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copperhead

New member
Amazing. This whole morning I've been thinking about some frineds and if their polything is going the way it should or if I'm feeling bad about the situation because I'm projecting something on it. And then I read your entry ON GENERAL "HAPPY" and "PITFALLS" and the pitfall 8 says exactly what I've been feeling. Not enough mindfulness. Thank you for gathering all this information in one place :)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
LOVE THEORY: EMPTY LOVE AND INTIMACY CIRCLES

This snippet is from this thread:

How about a visual aid all can look at?

http://www.intrapsychictaxonomy.org/sternberg.htm

And some expanded definitions of those things?
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/psy457_lamyiu/sternberg_s_theory_of_love

Then y'all can just read and point on the circles to determine the (X, Y, but not Z) for each person at this point in time and what they are ok with it becoming in future for each mini-couple within the larger three people thing. See what lines up and what does not in terms of love share and sex share.

I've shared that visual aid with other people before in real life who struggle to name a relationship they have no word for. I hadn't looked at it in a while, but when I did I had to come to some terms myself.

That it is "empty love" right now with Leaf. I don't really respect much about Leaf's way of going right now. And I know from my previous break ups that it is hard for me to feel love for someone I do not respect. At best? Empty Love for a while. But my experience of that's like living on the camel's hump -- previously stored love, goodwill, respect. It will eventually pitter out if nothing new is being generated to refill or replenish.

Leaf contacted me after months of silence. I was actually doing better without Leaf in my life. Calmer, moved on. Less drained and anxious. Weight lifted from shoulders.

If I start with myself and make rings going outwards in terms of intimacy circles?

  • I am the bullseye. Nobody can know me better than me -- I'm in here. All the time. I cannot escape my feelings or my thoughts. I get them unfiltered, 24/7. I cannot go be somewhere else.
  • Next person out is DH. Using those visual aids? He shares mind intimacy, body intimacy, spirit intimacy. The norm is I see him daily. So daily we shower together and he scrubs my back. So daily I set out his pills in the morning.
  • Next persons out would be offspring and close friends. I don't share body intimacy like sex or showers with any of them. But I do share close thoughts, they've seen me in pajamas. Leaf used to live in this ring of intimacy. People I might talk to daily or weekly. Up to date on my comings and goings and meaningful events of my life and they occur. Major and minor.
  • Next persons out are extended relatives, more casual friends, people I might see weekly or once a month. Not as up to date but major highlights.
  • Next persons out are the annuals -- holiday card people. Think nice thoughts about them and wish them well, but not super tight. Leaf is here now for me.
  • I could keep making rings further and further out from me all the way to "total strangers" circle.

I just didn't want to deal in Leaf drama any more. I hit my maximum on destructive interference.

  • He doesn't want to change his behaviors.
  • I don't want to deal in the results of those behaviors in my daily/weekly living.

Solution for us to be in right relationship? Distance. Moved him out some intimacy circles and solved my problem. If he wants to be like this, I cannot have him this close. I am ok with him on the outer annual contact holiday card ring frequency.

I asked what changed when he contacted me. He started stonewalling me. I can only conclude that he has not gotten help, does not intend to. Nothing changed.

Why on earth I would want to go "Yay! Sign me up for more of "the same old shit, different day" so I can enjoy large helpings of stress and drama again?" I get that Leaf misses me. I also miss Leaf. He does not get that I do not miss being around him behaving like that.

He's only thinking "I want access to Galagirl again." I am thinking "Access to Galagirl in a way that is HEALTHY for Galagirl or UNHEALTHY for Galagirl?" Because while more Galagirl in his life might be awesome for Leaf? I do not see at this time how more of unchanged Leaf is awesome for Galagirl!

I'm not going to out Leaf's problems, but I see it being the same with many issues -- abuse, alcohol, chronic lying, drugs, gambling, illnesses -- things that happen in Life. Things that can erode good relationships if left to go haywire levels.

I was feeling better. Then when I wrote that reply I found myself viewing the visual. Next I found myself trying to reconcile "companionate love" with Leaf against present day concerns and I came to realize "Nope. Give it up. Call it what it is... Used to be Companionate but now it is Empty Love."

There's still some commitment to the friendship there. That much I know. Of what duration? That I do not know yet. I feel myself growing cooler. I cannot tell yet if it is cooler like "time out" or like "it's over." Time will show. On the camel hump.

Leaf isn't a healthy person to be around right now. Leaf can be toxic. I don't enjoy toxic in a friendship, and I certainly would not enjoy it in a lover. Moving him a few circles closer IN would not be good for me. Hence moving him OUT. Reduce frequency and exposure and thus reduce stress.

"Empty Love" is not a permanent parking spot for me. It is a caution zone. I know me. It goes one of two ways for me: step it up on effort and I move Leaf back in some closer rings. Or I keep leading my life and do not do anything about investing much energy into the relationship. I really do grow cool. If Leaf does nothing either? Because other people make happier, constructive ripples in my life Leaf could wash further out on the ripple effect. I'm not paddling towards him any. He's not paddling towards me any. Life happens and the process of detachment sets in.

Reminds me of Ripple Tanks. And this video seemed to sum up how I feel about that --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8a61G8Hvi0

"There are places where the waves add up -- constructive interference.
Off to one side you see you get destructive interference. The waves are out of phase there, they cancel out. Destructive interference. "

"We can change the frequency - which in turn means changing the wave length."

