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-   -   Wildflower's miscellany (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35705)

wildflowers 12-24-2012 11:50 AM

Wildflower's miscellany
This may or may not become a blog. I've debated it in the past, then been very glad I didn't start it, as I've have regrets even about some of the sporadic posts I've made. But I've seen a bunch of useful ideas in my reading here, and I want a place to put them so I don't lose them.

nycindie 12-24-2012 11:56 AM

Hi Wildflowers! Just a tip, for saving threads that interest you. At the top of each thread, on the menu, you will see a link to "Thread Tools." Click it & a dropdown menu appears, where you will see a link to "Subscribe to This Thread." Then when you log in, you can check your subscriptions to keep up.

wildflowers 12-24-2012 02:42 PM

Thanks, NYC. But it's more that I want to save particular ideas, rather than a whole thread.

One idea that I like, and find it useful to remind myself of, is GG's term "emotional weather". I particularly like the idea that sometimes weather just happens, and that I don't always have to do something about it. I can just accept today's weather, even if I don't really like it, and know that it also may change without my doing anything.

I don't use it as a recipe for passivity, but I do find it a useful tool for getting through some tougher times.

Here's a good example:

We cannot help what we feel when we feel it. We don't even get to choose when to feel it. It just is. Emotional weather. Rain is rain, wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. We DO get to choose how to behave in response. You can choose to REACT to emotion or ACT WITH INTENT.

wildflowers 12-24-2012 02:51 PM

An idea from Another Confused. This statement describes how I feel about the last year+ that I've been with my boyfriend. The year has posed some huge emotional challenges, but I have probably learned more about coping with my emotions and adapting to other people than I have in the past 20 years with my husband. (Of course, therapy helped too.) Despite having made plenty of mistakes, I feel really good about what I have managed during this year.


I go social dancing. Everyone knows that if you only ever dance with one partner, your dancing will be very slow to improve. You may actually build in bad habits that make you difficult for others to dance with. You will probably get bored. If you dance with many different partners, you will be constantly learning new steps, perfecting your physical communication skills, expanding your repertoire, honing your own personal style, and of course, having a rich and interesting social experience. This is what I want in life.

wildflowers 12-26-2012 12:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Sternberg's triangle theory of love (thanks Sparklepop)

A good framework for describing relationships


wildflowers 12-29-2012 12:36 PM

Having multiple partners has helped me be more understanding of my partners' feelings. Because I'm not always playing a particular emotional role (e.g., in one relationship I might be feeling a bit needy and in the other my partner might have that feeling) it's easier to recall the challenges of a tough feeling and to be sympathetic or to not overreact. Emotional recall of recent states is a lot easier for me than recalling more distant ones; long term recall can be pretty intellectual, so I know in theory what it was like but the power of the feelings is absent.

wildflowers 01-05-2013 04:55 PM

GG does it again. I like the simplicity of this statement.

A relationship cannot exist without communication. There's no RELATING going on.

wildflowers 01-10-2013 01:25 AM

Writing to note that at this phase I feel like a lot is going well. It may be good to have the reminder someday.

Yesterday I got an email from a friend who feels her life is a bit out of balance; she's not good at taking care of her own needs, and they end up unmet as she juggles work, small child, household, etc. So although many things are going well she feels not quite right, weighed down, and feels that others manage better.

In writing her back I was struck by my sense that I understand the emotional challenges that all of us face a lot better than before. The more I read, here and other places, the more similarities I see in all the stories; so many issues seem to grow out of similar underlying feelings - uncertainties about are we good enough, are we loved. Also are we able to recognize and accept our own feelings.

So despite her sense that others do not struggle, I believe we all confront her feelings at times.

It was nice to feel, as I wrote, that I was writing from a place where I am comfortable with my life and who I am in it, and rather amazing to me how stable that place feels right now. Of course, I'm sure my sense that I can handle what life throws at me is fostered by the fact that it isn't throwing anything really tough right now, and I might lose confidence or self awareness under different circumstances.

