Head spinning. Every day is a different adventure.

vanquish

New member
Great night last night. Audrey, her sister and brother-in-law, myself, and our new roommate and friend Minou all sat outside on my huge porch talking and drinking and laughing for what seemed like a glorious eternity. So much fun. Audrey wrapped her hand around my thigh, and flipped her long, lustrous, red hair over my arm wrapped behind her neck, pecking me on the cheek every so often as we drank wine and told stories.

About half way through the night she asked if I wanted to have sex later, which I was more than ready for mentally, but was feeling a bit tired physically. As it turned out, we both were too tired by the end of the night, but she made sure I knew it was going to be on when I come home for lunch today ;)

She made great strides last night when it came to texting. I didn't notice her text anyone the entire night really. That's not me trying to control her relationships, just a comment about how nice it was to get some real quality time without a phone being in the way. I'm sure Amos texted her and there was some level of conversation, but I wasn't focused on it and it didn't get in the way of our amazing time.

This morning after I fed and walked the dogs, as I do every morning before I go to work, Audrey woke up in babygirl mode. It was so sweet. One of my pet names for her is "Kit" or "Kit-Kit" which is the name for a young fox. She makes fox noises and her hands become curled up paws. She digs a hole in my chest with her paws and curls down into my chest. It might sound strange to some, but it makes sense to us. (We're not furries or spirit-animal people, just playful.) I throw my arms around her and she's safe in her little fox hole. When she looks up at me with such adoring eyes, it makes me melt every time. This time she got a coy look on her face...and it turned into a devlish little look. "What is it, Kit?" "Is Papa gonna come home at lunch so we can do what we talked about?" She flashed me a happy, horny grin. "Of course, I am, sweetness." After which she made happy noises and wiggled around all over me and the bed, like a Snoopy dance. Soon after I brought her a glass of milk and her favorite cereal, but I had to be off for work.

What a great morning.
 

vanquish

New member
Not wanting us to get into a rut, I decided to text her this morning. Something flirty and sexy to heighten the anticipation of our lunch time romp. And I'm not getting the response I'd hoped for. :(

So I text her something devilish...and it takes 30 minutes for her to respond. She'd said this morning before I left that she might go on a walk with one of the dogs to the coffee shop around 10. I didn't stop to think about whether this meant a "date", but she didn't tell me it was a date. Normally, we at least tell each other when we're going on a date. That said, she does enjoy having her dates at the local cafe as it's close and it's an interesting place to see and be seen.

Audrey's schedule each day is pretty much the same thing. Sleep till 11:30 or 12:30. Stay up until 2 or 4 am. Unless she has a photoshoot, she doesn't really have any responsibilities. She'll help me take care of the dogs. She'll work on her garden. She'll feed the cats. Sometimes in a long time she'll clean my living room (the majority of the state of the room is usually hers) or do dishes, but 49 days out of 50, I'm cleaning because it's my house.

If I'm 110% honest, I'm doing the lion's share of the cleaning because I don't want her to retreat back to her own house. If I press the issue, she'll most likely go back and spend more time at her house where there's a mother who does the cleaning. That's not to say she never cleans. And she does about half the cooking. It's a trade off that I'm cognizant of and have made peace with.

All this is to preface the fact that based on her usual schedule, I should have put two and two together that the coffee house at 10 am was possibly a date. As it so happens I just got a text from her that that's exactly what it is, though they've changed the venue.

Of course it makes sense now why the responses are so slow. Which pisses me off. When I'm trying to stoke the fires, trying to be flirty and seductive...to have to wait 20 minutes only to get a one word response...knowing she's out with someone else who she responds to quickly when we're at home...not fun. Not fucking fun.
 

vanquish

New member
Within about an hour from our first exchange, she apologized and told me she was home and that she was sorry for the slow replies. I decided not to make a big deal out of things.

When I got home, she was very affectionate and I reciprocated. We watched the tail end of the movie she had started and then things got frisky. We both got off multiple times and enjoyed ourselves a lot. Hate to sound like someone who misses the forest for the trees (worries too much about his partner getting off so much that it becomes pressure), but that was a big issue with me from my marriage. I didn't pressure her to tell me, but it did come up because she thought that I had cum more than once, so I asked her as well. Going forward, if you read my blog, consider yourself warned that I'll be talking about this and adjust your reading habits accordingly.

Afterwards we went downstairs and made some food. She told me that the new guy had asked her if she had plans tonight and she said she didn't know, at which time she gave me preference to come up with something to do. I really appreciate that. I think Amos is going to be the one that finally, after a year of dating, actually sticks around. I can't say I've been looking forward to this moment, but here's where I get to put up or shut up about being supportive. He's not the handsomest or the richest. He doesn't like the kinds of movies she likes, but she has said she'll "fix that." playfully. That makes me think he'll be around. Compersion, here I come.

I decided I would like to take her to a movie tonight. Not to be a cock-blocking dick, but because I have the money and it would be fun. She smiled and said "I can't make this guy think I'm over-eager, now can I?" It wasn't a mercenary comment...or even pre-planned. Just funny and if you'd seen her face you'd have known that it was a soft smile meant to communicate that I wasn't being territorial and that she enjoys spending time with me. This was all followed up with hugs and kisses and talking about how a Papa can never be replaced.

So...I'm hanging out at the house and doing some work while her Mom has come over (love that woman!) and we decide which movie we're going to go see :)
 

vanquish

New member
What fun! Last night I treated Audrey and Minou (new roommate) to Indian food and a movie (Captain America: Winter Soldier). I'd forgotten that Spider-Man comes out tonight so it looks like we'll be going back out again to the movies again.

Once we decided to see ASM2 last night, it was only fitting that we stayed up (last night's flick had us up until 1 am) and watched ASM1, since Audrey had never seen it.

