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Old 05-23-2010, 02:51 AM
MyDemonsMyAngels MyDemonsMyAngels is offline
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Default How do you go about adding partners in a HEALTHY way...

Alrighty. I would first like to say that this forum has done so much good for me and my emotional state of mind. I have put a few posts up on here and the responses have been very helpful.
Okay, with the help of of this site I have been able to let go of some of my insecurities. And I have come to accept my boyfriends need to be poly. It is simply who he is. I do however have moments where I get distressed and emotional, is that normal? Does it ever get better?
Anyway, moving on. Yesterday he spoke to me about what I need from him to be more comfortable with him truly experiencing this lifestyle (Poly). So I told him that I needed to be told as soon as he thought he had feelings for another woman. And what types of feelings they where, ie. purely sexual or if he really wanted to get to know someone and begin a relationship. I guess my question is how does a couple go about setting up boundaries that are fair....and conscious of both parties emotional well being? Any suggestions?
We tried this once before with another woman (#2 thats what we call her)... who I discussed about in a previous post....but never really got into details about. To make a long story short he did not listen with an open mind and heart when I told him I was not comfortable with him being sexual with another woman who he "loved"...and that I needed time to just come to terms with the idea of it. Not a long time.. just a little time. And he disregarded my feelings and did it anyways. Creating a HUGE problem within our relationship. Where is essence he did cheat on me. I am still not fully over it but I also do not want to hurt him by not being okay with who he is. I know he cares for #2 and but I cannot seem to get over the fact that he hurt me with HER.... even though I really do like her. Weird right?
Anyways, he has had feelings for another girl (for the sake of keeping things straight I will call her #3) and has had those feelings since before I even met him- a year and 1 month ago. She recently became single and he approached me with the want get into a relationship with her.
I find it strange that I am okay with this relationship but unwilling to accept #2 even though I want to. At this point him and #2 don't even talk/see one another because it makes me uncomfortable. I wanna be okay with it... but I am finding it rather difficult. Any suggestions? I don't want to accept #3 without #2... #2 is now my friend and I would feel like i was being REALLY REALLY unfair... however I cannot stop my emotions for being what they are..
This is long I know... but what would you (the reader) say would be the best ways to enter into Poly when your "new" at it... ways to keep us from hurting one another??? Help... please
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:38 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Originally Posted by MyDemonsMyAngels View Post
I have come to accept my boyfriends need to be poly. It is simply who he is. I do however have moments where I get distressed and emotional, is that normal? Does it ever get better.
It most certainly does. It all kind of normalizes after awhile. Like anything in life that changes, this is the same. Change evokes emotions. You are on a different track than before and it just takes a bit to understand how it works and what it means and to feel like it is more routine and normal. I feel wierd when I listen to mono people talk about their relationships and lives now... it comes and it just takes time.

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Originally Posted by MyDemonsMyAngels View Post
how does a couple go about setting up boundaries that are fair....and conscious of both parties emotional well being? Any suggestions?
did you do search on here of this topic? It comes up often. It seems the consensus is that you are free to make your own boundaries. There are some that will be changeable and need air to breath... be fluid, there are others that are not going to change, such as having safe sex for example.

Here is a list I found when I did a search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
The best complete list of guidelines I can come up with is:
1. Be honest with yourself and with all your partners.
2. Communicate about everything, your feelings and needs and concerns.
3. Safe sex always.
4. Own your emotions and take responsibility for dealing with them.
Basically, boundaries are fair when the two of you can sit back and feel comfortable with them. If there is discomfort then they need more talking and more negotiating. Trust each other to be honest and open about them. That is the only way of knowing that they are fair. If there is even so much as a tear in the fabric of your agreement, it will be pulled and torn open to be a gaping wound if it isn't addressed right away in my experience. Sometimes I talk about things to my constellation/tribe, what ever you want to call it, just to let them know that I have a feeling. Even if it doesn't go anywhere at least there is a pre-talkbefore hand. I talk a lot about "what if's" with them just as a way to determine what they think might happen if. Then I let it go, file it all away, and let it take it's natural course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyDemonsMyAngels View Post
I find it strange that I am okay with this relationship but unwilling to accept #2 even though I want to. At this point him and #2 don't even talk/see one another because it makes me uncomfortable. I wanna be okay with it... but I am finding it rather difficult. Any suggestions? I don't want to accept #3 without #2... #2 is now my friend and I would feel like i was being REALLY REALLY unfair... however I cannot stop my emotions for being what they are..
I think you have every right to feel as you do and not feel guilty at all that you feel better about #3 possibly coming into your life rather than #2. I think I would just say to them that you just plain don't feel comfortable because they disrespected you and that you need to let that take it's course and be really emotionally over before you will feel comfortable again. #3 represents a new start, the more respectful way. A way that hold integrity. To me it's perfectly clear why I would object to #2 and be all about #3.

The fact that he screwed up and let his cock do the talking rather than his head to me would make me want to have some pretty strict boundaries at first in order to gain that trust back. If he is smart he will do as you ask and be humbly willing to wait and go at your pace. That was a pretty bad fuck up, but it can be gotten over in time. I would personally not hesitate on making him own up to it and grovel. But then I am a bit of a task master and have no problem bringing people to task that have harmed me or the ones I love. I am firm, but kind... I think the cheating lesson should be learned really well. So it never happens again. If that means that I bring the reins in on how I feel about my partner dating someone then so be it for them. It's always open for discussion but I would certainly start from there so that I can give a little on those reins in order to be kind.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:46 AM
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There's the safe sex clause. That's a biggie and non-negotiable.

