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How do YOU compromise in a mixed relationship?

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Whore*of*Mensa
7 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

no baggage, past or present? I uh... I think everyone has baggage of some sort or another. On reflection... if someone tried to convince me they're baggage-free, that might be a red flag to me, hah.

I'm just fed up of this poor woman who's just gone looking for a date and found herself in a situation she can't handle being called a bunny boiler, someone who is wallowing in victimhood, and other totally offensive things. It's making me sick. It's not OK. All of this just makes me feel so sick. 

 

Please note - all the usual suspects - before you all, one by one, express the same view as if it was stunningly original - I won't be reading your comments, though I'm sure you'll enjoy the scrum anyway. 

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Sinking_In
1 hour ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

I don't think she's made herself a victim at all.

Not in this relationship, no, but she has in other aspects of her life, which is making it more difficult for her to dig herself out. I just hope I was able to point out all of the things she DOES have going for her, so that she can focus on utilizing them (like family support, an education, wits and charm, etc) to help herself. It's difficult to get oneself unstuck when focused on the negative, and wallowing in self pity.

 

1 hour ago, anisotrophic said:

I think everyone has baggage of some sort or another

I gotta agree there. Not everyone lets it weigh them down, but it's there, and it has shaped everyone into who they are today, for better or worse.

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Traveler40
11 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

Not everyone lets it weigh them down, but it's there, and it has shaped everyone into who they are today, for better or worse.

That just deserved a repost 👍🏻 😬

Well said, and yes.

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ryn2
5 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

I'm sure this woman will be fine when she finds what she was on the dating site looking for - a committed, monogamous relationship with someone who is free of past or current baggage. It sounds as if she has a supportive family too which will help her. This adventure obviously wasn't what she was looking for and she's made that perfectly clear. I don't think she's made herself a victim at all.

If she’s just unhappy over the relationship...

 

I got the impression reading @Sinking_In’s account of the situation that she’s facing some mental health challenges.  If that’s true even the ideal relationship won’t fix things for her.

 

(ETA:  I didn’t see the next page before I replied so maybe this is irrelevant now)

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Whore*of*Mensa
23 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

no baggage, past or present? I uh... I think everyone has baggage of some sort or another.

There's baggage, and then there's being married with kids...There's the real world that people live in, and real world expectations that people have from relationships..

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Whore*of*Mensa
18 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I got the impression reading @Sinking_In’s account of the situation that she’s facing some mental health challenges.

She's vulnerable, clearly. A complicated situation is clearly not what she needs and is not going to help her. And he's known her like 5 minutes, honestly 🙄

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ryn2
35 minutes ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

She's vulnerable, clearly. A complicated situation is clearly not what she needs and is not going to help her. And he's known her like 5 minutes, honestly 🙄

I got the impression that no situation is probably what she needs, while she sorts her own stuff out.

 

Granted that it’s rare we hear from both parties here so we can only go by what people recount.

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Sinking_In

I'd like to intervene here @ryn2 @Whore*of*Mensa

Since there is a level of anonymity here, I'll give some details to clarify, and bear in mind all of this knowledge is second hand (coming from me and my observations), sounds horribly awful, and was not all discovered or divulged in the beginning of our relationship:

 

My (ex)lover is finalizing a divorce after having been separated for a year, he was abusive both physically and mentally, and he is apparently really sticking it to her in the divorce, now (I did recommend she see a good lawyer). She had moved in with her family, and her sister suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but is now off her meds, and who has since made my (ex)lover a target of her animosity for having moved into the house, resulting in physical violence and destruction of her property. She recently lost her job, and took to partying with an old friend (whom I believe is actually, seriously mentally ill) who has gotten her into terrible situations where she has been drugged, robbed, and beaten (this was the last episode where I drew the line and ended it). She is obviously in a downward spiral, complicated by horrible situations and poor life choices. If anything, she told me our relationship was the ONLY thing that was positive in her life, which for as troubling as it may be to some, I believe that is true, given all of the other circumstances. Unfortunately, that means very little in the grand scheme of things.

