Scheduling visits

clalb

New member
My partner had sex with a woman, whom he´s been friends with for a very long time, a couple of weeks ago.

She doesn´t live in the same city as we do, but she had plans to move to town (not because of him) - but she doesn´t anymore -, and she is visiting often, staying at his place.

I´m anxious about it (probably because of the past bad experience we had - I`ll update that post one day). She seems like a really nice woman and mostly just want to have sex with him and not date / be together with him.

Still, when dealing with the schedule or her coming to town, I would like that he asks me. Not in a "you have to ask for permission" way, but to see if I´m okay with that, if I had plans or anything I would like to do together (we don´t do much planing, but spend most of the weekends together) and if there is, that he´d be open to meet me while she´s here. I hope it won´t come to that, that I never have to say anything and just be cool with it. But still, right now I feel anxious. I want to let go, but I feel that doing it like that give me some reassurance that he cares...

He sees it as if I am trying to control what and how he does it - which is not what I´m trying to do. I´m just trying to feel confortable about it and let go slowly...

Can you see the difference? Am I really trying to control too much? Asking for that is too much?
 

MightyMax

Banned
My partner had sex with a woman, whom he´s been friends with for a very long time, a couple of weeks ago.

She doesn´t live in the same city as we do, but she had plans to move to town (not because of him) - but she doesn´t anymore -, and she is visiting often, staying at his place.

I´m anxious about it (probably because of the past bad experience we had - I`ll update that post one day). She seems like a really nice woman and mostly just want to have sex with him and not date / be together with him.

Still, when dealing with the schedule or her coming to town, I would like that he asks me. Not in a "you have to ask for permission" way, but to see if I´m okay with that, if I had plans or anything I would like to do together (we don´t do much planing, but spend most of the weekends together) and if there is, that he´d be open to meet me while she´s here. I hope it won´t come to that, that I never have to say anything and just be cool with it. But still, right now I feel anxious. I want to let go, but I feel that doing it like that give me some reassurance that he cares...

He sees it as if I am trying to control what and how he does it - which is not what I´m trying to do. I´m just trying to feel comfortable about it and let go slowly...

Can you see the difference? Am I really trying to control too much? Asking for that is too much?

I'd say it depends. I would not expect my partner to "check if s/he's okay" with me meeting up with someone else, under any conditions. I tend to share my plans anyway, particularly with live-in partner(s) and we also plan in advance because we do have busy professional and social lives so we would put important dates on the calendar so as not to double-book and potentially lose time together. I quickly found the idea of my weekends or any set day belonging to someone else problematic. I tend to think of it being the slot when we are most often mutually available rather than a default. That's to avoid me being disappointed when they have to give away "our" slot, as much as the other way around.

For those reasons, it would be unlikely that either of us would "double-book" on one of those dates. We'd either attend despite having other plans we have to fit in, or simply not book anything else that day. So what you're asking would be "too controlling" for my usual relationships. It's set up so my plans with other people can be thwarted because you suddenly say that we have something on that weekend. However, when there have been issues, sometimes these things change, and what would not be unreasonable becomes reasonable given the situation. Saying that, if I knew I had betrayed my partner's trust, I would know they are more likely to thwart my plans due to their justified insecurity.

The only way forward is a fresh start where you forget what has happened and any additional rules that have become necessary as a result of the betrayal. Much harder for the aggrieved party to risk. I don;t envy you.
 

Leetah

Member
If you usually spend the weekend together a heads-up from him in advance would not be out of order so that you can make plans for yourself. It partly depends on how often she is visiting and on how predictable a basis. If she is visiting once a week, or a couple weekends a month then he should let you know as much in advance as possible. It is not polite to leave someone hanging.

On your part I would think, if you have not, you could get some activity of your own so that you do not feel you are waiting about in case he is available. Does he drop you for any other activity without warning? If so then you really need to have things of your own, not just to take up time when he is busy, but for yourself.

As to showing he cares, if he does not show it in any way other than letting you know in advance when he is going to be busy, then you probably want to discuss ways you each would like to be shown love. Many people find the "Love languages" concept helpful. You can find lots of information if you google that.

Leetah
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Can you see the difference?

Yes.

Am I really trying to control too much?

I think your communication style is a bit rambling and could be improved. I can see where it could be perceived at controlling.

Asking for that is too much?

I am sorry you struggle. There's is nothing wrong with feeling odd and wanting reassurance. It is not too much.

But again... I wonder if there's a problem with HOW you say it that triggered defensive listening. Is this how you asked? All rambling?

Still, when dealing with the schedule or her coming to town, I would like that he asks me. Not in a "you have to ask for permission" way, but to see if I´m okay with that, if I had plans or anything I would like to do together (we don´t do much planing, but spend most of the weekends together) and if there is, that he´d be open to meet me while she´s here. I hope it won´t come to that, that I never have to say anything and just be cool with it. But still, right now I feel anxious. I want to let go, but I feel that doing it like that give me some reassurance that he cares..

