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Old 09-10-2012, 03:01 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad it helps you both as much as it helps me.

Jane -- to me that is "Touch Tether" -- and there's a lot of other tethers that bind us to our people. I'll have to think on articulating that in some other blog entry day. Hrm.... good bookmark!


Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-10-2012 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:02 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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LovingRadiance asked me to elaborate on "responsiveness" in my playbook on my visitor wall today. I replied to LovingRadiance in PM and I also wanted to put it in my blog thread so I could expand a bit more.

It just fits the whole theme of today soooo well.

My emotionally abused/divorcing(?) friend who is enduring the crazy asked to hang out this afternoon because friend needed a sympathetic ear. I said ok and friend came over and vented at me about all kinds of nutty that was going on.

Friend is fed up and frustrated and upset and largely it is because partner? Apart from being nutty? Is playing the AVOIDY DANCE. Basically do everything BUT engage and respond in a constructive way.

So yah. Responsiveness matters in a relationship. I have the right to that. Do not play here if you don't plan to give me that right!

The Right to Responsiveness?

DO NOT be Mr or Ms Avoidy to me. LISTEN and RESPOND to me when I try to engage with you.

Do not ignore me or stonewall me or do the "uh-huh, sure, yah" and play whatever song just to get me to shut up but not really be a part of constructive conversation or problem solving.

Then consider the issue "solved" because "we didn't really talk about it and if it was important we would have" (ignoring me) or it is solved because "we already talked about it." (I talk, you stonewall me and don't give me any information or feedback.)

Um... no. Either way? All I said went into a black hole. This is not a two way relationship when you do that to me. It is me pitching things into the black hole of nonresponsiveness. RESPOND!
If you agree to be in relationship with me, you have agreed to the polyship playbook. You have promised to follow through on promises and that promise includes granting my RIGHTS in this relationship. Right to responsiveness is one of them!

You don't have to give me instant gratification -- respond to me and go "Listen, I see this is important conversation but this is not a good time. Could we do it on Saturday when there's chance to have a big block of uninterrupted time rather than rushing 10 min convo on the drive home?"

Sure. We can negotiate appointment for Big Conversation. That is fine. You have responded to me appropriately. You did not leave me out on a limb.

Ways to leave me out on a limb by NOT responding appropriately?
  • If you ignore what I am saying or the need to talk entirely? Ostrich? We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
  • If you obfuscate and cloud/confuse the main issue? We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
  • If you bring up totally unrelated topics -- even if also valid problems that we need to deal with -- it's not giving THIS problem it's proper air time. We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
  • If you play tit for tat? That's the blame game. We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.

Oh, there's other techniques to avoid having the conversation that needs to be had. Could misremember, could "I didn't say that/mean it that way/you took it wrong," could accuse, give up, lots of things. Still not having constructive conversation and moving it forward.

After enough avoidy dance? I can only conclude that I have to check the number of strikes so far. Because I'm too young/old for neverending shit like this.
  • You are a Muppet. Not a Jedi player. Esp if you seem fully capable and just don't want to deal in honesty. Lying is a strike 1 you are out.
  • You have negative thinking with cognitive distortions perhaps. Won't seek help on that? Are we on 3 strikes? We're done. I can't be with a negative person. It's a DRAIN.
  • Avoiding the conversation is more important to you than engaging forthrightly with me. Are we on 3 strikes? We're done. I can be with Mr or Ms Avoidy. It's a DRAIN.

I was just telling DH the summary of the whole friend situation and he says he is agog at all the shenanigans.

I am not agog. I am not surprised. There is NOTHING new under the sun.

When my friend was describing the nutty to me I was thinking -- "UGH!" Friend was all "UGH!" too.

This person is showing that they are more interested in their own way than in having constructive conversation or the well being of their partner (my friend). That's about it. Plain and simple.

I just wrote about having stress and it triggering my anxiety/panic stuff in previous entry. Well, dealing with conflict in a sane way goes a looong way in reducing my stress. So does thinking about stress management and applying those skills to reduce my stress load.

So does not engaging with people who deny me the right to responsiveness.

I want two way street RELATIONSHIPS -- not talking to walls or one-way relationships where I feed black holes to my own depletion. Oy!


Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-10-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:59 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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A tiny post off "The Agony Aunt Speaks" blog thread.

