appropriate emotional response
So here's the quick and dirty version:
Been in a wonderful open relationship for 6 years, we've had our problems (who hasn't)
But most of them centered around our 3rd , here on referred to as 'J'
She moved in and out of our lives 3 times because of her inability to be responsible, safe & most of all her lack of "openness" . Finally for the last time I grew tired of all the lies and moved her out and ended our relationship 2 months ago
After the first "reunion" my other partner 'M' communicated that she was only tolerating my relationship with 'j' out of her love for me and desire to fufill my needs & no longer wished to be romantic with her anymore
Now after ending this tainted love that on and off lasted about 5 years I am dealing with all the normal feelings one experiences after utter loss of trust in a person you're in love with (anger, depression, loss of self-esteem etc)
M & I are closer than ever now. But now I feel like I'm being unfair to her by being unhappy at all dealing with this shattering loss...I make an effort to be affectionate and loving . To show m how important she is to me & how much I appreciate the support she's giving me during this rough patch.
But I'm not the way I was before, my sex drive is dramatically reduced...trouble sleeping, eating. I'm escaping into work, school & reading not necessarily negatives but I feel like ive withdrawn to the point where I'm neglecting m's needs.
And I'm having weird manifestations of anger/frustration...can't make it through sex scenes in fiction, if any friends can't take the hint I don't want to talk about 'j' I have to physically remove myself from the conversation.
Recently in a pursuit of some "closure" or resolution to my angst ive began communicating with 'j' via electronic means...prob not the best exercise as while we have "talked" out a few things and I do feel a measure of psychological justification over the changes ive made, now I'm much more conflicted.
J has restarted her usual patterns of regretful apologies and pleadings for just one more chance. Her attempts to distract herself with other people have apparently been very unfufilling. But not only do I know that I'd never be able to trust her again but I'd never want to disrespect m that way even if my own self-confidence was low enough to submit myself to more dishonesty & negativity.
To her credit j has left us alone, just one 4am visit and a 45 min conversation in the driveway.
I guess I'm just looking for advice on how to get over the loss from other ppl whove been in similar situations...I know time heals all wounds.
If you are having a super hard time -- get a check up. Mention the loss of sleep to doctor and any other symptoms and see what can be done for your self care in a super stressy time.
Just tell M where you are at. That you care for M, love M, and appreciate M for enduring with you. That you are at whatever number you are at in the grieving process. Report your internal weather as it happens -- and what you might need. If you do not know what you need, just state that. "I feel torn up inside. I'm not sure what I need. Just be with me."
Sometimes the ministry of being present is enough.
Hang in there.
thank you for all the kind words and yes I became intimately acquainted with the Kübler-Ross model for grief when I lost my father a few years back...
it does help to be a little more self-aware to understand your own feelings and cope with them
I guess my main problem is that I feel as if I have no right to feel the things I do. I've had this amazing woman there right next to me the entire time(who has also been warning me for 3 years about how my connection with J would only lead to more pain and grief)...and she is so empathetic that when i do turn to her to tell her how upset I am that she also gets upset
I see her face fall then I feel like a piece of shit for burdening her with my pain...
in the end it's all about communication and connections, and when we chose this more "complicated" lifestyle then were gonna have to deal with those extra complications from time to time
just trying to get to that next screen,
p.s. "gee-gee" was my pet name for 'J', funny how the universe likes to throw a little synchronicity our way
Don't waste your time feeling guilty; guilt is a useless emotion and gets you nowhere. You are mourning the loss of a long-term, meaningful relationship that had its joys as well as pain, and the grief is understandable. I would think M. would have some compassion, no matter that she wasn't as much into J as you were. If she is not, that is rather a little cruel on her part.
If I were you, I would tell M., "I know it's hard for you to see me grieving J., but please be patient with me, as I am deeply feeling the loss and need your support. I will try not to be self-indulgent, but the feelings come and go in waves, and I never know when it will hit me. I will be as present for you as I can be, I just need your understanding as I work through this." Ain't nothin' wrong with asking for some loving kindness when you are in mourning!
Also,it's probably not a good idea to pick at your wounds by being in touch with J again. Let yourself go through theprocess and wait til you have more distance and stability within yourself before you go stirring up that pot again.
When you lost your father, did you not have the "right" to feel that for his loss? Or did you have to apologize to your coworkers for that? The postman? The grocery clerk?
C'mon. Cut yourself some slack here. Emotions is just internal weather. Let it blow on through. Feelings have to be expressed or you get clogged up.
As for M, I'm sure she is doing all she can. But if you grief is 100 gallons, and she's a 5 gallon bucket -- even if she takes 100% of her ability? You are overloading her. Spread it around. If you need extra support -- see a counselor. Talk to other friends about it rather than NOT wanting to talk about it. See if there is a class -- two friends of mine both wen thru divorce at a bout the same time and they went to a divroce support group class thing for a few weeks to help them bear the process. Write in a paper journal. Open a blog thread here. If you are religious, see your religious leader for a pastoral care appointment. Call a hotline. Steam valve in appropriate ways.
Burdens shared are lessened. Joys shared are increased. It takes a village. You know what I mean?
Hang in there.
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