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  #221  
Old 03-30-2013, 12:16 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
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.
I agree with everything you said in the above post, SC, but this stood out to me. I am glad you said the "many" mono couples coast in their relationship, not "most."

I just always find it irksome when poly people say that monofolk don't have to deal with their personal shit or work on their relationships in the same way polyfolk do. Of course they do, although specific issues will be different. Clear communication, honesty, and taking responsibility for one's actions are needed in any relationship, no matter the configuration. It certainly isn't true that all mono people can pretty much be asleep at the wheel and get away with it. Else, why would there be so many self-help books on relationships and communicating? I have looked at my relationships as "teachers" since the 80s, and always been challenged by them.

Any engagement with other people has the potential to teach us something but it's up to us to open our eyes, it isn't the relationship structure that opens our eyes for us. Everyone I know has personal shit to work on and issues in their relationships, whether they engage in poly, mono, or have no romantic partners at all, and they look at them, confront them,and grapple with them as well as they can, depending on their willingness and level of consciousness and self-awareness.

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
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.
Yes. This is important. In an earlier post of mine, I said that a teacher of mine used to say we hold onto feeling bad as a way to do penance. There was more to those teachings. Unconsciously, in our general culture (and especially if influenced by Christianity at all), we're taught to believe that if we fuck up, and then we "pay for" it, then we are forgiven and the slate is wiped clean. And because we are flawed and imperfect, we will fuck up again, do penance, be forgiven again, start all over. But psychologically what that belief system does is make us think if we feel bad enough about something we did, then eventually we'll get a reprieve. And eventually we'll do it again. Guilt keeps us stuck in the behavior we feel guilty about!

No, OP, don't blame poly or your desire for poly. All of you simply made mistakes. Have compassion for yourselves, look at the lessons, and move on. Let go of the guilt and change the way you do things. It may not be easy, but it is simple.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-30-2013 at 12:25 PM.
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  #222  
Old 03-30-2013, 01:31 PM
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I agree with everything you said in the above post, SC, but this stood out to me. I am glad you said the "many" mono couples coast in their relationship, not "most."
Yup. "Most" mono couples run into just as much trouble by sweeping problems under the rug as anyone, just like singles are not immune either.

I just figure, the more people "looking" at any person or relationship on an intimate level, the more opportunities you'll have to mess up, and the more chances you'll have for someone to point out your shit. Plus, if two partners tell you the same thing, then it's more likely to hit home.

Also, that poly requires couples to discuss things that don't ordinarily come up. Couples who don't learn to communicate quickly revert to monogamy, and probably degrade from there. So anyone who has more opportunities to practice communication is more likely to realize problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.
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  #223  
Old 03-30-2013, 04:44 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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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.
Asking? Sure. That's reasonable.

Expecting to GET it JUST because you asked? That's kinda entitled and not taking Si's willingness or needs into account. The very problem of "Consider others" that Matt was trying to point out.

I am not comfortable with the "should" word there. In my own life I prefer using "could."

Si could give her support right now if she were willing. Right now she is not willing for whatever reason. Who knows. Maybe from HER point of view she prioritizes her own self care needs and having a time out to regain composure right after a blow out experience like this?

Matt had to have his time out -- and rightly so! To regain his own footing and sort out his stuff.

Si's gotten dumped by Matt, she's on rocky footing with you, there's major life changes that can and do affect her in her polyship coming soon with the move thing.

Maybe she doesn't feel willing right this minute to be tending to you by giving you support because she has to put her own oxygen mask on first. I find it odd that you expect support and listening and consideration from Si when you yourself were not giving support and listening and consideration to Matt.

Look, you are going to feel things. Guilt is one of them. A big thing went down for ALL of you. Something you all co-created.

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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.
Selfish is not a feeling to experience to me. Selfish is a way of behaving.

I think that could be reframed as...

"Hey, I got to behave the way I did with the people I loved for a time. By behaving the way I did, I hurt others in my pursuit of my own happiness. I was made aware that my conduct was selfish -- I was not considering them when choosing my behaviors. I feel guilty now that I have been made aware because I see I did behave in selfish ways that only considered my needs and not the needs of others.

