Polyamory Support Group

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EdithKeeler
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:57 pm

My girlfriend is not enjoying the shit out of this. She is freaking out. I've been exhausted from a rare stint of hard work (9 12+ hour days straight). My nights and mornings have consisted of arguing with her/ consoling her while she screams at me then cries
This makes me sad for your girlfriend. And to an extent for you, too. Clearly she’s not on board with the poly thing and is probably sort of trying to go along to keep you. Seems to me it would be kinder to her just to break it off and go find someone who’s truly Open to being poly. Easier to start a new poly relationship than to convert a monogamous one when one party’s really not into it. Painful in the short run but kinder in the long run. You know you’re just breaking up very slowly and painfully, right? Just rip off the band aid already. Either that or just screw around behind each others’ backs like everyone else . I’m old fashioned that way. 😁 (yes, I’m kidding about that. Sort of).
Last edited by EdithKeeler on Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jason
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:07 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:57 pm
I've noticed an interesting extension of the Kahnemen/Tversky 2 system (Thinking Fast and Slow) framework, which, for this scenario, is also the Haidt (The Righteous Mind) elephant/ rider framework.
It is important to have a solid academic foundation for making your girlfriend cry.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:34 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:57 pm
This makes me sad for your girlfriend. And to an extent for you, too. Clearly she’s not on board with the poly thing and is probably sort of trying to go along to keep you. Seems to me it would be kinder to her just to break it off and go find someone who’s truly Open to being poly. Easier to start a new poly relationship than to convert a monogamous one when one party’s really not into it.
Reminder that she is an active sex worker and also has a girlfriend. She'd give it up for monogamy (or so she claims while in the throws of jealousy), but I still think this has a shot at working. I went through a similar process (though I did it alone) in my last relationship when I was shoehorned into polyamory. I'm not claiming to be able to change someone but, 1) otherwise our relationship is still going really well and 2) I don't want to break up as long as I'm aloud to do what I want, so I'm just going to do that and see what happens.
Jason wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:07 pm
It is important to have a solid academic foundation for making your girlfriend cry.
I would accept this as an adequate summary of my life thus far.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:54 pm

Reminder that she is an active sex worker and also has a girlfriend. She'd give it up for monogamy (or so she claims while in the throws of jealousy),
I thought she was a sex worker that doesn’t have sex with anyone? Like phone sex or something?

Well, you guys will work it out. Or not. It just doesn’t sound to an outsider that your relationship with your GF is working.

Sorry—this is the “support” thread and I’m not being supportive. Sorry.

<cue old lady voice>
Back in my day (late 80’s and 90’s) we just bought a lot of condoms and politely called it “dating.” We didn’t have fancy words like “polyamory.” Sometimes we called it “sleeping around.”

Just seems to me it would be a lot less sturm und drang to break up (or “take a break”) and fuck around as much as you want to. Like we used to do in the old days.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:17 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:54 pm
Sorry—this is the “support” thread and I’m not being supportive. Sorry.
Haha, no one has been supportive. It's fine, I don't come to this forum for support, I come here to have my ass handed to me intellectually.
EdithKeeler wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:54 pm
Just seems to me it would be a lot less sturm und drang to break up (or “take a break”) and fuck around as much as you want to. Like we used to do in the old days.
I realize I'm attempting to have my cake and eat it too, to a certain extent. I really like my girlfriend. We have a lot of history, I doubt I will opt to live with a romantic partner again and she is a woman and partner of the highest quality. I've learned that this doesn't mean we don't suffer from several deep unsettling problems, only that I doubt that I could find a less problematic person to share dinner with and fuck. I have no doubt that I could find a partner of equivalent quality who did none of the things my current girlfriend does that I dislike. I also have no doubt that they would be equally as incompatible/ untenable in some different way.

I believe that romantic love, as we generally understand it and as it is presented in popular culture, does not exist. I don't think that there exists one person whom I could meet, go out to drinks with, have sex with, go out to dinner with, move in with and then marry who would fulfill all of my romantic and sexual desires forever (while presumably I also fulfill theirs). So why get rid of a person I already have a deep connection with, who I already care about when there is the possibility that the option exists to keep her and also fuck around? Why is it necessary to either be fucking around or seeing someone? Why can't I see three people simultaneously?
EdithKeeler wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:54 pm
Back in my day (late 80’s and 90’s) we just bought a lot of condoms and politely called it “dating.” We didn’t have fancy words like “polyamory.” Sometimes we called it “sleeping around.”
I like that polyamory introduces a new framework outside of the traditional paradigm, but I have my doubts about it's unrestrained optimism and fancy words as well. They sound like they spent too much time in Portland and not enough time in Texas.
Last edited by Jin+Guice on Wed May 01, 2019 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jason » Wed May 01, 2019 5:12 am

I think for a relationship between a guy who is basing his desire to have multiple sex partners on a Nobel Prize winning economist and his bi-sexual, non-sex, sex worker girlfriend, things are going as well as one would expect.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 01, 2019 6:47 am

@EdithKeeler:

Well, for the purposes of this thread, since Jin+Guice and I are both eNTP, the answer is that we are the type most unlikely to be able to restrain ourselves from blurting out "But, the Emperor has no clothes!!!", even if otherwise very much not in alignment with self-interest. However, I do know what you mean.

