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  #531  
Old 12-31-2013, 04:56 PM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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LR, do you know what GG needs to feel connected in a relationship, or to feel like the relationship is being maintained? Is he perhaps one of those people who seem to be able to be sustained simply by believing in their relationship, without much need to interact?

(My husband is like this and it totally does not work for me, so I do understand how frustrating and unsatisfying the current situation is for you.)

Just wondering what he has been experiencing during the time he has been unavailable, since he is clearly upset at the thought of losing it.
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  #532  
Old 12-31-2013, 07:12 PM
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In particular, I wonder whether he's having some difficulty that is larger than the situation at work. The Hawaii trip sounds weird. I don't get a good sense of whether at other times GG was happy with the state of his life, at least until he realized you'd pulled back.
It was quite weird as a matter of fact. We make a vacation trip as a family at least every other year. This was the first year Maca was really motivated to be helpful in regards to the poly aspect and help create time for GG and I to be together alone. Not the first time we've ever taken time alone, but the first time Maca was happy to help create it.
But GG just flung the whole vacation out the window in a way. The rest of us refused to sit around miserably-but he did and it wasn't possible to not notice.
It's always REALLY OBVIOUS there is a problem when the kids want nothing to do with him-because he's such a kid person. They all adore him. They always want to hang out with him. So when they start making considerable effort to avoid him-there's a HUGE problem.
But-by his account-there's nothing to talk about.

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Is it possible to ask questions that don't have an "answer that you want to hear", questions that are simply aimed at helping him to sort out his issues?
Yes and no. I can ask questions aimed to help him sort things out-but the conversations don't go anywhere. His whole focus-in a conversation is "how do I make you happy". I have books and books and books he's written (literally) all about wanting to make me happy. He's spent 20 years writing about it. If the topic is about ANYTHING ELSE-he just drops off. He can't or won't think about life in any other way.
The IRONY to that-is that his life hasn't been about me since he got this job-which has been several years. His focus has been increasingly about work.
In and of itself that would just be frustrating.
But when it's combined with his ongoing "you are my only priority and all I care about it making you happy" words-I want to scream.
Therefore; no, there isn't a way to have a conversation that way. I spent the last several years trying. It goes in circles. Even Maca has tried and gotten no where.

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Re "he understands why it was over" - it's unclear to me whether either or both of you believes that the current shift is irrevocable. I hope he doesn't let a misperception stand in the way of his taking action, if there is a chance for you to reengage.
I don't believe in "over and out" ideologies of relationship. I don't believe there is a "beginning and an end". So nothing is irrevocable.
But that's what his words were. I'm not going to run around screaming to the mountain tops (anymore) that I need more. I'm going to do what I need. He knows where to find me, we do live in the same house. So if at some future point it dawns on him that his job isn't as satisfying as personal relationships are; I'm sure he will know how to reach me (and his other friends-who have been sitting around wondering WTF as well).

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The current state does not sound stable. Although you have adapted to his non-participation in your life and are taking care of your own needs and interests, you sound far from a "new normal".
Definitely haven't found the "new normal". I am sure it will help some when school starts up again mid-January. Because I won't be sitting at home all day wondering why he's avoiding the whole family. But creating a "normal" takes time.
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  #533  
Old 12-31-2013, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wildflowers View Post
LR, do you know what GG needs to feel connected in a relationship, or to feel like the relationship is being maintained? Is he perhaps one of those people who seem to be able to be sustained simply by believing in their relationship, without much need to interact?
Nope. Not really. I know he is a quality time love language. I know that he spent over 10 years "waiting" for me. He was determined the day he met me that we were meant to be together. He spent two years convincing me "to at least take his virginity" so he wouldn't lose it to someone he would regret.

Everyone else referred to him as my puppy dog. He shadowed me everywhere (I wasn't dating him, wasn't sleeping with him and was adamant that we would only ever be "just friends" because I didn't want to destroy his sweetness). He was there in the background of every event in my life through several serious relationships on my part. He was in my wedding-walked the kids up the aisle. He got shit-faced drunk the night of my wedding and proceeded to tell Maca how in love with me he was. Maca and I basically carried him to a room in the hotel and got him settled into bed before going to our own room (VERY VERY PRE-poly).

So-without having actually asked; I would say yes he can sustain a relationship "all in his mind" without actually having anything to go on. For YEARS.
He's WELL aware, I can't. I don't do long-distance relationships. I don't do romantic relationships with people I can't live with. Even in a poly dynamic-if we can't live together, I'm not interested. Which he is WELL aware of.

