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  #21  
Old 10-22-2013, 03:58 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry you struggle.

This might be hard to hear, but know I mean it kindly, ok? I could also be totally wrong here. But here is how it seems to me.

To me it sounds like Bambi's trust in you was broken because you broke agreements for the "open relationship" model you were practicing together.

Whether or not those agreements where reasonable, rational, and clearly defined is moot at this point. You agreed to them already. And then you went and broke them.

That means to Bambi, you cheated on your shared agreements, and on him. And you seem to have spent very little time apologizing for the cheating, and a lot of time after him to just be ok with polyshipping with you and your cheating partner.

When he says "He's too important to you" as a reason, I think he might MEAN "I don't feel important to you. I feel undervalued, unappreciated, unconsidered." Poly hell kinds of stuff he was not prepared to deal with because you know what? He did not sign up to polyship with you! He signed up to open relationship -- which means sex on the side to him.

You did not consider the effect on Bambi when you went off with Tizza on impulse. You don't seem to OWN it. Being able to OWN your own baggage is part of taking responsibility for your behavior. Ex: You frame it like this...
"I couldn't control the urge to kiss him"
when it could be like this
"I decided to kiss him."
One is you being a leaf blown in the wind, helplessly. And the other is you being in charge of you. Which attitude helps your partner Bambi feel safe trusting? A When you are a leaf? Or when you are a solid person who makes decisions?

Are you able to step back away from this to be able to see how that could seem to be what is going on here from Bambi's POV?

Are you able to step back away from this to be able to see how your talk and your behavior influences his ability to trust you with his emotional safety?

I am guessing here... But maybe you could ask Bambi that to verify. Just so you know where he is at and what could be blocking effective communication here.
"Do you feel like I cheated on our agreements and on you by going off with Tizza?"
If that is how he feels about it? If he feels you cheated on him and your shared agreements? Bambi may not want to have your cheating partner Tizza as a metamour now as a result.

Who wants to sign up to polyship with the cheating partner? Nobody. It is rare that people overcome it for a reason – trust is slow to grow and easy to shatter. That's probably why you are getting "Polyamory one day maybe... but never with Tizza!" now.

Bambi doesn't sound like he's got the best communication or conflict resolution skills ever. He also could be experiencing all the “I got cheated on” package of emotions and processing that. He does not communicate direct and up front which ADDS to the problems. But that's him and his end of it.

YOU are the one writing here. What could YOU do to improve your own way of going? In your own communication and conflict resolution style?

When you behave impulsively and leave things out or avoid real communication or conflict resolution... how does this behavior help both you and your partner Bambi feel emotionally safe and secure in open relationship? How does this demonstrate respect/consideration toward Bambi? Toward yourself? This way of going does not serve you well in your open relationship.

It also won't serve you well in a polyship model either if you ever arrive at building one.

Being able to believe in someone's Word, and their ability to follow through on promises is one of the first building blocks to greater Trust.

Understanding that what you do / fail to do can and does affect other players in your polymath is another thing to consider when relating.

You did not ask FIRST – so could go back and catch it up. Hope for the best but do it knowing that your behavior has consequences. We are free to choose. We are not free from the consequences.

Quite simply? Ask for his willingness.
1) Are you willing and able to forgive me for breaking agreements?
I apologize. I am asking for opportunity to make amends.
2) Are you willing and able to be in relationship with me still?
If so... could you be willing to talk to me about updating our relationship agreements once amends are made and we have had time to heal? The old boundaries no longer fit me. I broke them rather than talk first about them and for that I am sorry. But if we begin anew, we need boundaries we both can keep.
3) Are you willing AND able to participate in concurrent relationship at some point in future sharing sex AND love? (polysexual and polyamorous) Or are you only comfortable with sharing sex and loving only you? (polysexual and monoamorous)
I want to change towards a polysexual and polyamorous model. I need to know if we are still compatible.
4) Are you willing to work on become more assertive and direct in your communication skills with me rather than "hinting?"