If so?

A poor listener that blips in and out with their focus is going to catch those first few phrases. And how do they stand alone?

zzzz....when dealing with the schedule.....zzzzzz..... asks me...zzzzzz...you have to ask for permission...zzzzzz..... see if I´m okay with that.....​

Can YOU see where he might think you are being controlling? By that time he may be angry and not hear anything else in your broadcast.

The most important part of the message is where? You do not state your needs til the end. IME, that is common for upset anxious people who are afraid of coming across as "needy" when they simply have a need. Or they have to process through the anxiety to become aware of what it is they need. But by then you may have lost your listener.

Could learn to state what you need FIRST. I get a vibe that you are trying to get to here:

"Can I ask you something? I feel weird and anxious. I need reassurance that you care even when you are away with other partner. Could you be willing to reassure me in some fashion?"​

If so? That's enough. Don't have to add all these extra details just yet. State your purpose, make a request. Then you PAUSE in the conversation to let him digest that and get a word in. Give him opportunity to contribute to the conversation so it IS a conversation WITH him. And not you doing anxiety whooshy AT him. If he's willing to reassure but cannot think of anything, you could give him suggestions. But don't do emotional flooding at him. If you ARE flooded, say "help! I am flooded!" Be more clear about what it is you need.

If you are doing anxiety whooshy AT him he's going to lose patience at best because nobody likes bombs from the sky or trying to follow a long meandering train of thought. Or if he's listening defensively, some of those statements can be taken like orders/controlling.

That is my suggestion:

You could work on "short and sweet."
  • Shorter sentences. More to the point.
  • State needs FIRST, not last.
  • Take turns so it is 2 way conversation.

On his end, if he's willing, he could learn to recognize your anxiety clues. And listen through that lens with some patience.

BOTH could make it a habit to pause the conversation and say things like

"Ok, repeat that back to me so I know you got it."
"Hang on. Let me repeat that back before you add more. I want to make sure I am getting this right."

Then you have opportunities to clarify before it heads off the rails entirely.

Galagirl
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
This is a tough one because someone is traveling. He should work around any plans you two have. He should give you advanced notice that she is coming so you can work around his plans. Finally, if there is something you want to do, tell him as soon as you know. Don't just assume he is always available.

I know some will disagree, but I don't play the semantics game. Asking for permission or asking if you are ok with it have the same result. There is a small element of control there.
 

KC43

New member
I'm going to disagree with the permission vs. okay thing, because I'm argumentative like that ;) But I'm also speaking for *myself* with the full awareness that others see things differently.

For me, if I were to ask my partner's *permission* for something, I would be essentially saying "You're in charge of me so please allow me to do this, because I can't do it if you won't let me."

If I ask my partner if he's *okay with* something, I would be essentially saying, "I'm in charge of my life and relationships, but this has an impact on you, so I'd like your opinion so if you have a problem, we can discuss it and make it easier on you. I will most likely do what I'd like to do anyway, but I would prefer to find a way for you to be comfortable with it if you aren't already."

So for clalb's situation, the partner asking permission would be "Am I allowed to host this other woman at my place?" whereas his asking about being okay with it would be "Here's what I'm going to do, if you have an issue please tell me so we can discuss it, because I would like you to be comfortable. And if you had plans for us let me know so we can try to figure out the schedule."
 

vinsanity0

Active member
I'm going to disagree with the permission vs. okay thing, because I'm argumentative like that ;) But I'm also speaking for *myself* with the full awareness that others see things differently.

Plus, you are the Queen of Semantics...lol (and I am saying that in a friendly teasing way).

But I do love a good debate.

For me, if I were to ask my partner's *permission* for something, I would be essentially saying "You're in charge of me so please allow me to do this, because I can't do it if you won't let me."

If I ask my partner if he's *okay with* something, I would be essentially saying, "I'm in charge of my life and relationships, but this has an impact on you, so I'd like your opinion so if you have a problem, we can discuss it and make it easier on you. I will most likely do what I'd like to do anyway, but I would prefer to find a way for you to be comfortable with it if you aren't already."

So for clalb's situation, the partner asking permission would be "Am I allowed to host this other woman at my place?" whereas his asking about being okay with it would be "Here's what I'm going to do, if you have an issue please tell me so we can discuss it, because I would like you to be comfortable. And if you had plans for us let me know so we can try to figure out the schedule."

I know we have had this debate before, but I still have to ask. OK...your partner does the PC thing and asks if you are okay with it. Let's say you're not. Now what? This is why I say they are the same....unless...is the assumption that the partner will always be okay with it, but just feels better that they were "asked"?
 

