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  #211  
Old 12-01-2011, 03:22 AM
Mookitten Mookitten is offline
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MorningTwilight,

Unfortunately, he's the one well connected with the poly community, and anyone I know who is poly, is close with him, and I can't find help with them. They are his friends. And the one person I thought could help me out, and I was really counting on a good friendship from her, went and became his lover. (Mind you, we had been talking DAYS before she had gone to see him, and mentioned nothing of it, while I told her of all my insecurities, and how I could not handle things right now, and how I'm trying my best to figure things out, but a new lover would hurt me so badly.)

I just don't have anyone to turn to, which is why I finally tried to find at least an online community in which I could talk to, and try to formalize what I need to be talking with him about, and trying to understand and try to feel better about this relationship.

Because, I love him to death, and he makes me so happy. But when we aren't together ( and sometimes when we are) I am plagued with doubt, and I hate myself, and I often feel that I am not good enough, which is why he needs others to fulfill him, because I'm just not worth that sort of devotion.

And, I know that it isn't actually true, and I know I'm ignorant to these things, and I am trying to learn, but it doesn't change how I feel, or how I think...
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  #212  
Old 12-01-2011, 03:59 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Originally Posted by Mookitten View Post
MorningTwilight,

Unfortunately, he's the one well connected with the poly community, and anyone I know who is poly, is close with him, and I can't find help with them. They are his friends. And the one person I thought could help me out, and I was really counting on a good friendship from her, went and became his lover. (Mind you, we had been talking DAYS before she had gone to see him, and mentioned nothing of it, while I told her of all my insecurities, and how I could not handle things right now, and how I'm trying my best to figure things out, but a new lover would hurt me so badly.)
This sounds pretty shitty of her.

I'm fairly certain that wherever you are, there's more to "the poly community" than just your bf and his circle of friends. If you clue us in as to where you are (you can PM if you're uncomfortable saying in public), perhaps we can point you to local discussion groups and other forms of support networks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mookitten
I just don't have anyone to turn to, which is why I finally tried to find at least an online community in which I could talk to, and try to formalize what I need to be talking with him about, and trying to understand and try to feel better about this relationship.
There are good people here, many of whom have lived this (on both sides of the mono/poly fence) for a long time, and their experiences are educational.

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Originally Posted by Mookitten
Because, I love him to death, and he makes me so happy. But when we aren't together ( and sometimes when we are) I am plagued with doubt, and I hate myself, and I often feel that I am not good enough, which is why he needs others to fulfill him, because I'm just not worth that sort of devotion.
That is not how the poly mind works. That he is poly is not a statement about you; it's a statement about him; namely, that his heart is open to falling in love with more than one person at a time. Unfortunately, based upon what you've described, he's going about it all in a fairly self-centered, immature, hamfisted way. But, have you spoken up to tell him how you feel, and to ask him for what you need by way of reassurance? It can be a little difficult at first to figure out what it is you need to ask for, so a good starting point might be the five love languages quiz.

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Originally Posted by Mookitten
And, I know that it isn't actually true, and I know I'm ignorant to these things, and I am trying to learn, but it doesn't change how I feel, or how I think...
You're not ignorant. You're young, inexperienced with romance, and have grown up in a culture steeped in Snow White and Prince Charming. It can take awhile to deprogram, and it can take awhile between realizing in your head that his poly-ness is not an indication of any personal shortcoming on your part, and realizing it in your heart.

Have some patience with yourself. You are not wrong to feel what you feel. The trick is to become emotionally aware, so that you can examine your emotional and mental state as you experience it, as if you are your own clinical observer, and can then figure out what's triggering you and why. A counselor is invaluable in this journey, but if you can't afford it, Franklin Veaux's (aka "tacit") website, morethantwo.com, is a great place to start.

