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  #91  
Old 03-09-2013, 12:22 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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You know what, you were right, I was wrong. It IS your right to completely ban someone from your life, and it IS your home, so I suppose that technically you can include that in the ban even if the other people who also live in that home might not want it for themselves at all. It's a choice that seems to me to be extremely compassionless to all involved (Si, FoL, the kids), but it is in fact your right, and, since you've said your compassion is absent, there's no use appealing to you on those grounds.

What I'm curious about, then, is this. How do you go from this --

"Right now, there are days where I don't even want her at our house."
"I won't say that I'm miserable. I'm not by any shot, but I'm happier when her girlfriend isn't around like the plague."
"If she has to stay around, there will be certain days, and I can't go for back to back days. I don't want to see anybody 24 hours. Everybody needs time to breathe. There must be a break in between. If she has to stay in my wife's life, I don't want her to be part of everything we do."
"Examples of what I can live with. If I'm working overnight, which isn't unusual, it's cool if she's there with my wife. I know they have their Lifetime movie nights. Saves me from crazy movie central. No issue. She comes over on Sunday's to watch that show Downton Abbey, maybe? Cool, but here's the problem. She doesn't leave that night or the following morning or even ask if we mind if she stays longer than expected. It's assumed that it's wanted by both of us."


-- all of which speaks of needing to find a workable middle ground, to refusing to acknowledge her presence in the space of three days time? Physical and emotional space, yes, of course, good idea. But isn't deciding that she essentially doesn't exist for you taking the idea of "I need more space" to an extreme? When did this hard shift occur, and why?

You yourself said --
"Much like a woman who had prior children from a previous marriage, it became a package deal."

If, over the course of a few months, you decided you were sick of your partner's adult child from a previous marriage (not, as far as I can tell, because that person is a bad person, but because they're just around too much), and then very suddenly revealed it to your partner and said child, would you consider it acceptable to then immediately bar that person from your presence and pretend they didn't exist? I mean, where is the rational middle ground? What happened to just asking that she be around less? What on earth happened in the last three days to change your feelings so radically?
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 03-09-2013 at 12:29 AM.
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  #92  
Old 03-09-2013, 12:32 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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I have tried to encourage them to be cordial. He doesn't care that it might be painful, hurting her, or even humiliating to her. From where I'm standing, it's like being asked to back out of a commitment because of his feelings. She has feelings. I don't know if it's anger that's making him say to bloody hell with her or if that's how it's going to be from here on out.

He hates the notion that Si's part of our marriage. His whole argument is, "I didn't marry her. I married you. If I had married her, I would have included her in the original vows. I know I didn't." I get it. It blows him. I view her as an equal, and he views her as some random person who isn't worthy of that anymore. He's doing his best to cut her out. Now, it's just not a secret, and the intentions are being spelled out before they happen.

This elephant isn't going to break down.
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  #93  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:26 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Well! Whatever happened, it seems to be wrapped up in Matt's failed attempt to be a lover to Si.

I went and found the thread where FoL was totally freaked out at the idea of Matt and Si possibly getting pregnant.

Now Matt's the one freaking out.

When my ex would finally blow, having bottled up feelings for too long, it would get ugly. And here we are in the ugly stage. Obviously this is a hierarchical (and somewhat "religious" Christian) V and Si has suddenly become a pariah, the Other Woman.

I don't think any reasoning or begging for compassion or asking what makes Si such a big ogre all of a sudden is going to do any good right now. White hot anger seems to be the order of the day and words of some strangers on the internet won't do a damn bit of good.
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  #94  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:42 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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The elephant will break down. They always do. It just may or may not be in the way you wish. Sigh.
  • Conflict ---> positive outcomes, new understanding, and reaffirming bonds.
  • Conflict ---> breaking bonds
    a) calmly
    b)or crazily

Everyone seems to be owning parts of the puzzle.

That is small progress. How about backing off a bit and respecting LIMITS now?