"If we increase the frequency, the lines of interference lines get closer together. We can't go too high, because we burn the motor out."

I was burning out on Leaf and the frequent destructive interruptions to my life.
I am still burnt out. I want space. I don't know if that's repairable or what at this point in time.

All I can say now is that it's parked in "Empty Love" for me and not so much "Companionate Love." That is where I am at today. If asked where I would like it to go in future? It's a big ol' meh.

I am ok with it going to non-love. Be a memory. No longer active.

I am ok with it (with effort from Leaf) returning to (Liking) but I want to see it to believe it.

I'm not sure on Companionate Love any more. (Liking + commitment.)

Ms Logic: I could just spend it elsewhere that gives me more return on the investment.

Ms Emotion: See? I'm cooling off. Sigh. And it isn't that I feel bad about it. I feel bad I don't feel worse about it. I feel indifferent.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
ON FAIR AND EQUAL

Excerpt I wanted to save from this thread.

I feel this whole ideal of "equality" is just another way of making poly "shinier" than anything else. It's the wrong word and it gives a wrong impression!

I think people sometimes trip up on the words "fair" and "equal." Every time this comes up, I think of this picture:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/50/90/7f/50907fae894d4b2f548c6fe3e6ccc62e.jpg

The people in that 2nd picture are treated fairly -- they all can see the ball game. They are not treated equally -- not all of them needs a box to stand on to see over the fence.

Sometimes arrangements can be both "fair and equal" for the participants "at this time." They are ok with it and it meets their needs that way for now.

Sometimes arrangements can be "fair but not equal" for the participants "at this time." They are ok with it and it meets their needs that way for now.

Time can change a situation. It is up to the participants to sort all that out as they go along over time. I would not give the key to my house to someone I just started dating, but an older established dating partner might have it already. Why? Because over time they may have earned that privilege with me. It isn't that the new person cannot earn it too... over TIME.

Time can change a situation in other ways. Maybe someone's mother died -- time management changes. Maybe someone is taking a college class this term. Things change yet again. It is up to the participants to sort all that out as they go along over time.


I may care for the happiness of my partner, but if mine is also to be equally as important and I foresee a situation like the above, I would be really freaking crazy to put my couple at risk by accepting that my partner should have an "equal" partnership to ours with another person.

it only makes sense to split equally once the new relationship has had time to mature.

If you have a natural preference for a primary-secondary model to start and change co-primary or something else later? Just say so up front to all. You are allowed to have a preference. You are allowed to have personal boundaries. You are responsible for knowing and stating you wants, needs, hard limits, soft limits so other people can know what those might be.

Before going there with these people? You could also agree on how to break up, if a break up has to happen for some unforeseen reason. Even down to everyone single again! Then everyone is entering into relationship with eyes wide open. They know the deal breakers. They know what to expect in the event of a break up.

Otherwise, could not go there with those people who do NOT agree. Keeps things simpler on you.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
ON HAVING A RELIABLE WORD

This is an excerpt from this thread.

I am sorry you struggle.

You could repeat back what you hear him say. And ask him if he means X. Get some clarification.

But in general you sound like you tried to give opportunity to talk. He does not want to. So... Could tell him if he changes his mind, you are willing if he wants to make a talking date for later. Then go to bf house as current agreements stand.

You cannot be a mind reader. And if how he communicates does not serve him well, he could learn another way to communicate his wants/needs/limits so he can be better understood by other people. You cannot do his communicating for him.

Believe him at face value:

He says he doesn't care that I am seeing my bf mebbe tonight or tomorrow night

I know you do not think that is the truth, but rather than trying to mind reader him? Could let him own it. Take it at face value and later if that was not it? Who is responsible for speaking his truth? Him.

It simply might take a few cases of "being taken at my word" and dealing within the consequences to get him to start saying what he means and mean what he says in the first place.

Could weather that out and see if he can take personal responsibility for his communication.

Galagirl

Things with Leaf and I are at impasse. He said something things. I told him I would take it at face value and left it at that.

Do I actually believe it? At this time? Nope. It is more this whole concept being revisited in my personal life --- and it is worth blocking out again to me.

It simply might take a few cases of "being taken at my word" and dealing within the consequences to get him to start saying what he means and mean what he says in the first place.​

Based on past experience, I don't actually have confidence it will happen with Leaf. But I am content to step back and let Leaf experience his natural consequences and figure his own self out.

I've had it happen before with other people who wanted me to mind reader them, read between the lines, etc. Just not up for that game. It is lazy relating, like I'm supposed to carry them? Ew. They want to avoid taking personal responsibility or avoid being held accountable to their Word? Double ew.

I'll just take it at face value. Less work for me.

And if that behavior of mine results in things they did not like or want? Tough. Can't act out at me about it. I did what I could with info given. Who gave me the info? You.

Shoo! Go act out at yourself for not having a reliable Word. Could say what you mean. And really mean what you say. Then maybe next time it goes more the way you hope when you are direct, decisive, and honest about giving clear communication about your wants and needs.

I think that's an important character trait polyshipping wise. I so dislike namby pamby. Meh.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
MORE ON POLY SKILLS AND ETHICS

Amused in the not-funny way. More lather, rinse, repeat.

Leaf pops up again. I ask up front for clarification. Not playing with you till I have some answers first. Silence again from Leaf. Then token effort effort again. Then silence again when I repeatedly hold up the boundary -- reminding there's unanswered questions still. I don't play till I have some answers. Back into silence we go.

