Not getting along with partner's sister (sry for the length)

mountaingirl

Active member
Joe is my husband of 3 years, and P is my partner of nearly 2 years.

There are many reasons why I haven't gotten along with P's sister. We're really just incompatible humans; I find her to be selfish and high maintenance and I get the idea that she thinks I'm too emotional. P and Joe refer to her as a "princess" and it's very accurate. We are always waiting for her to do her makeup, we go camping and she can't carry anything... everything has to be her way. That in itself is fine; I don't need to be friends with my partner's sister. There is, however, a certain level of respect that should go both ways that I don't feel from her, and haven't felt once in the time I've known her. She knew me before P and I were together; she never initiated conversations or asked questions about my life, and often made fun of me. Throughout this time I would try to interact more closely; I would ask questions, invite her to do things, etc. I never let it get to me much, because I didn't see her as a big part of my life anyway. Once P and I started dating, I felt like I should have some kind of relationship with her. I have put in a lot of effort that has been met mostly with disappointment.

I feel she has judged me from the beginning. When P called her crying because he was trying to figure out his feelings for me at the beginning of our relationship, she assumed I was pregnant. More recently, I have tried to explain to her how I feel about P and how our poly situation works, and she has shunted me with "you don't need to explain yourself" and "I don't want to know anything about this/I don't care" but then expresses her worries that Joe and P are happy with me and asks if Joe's mom knows about me and P (she knew Joe when he was in a previous relationship, and I think she still believes she has some very close relationship with him). While she was visiting us, she decided to closely interact with our roommate who I told her had judged me for being poly. Prior to me telling her this information, she never talked to him, but once I told her she was going out of her way to involve him in all of us hanging out even though this roommate was not close with P and she knew me and roommate were not on speaking terms. She told me "I don't envy you" in one of the only times I've been able to be open about being poly. She knows that neither Joe or P would tolerate her saying those things in front of either of them, so she waits until I'm by myself. I feel insecure about how P's family views me (bc I'm poly), so I have let her say those things without pushing back or defending myself.

Joe has said he is sorry that I feel alone and alienated by my conversations with her, and is able to listen and empathize without pressuring me to come up with a solution. Joe has suggested that we don't all hang out with P's sister if I feel this way, even though he also has a friendship with her. I think he sees her for who she is, and has agreed that she is selfish but that maybe that's just because she's newly single (her and the friend of Joe's that she was dating broke up, which is a whole other conversation. She has only put in effort to hang out with Joe and P since they broke up; before then I rarely saw her). Joe also offers that perhaps she is the one that feels out of place, and that I am expecting her to care about me the way Joe and P do and that's setting me up for disappointment. That's possible. I wonder if she says these things because I am P's first girlfriend, and she has never had to share his attention before? Like if it's not a poly thing at all, but she makes it one because she knows she and her family can judge me without getting any pushback?

P insists that there's nothing he can do, then he offers the solution of him confronting her about her lack of respect for me (the last thing I want is for her to talk to his family and make me out to be some whiny bitch). It feels like he is trying to get me to shut up about it by giving me fake solutions. Like: "I can't fix it, so why are you bothering me?" He has said "I don't know what this has to do with me" even though I wouldn't be around her as much as I am now if he wasn't in my life. All I have wanted from him is an understanding that I don't want her invited to everything. That every time she is there it is a compromise I make that he doesn't have to make for anyone in my family, friends, etc. I want him to listen to me and empathize about how stuck in this situation I feel. I don't mind that they're close. I don't have anything like that; my siblings are all much older than me and I have more of a cool younger aunt or pseudo parent relationship with them. I am self conscious that P spends so much of his time with someone who wants nothing to do with me and would rather me not be there, and I feel as if I'm receiving no support from P.

She recently moved out to our area for a 3 month long work contract, so all four of us have been hanging out with her most weekends. I've also hung out a lot with just her and P a few times. She has made it clear that she really only wants to be around P. She finds ways to walk off with him and leave me and or Joe, she texts him to do things that we had previously all planned to do together, she won't look at me sometimes when I'm talking, she has nothing to say when I talk about myself... I don't reciprocate this behavior. This entire time I have stayed open and positive, hoping that her behavior will change. P blew her off a couple weekends ago when she texted him privately to do something we had all planned to do together. Other than that, no actions on his part and very few words. I am finding it hard not to conflate this issue with our entire relationship; him and I have been doing well lately, but this problem is seeping into the rest of our interactions and I find I have very little patience with him lately.

This past weekend, all four of us went to a concert in Vegas. It was a really cool trip; everyone had a good time and we jam packed the weekend with lots of fun activities. When making plans for this concert, she had made it clear that she didn't care if Joe or I were sitting with her and P (even though we were all flying out to Vegas and staying together????), by insisting that she was going to spend an exorbitant amount on tickets because she was a "bigger fan" than Joe and I. P ended up buying her ticket for her birthday, so we all had tickets together. The entire weekend she did that bullshit where she tries to walk off from Joe and I, and P went along with her. When I had to stop, no one waited except for Joe occasionally. We were literally staying in the same hotel room and everyone pretends we're all "family", so I don't understand why I was being left so often. At a certain point Joe was noticing so he would hang back with me. He also got left. We were at a pool party during the day and left because she wanted to get ready and be at the concert right when it started. She had some delusion that the artist was going to pluck her out of the crowd. She spent a full almost 2 hours putting makeup on and doing her hair. I had taken longer to get home because I had lost my bracelet from P and was trying to find it. It's basically our promise ring to each other. I had 30 min to shower and throw a dress on. She was rushing us out the door saying we were taking too long. It got to a point where I just put headphones on in the shower and started isolating myself so I wouldn't take anything personally.

This all culminated with us getting to the concert and trying to get in the merch line. I never wait in hours long merch lines. I've been to enough concerts that I know you can avoid most of the line by just waiting until the opener gets on. She says "can you hold our place in line? P and I are going to go around the other side and see if the other line is shorter" and I said "no, you can stand in line though" and she was like "okay, mom". I about lost it. I knew I wasn't going to say anything nice, so I left the line and went into the concert. This to me was another example of her trying to cut me out, while simultaneously asking me to do a favor for her, assuming I would say yes because I care about her brother.

I confronted her about it and she was like, of course with no apology, "you could have just told me you didn't want to wait in line" and.... it's whatever. that conversation went literally no where. I basically told her I don't know her and don't trust her like I do Joe and P and thusly don't feel like doing favors for her like that and she was like "I'll respect your boundaries". As if any more boundaries could possibly be put up lmao. I later ended up between her and P at our seats because I was grabbing my phone, and then just stayed there because I was vibing with the music and she was like "wow I guess that phones really not going anywhere" under her breath so P couldn't hear.
I'm just over it. P and I talked today and it was pretty easy to tell that the past few months this issue has just been getting bigger and bigger; I don't feel heard or respected, he doesn't feel like I have very much patience with him, and we're both just tired.

