Charting Our Course

Hannahfluke

New member
If you go to your profile and click on "Friends" there will be a little box next to the person's name that says "Friends". If you click on that box, it'll bring up a drop down menu. There should be an option that says "Add to another list." Facebook, if I remember correctly, starts you with close friends, friends, and aqcuaintances, but it's been a while since I set this up, so I could be wrong. Anyway, when you click on add to another list, there will be an option to create a new list. You can name it whatever you like. I have poly, ex-mormons, the place I work now, the last place I worked, family, high school, college, children of friends, just to give you an idea of the types of lists you can create. You'll have to click on the box next to each person's name and add them to the list you want them on, so it can take a while to set it up. If there's another way to do it, I don't remember it. It's literally been years since I first set up my lists, so it's fairly easy for me to maintain it now when I add friends.

As for how to post to just a certain list, when you start the update, there will be a box that says "friends" in the bottom right hand corner next to post. If you click on that, it will say "who should see this" and the default options are public or friends, so you'll need to click on "more options." You can choose either just one list from the listing of your different lists or you can click on custom and it will bring up a box that you can type in the different lists you want to see it. Be careful though, it autofills friends, so you'll need to remember to remove that before typing the other lists. The next time you post an update, it'll default to whatever lists you shared it with the last time, so you'll need to change it if you want it to post to a different group of people.

Can you tell that I work on a help desk at my job? :)
 

KC43

New member
Thanks :) When I tried that, I had the option to restrict people from seeing posts that aren't public, so I added my husband's family and their friends, and the Mormon friends I have on there, to the restricted list. Now if/when I post something about S2, I just need to remember not to post that as public.
 

KC43

New member
After thinking about it and exploring the Facebook options a bit more, I set up a separate list of "People I Trust", so that I can post to only that list if it's about S2. I added about 18 people to it, including Alt, three close friends from AFF, some high school friends with whom I've reconnected, and my friend-since-forever/first-true-love, who's in and out of my life frequently but with whom I've always had such a close connection that it doesn't matter if it's been ten days or ten years since the last time we spoke, it always feels like it's only been a day or so. He, the AFF friends, and two or three of the high school friends already knew the situation.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to be open with at least some of the people I know. So yesterday I posted a status, set so only my "Trust" list could see it, officially "outing" myself as polyamorous. I asked that if any of them couldn't accept it, they either confront me privately or just unfriend me, because I didn't want the post to become a flame war.

Some of them didn't respond one way or the other. Some of them just "liked" the post and didn't comment. Those who commented were overwhelmingly supportive and accepting, and one of my high school friends messaged me to say they'd been involved in a similar situation a few years back. When I checked that list this morning, I hadn't lost any friends, at least...

Tuesday night when I was with S2, we talked a little about being open or not. Some people in his life know he's seeing someone, but not the actual situation; I think the one friend who initially responded negatively but then was happy for S2 is the only one who actually knows the whole story. He is considering telling others, but he's being choosy; if he's honest about this being a polyship, he wants to at least be reasonably sure the people he tells will be tolerant.

He's adamant that no one he works with finds out; he's in a very conservative type of career, and worries that dating a married woman might be used against him if the company needs to trim their ranks. He also isn't keen on his bandmates finding out because they might think he's too "weird" to be part of their band. (There's no concern about anyone on my "trust" list; I asked for complete discretion, only three of them have even met S2 and they don't know his real name, and he and I aren't even friends on Facebook.)

He said he sometimes wonders what our grandparents would have thought of a situation like ours, and that he never intended to be any type of pioneer or alternative type of guy. When I said something about Alt having wanted to introduce him to one of her school instructors as my boyfriend, S2 got kind of an "oh shit" look on his face, which worried me, because I couldn't help wondering if "boyfriend" was too strong a word or more of a commitment than he's willing to make yet.

But when I asked him about it, he said the "oh shit" was more about that situation specifically; the instructor might not have reacted well, plus Hubby was right there as well and S2 wasn't sure if Hubby would have accepted that. He said he doesn't mind being termed my "boyfriend." (I mind; I don't like that word because it sounds too high school and too temporary to me, but that's my issue to deal with. Our language doesn't really have accurate words for some things...)

