Thread: Choices
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzzlefish View Post
Unsure of how to proceed, I feel as though I'm at one of the sharpest forks in the road I've ever come across in my life. My girlfriend of almost 8 months has expressed herself as being very monogamous and I've expressed strong feelings of polyamory, though I haven't made any action to persue these ideals. It has been a recurring topic of conflict in our relationship, though, more than anything, perhaps fuel for her underlying insecurities and fear of abandonment.
A recurring topic at eight months in? Ouch. That doesn't seem like very long, but then I'm a slowpoke when it comes to trust and intimacy.

Quote:
I have had thoughts of leaving the relationship many times but I'm unsure if it's simply a sense of attachment that is preventing me from moving forward to what I feel is an expression of my 'true nature' or if the strong bond and compatibility I experience with her warrants dropping the concept of polyamory and going with the flow with what is right in front of me at this very moment in time - but then is that simply inactivity?
Yes, you could well be so attached to her that you'd rather not pursue your other attractions. As humans, we are capable of a vast range of emotions and impulses, but we're also capable of choosing which ones we act on, except in certain cases of mental illness. Maybe we don't choose who we love, but we choose whether we screw them. And yes, if you are that attached, then you are perfectly within your rights to choose to be with this one woman for as long as it works.

That said, I've never felt that anyone else's desires ought to change who I am at bottom unless the choice to change is left to me. I talked about costs upthread. For me, the major social cost of being polyamorous, in a relationship I have no desire to end when I find myself attracted to someone else, is a shallower pool of potential partners. I was already picky. Now I may as well be on a quest for the Holy Grail. I accept this cost because I love my partner. If I stay with him, I recognise that I may never find a live-in primary sort of lover. If I leave him, I lose the second man who has ever understood me this thoroughly, who (unlike the first) loves me in return. I have that choice. He has told me over and over that I have it, that I'm not bound to him for life unless I want to be. Every time he tells me I have the choice, I tell him that I have chosen this.

Quote:
I'd like to add that the thoughts of leaving are not just related to the poly vs mono thing. As much love as she pours out of herself, she also pours out a lot of negativity. As much as I dislike labels, she has depression and borderline personality disorder. I try to refrain from judging as much as possible but even so, I often can't help but feel that I've just been drained mentally and emotionally after spending a while with her. Other times I feel uplifted and refreshed. It's a beautiful yet ugly rollercoaster.
I've been in her shoes, mental illness-wise. A lot of people left me. They were justified. I was hurting them. Once my head cleared enough to see it, I forgave them all. I couldn't help what I was doing; that didn't give me the right to do it. That gave my loved ones the right to tell me, "Cass, you don't see it, but you have to sort yourself out," and me a shot at putting things right. The people I did hurt and who did stay were... my parents. The other people I've kept from that time weren't in a position to get hurt, for whatever reason. I didn't lash out at them. They weren't part of my problem. They were somehow able to cope.

She may threaten to hurt herself if you leave. Take her at her word and dump her at the local ER for a night; it's not a long-term reason to change, but as a short-term deterrent, the ER is great! Also, if she means it, she's somewhere safe. You're not obligated to stay because she turns suicidal.

...you know, in case no therapist has ever mentioned this to you, or if you've never looked up her condition. I'll shut my trap now.
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