Nothing happening here I didn't expect. It's like I'm being tested to see if the boundary will still hold. It's holding. This is easy for me. Lather, rinse, repeat. No brainer.

Emotionally? I continue move on without him. I continue to detach. I continue to grow cool. I continue to get more comfortable not putting energy into that relationship. I continue to just go about living my normal life and feeling pretty happy.

I always wonder about people who are unwilling/scared/upset at letting things go. Including relationships. Maybe it's about experiencing the feelings of loss. It isn't fun for me, and "dealing with a break up" isn't what I want to be doing like "Yay! Let's bake cookies!" But I view enforcing boundaries as a healthy, necessary thing.

So... it is what it is. He does not respect my boundaries and does not tell me he will make better effort to do so in future? Then I cannot allow myself to hang around him. He is not trustworthy for helping to keep me safe. So I will do keep me safe by keeping my distance.

Short and sweet. Easy peasy.

It important skill for anyone, but I think it is especially important for a hinge to know -- when to cut a relationship loose. Even if the other person does not want it to end or is trying to suck you back into a wonky dynamic.

Leaf has wonky ethics.

I came across this link recently:

http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/services/co...ships/meet-our-staff/Interpersonal Ethics.pdf

It is meant for their workplace, but I thought it so easily translates into poly individual and poly group ethics that I wanted to copy it over with tweaks and ponder it. In general I think there's good stuff there for HOW to be together. I often see poly people wanting to be together in polyship but not really talking about HOW to do it when things are rocky. There's no need for a map when things are peachy. It usually seems to unravel when it comes time to solve a problem, address issues, address conflict.

Leaf used to be a close friend, not a poly partner. But when viewing Leaf against this standard? It is easier to make the things Leaf WILL do green rather than color the whole damn thing red.

Leaf has slid into poor relating skills and super weak ethics. Not healthy. Not hot. Not sexy. Not fun. And not self-respecting for Leaf to float along in life this way.

INTERPERSONAL ETHICS FOR INDIVIDUALS

  • Address issue(s) right away so they do not continue to build and result in problems in other areas.
  • Issues between two people should be handled directly and privately first and not in group. (aka: sucking others into the drama-fest)
  • Trust in the process that addressing conflict can result in strengthening relationships. (And agree on conflict resolution method.)
  • Be willing to address conflict even though it is difficult.
  • Identify a mutually agreed upon time and place to meet.
  • Find a private setting that is not likely to be interrupted.
  • Offer and receive feedback from a professional/situational perspective to avoid making the conversation personal.
  • Express oneself genuinely.
  • Allow others to finish before speaking.
  • Stay on track with the issue at hand and do not sidetrack into other issues.
  • Focus on behaviors and concrete situations.
  • Avoid terms such as “always” or “never.”
  • Be respectful of others’ ideas and opinions even though we may not agree with them.
  • Be willing to be vulnerable and accept feedback about our behavior.
  • Be willing to examine “what’s me?” and “what’s you?”
  • Recognize the way we impact others even if it does not match our intent.
  • Ask directly about others’ intent rather than making assumptions.
  • Make requests rather than demands.
  • Have ideas about how to make things better or move forward rather than offering criticism and remaining stuck.
  • Be responsible and accountable for the changes you agree to make.
  • Set a time to check in to see how the agreed upon change(s) are or are not working.
  • Agree to re-negotiate a solution.
  • Speak for yourself (“I statements”) and your experience and avoid representing the perspectives of others; avoid stating that “others share my concern” as it creates paranoia and mistrust.
  • Invite a third party like a counselor to consult or facilitate if required.

INTERPERSONAL ETHICS FOR GROUPS

  • Commitment that all persons will communicate in a way so that everyone can be a part of the conversation and this is seen as a priority. (Avoids triangulation, exclusion, people not having a voice in things that affect them)
  • Let go of the way things used to be and look for solutions to make things better.
  • Take responsibility for oneself to actively care about colleagues regardless of what is interpreted as their own agendas.
  • Desire to share perspectives about other areas of practice without feeling like those in that area of practice will be resentful.
  • Notify people ahead of time if difficult issues will be discussed; time is needed to prepare thoughts. (No "bombs from the sky")
  • Engage in small group discussions that lead to larger group sharing so opportunities exist to know others on a more personal level.
  • Everyone in the room needs an equal voice no matter what role they play.
  • Focus on what we have in common rather than what is different between us
  • Avoid “us versus them” perspective
  • Regulate the flow of conversation so the same people are not the only ones talking and being heard.
  • Allow people to comment once on an issue so a few people are not monopolizing.
  • Allow time for those who take longer to process to have time to speak.
  • Recognize when people hold up their hand for a turn to talk.
    [*]Everyone has the right to remain silent if needed.
  • If a comment is made in meeting and others disagree, the disagreement needs to be stated directly to the person in the meeting or after; fear that others will talk about you behind your back makes it feel unsafe.
  • Leave the debate in the room when it is over and pick it up next time. (some problems are not solved in one sitting)
  • Express thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism.
  • Speak honestly without fear of either direct or indirect punishment.
  • Speak honestly without fear of being "told on"
  • Need to be acknowledged for our input, especially when we take risks to share honestly.
  • If we address an issue, it does not get to be brought up and re-hashed over and over again.

