Tough time dealing with partner's other breakup
My boyfriend of two years and his wife are separating. While boyfriend and I are super close, wife and I are not. I'm trying to give him space (he's busy and tends to have stress over time) and also make our relationship fun and easy for him, but I don't think I'm doing a very good job. Our relationship has had rocky patches but things seem to have calmed down somewhat, although there are still some issues that need to be worked out.
Our time together is pleasant but I feel like I'm waiting, in limbo, until he's in a better place to work things out - except I don't know when that will be or what that will look like. Meanwhile I feel impatient, frustrated, insecure, doubtful about my self-worth, conflicted about the relationship. I can use my emotional processing skills but I feel like they've been running on turbo speed for the last year already and I'm worn out, I don't want to have so many and so frequent difficult emotions to process.
I don't feel like I'm able to talk to him in a way that would really fix anything. I think he knows how I feel, but feels like his hands are tied. Changing things would be too upsetting to everyone involved. Also, his wife is moving out in a month, and I think he just wants to wait and see how that turns out. I know he's going through a lot and I want to make things easier, not harder, on him - but my pre-existing dissatisfaction won't go away just because he's having a hard time with other stuff in his life!
Also, I care about him deeply, and seeing the emotional turmoil he's going through and not being able to do anything about it is infinitely frustrating. Our own relationship issues also make me feel impatient and insecure and I get these controlling tendencies thinking about how he "should" be handling things (although I try not to share them with him, I'm not that good at it either).
In short, I need somewhere to vent so I don't put this stuff on his already overloaded plate... and I need to try to convince myself that he and his wife will work things out and it's none of my business. This stuff is way too preoccupying right now... I worry about the changes they're going to make and how I'll feel about it. I hate being notified about big life changes as an afterthought, but I don't think it's reasonable to include me in collective decision-making either. I feel stuck. This is someone that I speak to almost every day, the person that I feel most vulnerable and also strongest with, the person who I consider my best adventure partner and closest emotional confidante, but I don't get a voice in the discussions that result in him moving an hour away from me.
Another thing is that they are continuing to share finances and co-parent a toddler, which means that they'll still have to coordinate closely on scheduling and living arrangements, both of which affect me, but he's given up on trying to build any kind of relationship between his wife and I, and so I feel shut out - unconsidered and excluded when he and his wife make these decisions that end up affecting our relationship - but he insists that their separation means I have greater flexibility and autonomy.
I already know that I want to a) not be judgmental about his marriage, or even try to analyse it much and b) put a lid on my own negative feelings about our relationship until his life settles down somewhat. But it's easier said than done.
How does this poly stuff all fit together? How do other people in Vs do it? I don't think I can be in a poly relationship anymore where I can't communicate equally with everyone involved. I often feel like the "rules" are handed down from above and are mostly set in stone, and I can either like them or be unhappy or, with great effort, try to change something, and feel indebted for it. Feels shitty to feel like having my basic relationship needs met is being done as a favour. I think next time I want to be more careful to negotiate things "from scratch", as it were - have other people done this? how does it work?
I am sorry you are in pain. :hug:
You have a RESPONSIBILITY to the relationship to speak up. Nobody is a mind reader.
You can always re-negotiate, a secondary has rights. Exercise them.
I know he's got an overloaded plate with a divorce/coparent/new life situation thing happening... but you are not leftodors in the fridge like some afterthought. You are alive, human, and ALSO a part of a his life and what happens there affects you here.
So you speak up and say "Hey, I know there's a lot. I know your plate is full. I need to know though... when is OUR appt for processing time here? Next week? Don't leave me hanging. Include me in the conversation because this affects me too."
And if you do not feel like you are being treated well, you have choices to make. You don't have to stick around for leftovers if that is not your pleasure.
This is your life you live. Whatever
Relationships are ALWAYS back and forth relating.
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