 

To be clear, when I met her, she was employed, "divorced", not hanging out with terrible people, and her situation at home was tolerable, or so it all seemed at the time and I was led to believe. I can't fault someone for the situations they cannot control, but when it's obvious they are putting themselves into terrible situations, purposely, then my sympathies start to wane. That's where she is, that's where I am, and as much as I feel bad for her, I cannot be a part of any of that. So yes, I got involved with someone who I didn't know well enough to begin with, but someone could keep a lot of these things hidden for quite some time, so how well do we really know anyone, and how long would it take to see who they really are? I do believe that deep down she is a very good person, which is what I was picking up on, but when the rest of it came into focus, as she shared more and more of it with me, I had a decision to make, one I hope was right for both of us.

 

I hope that has cleared up a lot, possibly even highlighted some of my own flaws in the process. I am far from perfect, I make mistakes, and I know it. I really didn't want to go into that much details, but the confrontations over all of this were getting to be a bit much.

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Sinking_In

Just an update, my ex-lover has reached out via text, but I have stood my ground on this. She needs to get her life in order, for her own sake. I was firm, yet supportive, and I believe she won't reach out, again. Perhaps a year or more down the road, when she's back on her feet, but I suspect that if she has her life put together, she'll no longer have any need for me, which I would be fine with and very happy for her.

 

In my search for other polyamorous people, I've found a few women with some interest in me. I'm meeting one of them tomorrow for coffee. I'm not expecting anything, but I'm open to the experience. At first I was a bit intimidated by her, but I believe she's just the kind of person who comes off strong, so as to cut through the BS, which is something I can respect. There is another woman I'm hitting it off with rather well, but I have a feeling meeting her IRL will take some time, as she is cautious. Again, that is also something I can respect. There are a few others who have expressed interest, but when it comes to online dating, it's best to keep expectations low while trying to maintain high standards ;)

 

It may seem like I am moving fast, but on the contrary, I'm putting many feelers out so that I can be more selective. I'm going to do better in the vetting process this time.

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Whore*of*Mensa
On 1/10/2020 at 9:29 PM, Sinking_In said:

I'd like to intervene here @ryn2 @Whore*of*Mensa

Since there is a level of anonymity here, I'll give some details to clarify, and bear in mind all of this knowledge is second hand (coming from me and my observations), sounds horribly awful, and was not all discovered or divulged in the beginning of our relationship:

 

My (ex)lover is finalizing a divorce after having been separated for a year, he was abusive both physically and mentally, and he is apparently really sticking it to her in the divorce, now (I did recommend she see a good lawyer). She had moved in with her family, and her sister suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but is now off her meds, and who has since made my (ex)lover a target of her animosity for having moved into the house, resulting in physical violence and destruction of her property. She recently lost her job, and took to partying with an old friend (whom I believe is actually, seriously mentally ill) who has gotten her into terrible situations where she has been drugged, robbed, and beaten (this was the last episode where I drew the line and ended it). She is obviously in a downward spiral, complicated by horrible situations and poor life choices. If anything, she told me our relationship was the ONLY thing that was positive in her life, which for as troubling as it may be to some, I believe that is true, given all of the other circumstances. Unfortunately, that means very little in the grand scheme of things.

 

To be clear, when I met her, she was employed, "divorced", not hanging out with terrible people, and her situation at home was tolerable, or so it all seemed at the time and I was led to believe. I can't fault someone for the situations they cannot control, but when it's obvious they are putting themselves into terrible situations, purposely, then my sympathies start to wane. That's where she is, that's where I am, and as much as I feel bad for her, I cannot be a part of any of that. So yes, I got involved with someone who I didn't know well enough to begin with, but someone could keep a lot of these things hidden for quite some time, so how well do we really know anyone, and how long would it take to see who they really are? I do believe that deep down she is a very good person, which is what I was picking up on, but when the rest of it came into focus, as she shared more and more of it with me, I had a decision to make, one I hope was right for both of us.

 

I hope that has cleared up a lot, possibly even highlighted some of my own flaws in the process. I am far from perfect, I make mistakes, and I know it. I really didn't want to go into that much details, but the confrontations over all of this were getting to be a bit much.

That's a very sad story. It sounds like she's had very little love in her life, and she is clearly traumatised and extremely vulnerable. I guess we do come across these people when we move into the online world, out of our usual social circles. As for putting herself in dangerous situations - trauma can be a funny thing. I've been there. Hopefully she will find her way through, it will take a lot of strength. I agree you're not the person to help her..

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Sinking_In

I'll add that when my ex-lover reached out to me, she let me know she had gotten some help, started taking anti-depressants, and had found a job, so she is at least on the right track (presumably) . Again, I was supportive, but stood my ground on the separation.