He's still wrapping his head around this whole thing. So am I. I don't think either of us expected all of this when he sent me that initial email on AFF, or when we both happened to have the same Saturday free and decided to meet in person to see if we clicked. I guess sometimes the best things happen unexpectedly...and as long as we keep communicating, and stay open to possibilities, I think we'll be okay.
 

KC43

New member
Hubby just pretty much jammed a knife into my heart, figuratively speaking...

Two weeks ago, his grandmother passed away. She was his last surviving grandparent, and he was fairly close to her. I knew her and got along with her; so did Country, though Country never exactly liked the woman. And Alt genuinely loved her. Until a year or so ago, she lived with Hubby's parents, so we saw her relatively frequently, and we went to visit her a couple times after she was put into a nursing home.

Several years ago, when Hubby's other grandmother passed away, the girls and I attended the funeral with him, even though at that point he and I were only dating and we'd only met the grandmother a couple of times.

Two weeks ago, a couple days before this grandmother passed, Hubby went to visit her. It was the day S2 and I were supposed to go to our chat group's Halloween party. I told Hubby I would go with him to see his grandmother if he wanted, and he said, "No, you didn't really know her, and I want to say goodbye to my grandma alone."

Today is his grandmother's memorial service. Alt and Country are with their dad; I have to pick them up later this afternoon. The service, though, is from 1-4 and is more of an open house kind of thing. I told Hubby I wanted to support him by going to part of it.

He said, "I don't want you there. You didn't really know her, and she wasn't really your family."

His family, in my perception, doesn't accept me and my daughters as truly being "one of them." And now Hubby has shown that he feels the same way they do. I can't stop crying, because while I get that Hubby lost a grandparent and is grieving, I feel like I've lost all the family I had other than my daughters.
 

KC43

New member
Hubby called after he got to the memorial service and told me the real reason he didn't want me there was because I have problems with his family and he didn't want today to be about that.

When he got home, I told him that I was hurt by what he'd said and how he'd said it. Not only the bit about his grandmother not being my family, but also the implication that the problems between some of his family and me are all on me and not because of anything they've done.

He told me he was sorry he hadn't brought me with him, because he really could have used my support there. And he said he was sorry for hurting me, that he does consider me and the girls his family, and that he struggles with the issues between his other family members and me but recognizes that their behavior is at least a contributing factor, if not the root cause, of those issues. (I'm not the only one who notices that his family treats the girls and me differently, like we don't matter as much and aren't truly family; Country has asked me more than once why Hubby's parents treat Hubby's sister and her son better than they treat us.)

I told him I don't want to put him in a position of feeling caught in the middle between his family and me, and he said he doesn't want to be in that position. But he also said that I don't have to worry about him ever choosing his family over me, or about me losing him because his family and I don't get along, which was my fear.

So things are okay for now.
 

KC43

New member
There hasn't been much going on...

I saw S2 for our usual Tuesday night. Since he's encouraging me to learn to play bass guitar, he talked me into jamming with him. (He gave me the bass on November 2, so I've only been working with it a bit over two weeks.) I wasn't keen on the idea, because I'm afraid of doing things wrong, but it was actually fun.

Naturally, that meant that when I was playing the bass by myself at home yesterday, I got stressed because not only could I not remember most of what S2 taught me on Tuesday, but I wasn't having fun and I "have to have fun so I don't disappoint S2."

Yet another example of why my mind is not a place anyone would ever want to be...

This is supposed to be a week when I also see him Thursday, since he has Beads and Spikes this weekend. We changed plans for this week, though. Tomorrow I have to take Country and her best friend to visit a college in Vermont, which means about 10 hours on the road round-trip, including rest/meal stops, and I'm the only one who can drive. S2 and Hubby both told me there was no way in hell they were going to let me see S2 tonight and then try doing the drive on about 4 hours of sleep. So we saw each other last night instead. It was nice; we were both tired, so we just talked and cuddled, and I really kind of needed that.

I'm a little bummed, though, because at the moment I don't know for sure when we'll be seeing each other again. He said he isn't sure he'll be able to keep our normal Tuesday plans next week because next Thursday is Thanksgiving, and because his family is ginormous, there are often plans and parties and such the entire week, not only on Thanksgiving Day. If he has the chance to see his family Tuesday, he'll be doing that instead of seeing me.

