What Should I Do?
I just wrote a long post, and, forgetting that I should copy/save it before i hit submit - i lost it. :) ah well. I guess i will shorten this one in that case.
I cannot get over the partner that i left almost three years ago (J). there is bad blood between him and my current partner and best friend (Z) because of how the breakup mine/Z's subsequent hookup went down, but things have mostly settled. they don't talk, though. just quiet, chilled avoidance, mostly on J's part.
I love Z dearly and appreciate the depth and quality of our friend/relationship. Although he is mostly mono (perhaps quietly weighing the whole poly thing for himself), he has stood by me as i spread my wings and began exploring poly for myself. We have built something GOOD together over the past few years, and he knows that loving more than one person is a fundamental part of who i am - not something i can just pick up or put down at will.
J and i have reconciled a cool friendship of sorts, but he mostly avoids me as well. it is too difficult for us to simply be platonic friends - we each feel much more than that for the other.
although i've chosen to live a poly life and have a close relationship with Z, i cannot get J OUT of me - heart, mind, soul. i could not choose ONE of them OVER the other.
if i could be with both of them, i would. in a heartbeat. HAPPILY.
i want to tell them both this, but i'm afraid i'd just drive wedges between myself and each of them, and widen the chasm that already exists between them. i know exactly what i want, and EYE think it could be an awesome and very beneficial and pleasurable thing for ALL three of us....but hey - that's what EYE think. i think they'd look at me like i was an effing lunatic.
i feel like i'm beating a dead horse. i surely don't want to hurt either one of them.
What Would You Do? any advice?
do i write them the exact same letter explaining everything in my heart, sell all my stuff, and move halfway across the country?
do i tell them and let the chips fall where they may, and decide how to proceed after that?
i have to admit that i'm afraid of losing either/both of them (beyond the degree to which i already have).
thanks, indie. :) you'd think i'd know how to get around in the forum by now. BUT...
btw - i really love your two bylines. i read your stuff often (and redpepper's, and lovingradiance, and others) just to kind of keep myself on track. helps me remember that i'm not crazy, even though i feel like the ugly duckling a lot of the time...no fit in...
yesterday was a really bad day...full of anxiety and fear. i was a mess.
i know what i need to do - i just let fear keep me from doing it, and i live as a goldfish in a bowl until i'd rather jump out of the bowl and die than swim in that circle anymore.
on my way out the door to talk to Z some more.
Why did you leave J in the first place? Have those issues been formally addressed? Or are they just no longer relevant, because you're no longer together?
People break up for a reason. It's not uncommon, after getting over the hurt from the break up, to start thinking that the relationship could just pick up where it left off. It's easy to be nostalgic for the good things and forget all the problems you had before.
And that's just about the wisdom of getting back together with an ex, in general. That doesn't even begin to address the fact that you're in a relationship now with someone who doesn't like your ex, and whom your ex doesn't like.
If you decide to pursue this, and I'm not convinced that's the best course of action, then the first step is to talk with Z about it and see if he's even remotely open to the possibility. At the end of the day, it's your life and your choice. But if he doesn't support that choice, it could be the end of your relationship with Z.
I think it's worth mentioning... I don't buy into the whole "you have no control over who you love" idea. Maintaining your feelings and desires for J is a choice. If it had been him who let you go, you'd have no choice but to figure out how to get over him. But you let him go, and you're keeping him just close enough to avoid dealing with that loss. You don't want to let him go, so you aren't taking any steps to heal that wound. Recognize that this a is self-interested choice, as it means you're asking two other people to do really hard work on themselves, just so you don't have to do really hard work on yourself. That's your choice to make, but do so consciously.
Is this a case where your need to share is greater than their need to know at this time?
How does their knowing this move the close relationship with Z forward? Forward to WHAT?
How does their knowing this move the cool (whatever it is) with J forward? Forward to WHAT?
Does it add or take away from the current climate of cool silence between them? Would sharing in this knowledge change tolerable cool silence to hot-head war?
Sometimes when you love people, it's best to just feel it. And not do anything else about it at this time. Because you could choose to wait and see what the next hunk of time brings -- new information, changes in willingness of any of the players, changes in your own desire to share the news etc. Maybe sleep on it for a month and see where it is at? The urgency to share.
On top of that, whatever you feel about J and J about you... he is not willing to be in a polyship with you and Z. That is a personal limit. You are not still together for a reason. YOU may want things. But ALL players in a polyship have to want the same thing or things just do not line up. One person wanting it isn't enough to make it a runner.
Maybe you need to share the feelings... but to people who are NOT them. Did writing it here help any to lessen your burden?
@Cat: "poly" wasn't a term in my vocabulary then, but i had deep feelings for a couple of other people besides J while we were together, even as i wanted to GO deeper with J. i saw it put into words in AnotherConfused's thread: i wanted a lot more emotional intimacy with him, and he was content enough with things being as they were, which felt to me to be floating on the surface of our relationship together and our individual lives.
also, a BIG one - i needed to learn basic communication skill #1 - TALK. TALK REGARDLESS of what you're afraid might happen. TALK HONESTLY. i tend to clam up when i'm scared of someone's reaction.
(we BOTH needed to learn to do that, but this i'm in charge of MY OWN shit.)
nostalgia kicks me in the ass sometimes. it (and hormones) had the best of me that day.
you're right, it's NOT the best course of action. neither of these guys would be open to that specific possibility. Z is open to my fostering connection with other people, and he's a good listener. i find in him the emotional intimacy i wanted badly with J. he knows me very well, and he's not scared to look deeper or meet me in the places i might be scared or ashamed of myself. and he would be gracious and probably supportive if i chose to go BACK to a monogamous relationship with J - but the latter is something i couldn't keep up for an extended period, knowing myself and J.
i haven't let go of my feelings for J; i'm not sure if i can. so i'll take them with me for now. it's a thorn - both a gift and a curse - but no longer debilitating.