If I were to guess; I think this "new found commitment to work" (because he used to be completely dis-interested in work beyond a requirement to buy groceries) has a LOT to do with competing with Maca.
I don't think he's CONSCIOUS that is what it is. But I think the change from secretly having an affair, to being upfront and honestly poly created a dynamic where he see's himself as having to "keep up with" Maca and be on an "equal playing field".
Maca is an electrician. He's a foreman journeyman. It's a career for him. He's been in the trade for... about 20 years. He makes a little over $40 an hour, company truck, company phone, company gas card, great benefits.
GG has no training. He trained to be a mold remediator-but he walked away from that job to help with the kids when our stepson was still here; and never looked back. The certification expired and he hasn't shown an interest in renewing it (he says he hated the work).
He got hired for the job he's in because he was well liked. He was a janitor for the school district and there was a big drama that changed the companies who handled all of that. They needed someone in the supervisor position who was well liked by the other employees, that could basically be the middle man from the "new bosses" to the original employees (employees who took a severe pay reduction and loss of benefits with the change over).
He makes $50K a year. Which is more than he's ever made in his life. It's still only half of what Maca brings home in a year. But it feels more comparable to him. He feels like he's "doing his part".

Additionally; he can't say no to save his life. He hates conflict and he won't argue. He quite literally will just let someone beat him. He won't fight back. So they make demands and he capitulates even if he doesn't want to, because he won't create conflict.

The combination is... well completely fucks over him having ANY life outside of work.

Finally; in January I quit micromanaging his schedule. I had been tracking his hours daily and ensuring that over the course of a two month period he AVERAGED 40 hours a week. When forced to choose between a battle with me OR a battle at work, he choose to put his foot down at work. But when I quit doing that; then it's only one battle he's focused on avoiding-work.

Again-that's totally his choice. I can see the pattern. But the reality is that I don't want the duty of enforcing he make time for the family or me or his friends. (I was scheduling his time so he would go see his friends as well-because otherwise he just works). If it's not meaningful enough for him to put his own foot down; then I don't want it.
His response to that is that he doesn't know what I want. It's been written and said ad nauseum. So in the last month my response has been to tell him to go read the most current book. I have *repeatedly* listed in it exactly what I want.
His response to that is that it's depressing to read, because we haven't been happy all year and he doesn't want to think about all of that
AND
he "can't just quit" which goes right back to; but you aren't even LOOKING for another job and when you've had other opportunities; you didn't take them.

His words all say "I'm stuck and have no choice".
But it's not true. He does have a choice. He could find another job. He could have accepted several. He could put his foot down about his time. He could take control of his own calendar.
He doesn't WANT to.

He says and thinks "can't"
but the truth is it's all "want".
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  #534  
Old 01-01-2014, 12:10 AM
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I'm so sorry about this situation, LR. My least favorite things include not understanding what's going on, being ignored, and people not standing up for themselves. I can only imagine how frustrating this must have been. Hoping you find peace and/or he wakes up.
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  #535  
Old 01-01-2014, 04:38 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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Wow, LR, with answers to my questions it sounds orders of magnitude more frustrating than it did before (and it sounded tough then). He has an awful lot of stuff he needs to start dealing with. I hope for all of your sake that he can somehow recognize that and take some more responsibility for the situation.

And thank you for the answers.
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  #536  
Old 01-01-2014, 08:05 AM
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i like to answer. It helps me to put my own thoughts and understandings in order.

There is a lot there to deal with.
But-I think on my end, I've done some hefty growing up in the course of the last two years. No idea where it will go, but I'm happy with my progress anyway!
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  #537  
Old 01-01-2014, 08:08 AM
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Default Goodbye 2013, Welcome in 2014

So many posts on facebook today about how awful 2013 was. It got me to ponder. But-I didnít find this to be true in my life.
This was the first year that I can honestly say we had no significant outside drama negatively impacting our household.

There was no custody bullshit from Maca's ex-wife.
There was no kid drama.
There was no drama from extended family.
There was no drama created by potential lovers.
There was no drama from the poly community.
There was no major issue with my depression.
No major financial crisis.

Our life was pretty damn mild this year. There were some stresses and annoyances. Maca working out of town for 7 months. GG being distant and oblivious. Sweet Pea became a teenager, with all of the mood swings that go along with it. Sour Pea frustrated about learning that school isnít optional. But nothing SIGNIFICANTLY stressful or upsetting.

In fact, I would have to say that of all of the years weíve been together, this was the best year Maca and I had. Our efforts in 2012 to work through prior conflicts and resolve some of our major communication issues paid off in spades in 2013. We were able to communicate through all of the little things that cropped up without any serious misunderstandings. We found ourselves able to discuss previously difficult topics without creating conflict. Our trust in ourselves as individuals and each other and as a couple increased 10-fold. We found ourselves almost effortlessly working together through the myriad difficulties that life tossed our way. We even found ourselves enjoying it.

School was awesome. There was one dramatic experience with a homophobic, ignorant instructor (still got an A in her class). But I handled it with aplomb. I impressed several instructors besides the statistics instructor in my duties as a teachers aid for statistics. I survived math 107 online (not doing any more math classes online!) with a B. I learned which area of psychology I REALLY want to go into. I decided I want to minor in statistics (even though it means taking 3-4 more math classes and 4-5 more statistics classes). I finished out the year by finally managing to get my overall GPA over a 3.0. Very impressed.