So that our relationship can function smoother with less jumping through hoops and become more effective?

Find out where he stands on all these things. Then you can decide what to do.
  • To redefine what open model relationship you want to practice and with WHO
  • To continue or to let go wanting polyamorous relationship with Tizza and Bambi
  • To continue or to let go wanting polysexual relationship with Tizza and Bambi
  • To let go of Tizza only
  • To let go of Bambi only
  • To let go of both of them and start anew
  • Something else I cannot think of
  • A mix and match of the above

I hope things work out one way or the other for you. Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-22-2013 at 04:45 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-22-2013, 04:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Two weeks ago, it was a nasty surprise for me when he said "I just want you to stop paying attention to Tizza for a while." I said, asking me to slow down was perfectly reasonable perhaps, and I wanted to talk about it, but he didn't. He asked me to just stop paying attention to him because he asked me to. I asked how long "for a while" was. He said he didn't know, maybe two weeks, maybe three months and maybe forever. I said that wasn't reasonable towards Tizza as I couldn't string him along for "maybe some day" seeing him again. It ended in a fight with Bambi refusing to explain to me why he asked such a thing of me and saying things like "clearly it's too much trouble for you". Not paying attention to Tizza included not mentioning his existence to Bambi. I decided to drop the entire subject the rest of the week and let his sentiments cool down.

When I brought it up last week he said he didn't want to talk about it and that I was clearly incapable of not paying attention to Tizza considering the fact that I brought it up again. I thought, well, if I can't bring it up and the "clock" of "for a while" resets every time I do... I will just have to wait until he says "hey, you know, it's okay if you start seeing Tizza again." And I knew he wouldn't. So basically, he set me up to fail (in my point of view, tell me if I'm wrong)
Could trim all that down to behavior done/not done and no evaluation words. Like this:

Two weeks ago he said "I just want you to stop paying attention to Tizza for a while."

I said asking me to slow down was reasonable perhaps... but I wanted to talk more about it. He didn't want to talk about it more at that time.

He asked me to just stop paying attention to him because he asked me to. (Inferred: He wanted a time out,a break from hearing Tizza this and that.)

I asked how long. I did not clarify if we're talking about a time out.

He said he didn't know, maybe two weeks, maybe three months and maybe forever. (Lowest limit = 2 weeks. That is reasonable. )


When I brought it up last week
I was not obeying the limit for a 2 week time out from having to talk about this triggering topic.

He said he didn't want to talk about it. (He reminds you that you are not honoring his limit.)

He said that I was clearly incapable of not paying attention to Tizza considering the fact that I brought it up again before the 2 week time limit. (He's mad you crossed his limit, so he's getting a dig in at ya now because he is resentful. You succeed in rebuilding trust with Bambi by breaking his reasonable limits HOW? )

Quote:
I thought, well, if I can't bring it up and the "clock" of "for a while" resets every time I do... I will just have to wait until he says "hey, you know, it's okay if you start seeing Tizza again."
That is not your only option. You could ask clarifying questions. You could ask for an appointment date to talk about things and WAIT for the appointment date to arrive.

You could wait his lowest limit of 2 weeks and THEN check in. But you don't. In your want to have it resolved NOW, you are jumping the gun. Shoot your own self in the foot.

Quote:
And I knew he wouldn't.
Nope. You do not KNOW. You are assuming/guessing. What you ARE doing is not actually giving him a chance to arrive there at his own speed though. You rush.

Quote:
So basically, he set me up to fail (in my point of view, tell me if I'm wrong)
How do YOU set yourself up to succeed when you ignore his limit of 2 weeks time out? Do not ask clarifying questions? Rush him faster than he can go?

You do not help him to arrive at making peace with it if you do not listen for his limits and honor them.

He has his part to own in this to, but you could tend to your side of it. Everyone hold up their side of the responsibility stick.

I think you let his "maybe forever" dig cause you anxiety. So it cost you opportunity to clear up with Bambi. Could have kept your focus where it needs to be.