Sorry for the humongous post. I don't feel like there's anywhere else to put this info; I can't talk with my sisters about it, even though they are experienced with dealing with in laws, because they don't know I'm poly and think P and I are just friends. I am done leaning on Joe so much to help me feel better about P's sister's behavior, and P and myself are on a break as of this morning lol. I think this situation has highlighted some communication shortcomings of P's that I'm hoping he can fix, but I'm wondering where I'm fucking up? What am I expecting that I shouldn't be? Am I blowing this out of proportion? I welcome any insight :)
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle. I hope you feel better for the vent.

If you can still edit maybe some more paragraph breaks so it's a bit easier to read? That might help readers read and give you more feedback.

This sounds a lot like your other post ... is this the same sister?

If so? Rather than thinking so much on it you might do better just moving on to actions. You don't actually enjoy her company. So could dial it back and stop hanging out with her so much. And change the expectation from "having some kind of relationship with her" to being "basic stranger polite" when you do bump into her. Just because P is the brother and Joe is the friend doesn't mean YOU have to do anything special with her.

LONG VERSION

Once P and I started dating, I felt like I should have some kind of relationship with her. I have put in a lot of effort that has been met mostly with disappointment.

When do you decide to stop investing and stop trying so hard to be buddies with her? Maybe you could give yourself permission to STOP?
  • Stop trying to interact closely.
  • Stop asking questions.
  • Stop inviting her to things.
  • Stop telling her stuff.
  • Do not travel together.
  • Do not share hotel rooms.
  • Do not sit together, even if attending the same concert. Get your own set of tix.
You DON'T have to explain yourself or your poly relationships to her.

If you trying to be extra nice to her goes nowhere? Be nice to YOU instead and do less work, less interactions, less ugh for you. Just be "basic stranger polite" if you bump into her like you would any bank teller or grocery clerk. It's ok to do less.

She knows that neither Joe or P would tolerate her saying those things in front of either of them, so she waits until I'm by myself.

If she brings up poly weird again? You could start saying something like "Thank you for your concern, but this topic is not up for discussion."

She keeps pressing anyway? "I feel uncomfortable when I tell you this topic is not up for discussion and then you keep on pressing me. Excuse me. " And simply walk away from the room. There. Do not JADE. (Justify, argue, defend, explain.) Just... End of conversation.

You could also not allow yourself to be alone in a room with her.

Joe has suggested that we don't all hang out with P's sister if I feel this way, even though he also has a friendship with her.

That works. You don't all have to hang out in a big group. Save your free time for the people whose company you actually LIKE.

P insists that there's nothing he can do, then he offers the solution of him confronting her about her lack of respect for me

That works. Could tell him "Please do that, thanks!" Because then you will feel heard and respected by P. even if his sister is sometimes ugh.

He has said "I don't know what this has to do with me" even though I wouldn't be around her as much as I am now if he wasn't in my life.

But you just said YOU are the one inviting her to things and trying so hard to make nice with her? Just because she moved here for a 3 month work contract doesn't mean YOU have to be spending every weekend with her. If P wants to do like a Sunday brunch with his sister -- have at it. You can do something else. YOU don't have to do all this stuff with her just because she's in town.

I could be wrong. To me it kinda sounds like you want to blame P for your discomfort. Like "I have to be doing this hostess stuff I don't like because she's your sister and you don't appreciate it!" when actually... you don't have to be doing any of it at all.

He can do host-y stuff for his sister. Or not.

It sounds like you are tired of trying. So... stop. No more trying with the sister. See if that feels better.

I don't mind that they're close. I don't have anything like that; my siblings are all much older than me and I have more of a cool younger aunt or pseudo parent relationship with them.

So... you DO mind they are close / same age ish? And you don't get that with your siblings?

Or you envy that he's out to his sister but you aren't out to yours? And that limits who you can talk to about your poly problems?

I am self conscious that P spends so much of his time with someone who wants nothing to do with me and would rather me not be there,

Is there something wrong with a brother/sister doing an activity on their own?If you skip it, then you don't have to deal with being "shut out." Isn't that better? You don't have to hang out with her if your personalities just don't click. It happens. In large families, some siblings don't click either.

and I feel as if I'm receiving no support from P.

What behavior would you like P to do? Hug you? Say that even if he's spending lots of time with his sister while she's here, that doesn't mean he doesn't care about you? That he's not picking her over you? That he understands you wish you had closer relationships with your own siblings? Something else?

What happens at the end of the 3 mos contract? She moves back to wherever?

Galagirl
 
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mountaingirl

Active member
I'm sorry you struggle. I hope you feel better for the vent.
I do, actually, sometimes just getting on here and blasting the poly relationships corner makes me feel better regardless of feedback.
If you can still edit maybe some more paragraph breaks so it's a bit easier to read? That might help readers read and give you more feedback.
Edited. thanks for suggestion
This sounds a lot like your other post ... is this the same sister?
Yes!
If so? Rather than thinking so much on it you might do better just moving on to actions. You don't actually enjoy her company. So could dial it back and stop hanging out with her so much. And change the expectation from "having some kind of relationship with her" to being "basic stranger polite" when you do bump into her. Just because P is the brother and Joe is the friend doesn't mean YOU have to do anything special with her.
I am at that point. I have not wanted to miss out on things P, Joe and I were going to do anyway that she was invited to. All three of us do everything together, which may seem a lil weird to some hinges/V's on here, but in reality this is a triad, Joe and P just don't have sex. We all are very close, so when both Joe and P continue to let P's sister into our fold, I have to sacrifice time hanging out with my loved ones so that I don't feel stepped on by her.
You DON'T have to explain yourself or your poly relationships to her.
heard that. she doesn't want me to anyway, she has just decided what it is and I don't really have power over that. I haven't talked about it with her since, but it went in this shitpost because I'm aware of her judgements and that affects how I take a lot of her very inconsiderate actions.
You could also not allow yourself to be alone in a room with her.
this is where I'm at, and I think this is a good idea if i still want to hang out with Joe and P even if she is invited. When we're alone I either start a conversation that is ignored or she says something that makes me feel uncomfortable. Or there is just silence haha
That works. You don't all have to hang out in a big group. Save your free time for the people whose company you actually LIKE.



That works. Could tell him "Please do that, thanks!" Because then you will feel heard and respected by P. even if his sister is sometimes ugh.
no way. I am serious when I say I really don't want her to communicate anything back to his parents. And at this point, with the lack of support from P, I don't trust that he will be able to communicate with her any better than he has with me. I don't see the point in relying on P, because he has shown he won't do anything and it's easier for me to handle my own actions.
But you just said YOU are the one inviting her to things and trying so hard to make nice with her? Just because she moved here for a 3 month work contract doesn't mean YOU have to be spending every weekend with her. If P wants to do like a Sunday brunch with his sister -- have at it. You can do something else. YOU don't have to do all this stuff with her just because she's in town.

