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  #31  
Old 04-25-2014, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by AlwaysGrowing View Post
I guess I don't see refraining from dating as "not living." There are a lot of other things I can do with my time and energy.
If her love life outside of her fiance was as shrug-worthy to her as it is to you, I'm going to take a wild shot in the dark that we wouldn't have heard about it. Right? So within the context of this conversation it is an important facet of "living" for her... so not doing it would be "not living" that particular and important aspect of life.
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Last edited by Marcus; 04-25-2014 at 03:28 AM. Reason: I typed "husband" instead of "fiance"
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  #32  
Old 04-25-2014, 03:10 AM
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I think a better question is why are the two of you getting married? If this kind of thing were happening during my engagement and I were him I would seriously rethink getting legally tied to you. I work with doctors every day and they are some of the most conservative and prideful people I know. I find it astounding that he is willing to marry a poly girl let alone one that doesn't want to help him in his career goals at the expense of her fun time with her new boy friend. I will truly be amazed if the two of you make it down the altar. I'm not speaking ill of you but rather astounded at what an odd couple the two of you seem to make.
I agree with Graviton.I think this situation questions whether or not the OP or her fiance are compatible.
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  #33  
Old 04-25-2014, 03:52 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I disagree, politely, but disagree. Of course I could keep myself busy for two months. That doesn't mean I'm still available for them when they decide they're ready for me again.....

I'm hardly going to put my life on hold for two months.
Which is totally ok PiP.
However- it would make us incompatible. Because, as I said, there have been MANY MANY times when lives were too busy for me to get more than a passing ily with either of my LIVE IN PARTNERS.
Currently-it's finals for me at school. NO SOCIALIZING is happening. I don't have time and I'm too stressed out. So every "extra" I have, goes to my kids, because I have a duty to them. That's all I have.
I'm not going out on romantic dates with either of my partners. But-they aren't bitching and complaining, because they both know that when shit gets heavy in their lives I will be doing the back-up duty for them (as I have in the past). It's part of hte give-take of our relationships. Sometimes we have unlimited time together. Sometimes we have none. But we don't get bent out of shape when we can't have time because soemthing more important has come up (and to be clear-I'm not saying husband, I am referring to BOTH of my partners).

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Originally Posted by PolyinPractice View Post
I understand the OP. I mean, I may or may not. But I can see why she might be concerned. To me, if you accept me as poly, you don't put a "stop" to that at any time. Anymore than you could tell me to quit my job for a month. Or stop seeing my friends for a month.
Except, there are circumstances within a relationship when I have had to quit a job for my partner. I have had to stop seeing friends for a period of time for a partner, in fact, I will be living on an isolated island for 8 months this year, away from all of my extended family and friends, because my partner has a job he needs to do-and we need his income. SO off we go.
This is a temporary request, to finish a long term goal.
I don't "stop being poly" even when I only have one partner. But-there are times, one partner has something major they need me for-and they get it. Other times, it's the other partner. I don't prioritize one over the other in general-but I do prioritize the needs of one over the wants of the other. Which means sometimes I am unavailable to one-because of the needs of the other and vice versa.

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2) that you view everything outside of your partner to be of secondary importance.


Also, I don't think it's relevant to compare this to a medical condition because one is choice while the other isn't.


Truly, marriage sounds like a hilariously bad idea at the moment. Not that I will marry for any reason... but I sure as hell would hit the pause button on this one.
I don't think one has to consider everything outside secondary. As a student, (and not a med student) I can say that the very last thing I need when I am dealing with finals, is any outside stressor.
In my opinion; her opting to drop poly into the existing mono relationship 6 months prior to the end of his education-was an asshole move. (and I say this while fully acknowledging that how I dropped poly into our dynamic was also an asshole move).
If they had already been poly before he started on the path of education-I would say his request was b.s.
But they weren't. This is new and it's perfectly feasible that it IS TOO MUCH. To throw away years of hard work because you can't wait to get your rocks off two months-and then deal with the dramatic b.s. of trying to change a mono relationship to poly?
In the best of situations going from mono to poly is complicated. Doing it under duress? Idiot move.
Likewise, under the best of scenarios med school is complicated. Doing it under duress? Idiot move.

And no-a medical condition isn't *necessarily* a choice. But getting on a horse was a choice and that is what caused the fall that created the medical condition.
Choosing to be in a relationship with someone in med school was also a choice.
He did NOT CHOOSE to get in a relationship with someone who was poly.
Yes, life changes. But it's not unreasonable to say "this change isn't going to be functional if we do it today. So we can wait-or we can watch this boat sink." If he gave NO timeline-I would also say "screw off". But he gave a very specific, short time line for getting his affairs in order. That is a very reasonable move.
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  #34  
Old 04-25-2014, 03:54 AM
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FYI- I wouldn't terminate a relationship for either partner.

