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  #11  
Old 05-24-2010, 10:46 PM
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ksandra ksandra is offline
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Thanks for the advice, a lot of it has made me think about some things.

YGirl--Thanks for the link, I'm reading it in another page as we speak.

I'm having a hard time dealing with rationality since a lot of the articles and posts written on dealing with emotions say that things don't always have to be rational and that emotions don't have to make sense. I've tried asking T to explain why he feels that each restriction is in place and how that makes him feel and he doesn't explain it in a way that makes sense, nor have the couple of friends I've talked to. In the end I just get upset and frustrated because his emotions are so opposite to mine that I feel like I am never going to understand them, but I need to. He did explain that his leaving the room has to do with him trying to cool off and not get too upset himself, I can't say anything about bringing up old fights. He still does it, I don't know how to get him to stop since his answer is usually: "yeah but it happened and I acted like blank and you acted like blank and now it's coming up again".

In regards to T and the people he sees, I don't mind that he sees them. I get along really well with both of them, I completely ADORE one of them and seeing them together makes me insanely happy. I don't need those restrictions, I asked for some at the beginning but I let go of them several months ago because I realized they were crazy and that I didn't need them to feel secure in my relationship. My only thing for T is that he take a shower between seeing us and practice safe sex. So, some of them come from T wanting equality in rules we had at the very beginning and he hasn't been able to let go of them yet. Sometimes T is feeling better and relaxes the rules, I am seeing J on Thursday and I do not have a time limit as long as I come home. This is new and nice. I think I am going to sit down with T and write out all the rules and we are going to talk about which ones we can start working on. I feel like if I made him follow the same rules that would be a huge step back and totally unnecessary for me.

I also want to say that, no I dont' think very much of this is healthy. It's frustrating and it needs to be fixed or else it's going to end. Having said that, outside of anything to do with poly I have a great time with T. The rest of our relationship is, in my opinion extremely healthy. He is working hard to make me happy, that doesn't excuse this but I just want to make it clear that I am not 100% miserable, if I were I would be gone by now.

Again thanks for the advice and input thus far. If anyone else has things to contribute please do so, this is very helpful.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2010, 10:53 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandra View Post
In regards to T and the people he sees, I don't mind that he sees them. I get along really well with both of them, I completely ADORE one of them and seeing them together makes me insanely happy. I don't need those restrictions, I asked for some at the beginning but I let go of them several months ago because I realized they were crazy and that I didn't need them to feel secure in my relationship. My only thing for T is that he take a shower between seeing us and practice safe sex. So, some of them come from T wanting equality in rules we had at the very beginning and he hasn't been able to let go of them yet. Sometimes T is feeling better and relaxes the rules, I am seeing J on Thursday and I do not have a time limit as long as I come home. This is new and nice. I think I am going to sit down with T and write out all the rules and we are going to talk about which ones we can start working on. I feel like if I made him follow the same rules that would be a huge step back and totally unnecessary for me.
I think that the people who have pointed out the double-standard/inequality thing would all agree that the solution is definitely NOT a "tit-for-tat" here - it will not solve your dilemma if you simply put the same restrictions on him. All that would do is keep you both from confronting the underlying problems. It would make things "equal" by making him feel worse, not by making you (both) feel better.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2010, 11:51 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I don't know if there's a delicate, non-threatening way to bring it up, but would it be possible to communicate to T that having these restrictions, with no end in sight, are having a negative effect on your relationship with T? That in the long run, it won't be the relationship with J that ruins your relationship with T, but rather the restrictions themselves? Possibly even that the restrictions only make J feel more desirable.

Without knowing him or talking to him, I can't say for sure -- but it seems that T's trying to "protect" the relationship together by making it impossible to have a proper relationship with anyone else. What he doesn't seem to realize is that this behaviour is much more likely to do you in than any external relationship ever will.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2010, 12:07 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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You could also make a unilateral decision. Decide the boundaries and rules that YOU think are reasonable and communicate them to both partners. You should all sit down together. Tough shit if T doesn't feel like doing that. It won't kill him and it's the least he can do if you mean anything to him at all.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2010, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jkelly View Post
On the other hand, if you notice that you have a tendency to agree to weird relationship agreements, you might in the future use a lack of symmetry as a warning sign for you.
I think that that totally depends on how you feel about unusual asymmetrical agreements - if they make you happy, then why focus on some undesirable goal like symmetry?

Let me give you another way of approaching this...

Instead of the one person putting rules in place that the other can agree to, how about the person saying "this is what I am afraid of" or "this is what makes me uncomfortable" - explore a little what aspect of it makes them uncomfortable (and it may not be logical but there may be some sort of reason).

