GalaGirl: Conversations Already in Progress.

Sometimes I wish my mind worked like yours (or, at least, my wife's mind). It would be awesome if we could check in like this and have conversations and use metaphors and get past difficult conversations this way.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with how I think or how my wife thinks. It's just... not this way. And this way is very, very unique. I know I can learn it, but it's not how my mind naturally works and my brain is reluctant to use new experiences. I started parking in a new spot two months ago at work. I've walked half way to the old spot every single day before realizing I wasn't going to the right spot. They are not close to each other. Not even a little bit.
See, and I just park in the same spots because my head is usually too busy chasing the shiny things in there to bother with mundane things like where I park my car. If I lose it I just wander around dinking my beeper keychain til the car beeps back at me. LOL. :rolleyes:

When I was younger I did not realize I am not a linear thinker. I am multi-linear. Maybe even web-like. And this would throw other people at times when I try to talk to them and we'd both get frustrated.

Now that I'm older and know this about myself, I can disconnect some lines to simplify and strengthen the signal. One must broadcast in a way that a receiver can pick it up or it's as useless info as not broadcasting at all.

But I like running all channels full blast. It's fun to me when I have people I can do that with. DH is one of those people.


(Excerpt from this thread.)

Sometimes the fear of anticipation is worse than just moving on to action/realization.

I sometimes find myself what iffing too much and getting all tempest in a teapot -- I've gotten better at just checking out of that head trip. And speaking up or acting instead to get what I need to know KNOWN rather than worrying or wondering about it.

But I totally know where that comes from. BTDT.

I'm just not good at relationships in general. I have been with my husband since I was 18 years old, so I'm far from experienced.
At what? Being in relationship? Obviously you have a strong runner in the married one. You do fine.

I'm used to being completely open and honest with no secrets.
Sounds like a sane plan.

I'm not comfortable enough in our relationship yet to ask for reassurance when I need it, because I don't want to be needy and insecure, although I am happy to give it to him when he needs it.
You make no sense because you are in a fluster. Calm down, breathe, BREATHE. Then?

Consider flipping this around in this order. It is not "because I don't want to be needy and insecure." You ARE feeling that. You are that right now. Put that FIRST.

1 "I AM feeling needy and insecure."

We cannot help what we feel when we feel it. We don't even get to choose when to feel it. It just is. Emotional weather. Rain is rain, wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. We DO get to choose how to behave in response. You can choose to REACT to emotion or ACT WITH INTENT. What did you pick?

2) So far you have chosen to stay silent.
How's that working for relieving your insecure emotions? Nope. Not good solution. Conclusion? "To feel better, I need reassurance from my new partner." So what is problem in getting reassurance then?

3) "I do not feel comfortable enough in our relationship yet" to do that.

Why not?

Spit it out. You GET comfortable by DOING. Speak up. Can you do that? Sure you can. Why? Because you are used to being completely open and honest with no secrets. That isn't a bad way to be. It's a good way. And I think you feel extra weird because you aren't doing it here. Get on with doing it.

In my world? It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to the relationship to know and state your wants, needs, limits. Your partner has the RIGHT to clear communication. Own your end of the sticks, please. He cannot mind reader you. Speak up.

4) "I don't feel secure enough; what if I ask him for what I want, and it makes him uncomfortable?"

So he has some emotional weather. So what? Rain is rain. Wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. Let it blow on through. We're all grown ups. Felt many kinds of things before. You hold your own bag, he holds his.

His responsibility to YOU is to report his internal weather because YOU have the right to clear communication. So you tell him you expect him to know and state his wants, needs and limits so you can learn about him. But you are not a mind reader. Speak up, dude!

That's why this is dating. With older partners you can usually get it in the ballpark by taking a stab in the dark because they are older partners and you know the whole arena. With new partners, you have to be given the tour of the floorplan. Get on with the tour.

It will help you BOTH grow more comfortable and feel better too.

And I just don't know how to deal with my feelings of jealousy and fear of being dumped. Those are very negative emotions and I don't want them in my life.

Emotion is emotion, hon. Are you planning to be dead? I joke just to try to get you to laugh because you seem down.

But I'm serious about this part -- Emotion is just Life Stuff. It doesn't have to be the end of the world, esp when we do not get to choose when we feel what we feel! We only get to choose how to respond to the emotion -- chose to react or act.

What are these fears speaking to then? Where you think "OMG! What if I get dumped!" and you go on a chain reaction of what-iffing yourself to a tizz? Is it just new rship jitters? That he's into kink and you are not? So? Do you have to be joined at the hip?

That you don't know how things work here yet with him and emotional things or conflict resolution? Is your new partner shirking on his reporting? Are you having to mindreader?

Is it that you might feel yucky someday? Have you never in your life felt yucky? It's can be hard to feel, but a broken heart still keeps on beating. World still turns. Why miss on out on savoring the yummy today for uncertainty in future that is not here? What if you have yummy in future and missed today's yummy for nothing!?

Is it something else this fear is speaking to? What?

Some partners are for life, some for a reason, some for a season. I was very heartbroken when my OSO faded from my life, even if it WAS a great way to fade and really gracefully and I could not have asked for a better ending. That man taught me grace, class. He had style, and he had the ability for compersion in spades.

But because it was fresh wound, I hurt. That is not unreasonable to expect in such a time even if it was the RIGHT THING to happen then. That I learned from my DH. "I am upset. I do not find this unreasonable to feel at this time. I love you. I do not love THIS. And we will deal." He has a capacity for clear emotional management that I admire and continue to learn from.

In time, I healed. OSO has become a lovely experience and memory, which I'm glad I took the risk for and look back on fondly. My heart grew then, and remains full from having enjoyed that. He was a good man. I am grateful our paths in Life crossed for a few years.

But I believe all relationships come with a clock attached just as John Cleese puts it. My DH? We're counting on decades here and one day that too will end. I hope when one of us dies, and hopefully dies in peace in elder years, and we're prepared. Nobody can ask for a smoother end of a marriage than that. An older friend just lost her DH in older years and they were a fantastic couple. She's handling it well, and he passed peacefully. I envy this, I hope our own story plays out similar.

So... what's the freakout over breaking up or things coming to an end? If you are worried that it could end UGLY -- well, make an agreement for how you prefer it to end when it ends. Talk to your partner to assuage your worries. Take the bull by the horns.

Worrying when you could be talking and sorting it out and moving on to the feeling better place instead makes no sense. Why stay at the worry place?

And worrying excessively is like praying for what you do NOT want.

Takes a toll on mental health/stess levels.

Hang in there! But the choice to stay silent is not working for ya, so just try another tack and be OK with yourself being a learner of this new person. It is a new relationship and agree to assume good intent with each other as you learn the ride. Everyone falls off a bike several times before they get the hang of it, right? BREATHE.

You ARE good at relationships. See that husband person? You just haven't played ball in a new arena for a while. No big. You DO know how to play ball.

So... play ball!

Today has been an exercise in frustration.

I just want to take my brain off the hook, but I can't stop worrying about a friend who is in a bad situation. I really can't out my friend's problems either. But it all leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Then I read things online here that just trigger me. It's not anyone's fault on this forum -- I'm just having a rough time digesting what was revealed in my real life offline. I've done what I can to help, ethically and morally. It's the waiting time. I can do no further.

Both men and women can end up in bad situations where they suffer mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse.

I wish I didn't have to post the link to Speak Out Loud so often.

Especially the tactics list.

But if anyone reading my thread needs to know those, there they are.

If one can make a safe plan, hooray.

If one cannot manage better, call 911 and check oneself in to hospital to get evaluated. Safe there, and hopefully placed in shelter. Alive. Better alive with mega bills than dead.

I just wouldn't wish abuse of ANY kind on any body. :(

Disgusts me that people would hurt others so. In the name of "love" -- that's for crap. :mad:

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Ugh. I hate the cop out. I rather have a partner who will WORK with me on issues. Dislike emotional weenies. From the framework of my universe? That's pings ALL my rights. So I'm calling them! I have the right to

  • Clear communication
  • Expect support from partner
  • Be nurtured
  • Get your needs met
  • Responsiveness
  • Constructive feedback
  • Constructive conflict resolution

No playing Mr. or Miss Avoidy! Or Mr. or Ms. Shoosh It All On Me.