I wanted to remember it for the bookmark on "(me <--> me) first tier of ANY relationship and the emotional flooding.


Originally Posted by CielduMatin
I have seen some pretty messed-up folks hiding their dysfunction under the guises of poly or kink (or both). The idea of actually having stable relationships *before* starting into things like this seems to escape them.
Yup. I've seen it too. And not just polyamory or kink. It boggles my mind when monoamorous people want to engage in a relationship with a partner and have done ZERO work on themselves.

The first tier or relationship in ALL relationship models, IMHO?

The one of (me <--> me).

How do I related me to myself? If I do not know my own self, if I avoid knowing my own self well, then how on Earth am I to articulate my wants, needs, and limits to another person in a monoship? To several others in a polyship? Good golly, in a BDSM kink scene?

Originally Posted by lovefromgirl
In fact, look at your own damn triggers and examine whether you can even tackle the topic from a levelheaded place.
I've experience emotional flooding at times -- and it is not fun. I agree with CdM -- it is a sign of maturity/self control to recognize "Wait! I'm emotionally flooding now! I cannot continue this conversation in a useful way at this time. I'm checking out to self care, we can regroup when calmer."

And there we go right back to the (me <--> me) tier of relationship, no?

Nobody is perfect all the time. But I think that being self-aware most of the time is a Good Thing and something to aspire to.

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Old 09-10-2012, 06:28 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Interesting about the avoidy stuff - I see people posting on forums all the time who manage to evade anything that requires self examination about their own stuff. I see it in real life too all the time but I am more surprised when people do it online, but maybe its easier to get defensive at strangers than friends.

I think I'm going to make the practice today to see if I get avoidy, in fact I'm seeing a friend today who might be just the person to ask to prod me about stuff he thinks I could be defensive about, to see if I can make sure to be honest and thoughtful about stuff instead of avoiding acknowledging work I need to do on things.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:01 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Dear DH:

The excerpt in my next entry is from another thread. I have to break it into two parts for it to post. Call this the cover letter.

While I wrote it to try to help the person, on the Meta level I also was writing it to US -- in our ghost layer selves.

There is ALWAYS the ghost layer in ANY relationship. The layer of "How do we want to be when we break up?" It is a ghost because it is not here in the tangible real sense. But it is not a maybe. It is a WHEN. I like how John Cleese puts it -- all relationships come with a clock attached.

Not acknowledging the ghost layer to me is crazy. It's part of the polymath tiers if polyamorous. It's part of the monomath tiers if monoamorous. While we may hope the monoship or polyship is going to run "til death do us part?"

Even death is a relationship ending and we must prepare for how to cope with that. So prepare for coping with relationship endings and keep it REAL for heaven's sake!

So. If we were to Open later, that layer must be addressed. How do we want to be together when we have to break up?

I prefer til death do us part. You are older, probably you kick the bucket first based on age. I'm a chronic patient. Maybe it's me. Who knows? But a long marriage is nice, and death would be ok. Two weeks notice would be extra good. That's one possible reality, with a joke.

Another possible reality is that we fall out of love for some reason. We've talked about it many times before, and we both agree that we'd want to be friends, and still co-parent and co-grandparent as friends. Never written it out though. So here's a first stab at it.

I don't know why talking about how to break up for some people makes them feel like just talking about it dooms it to being so. In my experience, Shared Vulnerable helps create emotional intimacy. Which in turn helps bond the people further. Which in turn makes it less likely that the grow apart because they care for one another.

I remember we were talking about it and you made me laugh when you expressed the sentiment of "That's my ex-wife, mother of my kid, and friend you person you! Treat her well or I WILL KILL YOU!"

It was oddly tender, and it was the bittersweet sweet. You know how those are my favorites.

And you know I love it when you make it hurt soooo good -- loving me that hard, that fierce, hard enough to be willing let me go well in the name of Love.

Makes me want to stay all the more to get to keeping basking in that kind of intense Love Light!

I love you. :*

Those three words are too small to fit all I feel about you. But they will do.

It satisfies.


"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." ~Mignon McLaughlin

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-11-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:02 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Here is the exceprt I was talking about above. It is from another thread.

OK, this is going to be long. Bear with me.

