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Old 10-14-2012, 02:46 AM
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PhilosophicallyLost PhilosophicallyLost is offline
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Default Time management is becoming a nightmare

It's been a while since I posted...primarily because of the issue mentioned in the title.

There are many challenging things going on right now in my relationship with Y and E, but time management is frustrating me the most right now.

Let me start off by saying I'm an introvert, and Y and E are extroverts. My eldest brother once told me, "Extroverts recharge by talking with others, while introverts recharge by spending some time alone." From my experiences I believe this to be true in a lot of cases. So when I describe what's bothering me this is a big point to keep in mind....

As our forray into poly has progressed, Y and E are vying for my time. Constantly. E is in NRE mode, while I think Y is in "protect his interests" mode.

Before my work schedule changed, Y would complain that one of my days off was also on one of E's days off. Now that the work schedule changed and I have both my days off with Y's days off, E is now complaining. I really don't have a whole bunch of power over my schedule, but when I suggested I spend Sunday morning with E every other week, I was attempting to compromise. I wanted to have a day other than work days with E when I'm exhausted after an eight hour workday. Despite that, Y is not happy with the idea at all and thinks E gets plenty of time with me.

Thing is, if I were really to divide all of my free time outside of work fully to the both of them, with no me time, and assuming I'm getting enough sleep, I would get 8-12 hours with E per week and 30 with Y. I know Y does not see it this way, but I do. Y sorta uses up a lot of our time together doing things away from me, which complicates the matter even more. I get home from work, if I'm lucky, at 6 pm everyday and need to be in bed by 9. Depending on E's schedule I may get anywhere from two to four of my work nights with him and THAT'S it. I get all day Friday and Saturday and the first half of Sunday with Y. I am irritated that Y shows issue with me wanting ONE half day with E. His attitude is that E should accept that I'm married to Y and thus he has to deal with not getting as much time. On top of this I call Y every day at lunch and I come to sleep with him almost every night. I can't really blame E for what's to follow.

E is very unhappy with the lack of time we've had. He's constantly pushing to have more time with me, to the point that my sleep gets sacrificed often. When I tell Y I want more me time, he has no issue with me telling E I want more me time on a weekday, as if it should be simple for him to deal with that. I really think I should be cutting more in Y's time with that, but I don't feel very confident that he'd take it that well because E just gets soooooo much time with me. E is constantly begging me to stay longer, to wake him up when I'm getting ready for work, etc. These requests on E's part are starting to wear me down too. I am fighting to keep both of them happy on the time front while pretty much sacrificing what I want to do with my time.

So, my feelings on the situation are this: Y is really seeing E in a rivalrous sort of way in a way I don't feel is healthy for a poly relationship. I have emphasized two times that instead of focusing what time I have with E, Y should be focusing on making sure I am meeting his specific needs. Yet Y continues to compare his time with me with E's. Y sometimes acts because I'm married to him, he has certain rights and privileges to me. I agree with that on some fronts because he is the primary, but that doesn't mean the secondary's voice shouldn't be heard too.

In addition to this, E and Y are not on the best of terms right now. E is not respecting some of Y's boundaries (or mine) very well at times, partially due to his ADD and NRE, and Y has been building resentment against E over a huge ranges of issues for about two months now. I am very frustrated with Y not making it a priority to talk to E and work things out. I'm to the point of telling Y every few days, "You need to talk to E," because it's clear to me Y is not prioritizing it properly and it's making things worse. (Y has a huge problem with prioritizing on various fronts.)

To add to this dynamic, we all share a mutual friend named L. He has been Y's best friend for a long time. He's privy to our relationship and is someone for Y to talk to and confide in. L is very non-judgmental of me, but is very judgmental of E. When Y complains about E, L pretty much takes Y's side in most things. I fear this may be fueling Y's feelings in that he's right on most of his feelings when I think the cases are more grey than black and white like that.

Don't get me wrong; E deserves some of the criticism. He has a tendency to be selfish, and at a time when Y is feeling very insecure about his marriage, having his "rival" be selfish is an affront to Y. I know E doesn't mean it that way, but that's how it comes across. E has been a bit a poor room mate in terms of cleaning up after himself and taking Y seriously when Y wants him to improve in an area. Some of this is because Y comes across really aggressive, so E gets defensive and a pissy testosterone increase in both of them ensues. Also, when E asks us if we'll do something with him/for him, and we say no, he does not take no for an answer. He will plead with us another three, four, five times until either Y or I snaps at him that NO, we don't want to. He seriously does this in everything.

He asked me if I'd try squirrel. Told him no at least four times. He did the same to Y. He wants to go to Alaska next year. Asked Y and I at least twice individually and I know it won't be the last. If E really wants something he does not like not getting his way.

Grah....sorry, this came out like a rant. The main matter is, because of this crazy juggling act and issues with transitioning into poly, I am frankly stressed out. I would love to do what *I* want at least twice a week, and the two of them want to pretty much do what they want. I am to the point that I hardly feel considered and it almost pushes me to the point of wanting to be single instead of poly. I feel like a commodity to them instead of a person. I'm tired of the two of them fighting and not really trying in earnest to work their individual shit out.

