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  #21  
Old 12-19-2011, 08:18 PM
Butternut Butternut is offline
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Hey STBF,

I'm a long time lurker here and happy that way but I found this thread really interesting so I wanted to chime in.

I recently left a long term relationship, and even though it 'only' lasted just over four years and we don't have kids it was a really tough decision to make, just because it was such a good, healthy, balanced and supporting relationship which helped me grow as a person and get rid of lots of bullshit from the past.

Knowing myself to be somewhat impulsive, I decided to give it 9 months to make sure I wasn't just acting on a whim. After this time, we broke up. It wasn't easier because I waited this time. Actually, it was worse, because, why drag it out? It was painful as it was, already. However, I am now grateful for having had the strength to wait because I doubt I would have had the piece of mind I do now had I left earlier.

The general consensus here seems to be that one shouldn't leave a functional relationship. But why not? You obviously feel that you need to grow and explore yourself in dimensions that are incompatible with your current relaionships, for whatever reason. If this feels more important to you than maintaining these relationships, I'd say go for it. You seem to be aware of the risk that there might be no turning back once you leave but that's life, isn't it?

The way your posts are worded, it seems to me that in your heart, you already know what you want to do (leave) but are struggling with feelings of guilt and the knowledge that even if leaving turns out to be 'the right thing' to do, it will be painful, whether you do it now, or at a later 'better' moment...

And of course I could be wrong, in the end only you can know what you really want but until you do, don't beat yourself up for feeling what you feel, feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.
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  #22  
Old 12-21-2011, 03:24 AM
STBF STBF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
do you feel passion for any person or activity now? Have you had that in the past and have lost that?
No. I've never been a passionate person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liberumcredo View Post
Could you describe what you are feeling for each of the women in your life?

Another thing that would help is to know what you think would be different / better without these women in your life. Are you afraid of going back into your old dependent ways? Do you just not see the point of the relationships now that you no longer have the deep needs for external validation? Are you looking for more freedom / experience? Ok, I will stop putting words in your mouth, but if we don't know what your needs are we will have a hard time offering useful advice.
I think that I love both women deeply, but it could just be limerence with my gf. I'd have to wait another few months, before confirming it either way. Realistically, I also think that love isn't enough to sustain a relationship.

Please continue putting words in my mouth. You're spot on with what I'm feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butternut View Post
The way your posts are worded, it seems to me that in your heart, you already know what you want to do (leave) but are struggling with feelings of guilt and the knowledge that even if leaving turns out to be 'the right thing' to do, it will be painful, whether you do it now, or at a later 'better' moment...
Thanks. I'll admit that I don't really understand the stigma surrounding break ups. I would expect them to be bittersweet but not horrible.

For me, it was basically my codependency that led me to enter a deep depression after my past breakups. I don't think that my wife and gf are codependent.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2011, 12:34 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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What do you mean, you've never been a passionate person??? Well that's one change you could work on Right Now! Surely there is something in life you feel strongly about!?!?! What's your purpose? I know you're on a journey of self discovery. I'll bet you already do have many passions in life, you're just under-emphasizing them.
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  #24  
Old 12-21-2011, 03:56 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Default self-esteem and breakups

Quote:
Originally Posted by STBF View Post
Another factor to consider (this is the big one) is that for most of my life, I've been very emotionally needy and completely reliant on external validation...

I remember that when I first started dating my gf, the appeal of polyamory was quite simple: More people to love. This most likely doesn't sound like a bad thing to any of you guys but try to understand that this was coming from the thought process of a person with severe codependency and self-esteem issues.
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Originally Posted by STBF View Post
Thanks. I'll admit that I don't really understand the stigma surrounding break ups. I would expect them to be bittersweet but not horrible.
STBF,

I see something in your words above that I want to point out. You've struggled with valuing yourself without needing external validation to feel worthy and loved. It's great that you have worked on this issue and have made what reads like great progress. But you appear to still have some self-esteem difficulties.

I've noticed that people who lack self-esteem often feel like ending a relationship with them is not a difficult or a hard thing to do. That breaking up is not a big deal because, well, they are not really worth having around anyway. The loss of their presence is not really a loss at all. You may not get why breakups are significant - and that's ok. You don't have to.

