achingly cool. It is a burden to be so cool sometimes. Thank you for the compliment. I like the way you write also. (No, people reading this, this isn't a flirt. Maybe a little. I'm poly. Let me flirt). haha. Moving on...

I'm really glad that you're looking at things in a different way. I've discovered that after all the initial hurdles of poly, the main grey area for me tends to be "Am I being a doormat? Is this a poly issue, or a simple relationship issue?"

The hardest thing in the world is to see yourself from the outside. That's why that horrid old cliche exists - there are two sides to every story.

It sounds like you have flicked a switch in there a little bit and are looking at things differently. I think that if a new perspective makes you happier, then a new perspective is a great thing.

I hope everything continues to go well for you!
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Me: (29f) open poly
In a long-distance relationship with GF (39f)
Dating Descartes in my home country (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2012, 04:59 PM
Roam Roam is offline
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Wow! I'm feeling so much NRE from this budding flirtationship with you, Sparklepop that I'm going to have to really keep myself in check from getting distracted away from the other people I flirt with online.

Anyway, I'm not necessarily cool with things now. My poly ideal is for other connections to add to the goodness, not take away from what I have. It seems that it's not just an unlimited love vs limited kreplits dichotomy but there's also a limited passion dimension.

But I'm not one to fight reality. If that's the way it is, so be it. As you pointed out, there are more positive ways to frame NRE than implying something negative about the relationship or one's value.

Accepting the situation still leaves me with unmet needs though. I'm sorting out the proper role for communication about these emotional needs. I feel that NVC doesn't provide me with the tools to communicate how my partner can meet all my emotional needs but it can help preserve a loving connective context for me taking responsibility for getting those need met myself. For instance, I can tell my partner that when I see her focusing so much on someone else, I feel angry & feel less sexual energy because my need for connection & to be desired isn't fully topped off. I don't know how to tell her how she can help with this other than vague "don't be so distracted." And I want her to be able to enjoy her new connection. So I'm going to focus on topping off my tank in this area and I may not be as focused on her as a result. That way, me investing energy elsewhere isn't misinterpreted as punishment or revenge by her OR by my emotions. With communication, getting my needs met elsewhere isn't interpreted as a withdrawal that hurts our basic connection.

With more concrete needs and boundaries, I can continue to employ NVC to ask for what I want. Especially in regards to my expectations and boundaries about the primary relationship. In that way, I'm being assertive about the fact that we are primaries and I expect her to not break plans with me for others or start having unprotected sex with others. I can even ask for more time together while not expecting to totally get topped off in the desired category here.

I can always smoothly & lovingly move out of primary role if my needs are getting met less & less in that role and more elsewhere. Or if my boundaries and expectations about the primary role are being violated.

It seems that this experience with NRE and having this conversation is helping me modify my expectations about and approach to poly relationships and about communication. One thing that I'm worried about is connecting modified expectations like this to my sexual energy for my Gf. When I feel less connection & desire from her, I feel less of it for her. It's hard to have good sex in that context. I'm not sure what to do about that.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2012, 06:12 AM
Roam Roam is offline
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So my gf and I are planning to go to an event and camp together this weekend. We live 5 hours a part and only see each other on weekends. Last week she asked whether it would bother me if her new love interest came to the event. I told her that I want us to be able to hang out with multiple partners at events. But also that we had plans to go together and she needed to set those expectations with her new guy so he wouldn't be disappointed. I didn't want to set some precedent where another lover could just come in a break up our plans at a whim.

If I'm agreeing to be in a primary relationship, then I want both of us to set boundaries and expectations with other lovers. What's the worst that can happen? A guy I know put up with his wife and her lover kicking him out of his own bed to fuck on valentine's day. Then her mono bf insisted on her not fucking him with other people and finally not fucking him at all! SCREW THAT. I'm gone long before that happens.

I told my primary that her new guy could come but if he and her wanted a weekend to reconnect it would be better for them to schedule a weekend together and I would go do my own thing.

My gf decided to do her own thing this last weekend because she wanted to stay home and had a lot of work to get caught up on and I was staying in my town. However, she then made plans to meet her new guy out of state last weekend. She ran it by me and said that he probably wouldn't come to the camping event THIS weekend. She said that she doesn't think she'll see him more than a couple times a year since he's travelling but that this opportunity popped up where he was working within driving distance, 3 weeks after she first connected with him, got distracted from me, and then spontaneously had him stay with her for a week.


