My apologies for the looong ass post. And all the rainbow color crazy. But it helps me keep track of points. Please bear with me. I am in no way minimizing your own struggle or pain here even though the rainbow stuff makes it appear kinda eyesore.
My intent is to try to give you constructive feedback. I sincerely hope things get to a happier space for all 4 people involved one way or another. I don't think any of you is bad people -- but I do think there is 4 people in a mess and struggling to get out of it.
- bold = "Serious Relationship Discussion over cel phone text" problems.
- purple = bumping into (John + Sarah) polyship tier privacy limits / behavior that bumps into this
- orange = lydia fear she is not primary / need to be primary / looking for primary reassure / behavior when in this mode
- red = how Lydia feels when she gets reassure from John / when John reassures
- green = John speaking to fear of losing Sarah / behavior when in this fearful mode
- blue = "John as hinge" related problems / behavior when in this "leaky hinge" mode
- magenta = Sarah & Mike stuff
John has texted me this afternoon that I'm his top priority. He says that it's been so hard for him to say that because he thought I'd just turn around and tell him to break up with Sarah, even though I've told him that wouldn't be the case. He says he's still not comfortable telling me what's going on in his relationship with Sarah (they're both purposefully keeping me in the dark these days), but that he won't let an outside force split us up. He believes he can be a committed and loving partner to me even with Sarah in our lives.
So, that is definitely something. I no longer feel like my whole world is ending. Just him saying that we are a priority to him makes such a difference to me. But it also shows me that he's still not confiding in me 100% (which is its own problem), but that's something we work on over time, hopefully during the break which will last 2 months.
Breathing has commenced.
= You could accept limitation of the media and STOP having Serious Relationship Discussion by cel phone text. Your relationships deserve a serious platform. Not the platform for "Don't forget the milk, hon!"
A large part of communication is the paraverbal. You won't get body language, tone of voice, immediate feedback, etc over cel phone text. Could consider making this a policy for YOU. You do not do serious romance relationship talk with John by text. You do not do serious best friendship/metamourship talk with Sarah by text. Face time best, then phone or email. Not text.
= Lydia bumping into tiership privacy. Possibly from orange
- orange = lydia fear she is not primary / need to be primary / looking for primary reassure
- blue = John as hinge problems
Could learn about and understand your polymath tiers.
Every "mini relationship" tier inside a larger polyship needs its own privacy and air time. It does not mean you are not primary if he does not share every little detail with you about his relationship with Sarah.
When he overshares
, even if he does it because you asked him to
... does it ADD to your emotional health stability or TAKE AWAY from your emotional health stability? To me it sounds like takes away from your emotional health and well being. So why ask for this? If all it does is feed your fear?
Is that what you want to feed? You find a balance to asking for what it yours to know and what is TMI and not your biz. He finds balance between appropriate telling/oversharing.
When you get reassure from John
, you notice you feel a LOT better. Could consider asking John for more of this
rather than asking for more of the other. It calls for you being super brave and letting go of the need to know everything on their tier and getting secure in your OWN tier with John. Identify what takes away from "secure" on your tier with John. John oversharing information you do not need to know is one of them.
Anything else? Could all players learn their polymath tiers better?
Could his fear of losing Sarah cause him to let you run right over his own privacy boundaries? Then you get yourself in emotional hot water. Could he get firmer with you to HELP YOU find emotional stable ground? Maybe you could ask him to get firmer with you and with himself.
Let's look at recent John hinge problem.
I won't list them ALL throughout your thread. But it's a running theme here. He's having to learn how to be a hinge on the fly. I still think he could start posting for support here himself -- or at some other poly forum. Nobody is going to judge him. He seems to need support though -- if he's leaking all over you and Sarah.
Why does John tell you Sarah is mad?
Meanwhile there's the friendship with Sarah. She hasn't really talked with me since I made it clear the break is happening. So I reached out to her and asked - what's up, John says you're mad at me, can you tell me why?
If Sarah is upset, she can come to you direct and own her upset herself.
John could could tell Sarah "If you are upset with Lydia, tell her direct if you want to resolve it. Do not tell me. Eliminate the middle man so there's no triangulation. And it is better for my emotional health anyway."
You could learn to tell John "Do not tell me things like that. Sarah can tell me direct. Do not put yourself in a position where you could be caught in crossfire. That is not tending to your own emotional health. "
John telling you hurtful things 2nd hand helps how? Avoid triangulation.
Later she texted me that she didn't know the Nov 4th day was ever really official, so there was nothing for her to back out of. I said - that's not what John told me. She said she's not John so that's not her problem. (my side note: actually it IS partially her problem. It is a TRIO problem if John is a leaky hinge. The Trio players may just not realize this yet about the Trio Communication Well Being.)
And that's when I caught her - I said so then since John had a week to prepare for this, you're not really mad about his needs not being met. You're mad about your own. Own up to it. And to that she had nothing to say.
You did a good thing trying to seek the clarify from Sarah. Did you guys ALSO clarify with John? Again, avoid triangulation.
Here you gave her no "how to" for betterment. You let your need to be top dog in the [(John + Lydia) to Sarah] tier of polyship get you in defensive mode. Was John here in this conversation? No. You are talking about
John, but he's not here. Who is here? The (Sarah +Lydia+ tier. How was your behavior helping to cultivate the friendly metamourship you claim you want? It wasn't.
Could learn to focus on what tier you are on in what moment.
Could learn to tell Sarah
"Look, I came to you because John told me you were mad. I prefer you come to me direct if you are mad at me. I don't want to add to the with he-said-she-said stuff. Let's agree to go direct.
I see the break thing also upset you. It is not my fault that John did not give you enough notice that a break for our marriage repair was needed. My marriage also needs air time and tending. Every marriage does. Should I have told you direct on that too? So you got 2 directs on the need for our marriage to repair?
We could talk to John together. Clear up this miscommunication thing so it does not happen again. I want to work with you so we are in good metamourship - not adversaries."
That tells her how to solve her yucky next time and park it at the right door next time -- come to you direct, don't heap john hinge issues on to you.
= John as hinge problems.
He is the Shared Sweetie. (even if temporarily). He overshares in your direction. He could stop doing this, and you could stop putting him in a position where he is tempted to overshare because you ask for information that is not your right to have.
You could tell him "Hey, I'm learning too. If I intrude on the poly tiership of John/Sarah privacy, tell me I'm stepping over the line. But then reassure me that you love me and I am primary so I can relax about it. I want to learn to give you privacy without having a cow."On the Sarah side, he doesn't share enough!
He did not tell her about the Nov 4 break? Even you noted he then had a week to get used to it and she did not! You guys ended up sniping at each other when really? Problem is John not communicating as hinge well.
He could tell Sarah:
"Look, we all need a time out. You need space to sort things with Mike. I need space to sort things with Lydia. So let's have a face time break to do that in and have a checkpoint on _____ in 2 mos. In the meanwhile, we can have unlimited cel phone text. It's worth a short 2 mos break right? If it can help lead to harmonious polyship? "