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-   -   When 2 of Triad (or more) have a conflict (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6522)

RfromRMC 02-09-2011 02:06 PM

When 2 of Triad (or more) have a conflict
 
My two partners are both a tad stubborn from time to time, and have hot tempers. As you can imagine, there are arguments and fights. No huge thing...just typical in come pairings, except they take a bit of time to kiss & make up.

For those in similar situations, what's the good role of a third (or fourth, etc) partner?

As the more calm one of the group, I've often tried to play a mediator role and try to bring them to the table to talk out the situation respectfully and calmly. I've always figured it'd be one of the pros of being in a polyamorous relationship....having someone to do that.

Alas...it's never easy and frankly it wears me down. I sometimes think they'd rather both just steam and simmer for a while rather than try to resolve the conflict.
In fact, the last time it happened, neither of them would tell me what they were mad at each other about and kinda tried to leave me completely out of it.
So until they finally resolve things and make up, I'm left feeling like a desolate demilitarized zone in the middle. Ugh.

Thoughts? Advice?

SNeacail 02-09-2011 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RfromRMC (Post 65456)
I sometimes think they'd rather both just steam and simmer for a while rather than try to resolve the conflict.

This!

I sometimes need a few hours ALONE to rant, rave, cry and scream before I can even have a rational conversation. I need the time to get out of the "he is against me" zone. Then I can start to figure out what the real problem is and why it effected me so badly. The hardest part for me is actually addressing the problem once I've calmed down.

Quath 02-10-2011 03:28 AM

I was the same way. I tried to be the mediator. However, it did wear me down some. But I thought it was my job in a sense as part of the triad.

However, after listening to other people in triads, I think a better approach is not to be the mediator. Let them handle it and try to stay out of it. I think you can be a sympathetic ear, but don't take sides.

I tried way too often in relationships to take on the role of a counselor. I think it hurt the relationship more than it helped it. Or maybe the relationship was doomed from the start. I don't know.

redpepper 02-10-2011 06:01 AM

In case you hadn't noticed, we have a lot going on right now in our house. :p:D There are constant bouts of crazy lovin' huggy sessions between Mono and I and then crazy angry yelling matches and heated debates where we don't reach an agreement and break down or ignore each other and fume... poor PN is in the middle... he has it worked out I think. He has told me, when I asked what I he would prefer as a role in all this, that he wants to know if we are going to break up and other than that we are on our own and he doesn't want to see us fight or make up. Something along that line anyway. He doesn't see what goes on as a result, but I fill him in when he asks or if I am feeling particularly stumped and need his thoughts I tell him. :D Other than that he blissfully goes about his business and he and I go about our regular routines with each other. I find it to be respite most of the time. Interesting as what used to drive me crazy in our relationship together is now a oasis of contented, harmonious, scheduled normalcy bliss. If that makes sense.

RfromRMC 02-10-2011 01:37 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. Gives me some good insight.

It's a struggle to remain out of it, I'll tell ya. For one, if they're miserable, I usually am too. Secondly, I tend to be the nurturer type of the group....M teases me and calls me "Mom"...Grrrr. :rolleyes:
So it is definitely instinctive of me to step in and try to put the fire out....but what y'all are saying, it sounds like I'm more likely to fan the flames and just make matters worse. I'll definitely try for a while sitting back when these instances happen.

GroundedSpirit 02-10-2011 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RfromRMC (Post 65743)
Thanks for the input everyone. Gives me some good insight.

It's a struggle to remain out of it, I'll tell ya. For one, if they're miserable, I usually am too. Secondly, I tend to be the nurturer type of the group....M teases me and calls me "Mom"...Grrrr. :rolleyes:
So it is definitely instinctive of me to step in and try to put the fire out....but what y'all are saying, it sounds like I'm more likely to fan the flames and just make matters worse. I'll definitely try for a while sitting back when these instances happen.

I think it's fine in most circumstances to try to be a 'resource' to defuse conflict.

But that's entirely different than becoming personally attached to it. Taking some part of 'ownership'. That's where it becomes problematic.

The 'conflictors' need to sort out their own conflict in the end. They need the skills practice if nothing else ! A little guidance offered does no harm usually. But taking it on as a project can lead to ruin and turmoil pretty fast !

Make sense ?

GS

RfromRMC 02-11-2011 05:04 PM

Yes, it does make sense. :) Thank you.

It's that balance that I just need to work harder on. Be a "resource" should they suggest that they'd like one...but otherwise, learn not to stick my nose in their business.

May 02-18-2011 11:46 AM

Oh, I know so well what you're talking about. I am also a rather calm type and addicted to harmony somehow :rolleyes: I can't sleep when there's some conflict between me and one of my spice, so I would instantly talk about it, because if I wouldn't it would grow and make me more angry than the matter is usually worth it and I know it would become more and more difficult for me to address the issue. My spice, on the other hand, can spend days being angry at each other and this can drive me mad. I never take sides when they have conflicts (even if I think one of them has a point - usually their arguments are rather pointless to me though), because I don't want one of them to think there're two against him/her. But when there's this tension between them I feel it as well, of course. Then it's often hard for me to just stay cool. I know I don't need to act like everything is okay, but sometimes it really annoys me that I am affected so much by THEIR problems. Also I would often be the one left to care for the children, because he would eventually go sulking in a different room and she'd be so outraged about that that I don't dare to make it worse by not being constantly there to help her.

It's not always that bad, though :) and maybe sometimes it's good for them to have a voice of reason in the ear as well, because sometimes they (separately) come to me to complain about one another. Then mostly I just listen, but if I give a statement I always try to take a neutral point of view and show them reasons there might be for the way the other one acts. I don't know if it helps, but it's all I can do and all I WANT to do. I know I can't be the one solving their problems. And I don't want to make them MY problems as well.

RfromRMC 02-18-2011 01:54 PM

May, Thanks for your post! I really relate to what you say. When you say "it really annoys me that I am affected so much by THEIR problems"....it's like you read my mind! ;)
Sounds like a very similar dynamic for sure.

Ariakas 02-18-2011 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RfromRMC (Post 65456)
My two partners are both a tad stubborn from time to time, and have hot tempers. As you can imagine, there are arguments and fights. No huge thing...just typical in come pairings, except they take a bit of time to kiss & make up.

For those in similar situations, what's the good role of a third (or fourth, etc) partner?

To stay out of it and let the 2 of them go at it. If you get involved you invite potential resentment, mostly definitely stress on yourself etc. They are adults let them deal.

You leave yourself to other problems when you try to play mediator. If they really suck at arguing, during calm times, maybe talk to them about healthy ways to argue.

But in the moment... back off :).. if one of them tries to pull you in, leave.


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