I was cool with it. We had just spent a week together and could use some time a part. I thought it was a good solution to get everyone's needs met. I was a little bothered that she was distracted away from her plan but I've been there before. I've chosen to do my own thing on a weekend before when this primary would've preferred to get together and then an opportunity with a traveling lover arose and I spent the weekend with someone else. My primary accommodated me then, I can accommodate her now.

I also felt a need for more parity because I've been avoiding dating and social life to focus on getting a job in the same city with my primary. I felt that I was sacrificing my needs last weekend for us while she was off having fun. So, I went out and socialized instead of focusing so much on work.

Well, I talked to my gf tonight on the phone. She told me that her lover had decided to come stay with her for another week and to come to the camping event this weekend too. She went along with it. She insisted that she explained very clearly to him that he may feel neglected at the event because she was there with me.

I asked her what her plan was with him staying with her. She said she didn't know, was still processing it, and that he'd probably leave Sunday or Monday (meaning he'll probably go back to her town with her). She talked about her feelings and how good it felt to come home to someone this week.

She had a very emotional conversation with me weeks before meeting this guy saying that she realized that she really wanted to live in the same town with me and was afraid that I didn't know how to get a job in her town since I hadn't made it happen in 3 years. She didn't know whether she needed to start working on moving toward my town. I felt a bit pressured but I decided to sacrifice some of our and my fun to work on the job hunt more on the weekends because I REALLY need to get out of my town and integrate my life. It will open up more dating and social balance for me.

After her new guy stayed with her before, my gf had told me that it felt really good to have someone there and she broke down crying. She also mentioned that he brought up moving to her town and she told him that she liked their relationship because he lived out of town. She told me that if she did make a connection in her town, she would be very careful to limit her time with that person to avoid that person becoming her primary by default because he or she spent so much time with her. I waited two years to become her primary because I wanted to give each other the freedom to spend more time with others in our towns if that's what we felt, without it feeling life a betrayal of a role. She really wanted to be primaries and treated me as such before we agreed that's what we were this year.

After listening to her tonight, I told her how uncomfortable I was with her new guy staying with her again. I said that I knew her intentions were good and that she loved me but that I was very uncomfortable with her not setting boundaries with him and letting the him push what boundaries she had verbalized. I explained that I have two major issues:

1) It feels like she is just totally going with her feelings and telling him her expectations and boundaries but then acting differently. I am afraid that he doesn't believe her when she does this and so is just pushing what boundaries she asserts verbally. She told him that I'm her priority and that she wants to create a life with me. But, from my perspective, she's distracted by him when I'm there and she's allowing him to spend big chunks of time with her and even temporarily live with her, just a month into meeting him. I'm sure he can see this too. I know she would be massively upset if I let some chick live with me in my town. She even admitted tonight that she would feel that we were moving in different directions if I did that. I am very worried that she is unable to manage her other relationships and keep them from affecting ours.

2) It feels like she is stepping out of the primary role here and not putting boundaries on herself. That threatens my sense of parity. I have come to some sort of reconciliation that NRE is a phase in relationships and they're in a different phase than we are in. I understand emotions can be that way. I've made my peace with the fact that she's going to feel more intensely for him sometimes.

But now this is actions and frame. It feels like she's ALSO replacing me with him in a the primary role in her life. She admitted to getting her weekday companionship met with him (she also has a roommate and a huge social circle) and said that getting her needs met like this was a benefit of being poly. I will not continue to invest in a primary relationship role when I don't feel the other person is doing the same. That feels like cuckholding. I would rather just go to a more fluid relationship and let us pursue what we feel and what works for us in the moment.

When I communicated the part about being fluid to her, she got upset and said that it felt like I didn't trust her love and intentions. She said that we should be able to have a conversation without me mentioning breaking up or redefining things. I told her that I didn't want to threaten her but I don't know how to talk about boundaries without talking about what I need to do if they are crossed.

She said that she was very discouraged because she felt that we hadn't needed to set boundaries or rules in our relationship but just naturally flowed the right way together. I believe that we did this because we're compassionate people and we were in NRE. Now, her emotions are guiding her elsewhere and she needs some structure or we need to to be completely free and be fluid with each other. She said that she disagrees with me that having a primary relationship means giving up freedom.

She said that she had been happy that she felt we were communicating better and understood each other better but now this conversation made her feel distant from me. I told her that communication isn't always easy but it's better than the alternative of being silently resentful, fighting, or just leaving when we're upset.

She said that she disagreed with me that she wasn't setting boundaries with this guy but she understood where I am coming from because she's been there before. She said that she doesn't want me to be constantly reacting to her actions.

