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-   -   Coping with a slow breakdown-suggestions? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3864)

sage 10-02-2010 10:23 PM

Coping with a slow breakdown-suggestions?
Z's SO is pulling away from him. He can feel it and I can feel it.

She is a "free-spirit" who lives in the "Now" and is very hard to pin down. In the beginning of this pulling away I kept suggesting things. Now I've stopped, given up, he seems emotionally paralyzed.

I can't support him as if it is a final ending because who knows if it is. There has always been a disparity in their relationship. He has always loved her and wanted more from her. In my view she has always dangled him unfairly but I like her as a person, she has had difficult stuff in her own life to deal with over the past year and I have tried to stay out of it, but I am finding this increasingly difficult.

I am now thinking that maybe she is trying to let him down gently but this gradual pulling away isn't necessarily working. It's like a terminal illness that is going on too long.

Do you think I should just continue to be supportive and stay out of it or get pro-active and try to sort it out one way or the other. It is starting to drive me nuts.

Any suggestions gratefully received.:(

bimblynim 10-03-2010 06:45 AM

that sounds horrible :( I'm affraid i have v limitted first person experience with life partner relationships but with my deep friends and family and their s/o my instinct is to interviene as gently as possible. Incidently i think you can and should carry on being supportive to your sweety throughout (and sounds like you are handling it amazingly i hate it when people i care about are hurt). Would he feel you breached his privacy if you spoke to her? what is your relationship with her like? would it be possible for you to ask her whats going on (she may find it easier to honest with you than him?) maybe you could let her know her behaviour at the mo is hurting your sweety and encourage her to be clearer? Good luck with it all


sage 10-03-2010 09:50 AM

Thanks for the kind words. We're in a bit of a sadness spiral at the moment and I don't want to make it any worse. While we get on fine normally she can get a bit huffy if I start communicating with her about their relationship.

He is going to try and talk to her tomorrow about going to see her on his own(she's already canceled coming to see us three times). I'm trying not to get impatient with the whole thing. It just seems like I did all this work to accept the poly nature of their relationship when it was impacting him positively and now I'm having to learn to live with the downside of polyamory, i.e. when another relationship is impacting him negatively.

It's a side that isn't discussed that much on this forum, or not that I've seen anyway. Surely all secondary relationships don't just go to sleep quietly in a neat pain-free death?

GroundedSpirit 10-03-2010 01:45 PM

Hi Sage,

It's a tough situation for sure. Painful and sad. This IS one of the things about poly - more people - more people affected by pain.

But I think it's important to keep some connection to reality and human nature. People often get into relationship to get 'needs' met. But 'needs' are not static. And people are not static. We grow, change, our outlook on life and what's important to us changes etc. In an ideal world this would not affect anyone else. But realistically, it does. And sometimes these changes push us off in whole new directions.

It's nothing about 'poly' really so much. It's just about growing, evolving and living day to day.
Somehow back in the back of our minds we have to keep a connection to this.
And if we are trying to embrace love, then what's often called compersion has to kick in.

Despite how it may feel to us, we have to want people we care about to move forward with the direction of their life that's most satisfying and fulfilling. And sometimes we won't be following that same path.

It is what it is...............


Magdlyn 10-03-2010 02:00 PM

My gf has only dated one other person in the time Ive been w her (21 mos). Things didnt work out with that bf, but I didnt meddle, I let her deal with him in her own way. I just stayed in the background and let her vent when she needed to, cuddled her, etc.

But it seems like many ppl here are much more involved with the metamours than my gf and I ever are.

sage 10-03-2010 05:22 PM

Thanks, GS and Magdlyn

I have tried to let this thing just sort itself out my problem is that it is just so slooooooow and drawn out. Also because they aren't very honest with each other it is very difficult to get a handle on what is actually going on. I'm starting to get annoyed that he is still hanging out to go and stay with her and she could very well have someone else in tow that has put boundaries around their relationship (has happened before and she only told him after it had ended). She uses privacy to avoid honesty in my humble opinion.

If we don't believe that another relationship is healthy for our partner should we get involved to try and resolve it?

We'll see what the phonecall today brings.

redpepper 10-03-2010 06:37 PM

that is very sad sage. I feel for you all. My tersiary is going through a divorce and I haven't seen him in months. I sent him an email telling him to let me know when he is free and haven't heard from him at all... :(

thankfully we have been down this road before over the last ten years and he always comes back into my life. I just have to wait and give him his space. It's up to him really and I need to respect his needs to be doing what he needs to do right now.

Fidelia 10-03-2010 08:47 PM

I can only say what I would do in your shoes. If my beloved was suffering the way you describe, I would do my best to jumpstart the communication between them. If he is emotionally paralyzed, he needs someone to advocate on his behalf. Open a dialogue. Put the issues right out there and let them both know you are not okay with the slow bleeding out for their relationship, because of the suffering it is causing your beloved. It's past time for them to either "solve or dissolve."

WildCard 10-03-2010 11:10 PM

I've dated, and been close friends with, a few "free spirits" and noticed this same "pulling away" behavior you describe. For me, talking to them about it or trying to negotiate never really worked. They will either avoid the conversation, deny they're doing anything differently, or try to blame you. Usually your only choices are either to accept the situation as-is or to end it, either by pulling away yourself or by explicitly breaking up.

I would encourage Z to take back power and made a decision how to move forward, one that is not depending on or waiting on this other woman's behavior, which is out of your control.

anotherbo 10-04-2010 12:28 AM

My advice for him (not you Sage) follows:

Relax, let her be. Be strong and happy with your life, with or without her. Be content that you have value, that she has been lucky to be with you. You've chased her enough; time for her to chase you. Calmly accept that she might not.

If that sounds too womanish, here's a real man's version: all you really need to know about life can be found in Star Wars. Princess Leia: "The more you tighten your grip Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." Same with someone who is pulling away from you. ;)

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