It's not uncommon for people to martyr themselves for their partner. Sometimes this is a life long thing and isn't worth changing as it can work for some.... but in poly, it really doesn't seem to work. We are forced in poly it seems to be independent and to look out for our own interests more. We need to because it just won't work to push those feelings of resentment down when they become about being left at home with the kids while ones partner is out fucking another guy for the third night in a row, or a partner taking another man to a family function that was previously enjoyed by you and so on. That is really big shit. It's not about paying for the groceries because one makes more money than the other... its big emotional stuff... we, as poly people, have to advocate for our best interests or our relationships will simply end in pain and suffering, anger and a whole lot of resentment... advocate while keeping others in mind and empathizing.
I can imagine there is a shift! A big one. It's okay though, it will all be good and worth it if you decide to embrace it and face your fear rather than martyr yourself again. It is hard work and the work of a lifetime to face our fears about ourselves and our loved ones... but it is moving in ways that I just simply can't explain... its like telling someone what it is like to have a child or what it is like to be married... you just can't explain it...
Another way to think of this is from her perspective... does she really want to live with someone in her life that is resentful of her and what she does? Would that not CAUSE the guilt? Are you not in effect causing her guilt by being a martyr? Are you not possibly creating shame in her because of your martyrdom? She is also not gaining from this I think. She is losing out because you haven't faced your fear yet. She is kept in HER situation because of it. You are keeping each other there and both choosing to be there.
I think a discussion about what will happen next is warranted. Mabye talking to her about your dynamic and discussing ways in your everyday life that you can hand over some responsibility to her that you have been either rescuing her from or keeping her from and her allowing you to be your own person, your own man that she can be proud of. When PN goes out with someone for the first time I am now proud of him and he of himself. I watch him leave with a swelling feeling of, "there is my man, so handsome, such good values and integrity, I know he is trustworthy and solid with me and he will dazzle her with how wonderful he is." We took a long time to get there, but we have, it wavers, but we have. He is there, I am here and we are a complete team. There is no coach, just team players. We don't need a coach, we do it all together as separate adults... now Mono is added to that team after two years of making sure that we can all come together as team players and not try and be coach....
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