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Old 11-16-2013, 01:19 AM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Question Boyfriend asked if I am only after sex, how to validate him?

Hie,

I have been with my boyfriend for a couple of months. My long distance relationship with him seems to be going well despite us not knowing each other well before we had to part . The two of us talk on phone and Skype every day, my husband and him talk every week, we plan him visiting here and so on. My husband is happy about my BF. Me and BF are very much in love, and vocal about it, he often says I make him feel very loved . Still there are things in this relationship that may make my BF less comfortable. He is monogamous and was looking for a monogamous girlfriend - when he fell for me. He says he want to be with me so much he will make things work. My nightmare is that he will end us becaue of the long distance, or the polyamory, or both. He seems in general more and more comfortable sharing me with my husband, but he also sometimes voices doubts. They can hurt.

Today on Skype he asked me if I liked what he does in bed. In the beginning I thought he was flirting with me, but this time no such luck. Because when I answered that I love his bed skills, he asked if I would have continued the relationship with him if he had not been so skilled... Very hypothetical! I love the sexual part of our relation and he seems to do too. We also have a wonderful connection outside of bed. But I know that he has felt used for sex in a previous (long distance) relationship - I feel that coming up every once in a while, and think to myself that I perhaps have to help to heal those wounds. But how to do this? I do not know how to express to him how hurt I feel. It is not like he said i AM only after sex, but he was sort of asking the question. Even the suggestion is hurtful to me, and makes me uncomfortable about initiating sex or even flirting next time. I am afraid that I will become guilty for being turned on by . and if he is re-living bad memories I do not know how to help him deal with that. It is also a bad reminder of the time my ex, who I was very much in love with at the time, asked me if I was into him only for his looks - I feel just as judged as back then, if not more. I am glad my BF tells me what is on his mind (we try to keep it honest and open). Still I am not sure how to deal with his questions.... any thoughts?

Last edited by Norwegianpoly; 11-16-2013 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:25 AM
Spock Spock is offline
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Don't take it personally, since you know why he's asking. It's reasonable for him to wonder, I think. Don't turn his insecurity into yours, that's kind of selfish.

Edit: I wanted to clarify, it sounds like you're insulted that he is scared and insecure.

Last edited by Spock; 11-16-2013 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:56 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry you struggle.

Could not take it personally. Could sort it out. Could also express your own feelings.

Could ask him something like
"When you ask me if I would have still been with you without your sex skills -- I do not know how to answer that. That is a "what if" and not a "what is" here.
  • Are you actually asking me if I am using you for sex like your previous rships? If so? No, I am not.
  • Are you asking me to tell you why I am with you and what I see in you? If so, I could try to list.

Before going into deeper conversation, could you be willing to clarify what are you actually asking me here? What your need is at this time? Reassurance? Validation?

Because when you ask me like "would you still have gotten together with me without my sex skills" it seems kinda "hinty" and seems to assume I'm a user. That bothers me because I have my own past relationship buttons that can be pushed. I could be taking it wrong and that might not be your intent. So... let's sort that out.

I am willing to help if I can, but I don't know how since I don't know what behavior you would like or what you are actually asking me. "
What behaviors does he need from you?
What behaviors do you need from him?

Could sort that out, and then could ask

"How would you like me to approach you next time we see each other? Would you welcome me flirting next time? Or initiating sex? I want to treat you the way you want to be treated, but I'm not sure now what you would like from my behavior toward you. I want to be with you, but I don't want to push buttons.
"
Could be emotionally honest and authentic here. But not DWELL on stuff in your own head.

Could focus on (talking and sorting it out) instead of (focusing on feeling weird.) Then these feelings in you don't go out of proportion because you are taking action to resolve them.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-16-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:12 AM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spock View Post
Don't take it personally, since you know why he's asking. It's reasonable for him to wonder, I think. Don't turn his insecurity into yours, that's kind of selfish.

Edit: I wanted to clarify, it sounds like you're insulted that he is scared and insecure.
Thanks for the reply. This all happened with the worst possible of timings - I was sick and home alone, he had only slept 3 hours and was tired from helping out his family. We managed to cheer each other up right before this one hit me in the stomach. Feelings are what they are. I too have my insecurites - fear of being judged for being "too" sexual is one of them. Which does not go very well along with his scare of being seen "only" as sexual, I guess. I too have ideas that scare me - like the thought of him leaving me because he does not feel loved.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:15 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I too have my insecurites - fear of being judged for being "too" sexual is one of them. Which does not go very well along with his scare of being seen "only" as sexual, I guess. I too have ideas that scare me - like the thought of him leaving me because he does not feel loved.
And is he aware of all this?