She asked me what I wanted her to do. I told her I wasn't cool with him cohabitating with her again like that. She said that because she loved me and wanted me to realize tthat, she would have him go stay somewhere else in her town. She said that she wanted me to know that she was doing this of her own choice and doing it because I feel uncomfortablee, not because she felt she had been doing anything wrong. She said that she disagreed that he was cohabitating with her but was just like a travelling friend visiting and staying for awhile.

Last edited by Roam; 07-18-2012 at 06:19 AM.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2012, 06:13 AM
Roam Roam is offline
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I talked to her about how it was important for me to have her understand my point about boundaries and expectations for future situations. She still disagrees with my view of the facts. She mentioned me feeling threatened by this other guy and that this makes her feel like she can't explore her connection with him as deeply as she'd like.

I told her that I was happy she has this connection and wasn't threatened by him. I feel our current relationship is threatened by her not setting expectations and sticking to them. I want to see THAT. I said that I feel scared to communicate because I know how it can be misinterpreted and have it reflect badly on me and that I run the risk of her doing what I want but resenting me for it. I said that the reason I'm giving communication a shot is because I love her so much and want to talk to her instead of festering in silence or just abruptly dissolving the relationship like I've done in the past. She seemed to understand this.

She mentioned that it was going to be awkward finding her new guy a place to stay. I told her I appreciated her for loving me and respecting my boundaries. I said I understood why it put her in an awkward position and know that part of that is due to my desires. But her actions also played a part. She said that she tried to call me this weekend (but it was after they were already back in her town). I also told her that he could stay the night tonight since it's late.

Honestly, I don't feel like going to the camping event now because I know that she's going to be distracted by him again and it's going to be really hard to deal with given this new twist. I'm worried that she is so disassociated and doesn't understand my point about having boundaries. I am worried that she wants to be completely free to follow her emotions but also wants the security of the relationship with me. I think that it's important to put boundaries on yourself when starting a new connection, even when mono, so you don't end up living with someone after the first date.

I feel pressured and a bit manipulated. In addition to our emotional talk a month and a half ago about living in the same town, she talked about wanting to live with me. We had this discussion before but those discussions were always calm. This one was not. My thoughts are that I want to maintain my own household, where we either live in a duplex type deal or we maintain different homes but spend time together in each. I think we could even have children this way. We are both alpha people and having our own territory is important. She got super upset about this and took it as a rejection of sorts of her.

So yes, I feel a little like I need to check myself if I don't want to totally cohabitate with her but don't want someone else to do that too.

But, this also feels a bit too coincidental and manipulative. I don't think she's consciously doing it but I think unconsciously, she's putting the screws on me. I don't like that either. I may be able to work something out with her about our living situation that meets both of our need better. But I don't want to do it at the point of a gun.

I appreciate her eventually respecting my boundaries and I don't want to punish her for that. At the same time, I feel she resents me for insisting on structure in our relationship, when structure is what she wants (she has complained to me about me seducing other women when we were out with her coworkers as a couple. She also felt sidelined there and embarassed about it in front of her coworkers.). I really fucking don't want to be in the position of having to police her on boundaries either! So, I resent her a little too here. We left on a loving but emotional note and she's spending the night with him this way. Awesome.

The worst part is the going back and forth about when enough discomfort is enough and taking action myself instead of just reacting to her actions. I fucking hate the tension. I feel in a really pressured position that...I DON'T HAVE TO BE IN! I am very close to just going back to an unstructured situation because this structured one is such a pain in the ass.

Last edited by Roam; 07-18-2012 at 06:25 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-18-2012, 01:10 PM
Roam Roam is offline
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I feel like I'm in another double bind. Just as she doesn't understand and disagrees about being distracted, she doesn't understand & disagrees about boundaries. I'm in a position of having to protest about things and I feel she's only going through the motions to accommodate me. I don't want to have to constantly do this. I don't feel that I can trust her emotions or her judgement. So why am I continuing to be in this stressful situation?

Before all this happened, I've been super stressed about this event (for other reasons) and about getting everything done in my life that I need, including trying to find a job elsewhere. She knew that. She also questioned herself when she was just considering having her lover come to the event this weekend and asked herself why she was potentially endangering our relationship this way (this after I said I was cool with him coming). Now, because he wants to, it feels like she's allowed the potential pressure on us to grow by three---weekend with him, living with him for a week, and being at the same event with us---all when I'm super stressed about other shit. Feels like I've exposed all this weakness and that's just promoted an unconscious blood frenzy. Too dramatic? Lol. I barely slept.
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