LDR Poly during COVID

MyFickleHeart

New member
Hey all! So I've been in my first poly relationship for 2 years (previously mono but open for 6 years with my nesting partner). I have a strong bond with both my partners and consider them both equals (ie there is no hierarchy). They're both really amazing, sweet, loving guys and very different people. I feel like we have balance because they both fulfill really different roles in my life.

My nesting partner (we'll call him Mick) is my rock, a chill programmer and we have a great, relaxed, grounded home-vibe together in Canada. My other partner (we'll call him Aus) is in a music project with me and we tour the world for nearly half the time (or at least we normally would be) playing shows with our original music. Our relationship is newer and more fiery, but we are very committed to each other and have a very strong bond.

Aus lives in Australia and I live in Canada. Last year Aus' nesting partner left him (which was sad) but they're still friends and she and I are on good terms. I've been dreading handling him dating new people just because it's new and brings up insecurities (but such is poly-life). I figured I could emotionally manage it as long as she wasn't a singer or a lot like me... so we had an agreement that we both wouldn't date other singers. I know some people won't agree with this but we both agreed that that would just be really hard for both of us and it really made us both feel better. We obviously can't see each other because of Covid and have had to cancel all our tours but we're currently recording an album and things are really going well despite the circumstances.

Lately he started dating a new girl and it's going well, I don't feel too threatened by her and I'm glad he has someone. BUT he's also entered into a new music project with an old friend who came back to town a few months ago. Ironically it's the musical friendship that's the hardest for me. They're like, total besties and she's just like me but 10 years younger. She's good at all the things I'm good at and they're doing together what I want to be doing with him but can't. He assures me he's not romantically attracted to her but it still feels hard.

Any advice on how to cope? It's just really been painful but we're also so in love with each other.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
How long is the music project supposed to be?

Ironically it's the musical friendship that's the hardest for me. They're like, total besties and she's just like me but 10 years younger.

She ISN'T you. She may have similar interests with the music, but she isn't you. You aren't "replaceable" by a younger model.

Lately he started dating a new girl and it's going well, I don't feel too threatened by her and I'm glad he has someone. BUT he's also entered into a new music project with an old friend who came back to town a few months ago. Ironically it's the musical friendship that's the hardest for me. They're like, total besties and she's just like me but 10 years younger. She's good at all the things I'm good at and they're doing together what I want to be doing with him but can't. He assures me he's not romantically attracted to her but it still feels hard.

Any advice on how to cope? It's just really been painful but we're also so in love with each other.

I believe feelings ensue after action behavior or thinking behavior.

So what actions have you been doing around this? Him?

What thoughts have you been thinking? Has he been thinking things and telling you stuff that bothers you?

What would you like to feel instead about this music project?

Galagirl
 

MyFickleHeart

New member
Thanks Galagirl! Yes, though her age isn’t a big part of my issue I think I’m also grieving a bit because of recently being told I’m peri-menopausal at 36. Also my moods have been more changeable than average because of hormones.

Oh man it’s a long story I’m sorry I’m bad at being concise!

When he first started jamming with her, it was totally casual, he told me it was just for fun and she’d probably be leaving again soon. I started to feel uneasy about it and mentioned it (more casually) but tried to deal with my feelings.

As time went on she was sleeping over at his house all the time and he was getting a lot less responsive to me and putting off things we were working on together. They went and played a couple of open mics which turned out to be pretty packed and happening (WA is fully covid free) and they got a bunch of really cool pictures taken of them which they posted on insta. They then got a couple of actual gigs booked.

At that point I started spiraling about it because I saw no way out - this is his friend and they’d played music together before before we dated... now she was back in the same town so naturally it would probably turn into something legitimate.

This all happened pretty fast and by the time I properly brought it up I was really hurting. My issue was primarily that if they kept going this way, they’d get well known in WA and look like a romantic duo band - which was just exactly what we were trying to do. Then when I could finally come visit, people would compare me to her and we’d be the less practiced ones.

I haven’t been pursuing similar projects with others in my town for the same reasons. Just knowing how much time and energy it takes to make something professional and not wanting to create anything that would take away from us.

He was upset that I was upset and said that if it came down to it, he’d stop playing with her but he was mad about it. Of course I could never ask him to do that! It just made me feel worse. He assures me constantly that there’s nobody who even comes close to me in his mind and that our project is his top priority.

At first he asked “if it wasn’t a duo would it feel better?” and I said I thought it might. They got a 3rd member to play percussion but it was still the two of them fronting the band so it didn’t really change things. Eventually he left the band with her and we had a fight (one of our only fights ever!) about it because I was starting to record (our music and my own) with a producer in town and I mentioned we might jam. Aus felt resentful because he said that was the same. I didn’t know he’d left the band and I felt bad.

Now he’s playing with her again and they have a new duo that’s been picked up by his booking agency and she’s started working for that agency as well so she’s deeply enmeshed in his life.

I spent a chunk of money on a therapy course and spent 3 months trying to rewire my brain about it so I’m doing a bit better. I have a meeting with my therapist today as well.

