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Old 07-25-2013, 01:03 AM
Admiral Admiral is offline
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Default Advice From Other Monos: Dealing with Possessiveness

Hello there!

First off I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit this post (Especially if you're Poly!). I understand that it can sometimes be cumbersome to listen to someone's problems, especially if they're not wired the same way

Alright, a bit of background -- I'm a Mono female currently involved in a three year relationship with a Poly male (he currently has one other girlfriend, also Poly, who he has been dating about a month longer than myself).

In the past he has been interested in bringing more people into the relationship -- which I am totally cool with! I find his views on love delightful, and totally support him loving other people. However, whenever he would start spending more time with these love interests, I would get upset. I am a very confident person in both myself and my relationships, and because of this I have never been the jealous type (one of the main reasons I was OK with being in a Poly relationship in the first place), so this was very, very, confusing to me at the time, and it really put a strain on our relationship whenever it would happen.

Well, after some very enlightening introspection today I came to realize that I've become possessive of the time we spend together. His other girlfriend does not live in the same state, so I've pretty much been able to monopolize all of his time thus far into our relationship. I've identified that I have a history of minor possessive tendencies with various objects, which really helped assist with this realization.

So, the advice I'm seeking now from other monogamous people in poly relationships is this: If this has happened to you, how did you overcome it? I really do not wish him to stop seeking relationships with other people because it makes me upset (we support each other with our feelings and problems rather than utilize the typical "own your own shit" Poly mentality), nor do I wish to discontinue a very wonderful and healthy relationship over something that I know I can work through (Plus, working through it would really help me in other areas of my life, too!).

If you're Poly who has helped any Mono partners with similar feelings, or if you have some constructive advice, then great! I'd love to hear it!

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your replies

-- Admiral
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2013, 03:34 AM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Is "Quality Time" one of your Love Languages (if you haven't read the book, I recommend it - it's by Gary Chapman)? Sounds like it. It's my primary one, at any rate, so here's what worked for us...

Google Calendar.

No, really.

I needed to see that I was still going to get time with P, and having things up in the air (I'm a "planner") wasn't working for me. We put together a Google Calendar (me, P, and M1), and blocked off days where he would be home with me, and days he'd be with M1. Seeing the calendar and knowing when I could look forward to seeing him again really did help.

However, my situation differs from yours in that I didn't start off with a predominance of his time, with the need to cut back. That would have been a bit tougher for me, and more work on my and P's part, but not insurmountable.

It would probably be ideal if he worked out this schedule with you BEFORE any new partners come onto the scene. That way, you have your schedule worked out, and he can use his time, rather than the time he spends with you (or, you guys can hammer out something new), and the change isn't so sudden.

Good luck!
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Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 10), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2013, 04:20 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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There's only 24 hrs in a day. That's a Limit of the Universe.

In order for a relationship to BE, it needs time to be IN. That's also a limit of the Universe. Can't really relate with someone if they are never around or around scantily. There's only so deep the relationship could go with that time investment.

Could take his name out of it for a moment... how much time do you require from a romantic partner to feel good in romantic relationship? Allowing for slack -- because sometimes people are ill, off on business trips, etc. What is your "time apart window" tolerance? Two weeks with no contact? A month? What?

Could THEN put his name back in. Does his time management meet your needs? Yes or no?
  • Time together is X?
  • Time apart is no more than Y?

Could try it on (this new time schedule for a while) and then assess QUALITY of the relationship.
  • Are you willing to go with less time? You sound like you are willing to try.
  • Are you ABLE to go with less time? Don't know yet. So could try it to find out.
  • Are you willing and able to go with less and still are able to thrive with him for a time? Forever? Because you probably want more than mere "survival" in your romantic relationship. Cannot make the assessment before trying it out. It has to come after trying it out.

Because you might find that you are ABLE to do it for a time, but the quality of it is meh, so that makes you less willing to continue doing it forever.