I would like to feel _____. In future, I would like to behave in a manner that is ________ toward my partners. I now expect ________ from myself and my behavior. "


Could fill in the blanks so you can move it along. In the end you will either change your behavior or not.

Traveling through "Why do I feel guilty?" could be helpful, but it might not be helpful if overdone. I'm not even sure "guilty" is the correct word for what you feel. Could it be "ashamed and remorseful" instead?

Parking it at "guilty" alone is just feeling embarrassed you did do a thing and got called into account. Yes. Guilty as charged. And? So what?

"Ashamed AND remorseful" implies you plan to do something about it to correct your behavior.

Maybe you feel "guilty, ashamed, and remorseful" because you plan to change your conduct.

Maybe you feel "guilty only" because you got called into account, and don't enjoy that. But you don't necessarily want to change your conduct about it because you do not feel ashamed or remorseful.

Only you know how you actually feel at this point in time. Feelings take time to blow on through. Only you know what you want to do about it if anything at all. Everyone has to hold their own emotional baggage.

That may be hard to hear but I mean it kindly: You are always free to choose how you behave. You are not free from the consequences of having chosen that behavior.

Sometimes the consequences are fun to feel. Sometimes they are not. You now have opportunity to adjust your behavior in your next behavior choice.

People mess up.

If your feelings are just making static and you are not good at sorting that out right now? Could just focus on your "behavior done / not done" then. If previous conduct is not serving you well? What you do want to improve about your conduct next? See if that new behavior later ensues in new feelings that feel better to you than the feelings you are feeling right now.

But spending too much time looking backwards? That's facing your future butt first.

One can cry some over burned toast. But sooner or later one must clean up the yuck and get ON with making the new breakfast.

It's good to look back enough to discern what lessons you can learn, but then move forward and APPLY what you have discerned. Not just trade one "going in circles" type hamster wheel for another. If looking over stuff is keeping you in "stuckness" could STOP looking over stuff and just get on with making the improvements in your conduct.

Spending too much time looking for something outside your previous conduct to blame like your "polyness?" Life sucks because of this burned toast stink! Life sucks because I wanted toast for breakfast! Life sucks because of this toaster!

Changing to waffles? Bagels? Could still deal in the same burning problem.

That's not attacking the root of problem -- learn HOW to use to the toaster.

Learn HOW to attend to others wants, needs, and limits and consider them when you choose your behaviors when you are in a relationship. Not just consider you own things. Changing your behavior to execute the new plan to see if it creates a better way of going overall in your relationships regardless of the configuration or number of partners you have.

This is a basic interpersonal relationships skill. This is not a "poly only" thing.

Maybe my trying to make toast analogies doesn't serve you or resonate with you.

But whatever does resonate... Could focus on moving it forward and could change your behavior and could learn your "how to do it better" skills when relating to people.

You don't HAVE to. Nobody can make you -- not internet people, not Si, not Matt. You pick what you want to do next for yourself. You pick how you want to behave next.

But you could consider it if you want to.

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-30-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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  #224  
Old 03-30-2013, 05:11 PM
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StudentofLife StudentofLife is offline
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But spending too much time looking backwards? That's facing your future butt first.

One can cry some over burned toast. But sooner or later one must clean up the yuck and get ON with making the new breakfast.

Galagirl, I have come to believe you are a genius.
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  #225  
Old 03-30-2013, 08:34 PM
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Just played catch up.

My Mrs. mentioned the guilt thing last weekend. I listened to her. I kept telling her that I never blamed her or her lifestyle, way of living, state of being, existence, or what the hell ever, for anything that transpired. She wasn't trying to hear it then, and she isn't trying to hear it now. I can't make her stop feeling guilty or control what she does. When my Mrs. gets something in her brain, there's no stopping it. She ended her relationship today. I can't say I have an opinion on it one way or the other. It's not my place to question why she's doing things or feels that she has to change herself. In a perfect world, I'd have been able to talk her out of it or talk her off that ledge. "Your feelings are clouding your judgment." "Think about this some more before you make a decision." "Don't do something you might regret." All to no avail. I never asked or expected her to do that. I was working on living with the situation and dealing with it the best way possible. I guess she has things she needs to work on in her corner. I can't understand why she's chosen to wallow in guilt and past hurts. Shit happens. It's part of being human. She needs to forgive herself. There's nothing I can do but try to be there for her in whatever capacity she needs me to be. I guess I could slip on some wings and shoot people in the ass like my name is Cupid and bridge the gap by bringing them back together. I don't think that's my place either. I need to stay out of it. Opening my mouth earlier this month is what kicked all of this off, so I've done enough.
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  #226  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:40 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
I seriously contemplated ending the relationship and just keeping the marriage closed.