Jason
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jason » Wed May 01, 2019 9:14 am

As someone who takes great pride in their callous disregard for other people's feelings, there's support and then there's enabling. I like J&G but he is going out on a front street here stating that his girlfriend has some type of auto-immune issue that makes sexual engagement uncomfortable and now she's crying and screaming because he's tearing up the internet. I understand she has some type of girlfriend but maybe these issues connect. Any ways, this whole thing seems cruel and unusual at this point. And like baseball, there should be no crying in polyamory. I also don't personally know Daniel Kahneman but I'd be surprised to find out that this was an application he had in mind when undertaking his cognitive studies.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 01, 2019 9:49 am

Jason wrote:And like baseball, there should be no crying in polyamory.
Good point. That's why I only play with the big boys (or at least those who claim/aspire to that status.) Sometimes they shed those big, old crocodile tears, or briefly threaten to drive motorcycle into wall, but that's about it. Conventional wisdom might assign "big girl" status to professional sex worker, but it ain't necessarily so.

If she was the one on the forum, and I was offering her advice, the first thing I would want to know would be whether she wants to lure Jin+Guice back into monogamy or attempt to be happily polyamorous herself, because somewhat different practice/protocol. Obviously, choosing to be happily monogamous with somebody else could be a third option, but I wouldn't reflexively suggest "Dump him." In any case, all three options share the first same step which is "Make Yourself Attractive According To Your Own True Standards."

EdithKeeler
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed May 01, 2019 10:12 am

I believe that romantic love, as we generally understand it and as it is presented in popular culture, does not exist. I don't think that there exists one person whom I could meet, go out to drinks with, have sex with, go out to dinner with, move in with and then marry who would fulfill all of my romantic and sexual desires forever (while presumably I also fulfill theirs). So why get rid of a person I already have a deep connection with, who I already care about when there is the possibility that the option exists to keep her and also fuck around? Why is it necessary to either be fucking around or seeing someone? Why can't I see three people simultaneously?
You know, I agree with you. It’s unrealistic to expect any one single person to meet all of our needs—humans just aren’t built for that.

But: if your girlfriend is crying a lot over the situation, it’s not working. Maybe it eventually will, I don’t know. I know I, personally, would feel terrible knowing I was doing something that made my partner cry every day. But then I’d have to ask myself: can this be worked out? Can we both have all the things we both want? What can go? What are the deal breakers? If your being with other people is a deal breaker for both of you, it’s not going to work.

I think it’s unrealistic to expect everything to always go your way all the time, whether it’s relationships, job situations, housing... you name it. We often have to weigh how bad we want one thing versus what we’d be willing to give up to get it.

I’m pretty happy in my relationship, but there are things that I put up with from him that I’m not crazy about, and I know that he tolerates some stuff about me that he’d prefer not to. I know for a fact that if he said he was going to pursue other sexual relationships in addition to ours, that’s a dealbreaker for me. So he’d have to decide how much he wants to cat around against all the other great stuff that I know he likes about our relationship. But I do encourage him (an introvert) to pursue other friendships, organizations, activities, etc. because I don’t want to be everything to him. That’s creepy and boring.

Ultimately, in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you’ll find, you get what you need.” Except I do think you can get what you want, just probably not EVERYTHING that you want.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 01, 2019 10:18 am

OTOH, I would also note for the record that there is absolutely nothing preventing J+G's GF from simply (literally in this case) kicking him to the curb. There is one thing that is true vulnerable heart-break and then there is another thing that is more akin to emotional blackmail. That's why I mentioned the example of "threatening to drive his motorcycle into a wall."

That's why sometimes when I start crying during a fight I will even tell my partner to ignore my tears. They're just indicative of my temperament not my intent. If I want to truly hash things out, I don't want my tears to be like a bloody nose in the middle of a boxing match, causing "Oh, baby, don't cry" break in the process.
Last edited by 7Wannabe5 on Wed May 01, 2019 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed May 01, 2019 10:23 am

That's why sometimes when I start crying during a fight I will even tell my partner to ignore my tears. They're just indicative of my temperament not my intent.
Yeah, I cry when I’m angry. I hate that about myself.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 01, 2019 10:30 am

I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate it, but it is actually a sign that the next stop in my processing, if the problem is left unresolved, is likely to be something like "cool, rational, plan of exit from relationship", because I don't get angry enough to cry very often.

