What can I do to help?
I have hesitated to speak in plain English lately here on the forum because I am doing so much writing as it is, and having so many discussions w/Catfish that I just get really exhausted about it all, but I would like to ask for help for me and Catfish, as I think this has been the hardest few days so far.
This weekend I am spending three days with (I don't think he's been named yet) Charlie, my new love and our old friend, and Catfish is very tender knowing that we will be intimate with one another during that time. The weekend has been planned for a while, which only seems to increase CF's anxiety with every day we get closer to this event he fears so much. I understand this, and I am amazed as ever at how well he is handling it.
So far we have been coping by being available to talk to each other when we need to, spending lots of time by the fire, trying to get things done together around the house, doing fun things out with friends together and apart, writing love letters to each other, and lots of physical closeness. We have a plan in place for certain details of the weekend, checking in with each other, and hopefully, CF will make some plans to be doing something other than sitting in our house alone with his thoughts while I am away. CF and Charlie are still on friendly terms, joking around with each other on FB, and even some private phone calls and e-mails that seemed to have touched both of them deeply as they amazingly strengthen their bond despite the circumstances.
(pause for Jehova's Witnesses)
Although I really feel as if I have nothing whatever to complain about, the most challenging thing for me has been knowing how I can help or if I can help at all when CF's face goes dark and I know he is experiencing the pain of jealousy. A few times he has assumed things that weren't even happening, and did not feel comfortable enough to even ask me what was going on before he let himself go pretty far into a bad place.
I have agreed not to call or text Charlie in his presence this week, as sometimes a text will buzz in, and it doesn't matter who it's from, it sets him off. I have no desire to hide my relationship from CF, because I think that's a lot like denial and will eventually break down as a coping mechanism. I am willing to make short-term agreements to help us to transition, but I am unwilling to agree to things I don't feel are sustainable and feel to me like measures of control.
I respect CF too much to patronize him in any way, or try to manipulate his experience. I know he is strong and loves the hell out of me, and I don't want to start off hiding from any part of this experience because I feel that that is counterproductive to getting through it honestly. Furthermore, I know he believes in what we are doing, and wants to do it together, get through to the other side, and find some normalcy in the situation. It does not help that he has not as yet had a lover outside of our relationship, and feels left out on that issue as well.
And finally the question comes...
When CF is feeling jealous, hurting, on an emotional roller coaster, what else can I do to help him get to the other side? He has asked me to just hug the shit out of him, but sometimes he won't let me, and sometimes it's hard for me to be close to him when he has assumed something without asking and then needs comfort, and I am frustrated because he could have nipped it in the bud by communicating with me. I'm going to do the hugging no matter what, though, even if I have to wrestle the man down.
In the past I have dragged his feelings out of him, been the one leading the discussion from initiation to conclusion, and even been quite manipulative concerning how issues are resolved. I am unwilling to do this anymore, because it's wrong and I feel as if I have sold both of us short when I have behaved this way.
When you are feeling jealous, cranky about the whole scenario, imposed upon or threatened, what does your partner do that truly helps to put an honest smile back on your face? Maybe we just need to go through these days by feel, and accept that we can't always help each other with things that are unresolved within ourselves. Oh, but I want to help, and I feel so helpless when I see him hurting.
Thanks for reading.
Last edited by Rarechild; 11-29-2010 at 03:39 PM.