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-   -   Joy and frustration part 2 (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22752)

learner 03-31-2012 11:06 AM

Joy and frustration part 2
Hi all,

I posted this nearer the start of my first polyamorous relationship. Unfortunately since then the situation has become more difficult with my metamour, and I have nearly ended my 'secondary' relationship twice because of it.

I have become fairly convinced that my metamour is a narcissist, but my boyfriend doesn't see it, and we end up having difficult conversations because of the way he panders to her every need, sometimes at the expense of mine. He says he appreciates the fact that I am 'easier' but to me it doesn't feel that he does.

Today I have come to the startling realisation that part of the problem is that he is not a victim of her narcissism, I am! So no wonder I am feeling so ill at ease about everything. I recognise that this is largely my fault as I am allowing the way she is to affect me and potentially even encouraging her to treat me like this, so my question is, how do I stop this? The standard is walking away and cutting ties, but I don't think that's very practical in this situation, and would mean losing a relationship in which every other aspect is really good. We don't actually see each other (me and my metamour) very often, but we text each other almost daily, and by allowing certain things to happen, I am enabling her behaviour just as much as he is. I also feel a lot of guilt with respect to my negative feelings towards her, which again is my own construct.

Very grateful for any help or advice - I'm almost thinking of going to see a counsellor, I did several years ago and it helped me make great strides, but there are clearly still issues there. I have a massively supportive husband, and my boyfriend is supportive in every way even though he doesn't agree with my viewpoint - he believes this is a temporary thing which she is working to improve upon.

Mudita 03-31-2012 02:21 PM

New to the forum and don't have any real experience in poly but this rung a bell for me.

Totally speaking out of my hat here, but from what I understand some people get off on being the knight in shining armour whilst others get off on being the damsel in distress who is saved by said knight.

Any chance of this? Maybe they're both happy as Larry in these roles and as you say, you're the 'victim' here.

A counsellor does sound like a good idea although I've never been to one personally.
I'd imagine a counsellor could give you the whole saved/savior thing chapter and verse and help you work out a way to make sure that in pandering to her every need he's not neglecting yours.

Derbylicious 03-31-2012 03:07 PM

Why do you have to be in contact with your metamour to maintain your relationship? If the friendship between you and your metamour is unhealthy that's a problem with that relationship, not a problem with the relationship between you and your partner.

If you are going to break off contact with your metamour have the conversation with your partner first so that he isn't blindsided by it, especially if he gets the fallout from your metamour. Then talk to her and let her know that you don't wish to be in daily contact anymore. Then be strong and don't reply to her texts unless it's something that you want to talk about that is going to benefit both of you.

opalescent 03-31-2012 03:09 PM

It's great when metamours can be good friends but that doesn't always work. Is there a reason why you have to be in contact with her? If she drives you nuts often enough to be a problem, then stop contact or cut back dramatically on calls, texts etc. Remove yourself from the drama. Don't hang out with crazy making people.

That said, it reads to me that you don't really have a problem with her. You have a problem with your boyfriend's response to her, as those responses apparently come at your expense. So the problem is with the boyfriend. Is he breaking off dates to attend to her? Not fully present when with you because worried about her? Some other situation? He doesn't have to 'see it' the same way you do. He does need to understand that his behavior (his behavior - not hers) is disturbing you to the point of breakup. He doesn't need to agree with you that she's an attention seeking missile. He just needs to understand that his behavior is affecting you negatively. You need to communicate exactly what he is doing to make you feel lesser or ignored or whatever is coming up emotionally. From there you two can negotiate a shared solution that makes you feel more secure and loved and doesn't put pressure on him to accept that he is involved with a narcissist. In other words don't focus on her. There is nothing you can change there and don't focus on their relationship - even if it is batshit dysfunctional. Again there is nothing there you can change. Focus on him and your relationship with him.

learner 03-31-2012 03:23 PM

Hi all, and thanks for your replies.

@Mudita, I agree completely, being the knight in shining armour is something he has a history of, though he says he doesn't want to do that any more and denies that he is doing it here, though it's pretty obvious that he is.

@Derbylicious - sometimes me and my metamour are going to find ourselves in the same place (usually with both my boyfriend and my husband) so it is important that we at least get on, not that we're good friends. I've been pushing for the 'just getting on' thing, she appears to want to be friends, and I'm too nice, or scared, or whatever, to push her away. It's my default setting to try and get on with people.

@opalescent - my boyfriend and I have discussed this at length, and he is apparently making concerted efforts not to pander to her at my expense. He does, by his own admission, avoid conflict, and I'm not sure it's going to be easy for him to get past that.

I think things are sorted as far as they can be with my boyfriend, and I think I'm going to have to do as you say and take a step back from her. It makes me incredibly frustrated that he can't see what's going on, but I am going to have to let their relationship be and focus on the good points of our relationship.

Anneintherain 03-31-2012 05:02 PM


Originally Posted by learner (Post 130912)

@Derbylicious - sometimes me and my metamour are going to find ourselves in the same place (usually with both my boyfriend and my husband) so it is important that we at least get on, not that we're good friends. I've been pushing for the 'just getting on' thing, she appears to want to be friends, and I'm too nice, or scared, or whatever, to push her away. It's my default setting to try and get on with people.

I agree 100% with the above posters, ESPECIALLY Derby. You might want to look at it as that it is possible you will actually "get on" much more easily when you do find yourself in the same place if you aren't being stressed out by her on a regular basis.

Remember her impact on you is sucking the joy out of the mostly great relationship you have with your boyfriend. Talk to your boyfriend, practice your "breakup speech" for your metamour, and get back to enjoying life. If it is really because you are too nice or too scared, then yes, get thee back to a counselor! I don't know if you discuss this with your husband, but if he has to listen to you be stressed about this, that could be a good reminder that it's not right of you to let her affect so many aspects of your life.

redpepper 03-31-2012 07:19 PM

Would you mind giving an example of what happens when something comes up that he decides to do it her way and it takes away from you? I wondered if it might be helpful to walk through specifics seeing as this has gone on for a long time. You might all be in a rut and not be seeing ways to change the routine that are more obvious to outsiders. I realise that makes your thread more personal so if its too much to ask please PM instead or not go there. :)

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