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  #11  
Old 02-15-2013, 02:01 AM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Do you put yourself first? It's not wrong of other people to not put you first. They need to put themselves first, as you have to put yourself first. I like to use the analogy of the oxygen masks on an air plane. If you pass out while you're helping someone put their mask on, you're not going to be any good to anyone.
No, I guess I probably don't, something I'm realizing a lot lately. I am burning the candle at both ends these days and haven't had any "me" time which has not been good. I'm stressed and tired and while I'm doing healthy things like getting enough sleep and exercising, I'm feeling pretty run down.


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I've found that whether I hate or love my job has a huge impact on every single aspect of my life. Do you have any room to manoeuvre there? I know it's a tough economy right now, but that might be a good place to look for change.
You're right, the job really does reflect in other areas of one's life. I'm taking a 3 month business class so I can learn to be my own boss, and putting together a plan so that I can be a freelancer in the next few months. I can't do the corporate, 40 hours/week thing anymore. Too rigid for me. I am not a very rigid person, which is another reason poly appealed to me.

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It's not hypocritical to feel jealousy, only to put restrictions on your partners that you yourself won't agree to follow.
Fair enough.

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Of people who do use Primary/secondary labels, it generally doesn't limit the kinds of feelings you can have for one another, i.e. the emotional connection you're talking about, but rather practical matters like time commitments and level of "intermingling" between your lives (i.e. living together, kids, shared accounts). You can love your secondary just as much as you love your primary.
That makes sense, and I know you can love your secondary as much as your primary...Which makes me wonder why my partner has decided to use the primary label with me if we don't share finances or a house/apartment or anything like that. Sometimes I think he calls me that because I'm the one he wants to introduce to his parents. I'm the parent approved girlfriend.

Also I have a few poly friends who consider themselves their primaries, and I guess I'm not like that. But maybe I should be. Maybe it would reduce the stress of this whole confusion about what I am to people.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2013, 03:53 AM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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I met my current partner and realized he wasn't like all my previous relationships where the guy latched on in a monogamous deathlock, crawled up my butt and built a nest. He didn't require monogamy as long as I didn't lie about what I was up to with others and preferred a relationship model that allowed him the same. I wasn't his first attempt at vocalizing this to who he was seeing but that attempt had failed on him. Most of his relationships ended over cheating.

I was attempt number two and he wasn't good about disclosure so we had lots of rocky situations getting to where we are now. I did all the usual self dissection looking for inadequacies in myself that you're doing. I experienced real jealousy for the first time. I kept mental records about things I did for him and stacked them against this issue I believed he had in not needing me to be monogamous to him and wanting to not have to be monogamous to me. I saw it as this relationship's version of me putting him before me and him not doing the same because all of my previous relationships had that theme in one way or another.

You have to challenge those ingrained assumptions at least once in a while.

Such as this thought pattern. In essence, I was saying that because I was willing to be monogamous, which I don't struggle to be if it is expected out of me, and I was calling that something I was doing FOR HIM and resenting that he would prefer to not be monogamous with me.
But when your partner has no problems with you wanting and having sex with others how is being monogamous something you're doing to put them before yourself?

And when I took a good long look at that I also saw all the ways he did put me before himself. Whole lists of things he does that he would otherwise not do if not for me. Not right out of the box but more and more with time as he learned what ways I needed and wanted to be put first. He is amazing at it now. And while he would try to be monogamous if I demanded it, we both know he would struggle with it and eventually let me down in some fashion with his interpersonal relationships.

It comes down to finding out if someone being monogamous to you is the only way and/or a much needed way for you to feel that you are being valued the way you value your partner. There is nothing wrong with putting your partner first if they are someone who will do the same - IN THE WAYS YOU NEED to be put first. The second and much more enjoyable leg of this race is finding out what you can gain in not having to be monogamous either.

THEN you'll know if you're monogamous.
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2013, 06:10 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm going to ramble. I don't know if that will help you. My intent is to try to see if anything resonates with you so it can help you sort yourself out. Ok?

Sounds to me like you want to poly (since you both agreed to this and wanted this before dating) but do not find poly with HIM particularly satisfying because it arouses jealousy in you.

Jealousy is a "flag" emotion to me. Like ..."look deeper in here! Needs not being met!"

What needs do you have that he is not meeting? Need to bond before and after his dates?

Is him seeing Another is like "Crap! If you have it to spend, why aren't you spending it on me first, your ORE person to make sure MY needs are being met well before adding on more people? You are spreading yourself too thin and neglecting me even MORE?"

Or could it be just that you want a different poly open relationship model than him? You are after polyfidelitous and he is not?

Just because you are both polyamorous does not mean you want the same things. Just because people are both monoamorous does not mean they both want the same things -- "cohabitating, married life partnership" flavor. Even the same person may want different things at different stages of their life. I used to want "independent poly solo" when I was younger. Then I wanted to have kids and things changed. I figure it will change again when kid is adult and takes off.

Or maybe you are ok seeing your Other because it helps supplement what you do not get with him. You are willing to "be ok" with that as the price of admission here.

