Originally Posted by rory
I'll need to try and be really concious about this, and stop it. I'm thinking that I should make an agreement with myself that:
1) whenever an emotion is expressed to me, I do my best not to react with anything but listening and sympathy, and allow my partner, and myself, feel whatever feelings there are.
2) If there are some excellent reasons in my head why that feeling shouldn't exist (and there pretty much always are), I will not express them in the same conversation. Maybe there should be a timeline, that I may not say them, unless asked, in at least 24 hours. I'm thinking that if my partner want's to discuss it rationally, I can say what I think, but I shouldn't offer my opinion before they have had enough time to feel the feeling..?
I made these decisions a while ago. Me and Alec haven't had these situations happen. With Mya, I haven't really kept to the second decision; or maybe our way of communicating is just so full of analysis that it would be wery strange for me to not express my thoughts. But I'm happy to say that I have been very conscious about this issue since: thus, I make sure that I'm not trying to change any feelings there may be, and I do express that also to Mya. I feel this has worked well for us.
I'll still have to see how these work with Alec. But it looks good because I've been so conscious now to avoid the tendency to fix.
Mya's coming the day after tomorrow! I'm really happy about that. I feel that since our talks we are in a really stable place. I mean, even more than before. People here talk about building foundations, that's a really good way to put it: that's what I feel we are doing.
Oh yeah, me and Mya also had an enlightening conversation about feelings of safety and uncertainty. It was interesting to discuss how differently we had interpreted recent developments, and what kind of feelings they were raising in both of us. As I have described in earlier posts, in the last few months, poly has become more concrete to Alec, and he has expressed some negative feelings about some aspects, and some needs and boundaries. Mya has been aware of these developments. For her, it has felt like we were in a really safe and stable place for the first ~5 months, and then there were suddengly steps backwards. It felt confusing and raised some uncertainty about her place in my life. I didn't know all this: I mean, even though she told me how she felt, I didn't realise the connection there until later.
For me, the same developments were, at the bottom of it, positive ones, and I had the opposite reaction: they made me feel more secure in the relationship. Before this, I had a (small but nagging) fear that when poly became more concrete, Alec would suddenly realise that he can't do poly after all, that it's not for him, and the whole thing would explode. But after we had the talks about our future and boundaries, I saw that poly had become concrete to him: that he had realised fully that life will never be the same again. (How dramatic.
) I mean, it signalled to me, that he had actually realised how much me having a girlfriend can and will affect his
life, and not just mine. So for me, the discussions made me feel safer.
It may be, that our feelings, mine and Mya's, about the stability and security in the relationship are now actually closer to each other than before. It's not that she feels "too much" insecurity now, but that for her there was an illusion of safety because everything seemed to bee so "perfect". Whereas it is actually the case that now there are more realistic expectations, and also more realistic picture of the potential needs and wants and capabilities of everybody involved. As in, now it looks like there probably will be some kind of (small or large) conflict at some point about something. Before it looked like everything was absolutely perfect, which unnerved me because nothing ever is. This is much better, because instead of it feeling perfect in an unrealistic way, it feels so damn good in a realistic way.