Sorting out reactions from friends
Okay. I am struggling. Since I've started engaging in polyamory, I have found myself spending lots and lots of time explaining the philosophy of my choices to friends, and often, defending these choices. My very loving friends, who mean the best for me, but who are largely not familiar with polyamory, always seem to view me as if I am hurting myself, being used by others, or that I am 'in a phase' that will pass when I realize what I really want. In order to defend myself while still trying to keep my intimacy with my friends, I spend a lot of effort trying to explain things, when...what I wish I could do, is turn to my friends for good advice. But they don't have it!
Now, things are in transition in what I viewed as my primary relationship. we have decided to take a break for an indeterminate amount of time. As much as this is mutual and best for both of us because we have found that we are not able to meet each other's needs right now in the right way, it has been hard and very sad for me. I miss him. I am turning to my friends for support. But, I find myself yet again explaining my choices to them. I find the polyamory thing colors their view of how this 'taking a break' thing could be at all positive. They see it as the end of something that they think was destined to leave me unhappy from the beginning... whereas I see it as something that could happen with any relationship... so, even as I am in a difficult place, I find myself faced with the double burden of having to defend myself when I am already down. In fact, most of my close circle of friends consists of monogamous couples, so I also feel like this break with my primary partner...the situation about me that had made my life most closely resemble theirs before...well, I just feel isolated and like no one understands me. My friends want to 'rescue' me by hoping I will become more like them.
On one hand, I think I should just not share my polyamory choices with these friends, because I don't want to have to defend them, I just want to be what I am and experience what I am experiencing. I am just trying to do what feels right for me. On the other hand, i am lonely, they are my social network, and I have a lot of confusion with my own experience and how best to move forward towards my own happiness and fulfillment. I personally think these confusions arise whether one is involved in polyamorous relationships or not. This is just love.
I have one former boyfriend who I can turn to for good advice, but the only other two poly people I know are the person from whom I am 'taking a break' and the other man that I see once a week or so...
I guess I'm writing here to seek all your advice on how you negotiate this stuff...I get the impression every person but me who is engaged in polyamory has some awesome network of poly people all around them and they can live freely and openly and not be judged by friends. Since I have not been doing this for years and years, I don't have a huge volume of experience to draw upon...
Thanks for your advice, and really, thanks for just having a forum where I can feel free to share my thoughts!