So we *might* see each other on Tuesday, if there's nothing going on with his family. Or we *might* see each other on Wednesday after I drop off Alt and Country with their dad for the holiday weekend. Or we *might* see each other Friday... or Saturday for what's supposed to be our "no kids so let's spend the night together" weekend.

I get how holidays can throw a monkey wrench into things, especially given our situation. Some of his family know he's seeing someone, but not the entire story, and some of them don't even know that much. And we've only been seeing each other 4 months; while we've met each other's kids and he and Hubby have met, that isn't really enough time to start thinking about holidays together...But I have a hard time with not knowing things, and it makes me kind of sad to think that if next week really goes off-kilter for him, I might not see him until the Tuesday after next.

Meanwhile, there are no Thanksgiving plans here. I told Hubby a couple of months ago that, after the way last year went with his parents and sister, I would probably not be willing to do dinner with them again this year. He told me yesterday that he hasn't even heard anything from his parents about Thanksgiving, and he's going to have to work his second job that night anyway. My parents live too far away plus don't do Thanksgiving dinner anymore, and there aren't any other family members.

So, since Alt and Country will be with their dad and his family (which was my suggestion and Country's choice; according to the custody agreement, I'm supposed to have her for Thanksgiving this year and he has her for Christmas break, but she's always massively bored and uncomfortable during holiday dinners with Hubby's family), and Hubby will be working the night before and the night of Thanksgiving, I guess I'm spending the day the same way as any other day... which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it'll be a lot less stressful.
 

KC43

New member
I seriously, massively despise having depression sometimes. I *recognize* the thoughts that are caused by the depression vs. ones that have a basis in reality. But that doesn't always mean I can counteract those thoughts.

When I saw S2 last week, knowing that he'd taken this coming week entirely off from work because of the holiday and because he had to use some time off before the end of the year or he would lose those days, I said something about us getting together Tuesday. And, as I said, he told me he wasn't sure if he would be able to see me this Tuesday or if he would be with his family.

His exact words were, "Well, sure, if I'm around you're welcome to stop by, but I don't know if I'll be around." And that's gotten to me more than I anticipated.

First, to me, "you're welcome to stop by" is something you say to a casual friend, not to someone you say you're in love with and are having a relationship with. I'm trying to let that go on the basis of semantics; S2 phrases things oddly sometimes.

Second, he and I have standing plans every Tuesday. This has been the case for over a month. Like I said in my last post, I get that family is important, and I don't have a problem so much with him wanting to keep Tuesday open to see his family.

The problem I have is that instead of talking to me about it, he waited for me to ask and then said, "Well, I don't know if I'll be around." Which to me feels like he's minimizing our relationship and making it something he can set aside whenever he chooses. And I have to wonder, if *I* hadn't brought up this Tuesday, would he even have told me if he ended up going to see his family? Or would I have driven the 35 miles to his place, as I do every Tuesday, only to find him not there with no explanation?

I think if he'd said something like, "I know we usually get together Tuesdays. For next week that might change due to the holiday, but I still want to see you at some point during the week, and we'll go back to our normal Tuesdays after the holiday", it might have been easier for me to take.

But when he said "I don't know if I'll be around" and I said, "Okay, I'm just used to us seeing each other on Tuesdays," he got irritated with me and reminded me that family's more important. I agree that family's more important. I agree that he should see his family if he wants to. What I don't agree with is how it was presented to me.

I definitely don't expect him to put his family aside for me. I wouldn't do so for him, either. But I would talk to him about it beforehand. I wouldn't wait for *him* to bring up our next scheduled date and say, "Oh, I don't know if I'm going to be around"; I would say "I know we have a scheduled date but here's what's come up." It's called being considerate.

We've been communicating (via our usual texting, because he doesn't like talking on the phone, and we were both in the chat room last night so were joking/flirting a little), but right now, I don't know when we're going to see each other again or if I want to. Because now that he's done this once, he's going to do it again. I feel like on his list of priorities, our relationship falls somewhere between getting a dental cleaning and having the oil changed in his car.