Spider-Man has a special place in my favorites because when I was small, my father would walk me around the small town where he was the minister and tell me "Spidey stories" - stories where I was Spider-Man, but no one in the town knew...and I foiled all kinds of nefarious plots of the criminal underground. It just so happens that Audrey is a red-headed model...and she looks a LOT like MJ as drawn by one of my favorite artists (J. Scott Campbell)...so that's another reason why I'm pretty jazzed for the movie.

It was so much fun to stay up watching the movie, keeping the dogs out to play, and cuddling up and being close.
 

vanquish

New member
Yesterday was funny. That's the only word I can come up with right now. Seriously.

In the morning time, Audrey and I had a great time before I left for work. Very playful. Very DD/lg. She stole my shoe so I couldn't get to work and it was the most adorable thing ever. She really lets me know how much she enjoys her time with me and how much I am special to her. Fully suited up, I curled up around her in bed and she wiggled back against me and it was a warm, dreamy heaven. Eventually I went in to work. Got there early even.

So I wasn't getting a lot done due to no fault of my own and I decided to come back home and work on my yard. It's been long over due, so much so that I got an abatement notice from the city. You have to understand, when I asked for my divorce, my ex's family took 2 days to ceremoniously dump all my shit in my back yard and I haven't had the strength to attack that whole issue. It's a swimming pool sized pile of my costuming projects and special papers that have now been rained on and destroyed due to my own weariness and interest in other things...as well as the fact that I got dumped out on my ass.

Turns out a neighbor down the street is trying to sell their house and my overgrown yard and backyard trash brought their price down...so they called the city on me. Gotta love historic districts. It really wasn't that bad, but we're talking very expensive houses where I am, so they get snippy.

Anywho, I came home, got changed into work gear, kissed a very beautiful sleeping Audrey on her forehead then went down to work. An hour and a half later I came back up to let the dogs out and she pulled me into bed with arms like a boa constrictor. :) We tusseled around and she was about to go back to sleep when I reminded her she had a lunch date and she needed to get up. Yeah me! Trying to help!

Audrey fussed and tussled around and didn't want to get up. She said she wasn't sure she was really interested in this guy as he had a bad haircut and was shorter than she usually liked, but he might be fun to talk to. I said it would be good to get out of the house and who knows, he could be interesting. As she stood there in the bathroom applying her makeup, I sat beside her to keep her company and talk at her request. My lips just inches away from her beautiful hips and stomach, I began kissing every exposed inch I could find. We both enjoyed it. I've watched and helped her get ready for dates many, many times and it's not even close to an issue for me any more. In fact, we usually discuss the guy and it gives me some level of control over the situation.

She walked the 7 or 8 blocks to the coffee shop from my house and met him, checking in by text when she did. To say that the date was a bust would be an understatement. He wasn't fun. He wasn't interesting. He wasn't attractive and he had 3 tattoos, all of which I was assured looked like a 6 year old had drawn them with a Sharpie. I didn't (and am still not) reveling in the failure of the date, but to be completely honest, any time someone doesn't live up to my awesomeness, I breath a sigh of release and have to chuckle a little bit. (I know that sounds slightly dickish, but I don't mean that as arrogantly as it sounds.)

As soon as Audrey got home, she was ready to help me with the yard work, much to my surprise. She really got in there pruning trees, carrying bags, and even mowing areas that I hadn't already. She really enjoyed it and we got a metric fuck-ton done. In the heat of the afternoon, while I was mowing my football field of a front lawn, she made a pitcher of lemonade from scratch and brought it out to me with a kiss. Such a class act.

That night she started to get this dreadful look on her face, so I asked what was up. A guy she's been texting a lot from Baltimore has been requesting that they Skype. I won't say pressuring or insisting, but aggressively requesting. She huffed and pouted that she didn't really want to do it, but there was really no way out of it, based on where their conversations were going.

I suppose I could have asked her to go all the way back to her house (30-45 mins away, one way) to skype him, but I figured I wanted her there with me, so I figured why not let her use my webcam and computer. I told her I was fine with her using my Skype account, but she wanted to use her own. I don't know if that's an indication she hasn't said much about me yet, or just if she wanted to use her own account. As a probe, I asked if she wanted me to leave the room while she skyped him and she said no. That made me happy. The computer is in my downstairs parlor with the tv and the front doorway. I hung out on the couch while the event occurred.

Audrey got dolled up somewhat and set up the camera. She resumed her ice queen persona a bit, mainly just quiet and aloof with a splash of royalty. The guy ended up being super, super nice. Way too nice really. His humor didn't match hers, though a laugh or two was shared. Not attractive really and asking lots of personal questions to get to know her, which is nice, but ended up being even more awkward. I sat there, not because I needed to control her, but because it was my house and I wasn't going to change my routine from what I'd normally be doing.

To add to the humor, after things had gotten super awkward and tense between them, Audrey's sister, Kat, who lives in my house and her fiance came in the front door and just started talking to me without knowing what was going on. I stayed semi-quiet, but Kat said she wasn't going to be quiet and just kept talking. I liked it because it was her way of saying, at least to me, "you're my sister's main squeeze. I'm not going to deny that." I could be projecting a fantasy, but the smiles and the tone and the behavior all seemed to indicate that. Then our other roommate, Minou, came barreling in and the Skype was pretty much over.

This was a guy she'd been texting a LOT (or who had been texting her a lot) for at least 3 weeks to a month or more. He might be coming down to Alabama as part of his job (relief work), so that's an interesting wrinkle. Who knows what direction the relationship will take. When we're not doing something active, Audrey's time is almost exclusively on her phone. I've gotten better about dealing with that and she's gotten better about connecting in person too. The amount she's been texting him hasn't been troublesome (read as: enough to negatively impact my own needs), and I don't see it getting more frequent after that skype debacle.