You have agreed to uphold the responsibilities of

  • Following through on promises
  • Caring for your own and your partner's health: in mind, heart, body, soul.
  • Emergency preparedness

So we take it to the mat, buddy. Break down the fucking elephant and everyone owns a piece of it. Whether or not you like elephants. In service to the greater polyship. Because do you love your polypeeps or NOT? There could be different styles of conflict resolution personalities or techniques for HOW to have the talk.

But there is no denying the elephant is there and needs breaking down. Period. Being in relationship is sharing both the joys and burdens. Not just the fun happy clappies.

Who needs fair weather relationship-ers who do the avoidy dance? Sheesh. Bad enough in a monoamorous situation. But in polyamorous? Ugh. Go away. Do not play here. Shoo. Serious applicants only. Sigh.

(Exerpt from this thread.)

I struggle with the whole bag idea. What belongs to your own bag vs. what is in that of others? Is there something that is not in anyone's bag, but sort of hangs between / outside? I hear a lot of "be responsible for your own feelings" etc. but it seems like this is sometimes abused in the sense of, "Well, if you have any negative feelings about something I did, that's your problem." Any thoughts on that, or recommended reading?

That is a cop out in bold.

No, it is OUR problem. We must sit down to talk it over and DISCERN where to park it. If you punch me in the face at dinner and I want to eat dinner in peace with you, we must talk about this face punching. Can't you punch a pillow? Then you get to punch and I still get to be with you for dinner unpunched and yay! We can still be in right relationship to each other. All win with the happy medium solution! Cupcakes for all!

In my play book, I am responsible for my own and my partner(s) safety in all the buckets : mind, body, heart, and soul.

If I hurt a partner by mistake in mind, body, heart or soul? And they feel negative? They have the responsibility to REPORT THIS. I am not a mind reader.

Upon hearing this, I must at least acknowledge the hurt. Say I am sorry they are hurt. I see/hear they did their job of weather reporting. Thank you. (Because I have the right to clear communication, feedback. They have the right to support, nurture.)

Then we must enter the Area of Discernment / Conflict Resolution. And agree to appointment for that.

Is this just an announcement thing? You hate my polka dot socks? Alright. Thanks. Hate em. I like them. So mote it be. We can agree to disagree there. I will hide them when you are around but I am not throwing them out.

Is this a conflict thing that cannot be let go?
Requires more? Alright. Take it to the negotiation mat!

  • Is it a hurt I can avoid doing again? Did I do it on purpose or not?
  • Is it a hurt that could happen without my control?
  • Is it even reasonable expectation of me?
  • How would we deal with it should it come up? Everyone pony up ideas.
  • If it creates conflict again despite new solution trying, what is our next conflict resolution plan?

Stuff like that needs acknowledgement. That is why it is called "the overlapping area of discernment" to me -- there's this THING here. Who will own it then? Cause it is THERE. Cannot pretend not to see. Cannot sweep under rug. We can TRIP on that. Let us discern then, who will own which parts? TOGETHER. With intention.

What bag gets what if we break it down into bits? Because an elephant in the room is one for ALL to carry and be aware of. Many hands make lighter work. In service to the greater polyship relationship of all parties, even if you do not LOVE elephants ? You may have to hold the trunk of the elephant in your bag. I may have to carry the tail. Other partner may take an ear. Because we love each other. If this polyship we choose to be in? This too we must choose to do. We pay the price of admission.

Or we can choose to leave this polyship with grace because the other players are no longer up for sharing the joys and burdens of it. Fair enough. Disband as friends.

Because if we want to stay in right relationship to each other in all stages of it? While moving it from friendship to fly the polyship, while inside the polyship configuration we agreed to, when landing the polyship back to earth and moving out of it when the relationship ends?

We want to nip it in the BUD and not let it fester into pus infection in the system.

It is lame
and a cop out not to address this just because nobody wants to be the first to crack it open, break the elephant down to manageable sizes and own some of that elephant! It is lame to fob off your own behavior causing someone pain without stopping to see WHY the pain is being caused and if it is reasonable to adjust a bit so your loved one is less pained.

That sort of polyship is doomed before it even takes flight if the players are not willing to play fair and play well while learning to love each other as best as possible. That sets up a skewed dynamic where someone is bound to get shafted. Ugh.

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I don't mind stretching wings. Or stepping outside my comfort zone in order to grow a bit. Or agreeing to wing it, if I have established my partner in crime "wings it" well and shoulders some of the burden and not just shooshes it all on to me if things do not work out like we thought.

But doing something that compromises my integrity? I have a hard time with that.

I want to be with someone who wants to work with me, negotiate with me, treat me well and like a person of value. Where my wants, needs, and limits are heard and respected.

That could be a deal breaker there -- pressuring me into compromising myself / integrity / beliefs/ values. I have high standards for ethics and playing fair. I can't see me just abandoning them or letting go of Hard Limits.

I have to think about that some more. But I don't think it is effective conflict resolution for me to just go against core values that I own. I am willing to listen. I could change my mind based on the case presented completely or give an exception to the rule. I may even have a deep paradigm shift and change a belief entirely!

But that's going to happen AFTER discussion and a case was presented to me fairly. NOT BEFORE. And not just because you SAY so and I must just change to suit you just because you say so!

(Part 2 : Excerpt from this thread.)

That's interesting. I didn't see this as an attraction to angry people. She's not having a cow thing with Craig.

I see this as people who do not have good conflict resolution skills. And people who are struggling to play like honorable Star Wars Jedi together. (BOTH)

I see some use of the word "incompatible" where I would use "conflict." DH and I are very compatible. We are not conflict free. It is HOW we navigate through areas of discernment/conflict resolution that make us great together. Not that we are conflict FREE. Who is THAT? Dead people? (I joke to keep it light.)

Given that, if I get into a similar model in the future, I would want better agreements in place as to what the desired trajectory is and what we will do in various scenarios. Ted wasn't willing to work through that with me; he claimed that there were too many unknowns and situations that could not be foreseen, and that we should just play it by ear. I was uncomfortable with that, but agreed to go along with that since he refused to do otherwise.

See? You felt uncomfortable. You ignored YOUR OWN LIMIT.

Then all this happened. And now you have learned the value of obeying YOUR OWN LIMIT and not moving something forward despite misgivings. That stuff bites you in the ass later. (I mean this kindly, not judge-y at all.)

I also see this -- Ted NOT OWNING HIS BAGGAGE. He does not clearly KNOW and state his own wants, needs, and limits. Ted was witholding information -- it is a lie of omission. Not expressing feelings or what their internal weather is like right now. Expecting mind reader-ing. Then playing Mr Avoidy? Then playing Mr Resenty? (All unspoken until he blows? Yargh.)

Ok, you could have listened to your own gut that was sending you a LIMIT flag. But HE was not being honest with himself about his own limits/fears. Did not own his responsibility to REPORT. Could have just spit it out to you "Baby, no way, Jose! I do NOT want to open. Not now, ever. That is MY hard limit. It is not a soft limit that can be negotiated over time!"

Ted doesn't sound like he knew himself well. Well, that is over.

Do your work to know YOU better.

There is no way you can predict every possible scenario that happens in a polyship. You can try to get a few common ones down. But better still is to agree to your rights and responsibilities for how you agree to be together in polyship. That's how I roll. Clear enough, but flexible enough.

When we hit an area of discernment/conflict resolution place? I go with something like this. Everyone owns a piece of the proverbial elephant in the room.

Then Life can carry on mostly alright at the happy medium most of the time. Yay. Cupcakes for all!

*hugs* I know you hurt. Remember to breathe.

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(Part 3: Two short excerpts from the end of this thead.)


GalaGirl said:
Not that we are conflict FREE. Who is THAT? Dead people? (I joke to keep it light.)

Hi Galagirl - You gave me a belly laugh with this. I'm picturing you at a party. You're lighting off fireworks to have fun and keep it light, and you accidentally burn the place down. Oops, I thought my aim was better than that! Better luck next time! Hey, Jedi Warrior over there, is there another party around here somewhere - after all, practice makes perfect, right?

