I think it's probably different in every relationship because how each of us entered this lifestyle is different.
For me it very much was a feeling that Karma and I were heading into a 2 mile hike together and then someone threw me in the back of that van and dropped my ass off with limited supplies and said "here ya go survive".
Karma showed up somewhere on the path and offered help, but neither of us knew what kind of help I needed. So we were both wondering how to progress.
For us it was easiest to go at my pace. And as I do with everything. I pushed myself to far to fast and had to stop for awhile.
That was hard on Karma. His options were- leave Cricket, ignore my wishes, plow ahead and start seeing her behind my back again, ignore my wishes plow ahead and hurt me even more, or be patient and try to go at my pace, even when it seemed that I wasn't going anywhere.
I think it is the responsibility of the "slowest" member to stay in contact with the "leader".
There were times when Karma and I would fight because I told him to go ahead with something and I was hurt by it. I knew it would hurt, but I needed it to happen. Sometimes the only way to make progress is to go through that pain.
But it was up to me to communicate that. " It will hurt me, but it needs to happen. I need to face it."
Karma, in a fit of frustration, asked me one night many months ago, if he should just walk away from Cricket to make this easier for me.
Of course not! Why should he walk away from love when all I am asking for is patience?
We're still struggling. But we're much further ahead than we were, because he did go at my pace. And I did take responsibilty for my own forward movement.
I think the difference being, is as much as I was not okay with how we entered poly, I wasn't against it. I was just caught way off guard and felt blindsided. I needed time to heal, time to adjust, time to figure out how to move forward. And then I did.