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-   -   Life is complicated. So much more now than a few days ago... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33839)

Lost421 12-02-2012 02:12 AM

Life is complicated. So much more now than a few days ago...
 
So wow, this is pretty crazy to me.

My primary and I have been in a poly relationship for a long time now, almost 4-ish years or so, and I wasn't the one who initiated the discussion about a poly lifestyle, but I was sure stoked about the possibilities. My partner had a long term secondary when we lived in the big city, and now we live in a small town, a move for my career, which is it's own can of worms. She's still in touch with her other man from our old hometown, which makes me happy, because they care about each other, and they see each other from time to time, which is great for them, and for me too. She's been looking for another man who's closer to our new home, and that's been a bit of a struggle since it's hard to find someone who she likes and who's willing to be a secondary in a poly relationship, but we're muddling through. A good friend of her's, who we've known for a few years, has been having a lot of marital trouble (ever since we've known her) and we've been trying to reach out to her, to help her get out of an abusive relationship. It's difficult for her to come to terms with her marriage not working, probably ending, and having to figure out how to make her own way in the world, and she's planning to come stay with us for a while while she gets things sorted out. Now none of this is an issue at all, in fact we're glad she's considering taking our help, but there's a wrench. She's really into me, apparently. Now don't get me wrong, I've always known she's got a good soul, and I've always had the thought that maybe one day we could be more than friends in the back of my mind, but she's always had issues with how she feels about leaving her husband, and she's always clung to the thought that they could work it out. Now she's sure they can't work it out and her guilt and apprehension about leaving him and wanting me have left her mind. I'm concerned about a few things. First, I'm struggling with the issue of how to be her friend when she needs friends to help out (she
's got two kids, it's not exactly an easy thing for her to do). My wife and I have lots of room in our house and there's no worries about accomodating them because they have no one else in their lives, but she needs a friend and she wants a lover. She knows the score, she knows I'm in a poly relationship and she knows about my wife's secondaries, that's not really an issue, but I'm having trouble reconciling being a friend to her and wanting to be her lover. It should be simple, because she wants me in her life as much as I want her. Should I just run with this and take what I want? Or should I be more slow and careful. She's vulnerable right now and I'm worried she just might be reaching for something because she's scared. Any input or insights would be much appreciated.

Emm 12-02-2012 02:21 AM

You're running the risk of being her rebound guy if the two of you go for it straight away. If you're hoping for something more long-lasting then wait a while and see what happens.

Lost421 12-02-2012 02:29 AM

Thanks Emm, this is one of my major concerns, because my wife is one of her best friends and basically she has been our kind of silent go between for years. Our mutual friend (I'll call her Laura) has had feelings for me for a long time (almost as soon as we all starting hanging out) and I've had feeling for her for almost the same amount of time. Now it's a bit weird because Laura and I have never actually talked to each other about our feelings for each other but we both know we have them for each other (an artifact, I'm pretty sure, of her mixed feelings about the relationship she doesn't want to be in anymore). So I'm pretty sure she's not just on a rebound, but I don't want us just to be a rebound. We've both been pining for each other for a while now. Waiting seems like the obvious thing to do, but it's gotten painful, for both of us I think. I'm worried.

Lost421 12-02-2012 02:40 AM

I'm really glad neither one of us can be rash. We live in different cities now and it's not exactly easy to drive of 6 hours on a whim to see one another, although I painfully want to, and from our conversations over the past few days she painfully wants to see me. This is so complicated. The poly living situation I think we can handle, but there are kids involved and an abusive husband and more than probably feelings resulting from recent events good and bad.

Lost421 12-02-2012 02:42 AM

It's funny, when we starting in a poly relationship I thought that was going to be the issue, but it's all about the feelings and issues of monogamous relationships that make things messy.

GalaGirl 12-02-2012 04:04 AM

You don't mess with fragile. And in the midst of leaving the abusive husband? Not the best sense of timing. If there's magic there, it's still going to be there a bit later down the road.

So wait. Encourage her to file her injunctions and divorce petitions and whatever else she needs in her situation -- domestic violence support group?

But be a friend right now. That's the larger need.

Galagirl

sparklepop 12-02-2012 11:43 AM

:)

Like everyone else has said... yes... be a friend. Be a friend. Be a friend.

Why?

To help HER, firstly. Then yourself. Then your wife.

If you become involved with a fragile person (regardless of divorce), it can be extremely, extremely hard work. It can be heartache at worst and a complete and utter exhaustion at best.

It's such a cliche, but the old thing about spending time on ourselves is so true.

Think of relationships like a hot water bottle. Let's say she is the water bottle and you are the water. The bottle has a hole in it right now - so where's your water going to go? Yep, all over the floor and make a right mess (that your wife will probably have to clean up). When her damage is repaired, then you can come in and have something more comfortable, more healthy, more cosy and long-lasting. As the water, you can't come in too hot (romance now), nor too cold (withdrawing all contact). A nice balance is needed.

As for HOW you can maintain a friendship without the extra stuff?

Some people say this is impossible. I disagree. I can't control the feelings of my partners, but I can (and do) control the way I act about my feelings towards them.

If I am trying not to become emotionally involved with somebody, I basically avoid phrases that can get their heads all wrapped up in our friendship or relationship. My last secondary, for example, seemed to be starting to get very, very emotionally attached. She'd come out of a relationship 6 months earlier and it was clear to me that she was transferring her feelings for this woman onto me during the first month or so of us dating. She would start texting me when she woke up, telling me she opened her eyes and thought of me. I could see exactly where it was heading. Without being cruel, I basically reigned it in and made sure that I was being responsible with her emotions, as she seemed to be more vulnerable that I first thought. This helped and she started to stable out and not seem so giddy about our relationship.

Romantic:
"You're on my mind."
Friendly:
"I am absolutely here if you need me."

Romantic:
"I can't stop thinking about you"
Friendly:
"I was just wondering how you were doing?"

Romantic:
"Our connection is so unique/mind-blowing/special"
Friendly:
"I really care about you as a person"

Reigning-in behaviour examples:
- Don't be texting intimately - i.e. "I think of you when I wake up and when I fall to sleep"
- Don't be spending hours and hours and hours every night talking
- Avoid getting into a daily-contact routine, as you easily become their crutch, which distracts them from their own faults or pain

Do you kind of see where I'm coming from? I'm not saying be mean - I'm saying, keep it friendly, supportive, without enticing sexual or loving feelings from her.

Just because you are poly, doesn't mean that you are 100% open and available 100% of the time. Not only would you want to be slow here if you were single; but you'd want to be especially slow because you have your wife (and their friendship) to consider.

Lost421 12-08-2012 09:00 PM

That's all good advice. Thanks. I can be her friend first, I always have so that won't be hard.

Lost421 12-09-2012 03:39 AM

I don't think it's going to be an issue anyway. I think she's pretty freaked out about the whole idea of a poly relationship in the first place, and I think she's just trying to find some kind of emotional escape. I can be her friend, and I'm betting that's all it will ever be.

NovemberRain 12-16-2012 07:22 PM

I'm glad to hear you will continue being first her friend.

I am surprised at how often this situation occurs. I think this is the third time I've read a similar story on these boards. The other ones I read about seem to have gone down in a fiery ball of flame. Or are currently causing slow & steady burn to most of the participants.


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