Thread: Hinge work
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:48 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
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Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
Isn't the emotion of guilt install in us as part of a guidance to discourage us from doing wrong. The main component in having a moral compass. The solution to this seems simple.....
A. Don't do or say things that you feel are wrong.

B. Under new dynamic articulate what new expectations and mindset are and how they deviate from the societal norm.

C. Relates to B. during times of struggle for hubs or partner remind him that his reaction are based on his expectations and possible societal programing and that you did nothing wrong or unethical ........provided that didn't do anything wrong or unethical.

D. grow thicker skin learn to witness his pain and not be affected. Similar to a behavioral modification technique that one might employ for jealousy. Desensitize yourself from it.
One definition of GUILT
: feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one's behavior <aggressive responses originating in inner guilt and uncertainty>

Nope 95% of the time when I feel guilty in a relationship it's not because I did something wrong, and it has nothing to do with a moral compass. In poly for me it comes down, as Mya said, to feeling "greedy" for having so much joy and happiness compared to others, or worrying about juggling time and meeting everyone's needs and desires.

My husband Adam is so easygoing that I feel guilt sometimes because I can't believe somebody is so easygoing and not bothered by things that would bother me - that means I'm checking in all the time trying to make sure he has chances to voice if he feels I'm asking for or taking too much. He might say something bothers him 1/50 times I ask, which instead of putting my mind at ease, makes me worry more that if I don't keep checking in I might miss him being bothered by something. Ridiculous, when if something was worth talking about, he would bring it up.

I feel pre-guilt about getting involved with a third person, even though we have agreements that make sure we have time for dates and errands together. We discussed both being interested seeing more than one other person when we started dating again, so there's no reason at all to feel bad. Adam just likes it when I'm around the house when he's home, so as he's not dating anybody right now, it just lends itself to it being more stressful being a hinge. It's not uncommon for women to feel guilty even when they are bending over backwards to try to make everybody happy. I tend to see men feel guilty about other relationship aspects - when Adam was seeing two other people and I wasn't dating, as long as we had our own date nights scheduled I don't think it would've occurred to him at all to feel guilt for being out, unless I complained.

I operate like Rory about not taking blame for others feelings, or poly would be too hard, as there are so many opportunities to feel guilt, fear, inadequacy, etc. Years ago I read and really accepted that how I feel is how I make myself feel, it's not my partner's fault. (Exceptions exist of course if somebody broke an agreement.) Conversely if a partner feels bad and tries to blame me for making them feel that way the first thing out of my mouth is "Nope, it's not me making you feel that". I work hard on owning my own feelings, and refuse to let somebody put responsibility for their feelings on me. I try very hard to express myself as "I feel X because of Y", especially when saying "You're making me feel X because you did Y" would cause stress for the hinge. I won't blame Adam that I was lonely because he was on dates two nights in a row, instead I'll say I was lonely and ask that we do something nice together. Last thing I want either of us to do is encourage the other to feel bad for having other relationships, it's a disservice to all partners to let that happen.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
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