Shifting dynamics and metamor issues

tealheron11

New member
I’m not really sure what I am looking for in terms of advice or feedback in posting this. I just need to air my thoughts and feelings in a safe space. If anyone has ever experienced anything like this, I welcome your perspective!

Brief history is that I am married (let’s call him H). H and I opened up last year around Feb. H met and started dating his current partner about a year ago. Let’s call her G. H and I had been talking about moving from the state we currently live in long before he started dating G and even before we opened up. It had kind of been a long-term plan to re-locate somewhere because we were ready to and because the state we live is expensive. Of course, it depends on jobs and such. h was upfront with g about this from the start. The conversation was revisited several times too.

Over the past year, H and G have gotten really close, which is expected- it’s a romantic relationship. I have generally been okay with this and accepting of their increased intimacy and the time he spends with her. I have had to really check myself and my feelings and reactions, because at times to be it felt like their relationship moved faster than I was ready for or expected- for example? Saying “I love you” or meeting her kids (G is married with kids, we do not have kids). I pretty much took responsibility for my feelings or tried to, and let H know if I felt a boundary had been pushed, and we talked it through. H doesn’t like the idea of there being primaries etc, but it definitely feels like she takes priority over me a lot of the time.

Speed up to now, I got a new job outside this state, and H ang I talked about moving. G knew from the beginning that this was a possibility but she’s really freaking out. I understand her being concerned or scared. But H doesn’t want to end her relationship. In fact, it seems like she and her family were willing to relocate closer to where we would go- at least that’s what H thought and what she said. But now she is really feeling insecure, and is accusing H of moving just to make me happy. h has made a habit of complaining about me to her, so it seems she has a different idea of our relationship than is totally reality. I did something really shitty and ‘read an email she sent him (we have each other’s passwords but it’s not like we check each other’s emails) and in the email she blasted me, sounded like he’s only doing this for me, like he acts like he doesn’t love me, etc. it was a real shock. h isn’t mad that I read the email but now he’s dealing with her feelings. I’m not mad I guess, but I feel like she just wants him to choose her over me and not move. It seems like she thinks the opposite- that I want him to choose me. This whole thing sounds really dumb and immature, poly relationships in theory are supposed to be able to evolve and change but this just seems like a mess. My thing is we talked about moving for years and he has been open to it, and he is legit excited about the new place. I am not forcing him to move. He admits he doesn’t say all my positive traits around her so she has this impression he’s not as committed as he is.

I feel really stupid like we are “fighting” over an adult person who can make their own choices. I flat out told him if he really doesn’t want to move with me, we can stay together but just not stay married. I don’t really see the point of being married to someone and not being geographically close to them, but I guess that’s my own “thing.” He does want to move and stay married. I feel very irritated like she is trying to manipulate him, and she doesn’t know the whole of our relationship. She also is upset he hasn’t introduced her to friends and family - mind you, H just told his parents we are open two months ago. It was a very big deal. She feels like their relationship is a secret. But we are trying to be careful about our family who might not understand and trying to respect their boundaries. I am sorry if this jumps around so much.

I am not mad at H, just frustrated at the situation. I wish I liked G better as a person. I might be more empathetic toward her more if she handled things differently.

There is so much more to this, but this is the most relevant info. I also have another partner but that isn’t super consequential in this scenario. My lover is in the military and is leaving also, we know we will end our romantuc ties but stay friends.

Thank you, I appreciate any feedback from anyone who has been through something similar! This feels like I am a 4 year old writing about friendship drama.
 

Dagferi

Well-known member
Actually you should be mad at H he has been a sloppy hinge.

The conflict between you and your metamour IS his creation.
 

lunabunny

New member
To a great extent I agree with Dagferi's assessment.

Sounds like H has been telling you BOTH what he thinks you want to hear: he tells YOU he's committed and still into the idea of moving out of state to better your lives... meanwhile tells G that his relationship with you isn't all that committed and gives the impression he doesn't love you as much as her, or as much as he does in reality.

Either H is somewhat manipulative... or he's extremely conflict avoidant.

All marriages/relationships go through rocky patches and it's natural to no longer be overawed by the mere presence of a long-term partner - which can make it seem like the "new shiny" takes preference, whether that is true or not. Still, it is bad form, and not his place to go around "bitching" about you to his other partner on a regular basis.