Husband is angry and wanting not to see her more than need be. So... don't. Just chill for a while and do normal life things rather than this. Wife is feeling stuck in the middle and emotional flooding sometimes. So... step away from the triggers. Too hot to handle. See counselor. Chill also. Not sure how GF is since she's not speaking here but... her taking a "time out" to chill, rest, and gather self better together -- that couldn't hurt.

Maybe regroup in a month to determine the next step could be.

I do not know if anything here could help:
Are you in Poly Hell


But if Matt has to be "like she does not exist" long term and not just in the "heat of the moment" period? Nothing changed. It's just known rather than hidden resentment/dislike. If no amount of trying arrives at coming to compromise in a good way with all parties willing?

Best to take the bull by the horns:
  • Husband is monoamorous and wants to be in a monogamous marriage. Is not willing to be in polyship with wife and GF.
  • Wife is willing to be in polyship.
  • GF is willing to be in polyship.

The polyship must land then. Safely, sanely, and respectfully because no compromise can be reached because this is now a basic compatability issue. The mission is over. People who want to continue on a new journey together -- begin a new mission together. But this old mission one? It is grounded.

How you sort out children custody/visitation is a related but separate issue.

It's no longer "HOW do we want to be together after triad and back into a V?" but "We have to acccept we do not work like this and there's no happy medium to be found though we have tried. How do we land the polyship then?"

Do not linger flying wonky polyship just to increase the growing resentments now in THREE crew members rather than one person. That's not making things fair, equal and HEALTHY to go on with behaviors that cause ALL people in the polyship suffering. You have plenty as it is right now.

I am sorry you are all going through this.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-09-2013 at 03:09 AM.
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  #95  
Old 03-09-2013, 02:31 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
...
Our marriage does come first, and it's never been a secret to anybody, so no double crossing was going on. As said a few pages back, I'm one of those people that believes a marriage has to come before your children, so before another person that I didn't give birth to? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Children are on loan to you. When they leave home, what do you have to talk about? The way it used to be? I can't ignore my marriages needs because we have children. I've been around people whose lives revolve around their children, and guess what? They have nothing outside of that. There will come a point when our kids don't need us and become independent young adults. If our marriage is weak and has cracks, how are we supposed to be a good example for them? It's not about the almighty M/F marriage. Sorry but my marriage is not just some random commitment. If that was the case, I would've never said I or do. That's not to say I don't value my commitment to Si. I do, but my marriage has clearly suffered.
...

I don't have much to add to the rest of the conversation - others have covered the questions/concerns/confusion that I would have expressed. However, I did want to say that I see where you are coming from in regards to the section of your post that I quoted. In my "Journey" blog here I wrote some about the differing "models" of marriage that MrS and I had seen prior to forming our own. While I don't agree, necessarily, that the marriage comes BEFORE the children - the idea that a healthy marriage is vital to a happy family is familiar.

My parents were the type that you are alluding too - they were so wrapped up in their roles as parents (which they were completely awesome at, for the record) that they neglected to be "spouses" to each other anymore. Luckily, after we all left the house, they were able to re-discover how to be spouses (when, for a bit, it looked like they had nothing left in common and were headed for divorce).

When children were still on the table for us, MrS had an ongoing conversation as to what that would mean for our dynamic. We agreed that that, once you have kids, for the immediate-small-child-time that THAT would be a priority, but not the ONLY priority. So the chain of priority would look like:

1.) child NEEDS (physical/mental safety, healthy food, stimulation for appropriate development)
2.) a.) relationship NEEDS (intimacy, communication, quality time)
b.) personal NEEDS (necessary to support relationship NEEDS - time alone, recognition of individualness (i.e. we are not just the roles that we assume) etc.)
3.) child IMPORTANT WANTS (facilitating desire to explore talents/skills/interests - sports/music/education)
4.) a.) relationship IMPORTANT WANTS (time to reconnect, time away from child, etc.)
b.) personal IMPORTANT WANTS (time/money to pursue own interests/hobbies/education)
5.) child preferences (own room, new bike)
6.) a.) relationship preferences ("get-away" weekend)
b.) personal preferences (new TV/new motorcycle, Guys-night-out, etc)

In our model - child's NEEDS come first but child's "preferences" don't trump relationship/personal NEEDS. (NOTE: others may assign certain things to different levels of needs/wants/preferences - that is not the point). The child did not ASK to be born - adults decided this. Children canNOT provide these things for themselves, the adults are responsible for these things until the child is old enough to express/seek these things on their own.