BUT i have Those Days, where i miss him/us/partly illusion SO much. on those days, i need to GET IT OUT OF ME. sometimes i think i need to SCREAM it.
@Gala - yes, everything got quite a bit better once i did.
i went to Z's place yesterday afternoon and told him all about it. *big exhalation* of course he understood and was really gentle with me. no, i didn't say anything like "if i could be with both of you, i would," because a) i can't really see it happening, and b) i'm not sure it needs to be said. but i let out all of my thoughts and emotion over missing J, rehashed some old things in Z's presence, and he let me get it all out AND offered some thoughtful and sympathetic feedback.
thank you both for your honest thoughts. i can see myself making some of the same turns over and again, while expecting the outcome to be different. =/
so J and i went out last tuesday, had a few beers, and talked some. the conversation didn't get too heavy, but we're going riding motorcycles this afternoon, and i feel like it could and SHOULD get to that heavy place.
Z was really cool with me going out with J. i'd told him just previously that we'd seen a little much of each other/i hadn't been getting the solo time i needed, so by the time i'd gone out with J, we hadn't seen each other for a day or two, and it was another two before we saw each other again, but he (Z) responded to my date with J and my time alone with little more than a slight distance between us, plus he never failed to text me and just check in upon occasion, sending "good night" or "just reaching out to touch base :)" texts at least once a day. this kind of thing makes me feel very good about me, him, and the state of our relationship as friends + lovers.
it was just this past tuesday that J and i saw each other, and the energy was good. it'd been a couple of months since we'd seen each other, so there were feelings between us similar to NRE all over again. we laughed and goofed and talked about friends and life, but never really went into depth on the rest of our daily lives.
the last hangout session before this one didn't end well at all because neither of us wanted to talk about what was really going on in the rest of our lives because we knew it'd spoil the evening. J would get pissed that my mind and position hadn't changed from "i love you and miss you in my life, but i'm polyamorous" (explanation/description/s go/es here) "and i would love to see more of you, but there are a couple of other people i'm very close to and i won't sacrifice my other relationships or my autonomy for an exclusive one with you or anyone else."
friday (yesterday) J asked if we could hang out some this weekend. i said yes, that'd be great, and suggested the motorcycle ride if the weather cooperated. he said great.
i also had an interview friday morning for a job i'd REALLY like to have, so my nerves were a little shot to begin with, but then i got a text from Z (we'd been in touch via text all morning thus far) asking if we could talk some that evening. well, that just shot my nerves up even further, because our history is pretty replete with "i need to talk later" texts, which have in the past signaled some volcanic upheaval (and hard conversation makes me really emotional anyway!), and we're both worrywarts. so all day i worried about it, though i was pretty sure he needed a check-in talk about how i felt about J and where my intentions were.
turns out that was correct. we sat down on his couch last evening and i told him everything i felt: i love him (Z) very much, he is my best friend, and our relationship has been a continuing catalyst for growth in my life that i've needed very much, and i can't think of anything i want to change about us. also, that i still loved J very much, and i know i can be sentimental and nostalgic about him and our past relationship (Schrodinger's Cat is right: i have nurtured these feelings and sentiments whether i realized it or not); i know there is an unwillingness in my heart to let go of the possibility that he may wake up and really HEAR what i am saying, combined with what i am trying to show him and the life i am trying to live, and see the possibility that simultaneous intimate relationships with more than one person might work, and well - and that even if that's not the case for him, it may well be the case for ME. i haven't let go of the hope that he might someday be able to see me for who i am and realize that the similar feelings that i have for him and others are not a bad thing, but could possibly a very good thing.
i told Z straight up that i KNEW it was not a possibility at this time (and so not to think that i was asking or pushing in that direction), but if it were a possibility, i could and would be happy having a very similar relationship with J as i do with him. we talked about the details involving that, and i was right - for him, it is not a possibility at this time, and mostly because of J's refusal to be friends with Z at this point, although he conceded that it might be a possibility in the future - there is simply no way to know, it's hypothetical at best right now.
he also told me straight up that he thought i needed to lay ALL this out for J just as i had for him, without wavering. no letting up when the air got thick and things felt scary and tough. i know he's right; my gut says the same thing. i wonder now if it needs to happen this afternoon when i see J...or should i put it all in a letter, so that i can say EXACTLY what i feel and think, without the feedback loop of J's nonverbal responses to what i'm saying constantly influencing what comes out of my mouth and how it comes out?
but Z heard me, heard all this; he listened well and was gentle - things he knows i need. he was wonderful. i cried anyway, just because that's how i am. for clarification, he repeated back to me in his own words what he thought he'd heard.
i'm telling you...this guy is awesome. i am seriously grateful for his continued directness, and that he wants to be such a close friend to me.
then we had dinner and crashed out for the night. :)
i'm working this morning, but this afternoon J and i get together this afternoon. we'll see how things go. i think i'm about to start the letter.
Z has a gig tonight. i'm there. i love to go see/hear him play and support him and the rest of the guys in the band.
also: i was reading this post on Solopoly.com:
and what resonated with me was this:
"I would cling too strongly to my relationship, rather than develop a strong core of independent emotional awareness and resilience."
this underlined for me what i already kind of knew: i get blown about by all this because what i have so far FAILED to establish is that STRONG core. i've been journalling a lot about that lately and some interesting things have come to light...things for me to work on, ways to build that.
happy saturday, all.
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