Leaf is only willing to do things that keep the problem "hidden" so he remains "off the hook."

Prefers to keep it between us 2. Why? Because it enables Leaf to avoid accountability. I've offered my willingness to see a counselor to move it forward. But Leaf does not want to expand to having a third party to facilitate the conversation and make sure all play fair. (Not willing to be held accountable for Leaf's irresponsible behaviors that contributes to the mess.) Cannot make him, so I just check out then. Problem solved.

Prefers everyone be silent. Because that enables Leaf to keep on this way even when behaviors Leaf chooses hurts others and ultimately Leaf. Not willing to be in the line of fire, so I just check out then. Problem solved.

Leaf isn't doing silence out of wanting to keep tempers in check first before engaging. Honorable intentions. He wants silence like "let's not talk about it or solve it ever, let's NOT engage at all on this. Just let me keep doing this behavior without you kicking up a fuss." Dishonorable intentions. Solution? I check out. There. Never has to be solved with (Leaf & me). I solved it for (just me.)

He does this thing where he says he knows he is behaving like pain. Like admission gets him off the hook. To me it is worse than being unaware. Dude! You are saying you are aware you choose to do these behaviors? And you choose to keep on doing it rather than stop chasing that? And we all should be ok with that? Dude needs help. More help than I can provide. So... seek elsewhere. I'm checked out. Shoo!

Ms Logic: Still not interested in investing much here.

Ms Emotion: Yup. Indifferent.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
HAPPY

Had a short vacation with a friend. That was fun. It was nice to get back home though.

Spouse and I are happy. Enjoying reconnecting after my trip. He still likes yanking my poly chain and I like him yanking it.

Kiddie world is fine.

I have kept solid boundaries with all the problem people -- basically "Shoo!" So drama free.

Finishing up reading "More Than Two."

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
SOME DEFINITIONS

This is an excerpt from this thread. I wanted to keep it because I hadn't written definitions before.

When I talk about how I feel, what I am able to live with, it's a boundary...when I blame or try to change someone else's behavior, it becomes a rule?
Personal Boundary -- guidelines, rules or limits that you create to identify to yourself what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around you and how YOU will respond when someone crosses the line. (Ex: People cannot stand in my body space when talking to me. I will take a step back if they get too close. I will speak up if they do it again. I will tell them to please step back and please be aware they are crowding me.)

Rule (noun) -- an statement for expectation of behavior that the people it affects have come up with together and/or agree to abide by because it makes reasonable sense for all. (ex: We all agree to pee and poop in the toilet, not wherever on the floors, beds, and sofas in order to maintain cleanliness. We all agree to close the door when we come in so the cat doesn't run out. We all agree to practice safer sex like using condoms and get regular sex health labs.)

Rule (verb) -- You are the Queen/Dictator person and you rule your subjects. They have no voice in what happens to them. You are the ruler. You rule.

I think green is ok in polyshipping. Everyone is allowed their personal boundaries. You can try to change someone's behavior by ASKING if they are willing/not willing to do something. Like abide by certain agreements for getting along ok together. People are free to ask you things too. Everyone is free to say yes or no.

I think red is not ok. It is not ok for anyone to DEMAND or TELL you what to do. It is not ok for you to do that to others.

Be aware there are some people in this world who do NOT like to practice self control. When asked to do so, they will accuse you of trying to control them. When you are simply ASKING. They might yell, act out, try to cow you from ever asking them again to control themselves or make a decision that requires them to be personally accountable.

I have a relative like that. The simplest way I deal with that type? Be flat, not react. Repeat the question:

"I am not trying to control you. I am asking you if you are willing or not willing to do X. You are the still the boss of you. I just want to know what your answer is. What is your answer?"

If he hems and haws? I go "Ok, I'm not hearing "yes I am willing" so I will just take it as a no. Thank you."

Then I move on with my life. It doesn't revolve around his even if he'd like it to.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
DREAM

Spouse made me laugh last night. He was telling me about having a dream. (Which is rare.)

We have a mutual crush friend. The friend doesn't know we both crush on her.

The Dream:

He and I were in a hotel and Friend wanted to come too. Friend was asking to split the room. We agreed. So we go to this hotel for whatever reason. (Vacation? Conference?)

Spouse figured she and I could take the bed to be comfortable and he'd sleep on the floor. But when Friend came in the room and lay down with him and started cuddling/snuggling.

So he says to me "Galagirl, Friend is down here cuddling and snuggling."

I peer over the side of the bed and go "That's nice. Enjoy! I'm kinda tired right now but maybe I'll join you guys later" and I crawl back up to the top of the bed and go to sleep.

DH told me he was amused by my response. I'm not sure if he meant Dream Him was amused or HE was amused.

I just know I was amused when he told me about it.

It led to a conversation about the "messy people" again and we both still agree some people are just to messy to take up with.

We've been having random poly conversations lately. It was good.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
ON INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

This is an excerpt from this thread. I wanted to bookmark it so I remember to write about info management later.

I am going to assume that at this point in time you are on board. You are willing to go there. That this is about becoming more ABLE in skills to pull it off.