I want to feel supportive because this is growing his skillset as a performer and making him happy... and she’s not his romantic partner so I should be grateful (because that would be harder). Still when I see posts about them/her I just go dark. It’s like a light switch. When he’s with his new gf and her and I feel like he’s not doing things he agreed to do for me/us I feel angry. It’s definitely eroding our relationship because I feel like I need to nag him to keep him on track and I keep feeling like the one in distress while he’s doing fine. I’m trying to keep myself busy over here and just work on myself and my own music. I know part of this is me having more time on my hands but I’ve also been having some trouble with my voice lately due to acid reflux. Plus Covid of course so I can’t play gigs here.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I don't think there is a "correct solution" to this current state of affairs. It does seem very emotional for you. There are layers of issues.

Aus broke up with nesting partner
Covid happened
Long distance relationship
Employment dynamic (wanting to "be seen as a romantic duo band")
You both need to make music because you need incomes
Fear of Aus actually dating someone else, namely, his singing partner
Perimenopause, shifting hormones and moods

These issues and your fear of loss have led to jealousy and envy on your part. You say your relationship with Aus was fiery to begin with, and it sounds like all the new issues have added fuel to the flames.

You might consider starting a journal in our Blog section just to air out your fears and anxieties. That helps, sometimes.
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
This sounds more like a business relationship problem than a romantic relationship problem. In my personal life I have found it difficult to mix the two. That is because we tend to put different expectations on our business partners when we have an emotional relationship with them. The music world is full of examples of how the business end destroys the romantic end, or vice versa.

Covid certainly doesn't help matters. There is a lot of uncertainty (be thankful you don't live in the USA). My only advice for situations during the pandemic is to ride it out and be prepared to make certain concessions that you might not make in a plague free world. Recognize that the current situation adds a lot of stress that you have no real control over. The only thing you can control is how you react to a given situation.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Let me try to repeat back what I understand in my own words so I know I got it how you mean it. You correct me if I get parts wrong, ok?

PEOPLE IN THE PROBLEM

  • You, MyFickleHeart, living in Canada
  • Aus, your long distance BF in Australia
  • MusicFriend, Aus's new band person

PROBLEM

You are struggling with jealousy/envy because Aus is moving forward with his music career with MusicFriend. They are doing well playing local gigs and their band image is "romantic duo band."

This is the music dream you shared with Aus before COVID -- that you and Aus would be the "romantic duo band." You want to be supportive of him working on his music but struggle with being generous because those two are getting to do what you wish you could be doing.

(Were expectations updated after pandemic hit? Like you'd get back to this goal when you and Aus could travel together again, but in the meanwhile you each would do.....?)

You are worried they will continue to be successful where they are, and then when you can finally visit once COVID calms down, people would compare you and Aus doing music work together and find that work less practiced and lacking than Aus and MusicFriends doing music work together

(This can be solved by doing what over LDR? More music practice together? Online concerts? Something else?)

PROBLEM 2

Because you were hoping to do the romantic duo band with Aus, you stopped pursuing local projects where you are. Thinking that it would take away from that dream if you made musical progress on your own. (Why do this self limiting behavior? Would you honing your skills further actually be a musical asset for the band with him later? )

In the arguing...
  • He quit the band with her.
  • You had a another fight with him not knowing he quit the band.
  • Then you started working on your own local music. You recorded with a local producer in your town and mentioned you might jam with him.
  • Aus got mad because that's what he was doing, making local music where he is.
  • He grew resentful that you get to do local music and he stopped, so he went back to doing local music where he is with MusicFriend again.
So basically now you both are working on your music locally on your own rather than sitting out during pandemic.
(This is bad because....?)


PROBLEM 3

we're currently recording an album and things are really going well despite the circumstances.

Ok. It's going well.

He assures me constantly that there’s nobody who even comes close to me in his mind and that our project is his top priority.

You do not believe that any more because..... what behavior did he start/stop doing? What behavior are you doing?

Because if he's reassuring you both in actions (working on album that is going well) and words, and you are off thinking doom, it's you kicking your own bucket over. The one who has to stop that behavior is you. He cannot be your forever bucket filler if you are the one tipping it over. Right?


WHERE YOU WANT TO BE

You want to be supportive while he grows his music skills as a performer on his own during pandemic.

You want to grow your own skills during pandemic.

WHAT HELPS YOU

You did the counseling, and are working on your own music.

WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK

When you go look at posts about them/her you trigger yourself. You just go dark. (Are you able to stop looking at their gig stuff for a while? Like wish him well but not know all these details about gigs and bookings and whatnot til you are on firmer footing with counseling?)

You say they are not dating. Is that a fear? Is the elephant in the room that you are afraid this is going to change from a professional musical relationship and he's going to start dating Music Friend too?

AGREEMENTS

When he’s with his new gf and MusicFriend and you feel like he’s not doing things he agreed to do for me/us I feel angry.

What are the agreements that he is not doing? You list how you feel, but not what the agreements actually ARE.

It’s definitely eroding our relationship because I feel like I need to nag him to keep him on track and I keep feeling like the one in distress while he’s doing fine.

The album project is going well. Why the need to nag him to keep him on track? Esp if nagging erodes the relationship? Is he not able to be responsible for his own share of the album work? Are you able to stop nagging and let him be responsible for keeping himself on track?