Thanks for the clarify and good on you for confessing the affair asap. That is good then that he knows. Def a plus!

Basically is sounds like you both had fallen out of love with each other, but did not acknowledge it or really dealt with it directly. Opening Up when broken -- that's not really a solution to the problem of "no longer in love with each other" if you never address it direct first. It's kind of avoidy actually.

It is one thing if you talk about not being in consummate love any more directly and THEN agree to stay married and agree that companionate love of the strong-friend kind is enough to bond you in a marriage. And Open Up to meet sexual needs or passion needs and other needs not being met here. And both feel happy and fulfilled there.

But it does not sound like this was entered into with intention after both talking it out and both agreeing to this relationship model. It sounds more like you both just floated into that space without really facing or discussing the issues of emotional intimacies and body intimacies of a lover role fading down. Or the practical sides of relationship management in such a model.

Here is what is:
  • You are not each other's lover. You do not have lover body or emotional intimacies with each other.
  • You have the emotional intimacies and mind intimacies of a good friend.
  • You have a co-parent person to help in the raising of the child.
  • You are left with an untended marriage arrangement.

The marriage like a garden you once both used to tend together and now neither one actively tends to it really. Other than you both still have a key to the gate, and you have a plot. And...you both come in to water two plants only.

The only plants you tend in there are the kid (parenting) and the friendship plant. (you sound like you are good enough friends.) We can't transplant those plants to a new garden you both are more excited about tending? The garden of friendship & co-parenting? Or paint a new sign for the gate of THIS marriage garden to read "Companionate Love Marriage" instead?

I don't see what is horrible about moving the plants to like to a new plot or painting a new sign for the door. Relate to each other. Decide together.

I'm glad you are both honest and open about your extramarital relationships. That's a good thing and bodes really well for post marriage friendship. I'm very hopeful/optimistic for you guys in your Transition time.

I'm not even sure I have been "in love" with him all this time. I'm not sure how I feel about anything. It never occurred to me to question my feelings or to label my love. I had made my peace with the idea that we had a somewhat platonic love, and that I had the ability to meet my physical needs with others.
This concerns me. Emotional numbing is part of emotional flooding and / or depression. You can Google more -- here's just some to start.

Emotional flooding

Emotional Numbing

How long has that been going on? Just now? Like emotionally flooded/overwhelmed? Or has this been a while? Have you been emotionally numb/depressed a long while over all this?

Is it really "made your peace" with all this or "resigned" yourself to it rather than actively sorting it out? Do your self care that you need to do. Check in with him to see if he's been experiencing any of that and if this is why he's been sexually repressed.

Depression is not fun. Please care for selves and each other emotionally appropriately.

But I never thought that breaking up was an option. We have been together half of my life. I think of him as I do any other family member. The idea of living without him now feels like losing an internal organ.
Breaking up is always an option. We CHOOSE to be in relationship with people. Or not. I've had to break up with my Dad a few times because we were NOT in right relationship! Doesn't mean we can't get back together later. (Long story, I do eldercare help for my parents.)

But again, he's not a lover-husband if he's "just like any other family member."

And this sounds like it it speaking to habit and a fear of living in another way more than speaking to being in love with him. On the bright side, you do love each other -- just in a new shape. Here's what is:

You guys are good roomies.
You guys are good friends.
You guys are good co-parents.

It sounds like in these areas you are good. So... yay! Much better than a split where those positives do not even exist! You get options others don't even get -- like keeping the marriage intact but changing the marriage expectations/agreements/boundaries and being INTENTIONAL about being in a companionate love marriage arrangement where you both feel happy/fulfilled.

And while painful to acknowledge that you are no longer lovers, take the steps to arrange you lives along those lines -- good roomies, good friends, and good co-parents while you have to share a home for financial reasons. Either for a time (a year?) or permanently. You both can discuss what is best for all in your new arrangement.

And deep down you know you can hack this. Look! You have made changes to the relationship shape before --
  • you were dating singles and changed the relationship shape to marriage
  • you were a married couple and changed the relationship shape to married parents
  • you handled Opening to Polyamory reasonably well!

You can SO work this show and change relationship shape AGAIN. You guys have done it before and can do it again. That is comforting.

I think the triangular love theory makes a lot of sense- I had not read about it until today.
Glad it helps you.

