Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 02-24-2013, 01:17 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 350
Default

I don't have much in the way of self-help advice, but I can give you my opinions.

BoringGuy is going to love this cliche. Ready, BG?

Everything happens for a reason.

Yep, I believe that.

Whether it's down to fate, or whether it's down to putting a positive spin on an event in order to get something from it, it doesn't matter. Every experience can teach you something, open a door, or put a change into motion.

Not all relationships stick. Relationships begin because of chemistry - literally, a chemical reaction. "They make me feel good".

Relationships end because of some sort of incompatibility. You have very clearly and honestly outlined a severe incompatibility between the two of you.

I would like to give you advice from your ex's perspective. With the exception of my GF, I am extremely non-committal with poly partners. As soon as they start to push, I pull back twice as far. The guilt causes me to hide away, avoid them, 'fob them off'.... which, of course, makes everything twenty times worse. She was very clear with you from the beginning and you were very clear with her.

Since it's only been 5 weeks, I really do think you're at great risk of continuing your pattern. I broke up with my last two secondary girlfriends because they needed more than I could offer. Instead of giving me space, they both continued to ask to chat online, on the phone or meet up, as friends. It was the last thing I wanted. If I'd had a 5 month relationship that made me feel claustrophobic, I'd probably need around the same amount of time before I could consider opening up the friendship arena in any serious way. I might actually need much longer. At minimum, I'd need about 3 months.

Of course, it's unbearably difficult for you too, because you're still left wanting more from her - just the way you were in your relationship. You're both still in your original pattern and that's to be expected, to be honest.

If it were me? I'd write an email. I'd save it, sleep on it, then read it again in the morning. This will be a cathartic exercise. Then, when you're happy with it, send it. I'd talk about how important she was to you, what you like about her as a person, what you understand and take responsibility for in terms of your breakup, how you regret that things got heated, but know that this happens. If it were me, I'd let her know that you never burn bridges and that your door is always open. I wouldn't even necessarily say "I'd love to be friends" - this might even be too much for her, if she's felt claustrophobic. Saying that a 'door is open' is far less intimidating. Once you've said everything openly and honestly, try to move on with your life and don't contact her again. If your friendship is valuable - if it's worthwhile enough, if it's going to be beneficial for both of you - you two will become friends again. But give it time. 5 weeks is not enough time to shake off the romantic attachment and previous cycle.
__________________

Me: (30f) open poly
Serious long-distance relationship with GF (40f)
Casual FWB with Descartes (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-24-2013, 01:43 AM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,288
Default

"The door is always open" is a common phrase in my life. Its one reason I am friends with every ex I have. Because I did allow them space but always with a door open policy.
Especially for someone who needs the space that gift can be HUGE. very few people give it.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-24-2013, 02:58 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 1,647
Default

Hahah yeah i love that " everything happens for a reason". My mother was a huge fan of that and other glass-half-full-isms until she found out she had stage 4 colon cancer and died. But yeah i can laugh about it now. Got any more where that came from?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-24-2013, 03:23 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
Hahah yeah i love that " everything happens for a reason". My mother was a huge fan of that and other glass-half-full-isms until she found out she had stage 4 colon cancer and died. But yeah i can laugh about it now. Got any more where that came from?
Oh dear. Nope, I'm fresh out, BG.
__________________

Me: (30f) open poly
Serious long-distance relationship with GF (40f)
Casual FWB with Descartes (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-24-2013, 06:57 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
Everything happens for a reason.

Yep, I believe that.
Nope, I don't "believe" that. (Then again, I don't really "believe" much of anything - I have made a few observations, is all.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
Whether it's down to fate, or whether it's down to putting a positive spin on an event in order to get something from it, it doesn't matter. Every experience can teach you something, open a door, or put a change into motion.
Yep, THAT I can buy!

From my perspective: Some stuff happens randomly. Some stuff that we choose to do has consequences. Some stuff has "reasons", some stuff doesn't. We can take what we will from that.