(If you are not actually willing to polyship? You are going against your grain? Not really into it? COULD STOP PARTICIPATING IN THIS. SAY NO. )

I am sorry you struggle. I am not surprised you feel confused though. Mixed messages like this do not contribute to "stability" for you:

"She also told me that If I was really adamant about them not being together she wouldn't have given up her marriage over this and they would have ended it"

So one the one hand, this is her making deliberate, conscious choices so you can feel emotionally safe with her as the new hinge. (But how "adamant" do you have to be in voicing concerns before she hears you over her own desires? SCREAMING? How safe can you feel with a hinge like that? "I would have stopped if you REALLY were hurting lots, but if you only hurt a little I'll just ignore it?)

"It also hurts when she tells me the story about them having feelings for each other and they tried to resist it, but couldn't and realized this was the only for things to work."

On the other hand, nobody is in charge of themselves. Some "destiny" thing is going on. She is not choosing deliberately or consciously. So you can feel emotionally unsafe with her as the new hinge. (And things to work for WHO? Just them? Are you not being considered?)

My head would be going "Huh? Say what?!" with that weird kind of communication.

It might feel cozy to her to tell all this gushing stuff with you, but you probably do not love hearing things that imply "nobody is in charge here!" or "my hinge is not solid!" You could ask her if she is aware of how that de-stabilizing that sounds to you.

To be honest, to me she sounds NRE la-las. Which is a reason, but not excuse for poor behavior.

You sound at risk for entering poly hell or already in it.

You are allowed to say "Look, I would like to get to the point where we can share X amount freely. But at this time in order to feel stable during changes? I would like to start with sharing less and ramping it up over the next few months. Going from 0 news coming down that pipeline to 100% blast coming down that pipeline is not giving me time to adjust. You are giving me more info than I can digest at one time. Could you be willing to talk to me about information management?"

Then talk about HOW that information management will look like at this time, and how it looks later. Divide the "NEED to know now" from "WANT to know eventually."
  • The stuff you NEED to know now is safer sex practices, calendars -- the stuff that directly can affect you in daily/weekly living. That comes first.
  • The stuff you might WANT to know eventually? Like details or stories -- that's not critical to know right this minute. It can wait till later and come online more slowly. Include him in the conversations. What stuff can "cross over" and what stuff "stops at the hinge."

Hearing details does not seem to bring on an idea of "stable" for you -- which I think you might want more of at this time. There's a certain amount of weird because the "old normal" is not it any more and the "new normal" isn't firmly established yet.

But hinge wife adding to the wobble by overloading you with data? That's not especially kind behavior out of a hinge. Her pleasure in TELLING doesn't override your need to HEAR at a pace you can deal in.

You could suggest she keep a journal. Tell you whatever in it, and then you could read it when you are ready to take new data on board. That way she gets to tell all she wants, but you can postpone hearing it til you are on surer footing. Less... "whooshy" stuff.

You are all on dealing with stages of change. Only they are on track A and you are on track B. For them it's positive change -- they are on this new exploring thing. Loss of stability is compensated by that exploring thing.

For you it is negative change -- you have lost stability. Compensation is what? Dealing with whooshy gushy stuff from wife?

They also have had more time than you to playground the "them as a couple" and what a "V" might be like than you have.

It is challenging, but it doesn't have to be doom. You guys can get through transitional time ok if you pace yourselves and respect that each person is at a different point in their process. As the hinge she will deal in things the V-arm people will not. And vice-versa.

You? You could get ok asking her to dial the la-las down a little bit around you for the first few months to let you get your bearings. Not overload you with data. That doesn't mean you don't wish her and him well on that side of the V. It just means YOU need some digestion time/space for yourself.

Sloppy hinge leaking data all over the place -- that can get off putting. She might mean well in wanting to be full transparent, not hide anything, and be totally honest. But honesty can come with a modicum of tact. "Whooshy" stuff isn't cool.

Talk and get clear on what "new normal" you guys are trying to aim for. Make sure all three agree that's the goal.

Talk and get clear on what is TMI right now, and what is just right, and how "ramping it up" can look for you guys over time.

Talking about jealousy management might help too.

http://www.kathylabriola.com/articl...nster-managing-jealousy-in-open-relationships

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/images/Jealousy_Updated_10-6-10.pdf

You might want to look at the worksheets here to help with the sex conversation too.

http://openingup.net/resources/free-downloads-from-opening-up/


Hang in there!
Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
ON MARKS

That was an interesting thread.

I can't remember if we ever talked about marks from other lovers. Or if we did, it was fine and I forgot it was fine. So when I saw him walking around in the kitchen looking for a drink I asked him.

Me: Hey, did we ever talk about marks?

DH: Marks?

Me: Hickies, rope bruises, needle play, whatever. How do you feel about finding marks on me from another lover?

DH: Intrigued? Glad you had a good time?

Me: That's what I thought.

DH: Wait... ARE you having a good time? Are these consensual marks?

Me: I love that you bring consent into it and want me to be happy and safe. Yes, consensual marks.

DH: That's ok then.

Me: What if it is from things you do not like?

DH: What does it have to do with me? It's what you like with your lover.

Me: Well, like this needle thing. Would you say something? Not have sex with me til they heal? Ask me to limit it to my back so you don't have to see it directly?

DH: But I would know it is there even if you move it. That stuff does not matter to me. See, I don't have to like it. You have to like it.​

So basically DH is ok with not liking things. He and I don't have to like the same things. DH is NOT ok with my being hurt or my consent being violated though. That's where he draws a line. Which is what I thought. And I'm pretty much the same. But it was nice to have it reaffirmed.