Be that as it may, it seems H has given you BOTH the wrong impression about a couple of very important issues, deliberately or otherwise.

In many ways, I can't blame G for her reaction to the news that H is moving out of state, even if the subject had been broached before, as I'm sure she was given the impression that she, and her relationship with H, were neither temporary or expendable. This news has surely rocked her assumptions about how important a part she plays in his life.

It's possible that, as they grew closer and closer over the past year, she didn't truly believe he'd ever WANT to move away from her (ostrich-like burying her head in the sand)... but now she has to face the reality that she isn't the "be all and end all" of his life.

It seems odd to me that either G -or- H would have believed G's husband and family would have the desire or means to uproot their entire existence to follow you/H out of town, should you ever choose to move. Surely G's husband has a job, family and ties to the city or town they currently live in, and their children are probably established in school, have friends etc. - why would the husband agree to move so that his wife could be closer to her lover? I guess such things do happen, but it seems highly unrealistic and I'm surprised H ever believed that would happen.

I understand YOU have had a lot of processing to do this past year, tealheron, due to the speed and intensity of H and G's developing relationship. And I also understand that getting a new job/moving was not an idea that only occurred to you recently --- but if you're honest with yourself, do you think there's a possibility that feeling "deprioritised" by H, as well as the prospect of your other lover leaving town shortly, has prompted you to push the point at this current time to see where you really stand with H? Were both H and G aware you were actively applying for jobs elsewhere?
 

tealheron11

New member
Hi Lunabunny,

Thanks for your very thoughtful reply!!

Yes, H is pretty conflict avoidant. That’s certainly part of the problem.

And to answer your question, yes, everyone was aware about me applying for jobs. H was really excited for me because I’ve had a lot of interview success. Changing jobs and expanding my career has been a really important goal for me and he has been supportive.

Thank you for the very validating reply! It certainly resonates.
 

breathemusic

Active member
H probably has been saying "Ivm sorry but I have to move because of wife's job" when what he needs to be doing is owning his own role in the decision and say "I'm sorry but wife and I are moving, which was something I've always disclosed as a possibility. I don't want to end our relationship, we'll just be further apart. But this is the choice I have made."
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi tealheron,

I kind of get the impression that H has been telling G bad things about you. Like if he has something against you, he does not inform you or work it out with you, but instead vents about it to G. If this is true, then it's not surprising if G supposes he loves G better than he loves you. You might want to corner him and ask him to tell you what his complaints about you are, and to come to you first when he has a complaint instead of venting to her. You might also want to find out how deep his complaints go. Perhaps they go deeper than he would want to admit.

Hopefully once your move is complete, G will stop freaking out. But you will still need to have a talk with H (probably more than one talk).

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Brief history is that I am married (let’s call him H). H and I opened up last year around Feb. H met and started dating his current partner about a year ago. Let’s call her G. H and I had been talking about moving from the state we currently live in long before he started dating G and even before we opened up. It had kind of been a long-term plan to re-locate somewhere because we were ready to and because the state we live is expensive. Of course, it depends on jobs and such. h was upfront with g about this from the start. The conversation was revisited several times too.

How did H and you arrive at the decision to open your marriage ? Who was the driving force in those discussions ? And how long were you married before opening up ?


Over the past year, H and G have gotten really close, which is expected- it’s a romantic relationship. I have generally been okay with this and accepting of their increased intimacy and the time he spends with her. I have had to really check myself and my feelings and reactions, because at times to be it felt like their relationship moved faster than I was ready for or expected- for example? Saying “I love you” or meeting her kids (G is married with kids, we do not have kids). I pretty much took responsibility for my feelings or tried to, and let H know if I felt a boundary had been pushed, and we talked it through. H doesn’t like the idea of there being primaries etc, but it definitely feels like she takes priority over me a lot of the time.

The speed in which this all happened seems on the quick side of things. Was there a discussion on primaries pre opening up. And generally couples in that early phase make statements about the spouses remaining primary....at least in many of the objective measured things. Did his attitude evolve after meet her or was it that way from day one.

I’m wonder why be married at all ??


