Triads, LDRs, Break Ups, and New Relationships
I'm feeling like a bit of weirdo these days, so I thought it might help to touch base with a poly community and appeal to other people's experiences. This is my first post here -- I've browsed around a little, but if there's already a thread for this subject, feel free to redirect me to it.
So, basically, I'm a girl-loving girl, and I'm lucky enough to have two girls who love me. Both relationships are long-distance, but we keep in touch, have long chats, support each other from afar, and visit when we can. Let's call them ... Ontario and Virginia. We used to be a triad, with me dating Virginia, Virginia dating Ontario, Ontario dating me. We didn't plan it that way, but it worked out nicely, and we could go on group dates when we were together.
About a year and a half ago, after a particularly stressful visit, Ontario broke up with Virginia. It was a shock to me, and I pulled back hard, not knowing what to do. And the sucky thing about LDRs is pulling back is easy. But time marched on, Ontario was absorbed in schoolwork, and I went from being in a triad to having a primary relationship with Virginia and a secondary relationship with Ontario, mostly conducted over the occasional e-mail.
After Ontario graduated, we had the opportunity to speak more and share more, and she became more of a co-primary in my life. Recently, she came to visit, and we were giddy as though with new relationship energy. But I'm finally processing the break, and realizing how little was processed. Virginia is as happy for us as I could hope for -- she thinks we're adorable, and is full of compersion -- but she still loves Ontario. She feels like she must have screwed up or done something wrong to drive Ontario away (though Ontario told me she just wasn't 'feeling it' anymore) and ... well, it hurts me to see her so hurt. And I miss what we used to have.
On top of that, Ontario became ambiguisweeties with Nova Scotia, who Virginia used to have a crush on. Nova Scotia is a kind, funny, talented person, but when she's depressed she's prone to paranoia and jealousy and she becomes insensible to reason. And, frankly, I'm prone to depression and anxiety, too, and I had to beg for some distance from Nova Scotia when her depression was making her especially demanding, and I couldn't cope with my own. Virginia separated from her entirely.
I hope that Ontario and Nova Scotia will be good for each other, but ... it drives me a little mad to see them together on twitter, flirting and sharing in-jokes. I've tried to figure out why that is, and talked to Ontario about it. It could be the ambiguity, not knowing what's going on or how to interpret it -- and Ontario's been obliging in helping me figure that out. It could be their NRE, but like I said, four years on and me and Ontario still have NRE to spare. It could be fear for myself, if Nova Scotia becomes paranoid and accusing, but I have to trust in Ontario. And Nova Scotia's seemed a lot less passive-aggressive since I set boundaries with her.
It could be that I miss our triad, and this development is reminding me that we won't ever be able to return to it. That seems ... weird and petty.
Whoa, TLDR. To sum up -- me, Ontario, and Virginia were dating. Ontario and Virginia split up. Virginia had a crush on Nova Scotia, they had some problems, I had some problems, but now Nova Scotia is ambiguisweeties with Ontario. I'm stupidly jealous and insecure.
So, questions. Is that completely weird? Has anyone been in a similar situation? What do you do when your triad breaks up? How can I soothe hurt feelings when they arise? And what should I do about my stupid jealousy? Because it is so, so stupid.
Wow a lot did happen and i am sorry to hear that your world went spinning. I am by far no expert on a triad as i am just new in one myself but i am good at some other aspects of relationships. Everyone is going to react to situations differently and sadly one thing that can happen in a triad is one of the three falls out of love with the others. This can leave two of them in a very difficult situation and even can cause it all go to nuclear and no one would end up up together.
Jealousy is usually a sign of something else. What are you insecure about? I think the best way to handle jealousy and insecurity is to dig deep and find out what they're really about. When you deal with that issue, the jealousy and insecurity become much more manageable, sometimes evaporating all on their own.
I've never heard the term "ambiguisweeties" but it sounds like they're "kinda sorta dating" but nothing's official. It's possible that's part of what's difficult for you. Not knowing where everyone stands can be stressful.
I agree with your decision to distance yourself when NS was making demands on your time and energy that you weren't able to provide. I've dealt with plenty of "mood disorders" of various kinds, and they're a lot a lot a lot of work. If your own mental health is on the line, you absolutely have to protect yourself. It's the old story about Oxygen masks on the plane.
Something else that just came to mind, and I'm just throwing out ideas, is that you could be worried that with NS's anxiety and depression, your own might get lost in her crises, and that you won't get the support you need from Ontario. That could even be reinforced by the arrangement. i.e. since you have support from Virginia, and Nova Scotia doesn't, then there could be some worry on your part that Ontario won't be there for you because she'll be busy being there for Nova Scotia.
The part you said about ambiguity is probably the nail on the head. Humans tend to fear the unknown more than anything else. While their relationship blossoms and grows, it's inevitable that your relationship with Ontario will change in some ways. Not necessarily bad ways, but change can be scary. So until the dust settles, it's natural to be a little uneasy.
It sounds like you're doing all the right things: talking, owning your emotions, being honest with your partners... Things will most likely work out fine, it's just a matter of letting go a little bit, not worrying that things may be a little bit out of your control, and just keep on talking.
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