I like knowing that my picture of my spouse is still accurate. Taking him for granted like he's static and not checking in once in a while to recalibrate again -- that would be me not doing my end of the deal.

I don't mind WHAT he does with Other Lover so long as it is consensual and safe. What would bug me more is WHO Other Lover is. Or rather, what kind of character they possess.

I prefer people of integrity and honesty and I don't like drama.

Galagirl
 
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Reverie

New member
It's really cool to me that my thread caused you (and other people) to think about something they might not have thought much about before. I definitely aspire to your husband's calm, cool, and collected viewpoint on this—you have a good one. For me, baby steps. :)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
ON CONSENT AND HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

Since I last talked about consent, some links:

http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/01/brill...xual-consent-means-in-everyday-terms-5274497/

http://www.reed.edu/sexual_assault/definitions/consent.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8

DH and I were talking about using those to teach the kids. It bothers me sometimes that there are adults who don't get what consent means.

Leaf and my Dad are two that immediately spring to mind. Not in the sexual sense. Just general consent. Both want to trap people so they have a "captive audience" to unload all their crazy so they feel better. That's great for them, but not for me. What do I want to listen to garbage for? I end up feeling slimed.

Very "user-y" and if I say so and decline to participate? Leaf/Dad would go wounded like how could I think such awful things about him. I think it because that is what I observe happening.

Lead/Dad want to talk about emotional crazy to unload his feelings on me. I am not up for it and say so. Then he gets mad -- acts like I am withholding something from him he is entitled to. I am a bitch for not allowing access because he has a want. I am not playing right! I owe him!

I have seen that attitude in sexual context. Seen that in general context. It's a consent/entitlement weird some people have. Narcissists, borderlines, codependents, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. The "no healthy boundaries" people. The people who have never learned to accept "no" as an answer they need to respect.

Then there's people who know what consent is and can respect it it others. But not issue it themselves. My friend Daisy springs to mind. She was overloading me with her BF drama again recently and I told her to stop. She dates him, not me. Stop telling me about their crazy. Respect my limit. She did.

Daisy is able to listen to others and to respect their boundaries. Her problem is that she doesn't set good limits herself, and she's not hardass about consent. When someone takes an inch, she lets it happen. She doesn't yell "Hey! You have to ask for my consent here!"

Also... her "no's" are weak ones. If you nudge her she folds like a deck of cards just to not be arguing about it. Sometimes to her own detriment. Doesn't enforce healthy boundaries. Hence all the BF drama -- with him crossing lines. She doesn't being trespassed upon. Who does?

But she goes passive aggressive -- blowing up at me about her lines being crossed rather than telling him to cut it out and firming up her flimsy no's. I can listen the first time, but when this becomes "same old song different day?" I don't want to listen any more. I withdraw my consent to be the audience for that circle convo going round and round. Leave me out of it.

She has to determine which is better: feeling uncomfortable in the shot term giving a hardass NO so she is free from pestering later, or giving flimsy no in the short term and then being pestered later in the long term? BEST is to step back and ditch this annoying BF who keeps poking the bear! But if she's sticking with him, straighten up and fly true to herself and what she needs. Could be more assertive!

Anyway, Leaf is out of the picture. I did send seasonal cards for a bit last year, and like I predicted? The process of detachment set in. My interest declined. As Fall and Winter holidays and days emerge, I'm not sure I can be bothered to send a card.

Leaf is in therapy now, and while I'm happy for him? It doesn't matter to me if he sticks with it or not. I certainly hope for his sake he sticks with it and gets better. But me? I'm an unaffected by it whether he does or does not right now. I don't have drama here any more.

So... not my biz, not my problem.

I had a coffee date with EarthyMama. She's sweet, funny, kind -- just an all around gentle person. Fun and uplifting to be around. Getting rid of draining people like Leaf frees me up to spend more of my time on visits with people like her.

I rather have quality people around me with good character than wonky people.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
BORED

I got a letter from Leaf. He wanted to know where I thought the relationship was going. But how it was phrased was weird. Just like last January. What is this? Holiday trigger? Gets all soppy ever New Year's Eve? What's there to know? Haven't I said this before?

  • See your therapist, work on your stuff, then we'll see.
  • Not doing that? Shoo!

When he takes some personal responsibility for himself and demonstrates that, then we can talk about getting reacquainted. Until then? Nope.

I figure he's boundary testing again.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
ANXIETY MANAGEMENT: FUELING COPING

This is a copy paste from this other thread. I wanted to save it because those are some of my coping tools in there.

Galagirl said:
I am sorry you struggle.

To me? Action behavior or thinking behaviors happen. Then feelings ensue. So If I don't like how I feel, I have to see what behavior I can change. If I do like how I feel, I keep doing the same behavior.

You are asking for help with a coping mechanisms or resources to "change my brain so it aligns with my heart."

That points to THINKING BEHAVIORS first to me.

Your "big umbrella" wants seems to be
I want all three of us to be happy, humbled, and healthy together

And how you want to get there is by
I want some guidance on learning how to cope with my anxiety and panic attacks

That is reasonable.

I don't know if this helps, but here's what pops up to me in reading your post.

I am having difficulty with him "choosing" her over me and honestly throw a bit if a tantrum when he does. When I've been out of town and come home I feel angry knowing they have been sleeping together and treat them accordingly.


That sounds out of order chronologically. If you keep a journal, try to put things in order chronologically. That makes it easier to sort out "behavior happens, then feelings ensue." So if any behavior needs changing, it is easier to find.