Speed up to now, I got a new job outside this state, and H ang I talked about moving. G knew from the beginning that this was a possibility but she’s really freaking out. I understand her being concerned or scared. But H doesn’t want to end her relationship. In fact, it seems like she and her family were willing to relocate closer to where we would go- at least that’s what H thought and what she said. But now she is really feeling insecure, and is accusing H of moving just to make me happy. h has made a habit of complaining about me to her, so it seems she has a different idea of our relationship than is totally reality. I did something really shitty and ‘read an email she sent him (we have each other’s passwords but it’s not like we check each other’s emails) and in the email she blasted me, sounded like he’s only doing this for me, like he acts like he doesn’t love me, etc. it was a real shock. h isn’t mad that I read the email but now he’s dealing with her feelings. I’m not mad I guess, but I feel like she just wants him to choose her over me and not move. It seems like she thinks the opposite- that I want him to choose me. This whole thing sounds really dumb and immature, poly relationships in theory are supposed to be able to evolve and change but this just seems like a mess. My thing is we talked about moving for years and he has been open to it, and he is legit excited about the new place. I am not forcing him to move. He admits he doesn’t say all my positive traits around her so she has this impression he’s not as committed as he is.

I have to say the situation and everyone’s reactions is 180 degrees from what we typically see.

The problem I see is which one of you has the wrong view of your marriage you or her. I suggest you read a a couple dozen more of his emails and then decide what’s what. Was someone having s bad day and venting after a argument or was it a pattern.


I feel really stupid like we are “fighting” over an adult person who can make their own choices. I flat out told him if he really doesn’t want to move with me, we can stay together but just not stay married. I don’t really see the point of being married to someone and not being geographically close to them, but I guess that’s my own “thing.”

How would you stay together yet not be married if you’d be living in another state ??? I’m not sure I see the point of marriage in this case no matter the geographical distance.


I am not mad at H, just frustrated at the situation. I wish I liked G better as a person. I might be more empathetic toward her more if she handled things differently.

I understand I / we know a tiny fraction of what’s happened in your relationship however it might be healthy for you to be mad or upset at what he did to bring everyone to this point.
 

tealheron11

New member
How did H and you arrive at the decision to open your marriage ? Who was the driving force in those discussions ? And how long were you married before opening up ?

We talked about this at length, researched it, attended a conference, etc. I brought it up. It came from a place of curiosity, of wanting to explore possibilities, to both expand on our relationship as well as enhance ourselves individually. It was a mutual thing though it came from me first. We were married 2.5 years before we opened up, and have been together 8 total.




The speed in which this all happened seems on the quick side of things. Was there a discussion on primaries pre opening up. And generally couples in that early phase make statements about the spouses remaining primary....at least in many of the objective measured things. Did his attitude evolve after meet her or was it that way from day one.

I’m wonder why be married at all ??


You are correct, things moved pretty quickly. He wanted to start dating online before I did, but I was okay with it once it started happening. It was casual at first with both of us going on lots of dates and then he met her and got serious with her relatively quickly. We didn't really have a formal discussion about primaries but I kind of assumed we would be each other's primary. I would say that his attitude evolved after meeting her... I remember a specific conversation where he told me she doesn't want to do "couple's privilege," even though she is also married herself. I thought that was a strange thing to say and it bothered me. Why be married at all? I don't know. I committed to him, I want to stay married to him. This came about after already being married. I don't want to change things if I don't have to.




I have to say the situation and everyone’s reactions is 180 degrees from what we typically see.

The problem I see is which one of you has the wrong view of your marriage you or her. I suggest you read a a couple dozen more of his emails and then decide what’s what. Was someone having s bad day and venting after a argument or was it a pattern.

He complains to her about minor things about me - nothing I don't already know. About my being messy, selfish at times, etc. Things that any friend would vent to a friend about their spouse. He told me he never told her anything I didn't already know. I don't care that he bitches about me, but I wonder how things may have gotten skewed and she got an impression somehow that left out lots of other aspects of our relationship.


How would you stay together yet not be married if you’d be living in another state ??? I’m not sure I see the point of marriage in this case no matter the geographical distance.

Stay together equals still be in an open relationship without the marriage piece. Still be in each other's lives but not the legal paperwork. That's what I meant.




