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  #211  
Old 03-29-2013, 05:18 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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This guilt of mine just hit out of nowhere like a ton of bricks. It was so bad the other day that I seriously contemplated ending the relationship and just keeping the marriage closed. I have no idea why these particular feelings are so incredibly strong these days. That part of who I am just feels wrong now. Poly is something I have always been and something I have always believed in, but these days I cannot even begin to explain these feelings.

I know that we could have communicated better and all of that, but even in accepting that something is so incredibly off with me after all of this. It seems like all of this happening was a reality check and a wake-up call for me to either shape up or ship out. It is so much deeper than this tiff.

I feel guilty about things that happened years ago. I started thinking about how he was at odds with his entire family because of me and my relationship. His mother has still not accepted my girlfriend. She makes it known that Si is not welcome in her home or anywhere close to family functions. I feel guilty about their relationship being on the outs because he chose to defend me and my beliefs. They have made up, but it took years. Indirectly, I now blame myself for coming in between Matt and his mother.

I have started this path of discovery, but I feel like I am undergoing a metamorphosis and a massive overhaul. Matt is puzzled. He has been trying to qualm my concerns and lessen my guilt by assuring me that he does not or did not feel the same. If I cannot get my guilt under control, poor Si is going to end up with a broken heart and I will be testing the waters of monogamy. I am following the path. Only heaven knows where it may end.
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Last edited by FullofLove1052; 03-29-2013 at 05:20 AM.
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  #212  
Old 03-29-2013, 12:48 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Yes, Ry, you do seem to be deep in the throes of hinge guilt.

Try not to wallow in it, beating your breast. Or not too long, not to the point where you hurt yourself and pervert your true nature.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. See where it was your fault, but remember, Si and Matt are also adults. They also have a role in your current mess, heartbreak, all the resulting bad feelings.

Just as recently as the birth of your son they bonded, cared for you and the premature child, even developed a romance for a while. This has now turned sour, but surely, it was THEIR choices, THEIR decisions, THEIR feelings that were concerned. Maybe you have a stronger personality than either of them, maybe they now felt you pressured them too hard into a romance, but hey! They LET you railroad them.

Now, rejoice that all of you are getting clarity on where you stand. You (singular and plural) are developing new relationships with yourselves, as well as with the 2 others in this V. Lines are being drawn, voices are being heard. This is new, but so crucial for you (and all of us). You're only 33, you've got more than half your life still to live. If you are hardwired to love more than one, this way of being sensitive to the needs and desires of partners will serve you well for decades to come.

I do not recommend retreating permanently, out of guilt, into monogamy, if it goes against your true nature. Even if you live monogamously (for a while... say until your younger child is of school age), if you're anything like me, you will feel attraction to others besides Matt. How will this be dealt with? How will you go forward?

I am not saying deny your guilty feelings. Just encouraging you to know this degree of guilt will not last forever. What comes after the guilt and the apologies?
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  #213  
Old 03-29-2013, 01:09 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
This guilt of mine just hit out of nowhere like a ton of bricks . . . I feel guilty about things that happened years ago . . . I have started this path of discovery, but I feel like I am undergoing a metamorphosis and a massive overhaul. Matt is puzzled . . . Only heaven knows where it may end.
You are in a whirlwind. Events have taken place on your marriage which opened your eyes to how your husband was feeling. Stay present as much as you can. My therapist used to say that guilt was useless, and a revered teacher of mine always said that we hold onto feeling bad as a way to do penance. At some point, you will need to let go of beating yourself up. You both need to forgive yourselves and each other.

Stop rehashing the past unless it is necessary to look at certain life events that helped shape your thought processes and belief systems. Going over and over things in your mind and feeling bad about them will only keep you stuck.

Take each day as it comes, process your thoughts and feelings but don't make decisions out of them. I don't mean that you shouldn't follow through on agreements you made - just don't let yourself get into this kind of thinking: "Oh my gosh, I am such a ___, I should stop doing ___ and fix the mess I made by doing ___ from now on!" That is not a good way to make important choices. You are punishing yourself too much.

Give yourself time to get on level ground again. Solutions will come to you if you stay in the here and now. Only in the present can we see with clarity and know what needs to be done.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-29-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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  #214  
Old 03-29-2013, 03:46 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Here's a novel idea re: guilt that i have not seen anyone else suggest:

Stop letting your religion do your thinking for you and start thinking for yourself. That's what works for me.
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  #215  
Old 03-29-2013, 04:04 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I think it is normal to feel whatever you feel right now. You are reviewing the past to see what is/is not on your plate of responsibility. That's fine. It takes TIME to digest a load like that. So... could take the time to process it and be ok with it taking time to process. It's gonna feel yucky in some places. That's ok.

