hurry up and feel better, already
Hi guys, I could use some help and I'll try to keep it as short as possible. I've hit a brick wall with my GF and I'm at a loss. GF is feeling frustrated and impatient, because she feels that I will never be happy whilst she's dating other people. She said this frustration makes her feel like a failure, like she's doing something wrong. She expressed this with tears and shouting, then coldness, over the past couple of days. She has basically told me that she needs to know when I'm going to feel ok about her new lover - she needs a time frame.
I'll be honest and admit that I have had some sort of struggle with every lover she's had. Sometimes it's been tiny or very brief. Sometimes it's been big and long term. She says she hasn't ever struggled as much as I do. At the same time, I've felt genuine compersion for each and every situation. I've never vetoed and don't believe in it. I had a very big insecurity about her main, online, lover, that has only started to dissolve during the last 6 months. It has dissolved because I've learned more about poly, become stronger, she's also grown, we've become closer and she's started to balance her time more effectively. However, all she sees is that they have been slowly drifting apart over the past 6-or-so months. She thinks that I'm only comfortable with him now because they are cooling off and she won't hear anything to the contrary.
She applies my struggle with him to every new situation. She also applies my feelings towards past lovers to every new situation. I've only been poly for two years (20 months, actually). So has she. This summer, we hit a turning point in our relationship. She accepted her bisexuality completely and this had a huge impact on my security. I felt at peace - it was wonderful. She didn't go on any dates during the summer, over the three months that I was living with her. Unfortunately... because troubles are now cropping up.... she thinks that I was only feeling peaceful because she wasn't dating.... and this lack of appreciation for my own strength and development is leaving me.... well, quite angry, to be honest.
So, after this wonderful, peaceful period of being with her, I went back to the UK. That was four weeks ago. She's been dating her new lover for about 2-3 weeks. She first met him a year ago and since then, they've been tiringly back and forth. They first kissed 7 months ago, then he left the State. She spent the summer I was living with her getting to know him online/phone, whilst trying to make me comfortable with it, so that she could happily date him when I flew back home to the UK. In her mind, I should be fine by now, after this amount of time and our extensive conversations over the summer. In my mind, they weren't an item until three weeks ago. In fact, up until minutes before her first recent date with him, she wanted to cancel and spent an hour on the phone to me, bitching him out. 9 hours later, she dropped him home after their date and called me to tell me how amazing he is. To me, that's not a lot of time for me to get used to something, and she just doesn't get that at all. All she sees is that I've struggled, in some way, with every new date of hers, and she doesn't know what to do about it.
So, we had a conversation. She said she's out of ideas. She's tried everything she can think of. I started to tell her about a couple of small things that could have been played differently to increase my comfort, but she immediately refuted them. So, I closed down. I told her that I did have a couple of small things on my mind that might help her and to just ask me in the future if she wants them. To this, she said that we have to be careful not to micromanage each other and that I need to learn to let go of the small stuff. I said, then, that all I need is time, patience and understanding. To this, she said "how much more time??? I can't do this much longer and I've lost my patience. I also don't understand, because he has never done anything bad to you." And that brings me to where I am now. The peaceful, secure feeling I had in the summer has gone. I no longer feel surrounded by patience and love. I'm completely stuck. How can I put a time frame on my emotions? What is a reasonable time frame? And, to be honest, is it a bad sign that I do struggle somewhat with each new person? This is all really making me wonder whether poly is the right path for me.
me: female, 29
GF: my primary girlfriend, 39
3 year, open poly V, long distance