Were both saying the very same thing. You're saying it in your own charming way. At least we're having some fun and hopefully helping a few people along the way.

Thanks for the laugh. Your sense of humor helps to keep the heavy stuff light. Hugs to you - snowmelt


Amused you are amused. ;)

Yes, having different perspectives on the same issue can help the OP.

I go for humor every time -- because that helps me. And it's true that laughter can set off the brain cascade of feel goods.

It's a good tool to have in the emotional coping toolbox we all carry for handling hard Dark times and moving on through them into the Light again.


I love funny stuff. It makes people feel good. But it has to be funny stuff at the right time and place. It has no place trying to supplant serious discussion. It would make me feel like my wants, needs, limits are being blown off. Or that I am being pooh-poohed or dismissed or undervalued. Or that the person was trying to change the subject and be avoidy.

Punctuate a serious discussion with dry wit an humor -- that I can appreciate! Because the serious discussion still moves forward. And with flair! But it is cheating to try to avoid discussion entirely with a joke so you can shove it under the rug.

AFTER the big talk thing? I love a laugh -- celebrate having navigated a tough conversation. Hooray!

I get mad, get tense in negotiation, then I want to laugh and relax when it is over. If partner can take all that? Serious when it is time to be serious and fun when it is time to be fun? I start to feel aroused because of the mental and emotional intimacy just experienced and then I want the body intimacy to come online too.


I remember DH trying to learn this about me and the breakthrough moment when we were having a heated argument. I don't even remember what it was about now -- it was at our first apartment living together. I do remember being startled that it started with me being all hot headed frustrated and then he got all hot head and launched into some diatribe about why he hates having to be Mr Reasonable all the time and how sometimes HE feels like a nutjob.

I recall being torn between several distinct feelings.

  • Wait! This was MY stage and freak show -- I was the one having a tantrum here! He's not supposed to take center stage!
  • Wait! This is a break through moment for him and for me in understanding where he's coming from. Hooray! I've been waiting for this one for AGES!
  • Wait! He's being a hot head! He's speaking my language that I understand! Hooray! I know THIS. I totally do not understand Cool and Collected Land. But this game I get and I play well. Hooray! I needled him and he broke! Haha! I win!

I remember him rattling on with punctuated bits from me like "See? Why can't you just SAY that to me outright more often?" or "Well... spit it OUT! I'm not a mindreader!"

I remember handing him kleenex and sitting on the floor leaning against our bed stroking his hair and he was upset and crying and yelling and I don't know what. Some strange torrent of many pent up feelings from all over the map came pouring out of him. I was mad he'd stolen my stage, but I couldn't STAY mad when he was letting loose so many old burdens.

We never arrived at some kind of neat and pat conclusion. We did arrive at greater understanding of how the other one functions/thinks and two very different styles of personalities. And that felt satisfying and like the argument served some greater purpose and while messy, had been worthwhile to have.

The next thing that happened? He grabbed me up in a passionate kiss and I bit his lip and snaked my leg around his hip and the next thing I knew I was laughing flat on my back on our bed while he frantically was peeling his own and my clothes off. He got impatient and just grabbed my panties and literally ripped them off me and I did not care. He pounced, I responded eagerly. It was a feeling that was hard to describe other than I didn't know where I ended and he began. Like I was some Animal that finally picked up the scent of their Mate and was staking a claim. Maybe that was the first fusion point of Double Helix Life Thread beginning to spin?

We rolled around all over the place being Wild Things. When we finally came back to Earth I grinned at him.

"See? Told ya. It's very easy for me to go from mad to horny. Passion is passion."

"Yes, I see. My god. I get it now but I don't see how you can stand to do it at that high a volume all the time. You are going to kill me one day."

"Haha. I'm doing my best. Hungry. Dinner?"

"Yeah. Let's."

We stood on the bed to survey the ruined messy bedroom and carefully picked our way out. We went out to dinner and cleaned things up later on. It was a shambles. I saved those broken panties for years before they finally got tossed. We were 20 and 21 back then.

Most of our heated arguments were from that time in the first apartment because we were just first learning (as all couples do) how to fight fair and deal in conflict resolution effectively. How to hold tempers and frustrations in check. How to deal with the emotional flooding well.

These days there's intense discussion, but there isn't the drama of youth.

It still makes me laugh to look back though.

It still makes me laugh today when we have some intense conversation or crazy lovemaking and he shakes his head and goes "I'm such a dead man. You are going to kill me one day."

I usually reply "Yep. I'm workin' on it. And I warned you."

He grins and goes something like "Yes, I know. And I still signed up. Crazy me."

Oh, how I love when he laughs! We're both such suckers for that -- when the laugh or the smile goes to the eyes! That damn twinkly thing. Yum.

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I am out of breath.

I just had a play fight of tickles and bedding with the kid.

She reminded me I promised to lay down and "nap in the big bed" but that's her latest euphemism for "fool around in the big bed" which was the other euphemism for "C'mon, Mom! Let's tickle and horse around and scream!"

Which I do not always like to give her because she gets carried away and it hurts if she punches me too hard. She's very strong for being so small!

But I'm the parent and I'm trying to teach several things here.

  • Self discipline.
  • Asking nicely.
  • Negotiate fairly.
  • Stating limits.
  • Respect limits.

When the teachable moment comes, you have to just PICK ONE THING to focus on.

We teach others how we want to be treated, but it's never a one time lesson. Not even in dating. That's why you date for a long while before making serious commitments. Have to pass and repass same ground a few times to make sure person completes the base tour and can pass flying tests before launching a major mission.

I asked for her buckets when she got in and she rolled her eyes and told me her mind is good, her heart is good, her body wants a "nap", and her soul is happy. I pressed for details and she was too distracted.

She always comes home with pent up energies so I decided to grant the tickle fight she craves but was still trying to find the lesson to revisit and reinforce. It sure wasn't going to be bucket checks or any major negotiation because she was much too hyper.

I have to know the material I work with here and what is reasonable to ask and and when. The reality check on my expectations.

So it was going to be setting a limit / respect a limit then as the brief lesson.

Kid: Yay! Let's go to the big bed!

Me: Only 5 minutes.

Kid: You promised Monday to do it for a long time!

Me: I do not remember, I am sorry. I'm willing to do that tomorrow if you help me remember because my brain is too full to hold things. And Monday you did not make a note to stick on the fridge to hold me accountable like I ask you to do when Mommy is scatterbrained. If you make me one today I will sign it to help keep me honest. For today I can give 5 minutes, to hold you until you make me an IOU to sign for a bigger thing.

(Swear to God I'm surely suffering early menopause freakin' brain farts or its my meds... must ask endoc).

Kid: Alright. 5 min.

Me: Are we agreed?

Kid: Sure!

Me: I'm watching the clock! It is 2:06. So at 2:11 I am out of the bed.

Kid: Ok!

Crazy tickling commences with accompanying screams, laughter, drool, and spitting.

Kid: Mom, you are disgusting when you drool.

Me: I cannot help it. I laugh too hard and I drool! Help! Help!

Kid: You got spit in my eye.

Me: I'm sorry I got spit in your eye. But I laugh very hard.

Kid: You shake the whole bed!

Me: Yup. (to self: tell you daddy about it -- he's known that for 2 decades!) Alright 2:12. I'm SO done. You got one minute overtime on this trip. Hooray! I am free of tickles!

Kid: Aw.... I don't want to stop!

Me: I hear you do not want to stop. But please respect my limit. I said 5 min. because that is all I can give today.

Kid: 5 more?

Me: No, I am not up for renegotiation on tickles. 5 min was it. Please respect my limit.

Kid: Alright. I will. Can I get you in my blanket cave?

Me: Thank you for respecting my limit. Yes, I will be in a blanket cave for ONE MINUTE. It gets hot in there.

Kid: Yay! (She stuffs us under a giggly mess of quilts until we both come out screaming that it it soooo hot and horrible! )

Me: There. I'm OUT of the cave! I am out of tickles! I am out of the bed!

Kid: Can I have screen time now?

Me: Yeah, tv or computer, your pick. One hour. Then homework. New agreement.

