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-   -   First fight/disagreement (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22259)

Sugarbooger 03-14-2012 11:55 AM

First fight/disagreement
 
Hell, I don't know how to categorize it. I said something that upset our lover about her not telling a potential lover about me and my spouse. she called it out, I tried to take it as constructive criticism, thought she had been acting a little defensive, and just let it eat my lunch all day. Do you know how hard that is to suck that in all day long at a new job and act like nothing is wrong? Yuck.

I came home and cried. Then I remembered that she and my spouse had a "lunch" date today and felt all the sexual energy in the house. I was livid. I kicked the chair and stubbed my toe.

I didn't want to talk to her because I wanted to avoid the conversation about what had happened. We ended up talking and I couldn't stop thinking about me feeling yukky, the sex in the house, and how I didn't get to have that sort of pleasure. I felt really excluded. I didn't call anyone any names but I ended up getting so frustrated that I shut down over the phone. We decided to end the call and I said a really sarcastic, "bye!" Then I cried and cried.

I talked to my spouse and asked him if there could be a rule that when one of us is upset with the other if we could refrain from fucking each other. He said that wasn't fair. We talked for a while and I started to feel a little better, but there's this residual anger I just can't shake. It seems to be coming from all directions.

I ended up calling and making amends to our lover, but I still just feel icky. I'm sure it will blow over, I just can't stop feeling yukky about this first squabble of sorts.

BlackUnicorn 03-14-2012 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sugarbooger (Post 128774)
I didn't want to talk to her because I wanted to avoid the conversation about what had happened. We ended up talking and I couldn't stop thinking about me feeling yukky, the sex in the house, and how I didn't get to have that sort of pleasure.

Why yukky? Your avoidance backfired as continued fighting, so I think that's a valuable lesson there

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sugarbooger (Post 128774)
I felt really excluded. I didn't call anyone any names...

What names would you have called them? They are in a relationship, right? And there's no boundary around "sex must always happen just among the three of us"? As I understood your introductory post, you try to spend equal one-on-one time with each pair of the group.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sugarbooger (Post 128774)
I talked to my spouse and asked him if there could be a rule that when one of us is upset with the other if we could refrain from fucking each other. He said that wasn't fair.

Well it isn't. If the fight was between you and her, why should the relationship between him and her suffer as a result? Why didn't you ask them together for this boundary? Was the plan to only punish her in that you and your spouse could still continue on with sex, business as usual? If not, why wasn't she asked but instead you approached your hubs first?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sugarbooger (Post 128774)
It seems to be coming from all directions.

Which directions? What exactly are you upset about? Just because you feel something, excluded for example, doesn't mean you are.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sugarbooger (Post 128774)
I'm sure it will blow over, I just can't stop feeling yukky about this first squabble of sorts.

You had a disagreement, it was a first, lots of negative feelings, you felt envious, frustrated and alone. It happens. How long have y'all been together?

There is in-fighting in our triad/vee also, and it feels sucky to be the person who is left at the sidelines to watch two loved ones at each other's cases, but I don't see why the person who isn't part of the fight would have to pick sides. It can only make things worse, and create more resentment.

Sugarbooger 03-15-2012 12:40 AM

Not long
 
We haven't been together for very long. Vin and I have been together for almost 10 years, married for 9, and have known each other for 20. K and I have known each other for almost a year, but more or less came out to one another sometime in January, so this triad is a very recent development, and while I've identified as queer and out to myself as such, I've never really been out to myself as a poly person--I've stuffed it over and over and over. That's another thread, I guess.

Thanks so much for the no BS feedback--that helps so much. Since I've started this thread, I've been able to cool down and everyone is talking to each other much better and now we're trying to figure out how we can express ourselves without so intense of a blow out in the future. I mean, I know disagreements are part of the deal, but how do I express myself without losing control and being a nut job?

drtalon 03-15-2012 02:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sugarbooger (Post 128831)
how do I express myself without losing control and being a nut job?

I think the "emotional workout" analogy best fits. People have emotional "muscles." These muscles are as in-shape or as out-of-shape as you've developed them. When you are triggered or otherwise experience some intense emotions your emotional "muscles" get a work out. If you're not practiced in emotional workouts, your "muscles" will get tired very quickly.

Of course, when either your real muscles or emotional muscles are worn out, it's hard to think clearly or act responsibly. It's easy to lash out in ways you normally wouldn't. You may not even realize what's causing it, and that's a big hurdle for some people to cross--realizing that you may be trying to handle things when you are completely beyond your emotional depth/capabilities.

You have to give yourself time to cooldown (or heal), just like any workout (or injury).

The kind of exercise matters, too... maybe you're very used to the emotions raised by work or the daily commute or the relationship you've been in for years. But, a disagreement in a triad suddenly exercises a completely different set of emotional "muscles."

Once your emotional muscles are a bit more in shape (or practiced with a specific exercise), you'll realize when you're experiencing overwhelming emotions and should give yourself time to process those before trying to talk about or address whatever caused them. You take that time and when you're no longer overwhelmed, you address things then.

Eventually, you might become an emotional ironman/woman who can run feelings marathons before breakfast. You're still going to experience the emotions and their intensity. You might be a crying mess, but if you're really "in-shape" you can say stuff like, "Wow, I'm having an intense emotional reaction to this, and I'm crying, and my chest is tight, but I'm OK to keep talking about it now."

Just like you can't try to run a marathon once a month as a way to get in shape (at least I don't think you can, YMMV), you can't just wait for big emotional explosions to come and think you're going to get better at handling them. You build up your emotional muscles by going back over how you felt and what you thought while you were experiencing the emotions. You catalog the things that trigger your emotions. You unpack your baggage. You introspect. Maybe you need to get a trainer/help because it's not something you can do on your own. You begin to recognize warning signs sooner. You imagine what your feelings might be in different situations. You push your own boundaries by yourself, so that when others push them, you know better what it might feel like. You workout.

NovemberRain 03-15-2012 03:16 AM

drtalon, that was a beautiful, and most helpful post. Thank you!

I wholeheartedly agree. Practice has made me able to recognize triggers sooner and recognizing them sooner has made me able to be less triggered.

Vinccenzo 03-16-2012 11:37 AM

If my husband and I are arguing, we're likely not having sex till the conflict is resolved. That's two of us in that relationship. If one or both of us is seeing a secondary and we are arguing, there isn't any running out the door to have sex with secondary partners, avoiding the icky when we have something we need to resolve. That's two of us plus one plus one.

If there is three and all are equal, but two of the three are arguing, why would it suddenly be okay to dust off the emotional work of resolving the conflict so any can get laid? If setting it aside to get laid is so okay, why exclude any one of the three?

I'm imagining a developing triad situation we're exploring and how well it would go over if my husband and I had a conflict and before we resolve it, I instead begin intimacies with our third. I asked my husband how well that would go over and he said it would be hard to not feel like the conflict didn't matter to anyone but him and didn't affect anyone but him in that situation. A bit of a "you're on my nerves so we're putting you out in the yard for the night" feeling and it wouldn't go very far to keeping the third from being dragged in the middle in a negative fashion. Of course I agree with the if you want something from all parties you ask it of all parties, but if you're mad enough to not want to enjoy intimacies with one partner and they and the other you're not in conflict with go off and fuck it seems a cold way for three to be on the same page.


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