He blamed himself for years for the lack of sex. He felt there was something physically or emotionally wrong with him. It appears that having a girlfriend led him to realize that he was perfectly capable of being sexual... just not with me.
There was something emotionally wrong with him -- he was not ready to see/acknowledge that he'd fallen out of love with you. Neither were you ready.

So even though it took the long way around -- you both have arrived at the place where you must deal with WHAT IS. And the fact is that neither of you is in love with each other. So how do we agree to be together NOW in this phase of the relationship?

You can decide things like...

KEEP MARRIAGE SHAPE AND KEEP EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT STYLE: You both can choose to stay there and just be married for married's sake, and not discuss anything at all and continue to avoid. "Empty Love" portion of the triangle theory. (I don't think this feeds either of you. Do not suggest you stay there.)

CHANGE MARRIAGE SHAPE: You can choose to create a companionate love marraige agreement --from a place of going there with INTENTION and not just floating into there. Make your new boundaries/limits/agreements then for living together in this shape.

CHANGE MARRAIGE SHAPE: You can choose to divorce neatly/clean and quick with a mediator to guide you thru a DIY divorce and make some kind of responsibilities plan since you have entangled finances/child to care for/need to live together for a while yet.

CHANGE EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT STYLE: You can choose to love each other in a new shape -- as friends and co-parents and figure out the new boundaries of that role but change your emotional management on your own to bravely talk about these things as they come up rather than avoidy.

You can choose to seek a counselor to help tend to the emotional side being in a marriage of companionate love. This new shape marriage agreement and what it will entail to take advantage of practical marriage benefits -- like filing joint taxes, being on each other's health insurance, car insurance rate lower, etc. Also acknowledging what to do in future if one of you wishes to take on a different legal spouse -- how to accommodate for that. And help you learn better communication and emotional management skills that you will need for this shape.

CHANGE EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT: You can also choose to seek a counselor to tend to the emotional side of an amicable split and mourning the end of a marriage. And help you learn better communication and emotional management skills that you will need for this shape -- whether or not you remain roomies post divorce.

To me it sounds like CHANGE must happen in the emotional management bucket and in the marriage shape bucket.
  • Neither of you sounds like you thrive with your current emotional management of avoidy.
  • Neither of you sounds like you thrive with your marriage just floating into this space rather than going there with intention.

You don't sound like you hate each other. It just sounds like your shared love changed shape into friend love. Which is fine. Relationships all evolve/grow.

ALLOW yourselves to adapt with it and grow with it too.

I know this is all hard to feel and do. But seriously -- I am way optimistic for you both finding your way through this. I sense there's real caring here rather than animosity. You guys can support each other through a Change For the Better -- whatever shape it will come in.

Play ball, play hard, RELATE. Sort yourselves out and your new shape to be.

Hang in there.

warmest regards,

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-11-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:11 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Interesting side note. I was feeling all tender emotionally after posting that entry above. And ended up in a strange emotionally flooding space for a short while that was intense and crazymaking of my own doing. I could have worked that show better. But overall we navigated it and it didn't last long.

I'm not looking to NEVER flood ever.

For my stress management, I'm looking to learn to shorten down to a volume and size he and I both can deal with. This was what? 30-45 min? (I did not track time)

Better than the few days it was last time. Which was better than the few weeks/months from the time before that.

We get there. That's a positive.

And here's what he did to help me get my marbles back into my bag. Because I totally spilled it.
  • He was stern, firm and told me to STOP giving it so much attention. The emotional price tag on it was not worth it.

Lather, rinse, repeat the statement in firmer and firmer tone up to and including big swoopy arm movements "price tag is THIS big right now and NOT worth it!" because I've told him I response to visual cues faster than audio cues.

Until I heard him and the message penetrated IN through the internal noise/static I was experiencing.

Then I got pissed off at him for interrupting my inner Brain Board of Trustees committee argument had to step off to argue with HIM instead.

And tada. No longer on emotional flooding crazy train. No longer doing emotional vomit spew monologue of nutty.

Was then able to shut up and pick up my spilled bag of marbles and own my own baggage in a better way, regroup, and finish conversation in constructive way with better focus.

(Thanks, DH!)

As an academic exercise I'm going to break down that internal thinking process in the next few posts.

