Overwhelmed by complications, need advice
this is my first post here. I have thought about joining some sort of community ever since my first poly relationships 6 years ago, but never quite managed to (for various reasons... would take too long to explain).
After a long time without any kind of serious emotional attachment, I recently found myself in a rapidly developing physical and emotional affair with one of my close friends. Though there were some complications - he's my (former poly, now monogamous)ex-boyfriend's best friend - we seemed to be able to cope well, through honesty with each other and former partners/close friends/special friends and so on (we have quite the complicated network of "special" relationships among our friends, though there are no established, stable poly relationships). The most problematic situation was with his ex-girlfriend who he only recently split up with, and who is also a good friend of mine. She was angry and felt betrayed in the beginning, but several good talks considerably improved the situation. Even though they were separated, they still shared the occasional intimacy, which was ok for me.
Now she has just told me that she's pregnant, and he's the father. Even though he has known for 2 weeks now, he hasn't quite faced the situation with the kind of responsibility you would expect. I don't want to describe the whole background, let's just say it's all complicated with regard to work and finances, so the timing could not be worse (in addition to the fact that they just broke up after four years together). She's not sure if she wants to keep it, but I suspect she will... and I know that she would like them to give it another try. Perfectly understandable - if that's not a good reason, I don't know what is. He doesn't seem to want that, and it would seem he's also not very keen on becoming a father... not quite sure if that's because he just hasn't really faced it yet, feels overwhelmed, or whether there are other reasons that are holding him back (like, say, me). Maybe he will rise to the challenge and support her in the right way once he's come to terms with the news, but at the moment he's struggling. My communication with her is better than with him, we girls find it easier to share our feelings and vulnerabilities, even our disagreements.
I simply don't know what to do with myself in this situation. On the one hand, I feel like I have a valuable part to play, since I care about them very much. God knows they both need support right now that they can't quite provide to each other. On the other hand, it might be better if I took a step back and gave those two more room so that they might find their way back together now that they're confronted with such a big challenge.
I know this is a pretty specific problem, and this is just an overview lacking a lot of important information (my personal emotional baggage and slightly frail mental state, difficulties with regard to our professional lives...) but does anyone have some experience with similar situations? Or maybe some friendly word of advice that he/she would like to share? I feel lost and disoriented, and I think that no matter what's ahead of us I will need a lot of strength and determination, so it felt like a good idea to share my story.
Thanks for reading.
I'm sorry to hear things are so complicated. For what it's worth, I'd suggest that within the framework of what it appropriate for you to say, consider being a gentle advocate for the baby. I know none of this is under your control, but if the pregnancy does result in a child, that child deserves the full loving support of both parents, in whatever form they decide is best.
I don't mean to minimize the stress for all of the adults, but at least they can voice their needs. I wish you all the best.
Could step off. Break up. Reduces the volume on some of the polymath tiers and their stresses. They are exponential, not additive. Because you DO love them, and want to reduce their suffering.
I wasn't in huge polymath config like the network you are in, but I had to break up with an ex because I did love him, he was struggling as a hinge, and to make it easier for him to decide? I bowed out. I hate it. But I hated him suffering more.
Could also choose to put your OWN oxygen mask on. You can't help anyone if you yourself are running ragged. You are responsible for looking after your own best healths -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health.
I mean that kindly but firmly. NOBODY needs to be inviting crazy drama in their life. :(
I'm sorry you are struggling. :(
This is not fun to feel, but do your best to seek a clear, ethical path through this situation that doesn't compromise your own well being and good healths.
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