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-   -   Helping Husband through sad? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17517)

PolyBrandy 11-22-2011 01:10 AM

Helping Husband through sad?
 
So we thought Husband found a mate, and it happened to be a friend from's high schools husband. It was great they had an instant connection like teenager connection. Then it started to feel off, well they decided they weren't ready and husband is visibly and emotionally sad about this. He told him he would wait until they had a definite answer.

I am not sure how to support him other than to tell him I love him.

dingedheart 11-22-2011 06:41 PM

tell him its a lot like taking up wind surfing ....in the beginning you spend a lot time in the water exhausted next to your board. Then you get the hang of it... hook into the harness you're gone for hours. ...stopping only to cool off.

AutumnalTone 11-23-2011 03:07 PM

Have you asked him how to help him through rough spots? Seriously, it seems so many people avoid this simple process.

The thing is, it's always best to ask about that when he's *not* in a rough spot. In the midst of feeling poorly, he may not feel like engaging in that sort of discussion, despite needing the comfort right then.

I've told my wife--multiple times--exactly what helps when I'm feeling down. She's never bothered to actually pay attention so she can remember it when I've been knocked down by life and can use a hand in getting back up. She'll then come 'round when I'm down and ask what she can do to help...um, not a good time to ask that. It says, in effect, that she really doesn't care as it's never been important enough for her to pay attention to--which adds to the psychological trauma.

opalescent 11-23-2011 03:14 PM

Yes, ask him how you can help. Offering to listen may be of use to your husband. Or not. People react so differently to pain. I, for one, do not want to talk about painful situations at all at first. Later on, I often do.

Finally, realize that there may be nothing you can do. Sometimes pain can only be borne alone.

opalescent 11-23-2011 03:25 PM

Aside to AT
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AutumnalTone (Post 112336)
I've told my wife--multiple times--exactly what helps when I'm feeling down. She's never bothered to actually pay attention so she can remember it when I've been knocked down by life and can use a hand in getting back up. She'll then come 'round when I'm down and ask what she can do to help...um, not a good time to ask that. It says, in effect, that she really doesn't care as it's never been important enough for her to pay attention to--which adds to the psychological trauma.

This sounds awful, AT. Are you ok? Are there other people in your life who can be there for you in the way you need? It sounds like it's been a long standing pattern that has really hurt you over time.

Spouses should be supportive but your wife may just really suck at being supportive in the way you need. She might be incapable of it - I'm not saying she's a bad person but we all have things we do better than others. For instance, I'm terrible at sussing out if someone feels bad about something but is not saying so openly. Some people are really good at understanding unspoken clues but I'm not one of them. One of my dear friends, his wife is completely freaked out about dealing with death. So when his father died, he could not rely on her for support. She just wasn't capable of it. But she is a great mother, loves him deeply, and is otherwise very supportive of him. So, while not a good situation at all, he accepts her as she is. People will fail you. Sometimes they can't help it because they are who they are.

nycindie 11-23-2011 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyBrandy (Post 112028)
I am not sure how to support him other than to tell him I love him.

Since you know your husband and we don't, I wouldn't think any of us anonymous people here on a message board can really tell you how to support him in this instance. The fact that the loss he's feeling is related to poly doesn't really change how you can be compassionate and supportive to your husband in the ways you usually are. You're the one who knows what cheers him up, what annoys him, how to be there for him, and what kind of space he needs if he wants to be alone, things like that. If you're still not sure, then ask him, as others here have said.

Edit: I just re-read your intro thread and am just wondering if perhaps you both got your hopes up about this person way too soon. You posted only a few days ago to say you are both new to this and he'd just started messaging with someone. Perhaps it was a bit premature to think of this person as a "mate." Next time you two might want to move a little more slowly and cautiously.

AutumnalTone 11-23-2011 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by opalescent (Post 112341)
This sounds awful, AT. Are you ok? Are there other people in your life who can be there for you in the way you need?

Not currently. I have some admirers, though nobody stepping up for the romance.

Quote:

Spouses should be supportive but your wife may just really suck at being supportive in the way you need. She might be incapable of it - I'm not saying she's a bad person but we all have things we do better than others.
She has an attention deficit and is struggling with depression. I understand why she has difficulty with this sort of thing. In the midst of a rough spot, however, it still feels really shitty.

PolyBrandy 11-24-2011 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 112358)
.

Edit: I just re-read your intro thread and am just wondering if perhaps you both got your hopes up about this person way too soon. You posted only a few days ago to say you are both new to this and he'd just started messaging with someone. Perhaps it was a bit premature to think of this person as a "mate." Next time you two might want to move a little more slowly and cautiously.

I meant mate in a friendship term not sexual.

SchrodingersCat 11-24-2011 08:56 AM

Does your husband have any long-time friends? Someone that he went to high school with, for example, that was there during a previous break-up, and might know what can help your husband? Granted, they'll be seeing it from a guy's perspective ("uhh, adunno... we just went out and drank a lot of beer and watched some porn) but you never know.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AutumnalTone (Post 112336)
Have you asked him how to help him through rough spots? Seriously, it seems so many people avoid this simple process.

I know this all too well. I had a really rough exam last month, called my husband needing support, complaining about how hard the exam was and how certain I was that I'd bombed it. He kept saying, "I don't know what to say. There's nothing I can really do to change this situation." Finally I got so frustrated, I had to spell it out: "I don't need you to solve this problem! I know there's nothing you can do about it. JUST BE SUPPORTIVE! Tell me I'm not stupid, tell me it's probably not as bad as I think. You're usually so good at this, stop working for five minutes and be a husband!" and it clicked. But yeah, I've always been pretty good at knowing what I want and just coming out and asking for it explicitly.


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