holiday heart break
I'm a new poster, long time lurker. I wanted to ask ya'lls thoughts on this situation I'm in, as it's hard to tell what is what with all of these emotions I'm feeling.
Here's the long story:
I'm in a long distance relationship with J. J has been in a live in partnership with M for three or so years and M recently broke up with J (their relationship has been quite tumultuous the past year and a half or so) M still refers to J as her life partner and best friend, and sex hasn't been part of their relationship for a year and a half. J really loves M and did not want to break up.
I live states away from them both. J and I have been dating about a year and have recently been seeing each other quite often. I will be moving to the same area as him within the year. We are very close and talk about committing long term to one another. I get pregnant accidentally, and come home for the holidays and have an abortion.
It was a very emotional decision and I'm still having a hard time three weeks later, especially with Depression. J wasn't there for the procedure, because we weren't sure it was going to happen the day that it did my being so early. two things that really hurt me during this time: he did not return my phone calls for two days after i found out i was pregnant, nor the day after the procedure (though he was on the phone with me all day the day it happened). He historically has poor phone communication and claims to be so focused on whats in front of him he forgets to call. it then took him a week to get here from out of state because he had to work on his car...he wanted his car here. i felt as though he were taking his time when i made it clear I really needed him as soon as possible.
we later discussed and agreed that he should have gotten on a plane immediately. we both feel very badly about it.
before I got pregnant, he had plans to spend the holidays in my town with M's family, and M had requested he spend most of his time with her... i was going to see him towards the tail of his trip for some days. I didn't feel good about this because we were supposedly non hierarchical and i wanted the time to be split in a balanced way. especially during the holidays and and especially when you are visiting the town that I live and we are in a LDR. We never had time to discuss it because all of this stuff happened.
After getting pregnant, I tell him I need his support physically and therefor need more time with him. i tell him i want balanced time (we each get a week) plus some extra days. he changes his plans to road trip back home with M (reluctantly at first, but then claims hes excited to spend the time with me) so that he can spend new years with me and time before he leaves.
J comes down to spend a week with me. then we agree he will spend a week with M and her family, during christmas. and then on a specific day (this sunday) he would come back to me for four days before taking off. we had a agreed on sunday being the day he'd return to my place. before leaving to spend the holidays with M, he was saying all sorts of stuff like oh i dont know why i'm going to see her, I'm just trying to follow through what what i said I was going to do, i'm excited to come back to you, etc etc.
last night we spoke on the phone. they of course had a very cute holiday as a family together and M and J are having a really great time and lots of jealous feelings come up for me. we talk about the day he's coming and he says he wants more time and flexibility with the scheduling... he wants more time, an extra day (so coming to see me monday night) with M and her family. I FLIP OUT because i made it clear i needed to have a firm idea of what the schedule was during this sensitive time, and we had a agreed he would come on that specific day. (he says he agreed to that in a very charged conversation and if he had had more time to think about it, he would have asked for more time originially). we only have four short days together and i wont see him for another two months. after an emotional conversation he says he will come on the day we agreed upon. but it hurts so much to know he wants to prioritize rekindling intimacy with his ex partner and her family over supporting me physically during this very hard time we BOTH got ourselves into. also they FREAKIN LIVE TOGETHER (though M leads a very busy life and doesn't have a lot of free time off work.. but why should i suffer in this vulnerable time for their lack of making quality time in their life?)
even if its just a day, that means less time with me, and not honoring the time he committed to. am i overreacting over a day? I also don't want to feel like I'm emotionally forcing him him/manipulating him to spend time with me when his desires lie elsewhere... if he did what his heart knew was right then I would know whether or not I needed to bow out of the relationship. But now he's begrudgingly agreeing to come see me as originally agreed and i feel like the emotional bad guy.