STD testing is also non-negotiable.

Telling the other about someone we're interested in as soon as we realize we're interested in them.

Keep each other in the loop about what's going on in other relationships. ie: The other week Possibility was more amorous than usual. I wasn't able to talk to Breathes about it until the next night. He wasn't happy about how long it took me to tell him until I pointed out that was the first opportunity we'd had to talk about things when we were both awake, coherent and alone.

Make sure partner is told when the relationship is going to a new level. (see above)

Make sure partner is aware of any upcoming dates so they can make plans of their own if they want to.

Introduce any new possible partners to existing partners as soon as practicle is non-negotiable as well.

We don't have a lot of rules. Some boundaries are dependant upon the partner as well. Breathes had one that I had to add 'no sex in our bed' and 'see her when you KNOW I'm busy with something else because I DO not want to be around her'.

Any boundaries you set should be so that the 'slowest' partner is comfortable with how things are going. Most boundaries can be changed or abolished over time as we get more comfortable with the situation or person.

I have to admit, I got super lucky when Breathes and I got together. He's someone who insists on protection always. He listens to my fears and concerns. He sticks to the boundaries as closely as possible, almost to the point of being anal sometimes. He is a problem solver but will let me think on my problem as long as I'm comfortable with it then come to him with the problem and any possible solutions I may have come up with.

I also got lucky with Possibility. He was poly long before we ever met so I didn't have to go through that awkward "I'm poly and this is what it is" conversation with him. He's teaching me the meaning of patience though, lol.

I was just sitting here, thinking, to see if there was anything else to add, when a different situation popped into my head where the solution we came up with might be a good one for you even though the problem was totally different.

When Breathes and I sit down to go over our budget he's the type that can see all the numbers in his head and be able to see where he went wrong in the calculations, etc. (I'm the same with spelling but numbers not so much) I'm the type that has to have the hard and fast 'evidence' in front of me so I can physically see where the problem is and how he arrived at the solution. Maybe this would work for you guys--when you see a problem write it down. Think about it for as long as you need to and write down what the solutions you've thought of are then come to him with paper in hand so he can SEE where the problem is and what you think would make you feel better. He can also write down what his solutions might be then the two of you work out which one might work best in that particular scenario. He might be able to actually SEE and HEAR what you're saying that way since his 'remembering' something in the heat of the moment isn't working as things stand now.

You know how to find me if you have any other questions .
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:19 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Some great advice already, but I would like to stress the biggest for me/us - TRUST. Agreeing on a whole bunch of things is all very well and good, but what you need is the knowledge that once something is agreed upon, it won't get violated when "lower brain" starts to try to take over.

It takes a certain amount of maturity to do this - and some practice - many of us (including me) have, I'm sure, screwed up on this front. For those that have, it makes you realise exactly what damage you have done. I know I vowed never to do something like that again, and I have stuck to it. It damaged the trust I had with my partner and that made things really, really difficult. And it was nobody's fault but my own.

Yes, he cheated on you, and that is a huge withdrawal for your emotional bank account with him. That needs work to build up, and in some ways, maybe him showing that he CAN do it differently with #3, going at a speed at which you are comfortable, will be a good opportunity for him to do that.

If he can't, then it's just going to damage your relationship even more. And this most certainly is NOT what most people's poly is about.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:22 PM
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For me it's not so much going at the pace of the slowest... I know I have said that in the past, but I have changed it to the one that is struggling the most. For me it just seems a bit more respectful, as the person isn't slow in the head, just needs to be respected that they either need to catch up, or need extra attention in terms of working things out to help everyone feel comfortable.

To me the prime word is comfortable. If someone is not comfortable then there is work to do.

You reminded me of something Breathesgirl and that is it may be a good idea to get on a joint calender as soon as you can. Most of my disagreements and arguments with Nerdist are around assumptions and expectations to do with events and planning time. To avoid any expectations and assumptions is always the best plan in my experience. For Nerdist and me it's always about our google calender.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
For me it's not so much going at the pace of the slowest... I know I have said that in the past, but I have changed it to the one that is struggling the most. For me it just seems a bit more respectful, as the person isn't slow in the head, just needs to be respected that they either need to catch up, or need extra attention in terms of working things out to help everyone feel comfortable.
Awesome, I much prefer this new verbiage to slowest.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:55 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Yes, we have stopped using the term "speed of the slowest" - nobody wants to be thought of as "the slow one".

"Go at the speed that everyone is comfortable" is the what we use now.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:05 PM
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Yes, we have stopped using the term "speed of the slowest" - nobody wants to be thought of as "the slow one".

"Go at the speed that everyone is comfortable" is the what we use now.
Hmm. I am not always comfortable though when we are "going at the speed of the one that is struggling the most." I stay uncomfortable with the expectation that they are working on letting me know what would be more comfortable, or working through the feelings they have. This concept comes with the expectation that my partner is working on things and not thinking its all just disappearing. All this takes time and patience on everyones part. The end result is to find comfort for all. A balance of comfort really. Some times patience is hard to come by.

Some things Mono and I are working on have been a work in progress for over a year! But we are slowly reaching comfort and that is an accomplishment I am proud of.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:13 PM
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Oh I agree, RP - the concept is more that we are working together, rather than two people tapping their toes impatiently, waiting for the third to sort things out and get comfortable. Sorry if I gave that impression.
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