But what you must understand, so you don't inadvertently cause pain for your wife and gf, is that the loss of you would hurt, would indeed be a great loss. You would be missed horribly. You matter to them. They love you and want you around. You've noted that wife is working on keeping a relationshp with you. I'm sure your gf feels and acts similarly. So while you may not value your self in quite the manner you should (I'm glad you are taking steps to deal with this), breaking up with them would be painful, difficult, and very hard - on them. It would indeed be a terrible loss for them. (And for you too of course but that's not my point.)

I'm still not clear why you feel the urge to end these healthy, giving, loving relationships. However, I get that in order to be the new you, you may need to be by yourself for an undetermined amount of time. That ending the relationships might be what you need to do. But understand that the loss of you would be a real loss.
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  #25  
Old 12-22-2011, 02:52 AM
STBF STBF is offline
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Quote:
I'm still not clear why you feel the urge to end these healthy, giving, loving relationships.
Probably because of the same reason that Butternut ended his/her relationship. I'm getting a feminine vibe so I'll say that Butternut is a her.

I guess that to me, the end of a relationship is just the start of a new beginning. Not a loss. From what I've seen, breakups generally occur because of relationship incompatibilities. Even small ones. If the people in the relationship are incompatible, isn't it a good thing in the long-term, that the relationship ends?

But I'm not a robot. I understand that change can be difficult on an emotional level (having gone through change myself).

I plan on staying friends with my partners if possible. So it's not like I'll be completely gone. It's just that I don't know where I stand when it comes to the romantic aspects of our relationships.
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  #26  
Old 12-22-2011, 03:23 AM
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StumblingAlong StumblingAlong is offline
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Not all breakups happen because of incompatiblity. Some end simply because they have run their course and served their purpose, and one or both in the relationship feel it is time to move on.

Just because their may be some small incompatiblity, it doesn't mean it has to end either. That could be something that is easily over come, and the relationship could continue.
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Last edited by StumblingAlong; 12-22-2011 at 03:40 AM. Reason: punctuation and spacing
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  #27  
Old 12-22-2011, 04:36 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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The reason I ask the question was to see if the " new" you was excited and revved up to explore a new world. Or is jettisoning your old established save life an attempt to kick start those feelings.

I got a depressed vibe from some of this. Another reason for the passion question. Have you had bouts of depression?
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  #28  
Old 12-23-2011, 03:48 AM
STBF STBF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyFiTri View Post
Not all breakups happen because of incompatiblity. Some end simply because they have run their course and served their purpose, and one or both in the relationship feel it is time to move on.

Just because their may be some small incompatiblity, it doesn't mean it has to end either. That could be something that is easily over come, and the relationship could continue.
If the relationship runs its course or if at least one person has moved on, doesn't it mean that the people involved are no longer compatible relationship-wise? The chemistry between them is gone, or the people are at different stages in their lives.

I'll admit that I just don't see why a break up is such a bad thing as long as it is handled tactfully (barring the financial aspects of divorce). One thing that is stopping me from leaving is that I want to try to understand my wife and gf's perspectives on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
I got a depressed vibe from some of this. Another reason for the passion question. Have you had bouts of depression?
In the past, yes I have.

At the moment, I don't think that I am depressed. That's according to my therapist, according to my friends and family, and according to me.
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  #29  
Old 12-23-2011, 03:57 AM
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StumblingAlong StumblingAlong is offline
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Not necessarily. I have been in relationships that ran their course and we amicably agreed to end it before it came to a point we were hurting or holding each other by staying in it. At the time it ended we were still compatible relationship wise, but because we both realized these things we were able to still be close afterwards. Now our lives have taken us different directions and while we drifted apart I am happy for those 2 people.
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  #30  
Old 12-24-2011, 02:12 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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STBF, I have a hunch. It occurs to me that you are surrounded by lots of estrogen; a wife, a girlfriend, and two teenage daughters (the age of raging hormones). Just wondering if, perhaps, it's all just feeling like too much female energy and emotions to navigate and juggle all at once. Even though you love them all, getting "out" and away from that probably holds great appeal for you.

Do you have many guy friends? If not, I recommend you make some. It could be very good for you to cultivate friendships and buddy type relationships with other men. Do you do much physical activity, or exercise? Workouts using free weights, boxing, or running, for example? Maybe what you need is to make sure that you have an outlet like that, and regular get-togethers with your male pals where you can connect with them and find sanctuary from all the female energy which can be quite overwhelming to feel immersed in it most of the time. Maybe then, you would feel more of a balance in your life and wouldn't want to escape your relationships to find it.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 12-24-2011 at 02:15 AM.
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