 

Also, my coffee date with the polyamorous woman I met online fell through. Apparently the flu has gotten to her house. I suspect another date won't happen for weeks to come, if at all. C'est la vie. I was tentatively planning a date with someone tonight, but she never got back to me, so I've already written it off. I'll reach out, again, but I'm not expecting anything. Online dating apps are full of flakes, if nothing else.

 

I'll admit I am a little annoyed at my current situation. I know we're trying to make the best of what it is, but it just wasn't supposed to be this way. It's not what I signed up for when I got married. It devolved into this. Then again, it's not the dream life my wife wanted, either. We're being realistic, and reality bites. Yeah, I'm on a real downer today. This is me feeling sorry for myself. I'll just get right back to the grind of swiping right tonight. I'll eventually find that needle in the haystack ;) 

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Memento1
58 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

It's not what I signed up for when I got married.

One thing I've started to think a lot about is people don't often explicitly talk about what they want in marriage.  They just kind of assume the societal message of what is expected of them (and their partner).  It's like an invisible contract.  I think this causes a lot of trouble down the road when people either get sick of fulfilling a contract they never liked to begin with, or feel like they maintained their end of the contract and their spouse didn't.

 

Anyways, sorry to wax philosophic.  I'm sorry you're having a down day.  I certainly have plenty of those.

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ryn2
27 minutes ago, Memento1 said:

One thing I've started to think a lot about is people don't often explicitly talk about what they want in marriage.  They just kind of assume the societal message of what is expected of them (and their partner).  It's like an invisible contract.  I think this causes a lot of trouble down the road when people either get sick of fulfilling a contract they never liked to begin with, or feel like they maintained their end of the contract and their spouse didn't.

I had an extensive discussion about this with a close friend who is very active in the BDSM community.  She noted that she’s not sure how many people take the contract seriously to start with (sort of like speed limits; just nod and smile and then do what you think is best).  She’s horrified by the whole idea of marrying without talking all this stuff through, given her own perspective.

 

Also, by not explicitly discussing it, we all left/leave the door wide open for the mistaken assumption that people who are otherwise similar and compatible also have similar sexual expectation.

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anisotrophic
33 minutes ago, Memento1 said:

people don't often explicitly talk about what they want in marriage.  They just kind of assume the societal message of what is expected of them (and their partner).  It's like an invisible contract.

Sort of. It's fair that there's "standard expectations" that we assume, but some of it only comes out "in practice" – I expect my partner to do his fair share of domestic labor, and he always agreed that should be true, yet it has been an ongoing source of tension over the years. In some respects, sex may be this way too (and gender identity...): we don't know what we don't know, some things are only understood through the doing and the living of them.

 

I think marriage must also be an ongoing commitment to keep working things out. It's almost impossible to predict at the outset what will happen in 10, 20, 30 years. It's an alliance that is maintained in the face of challenges and change. There's a litany of things "nobody signed up for" which they could potentially face in a marriage – serious health conditions in either partner or in children, professional trouble, accidents, issues with family beyond "nuclear" (parental caretaking, etc.), and more. People also change over time … and I think part of the ongoing commitment is to adapt and find synergy in the changes.

I guess, I think the main we "sign up for" is for both partners continuously trying to make it work.

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

Sort of. It's fair that there's "standard expectations" that we assume, but some of it only comes out "in practice" – I expect my partner to do his fair share of domestic labor, and he always agreed that should be true, yet it has been an ongoing source of tension over the years. In some respects, sex may be this way too (and gender identity...): we don't know what we don't know, some things are only understood through the doing and the living of them.

 

I think marriage must also be an ongoing commitment to keep working things out. It's almost impossible to predict at the outset what will happen in 10, 20, 30 years. It's an alliance that is maintained in the face of challenges and change. There's a litany of things "nobody signed up for" which they could potentially face in a marriage – serious health conditions in either partner or in children, professional trouble, accidents, issues with family beyond "nuclear" (parental caretaking, etc.), and more. People also change over time … and I think part of the ongoing commitment is to adapt and find synergy in the changes.

I guess, I think the main we "sign up for" is for both partners continuously trying to make it work.

Also all true.  I think we (the greater we) would benefit from going into marriage with fewer assumptions, but despite best efforts things can and do change.

