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Old 10-14-2011, 10:31 PM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
But as soon as we started arguing about the rules, everything went to shit...
How long have you two been together, and how long ago you decided to embark on poly? I thought that yeah, why not give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this is some individualization on her part going absolutely hay-wire. Why not step back and see what emerges after the dust has settled?

If you end up having the same discussion over and over again, settle a time and space and a specific duration for poly talks, and at other times focus on doing something together, like going to the movies, for walks, I dunno. Try out something you have wanted to test for a long time.

On some level, you will have to start dis-identifying with this relationship. She needs to deal with her own shit. You don't need to be together, if that is detrimental to your respective healths. Invest less emotionally and start treating it as a more casual thing. It's clearly not the time to move in nor get married, so why commit so heavily to someone who is willing to commit so little to you?

Why not drop the whole primary thing from your vocabulary. Tell her that from now on, you consider the two of you to be friends with occasional, safe-sex benefits, that she is free to do her own thing but this means that she won't be able to count on you being there and supporting her to the same degree a primary partner would. Focus on what's keeping you busy and date others, casually, just to get some positive experiences of people who appreciate your vibe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
BlackUnicorn: You said, "instead of coping with the now the talks focus on identifying past trauma"--is that bad? I thought figuring out why someone acts the way they do was the only thing that could happen before they developed coping.
Sure, if they develop coping. As Freud himself put it, the goal of his brand of therapy was not to cure misery but to transform unconscious misery to conscious misery. Simply realizing why you feel so effed up does nothing to actually better your situation. That's why cognitive-behavioral therapy is all the craze nowadays, with it's focus on identifying AND transforming dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors. The problem with these is though that you need to accept that there is something wrong with your actions to want to change them in the first place.

Talk-therapy that focuses on past trauma actually requires the patients to be able to think coherently and to deal with not small amount of distress. That's why being on medication is a requirement up here, if you want the gov to subsidize your psychotherapy. Traditional psycho-dynamically influenced therapy has actually been shown to worsen the condition of people suffering from severe mental health issues, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or PD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
"One of the sure warning signs of PD is that the person is feeling reasonably fine whereas people around them are exhausted, depressed, afraid and avoidant." The things is, she is well loved by everyone! She's almost TOO attractive--mono couples end up agreeing to mess with her and then regret it once boundaries blur. She seems to fit the profile of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but then again my envy of /abandonment by her shows that I fit Borderline Personality Disorder in at least four or five ways--not a diagnosis, but at least sufficient reason NOT to pathologize either one of us--I will have to leave that to the professionals.
But everyone thinks you are such a happy couple, right? A person can be perceived as attractive and charming, but this does not mean people close to them are really feeling well about themselves.

Smart cracks aside, you are very right in that we maybe pathologize simple bad behaviour way too much and thus promote a world view where people don't really have to own up to their stuff because they're sick. (And as my shrink just recently pointed out, even professionals have a tough job nowadays to sort out the mad, bad and sad from each other). PD is sort of a in vogue diagnosis these days, as ADHD and bi-polar used to be, in that people with very little to no training diagnose themselves and their loved ones with it all the time and attribute all their behavior to it. Even if she has PD, doesn't mean she and you could not work it out eventually. The problem is not the possible reason behind her actions but the actions THEMSELVES. It is those you must address and decide how many shit-loads you can still take.
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