I keep trying to remind myself that *he* is the one who chose to make this a relationship. *He* is the one who changed his AFF profile status to "attached", without even letting me know he was going to do so. *He* is the one who's happy about seeing me to the point that, although he isn't comfortable giving all the info yet, he's told most of the important people in his life that he has a girlfriend. And he agreed with me that we should have set days when we see each other, and says he looks forward to those days. (Last weekend, when we had to see each other on Friday night instead of Saturday, he told me that knowing I was coming over that night was the only thing that got him out of bed that morning.)

But he's also the one who has never said he loves me. He said, "Likewise" when I told him I love him, and that was it. He's the one who cringes when I use the words "relationship" or "boyfriend", even though he says that he likes thinking of us that way. He's the one who pretty much never initiates contact with me; I'm almost always the one who reaches out. At least he answers, which is an improvement over the early part of our seeing each other, but he rarely if ever reaches out to me.

Part of me feels like we have something good here, and part of me feels like I'm just Transitional Woman while he extricates himself from his marriage, and as soon as that's done he's going to kick me to the curb because he won't need me anymore. And when he does things like treating our time together as less important than the rest of his life, that just reinforces my fear.

And I can't talk to him about this, because I would feel like I was pressuring him, and he probably would too.

The depression is telling me to end the relationship now, while I can get out with my heart still reasonably intact. I won't do that. I know I've felt like this before with him, and it's been for no *external* reason. It's been solely because of depression and fear, and I'm sure that's what it is this time. And I won't end it because less than two weeks ago, I held him while he told me he's afraid of getting hurt, and I promised that I would do everything I could not to hurt him. And I don't break promises.

But I feel like I'm sitting here waiting for *him* to hurt *me*, and I don't like it.

If anyone reading this has ever been in a situation where they felt like they weren't as important to their partner as their partner is to them, how did you handle it?
 
Last edited:

wildflowers

New member
Sorry to hear that you're having a tough time.

I've struggled with feeling unimportant at times; I think I understand how you feel at risk. And those feelings can be very powerful when anxiety gets triggered; sounds like you're doing a good job at reminding yourself that your perception may not be accurate.

I think it's useful to remind myself that I rarely know more than a small bit of someone else's thought process, and only a fragment of what they're dealing with. This means that drawing conclusions about their motivations can be risky. S2 could be poor at planning, at initiating, he could be preoccupied ny family issues, focused on his usual holiday tradition, or many other things that do not mean you are unimportant.

I also don't think interest levels have to be equal (which does not mean I think
S2's not as interested). But even if your interests didn't match, you could still enjoy spending time with him and find it worth doing. You get to decide that regardless.

I don't think I'm saying all this very well, but I hope you're feeling a bit better than you were yesterday- less anxious, more at peace.
 

KC43

New member
Thanks, Wildflowers. Anxiety and depression definitely screw with perception, and I do usually recognize when they're contributing to how I'm thinking and feeling about a situation. I can't always *correct* the incorrect perceptions without help, but at least I recognize them...

I think part of the problem is that I have certain thoughts about how a relationship works, and when S2 doesn't match those thoughts, I can't guess whether it's because he thinks differently or because he doesn't see our relationship the way I do. For example, Hubby has said a number of times that saying "I love you" doesn't come naturally for him, and he doesn't understand why I need to hear it, but he accepts that I have that need and so makes the effort to say it. And I've been seeing a few memes and posts on Facebook along the lines of "If someone cares about you, they'll move mountains to be with you, and you'll never have to wonder if or when you'll hear from them because you always will. And if that isn't the case, they don't deserve you and it's time to move on."

And yeah, I know that Facebook is probably not the best place to get relationship advice and concepts...

The thing is, I don't have much of a template for "healthy relationship." My parents sure as hell don't have one, and their relationship was even worse when I was growing up than it is now. My relationship with Hubby is the first I've had that I would consider even close to healthy, but even that has unhealthy aspects to it. (I'm aware of those aspects. I've spoken with him about some of them. We're working on it.) I don't even really have a template for "typical relationship." All I have to go by is what I think and believe, and what other people say. And I believe that if you say (or imply, in S2's case) that you love someone, you make the effort to maintain a connection with them, while they also make an effort. Not necessarily an *equal* effort, but I don't believe it should be as completely one-sided as things with S2 seem to be. And you let them know you're happy to have them around, and that you want them in your life. Sometimes with S2, I feel like I'm just assuming he's happy and wants me in his life because he hasn't said otherwise, and not because I'm seeing signs that he's happy and wants me.