It was also really nice to write to her without having to hide anything of my life; she is one of 4 or so friends who has been directly informed of the "new" relationship in my life. (Others have probably observed but have been left to draw their own (probably erroneous) conclusions.) Not that I was speaking of my relationships, but nonetheless I am glad she will receive my response with an awareness of all that it comes out of, rather than with an important aspect of my life hidden.

wildflowers 01-12-2013 03:36 AM

Tonight I went out with my boyfriend, as I almost always do on Fridays. We have become regulars at the place we go; I have never been a regular anywhere before. We have a very comfortable routine, yet we still have a lot of fun. It has been almost a year and a half now that we've been together. The last few months have seemed like a new form of NRE - not as crazy and unbalanced and obsessed as at first, but a new sort of magic and comfort, after a phase where we needed to sort things out a bit more. In general it means that we (or I, not sure how much this was ever an issue for him) maintain the happiness of being together but let go of the anxiety of being apart.

Sometimes it is a little hard to believe that it's real though.We have our two or so hours together, head back to our homes and families for the weekend, then see each other probably for a few shorter spells before we meet again next Friday. It is an intense period of togetherness followed by mostly silence, and sometimes (esp as I come down from the high of being out, and also crash a little after a glass or two of wine) it just feels very strange, and sometimes a little sad. Initially I didn't really believe I could build and maintain a relationship in a few hours a week; now I clearly see that I can, and it brings me tremendous joy, but the shift from together to apart still challenges my expectations of how love and relationships work. This is sounding like actually I am still anxious, but that's not really it; I don't doubt the reality or soundness of what we have, it's just that sometimes it's hard to wrap my brain around basically needing to flip a switch and turn my focus off of us.

I know this will pass; I'll read, sleep, go to yoga, do all my usual routines, and this will just have been a passing mood. But at least at the moment, I wish that that the highs weren't shadowed by the lows in this way.

wildflowers 03-22-2013 10:56 AM

I screwed up last night. And I did it despite some good examples set by people here - Marcus, NYCIndie - who have been struggling with similar issues.

Z (boyfriend) is going through a really rough time now re work. It is quite possible that he will be out of a job in a few months, without obvious options for finding a new one. He is the primary supporter for his family, and financially they live on the edge even now. And to be out of work would be to fail at what he has invested more than a decade of his life it. And he's under a lot of pressure at work to get things done. So we have seen each other less, and he has been rather unreliable.

I have tried really hard to be supportive, understanding, non-pressuring, and mostly I think I have succeeded. And I help with work when I can, by editing and proofing his writing. There have been a number of weeks where I spend more time on his work than I do actually seeing him.

I have trust issues with Z though, and though they have gotten better over the last year they still flare up. We have different attitudes towards telling the truth; he is much more inclined to hide things that he thinks would hurt someone and that they don't need to know.* And we came into this relationship with very different expectations, which took a while to become clear, probably in part because clarifying would require difficult conversations that he would rather avoid. (Also probably because of unreasonableness and willfull blindness on my part - looking to be reassured that things were as I wanted rather than accepting how they actually were. Anyway, that's another long story.)

*Actually, this is less of a problem than that I think he is inclined to lie to make things easier, when he doesn't feel like dealing with something. Hard to know for sure though when this happens. Sometimes I am pretty confident; sometimes I am probably being paranoid when I suspect it.
So in this time of stress, the relationship feels rather one way, like I am doing all the supporting and being flexible and not getting much consideration. And sometimes (most of the time?) I recognize that this is just all he can do, but sometimes it triggers fears that I have just been a fool all along to be involved. And I start wondering whether the unclear communication and unreliability are hiding something. And once this cycle starts, it can be hard to tamp down - my lack of complete trust feels like a burden, a barrier.

So last night I acknowledged that one of the recent shifts in plans had triggered this again. Really I should know better - not surprisingly, he was upset as well as angry that instead of being supportive I was adding a new burden. But having to hide it is hard and feels false too. Despite feeling badly for upsetting him, there is a little feeling of relief at letting this be know too. Fortunately we seem to have gotten through it.

Going to be some rough months ahead though.

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