You are in distress while he is doing fine. Does he know you are in distress? What about? He cannot be a mind reader.

Like if the real problem is you are afraid he's going to start dating MusicFriend when you already have stress adjusting to him dating NewGF, could you renegotaite your dating agreements? Rather than do this confusing side trip convo about music when music is not the actual problem?

Or if the problem IS the music... that you wanted to be a romantic duo band and instead have to postpone that and work on album together instead over LDR due to pandemic....

What do you need to become more ok postponing the romantic duo band dream? Because in pandemic people have to adjust?

What do you actually need from him? If you were to circle it on the need inventory, what do you circle?


I could be wrong. Yet I get the vibe you want him to comfort you about something, but don't articulate what the something IS. Is that true?

Galagirl
 

tdh

New member
Hey MyFickleHeart. I have read this a few times to get the whole story (Galagirl your break down was really helpful fyi) by my brain kind of stopped after a musical partnership issue so will just write to that.

Having recorded and produced many local artists when I worked in the music industry, there is a connection of intimacy that is different. The closest thing I can liken it to is when teammates who really strive for something great (Championship level of commitment). That bond is something unique when you find creative souls and the ending of a creative partnership can be like a break up.

Think one of things you loved was you had both the romantic and creative connection and you miss it. There is something above being in a room when everyone picks up an instrument and sync together that is...well my body responses just thinking about it.

What I have also learned is no musical connection ever replaces another. They are all different in their unique way but it is harder to see a musical partner go off when you feel your have music left to play with them. This does not seem to be your case. You STILL have the musical partner when COVID is done but right now, you are separated by powers out of your control. I would sink that into prose and notes and call him up for his tones on it if you want it for some songs. The feelings you have make me think of Fleetwood Mac which basically made a career writing songs on all these complex feelings and relationships.

For the more practical side of the Poly relationship, https://www.morethantwo.com/practicaljealousy.pdf might help but I need to reread now that I have expressed my deepest sympathy for you missing your musical partner.
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
The feelings you have make me think of Fleetwood Mac which basically made a career writing songs on all these complex feelings and relationships.
Yes, along these lines there is nothing wrong here. Not every uneasy relationship situation needs to be dissected, graphed and fixed. If you channel all of this into your art, Fickle, it's perfect as it is.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
It's funny, I also thought of Fleetwood Mac. And there have been other groups where the singers or musicians were romantic partners or spouses, broke up, and continued on successfully as friends and music partners. These come to mind, but I'm sure there are countless others.

The White Stripes
Blondie
Die Antwoord
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi MyFickleHeart,

You might find https://polyamory.com/threads/sometimes-its-sooooo-hard.73828/post-292690 to be somewhat helpful, it tells you ways you can cope when Aus is with someone else. It seems to me that your #1 problem here is that you are afraid Aus's platonic music friend will morph into a romantic friend, and then replace you because she is so much like you. This fear is especially driven home for you when the two of them present as a romantic duo band, and that was supposed to be your dream with him. I'm a bit confused here, I take it he quit the band with her? Did he then rejoin the band with her? I am just wondering if that situation is still ongoing.

I think LDR and COVID are making things really, really difficult for you. I don't know if you can sustain a relationship with Aus, with all that is going on. Maybe you can. I see that you are trying to be very loyal to him, by not getting (musically? romantically? both?) involved with any other local musicians in your area. And maybe you wish he would do likewise, but you also feel you don't have the right to tell him not to pursue musical prospects that are local to him. I also take it you are working on a new album with him, is that right? and you find you are having to nag him to get him to do his part on it? I'm just seeking some more clarity on that point.

I see that you are scared and hurting. I hope the posts in this thread are helping somewhat. You said you spent a chunk of money on a therapy course, and spent three months trying to rewire your brain about it, so maybe you're doing a bit better. Still, it is hard to live so remote to someone you love, to see them living the dream you used to have with them, and to have your own musical career stifled by the pandemic. That's a lot of things to have to cope with all at the same time. I hope you and Aus are able to work things out, but just know that not all things are meant to be. Hopefully Mick is your rock in this situation. Hang in there!

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

icesong

Member
It's funny, I also thought of Fleetwood Mac. And there have been other groups where the singers or musicians were romantic partners or spouses, broke up, and continued on successfully as friends and music partners. These come to mind, but I'm sure there are countless others.

The White Stripes
Blondie
Die Antwoord
My favorite one of this type were officially never a couple, they were both married to other people... but their body language and music seem to tell a wildly different story. And eventually the band broke up with much drama.

The Civil Wars - best song is probably “poison and wine”, or maybe “one that got away”.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
My favorite one of this type were officially never a couple, they were both married to other people... but their body language and music seem to tell a wildly different story. And eventually the band broke up with much drama.

The Civil Wars - best song is probably “poison and wine”, or maybe “one that got away”.
I had not heard of this duo. Thanks. I am checking out poison and wine. Jeez, could that guy look more like Johnny Depp?
 

MyFickleHeart

New member
Wow I am really impressed with your compassionate and thoughtful responses! Thank you so much for helping me break this down.