Kid: Ok. Homework.

Me: Did you do your coming home responsibility of putting your fresh uniform out in the cubby for tomorrow? I did mine of emptying your lunch box and signing your binder.

Kid: No.

Me: Go do that then -- finish the OLD thing before starting a NEW thing. You were supposed to do that BEFORE TICKLES. I already did the lunchbox before I went to tickles.

Kid: Ok, I'll get my uniform and catch it up. THEN I get screen time.

Me: Agreed. Awesome.

Sounds so simple right?

  • Hold self and partner accountable
  • Negotiate a limit, respect the limit.
  • Before starting a new thing, take care of the old thing.

Piece of cake when it's IOUs for future tickles, bed tickles, and uniforms, right?

How about when it is dating, keeping promises, negotiating and respecting the limits you agree to in a romance?

Piece of cake: know thyself, have strong ethics, and be a person of your word.

And how about in polyamory, before starting a new romance can you take care of the old romance FIRST -- in the appropriate way -- before starting the NEW?

  • Reaffirming, renegotiating, co-creating and re-committing to new plan for new changes and checking in according to the new plan if you plan to run both relationships concurrently.
  • Break up CLEAN if you do not.

Piece of cake: End it well with old partner if it is done. Balance ORE and NRE well if not done and want both and all agree.

If you do not have the skills to do this? You have no business flying this mission, but you could return to training school somewhere and learn the skills needed. Another kind of cake, but still. Piece of cake: Know your own limitations. Choose relationships responsibly. Do your personal growth things you need to grow.

You deliberately fly the mission unprepared/underprepared/ unclear? You are not upping your odds of success any. If things explode? Things may or may not be repairable depending if your partner forgives you for flying under false colors. Another kind of cake, but still. Piece of cake: Own your own baggage when you do not obey your own limitations and you are not clear to your partner about the colors you fly under. Own your colors.

I am not saying it is a piece of cake to FEEL or always FUN to do. I am saying you understand what needs doing. The mission is clear and you want to sign up or you do not want this mission at all, or you need more training first.

That should be a piece of cake if both partners are giving clear information and getting clear information to be able to take honest assessment.

If you agree to sign up? You go do the job in front of you and act with INTENT to finish the mission. Things may how awry or haywire, but you intend to execute to the best of your ability and succeed.

Piece of fucking cake. No more. No less.
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My mom used to tell us at random that some decisions you make with the head. Some decisions you make with the heart. And the best decisions are always made from head and heart together.

Now that I'm a parent I remember those bits from Mom as I try to cram the kid head with all the things she will want to know about Life.

I think too much. We all know that around here.

Recently I asked DH if I'm a complicated person or a simple person.

He calmly told me I am a complicated person who enjoys simple things.

Me: I am? I always thought I was a simple person but things and people confuse me.

DH: Simple people do not need to take their brains off the hook.

Me: (*headwedgie*) Now there's a thought. I have to sit with that.

Brain farts are when the thoughts just fall out. Head wedgie moments are when new Thinks get squished IN. DH does that to me a lot. That's part of why I like him. He pushes me in the head.

It pinged in my head today that I think so much I assume other people are busy thinking too. And some do not. I know overdo it sometimes and like to live in my head looking at all the shiny things in there.

But there are those who do not flex head muscles much or run at a different speed.

So yah. Don't ding me thoughtlessly. Give me both heart and head, please when you consider me in decisions.

Maybe that needs to be an addendum to our rights and responsibilites. I have it as don't ding me intentionally. But don't ding me THOUGHTLESSLY either!

I have to ask DH his opinion on that. (Babe -- email me that one. Thanks.)

The excerpt below comes from this thread.

It made me smile because I was once that young, knowing I was something else but not having the vocab or resources to name the Un-nameable. 17, 18, 19 year old...

So I just went about my life living it anyway. Ha. :D

If my kid winds up feeling polywired I'm totally there for here. BTDT and this time? Mom's got resources!

Whether Opening Up to More Loves for the first time or Opening Up again after a break up... it's still the same kind of processing. Healing, sorting your own baggage, strengthening, defining what you seek next, going out to seek it and being picky about it.

It was so much easier to be this young in the late teens, early 20's when I was basically a single tending my own 4 buckets. I was a student for the most part, working PT jobs that meant nothing much to me. Stepping stone jobs. I didn't have to care for a big home or larger finances and other than school not a lot was a huge Time Suck.

Boyfriends came and went -- not all of them were lovers. There wasn't a lot vested in there so I didn't mind too much when relationships drifted or had to end. That is what dating is -- the search!

There is more at stake for me in 40s -- I help tend my 4 buckets, my DH's 4 buckets, my kid's 4 buckets. There's big shared stuff -- finances, home, cars, obligations, responsibilities, eldercare, patient issues of my own... I just don't make a move as free as I used to. I've never made a lightly thought move. But now there's just more riding on it.

Preparing oneself to OPEN UP WELL.

Who wants to Open all crazy with lack of thought and preparation? Not me!

I would love to experience all that again -- to Open Up one more time and get to enjoy the unfolding of a new person in my life and explore it's depths in the context of a long term loving committed relationship. But if I cannot have it the way I want to have it? A GOOD Share? An honest, ethical, meaningful Share? Then I don't want it at all. I already Share a lovely thing with my spouse and my kid and my life is full of sweetness and light.

If there's a Jedi Player out there who gets that, gets me, and wants to Share that kind of world with me -- that's what I'm offering at this particular playground. Serious applicants only, when I put out the "Jedi Player Wanted" shingle.

I'm just not putting it out just yet. DH and I continue to talk and prepare. We may come to find it just isn't the time yet or even wanted by BOTH.

And I'm not flying a new mission without him in my crew 100%. Screw the mission! Because I'm not out to screw him over. I love him and I love loving him. Because he loves ME. All of me, and he loves loving me.

Who screws something like that over by not thinking and preparing well? It is hard enough to find the first time!

I know they could be out there, but Jedi Players WHO ALSO can get me and love all the weird that is me AND wants the same playground I do? That's another thing than just finding a Jedi Player!


It's fine to be young. Just be slow and cautious. You don't need to attract predators who want to "train" you or like that you are "almost jail bait" -- most poly people are truly kind and ethical but... the nature of the thing attracts some people who are less than ethical. So be cautious ok?

If you really seek deep emotional intimacy with partner(s) -- spend time sorting YOU out first. We all come with baggage. Always. What kind of baggage do you carry? What can be let go of or does not serve you well? How much baggage in your partner(s) can you realistically deal with? Sometimes it is easier just NOT to agree to go there if the load is all kinds of crazy.

You don't get to choose how you feel. It just happens. You can fall in love with whoever. You DO get to choose how you behave in response -- REACT or ACT WITH INTENT. I may fall in love with a serial killer but you know what? I'm gonna choose to stay the hell away from them! (I exaggerate on purpose, but you know what I mean. Some people are better loved from a far distance because they can hurt you in your buckets badly, and then YOU are not being loved. Relationship is two ways, not one sided.)

How do you tend your OWN buckets of mind, body, heart, and soul? Are you as fit as you could be in all your health buckets? Can you offer a new partner the best you that you can be? If you are hurting from your recent break up in mental health, emotional health, physical health, or spiritual health -- take time to heal first and plump those back up. Do not Open Up to a new love just yet.

When you are good in all your buckets? THEN Open Up to the possibility of a New Love or Loves.

Organize your thoughts and feelings so you know what you want and are seeking next. Reality test that to make sure your expectations, wants, needs, and limits are realistic and not crazy ideals. Keep it real.

Think about how to be in "right relationship" to your Future Loves, and how you want them to behave toward you so that they are in right relationship to YOU. You deserve love, respect, dignity because you have worth and value. My own is pretty darn clear -- and I guess I'm getting a reputation around here (lovefromgirl - ha! ":) )for yammering on and on about wanting to be with Jedi Players only and not wanting to deal in some Muppet show. :D

I have a kid who is into both and I love both. But in real life I really do not want crazymaking drama from people who can't behave honestly, ethically, and like.... grown ups! So far all my own relationships have been sweetness and light. I think because I've been super picky. Be picky!

