Loving More Than One

Polyamory as it relates to my life and written from my perspective only. MY thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Closure


Closure has been a bit difficult for me to get started on. Once things settled down and the reality of a breakup actually hit me, I’ve had to try and figure out how to live without someone I love.

For reasons I will not go into, I still believe this is the best route to take. I just wish I had handled it a bit better maybe. I’m not sure what has been my sticking point with how it ended. Maybe not a good face to face talk.

But, I’m realizing that I don’t remember how to deal with a breakup. I haven’t had to since I was a teenager. That’s a long ass time.

I’ve finally reached the point that I am dealing with this. I just have to remind myself of the reasons it happened. The things that lead up to this. The biggest reason I keep written down so I can see it if/when things become difficult for me. That seems to be working.

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Poly Group


Our poly group had a meeting night before last and we had a great turnout. Met new people and had great conversations.

Topics were varied…is poly a lifestyle choice or an orientation, are poly people more “evolved” (a resounding NO in my opinion), breakups, religion and science (not mutually exclusive to me), veto power and other things. It was a hodge podge of interesting things as new people were getting known and learning others.

While we did need to share that things are over with Arwen and Chane, it was good for me to sit with friends and met others in a social setting. I wouldn’t have minded if Chane and Arwen had gone to the meeting. But they’ve asked to be taken off the mailing list so I don’t expect to see them there again.

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One Son Down, Another To Go


One son got a job and is finishing up orientation today!!!! He’s very happy and  we are as well. It means he and his wife may move in with us for a while since they don’t live here and the job is here. He’s already asking if we know places to rent. I feel it would help them save up some money if they moved in with us for a bit.

The other son is a bit discouraged. He hasn’t heard anything from his job interview and is still putting in applications. It always seems like when things start to go right for him that something happens to set him back. He lives a bit over three hours from us and we are supporting him at the moment. So, we’ll be glad when he gets a job for more than one reason.

Here’s to things going well for both of them at the same time.

 

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So Why the Posts on Communication?


Wondering why the posts on communication?

Well, as I’ve said, and most people in poly will say, it is the key. I just feel it is the key to any relationship. Effective communication can benefit all areas of you life, romantic, family, work…any where. So, I just researched some on the subject and shared it. I wanted to provide a few guidelines for those interested in improving communication instead of just stating how important it is.

As for me personally, I’ve used the techniques I’ve listed here. And I find I’m most effective at asking questions, with the reflective listening. I want to state specifically at times that “This is what I am hearing and understanding you to say….Is this what you are meaning?”

With the sending messages aspect, I find that I feel statements are not as threatening. For example…”I feel X when Y happens.” “I feel excluded when you don’t keep me in the loop about things that are important to you. I know that isn’t your intention. Can you work with me on a way to reach a middle ground with this?” Maybe he’ll tell me more about things, maybe not. How I feel is valid but it doesn’t have to change anything for him. I need to also work on this not being an issue for me. But telling him how I feel instead of saying “You exclude me when you don’t keep me in the loop.” means he will be less likely to take what I have to say as a criticism right off the bat. And it really is how I feel. It may not be what he perceives he is doing.

I hope you can make us of the information I’ve given you here in your life. Good communication has to become a habit I feel. It’s so easy to fall back into old patterns of not doing it effectively. Even I, who values communicating with those in my life vey much, find I don’t always do it effectively.

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Communicaton: Receiving Messages


Listening.

The key to receiving messages effectively is listening. It’s more than hearing words—-you need to want to understand the person speaking. You need to have an attitude of respect and a willingness to open your mind to another’s point of view.

Listening isn’t easy. It takes concentration. It means we have to set aside our own thoughts—our own agendas. We need to try and see things through another’s eyes.

When we listen effectively we get a better understanding of where the other is coming from. What is behind their perspective came from. Even if we don’t agree with their POV, understanding it gives us insight into others.

Give full attention to the speaker. Doing so tells the speaker “What you are saying is important”. We can do this by leaning gently towards the speaker, facing the speaker squarely, open posture (with arms and legs uncrossed), head nodding when appropriate and facial expressions.

Be aware of the speaker’s nonverbal messages by pay attention to body language and listening to tone and pitch in speech.

Practice reflective listening. Which is the process of restating, in your own words, what you believe are the feelings and content being stated to you. This makes the speaker feel they are being heard and acknowledged. It also gives the speaker a chance to give feedback on what your perceptions are of what they are saying.

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Communication: Sending Messages


I’ve been doing a bit of research and have found three basic components of communication—-sending messages, receiving messages and barriers to effective communication.

Today we will look at sending messages.

We send messages via verbal, non verbal and paraverbal (new word I learned) ways and we need to be consistent in how we are sending our messages.

1. Verbal: the words we use. Using words that blame, criticize, judge and accuse will often create a defensive response. These aren’t conductive to good communication, particularly in problem solving.

We need to use words that are positive in some way and at the least words that are neutral.

When talking our messages need to be stated as briefly and succinctly as possible so that we aren’t getting tuned out. This is your chance to help the listener understand your point of view.

2. Nonverbal: These messages hold so much power. We are constantly communicating through body language—-even if we aren’t aware of this.

Nonverbal messages are the primary way we communicate emotions and facial expressions are how we do this the most. Add in posture and gestures and we are saying a lot without saying a word!

3. Paraverbal: These messages are transmitted through tone, pitch and pacing in our words. It is how we say something not what we say.

For example, the statement. “I didn’t say you were stupid” has different meanings depending on which word is emphasized.