Yes TDH there is a bond between musical partners that is special and similar to a romantic partnership, thank you for putting that into words. It also takes a lot of time and commitment to be in a musical partnership! Aus and Music Friend definitely have a bond and, while it is not romantic and the same as our bond, it does tick a lot of the same boxes. Yes I should use my writing as therapy more... since covid I have had a hard time writing but I have been starting again now! My main worry doesn't seem to be that they will become romantic. That would be hard but I think what is going on between them is already the hard part for me. They have emotional intimacy and a musical bond. The physical part is not as hard for me to manage (on its own)... though if they had that as well I'm sure I'd be sensitive about it too given the circumstances.

To Kevin's question:
I'm a bit confused here, I take it he quit the band with her? Did he then rejoin the band with her? I am just wondering if that situation is still ongoing.
Yes, he quit the band (which was more her project) and then they formed another band that was specifically a duo under the umbrella of his booking agency.

To answer Galagirl:

People in the problem

Yes! Let's not forget about his new GF! Though she's not directly in the main issue and a more casual partner, she is still involved in the whole picture.

Yes I think him dating her and starting this new music project is part of the reason why it's been extra hard. Just because he only has so much time to go around and it's a lot of changes over a short time.

Problem

Yes good summary!
(Were expectations updated after pandemic hit? Like you'd get back to this goal when you and Aus could travel together again, but in the meanwhile you each would do.....?)
Yes but it's been evolving as we go and hard to truly make plans. We had hoped to use this time to record our album and get back to touring (or at least see each other) as soon as possible! Our plan essentially stayed the same but the touring/see each other plan is on hold indefinitely so we watch and wait.

Meanwhile I teach singing and he is in several cover bands. Previous to covid we were just doing the same stuff and saving money to tour. When Covid first hit I started streaming music live on Twitch and he started recording people in his home studio. Then he got really busy when things opened up over there for gigs again and he had a hard time keeping up with his commitments. Then Music Friend entered the picture.

(This can be solved by doing what over LDR? More music practice together? Online concerts? Something else?)
Well... good question. We can't online practice or stream because of latency issues and time differences so we have poured ourselves into the recording process and doubled down on making our project look more professional online. We are also recently started writing more songs.

Problem 2
(Why do this self limiting behavior? Would you honing your skills further actually be a musical asset for the band with him later? )
Yes I was being very choosey where I put my energy because I wanted to keep my commitments and achieve a high level of success (that I have had previously with other projects). I also was careful not to enter another romantic duo band, for fear of conflict of interests with our band. It just felt like a bad idea. I decided the best move was to put my creative energy into my solo project and Twitch stream.

I felt I was just being realistic with my energetic abilities, I need time for my nesting partner here too.
So basically now you both are working on your music locally on your own rather than sitting out during pandemic.
(This is bad because....?)
I feel like Aus regularly over-extents himself and he agrees, but has a hard time rectifying it. He says our band and my relationship are the most important things in his life but that's often not how I feel based on his actions.

Problem 3

You do not believe that any more because..... what behavior did he start/stop doing? What behavior are you doing?
Well, it's just when he avoids or forgets to do work for our project - he gets easily distracted by the people who are physically in his life and the deadlines of real-life shows. I understand... It's easy for those things to seem more urgent. Sometimes he just forgets to message me or doesn't read my messages well because he's busy. When he's with Music friend he sometimes seems to forget I exist. Other times he seems just as in love with me as ever. I am trying to make sure to communicate these things when they come up and he always apologizes.

Because if he's reassuring you both in actions (working on album that is going well) and words, and you are off thinking doom, it's you kicking your own bucket over. The one who has to stop that behavior is you. He cannot be your forever bucket filler if you are the one tipping it over. Right?
I really like this bucket metaphor! You are right about that.

What holds me back
When you go look at posts about them/her you trigger yourself. You just go dark. (Are you able to stop looking at their gig stuff for a while? Like wish him well but not know all these details about gigs and bookings and whatnot til you are on firmer footing with counseling?)
I can but I also don't want to ignore reality. I do feel better when I don't see/hear about them for a while but he often talks about her and the gigs and things they have coming up and I'd rather he did. I would rather be able to normalize these things and accept them. That being said, it shocks me how much it can derail me and I have wondered. It often seems to be getting easier but just when I feel good and stable there will often be a new thing to digest.

I do fear them getting together romantically but the level of intimacy they already have being close friends working together on music seems to already be 75% of it for me.

I think if it wasn't covid it would be different but if they suddenly started being intimate right now it would push me over the edge if I'm honest... I feel bad saying that because I feel like I should be able to get over it... but right now I don't see how I could be truly happy in that arrangement unless I was getting equal time in the physical realm.

Agreements

What are the agreements that he is not doing? You list how you feel, but not what the agreements actually ARE.
We have a shared drive list of album deadlines that we set for ourselves and for a while he just wasn't checking the document or keeping up with his deadlines. Also sometimes I need his input on things to meet a deadline of mine but he's too busy/distracted. He is still doing a lot of work, don't get me wrong. It's just sometimes we were going up to 2 weeks without even having a phone chat (we still message every day). I suggested weekly "band meetings" and that has helped a LOT.

