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13 October 2004 @ 05:24 pm
Something special??  
Is it reasonable to have something special that you share only with a significant other of some sort? Something special that you only share together?

-the redhead-
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felician_logicfelician_logic on October 13th, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC)
It's reasonable. But not required. If monogamous, the 'something special' is kind of built in, assuming fidelity isn't an issue. And it's only special if both parties agree it is. One saying it is, while the other just shrugs, doesn't quite cut it. Can be a touchy issue, depending on the context.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:35 am (UTC)
What do you mean by 'not required'? Do you find relationships where you have *nothing* that is special and unique to your relationship, even if it's just a pet name or an inside joke, fulfilling? Are those just like 'generic' relationships?

Welcome, btw *smile*

-the redhead-
felician_logicfelician_logic on October 14th, 2004 09:51 am (UTC)
Well, every relationship has something special and unique to it, whether or not you conciously say 'ok this is ours and ours only'. Once that is made a spoken rule, well, that's another thing altogether. It's the spoken rule that I'm referring to as 'not required'.

Most relationships automatically set up things that are unique and special, without any dictation from the people involved. That's just the nature of friendships/lovers/spouses.

That's why I said the context can make it touchy. Are we talking about taking something shared and saying aloud, 'ok, this is ours and ours alone and neither of us can share it with anyone else'? Or the natural, and simply understood, vines that grow between people as they form closer bonds?
felician_logicfelician_logic on October 14th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC)
You also made me think more about my current realm of friendships, not SO's or mates, but just people I consider friends.

I can count on one hand a few people who I can honestly say I don't neccesarily share anything unique with; no names, jokes, ideas, or threads of thought that I haven't shared with anyone else. We cross-pollinate things among our circle. There are no 'sacred cows' among us, no real secrets or quiet things that apply only to us.

That doesn't mean I don't enjoy their friendship though, or find them unfulfilling. They may lack a specialness, but that in no way hurts their value as it currently stands. The things we share, even though shared with multiple people, are still things that bond us together.

Delving deeper into my relationship with my fiancee, I rummage up a list of special things a mile long, most of which are simply understood and unspoken. And that relationship, without those things, would probably relegate him into the friend category mentioned above.

But your question was, "Is it reasonable...?" Is it reasonable to expect special things? In the terms of a significant relationship like a partner or lover, I would say yes. But they tend to form on their own, assuming it's a healthy and happy relationship. When they aren't, then the expectation is dashed, and the specialness goes into the trash heap.

I think another insteresting question might be, "Is it reasonable to expect unique and special things to change throughout the relationship?" While Joe and I share many special things, and have for many years, the things that were once very special have been outranked or replaced by new things as we've grown together. We may sometimes harken back to memories, but newness is always peaking its head around the corner.

Neat discussion btw. I haven't thought about this for some time. And gratz on your recent awards:)

Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on October 13th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)
Sure. Lots of people have such things. (Of course it can get complicated for polyfolk, because everyone involved needs to know what one another's specail things are.)
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:25 am (UTC)
Why does 'everyone involved need' to know what everyone else's special things are? They don't necessarily have to be big, show-stopping things, so why would it be anyone else's business?

-the redhead-
Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on October 14th, 2004 09:34 am (UTC)
I guess it has to do with how likely it is someone else may want to do the same thing.

Suppose, for instance, that partners A and B have a particular resturant they consider "their special place." If A is also partnered with M, and B with N, and the resturant is a good resturant, then it's easy to see how M or N might innocently suggest a dinner date at the resturant some time, not knowing that it has a sort of exclusive specialness for A and B. If A and B haven't told M and N that the resturant is something that A and B consider "their special place" then several awkward things can happen. A might decide to not make a big thing of it, and goes to dinner with M at the resturant. Somehow word gets back to B, perhaps by something as simple as A coming home and saying something about the resturant. B gets angry, feeling that their special space has been violated. There are other variations on this but I think you see my point. If something is being reserved as exclusive to just one couple in a multipartner situation, then everybody needs to know that the exclusivity exists.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 10:40 am (UTC)
True, but isn't it reasonable for A or B to explain at the time of the question the restaurant (or activity or pet name or breakfast cereal or sex toy - you get the idea) is some place that they share with their other partner/spouse/mate as special and can we pick another place for dinner? It's sort of the same as stating that you already promised to go see whatever movie with parnter A (or M or your mom or your best friend), so can we pick a different movie to see? No harm, no foul there *smile*