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Sinking_In

You are all right @Memento1 @ryn2 @anisotrophic there needs to be a candid discussion about sex at the beginning of ANY relationship, and societal norms leave too much to be assumed, and often are, quite understandably. I (just my opinion) do feel it's more important for the asexual, hypersexual, fetish needing, polyamorous, et al, individuals to initiate that discussion, because of the societal "norms", the vast majority of people do not fall within those categories, even combined.

 

I should hope I've been a clear proponent of asexual people asserting themselves and staying true to who they are, so initiating that discussion would be a good thing. Sure, that's not fair to put entirely on the asexual person, but at the moment, the vast majority of people in the world are sexual, and the vast majority understand marriage to include sexual relations on a basis not unlike was initiated in the beginning of a relationship. Again, not fair, and relationships evolve. Frequency may naturally decrease for even sexual people, but for sexual people when sex drops off, entirely, it's usually a sign that the relationship is in sever distress, dying or dead.

 

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I should hope anyone reading this thread will learn from it and have that discussion, no matter how scary or uncomfortable they may think it would be, and continue to have it throughout their relationships. Again, sorry if I'm a real downer today, just working through some frustration. I do appreciate everyone's input!

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Sinking_In said:

I (just my opinion) do feel it's more important for the asexual, hypersexual, fetish needing, polyamorous, et al, individuals to initiate that discussion, because of the societal "norms",

In my opinion the first person who notices the conversation hasn’t been initiated should start it, no matter how mainstream they feel their own desires may be, because:

1) most people feel that way, and some of them are not correct

2) the more mainstream person suffers just as much in a mismatched situation as the person farther from typical does, and thus has as much to lose

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Sinking_In

@ryn2 of course, the moment anyone notices anything they feel is unusual to them, the discussion should be had. I was referring to first meetings, not necessarily relationships already underway, though once underway, if not discussed, I agree, even the person who feels they are sexually "normal" should initiate the conversation, just to be clear on the subject, and the feelings of their partner, regardless.

 

In my own relationship, I've no idea how long ago it was that I first noticed we weren't as sexually compatible as I thought, but my wife knew right away, and said nothing, When I finally noticed, and initiated the conversation (many years go), my wife didn't know how to articulate that she was asexual. Our communication was not the best in that regard, and I certainly share in the blame. She may not have been forthright, but I also didn't ask the right questions. It wasn't until I found this site that we were able to know the truth about our sexual incompatibility, that it wasn't something just "slightly off" but rather worlds apart.

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Memento1

In an ideal world, it would obviously be best if the "off the beaten track" person was upfront and honest before marriage (or even before starting a relationship).  In the world we live in, the off-the-beaten track person often feels great shame, confusion, and distress over being abnormal, and may or may not be able to articulate their feelings if they've never seen it openly discussed before.  Which is why a big part of AVEN's mission is to destigmatize and increase awareness of asexuality.  Asking the stigmatized minority to be self-assured and assertive is asking a lot.  Very few people in general bring up aspects of themselves they're ashamed about before getting married.  All of which is to say I understand the desire and the logic, but I think it's on both partners to initiate the discussion.

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Traveler40
10 hours ago, Memento1 said:

One thing I've started to think a lot about is people don't often explicitly talk about what they want in marriage. 

I believe many do, but ignore the stuff they think they can live with or improve. Then, the ability to endure decreases with time and what you compromised on (or willfully ignored) may no longer be tolerable.
 

Sometimes, we hope/believe we can work it out if everything else is just that good, only to find out that there’s actually nothing there to work with...

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Traveler40
11 hours ago, Sinking_In said:

It's not what I signed up for when I got married. It devolved into this. Then again, it's not the dream life my wife wanted, either.

This is so relatable and was oft repeated early on when we had little understanding.
 

Beautiful things have come from the pain of disappointment: We’re much less judgmental, more accepting and open to this journey. Beyond simply saying, “live and let live”,  we truly embody that. My husband has zero pressure sexually, and we haven’t fought about it in as long as I can remember. We argue, but it’s without deep resentments which means quicker blow over to resolution. Happier homes = happier families.

 

You will find your needle in a haystack. Patience, perseverance and a bit of luck.  🍀 

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Sinking_In

Admittedly, I have been frustrated for a few days, and with that some negative emotions got stirred. Thanks for letting me blow off some steam and work through some thoughts.

