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Thinking poly. - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
abmann
abmann
Thinking poly.
Tired, hungry but doing OK.

Slept terribly last night. I kept having dreams about Molly getting out and attacking Electra and not hearing it because I was sleeping with ear plugs. I seem to sleep poorly, at least this is a trend I've noted, when I go to bed without Fox who didn't get home until...? 3am? I don't know. It was late. It was dark.


She's really happy today after a rendez-vous with Graydancer. On the bright side, she's happy. On the dark side (Luke I am your father) I didn't make her happy which is hard to accept and understand. Most of my happiness in a relationship ius knowing that I am making the other person happy. These last few weeks I've been making everyone I live with miserable which, in turn, makes me more miserable. It's a bad cycle and pushes everyone away when I need it. But this isn't the point.

What I'm grappling with is not being worried when Fox comes home and is happier after being with someone else. In my mind, I think that I've become obsolete. If she's happier after being with a different person, why stay with me? There are dozens of non-happiness related objective issues that keep Fox around but few seem to have little to do with me. So I'm left wondering why our relationship remains as strong as I think (wonder if it's a strong as I think) even though I haven't made her happy in what seems like months. As I've seen in my relationship with Aetrix, she wants absolutely nothing to do with me when I'm unhappy or not making her happy.

This poly thing is about being happier rather than just plain old happy. So ultimately it's a good thing that being with Gray makes her happy. I question my want to make people happy as something that makes me happy - assuming this is true and I'm not deluding myself (I have questioned tis recently too) - because entangled in all this is an older notion of one person being enough for another. I've always preferred working towards other's happiness than my own because it generally kept the relationship going. Granted, in my first relationship I was thrust into a fake-poly status where she was sleeping with others but didn't actually want me sleeping with other people.

Perhaps it's an artifact of that? Perhaps I'm still holding on outmoted notions? The alternative seems to be focusing on what I want or what we want in a relationship, which seems oddly self-ish. This may just be me attempting to dissuade the action because I feel weak or guilty or stupid asking for what I want from someone. Which is ridiculous. And I understand that on an intellectual level. When I'm happier I do ask for things but never everything, I always hold back for any number of reasons.
--- Pause at 10:11
--- Resume at 10:27

I suppose I feel selfish if I'm not doing what other people want. What's worse, I think ,is that when I do ask for something and get shot down. This has happened in both relationships which is causing anger and resentment. With Fox most of it is miscellaneous activities. She and I do very well with the general affect and reassurance. With Aetrix.. well, she's like me in this wayt, but she doesn't like to actively say "I love you" rather saying "You know I do" when I ask. I don't think she's ever said she loved me when I've asked, actually. That is upsetting for a number of reasons: fears of inadequacy, unrequited emotions, fear of abandonment, fear of disapproval, respect etc. All wrapped in a thin candy shell.

Much of my current anxiety, fear and anger, I think, is stemming from not knowing that I'm important or loved in either of my relationships, not knowing that I can ask for things and that they want to provide them. After all, why are they with me if it isn't true? Though this may be self-evident, I need to be reminded. We all</all> need to be reminded.
--- Pause at 10:30
--- Resume at 10:38

I seem to have lost the original track of tis. Fox is happier which theoretically is good. It's OK that she's made happy by someone else and that doesn't mean I am worth less. hat's important to remember. She isn't going to leave me, from whatr I understand. That she was willing to reassure me this morning is evidence to that.
Now, if I could just sleep fine by my self, everything would be peachy.
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Comments
seventyeleventy From: seventyeleventy Date: July 13th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've found that in my strictly one-person relationships... that fear of not giving the happiness required to stay together.

But relationships aren't always about happiness... especially late into the relationship. I think of some of my best friends, and while we've had plenty of good times together, I often spend entire nights listening to them and trying to give them advice while they're doing nothing but gripe about their most recent affairs.

You have to realize that you're more than that. If you think you're only a dispenser of happiness, then you may just be selling yourself short. If you realize you deserve the company of another (or in your case, two others... hehe) then I think you'll be in good shape. Let her be happy, let yourself be happy, and use your mind to battle the bigger problems in your life.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: July 13th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well said, sir.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: July 13th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
While last night factors into my happiness today, Tuesday night factored into yesterdays which also factored into todays...

Tuesday night made me INCREDIBLY happy. We had an excellent date. And the only reason I'm hesitant to reassure is that sometimes it just makes you feel worse, and I didn't know which was the case this morning. I LOVE you. Seriously. Totally. And you do make me happy.


I love you. &hearts
kittydesade From: kittydesade Date: July 13th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's also the question of knowing when someone is happy or not. I know there are.. is. One circumstance in which I'm constantly questioning whether or not ... not the happy couple relationship thing, but whether or not X trusts me, whether or not I am X's close friend, etc. It really, really doesn't help that X is a close-mouthed flighty-minded person. I like X, I really do, but X says very little and has the attention span of a gnat.

But sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith that yes, you do make whoever it is happy. Or that person does trust you, or loves you, or whatever. Even if they don't say it, or you think they don't show it, or (as I'm currently wrestling with) you've become so comfortable with each other that it feels like some kind of spark has gone out. Not even sexual or sensual spark, but the newness of it. The flush of first love. Something. I'm losing track.