I do know that for *me*, it isn't healthy to get so upset and mentally tangled about whether someone's texting me or not. And if I'm feeling hurt and my thoughts are getting tangled in response to someone's actions, I need to address that. They don't *cause* my feelings and thoughts. I own those. But if someone is acting in a way that brings up those thoughts and feelings for me, I think I need to speak up and say "Look, this thing you're doing (or not doing) is a problem for me because... Is there something we can do about it?" I don't have the right to blame others for how I feel or think, but I do have the right to let someone know if their actions are a problem for me.

Wildflowers, I don't think interest in each other has to be equal, per se; but I do think it's best if both/all partners are on the same page about what the connection is. If S2 and I both agree that we're in a relationship, that we're committed partners, that's fine, even if he isn't as interested in maintaining that as I am. But if I think we're in a relationship and are committed, but he thinks we're just friends-with-benefits, that's a disconnect that means we either need to get on the same page or end the connection entirely.

After not hearing from him at all Sunday or most of yesterday, I texted him last night to ask him about a writing-related project we're working on together, and asked whether he was going to be home today. He is, so we're seeing each other as usual for Tuesdays. But I have a hard time not wondering whether he would have bothered letting me know that if I hadn't texted and asked. And I'm debating whether to bring up any of this with him to see if we can address it, or if I should just let it go, which means that the relationship will almost certainly crash and burn because I can't stay in a situation where I feel like an afterthought.
 
Last edited:

KC43

New member
I saw S2 last night. I couldn't really figure out how to bring up the entire issue without either feeling confrontational or crying, neither of which would have been productive. But I did talk to him a little about staying in contact between our times together. I started by asking if I text him too often (learned communication skill from having been in an abusive marriage when I was younger: always start a discussion about problems by putting the focus on *my* behavior...). He looked confused and said, "No...why?" So I told him I feel like I'm nearly always the one initiating contact and wanted to make sure it wasn't because I was either contacting him too often in general or contacting him so often that I don't give him a chance to contact me.

He said, "I thought I do text you sometimes." Which I acknowledged that, a handful of times over the past few months, he has initiated contact, but it's usually me. I told him it's okay as long as I know that it isn't because of something about me, but I also told him that when I don't hear from someone--anyone, whether friend, family, or whatever--for a few days, I start feeling really disconnected from them. He knows enough about my history to understand why that might be the case.

So I don't know whether that will change the initiating-contact issue or not, but at least I brought it up. And I'm feeling more solid in the relationship than I was before last night.
 

WhatToDo

New member
I would be the same as S2. I rarely initiate contact but when she does I'll "talk" her ear off. It makes my day hearing from her but there is a part of me that feels like I would be bothering her if I texted her. She has assured me time and time again that that isn't the case but I j have a hard time getting past that feeling. Mine isn't a new relationship either so he may just be the type that will always wait for you to contact him.
 

KC43

New member
Thanks for your insight, WhatToDo. I don't think he's so much worried about bothering me; it's more that it just doesn't occur to him to reach out--to anyone, I think, not just me--unless he has something specific to tell them. Now that I understand that, it makes it easier to accept, because I know it isn't anything about me or our relationship, it's just part of him.

When I do text him, sometimes it's a brief exchange of two or three messages, but other times he'll text back and forth with me for an hour or two.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
But he's also the one who has never said he loves me. He said, "Likewise" when I told him I love him, and that was it.

For example, Hubby has said a number of times that saying "I love you" doesn't come naturally for him, and he doesn't understand why I need to hear it, but he accepts that I have that need and so makes the effort to say it.

Just my perspective, but some of us are more reticent/uncomfortable using the phrase "I love you." than others. For, me it is a giant huge deal. Took me 18 months with MrS and 9 months with Dude. MrS totally "got" that admitting feelings is really difficult for me and didn't say it, in words, until I said it first (although he "showed" me in so many ways). When Dude used to say it I would get panicked and just say "Thank you."