(AND, of course, I may be full of shit...no kids, no idea as to whether we would have turned out to be GOOD at any of this...)

JaneQ
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (22+ 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 male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #96  
Old 03-09-2013, 02:58 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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The whole kids before your marriage argument is one that most don't understand. Guiliana Ranic of E! News was just under fire for making these very marks. Once she broke it down and explained that a strong and happy marriage is important to keep the family together and for their child to see because kids see our relationships before any other ones, people were then able to understand and retreated. Our oldest is impressionable, and she soaks up everything. Right now, keeping the harmony in my house is more important for my kids and my own peace of mind than anything. If it means, Si can't be here because of animosity with Matt. That's just what it's going to be, and I put my foot down on that. They didn't ask to be part of this, and they won't be exposed to it.

Am I going to ignore my 8 month old's desire to play or his needs so I can tend to my husband? No, but am I going to take time away, talk to him, and have grown-up interaction, go on dates, keep the romance alive, maintain a social life with people our ages, establish intimacy, and talk about something other than the kids during that time away. Not just about the kids, what they did today, the first words, or the funny little stories on the way to the store, etc. We love our kids. I've loved both of them since I learned of being pregnant. I felt their first kicks, heard the heartbeats, felt them growing, survived open fetal surgery with the youngest, and brought them into the world. I loved them before they were here, and they were my most favorite people before we had ever even touched. Nonetheless, I'm in love with my husband, as it should be. It's a different type of love. People want to take what I said and what others believe and spin it into something way out in the boondocks.
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  #97  
Old 03-09-2013, 03:21 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
The elephant will break down. They always do. It just may or may not be in the way you wish. Sigh.
  • Conflict ---> positive outcomes, new understanding, and reaffirming bonds.
  • Conflict ---> breaking bonds
    a) calmly
    b)or crazily

Everyone seems to be owning parts of the puzzle.

That is small progress. How about backing off a bit and respecting LIMITS now?

Husband is angry and wanting not see her. So... don't. Just chill for a while and do normal life things rather than this.

Wife is feeling stuck in the middle and emotional flooding sometimes. So... step away from the triggers. Too hot to handle. See counselor. Chill also.

Not sure how GF is since she's not speaking here but... her taking a time out to chill, rest, and gather self better together -- that couldn't hurt.

Regroup in a month to determine the next step toward goal. What IS goal?

I do not know if anything here could help.


Are you in Poly Hell


But if Matt has to be "like she does not exist" long term and not just in the "heat of the moment" period? Nothing changed. It's just known rather than hidden resentment/dislike. Best to take the bull by the horns.
  • Husband is monoamorous and wants to be in a monogamous marriage. Is not willing to be in polyship with wife and GF.
  • Wife is willing to be in polyship.
  • GF is willing to be in polyship.

The polyship must land then. Safely, sanely, and respectfully because no compromise can be reached because this is now a basic compatability issue. The mission is over. People who want to continue on a new journey together -- go make a new relationship together. But this old configuration one? It is grounded.

How you sort out children custody/visitation is a related but separate issue.

It's no longer "HOW do we want to be together after triad and back into a V?" but "We have to acccept we do not work like this and there's no happy medium to be found though we have tried. How do we land the polyship then?"

Do not linger flying wonky polyship just to increase the growing resentments now in THREE crew members rather than one person. That's not making things fair, equal and HEALTHY to go on with behaviors that cause ALL people in the polyship suffering. You have plenty as it is right now.

I am sorry you are all going through this.

Galagirl
No need to be sorry. I'm not. Nothing is healthy. Nothing is equal. Nothing in life is fair. You can't do anything about that.

