Partner is out on their first poly date . . .
I should probably start by sayig that my partner and I are in a mono/poly relationship (myself being the mono). We had a really rough introduction into poly that ended in a lot of hurt emotions for everyone involved. It's been a few months since that gong show and my partner K has grown a lot since then. At the onset he wasn't sure what he actually wanted from poly, he only knew that he was inloved with me and a former fling of his, S. Anyway, he had a hard time figuring out that he did not want co-primaries, he wanted her as a secondary, and I had a hard time overcoming some of my deeper insecurities. Still working on most of those but I'm finished my final semester at Uni now so having that stress removed has really helped.
After we had our last major blowup K and I remained a couple, he informed S that for as much as he wanted to be in a relationship with her, I was the "partner" in whatever sense you choose to take that and he would stay with me. We spent the next few months just talking about poly, learning as much as we could, and growing closer together. K and I have come out of it so much stronger as a couple. He still wants to be with S, and now I feel a lot more settled in letting that happen. The compresion isn't there yet, not even close, but I don't question his love for me anymore.
They're having their first date for a few months today, just meeting up to talk. I've spent most of the day preoccuping myself with other things and I know that he'll be really happy the mext time I see him, which does make me happy, but I'm just feeling . . . Off
I don't even know how to properly describe what it is I'm feeling.
What I'm actually trying to get at with this massive text wall is just to ask how other people (especially deal with other monos) deal with their partner starting to see a new person and handling the NRE.
I'm pretty new at this myself (I'm mono. Husband isn't). My partner and his girlfriend are spending an entire 4 days alone for the first time. The first day I felt like I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was having a panic attack and I just wanted to crawl into a ball and instantaneously die. The pain was excruciating and I didn't know if I would make it until morning. I did make it though and I've been busying myself with things I ordinarily wouldn't do had he been home. I went with friends for coffee, scheduled and had an hour long massage at our fitness club, went window shopping, bought make-up at the mall - and that was just all today! I guess I'll try to see what other trouble I can get into on Friday and Saturday. I'm just trying to keep my mind occupied on other things and it seems to becoming a bit easier for me so far! I don't want to speak too soon. I still have two more days after today without him. Just try to stay busy and draw strength from the love you know he has for you
TF - Me! Married to R for 21 yrs, been together 24 yrs (primary)
R - TF's husband and CG's boyfriend
CG - TF's closest friend, R's girlfriend of 5 months (co-primary)
Thanks for the reply C: I'm glad to hear you're doing better after the first day! I ended up doing downtown today and spending time along the ocean there, which I haven't done since a friend moved. It was actually really nice. I tried making plans with a friend but she statts a new job tomorrow and was too busy; she knows about the situation though so just having her aware was really helpful.
I can definitely get this "off" feeling. I myself, as a mono, feel disconnected from my relationship whenever i know or think my partner is with someone else (i like to give space and privacy to him, so i don't always know where he is). He always returns very happy to me and i enjoy that, but a hint of pain remains there. I think it helps to focus on the good things out of this situation, like your good relationship with him rather than his other relationship, and the nice time you can have when he is feeling happy.
I don't really have a more valid advice as i'm very new to this myself. Talking with other newbie struggling monos seems like a relief thought!:)
I'm quite new to this too and recognise the 'off' feeling only too well! The way we've handled it is to have some quite firm arrangements about the time leading up to my husband Astraeus's date with his lover Daedalea, and afterwards. He usually sees her every week for dinner on the day he's working in her city. He phones me after he leaves work and while he's walking to her place, which gives me the chance to hear his voice, and for him to reassure me of how much he loves me and is looking forward to being home with me later. He says goodnight to our son too then, and then after he rings off, I go into a sort of 'cocoon' mode where I busy myself with our son, doing all the usual 'evening zoo' stuff (homework, dinner, bath, bedtime).
Once all that's done, there are usually only two hours or so before I know he will be heading home (he catches the train, so it's always at the same time). He always phones me as he's walking to the station so I can hear his voice again, hear him looking forward to seeing me, and we can reconnect. I usually ask if he's had a nice evening with Daedalea, but we don't generally talk in any detail about what they did until he comes home (it's a nearly two hour commute, damnit). When he walks in, we always give each other a huge hug and tell each other how much we love each other, and then we usually sit for a little while on the couch and talk about his date before going to bed. The amount and detail of the conversation depends largely on how I'm feeling - Astraeus is open about everything and I can ask him anything I like, up to what I'm comfortable with hearing about.