When you Open to more than one, you help to tend your OWN buckets, your partner(s) buckets. That's 4, 8, 12, 16... a LOT of buckets and a lot of polymath tiers. Don't take on more than you can hack -- not fair to you or your partner(s).

So learn more about poly in general and spend some time learning about yourself. That will help your dating life stay more on the Jedi path and less on the backstage Mupper Chaos freak show. Muppets are fun to watch on TV, but healthy people do not want to LIVE there in chronic chaos.

Figure out your model and figure out your strong communication skills FIRST. Read this and THINK. Her conclusion advice is excellent:

For you to be happy in open relationships of any kind, you must first know what you want and which model will be most likely to work for you. Secondly, you must be able to articulately communicate what you want to potential partners in an honest and clear way. And last, but certainly not least, it is crucial to pick partners who want the same type of relationship and are comfortable with your chosen model. Excellent interpersonal and communications skills go a long way towards achieving these goals, along with a willingness to negotiate to satisfy everyone's needs. Following these steps will maximize your chances of developing satisfying and successful open relationships.

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I just updated my Introduction thread to include this reply to refer back to this blog thread that talks about opening up well as a married couple.

I actually have moved on to start stuffing some of my replies into my Blog Thread.

We are still Closed, and not Opening any time soon. Neither of us wants to mix active early childhood parenting with Polyamory -- it just doesn't appeal to us, and I have yet to come across a possible exception to the rule that moves me to renegotiate with DH sooner on that boundary limit.

I am loathe to act too fast too -- with eldercare pressures on my mind and hands. That's a huge Time and Brain drain.

We are not fit enough to offer ourselves as partners to Other(s) at this Time/Place.

But we've agreed to Open in Mind and Heart to just ourselves. Discuss and negotiate just us two to start for the next year. Work on ourselves and our relationship to walk the perimeters, smell the roses, do the checks, and do an honest assessment. If we WERE to Open -- what new Playground would we be seeking? What configuration? How to best execute that mission?

So lovermine, here we are NOW. Where should we go next?
He's been walking with me and traveling 'round the Sun with me near on two decades. I value his input.

I have started the thread for us to collect bookmarks for deeper offline conversation. (DH tends to lurk and read me and then talk to me in person or over email.)

We'll see where all that ends up when we are done talking. If we decide to park it there for longer or move it forward to Opening in Body and Soul too. And actually move it over to an active dating phase.

There is a Time and a Place for Everything. Everything should be at it's proper Time and Place.

Some things are NOT in my control in Life. But some things ARE. Like when I choose to be Open to More Love to Come In and when I choose to be CLOSED because there is too much going on already.

I always am amused at people who think they are not "really poly" or it doesn't "really count" as polyamorous practice unless they are actively dating or actively in a multi-partner configuration. I think polyamorous people are polyamourous 24/7! When are we NOT tending to the matters of the Heart? Our own Heart to start, and then that of our chosen Loves?

My merely being Open To More Love doesn't mean it will come at all, or come in the shape I want it to come. DH himself arrived in my life much too soon -- and I had to grapple with that then. A possible VERY Right One, but not quite at the right TIME!

I never bought the idea that there is only ONE Right One for me out there. I think there are MANY Right Ones out there -- but they don't always come at the Right Time or at the Right Place.

That is on me to discern for myself. Am I at a Right Time? Am I at a Right Place? Is he? Are WE?

So I think a lot. I know I sometimes think too much. It's constant Conversations Already in Progress inside my own head.

I like to yammer. :D


I was amused because this blog thread points to my intro today and then I made my intro point to this thread.

And it's just one simple recursive loop around within my internal circuitry of Head Thinks.

I cross reference and cross index a lot. I tend to think out in webs. Not just linear, or multilinear. But knitted webs tapping many internal buckets of Logic, Reason, Emotion, Intuition, Experience, and more for possible useful reference points on the pass before I arrive at the final Conclusion. Whatever that is. A new partner would have to get used to that style of processing.

"There IS a method to my madness" is something I sometimes say to DH.

"I know I'm intense" is another.

So's "I'm trying to stay in good temper here, dude! Work with me!" which is a volume knob improvement from yesteryear's high volume of "Goddammit! I am fucking PISSED OFF! You make me NUTS!" I'm owning my own bag like an older grown up person, not a young grown up person. When I used to say he made me nuts, I know he can't MAKE me feel anything. But the SITUATION is making me nuts, and he is part of the situation making, so play ball! And play RIGHT!

He sometimes shakes his head at me and goes "You'd think after living with you so long I'd just LISTEN to you the first time and trust that you know what you know and you aren't really as crazy as you sound. Because that totally worked!"

Once we went to buy outdoor chairs at Home Depot and when we got to my car I asked if I could help him get it off the dolly.

DH: I got it.

Me: Ok. (And having learned that we end up quibbling if I press too much, I just let him OWN the Process of Putting In the Chairs. I'd done my job. I checked in. I offered. I was now doing my job again -- to let him have space to OWN IT.)

And I stood in the parking lot watching him fight with my car and our new chairs for a good long while. 5 min? 10 min?

I watched him go through cranky, fussy, upset, then wry amusement and then finally articulation.

DH: Is this one of those times where I should just listen to my Wife in the first place?

Me: Yes. Would you like me to give you advice now?

DH: (laughing) Yes. I would like to hear advice now.

Me: Stop trying to shove it in like that over and over via the trunk. It clearly will not work. You have already tested and re-tested it completely. Yay. So come in from the side via the back passenger door. It will be snug but should just fit.

DH: (executes, chairs slip in snug, but with just enough room to clear. He is pleased and amused and owns his own silly.) I should just learn to listen to my Wife more often when she offers me advice.

Me: Yes, your Wife agrees. I may not know everything, but I do know the shape of my own car pretty well.

I also know the shape of my own Mind damn well.

DH always tells me he loves that, and it's one of the many reasons he loves me. It may seem like spaghetti code all crazy. But it's more like a fractal layers. I know which one I'm on. I may not initially explain well which one I'm currently on, and may not notice if you are lost right away but that doesn't mean *I* am totally lost. I know where I am in my head. I just don't get it out of my mouth and into your ears well all the time.

I could be lost. I sometimes do get lost and brain fart. Most of the time I'm not lost though. I worry sometimes though as I age and deal in this chronic patient health biz of mine -- I'm gonna start to slip one day in Mind more permanently than the occasional brain fart. Sigh.

But that is speaking to future, and tonight? I'm in a happy layer so yay. :)

Happiness and off to find my honey bunny to play snuggles at bedtime. Whee!

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I am sad today. The same friend is struggling so. The ones I think Opened without enough framework. That is one kind of problem. To do it from a rocky relationship just augments the trouble. Because that kind of thing never turns out well. Opening from a non-stable place just magnifies all the cracks that were there all along. It's not going to fix them. Worse they had some serious problems!

Friend grieves. Things got weird, ugly, abusive.

Communities like swinging, polamory, BDSM, etc -- most of the time you can meet the nicest people. But the nature of the thing is such that it will also attract some really messed up people, some predator people. Gives ethical swing, poly, and kink folks a bad name and a bad taste in their mouth to come across people flying under false colors.

Abuse is real. And choosing silence does not help the victim. It only helps the abuser.

As a friend? I do not judge. I just listen. I encourage turning to local aid where needed -- lawyer/therapists for the mind bucket, doctor/shelters for the body bucket, counselor/friends/outlets for the heart bucket, minister for the spirit bucket perhaps. When it is too hard to think as a Whole Person it is sometimes easier to think about tending each bucket in turn -- mental health, physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health. To help you keep putting one foot after the other so you can keep moving it forward even in baby steps.

But my own heart is heavy and grieves that this has to happen at all.

And in Opening Up conversations of my own it begs the question...

"Hey, DH. What if one of our Spice is a nutjob? What if we're too NRE blind to see it right away? How would you help me to protect me?"​

But we are both much too drained with the drama around here to go there on that one tonight.

Perhaps tomorrow will be better -- especially for our hurting friend.