KC43

New member
Semantics debates are my idea of fun ;)

The reason I don't see asking permission and asking "are you okay with this" as the same is that if I'm *not* okay with something, I don't expect my partner to change his plans, which he would have to do if it was a case of permission. If I'm asked for my "okay" and I'm not okay with it, I only expect my partner to listen to my opinion, and I hope he'll offer me some reassurance and/or problem-solve with me to help me feel more comfortable. And likewise, if I ask my partner if he's okay, as I asked Hubby last night about the unexpected overnight with Woody, I won't change my plans if he isn't okay, but I will discuss it with him and try to find a middle ground or a way to help him feel more comfortable.

To me, if I ask for permission, that would presume that my partner has authority to tell me what I can and can't do, which is not something I would ever give to a partner (barring having a Dom and giving him that power in certain settings, but that's a different situation entirely). If I ask "are you okay with this," it presumes only that my partner is deserving of the consideration of having his point of view and feelings heard and validated. And if my partner asks me if I'm okay with something, I take it as him being considerate of my thoughts and feelings, not as him telling me I have authority over him. Permission is a closed-door thing; it's a yes or no "you've got the power" request. "Are you okay" opens the door to a discussion where, hopefully, each person is heard and validated, and any issues are resolved.

And because I'm in a verbose mood:
Permission:
KC: "Hubby, may I spend the night with Woody?"
Hubby: "No."
End of discussion

"Are you okay" (a/k/a consent):
KC: "Hubby, I'm planning to spend the night with Woody, are you okay with it?"
Hubby: "Well, not really, it's hard for me when I wake up without you beside me."
KC: "I know it's hard, and I understand. It's important for me to stay with Woody tonight. Is there a way I can help you feel better about it?"
Hubby: "I'd like it if you would ask him not to invite you to stay in the future without advance notice, and I would appreciate it if you spent the next few nights at home."
KC: "I was already planning to ask him that, and I'm definitely willing to stay home the next few nights. Does this help?"
Hubby: "Yes. Thank you. Have fun with Woody."

Naturally there might be times when there is no compromise, or no way to make the "not okay" person feel more okay, but in my experience at least, the discussions almost always go the way I've written. (And there have been a couple of times when in response to my "does this help" Hubby has said, "No, not really, but that's my problem and I don't tell you what to do, so go have fun and don't worry about me.")
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
Ah...there is the last piece of the puzzle. You would go ahead and do something even if your partner is not okay with it. My willingness to do that would be directly related to how much grief I would get for the next 20 years ;)
 

KC43

New member
Hubby, and the other partners I have/had, are all firm believers in autonomy. Hubby won't tell me what to do; if he isn't happy with something he says so, but he doesn't try to control me and doesn't expect me to *not* do something solely because of his opinion. I sometimes *choose* not to do something if Hubby seems strongly opposed or upset, but it's still my choice, based on me loving him and wanting him to be comfortable and happy. He actually prefers that I go ahead with doing something even if he isn't okay with it, because if I change my plans based on him, he feels like he is controlling me, and he hates that.

The only time it backfired was with Guy, which is why Guy is an ex. He told me he wasn't okay with me spending time with S2 while he (Guy) was in my area for five weeks on business. I told him that I understood his position, but that I already had plans with S2 that I wasn't willing to cancel, and that I would be willing to rearrange a lot of the rest of my schedule to accommodate seeing Guy. The way it ended up, Guy would have actually had *more* time with me than S2 during those five weeks, but he was so angry that I refused to cave to his demand that he did something unthinkable and unforgivable to me the second time I saw him after he got out here...and that was the end of that. Guy by his own admission has jealousy and control issues--and unfortunately I suffered for it.

But S2's position was the same as Hubby's: I don't control you, I won't tell you what to do, and I want you to be happy. So far, Woody and Bouncer both seem to think that way as well. And even if I am *not* okay with something one of my partners wants to do (which happens more often than them not being okay with something I'm doing, because I'm a lot less secure and a lot less confident than the guys in my life) I will say to them flat out "That bothers me, here's why it bothers me, please reassure me that you care about me and you doing this isn't going to change things between us, and DO NOT change your plans because of my issues."
 

vinsanity0

Active member
A partner demanding you not see someone for 5 weeks is pretty extreme. Why would he think you would be okay with that? Who knows, right?
 

clalb

New member
Thank you everyone so much for your answers. It´s nice to talk and hear your opinions and put some of my anxiety out - it sure does relieves a bit of the pressure I feel inside.

@MightyMax, thank you. I guess letting go of the past is one great step - even if that´s extremely hard, as sometimes things just pop up into my mind, even if I don´t want them to.

@Leetah, I don´t know how often she will be coming to visit or on which basis - I don´t think she even knows that. That´s part of my anxiety, too. And don´t worry. :) I have a pretty busy life (full time job I love, a child, plenty of great friends, yoga, riding my bike, food, shows, etc), I´m not hanging on my partner. Even on the weekends we meet, I still meet other friends and then we meet afterwards and do our stuff. I´m a very independet woman.