-the redhead-

Bill the bold bosthoonwcg on October 14th, 2004 12:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you can do that too. I'm not suggesting that a long list of stuff needs to be presented to potential new partners. But it's important for information to be provided before feelings can be hurt.
Tealteal_cuttlefish on October 13th, 2004 06:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's reasonable. If there's not something special, how is there something significant?

Incidentally, I think I may know you. Does "Mom's BBS" ring a bell for you? If so, it's been 12 years since I've seen you, which is why I can't tell from the icon.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC)
If there's not something special, how is there something significant?

Could you comment more on what you mean by this? What do you see a practical application of your thought being?

Mmmmm - 12 years ago I was still in St. Louis.

-the redhead-
Tealteal_cuttlefish on October 14th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC)
Well, if there is no special thing you share, that makes the relationship more "common." It doesn't exactly cheapen it, but if someone is important enough to you to be a significant other, there ought to be something private that you share. At first, my husband called me "Meg," which no one else did. Of course, people picked up on that, and made that less a special thing, but by that time he was the father of my daughter, and that's a pretty special thing to share. My other SO and I have little private times and discussions where we tell each other things we wouldn't tell anyone else. It just seems like there needs to be something special to differentiate a relationship from all the rest of your relationships; work, school, family, friends...

OK, then you aren't who I thought you might be. You looked a bit young to be in college when I got married, but there was enough resemblance that I had to check.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 11:37 am (UTC)
*nod* See, that's how I think, but I wanted to get other opinions. As you can see here, there are very different opinions *smile* Some people don't think having something special is important and they don't tend to do those things. We are all different, with different opinions - that's what makes us interesting *smile*

Well, 11 years ago I was in college here in Colorado - for the second time *smile*

-the redhead-
...who occasionally still gets carded...
Phenimorephenimore on October 14th, 2004 12:40 am (UTC)
reasonable? i think it's necessary
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
Why and how do you think it's necessary?

Welcome, btw *smile*

-the redhead-
Phenimorephenimore on October 14th, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC)
Quite a lot of discussion going on here! I guess oversimplification might work best.

When I write poetry it's always about comparisons. One subject compared to one central theme. I might write a poem about an ant and use a tree as a metaphor through the poem, but I'll keep that image and attempt to use it as much as possible.

Even with this comical example I can think about how "the tangled roots of ant's homes branch out into..." For my poetry the imagery doesn't come alive until the contrasting elements are brought toghether.

I think relationships have a similar expansion to them. My argument would propose that until two people have had at least one moment that their contrasting lives have threaded toghether uniquely there isn't anything more than acquantence.

Odviously, this is plausible on so many fronts: silly small thoughts, sexual experience, a rainbow, catching fireflies, or to use an odd example from a past relationship: dead cats. Seriously it was something that was a reaccuring theme with a girl I knew so we added it to the relationship by pointing out "dead cat like" moments to each other. I don't think anyone else would know what we meant. We shared many more unique things, but I like the irony that it doesn't necessarily have to be something beautiful. (Love truly is blind.)

Relationships of significance are often born out of traumatic experiences. (shared intense emotional stress) Studies indicate that these create a false intimacy - I think that it's because these people feel they have something no one else can really understand.

Mostly though, it's because people are creative. We desire to create new things and one way to do that is in building a relationship.
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 05:59 am (UTC)
it's reasonable, sure. depending upon the nature of the *thing*, however, it isn't always practical.
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 06:01 am (UTC)
what i mean is, the principal of having something just between two people is reasonable. the particular thing that is chosen, however...well, sometimes, it's just doesn't work in practice.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 06:10 am (UTC)
okay - so why would something be impractical? and don't you think that in order to be a specially shared thing people would have to both agree? Wouldn't agreement trump practial? What's your definition of 'practical' and can you give some examples? Do you have anything special that you share with your mate?

