Emotions and their role in polyamoury
I recently asked this question to a friend of mine that I meet on a dating site. Although we never got together in a intimate way, in fact I have never met her, she has become a confident and friend. My husband went to see her in a neighboring city with the chance that the two of them might become something more than friends but the energy wasn't there and they have now become good friends also.... this isn't really the point... so I will get to it.
I posed this question to her..
"Any ideas on whether or not to slog away on a relationship with someone who is not where you are at emotionally? And basically holds no value in expressing emotion. To him its all drama and a sign of weakness."
I have a intimate friend who I asked to just be friends with for a time as I want to work on our friendship before resuming an intimate relationship. When we get together or plan to get together it seems to revolve around sex rather than getting to know each other better and he has seemingly no desire to get to know my husband and primary partners. To complicate matters his girl friend is my husbands ex.
(My husband and her were friends but he wanted/felt something more deep and poly in his love for her when they were intimate. She wanted a friend with benefits and had no love for him. My husband is still getting over his disappointment and hurt feelings about this and at the poly meetings we go to he is unable to talk to her because of his deep emotions.... she has made no attempt to talk to him either)
This intimate friend of mine made the request of mine into something about my husband and his girlfriend. I told him about my husbands deep emotions and that he was still struggling with it. His reply was that he should get over it, suck it up so to speak and just resume our friendships from before all this. He is disappointed that we can't all just hang out and have sexy times together... that he prefers no drama sexy adventures with friends. He mentioned love in that, but to me loving and it's role in poly is about respecting peoples emotions and honoring where they are at with them. Also it's about being patient and caring of one another. In fact what he wants is not poly at all to me if there is no place for emotion. It's more like swinging of having an open relationship.
This is how my friend answered....
"Mmmmm...someone calling expressing emotion 'drama' is a major red flag for me. I once dated someone who was of that opinion and in reality it was a way of victimizing and blaming the person for how they feel - and an effective tool for disclaiming personal responsibility for the person who triggered the emotion in you.
In fact, it is dangerous in a poly relationship especially not to be honest about your emotions. Jealousy a big issue that people trying poly often face is forged out of insecurity - personal insecurity either related to self esteem, or insecurity due to not feeling safe or secure or not fully trusting of your partner.
For me, if my partner does not express his/her emotions and make me feel special - then it really is a turn off for me.
Now one thing I would look at is the reasons your partners is like that? Have they gone through some dramatic betrayal in the past that makes them fear being emotionally vulnerable? And what you see is a tough protective front? It sounds like they associate any emotional expression as being a bad thing... People sometimes do react this way after they've been involved with people in the past with hystrionic personality disorder or who were simply attention seekers as well.
If you can crack open the reason as to WHY they are like that? And are both willling to work on it together. Then there may be an immense opportunity for growth and bonding closer for you.
However, if he is not willing to budge on this issue or put in the work on it. I would say it is time to part ways, and look for someone more emotionally compatible. In the long term this relationship will leave you unsatisfied and likely feeling more and more desperate, trying to figure what you can do to get him to show "proof" that he really does care about you."
She is a smart woman with lots of experience and I thought what she said was very helpful and worth passing on.... I welcome any more advice although I have pretty much decided that we are not emotionally compatible and I highly doubt that I will be spending much more time with my intimate friend on any level.... who knows.
I am left feeling disappointed that he is like this, angry that he would disrespect my husband like that.... lastly I feel sad that a perfectly good friendship would turn sour due to the fact that we were intimate. Just goes to show that one should be very careful who they share intimate moments with in poly.