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(The excerpt is from this thread talking about how to tell someone you are interested in a friends-with-benefits type relationship with them.)

mya said:
I'm not sure how I'd react if someone said to me something like GalaGirl suggested. I guess in these things I like to see if the attraction/connection is there and if it is, then just go with it. That kind of direct suggestion feels a bit too...rational for me. Like a business proposal.

Amused. :)

Everyone has a different style even at different points in life.

My style as a married IS going to be business like because I want it CLEAR that there's no cheating going on here, and I'm not interested in a fling thing rocking my marriage with crazy drama people. I'm not a single -- I'm a married. And the potential honey has to meet or call DH at least. (I have agreements to meet with DH.)

DH himself actually was my FWB before he was a BF or husband. I was a single then. With him? We hung out a lot as friends and one day I just grinned at him and said, "Hey. I need to take a shower. Wanna join me?"

Whether full on flirty or more paced out business like I've just always been very direct and clear about what I want and what I'm after.

They don't have to say "YES." But if they do they know exactly what they are saying "YES" to. LOL. :D


I'm having a good day and feeling optimistic about various people in my life.

The abused friend is slowly better. Friend has been hurting but is taking the baby steps forward that need taking and is being very up front about things when talking to me. I appreciate that directness. I told friend to just tell me to shut up if I overwhelm or cross a line -- I don't want to be pushy but this whole drama triggers me. Abuse is horrible. Friend has had to tell me to hold up a few times and I've respected the limit immediately. Because it is NOT about me there. It's the Friend's deal. Friend says "Alright. I am FULL!" and I cut it the fuck out. My job here is not to make the choices for her. It's to remind her resources are out there and where to find them. She will figure out her path. I told her that's what I wanted my job to be and only that -- and she's holding me accountable. I told her MY limits -- and hold her accountable. We are doing ok and in relationship to each other then -- even if her other situation is just soap opera city.

Another friend apologized to me last night for being all caught up in her own stuff and failing to respect my limit and adding to my stresses. I told her it wasn't a big deal but I appreciated her owning it, I forgave her, and it was enough to own it. No further amends needed making. We've been friends for decades. I know Life happens, and anyone can have a bad day. I'm not friends with her this long because she's Ms. Perfect. I remain friends because she eventually owns it when she's being all "YAAARGGGGHHH!" and she realizes she's overstepped. So we're doing ok and in right relationship to each other. I sympathize with her SAHM blues and her tired/cranky making her short tempered. She sympathizes with my plight here with the abused friend making me stressy with worry for my other friend.

THIRD friend is having difficulty in their Open rship. Who doesn't have challenges? That's why this whole support board exists! Why there are counselors! But that friend is under a heavy heart burden right now, and coping. I offered an ear even though this friend isn't as tight as the previous people. The friend is getting close to the place of articulating wants, needs, limits to their partner and I hope they both rise to meet this latest challenge and they manage somehow to pull through decently. DH and I like them -- however it plays out we hope for the best for them. They too -- trying to own it and keep it real. This is why we are friends with them.

Things in Life just happen. Life is NOT static. What's so hard about just reporting internal weather then as you catch the waves Life hurls at ya?

  • State what it is you feel, what it is you want, what it is you need, and the limits.

Then people know where you are at, where you are coming from, and have a clue as to how to be with you in relationship!

I went to lunch with a fourth friend today and we got to talking about non-violent communication and good skills that can be learned there. DH had a date with our kid -- we'd had time as a couple, as a couple out with friends, today was to part ways and be individuals. Hence my lunch date with a pal and him taking kid off to do their dynamic duo thing. That's important -- tending tiers in the polymath relationships.

Anyway, pal and I geeked on Communication Skills. She's all down with NVC right now and was sharing some of that with me. I can see why it turns her on. I've skimmed some of that and I could get deeper into it. Things like

I can see where it could apply in my life.

I really value direct communication. I don't want to dance around. I don't want to play games. I don't want to mind reader. I want to ask a question, get an answer, accept it at face value as a truth shared, and be able to proceed from there. I dislike people lying to me. How can anyone proceed with correct information received from liars? Argh.

Even if a person is confused, I rather hear "I feel confused" as a more accurate weather report than listening to "balaaaaaaarrrrgh!" and crazy acting out stuff or playing the Avoidy game or making shit up and lying.

I really would love to hear more positives. I pointed out to DH the other day -- counseling, support boards -- that's a skewed reality.

The polyships that are running well? They are running well and mind their own business.

I think we do well.

I told him last night point blank that while I could be open to other configurations? My favorite is me as the MFM hinge. Duh. We had it before. There's a reason!

He laughed and told me I just love being the center of attention.

I laughed and said "YES!!!!!"

Then he told me loves that I'm point blank honest about it.

And I said "YES! I have selfish-osity preferences! Wheeee!"

And he said that I'm not being selfish about stating what it is that turns me on the most.

And I said I knew that. And it is true.

But then I felt all flirty and silly and wanted to shout around the room "Me! Me! Make it be all mememememememe!"

And he laughed at me and there is devolved into silliness and sex and the game of "sternly taking me to task for being sooooo bad."

Bliss. :D

We're not done talking and negotiating. But you know what? If I end up a hinge again one day it is going to be because I just SPIT IT OUT to him directly. And we worked on terms and agreements.

I just don't want it if I can't have it the way I want to have -- in a Good Share.

And he wants that too. He says the ONLY share is in a Good Share.

So no. I'm not a single any more.

I'm a married. I proceed with caution, and much slower speed. Because I'm responsible for not just my own but his buckets of well being -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health.

And if it comes to that dating place again? Hell yah, I'm going to be VERY direct and to the point about what it is I want/seek.

How else can one hope to actually GET IT?!

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BOOKMARK: The language of "shoulds"

More inner ramblings. I had a good day. Lots to think on. Doing my rounds of my village.

Today ANOTHER friend vented at me all kinds of things that are bugging him. He says he feels like he leans too much on me.

I told him that's on me to state and report. My limit.
  • I have the responsibility to know and state my wants, needs, and limits.

He could just hold his own baggage and could expect me to own my own baggage and trust that when I get too full, I will firmly say "Dude! Enough! I'm filled up here. Bookmark that for me to digest later, I've gotten to capacity here already. Limit reached! Talk next week!"

I had to remind him not to cross that boundary -- denying me my right to own my own responsibilities in relationship. Do not assume or presume. Let ME hold my own bag. If I did not want to be in conversation with you and listen to your hooha, why would I be talking to you? I can walk away. I want to own my end of the deal. Let me own it!

Part of his prob is he takes on all kinds of pre-thoughts, what-ifs, and "shoulds" and ends up clouding his own mental channel with needless static. He's trying to learn not to do that. As a friend, I try to give him the air time to practice.

The business of being in right relationship to people -- whether it is family, friends or romances... this is part of the whole Human Condition. Ditto the business of being in community.

Sharpen skills on friends, dude. They are safe, they are known quantities, they will forgive you your trespasses, and hand you your ass firmly and compassionately when you need to GROW.

So will ORE partners. But you won't get to the ORE place in romantic partners if you plod on like a dunderhead thru the dating phase and once the crack of NRE fades a year or so in... then what? Do you have good communication skills with this new romance person or what? can't say boo about their end of the sticks -- but have YOUR sticks been sharpened and held up?

That you do have control over.

Avoiding interaction because it is "too hard" -- lame. How can it ever get easier and you grow the skills if you do not engage and try to stretch? (My depressed SAHM friend is struggling there. It's ok to take a break when full. To check out permanently? What's that all about? You have become the dead and to stupid to fall over?

We all need time out breaks in the game of Life, but sooner or later you have to get back in it or grow stale.

Get thee to medical help if you have capital "D" Depression and sort yourself out. Otherwise - play ball and stop bitching you have no skills. PRACTICE so you can grow them then! Get some skills! You can read a book and take a class but sooner or later -- you must actually be amongst people to exercise it!

It is only in the Human Simmer brushing up against Other People (and their random unpredictable) that we get hammered and shaped into our best selves. You get to learn where you CAN handle relating situations. You get to learn where you still need work in your relating.

Why am I not a lurker on this board any more? So I can be hammered and sharpen my polyamory skills.

I'm giving back as best I can to help create positive community. What's my take away? Having to deal with easy people, harder people, really challenging people -- via "safe" posts.