I understand I / we know a tiny fraction of what’s happened in your relationship however it might be healthy for you to be mad or upset at what he did to bring everyone to this point.

Thanks, I think so too. I am feeling better but still frustrated about it.
 

lunabunny

New member
We didn't really have a formal discussion about primaries but I kind of assumed we would be each other's primary.

I would say that his attitude evolved after meeting her... I remember a specific conversation where he told me she doesn't want to do "couple's privilege," even though she is also married herself. I thought that was a strange thing to say and it bothered me. Why be married at all? I don't know.

I committed to him, I want to stay married to him. This came about after already being married. I don't want to change things if I don't have to.


I know this was a response to another poster's comment... but if I may, I just have to address the point you make about being married... assuming that is going to mean being each other's primary... and not wanting things to change in that respect.

While I understand where you're coming from logically, and emotionally empathise with your feelings, tealheron... your response to that question is telling and sheds light on why this situation has become so fraught with misunderstanding.

What many established couples - married or not - fail to realise when they agree to "open up" is that the OLD relationship is now dead. The very decision to open a previously monogamous relationship means THAT particular relationship, including the old dynamics and assumptions such as "couple privilege" no longer automatically apply. EVERYTHING has to be re-negotiated in the light of the NEW relationship structure, whatever that may be for the people concerned.

Oftentimes, as you've discovered, a couple may agree to something like "casual sex is okay, as long as nobody falls in love" - but this is a set-up for failure because NOBODY can guarantee they won't fall in love with, or develop strong feelings for somebody else with whom they're having regular sex and whose company they enjoy.

This seems to be what happened when H and G quickly developed stronger-than-anticipated feelings for each other... causing G to assert an anti-hierarchical position... in turn prompting H to reconsider his views on co-primary relationships.

I'm not saying hierarchical poly or having primary/secondary relationships are "wrong" or "bad" per se (people can delineate their relationship dynamics in whatever way suits them), however these are discussions that need to happen as early as possible, and as openly and honestly as possible, between ALL parties concerned.
 

tealheron11

New member
Lunabunny,
Thank you for this comment. I definitely hear where you are coming from, and recognize my responsibility in my own feelings and misunderstanding in this context. I have to admit I have strong feelings for my other partner too, and at times feel differently about everything due to that. On a deep level of who I am, I greatly value loyalty. I have maintained many long-term friendships for years, and I always value those close friends over newer friends. This is just me, I know this isn't everyone, and that's not to say that we can meet people we jive better with and have closer relationships with them. I believe my thoughts and core beliefs about loyalty are at play here, where I feel like subconsciously, no matter what language we use, what titles we use (husband, wife, primary, whatever) that I can't help but put him first because of the long-standing nature of our relationship and how I feel about him. It is the same thing with my best two girl friends. I have had one best friend for 19 years, and another one for like 2. I am equally close to both of them, but the one that I have known longer has been around more, has more history with me, and is like my sister. I hope this metaphor makes sense. I am not saying my perspective is "right," and that things can't change, but this is how my thought patterns have evolved and this is probably why I am feeling the way I feel.

I also feel like she crossed a lot of boundaries I didn't even know I had early on. It was the issue of "wow, I didn't know I would feel that way" because things happened that were not anticipated. This is the nature of poly. I get that. I was slightly offended and annoyed when the idea of "anti hierarchical" came from her a few months into their relationship. Maybe had he brought it to me, in a different context (like sharing an article or book) in a neutral way, I would have thought about it differently. But because it came about in a subjective way, it seemed biased to me, which is why I believe I reacted the way I did.

I want to admit something and be very clear about something. I recognize that H engaged in the behavior of talking negatively about me to her, which lead to some of this. I recognize that he played a part in this. I also acknowledge my own feelings, confusion, and role in all this. But I think a large part of my feelings/reactions/whatever stem from my personal opinion of G. I do not really like her all that much and do not "get" their dynamic. I do not want to sound mean or condescending about her. I know this happens in lots of open relationships and even with friends - we don't always like or love our partners' friends or even their family and that's a part of life. I think my lackluster opinion of her clouds my ability to rethink everything and be more"fair" in my perspective related to these bumps in the road.

