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-   -   Emotions and their role in polyamoury (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=384)

redpepper 06-21-2009 06:04 PM

Emotions and their role in polyamoury
 
I recently asked this question to a friend of mine that I meet on a dating site. Although we never got together in a intimate way, in fact I have never met her, she has become a confident and friend. My husband went to see her in a neighboring city with the chance that the two of them might become something more than friends but the energy wasn't there and they have now become good friends also.... this isn't really the point... so I will get to it.

I posed this question to her..

"Any ideas on whether or not to slog away on a relationship with someone who is not where you are at emotionally? And basically holds no value in expressing emotion. To him its all drama and a sign of weakness."

I have a intimate friend who I asked to just be friends with for a time as I want to work on our friendship before resuming an intimate relationship. When we get together or plan to get together it seems to revolve around sex rather than getting to know each other better and he has seemingly no desire to get to know my husband and primary partners. To complicate matters his girl friend is my husbands ex.

(My husband and her were friends but he wanted/felt something more deep and poly in his love for her when they were intimate. She wanted a friend with benefits and had no love for him. My husband is still getting over his disappointment and hurt feelings about this and at the poly meetings we go to he is unable to talk to her because of his deep emotions.... she has made no attempt to talk to him either)

This intimate friend of mine made the request of mine into something about my husband and his girlfriend. I told him about my husbands deep emotions and that he was still struggling with it. His reply was that he should get over it, suck it up so to speak and just resume our friendships from before all this. He is disappointed that we can't all just hang out and have sexy times together... that he prefers no drama sexy adventures with friends. He mentioned love in that, but to me loving and it's role in poly is about respecting peoples emotions and honoring where they are at with them. Also it's about being patient and caring of one another. In fact what he wants is not poly at all to me if there is no place for emotion. It's more like swinging of having an open relationship.

This is how my friend answered....

"Mmmmm...someone calling expressing emotion 'drama' is a major red flag for me. I once dated someone who was of that opinion and in reality it was a way of victimizing and blaming the person for how they feel - and an effective tool for disclaiming personal responsibility for the person who triggered the emotion in you.

In fact, it is dangerous in a poly relationship especially not to be honest about your emotions. Jealousy a big issue that people trying poly often face is forged out of insecurity - personal insecurity either related to self esteem, or insecurity due to not feeling safe or secure or not fully trusting of your partner.

For me, if my partner does not express his/her emotions and make me feel special - then it really is a turn off for me.

Now one thing I would look at is the reasons your partners is like that? Have they gone through some dramatic betrayal in the past that makes them fear being emotionally vulnerable? And what you see is a tough protective front? It sounds like they associate any emotional expression as being a bad thing... People sometimes do react this way after they've been involved with people in the past with hystrionic personality disorder or who were simply attention seekers as well.

If you can crack open the reason as to WHY they are like that? And are both willling to work on it together. Then there may be an immense opportunity for growth and bonding closer for you.

However, if he is not willing to budge on this issue or put in the work on it. I would say it is time to part ways, and look for someone more emotionally compatible. In the long term this relationship will leave you unsatisfied and likely feeling more and more desperate, trying to figure what you can do to get him to show "proof" that he really does care about you."

She is a smart woman with lots of experience and I thought what she said was very helpful and worth passing on.... I welcome any more advice although I have pretty much decided that we are not emotionally compatible and I highly doubt that I will be spending much more time with my intimate friend on any level.... who knows.

I am left feeling disappointed that he is like this, angry that he would disrespect my husband like that.... lastly I feel sad that a perfectly good friendship would turn sour due to the fact that we were intimate. Just goes to show that one should be very careful who they share intimate moments with in poly.

yoxi 06-21-2009 09:38 PM

It's amazing how often people will rationalise like crazy to avoid actually saying: "I want you to be feeling something other than what you are feeling right now." Fear, lack of patience, their own buttons being pushed...

Telling someone "you should just get over it" is 9 times out of 10 just insensitivity and/or lack of self-awareness, not insight - someone wanting you to feel different not for your sake, but because it's making them feel bad. Probably the best response is to say: "No, you suck it up - this is how it is right now, deal with it."

Quath 06-22-2009 03:19 AM

There are some people who deal with problems by just repressing it or ignoring it. Maybe that works for them. But they should know it does not work for everyone.

It is also a sterotypical masculine response to emotion. Most guys I know tend to get uncomfortable around some emotions. They are fine with excitement, being pissed off, being angry or even a little bitter and depressed. But admiting weakness is out of the picture.

The caveat to this is that a very good guy friend is someone another guy can admit his emotions without being belittled afterwards. There may be some joking, but it is designed to make the other guy feel better. I think most of this is just common society rules or guidelines. It doesn't make it right though.

It seems to me that this guy can't relate to another person's feelings and therefore assumes the emotions are invalid. What may be intersting is to see if he feels the same if a woman was feeling it. That may tell you if he is reacting from lack of empathy or just going along with some of society's views.