Because if/when I get to the dating place again I'll be dealing in same in real time when I do not have the luxury of internet stranger distance. Sifting through the dating pool to seek/find my next honey will be all up in my face. And in my DH's face.

And I'll be dealing with him dating and all that ensues. I'll have to relate to metas, won't I? Why ostrich and avoid?

It's fine to want only Jedi players and not Muppet Show nutjobs.

But Jedi players still ENGAGE -- they don't stand around doing thing. And it is not a duel to the death. But what is poly but edge play of the heart? "Play well -- RELATE!" (Rather than "En garde!" )

Other people are like mirrors -- they hold you up to Yourself so you can see your strengths and weaknesses without the subjective POV clouding your vision.

I told my friend M. this weekend -- some people are gonna like me. Some are not. Some won't care one way or the other. SO WHAT? Aren't there enough people in the world so everyone can find their place to be in? Their best people to be with?

It's not like I can keep up with all of them or want to be tight with all of them. I'm content to stick the ones I choose that feed me in a positive way -- esp those that push me to grow, call me on my own shit, hold me accountable.

Even with the drama of my abused friend. It's a challenge to be in relationship with her right now. Because I get torqued off at the situation and I have to keep reminding myself it is NOT MY FIGHT TO FIGHT.

I have to be her friend while guarding my limit that I want NOTHING to do with her partner. I tell her this. That's her deal to solve, but I wasn't friends with partner before and I'm not gonna be now. I disapprove of his inappropriate behavior and whether it stems from a place of evil or a place of mental health problems and him needing medication --I do not know and I do not care.

To keep ME emotionally safe I need to stay the fuck away from trigger people like him. That is my HARD LIMIT.

But I can be her friend -- she does not trigger me, and she's basically a decent person. I can't stand her situation and would not wish it on anyone, but her current situation is not her. So I do my best, ask her for her buckets and report my own.

I report when my limits are in sight -- "I'm 5 min from blow, I'm full now!" And we back off and talk about something else to take brains off hook. I keep pointing to professionals to aid her but I get the value to also steam valving to friends.

And she gets some support in a taxing time of her life. And me? What's my take away? I get to support her and I get to learn to hold my own leash well so when it is MY turn for a taxing time I can police my own self well.

The SAHM friend asked me why I don't just dump her. That she's too much trouble and she worries about my well being. Well, should I dump the depressed friend too then? Because SHE is too much trouble? None of them have done anything to break the rules of being in right relationship with me. I'm supposed to dump friends because we're in stormy weather?

The Human Simmer is the struggle together. What are friends and romantic partners if not people to struggle with together? Who needs fair weather floozies?

My widowed friend I checked in on recently. She reports she's getting close to the "unload on friends now" place -- she's had to spend Hang Time at the Forge grieving with therapists first. Who expects to be widowed so young? Nobody. Life just IS. Should I dump her in her time of need because it is too much trouble?

I know my Hard Limits. I'll guard them.

My dad is weak with emotion skills and he always goes on about "people bringing problems" but even he seeks out the relatives and friends after secluding himself for a while. It isn't so much that people bring problems. It is that Humans are social critters, and no man is an island. Some are extroverts and need a LOT of contact in the Human Simmer pool. Some are introverts and need less. But we all need the dip.

The Human Simmer.

Both wonderful and horrible. We do not have to take on more than we can chew. We have the right to Choose who we want to be in Relationship with and what format that relationship is -- friend, lover, business, something else. We can Choose when to end that relationship. All relationships come with a clock attached. We don't have to tend all gardens forever. You do get dirty sometimes though. It is what it is.

Polyworld is a part of that Human Simmer I choose to be in and live in. It is both horrible and wonderful.

Life moves fast. Keep up, play ball, love your people Hard! Love them intensely, and love them in hard times too. Guard your own limits.

Play well like Jedi, not Muppet show.

En garde -- RELATE! :D


Last night DH announces he wants to bookmark a conversation about polyconfigurations from his POV.

I asked him to put that into context.

He said his personality is such that he wants to break it down into components to examine and then build them back up.

I said ok, thanks for elaborating. And he does -- he likes to tinker and break things into pieces and them put them back together.

Me? I do same but in a different way. I learn visually so I like to write things down or draw pictures first. He learns via ears, so he has to think out loud.

He knows which ones are my favs -- V's and N's. I wouldn't mind a quad with the right people.

But even if I don't think I have an appeal, I still write them down on index cards. All the Open Models I'd be willing to discuss and where my limits are. I know I want a polyfi vibe because I have a low poly saturation point. Whatever the shape it comes in.

I've been breaking it down for myself on index cards and noting what I'd get from it, what I'd have to put in. What I think he'd get from it and what I think he'd have to put in.

He has to run his own pass thru them and do it from his direction. What he would get from it, and what he would put in Then his thoughts on what I get/put in. It's the reality check/calibration thing so we're both talking about the same thing and on the same page.

Then tonight we visited it a bit today. It's still a much bigger conversation to have but I told him it's been teasing my in my head all day because I love how he talks and thinks at me. So pllllleeeease give me a "for instance" to hold me til we make time for a larger conversation.

He started talking to me about lines and dotted lines and nodal points and stable and unstable in that geek science math way he does. He likes atom bonds as metaphor. Then he articulates his emotions in big 50 cent words that also turns me on as he starts laying out his limits to me. Which I want to hear and know about.

It is fun and productive certainly to be in conversation about Open Up well in future. But really? Gah. Just hanging out with him shooting the shit in the way we do turns me on because HE turns me on. I love the quality time/couple time/emotional intimacy. I ended up hugging him and kissing his ear.

"Gah! See! Work on cloning yourself, dude. Then I could have TWO of you and I'd be set on the polyhusbands along with the incest fantasy to boot! Woo!"

He laughed.

Then I grinned at him. "All kidding aside -- seriously. I love your hot ethics. And I love you. Now let's get ready for bed. Long day tomorrow."

We're so nerdy. Bliss. :)

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Sometimes when I talk to other people trying to help them, it is like I'm talking to myself and DH.

We're in the talking/sorting space.

This is good to remember while in that space as we figure out our own lines of COMFORTABLE uncomfortable and "enoughness."

(Meta: I really do think in recursive loops!)


(Excerpt from this thread.)
foundwanting said:
GalaGirl: You have it all in order. The choice has been given to me, which is why I made my way here to find assistance. The weight of that choice was starting to close in around me. Thank you sincerely for breaking things down for me in such a digestible way that I can more clearly see the facts of this thing. Especially the reminder that choices can be made between two stinky options rather than good and bad.

Glad to be of service.

BREATHE. If you are currently emotionally flooded, do not decide anything major just yet.

But perhaps make a small decision for yourself such as

  • I am emotionally flooded. I have decided to do some self care to cope with emotional flooding first.
  • I will hold myself accountable and tell my polypeeps that...
    • I am flooded, and doing self care: I already posted online about my problem. I will be doing ___ next to help me get a handle on it.
    • I will check back in on ____(date)___. Then I'm not tempted to be all avoidy/shirky on this issue and they know I'm not shirky/avoidy. I'm processing quietly.
    • In this time, what I need most from my polypeeps is (time? space? don't bug me while I'm thinking? Cookies? Something else?)

Then go read things about emotional flooding and how to cope. Here's 2 places to start:

You can't make a good sound decision when overwhelmed.

foundwanting said:
I'm not completely sure which way I'm leaning. I go back and forth. The old me would cut losses and try to be friends, but this past year has been an overwhelming opportunity for change in my life outside of this relationship, so I'm trying to figure out if these pains are, perhaps, growing pains. I'm willing to buck my trend for the sake of my own evolution as well as this girl being so incredibly dear to me.

Alright. You sound like you want to give the harmonious "V" thing a go then. And lose the belief rather than the woman.

So after you do your self care, if this is still the choice you are simmering on the back burner? And you are going to really invest in it and put it on the front burner?

Spend some time with yourself. You can google "change belief" and get all kinds of things for how to change core beliefs in a step by step fashion if you are not used to doing that kind of inner work.

