focus on what IS. [/I]
I see that you don't want her to feel yucky. But she DOES feel yucky and needs aid to solve it.
She cannot solve it alone. She turns to her partner(s) for aid at the event and says she feels uncomfortable and all eyes are on her.
When she first brought up discomfort, did anyone offer her opportunity to bail? It doesn't sounds like it. (What if she said she felt pukey from eating something. Would you guys have given her opportunity to bail then?)
I hope I'm quoting this right...I'm not altogether familiar with this forum yet. First I would like to thank you for responding. Secondly, I would like to apologize for the fact that while trying to be concise I have left out a bunch of details that could have been helpful to you. So...We have had many outings that have been successful. I'm not sure what it was that caused this one to be difficult for her. I did offer to leave when she finally told me she was having a hard time. She wouldn't go. B had been trying to leave prior to that too (he's a party pooper and isn't used to being up so late lol). Prior to S having her feelings of discomfort, S and I were doing our darndest to keep him up and out past his bedtime. So, I said "this is turning out to be difficult for you, why don't we go?" and she just didn't want to. She said "I don't want to go home. I want to have a nice night." but she couldn't seem to get control of what was going on in her head. We went out to a sitting area where we talked and I asked if she was able to "park" these feelings somewhere safe until it was a better time for us to address them but she had some trouble with that. I think where I went wrong was that after spending time with her, talking with her, and trying to help, my help wasn't...eh..helping. I saw her continuing to spiral and nothing I said seemed to affect it. It was as if the more I said the worse it got.
Another thing I haven't mentioned is *my issue. I tend to (and have done this throughout much of our relationship and other platonic, familial, and romantic relationships) try to fix everything. I hear that someone is having trouble and I will go above and beyond to make it better. Even if that means sacrificing my own comfort and feelings. It's something I have been working on fixing and part of it is forcing the people in my life to deal with their own emotions without me taking blame for them or making them my own. I fell off the wagon that night. I absorbed the negative feelings and allowed them to cause a domino affect with my emotions.
So, I did tend to her feelings. Its just that she has to have some responsibility for her feelings and emotions too. I don't mind discussing worries and fears. There's a time and place to do it. When she realized that she wasn't able to 'park' her feelings somewhere until later, I just wish she would have allowed me to take her home so we could deal with them privately. That's not to say that we were not discreet, we just weren't laughing and dancing like everyone else.
When she tried again
to tell you she felt yucky... how did you respond?
That could be interpreted by a hurting person like you are telling her what
to feel and when
to feel it. Deer in the headlights time.
So she felt yucky, tried to get your attention for help (points for trying to flag you down even if not transmitting clearly enough), gets no aid from you, sees you are frustrated in dealing with it and not having fun when you want to be having fun, and that adds to her insecure bucket because she's not producing what you want (her to not feel what she feels) when you want it (now). AND if she ever dares to feel that way again, she can expect similar treatment because you don't want to deal in her.
Could you see how words like that could lead to spiraling feelings of yucky in her shoes when she's wearing "ugh" glasses? Like she's not enough or inadequate somehow?
[*]Wasn't she brave in going there at all? Does she not get points for trying? Even though it cause yucky feelings to well up later? You could tell her so to help reassure and feed her secure bucket.
This was a situation that I felt would be more difficult for my husband. He was the one who didn't know anyone, and was coming in from outside. S and I work with a bunch of these people, she actually has known them longer since she's worked there years longer than I have. So, this was potentially a difficult and challenging situation for any one of us.
[*]You could focus on HER need to be free of yucky and ask her -- "Honey, I see you are upset. How can I best help you? Do you need to go home? " Rather than on your WANT to have a good time. Need trumps want.
Yes. This is right. I know that need trumps want...I wasn't clear about this. I felt disappointed. I felt that she hadn't done *her part of dealing with her feelings by refusing to leave prior to the 'breaking point'
[*]You could apologize for allowing your own disappointment cloud you to the fact that she needed support. You could feed her secure bucket by telling you KNOW this was hard, and you appreciate she held out that long and nect time you could all agree on a time limit. Or a secret signal safeword that she's full and needs to bail.[/LIST]
Bit by bit with more practice outings she could get more comfortable and stop feeling like all eyes are on her. But not if every outing leads to kerfuffle with you when she shares her Vulnerable. That just adds to "Ack!"
You have a baby polyship there. If you took the baby to church and baby started to cry in upset, would you tell baby to get over it because you want to have a good time or would to take baby to pace in the hall or home entirely? Then next time try sitting in a different place, or only stay for 10 min, and next time try for 15 min to help baby acclimate? Maybe viewing the polyship that way could help you remember to be kinder to your partner?
Your partner is an adult, but the polyship
is baby age. Could be kinder to "the baby." Maybe thinking of like that could lessen your frustration with her?
I hear you, and I appreciate your suggestions. I'm having some trouble with the baby analogy. I'm no pro at the polyship either. I'm learning as well. I need to feel like it's not all my job to make sure she is fine and she is supported and she is comfortable. I need to know that she is capable of satisfying some of her own basic needs. She needs to be able to self soothe sometimes, right? I do comfort her, I love her to bits. I soothe her and show her tenderness on a regular basis. I'm a super tender and loving person. The other night we were doing some (productive...yay!!) discussions about what happened that night and she admitted that she was upset with me because I couldn't make her stop feeling the way she was feeling. I said "you couldn't stop yourself either!" lol and we chuckled. She agrees that she needs to take control of her emotions and that she needs help to do it. We agree that it shouldn't be me to help her because it's deeper than our relationship. Therapy! I love it...I go often and advocate for it even more. She has agreed that she would benefit from some help and I'm happy she was able to make that decision.
This is another issue about willingness to be in the polyship. Ask her what she really wants there.
Yes I'm still working on this with her too. She says she's very happy with our triad. I hope she is. I spoke to B a little today and he's having some reservations about it. I said we should not make any decisions now. I'm afraid that he will want to end it with her.
If it's ended between him and her, he said he wouldn't have a problem with me and S maintaining a relationship. The problem is that s has said that she wouldn't be able to be in my life part time. That if we weren't a full time couple she wouldn't be able to tolerate any less.
Take heart, and hang in there! You can do this. It will be ok. Breathe, breathe. Try again.