As I said, we are quite new to this. Our 'arrangement' has been officially in place since late November - before that it was much more chaotic and therefore painful, so we decided to make an actual written agreement about how/what/when etc., and that has really helped. I am gradually getting better at handling my difficult feelings, and have also been experiencing some compersion brought about by being able to see how much joy Astraeus and Daedalea bring each other. Daedalea also spends a lot of time with us together, so we have had the opportunity to become very close which has also helped.
I guess, in a long-winded way, I'm saying that what worked for me was:
1. having good arrangements and boundaries, which help me to feel safe, valued and loved;
2. taking things a step at a time - trying to not take huge steps that cause too much pain, but also making sure to keep moving forwards.
3. having a relationship with Daedalea that keeps her real to me (as opposed to 'shadowy other woman')
4. taking an active interest in Astraeus and Daedalea's relationship.
So far, so good? :)
#3 I have not met my bf's new interest... it might help, I am sure it will, if they establish an ongoing relationship. But, I havent met her yet and she does feel like a threatening shadow.
#4 How active?
Hey all, I thought I should give an update on how things went. After the date K had to work so he ended up having the whole day to myself. When I made this post I was feeling really rough but then I started to read all of your replies and it made me feel a lot less lonely. I decided it was time to take a "me" night and treated myself to an at home spa night/dance party/workout. It was actually a lot of fun!
I was feeling up to seeing K again by the time he got to his house so I went over for a late dinner. I'm really glad I did because I got to experience how happy he was to see me! Him and S talked and decided that they were going to try and see each other every two weeks, which I really think I can handle. I know that's what K wants but I can't say for sure about S. We were starting to become friends before the topic of poly ever arose so I know how much she likes K and I can't help but feel she's going to push for more. It's her prerogative to do so, even if I'm not comfortable with it.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell everyone who's struggling that even the worst days can be handled. The only advice I can give is to take the day(s) and make it about YOU because ultimately you are responsible for your own happiness C:
#2 It's a bit hard to specify what a comfortable small step means, because everyone has different expectations/experiences of what constitutes a challenge. The idea I got from talking/reading about it was that a new step should push a boundary a little bit further than before, so for me that was things like agreeing to Astraeus going on a date with Daedalea without him having to message me during the evening. Prior to that, he'd always had to message me a couple of times, and then I realised that wasn't much fun for him, because he'd have to keep checking what time it was and whether it was time to message me. Also, it was keeping me 'small' so to speak, so when we did our agreement up, that was the moment I said, okay no more interruptions from me during a date unless it's an emergency. It was challenging at first, of course, but it wasn't agonising or anything, and I'm totally okay with it now.
An example of a step that was too big and painful was pretty much the only major mistake we've made so far - Astraeus misinterpreted something I said about not wanting to know details of what they did, and he took a fairly major relationship step with Daedalea without discussing it with me first, which was horribly painful for me and thus horrible for him and Daedalea too, what with all the emotional fall-out. That was actually what precipitated the agreement being formulated, because we were starting to step all over each other's toes just because no one was really clear on what the boundaries were.
#3 If you do get the chance to meet your bf's new interest, I highly recommend it. I can't tell you how much it's helped me to get to know Daedalea - on the one hand because I can see from both sides what she and Astraeus bring to each other's lives, which makes all the difficult moments meaningful and worthwhile, and on the other hand because we can talk to each other, share our feelings about things (both good and bad) and help each other to discharge any fears we might have about each other. I was always afraid that she would 'steal' Astraeus away from me, for example - getting to know her showed me that she was not that kind of person at all, and she was also able to tell me that she wasn't going to do that, which was a bonus.
Even if you and your metamour (am I using that word correctly?) don't become best mates or anything, I think it's nice to see each other at least once, so you are real to each other.
#4 - Taking an active interest in Astraeus & Daedalea's relationship means to me that I ask them both how they're doing, how they're enjoying spending their time together, the things that they like about each other ... that sort of thing. When Astraeus comes home from seeing Daedalea, I ask him whether he had a nice time and what sort of things they did or talked about, just as I would if he was returning from spending some time with a friend. They write together a lot, so I like hearing about what they're working on (and I get to read along and give feedback, which is a nice way to be involved :D ). We have a communal chat area on Facebook where we all talk to each other every day about whatever's going on in our lives, about how we're feeling, or about whatever issue we might need to discuss that we can't in person for whatever reason. Basically - we are constantly in touch with each other, both in the context of Astraeus and Daedalea's relationship, mine and Daedalea's friendship, and the three of us as a ... well it's not a triad, but it's closer than a vee.
Man, I *do* ramble on (Astraeus is taking Daedalea to the train station after she spent the night and day with us, so I have to do something while I'm waiting :D ).
I hope this helps though! Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.
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