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.

Looking at these statements, recent developments ( the break up) and the title of the the thread couldn't experimental monogamy be worse from the OP point of view? Having had a poly dynamic from nearly day one (10 plus yrs ) having grown sick of that to now a closed relationship. To get 100% attention and time with his wife and family. And lets say they do that for a number of yrs and then that old poly identity which has been suppressed bubbles back to the surface....experiment failed I really want to go back to 2 equal partners/ Co primary's. Now who's got the high ground on eyes wide open and or this is what I signed up for ...or what I didn't sign up for???

Have these theoretical discussions taken place ?

I'm just trying to think what you could build into the system as a contingency for something like that ...but outside of saying during dates or intimacies "Yeah this was really nice and I had a great time but dont get to attached to all this time and attention there could be a cut coming you way"

Maybe sleep in separate rooms a few nights a week as to not get too use to waking up lovely entangled with your spouse.
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  #227  
Old 03-30-2013, 09:48 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Maybe sleep in separate rooms a few nights a week as to not get too use to waking up lovely entangled with your spouse.
Or being woken up by their snoring and farting...
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  #228  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:02 PM
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I don't think that ending the relationship was the best or only choice. I believe my wife will regret it. We're on two different pages. I was trying to find ways to work around it and stomach it. Rebuilding my tolerance. Much like with certain allergies. You take allergy pills or get weekly shots. Minor doses to get you to the point of at least being able to be close or around whatever it is. I know it's going to be weird. Her girlfriend has always been around, so just going back to two with no heads up? That hasn't been so since the beginning. Even then there was always the chance of there being someone else. I don't know what to expect from day to day.
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  #229  
Old 03-31-2013, 12:04 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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My Mrs. mentioned the guilt thing last weekend. I listened to her. I kept telling her that I never blamed her or her lifestyle, way of living, state of being, existence, or what the hell ever, for anything that transpired. She wasn't trying to hear it then, and she isn't trying to hear it now. I can't make her stop feeling guilty or control what she does.
Well, Matt, this is true. You cannot control how your spouse feels or behaves in her other relationship. Whether or not she regrets it -- that is also on her to deal with.

It's a challenging time for everyone involved because of the high emotion each has to process through. Nobody can do that for another. Each has to hold their own emotional baggage.

Be good to be able to take a time out to gather thoughts together and regain composure first before making decisions. It is not unreasonable to expect to feel all kinds of yucky in a situation like this.

You were able to take that time out space for yourself and seem to have benefited from that. I would suggest the same to your spouse -- to take a little time to digest some before making big changes. Even if coming to the same kinds of decisions -- she benefits from arriving there from a cooler head rather than a het up place. More calm within.

But it's on her in the end how she wants to behave through her individual process.

And it will be what it will be at the end of this long process that is still unfolding for the entire group of people.

I can only hope you each come to a more peaceful place at the final outcome.

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-31-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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  #230  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:20 AM
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I wish she'd take some time. She'll be in Indonesia for a wedding, but I know she won't relax or slow down. All of her energy will go towards the events around the wedding. That's only five days. Who knows what drastic changes she's going to make between now and the day she leaves? She just walked away from a long-term relationship and is willing to be something I know she's not. I haven't talked to her about how she's feeling. She's not here right now. If she's grieving, she's not showing it. I let her know that I'm here if she wants to talk. Giving her space and time. Hanging on here and hanging on this rollercoaster. No telling what's going to happen today.

Last edited by Matt; 03-31-2013 at 04:23 AM.
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