Jason
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jason » Wed May 01, 2019 10:39 am

I only cry at the end of "My Cousin Vinnie." Always gets to me.

Wanting to kick someone to the curb and being able to kick someone to the curb are two entirely different things. I think that's the crevice that turns into the pit of abuse.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed May 01, 2019 11:35 am

Jason wrote:Wanting to kick someone to the curb and being able to kick someone to the curb are two entirely different things. I think that's the crevice that turns into the pit of abuse.
I don't disagree, but if I understand the situation correctly, there are no children or other dependents involved, she owns the house they currently share, she is actually quite a bit older than him, not too handicapped/ill to work at some profession, and he is not at all likely to offer physical threat if she dumps him. So, if she wants to dump him, but doesn't feel able, she should likely be forming her own first new relationship with a very good therapist.

OTOH, if she wants to convince him to stay with her on terms of monogamy, she is going about it in almost exactly the least likely to be successful fashion. In that case, she should:

1) Inform him that she really values him and would love to continue in relationship with him, but only on terms of monogamy.
2) Make herself as attractive as possible according to her own standards and common sense rules of general attraction.
3) Behave in a manner that is perfectly pleasant and gracious every time she interacts with him, but stick to not having sex with him until/unless he agrees to monogamy. She can even cook meals for him or anything like that, but no sex of any kind.
4) If he does agree to terms of monogamy, she MUST make a serious effort to do whatever she possibly can do to improve her own sexual functioning. NO EXCUSES! I had a partner who suffered from severe ED, and on one occasion he injected his penis with a bent needle (it had broken in transit, and he didn't have another) in order to have sex with me. So, that is my gold standard for effort. MMV.

Jason
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jason » Wed May 01, 2019 2:12 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 11:35 am
and on one occasion he injected his penis with a bent needle (it had broken in transit, and he didn't have another) in order to have sex with me.
This reads like an excerpt from the Penthouse article "The Women Who Have Slept with MacGyver."

llorona
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by llorona » Wed May 01, 2019 2:33 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:54 pm
I wouldn't be at all surprised if you find yourself once again responding to approach by one of these partners. It's very easy to become overwhelmed by practice of polyamory, but it also has a certain draw.
No. Exes are exes for a reason. Once men cross a line with me, there is no redemption. Plus, technology makes it very easy to block all methods of potential communication.

I'm going to hold off on commenting on anyone else's relationship unless asked. Like Jon Snow, I know nothing.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu May 02, 2019 7:47 am

@Edith:

It's pretty horrible for me having my girlfriend cry everyday. This is also a brand new thing, like I went on my first date less than 2 weeks ago and my girlfriend has always been jealous, so I didn't expect this to actually be put into action without any tears. When we started dating it was "don't have any female friends" jealousy and I've marched that back to her getting upset when I go on dates with other women, which is pretty good progress in my book. In the days between when I wrote that post and now, she went out of town for a few days to visit her sister and the tears have subsided at least for now. So crying everyday was more like crying for 3 days, than crying for 3 months.

I got to this point by following really excellent advice I received on this thread and from a close friend who as been polyamorous for years. I know what I want and what my "deal breakers" are. I still really love my girlfriend but I'm not willing to never sleep with or be romantically involved with anyone else again and I'm not willing to have only the kind of sexual relationship her disease allows us to have. Maybe this is insane and it will all fall apart and everyone will feel terrible, but the alternative is breaking up with my girlfriend and neither of us wants that either, so I'm at least going to give this a try. If it's really not working out I'm willing to end it, but I also don't expect it to be easy, especially as this moves from being a theoretical thing I talk about doing to a thing I'm actually doing.

My hopes for it to work out are based on:

1) I used to be extremely jealous and I'm no longer very jealous at all. I know it's possible, though unpleasant, to learn to deal with these feelings.

2) My girlfriend has an internal struggle between her traditional upbringing and her non-traditional life. Whenever she does the traditional thing that she thinks she's supposed to do, she's never really happy about it. When she is coerced into doing the non-traditional thing she usually eventually admits that it's a better way of life. Some examples are leaving her full-time job to go freelance and also not having kids.

3) She really enjoys being a sex worker and dating women. While she's operating from a framework of jealousy she says she's willing to give up these things if we could just be monogamous again. I've made it clear that's not an option. However, I don't think she'd really be happy with this arrangement either.


@7w5:

Everything you said is correct. She owns our (her) house and we have no children. We are not legally married and she is 7 years older than me. I have nothing to keep her from kicking me out and if she asked me to leave I would. I wouldn't stay with someone who I didn't think was strong enough to leave me if I was acting in a way they couldn't tolerate.