I posted about my first with Dude HERE (and later posted about why it was such a big deal for me).

I rarely initiate contact with Lotus - as we both dislike talking on the phone and I reserve txting for superficial info sharing. Less of an issue with the boys as I see them everyday but, when we are not together I do like at least a "goodnight" txt so I know they are ok.

I'm sorry you have having difficult feelings - but we often ascribe meaning to things where a deeper "meaning" simply does not exist.
 

KC43

New member
Thank you, Jane. I really appreciate your response, because it does resonate with me.

I doubt things because I'm me, and I doubt things. This isn't a personality trait I'm proud of or happy with; it's a side effect of things that aren't entirely within my control (i.e. past abuse and mental illness). It causes problems, and so I try very hard to keep the focus on *my* feelings rather than the other person's actions and words... I don't always succeed, but I try. And I'm far more successful when I'm talking *to* the other person than when I'm blogging or journaling.

I do know that for some people, saying "I love you" doesn't come easily, and I can see that this is likely true of S2 given his response when I said it. And he has said other things that indicate how he feels, like telling me I'm awesome, that he doesn't like thinking of his life without me in it, etc.

I didn't plan to say "I love you" first with S2; I was waiting for him to say it. But it happened because of the incident at the beginning of October, where he believed I would be angry and end the relationship because of what he'd done... I felt that right then, he needed to hear those words so he would understand that this wasn't enough to make me walk away from him, so I took a chance and said them. That's the only time I have said it, though a couple of times I've said things like "Your mind is a weird place, and that's one of the things I love about you." I try to use the L word sparingly if at all, though...but that's as much against my nature as saying it is apparently against his.

I recognize and own that my emotions are mine. I'm responsible for having them and for how I handle them. I've been feeling very insecure about the relationship with S2 for the past couple of weeks...feeling fearful that he will end things, fearful of talking to him about how I'm feeling or seeking reassurance from him because I don't want him to think I'm pushing him. Yesterday, a month after it expired, he renewed his paid membership on the dating site we belong to, and that's adding to my insecurity because why would he need a paid membership unless he's looking for someone else to have sex with or have a relationship with?

(That last, by the way, is unreasonable of me, because I have a paid-level membership there myself... But I don't actually pay for it; there's a way to get a free "paid" membership on that site if you have either a single woman profile or a couple profile. I have it because I get curious about the people I chat with in the chat room or people who email me, and you can't view profiles on that site without a paid-level membership. I have no intention of meeting anyone, and my profile on that site, which identifies me as "married", also includes a statement that I'm in a relationship in addition to my marriage and am not interested in connecting with anyone else. And that could very well be S2's reason for renewing his paid membership; maybe he just wants to be able to view profiles and see sexy pictures of women, and not necessarily *meet* them. Trying to see positive possibilities here...)

I had a conversation with Best Friend last night about this (the first conversation he and I have had in weeks...) and he told me I'm being unfair to S2 by not talking to him about how I feel. Best Friend said he's had similar feelings and fears about Star, and that he's talked to her about them and things have gotten better, and he thinks I should talk to S2.

He might be correct... but his relationship with Star is not the same as mine with S2. Best Friend and Star were both open to, if not actively seeking, a monogamous long-term relationship. Both wanted to be someone's "one and only." They work on their relationship because both want it to grow and succeed; they've even started talking marriage.

S2 is still fairly newly out of his marriage; the divorce won't be final until probably after the first of the year. He hasn't really given himself time to get used to not being married, though taking that time was his initial intention. He told me early on that he didn't want anything monogamous; he didn't want any tight commitment; he didn't want to be someone's one and only. I work for him as a partner because I am polyamorous, which means I *can't* ask him for monogamy/exclusivity. I don't even really believe I can ask him for any kind of commitment. And he gets squirrely and uncomfortable when I try to talk to him about where things are between us, which makes me very reluctant to bring up the subject. I don't know whether he sees any future for us beyond what we already have; the one time I made any mention of anything in the future, he said, "I'm still just playing this by ear."