Then work together to come up with rules that would satisfy that insecurity/fear/whatever. Work on addressing the underlying issue, rather than debating specific rules.

Maybe I can try a hypothetical example.

Proposed Rule: "I don't want to sleep in the same bed with you after you've been on a date with him."

When proposed like this you can accept or reject - not really a lot of choice otherwise.

But let's say we dig down a little.
You: "What aspect of us sleeping together after a date don't you like?"
Him: "I hate the idea of you coming to bed after you've had sex with him!"

OK, we've got further - it's not about a "date", it's about sex, specifically. Ask a confirming question:

You: "So if I went out with him to the movies and then came home without having sex with him, would that be ok?"
Him: "Yes, it would. But if you had sex with him and didn't tell me I would still know, so you can't just say that you haven't had sex and lie to me."

OK, so it's been confirmed that this is about sex, but there is also another tidbit in there... dig deeper:

You: "So you know whether or not I have had sex with him when I come home from being with him?"
Him: "Yes, absolutely, and I hate that"
You: "How do you know?"
Him: "You smell like him and sex - I can't stand that."

another confirming question:
You: "So the fact that I smell like him and sex is what really upsets you?"
Me: "yes, it just reminds me that you were with him."

another piece of information.
You: "So if I came home and didn't smell like him or sex, you wouldn't be concerned or feel put off?"
Me: "It wouldn't bother me anywhere near as much, no."

At this point you propose a rule that you feel you can live with and which would address the real issue that he had:
You: "So if I promised you that I would shower right before leaving his place to come home, would that be an improvement?"
Him: "I suppose so."
You: "And if I didn't smell like "him" would you be ok with sleeping in the same bed as me that night."
Him: "Yes I would."

And this you have a rule in place that you have bother agreed upon that addresses his needs and is something that you can do without major inconvenience.

Please note that this is over-simplified, since discussions like this can go on for a LONG time. The important point it to find out what underlies the imposition of a rule, and find out if there is another way to get the concern addressed.

Not only that, but you have worked on this together, have respected the fears and insecurities that the other person has (which is vital, in my mind) and found a solution that can work. It won't always come up with a better solution but as a consequence you will better understand why the rule has been proposed.

Hope this helps the thought process.
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2010, 03:19 PM
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ksandra ksandra is offline
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Yes, thank you that really does help. We sat down last night and made a written list of rules that we have that apply just to him, just to me or to both of us and then categorized them as essential (like safe sex) , okay for now, annoying and unacceptable (the curfew I have to be home by) and we are going to start working on them now and I think the fear of it will be really essential for this. I just found this out but T facebooked J yesterday asking him for coffee this week. J said he wouldn't be able to until next week but if there was something T wanted to talk about they could do it over facebook. I know this is a small thing but I'm feeling so happy about it. It really shows me that T *is* trying to make this work along with the discussion about the rules and him picking the ones he wanted to work on.
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2010, 06:50 PM
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CielDuMatin...i love you, hahahaha

and gratz ksandra for the positive update. It's good times ahead, i know it!
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2010, 07:38 PM
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MrRusty MrRusty is offline
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You people are wonderful
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2010, 07:51 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandra View Post
We sat down last night and made a written list of rules that we have that apply just to him, just to me or to both of us and then categorized them as essential (like safe sex) , okay for now, annoying and unacceptable (the curfew I have to be home by) and we are going to start working on them now and I think the fear of it will be really essential for this.
Remember to try to work on the reason WHY of the rule, rather than just work on whether it is really necessary or not.

Synergy means that two people working together on a problem may come up with a better solution than either of the individuals could have thought of.
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  #20  
Old 05-25-2010, 09:28 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandra View Post
I know this is a small thing but I'm feeling so happy about it.
You should be; it certainly sounds like there have been some really positive developments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I think that that totally depends on how you feel about unusual asymmetrical agreements - if they make you happy, then why focus on some undesirable goal like symmetry?
...sure, but it didn't sound to me like ksandra was being made happy with the agreements.

If I agree to some restriction, such as allowing my partner to impose a curfew on me, that I could reasonably predict that I'm going to resent to the point of damaging our relationship, I've made a mistake. If I look back over my relationship history and notice that I keep doing this, then it might be useful for me to adopt a rule of thumb to help me avoid letting myself get to that point.

As I wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkelly View Post
I think that it's totally possible to have completely messed-up relationships where every agreement is perfectly fair and symmetrical, and healthy ones when they aren't.
Now, I think that it would be interesting to hear an explanation of why, if two partners are both poly-, symmetry wouldn't be the obvious starting point to then negotiate from, but that's probably a subject for a different thread.
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