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Old 08-14-2010, 04:49 PM
luckygirl luckygirl is offline
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Default still struggling...

It's been three months now since my partner of about a year and a half told be that he didn't think he could continue to function in a monogamous relationship, and that he wanted to be free to have romantic and sexual connections with other people.

I've been struggling with a lot of things in regards to this, and while he's been as supportive as he knows how to be, I still feel like I can't really talk to him about it, because it seems like he's not really hearing me, or lapses into logic or sarcasm when what I need is reassurance... or something. I feel like he gets frustrated with my inability to just get on board with it and feel what he feels.

There's so much going that I just don't understand. His idea of what the relationship model would ideally look like seems to change on a whim, and I feel like our life together is very unstable. There's now always the thought in the back of my mind that "I don't know if I can do this, maybe I'll have to leave", which interferes with my ability to be emotionally open to him. I feel like there is now distance between us that wasn't there when we were monogamous. I find myself putting distance between myself and other women in case he has, or develops, an attraction to them.

I don't want to break up, for various reasons. I'm totally in love with him; he's an amazing person who inspires and challenges and delights me in so many ways. I've never known anyone whose company I enjoy so much. I moved here to be with him, and I keep asking myself if I would have moved for an open relationship. I don't think I would have.

Something I'm struggling with is feelings that there must be something wrong in our relationship if he wants to have others. All my life I've heard "They don't look elsewhere if they're satisfied at home", and I can't help but worry that I'm an unsatisfying partner to him. I feel shamed and insulted. I've been reading a lot on this site and others, and it seems that most people who identify as poly were cheaters in the past; am I just giving a cheater a way to avoid guilt?

I don't want another lover. I feel like it would distract from my relationship with him. I'm trying to recognize that he's "just different" from me, and that wouldn't be the case for him, but there's this feeling that because he wants another and I don't, he must not be as in love, as committed, as serious, as whateveryouwanttocallit as I am. I know this is slightly stupid, and I'm trying to get past it.

Limited time and resources is another issue for me. We're both very busy people, and when we first talked about this, I expressed the concern that he didn't really have time to add another person to his life. He said "You make time", which sounds well and good, but he and I have been trying to "make time" to go see a movie together for over a week. He won't "make time" for me, but will for other women? He immediately balked when I suggested that he limit his time with another partner to once a week, and said he wanted to be able to see them more than that. We live together, but get very little quality time together as it is (not NEARLY once a week), and the idea that he wants to give the majority of his free time elsewhere is very hurtful to me.

I'm sticking with the thinking that this is just growing pains, that this is something I want to give him, that my feelings will get sorted out eventually... but I need some support. Ready, go.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:16 PM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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Welcome .

Some polyamorists are former cheaters, yes, but not all or most.

If he won't listen with his ears maybe he will with his eyes. Write him, pen & paper or email, and lay it all out there, let him have the time he needs to process what you said. Invite him to ask questions about what you write or write you back with his own feelings and questions.

Communication doesn't always have to be verbal, it can be touching or writing as well.

Set up a calendar (I wholeheartedly endorse google calendar for this) with both of your schedules on it & write in a different colour when you will be available for time with him. Have him write in when his dates are so you can schedule something else for that time frame. Try to get to know his others so you can get a sense of who they are, you never know, you might find a good friend among them.

Go to www.xeromag.com and read what Franklin has written. He, and many on this forum, have awesome insight and words of wisdom.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:39 PM
luckygirl luckygirl is offline
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Thanks for the advice.
In regard to the Google calendar tip, it's not scheduling that's a problem, but me feeling like he'll make time for other people to have "quality time" with him, while he and I don't get the same priority of making time to spend together to nurture OUR relationship together.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:47 PM
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Maybe he feels secure in the relationship he has with you and doesn't realize that he needs to nurture it as well?

I'll bow out for now because I don't want to give bad advice & I'm a little lost on this one as well.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:58 PM
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Acroxander Acroxander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl View Post
He said "You make time", which sounds well and good, but he and I have been trying to "make time" to go see a movie together for over a week. He won't "make time" for me, but will for other women
The discrepancy here seems to be how you and he define "quality time." Don't you live together? Have you recently, say, watched a movie with him when he could have been out with others, or perhaps just hung around?