ABM, among other things you seem to have a problem with seeing, with groping for proof that you're makign people happy. other people have touched on the problems of needing to make people happy, so I didn't go there, but. Sometimes there really is no proof. And you just have to believe it.

It's either that or you sit there sifting through old conversations looking for clues. And I guess that's cool too. So long as it's not so much looking for clues as pulling out the little moments of connection where you go, "I love you" and he, she, or it goes "I love you too." Those are always reassuring.
fencert From: fencert Date: July 13th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww. She made a widdle heart...

And to Angrybunnyman- I think it is important to get the feedback of love and need and acceptance- so the talking is good. For me, jealousy is not about who is sleeping with who or who has a larger wanger or who had to take care of their lover one night because she was worn out by her other lover the night previous. Jealousy is simply about worrying that someone you love will evaporate from your life, and as long as my loves reassure me that they are in it for as long as we both travel in the same direction I'm good with that. I'd hate to lose cunningminx or narzissa, but if their lives take them in an incompatible direction (monogamy, lesbianism, moving to hongkong) then that is what they need to do and I support their choices and their path to happiness. I DO need assurnace from time to time that my loves still find a place for me in their lives and haven't grown bored with me as of yet, but they've been pretty good in the communication department so I am a lucky fellow. Seems like ladyfox is willing to communicate- don't get wigged out by the glow of new relationship energy, it's impossible to compete with that toe to toe- just know that your partner keeps you in her life for good reasons and loves you in a way that really matters. and I'm sure that you keep her happy- anyone who wants to keep another happy as a priority should have no problem in this regard, the thought is really what counts the most.
alibee From: alibee Date: July 13th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Did you ever hear my Polyamory Weekly podcast? (PW45 - 02/14/06)

Polyamory is insanely difficult, imo. I've yet to meet any couple who is poly who doesn't have at least one member who has, at some point, jealousy issues. Hell, even Gray has had them. Just remember: talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Talk to Fox, talk to her lots. I am sure she won't mind hearing how you feel (right, lady-san?), and you'll always have open communication lines that way.

:)

Love is hard but totally worth it, right?
kittydesade From: kittydesade Date: July 13th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
... and just off your icon, you've reminded me that I need to make a similar icon with clips from a film where the romantic hero went off to woo his lady ACTUALLY WIELDING A FRENCH LOAF.

It was at the end of some really silly movie. I laughed through the whole scene.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: July 13th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely right. I'm always bugging him to talk... talk is good.
graydancer From: graydancer Date: July 13th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

What?

Me? Jealous? NEVER! Uh-uh, ever since I became enlightened I've never had to deal with the green-eyed---hey! YOU! Quit LOOKING AT MY LAPTOP!!!

In all seriousness: reading your post, ABM, makes me just laugh at the Midsummer's Night Dreaminess of it all...since last weekend, after sculplady had her excellent but far too short weekend with O-man, I was feeling the same thing. I think of it mainly as a fear of becoming unnecessary...because if I'm not giving her what she needs, why would she stay with a goofball like me? Ditto for minx, who has other paramours who have more money, hit her g-spot better, and besides has an entire city full of people of both sexes salivating over her (don't tell her; so far, I'm still the closest good lover she has).

I think they hit it on the head: we are not happiness dispensers. They are with us...for whatever reason they're with us. But putting it down to "x time he made her happy and I didn't..." Let me point out: I met lady_fox through you, not vice versa. So it is you being an interesting man, and being willing to befriend me, and being willing to let her explore this, all of which led to her mood last night. All, technically, your fault.

Remember, also, that she and I have had two, count 'em, two dates. There's a thrill of New Relationship Energy that makes it really easy to be cheerful and giddy, and it's important not to mistake that for "better" than the relationships that have lasted a long time. To be blunt, I couldn't have made minx or sculplady that kind of happy, because they know me warts and all. I make them a different kind of happy, and that's where it all comes together.

We should go out and have a beer, just you and me. Busy tonight? Or maybe sunday afternoon/evening?
justphoenix From: justphoenix Date: July 13th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Curious

Perhaps I'm still holding on outmoted notions?

Can you elaborate on this? How is this outmoded?
abmann From: abmann Date: July 13th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Curious

Stil thinknig that I'm supposed to provide 100% of anything for another person. I just can't do that. It's WHY people have poly relationships, because multiple people provide different sorts of, I dunno, things. What ever that "thing" may be.

So by holding onto the "I must be 100% of her happiness" belief I was getting upset that I wasn't doing enough. I think I sorta explained this better in my comment to Gray above.
graydancer From: graydancer Date: July 13th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Curious

btw, I would appreciate it if you would use my full name, Graydancer, in LJ posts, so as not to be confused with another Gray who happens to be in the Madison area but would never be involved in such lascivious acts.
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fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: July 13th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
You wanna know what I wanna know? I wanna know what happens when someone accidentally gets pregnant.
abmann From: abmann Date: July 14th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
That would be an interesting conversation indeed. However, no one with whom I'm invovled wants kids.
graydancer From: graydancer Date: July 14th, 2006 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Actually...

...cunningminx just interviewed someone recently who had that exact thing happen. It's in Polyweekly number...44 or 45, the second interview with Omaha Sternberg. Basically, it was exactly what happens when anybody accidentally gets pregnant--somebody raises the kid.
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