You could have said "Ok, how about I leave you alone and don't bring up Tizza for 2 weeks. Then in 2 weeks we check in again on this? Does that work for you? And if going out to 3 mos is needed we determine that at that time?"

Instead you seem to have latched on to "maybe forever" and got anxious about a future conversation with Tizza you might have. Rather than being PRESENT in the conversation you ARE having with Bambi.

If your goal is to negotiate, could keep being PRESENT in this conversation in mind. Could not go chasing side hooha you don't need to be chasing at this time. I think you both could improve those communication skills so you both are getting more of your wants/needs/limits met.

I hope things improve for you.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-22-2013 at 06:36 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:01 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
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Originally Posted by london View Post
Um, can we stop saying that he needs to "improve" and that will mean him being more accepting of having a poly relationship. If my partner tried to push me into something I have clearly stated I do not want, I would dump them. But if I was stupid enough to not dump them for continually pushing my limits, my communication skills would be a bit fucking skewered after a while.
He hadn't clearly stated he didn't want it initially, and upon asking he said "It's okay." He has stated now that he thinks it "doesn't work that way" (having multiple equally valuable relationships, that is) but said he might be open to try it in the future (but not now with Tizza). So I have not continually tried to push him into something he didn't want. He also introduced Tizza to people he knew (though jokingly) as "my other boyfriend" and they've been out together in my absence as well. I REALLY did not know I crossed any line until he asked me to stop seeing him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galagirl View Post
[...]
To me it sounds like Bambi's trust in you was broken because you broke agreements for the "open relationship" model you were practicing together.

Whether or not those agreements where reasonable, rational, and clearly defined is moot at this point. You agreed to them already. And then you went and broke them.

That means to Bambi, you cheated on your shared agreements, and on him. And you seem to have spent very little time apologizing for the cheating, and a lot of time after him to just be ok with polyshipping with you and your cheating partner.

When he says "He's too important to you" as a reason, I think he might MEAN "I don't feel important to you. I feel undervalued, unappreciated, unconsidered." Poly hell kinds of stuff he was not prepared to deal with because you know what? He did not sign up to polyship with you! He signed up to open relationship -- which means sex on the side to him.
Bambi does not feel cheated on. I realised that "open relationship" in his view probably just meant sexual, so when I realised I had feelings for Tizza, I told him and he didn't see the fact that I had feelings as a big deal. After all, he knows you can't really control falling in love and agrees sex is better when you do have feelings (he slept with a girl he had feelings for as well, but it didn't develop into a more regular thing).

As I kept seeing Tizza, I kept telling him in advance, so he didn't really feel like he couldn't trust me on the matter. He just thought it got too much after a while and didn't tell me - this is where it went wrong. He felt, as you said "undervalued, unappreciated, unconsidered." As I mentioned in my very long post, he brought up some examples yesterday and I also put in my post that I agreed with those. I also apologised for this at length. This was something I would have liked to have done better.

But he told me this two weeks after he was already done with the entire situation, despite the fact that I ASKED him much, much earlier if things were okay. I asked if he was okay with it if I went to see Tizza, and I even told him that if he should feel underappreciated at any point he should tell me. He didn't. He did now, but not then.

So as for your questions:
1) He doesn't feel I broke agreements, but he does feel I have been insensitive. He was okay with me and Tizza seeing eachother or even loving eachother but he felt I gave it too much weight. Basically, what it came down to, in poly terms, he would like us to forever remain a "core couple" and anything else be "secondary". He says he can't draw the boundaries for me here, and that I should be more careful and sensitive instead. But he doesn't really feel like I cheated on him (and doesn't resent Tizza personally at all; he thinks Tizza is not the problem, he rather thinks I can't handle the situation myself)

2) Again, he doesn't really feel cheated on. He's more than willing to have a relationship with me and I'm more than willing to have a relationship with him. As for the boundaries... He doesn't really have trouble with even love affairs as long as he feels nothing is "as important" as he is. I personally prefer equality (how can you rank the people you love?!?!) but I suppose this is a minor difference that we can overcome. It also shows from his saying that "there can only be one alpha male".