Unless I rubberneck, there's really no way for me to know if she's texting, on a dating site, or on Tumblr. Mostly I dissociate from her phone use these days so that I don't focus on whether it's someone else. She has been ramping up her texts with this new guy in town Amos. She checked in to see if it was fine that she talked about him and I responded honestly, yes. He seems like a good guy so far and they share laughs.

Sometimes the texting is pretty heavy all in one block, but I can't really complain because I do get priority at the moment. From what she's said (and I've written before), he knows that she's poly and has a significant other. He's from the west coast where he said people do this all the time. I'm recapping that as an explanation of how my priority is not unfair to him. Depending on your poly philosophy, priority can or cannot be unfair. If I'm 110% logical, priority is unfair. It's a crutch to lean on when you can't ween yourself totally off monogamy. She should get to spend time with whomever she wants in what ever way she wants. I know that. In fact, today, they are hanging out in the middle of the day today and I'm totally cool with it. At first she asked if she could get Amos involved with landscaping my house, but I said I wasn't comfortable with that. She backed off of that idea on her own and they're just going to the park today. Could today be the day he finally makes a romantic move? I'll find out later, I suppose :)

Funnier still is that this blog is basically a recap of her dating life, not mine. That's because with money the way it is...I'm not really dating myself. Nor is it easy to find women in the bible belt who are super comfortable with the poly situation. Yes, they do exist, but either they're not my type or they're too far away.

All told, our relationship is great. She lives with me. Loves me. Takes care of our pets with me. Goes out with me. Works on business ideas with me. Cuddles, sexes, and is sweet to me. We connect in a thousand unique ways that make me really happy. And that make her happy. :D
 

vanquish

New member
Home for the second half of the day to take a conference call at my computer. Audrey left about 12 for some time with Amos. While she has made a few attempts at texting on her own initiative, I think we're going to have to have a talk.

It just so happened that Audrey wanted a particular meal for dinner so I offered to go get the ingredients from the store. She decided to tag along and we had a conversation. It went really well...I thought. I expressed the need that since she would probably be spending more time with Amos, his time would transition from date/getting to know you time...to regular hang out time. This is an important distinction because during her dates, Audrey intentionally reduces her responses to texts so she can focus on the date. Makes sense and I'm fine with it. But when we're home together, she's often on her phone texting people and not being present in the moment with me. Which sometimes feels like being ignored. Cutting to the chase, I expressed the need for her to be more responsive to texts while she's out with this guy in order to be fair to me.

That's not happening. And I'm not liking it.

I go back and forth in my head because I know she'll eventually come back to my house. I know we'll have quality time again and their date will only be 4 or 5 hours. It's a bit of an adjustment because before him, we'd text and be in each other's company non-stop. So I tell myself...she'll be home soon. She's coming home to you...can you really be angry?

On the other hand, I do NOT want to be a cuckold. I'm not just the guy to give a roof and food and presents. To be fair to her, we did have sex last night, but now I'm wondering if that was just to clear her conscience about going out with that guy today.

Whatever the situation, I'm not getting the same kind of response back that she promised me I would get. And we're going to have to have a talk.
 

nycindie

Active member
I don't get it. You want her to carry on text conversations with you while she's out on dates with other people, but you don't want her texting anyone while she's with you? Am I understanding you? And, also, from a previous post of yours, you think her taking 20-30 minutes to reply to a text is too long? It has to be immediate? I'm just curious - my lovers and I sometimes take days to answer texts, so I can't fathom your irritation.
 
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vanquish

New member
I don't get it. You want her to carry on text conversations with you while she's out on dates with other people, but you don't want her texting anyone while she's with you? Am I understanding you? And, also, from a previous post of yours, you think her taking 20-30 minutes to reply to a text is too long? It has to be immediate? I'm just curious - my lovers and I sometimes take days to answer texts, so I can't fathom your irritation.

No, I'm saying treat me equally.

Yesterday while we were out together, having what I was hoping was quality time, she was texting him back and forth like a lightning round of Jeopardy. Today, when she was out with him, she couldn't be bothered to text me back at all. I'm saying if you're going to text them while you're with me...then text me while you're with them. Make sense?

And yes, text frequency is important to me. I guess I'm old school, but when someone texts you, you text back semi-promptly. Now I've gotten to the point where 15 or 20 mins is fine...but don't just shoot me back a one liner. The longer you take, the more involved your text should be...to me. But hey, that's just me.

Let's take her texting with Amos for example. She had been yard working with me and got a little red. He asked if she was lobster red...and she shot back a selfie...which was, quite funnily a pic of a lobster. From there, they made lobster jokes and exchanged lobster pics off the net for at least 3 hours. With maybe a minute or two, if that, in between. She was laughing so hard that she had to at least let me in on the conversation. Actually, including me made it better for me...especially as she was supposed to be out getting ingredients for a meal she wanted specially...that I was paying for...and we were supposed to be out together having quality time. Yet there's this intrusion of lobster jokes.

During her time with homeboy, after doing the adult relationship work to set expecations, I didn't get what I'd negotiated for...which was prompt texting back.

And what may be apples and oranges between our situations is that Audrey and I aren't just lovers or sex partners, we also co-habitate. Until now we've been around each other 24-7 for months now. That's a valid reason to want some time apart, I'm just explaining that it makes time between texts a bit awkward for me. I don't want to be clingy, just want fairness applied to our interactions. Make sense?

I'm willing to listen to other view points and welcome interaction on my blog.
 

vanquish

New member
It's 1 a.m. and I'm up so I figured I would type out the debacle that was today.

So Audrey goes on her date with her new dude, Amos.

I get up, feed the mongrels, clean up the kitchen, get the trash out and head to work by 7:45. I kiss Audrey on the forehead, but she's deep asleep and doesn't wake which is fine. I've got work on the brain.