I could be wrong. To me it kinda sounds like you want to blame P for your discomfort. Like "I have to be doing this hostess stuff I don't like because she's your sister and you don't appreciate it!" when actually... you don't have to be doing any of it at all.
It's not that I'm blaming him for the discomfort. I see this as a result of 1. her attitude/behavior towards me and 2. my reaction to it because of my undying thirst to be close with a family that has never and possibly will never care about me. I only get in his face about it because he doesn't see/comment on/comfort me, and that feels like he doesn't care. words mean a lot to me, and he isn't giving them right now. it's like he feels bad because it's his sister, so in order to not feel bad he just acts like it's not happening. I'm still over here feeling bad tho lol
So... you DO mind they are close / same age ish? And you don't get that with your siblings?
No I have just noticed that that's why I don't really understand their relationship. I asked him if he was closer with her and I could tell that was an uncomfortable question to ask. He said yes lol which hurt my feelings but he said it's by default, because he has known her his whole life and he's 'only known me 3.5 years'. I can't relate to that at all. I love my siblings, but P is my best friend, and I would never go to my siblings about any of my problems/secrets the way I would him or my friends (he doesn't with her either... he says I'm the only person he opens up with), and I would never say that I'm closer with any my friends than I am with P. In all honesty, it's just not really comparable, which is what I wished he had said, but also I really just wish I hadn't asked because it wasn't helpful.
Or you envy that he's out to his sister but you aren't out to yours? And that limits who you can talk to about your poly problems?
he may be out to his sister, but that hasn't changed anything. he doesnt talk about me or our relationship with her, and she doesn't recognize that I am is partner. So like.... he's out to someone that has just used my poly status as a way to make judgements based on what he did and didn't tell her, not as a way to feel closer to me or for him to talk to someone about our relationship so he can process through shit without me being involved.
Is there something wrong with a brother/sister doing an activity on their own?If you skip it, then you don't have to deal with being "shut out." Isn't that better? You don't have to hang out with her if your personalities just don't click. It happens. In large families, some siblings don't click either.
Not at all! That's totally fine. I think it's just that almost all of the time it's not just them, it's them and Joe. Or I'll plan something with P and he'll invite her. Or Joe will invite her or or or. they have definitely done shit alone and that's fine, I would prefer it that way to be honest. But she wants to hang out with all of us; or rather she makes it clear she wants to hang out with Joe and P. I'm just a package deal with them I guess.
What behavior would you like P to do? Hug you? Say that even if he's spending lots of time with his sister while she's here, that doesn't mean he doesn't care about you? That he's not picking her over you? That he understands you wish you had closer relationships with your own siblings? Something else?
Yes. all of that. he gives hugs which is cool. hugs without words feel like a bandaid. he did say he gets that I don't have closer relationships with my siblings, but it was more of like a "you wouldn't get it" mentality, rather than comforting me. I have asked him if he can honestly tell me that she cares for me, and he literally can't lol so that's definitely the proof I need that I'm not delusional... but he also won't acknowledge the adjustments it takes from me to deal with that, whether by physically separating myself or dealing with my emotions.
What happens at the end of the 3 mos contract? She moves back to wherever?
I've wondered this. She is just on contract to contract. She has always said before moving out here that she would find her own thing; like she is not trying to just live near us or anything like that and she is a very independent person; at least perceptively. P has said many times that he doesn't think she'll live close by permanently.
So to sum, I know it's a phase, but I also feel like i shouldn't have to tolerate massive changes in P's behavior WITHOUT* an explanation and understanding and comfort from him just because his sister is in town indefinitely. I think it's the indefinite part that gets me. If I had an end date of 3 months, i would feel different. instead she has said she's just going to "keep extending" her contract and I'm like fuck great I have to deal with this 5ever. P has said he hopes that his sister and I can be friends (and I feel that pressure because he keeps inviting her to everything), but I feel like he is leaving all of that work up to me. I feel pressure from this relationship to take all the shit and keep smiling without any recognition and I'm just tired of it. I know beyond a doubt that the real issue is P's avoidant behavior/personality. + this is his first relationship so he has a very "I'm going to do what I want and we'll figure it out later" mentality. But what if I'm not here later? What if I'm just over it and this is the last straw? There's always going to be something, whether it's his sister in town or an illness or work stuff or school stuff or or or. if I don't feel held by him in this thing that has a lot to do with him, then how am I supposed to spend my life with this person?
I mentioned how Joe has helped me in this situation because I honestly feel as if P piggybacks off of my strong relationship with Joe to keep our relationship going. But it also could be recency bias, because there are ebbs and flows in all relationships and this may just be a time period that I feel less close with P because of the circumstances.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am at that point. I have not wanted to miss out on things P, Joe and I were going to do anyway that she was invited to. All three of us do everything together, which may seem a lil weird to some hinges/V's on here, but in reality this is a triad, Joe and P just don't have sex. We all are very close, so when both Joe and P continue to let P's sister into our fold, I have to sacrifice time hanging out with my loved ones so that I don't feel stepped on by her.

You do not have to sacrifice your dates.

You could ask them to stop "automatically" inviting her to things that are supposed to be trio things only.

2. my reaction to it because of my undying thirst to be close with a family that has never and possibly will never care about me.

I think you could let go of wanting to be close with the sister and P's family if it causes you this much angst.

no way. I am serious when I say I really don't want her to communicate anything back to his parents.

I see you don't want her to. But you can't really control who she says stuff to.

Which is why I'm like "Since you can't control her mouth, may as well stop hanging out with her since you don't like her anyway. Do less work. And if P and Joe don't blab about your personal life, she has less info about you that way also."

I only get in his face about it because he doesn't see/comment on/comfort me, and that feels like he doesn't care. words mean a lot to me, and he isn't giving them right now. it's like he feels bad because it's his sister, so in order to not feel bad he just acts like it's not happening. I'm still over here feeling bad tho lol

That sounds like you looking for a fight to me.

It is possible P doesn't know HOW to comfort you, because it's like you are trying to compete with his sister. Or like there is no "right answer" and if whatever he says is going to be "wrong" he may as well say nothing. Especially since both are tired of this going in circles.

I know beyond a doubt that the real issue is P's avoidant behavior/personality.

Is that why he pushes your buttons? Because you are also avoidy/not assertive?

You want him to "defend" you somehow against something?

this is his first relationship so he has a very "I'm going to do what I want and we'll figure it out later" mentality. But what if I'm not here later? What if I'm just over it and this is the last straw?

Well... instead of "being on a break" you decide to break up completely with P because it is the last straw.
And then he has to figure out how to cope with it.

There's always going to be something, whether it's his sister in town or an illness or work stuff or school stuff or or or. if I don't feel held by him in this thing that has a lot to do with him, then how am I supposed to spend my life with this person?

The only part I see that has to do with him is that both P and Joe "automatically" invite her to stuff that you were hoping would be (just you and P) or (just you, P, and Joe.) Your dates with just Joe sound unencumbered by the sister. So you could tell them both that you would like to keep your dates for yourselves. And to stop just inviting her to things without you knowing just because she's new in town.

I could be wrong, but the rest sounds like you getting upset with yourself because you don't obey your own limit. You don't like this woman, but you keep hanging out with her. Then feel ugh after.

Where is surprise? You don't like spending time with her.

