Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Relationships, hurt & obession, need advice (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41760)

FluffieBunny 03-02-2013 02:44 AM

Relationships, hurt & obession, need advice
Hello all. First time poster here. I should probably begin with some background. I've been with my husband for over 13 years. We have always had an amazing relationship, and are just as much in love now as when we first started dating. I think we've both always had a natural inclination towards poly, though we were monogamous for several years just by default. Ended up trying swinging, didn't care for it, talked about poly a lot and eventually decided to be open to it.

A couple years later, we meet this girl, I'll call her Ann. Greg was instantly into her, I wasn't that interested until one night we were kinda drunk and she pounced on me in bed. A bunch a flirty stuff happened, but no sex or anything. And for the next 6 months or so, we all hung out together a lot, became good friends, and there was a lot of flirting a making out between me and her, though it never went much further than that. I'm really introverted and don't open up easily, so when I opened up to her, it felt special. And I became rather infatuated with her. I had really thought that even if we didn't end up dating, we would stay friends.

After a while, though, she began to distance herself from us. And it was really hard for me because I had gotten really attached. I tried several times to talk with her about it, because I needed to understand why. But I never was able to get that out of her, and I got the impression that to her, it wasn't that big of a deal. She still always came to the same shows and events as us, but I always felt blown off when I tried to talk to her. Eventually I stopped trying because I felt totally rejected, and I always have a hard time with rejection. The whole thing kinda broke my heart and I was pretty depressed because of it for many months. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and wondering what went wrong. It was really hard on me.

Fast forward several years, to about 2 years ago. There's this guy I've known is passing for a while, I'll call him Joe. Anyhow, we end up getting together, and I have my first real poly relationship. I also should mention that Joe had dated Ann before that, but had broken up. Anyway, things go really well with me and Joe, and I'm very much in love with him. Things are still great with Greg and me as well. Everybody's happy. Joe dates a couple other girls, and I'm ok with it, as long as I feel like I'm getting enough time with him.

Then, maybe 6 weeks ago, Joe starts dating Ann again. And that's where things suddenly get difficult for me. I did tell him about my history with her, but I can't tell him not to date her. I've been struggling ever since, though. The amount of hurt and anger toward her, which I was never able to resolve, makes this situation really difficult for me. I'd like to be able to let it go, but it constantly pops into my head. I know I'm obsessing and it's not right, but I don't know how to stop it. And that's why I'm writing this. I need help to figure out how to cope with this, or it's going to take a serious toll on my mental health, as I've always been prone to depression.

I do realize, by the way, that my life is awesome and I try to focus on that as much as possible. Thankfully, Greg is always there to support me and act as my personal therapist, and I talk with him about it frequently, and it helps. But there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about it. Some days are definitely better than others, and I try to keep myself busy and distracted. But it keeps coming back. If anyone could help me figure this out, and give me ideas on how to cope, I'd be very grateful.

Malfunktions 03-02-2013 03:04 AM

Hi! :) nice to meet you.

First up does "joe" talk about "Ann" while you two are spending time together? If so it's hard to distance yourself from the past when it's still in your present. Can you ask him not to mention her? Is he aware just how hurt you REALLY are?

Your situation, I can admit, eludes me as I haven't endured it yet, pray not to even, but I would ask you if confrontation of the situation as a group might help? Addressing how you feel is soo important in poly-land, not only to you but to your partners. They aren't mind readers. Kudos to Greg for helping you work through it :)

LoveBunny 03-02-2013 01:01 PM

I must automatically respond to anyone also who has a rabbit in their name :D

That's an unpleasant situation. It would be great if once someone hurt us, they would just dissapear from earth. Bad enough that they don't, but to be unable to escape that person's energy, wound up in your life such as in your situation, I would also struggle and I feel your pain.

I've been doing a lot of my own emotional work on "letting go" after a bad breakup with a lover I was crazy about who pulled away without explanation. Like you, I am prone to depression--I immediately went to the doc and got myself some Prozac so I wouldn't bottom out. I've been doing a lot of active work--writing her letters I've no intention of sending, reading books about moving on after break ups, books on letting go of attachment and expectations, talking to a therapist, lots of excercise and being very, very gentle with my fragile self. And you know what? It's working! I'm feeling a little better and more able to forgive both myself and her every day.

My advice is don't just sit still and hope your feeling will sort themselves out. Meditate. Journal. Read self-help books. See a shrink. Excercise. Do whatever you can to really actively work this issue out with yourself. You CAN do it. It won't be instant or easy, but your relationship with your boyfriend and with yourself needs it. You'll feel better if you can forgive this woman and just Let. Her. Go. Hang in there!

GalaGirl 03-02-2013 06:01 PM

Consider this and list EVERYTHING, no matter how crazy at first.

What do you need from Ann to be able to let this go?
  • An apology?
  • Closure?
  • For her to move to Siberia?
What do you need from Joe to be able to let this go?
  • For him to break up with his ex AGAIN?
  • To hear less about her?
  • For him to spend more time with you?

What do you need from Greg to be able to let this go?
  • To be an ear when you vent?

What do you need from YOU to be able to let this go?
  • Accept that you do not control other people?
  • Do nothing. Let time go by to see if you can adjust or if they fold again "naturally"
  • Break up with Joe so you don't have to date him at the same time as Ann

I'm sure you could list more things I cannot think of right now.

