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-   -   The opposite of compersion (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2641)

Irena 04-25-2010 11:36 PM

The opposite of compersion
 
A thing I love about polyamory, the little of it I've seen and experienced so far, is the way the love, excitement, arousal, and happiness generated in one relationship spill over into others; my boyfriend has a great date one night, and I get to ride that high with him the next day. Something I'm just starting to see is the flip side, where problems in one relationship affect the others, even if just by dampening the mood.

Specifics: my boyfriend met his other girlfriend and me at about the same time, started seeing us more or less simultaneously. He was getting over a really rough breakup, and we talked a lot about taking things slowly, keeping expectations low. After a few months, though, things started getting more serious with both of us. I wanted to meet her, she didn't want to meet me... I've posted about that elsewhere.

Anyway, they've been fighting for the last couple of weeks, and yesterday she broke up with him. It's rough, but I saw it coming and I think he did too. The problem is, she broke up with him in almost the same way his recent ex did -- after seeing how much that hurt him and promising that she would do things differently if she ever broke things off.

I am so, so angry with her (and I've never even met her.) If compersion is the feeling of happiness at seeing how happy your partner's other partner makes them, what do you call the wrath at seeing how much they hurt them? I cannot imagine ever treating him that way, even if we don't stay together. But I can't even give him the promise that I would never do that, because she gave him the same promise and then broke it.

I think I'm mostly writing just to vent. Part of my anger is just because someone hurt someone I care about (and I feel a wee bit protective toward him, in case you couldn't tell), and part of it is at the damage this might do to our relationship. I don't think there will be any serious damage, but it's taken him a while to get comfortable with me and trust that I won't leave him cold like the last woman did, and I'm afraid this will set us back.

Anyone have any related stories or insights?

Ariakas 04-26-2010 08:01 PM

My wife had gone through this when I was being tortured by my feelings for our ex. She was feeling the anger and suffering as if my emotions were hers. The downfall to this is the spiraling effect.

She was taking my emotions, trying to take ownership and then taking them out on our ex. This is VERY toxic. While I did need her supporting me, I did not, and would never want her to join me in my anger/jealousy/frustration. I ended up sitting down with her and explaining to her that I own my emotions, it is not her job to take those on. Support me, help me through it, but don't take them for yourself.

She and our ex are now best friends and supporting each other through their time together. I am very happy for them both. I still love E and will never stop but have to learn compersion...this series has been the toughest lesson of my emotional life, the first step though was taking ownership of my own emotions. It helped a lot for all of our well being.

Is there a word for it, no idea. Empathy maybe. I have actually been looking this up a bit since I found it interesting.

ourquad 04-26-2010 09:00 PM

First, I'll tell you that I understand how you are feeling. I'm a wee bit protective of my men as well. And I don't like for them to be hurt...by me or any one else in their lives (it doesn't have to be a romantic relationship). If I've been the one to hurt them, and I''m realistic enough to face that not only have I done so but I will again, I can make amends for that. We can talk, work on it and sometimes cry about it.

However, if it is someone else that has hurt them, I can't do any of that. I can be there for them, support them, and listen to them. I can not be a part of the healing process in a constructive way.

And it does at times anger me. Particularly when it is a habitual behavior on someone's part. Kitten is often selfish and passive aggressive. It's hurtful. But I've had to accept that my men are adults. They chose what behavior they are willing to accept and live with. While I don't like seeing how they get hurt, accepting this behavior, from Kitten or even anything I dish out, is ultimately their responsibility.

Since they accept more of this type behavior than I am willing to, it was a difficult road for me in getting to this place of sounding board if needed and not trying to fix things.

Morningglory629 04-27-2010 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ariakas (Post 27722)
She was taking my emotions, trying to take ownership and then taking them out on our ex. This is VERY toxic. While I did need her supporting me, I did not, and would never want her to join me in my anger/jealousy/frustration. I ended up sitting down with her and explaining to her that I own my emotions, it is not her job to take those on. Support me, help me through it, but don't take them for yourself.

One of my favorite things to say (and do) is "Own it!" Good or bad it is yours to fix, to feel and to learn. My bf and my hubs both have issues with owning things they say or do or need to take responsibilty for. And then they try to commandeer (or own) things with which they have NO business being concerned. It can be frustrating. But you are recognizing it. So cheers!;) It is liberating in a way to know that you own your mistakes and that YOU can fix them independently of others. And it is FAB that you do not want your negatives comingled with someone else's relationship or vibe. So keep owning it...work it! This is hard work!!! And there is no crying in love...well actually there is but you know what I mean!:p


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