I've tried to be understanding and clear... I know he's overloaded himself and his heart is in the right place. He says he wants to be with me forever and that nothing is more important to him... so it doesn't make sense to me that he'd put off talking to me (I know I sound like I might just be a bit of a whiney person but I assure you I'm quite fun and awesome when I'm not falling apart over this, which is often). Haha

What do you actually need from him? If you were to circle it on the need inventory, what do you circle?
This is a very good question! I do think I've been fairly clear with him about my feelings and needs but I will make a list for myself and be sure to communicate that to him. Mostly I need him to pay attention to meee

I could be wrong. Yet I get the vibe you want him to comfort you about something, but don't articulate what the something IS. Is that true?
Haha not really - I typically bring up my exact issues, though I could always be more concise and I don't like to complain for small things - I prefer to work it out for myself first. We are both very similar that way so I don't feel too bad about it. We have a lot in common but he is a few years younger than me and so is Music friend. I guess I just want him to be aware of the choices he's making/how he spends his time and think about how it might affect our music project/relationship. It seems like he's acting very opportunistically and a bit impulsively and I wish he'd be more careful with my heart.

Thanks again for all your support guys I find it very heartening. We're coming up to our 2 year anniversary in a week and I'm proud of all the things we've accomplished. I really don't want to let go! We have a really special, deep bond and it's rare to connect this way. That makes it worth all the efforts. I hope I can find a way to cope <3
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Re:
"I guess I just want him to be aware of the choices he's making/how he spends his time and think about how it might affect our music project/relationship. It seems like he's acting very opportunistically and a bit impulsively and I wish he'd be more careful with my heart."

This (the above) to me sounds like the core of your concerns. He is a bit more impulsive than you would like him to be in the middle of this pandemic. At the same time, you do seem to be working things out with him, little by little. I hope you'll keep us updated here as your situation evolves.

With kind regards,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for more info. Sounds like time management, communication, follow through kind of stuff.

I felt I was just being realistic with my energetic abilities, I need time for my nesting partner here too.

How about being more realistic with pandemic? and the LDR thing?

For instance this...


I can but I also don't want to ignore reality. I do feel better when I don't see/hear about them for a while but he often talks about her and the gigs and things they have coming up and I'd rather he did. I would rather be able to normalize these things and accept them. That being said, it shocks me how much it can derail me and I have wondered. It often seems to be getting easier but just when I feel good and stable there will often be a new thing to digest.

WHICH reality? Yeah, they have gigs. It's not a secret. But the reality you could address is your coping ability. Could accept that at this moment in time, it bothers you to hear TMI details. The solution can't be like a stepping stone thing? Tell only 25% this month, then 50%, then 75%, then 100% of the gig news? Ease you in?

Why does it have to be 100% details right now, which end up triggering you?

I OBSERVE THAT Aus regularly over-extents himself and he agrees, but has a hard time rectifying it. He says our band and my relationship are the most important things in his life but that's often not how I feel based on his actions.

he gets easily distracted by the people who are physically in his life and the deadlines of real-life shows. I understand it is easy for those things to seem more urgent.

So then he avoids or forgets to do work for our project. I end up feeling NOT prioritized.

Behaviors:
  • Sometimes he just forgets to message me or doesn't read my messages well because he's busy.
  • When he's with Music friend he sometimes seems to forget I exist. Other times he seems just as in love with me as ever.
  • I am trying to make sure to communicate these things when they come up and he always apologizes. (Ok, apology is good talk. What about follow up action? Does he make changes in his behavior? When he overschedules himself, can he make it so it doesn't ding you any? And the natural consequences only affect him? Or can you change your expectations so when he overschedules it doesn't ding you?)

I don't know if it helps you to read your words arranged like cause-effect. I also change "feel that" to "observe that." To me "feel" is for feelings. It is not to use interchangeably with "I think that" for thoughts and "I observe that" for experiences happening to you. It makes it easier to figure out what's going on when the right word is used for the right thing to me,

If he overextends himself regularly, other than apologies, what behaviors is he going to try or going to change? Use a planner? Graphic organizers? Actually put you on the schedule like an appt? Something else?

On your end, what can you change? Maybe it's part of his musician way of going -- impulsive, spontaneous, etc. And you change your expectations to "bonus if it actually happens as planned, but I'm not going to expect it." just so you get more inner peace during pandemic? More "margin of error" or "space for grace" for both in light of the pandemic weird?

You mentioned him being "all fine" and you in distress. Maybe he isn't fine in pandemic and rushes to fill his hours so he doesn't have to feel it? Considered that?

I think if it wasn't covid it would be different but if they suddenly started being intimate right now it would push me over the edge if I'm honest... I feel bad saying that because I feel like I should be able to get over it... but right now I don't see how I could be truly happy in that arrangement unless I was getting equal time in the physical realm.
Yet it IS Covid-19 time. Could let go of "should" stuff and the expectation to be this or that like pandemic is not here. It IS here. Could also accept yourself where you are at. You now have to share his time and attention with the new GF and the new Music Friend when you didn't have to before. PLUS not traveling like before. That's 3 new adjustments. Cut yourself a break. Also him. More commitments means having to do more organized planning and less impulsive/spontaneous and he might need some time and space to grow those new skills.