Sad thing is, Y has said he's come to understand the poly a lot better with me, ever since he had a sorta fling with this girl online. He just can't stand E apparently. They had issues with their friendship before poly and they've just magnified tremendously since poly started. If they can't work it out, E will probably have to move out, or we'll move into another place without him and I will be forced to date him in a different setting. This isn't necessarily ALL bad, but there are things that will be lost if we do that.

Also, we live in a cramped two bedroom apartment and one of Y's boundaries is that E cannot show affection to me when Y is in the apartment, except in E's room. Given that Y is always home asleep (he works night shift) when I come home from work, this REALLY limits what E and I can really do together. Living apart might actually give E and I more privacy, AND not risk E crossing Y's boundaries so much with the affection bit. Also they are fighting over Y's TV all the time and Y is reasonably pissed that E hasn't gotten his own TV yet. No matter what we do someone is sleeping at the apartment so it's like we have to be quiet with our activities no matter what, so maybe living separately would be a happier arrangement. Still, I can't help feeling that E really loses out in that.....his ideas of spending the rest of his life with me is severely altered by me having to visit two different homes.

Anyway....I guess I just want perspective, a slap to the face, and suggestions for how to work on all of this, or if I'm crazy for thinking there is still a way to work all of this out.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:55 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by PhilosophicallyLost View Post

Anyway....I guess I just want perspective, a slap to the face, and suggestions for how to work on all of this, or if I'm crazy for thinking there is still a way to work all of this out.

ok, you wanted a slap to the face? I have that for you.

I couldn't concentrate hard enough to read the whole thing, but i noticed that in the last part, people are arguing over the TV????

First-world problems.


I am consistently flabbergasted by some of the things I see people stressing out over on these forums, when they really should be thanking their gods that they are lucky enough to be ABLE to be stressing out over these things (many times artificially self-created situations). But, we are not supposed to bust people's chops that way because this is a place where people come for SUPPORT, when they are in PAIN, etc. etc. etc.

But you asked for it, and you received.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 10-14-2012 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:58 AM
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Phy Phy is offline
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I think the last time you came here, someone already told you that you can't take care of the communication between the guys. This advice hasn't changed. Stop going in between them and just put your foot down, tell that this isn't working for you and schedule some weekly talk-time for the two alone. If they aren't able to look after your needs and theirs, they need to put some extra time on the line to work on their shortcomings.

I know that it's hard to make yourself a top priority, especially if you feel like you are 'doing something' to them by 'making' them be in such a relationship with you. I have had my share of those feelings as well. But this won't work if you don't stand up for your needs.

As far as I see it, you know where and what the problems are, so go tell them that you want this situation changed and solved sooner than later. If they aren't able to behave appropriately you have to and take the lead. Get them at a table and if they don't want to, let them face the consequences and withdraw yourself for a while. That's what I would do. I can't do more than tell them what I want and need. If they don't care about that - their loss.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:51 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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We don't have as many time management issues as some - since a lot of our time together is shared and the boys were best friends before they were metamours. But I agree with Phy - they have to work on their metamour issues together, you can't do it for them.

BoringGuy - I get your flabbergastedness on the TV remote issue (our TV has been broken for weeks and I couldn't possibly care less) but try thinking of it along the lines of "those little irritating things that bother you when added up over a period of time - day after day after day after day." Like, leaving your socks in the middle of the floor (Dude), or not shutting the doors on the kitchen cupboards (Me), or never remembering to take the trash out even though it is your job (MrS)- when it is YOUR relationship, you either, train the other person to do the thing (yeah, right, like that is going to happen ) OR you just decide that you are not going to let it bother you any more. But now it is not your love that is doing this but your love's love...you don't have nearly the incentive to train yourself to let it go...

PL - you will see a number of people here talk about being "their own primary" or say something about "put on your own oxygen mask first". Not to negate your guys' needs but you HAVE to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. If you need time to yourself - that takes precedence, if you need sleep - ditto; "self" time and "sleep" time are non-negotiable NEEDS. You are responsible for your own needs, they are responsible for theirs. If those conflict permanently then you can't be together...period. But perhaps some of these perceived "needs" are actually "wants" - in which case there is room for negotiation.

NRE vs "protecting his interests" - hopefully this is a time-limited stress! I forget how long you have been with your second love. My NRE with Dude lasted about 9 months on my part, MrS stopped his "interest-protecting" a few months before or after that. Where are all of you along this continuum?