His feelings aren't going to change. I know what I'm up against. Matt doesn't hold grudges, but once his mind is made up, there's no changing it. He's clear, and I've heard him. I have to respect it and his wishes.

Children and custody? If it reaches that point, it's not going to be peaceful or amicable. He does not want her around our kids no matter what. It has been discussed, which is how I know what to expect: a full on custody battle. Nobody wants it to go there. We discuss the best outcomes of things and the worst outcomes. The worst being a custody battle and our kids possibly being split up. It's not unusual. Last summer, the father had visitation rights. After the trial, my sister ended up with custody of two out of three. The father has physical and sole custody of the daughter. I don't know how a judge could separate siblings, but he did. It's going back to court again. I don't want that to be me. Running up and down court steps, racking up insane fees with a lawyer, and not agreeing on anything? I'm not doing it.

We're taking time away from this. I try face problems head on, so putting it on a back burner is hard for me. It feels like running away from it which doesn't solve anything. I need normalcy, and tomorrow is where that phase begins. I just want to wake up and fix breakfast with my daughter, attend mommy and me yoga with our oldest, fix them lunch, watch Disney movies, and have a quiet day with nothing about this popping up. I'm demanding it. Not asking for it.
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  #98  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:49 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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You know what, you were right, I was wrong. It IS your right to completely ban someone from your life, and it IS your home, so I suppose that technically you can include that in the ban even if the other people who also live in that home might not want it for themselves at all. It's a choice that seems to me to be extremely compassionless to all involved (Si, FoL, the kids), but it is in fact your right, and, since you've said your compassion is absent, there's no use appealing to you on those grounds.

No, there's no use. Pardon my French. I've tried to find an ounce of fuck to give, but it's not happening. I'm not angry or anything. I'm just sure of what I want. No beating around the bush. No smiling and acting like it's just cool. No rolling over and playing dead. I can't be passive aggressive. That's how we got into this. I have to own my feelings and attempt to regulate emotions. I made the mistake of keeping things inside and letting it get to the point of no return. I didn't say anything when I knew it wasn't working. You live. You learn. Her girlfriend can come here, but I will be the one moving out. Then, she can have her around all she wants. Remember I'm the odd one out of this poly family or poly ship, so shouldn't I be the one to leave?

What I'm curious about, then, is this. How do you go from this --

"Right now, there are days where I don't even want her at our house."
"I won't say that I'm miserable. I'm not by any shot, but I'm happier when her girlfriend isn't around like the plague."
"If she has to stay around, there will be certain days, and I can't go for back to back days. I don't want to see anybody 24 hours. Everybody needs time to breathe. There must be a break in between. If she has to stay in my wife's life, I don't want her to be part of everything we do."
"Examples of what I can live with. If I'm working overnight, which isn't unusual, it's cool if she's there with my wife. I know they have their Lifetime movie nights. Saves me from crazy movie central. No issue. She comes over on Sunday's to watch that show Downton Abbey, maybe? Cool, but here's the problem. She doesn't leave that night or the following morning or even ask if we mind if she stays longer than expected. It's assumed that it's wanted by both of us."


-- all of which speaks of needing to find a workable middle ground, to refusing to acknowledge her presence in the space of three days time? Physical and emotional space, yes, of course, good idea. But isn't deciding that she essentially doesn't exist for you taking the idea of "I need more space" to an extreme? When did this hard shift occur, and why?