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 06:21 am (UTC)
no, i don't think that agreement absolutely 100% trumps "practical", necessarily. humans are fallible, even with the very best of intentions at heart. you can try to stick with something that seems like a good idea at the time, but if it keeps tripping you up and making you fall down, it's good to feel like you can bring it up as something that needs to be renegotiated. sometimes, something seems like it will work in theory but in practice, it doesn't. that doesn't mean you can't have something sacred to that relationship, it just means that it might have to be re-thought if real life is standing in the way of it.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 06:49 am (UTC)
Right - we seem to be talking about different things. I'm talking about a pet name that was *not* what you called a previous SO/spouse/mate, a special event or activity you share only between yourselves, a special movie, little gifties, a little personal tradition, etc. I'm not sure what you are so vehemently defending or why.

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 06:56 am (UTC)
hm. so, this wasn't just a general philosophical question you were asking, then. i took it as philosophy, and i was noodling on it in a broad way.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:16 am (UTC)
Yes, it *was* a general philosophical question, but not apparently what you were talking about and seemed to be trying to make a point about. Sharing a special thing such as I enumerated - just that simple. Not anything that causes a major disruption in anyone's life - just something that you treat as something special between yourselves. Maybe it's a favorite movie, or a special song, a place to eat, a pet name, inside joke, a quirky gift, whatever. You seem to have gone off on a riff about big things that disrupt people's lives, take time, and need to be 'renegotiated', which is not anything I'm talking about. What point were you trying to make with all of that?

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)
i was actually speaking in very general terms. i know that, over the course of my life, i have had certain "things" that were unique to various relationships (friendship and otherwise), which seemed to be unique to that relationship either coincidentally or intentionally. over time, though, sometimes those things stopped being exclusive to the original relationship context. friday nights at an obscure little restaurant with one person, for instance, eventually segued to occasional visits with someone else. calling my husband "sweetie" used to be something that i only did to him, but the longer i live in the boonies the more i find myself using the term with people who need soothing, even if i couldn't care less about them personally. (it tends to take the wind out of people's sails in certain situations where they are angry or frustrated, if used in the right way). another example would be Grandfather Mountain - at one time, an ex of rich's brought him to her "special place", which was there. the relationship died, but he brought others there (his brother, his children, his wife), thus claiming it as a special place for himself independent of her, because he realized that it was a thing with deep value to him beyond its value as a place where he once hung out with the ex.

so...these were the sorts of things i had in my mind. sometimes, something can work as a "just between us" sort of thing. but it's hard to predict when one of these things might change character, become something else later on. and it's not always a sad thing or a bad thing...although sometimes, there will remain a touch of melancholy, sure.

i'm starting to be fearful of replying to any philosophical posts, though. it seems like i can't avoid it being taken as some sort of personal attack, even if that's the furthest thing from my mind. maybe it's better for me to just to be quiet. i'm really not looking for a fight.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)
Well your tangent about time and practicality and renegotiation were pretty far removed from the sorts of things I was referring to and seemed to have an agenda, so I was trying to clarify.

I do get your point that having something 'special' is 'reasonable' but not something you find to be... important? practical? in your life. It just doesn't seem to be something that you do, so you don't see any importance to such a thing. No big deal - not everyone is the same, hmmm?

I don't see a fight anywhere, just a discussion *smile* Maybe it's because we can both be very strong and maybe you aren't used to people responding to you as strongly as you respond to them? You can be pretty blunt too *smile* It's one of the things that makes you an interesting person.

Clarification is just that. Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make it a fight.

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)
"Well your tangent about time and practicality and renegotiation were pretty far removed from the sorts of things I was referring to and seemed to have an agenda, so I was trying to clarify."

see? that's what i mean. it might have been removed from what was in your mind when you put the question down, put i couldn't be privy to that so all i had were the actual words. your assumption that i had an "agenda" is the sort of thing that really makes me afraid to respond to things. to my mind, this wasn't a "tangent' of any sort, it was responding to the idea of the ups and downs of having exclusive elements within interpersonal relationships.