So... could make some changes. STOP hanging out with her entirely or reduce it by a lot. Going out to eat is like what? An hour? That's a whole lot less than traveling for days and having to share hotel space. That is def too much togetherness.

Galagirl
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
... Both P and Joe "automatically" invite her to stuff that you were hoping would be just you and P or just you, P, and Joe... You could tell them both that you would like to keep your dates for yourselves and to stop just inviting her to things without [asking you beforehand if it's OK]!

... You don't like this woman, but you keep hanging out with her, then feel ugh afterwards. Where is the surprise? You don't like spending time with her.

... STOP hanging out with her...

Traveling for days and having to share hotel space... is def too much togetherness.

This is the crux of the matter. Simple! Everything else is handwringing and second-guessing yourself.
 

ref2018

Maid of All Work
Staff member
This is the crux of the matter. Simple! Everything else is handwringing and second-guessing yourself.
You know what they say: The best thing about beating your head against a wall is how good it feels when you stop.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi mountaingirl,

It sounds like P's sister is wedging herself between you and your relationship with P. And P is going along with that by inviting her every time you and P are supposed to have some time alone together. I gather that sometimes even Joe invites her. You need Joe and P both to show you more loyalty by not inviting her so often. And you need her to respect your relationships, and back away. Anyway that's the necessary solution as far as I can tell.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

mountaingirl

Active member
You do not have to sacrifice your dates.

You could ask them to stop "automatically" inviting her to things that are supposed to be trio things only.
yeah. Have told Joe and P this since I lasted posted, they were both understanding. I had a feeling before leaving that something not great was going to happen and I often feel this way before hanging out with her. Like a "if I was in a sticky situation this person would leave me" vibe. Not really someone i want in my life. I've had friends like that that I've distanced myself from, it just seemed harder to recognize when it's someone in my partner's family. Just because someone cares about my partner doesn't mean they care about me, and now I can release myself from this martyr nonsense of opening up and being generous towards someone who clearly doesn't reciprocate.
I think you could let go of wanting to be close with the sister and P's family if it causes you this much angst.
I forced things for so long because I pride myself on being able to get along with whoever, and thought it was my fault we weren't understanding each other. It's no one person's "fault" per say, just the way things are. I took the way she was treating me as indicative of how his family feels, but that's not automatically true and either way it's ultimately out of my control.
That sounds like you looking for a fight to me.

It is possible P doesn't know HOW to comfort you, because it's like you are trying to compete with his sister. Or like there is no "right answer" and if whatever he says is going to be "wrong" he may as well say nothing. Especially since both are tired of this going in circles.
I guess. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me to admit that his sister and I probably aren't the most compatible of humans, reassure me that that's okay, and respect that I don't want to be around her very often. Before this trip he was starting * to do that, and taking a break from each other for a week and talking with him now I'm pretty certain he understands where I'm coming from. It's not like I want him to talk shit about her (as validating as THAT would be); it's really just her comments concerning him and I's relationship that I wish he would confront more. But I suppose she hasn't said anything weird to him (that I know of), just me. I was definitely resenting P for his sister's actions. Was easy to do when I keep saying "P, your sister doesn't like me" and it's meant with "are you sure? remember when you didn't know if I cared for you?" :rolleyes: it felt a lot like gaslighting. In everyone's defense, the Vegas plans were made before interactions between me and P's sister felt so chafing. I don't think it'll be a problem in the future.
 

mountaingirl

Active member
Hi mountaingirl,

It sounds like P's sister is wedging herself between you and your relationship with P. And P is going along with that by inviting her every time you and P are supposed to have some time alone together. I gather that sometimes even Joe invites her. You need Joe and P both to show you more loyalty by not inviting her so often. And you need her to respect your relationships, and back away. Anyway that's the necessary solution as far as I can tell.

Regards,
Kevin T.
Hey Kevin :)
I agree with all of this, pero I can't make someone so tangential to me respect my relationships or back away, unfortunately. Here's to hoping she gets the message by me not associating with her for a while. And if she doesn't, at least I've solved my issue of not wanting to be around her, which is the only thing about this that I have control over, anyway.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad you have decided to stop hanging out with her so much. I hope it leads to you feeling better.

I forced things for so long because I pride myself on being able to get along with whoever, and thought it was my fault we weren't understanding each other. It's no one person's "fault" per say, just the way things are.

It's ok to live your life without forcing anything. Could take pride in other things instead and let go of this belief that you have to get along with whoever. Doesn't have to be anyone's fault if there's just not enough in common.

Seems like a waste for you to spend your free time on people you don't esp like or have nothing in common with just trying to win their approval when "basic polite" is good enough in those cases.

I took the way she was treating me as indicative of how his family feels, but that's not automatically true and either way it's ultimately out of my control

Yup. Sister is just HER. She's not the entire family. She is not P.

I guess. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me to admit that his sister and I probably aren't the most compatible of humans, reassure me that that's okay, and respect that I don't want to be around her very often.

Since it is not rocket science...

Are you able to admit that to yourself sooner and not try to "force" things in future with her or people like her? Reassure your own self that it is ok not to invest your time and energy there?

Are you able to say "P, could you please be willing to reassure me? I heard you say you hoped we'd be friends. I tried. But we are not compatible. I need to hear you say it's ok if I stop trying so hard and don't hang with your sister very often" to him?

Be more direct and clear about what you need? Cuz this...

when I keep saying "P, your sister doesn't like me"

That is about her liking you or not. (which he doesn't control). And kind of a "random announcement." What's he supposed to do with that data?

It's not actually asking a question or stating a need to me.

it's really just her comments concerning him and I's relationship that I wish he would confront more.

Which he offered to do.

"P insists that there's nothing he can do, then he offers the solution of him confronting her about her lack of respect for me"

Thing is... you could do it also. If she makes side comments to you about your poly relationship? Address it head on. "Thank you for your concern. However this topic is not up for discussion."

GG
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Obviously P's sister disapproves of him choosing to be polyamorous, but since she loves him she feels compelled to shift the blame to you. You must be the evil woman and he the poor bewitched victim. This role would usually be played by his other romantic partner who is not on board with him deciding to be poly. But the same dynamic is at play. In a way, P is not being a "good hinge" between you and his sister, and neither is Joe. For myself, I want my partner to be protective of me and as an adult, choose my needs and comfort ahead of the misguided misundertandings of a blood family member (in P's case), or an "unwoke" old friend (in Joe's case).

I have had to have "how to be a good hinge" talks with my current bf, who was new to practicing polyamory when we met. (The situations were different: his was more the kid-in-a-candy-store syndrome.) I think both your partners and you could sit down and talk about how to run interference with other people in your lives who do not approve of polyamory. Personally, I'd reluctantly let go of friends and family who openly expressed hostility to my lovestyle. At least I'd take an extended break. It's like coming out as gay. Some people are cool with it right away, some need some time to process it, and others will never approve.