It occurred when I finally confronted her and let everything be known. That wasn't just a couple of months worth of resentment. According to our therapist, that was years worth of back up. Dislike at that level doesn't form overnight or a few months. It was hidden and masked. The recent events were a trigger and set off a domino effect until it all collapsed. An interesting question was asked of me. "Is it possible that you never really wanted her around, and you never felt comfortable saying it and decided to just ignore that and continue on?" I probably didn't want her around from the very first day. Did I hope that it was phase? It's possible. Did I want to change my wife? Well, I know I couldn't do that, so let's see. It was accept my wife and her lifestyle or lose the woman I loved. Which was the lesser of two evils? Love blinds you, and the honeymoon phase makes you accept things you wouldn't under ordinary circumstances. Ask me what my relationship with her girlfriend was like. If I see you, I'm going to speak. If not, it's not a big deal. I never viewed her as a close, lifetime mate that would be there until the end. We didn't get "close" until my wife's second pregnancy. A huge part of that was probably due to it being a complicated pregnancy and having to join forces to be strong for her. After that, we decided to try and develop a real friendship. Friendships don't happen overnight. It worked, but some people are meant to be seasonal and not last forever. We had things in common, and it was going well. A relationship was born a few months later, and it died soon after. Somebody brought up sleeping together. It happened a few times. The first being during a threesome. After it started feeling weird and the guilt kicked in, that stopped. I was honest and told her that I'd prefer to establish intimacy in other ways outside of physically. I explained that it felt like I was cheating and just plain awkward, so it came to an end. The discussion of having kids stopped right there, too. I hoped those particular feelings would go away, but if anything they became more lucid by the day. That relationship couldn't have been saved. I could and would never love her or give her any part of me including kids. Could I have kept stringing her along? Sure, but that wouldn't have been right.

You yourself said --
"Much like a woman who had prior children from a previous marriage, it became a package deal."

If, over the course of a few months, you decided you were sick of your partner's adult child from a previous marriage (not, as far as I can tell, because that person is a bad person, but because they're just around too much), and then very suddenly revealed it to your partner and said child, would you consider it acceptable to then immediately bar that person from your presence and pretend they didn't exist? I mean, where is the rational middle ground? What happened to just asking that she be around less? What on earth happened in the last three days to change your feelings so radically?
I would limit my contact with that adult child. They wouldn't be banned from the house. If they came by to visit, I'd speak and go back to wherever I was. Life happened and the middle ground is gone. The argument with her brought forth a lot of truth. Everything I said was prior to the argument. Shit happens and changes. Her feelings came out as well. Maybe hers were just from a place of hurt, but I'm not going to be disrespected in my house. From that second forward, I decided that she wasn't allowed at our home or in my life. Not a huge loss in my opinion.

For the record, I don't even care that she won't attend a joint session. What I do care about is that her blowing it off clearly hurt my wife. That's the only thing that did bother me. If she cared so much about her family, she should have shown up regardless as to whether or not I was there. If she cares so much about my wife and our kids, there's no reason why she shouldn't have been there. She doesn't have to say anything to me during any of these sessions. I can talk at her and not to her. I know that's not the correct way of communicating, but it beats the hell out of another argument starting or one of us walking out. Works for me. To me, her blowing it off shows that she doesn't care that much. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

She's an adult, but she's not a child or step-child of mine. She's not someone I have to be concerned with or even have to maintain a relationship or friendship with outside the parameters of our respective jobs. If I don't want her in my personal life, she's not going to be. Are all of your co-workers involved in your personal lives? If I don't want to hear about her, I shouldn't have to. I don't view her as being part of our family, so why should she have any say about anything family related? Especially anything that pertains to our kids. My wife's view is extremely different from what I see. I'm doing a nesting thing of sorts, which is normal after having kids or reaching a certain age. The way it was explained to me is that some poly people lock down and go into monogamous mode after having kids. Others are happy to have the support. We're in two different lanes. I see my wife and our children in this stage. I don't see her girlfriend as part of this picture. My wife's idea of nesting means having both of us as spouses, an enmeshed family, where she's a partner in this marriage, co-parent, and all this and that. I don't consider her a partner in my marriage. If that's the case, hell maybe we need to renew our vows so I can include her the second time. There's goes my sarcasm again.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:57 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Matt, thanks for your response. It's undeniably good -- vital to one's mental health, even -- to recognize and own your feelings. Congrats on that, it sounds like it was a very long time coming, and it absolutely had to come. I'm sure the process of continuing to work things out in therapy will be very useful.

