Loving my Poly Vee...but not sure my gf does
You can read my intro here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40446
So since then, my husband, F, and I have had some really fabulous conversations about what we both want from our relationship right now. He is the very definition of compersion, and I respect him so much for communicating his needs to me. We have some great parameters that we are both happy with.
Last night was date night with my gf, M. She was fun and chipper, and we had a really great time. But she's a worrier. At one point, she said I hate that I'm taking you from your family. I told her not to worry, that this relationship made me happy, so it makes F happy. So she texted him and asked him. I totally encouraged that, because I really want her to stop worrying and be comfortable with what we have right now. He responded that he & I are on the same page, and he was fine. She then asked if she was getting in between us, because she would walk away if she was. He responded: I am very happy to have you in our lives. I was sooo happy! This was totally unprompted by me, so it feels good to know we really are on the same page. I'm not sure she's totally comforted by it though. This is the first time for all of us to dive into anything like this.
When it came time to snuggle, she was definitely distant. She had texted her ex several times because he had their daughter last night. He is a cruel SOB, and a pill addict, and she is a worrier. (rightly so). He was ignoring her texts, and she was definitely preoccupied by it. When he finally did answer her back he berated her and told her she was crazy and made her feel terrible. She was very sad, and it was hard to break through to comfort her. I am happy to be there to share sad times with her, we've done that so many times already. But for some reason last night, she was unreachable. She apologized later, which of course I told her was no problem, that I just hoped that if I could do anything she would let me know. She has a history of letting people put her down and treat her poorly, and I hate to see her ex still have such power over her.
I just don't know what she wants, and she says she doesn't know. She does say she wants a family, and when I tell her she can be part of ours, she just laughs and says "If only it were that easy"
I don't know how I feel right now. It's so easy to talk openly and communicate with F, but this is so new with M. And she's not used to being safe enough with someone to be open and vulnerable. I wonder if it's not a bad idea to take our romance back to friendship and avoid heartache that seems inevitable. I love her so, but I can't fix where's she's broken. :(
franchescasc-Married to mono husband of 13 years, dating mono? gf for 4 months
Thank you for coming to our forums. This is indeed a tough situation, and I can't offer you much advice, but I can perhaps offer a different perspective. This is still a pretty new relationship (4 months). Many secondaries struggle with their role, and are often apprehensive about possibly causing problems with the primaries' relationship. In my case I actually met my metamour and had dinner with him and we discussed our situation frankly, because he wanted to make sure I actually WAS OK with things, because prior to this he only heard things as filtered through my wife. After our meeting he was a lot more comfortable. I think it's good that she communcated directly with him, and you may want to encourage more of that.
She's definitely dealing with some tough issues with her ex, and that's something that you can't solve for her, but you can always be there to listen and sympathize as much as you can. That being said, it's entirely possible she's actually pining for a new father for her daughter. It's pretty common in situations where a mother leaves a bad situation to try to find a much more sedate, normal life for their child. It's a pretty strong biological drive.
It's also very possible she is feeling guilt about being in what she sees as a relationship that is benefitting her and not her daughter. She may be feeling guilt for taking time for her own needs and think she's neglecting the tough job of finding a father for her daughter.
Again, these are only speculations. I don't know her like you guys do, and I'm not a trained psychologist. Perhaps some better qualified folks will come along and give you some more focused and qualified direction.
Yes, I think you are right about my husband and gf getting together solo. I keep getting mixed messages from her, and that's frustrating. I'm not used to this uncharted territory-I am so familiar with my husband, we rarely miscommunicate any more.
We actually spend a lot of time with her daughter together and with my daughters as well. Her daughter has actually called me her mom's girlfriend and hops on the couch to snuggle with us and says "We are happy together, let's hold hands!" I love this, and for the most part think my gf likes it too, although I know she worries about her daughter.
It's all such uncharted territory. I hope I can get some clarification on what this is and what it should look like soon.
Thanks for the support!
4 months is such a short time that even regab programs suggest extreme caution and note the high risk of relapse!
I would say that she has very good cause to be cautious and unsure-even if her past experience hadnt been so awful.
My suggestion is not to press her for what she wants, she probably doesnt actually know and she certainly can't know if its going to work out with you-neither can you know that at this point.
Be patient, be supportive, be kind, loving and try not to get caught up in worrying also.
My gf has a painful background and has trust issues as well. If you've never dealt with someone coming from that place before, I can tell you that my impression is that this... worrying, not immediately being comforted by reassurances, etc... is very typical. It would likely be so whether you and she were poly or not. All you can do is ask yourself -- is she worth it? Is the relationship worth it? Yes, her issues do increase the possibility that it won't work out, but maybe it will. I would suggest that you don't break up with her in order to spare her feelings -- let her decide what's right for her and what's not -- but, rather, if you split up do it because this isn't right for *you*.
SOunds like you could be/ are dating a formerly (?) abused / still abused (?) person.
Could familiarize yourself with that website, especially the tactics and the "stages" vicitms go through.
She could be struggling with coparenting with her abuser, being in a woman-woman thing (given how the ex puts her down for it and tells he she is crazy) AND being in a polyship in general and worried about your spouse.
Any one of those single things is a lot on the stress scale. Combined? It could feel like geometric stress to her, not just additive.
She could be concerned about him playing the kids against her and threatening custody issues.
Could tread carefully, and could remember to be a true friend before anything else. (girlfriend, lover, etc) Could ask her given her reticence/worries, if it is easier on her to be only friends for now at this time and not date/lovers until a better time. What are HER needs? Wants? Limits?
Go platinum rule here -- ASK her. So you can treat her how SHE wants to be treated.
GalaGirl- Thank you, those are all excellent suggestions. Love reading through threads and your responses. Your approach to communication is refreshing, and something I definitely strive for in my relationships.
I did finally just tell MD how I was feeling. Feeling like she was pulling away, and reiterated that I was her friend above anything else and that I would give her space if that's what she needed, but that I needed her to tell me and be upfront with me. She responded that she wasn't pulling away, that she was just keeping to herself, hadn't been drinking and was staying close to home with her daughter. She assured me she would tell me if there was something going on with her, but that she was just being herself-a bit of an introvert.
All in all a very positive convo. The only discouraging thing was that she said "This can't be much more than it is already....I have to keep reminding myself that too" I am totally fine with the status quo of what we have right now, so I'm not sure why I hate to hear her say that?
We got to spend the night together last night. Lots of fun laughs, intense convo getting to know eachother, some snuggling and kissing. It's like a balm to my soul to be close to her.
She mentioned again last night that she would love to get together with FJ to talk, which I am encouraging.
So....for now I am practicing contentment in enjoying the moment and making sure I am communicating my needs and listening for hers and my husband's and my family's. Quite the juggling act, but a challenge that has already resulted in so much self-growth.
Try not to worry too much about the future. Just make the best of what you have in the present, which as you said, is already very good.
Pulling for you,
Exactly. I have to remember though, that this is the first poly relationship for her. Given her history with any kind of relationship, she doesn't commit to the future. So for now, I'll just take it one day at a time, loving her where she's at and letting her grow.
Sounds like a good plan. :)
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