When you are done letting those feelings blow on through... Could consider this:
You seem mad at yourself and are disappointed in yourself. I don't know if this helps any:

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/20-things...-with-someone/

It's written as feeling angry with someone, but it could be read with the lens of feeling angry at self.

You seem to want to do penance? Or is it make ammends? Which is it?

And before you do all that... when do you find it in you to be able to forgive yourself for disappointing you?
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  #216  
Old 03-29-2013, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
Especially since things with Si are not as great as I would prefer. She has an issue with us proceeding with the plans to move, and in turn, she is shutting me out. Matt has tried to offer solutions and different approaches for my relationship with her. Until I can work through this guilt and figure out why it is here now, I may need to step back from my relationship with Si.
From my limited impression, it sounds like Si is accustomed to getting her own way and doesn't like giving that up. While there were some communication problems at times, I got the impression that she also flat-out ignored your and Matt's wishes at times, e.g. calling before coming over.

Shutting you out because she doesn't like your choice could be described as juvenile and manipulative. If she truly accepted her role as co-parent, then the children's needs would be her top priority. In reality, it's clear that her own wants are more important to her than your children's needs. Your daughter has chosen this school because it feels right to her. That's really important in a youngster's life. You and Matt feel this is the right school for her, so much in fact that you're willing to uproot your lives to make that a reality for her. If Si thinks that she's more important than your whole entire family, then she's not behaving with maturity and responsibility.

When you've got one person in your life who throws tantrums (e.g. shutting you out) when she doesn't get her way, and another who is complacent and puts others' needs before his own, it's easy to let your own behaviour give in to the person who's most difficult to please. I imagine the realization that that's what you've been doing is a major source of these guilty feelings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
No, but I like being able to just be me and if I like someone behave as I feel appropriate without worrying that it's something a married woman shouldn't be doing.

Now, personally I don't believe in 'hardwired poly'. You can be hard wired non mono, but poly sort of entails a relationship type.
I'd always believed in "hardwired poly," but the way you put it is really resonating with me right now. Perhaps it's because I've been becoming ever more frustrated with labels in general, and I think I'm getting to the point where even "polyamorous" is too much. I'm just me. I have the capacity to love multiple people, and the behavioural maturity to express that relatively successfully, with compassion and consideration for my partners without giving up freedom and autonomy for myself. So I do it.

Labelling myself as polyamorous was a way to get over that hump. It allowed me to feel like I was, I don't know, part of something bigger, or whatever. Not just hacking this away on my own, but drawing on the knowledge and experience of others who were "like me." But as I get more of my own experience to draw on, I find that I no longer need the label to accept that part of myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
This guilt of mine just hit out of nowhere like a ton of bricks. It was so bad the other day that I seriously contemplated ending the relationship and just keeping the marriage closed. I have no idea why these particular feelings are so incredibly strong these days. That part of who I am just feels wrong now. Poly is something I have always been and something I have always believed in, but these days I cannot even begin to explain these feelings.

I know that we could have communicated better and all of that, but even in accepting that something is so incredibly off with me after all of this. It seems like all of this happening was a reality check and a wake-up call for me to either shape up or ship out. It is so much deeper than this tiff.
GG's so completely right when she talks about "behaviours" vs "feelings" and "thoughts." Your behaviours are what you need to be held accountable for, they're what you need to strive to control for harmonious interactions with other humans, and they're what you should change first if ever you want to change feelings and thoughts.

From what I've read, you've made some mistakes in your behaviour and these mistakes have contributed to some of the problems your family is experiencing. That doesn't mean the feelings that motivated these behaviours are wrong. It just means you need to be more careful, in the future, about how you take care of your needs without ignoring those of others.

Quote:
I feel guilty about things that happened years ago. I started thinking about how he was at odds with his entire family because of me and my relationship. His mother has still not accepted my girlfriend. She makes it known that Si is not welcome in her home or anywhere close to family functions. I feel guilty about their relationship being on the outs because he chose to defend me and my beliefs. They have made up, but it took years. Indirectly, I now blame myself for coming in between Matt and his mother.
Looking back with what you know now, perhaps it would have been possible to just not tell them. If they're not involved in your every day life (i.e. finding out is not inevitable) and telling them is going to create major conflict just for the sake of "I want everyone to know everything about me," then there's no harm in letting them believe that you're the perfect little white picket fence monogamous couple they imagine you to be. It doesn't change the situation, since Si isn't allowed at their place either way, and it smooths interactions with them.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and what's done is done. But that just means telling them was a mistake, and there's no point in holding on to guilt and sorrow over a mistake that you didn't know better than to avoid.
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  #217  
Old 03-29-2013, 09:58 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
Here's a novel idea re: guilt that i have not seen anyone else suggest:

Stop letting your religion do your thinking for you and start thinking for yourself. That's what works for me.
LOL, I would so do that if I had a religion. So no, my guilt is deep seated and most likely from my mother. Don't tell her that, she still thinks 'she did the best she could with what she had'.