I've been alternative all my life (and I am now a senior citizen, a mature person) so I am well used to straight vanilla boring people not "getting" the wonder and glory of my lifestyle. I well remember being a hippie and an art student in the early 1970s and walking down city streets with friends in our fabulous clothing and long flowing hair, getting looks of shock and dismay from the straights, and reveling in it. ;)
 

mountaingirl

Active member
Obviously P's sister disapproves of him choosing to be polyamorous, but since she loves him she feels compelled to shift the blame to you. You must be the evil woman and he the poor bewitched victim. This role would usually be played by his other romantic partner who is not on board with him deciding to be poly. But the same dynamic is at play. In a way, P is not being a "good hinge" between you and his sister, and neither is Joe. For myself, I want my partner to be protective of me and as an adult, choose my needs and comfort ahead of the misguided misundertandings of a blood family member (in P's case), or an "unwoke" old friend (in Joe's case).
Thanks Magdlyn! This feels validating. My relationship with P still seems like something no one wants to discuss (even P sometimes doesn’t want to talk about logistics stuff, although he’s always down to listen) and because no one except me is practicing polyamory, any time I bring up the concept of loving multiple people and the effects of that (I.e. judgements from others, the fact that I post on this forum for advice because no one I know irl can relate) neither Joe or P will really acknowledge it because they don’t understand. It’s as if P wants to pretend that me being poly has nothing to do with anything, when (at least from my perspective) it seems that is why his sister has been acting differently towards me. I feel the effect of the lack of communication between him and his sister. She in one breath seems like she’s trying to reach out and understand (I honestly think her asking if Joe’s mom knew wasn’t an intentional dig, even if it felt weird for her to ask) and in another compares my relationship with P to cheating. I don’t think any of it is intentional, but I think I am receiving the brunt of her frustration with the situation. It’s like my relationship with her isn’t strong enough for either of us to feel comfy having those conversations, but there’s also no one else she can talk to about it. I know how stoic P can be (he has told me I’m the only one that can get him to talk about certain things) and I highly doubt that he communicated in a satisfactory way to his sister. That’s part of the reason I don’t want him confronting her about all of this, I don’t feel confident that it would do anything except make her feel more alienated.
I have had to have "how to be a good hinge" talks with my current bf, who was new to practicing polyamory when we met. (The situations were different: his was more the kid-in-a-candy-store syndrome.) I think both your partners and you could sit down and talk about how to run interference with other people in your lives who do not approve of polyamory. Personally, I'd reluctantly let go of friends and family who openly expressed hostility to my lovestyle. At least I'd take an extended break. It's like coming out as gay. Some people are cool with it right away, some need some time to process it, and others will never approve.
Up to this point, I’ve been lucky in that none of my friends that knew me before have had issues with this. I have made newish friends that did, and it was easy to cut ties with them. Because this is the first person P told, it’s the first person I can’t just cut ties with, nor would I want to. But I think I’ve learned from this situation that regardless of how Joe and P act, if I don’t feel like I can emotionally handle being around her at times, that’s okay. I am still working on ‘accepting’ my lifestyle for myself. It has been hard, again, because both Joe and P think of themselves as mono. Not experiencing the jealousy is nice lol but having a whole part of my life neither of them understand has been hard. So maybe feeling as if I have to explain myself to P’s sister is too much right now. And maybe P is at a point where he doesn’t feel equipped to do that. 🤷🏻‍♀️
I've been alternative all my life (and I am now a senior citizen, a mature person) so I am well used to straight vanilla boring people not "getting" the wonder and glory of my lifestyle. I well remember being a hippie and an art student in the early 1970s and walking down city streets with friends in our fabulous clothing and long flowing hair, getting looks of shock and dismay from the straights, and reveling in it. ;)
I love the visual :) As ‘mono’ as P and Joe consider themselves, we all live alternative lifestyles, and received judgement from vanilla peeps long before P and I started dating. I feel like I’m hitting a wall rn and need to just accept that the judgements will come, and that they will disproportionately be directed at me. Most of my posts have to do with the perception of others, not really with issues between the 3 of us. I’m having a hard time ‘reveling in it’, and am aware that i wouldn’t be so concerned with other people’s acceptance if I was more accepting of myself.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Magdlyn! This feels validating. My relationship with P still seems like something no one wants to discuss (even P sometimes doesn’t want to talk about logistics stuff, although he’s always down to listen) and because no one except me is practicing polyamory, any time I bring up the concept of loving multiple people and the effects of that (I.e. judgements from others, the fact that I post on this forum for advice because no one I know irl can relate) neither Joe or P will really acknowledge it because they don’t understand. It’s as if P wants to pretend that me being poly has nothing to do with anything, when (at least from my perspective)
You know that being poly, or in a poly network, for it to be successful one needs to have tip top communication skills, empathy and a good degree of self-insight? It seems both your men are lacking this. So I can see why dating them is going less than smoothly. They do not empathize with your pain. It's like they're 2 dudes who are all, hey, man, we just happen to be banging the same chick. Hot. Hrrr....

Sorry to be crude, but this is the impression I get.
it seems that is why his sister has been acting differently towards me. I feel the effect of the lack of communication between him and his sister. She in one breath seems like she’s trying to reach out and understand (I honestly think her asking if Joe’s mom knew wasn’t an intentional dig, even if it felt weird for her to ask) and in another compares my relationship with P to cheating. I don’t think any of it is intentional, but I think I am receiving the brunt of her frustration with the situation. It’s like my relationship with her isn’t strong enough for either of us to feel comfy having those conversations, but there’s also no one else she can talk to about it. I know how stoic P can be (he has told me I’m the only one that can get him to talk about certain things) and I highly doubt that he communicated in a satisfactory way to his sister. That’s part of the reason I don’t want him confronting her about all of this, I don’t feel confident that it would do anything except make her feel more alienated.
Again, you need great communication skills to be in a poly network. If your guys don't get you're all in a poly network, from either you telling them or (heaven forbid) from reading a book, maybe a simple visual graph would work. Like, (your name + P), (your name + Joe), (Joe + P), all in a big circle with the words POLY NETWORK boldly above it all.
Up to this point, I’ve been lucky in that none of my friends that knew me before have had issues with this. I have made newish friends that did, and it was easy to cut ties with them. Because this is the first person P told, it’s the first person I can’t just cut ties with, nor would I want to.
But why the heck not?? This is what I recommended earlier. Insist on one-on-one dates with your guys, or just the 3 of you, without that damn sister all the freeking time. That's just rude! Honestly. If they won't stop seeing her, then you don't go. If they go on 8 dates with her and only 1 date with you, I think you'll see how much you truly mean to them. Don't be there when she comes to your house, insist they go elsewhere for their dates with her at least the majority of the time.

