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  #11  
Old 03-12-2012, 12:50 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by Lariel View Post
You assume I haven't tried all of these things before, never mind continuing to do them now, with little result. Just like they do. You assume that obviously I can't have done these things because I'm still depressed, and if I did then I'd be fine. Please don't assume these things, because when you are wrong it is quite insulting - it's always better to ask instead.
Umm... nope! You sure are incorrect in your assumption that I was assuming anything about you. Seriously, I wasn't. How could I? I don't know you! Nothing was "obvious" to me. But I'm not insulted by your assumption because other people don't have the power to make me feel insulted. Why should you care about me anyway, and feel insulted? I'm nobody important to you.

Perhaps it seemed, at face value, as if the things I wrote were so very much like other things you'd heard before that you dismissed my input as useless and assumed that I was making assumptions about you. Sure, you could be doing all those things, and so could I. But you're not the only person that might benefit from input on this thread. And nobody's got a magic wand, unfortunately. All the shit we need to do to take care of ourselves is the same shit we've all heard before.

You asked for "help" and "insight." My posts were just my insights from where I sit and I made no assumptions about you. My first paragraph expressed what your situation seemed like to me, but it was not an assumption and anything I could see could also be totally wrong.

When I said "do some of those things your therapists have suggested, heh-heh," couldn't you tell the "heh-heh" was a friendly laugh? I wasn't really telling you what to do, I was injecting some humor. I like to find humor in things because, as I see it, the key to "enlightenment" is keeping things light.

You make a statement like "I don't know how to bring my best self to relationships," I answer it with what I know to be ways to do that, and you say I'm making assumptions about you because you're already doing that. Well, fuck me, I guess I'm an idiot for sharing what works for me. How about acknowledging yourself for doing those things and saying to me "You're bang-on. I guess I'm on the right track." Instead of getting insulted. Ugh.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2012, 01:38 PM
Lariel Lariel is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
When I said "do some of those things your therapists have suggested, heh-heh," couldn't you tell the "heh-heh" was a friendly laugh? I wasn't really telling you what to do, I was injecting some humor. I like to find humor in things because, as I see it, the key to "enlightenment" is keeping things light.
Ah, I see, this is the problem. I apologise, but I misinterpreted that as a laugh at me, a kind of 'ho ho, another one of these idiots'. In that context your comments did seem to be making a lot of assumptions about me, which didn't make sense for the reasons you just pointed out. I like to try and find humour in things too, it's just much more difficult to judge on a text-based forum.

I guess I am on the right track then, but I've been wandering down it for so long I needed to stop and check I wasn't just going around in circles.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:17 PM
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Ah, I see, this is the problem. I apologise, but I misinterpreted that as a laugh at me, a kind of 'ho ho, another one of these idiots'.
Oh! I am so sorry! Oh my goodness, I'd never have thought that about you! Nor would I have anticipated you interpreting it that way, it is so far from how I think. Glad we cleared things up.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:07 AM
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tachycardia tachycardia is offline
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Hey Lariel,

I wanted to say I can really identify with what you've said. I've recently determined that I have dysthymia, as well. The conflict between a desire to be with my wife forever and the foreboding sense that I could not live with the expectations of lifetime monogamy weighed on me for a long time, and would get worse during periods which I can now recognize as depressive episodes.

Whether the conflict or the depression was the cause or the effect doesn't seem to be a useful question to me. I know depression distorts cognitions, but I feel like learned helplessness is a perfectly reasonable thought pattern to have in response to the questioning of one's relationship within the confines of monogamy.

Anyway, about six years ago a couple that had been our friends for years started a triad with another woman. The realization that ethical non-monogamy was something that was even possible and that there were varying subcultures dedicated to making it a reality really struck a chord with me, and I basically told my girlfriend that I would have to explore it someday. She was sort of on board but I could tell we'd eventually work it out and so all of my wavering was over and we got married. Over time, that triad I mentioned disintegrated, and I think that may have influenced us both to be apprehensive because it's pretty easy to see a reflection the mortality of your own relationship in those of your peers.

Fast forward to a year ago, when I had the worst of my depressive episodes. This whole confluence of events involving the death of my father, my ten year high school reunion, moving to a new city, taking my first job out of grad school, buying a house that required renovating, having difficulty with fatherhood, and deciding I didn't want more children resulted in a real shit storm where my mind was just totally rejecting my life, and the issue of polyamory took center stage in my thoughts. I nearly committed suicide because I wouldn't consider divorce, I would never cheat on my wife, and she was more against the idea than ever. At one point this daemon inside me told me that I didn't love her so that I might push us into divorce and save myself.