You also asked:

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Originally Posted by Mookitten
If a poly person tells you that are in love with you... Is it less serious than in a mono relationship?
I don't believe so. For example, parents of multiple children are no less serious about their love for each of them than are parents of an only child. Granted, a romantic partnership is a bit different from a parent/child relationship (and outside of kink scenes, it certainly should be!), but the principle is the same.

That said, there are poly people who are less serious than others, and there are people who say they're poly but who are in reality just self-centered, narcissistic, sociopathic shitheads. It's hard to say which flavor you've found. The charitable view is that your bf is himself young (true?), inexperienced, and is thus behaving like an insensitive clod. You are going to have to stand up for yourself, and that includes talking to him about the lack of respect you're getting both from him and from his other lover. People aren't mind readers; the only way to know that they know what you're feeling is to tell them. The only way to know that they know what you need is to ask them for it, out loud.

Have a look at Marshall Rosenberg's book, Non-Violent Communication, for a way to talk about difficult things in a non-accusatory manner. There are a lot of summaries on the web to get you started with the basic idea, one of the better ones being this one.

Best,
MT
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  #213  
Old 12-01-2011, 04:18 AM
Mookitten Mookitten is offline
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MorningTwilight "Unfortunately, based upon what you've described, he's going about it all in a fairly self-centered, immature, hamfisted way. But, have you spoken up to tell him how you feel, and to ask him for what you need by way of reassurance?"



He isn't young... But he is new to the poly lifestyle. I don't know exactly, but I think he came out as poly only a little more than a year ago. He knows how I feel about things, and I always feel like I ask too much of him. He's constantly busy with things, and I don't even know what reassurance to ask for...

But... Is he really disrespecting me? I feel like I'm just the one who can't handle this relationship, and that I'm the one who is poor at adapting. I'm the one who has to try and not hurt, and not be upset, and ask him questions over and over again because I don't know if things have changed, or because I just need to hear it...

I want him to be happy, don't get me wrong. I do. But I just don't understand why he can't be happy with me. And how he can enter these relationships where these women become his "lovers" the first time they sleep together. I feel like I worked to get into a relationship with him, and yet if I had just slept with him, I would be just as special to him as these girls he met...

I feel like I'm being dumb and rude by saying those things... But I guess I just feel like, I deserve more, and I HATE being classified with other people... If anyone is into astrology, I'm a leo... So, I guess that isn't out there for my personality.

But, ultimately, all I want to be is happy. I'm happier with him than I have ever been. And despite everything, we have a great time together. We're romantic, we're sexual, we're playful. I feel like I'm at home with him. I feel safe.

And, I think, in his own way. He really does love me. I know he loves me and he tells me he is in love with me... I just don't know how to approach this, and by the way people are responding, he's not doing poly relationships right, either! So maybe I'm not all wrong in this...

Any advice on what to talk to him about...? (I need like, legitimate sentences here, because I can't think for myself. My mind gets all muddled and suddenly my coherent thoughts aren't so...)
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  #214  
Old 12-01-2011, 05:00 AM
Mookitten Mookitten is offline
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I was told by a newfound friend that I should add a key factor into something that makes me upset and uncomfortable about my love's poly lifestyle.


He only tells me about a new lover AFTER he has been intimate with them.


Apparently that is a big faux-pas? I don't know. I'm new to all this... I thought that was how it was supposed to work.

I have to admit, it did hurt quite a lot that he was texting me before she came over, and then I found out the next day that she had traveled to sleep with him, and on his way back from dropping her off did he come and tell me about it. (to do the "honorable thing and not keep it from me" apparently)
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  #215  
Old 12-01-2011, 05:36 AM
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I know the primary stuff doesn't ease anything, but I think it would make me feel even just slightly better. Because I don't feel important, even though he tells me so.
Oh, hon. No label or stamp of approval from the outside will make you feel better about yourself. That is an inside job and totally up to you. One way you can improve your self-esteem is to start building a life for yourself outside of your involvement with him. Find things you are interested in and might enjoy doing, and be open to discovering what you're good at. Developing new skills will enable you to see more things about yourself that you like, will expand your life, and give you other things to do with your time instead of fretting over this guy.