"I do get your point that having something 'special' is 'reasonable' but not something you find to be... important? practical? in your life."

No, that's not at all my attitude. I definitely have had special elements to nearly all of my relationships which were just between the two of us. However, not every "us" thing that I/We have ever chosen has worked out to be something that could be maintained forever.

"It just doesn't seem to be something that you do, so you don't see any importance to such a thing."

Whaaat?? No, that's not true at all. Of course I value such things. Not everyone does, I know, but I sure do. I don't see how my words are being interpreted in that way, just because I don't see the entire relationship as an utter failure if an exclusive element has to shift when living life makes it no longer serve its purpose. So, for example, my best girlfriend and I always met at this one particular little Italian place on Fridays, a place we never spoke to anyone else about. Then one day, she wants to bring her boyfriend along. That changes *everything*, in some ways, and I'm a little sad about that, but I also realize that we're growing and changing and our lives are leading in a direction where in order to maintain our closeness, we may both need to open up a little and let him in. So, we do. And it's not bad. It's not the same, but it's good in a different way. And because she was brave enough, trusted me enough to broach the topic of renegotiation with me, then later on, when I met someone I cared about and wanted to share this special place with, we were able to make room for him, too, without both of us feeling betrayed. It wasn't because our "thing" didn't matter to us. It was just because our relationship mattered more than the sum of the "things", and so we let the things change over time to accommodate the people were were discovering ourselves to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

if i have an "agenda" about anything, it's this: i absolutely do NOT want to take sides on anything dealing with cz. he's a friend to me, too, and i neither want to take sides nor be used as some sort of ammunition against my will. that's why i think i'm going to skip these philosophical things from now on...because on the face of it, it seems like a discussion topic. but it isn't, not really. it's really an underlying beef with CZ, and i really don't want to form opinions on that, considering that i have nothing like a clear picture on the subject and it's really not my business. i think you are both good people, and i don't want to hurt either of you. so...i think i will just abstain from taking that particular risk. i don't want to inadvertantly cause hurt.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 12:46 pm (UTC)
Whaaat?? No, that's not true at all. Of course I value such things. Not everyone does, I know, but I sure do. I don't see how my words are being interpreted in that way, just because I don't see the entire relationship as an utter failure if an exclusive element has to shift when living life makes it no longer serve its purpose.

I can say that *I* got that feeling because you focused so strongly on the practicality of a thing, how some things aren't always practical, how things need to be renegotiated, how thing trip other people up, that they may sound great in theory but don't work in practice, how life may stand in the way of a thing, and gave several examples of how things had ceased to be special to you. The other side of the coin, as it were, was addressed basically as 'sure, it's reasonable'.

You placed waaaaaaaaaaay more emphasis on the how it doesn't work or things change than you did on the idea of it being reasonable to have something special to begin with. Same with your example just above - it could almost feel like a lecture on change and acceptance and maturity. *That* sort of thing is where I got the idea that these sorts of things aren't important to you.

Maybe you could share some insight and feeling about those things that are special to a relationship you have and why? Like why do you even have special things with anyone? Does it add uniqueness to the relationship? Does it add meaning? Does it give you something you can cherish? Did those sorts of things mean more to you at the beginning of your relationship?

it's really an underlying beef with CZ

Not necessarily, and that *is* you reading things into things I post. As a matter of fact this was me exploring an idea prior to bringing it up to get other opinions on the topic.

and i neither want to take sides nor be used as some sort of ammunition against my will.

Who said that would happen?

Do you really think your opinion is of that much import? Not to be offensive, but do you seriously think that? Do you think that in every situation where you know mutliple people who know each other? Does this mean you can only be real friends one person in any couple/group/set of people/friends?

think you are both good people, and i don't want to hurt either of you. so...i think i will just abstain from taking that particular risk. i don't want to inadvertantly cause hurt.