You also spend time with yourself to KNOW you wants, needs, and limits from this harmonious "V" thing. Get them in order you can then STATE them to your polypeeps and enter the conversation of discernments so everyone steps up to the negotiation table with their cards and you work out what is best for all. You prob have to set an appt date so they have time to gather their thoughts in order. Figure something out that takes ALL of your wants, needs, and limits into reasonable consideration that is fair. The happy medium you can all be good with.

What do you want out of it? What do you need to feel safe in it? (Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual health buckets)

For instance -- do you need your open relationship model to come in a polyfidelitious shape -- where it is just the three of you and only the three of you? Is that a soft limit (for a time of X months/years and then open to change to deal with the others dating) or a hard limit (No WAY, Jose! NEVER more than the 3!)

Do you all communicate well in all your polymath tiers of this configuration? Deal with conflict resolution ok? How flexible are you as people grow, age, etc? Do you check in often enough with "state of the union" talks to get the temperature checks on how all feel/are doing along the way?

Have you done enough reading and learning on polyamory and common situations like jealousy? Division of labor/money/time?

You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to know all the answers before going there. You just have to know enough to feel ok enough / safe enough flying in a polyship and feel like when Life Happens, you and your polyship can roll with it with some confidence/grace and will help each other through it. Some of that comes with preparation, some of that comes with experience over time. Can't rush the experience over time, but CAN do some prep.

Where are your "enoughness" lines at? Some places will feel comfortable. Some won't. Do you have a place that is COMFORTABLY uncomfortable?

Figure it out.

Hang in there! Personal growth is challenging.


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I have stress/anxiety/panic. Pretty well managed sans meds, I've learned a lot over the years. But there's still leftover Xanax in the cabinet if I ever get blindsided.

I do not like stress. It triggers anxiety/panic attacks for me.

DH has lived with me this long -- he's seen it all. I'm proud of us for navigating all that. (Remember the endoscopy for my maybe ulcer and seeing the nurse's brains up her nose?)

I take internal temps daily when I wake up. Not literal temperature -- emotional temp. So I'm sitting here checking my internal vibe and came to find thus.

A snapshot peek at internal conversation across my Brain Board of Trustees.


I am good. Where earlier in the summer I was feeling all like this...

"Ugh. Not happy! Ugh! Sad! Ugh! Must endure the Ugh!

I am safe, I am not crazy, DH is right here, we agreed to this -- to be Open in Mind and Heart for a year of discussion.​

Ugh! I am mourning loss! Ugh!

I have not lost anything. I am right here. He is right here. I am letting go of one thing with him so I can take hold of another with him.

Ugh. I feel like crying. Ugh. I feel like vomit. Ugh. I will endure. Ugh.

I am not crazy.​


I am enduring internal weather.​


It will pass​

Ugh. I feel weepy. Ugh. I still want to throw up. Ugh.

He's right here and I will not punish him or act out at him over what is essentially internal static. This we both chose to do. And we're not doing anything but talking seriously.

He's not doing anything to hurt me or doing anything wrong.​


I am not doing anything to hurt me or doing anything wrong.​


I will endure.​


Stop ughing and go do something constructive already! Clean something!"​

------- END SNAPSHOT ------------

There's always something to clean. I always clean to defray anxiety. I also clean for fun, and I also ignore cleaning. But I always clean to defray anxiety. DH notes with humor that I have not rearranged the furniture in this house.

It's been a happy home. The only time furniture moves is because we bought a new furniture or an old one went away. I do not do it as displacement activity here to try to put a new order in my external world to try to create order in my internal world. Or at least create an outworld that doesn't add to the UGH of my internal world. In our first two apartments I was changing the furniture around all the freakin' time. Here? Our third home? Hardly ever.

If I am stable within I can tolerate a whole lot more mess without. If I am stable within, I don't feel the need to rearrange my without.


I'm sitting here quietly reviewing FACTS rather than PERCEPTIONS.

-------- ENTER NEW SNAPSHOT PEEKIES ----------

"Hrm. Strange. Lack of UGH factor. Where did that go? How are we?

(silence. No ugh)​

I am fine. DH is fine. Actually we've both been enjoying more intimacy -- (heart) emotional intimacy in deep conversation and (body) physical intimacy in lots of sex. There's (mind) intimacy too in the conversations when they take academic turns rather than personal relationship ones. (Poly in general vs poly for ourselves).

(silence. No ugh)​

Extending outwards -- it's led to me cleaning up some of my other relationships and getting a bit more formal there too. It's all been positives there.

(silence. No ugh)​

Extending outwards -- it's led me to put other areas of my life in orders -- house, financial planning, I have estate paperwork to look at, volunteering. Changes for me in hobbies (ex: belly dance class exploring) and maybe school/career now that kid is aging and I can start changing the shape of the SAHM thing more easily.

(silence. No ugh)​

So... was it worth the UGH factor?


And did it kill me?


Did we love it?


Did we endure?


Did it reaffirm I'm not crazy?


Did it reaffirm that I know how to hold my own bag?


Can I hold my own bag next time then? Even if the circumstances/situation is another thing?


And whoo! There it is! The stomach UGH/wanna vomit/anxious feeling thing!

"Ugh. I feel ugh. Why do I feel ugh?​

Because I put a stick in that bucket and stirred it up looking for ugh where there was no ugh. It was all clear just a minute ago. Thinking about anxiety makes me anxious.

Ugh. Ugh! Hate anxious!​

I know this. I will firmly put that stick DOWN and stop stirring up UGH. STOP wittering. "

------- END SNAPSHOT ------------

And I sat here. Breathing. Deeply. Mentally backing away from that corner. Relaxing my muscles and not holding my body in tension.

I am not under threat.

And if I'm stirring up my own anxiety bucket, it's on me to fucking stop stirring it.

And in the quiet? When I'm dealing with only one channel of emotion -- anxiety? I can put the fucker down.

I can feel whatever it is but I can choose to act with intention and not feed it further.

Actually, I can manage several emotions at once in crisis -- anger, anxiety, sadness, etc. I grow cool, efficient, and single minded. Slash and burn, accomplish missions, worry about emoting later.

Done it before, I know I can do it again. It's just that I don't WANT to be doing high level triage all the time in polyship. Polyship is more about the wonderful for me than the horrible.

So keeping horrible to minimal slosh would be nice. I don't want to Open just to function at high triage all the time. Just because I can do, and do well, does not mean doing that is FUN.

And doing keeping horrible down to minimal slosh requires knowing my own damn self quite well -- no Muppet players, no stressy stupid that can be put down, clear communication, clear emotional (and stress!) management, clear limits and consequences.

And now from within my perverse internal Board of Trustees, the one raising a hand to speak is the committee member named "Annoying Wry Humor at Inappropriate Times."

-------Enter Snapshot --------

Yes? You wish to speak?

Yah. So if/when you Open and if/when you date and if/when you have committed to some new Honey.... are ya gonna be slamming the doors and stomping off in your car like you used to a billion years ago when you and DH were trying to figure out conflict resolution skills and how to fight fair in a newbie relationship?

I hate you. Smartass.


Yeah, probably. Sigh. We'll see. I suppose DH can give them the leg up and tell them really it's all cool until I start rearranging the furniture. That distracting me with humor helps. Being good at just Hard Truthing it to me helps. Calling me on my shit helps. Owning your own shit helps.

Because then I'm not punching my hand thru drywall. THAT'S not somewhere I want to visit again in any relationship.

Yah, but DH would help you patch it again if Other pisses you off that bad. It wouldn't be new experience there. HAHAHA.

Yah, he's a sweetie. Shut up, smartass. Let's just not HAVE to break out drywall repair gear to begin with. I don't need new endoscopy for new maybe ulcers.

-------End Snapshot --------


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Thank you!

GG - thank you for this blog and for your contributions to this forum.

The day before yesterday my anxiety flared - heart pounding, pulse racing. Why? (My co-workers got quite concerned - which lead to some funny conversations...)

Husband good?

Boyfriend good?

Where panic? Nowhere but head. BUT amorphous - no target, overthinking. (Need to touch my boys - which bucket is this? They are not "real" unless I can see them/touch them - is a common meme in our relationship(s)).

Jane("Thinking-on Ugh!")Q