Knowing that she's got a date starting around midday, I think I'll hear from her by at least 11, but nothing. So I text her at 11:12. She texts me back, in a scramble to find some shoes she's lost and I try to help her find them. I send multiple texts with no reply. "Ok", I think. "She's busy getting ready." An hour passes and no reply. It so happens that I have a teleconference that I can do over the net, so I text her that I'm coming home and she finally informs me that they've left. Just with a "We're gone."

Two hours pass and nothing. Remembering our agreement to text promptly from yesterday, I send her pics of something she was very interested in and even prodded me to do...pump the pool. No response for an hour. And then it's just one word. I text her a few other times and get nothing for hours. Then one word responses. This is not what we agreed to. NRE (new relationship energy) has taken over and I'm not liking it.

Eventually one of my roommates comes home and sees that I'm stomping around the house and pissed. We talk things out and I feel a little better. But I'm going about my own business, but I'm still kind of pissed that she's not living up to her word. She finally texts me back asking if we'll cuddle later on tonight and I say "Yes." Meant to be very short. No response for 10 minutes and so I say "Maybe." This should have been a clear indication that I'm not happy. Saying maybe to a cuddle in our world is fighting words on both sides ;) No response for 45 minutes. So then I type "Nah." Meaning no cuddles. And hit send. 30 minutes later I get a D: face.

Just to make sure she knows I'm not happy either, I text "I'd rather not fight. And I dont want to fight over text. We'll talk when you get home." Almost immediately she sends back a text "What? No tell me." At which point I explain what I just have above regarding her breaking her word from yesterday about frequency of texts. I get an "I'm sorry, [name]." And then nothing for an hour.

You'd think if you just pissed off your partner that there would be some discussion, but no. It's more radio silence. I'd come to find out that they were making out. They'd had a talk about her medical condition (always an indicator of things moving forward) and proceeded to do some shirt off stuff. That part, I honestly don't care about. I really dont. Hell, I'd love to be fucking someone new and strange right now. I get it. We've spent months together 24/7...and you've found someone cool. That's awesome.

Eventually she comes home while I'm in the kitchen. I've been working on fixing the pool pump and had to wash my hands. She comes up behind me at the sink and tries to playfully paw at my back. Without turning around I simply shake my head no and finish washing my hands. She starts walking off briskly and getting angry herself, so I dry my hands and follow her into the living room. We proceed to have a talk.

I explain again everything that I explained above while she rolls her eyes and makes faces. I add that this is the time I need her assurance the most and it makes letting me down even rougher on me. She proceeds to accuse me of being majorly clingy every time she has the talk with a new guy. Of course I deny it. I may have sometimes, but not every time and not even the majority of the time.

Eventually we talk things out and get back to being companions. She engages me in sweet baby talk and we watch some tv. She'd said she wanted to watch movies and cuddle, but it turned into me giving her a foot rub and us going to sleep with very little cuddling.

As it so happens, while I've been writing this, she came down and told me she missed having me upstairs. She decided to bring the dogs down as it's hot on the top floor of my house where we all sleep in my bedroom. I checked on the pool pump, we made some mac & cheese, and we engaged in more reconnection time.

I'm still not happy about how things went down. I'm also not super settled about what's going to happen with this new guy. She's given me some of the words I need to hear, but I'm seriously wondering if I'm made for a poly relationship. I won't break up with her of course...I'll just ride things until the rails come off. I love her very much and not spending all our time together...even if she's gone just once in awhile...is killing me. Don't be fooled. I go through periods where I'm fiercely independent and want my space...but I love her so much and I hate feeling like I need her this much.

We're back to normal, I suppose. I know that I get the vast majority of her time and attention. I know we have a history that is very unique. I know I should be more happy that she has a new friend/lover. I'm just still deprogramming my 42 years of monogamy.
 

vanquish

New member
We listened to our favorite podcast about haunted things (anything ghost, if youre interested)...and i gave her a full body massage. The moans of delight were enough to make me happy.

Ive woken up this morning, with Audrey by my side, naked and gorgeous, but feeling a little unsure of whats to come. I know ill be getting less and less time with her as this new relationship flourishes. Shes told me he was an unfortunately wet kisser and also that she met his mom, who he lives with. Theyre going to eventually have sex. Im fine with that. Its just the less time that im dreading. I know I need to get into doing my own thing and focus on me. Dont be so clingy and communicate my needs.

I just had 2 or 3 months of what felt like monogamy and it fucked with my head.
 

vanquish

New member
Today was another amazing day, helped in part by Adderall. Not that we need it for our relationship, but when we both rake it, she becomes more lovey dovey and I focus on my own activities a lot more. With that little bit, we ended up doing errands together and feeling really super connected. She usually hates using the word relationship AT ALL, but today she told me some amazing things that I've wanted to hear for a long time. Holding hands more than we already do (which was a lot) and kissing more (which was a lot)...spending the evening playing board games with her sister and my best friend...being very complimentary of me and grabbing on to me.

And to top it all off she initiated sex...and we had a rip-roaring great time. Well done, us.

I know shes still texting other guys and having chats, but honestly I'm not focused on it. My feelings may change tomorrow, but for now things are A-ok.
 

vanquish

New member
Had a blast last night doing almost next to nothing. After Audrey helped me do an insane amount of yard work that I told her she didn't have to do, her sister, mother, sister's best friend and two other people came over to relax on my picturesque front porch. I put out cheese, bread, hummus, french fries, drinks of various kinds and a few desserts. The night went way into the morning when almost everyone left.

Audrey and I stayed up and her sister spent a long time opening up about their family's childhood and past with their terrible father. This girl is not the kind to reveal secrets at all and told me some highly emotional things that made her (and Audrey) very vulnerable. It ended up being an all-nighter and when her sister finally did go to sleep, Audrey told me that even she didn't know half the stuff that had been said. She also said that her sister already liked me, but must really, really trust me now...which made both of us happy. Being a part of their family, especially now that mine is totally gone, means so much to me.