There are other factors to consider. Is he working erratically? Does he perhaps have inclusive and absorbing hobbies that keep him busy whether or not he's with anyone? Perhaps time alone with you, to him, is quality time, whether or not you're SPECIFICALLY ALLOCATING it to be so. If that's the case, you may need to more plainly state your own needs. He may be more casual about that kind of thing than you are, in which case it simply won't occur to him.

If he is making what he considers to be sufficient efforts to be around you, and you don't. . . there is a conversation in your future.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:20 AM
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I have felt very much like you. We dealt with it using a two pronged approach. Firstly we negotiated and a good negotiator does not give up on the first come back, you go back again, and again if necessary.

Secondly I decided that I wanted to be the best version of myself that I could be so that Z would want to be with me. I don't believe we can make people love us or want to be with us. All we can do is be the best that we can be and if that isn't enough maybe it is time to walk.

I think it is fairly easy to tell a poly from a player by the amount of work they are prepared to put into your relationship to make it work. You say he is wonderful but it doesn't sound as if he is behaving very wonderfully.

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Old 08-16-2010, 01:15 PM
DazednConfused DazednConfused is offline
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My partner opened up her Poly desires about 6 weeks ago. While I have no good advice, as I too am having difficulty, just wanted to say *hugs*.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage View Post
I have felt very much like you. We dealt with it using a two pronged approach. Firstly we negotiated and a good negotiator does not give up on the first come back, you go back again, and again if necessary.

Secondly I decided that I wanted to be the best version of myself that I could be so that Z would want to be with me. I don't believe we can make people love us or want to be with us. All we can do is be the best that we can be and if that isn't enough maybe it is time to walk.

I think it is fairly easy to tell a poly from a player by the amount of work they are prepared to put into your relationship to make it work. You say he is wonderful but it doesn't sound as if he is behaving very wonderfully.

Awesome post sage, I totally would of said just this.

I am often in the situation of your man, I get grumpy and frustrated about things not going my way or my partners not moving fast enough. It sucks to have to wait and negotiate boundaries constantly. There are somethings I have been waiting on for years! Ie. Moving to a more suited house.

He will need to practice better patience. For me it really helps when I am told exactly what someone wants from me. Lately PN, my husband told me that he needs more hugs from me. I have done my best to give him that. He asked for more quality time together and I have given that, to the detriment of one of my relationships actually. He has asked for us to have NRE back, I can't give that, I also can't have sex with him as often as I am resentful and unable to feel connected in that way right now. My boundary. We negotiated our boundaries again to make changes to become close again. We will again I'm sure. Being completely open and honest means constant negotiation. No one should compromise anything. Be creative to make it work. Creative and unresentful. Working on finding that ever illusive balance is what its all about... Poly or not. That's my thoughts anyway.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:39 PM
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Welcome and I know you will find some good feedback here!! I agree with some of the others. It's better to be specific. "I need more quality time" doesn't really say anything.

Years ago, I was in a monogamous relationship and we lived together. My partner was expressing dissatisfaction. When pressed for more information, she said "When I come home from work in the evening, you don't even acknowledge my presence." We were in therapy at the time and I remember my therapist pointing out that I had no idea what she wanted. I worked from home and would often be right in the middle of a phone call or immersed in a project when she would come home. Saying "hello" to her and smiling wasn't enough for her. I had no idea how to "acknowledge her presence" and giving a person "more quality time" really doesn't say much either. I was pretty stressed about it.....not having any idea what in the heck to do.

Finally, after talking it over, we agreed that when she came home from work, I would stop what I was doing. Stand up. Walk into the room she was entering. Look at her. Approach her. Smile at her. Hug her. Kiss her. Ask her how her day was. Spend about 5 or 10 minutes with her. Then- she would go about her business and I could return to what I was doing......that was all she really wanted and it was an easy thing to fulfill.

Specifics are always better than vague requests.....good luck!!
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:10 PM
luckygirl luckygirl is offline
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Thanks for the feedback, folkses. Sage, I love what you said. I too am striving to be my best self, and the best partner I can be to my boyfriend. I have good days and bad days, of course, and I really appreciate all the support and feedback.
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