3) He is willing to share sex as well as love, as long as "I love him most". I have some trouble with that statement, as I mentioned before, but it's perhaps not as important now. I did specify that I did not see Tizza as someone I would like to share a home and family with, or anything of that order, and that I am happy with a looser structure with Tizza, and doing all of the serious stuff with Bambi. Still, he felt I gave my affair with Tizza "too much weight" in the emotional sense rather than the structural one (I saw Tizza considerably less than Bambi). He can't really say when too much is too much and says I should be sensitive to that myself, as I mentioned earlier. I requested him to PLEASE voice his concerns earlier because I realise I hurt him and I did not mean to. (again, I did apologise; in fact, I begged him to talk so I wouldn't hurt him again, for his own sake much more than for me to have Tizza back)

4) At first he stuck at "I just can't", but after I made very clear that THAT would make us incompatible (not so much the poly thing) we finally had the talk we needed all along (though we needed it much, much earlier). He promises to try and be more assertive in communicating so that I will be less likely to hurt him in the future. I never intentionally hurt him, and he does not feel cheated, rather disregarded.

Summary
He does not feel cheated, but disregarded/neglected. I apologised and begged him to voice his concerns sooner as I never intentionally hurt him and don't want to hurt him in the future. He will try to be more assertive voicing needs and concerns. I will try not get carried away by NRE (which was mostly the problem, not "cheating"). In the future when the wounds aren't as fresh we will reevaluate relationship values. At this point it seems that our differences on this matter are:
  • He is okay with being open sexually, but also with love affairs. He would like other loves to be lovers at most, not serious relationships. He doesn't mind hanging out with any lovers I have but he does mind me continuously sharing details of our developing relationship. This is where it went wrong with the Tizza matter. He says he cannot guide me in other affairs and doesn't want to, but wants me to be sensitive myself as to what is reasonable. Me talking about these things so much made him feel like Tizza was all that mattered. He doesn't mind me being romantically and emotionally involved in an affair as long as I'm MORE romantically and emotionally involved in ours. (how do you measure this???)
  • Because I am not opposed to further-stretched practices of polyamory (I'd even welcome a girlfriend of his into our household if we at least get along), I feel I do NEED his guidance to what he views as acceptable because we're different in that sense. I prefer the inclusive model of polyamory rather than having everything seperate, whereas Bambi mostly feels he has nothing to do with my affair with Tizza (I think he does, but he wants nothing to do with it; being consulted on these things all the time made him feel unimportant). Emotionally I would like to view everyone equally though structurally there may be differences.

Because he feels hurt and unimportant now, and is still a little scared I'll leave him for all the arguments we had, we decided we'll discuss it in a month or two. I have no intentions of leaving and I suppose the best thing I can do in the meantime is make sure I shower him with love and attention as he's been feeling neglected. So to answer your question: Of course it's not all his fault. He's been non-communicative and I've been neglectful.

I have decided to let Tizza go. I told him how it is and to not keep his life on hold for me as I do not know what the outcome will be. It is likely that in the future Tizza and me will be able to be friends again though. Both Tizza and me are perfectly capable of maintaining friendships with past lovers and we feel that if you once cared for someone, being friends is so much better than being nothing but distant memories. And maybe, Bambi will even allow Tizza back as my lover, but I will only do so if he can clearly define his boundaries or at least communicate assertively because I do not want to cause hurt to either Bambi OR Tizza again.

I cut your quote because of the character length limit, but I do think I answered to all your points. If I missed any, feel free to point them out.

...

So basically, the issue is "resolved", not entirely to my satisfaction (I have to let go of Tizza), but at least with hopes of better communication with Bambi (both ways). I talked to Tizza and he said, you can still always call me when you're sad, as long a you also call me sometimes when you're happy. He hoped to keep in touch and see me again some day, either as lovers or friends.
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  #24  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:06 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
SECOND POST
Sorry, when I said I answered to all you said, I meant your first post. I have connection trouble so by the time I finally got my reply through you posted another one by a long shot. I'm going to work on replying to that now.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:12 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Could trim all that down to behavior done/not done and no evaluation words. Like this:

Two weeks ago he said "I just want you to stop paying attention to Tizza for a while."