What PANDEMIC arrangement and behaviors from him would help you feel heard, seen, respected, valued? How would you "pandemic adjust" your expectations of yourself, him, you together as music makers, you together as a couple need to update so you have less internal conflict? What about external conflict?

To me? Sounds like making regular time together. Some of it to move the album project along. Having a band meeting helps, but if weekly is too much on his schedule could scale to every other week. More so that album, you seem to need CONNECTION, time to talk, text, interact. Do you have a set time for that as well?


We have a shared drive list of album deadlines that we set for ourselves and for a while he just wasn't checking the document or keeping up with his deadlines.

So are these deadlines pandemic realistic? This tracking method working out in pandemic? Could ask him.

I've tried to be understanding and clear... I know he's overloaded himself and his heart is in the right place. He says he wants to be with me forever and that nothing is more important to him... so it doesn't make sense to me that he'd put off talking to me.
Ok. But together forever HOW? Communicating smooth or wonky? With follow through on behaviors or wonky there too?

You could change your approach and ask him what he CAN deliver. I am guessing here, but it sounds like you suggest A or B and he goes "sure!" with the best of intentions, or maybe trying to comfort you or not disappoint you in the moment. But then it's not something he can ACTUALLY deliver. So here comes disappointment again.

It reminds me of my husband. He hates saying "No" even if that is how he honestly thinks or feel because his "no" was not honored growing up. So when I first met him he'd drive me nuts.

Me: Want to see a movie Friday?

Him: Ok. (but really wanting to say no)

Me: Ok, it's Thurs. We are still on for Fri? I should get tix?

him: Ok (but really wanting to say no)

Me: Ok, time to go.

Him: Oh, I forgot. I want to stay home.

Me: Feeling annoyed: Well, what happened?Are you sick?

Him: I don't want to see it.

Me: Jeez! I'm going without you then.

Him: See, now you are all mad! This is why I didn't want to say!

Me: I am not mad that you do not want to see this movie. I do not expect you to come to all my things or like all the things I like. I am mad you did not tell me Mon or Thurs when I checked in several times. I am mad you were not honest with me. I am mad you cost me missed opportunities. I could have asked a different friend to come or used the wasted ticket money on a movie snack. And I'm still gonna go, cuz I want to go. But we will talk later about why you can't just tell me NO and why it has to be a big deal you. Jeez!

These days he just says "Um... do you mind if I just stay home?"from the start and of course I don't mind. He still doesn't have to like everything I do. he is his own person.

He still cannot say "No" -- but at least he uses more up front words with me in the planning stages so my expectations are realistic and I feel respected. Not like wild goose chase weird.

I don't know if any of that helps you.

HTH!
Galagirl
 
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tdh

New member
We can't online practice or stream because of latency issues and time differences so we have poured ourselves into the recording process and doubled down on making our project look more professional online
So this is where the old fashion phone lines work better but fidelity can vary depending on the phone carrier. There was a great duo between Raul Midon and Stevie Wonder done via patched phone lines into local pre-amps and then xlr to the boards. And since the phone lines are underutilized these days the compression should be minimal. You can actually split the phone line data into input and output (like phones do) if they still sell the RJ11 to XLR or 1/4 in translators. More likely will find RJ45 to XLR or 1/4 in

I feel like Aus regularly over-extents himself...has a hard time rectifying it. He says our band and my relationship are the most important things in his life but that's often not how I feel based on his actions.
As a person with ADD, this is regular for me and I never know until it or someone else hits me out of it. A book that might be helpful for anyone with this type of mind is ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. I call it my bible and it helps me communicate expectations and challenges to any partner. If we think we might live together, they have to read it first and we discuss.

That list of specific needs will be helpful for your communication. It is helpful for people who overextend oneself to be told bluntly some needs from partners to help make sure they get seen. Actions speak louder then words (unless it is a death metal singer then words are really loud:ROFLMAO:)

Well, it's just when he avoids or forgets to do work for our project - he gets easily distracted by the people who are physically in his life and the deadlines of real-life shows.
SQUIRREL! (Doug is the gift that keeps giving) It is called Hyperfocus where you get over focused on new/one thing and the world around you can fall apart and you will still focus on that new/one thing without knowing to look up.

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life again would help him if he is looking for ways to balance this. It gives 3 solutions to every big problem 1) DYI, 2)Friends and Family help, and 3) Professional help. It would also be helpful for you to read to to help you understand his brain. It's a creative gift and a curse.

And maybe I just missed it but could part of the problem is you are use to being a music nomad, usually with him, and part of the issue is he is experiencing that freedom in his country you are not? Could see this being a point of hidden feels especially with him working with other folks. Also, would you have the same musical feeling if he was working with a plutonic friend that identified as male?
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
How about being more realistic with the pandemic, and the LDR thing?

WHICH reality? Yeah, they have gigs. It's not a secret. But in reality, what you could address is your coping ability. You could accept that at this moment in time, it bothers you to hear TMI details. Could the solution be like a stepping stone thing? He could tell you the gig news only 25% this month, then 50%, then 75%, then 100%, and ease you in. Why does he have to tell you 100% of the details right now, which end up triggering you?