I feel very vulnerable right now and i guess i feel like I want to be with someone who would prioritize me in an emergency like this, especially when I'm a girlfriend who lives far away. It feels hard knowing he's spending half of his time with his ex partner rekindling their intimacy during this very limited time that he's in my area. would it have been unreasonable to request that he just spend a few days with her? am I unreasonable to want him mostly to myself during this time? (I"m not usually this needy around time.. i'm very okay with time being balanced under normal circumstances)
Though I support his relationship with M, we also have a very rocky history working out our dynamic, and the idea that they may be rekindling romance is triggering because there has been loads of drama and bad communication. so ... even more to feel vulnerable about.
i know this is long, thanks so much for reading. And would appreciate so much any advice on this heartbreaking matter.
Actions speak louder than words...
J has shown you exactly what you mean to him. Your wants and needs come second to M.
I'm sorry for your struggle.
Please keep in mind-that your body does go back through the process of hormonal change (backwards) that it goes through when you get pregnant. These hormone fluctuations OFTEN cause depression and other effects that we don't think of as being "physical". We consider them psychological, but they are CAUSED by a physical change (hormone reductions).
So in addition to the regular stress of holidays, problematic planning issues in a relationship, poly drama etc;
you have a physical issue that is going on which will create depression and anxiety issues.
Right wrong or otherwise; he's not taking care of you. You can't change him. You can try to express to him what you need; but if he doesn't choose to step up to the plate, you can't make him.
You should go talk to the doctor about your mood. It's NORMAL, but you should be sure that you track it with your doctor. I went through a severe depression that lasted 2 years after an abortion (one I absolutely don't regret) because my hormones didn't adjust properly. I thought it was "just in my head" and I didn't go talk to the doctor. When I finally did; I found out it was something we could have dealt with and avoided 2 years of misery. In the years since, I've had a child and found I have this problem with every pregnancy.
At any rate; your frustration is reasonable, your hurt is reasonable. Your depression is reasonable-but keep an eye on it, it should start to taper off; if it doesn't you want to get help from the doctor for that.
You can't make him change. But you can take care of you. If you are feeling vulnerable and needing more support and he's not stepping up to the plate; ask a friend to be more supportive while you work through this.
I'm really sorry that this has happened to you and that you feel alone when you really need support. I have been through the procedure too and I know how upsetting it is, even when the reasons for termination are reasonable ones. I was "alone" too, although I had good friends around to help.
This is really long so if you want just skip to the list at the bottom :)
I think you need to deal with the fallout from the termination first and get through the hormonal ups and downs because while your body is readjusting you shouldn't try to handle anything else that is emotionally exhausting. This can take a while - certainly at least a month. When your body has recovered, you can make better decisions that aren't hormonally driven.
Having said that, I have a couple of observations. I have learned (mainly through trolling the poly forums, lol) that most relationships do break into two categories: primary, and non-primary in different degrees. I also learned that these labels shift over time, with people moving from, say, co-primary to secondary to friends, then back again over time, the point of poly being that when you have a connection with someone, you maintain that connection however it manifests in terms of a relationship. Sometimes one relationship requires more attention because of what is going on with either that partner or the relationship itself. That should be okay with everyone involved.
Poly is not something that can be said to have "rules" per se, but if there is one, I think it is that communication is essential. Communicating what is happening in one relationship that can impact upon other ones, for example. Explaining to his wife that you need him because of what you just went through, for example. She may not like it, she may hate it, but if she chooses to remain in a poly relationship (and she is in one, even though she sounds mono, because her husband is poly) then she has to respect basic principles of compersion - or even human compassion. It sounds like she doesn't. That is going to be a problem going forward.
So, in a nutshell:
1) Take a month to recuperate from the termination. Be kind to yourself. Do things you enjoy doing. See friends and family. Go to counseling for help.
2) Act, don't react with your relationship. Proactively tell him that YOU need some space to recover physically and think about what you want emotionally. This gives him time to "reconnect" with his wife - all the time he wants, because he cannot come running to you when he is not happy there. He will have to stay and work it out.
3) A new year is about to start - there is something to be said for eliminating things that make you unhappy before it gets underway.
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