And if these neanderthals (sorry lol) want to tell you about all the nasty things sister says about you, ask them not to tell you, or leave the room if they try...
But I think I’ve learned from this situation that regardless of how Joe and P act, if I don’t feel like I can emotionally handle being around her at times, that’s okay. I am still working on ‘accepting’ my lifestyle for myself. It has been hard, again, because both Joe and P think of themselves as mono. Not experiencing the jealousy is nice lol but having a whole part of my life neither of them understand has been hard. So maybe feeling as if I have to explain myself to P’s sister is too much right now. And maybe P is at a point where he doesn’t feel equipped to do that. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I love the visual :) As ‘mono’ as P and Joe consider themselves, we all live alternative lifestyles, and received judgement from vanilla peeps long before P and I started dating. I feel like I’m hitting a wall rn and need to just accept that the judgements will come, and that they will disproportionately be directed at me. Most of my posts have to do with the perception of others, not really with issues between the 3 of us. I’m having a hard time ‘reveling in it’, and am aware that i wouldn’t be so concerned with other people’s acceptance if I was more accepting of myself.
This is true. But there are practical things you can do in the meantime to protect yourself. That's part of the process.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
My relationship with P still seems like something no one wants to discuss (even P sometimes doesn’t want to talk about logistics stuff, although he’s always down to listen) and because no one except me is practicing polyamory, any time I bring up the concept of loving multiple people and the effects of that (I.e. judgements from others, the fact that I post on this forum for advice because no one I know irl can relate) neither Joe or P will really acknowledge it because they don’t understand.

To me? You are all practicing polyamory together. You are the hinge in the middle of the V, they are the V "arms."

You are having your hinge problems just as they probably have their meta problems.

I imagine it is frustrating if you are a talker and want to talk more with your partners about your hinge struggles. And they are willing to listen, but not esp into talking a lot and they don't relate because neither has been a hinge.

I don’t think any of it is intentional, but I think I am receiving the brunt of her frustration with the situation. It’s like my relationship with her isn’t strong enough for either of us to feel comfy having those conversations, but there’s also no one else she can talk to about it. I know how stoic P can be (he has told me I’m the only one that can get him to talk about certain things) and I highly doubt that he communicated in a satisfactory way to his sister. That’s part of the reason I don’t want him confronting her about all of this, I don’t feel confident that it would do anything except make her feel more alienated.

All of this is her stuff. Her frustration, her comfort, her ability to talk to people about poly, her satisfaction with communication with her brother, her feeling alienated.

I think in order for you to start to feel better? You might have to let go of worrying about other people's stuff.

Up to this point, I’ve been lucky in that none of my friends that knew me before have had issues with this.

Maybe among them you will find the people you can talk to about your poly stuff with IRL.

But I think I’ve learned from this situation that regardless of how Joe and P act, if I don’t feel like I can emotionally handle being around her at times, that’s okay.

Good. Learning to respect your own personal limitations. You do not have to be up for everything all the time with everyone.

I am still working on ‘accepting’ my lifestyle for myself.

What do you need to accept it?

Most of my posts have to do with the perception of others, not really with issues between the 3 of us. I’m having a hard time ‘reveling in it’, and am aware that i wouldn’t be so concerned with other people’s acceptance if I was more accepting of myself.

What do you need to be more accepting of your own self first? Do you like yourself? Do you have things you need to work on healing?
Self limiting beliefs you might need to let go of? In the past you mentioned having PTSD / trauma.

This might sound weird and I don't want to be nosy.... But one of the things I've noticed with people healing from things like that is getting their "volume knob" back.

Like things that happen are not just "on/off" toggle. Things are doom/things are not doom. But as they let go of scanning the horizon for possible doom and let go of being so "on guard".... they can experience life differently.

That some things are super happy, some things are pleasant, some things a neutral, some things are meh, some things are concerning, some things are worrying, some things are doom, etc. YKWIM? More "volume" settings than just an on/off switch.

So maybe something to think about. When something happens, slowing down and asking yourself...
  • Is this even my stuff?
  • If it is my stuff... Where does this go on the volume knob?
  • Do I even have to do anything here about it?
I feel like I’m hitting a wall rn and need to just accept that the judgements will come, and that they will disproportionately be directed at me.

Yes. Sometimes you might get more. So you may have to work to become more resilient and confident in doing your own thing.

Even today? If the V was FMF it might be like "Dude, what a stud!" but since the V is MFM it might be "what a slut!" or something. When you are a young adult, it can be hard to deal with that sort of thing because your adult personality is still emerging. You are learning to assert yourself as your own person and all the other things that come with the age.

Galagirl
 
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mountaingirl

Active member
You know that being poly, or in a poly network, for it to be successful one needs to have tip top communication skills, empathy and a good degree of self-insight? It seems both your men are lacking this. So I can see why dating them is going less than smoothly. They do not empathize with your pain. It's like they're 2 dudes who are all, hey, man, we just happen to be banging the same chick. Hot. Hrrr....

Sorry to be crude, but this is the impression I get.
hahaha no need to say sorry. I think that's the vibe as well (minus the "hot" part in Joe's case, as I think he is just indifferent about it), and it doesn't seem sustainable for me to do all of this fckn work for them both to pretend they're each in a monogamous relationship with me. I think Joe's take is why should our relationship change from what it was before and P's is that if he stays out of the way and keeps quiet he can just continue to be in a relationship with me. Which makes sense since I am pretty emotionally intelligent and empathetic, so i can keep things running smoothly. But I am feeling tired lately. I don't sleep a lot of nights, and have had dreams about insecurities and shit... i still have my own life to live, which is already super busy.
Again, you need great communication skills to be in a poly network. If your guys don't get you're all in a poly network, from either you telling them or (heaven forbid) from reading a book, maybe a simple visual graph would work. Like, (your name + P), (your name + Joe), (Joe + P), all in a big circle with the words POLY NETWORK boldly above it all.

But why the heck not?? This is what I recommended earlier. Insist on one-on-one dates with your guys, or just the 3 of you, without that damn sister all the freeking time. That's just rude! Honestly. If they won't stop seeing her, then you don't go. If they go on 8 dates with her and only 1 date with you, I think you'll see how much you truly mean to them. Don't be there when she comes to your house, insist they go elsewhere for their dates with her at least the majority of the time.
told P this. Said "ask if you want to invite her something/somewhere I'm going to be so I can decide if I want to be there. If you're hanging out solo with her a lot as a result, just lmk what's up so I don't feel intentionally left out." He didn't protest, said he understood and was there for me. Joe said he would take space from P's sister if he were me, and that he wouldn't hang with her if I wasn't.

I really want to let them both feel my absence in their lives for a bit (took a break from P for a week while I was out of town, and there was a noticeable difference when we started talking again). I don't know how to do that when we're all living together. I just feel taken for granted. I definitely feel loved and accepted and cared for. I just also feel like they've gotten used to this high functioning version of me and that that's what's expected now. And I don't really get that back? Just because they're not fucking/dating other people doesn't mean they can just ignore the fact that we're all in some sort of triad situation. I say triad because they definitely have their own close relationship that is completely separate from me. It seems that they think I'm the only one benefitting, so there's an assumption that I should do all the work.