I got my butt to the gym more often than not. I used the treadmill at home when I wasnít up for the gym. I used our weight bench at home. I didnít lose any weight, but I didnít gain any either and I did manage to increase my exercise by quite a bit over the course of the year-which makes me feel better. It helps my depression, but it also makes my body feel better and gives me more motivation. I started doing handstands again (I know-who cares-I do) and am working towards gaining enough upper body strength to be able to do push-ups in the hand stand position again (not there yet).

I went snorkeling this year, off of a boat, without getting sea sick, panicking or having an asthma attack (a huge accomplishment for me). I also managed to go for a several hours along the coast, where I saw a beautiful turtle in its natural environment. A small amount of panic, but I pulled myself together and continued, instead of going straight back to shore. An amazing improvement from being terrified of the ocean and unwilling to even try going on a boat.
I also took the ferry to Kodiak (and back), which again, I managed without puking my brains out, only a mild case of seasickness. We saw whales (for miles) swimming alongside of the ferry and a BEAUTIFUL sunset out in the ocean.

I crocheted a number of different difficult clothing items (and FINISHED them) with some encouragement from online friends. I learned how to do a couple different vests, including a pattern I made up myself. I made several skirts, using combined motifs, I made a top that had a zipper to sew in (by hand). A sweater, a toddler matching pants and top set, several different styles of hats (too easy) and some baby cocoons (also very easy).

Overall, I have to say that 2013 was a spectacular year for me. I accomplished so many more goals than I could have guessed or even hoped to. I didnít have any New Years Resolutions that I can recall; but if I had, then I certainly surpassed them in 2013.

So now, to 2014. I am looking forward to 2014. I am looking forward to

learning how to knit, so I can make some stirrup socks I want.
finishing a crocheted full length dress.
learning to play racquetball with the kids (who got rackets and eye wear for Christmas).
taking more walks with friends, including going snow shoeing (hopefully next week).
handstand push-ups
trigonometry
Happy New Year! 2014, here I come!

(and a new grandbaby-can't believe I forgot to put that in my original blog post! Coconut was born in 2013. )
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  #538  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:46 PM
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Never a dull moment.
Got an email this morning from GG saying he is getting off work early and asking if we could do coffee today so we could talk.
Wonders may never cease.

Ok-sarcasm dropped.
Of course I am going to go.
I'm a bit frustrated its taken so long for it to be important enough for him. BUT-I have known for 20 years that he is A) a procrastinator and B) so low key he doesn't tend to respond quickly to ANYTHING.
So-I will work on processing that frustration and give him my time and attention.

On another note:
It's becoming obvious that Maca is considering dating again. He hasn't decided TO start dating yet. But the topic is coming up more frequently. I think the biggest thing holding him back, is that he's not actually a very social person and meeting women (or anyone) requires he be social.
He used to play darts (league). He bought a dart board and has been playing darts in the garage A LOT. Last night he mentioned that he had researched places to play online and found out where he could go locally to play. He explained the details, said he thought we could go there as a couple "on a date" and he could play a little bit; and as an after-thought suggested I could play too if I wanted.
It was kind of cute. I don't DO competition like that. For example; I LOVE to play pool. He played league for that too. At the time, I went with him regularly and practiced with him. i was good enough to play on the team with him-but I just don't enjoy it. I want my "fun stuff" to remain "fun stuff". Anyway; clearly we will be going out to the bar to play darts.
It just so happens to also be the bar where the poly people we know in our area also go hang out and play pool. I'm sure that isn't a coincidence.

But-he's going slow (so far). Hopefully he sticks to that. I've removed myself so far from all of the poly circles locally. I would prefer to keep it that way. I realize he needs SOME involvement from me, so that if he does meet someone they know I'm ACTUALLY ok with him dating. That's fine. But I don't want to go join in poly get togethers etc.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:11 AM
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BUT-I have known for 20 years that he is A) a procrastinator and B) so low key he doesn't tend to respond quickly to ANYTHING.
Another thing I noticed about my husband, who does similar stuff. When he feels distanced from me, he allows himself to get too caught up with other stuff until that in and of itself creates even more distance and now we just have a vicious circle. He doesn't see that a problem is brewing until things are ready to blow up in his face (no matter how many times I've said something) and by then he is so entrenched, he can't find away to fix it. Thinking on small gradual scale is torturous for him, he likes it either all or nothing and nothing usually wins. He also thinks that it's enough that he's thinking about how to change things and I don't need to be privy to that, which just pisses me off since I think he is ignoring the whole situation. If he has just shared with me his thought process, we might have been able to break through what ever road block was in the way.

Good Luck!
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  #540  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:42 AM
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God that "thinking" thing makes me crazy!
It's so totally ok to think about it-but AT LEAST TELL ME that you are thinking about it! Give me periodic updates for crying out loud! I'm not a damn mind reader! :P

I am POINTEDLY teaching Sweet Pea this skill-so he doesn't have a problem understanding why his woman or women or what the hell ever NEED HIM TO SAY WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON instead of just thinking it over in his head!
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