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-   -   Feeling Withdrawn (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34688)

katja24 12-11-2012 07:49 PM

Feeling Withdrawn
My primary partner (J) and his secondary (B) are together today for four hours (lunch, intimacy, etc- I don't really know). I have felt increasingly withdrawn this past week as today has gotten closer. I feel withdrawn from my primary partner and from my secondaries (I see both B and her husband as well). I feel totally closed up- like a turtle going into her shell. Why?? I don't want to be withdrawn. Is this situation too painful for me right now? I don't even know what I need to feel more relaxed. The time commitment J made today is really significant to me because he is in finals period (he is in law school), got up earlier than he would have, and rearranged his day to spend time with B. He can choose to manage his time however he wants, but the commitment is significant to me; neither of us have had a secondary where that kind of time has been rearranged and committed. I just don't want to feel how I have been feeling this past week. I don't know if I will feel more open again after they see each other today, or if I'll feel more withdrawn. These are really difficult feelings for me... I guess I am just looking for some support around feeling so uncomfortable and anxious and withdrawn.

AJ1 12-11-2012 10:19 PM

I've felt something similar before, but not in relation to poly specifically. DH has a platonic friend that I don't care for, and it would always bother me when he would go out with him. I knew it shouldn't, because I didn't need to interact with the dude, so why should I care who he hangs out with? I couldn't put my finger on it, but every time he set up a guy's night I would be fine with it...then as the day approached I would get increasingly uneasy and upset.

One day, we were in a heated discussion about it and the reason just fell out of my mouth before my brain could even register it: I wasn't getting enough alone time with DH in general. Quality Time is a big love language for me, but it isn't for DH, plus he works a lot of hours. Here I was sacrificing our nights together so that he could further his career, and meanwhile his friend was getting pre-arranged "dates" that I wasn't. I wasn't really resenting his friend, I just had an unmet need.

Now that we know what I was really feeling, DH takes extra steps to make sure I get more time. Poly helps too, because I can get some quality time from other people and not burden DH with the full responsibility of my needs. Now that my need has a name, we can address it head on and I no longer get upset at his time with his friend (who did eventually win me over with some very pro-feminist views he espoused).

Maybe you're feeling something similar?

katja24 12-12-2012 06:15 PM

Thanks for your reply!
I think I figured it out last night in talking to J. We had a few big fights this past summer where J expressed not being sure whether our relationship works for him. I think I now feel extra sensitive to feeling like our relationship is safe and secure. I think I have a fear that I will be left by both my primary and secondary partners, and so I have been emotionally guarding myself so that if that were to happen it would be less painful for me.
I am still feeling unsure what my solution is. Talking a lot with J last night was really helpful, but I am left feeling pretty raw this morning since it has become quite clear that J and B are in love. Being open to this theoretically and then having it play out in reality are different experiences for me and I am doing my best to relax and breathe and not let my heart withdraw from the people in my life that I do love and who I know love me too.

nycindie 12-12-2012 07:18 PM

There is a part of our brains that reacts to change in our routines as if it was a threat. All you can do is step back a little bit from your emotions and try to see things logically. You've discussed this with him and have been expecting it. Remind yourself that you are not in danger. Occupy your mind with other tasks, and seek out the company of other loving people. Those thoughts will likely still surface, but you don't need to pay attention to them, and it could be uncomfortable for a while but that won't kill you. Just breathe, treat yourself well, and try to engage the more logical, rational side of yourself so you can see things more clearly and without attaching upsetting emotions to it all.

katja24 12-13-2012 05:32 AM

Thank you so much for your reply. I want to print it out and read it every morning and night, and whenever I am having a freak out. Your words are soothing, and I appreciate you sharing your relaxed advice.

nycindie 12-19-2012 05:38 AM

Glad you found comfort in my words
Candle-lit bubble-baths also do wonders!

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