“I didn’t SAY you were stupid.”

“I didn’t say YOU were stupid.”

“I didn’t say you were STUPID.”

For effective communication we need to send consistent verbal, parverbal and nonverbal messages. All forms need to match what we are trying to convey. Otherwise, it will be confusing to the listener.

Next I’m going to talk about receiving messages.

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Communication


Communication is one of the most encouraged things I hear about in the poly world or the world of non-monogamy period. It is also important, in my opinion, to the monogamous world but it is easier to get away with not doing so in that world I also believe.

I’m thinking some things in my head and hope to have one or two more post dealing with this.

I have come to the conclusion that successful communication is one of the most difficult things to do in this world. It is a constant work in progress. So, for starters, I looked up definitions of communication to share here.

From Merriam-Webster:

1: an act or instance of transmitting
2: a: information transmitted or conveyed
b: a verbal or written message
3: a: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common     system of symbols, signs, or behavior
b: a person rapport

From the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia

1. The act of communicating; transmitting
2. a. The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information as by speech, signals, writing or behavior

b. Interpersonal rapport

And now, a very good paraphrase definition I found;

“Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Use of these processes is developmental and transfers to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur.” *

I hope to have more on this for you soon.

*http://www.k12.wa.us/curriculuminstruct/communications/default.aspx

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Send Postive Thoughts and Energy This Way Please


Both our children are going through job interviews. It seems the oldest is getting an offer tomorrow. And the youngest has had two calls this week to set up interviews. They live in different cities and it’s about time things started going their way.

I’ll admit that for a while neither seemed motivated but that has changed.

The youngest has had us paying all his bills for a few years now and it has drained us. We don’t make bad money but paying for two households has been more than rough.

Not that we haven’t helped the oldest out as well. We have.

Both of them are so very happy just to have gotten and to be getting the interviews. They both have women…a wife for one and a live in girlfriend for the other. And I will admit that they do the best they can for those girls. Take after their father in that.

So, I’m asking for prayers or what ever positive you want to send out into the world in our direction. We appreciate it all.

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Happy Valentines Day!!!


Time management is one of the hardest things to do in poly relationship, in my opinion. For all of you trying to schedule time for Valentine’s Day with each of your loves, you rock. Here’s something I found out of the ordinary and thought I’d share with you on this day.

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I Have a Real Need for Honesty


After my post yesterday, I was talking with a friend and I realized I may should explain why I have such an aversion to dishonesty.

Growing up I was not dealt out the hand of honesty from many adults in my life. My biological father was just a liar, plain and simple. It didn’t matter what it was about, he’d lie to you. My mother, learned from that marriage and her second, that lying put off the abuse for a while. It was physical just enough to show her that it could happen if she didn’t act right. The worst was the emotional and mental abuse. Now, I see why she would do that as a coping mechanism with her husbands but, it eventually bled over into all her relationships. Even with her children.

Now, all this lying in my life, made me very intolerant of it and I swore I was not going to surround myself with those who couldn’t tell the truth once I had the chance. My sons will tell you that they got into way more trouble for lying about something they did that the actual deed.

Me, Id much rather hear the truth, even if painful, than a lie. Honesty is a very real need of mine and I just don’t function well without it. And, frankly, I don’t think I should have to.

In regards to my yesterday’s post, the lying and sneaking around I wonder about isn’t even all about cheating on someone. I mean, it can be anything. An example for clarity….say you want to quit smoking and you tell me that. You go for a few weeks not smoking at all and then you just have to have a cigarette. Fine, I can get that. But, then you don’t want me to know that you are smoking and only do that while I’m not around. I see that you still aren’t smoking, I may even say what a good job I believe you are doing. But, you still don’t tell me that you are smoking some again. Well, this is dishonest. I understand that this wouldn’t be easy. You may struggle with it from time to time or you may have decided you just cant do it right now. Or you flat out do not want to. That’s your decision. I can live with that. What would bother me, was just not telling me. Not trusting me to handle your decision and be there for you no matter what it was.

If someone tells me they are or aren’t going to do something, I expect that to be what happens. I expect people to mean what they say and say what they mean. And if you find you need to change your mind, then tell me. It isn’t as if I haven’t changed mine upon occasion.

Another example, Dirk and I lived monogamously for 20+ years. When he was interested in swinging he talked with me about it. We talked and talked and finally came to a place we were both comfortable with and so a new deal was made between us. He didn’t find someone to have sex with and cheat on me. Then when he fell in love with Arwen, we went through that whole process.

My point is this, be open and honest and so many things can be worked out. Even if I hadn’t been willing to do either the swinging or the poly and things ended between us, it would have been so much easier and less painful by this talking and negotiating than if he had simply decided to do things behind my back and I later found out. Because I feel that things will eventually come out. It’s difficult to live two lives so to speak. To always have to watch what you do or say in order not to be discovered.

Ignorance is not bliss for me.

I’m not saying that Dirk hasn’t ever lied to me. He has. And I will admit that I am a bit of a fanatic about the honesty issue. Even so, I will admit that I’ve tried to tell a few white lies to spare feelings. I’m not good at it. Dirk says it’s because it so goes against my belief system.

I’m actually just now realizing that this is really a deal breaker for me when it comes to my relationships. It isn’t something I can make myself tolerant of. If you are committing to me, on any issue, I want to know I can count on you to hold to that. And I want to know that if, down the road, you realize that you can not longer do this, you will respect me enough to be honest about that as well. If you can’t do either, then it will become evident that you aren’t the one for me.

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