JaneQ

PS. I used to feel that I needed to make "everyone happy" because it was "my fault" that we were in this configuration - after all, I was the one who fell in love with someone while already in love with someone else. I would rush back and forth - driving myself crazy trying to "make sure" that they were both getting their needs/wants/slightest yearnings met. Like because they had agreed to "share" me I had to be "everything" to BOTH of them - so no-one would be shortchanged. Know what? I can't be "everything" to even one person - let alone two, and running myself into a ragged mess, with no time to sleep or recharge left me with even less to give to either of them. You are you, you have strengths/weaknesses/and your own needs. You offer what you have to give, you do your best to pay attention to the big points and either that is sufficient or it isn't...they decide to stay in a relationship with you or they decide to leave - not your call.
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3 yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS; married to TT, poly male
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Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 10-14-2012 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:20 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post

BoringGuy - I get your flabbergastedness on the TV remote issue (our TV has been broken for weeks and I couldn't possibly care less) but try thinking of it along the lines of "those little irritating things that bother you when added up over a period of time - day after day after day after day." Like, leaving your socks in the middle of the floor (Dude), or not shutting the doors on the kitchen cupboards (Me), or never remembering to take the trash out even though it is your job (MrS)- when it is YOUR relationship, you either, train the other person to do the thing (yeah, right, like that is going to happen ) OR you just decide that you are not going to let it bother you any more. But now it is not your love that is doing this but your love's love...you don't have nearly the incentive to train yourself to let it go...
Sure, yeah. My Spouse just exploded some brownish stuff all over the inside of the microwave oven at some undetermined point over the past week and tried to wipe it up, in the process spreading a thin, even layer all over the inside of the chamber which has since dried to a coating which I will have to clean myself if I want it to be clean again. I am going to have to have a talk with Spouse about this (again). In the mean time, there is a strip of hot-pink duct tape across the door of the microwave to remind us both that we have an issue. But you don't see me coming on here adding that to a list of complaints in a thread containing the words "time management" and "nightmare", do you?

OP asked for a "slap to the face" which to me translates as "reality check". That is why I gave them. *I* am not posting in this thread looking for a reality check, but thanks for that anyway, i guess... (No, not really.)

Last edited by BoringGuy; 10-14-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:48 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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*I* am not posting in this thread looking for a reality check, but thanks for that anyway, i guess... (No, not really.)
Wow...ok. I'll just move along then...
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3 yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS; married to TT, poly male
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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Old 10-14-2012, 02:53 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Wow...ok. I'll just move along then...

Not necessary. I'm sure your advice to me might be useful to someone else.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:00 PM
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Wow, PhilosophicallyLost, I feel for you.

I am similar to you in that I am an introvert, and I also have two extrovert partners. However, our situations are different in that both of your partners seem to be acting pretty selfishly. I struggle with the time management even with two non-selfish and supportive people, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you.

My socialisation is that of a people-pleaser, so I've had to do a lot of work with this, and I still need to. What it comes down to is entitlement. Just because you are in a relationship with somebody doesn't mean they are entitled to your time. It seems like both of your partners feel like they are. That's why they are comparing and counting. Here's something I wrote earlier, which I think is relevant here:

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Originally Posted by rory View Post
A radical thought (to me, maybe others will go "DUH" when reading this): what if the best thing to do is to drop the the notion of equality/fairness altogether?

Here's the problem with aiming for equality or fairness; it includes entitlement, a right to something from me. When actually all my partner has a right to is what I have a right to from them: to be respected, loved, and to be taken into consideration. Not that those are small things, they are huge. But it is obvious to me that I treat anybody I care about like that.

Equality/fairness includes assumption of entitlement. It will no longer be my aim. When a partner of mine tells me they want or need something, I will make it a priority (again, not the but a priority), as I always do. I will try to focus on that more.
This was all written mostly regarding time management. Things like how many nights I'm spending with whom etc. For me, the pressure came from internalised notions of fairness (as symmetry). For you it seems to be coming from your partners, both of whom are treating your time as something they have automatic right to. The comparison game is actually going to absurd lengths in that they seem to be more interested in the other person not getting more than them than they are in what they get themself. It is not respectful of your wellbeing or your autonomy, nor is it appreciative of the time you do spend with them.

I think you need some boundaries. You need to think "what do I want" and "what do I need". And then, start acting in a way that will get you those things. With your partners it will be either a matter of informing them or asking them for whatever it is, depending on the issue.

There are probably some concrete changes you'll want to make; for example, you need to get enough sleep and you want time alone. It seems neither will come easy, but it is not complicated. These are matters in your control, and your partners do not have a right to stomp on them. You need to figure out what your preferred arrangement is, inform your partners about it, and then demand they respect it. You will probably get some push back from them (since you are getting some about things like your days off - seriously!), but you need to enforce the boundaries and demand the respect they should be giving you.

A more abstract thing you also need is for this childish score-keeping to stop. Or, in the very least, for them to stop directing it towards you. This is something you need to ask from them, and tell them how much it bothers you (if you haven't). I would also think about whether I am doing something to reward the behaviour. Maybe ignore requests that come from that place of comparison, and only take seriously if somebody expresses an actual wish to spend time with you?

Just some thoughts I had. The situation doesn't sound happy or healthy, but I'm sure you can improve it with good boundaries. Good luck!
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