Or maybe you find that you are able to do it, the quality of relationship remains the same so you are willing to continue with the new schedule. Who knows?

I think that will pretty much tell you the answer. Try it on, find out what you need to know, and then make a call.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-25-2013 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:45 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I am poly-but I've struggled with this:

The calendar has a psychological affect for me. Being able to SEE the time I have makes a huge difference.
When I feel like I'm not getting any time-or someone else is getting more, I can look at the calendar and see how much I'm getting.

BUT-another detail that I find important-is that often people equate the hours of a day in the same house as "time together" and I don't. It was important for me to realize that-and voice it. BECAUSE-

my husband lives with me. That doesn't mean that every hour we are here taking care of kids is "us" time. When he was dating-he would have more 1 on 1 time with the other ladies in a WEEK then we got in a MONTH. I flipped my lid emotionally and everyone thought I was being a total B****.

But-when we turned around and designated one night a week for us to have a date-the whole table turned for me. I need alone time to connect. I wasn't getting any. He was asleep, work, out on a date or we were dealing with kids.
If I get that one night a week to be alone-I really don't give a rip if he has time with other women. But-if I don't get that-I go psycho.

I also am not usually possessive or jealous. However, I am possessive of my time and my personal space. Even with my kids. Recently someone offered to buy my son a plane ticket to go on vacation for a 5 day trip. But-it was the weekend that he and I had plans for a road trip. I declined. They were bummed and couldn't understand why I would decline an expenses paid trip for him. The answer is-it butted in to MY TIME with him. He could be gone for weeks on end and I am totally ok with that. But-this weekend was one we had plans and I was quite possessive of that time. (he's 13).

I am similarly with my husband and boyfriend. I don't care what they do with their time most of the week. But-I want a phone call at lunch, it could be 1 minute long-doesn't have to be long. I want tucked in at night by one or the other of them. I want a kiss goodbye in the morning. Maca is often gone for weeks at a time. I don't care if he is with another woman. That's fine. But-I still want my goodnight call and my good morning text and my lunch phone call. If the other woman can't manage that-screw her.

(when he's with me-I am totally ok with him offering the same to another)

By preference-I would like my guys other loves to be friendly enough with me that we could all hang out during times when it's not possible to have one-on-one time (like family outings, kid recitals etc). Thus far-only one has been willing-she was awesome. But-she moved away. But-I don't date people who don't mesh well enough to be "family" with my family. That also simplifies things.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:48 AM
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Dramatis: I actually really like that idea! I'm a "planner" too, so having set times for "us time" vs "alone time" would be great (sounds like that would be beneficial no matter the type of relationship). That would also clearly set the rules for what is MY TIME with him vs what is HIS TIME to do whatever (which I feel would help rid me of the possessiveness).

Gala: I suppose I don't really quantify the quality of a relationship by the time spent together, and I definitely don't feel that the time L spends away from me (no matter the duration) will take away from our relationship. While we haven't gone more than a day or two without speaking to each other (even when he has been with L1 for visits), we have spent months apart physically due to business, so that's not really a concern. Like I've stated, I'm very confident in our relationships

I have a "that's mine" sort of mentality with certain things. Myself and L have been living together for 40 out of the 42 months we've been together, so I think our copious amounts of time with each other has moved into the "that's mine" category. Because of this, I don't like sharing that time. There's no "sharing it will lessen our relationship" thoughts, it's just that I don't want to share :/ I feel that this is the main problem.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I don't care what they do with their time most of the week. But-I want a phone call at lunch, it could be 1 minute long-doesn't have to be long. I want tucked in at night by one or the other of them. I want a kiss goodbye in the morning.
Hahaha, I can totally relate! I'm a woman of consistency, and there are certain precedents we've established though out the relationship while he's away which I know would need to be continued (wake-up call in the morning, at least one text/call during the afternoon, text goodnight, etc). Otherwise I would probably flip out. Thanks for bringing that up -- I probably wouldn't have thought of it otherwise That would definitely be good to lay as a ground rule ^^
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Me: The Admiral. Mono Female. In a long-term relationship with C.
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FM: First Mate. Mono, Male.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:57 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Ok. If you just don't want to share, you just don't want to. Cool.

