What if you can’t STOP communicating and your partner is exhausted?
So, I’ve never been shy about talking about how things make me feel, before or since nonmonogamy. And my partner is an excellent listener, and is very good at reassuring me, for the most part. Any time I’ve been in crisis over a relationship of ours, we’ve worked past it.
But we had a serious dramafest around a new secondary for the past month and a half. It was all due to my fears, and some pacing, lying, and slight cheating issues on her end (I’ve posted separately about it here
, but the details are irrelevant to this particular question). My primary found herself at a point where listening to and reassuring me became a huge challenge of patience and her own overall sanity/security. It directly impacted, if not temporarily destroyed, any enjoyment we were gleaning from our own relationship. We were talking about it every day, every night, for weeks on end (I was even waking up at 4, 5am in utter panic, waking her up to help me through it), to the point that she was no longer humanly capable of maintaining her patience, and we didn’t feel like much was left of what used to be a near-fairy tale relationship. And whenever she lost her patience, my fears grew exponentially.
It ended last week, when I reached out to my metamor in a fit of panic, told her I was freaking out, was overwhelmed, and in grave fear of losing my primary. This woman had only the best, kindest intentions, and was only interested in a casual relationship, so she was pretty surprised things had escalated so fast over something she didn’t consider serious. She decided to bow out and stop seeing my primary, which was a huge relief for me, and is helping me heal. Unfortunately, it is a new source of pain and suffering for my already exhausted primary (and not a good look to my metamor). My primary did make mistakes, which triggered me, and then she paid for it dearly with all of my “processing,” and she’s now left with zero support from me to mourn the ended relationship, and a whole pile of work ahead to rebuild my trust if she ever wants to have another one.
This sort of thing is bound happen again, should she find a new secondary interest. We did seek counseling but are unable to afford to maintain the cost. During the one session we had, our therapist pointed out that when I’m triggered, it’s deeper than words, so often we reach a point where verbal communication is no longer effective. But whenever I held it in, it would come out sideways in some pretty damaging ways. I literally NEEDED to talk about what was happening because I was constantly alarmed and it was affecting work, my health, my primary, our relationship, my home, my social life, everything.
So what do you do when your partner has tried everything to console you and you’re still totally gone? What do you do when it’s not fair to veto, because the third party is willing to cooperate, but you’re struggling so hard you can’t stand their relationship at all?
What do I do next time, when I start to panic, that changes this new experience from a world/relationship-ending one to a place from which to grow our poly experience in new and rewarding ways? We are also new to the city, so spending time with “close” friends isn’t an option given our geography, so that has been a challenge.
Opening Up says, when your partner is out with someone and you’re struggling with your own insecurities, to tell that voice in your head to just “buzz off.” HOW do you do that when your rational brain is no longer in charge? Or when your rational brain is totally present, but your body is on a state of panic? Was this a function of the relationship growing too fast (which I assume)? Or is this a point when I need to realize I can’t handle my primary having other partners? Until now, we’ve dated other women together, and together only. I feel like just because I couldn’t handle this the first time, it’s too early to call it poly-quits. I have separate dating interests, but it’s not a pressing need of mine like it is for her, and she’s expressed that even though this one has ended, she does want to be able to sleep with different people in the future, without me present. And where I’m at right now, that idea turns my stomach! Since we’ve slept with people together and I was fine (struggles were had, but they were nothing compared to this), I didn’t think it would bug me this much until it became a reality. So it’s going to come up again, whether I like it or not, and I need to find some peace, somehow, before I’m faced with it again, so I don’t make a habit of ruining her relationships.
I know it’ll take a lot of internal work on my part, but if anyone has pointers on this, I’d appreciate it. Thanks all!!