Galagirl
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  #6  
Old 11-16-2013, 02:41 AM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I'm sorry you struggle.
[*]Are you asking me to tell you why I am with you and what I see in you? If so, I could try to list.[/LIST]
when you ask me like "would you still have gotten together with me without my sex skills" it seems kinda "hinty" and seems to assume I'm a user. That bothers me because I have my own past relationship buttons that can be pushed. I could be taking it wrong and that might not be your intent. So... let's sort that out.

Could sort that out, and then could ask

"How would you like me to approach you next time we see each other? Would you welcome me flirting next time? Or initiating sex? I want to treat you the way you want to be treated, but I'm not sure now what you would like from my behavior toward you. I want to be with you, but I don't want to push buttons.
"
l
Thanks for your practial approcah, Galagirl. I often give him compliments, or make him lists of things I like about him! He loves that. I even have like I special book that I made with 52 reasons (like a deck of cards), only I can not send it to him before he gets back from his family, but I think he will like it. And I also, right before he asked this question, we were talking about when we met and I gave him a lot of reasons why I was into him and still am. I guess I feel that he does not trust me...

I could talk to him about my own relationship buttons. There was really no time to do it laste we spoke, because we ended the Skype conversation quickly after he could get some sleep. I could make a point at talking to him about it tomorrow. He knows I had some bad stuff going with the ex (and really my other ex as well), but he does not know the specificities of that other than that I felt hurt from it. I guess if I want him to share, I must share first

The last point will be the hardest I think. I guess it is my own bottons being pushed, together with the still fresh NRE and all the insecurites that may come from that . I suspect that I even before this felt a bit hurt that he was not initiating sex for some time, even though he always says he misses to be with me. And I was like putting it on hold since I knew he was busy with his family, but I long for him too. It could be that he is not so keen on doing it online anymore because it makes him miss me more, I don't know. Still it feels so awkward and I feel really rejected now nwhich will make it hard to raise the subject next time. It is a little bit like I don't want to see him anymore ever (a bit dramatic, I will come to my senses), it makes me angry just to think about it, I will have to work on turning myself around enough to be able to talk
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:43 AM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
And is he aware of all this?

Galagirl
you are right in implying I should tell him more about myself. But the truth is that he has made me feel so very secure, especially sexually-wise, which is probably why I am a bit shocked right now. But I guess we often learn about each other the hard way
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:09 AM
Spock Spock is offline
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Don't hurt him just because you are angry or upset. You have a long term committed relationship and he doesn't. In other words, he has no safety net if you hurt him by being angry and upset and give him the silent treatment, while you have a husband. You're the one trying to graft him into your existing relationship so he feels unrooted, especially given his mono leanings.
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:22 AM
Spock Spock is offline
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Also, it has occurred to me that you aren't supposed to validate him. You're just supposed to be honest, caring, supportive, and loving, and your emotional response appears to be dishonest, uncaring, and hurtful, which might be easier but is in now way going to help him.

You want him to feel secure and loved? Then tell him that you aren't using him and figure out your own feelings because it's not going to help him, or your relationship, if your first reaction is to hurt him by shutting him out.

Why do you feel hurt, anyway? Does it hurt you that I'm only talking to you because it makes me feel better? That I'm using you to understand how poly works from a mono perspective?
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:35 AM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spock View Post
Don't hurt him just because you are angry or upset. You have a long term committed relationship and he doesn't. In other words, he has no safety net if you hurt him by being angry and upset and give him the silent treatment, while you have a husband. You're the one trying to graft him into your existing relationship so he feels unrooted, especially given his mono leanings.
I think you mis-understand me. I am well aware that I have a flare of the dramatic (or so my husband tells me). From our one and only fight so far I have learned that my BF reacts very badly to open conflict, so I will not initiate that. And I also think that silent treatment is bad form (I used to to it a lot in my early 20s, nothing good ever came from it), so I will aim at not doing that! My plan is to raise the issue calmly tomorrow. You are right that he does not have my kind of safety net and that he probably need to be "replanted" well. I will try to take a step beside myself.
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