AutumnalTone 06-22-2009 03:08 PM

I think you've the right of it when you say he wants to swing. Friends-with-benefits is cool as long as it works for all involved. Each of the FWB relationships I've had, though, involve a bit more care and attachment than a platonic friendship.

If you're wanting an emotional attachment and he's just wanting sex, then it's not worth pursuing. I've never seen that sort of thing work out well. If you're tying up your emotional attention with him, that's emotional resources you don't have available to explore other opportunities.

Mark1npt 06-22-2009 11:50 PM

!
 
All good responses here. I also get worried about the use of the word "drama". I think for someone who puts all of himself into his work, his loves and his life, there may be a different viewpoint presented. My own, for what it's worth might have to do with fatigue. It's not a copout, but sometimes guys just get fatigued. We are inundated all day with pressure situations, schedules, deadlines......demanding results and finality. Sometimes I think fatigue sets in. We just grow a little weary, maybe? Do we have to have all the answers, right now? Do we have to discuss the weight of the world, or our relatuionship, right now? Do we have to have all the answers, all the commitments, all the plans, all the future holds, right now? Can things just not play out, over time? Can the answers evolve as our lives unfold, over the years? I'm not living in fear of expressing emotion, but sometimes it is drama and sometimes we're just too tired. it may not be what some of our spouses/partners really want to hear right now ,but it's the truth. I'm finding the older I get, the more harmful emotions I've held inside, are more easily let go of. My wife says I'm ignoring them......I say, I've let them go. There's just too much negative energy, pain and hurt to hold onto them any longer. What's so wrong in letting them go? I say, bye-gones! Ditto, what SeventhCrow said, btw.

redpepper 06-23-2009 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark1npt (Post 2048)
My own, for what it's worth might have to do with fatigue. It's not a copout, but sometimes guys just get fatigued. We are inundated all day with pressure situations, schedules, deadlines......demanding results and finality. Sometimes I think fatigue sets in. We just grow a little weary, maybe? Do we have to have all the answers, right now? Do we have to discuss the weight of the world, or our relatuionship, right now? Do we have to have all the answers, all the commitments, all the plans, all the future holds, right now? Can things just not play out, over time? Can the answers evolve as our lives unfold, over the years? I'm not living in fear of expressing emotion, but sometimes it is drama and sometimes we're just too tired. it may not be what some of our spouses/partners really want to hear right now ,but it's the truth.

yes I agree... and I think that perhaps this is part of what might of happened. However, I expected him to know that he was tired and tell me that. I expected that if his emotions were getting away on him and he found himself in a place of frustration and on the verge of saying nasty things about my two life loves... then he would have the fore sight to notice that before damaging the relationship we have...

I don't think it is ever okay to say that your friends husband should 'get over it' in regards to their feelings and i don't think he should of assumed that Mono just doesn't want me to see him at all because he is monogamous.

Okay, I get that in the privacy of ones own home and in the company of neutral parties that one trusts, we all like to vent a little and go over frustrating circumstances in order to understand others better and to learn to live with them... but this just wasn't okay and was damaging.

redpepper 06-23-2009 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeventhCrow (Post 2039)
Each of the FWB relationships I've had, though, involve a bit more care and attachment than a platonic friendship.

If you're wanting an emotional attachment and he's just wanting sex, then it's not worth pursuing. I've never seen that sort of thing work out well.

yes, well, I just wanted more care and attachment really. and yes, it doesn't work well if that isn't there on one side and not the other....

I have never seen it work out well either and here I am in it.... *sigh* ....ah well, I'm moving on.

yoxi 06-23-2009 06:49 AM

I don't think this is a guy/gal issue - it's just that people are different. They have different desires, different ways to avoid issues or engage with them, different levels of self-awareness etc. (I've been in relationships with women where I'm the one being told to lighten up.)

Sometimes the situation is simply that you and the other person want different things, and you both have to decide whether you're going to find a compromise or look elsewhere for what you want.

LadyKismet 06-23-2009 08:59 AM

Ouch... It's a sticky situation. From my brief time in a poly relationship, I discovered that, without talking about emotions, there was no damned relationship at all. But it took my husband a while, and a lot of listening and 'not getting it' to come to the realization that if this wasn't about emotions, and our hearts, than it was just sex and that was all. He learned, with time. I hate giving advice, but I wanted to say to talk to him about the absolute importance, above all else, that you two talk through any emotions you might be feeling, and of course, him too. Like my husband used to say, if you're hurting, we're hurting. If you have an issue, then we have an issue. Good luck!

Mark1npt 06-24-2009 04:43 PM

No offense to LadyK or any of the other gals on her, but........Why is it women always say "we don't get it", guys?.......most of us do communicate.....most of us are sensitive and do understand or make the attempt to understand all the emotional issues addressed in this forum......

What I've noticed is that when an issue is addressed, talked about and seemingly answered, we men....move on...........,to the next issue, challenge, work day, whatever.....whilst on the other hand, women open up the same issue again 2 days or 2 weeks later......has anyone else experienced this?....or is it just me and am I not "getting it"?

PS....I get the feeling I'm gonna take a beating on this....but I want to hear all sides.


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