It is ok to date and explore -- and accept not all of them will be a long haul runner if you are seeking a long haul runner type experience in your polyshipping.

Could that be it here? He's been fun to date, but ultimately not compatible for your long term desire?

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-15-2013 at 06:12 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2013, 05:28 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
There is nothing wrong with putting your partner first if they are someone who will do the same - IN THE WAYS YOU NEED to be put first.
"Putting your partner first" is a little vague. Do you put your partner's wants ahead of your own needs? I hope not. Putting your partner's wants ahead of your own wants? Sure, sometimes, if there's give and take. Putting your partner's needs ahead of your needs? Then it depends on which is the greater need, and how much you're sacrificing by giving it up.

I have a need to communicate with my husband. I prefer to communicate as soon as something comes up. My husband is more the type to think things over before talking about them. He needs time to process his thoughts before he's ready to communicate. By respecting his need first, I ultimately satisfy my own need to a greater extent: communication happens eventually, and it's more effective than if I forced him to speak before he's ready.
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2013, 06:05 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I confess I haven't thoroughly read this entire thread but, in skimming through it, these questions stood out to me:

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Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
When you have such an emotional connection to someone, can you just "downgrade" how you feel about them?
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Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
I feel like we should be able to do that kind of thing, but it's a huge mental hurdle to get over when you're the one who isn't happy with your "status" with the other person...how would you do it? Just not see each other for a while and then decide to start seeing each other again but taking it very slowly?
It is possible to detach a bit from a person you care deeply about, but I don't see it as a "downgrade." That makes it sound like it is less than ideal and sort of second-best or something. I don't know whether my story is similar to yours (since I didn't read it completely), but my feelings for a particular lover-friend of mine were really dominating my life for a while, and I had lots of meltdowns and crying jags when he started seeing someone else and spending less time with me. In my case, I had to confront my old patterns of thinking regarding relationships, which would spark certain feelings to arise. These patterns are connected to what I was taught while growing up and decisions I made at an early age about how to be in relationships. They are totally at odds with what I truly want for me, as an adult, right now.

So, for me, the key is lots and lots of self-examination, combined with a little purposeful distance from the situation or person that stirs up too much emotion to see things clearly. I had to look at my feelings and ask myself if they were organic responses to an event happening in the moment, or triggered by my pre-patterned thought processes. Some of my upset was a direct response to things he had said or done, but most of it was wrapped up in my expectations and old patterns, which caused me to feel very attached to him and dependent upon our relationship to validate me.

We had a loose, casual arrangement, which I totally wanted from the very beginning, but I would get sad and upset that we aren't bf/gf and probably never will be. I love him very much and my goal in life is to love without being attached. Often, when I say that, people don't really understand what I mean because they value the attachment. But I don't want my sense of who I am, whether I feel good about myself, etc., to be attached and dependent upon the status of my relationships.

So, because of wanting to pull back on my attachment to him, and other circumstances, I purposely worked on what I see as "pulling back" (rather than "downgrading") my emotional involvement or attachment to him. Whenever I would get into this emotional whirlwind while thinking about him, I would indulge it a little bit (sometimes tears feel good to release), but then I would stop and ask myself what it was really about. It was always more about my own insecurities than about him. Through this, I have reached a better place with less expectation placed on him. I also consciously forgave him and myself for some things that had me upset before. That is also very freeing.

Whenever I would do this sort of examination of my thoughts and feelings and actively detach by reminding myself to pull back on the emotional "hooks" I had in him, I would feel better and like I had clarity about who he is and who we are in relation to each other. And so, after two and a half months of doing this, I felt not attached to him anymore. But I didn't love him any less.

I still love him but that feeling just is. I can love and care deeply for someone without being attached to some sort of codependent need. And I can love and care deeply for someone and still have a little distance to keep me from falling into that place of expectation - which comes from a longing for something that my upbringing tells me I should want from relationships, but isn't actually what I really want. By having some distance and less attachment, I not only protect myself from hurt but I protect our relationship from imploding. I feel like I can be his friend again and not get all bent out of shape from wishing for more than that.

Does that make sense at all?
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 08:02 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2013, 07:52 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
"Putting your partner first" is a little vague. Do you put your partner's wants ahead of your own needs? I hope not. Putting your partner's wants ahead of your own wants? Sure, sometimes, if there's give and take. Putting your partner's needs ahead of your needs? Then it depends on which is the greater need, and how much you're sacrificing by giving it up.