My fear is that following Best Friend's advice and talking to S2 about my feelings and fears, rather than resulting in him reassuring me and things getting better, will result in him feeling like I'm trying to push the relationship in a certain direction and trying to get more of a commitment from him than he's comfortable with, and he'll end the relationship entirely. Sometimes it seems better to me to deal with these feelings and fears on my own and by talking with friends (and even Hubby a bit) and by blogging here and journaling, than actually talk to him about them and run the risk of losing him entirely. Other times, those feelings and fears just plain hurt, and I want to stop hurting; if I bring them up with S2 and he ends the relationship, that would hurt too, but the hurt would end once I got over the break-up, and it wouldn't be the same pain.
 
Last edited:

reflections

New member
Things between you and S2 have a lot of similarities with me and my OSO, Jack. We've been together for four years, but it's always been long distance, we only said I love you a year ago, and we only considered ourselves to be dating/in a relationship over the past 6 months, as we started out quite casual.

I also deal with a lot of anxiety and have lately felt really insecure about what place I hold in his life. I spent a lot of time worrying that he's just with me until he finds someone else or that he doesn't want to commit to being with me. He has not dated much, and although he hasn't dated anyone while we've been together, he knows he's completely free to. I tended to be the one to initiate talking or spending time together and I usually said I love you first. I was always the one to bring up these kinds of relationship talks, and I also didn't want to pressure him. He's said in the past how he may start dating someone in the future and if she's not okay with us, then we'll go back to being best friends. Hard not to feel hurt by that, even if I want him to be happy.

So the last time we got together, I decided I needed to at least know where he stood at that moment, understanding that it may change over time. I let him know that we didn't have to have it all figured out, that I didn't want to pressure him, that he didn't even have to give me an answer then, but I wanted to be on the same page about how each of us felt about where we were.

He shared with me that he wants to be with me for the foreseeable future. That we've grown so much since he told me that he'd end our relationship if he dated someone else. That he no longer feels that way. That we've grown to a different place, which I wholeheartedly agreed with. That he loves me deeply and doesn't see that changing. And I realized that all my concerns about being the first one to say I love you, initiate talking, etc. were linked my anxiety and to the uncertainty about what I meant to him.

I'm not saying that S2 will respond the same way. But I'm going to second Best Friend's advice about talking to him. You can own your anxieties and still want to talk about where you both stand. It'd be one thing if you were like "you have to be 100% committed or I'm out." But it's only feeding your anxiety to be sitting in this place of uncertainty. At least you'll know and even if he says "I don't know," then you can know that. It doesn't feel like pressuring as much as it feels like open and honest communication, which is what I'm guessing you want with him. He's already shown you lots of ways that he cares about you, introducing you to his friends and potentially family. I had to remind myself to trust that Jack would be responsive if I talked to him - and he was above and beyond what I had hoped for.
 

KC43

New member
Thank you, Reflections. Your advice is good, and it helps to know that I'm not the only one who's experienced feeling this way.

I did end up talking to S2 about some of this yesterday. He opened the door a bit by having changed his comment on his dating site profile to something about being on Santa's naughty list, so I used that as the springboard. I asked what he'd done that put him on the "naughty list", and he said, "I started seeing you." I asked if that was the only thing, and he said yes.

I was still hesitant, but after a little while, I'd kind of rehearsed what I wanted to say. I started by asking him if he's still okay with our relationship...and when he said yes, I started crying. Which was completely not what I wanted to do! But it led into a discussion about my fears. I told him I was reluctant to talk about our relationship with him because I didn't want him to feel pressured, and he said pretty much "We're in a relationship, we communicate about it, that's how it works."

I also told him that I'm sometimes afraid that he isn't okay with how things are, and he said he's happy. I said that when I saw that he'd renewed his paid dating site membership I wondered whether he was looking for someone else again, and he said, "No, I'm definitely not looking." And I told him my fear that I'm his "transition" partner and that's it. He said, "You've helped me through a very difficult year. I wouldn't have made it through some of that without you. And I don't seem to be running away yet. We're good, and you should never worry about talking to me when you feel this way." And then he hugged me.