Does this mean that you will never again express an opinion on whether someone is right or wrong in our situation? I find that somewhat odd, as you've disagreed with me, expressed you thought I was wrong, and shared your feelings on a number of topics in the past. In fact, you are usually the person I've come to *expect* to not cut me an ounce of slack or understanding, and tell me that I'm wrong. Sometimes you have valid points and I learn something. Sometimes we disagree. I wonder if you ever 'speak' to CZ the same way? Are you going to cut yourself off from him as well?

Should I remove you from my friends list so that you aren't exposed to anything other than sweetness and light? I would certainly do so, tho it would make me sad. But then again , it would just be another lesson in the fact that people aren't really 'friends' of any sort - just more people one meets in passing on the internet. That those things aren't 'real' relationships of any sort, just random noise when people have spare time...

-the redhead-


-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
As for your comment on the other topic you seemed to be leading towards - yes, everything is open for negotiation. But there are bare minimums of interaction and effort involved in order to have a real relationship, no? Or is it really all just what's most convenient at the time? And negotiation does not mean 'what works for only one person'

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 09:44 am (UTC)
okay, then...noted. i promise not to attempt anymore of these ostensibly philosophical questions.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 10:29 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you seem to be having a bit of a tough time today - I really hope it gets better. Maybe it's just because it's near the end of the week and life always seems a bit more challenging on Thursday mornings...*smile*

Unfortunately I don't think you get that it really *was* a philosophical question, and I have gotten a range of answers. If you note, I have responded to everyone with more questions looking for clarification or trying to clarify what *I* meant. There was nothing 'ostensibly' about it, you just seemed to be going in a different direction than I was concerning this specific question. There's a big difference between something that interrupts every day at 4 pm so you can stand on one leg in the direction of Mecca and having a pet name or special restaurant *smile*

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
"If you note, I have responded to everyone with more questions looking for clarification or trying to clarify what *I* meant. There was nothing 'ostensibly' about it, you just seemed to be going in a different direction than I was concerning this specific question."

see, that feels very much like i'm being led toward a desired conclusion, and i'm just naturally very resistant to that sort of thing.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 11:49 am (UTC)
No, it just seemed that we were talking about two completely different things - I got the feeling you were sharing more of your opinion on a completely different topic that we have discussed in the past (as I referred to it as a tangent), instead of understanding the things I was *actually* referring to today - which I tried to clarify several times. Clarifying what I was talking about isn't leading or trying to force you, it just means I don't think you understand what I'm trying to say and I was trying to get back to what I meant.

*I* was referring to those sorts of little things, *not* something that blantantly intrudes into life every day and *not* something that is scheduled. Your repeated references to scheduling and renegotiation and things basically being untenable for other people lead me to believe that you were referring to a past topic.

I think we have *both* been unclear (as I've said in other comments here) today and what I'm talking about has been cast in light of other things/events/discussions.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 06:07 am (UTC)
So are you saying it would never be practical or reasonable to have a special thing you and they share as a special thing? I'm confused, as I never referenced what such a thing might be, but only the idea.

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 14th, 2004 06:15 am (UTC)
no, i think it's entirely reasonable and also entirely possible to have a *thing* that is exclusive to just two people. but the precise thing that is chosen has to be carefully chosen, something that can work in real life without tripping up the rest of life.

like, if your special "thing" is always wearing orange underpants when you're together, that's sustainable. but if the "thing" is always stopping at 4pm on Thursday afternoons and spending five minutes standing on one foot in silent meditation while facing east and humming Xanadu, that might not work out so well in practice. Could lead to car wrecks, awkward moments in meetings, etc.
(Deleted comment)
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:19 am (UTC)
You seem to be on the same tangent as Mel. Please see my comments to her. What I think you are both talking about is an *entirely* different topic.

-the redhead-
(Deleted comment)
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 11:17 am (UTC)
Ah, I get it now. Thanks for clearing up the confusion.

-the redhead-
...who thinks many things are good blended, but scotch is not one of them...
-the redhead-theredhead on October 14th, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
As for your comment on the other topic - yes, everything is open for negotiation. But there are bare minimums of interaction and effort involved in order to have a real relationship, no? Or is it really all just what's most convenient at the time? And negotiation does not mean 'what works for only one person'

-the redhead-
(Deleted comment)
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 15th, 2004 05:30 am (UTC)
Part 1
"You placed waaaaaaaaaaay more emphasis on the how it doesn't work or things change than you did on the idea of it being reasonable to have something special to begin with. Same with your example just above - it could almost feel like a lecture on change and acceptance and maturity. *That* sort of thing is where I got the idea that these sorts of things aren't important to you.