UM! The fact that they can be with the same cool ass person (me) and have the convenience of living with their partner + hanging with their best male friend whenever is not something that should be overlooked. *** I'm not interchangeable, replaceable, disposable (a shockingly new realization for me), and if being consciously poly is the cost of admission for a relationship with me, then accept that or move on ***
I think I'm understanding now that poly is a lifestyle, regardless of if you practice hooking up with multiple partners yourself or not. I have had talks with both of them about them meeting women casually while away from home in their careers (in talks of the future for P, as soon as next work assignment for Joe). This doesn't bother me (in theory, yet to be done in practice), I only have concerns about sharing my life with a potential meta (i.e. living together). These conversations/potential realities wouldn't be entertained in a mono relationship. So it's not as if they are strictly mono either, and I'm confident that both of them will take advantage of being poly at least once. Is the assumption that they will do the work then? and only when they have other partners? because, well, that's lame.

Today Joe vented that the "triangle" we all used to have before the relationship between me and P is now a "V" (I've been educating him a lil bit on poly words lol; i.e. he is feeling as if P and his relationship needs some TLC). And I told him HAVE YOU EVER TALKED TO P ABOUT THAT ????? (no caps irl but I've said this before so !!) and he was like "no". lmao well ... and I then mentioned to him when he replied with "P is bad at communicating" with "have you ever talked with him *when I'm not around*? because he finds a need to shield me from uncomfy situations/emotions." This is something P has told me before. He also has a need shield himself (lol), but he doesn't want to hurt me and Joe's relationship or burden me with his own emotions/make things harder for me.
What he doesn't understand is that he makes things harder for me; they both do when they don't talk. P definitely takes stoicism to the next level which I admire to some degree, but stoicism is hard to practice when you share your life so completely with others.
And if these neanderthals (sorry lol)
accurate. Sometimes I wish they would just wrestle it out (I wish I was joking). How can I be in such an unconventional situation and still feel like I'm dating quintessential mid 20th century megadudes?????
want to tell you about all the nasty things sister says about you, ask them not to tell you, or leave the room if they try...
i told P he never**** should have told me his sister thought I was pregnant when he first tried to talk with her about our relationship. IM A CAREER WOMAN DAMNIT, and at that point I had known her for 2+ years. That immediately informed me of her judgements, and it's hard to let go (if anyone wants a laugh, here's an example of how that judgement looked to me, via a MFM portrayal courtesy of Working Moms (TV show)):

Val, I think they're trying to tell you that you're gonna be a grandma.
Oh wait, which one of you is the father?
Oh, we don't know.
What?!
Hang on a second. How does this work, exactly? Is this like a threesome situation?
He's my brother! Gross!
*and later, the boys' mom summing up situation by saying "my two monstrous children made me a grandma before my time by sharing the vagina of a woman who doesn't even care what sеmеn she's cooking."
^ that transcript in itself deserves to be in a poly in pop culture thread lmao ^

I will say, other than that P doesn't tell me anything. Possibly because his sister has saved all the words for me. I have no doubt that neither P or Joe would tolerate her saying anything nasty about me to them directly.
This is true. But there are practical things you can do in the meantime to protect yourself. That's part of the process.
Agreed. I think I am past the point of questioning how i deserve all this love from two people, and am now acknowledging my own worth and asserting myself.
 
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mountaingirl

Active member
I think in order for you to start to feel better? You might have to let go of worrying about other people's stuff.
Agreed. Was in a charitable mood when I wrote that lol. Empathizing 2 much
Maybe among them you will find the people you can talk to about your poly stuff with IRL.
I definitely do. I call about good and bad stuff, and it helps me to feel more 'normal'.
What do you need to accept it?
What do you need to be more accepting of your own self first? Do you like yourself? Do you have things you need to work on healing?
Self limiting beliefs you might need to let go of?
oof. gets a bit difficult when I'm juggling this much. more difficult when I see/hear judgement of others.
I sometimes don't feel 'good enough' for either of them, like my weaknesses are huge and my strengths are small.
like they both tolerate my flaws because they're physically attracted to me. Yikes.
I had a partner for 3 years that I'm convinced thought my fiery attitude was hot when we met, but expected me to act more domestic eventually and dumped me over it (ofc still wanted to hook up afterwards though). barf. Feels like I'm a female people want to fuck but no one wants to date, and like on top of all my other flaws, being poly is one of them.
I distinctly remember the first time I heard about polyamory, it was from a solo poly woman. The description of her lifestyle/experiences really resonated with me. When I started having feelings for P 2 years ago, those feelings felt 'right' and I felt as if I could easily love 2 people. Like I was already in love with 2 people. I still feel like I'm making the right decisions. I clearly still care deeply for these humans, or I wouldn't be here. I just want them to make it a bit easier for me.
I also sometimes wish one of them was a woman lol
Even today? If the V was FMF it might be like "Dude, what a stud!" but since the V is MFM it might be "what a slut!" or something. When you are a young adult, it can be hard to deal with that sort of thing because your adult personality is still emerging. You are learning to assert yourself as your own person and all the other things that come with the age.
Again, a FMF would feel different. But, as one of the F's I'd still be judged more harshly than the M. 🤷‍♀️ (any str8 guy can get on here and argue w/ that btw, but I'm pretty sure I scared them away with the thread title :sneaky:)
Yeah. Every time some bullshit is thrown in my face I get a lil stronger/more confident. At this point, I'm pretty sure only my own parents calling me a slut would hurt my feelings.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
it doesn't seem sustainable for me to do all of this fckn work for them both to pretend they're each in a monogamous relationship with me.

Green is yours. So do less work and let the chips fall where they may.

Blue is their stuff. Pretend or not, the reality is that they consented to participate in a polyship. If they are coping right now by only thinking about certain parts? Fine. Cope.

I just also feel like they've gotten used to this high functioning version of me and that that's what's expected now.

So do less work. Then they can adjust their expectations to the new reality.

It seems that they think I'm the only one benefitting, so there's an assumption that I should do all the work.

So stop doing all the work. And figure they will/will not correct their assumptions later.

Like... less talk and more ACTION for you.

It's like you have this vision of what it "should be" and get all in pretzels thinking it's not that yet rather than enjoying what you do have or being ok with this unfolding over time.

The guys seem to get along ok enough for the stage this group is in. You haven't been with Joe all that long - just since 2019. And then P has been a partner since 2021. It's only Fall 2022 now. Go easier on all of you.

Today Joe vented that the "triangle" we all used to have before the relationship between me and P is now a "V".... he is feeling as if P and his relationship needs some TLC

This is not your stuff. This is Joe and P stuff.

You could develop a personal boundary of "I don't talk to Joe about his stuff with P. I expect him to talk to P direct and not involve me." And to enforce your personal boundary? You tell Joe "I'm sorry to hear it. I can't help you with that. I think you could talk to P direct about it."

Then stay out of it. You seem to be trying to do that.

because he finds a need to shield me from uncomfy situations/emotions." This is something P has told me before.

If you read as "too emotional" and they don't feel safe telling you whatever? Like they say they are "shielding you" but really it's to shield themselves and not deal with you all up and downy or so talky? Y'all need to sort that out and each one own your piece of that.

You could work on being more calm and reassure yourself more.

Each of them could work on being more up front.

I sometimes don't feel 'good enough' for either of them, like my weaknesses are huge and my strengths are small.
like they both tolerate my flaws because they're physically attracted to me. Yikes.