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I just know that he could never devote to me ... it's really hard for me to grasp that "he needs me" (as he said) or that my relationship truly does matter to him, or that he's got as much to lose as I do.

It doesn't make me feel better that his new lover basically backstabbed me, and his older one gets jealous of me (they live together, but she gets upset at any time I spend with him, and they text constantly while we're together.
Polyamory doesn't preclude devotion; it is totally possible he can be devoted and dedicated to you, even with other relationships. A poly person can be devoted to than one person. And, again, you wouldn't feel like you have so much to lose if you had more going on in your life and were not totally depending upon him to feel like you have value.

AND it is completely reasonable to ask him for his full attention, and not to be texting with her when he's with you. Many poly relationships have boundaries about that.

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I just don't know how he can tell me that he is in love with me, and he wants only a romantic relationship with me ,and he does not want to lose me and yet does things that he knows could end our relationship...
Well, if you are referring to his having other relationships as what could end his relationship with you, then it will be very difficult to be involved with a poly guy.

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I want to understand it so that maybe I can handle it better ...
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Originally Posted by Mookitten View Post
...he is new to the poly lifestyle. ... only a little more than a year ago. ...

But... Is he really disrespecting me? I feel like I'm just the one who can't handle this relationship, and that I'm the one who is poor at adapting. ...

... I just don't understand why he can't be happy with me. And how he can enter these relationships where these women become his "lovers" the first time they sleep together. I feel like I worked to get into a relationship with him, and yet if I had just slept with him, I would be just as special to him as these girls he met...

... I'm happier with him than I have ever been. And despite everything, we have a great time together. We're romantic, we're sexual, we're playful. I feel like I'm at home with him. I feel safe.

... I know he loves me and he tells me he is in love with me... I just don't know how to approach this, and by the way people are responding, he's not doing poly relationships right, either! So maybe I'm not all wrong in this...
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He only tells me about a new lover AFTER he has been intimate with them.
Everyone does poly differently, but most would agree that it requires honest communication and negotiating boundaries. It should never feel like the guy says, "this is how I do it" and you have to go along with everything his way just to be with him. It's supposed to be consensual. You can have objections, voice concerns, and ask him to make compromises. You have to figure out what you will and will not tolerate and ask him for what you want.

He's new at poly and fumbling around, basically. It seems his idea of poly is to maybe have a primary and then be open to casual sex with others who are not as committed. If you're not okay with that, you don't have to be. You can tell him you want to know about any lovers beforehand. You should definitely know what his safer sex practices are, and you can tell him that any unprotected sex ends the relationship. You can ask for privacy when you're with him and no texting anyone else during your time with him. You can ask that he not fuck friends of yours. Tell him what your dealbreakers are. Then it's on him, whether he's a stand-up guy or not. But don't put up with bullshit.

Look, let's be realistic. He's new at poly, you have self-esteem issues, this is a fairly new relationship of just about eight months, and your very first relationship ever. It may not last. If it ends, that won't mean it failed, just that it ended. You will have learned about your self from it, so take this opportunity to be the best YOU you can be, to learn how to communicate and how to stand up for yourself. And if the scales tip more toward grief and sadness than happiness, you may need to walk away. Believe me, there are lots of good men out there.
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Last edited by nycindie; 12-01-2011 at 05:40 AM.
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  #216  
Old 12-01-2011, 05:41 AM
Mookitten Mookitten is offline
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But what if I tell him I don't like something, and ask him to change it, and he gets mad at me or doesn't want to? Then I have to leave him...
I mean... It doesn't seem to matter to him what my dealbreakers are... I can't see him losing me as an actual loss, especially if I don't put up with everything. If I'm the one not willing, I'm the one who is losing out.

What if he refuses to tell me about lovers beforehand?
Or doesn't stop the texting?