Maybe you could share some insight and feeling about those things that are special to a relationship you have and why? Like why do you even have special things with anyone? Does it add uniqueness to the relationship? Does it add meaning? Does it give you something you can cherish? Did those sorts of things mean more to you at the beginning of your relationship?"

I guess the best way to put it is that, while I don't think that having exclusive "things" in a relationship is unreasonable, and while I don't think such things are value-less, I also don't see it as a goal to set out for accomplishment. Things that evolve in that direction naturally are what I tend to have, and since they are things that have evolved through the course of a relationship culture with a person, then of course they are prone to keep right on evolving and changing over time.

I don't consider such things an absolute necessity, no. To me, every relationship is already a unique situation unto itself - any two people you stick together are going to interact and develop an internal culture between them that is going to be intrinsically different from any other relationship. Maybe not in ways that you can list on a sheet of paper, but nevertheless, it's there and it's real to me. So, when "us" things develop, those are sweet and sentimental things. Generally they come about eventually in most relationships. But I don't set out looking for them, or making any sort of effort to choose things to cordon off that way. There have been a few times in the past that I've tried to cordon off segments for "us" things, and mostly those things have either not been things that were as sentimental to the other person as they were to me or else eventually it somehow didn't stay practiceable in the long run. That's been okay for me, though, because it's not part of my internal definition of any value of "us"-ness.

I think maybe the core of my paradigm difference with you here, the thing that you seem to be taking such personal offense to, is that while I feel that "us" things are not an unreasonable thing to want, and while I do appreciate the sentimental value they can potentially afford, I do *not* consider them to be a vital element in defining a relationship as unique, or special, or uniquely special. In my mindset, the things that make a relationship unique and special are mostly things that are too intangible and volatile to distill into such things. Also, in most interpersonal relationships I've had in my life, the things that really hit my core as the most deeply sentimental didn't necessarily push the exact same buttons for the other person. Kind of like song lyrics, you know? You might find a song that really kicks you in the chest, really speaks to your soul. So you go quoting lyrics here and there, and other people just aren't likely to really get the same thing out of it as you are. *shrug*

"and i neither want to take sides nor be used as some sort of ammunition against my will.

Who said that would happen? "

it already has.

"Do you really think your opinion is of that much import? Not to be offensive, but do you seriously think that?"


Er, no. That's not what I mean. But there has already been a situation where C~ merely mentioned to me that you two were breaking up, and letting you know that I'd been told that simple fact was enough to make you post your resentment over his talking to me about it in your journal. That's the sort of thing I don't want to get into.
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 15th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC)
Re: Part 2

"...think you are both good people, and i don't want to hurt either of you. so...i think i will just abstain from taking that particular risk. i don't want to inadvertantly cause hurt.

Does this mean that you will never again express an opinion on whether someone is right or wrong in our situation?"

Yes, that's what it means. Because it's really not a matter of wrong or right, and I really am NOT willing to take part in that. It's not about wrong and right. You are both good people, you are both intelligent people, you are both people who are doing the best you can do, trying very hard. It's not about wrong and right. You're both doing your best, you're both trying to think things through carefully and stick to your principles, so you're both right. That doesn't guarantee synchronicity, unfortunately, but lack of synchronicity doesn't make something automatically a right or wrong situation. There are far too many possible paradigms in play for that to be true.

"I find that somewhat odd, as you've disagreed with me, expressed you thought I was wrong, and shared your feelings on a number of topics in the past."