In chronological order it sounds like this to me.
  • I go out of town.
  • They spend time alone together.
  • I get home and learn this.
  • I think "Ahhhh! he is choosing her over me!"
    • I get angry as a result of that thinking.
    • I react by taking it out on them rather than pause, think, and respond.

When you learn to record it like that, you see what behavior happened when it starting going down hill.

Then you can learn to CHALLENGE your thinking when unwelcome "popcorn thoughts" pop up. Like this:


Popcorn thought: "Ahhhh! he is choosing her over me!" (<-- Fire alarm goes off)

Challenge the thinking. (<---Check for fire)
  • How is he choosing her over me when I am not even there? The actuality is that they are choosing to hang out together. I am away on a trip. It's ok for them to do that.
  • If hubby were on a trip, would G and I hang out? Sure. Why not?
  • If G were on a trip? Would hubby and I hang out? Sure, why not?
  • So where was the fire? There is none. False alarm. (<--- Actual conclusion after checking for fire. No jumping to conclusions)
  • So how do I respond? Safe to ignore popcorn thought. No response required.
  • I am safe. All is well. (<--- self reassure.)


Learn to reassure yourself and talk the anxiety DOWN. Not talk it UP.


When I know H and G are going to, wanting to, trying to, hinting that they want to have sex I loose my mind. I am physically sick and reel into a full panic attack.

Why is this communication model in place? How is this model serving you well?

That would drive me crazier than them just having sex. All that pussyfooting behavior stuff. I find it triggering when people are not assertive and do that meek and mild hemming and hawing thing. Just drags things out.

Would you prefer NOT to know the TMI details of their sex life -- when, where, and how they have it, or that they feel horny? You could tell them to get on with it and just stop TMI and pussyfooting so you can be free of triggering from that.

(Is it only the pussyfooting behavior? Or another jumping to conclusion thing here too?)


We have recently talked about implementing a schedule to define alone rltime to work on our individual relationships.

Great! Then you get the time you need with H. And can relax about there being not enough time for you.

I am terrified for "their nights" . Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do.

Her child is her responsibility. Not yours. You could say "Heads up -- I do not sit on date nights. I want the time to be working on my stuff so the triad can become healthier." Boom. That prevents any assumptions being made about you sitting and you can relax that nobody is going to be asking you to.

If you are an anxiety person, learn to deal with just YOUR jobs. Don't be picking up other people's jobs. They can handle it. That's another coping tool so you aren't running yourself ragged and burning out. Do only YOUR jobs. Not the world's.

I am terrified for "their nights" . Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do.Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do. Not because I don't want them to spend time together but because I have raised my children and don't want to be a babysitter. My thoughts were more along the lines of finding a distraction from keeping my mind from obsessing about what G and H are doing.

Your topic sentence is feeling terror. Then you go on to write supporting sentences to keep the terror going. That's talking UP your anxiety and ADDING. That is not TAKING AWAY.

You could have written

"I want to do something else on those nights so I can focus on not obsessing" and made that the topic sentence. You know the second sentence would be "I am going to tell them I do not babysit on their date night."​

There. That's your goal and what you do NOT do.

What about what you DO do? What would be the other supporting sentences? How would you fill in the rest if the third sentence starts out with

"Here's some things I am going to try. I am going to do...."​

Are you going to sew? Call a friend and see a movie? Read? Exercise?

Learn to TAKE AWAY from your anxiety by making a plan, not ADD MORE anxiety by fueling the terror. Fuel COPING instead.

Maybe those are places you could start.

A kid book:

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Kid movie: The Croods.

Grug is the Dad who REACTS to EVERYTHING with "where's the danger! Family kill circle!" He's a super anxious guy who has to learn to not be afraid all the time. That he CAN figure out how to cope if unexpected things happen.

It is not the only theme of the movie, but it's there. Maybe it helps you some on the "change my brain" thing -- changing how you view your world like Grug works to change how he views his.

Sometimes looking at the kid stuff makes it easier to digest. Maybe it helps.

You could also seek a poly counselor to help you with that anxiety thing.

HTH!
Galagirl

As an anxiety person myself, I work hard to not be around drama people who I find triggery. Leaf is one of those people. Because he cannot figure out how to cope with things and acts out? I don't want to be around him til he has those coping skills in place.

Daisy is another -- something happens and instead of sitting with it and organize her thoughts in more orderly fashion like...

"I have this problem. (situation) It makes me feel anxious. (feelings that ensue).
I have to figure out how to solve this problem. Then hopefully I will feel new things -- like relief.​

Instead she comes at it like

"I have this problem (anxiety). I have to get rid of that feeling."​

Then she calls me with

"Aaaah! I have to do this thing! Help me do it!"​

She wants me to hop on board her Anxiety Train. Sometimes the things she wants to do are just not sensible for solving the ACTUAL situation.

I don't think having some feelings is a problem. It's just a "thermometer" of sorts for a situation.

Daisy can do the impulse thing trying to run away from the anxious feeling, but if the core problem is unsolved? She might get an anxiety break temporarily, but it just comes back again later. And sets her off again. Mostly because the inner story she tells herself is "I cannot Cope!" rather than "Ok, here's a situation. How will I decide to handle it?"