I don't know if it helps you to read your words arranged in a cause and effect form. I also changed "feel that" to "observe that." For me, "feel" is for feelings. It is not to be used interchangeably with, "I think that," which is for thoughts. It makes it easier to figure out what's going on when the right word is used for the right thing.

If he overextends himself regularly, other than apologizing, what behaviors is going to change? Could he use a planner, a graphic organizer, or actually put contacting you into his schedule, like an appointment? Do you have any other ideas?

On your end, what can you change? Maybe this is part of his musician style: impulsive, spontaneous, etc. You could change your expectations to "It would be a bonus if it actually happened as planned, but I'm not going to expect it." Maybe you'd achieve more inner peace during the pandemic weirdness, if you left more "margin for error" or "space for grace" for both of you.

You mentioned him acting "all fine" while you were in distress. Maybe he isn't actually fine in the pandemic, and is rushing to fill his hours, so he doesn't have to feel bad. Have you considered that?

Yet it IS Covid-19 time. You could let go of "should" stuff and the expectation to be this or that, as if the pandemic were not here. It IS here. You could accept yourself where you are. You now have to share his time and attention with the new GF and the new Music Friend. You didn't have to before. PLUS you are not traveling, with our without him, like before. Those are 3 new adjustments. Cut yourself a break. Cut him a break. Having more commitments means having to do more organized planning and less impulsive/spontaneous things. He might need some time and space to learn some new skills.

What PANDEMIC arrangement and behaviors from him would help you to feel heard, seen, respected, valued? How can you adjust your expectations of yourself, and him, and you together as music makers, and as a couple, so you have less internal and external conflicts?

To me, it sounds like committing to regular time together would help. Some of this time could be used to move the album project along. Having a band meeting helps, but if doing it weekly is too much for his schedule, maybe you could do it every other week.


More than working on the album, you also seem to need CONNECTION, time to talk, text, interact. Do you have a set time for that, as well?

Are these deadlines pandemic-realistic? Is this tracking method working out in the pandemic? You could ask him.

You want to be "together forever" HOW?

Could you communicate and follow through more smoothly?

You could change your approach and ask him what he CAN deliver. I am guessing here, but it sounds like you suggest A or B, and he says "Sure!" with the best of intentions, or maybe he is trying to comfort you, or not disappoint you, in the moment. But then it's not something he can ACTUALLY deliver. So then you are disappointed once again.

This reminds me of my husband. He hates saying "No," even if that is how he honestly thinks or feels, because his "No" was not honored when he was growing up. So when I first met him he'd drive me nuts.

Me: Want to see a movie Friday?
Him: OK. (but really wanting to say no)

Me: It's Thursday. Are we still on for Friday? Should I get the tix?
Him: OK. (but really wanting to say no)

Me: It's time to go.
Him: Oh, I forgot. I want to stay home.
Me (feeling annoyed): What happened? Are you sick?
Him: I don't want to see it.
Me: Jeez! I'm going without you then.
Him: See, now you are all mad! This is why I didn't want to say no!
Me: I am not mad that you do not want to see this movie. I do not expect you to come to all my things or like all the things I like. I am mad you did not tell me on Monday or Thursday. I checked in several times. I am mad you were not honest with me. I am mad you cost me a missed opportunity. I could have asked a different friend to come or used the wasted ticket money on a movie snack. And I'm still going to go, because I really want to go. But we will talk later about why you can't just tell me NO and why it has to be a big deal for you. Jeez!

These days he just says "Um... do you mind if I just stay home?" from the start. And, of course, I don't mind. He doesn't have to like everything I do. He is his own person. He still cannot say "No," but at least he uses more upfront words with me in the planning stages, so my expectations are realistic and I feel respected, not like "wild goose chase" weird.
I did some editing, GG. I found your first draft a bit difficult to read. It's great advice.
 

MyFickleHeart

New member
Guys I can't thank you enough for helping me sort this out! Ahh I love polyam folks. Even just having you all hear me out and being so understanding and compassionate has helped take the weight off quite a bit.

I think there's this part of me that keeps telling myself "well you chose this lifestyle and so you need to suck it up" and even just knowing that some kind strangers took the time out of their day to offer me guidance is really quite healing! I know I didn't "choose it" like that but I keep feeling like I should just be stronger.

Thanks Kevin! Yes that does sum it up... I don't want him to be sitting over there pining over me but I do feel he's REALLY making lemonade and having tons of fun - enough fun to forget about lil old me! I WANT him to be having fun, I just want myself to be keeping up and also part of it! haha

TDH thank you that's really helpful - he has casually mentioned being diagnosed with ADD as a kid and I never really gave it much thought because he doesn't talk about it that way. He does have some self-awareness that he hyper-focuses and it's something he's always had to manage (or, has struggled to manage). I think I do need to try and understand that my "redirecting his attention" is probably a part of this dynamic I'm going to have to get used to. I will take a look at this book and consider the phone line jam experiment!