@GalaGirl, thank you for your advices. I really need to work on my communication skills and, knowing my parnter as I do, that´s probably what is happening, too: he only get some of the stuff I say. I´ll try this "active listening", I really think it could work out.

@vinsanity0, he does tells me when he hears about it. The main reason is me being insecure, having anxiety issues - even if I should not. But sometimes it´s difficult to rationalize. :)

@KC43, your pretty much resumed how I feel. Thanks! :) I don´t want him to ask for permission nor do I want to say "you can´t do that". I just want to have the feeling that I´m
deserving of the consideration of having his point of view and feelings heard and validated.
. And I definety want him to be happy and also, that I can be happy for him for spending time with someone nice.

I also know reassurance is an issue for me. He doesn´t verbalize his feelings. He shows me he cares in some different ways, but I still struggle with not hearing it (we´ve been together for almost 2 years now). As KC43 also said, I struggle much more then him, as I´m much less secure and confident then he is...
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
@KC43, your pretty much resumed how I feel. Thanks! :) I don´t want him to ask for permission nor do I want to say "you can´t do that". I just want to have the feeling that I´m . And I definety want him to be happy and also, that I can be happy for him for spending time with someone nice.

I also know reassurance is an issue for me. He doesn´t verbalize his feelings. He shows me he cares in some different ways, but I still struggle with not hearing it (we´ve been together for almost 2 years now). As KC43 also said, I struggle much more then him, as I´m much less secure and confident then he is...

Clalb, my partner, Blue, does things the same way KC43 does. He doesn't ask my permission but he asks if I'm ok with it. If I say 'NO', neither one of us expects that he'll cancel his plans...just that we'll talk through why I'm not feeling ok about it. A 'feelings' check-in, if you will. Maybe you could just request that...that you do a 'feelings' or relationship check-in before she comes to town? Reassure him that you're not asking him to request your permission, you're just requesting reassurance and validation from him that he still loves and desires you? Aside from that, working on your own insecurities will only make your relationship stronger :)
 
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KC43

New member
Vinsanity, given that by that point Guy had known me for a year and a half and knew how stubborn I am, and that I despise being told what to do, he really should have known I wouldn't go along with him. I had been completely honest with him about my relationship with and feelings for S2--I told Guy and Hubby that I was in love with S2 before I told S2--but from the beginning of the relationship with S2, Guy had said he was jealous because S2 could see me more frequently.

When we talked about him not wanting me to see S2 during those weeks, Guy's position was "When you came to visit me out here, I didn't see other women, so you should do the same for me" whereas my position was "You aren't coming here to visit me, you're coming here to work and seeing me is just a bonus. I was with you for four days and was staying in your hotel room; you'll be here for five weeks and are not staying with me, and I've rearranged the rest of my schedule so you'll be able to see me. It is not the same situation."
 

clalb

New member
Clalb, my partner, Blue, does things the same way KC43 does. He doesn't ask my permission but he asks if I'm ok with it. If I say 'NO', neither one of us expects that he'll cancel his plans...just that we'll talk through why I'm not feeling ok about it. A 'feelings' check-in, if you will. Maybe you could just request that...that you do a 'feelings' or relationship check-in before she comes to town? Reassure him that you're not asking him to request your permission, you're just requesting reassurance and validation from him that he still loves and desires you? Aside from that, working on your own insecurities will only make your relationship stronger :)

Thanks, PinkPig. I will try to do that next time we talk - along with some of the advices GalaGirl gave on working on my communication style.

When I´m not feeling anxious I can see how he reassures me - his way. As I said, he´s not much of a talker, but he´s there, he´s present, and things don´t really change between us...

I must say I have a higher sex drive then he does, so sometimes he is not in the mood for sex and that upsets me - I´m aware it shouldn´t. I´ve started having some dates for that purpose, some BDSM, which I´ve always been interested in... But what I´m saying is, I still think, whenever there´s someone new, he´ll like to have sex with her better/more often/have less sex with me - nothing of that has been prooven true till now. It´s all in my head.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I reluctantly admit I can finally see how, "Are you okay with ..." (negotiate/compromise) will tend to differ from, "May I ..." (get permission).
 

KC43

New member
Some of us had a debate going in a different thread about whether "permission" and "consent" are the same thing. Kevin's position was that they are the same thing, but apparently he's changed his mind now :D
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Well, there's still exceptions to the rule; namely, if terms aren't commonly understood. For example if the person asked thinks that, "No I'm not okay with that," means that they withdrew permission and the other person will have to cancel. "Are you okay with that" sounds more like a negotiation than "May I," however misunderstandings may still sometimes take place.

Does that make sense?
 
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