As it turns out, earlier in the day Audrey had already posted the most amazing thing on her tumblr blog about me in response to an ask she got. What she wrote means a lot when you consider that she detests the word relationship, is very sparse with praise and effusive compliments, and thinks romance isn't necessarily essential to a good relationship (More like icing on the cake. Now great sex is different altogether.).

do you ever want to marry the lawyer? or anyone? i bet your wedding would be so glamorous!


I love [Vanquish]. I enjoy spending time with him, I love that we make each other better (and sometimes worse. He wasn’t a procrastinator until he met me, haha), and we have a wonderful relationship. That said, we don’t want to get married. He’s freshly divorced, and I’m 20. Neither of us are looking to settle down anytime soon.

And we absolutely adore one another, but we aren’t fooling ourselves into thinking that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. That’s just unrealistic. Our wants and needs will change, and we’ll adjust accordingly. Could that possibly include marriage down the road? Anything’s possible, I guess, but I don’t really believe in marriage, and Alfie kind of has a “been there, done that, never again” mentality about it.

We have joked about having a fake wedding where it’s just a huge party that’s all about us, but we’re just kidding about it. You’re completely right, though, it would be the epitome of glamour, haha. Live swing band, open bar, dancing, he’d wear his vintage Givenchy tux, and I’d wear a gorgeous dress that I saw online once (which I’ll post if I can find it again/if you’re interested). It would definitely be a lavish affair. But we could just throw a party without the binding legal contract, haha. Maybe we’ll do that for our anniversary, even!

Sorry, off track. I didn’t mean to write a novel. Thank you for the sweet question!

Playing hooky from work again today to finish the yard work (to stave off the city who put a notice in my yard) and Audrey is super cuddly and connected to me.

Life is good.
 

vanquish

New member
Wow. I was posting pretty regularly there for awhile, but haven't posted in weeks. Well here goes.

Audrey and I are better than ever as a couple. We've attended some parties and family get togethers and are becoming a more cohesive unit. Our capacity for listening to each other and understanding each other has grown immensely, as has our ability to anticipate the needs of the other. I still dote on her quite often and in lots of different ways, but I truly enjoy that. We've both gotten better at reading each other's signals when we do have a miscommunication so that we're able to reset much quicker.

The only real issue that seems to be coming up, if only once in awhile, is that I am growing increasingly annoyed by her siblings. Annoyed is too strong a word. They are good, smart, caring people. Her brother, Josef, is a newly minted 18 and her sister, Vera, is a returning college student at 26. Vera is poly by nature, but currently in a committed relationship with Bruce, 27 (I think) who has had a lot of life experience and is very smart.

It's been Josef that I've usually knocked heads with, if only verbally...and really only when we're debating politics and culture. I surely remember that we've all been 17 once, so we all "go through that stage", but he takes being a know-it-all to all new heights, with a condescension and closed-mindedness that gets under my skin so much that in the past we've had some pretty heated arguments.

It's kind of unfortunate, because we're a lot a like in many ways. We're both tall, skinny, bookish yet charming types who enjoy political discourse and educating ourselves about economics. The difference is that I'm much further along down the path. I've gotten a Master's degree in Economics and have been published by some pretty heavy organizations on the subject. Meanwhile he's self-educated in a home-schooled environment where he doesn't get feedback from anyone smarter or more studied than himself. Which leads to his fierce belief that his is the only correct opinion and everyone else should just bow down. Add to this that he's a very talented musician with an adoring mother (what a lovely, amazing lady who I love), AND has an additional internet following on tumblr where he's semi-internet famous... all of which feeds into his feelings of superiority. To be fair, I've always been regarded as having a high opinion of myself, but the difference is I bend over backwards to be accommodating and inclusive, even shooting holes in my own theories/opinions, but still get seen as arrogant when all I'm trying to do is humble myself while voicing my opinion.

Audrey and Vera love their brother very much, but they've voiced concerns about how he treats their mother. Not any kind of real abuse, but constantly and sarcastically sniping at her for little things, all while she waits on him hand and foot regarding everything from his music career (she manages) to his personal life (she drops everything to cart him around) and even his eating habits (he's a Vegan and a very picky one at that). He snaps at her or makes little quips at her expense every so often and it's not cool. Again it's not constant, but it is with some regularity and increasing frequency.

Let me double back so as to be kind to Josef. There's nothing wrong with self-confidence. There's nothing wrong with being passionate about socio-political nuances or celebrating a life lived within your mind. I can totally relate. The problem is that where normally people soften the edges of their speech patterns in order to be polite (i.e. being right isn't more important than being friends), he sees no reason to back off because in his mind he's not wrong. Hell, he'll even dig his heels in and refuse to concede even one small point just so he hasn't caved in on his principles one bit.

Over the last two months I've gotten a better handle on not engaging Josef in debate or getting sucked in when he inevitably steers the conversation to his favorite topics. Audrey and Bruce have both helped me in this regard. I've reached a level with their family now where instead of construing misunderstandings against me almost entirely to protect a family member, now they speak freely and commiserate with me about his behavior. I've learned those feelings were always there, but they weren't sharing them. Also, I can give them credit for thinking that out of the two of us, I'd be the easier one to convince to be reasonable and let things go.

Lately it's Vera and Bruce that are giving me pause instead of Josef. As roommates they're better than average. I end up doing most of the tidying up around the house...taking out the trash, cleaning the range and the oven, etc., but I don't complain or act out about it. It would just make me sound like a complainer and it's really a small issue. It is my house after all, but I could use a little more help. I say they're better than average, because I care about them like family and when things are going well, I truly do enjoy their company. They're both atheists like I am, enjoy the same types of sci-fi/fantasy/comic-book culture stuff I do. They're both talented musically and tech wise (Vera is studying to be a mechanical engineer and Bruce is an expert in construction) which is impressive. They've both been heavily into the BDSM scene in the past (though not for some time), which is something else I can relate to quite well.