I find silly enough, that just allowing myself to feel guilty for a limited amount of time, "Okay pity party for one hour, watch a sad movie, then move on!" Works well most of the time! When that doesn't work, then I tell my partners and they assure me that I am or am not doing well balancing tings. Hey if not, then there's an actual action I can take to make it better!
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  #218  
Old 03-30-2013, 12:30 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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I really wish it was because of religious reasons. Boy, do I ever? Too bad that is not why I am feeling guilty at the moment. I walked away from the church before, and if I had to venture a guess, I could do it again.

It is not that I was even mad at myself or disappointed. While I was by myself, I started thinking about the positives and the negatives in this situation and polyship. The negatives seemed to outweigh the positives by a landslide. Our style is not one where the outside relationship enhanced the marriage, improved communication, or anything else. The outside relationship and everything else damn near murdered it. At this point, it is not rehashing the past. There are things that I have to go back and look at it, so that I can try not to make those mistakes again. It is realising that I was oblivious to everything that was going on and going wrong because of my beliefs and who I am. It was a domino effect of sorts. If I was not poly, then Matt would not have been displaced by another relationship because there would be no other person. If I was not poly, Matt and my MIL would not have been on the outs all that time. If I was not poly, would my husband have felt the need to be over 16k km away from me to find peace? If I was not poly, would I have still ignored him and what he had been telling me for ages? If I was not poly, would we even be in counselling for any of these issues? These are the thoughts that have crossed my mind, which is why I am taking a step back and wondering, "Who has poly really benefited but me?"

I could see if we had blindsided her, but Si was well informed. It was distant then, but it is a reality and happening now. I am none too pleased with Si's whole attitude or the way she is acting. I cannot and will not let that stress me out. My life is going on. I have reached out to her every day since I returned from Verbier on Sunday. I have been blown off every day, so I am like whatever, child. What I do need is for her to remember that this is not about her. It was about her so much that I lost sight of the most important things to me. That was my dose of reality. She feels like I am leaving her. It is not like that. The bigger picture is it is what is best for the entire family. I cannot make her understand that. Personally, I have outgrown this place, and if I want to ever advance in my career, I have to make concessions. People move all the time for their careers. So, yes the move is necessary and serves as a two-fold purpose. We have a family to provide for and a child who is old enough to attend school, so changes were inevitable. I do not think that asking someone to support you in your decisions and pursuing your dreams is unreasonable. Support should be a given as long as you are not trying to hurt anyone or do something illegal.

I am trying not to act now with all the guilt, but my said true nature has caused many problems. I have to face that and deal with it. Assuming the hinge guilt wears off, at what point does it ever go back to feeling like it was all or ever worth it? In the moment, it seemed like it was. Hey...I got to be myself, be with the people I loved, but in being myself and following my true nature, you could say that I hurt others in my pursuit of happiness. That is an extension of why I feel selfish.
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  #219  
Old 03-30-2013, 01:53 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
Assuming the hinge guilt wears off, at what point does it ever go back to feeling like it was all or ever worth it? In the moment, it seemed like it was. Hey...I got to be myself, be with the people I loved, but in being myself and following my true nature, you could say that I hurt others in my pursuit of happiness. That is an extension of why I feel selfish.
The pain will fade, for both of you. Life is never pain-free, people get hurt all the time -- but we recover. All of you will heal on your own timetables and eventually you and Matt (and Si, too, if she is willing to let go of resentments) will be able to look back and see the lessons you learned as valuable, even if it makes you cringe to remember certain things. Hopefully you will look back at it all as a learning experience and make better choices in the future, in how you communicate, compromise, etc.
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  #220  
Old 03-30-2013, 08:45 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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There's nothing wrong with taking a break from polyamory to focus on rebuilding your marriage and learning to communicate. There's a big difference between "who you are" and "how you behave." That difference cannot be overemphasized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
I really wish it was because of religious reasons. Boy, do I ever? Too bad that is not why I am feeling guilty at the moment. I walked away from the church before, and if I had to venture a guess, I could do it again.
Without getting into a debate, walking away from the church and erasing a childhood's worth of training are two very different things.