Because I learned some new things about myself there. It was cool. Almost made the crazy train worth it.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-12-2012 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:07 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I go through times of feeling like I've gone full circle. I have to remind myself each time that is is NOT going around in circles.

It's the Cosmic Spiral thing, you come around again but have leveled UP so you can revisit the same places from another angle of experience and perspective.

On the drive home I saw two butterflies fitting about each other. My Internal Brain Board of Trustees all shouted with glee simultaneously
Ms Logic and Hard Facts : Look! Two neon yellow butterflies flitting about each other while flying along at the same time! Right there on the side of the road!

Ms Safety: Ok, look. But don't stare long because you drive so pay attention to driving!

Ms Heart Bucket Kooshy: Awww. They are making love in midair because they are besotted with one another right now.

Ms Body Bucket Pleasures: Wish I could do that like that with DH. Dude. Making love in midair while flying self propelled -- THAT'S a rush.

Ms Soul Bucket: Yep. That's another couple -- spinning dragon/phoenix double helix Life Thread together there.

Ms Mind Bucket (Academic): Buttterfly probably mating? I wonder how long they live? How many times do they do that? Do Butterflies feel emotion that is measurabale or discernable by humans? Do other bugs? Where did they come from? Where will they go? What does the world look like through butterfly eyes?

Ms Innapropriate Humor at Bad Times: Hehehe. Butterfly jizz. Butterfly BDSM.

{ Observation from the outer METAME: Yup. Butterflies. And all the above. It satisfies.}

And hearing the hubub the Reassure Queen woke up long enough to peek at butterflies too over the MetaMe shoulder. And announced at random
  • You are well.
  • All is well with the world.

And went back to sleep.

And MetaMe arched an eyebrow. Privately thinking

"I am the MetaMe, dumbass. I KNOW all is well with the world. Why do you tell me? Tell THOSE BOT people more often when they get into tumult."

So after that split second of my brain fanning out into various facets of myself and then snapping back together again inside my head my next thought was...

"I wonder what causes this fan fold/unfold thing in my head? Neuroscience wise? And will I feel a surge soon?"

I kept driving. And about 5 min later I felt this elated glowing feeling of joy. Not like "WHEEEE!" hyper happy. And not like "Yay!" open happy. More like dawn breaking softly happy.

And I thought "Yup. There it is. Brain cascade. Which one is that one?"

So much of self care if knowing what action to do or thought to think to push the right brain cascade button so you get the right brain chemistry thing going on to get the right kind of hit.

The brain is an amazing thing.

But the Reassure Queen that is me? Lately been all mellow and calm and can afford to take a nap. That's a good thing. It means the

Anxiety/Panic Freak is relatively quiet and giving it a rest already. Usually Reassure Queen has to run around behind Anxiety/Panic Freak to cancel it out.

It's nice to have Reassure to spare and be able to give it elsewhere and pay it forward.

(Excerpt from this thread.)

Nobody ever died from going SLOW and easy at letting their polyship unfold. BREATHE.

You do not have to be expert. You have to be honest, open, and communicative.

Here's my poly playbook for how I stay in right relationship.

Apart from reading posts here, and books like Opening Up or Ethical Slut I would suggest online resources like


The Opening Up website that matches the book has some free worksheets you could think about doing too in preparation.


I really dont want to have to considered what Id do if either of them told me I had to choose.
Easy. Each one of you?

You choose YOURSELF and what is best for your health buckets in the long run -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health.

Everyone holds their own bag(gage).

You do not need to fear conflict.

Conflict is simply people in disagreement. It is opportunity for growth and better understanding of self/others.

You could use conflict resolution methods to try to find the happy medium. We don't all have to have the happy STUPENDOUS each time.

Or you could agree to disagree and let it go.

Nobody is conflict FREE. Except dead people! (I joke to keep it light. )

The goal is not to be conflict free but to handle the conflicts that pop up (and they will --- Life IS) with some ability and grace so you all fly your polyship together WELL.

You will be ok.

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Old 09-12-2012, 09:40 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:09 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Yah, I know. It is hard.

" Ms Safety: Ok, look. But don't stare long because you drive so pay attention to driving!"
Was busy today and then my time limit for edits timed out when I came back.

Que sera, sera.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-13-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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anxiety management, coping ideas

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