But that's actually part of the problem. They're both D-types (aka tops) and while they are very chill, bordering on anti-social (which they fully profess to be), when there are little interactions, I always feel like it's some sort of power jockeying situation. As a couple they're great about backing each other up as experts in whatever topic or situation they're in. If it's pet training...they're the experts. If it's music...they're the experts. If it's academia and academic life...they're the experts. And the entire family buys into it and feeds into it as a way to love and respect them.

I'm in a weird situation where I know I shouldn't be in some constant state of competition, but at the same time my natural need for respect and value from others, especially coupled with my innate sense of fairness, has me thinking exactly those competitive thoughts. I was never this way growing up. It comes up constantly, but in really inconsequential ways so again it's not worth pressing the issue about though it's enough to bother me.

Perfect example came up last night. Audrey has been on a self-defense kick lately. It so happens that I've studied martial arts for over 20 years, though I haven't actively studied or practiced in the last 4 or 5. I've even taught self-defense classes myself. Audrey knows about my training, though not the teaching part, so she's been eager to get me involved. Eager to include the entire family, she wanted to make it a group thing by getting Vera and Bruce involved. I'm cool with that. The more the merrier, right? Well it could have been a little better.

As soon as Audrey brought up the subject I was regaled multiple times with how Bruce had taught self-defense to women. And his time in the military was also brought up. Fair enough. No big deal. But I had to hear about it over and over. And it was when Audrey told her sister about my background that yet again I got topped. So we're all hanging out and Audrey says she wants to finally get down to brass tacks. Myself, Audrey and Vera are all sitting there.

I had already decided that I was going to just be smooth about the whole thing, but Vera goes ahead and just kind of takes over the whole situation. I have no clue (and still don't) what kind of training she's had, but having been informed by Audrey of my past, you'd think she'd defer to the person who's had decades of experience, but no. So I sit there, pleasantly, and listen and watch patiently. Mostly what she was showing her sister was fluff...the kind of stuff that sounds great in theory, but in a real situation wouldn't really work that well. Or general common sense to use your legs to kick whenever possible. And the old S.I.N.G. mnemonic from Miss Congeniality. (It's valid. It's helpful.)

So Audrey asks me to show them some things. Vera's mood instantly changes, she detaches from the group and becomes very skeptical. In contrast, I'd been open and receptive and very encouraging, though of course you now know what was going through my brain. I begin to help Audrey and it's like riding a bike...it all comes back. I take her through the top 5 situations and methods that a woman is likely to encounter...explaining slowly, methodically, and practically what to do. We even go over multiple variations of these encounters, so by the end Audrey's ready to rock and roll if need be. Vera can't really deny that I know my stuff, but there's no "hey that's really cool" or "Seems like you know a lot. What else you got?" Just a kind of blunt end to the whole thing, where she goes back into her room and the subject isn't really brought up again.
 

vanquish

New member
CONTINUED....

Was the whole thing that big a deal? Absolutely not. But when you add it to the list of times where I get no credit or respect in a situation where if someone else did the same exact thing they'd get fawned over it gets annoying. Do I need to be fawned over? No. Do I like credit and respect? Yes. Is it tiresome to have to play the game where I follow the flow of everyone congratulating someone for being so great at something? It is. But I love Audrey. I do love her family. And I want to get along. They have included me in their holidays and life in a way that few other people would have done and remarkably at a time when I've been the most vulnerable.

I know that I'm not a real member of the family yet (if ever). I know that family psychology is very strong and unreal expectations about inclusion aren't going to be healthy or productive. It's just that a little fairness would go a long way with me. Of course I can hear my dad now. "Life's not fair. Suck it up." True enough. And I'd put down the heavy load of all the analysis on the subject, but I just do it automatically. Obviously I'm not getting something that I need or want.


Another situation that comes up fairly regularly is how people get treated in our group when we're all playing board/card games. And it goes back to a situation where I don't need to be fawned over, but getting similarly treated would sure as heck be nice. When Vera or Josef answer a question right or make some strategic maneuver they're instantly geniuses of the highest caliber. Not just from the loving mother, but they all pat each other on the back. When I answer a question or win a game, it's business as usual and life goes on. Often times if it's a trivia kind of game, they'll add some extended commentary and I'll have to sit there while they revel in telling us something they act like the rest of us don't know. Heaven forbid I do the same thing and later Audrey will tell me that I was showing off or being too hard on someone. I was told for a week how Bruce was amazing at poker and his dad was so good that he got blacklisted in Vegas. Guess who has won by a staggering margin every time we've played? Me. But the record starts up again and I'm told over and over again about how great he is. I'm just supposed to sit there like a lump on a log I guess or just put up with being nameless, faceless participant #6. It gets old quick.

Audrey and I have talked the issue to death. First she wanted me to open up so I told her and while she did listen to my side of things, she defended her family. (Totally expected and I don't fault her in the least for that.) But don't ask me how I'm feeling then scoff at the answer. Situations have come up a few times in the last 2 or 3 months and it'll get discussed, but we always get back to a situation where I'm made to feel like I'm being too sensitive or I'm not perceiving things correctly. Because Audrey is so worried that there's some deep, unresolvable issue there, we can't even talk about it anymore. She's set a boundary for her comfort and I can respect that. Besides, no one's ever going to see things from my perspective so it's a losing battle.