Quote:
Our style is not one where the outside relationship enhanced the marriage, improved communication, or anything else.
By its mere existence? Of course it didn't. How naive to expect it to. That's just like saying "having a baby will fix all our marriage problems." Guess how often THAT works.

Working on your marriage enhances your marriage. Working on communication improves communication. "Your style" was going about your business, ignoring the problems and pretending everything would fix itself if you just stuck your head deep enough in the sand. That has nothing to do with poly, it's a problem that mono people have just as frequently as poly, if not more.

Quote:
It is realising that I was oblivious to everything that was going on and going wrong because of my beliefs and who I am.
No. Everything was going wrong because you were ignoring your husband's attempts at communication, and he was not communicating clearly enough to make sure he was understood. Again: behaviour, not motivations.

You could go forward and never have another relationship outside your marriage. That won't fix a damn thing with Matt if you don't learn to listen and he doesn't learn to talk. Conversely, if you learn to do these things, there's no reason you couldn't be successful at having polyamorous relationships.

I still think that guilt solves nothing, but if you insist on feeling guilty, at least feel guilty for what you did not who you are.

Quote:
It was a domino effect of sorts. If I was not poly, then Matt would not have been displaced by another relationship because there would be no other person. If I was not poly, Matt and my MIL would not have been on the outs all that time. If I was not poly, would my husband have felt the need to be over 16k km away from me to find peace? If I was not poly, would I have still ignored him and what he had been telling me for ages?
To all your statements: Yeah, right.
To all your questions: Yeah, probably.

In other words, you're claiming that if you were not poly, you would have magically been a perfectly considerate wife, a perfect communicator and listener, and you would never have had any personality issues? Yeah fucking right.

Sorry hon, but you don't get off that easy. Being poly isn't what made you fail at those things. Failing at those things is what made you crash at poly.

Quote:
If I was not poly, would we even be in counselling for any of these issues?
Probably not, but only because you would have been able to coast right on by the way many mono couples do, ignoring these deep underlying issues in their relationship because nothing forces them to deal with their personal shit. Does that mean your marriage wouldn't have these issues? Hell no. It just means y'all wouldn't be dealing with them the way you are now.

Quote:
What I do need is for her to remember that this is not about her.
I completely agree with you. Except, it's not so much that she needs to "remember" that it's not all about her. She needs to LEARN that in the first place. By the sounds of it, she has tantrums when she doesn't get her way.

Quote:
I do not think that asking someone to support you in your decisions and pursuing your dreams is unreasonable. Support should be a given as long as you are not trying to hurt anyone or do something illegal.
You don't need to justify your life choices to anyone. They're right for you, they're right for your children, they're right for your husband. Si isn't your dependent and she can deal with it like an adult. She can move closer if being with you is so important to her. That was the plan before; she's the one who changed her mind in the first place. She doesn't get to change her mind and manipulate you into agreeing to her demands and then throw a fit when you revert to the original plan before she convinced you to placate her.

Quote:
I am trying not to act now with all the guilt, but my said true nature has caused many problems. I have to face that and deal with it.
Lots of people are poly and they don't all have these problems. Even more people are mono and have all these problems. So I completely disagree that it's your poly nature that caused these problems. However, choosing to placate your girlfriend and prioritizing your wants over your husband's need to be heard and acknowledged probably didn't help matters.

Quote:
Hey...I got to be myself, be with the people I loved, but in being myself and following my true nature, you could say that I hurt others in my pursuit of happiness. That is an extension of why I feel selfish.
You feel selfish because your behaviour was selfish. You did not balance the needs of everyone involved, you thought only of yourself. That's got nothing to do with being poly. Lots and lots of mono people make the same mistakes you've made. Instead of a girlfriend, it could have been your career, or parenting, or tulip breeding. People have thrown marriages away for all kinds of obsessions.

The point I'm trying to make is that if you keep misplacing the blame, you're only going to repeat the same mistakes but with a different focus. So you ditch the girlfriend -- what's to stop you from throwing yourself into the next thing that "me me me" wants?

I get it. I really do. I'm a lot like you: strong-willed, selfish, oblivious. I want what I want and I figure it's mine for the taking. But I've seen the destructiveness that can cause, the pain it can bring my husband, so I had to learn to change that behaviour if I didn't want to hurt the people I love. Changing the behaviour gradually changed those desires. I've become more compassionate and understanding. But it starts with recognizing the real problem and dealing with it at the root. Your real problem is not poly, it's how you treat people. Just because poly was the trigger for the behaviour does not mean that behaviour would not have occurred with a different trigger.

But you don't have to believe me. You're free to run your own experiment, try being mono without changing that other stuff, and let me know how that works out for you.
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