I have a need to communicate with my husband. I prefer to communicate as soon as something comes up. My husband is more the type to think things over before talking about them. He needs time to process his thoughts before he's ready to communicate. By respecting his need first, I ultimately satisfy my own need to a greater extent: communication happens eventually, and it's more effective than if I forced him to speak before he's ready.
Yes we both do. Our relationship model is found in The Hagakure on what is a good retainer. We are that for each other; serving each other when necessary or the opportunity presents itself. It doesn't have to mean sacrificing yourself. How would that benefit the other party? An example would be I do not do well with cubicle work but what I do hasn't always paid well. He would prefer to not work in an office setting but he does it well and the pay is better.
If our relationship required a lot of real sacrificing on who we are and what we need then IMO, I wouldn't think us very compatible. At least not for a co-habitation type relationship. Its not like we can't have separate interests, achieve personal goals or acquire what we want as individuals with this relationship model. These things don't always result in a conflict and conflicts can be resolved in a mutually agreeable fashion.
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:01 AM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
But when your partner has no problems with you wanting and having sex with others how is being monogamous something you're doing to put them before yourself?
Sorry, but what do you mean by this?
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:07 AM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Jealousy is a "flag" emotion to me. Like ..."look deeper in here! Needs not being met!"
Absolutely.

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What needs do you have that he is not meeting? Need to bond before and after his dates?

Is him seeing Another is like "Crap! If you have it to spend, why aren't you spending it on me first, your ORE person to make sure MY needs are being met well before adding on more people? You are spreading yourself too thin and neglecting me even MORE?"
Yes, I think that might be something, too. (Though, what do you mean by ORE?) The thing is, though, he doesn't see himself having a primary partner...And I think I could see that. Or...

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Or could it be just that you want a different poly open relationship model than him? You are after polyfidelitous and he is not?
I have thought about polyfidelity as opposed to just having a bunch of relationships that are on the "same" level, which is what he seems to want. Or having a primary partner with whom I live and maybe have kids with while having an open relationship. He doesn't think he wants to have kids, for example, and he doesn't think he actually wants to co-habitate with people or a person he's in relationship(s) with, but I haven't ruled out those possibilities for me completely, so we're on different pages there.

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Or maybe you are ok seeing your Other because it helps supplement what you do not get with him. You are willing to "be ok" with that as the price of admission here.
My therapist said something like that, too. She said you have to figure out which pain to put up with, whether it's the pain of having him in my life or the pain of not having him in my life. You have to pick one. So the pain of him not wanting the kind of relationship I want kind of like a "price of admission."
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:13 AM
polyconundrum polyconundrum is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
So, for me, the key is lots and lots of self-examination, combined with a little purposeful distance from the situation or person that stirs up too much emotion to see things clearly. I had to look at my feelings and ask myself if they were organic responses to an event happening in the moment, or triggered by my pre-patterned thought processes. Some of my upset was a direct response to things he had said or done, but most of it was wrapped up in my expectations and old patterns, which caused me to feel very attached to him and dependent upon our relationship to validate me.
Yup, that's exactly what happens to me. It's a big battle between what I've been socialized to think and what I think now. And yes, some of it was things he had done recently, and a lot of it was societal upbringing kicking and screaming inside of me.

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Often, when I say that, people don't really understand what I mean because they value the attachment. But I don't want my sense of who I am, whether I feel good about myself, etc., to be attached and dependent upon the status of my relationships.
Definitely know what you mean here, but for the longest time, that was really how I felt good about myself. Having relationships that is. That was what made me feel like I was a good person, or not. And yes, that has changed, but I think it's still lingering. Either way I get that.

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Through this, I have reached a better place with less expectation placed on him. I also consciously forgave him and myself for some things that had me upset before. That is also very freeing.
I'd really like to get to this place, too.

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Does that make sense at all?
It does make sense...Kind of. I feel like that's what I need to do, detach myself from the situation and him, and distance myself, if you will. And I don't really know how to do that. But it did kind of happen after we broke up for a month and then got back together. When we got back together, we took it very slowly and it was more detached and not as crazy-making. Then again, he also wasn't looking for anyone else to date, and neither was I. So while he wasn't dating anyone, I felt like everything was great. I got too comfortable, so when someone else came into his life again, I plunged back into the craziness.
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:26 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by polyconundrum View Post
I feel like that's what I need to do, detach myself from the situation and him, and distance myself, if you will. And I don't really know how to do that.
I just pretty much explained how in my last post.

You have to DELIBERATELY step back from whatever internal storm rises up, look at the thoughts and feelings that come with it, mustering up as much objectivity as you can, like a scientist who says, "Hmm, what's this about?" In so doing, you gain insight and let go. Because really, as soon as you see that a particular emotion you are indulging in isn't really about what's happening in the present, it is illogical to keep paying credence to it as if it is. Remember: if knowledge is power, then self-knowledge is everything. You could just pretend to yourself that your insight means nothing and keep getting all twisted and feeling attached and codependent, but why? I will often say to myself, "Where am I directing my emotional energy?"

It all has to be deliberate and purposeful - you can't just sit around and say wistfully, "Oh I wish I could detach but I don't know how." I knew that I would be miserable if I kept attaching myself to the want and longing for a lover to give me what he can't give me, so I had to CHOOSE a different direction for my emotional investment. You have to have an active dialogue with yourself in order to know your thought processes and patterns of behavior, so that they no longer have power over you. You're only at the mercy of your own emotional life as long as you choose to stay unconscious about it.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 08:03 AM.
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