I said asking me to slow down was reasonable perhaps... but I wanted to talk more about it. He didn't want to talk about it more at that time.

He asked me to just stop paying attention to him because he asked me to. (Inferred: He wanted a time out,a break from hearing Tizza this and that.)

I asked how long. I did not clarify if we're talking about a time out.

He said he didn't know, maybe two weeks, maybe three months and maybe forever. (Lowest limit = 2 weeks. That is reasonable. )


When I brought it up last week
I was not obeying the limit for a 2 week time out from having to talk about this triggering topic.

He said he didn't want to talk about it. (He reminds you that you are not honoring his limit.)

He said that I was clearly incapable of not paying attention to Tizza considering the fact that I brought it up again before the 2 week time limit. (He's mad you crossed his limit, so he's getting a dig in at ya now because he is resentful. You succeed in rebuilding trust with Bambi by breaking his reasonable limits HOW? )



That is not your only option. You could ask clarifying questions. You could ask for an appointment date to talk about things and WAIT for the appointment date to arrive.

You could wait his lowest limit of 2 weeks and THEN check in. But you don't. In your want to have it resolved NOW, you are jumping the gun. Shoot your own self in the foot.



Nope. You do not KNOW. You are assuming/guessing. What you ARE doing is not actually giving him a chance to arrive there at his own speed though. You rush.



How do YOU set yourself up to succeed when you ignore his limit of 2 weeks time out? Do not ask clarifying questions? Rush him faster than he can go?

You do not help him to arrive at making peace with it if you do not listen for his limits and honor them.

He has his part to own in this to, but you could tend to your side of it. Everyone hold up their side of the responsibility stick.

I think you let his "maybe forever" dig cause you anxiety. So it cost you opportunity to clear up with Bambi. Could have kept your focus where it needs to be.

You could have said "Ok, how about I leave you alone and don't bring up Tizza for 2 weeks. Then in 2 weeks we check in again on this? Does that work for you? And if going out to 3 mos is needed we determine that at that time?"

Instead you latched on to "maybe forever" word and got anxious about a future conversation with Tizza you might have. Rather than being PRESENT in the conversation you ARE having with Bambi.

If your goal is to negotiate, keep the goal in mind. Don't go chasing side hooha you don't need to be chasing at this time.

Galagirl
I agree with you on this, I brought it up too soon. But he didn't say two weeks was the limit, or I would have waited. He said two weeks, OR three months, OR forever.

I know I could have waited at least two weeks (actually, I did, but I was on a study trip for one of them and he said that didn't count). In fact, I also did ask "Ok, how about I leave you alone and don't bring up Tizza for 2 weeks. Then in 2 weeks we check in again on this? Does that work for you? And if going out to 3 mos is needed we determine that at that time?"
Not literally, of course, but basically the same thing. I asked if we could at least decide on a time where we'd talk about it again, and he said that was not possible. That is why I had been pressing for a little more clarity because he's leaving me in a lot of doubt that way.

We did agree on a day NOW, but it's two months in the future rather than two (because I did not shut up about it, yes, I know), but I had wished he could have done so earlier.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pienata View Post
He says he can't draw the boundaries for me here, and that I should be more careful and sensitive instead.

[...]

He can't really say when too much is too much and says I should be sensitive to that myself, as I mentioned earlier.
So if he can't articulate what his boundaries are, how are you expected to be "sensitive" to them, exactly?

This piece is something that still needs work, methinks.
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  #27  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:46 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thank you for clarifying.

So in terms of open model relationships, he wants to be primary and all other loves secondary. (1C in the article.)

He is not willing and/or able to define what "primary" and "secondary" mean to him at this time so you can understand and know the boundaries. He could work on that with you.