But not meeting new people and not going out on a date, in certain circumstances for specific reasons and specified amounts of time I would do for a partner, a child, a family member or even a friend.
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  #35  
Old 04-25-2014, 05:40 AM
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It isn't necessarily unreasonable. However, you have to be careful not to be pulled in by someone both selfish and manipulative. You see, this "our life is too busy/stressful to be poly" can be a ploy by some people to ensure every time you look like you're forming other attachments, something happens that is suddenly the reason nobody can date anyone else. The worse thing is when that person configures things so they can continue their multiple relationships but put a stop on their partners.
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  #36  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:48 AM
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Usually I like to completely read a thread before responding, but I really wanted to comment on this so I skipped over a few posts. So, I apologize if I'm not bringing anything new to the discussion.

First of all, what does Joe think of this? I'm guessing you probably haven't discussed it with him. If he's understanding about it there might not be a problem. If I was in Joe's position, and you said "Dan says I have to stop seeing you for two months," I'd be pissed! However, if you explained the situation, or better yet, if Dan approached me himself and explained his concerns I'd be very willing to try to work with you and him. If Dan and Joe get together and talk things out, maybe have a few beers and get to know each ether better, Dan may may feel better about you seeing him. Although the treatment I've gotten from metamours tends to range from disdainful tolerance to outright persistent hostility, so my biased experience leads me to believe this is unlikely to happen.

If you think the above might work, stop reading now. That is the best option, from here it's about the least bad option.

Dan might not be intentionally trying to manipulate you, but he is being manipulative. He stated a demand as a request, and seeing as he wouldn't agree to you seeing Joe once a month (only twice during the original blackout period for fuck's sake! I mean, come on! At least give a half-hearted "I'll think about it" before saying no.), he's demonstrated he's unwilling to compromise.

Personally, unwillingness to compromise is a deal breaker for me. I take it as "do what I want or this relationship is over," and I always choose the later option. However, Dan made his "request" to avoid stress. Ending the relationship would probably cause a great deal more stress than than denying his "request." So, he's essentially giving you the options of doing what he wants or destroying his career. Personally, I'd say his career is not your responsibility and leave his manipulative ass, but there may be other options if you really want to maintain this relationship.

You could give in. Considering you've only been seeing Joe for three months, a nearly three month break will probably mean the end of that relationship. If he gets away with manipulating you this time, he'll do it again. This ends shitty for you.

You could agree to his terms, and then do what you want without his knowledge. As Dan Savage likes to say "Cheating is always wrong, except for when it isn't. Sometimes it is the least worst option." However, I don't believe that's the case here.

The best compromise is probably a temporary "don't ask, don't tell" arrangement, and realistically will result in the least amount of stress for Dan. If you leave him, he'll be stressed. If you deny his request, he'll be stressed. If you agree to his terms, he'll probably worry that you're cheating on him. A DADT thing would allow him to put the topic out of his mind the most out of all the options.
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  #37  
Old 04-25-2014, 01:07 PM
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Interesting thread.

I can see both sides of the coin. I agree with the consensus, but I also always find something illuminating in what Marcus has to say.

Your wants/needs are no more or less important than Dan's. The problem here is a) how willing you both are to compromise, b) how much you both want poly, c) what the motivations and realities behind Dan's request are, and d) whether poly is, ultimately, a bigger need for you than having Dan in your life.

One thing that concerns me is that you say you communicated "to" Dan. Could you have pushed for poly and ignored Dan's true feelings? You both feel what you feel and need what you need. However, as others have said, some serious time to think should be taken about realistic expectations of the future.

Poly is rarely a straight road. It can take a long time, years even, to truly embrace it in a coerced poly situation. The progression isn't always linear and there are hurdles along the way. The problem tends to appear when one partner is dying to push ahead with poly after years of craving it, and one partner is grieving the loss of monogamy. It takes time to unpick patterns. It's during this time that both partners need to decide whether making concessions is an option or not.

You also need to determine whether Dan's request is because he expects your needs to be secondary to his, whether he is genuinely asking for a temporary break that he plans to make up to you, or whether he's really trying to show you that everything is moving too fast and he cannot cope. These three reasons are very different and shouldn't be placed into the same box.

Dan will essentially be absent for 2 months and you feel you need an emotional outlet. This is understandable. However, does this speak of bigger issues in your relationship and unhappiness in certain core areas? Or is this purely a temporary void that you foresee needing to fill? Additionally, while you are unhappy about having to feel lonely and emotionally unfulfilled while Dan is studying, have you considered how lonely and emotionally unfilled Dan may have felt at numerous points over the last 6-9 months? There is also something to be said for being our own emotional outlet for temporary periods. While poly can enrich existing relationships through need-fulfillment, it can also do exactly the thing that most affairs do - take our attention away from the relationship and trap us in a cycle of fulfilling our needs through others. It's something to consider.