34 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

I believe many do, but ignore the stuff they think they can live with or improve. Then, the ability to endure decreases with time and what you compromised on (or willfully ignored) may no longer be tolerable.
 

Sometimes, we hope/believe we can work it out if everything else is just that good, only to find out that there’s actually nothing there to work with...

^This! Nailed it! I mentioned earlier that my wife knew we weren't sexually compatible very early on, and I'm sure she went through exactly this, whether consciously or subconsciously. For me, what I noticed was (although naively incorrect or grossly miscalculated) at first her libido was simply lower than mine, but I was able to initiate and she would reciprocate. I thought I could definitely live with that, and I'm sure she did, too. I lowered my libido to a comfortable level for myself to accommodate her, believing this was all well within "normal" boundaries and limits, and she likely raised her own acceptance for what she thought was comfortable for herself in order to accommodate me. It happened naturally without candid and explicit conversation (admittedly a mistake looking back with 20/20 hindsight). This worked well and harmoniously for a number of years, at least for what I could tell (and I don't believe my wife would disagree), but as harmony broke down in other aspects of our relationship, one by one they were all disrupted, sex included, compounding problems and creating more discord. What was once considered compromise became intolerable for both of us, until, like you said @Traveler40 , there was nothing left there to work with.

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Memento1

I didn't have time to properly wrap up my previous post as I was running late, but I didn't like leaving it like that as I want to move past the logic to the feeling.  I think what you were really saying is "I wish I could have avoided all this pain," and I very much empathize with that.  It's frustrating to think years of misunderstandings could have been avoided.  I'm sorry I didn't start with that.

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Sinking_In

@Memento1 I know you're coming from a good place when commenting here, and that feelings are very important to you. I appreciate that. My mind can get hung up on "near misses" and embarrassing moments that leave me feeling foolish. The shoulda-coulda-woulda opportunities haunt my thoughts sometimes, but it's manageable for me. I've come a long way in that regard, but thank you for thinking of me and my feelings, and my wife's for that matter. You're absolutely right, I just wanted to avoid this pain, for everyone, not just myself.

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Memento1
1 hour ago, Sinking_In said:

and that feelings are very important to you.

Funnily enough, talking about feelings does not come naturally to me.  It's something I'm consciously making myself practice on AVEN as I've learned what a huge part it plays in having productive discussions.

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ryn2
6 hours ago, Sinking_In said:

I lowered my libido to a comfortable level for myself to accommodate her, believing this was all well within "normal" boundaries and limits, and she likely raised her own acceptance for what she thought was comfortable for herself in order to accommodate me. It happened naturally without candid and explicit conversation

I feel like this happens a lot more often than actual, below-surface-level discussion does, but maybe it varies based on where you live and who you hang with.

 

Re:

7 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

I believe many do, but ignore the stuff they think they can live with or improve.

 

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Traveler40
3 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I feel like this happens a lot more often than actual, below-surface-level discussion does,

Hmm, I think we are likely both right given lack of knowledge and desire to make it work many times.

 

I assure you we had below-surface-level discussions in my home more times than most can count and felt the outcome was both fruitful and connecting at the time. However, there was not “understanding of self” there. Given that barrier, admittedly without either party knowing about asexuality, the discussion was basically garbage in/garbage out. Neither party realized it nor intended it to be that way.

 

No matter what we did or discussed, the result was always the same - different orientations.  I’ll digress for a second: Ed Smart.  I’d bet a whole lot that he and Lois had below the surface level discussions across their decades together, but he never came out to himself until, what, 64? There’s not much either party can do if truth doesn’t out for years....

 

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ryn2

Oh, agreed.  I wasn’t referring to anyone here in particular... or even specifically to ace/sexual mixed relationship.  It seems like a fairly common issue between people in general.

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Traveler40
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I wasn’t referring to anyone here in particular...

Totally got that - just was putting it in a framework I understood.
 

I agree that miscommunication generally happens despite best efforts, but also put forth that best efforts actually happen. 
 

Folks attempt to better their connections as best they can with what they know at any given time. It’s flawed considering the unknowns and limitations which doesn’t allow for perfect, or perfectly lasting connection many times. 

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

When your ace partner offers you sex in a situation where you normally want it, but you weren't actually wanting it this time, and was it based on previous patterns or did he want it for some reason and actually ask you because of that...

 

tenor.gif

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