Green is your stuff you can do something about. Are you good enough for you yet? What ruler are you measuring you on? Is it reasonable and realistic?

Blue is you guessing about other people stuff. You could stop guessing. Let people deal with their own stuff.

You want to do less work, right?

I still feel like I'm making the right decisions. I clearly still care deeply for these humans, or I wouldn't be here. I just want them to make it a bit easier for me.

I suggest YOU make it easier on you. Do less work taking care of everyone else.

Make actual requests when you want to ask them to do something/stop doing something.

And with the judgements? AGREE. Not because you really agree. But to end conversation. No JADE. Do not justify, argue, defend or explain.
  • (I think) You are a slut.
  • Ok. (You think that)

  • (I think) You are weird doing poly stuff.
  • Ok. (You think that)
Often the parts in orange are not said out loud. But rather than taking offense or doing JADE? Just say ok and see if doing less and detaching from it all works out better for you.

Whoever is judging? They can think what they want, even stupid things. And you don't have to lift a finger to do ANY work around that.

You don't have to change their minds. You don't have to champion poly. Because... You don't have to hang around people like that. Don't spend time with them again.

You can do a lot less work and just live your life how you want to be living it. Which includes developing a more measured response. You can't go through life just reacting to this stimulus or that stimulus. It's ok to think about how you want to respond. What is worth getting all excited about? What is not worth your time? Is this situation worth a $1 response? Or do you want to give it $5 of effort? And some stuff isn't even worth a penny!

Eventually in your 20s you have to get comfortable being in your own skin, you know?

So do less, and when you ARE gonna do anything, decide if the thing is even worth your time/getting up for. You aren't here to jump up to serve the entire freakin' world at the ring of a bell.

Galagirl
 
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mountaingirl

Active member
A positive update… we’re throwing a Halloween party this weekend and initially P had invited his sister without asking me, using the excuse that we had already talked about the party with her months ago so he felt he had to invite her and said it wouldn’t happen again.

I thought about this for a couple weeks. It was definitely a breach of the agreement I had made with him not to invite her somewhere I was going to be without asking, and I obviously can’t leave the house to avoid her when I’m hosting my friends. I wrote out my options on a sheet of paper, first of which was “take deep breaths and ignore her passive aggression” lol…. I think yoga teacher training had me overestimating the control I have over my emotions.

It was really bothering me; on one hand I really don’t want to be around her/guard myself when I’m trying to be relaxed in my own home, and on the other im aware that P didn’t have a ton of friends to invite to this party and enjoys hanging out with her. I talked with my friend about it last night, and she was just like “ I don’t get it. You said you didn’t want her here, if he wants to hang out with her so bad he can miss out on the party and go be with her. He doesn’t get it all at your expense.” This was just the validation I needed to stand up for myself, and I showed P a nasty text message his sister had send me a month ago (she sent it soon after I posted on here; I had kept it from him because I had convinced myself he wouldn’t care) and explained my feelings again, starting with months ago when she started making comments.

I was just super honest, and didn’t get emotional; it helps that I no longer care what she thinks as far as impressing her or getting her to like me. At this point she’s just another person I know doesn’t f with me, so why would I hang out with her? I explained to him how I had felt during all of this, the effort I had put in to move past it on my own, my attempts at showering her with kindness, and how none of that had changed the way she treated me. I didn’t try to explain why she has contempt for me, because it doesn’t really matter. I gave P the scenario of one of my sisters treating him this way, even after they had been told he is my partner and that I see myself spending the rest of my life with him (a conversation he had with his sister soon before she began acting this way towards me). I know he probably wouldn’t have been sent into a tailspin or tried to be nice like I did, but he definitely wouldn’t keep hanging out with her.

He said “I’m sorry my sister doesn’t like you” (something I didn’t realize I really needed to hear!), reassured me that him and I are fine, that he doesn’t think of me any differently, and that she won’t be here for the party.

This doesn’t mean I literally never want to be around her, but I feel comfy knowing that I get at least a full month without being subjected to her company against my will. Some day maybe we can patch this up (I’m imagining a hang out with P there in a neutral setting), but I’m not ready for that right now and that’s okay! It’s much better that we aren’t around each other when the things she said still bother me so much. I feel validated and respected. I think this issue is fully resolved.

I posted this on here because I always want to make sure I’m not taking advantage of others, or imposing my will on P. I think this is a fair conclusion that is kind to everyone, and I’m super thankful for all the ppl who answered on this thread with great advice :)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I want to lift this up. So you remember it next time.

I thought about this for a couple weeks. It was definitely a breach of the agreement I had made with him not to invite her somewhere I was going to be without asking, and I obviously can’t leave the house to avoid her when I’m hosting my friends. I wrote out my options on a sheet of paper, first of which was “take deep breaths and ignore her passive aggression” lol…. I think yoga teacher training had me overestimating the control I have over my emotions.

He crossed a line.

You practiced the pause. You did not just zoom off reacting.

You took a time out. You thought about it. You practiced self soothing and starting writing down options.


It was really bothering me; on one hand I really don’t want to be around her/guard myself when I’m trying to be relaxed in my own home, and on the other im aware that P didn’t have a ton of friends to invite to this party and enjoys hanging out with her. I talked with my friend about it last night, and she was just like “ I don’t get it. You said you didn’t want her here, if he wants to hang out with her so bad he can miss out on the party and go be with her. He doesn’t get it all at your expense.”

Since you could not solve it alone?

You did not dump this on J.

You went to someone OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM who can be more objective and doesn't have conflict of interest. She gave you a reality check and validation that yes, this is a thing.

This was just the validation I needed to stand up for myself, and I showed P a nasty text message his sister had send me a month ago (she sent it soon after I posted on here; I had kept it from him because I had convinced myself he wouldn’t care) and explained my feelings again, starting with months ago when she started making comments.I was just super honest, and didn’t get emotional
You took calm action for your response to this issue that was bothering you.

Before you were talking yourself into circles and guessing P's feelings or reactions rather than letting P actually have them himself. You decided not to show him the text back then because you convinced you he would not care. But you didn't actually go find out from P himself.

This time? You were calmer, direct. honest, not all emotional. It was a more decisive and ACTION ORIENTED and relatively SOON thing. A measured response.

You held him accountable to the new agreement. You reminded him you have a problem with him inviting her without telling you and he promised to cut it out. He's crossing the line. You showed him her text. THIS is the sort of junk you get from her and need a break from.

Result:

P saw the text. P heard your concern. P could experience his own feelings/reactions to this text. He understood, owned that he did not hold up the new agreement. He disinvited her.

Problem solved.

Side bonus -- clearer, more direct, up front, no drama communication led to more trust built between you.

Side bonus -- you didn't do twirly whirly circles confusing your own self. Like too much "what if this, what if that" type talking inside your head and then overwhelming yourself with the word cloud in there.

This was just the right balance for talking to calm yourself, check in with a trusted friend, and then on to ACTION.

I think that way of going serves you a whole lot better.

Kudos! I hope you keep it up.
 
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