[is] part of the issue is he is experiencing that freedom in his country you are not? Could see this being a point of hidden feels especially with him working with other folks. Also, would you have the same musical feeling if he was working with a plutonic friend that identified as male?

Haha yes definitely. If I was over here living a parallel life I would definitely feel way less jealous - maybe even compersive! As it stands I have too much time to think and I find having more people in my physical life is the only thing that really distracts me enough to get me out of that mode.

No, it wouldn't be as hard if he was working in a duo with another male-identifying member (he actually has several music projects over there already). It's the fact that she has feminine energy and has so much in common with me (and the way their band is perceived) that makes it hard for me. Also the fact that he tends to space out about me when she's around (and she's around a LOT) doesn't help.

Galagirl <3 thank you so much again for breaking it down!

Why does it have to be 100% details right now, which end up triggering you?

Yeah, perhaps for now I should just unfollow those accounts... I mentioned it to him and he does a similar thing with my music streams. He said it's too many feelings to see me playing online like that. I just haven't wanted to be in denial of the situation (as I must accept it if I'm to maintain this) but it's true his other projects don't post much and I don't get as triggered by them as a result. He also barely posts so I think she became a window into his life that I didn't have before ... but I got too fixated on it.

I think at my core I have a bit of a trust issue with him because he has kept things from me in the past (he had a history of cheating on his partners and being dishonest about it before he was poly). Although it was early on and we have had many talks about it since - it's still an old wound. We are both new to Poly and these are growing pains for sure. He swears he tells me everything now and we have no secrets and I DO believe him and HAVE forgiven him but it still lives in the back of my mind.

Plus sometimes I see/realize things are "a thing" before he does and it can be helpful to prepare/bring it up earlier rather than later.

(Ok, apology is good talk. What about follow up action? Does he make changes in his behavior? When he overschedules himself, can he make it so it doesn't ding you any? And the natural consequences only affect him? Or can you change your expectations so when he overschedules it doesn't ding you?)
Yeah we have talked about this a lot. He has a big calendar in his studio where he writes his priorities and we have the weekly meetings and try for personal chats on top of that (I mean our "meetings" are both)! Last night we had a nice chat but he never puts pressure on us talking or seems to need it like I do (which is good and bad). He just gets distracted and misses things/loses track of time. It does frustrate him too.

He also sometimes is just distracted during our calls by things he's doing (trying to clean the house at the same time or shop) and I get half of his attention. We have talked about this as this is our "quality time" and it has gotten better but it's still a side note. I give him my full attention!

On your end, what can you change? Maybe it's part of his musician way of going -- impulsive, spontaneous, etc. And you change your expectations to "bonus if it actually happens as planned, but I'm not going to expect it."
Yes this sounds like the expectations you would have for a more casual project.

I was more like that before... I think BECAUSE of the pandemic (and our most recent life-plan pre-pandemic) I have changed. Now I feel less secure so it's harder to let go because I am putting so much energy in. I have though that perhaps I need to learn to let it go but to do that I'd need to downgrade the overall relationship/project priority level. This level requires a certain amount of obsession with what you're doing because it's a lot of work! Hence my issue.

As it stands we are going for "professional level/priority #1" so I am acting in accordance to that. If I decided this was secondary... then I would have to find another professional project (and maybe another lover haha) but that would become difficult to manage. Seeing as I can't easily make another project because of the pandemic, I just direct my other energy into my solo project. I do have another long standing LDR music project as well but that one is almost at a stand-still and uncertain about future plans.

Maybe he isn't fine in the pandemic and rushes to fill his hours so he doesn't have to feel it? Considered that?

Haha yes I think this is definitely part of it. I want him to feel it with me and he wants to pretend he doesn't feel it. Both approaches has pros and cons! I worry he might burn out on his end but I worry I may self-sabotage my way into a depression over here!

You could change your approach and ask him what he CAN deliver. I am guessing here, but it sounds like you suggest A or B and he goes "sure!" with the best of intentions, or maybe trying to comfort you or not disappoint you in the moment. But then it's not something he can ACTUALLY deliver. So here comes disappointment again.
Yes I think he's also just unrealistic in his expectations of what he can achieve! He sets his own deadlines in our sheet and every week there are still things he's missed or forgotten or surprised to see. I don't expect him to do everything and I'm not perfect either but he really pushes it every week and that's just his "can do" mentality about himself - not just to do with pleasing me! It's often a positive trait because I like to dream big too and we both tend to shoot for the moon... but I'm a little more realistic (and maybe sometimes even pessimistic) about my expectations these days (haha I'll play the older and wiser card here).

Anyway this has been really helpful guys. I have a way more manageable perspective now and I will make some adaptations based on these talks and report back with an update soon.

Big hugs to you all - I know we all have more challenges these days and it's so nice to have a community to lean on <3 I appreciate you!
 
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tdh

New member
You are welcome!

...I know we all have more challenges these days...
(pet peeve) Respect your feelings and experience no matter what you think others are experiencing. Your feelings and needs are real. Do not disrespect yourself or experience as enough of the world will do that for you. That is just being mean to yourself so no need to do that.

If it helps, think about if your friend said that to you or themselves and you would not want them to think about themselves that way.(/pet peeve) :)
 
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