Yeah, and it hasn't gone so well. I don't know if you'll be willing to see or accept the distinction here, but my intention has never been to tell you you're WRONG about anything. Again, I don't see any of it as a right/wrong situation. Have you heard the thing about how when your tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail? Well, what I've been trying to do is, when I can see that there's a possibility that maybe something could be interpreted as a screw, and maybe if, if it were a screw, it might not cause so much hurt for you, then maybe I could suggest to you to take a look and see if it's a screw. (in other words, I think that sometimes you read in slights where none were intended, and I was under the misguided impression that if a slight wasn't really intended, that it might make you feel better. However, that seems to just make you feel like your feelings are being trivialized, instead.) But that's not gone over well. I don't seem to have the magic touch to pick the right combination of words to bring that concept to you in a way that you don't find an affront. So, I might as well shut up and not make it worse.
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 15th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC)
Re: Part 3

"In fact, you are usually the person I've come to *expect* to not cut me an ounce of slack or understanding, and tell me that I'm wrong."

If that's who I am to you, then that's not what I want to be. I would, honestly, rather withdraw than be perceived as a person who is standing on your head. That was never my intention, and I don't see myself as smarter or more wise about any damned thing than you are. If I ever thought that maybe I might have any perspective on things at all, it is ONLY because I'm standing at a different vantage point, and I because my perceptions are not being colored by being in emotional pain. Can you accede to me this much, that being emotionally stressed does, sometimes, color your interpretations of things? Can you agree that there are times when being emotionally stressed can make you react reflexively, as if you are reliving a past hurt all over again, even if that's not the intention of the person who is hurting you? Really, all I was trying to do was look at how you were reacting, and look at how he was reacting, and trying to show you that there was a disconnect between his intentions and your interpretations, and that the rift was actually in favor of him caring much more about you than you were able to feel at that time. But that was an insulting trivialization of your feelings, to suggest that what you were feeling was not what he was trying to do to you, and I'm sorry about that and won't attempt it anymore.

By the way, you asked if I talk to CZ the same way as you. The answer is, basically, yes. Insofar as I say exactly what's on my mind, and I tell him how things look from Over Here sometimes, and if something seems troubling to me I don't hesitate to ask him to elaborate on things until I feel like I can understand his attitude about something. This is in no way intended to be interpreted as meaning that C~ and I discuss *this relationship* in any depth. We really don't, because it's really personal. I talk to him in broader philosophical terms about a lot of things, and sometimes we agree on things and sometimes we don't. There have been issues that he's talked to me about where his initial statements really wigged me out, but upon request for elaboration I usually feel better and often have new angles to look at things with. Not things with Your Relationship. Things in general. Things about how to conduct poly lifestyles, day to day basics about weighing environmental responsibility against practical daily life concerns, balancing a demanding schedule with needs for down time...lots of issues. I don't want you to think that we spend lots of time hashing out the relationship, because we don't. I don't bring it up, and neither does he, for the most part. That wouldn't be appropriate. Of course, neither is me telling you the exact content of my dialogues with him, so that's probably enough said altogether.

"Should I remove you from my friends list so that you aren't exposed to anything other than sweetness and light? I would certainly do so, tho it would make me sad. But then again , it would just be another lesson in the fact that people aren't really 'friends' of any sort - just more people one meets in passing on the internet. That those things aren't 'real' relationships of any sort, just random noise when people have spare time..."

So, in one paragraph you offer to remove me, while telling me that if I were to take that offer it would just confirm to you that the world is full of shallow people who will desert you at every turn when you're not convenient to be around. :\
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 15th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC)
Re: Part 4

I don't want either. I don't want to be removed, although I am going to abstain from attempting to offer any suggestion of an alternate viewpoint from now on, because while my intention is to help you feel better, the actual result is that you feel insulted and slighted. If my intention is to remove a splinter but the outcome is that I hack off a finger, I probably ought to turn in my tweezers, you know? Instead, I will only offer you the compassion that I feel for your feelings (which I do), and the sincere hopes that things will improve (which I want), and the reminder that I have confidence in you that you can cope with whatever comes (which I have). It doesn't mean I don't care, and it doesn't mean I don't want to help. But you're a big girl, and my methods for helping don't mesh well with your disposition. So, I'll just stick to more passive methods that don't make you feel like you're being challenged. You've got enough to grapple with already. I don't want to be your drill sargent.