I really hope that this doesn't make it sound like I can't do poly, or that I am being dramatic or possessive. I absolutely love poly. This whole drama is a mess, but it has overall brought H and I closer, and greatly enhanced our communication. In fact, this whole email scenario brought us closer this weekend and I feel differently about him and things than before it happened. In the beginning, there were other women I really loved and WANTED H to be with, one of which I stayed friends with and am visiting next week. I guess I just have high standards for him, ha!

I have this deep down fear that G is looking for another father for her kids. H has shared that she no longer has the same feelings for her husband, and that they don't have sex and aren't romantic and haven't been for a long time. I am sure my fear is unfounded, but this is something I think about. Of course, I have mentioned this to H. He tells me he does not want to move in with them, he does not want to co parent, and he does not want to marry her. So who knows. I know he does care about her kids and like spending time with them, which seems totally fine and makes sense.

There is something else I haven't mentioned, and wanted to bring up, but I didn't want to hog the post or go off topic. It is about G wanting to meet H's family. She really wants to be more visible in his life. H just told his parents about being poly a few months ago. They were generally kind and accepting and told us they respect our decision and know we are doing what's best for us. However, they don't ask about it much, and we are not sure if it is because they don't want to know, or because they don't know what to say. I told my mother and she reacted very negatively and told me she doesn't want to know anything, so I now regret telling her. H is thinking about sending his parents an email with pictures of he and G so there's a "face" to a role, and is hoping that might help G feel better and slowly introduce his parents to the idea of her more. I am just worried about crossing more boundaries. I love his family so much, and I don't want to affect anything about our relationship with them. However, I respect H's choice and I think he's trying to be as reasonable as possible and not be pushy. I am not sure what you all think about introducing partners to extended family? This is another issue I am dealing with, because I feel like I have had this special place in their lives and I am feeling "threatened" by another person coming in and sharing that spot with. I am sure that makes me sound selfish, but what can I say, I am an only child! LOL.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re: G wanting to meet H's family ... what concerns me about this is that G is something of a "problem partner." Once the family meets her, she becomes a part of the family's perception of poly. Will they find out that you don't like her? How will that affect their perception? Will they come to see poly as unhealthy, and/or as something one partner pushes onto the other partner? How will you explain to them that this is not the case?

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but these were some of the concerns I had.
 

tealheron11

New member
Good insight. I hadn't thought of that myself. And, you aren't being a wet blanket at all!! I would hope that it wouldn't impact their perception of poly, but if it was awkward and tense, how could it not.

I feel very validated by all the support and feedback I've gotten here. I know there isn't a "right" answer or a "right" person, as things are not black or white. But it feels good to be able to talk about my concerns to an objective audience. Friends who are not poly tend to just take my side, which feels good, but might not always be the best for helping me see different perspectives.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I'm glad we could help.
 

1234567

New member
The common thread that I hear dom both of you is “we want to be treated well”, and while H is investing in you both, he is also not doing that.

You said she feels like a secret- well, she is, or was, at some point. That can suck.

He’s not representing you well to her. That sucks for you— and has now sucked for her, because she doesn’t get why he’s investing to the point of moving.

You feel deprioritized. She feels deprioritized.

Deprioritization isn’t zero sum. It’s possible he sucks at properly prioritizing people.

Honestly, you seem to have done really well under the circumstances.

He probably has some wonderful things that are the flip side of being conflict avoidant— I’m willing to bet he works pretty hard for both of you to meeet needs (or maybe I’m projecting)— but he doesn’t do well at the small conflicts that keep us in check— showing the full picture to both of you so you have something to adjust to. And now she feels betrayed— despite herself— and you feel exasperated— and he feels torn.

If you move— he is going to be torn apart and mopey and sad and grieving. In a strange city. It’s going to be MUCH harder on him to uproot now than it was before. You, on the other hand, might feel relief- he’ll at least be around more. But also— gone more, emotionally and physically.

I was in a similar situation as a V. My meta did us the favor of recognizing it would be bad for partner in common to move away, and trying for closer jobs. which I am grateful for, even though for their sake, I also let them know if it was good for it, go for it. Part time would have been good for me, because longer visits might mean I got some more living with time as well. There was a dream job a couple hours from me, and meta applied, hoping partner would go with, Partner in common didn’t want to move in the end, and not really because of me, but their life (partly including me.). But— hard for partner to tell my meta — because of conflict avoidance.

