Well this may be an obvious response but sometimes it's skipped over. Have you asked your partner if there's anything he's aware of that you could do that might be helpful to him when he's thinking and feeling this way? Sometimes people need us to just listen and aren't looking for us to try and "fix-it". Sometimes asking the question is a way to place the issue back on them...where it belongs.
- If they have a suggestion(s) about what you could do to try and help and it's not do-able or agreeable with you, then you let them know that. "No I'm not willing to give up my other partner to try and make you feel more secure. I think what you're going through right now is temporary although it probably doesn't feel like it. Are there other things you or I could do that might help you feel better about yourself?"
- If they say they can't think of anything, you might respond "Well if you do think of something please let me know. In the meantime I'm hear to listen and to care."
- You could also ask them if they want your opinion or advice. For example, if your partner is continuing to see the person who causes the hurt you might ask them if they'd like your impression/opinion/observation...etc. Then tell them that it's confusing to you or hard for you to see them continue to put themselves in a position for more hurt by continuing to have contact with the person whose the source of the hurt. You don't have to tell them what to do about it, but raise the issue.
Ultimately the problem is your partner's. They may want it to be yours, but if you've tried to help and they've rejected your suggestions or something hasn't helped, then don't let it be your problem to solve. If they really get "stuck" in the problem you may want/need to set some limits/boundaries, so it doesn't drag you down. "It's too hard to listen over and over again about how someone is hurting a person I love dearly. It really drags me down. I'm no longer willing to listen to you talk about getting hurt by so-n-so while you continue to make the choice to see them. I'll be happy to listen and talk with you about other things, but that topic is off limits between us now." (I wouldn't use this statement early on.....but if it goes on and on you have the right to take care of yourself, your wants and needs, too. And sometimes allowing someone to vent indefinitely can actually prolong the problem situation. Venting can take enough of the "edge" off the issue so that they'll experience some temporary relief from their pain. This temporary relief can contribute to prolonging the problem behavior(s) because it doesn't get painful enough to make the kind of changes that might be required.)
Just my $.02 worth.....
Last edited by dragonflysky; 11-24-2010 at 08:12 PM.