Some shit just happens - a non-smoker gets lung cancer, for instance. It's not a punishment. No higher power decided that THIS person (no better or worse than any other) "deserved" to die at 37 (while some pedophile lives to 98). The witnesses can choose to draw some meaningful conclusions from the event (for instance - "life is short - don't waste it").

On the other hand, a person alienates all of their family, abuses their kids, who then refuse to talk to them and they live out a miserable lonely existence - they are reaping what they sow. You can draw conclusions from that as well (i.e. "Don't be a dick.")

Just because we can learn from any experience doesn't necessarily mean that there is a "reason" for it...again, just my perspective.

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 02-24-2013 at 06:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-24-2013, 09:37 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,266
Default

I look at attachment in relationships not from a Buddhist approach as much as from the dependency/codependency angle and neediness issues. I consider my goal of loving without attachment as very important. For me, non-attachment is about autonomy and individuality, not meeting some Buddhist or Buddhism-inspired ideal, although some elements of what Buddhists have to say about attachment do ring true for me.

There have been a few other threads about attachment and how others view it, deal with it, etc. One thread, called, "Attachment in secondary 'ships," prompted me to post a few others' views on the subject of attachment. Maybe you'll find some of it helpful or insightful:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hmmm. I found some gems in several articles and blog posts that might be helpful (links to the articles are in bold):

Love, sex, and non-attachment
The author, a Buddhist, writes:
"So then what is non-attachment in a loving, committed relationship? My understanding of attachment is that it’s not about what we have or don’t have, but what our expectations of them are. As unenlightened people, we live with a persistent delusion that people and things will provide us with more happiness and satisfaction than they really can. And this is where we get tripped up.

So for example, how much am I using my partner’s love to fill a void in my own love and acceptance of myself? A truly healthy individual is one who is complete by herself, and doesn’t need to depend on anything or anyone else to feel whole and content. I don’t mean we should go it alone and isolate ourselves from others. I mean simply not to depend on someone or something external to me as a necessary condition for my happiness.

But the fact is I’m not enlightened. Sure, it’s great to know what the ideal is, but very few people are actually there. I’m sure not. We all have times when we come up against feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, or insecurity. It’s a very normal human response to try to compensate for these unpleasant feelings by using a partner’s love to cover them over. But the truth is, real contentment can only come from within ourselves. A partner can’t provide that for us, and to expect it will only lead to disappointment. "
Love and Attachment
This author is a therapist. Her ideas on "moving from attachment to love" begin with:
"How do we move from attachment to love, from enmeshment to differentiation? How do we, peel the vine that we have become off the wall? To be completely free of attachment to our partner is an ideal. This is something we can work on throughout our lives.

The first thing we can do is study ourselves and become aware of the attachments we have to our partner. A clue for our attachment is the feeling of pain. We can watch how we react, how we have high expectations, how we no longer treat our partner like a respected friend. We can watch our motivation for saying and doing what we do and get clear how fear drives us."
Codependency Guide: Attachment And Detachment
This is a good article, I think. I especially like the author's description of healthy and non-healthy relationships.
"Within a healthy relationship the following elements exist:
  • Freedom to grow outside that relationship
  • Freedom to expand your own interests
  • A desire for the best for your partner and for them to be able to grow
  • The ability to have separate interests
  • A wide variety of friends; some may be shared while others may not be shared.
  • Feeling secure in your own worth
  • Openness
  • Trust
  • Mutual integrity
  • Free to talk about your feelings
  • The ability to enjoy having time on your own
  • Respect for privacy; not secrets
  • The ability to accept an end to the relationship without feeling as though you have lost your own adequacy.
In an unhealthy relationship the following elements may exist:
  • Living in a fantasy world
  • Denial
  • Overestimating the commitment of the other person
  • Seeking solutions outside your own self such as a new lover, alcohol, drugs, etc.
  • Becoming totally involved in the relationship to the exclusion of everything else.
  • Limited social life
  • Neglecting other relationships
  • Neglecting other interests
  • Becoming preoccupied with the behavior of another person
  • Being dependent upon another’s approval for your self-worth and identity
  • Experiencing fear, possessiveness, jealousy, competition, etc."
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 02-24-2013 at 09:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-24-2013, 02:42 PM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston area
Posts: 181
Default

I find that the terms attachment and non-attachment can get confusing, particularly if you're not careful to define what the object of attachment is.