Then you could ask him -- "I am not willing to share your time and see less of you than I already do right now. Are you willing and able to keep sharing the same amount of time with me? If so, what times are "our time together" so I know what to expect?"

There. Done. You can always ASK. He won't necessarily just grant the request, but you can always ask. Maybe you are at your poly saturation point and the one LDR GF is all you can handle.

Time is finite. His time management either meets your needs or it doesn't. If he's thinking about changing how he spends his time, you could make him aware of how you feel about it.

It's either going to work out, or not.

HTH!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-25-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:08 PM
Admiral Admiral is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
You can always ASK. He won't necessarily just grant the request, but you can always ask.
I suppose I already have asked, in a way. We are currently in an agreement to where he isn't seeking out other partners. However, I understand this is open to change, and even if it wasn't, I wouldn't want to continue to keep him from seeking out other love interests.

While I appreciate your advice, and the time you have taken to provide it, I really don't feel asking him to conform to my negative, possessive behavior is the most appropriate way to go about this (especially when he's already done so much). That doesn't really fix the underlying problems, and it also doesn't really seem like a reasonable request to make from someone who is Poly.

Which is why this thread was made : ) So I can gather advise on how to "fix my own shit," and rid myself of my possessive behaviors. Or at least help curtail them ^^

Hope that has provided a bit more information on what I'm looking for Thanks again!
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:42 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral;216934 I suppose I don't really quantify the quality of a relationship by the time spent together, and [B
I definitely don't feel that the time L spends away from me (no matter the duration) will take away from our relationship. [/B]While we haven't gone more than a day or two without speaking to each other (even when he has been with L1 for visits), we have spent months apart physically due to business, so that's not really a concern. Like I've stated, I'm very confident in our relationships

I have a "that's mine" sort of mentality with certain things. Myself and L have been living together for 40 out of the 42 months we've been together, so I think our copious amounts of time with each other has moved into the "that's mine" category. Because of this, I don't like sharing that time. There's no "sharing it will lessen our relationship" thoughts, it's just that I don't want to share :/ I feel that this is the main problem.
A question for you:
If you don't feel that spending time apart takes anything away from the relationship, and if you are so very confident about the relationship, what is it exactly that makes you possesive of the time the 2 of you spend together?

Just playing devils advocate here. Do you feel a difference between him being away on business and not spending time with you, and him spending time with someone else and for that reason not spending time with you?

I could be wrong. But to me it feels like you could do some souls searching about the underlying reasons for your possessiveness.
If you truly felt that him spending time away from you does not lessen what the two of you have together.... why be possessive at all?
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:16 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I suppose I already have asked, in a way. We are currently in an agreement to where he isn't seeking out other partners. However, I understand this is open to change.
Ok. That's the current agreement. So you are getting what you want right now -- time spent with him is still the same time spent with him.

Is it that you don't like that it is "open to change in future" -- is that what you don't like? And you want it to NOT be open to change in future? But don't want to ask to be "Closed" for now to just you and the other GF?

Quote:
I really don't feel asking him to conform to my negative, possessive behavior is the most appropriate way to go about this (especially when he's already done so much). That doesn't really fix the underlying problems, and it also doesn't really seem like a reasonable request to make from someone who is Poly.
Let's take out the evaluation words in there that you are putting in. Because he could evaluate differently:
  • I don't feel asking him to be "Closed" is a way to go about this.
  • That doesn't really fix the underlying problems. (What are the problems? Polysaturation point reached for you? Something else? )
  • It doesn't seem like a request to make from someone who is Poly. (Why not? You can always ask things. That doesn't mean he will do it. But you can ask.)

He cannot mind reader you. Put it it out there. Talk and sort it out.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-25-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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