Out of living a similar situation, but from your meta’s perspective, I would offer this:

I would suggest spend some time recognizing— things are different now. It’s not a bad decision to move— but it is a LOT less casual.

You seem really grounded- you know this is good for you, and are giving your partner freedom to do what he needs.

One more challenge— can you stay married and have him living part time each place? Marriage doesn’t always mean being in the same spot. If if it is good for him to be there a while longer— and visit you— can you still offer him marriage?

Don’t ignore that if you do move, you will be alone more and be spending more resources on trips back and forth than if you were in the same city. Not a bad thing, necessarily— it could give you space to develop a serious partner there. But just food for consideration— EVERYTHING has changed, and it won’t just go back if they or you live elsewhere.

You probably know that. But worth keeping strongly in mind.
 
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1234567

New member
Also, I rarely contradict Kevin, but I would offer- I don’r know she’s a problem partner. Hinge has been feeding a negative perspective— how can she grow to like someone she mainly knows through complaints? How can she be gracious and generous when she’s being set up to see their relationship as “better than” when it’s not- it’s newer and different. Counteracting that would take better hinging, or would take meta spending a lot of time with the OP— who I suspect is a very fine human being— but who has been getting bad press. Unless meta was especially gracious— and I suspect the fact that she reaponds to being scared of the changes coming up by maligning OP does not speak well of that.

I think hinge is a problem hinge. But also a beginning hinge— and we all have to be beginners and do things badly first to do them well.

I suspect that OP is the key to acceptance— if she can show graciousness (which she is, despite all odds), the parents will relax.

It will help when hinge makes and learns from enough mistakes to learn how to properly treat two people well— some of it, like letting the good out about the other person- is very counterintuitive.

OP, you have not talked about what you need in the light of her complaining letter. You have every right to be accurately represented. If you are not— it would be within reason to feel that as a betrayal.

Here is what I would suggest: take that like a criticism at work: is there any truth in it? What could you do better? And then see what is left as a blatant untruth.

I would say you have a right to ask how hinge is going to address any blatant untruths.

Also, just so you know— while she is probably scared, and there’s grace there— you have a legitimate right to not like someone badmouthing you to your partner, even a meta.
 
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tealheron11

New member
Hi 1234567,
Your post was amazing.. thank you so much for saying all those things.

You are right to suppose H is a beginning hinge. This is his first serious relationship since us opening up (and I'm also in my first serious one with B). I think there is a lot of learning at play here. He had a talk with G yesterday, and he told her (and shared this with me) that he thinks he subconsciously does not tell her the good things about me, in order for her to feel more secure about their relationship. I am glad he came to recognize that and admitted it to her and the reason why. What's interesting is he never badmouths her to me, but I feel pretty secure with him, and I guess he doesn't need to validate me? I brought that up too.

As far as the criticisms/complaints, there is some truth to them, though I don't know how it was worded or interpreted. It is nothing I didn't already know, and he told me that. Mostly about my habits, my clutter, things like that. Also one big thing: that he felt that our relationship moved into new territory before he was ready (something he has told me before too). I think that "big thing" maybe made her think I was pushing the move because she believes I push the relationship and he doesn't stand up for himself. That comment has to do with things that happened years ago, and is not about poly. It was about me moving in too soon and us getting married and him not being sure he wanted that. We have talked about all these things before and they seem to be fine now, but I am not sure how he conveyed that to her. I have even told these things to my other partner, B, and admitted my role in them. I admit I can be messy, that I sometimes prioritize my running and exercise over chores, and that I am not the best with money decisions. But i am working on all these things and he knows that. I am still not perfect. I am sure she isn't either.

Thank you for validating my feelings in all this! Your last point about being betrayed....what's interesting to me is my reaction to the all thing. I didn't really care about being disliked or badmouthed for who I am (I am pretty secure about my bad habits, and could care less who judges me for running too much), but I think I was more hurt she took it to believe our relationship wasn't as legit or serious as it is. That being misrepresented hurt me more than myself being misrepresented, if it makes sense!