If not DH, I tend to go to EarthMama or Rose when I have a problem. Because when they are anxious they choose to manage it in the same way I do. I get calls from them that go "This happened. I feel anxious. I have this plan. Can I run it by you and you tell me if it sounds reasonable? And if you are willing to help, could you tell me that too?"

They spread Coping-ness and "I can handle things" around. Not Anxiety Witter and "I can't Cope" around. So they are more pleasant people to be around. If I agree, i know what my job is -- listen, give feedback if plan is reasonable or not. State where I am willing to help on plan if I am willing/able to do so. Not triggery at all.

Polyamory is an intense relating style. There's going to be anxious times. It just is. Problems happen. Nobody is problem free.

But I think attitude matters. I just couldn't date a new partner who doesn't spread Coping-ness attitude around. If they spread Anxiety-Witter that's just not going to work for me for harmonious relating.

I don't want to spend the bulk of my days mostly talking someone down, reassuring, etc. Caretaking them rather than enjoying relating WITH them.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
ON INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

My sister is having some problems with one of her kids. She's busy getting him evaluated. In trying to understand what's going on with her, I was reading. These things stuck out for me because I thought "Wow. Those would be polyamory skills for sure."

So some quotes from Borderline for Dummies.

pg 91

The ability to step back requires three different but related skills that people with BPD typically lack:

  • Ability to understand the needs, feelings, and beliefs of other people
  • Ability to see how others perceive them
  • Ability to see how their own behavior affects others

The problems with understanding other people's needs, feelings, and perspectives lead people with BPD to run over the boundaries of other people.

What immediately springs to mind is all the problems of being "NRE high" and getting obsessed and running right over established partners.

If I sub out "poly" for the "BPD" it would read something like this.

The ability to step back requires three different but related skills that some polyamorous people in NRE lack:

  • Ability to understand the needs, feelings, and beliefs of other people
  • Ability to see how others perceive them
  • Ability to see how their own behavior affects others

Not understanding other people's needs, feelings, and perspectives could lead some NRE poly people to run over the boundaries of other people.

Here'a another... no changing words needed. Just context. What if this is about a mono-poly coupling trying to "get" where the other is coming from and trying to get along? How many mono-poly arguments and fights could that help with?

pg 218

The most pivotal interpersonal skill of all is the ability to understand that although other people, like you, do have thoughts opinions and emotions, those thoughts, opinions and emotions aren't always concordant with yours.

When you fail to grasp where others are coming from, you run a high risk of offending, disrespecting, hurting or annoying them. You may also bore the people by running on about your own issues and failing to notices the cures that tell you it's time to connect with whoever you're talking to.

This interpersonal skill involves both understand that other people have independent thoughts and feelings and appreciating that other people have various motivations and intentions that they don't always state openly and explicitly. Being able to understand the perspectives an mindsets of other people allows you to do the following.

  • Empathize with other people
  • Make sense of what others do
  • Change your behavior in response to how others respond
  • Predict how other people are likely to respond to you
  • Understand nuances in conversations, such as sarcasm, humor, and teasing
  • Adjust what you say in accordance to feedback from others

Sometimes I read about a mono person or poly person trying to understand the other guy's POV.

Like a mono person just not getting why a poly person would desire more than one partner. Why? Isn't 1 enough? The long and short of it is no. One is not enough. When one wants more than 1 sweetie? One is not enough. The desire is still there.

I've been Closed for a long time. I think my spouse is great. Truly a wonderful partner, even when we butt heads on something. I know we do conflict resolution well I never feel like he's not on my team. But in all those years being Closed, did I ever stop desiring another Sweetie? Nope. I accept this person hasn't arrived yet and maybe never will. Only time will tell.

But I don't know why some poly people are reticent to just put that out there PLAIN like that.

"You are great. I would love you as one of my Sweeties, but no. 1 Sweetie is not enough for me. You cannot possible turn yourself into 2 people. Limit of the Universe. Maybe you don't understand that desire of mine, but I need you to ACCEPT that about me if we are going to be together."​

I don't think "understanding" is actually necessary. I think a willingness to accept differences is. I think an ability to work with those differences is.

Here's the other thing I don't get. Why some mono people are so reticent to put it out there plain:

  • I don't understand it.
  • I don't accept it.
  • I do not have the ability to work with that.
  • We are better off not trying to force a romance between us.
  • We can try to be friends or not, but def no romance.

Just don't be together romantically. Saves headaches all around.

Probably because of the interpersonal skill of "knowing one's own personal limitations."

Galagirl
 
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icesong

Member
Here's the other thing I don't get. Why some mono people are so reticent to put it out there plain {snip}

Just don't be together romantically. Saves headaches all around.

Probably because of the interpersonal skill of "knowing one's own personal limitations."

That, and don't forget the prevalent idea that people are "meant for each other" and/or that compatible people are "rare" - so you DO get a lot of people trying to fit into not-quite-the-right-shape holes...
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
BOOKMARK

I wanted to remember this for a longer entry later. Don't have time today. It was from what I wrote in this thread.

Me? I view NRE as "brain dumping chemistry that fogs my view." Pleasantly intense to feel, but it's lala clouds, not real. Eventually the cloud lifts, and the behaviors that are left is what is real.

From http://marriage.about.com/od/loveandromance/g/maturelove.htm

"Signs of mature love include acceptance, emotional support, commitment, calmness, respect, caring, kindness, friendship, and consideration."

Those are some of the things I find joyful in my marriage. That's what I would be seeking in other partners.
 
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