Half of me feels bad for even typing all this out. Vera, Josef, and Bruce are all genuinely good people who are fun to be around and mean me no ill will in the least. And part of it is my own baggage. I grew the only child in a house with two academics who lauded intelligence as a virtue and even a currency for value. I accomplished things during my education and was praised for it. Add to that a fourteen-year marriage to someone who, despite other incongruities, gave me a LOT of respect and credit for intelligence and past personal accomplishments.

I'm not some ego-maniacal fool with deep insecurities or a narcissism complex. I swear I'm not. And I even feel weak for typing all this out. It's just that when you keep getting condescended to or power played or ignored...even when it's just every so often...it gets really annoying. Imagine that almost every conversation you have there's someone in the group who doesn't consider that you might have some input on the subject, but who lectures you and the other people re-enforce the behavior?

For now I'm not going to rock the boat. Overall I enjoy Audrey's family's company and the good outweighs the not-so-good. I love Audrey to death and am willing to endure things for a bit to see where they lead. I see our relationship lasting for a long time to come...and I have a solid sense of self-worth...I'm not going to create a problem where there doesn't have to be one. Just typing this out helps me relax about it a bit.

I know all you have to go on is what I've typed, but am I totally off base here? I'd appreciate some perspective from the outside.
 
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JaneQSmythe

Active member
Just wanted to say that I have enjoyed reading your blog and I can really identify with your last few posts. I don't want to blog-jack your thread so I won't go into all of my similar examples - but my advise would be exactly what you have decided to do...sit back and let it ride for now.

One story (maybe I'll add others in my own blog). I'd been dating MrS for several years and we were at the stage where I am going to family-functions etc. for a while. I was getting pretty deep into my professional education at this point - scholarships, honors, Dean's List, etc. MrS's dad (a REALLY smart guy) is involved peripherally in a related area (although it is his secondary interest - not his primary career). He has been doing this for quite some time and is really into, and good at, the parts that he is involved with. We were swapping "war stories" at one point and he expressed some puzzlement over a certain encounter - I was able to explain, in detail, the whys/wherefores of the situation and resolve his puzzlement. I swear - the man went silent and just stared at me for 30 seconds - "You're really good at this, aren't you?" "Yes, actually, I am."

My entire relationship with my FIL changed dramatically at that point - as if he suddenly saw me as a person and not just his son's girlfriend. A colleague and expert in my field, a resource. Now he gets excited to talk to me about challenges he has faced, asks my opinion, sends me links and articles, etc. (no one else in the family is interested in this stuff except me) - and we can have real discussion/debate and educate each other. It's awesome!

Hang in there...

JaneQ
 

vanquish

New member
Thanks, y'all. You're absolutely right. I'm choosing to spend time in the environment so I should know that certain results are going to come from it.

You've reminded me of the perspective I need to have. And it has paid off recently.

So the other night every one in my house is hanging out down in the parlor: Audrey, Vera, Bruce, and Minou. As a reminder, Audrey is my companion. Vera is her sister. Bruce is her sister's companion. Minou is a very attractive (looks, personality, and intelligence) Iranian girl renting a room from me in the house.

Minou is one of those sweet souls that you just want to gobble up for being so darn cute and fun. That she's smart and hot just adds to the mix. She's very open to discussing her relationships and sexuality, so there's a bit of a strange vibe in the house. Audrey makes playful passes at her that are well received, but neither of them act on it. Bruce does the same, but while not being as nearly well received, aren't complete turn downs either. Myself, I've had more than one opening to possibly initiate something, but haven't felt it was the right time or place to do anything about it.

So the other night when we were all hanging out downstairs, Bruce, who is normally very tight-lipped, decides to hold court for what seemed like an hour or more. By hold court, I just mean that he kept talking and talking without letting anyone get a word in edge-wise or checking in at all. It was all about his knowledge of interior design and exactly what he thought the perfect design rules were for different types of locations, houses and businesses. He has a new job at a carpeting/flooring company where he sells products and does interior design. More power to him. I think he's making more money than he did at his old job which is great. But as someone who was married to an architect who also did interior design for over 14 years...someone who contributed significantly to almost every one of her designs....he wasn't the only one with opinions about the topic he was lecturing us on. Later, to my surprise, even Audrey came up to me afterwards in the kitchen and asked me what the hell was going on with the guy? I just listened to him and played around on my phone and on my computer. Not pouting or acting out in any way...just kind of going on about my own business, cuddling with Audrey or working on the computer. So the guy wants to revel in his expertise at something. That doesn't diminish me, right?

After a few beers on Bruce's part and wine on everyone else's part (except for mine (for some reasons alcohol and getting buzzed just doesn't hold the allure it used to for me)), Bruce began pushing his massage skills. Minou began talking about how sore she was from a date a day ago and from some work she had to do that day. Bruce enters schmoozy territory. "I give excellent massages." and his companion Vera instantly backs him up on it. "Oh yeah. He's great." No big deal, except that Minou expresses trepidation about it and he keeps going. Audrey pipes up and says "Oh [Vanquish] gives amazing massages. I've never liked anyone touching me or massaging me, but the way he does it is amaaaaazing." To which Bruce pipes up and says "You just haven't had mine." And then he said some other kind of weird line that escapes me right now, but felt a bit uncomfortable and over the line.

I didn't want this to turn into some competition of the massagers, so I didn't engage. Audrey had backed up my skills and not responded to his solicitation, so things were ok. I just hung out for a bit and then went into the kitchen for a short bit. The funny thing was that when I came back, apparently Bruce had not only started the massage, but it was over and done with much to her dissatisfaction. He was heading to bed for the night and Minou was saying something about how if she ever let him massage her again, she'd have to do some better explaining about what was good and bad.

Of course you can tell this gave me a bit of glee, though I didn't show it. This was another example...both the hour long lecture on interior decor and the massage expertise of how there's always this power play going on. Always a bit of self-promotion going on in this family.