How I frame it for myself is that being attached to a person is fine for me, in fact it's what I want: to feel connected, bonded at some level. It's hard to imagine having a meaningful relationship without feeling attached.

What I try to lose attachment to is outcomes. I love a person, but can't control what'll happen. Feelings will evolve on both sides, events in lives will happen, and we will just have to adapt.

Some may need to relinquish to a higher power to get to this state; for me, that isn't necessary or helpful.

I liked Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance for outlining some of these ideas. She does add in the "higher power" component, but I just skim over that, and take the bits that work for me.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-24-2013, 02:59 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida Keys
Posts: 210
Default

This is all good stuff, guys, thank you!

I have no plans to contact her right now, not for at least another week or two. I am well aware that I need to give myself more time to pull back emotionally or I'll be right back where I started.

I am the one who insisted on no contact after the break up, and the big blowup we had post-break up was because I felt she wasn't respecting my space. You see, back when we first started dating, I invited her to join a pub trivia team that plays at a local bar. The team consisted of me and three of my next-door neighbors. When we broke up she begged me to stay on the team. As I know she doesn't have much of a social life, I said ok, I'd take a break from playing for a while. Then, she showed up at a party at my next door neighbors house. I heard her voice over my fence and I freaked because now I felt I couldn't go. I said she wasn't respecting my boundaries, she said I was overreacting. That's the last contact we had.

Before I broke it off with her, we discussed the possibility of transitioning to platonic friends. She was sure she could, I was the one who said I didn't really want to be friends. I already have many close female friends, and she doesn't seem to have any, so I worry she doesn't really understand the difference. You can't be friends with someone you're totally hot for, and whatever else was going wrong with us, it wasn't for lack of heat.

Before I do anything, I do need to decide (as GalaGirl wisely states) what exactly I want. The last two months of our relationship, the way she completely withdrew was unbearably painful for me. I am a highly sensitive person, and my attachment style is rather insecure. She is a classic love avoidant with some narcissistic tendencies Everytime I wanted reassurance or expressed emotions, she took it as personal attack and either attacked or withdrew. Physically, I am just sooooo goddamned attracted to her, though, and I love her brilliant, unique mind, her confidence, her goofy sense of humor. She admitted to me at one point that she has never been as vulnerable as quickly with anyone, for what its worth. And I am so grateful for the passion she woke up inside of me, and how it has affected my life for the better, ultimately.

I want to be her lover if I can do it without hurting me.
OR I want to be her friend if I can do it without wanting more.
At the very least, I want to be able to go to trivia night with my neighbors and her without feeling awkward.
I want to stop feeling terrified that I'll run into her and we'll act like strangers (we live on a small island.)
Mostly, I think I just want to stop wanting her so I can be at peace.

I am not, by nature, very zen, I'm more pagan/nature worshipper and Greek god/Aphrodite oriented But if I'm going to be ok with this woman on any level, I have got to seriously detach and be devoid of expectation.

Thanks again for listening and for your advice.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:17 PM
ahpook33 ahpook33 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
It's been 20 years since my gf and I broke up. My love hasn't faded.....
This was beautiful, and I just wanted to say thank you very much.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:19 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,288
Default

One of the things I find most helpful about my lack of attachment to any religion or belief system is my freedom and ability to find the gems as Nyc called them, in every system.
12 step programs, counseling programs, various religions each tend to have a few great ones. Compile what works for you, make great use of it in your life.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:35 AM.