A life buoy for a post on trouble

When I find myself in times of trouble

When I have a technical problem that I don’t know the answer for I search the interwebz for solutions. I always suppose that I am not the first person to have this particular problem and that some kind person has posted a solution somewhere in the ether. I know that when I find a solution to that kind of issue I post it somewhere so that other might have an easier time than I did. Tech folk are often very kind and helpful that way. They lend a hand when you are in trouble.

I would search for this question too, but I thought it might make an interesting blog post so I am going to ask the question here.

This is for the Poly people: How do you handle when your partner like someone that you can’t stand?

I am sure that this is not a new question. But it is new to me. It is unique because while we both have a widely overlapping circle of friends I can’t think of another where we hold a wildly divergent opinion as to their character. Sure we have people that one of us is more comfortable with than the other and maybe it is my innate distrust of men.

Molly is much more comfortable building friendships with men because she has has experienced more hurtful behavior from women, whereas I have had exactly the opposite experiences. So maybe my bias is causing this reaction?

So Poly people, what are the mechanisms for handling this conundrum? Because it must have happened before and this isn’t just a case of mild dislike, I have no interest in having any sort of communication or relationship with this person and to be frank the thought of any sort of meta connection does not fill me with anything even approximating compersion.

I await your words of wisdom to guide me through this puzzling situation and help me with my trouble.

Michael

P.S.In reading this post back I feel like I may have channeled a bit of Carrie Bradshaw, sorry about that.

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4 thoughts on “When I find myself in times of trouble

  1. Is this someone who is just a friend, or someone who is a potential romantic partner? I think it makes a difference. If the latter, are you sure your dislike is rooted in something about the other person, or it is Molly’s interest in that person that makes you see them in the worst light possible? I would get to the root of that before deciding what to do.

  2. I’m critical of all my spouse’s friends. Not in a negative way, necessarily. Just in a “these are my observations” kind of way. That makes talking about potential partners a little easier.

    Does he go gaga for women I can’t stand? Yes.

    Do I say, “I can’t stand her”? No.

    I share my observations. That means pointing out the things I see about people’s actions and responses. It means posing questions about their life situation(s), which are often telling.

    I point out Reality vs NRE.

    It also means acknowledging out loud things like “You’re really excited about meeting her” and “I can tell you had a great conversation; your laughter made me smile” (it does, regardless of who he’s sharing that laughter with).

    And it means listening to him when he’s articulating his thoughts, feelings, and impressions. It means not interrupting when it’s his turn to talk. It means being open to hearing his ‘take’ on things even when it stings, because if I get angry or defensive or bossy or pass judgment (“She’s a lying cunt,” for example, doesn’t go over so well), it only serves to shut down communication.

    So how do I deal with it?

    Patiently.
    Honestly.
    Sometimes painfully.
    Frustratingly.

    And I set boundaries. He doesn’t get to bring potential partners into conversation uninvited. I have time limits, and time-outs. I say, “I’m not in a good place to talk about this right now” when my temper rises. I communicate in writing (text, email) – even if we are in the same room/house – when I’m too overwhelmed/hurt/irritated to use my voice without raising it.

    I acknowledge that he is his own person. I can’t control his feelings.

    And we acknowledge – and reinforce regularly – that we are each one another’s Number One.

    Any form of negotiated non-monogamy is fraught with unexpected triggers and unknown hot buttons. It’s not easy. It’s not mistake-proof. It can unearth buried hurts and create unexpected cuts. Probably the best thing I did for myself was to acknowledge and accept those truths, and to forgive myself – and my partner – for being imperfect, mistake-making, sometimes foolishly human.

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