I'm getting much better at just letting it roll off me. It's just a weird thing to have to put up with since I didn't grow up in a house where that was necessary or done.
 

vanquish

New member
Kind of in a daze this morning. Thought I'd type it out.

Let me preface by saying I realize that I'm dating a 20 year old. Barely not a teenager. That, of course, has its perks. Let me also go on to say that Audrey is much more mature than some people twice her age. All those caveats in place, the girl doesn't like to clean.

And that's my fault. The way our relationship is set up, I want her company so badly that I don't ask a lot of her. In fact, I didn't use to ask anything. As the months have crept up, she's kind of realized that the longer she stays the more she needs to do. The end of July we'll have our first anniversary actually. Yesterday all the pet hair had finally gotten to her so she cleaned up the front parlor, Swiffered all the hard-wood floors downstairs, and also shop-vacced all the hair going all the way up the flights of stairs, both on the runner and in the crevasses. It was quite a transformation.

As a reward I took her to get her nails done and for some take-out food. I'd just gotten her hair re-cut and colored on Saturday so she's looking better than ever. Speaking of better than ever...we're doing so well and hadn't had a dust-up in ages.

Lately the pets have been getting to me. They take a lot of work to maintain and I'm usually the one doing it. If she ever read this she'd probably be pissed to hear me say that (obviously it goes unsaid irl), but it's true. I'm the one who feeds and walks everyone in the morning. I'm the one who cleans up the poop and throw up 8 times out of 10. I'm the one who changes the litter box 8 times out of 10. So last night when our largest, Gus, a half-pit, half-great dane swiped a nice wine glass onto the floor, spilling wine everywhere on top of books and papers and couches...I got really angry. And a heated discussion ensued.

I know it wasn't the dog's fault. It's just that Audrey leaves all kinds of things out and the place isn't dog proofed. I'm constantly stressing about what they're going to break or chew up next. It really wears on me. She wants to keep the dogs out of their kennels more, which I support, in theory. But the problem is that I have to clean up the house and do the work to make it dog proofed. And when I get frustrated and speak out, I get characterized as someone who either yells too much or who doesn't care for the dogs as much as I should.

It's a prison of my own making because I feel like I need to walk on egg shells otherwise she'll start spending more time at her own home. Yes, I'm a grown man. I'm a grown man who entered into a relationship soon after his divorce and who enjoys having company around. I've lost most of my friends because of the divorce (my wife did a great job of politicking) and Audrey is so wonderful...meaning it's hard for me to be without her.

But the trade off is that I have to make sure that I don't piss her off into leaving. Which means she doesn't have to clean. And I'm acquiescing about the dog issues.

At one point she stormed out and walked down the street. I followed after her, expressing that I wanted to listen and I wanted to hear all her issues. I also expressed that at 1 am, I was worried about her safety. She said she had the right to want to be alone and calm down without me there. I agreed and went back in. In less than 5 minutes she was back inside.

At another point she was being very sarcastic and flippant so I said "don't use that tone with me." That got her super furious. I'd anticpated that, but I was expressing my dislike of being spoken to in a particular way. It wasn't meant to be controlling or condescending. Of course, in the middle of an argument, that's how she took it. But what ensued was even worse. She has done the exact same thing to me - told me that my tone was inappropriate in not so polite a fashion. When I brought that up she said there's no way she'd ever do such a thing. I said that I remembered it differently. This impasse became an issue all its own. She felt like I was calling her a liar...which I wasn't I was simply saying that I remembered things differently. Which...for what it's worth...I swear to all that is holy she has done multiple times.

We kinda talked it through, but no one was really happy with each other. She decided to go up to go to bed and I stayed downstairs for about 20 minutes. Eventually I went upstairs...playing peacemaker...and asked to hear her out again. She wondered what talking would do...and I explained that we have to talk somethings out otherwise they'll just fester and get worse. It was weird, but she eventually came around to re-explaining back to me why we needed to talk things out. Call it a semi-win, I guess?

When she said what she wanted to say, it included a recitation of her version of facts that made me sound like a dog abuser. Sure, she started it all off with "I know you love the dogs a whole, whole lot.", but then the rest made me sound like I yelled at them for no reason and didn't even like them half the time. Things went sideways when I told her how that made me feel. I said, "Put yourself in my shoes, and imagine someone had just said all that about you. You made me sound like an abuser." Well then we were off to the races again. Audrey explained that she'd never do that and didn't even think that. And it was unfair for me to claim that. I responded that this was just how she made me feel and shouldn't I get to voice how I felt. That devolved into a discussion of how my valid feelings could still be unfair to her. Ok, fair enough.

I just had to take a two-hour pause from typing this to do actual work, so I've lost my train of thought.

By the end of everything we agreed that: 1) the dogs need to get to be out more; 2) that the house needs to be more dog-proofed constantly; and 3) that it's possible for us to remember things differently and not be calling each other liars. She went back to calling me Papa and back to curling that oh so beautiful body around me as well as fluttering her spell-binding eyes in my direction. Needless to say we didn't go to bed angry.

It was, however, a very emotional and physically taxing argument. She didn't wake up when I kissed her sleeping face as I went to work. Normally she grabs my arm or my neck and tries to get me to stay. It's really not a big thing, just the argument last night and no contact this morning have me in a weird place. I do love her so.

My crazy life, eh?
 

opalescent

Active member
If you want her to act like an adult, then treat her like one. And that means telling her when stuff is bothering you. It's not helpful when you keep it in until you exploded and start yelling. It also means figuring out who does what around the house.

If this makes her not live with you, then consider that a sign she's not ready for an adult relationship.

I had epic fights with my ex-wife over cleaning. We eventually came to a kind-of acceptable compromise (I cleaned more than I thought necessary and she accepted less cleaning than she wanted.) I think more people have had fights over cleaning than just about anything else.
 
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