Now review --- Which are realistic and reasonable and actually doable and meet your need to be free of crazy ugh feelings? Which of those things are you likely to get? At this time, where does your willingness lie?
  • Are you willing in your choice?
  • Are you happy and joyous in your choice?
  • Is your choice a healthy one for you and others?
  • All three criteria met? If not, how likely all will criteria be met in the near future? Or never met?

Here's one of your personal limitations:


I know I'm obsessing and it's not right, but I don't know how to stop it. And that's why I'm writing this. I need help to figure out how to cope with this, or it's going to take a serious toll on my mental health, as I've always been prone to depression.
That in assertive "limit" talk could be
  • I am prone to obsessing with my thoughts.
  • That can take a serious toll on my mental health.
  • I am prone to depression.

Could pick the option that serves most of your wants, needs, and limits at this time.

How is staying in relationship with Joe while he is back with Ann good for your health in preventing obsession in thoughts, preserving your mental health, and preventing depression? She was his ex and your ex for a reason -- maybe you don't want to be anywhere near her. It's on him who he hangs with.

You are responsible for your own well being.

Maybe the best answer is to remove the source of the upset -- being in concurrent relationship with Joe while he dates Ann. You cannot tell him what to do. But you can tell you what to do and leave the romance. Just be friends while he dates her. Let him have the freedom to explore whatever it is with Ann. Because for YOUR health?

So far you clocked 6 weeks of stink. Up to you how much more you want to invest here to wait for desired outcome. (What IS your desired outcome?) Up to you how to tend to your own health and well being.

Maybe you want to give him his freedom to pursue whatever with Ann and observe from the side. Maybe you want to endure?

  • If they break up, you can get back together.
  • If they are destined to be a permanent item, then you are already out of the way and not clocking more stinky time.

  • You stay. Clock more stinky time. Maybe they break up.
  • You stay. Clock more stinky time. Maybe you reach intolerant levels rather than uncomfortable. THEN you leave, but have clocked more stink in the meanwhile rather than checking out at 6 weeks clocked.
  • You stay. Clock more stinky time. Maybe they become a permanent item. Now what? Leave or stay? And you've clocked more stink in the meanwhile.

Some choices in life are not win/lose. They are "This stinks and that stinks. Which stinks the least then?" If each of those options had a price tag in mental health dollars, what would you assigned each thing in that store?

What's your mental health budget for what you can afford to spend here?


FluffieBunny 03-02-2013 10:23 PM

Malfunktions- No, I don't think he does know just how much it bothers me. I'm not exactly sure how to tell him, but I'm working on figuring it out. He doesn't talk about her all that much, but goddamn facebook keeps reminding me whenever they're doing something together.

LoveBunny- I appreciate the advice, but I'm already doing most of those things. Journaling, exercising, trying to focus on creative projects, talking with my "therapist" (actually my husband, but he's really good).

GalaGirl- I really don't want to break up with him. He's a really great guy, and our relationship has been really good. But it does seem like he's been spending more and more time with her, and less with me, and I've become increasingly distraught over that. I need to let him know how important it is that I get sufficient time with him. Also, I'm not sure that breaking up with him would make me feel better. I would feel heartbroken over it, and then, in a sense, she's managed to break my heart again. Maybe, eventually, it will come to that, I don't know. But I'd like to try every other approach first, even if it means more suckiness.

YouAreHere 03-02-2013 11:53 PM


Originally Posted by FluffieBunny (Post 187874)
Malfunktions- No, I don't think he does know just how much it bothers me. I'm not exactly sure how to tell him, but I'm working on figuring it out. He doesn't talk about her all that much, but goddamn facebook keeps reminding me whenever they're doing something together.

I had this problem with my partner and my metamour - especially when he was laid off and the two of them were able to do all sorts of things during the day while I was working OT. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I was EXTREMELY envious of their time together, as well as the type of time they spent together. It's not like they were rubbing it in my face, going "Nyaah nyaah - look what WE can do!" but FB has the tendency to be that obnoxious guy at the party, going, "HEY GUYS, LOOK WHAT'S GOING ON OVER THERE!"

What I did, and I don't know if they'd be amenable to it in your case, is (after identifying FB as a big trigger for me and my envy), basically asked that they restrict their posts, at least for their gooshy, "together time" posts, to not include me. I didn't want to ask them to not post (that would be unfair), but I wanted the option of avoiding it without having to unfriend them altogether. They agreed, and I've been happier for it.

Not so much of a "head in the sand" thing, as it is limiting TMI to me - I mean, I KNOW they go out and I'm happy they have a good time, but I don't want to see all the "squeeee" stuff between them. I tend to be more private with my displays of affection. Seeing it between them triggers this weird dichotomy between the competitive streak in me - that I need to post more gooshy stuff of my own - and the "but this is PRIVATE" feeling that makes me not want to post it at all. I didn't need the stress, and it wasn't going away without doing something.

Anyway... a lot of blather for a simple suggestion, but it might be worth asking for.

FluffieBunny 03-03-2013 12:38 AM

YouAreHere- That's a really good idea. I think I'm going to block out her posts completely, and ask him to exclude me when he's posting about her. Thanks for the suggestion.

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:43 AM.