Anyway, after medication, months of therapy and relationship counseling, I was able to lift myself out of that mess. We eventually got back to a place where an open relationship seemed more on the horizon. Finally some guy started hitting on her at a party, and voilą, we're not monogamous. Today, I feel so blessed, it's just absurd.

My point is this: don't think you have to figure this all out now and resolve it by forcing your relationship open when it is not ready. God, six years was a long time for me, but I loved my partner so completely I probably would have killed myself before I let her go. If she loves you too, and this is really important to you, she will come around eventually.

You've been together for three years and you're in your mid-twenties. If you stay together for another three years and find you have to break up because there is no way forward, you'll still be in your mid-twenties. Those three years are not worth the possibility of losing her for the rest of your life.

In The New Love Without Limits Deborah Anapol describes two paths to polyamory. The first is being single and building poly relationships from the start. The second is to open up a long term relationship. And she defines a long term relationship as a minimum of ten years. I think she's right there. My wife and I have been together for eleven.

Talk about it with her as something you want to do eventually. Explain that, despite your knowledge about yourself, she is the most important thing in the world and that you will do everything you can to do what she needs you to do before you open your relationship. Gradually build up her trust that it can work, and see what happens. Eventually, you might just have to decide you want different types of relationships and go your separate ways. But don't let that happen for a loooong time.

Best wishes!

Last edited by tachycardia; 03-13-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:30 PM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
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Originally Posted by tachycardia View Post
..my mind was just totally rejecting my life..
This jumped out at me because it gets at what I would point to. I think you have gotten great advice regarding introspection and self-support, these are necessary foundational pieces to happiness. But I also think that as important as work on yourself is, sometimes a turning point can just as easily be a sudden flash of genius, a realization, an awakening etc.

It's my belief that our subconscious is there for a reason and when we are not in line with our path it will seek to align us.

One thing that I was surprised by in my own journey toward poly was how important the underlying narrative of monogamy and patriarchy were to the beliefs I had built - what was considered "natural" and why. Just like in politics, it is not enough just to be against something, you must also be for something. So to that end you need to be able to replace the old narrative with a new narrative. That's where the book Sex at Dawn came in for me. I hate to go around plugging a book so devotedly but this one was important for me and many others.

And I won't be the first or the last to say, give it time. It's hard but sometimes the cycles in life take much longer to unfold then we'd like.
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2012, 11:13 PM
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Vios Vios is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Well, maybe by doing some of those things your therapists have suggested, heh-heh. Let love and loving yourself be the guiding factor in your relationships. Seriously, exercise helps. Volunteer. Do something creative. Look at and talk about your feelings. Find a group to belong to. Work on esteem issues. They say if you want self-esteem, do esteemable things. There's so much we can do to bring ourselves up out of a funk and feel better even if it never goes away, and to not drain the people we love with neediness or whatever.
For me, the difference between depression and contentment is more about being than doing. Depression doesn't carry me far when I'm able to be with whatever I'm doing at the moment. Depression takes the form of a lot of "shouldn't" thoughts. "They shouldn't have..." "I shouldn't have to..." etc. The thing is, the thoughts aren't always at the surface. I have to dig and examine things to see what's really going on for me.

But the thoughts keep me away from what's going on in front of me, from being present, from doing. Instead of thinking "oh man, why do I have to pick my friend before this party?" It's more like I already know that I agreed to pick up my friend and I just find myself doing it. I didn't invest time worrying about it, so I didn't suffer at all from doing it, even if it was something I didn't particularly want to do.

It's how you do things, not what you do - this is true for me. This afternoon I've been drinking a lot of water and I'm like: "I wonder how yellow my piss is going to be?! a light yellow color? clear? same as normal due to all the veggies I ate for lunch?" Okay... maybe not the greatest example, but my point is that something mundane that I do every day with the right perspective is exciting to do.

My recent thing with poly has been to let go of attachment to the word 'poly.' It's like how we label one group of people "friends" and other "lovers". At what point does a friend become a lover? Sex? Cuddling? Kissing? Dating? how do you define dating? There isn't a clear answer.

So at what point do we define ourselves as "poly" or "mono"? For me, I'd look at my current situation. If I'm in multiple relationships at the moment than I'm *being* polyamorous. If I'm in one relationship at the moment than I'm *being* monogamous (but maybe looking to be poly). For me, the label of what I 'am' is irrelevant, only who I'm being is important.

I know someone here has it in their signature that "labels are sticky." Don't get caught in worrying about what you are, only what you're being. Some would say "doing" instead of "being" but for me being is more important that doing.

Oh and I know I quoted you nycindie, but this is mostly directed at Lariel, know I went on a bit of a tangent.

Last edited by Vios; 03-16-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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