Your also that she's not operating from a place where she can get anything that she actually wants. She's currently operating from jealousy which makes it hard to tell what I can do for her, because jealousy largely seeks to feed itself so when I acquiesce to her jealous demands, it only makes her jealousy worse. If she needs monogamy she is, as you said, not taking steps that would entice me back to this. I've made it pretty clear that this is not what I want though.

A major breakdown in our relationship is her failure to check-in with me about my needs and my failure to articulate them. She is very articulate about her needs and I also spend some energy trying to figure out how she might be feeling or what she might want/ need that she is not communicating. I've been trying to fix the problem by emulating her and loudly demanding what I need and that's pretty much how we arrived here.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri May 31, 2019 1:02 pm

It's been an interesting month and a half since I started dating again for the first time in 7 years... while also still living with my girlfriend of 7 years.

I guess a lot of people hate dating but I really enjoy it. From flirting with people at parties and in bars, to having a compelling and devious reason to engage with strangers to the wild new (to me) world of app based dating.

I'm also really enjoying engaging with the world in a sexual way again. It's part of my personality that's been turned off for so long and it's nice to have it back in the repertoire of daily living.

My girlfriend is still freaking out and we are fighting a lot. I'm still not sure if we will be together next year, next month, next week or tomorrow. She is slowly becoming more comfortable with the whole thing, but we are spending too much time fighting and she is still to upset most of the time for this to be long term sustainable. I am very resentful that she has been engaging in sex work for more than a year, more or less unmolested and unconstrained ;) by me, but that she started engaging in emotional warfare when I started dating people, which was our initial agreement for her getting back into sex work. This part of the open relationship has been one of the most difficult things I've done. The upside is it's a gun-to-the-head crash course in emotional intelligence and communication, 2 areas I am trying to improve in.

My girlfriend is also interested in group-sex, swinging and couples dating, which are things that I'm also interested in, but am largely unfamiliar with. In this way she's pushing me out of my comfort zone, which I appreciate. Our first couples date is on Saturday. She's also having her first solo date with a man tonight. She told me 50% of why she's going out with another guy is so that we can empathize which each other's positions. I'm hoping this moves her further towards being o.k. when I go out with women.

Props to this thread for a lot of useful advice. Thanks to @c40 + everyone else for the advice about putting my foot down for what I wanted and also for getting off my ass/ over my fear of embarrassment and actually dating. Props to @7w5 for some accidental dating advice from her experience including (paraphrasing) "don't chat to women forever when online dating" and "make definitive plans quickly."

I've gotten a ton of pushback from my friends on open-relationships. Despite the fact that we are all supposed to be alternative liberal weirdos who call each other "they" and are all liberated and post-everything, my friends hold strongly traditional views on relationships. I think they'd be less mad at me if I was just straight up cheating. My behavior would be more or less tolerated with the old "boys will be boys" attitude if I was just single and operating as a fuckboy. The offensive part is that I'd like to sometimes care about multiple sex partners at the same time rather than only caring about one or not caring about any.

Some problems that I hadn't thought about that I'm experiencing are, how time consuming dating is and how awkward it is to get ready for a date when you live with your girlfriend. However, the latter would be less awkward/ more avoidable if I had a more willing co-conspirator. I also keep ending up on Tinder dates with women who live within 5 blocks of my house. This is not what I want, I'm in agreement with 7w5 in that I'd like my new paramours to be separated from myself and all other paramours in location and social circle.

Compulsory unsolicited online dating advice for women from an ERE-male on an ERE-dating thread: IN YOUR PROFILE, MEN REALLY HATE IT WHEN YOU LIVE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD.

Jason
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Re: Polyamory Support Group

Post by Jason » Fri May 31, 2019 2:28 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:02 pm
My girlfriend is also interested in group-sex, swinging and couples dating, which are things that I'm also interested in, but am largely unfamiliar with.

Technically speaking, 2 people make a group but if you're differentiating between group and couples I'm guessing you're talking some type of Caligula event where it's just arms and legs akimbo all over the place. My understanding is that group therapy usually comprises 7-12 individuals and that to me is too many people and then having sex as the purpose of such a large group formation is downright frightening because when it comes to sex, I'll only go as high as one other person besides myself and that's a stretch. How does this work? Are people interviewed? Do they have like resumes and recommendations? Like past groups they were in? Or it just like whoever shows up like a Meetup. Because quite honestly, I would be afraid to open my door to people who are interested in group sex. I don't think I'd want to be in a group of group sex people even if sex wasn't going on. And what do you do? Is dip served? Is there pre-sex hand shakes or do people just walk in and start blowing each other. I'd imagine group sex etiquette is like a real knotty issue. Can you tell someone "Listen, you seem like a really nice person but I don't want to fuck you in the ass?" I just couldn't deal with any of this. I'm just too high strung. Anyways, good luck.

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