-the redhead-theredhead on October 15th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
I think maybe the core of my paradigm difference with you here, the thing that you seem to be taking such personal offense to

I haven't taken 'personal offense' to anything you've shared. As I explained, I was looking for opinions, and when you seemed to be referring to a different topic we had discussed in the past I tried to clarify several times. That's not offense, that's just discussing and trying to get to my real question. It's just me rooting around in a topic, asking questions, pushing for justifications, and sticking to my guns just as much as *you* do.

As for what I posted in my journal, you are misremembering. I made a filtered post to my friends list of a whole *five* people (two being you and your husband) a copy of an email I sent to him. I'm not a famous writer/lj icon, so you have to keep in mind that I don't have the huge friends list/flock of admirers that you do. I'm just a regular, private sort of person *smile*

Yes, I did email something to C~ about him saying something to you for several reasons. One, I had *no* idea what he had said as our (yours and mine) conversation about it was interrupted for awhile without a lot of clarification. Two, yes, I was upset. I know I admitted that several times during that situation. Three, I know what sorts of things he's said to people (including myself) about past girlfriends & breakups and I neither deserved nor wanted to be painted with the same brush, which he had wielded at me personally at that time because he was upset and being overly dramatic. It was just me trying to protect myself with what amounted to a *single* statement (in the 4000+ words I sent him that week) to him that I was *concerned*, in the context of a request. So it wasn't some huge thing with you being used as a weapon by any means - you really aren't that important. I think you are blowing that way out of proportion, but I know that we all have our weird fears. At least I understand and acknowledge that others have the need to protect themselves from things, and for you that may mean never being mentioned to someone else who knows you by a mutual friend.

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 15th, 2004 09:06 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
okay, that's about enough icy condescension for me. i've really done my best.
-the redhead-theredhead on October 15th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
How is my writing to you 'icy condescension' any more than yours is to me? *confused*

If this weren't important to me because I considered you to be more valuable than the average person, if I weren't trying to explain my position because I want to help you understand where I'm coming from, I would not have devoted the effort I have. You are certainly not the only one who is 'really making an effort' here. Mel.

-the redhead-
-the redhead-theredhead on October 15th, 2004 10:20 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
It's very odd that this is spinning completely out of control from your perspective. I haven't gotten to your other posts (2-4) yet - maybe there's something in them that ties this all together and would explain what's going on?

*sigh*

-the redhead-
Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.melanie on October 15th, 2004 09:47 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
"As for what I posted in my journal, you are misremembering. I made a filtered post to my friends list of a whole *five* people (two being you and your husband) a copy of an email I sent to him. "

Okay, so I remembered it from a POST that I saw, not from a LETTER that I didn't see. I misremembered that it was a copy/pasted letter. So what? It's still you indicating resentment that he dared to tell me you two were breaking up. That's not a place I want to be in, whatever the finer hairs of the semantic tangle.

"I'm not a famous writer/lj icon, so you have to keep in mind that I don't have the huge friends list/flock of admirers that you do. I'm just a regular, private sort of person *smile*"

that was a rather sharp-toothed smile there, and I'm wonder what your real point is.

"At least I understand and acknowledge that others have the need to protect themselves from things, and for you that may mean never being mentioned to someone else who knows you by a mutual friend."

Being mentioned is quite a bit different from being used as an arguing point. He's my friend, too, you know. We talk about things, and that really is up to his discretion and mine, although we do endeavor to be ethical according to our own standards. If he's going to be upbraided for daring to mention something less-than-rosy to me, when you feel no compunction about saying less-than-rosy things at your own discretion, then I don't want to be the tool by which that happens. I'm not going to be a funnel for snarks to flow one way or the other, as far as I can prevent it. Just because he mentioned to me that you broke up doesn't mean that he went into a litany of your evil faults or anything of the sort. Matter of fact, he didn't. So, to use my simple statement to fuss at him is not a position I will continue to let myself be in. If I fear that my words are going to be used that way, then my words are going to come less and less.

"So it wasn't some huge thing with you being used as a weapon by any means - you really aren't that important. "

Yep, that's enough for me.