Things are slowly smoothing over and I feel better each day. I am sure more will come up, especially once I move. Re: the staying married thing, I think we are going to stay married for awhile apart, because he can't even follow me for a year because of his job. He is a teacher and already signed a contract. I want to stay married, unless he doesn't want to at some point. The plan is he will come move up next summer. We'll see what happens!
 
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Taramafor

New member
Hmm... I'll simply say this based on glancing some of the posts. It can be easy to see the worst of yourself when someone talks to others about you.

I DO say some bad things, sure. But it's not in the intent to "point and laugh". We ALL have bad things about us and it's foolish and naive to pretend otherwise. But I also point out the good things too. That's what I do when I care about someone. I go "This is what they're like" when I bring them up. "This is who they are." Doesn't mean I don't care when I mention a flaw. Of which you yourself might worry about more. At the end of the day though it's a case of "How they affect me". Do I care about you? Do you want to know how I'm affected? Why I might be happy or sad? Got to make that shit known. Sometimes it's easy with one and not so easy with another, for whatever number of reasons.

Now personally I've gotten good at blunt honesty and not sparing feelings. But I also consider it a mistake to act like most people can just magically do that and not say something that might hurt your feelings because being "nice" and afraid factors in. Can be easier said then done to go "This is what I think and how I feel" for some people. Can get someone to do it with me yet they might struggle with another. Doesn't mean they don't care.

The question then is have you established if your feelings are not to be spared in the interest of honesty? No, really, that's a good talk to have IMO. To be fair I actually detect when someone is doing it and go "There's your concerns and take off the happy mask" (or even angry mask). But I earned that talent. The hard way, unfortunately.
 

tealheron11

New member
Taramafor,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sorry it took me awhile to respond, had to figure out what to say.

H gets uncomfortable with saying things that are honest if they could be interpreted as criticisms or disappointments because he feels very uncomfortable with hurting people's feelings. He admits that and is trying really hard to work on this and find ways to share his honest thoughts in a kind way, without holding things back. I can appreciate where he is coming from, because I feel the same way - but I feel like I am more articulate in expressing myself and have found ways to be honest in gentle ways without feeling like I am trashing someone. Obviously, this is different depending on the recipient! The big key here is : "just because i am unhappy about x, y, and z, doesn't mean I don't love you and don't think you are a good partner. these are the things i struggle with, can we talk about it?" i think to some people, receiving criticisms makes them fear their partner doesn't want to be with them anymore because of mono programming and the romantic fairy tale myth that we all live happily ever after and relationships are not supposed to be "work."
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Taramafor,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sorry it took me awhile to respond, had to figure out what to say.

H gets uncomfortable with saying things that are honest if they could be interpreted as criticisms or disappointments because he feels very uncomfortable with hurting people's feelings. He admits that and is trying really hard to work on this and find ways to share his honest thoughts in a kind way, without holding things back. I can appreciate where he is coming from, because I feel the same way - but I feel like I am more articulate in expressing myself and have found ways to be honest in gentle ways without feeling like I am trashing someone. Obviously, this is different depending on the recipient! The big key here is : "just because i am unhappy about x, y, and z, doesn't mean I don't love you and don't think you are a good partner. these are the things i struggle with, can we talk about it?" i think to some people, receiving criticisms makes them fear their partner doesn't want to be with them anymore because of mono programming and the romantic fairy tale myth that we all live happily ever after and relationships are not supposed to be "work."

There are lots of books out there on how to communicate clearly and lovingly. Key is not attacking someone, no name calling, no cursing. No saying "You always...!" "You never...!" "You suck!" "Fuck you!" "We might as well just get a divorce/break up!"

In healthy productive communication, use "I statements." "When you do X, I feel Y." People can't argue with someone's feelings.

I've actually found tons of great info about how to communicate to build a team and encourage cooperation in the book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk." I've also read on this board that some people get a lot out of a book called "Non-Violent Communication."

You can't be conflict avoidant and be poly. Communication is the first and most important rule. Be honest, but be kind. Burying feelings and pretending you're OK with things when you're not will blow up in your face, faster and worse, than in a typical mono marriage. Lying about feelings and needs in mono relationships leads to distance and cheating. Lying (pretending, avoiding) in poly relationships can also lead to distance and cheating!
 
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