What I can't help but see, though, is that to own your feelings is one thing, to uncover them for the first time and then immediately set hard-line new policies for your life based on them, policies that are going to rip apart the life of someone who until recently had been a friend and lover, and could also drive a serious wedge between you and your wife (surely she's going to end up with some resentment over the lack of even trying to compromise, and to hear you talk about being willing to consider moving out is very surprising) is another. It must've been one hell of an argument. Or perhaps, as others have suggested, the guilt really is lingering and clouding things... do you think there's any chance things would have gone to quite this extreme if you and Si had never slept together? Or maybe it really is just the nesting impulse manifesting in a particularly intense and territorial way.

Either way, maybe you could ask your therapist for help in developing methods to constructively express and address your feelings before they get to this point in the future. One bad argument, which you are very aware was in the heat of a particularly bad moment (no one is at their best during an unexpected breakup) doesn't need to mean that no middle ground is possible... unless perhaps you've decided that you'd prefer it to mean that because interpreting it like that is a way to get what you want (a justification for Si's complete absence).

Of course you shouldn't grin and bear it, roll over and take it, or be passive aggressive. In fact, since no one has remotely suggested any of that as far as I can tell, it makes me wonder where that is coming from... was this something you were taught as a kid? There are options that lie between being passive aggressive and being aggressive, between burying your feelings and laying them down as the new unbreakable law, between ending a relationship that isn't working and never seeing the other person again. If not for this situation, then for future interpersonal conflicts, the ability to see and consider those alternatives could be really useful.

It looks like the hard line is continuing to advance forward:
"I'm not stopping her from seeing the kids."
"He does not want her around our kids no matter what."

I'm forced to wonder if maybe this thread isn't part of the problem. Some people respond very poorly and strengthen their walls when they feel ganged up on. Do you guys think it's possible that being on the forum might just be exacerbating things? Just a thought, as with all of this I could be completely wrong.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 03-09-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:24 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
What I can't help but see, though, is that to own your feelings is one thing, to uncover them for the first time and then immediately set hard-line new policies for your life based on them, policies that are going to rip apart the life of someone who until recently had been a friend and lover, and could also drive a serious wedge between you and your wife (surely she's going to end up with some resentment over the lack of even trying to compromise, and to hear you talk about being willing to consider moving out is very surprising) is another.
I'd just like to affirm this point from AnnabelMore. This is something I've come to understand from my own research and teaching, though I still struggle to live it in my own life.

Feelings are important, and we would do well to attend to them, but only as initial indicators of how things are going and how we are reacting to them. The problem with feelings is that they are usually set at too low a resolution to provide a lot of useful information as to why things are going as they are.

If anything, what feelings are mainly good for is getting our attention, drawing us to think and, eventually, to choose. They are not a substitute for thinking, nor are they, all by themselves, a good basis for choice. Feelings may be the beginning of a process of figuring things out, but they are not the end of the process; they are not the last word.

In short, as AnnabelMore suggests, feelings are not a reliable basis for policy, at least not all on their own.

In this case, the feelings that have been building up in Matt are indicators that something is wrong; that much seems beyond dispute. But what, exactly is wrong? And what would be the most useful way of making it right?

For myself, what I'm learning is to go ahead and let myself feel what I'm feeling, and attend to the signals my feelings are sending . . . but then to hold off on making any choices, making any demands of others, or setting down any new rules for myself or my relationships, until the first spams of feeling have passed and I've had a chance to think and talk and work things out.

In my own case, feelings of anger and fear and outrage I've encountered (very recently!) in my relationship with my wife often come back around to something I'm not doing, something about myself I need to change, for good reasons that are independent of feeling: an expectation I really do need to revise, or a rule I need to follow more consistently, a bit of cultural bias or blindness I need to dispel, or an uncomfortable fact about myself I need to face up to.

I'm not claiming to know what all is behind Matt's feelings in this moment, nor do I claim to know the best course of action for the people involved in this situation. Given the intensity of his feelings, though, it seems to me they should be treated with some caution . . . perhaps especially on Matt's part.
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