If Dan has offered you poly on a relatively request-free basis so far, he's asking for a temporary compromise. If you feel that you have compromised a lot so far, then you could consider asking for something in return. Yes, you could enter a short-term DADT. Or, you could only date Joe until it fizzles out. Or, you could request a 3 month period of no requests when you get back from vacation. Or, you could deny Dan's request, but offer more structure to your activities, like restricting your poly activities to certain days of the week, or certain periods during the day, which may help Dan to feel less overwhelmed.

To be honest, I think that communication is the first point of call. Don't assume that Dan is being demanding and selfish. Don't assume he will always want you to sacrifice. Don't assume that he sees his needs as more important. If you want poly and he doesn't, consider what he has sacrificed for you and ask yourself if you are giving enough back in return. Talk to him and address the real problem.
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  #38  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:30 PM
Cheekybean666 Cheekybean666 is offline
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It is the fundamental request that says it all. "My insecurities are more important than your living a genuine life"

my answer is unequivocally going to be "No, under no circumstances am I going to sacrifice pieces of my life because they make you nervous"
Marcus, you seem to be implying a very "oppositional" relationship - they ask for something, you perceive it as manipulation, and refuse. While I totally agree with the sentiment of being true to yourself, this isn't my experience of how relationships actually work.

It's a cliche, but in my experience successful relationships really are all about compromise. My husband and I have entered into a partnership, where we agree to work together to find the best path forward for us both. Sometimes that means he compromises, sometimes I compromise, and often we both compromise. We are prepared to do this because the partnership ultimately makes us both stronger and happier.

When I wanted to move towards poly relationships, I took my husband's discomfort very seriously. If my husband is miserable, then it makes me miserable, and that is not the way to a happy household! Even aside from the fact that I love my husband and genuinely want him to be happy, from an entirely selfish point of view it makes sense for me to act in a way that takes his emotions into account, since they influence my life so much.

Therefore, we approached it through long discussions over a period of time. I expressed how important this was to me, and why, and I listened to how he felt, and why. Together, we worked out a plan to get us there. This does involve going slowly, gradually ramping up what we're doing over time. I am accepting a lot of temporary boundaries. And, to be honest, I have genuinely delighted in seeing my husband come with me on the journey, and the positive impact on our relationship as a whole through the enhanced communication that has been necessary. I feel this is ultimately much more likely to be successful than simply telling him what I'm doing, and that he should suck it up and get used to it.

I do agree with your attitude that you can ultimately only control what you, yourself, do and feel, and others need to similarly take care of their own actions and feelings. I apply this by thinking in any situation about what I want the end result to be, and working out how I can act to move everything towards that goal. My goal in this case was for my husband and I to have happy poly relationships. If I ultimately want to get there, it is absolutely essential that I take my husband's feelings into account, move slowly, and bring him with me on the journey. Compromising what I want NOW is essential for achieving the longer term, bigger picture.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, Marcus - perhaps I've misunderstood your point of view.

With respect to the OP - I agree with Marcus and others that you don't seem to be in the right place for marriage right now, if you're not willing to compromise on this. I would absolutely put things on hold while my partner did his exams, and reopen the conversation later when things are less stressful. You have your whole life to explore this, and your partner is going to be an essential part of making that work. It sounds like he's been willing to compromise and come with you on this so far, so some reciprocal compromise sounds in order. Think about where you want to be five years from now, and how you should act now to bring that about.
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  #39  
Old 04-26-2014, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheekybean666 View Post
Marcus, you seem to be implying a very "oppositional" relationship - they ask for something, you perceive it as manipulation, and refuse.
I'm not implying that. While I do have a different point of view from what is traditionally accepted, I have in no way implied that an antagonistic and confrontational approach to relating is what will be best for everyone.

Behaving according to our priorities with compassion but without sacrifice is in no way antagonistic or hostile.

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It's a cliche, but in my experience successful relationships really are all about compromise.
We disagree on a fundamental level, and that's really ok.

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from an entirely selfish point of view it makes sense for me to act in a way that takes his emotions into account, since they influence my life so much.
We don't do things which offer us no positive reward. I just don't choose to view that reality through poetic and crowd pleasing language.
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  #40  
Old 04-26-2014, 08:46 AM
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Kommander Kommander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheekybean666 View Post
It's a cliche, but in my experience successful relationships really are all about compromise. My husband and I have entered into a partnership, where we agree to work together to find the best path forward for us both. Sometimes that means he compromises, sometimes I compromise, and often we both compromise. We are prepared to do this because the partnership ultimately makes us both stronger and happier.
There's a difference between being unwilling to compromise, and being unwilling to give in. The OP agreed to not date anyone new, and that wasn't enough for Dan, and then she offered to see Joe only once a month, and that still wasn't enough for Dan. She isn't the one who is unwilling to compromise here.

Sometimes giving in is necessary for the success of a relationship, but it's unclear whether or not this is one of those times. Personally, I'm a little wary about giving in because in previous relationships I was usually expected to cave and rarely if ever got what I asked for. That'll probably change once I experience relationships that are less one-sided.
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