You seem to want to polyship in a coprimary model. (a 2 something... not sure which from article.) You could work on that with him -- clarify what model you prefer.

Maybe reading the article together could help you articulate to each other when you arrive at your appointment time?

I'm sorry you have broken up with Tizza, but it sounds like it parted ok enough. Hopefully you and Bambi can strengthen communication and conflict resolution skills before you try to polyship in future.

It still sounds like improving some communication and conflict resolution skills/areas there would be the things to focus on first.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-22-2013 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:49 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
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Missed a lot of posts again, rewriting
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  #29  
Old 10-22-2013, 07:24 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
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So if he can't articulate what his boundaries are, how are you expected to be "sensitive" to them, exactly?

This piece is something that still needs work, methinks.
True, and I agree. He said he would work on this in the future. During our conversation he finally voiced the problems he had, and he would try to do it sooner next time. Not just for my sake but also his own.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Thank you for clarifying.

So in terms of open model relationships, he wants to be primary and all other loves secondary. (1C in the article.)

He is not willing and/or able to define that "primary" and "secondary" mean to him at this time so you can understand and know the boundaries. Could work on that.

You seem to want to polyship in a coprimary model. (a 2 something... not sure which from article.) You could clarify that to him.

Maybe reading the article together could help you articulate to each other when you arrive at your appointment time?

I'm sorry you have broken up with Tizza, but it sounds like it parted ok enough. Hopefully you and Bambi can strengthen communication and conflict resolution skills before you try to polyship in future.

It still sounds like improving some areas there would be the thing to focus on first.

Galagirl
I do not necessarily WANT a coprimary model in the sense that I need one or would want everything to have equal involvement, either structurally, financially or emotionally. I just want things to be the way they are naturally, ideally. Tizza is a "natural" secondary to me, at least in the structural sense. I do not see myself cohabitating with him now or in the future. I did wish to see him as equal in the emotional sense, which triggered Bambi's annoyance. I would not be opposed to a "full" comprimary model though, including cohabitation with multiple people (either my lovers or Bambi's, as long as the new person fits within the household), but with Tizza this would not be the case anyway.

EDIT: So yes, model 2B mostly.

I could live with a structural Primary-Secondary if that is so important to Bambi, where cohabitation and other entanglement is fairly restricted as long as he will understand that I DO want to value the non-primaries emotionally. Also, I would probably steer away from people that I'd secretly want much more involvement with to avoid more drama.

I agree that improving communication is the most important matter now and this is what we'll focus on for now.

Thank you for your sympathy regarding my break-up with Tizza, I'm also glad we parted well but hadn't expected anything else from Tizza. We will probably keep in touch, calling every once in a while, so we can at least be friends in the future. Bambi is okay with that.

Also thanks a lot for your elaborate thoughts. I'm still young and stupid (perhaps too young and stupid for polyship, haha), and Bambi, though several years older, has even less relationship experience than me. Generally though, we're faring well and we're willing to work on things that have been troublesome.

I will do lots of reading before appointment time and am prepared to make sure I become a better person. I hope Bambi works on becoming more assertive in communicating with me.

As for reading articles, I read a lot of interesting poly articles (and communication articles, I wanted to make sure I wasn't MAKING him shut down entirely) that I would love to discuss with him in the future, but the poor guy is so dyslexic he can barely read at all. That's also why I haven't tried writing about my feelings rather than talking: he might find that even worse, haha.
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Last edited by Pienata; 10-22-2013 at 07:30 PM.
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  #30  
Old 10-22-2013, 09:21 PM
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Speaking from experience, the two of you need to do some serious work on COMMUNICATION with each other. Assume NOTHING and clarify everything. Meeting with a couples counselor might help. I've been married 22 years and it took us almost that long to realize that we don't even have the same definitions for common terms and phrases. My husband is/was the type to not talk about anything... Silence, Silence, Silence, Nuclear Explosion (complete with irrational demands).
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