I mentioned once about the texting, and he said that "he has lots of friends" he has to talk to. :/ And I know it's mostly her. I don't try and read his texts, and I don't snoop or anything. But I can see the name, and it's typically her.

If it happens again this weekend, I'm going to say something about it...


And... I know if the scale tips, I have to leave. But right now, I don't believe it does. I still find a lot of joy in him, and happiness when we're together. I only wish I could feel the same way when we're apart.
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  #217  
Old 12-01-2011, 05:53 AM
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But what if I tell him I don't like something, and ask him to change it, and he gets mad at me or doesn't want to? Then I have to leave him...
I mean... It doesn't seem to matter to him what my dealbreakers are... I can't see him losing me as an actual loss, especially if I don't put up with everything. If I'm the one not willing, I'm the one who is losing out.

What if he refuses to tell me about lovers beforehand?
Or doesn't stop the texting?
Yes, that's what standing your ground means. You leave. Or you give him three chances. I don't know. Mature people sometimes have to walk away from people they love.

Geez, you're losing if you stay and don't ask for what you want and keep letting him take advantage of you. He might give in to some requests, you know, but I hope he'd be honorable and honest about it.

You ask him to change some things because it would make you happy. If he's unwilling to make any changes, that says a lot about whose happiness he cares more about - his. Do you really want to be with someone who has you afraid to "make him mad?"

Okay, so if he just continues the way he's been and won't make any compromises, here are your choices:

Stay, feel victimized, and whine about it til he dumps you for making him miserable.

Stay, put up with shit you don't like, and keep quiet about it until you have to run away because you're miserable.

Leave and find ways to be happy with yourself, and people who appreciate and respect you.

Seems pretty clear to me.
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  #218  
Old 12-01-2011, 06:06 AM
Mookitten Mookitten is offline
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You are right. You are absolutely right. I will speak up. If he doesn't like it or refuses to compromise or try and ease things on me then I shouldn't stay. We should want this equally.
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  #219  
Old 12-01-2011, 07:17 AM
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You are right. You are absolutely right. I will speak up. If he doesn't like it or refuses to compromise or try and ease things on me then I shouldn't stay. We should want this equally.
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  #220  
Old 12-01-2011, 03:20 PM
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But what if I tell him I don't like something, and ask him to change it, and he gets mad at me or doesn't want to? Then I have to leave him...

I mean... It doesn't seem to matter to him what my dealbreakers are... I can't see him losing me as an actual loss, especially if I don't put up with everything. If I'm the one not willing, I'm the one who is losing out.

What if he refuses to tell me about lovers beforehand? Or doesn't stop the texting?

I mentioned once about the texting, and he said that "he has lots of friends" he has to talk to. :/ And I know it's mostly her. I don't try and read his texts, and I don't snoop or anything. But I can see the name, and it's typically her.

If it happens again this weekend, I'm going to say something about it...

And... I know if the scale tips, I have to leave. But right now, I don't believe it does. I still find a lot of joy in him, and happiness when we're together. I only wish I could feel the same way when we're apart.
Moo,

Setting up boundaries is about respecting yourself and working towards what you want out of life.

Determining what you want from this relationship, and what you do not not, (like telling you about potential sex/love interests before he bangs them, or limit texting while spending time with you) is really NOT about him. It's about figuring out what you want and need from a relationship and then working with him to see if he can provide that.

Yes, tell him what you want, talk about it and work towards some compromises. It is possible that he will be mad about what you want and that he will refuse to do what you ask. But it's not about him. (Counterintuitive, I know.)

A boundary is not an ultimatum - do this or I will leave. A boundary is a guideline - this is what I need to be in a relationship with you. If you can't or won't do this (whatever 'this' is), then a consequence is the relationship ends. Do you see the difference? One is trying to force another to be the way you want. The second is putting out there what you truly need in a relationship and accepting, for yourself, the consequence of not getting that need met.

Also, boundaries are fluid - they change over time. It is a common experience that as people move along in relationships - mono or poly - the boundaries they once needed no longer seem so necessary.
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