So Reflections, you and Best Friend were right (and BF will definitely say "I told you so" when I tell him that, lol). Thank you, and thanks again Jane and WhatToDo for your input. I will probably end up feeling this way again...because depression is a frigging dick. But at least now I know I can talk to S2 when I feel that way without being afraid of pushing him away or having him think I'm too messed up to be involved with.
 

reflections

New member
So glad to hear things went well! Sounds like he was really able to reassure you that he wants to be with you. Even if you feel insecure in the future (which I'm sure I will too, considering my anxiety disorder), at least you know you can talk to him.

I had to laugh when you said that you started crying and didn't want to. I did the exact same thing with Jack - had planned to go into the conversation all level-headed and rational, but the moment he told me how much he cares about me, I started crying. There went all my planning! :rolleyes:
 

KC43

New member
Thanks :) I was very glad I got up the guts to talk to him (and that you and Best Friend encouraged it), because I definitely feel a lot better. S2 isn't the type to talk a lot about feelings, and I'd taken that, plus some of his reactions, to mean that he wouldn't be willing to talk about our relationship, so it helps to have been corrected on that.
 

KC43

New member
The conversation with S2 over the weekend seems to have made an impact on him. Yesterday, he texted me from work to let me know about a change in his visitation schedule with Spikes and Beads. He and their mom swapped weekends so she and her fiancee could go to a friend's wedding, which means S2 will have the boys on a weekend he would ordinarily be kid-free, and will be kid-free this coming weekend when he ordinarily wouldn't have been. It impacts me because he and I usually are kid-free the same weekends (Country is with her dad for visitation on the weekends Spikes and Beads stay with their mom), and those kid-free weekends are the only times S2 and I are able to spend the night together.

In the past, he would either not have brought it up until close to the last minute, or he would at least have waited to talk to me about it when he saw me. Especially since last night was our usual weekly date anyway. But this time, he texted me about it the moment he got off the phone with the boys' mom. And he immediately started discussing ways to alter *our* schedule so we aren't losing any amount of time with each other but just changing the days.

We're going to see each other this Saturday, instead of tomorrow night as would be our usual for a week that ends with a kid weekend. Country will be with Hubby's mother at their church fair for part of Saturday; as long as either Hubby's mother or Hubby can give her a ride home from that, I'm free for the day. I can't spend the night with S2 if Country is home, because we want to avoid her asking questions about why I'm gone all night, but Country told me yesterday that she *might* be spending Saturday night with a friend because they have plans for Sunday morning. So if she does that, I'll be able to stay with S2 Saturday night anyway.

And when I saw him last night, he was more physically affectionate than usual, and said a couple of things that implied that he wanted to make sure I know how much I mean to him, which I appreciated.
 

KC43

New member
Right now, I'm very thankful for S2 and my friend Speed. I've been struggling for the past week with issues about the holidays, compounded by both my regular depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (fortunately, we're almost through the really-short-daylight part of the year), and by some rejections and negative occurrences in my writing career. Hubby hasn't really been physically or emotionally available, and Best Friend and I barely talk anymore, so I've been leaning a lot on S2 and Speed.

I felt bad about it with S2, though, and I told him so. In my opinion, he doesn't need someone who's negative and crying and asking for constant reassurance and stuff; he needs someone who has herself mostly together, is a positive presence in his life, and makes him happy. He told me I am those things, and that everyone has bad times and it's okay to lean on him. I'm still trying not to, though, at least not to the extent of last week.

I'm feeling better this week, though the rejections of the writing are hitting me harder than I'd realized. (I'm not used to getting rejections; out of nearly 100 books and stories I've sent to publishers, I've only received 9 rejections, and three of those were in the past three weeks.) I've been talking with S2 about writing, because he's very emotionally invested in helping me with that career, and he and Speed have been very encouraging. Speed has known me since before I started writing for publication.

Saw S2 last night instead of our usual Tuesday date, because the weather tonight is supposed to be kind of scary. I didn't want to drive out to his place in the storm they're calling for, and S2 and Hubby didn't want me taking the risk. I'll be seeing him again Thursday, both this week and next week, because of him swapping kid weekends with his ex. And then the day before Christmas Eve, we'll be getting together, and I'll finally get to see what he's bought me for Christmas... he's been telling me he got me something, but won't even hint at what it might be.
 
Top