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  #11  
Old 04-23-2018, 07:04 AM
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endusal endusal is offline
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Galagirl, it did help, a lot, and organising things further (into values, goals, wants) in your next post helped even more. Thank you.

It went more or less decently, I think. We had about half an hour on our own on the way to the venue; I gave her a small gift for her upcoming birthday. Light talk, status updates about our life, no mention of our situation. We then mingled with other friends. None of them but one know; they only acknowledge me as Indaren's partner. I suppose it's hard on her.

I felt pretty horrible at times (PMS and accompanying cramps did not help). For all my instinctive sympathy, I find myself internally judging her attitude harshly: it seemed to me she boasted at some point of delinquent behaviour (non-sexual). This and many other instances over time make me very sceptical of her moral agency, although I recognise I carry a lot of bias, and string everything along a narrative infused with how she's hurt me by relentlessly pursuing her own needs. I am thinking I may have to take a leap of faith and not judge a person solely on account of their history (which admittedly is not very promising) but on their wish and potential to do better. I know at least she has that intention.

I tried to be polite, soft-spoken, non-challenging, and to try to respond whenever she reached out to me (and she did, I fully acknowledge that). What I could NOT help was that I was looking at her at times from afar while she was enjoying herself and being overwhelmed by negative emotions. I worry that someone (perhaps she, too) might have seen my expression. I worry that my internal judgement seeps through. (I did keep whispering the "I don't owe anyone submission or love, nor a place in my life, but my own principles demand that I treat everyone with a fundamental kindness and measure of understanding" bit I had written earlier in the day, to help me through). At some point Indaren texted me saying he was missing me. I then saw her check her phone; He would have texted her, too. I wondered whether he would say to her he was missing her, too, and it took away all the joy I might have felt at his expressed feelings to me. I don't think it's the case; I know the weight I have in his emotional world cannot be compared to anything else. It's just that at that moment it felt so depersonalised.

The next morning I woke up in sobs again. I immediately started reading the Jealousy Survival Guide (which I found very, very good). It steeled my resolve, reminded myself of my values and goals. By the time I had written a bit in my journal I was fully centred and energised again. When Indaren called to tell me Thelsa was feeling awful, too, probably disappointed and fretting over how our meeting went, I was at ease and confident enough to text her and ask how she's doing. She very obliquely said she was struggling, and just as obliquely I said that we start by doing the best we can. She told me she was glad I spoke to her. I told her the same.

I spent the rest of my day pleasantly. Spoke lengthily to one of my close friends who knows everything. She has an open-minded, structured approach that further helps me organise my thoughts better. I then went out to an art event and it was heartening to see people, reconnect with friends and acquaintances, be recognised, responded to warmly.

I knew this would be hard for me emotionally and all the bad stuff would flare up, but I am determined to cut myself some slack over possible slips, and just focus on a steady effort to do my very best, keeping the larger picture in mind. I should not overlook my very real privileges; and, bearing them in mind as well, go through it all with more compassion to both myself and others.

Thanks again for the support. It really makes a difference.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2018, 05:31 PM
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Sounds like things are looking up. That's good to hear.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2018, 08:02 PM
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So it wasn't a total disaster. There was no public meltdown or fights. Take the win.

And don't rush yourself into a next meeting. Sweets and cookies are enough to keep the door open.

I'm glad the book, the conversation and the art event helped, that's the important stuff... Finding the ways to foster self-love. Treating yourself kindly.
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  #14  
Old 04-24-2018, 10:16 AM
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endusal endusal is offline
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It does look like things are looking up.

I am now working a bit with NVC (Non-violent communication). I first came across it in More than Two, and again in the Jealousy Survival Guide, where it is a little more extensively outlined. (I have been unwittingly trying to practice elements that match it for a while before coming across it as a fully structured approach). I wish such tools were more commonly known. They make such a difference.

I think that, regardless whether a poly relationship will work out for me or not, the lessons I've been learning in general – about relationships, communication, understanding one's own and each other's needs – are invaluable.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2018, 10:34 AM
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endusal endusal is offline
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Just an update, now that it's been a month since the last post, to say that things have been going pretty well.

Thelsa and I slowly began talking again; Cautiously at first, but to this point we have established that we all well-disposed towards one another, feel comfortable enough to touch on emotional challenges when they crop up, and so on, and feel at ease with each other whenever we meet (about once or twice a week, usually the two of us through common activities, sometimes the three of us with Indaren). One of the main struggles I was having had to do with a sense of acknowledgement. I now feel that I've both got enough of that, and that my own need for it has readjusted.

I have concluded my therapy and feel more centred than on any other time in my life. I think that challenges always crop up as a part of life from time to time, and bring internal conflicts, too. But I find that even when I experience some emotional difficulty it does not destabilise me: I just mostly fret while it's running and try to get to the bottom of it, then come out the other side pretty fast. I also feel much more secure in my relationship with Indaren: we are more accepting of each other's ups and downs, can support each other, and make sure to nurture our relationship independently. So all in all, I have been hopeful for the future for quite a while. I've been having a good time, building other friendships and connections, taking on more responsibility at work, started working on my own art, too.

Even during the time I was at my lowest, early in 2018, I felt strongly that our situation shouldn't turn into sordidness for anyone involved. And I am particular glad because we all at different (or at the same time) say that getting together has helped us tremendously with our personal growth.
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2018, 07:00 PM
HurtandConfused HurtandConfused is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endusal View Post
Even during the time I was at my lowest, early in 2018, I felt strongly that our situation shouldn't turn into sordidness for anyone involved. And I am particular glad because we all at different (or at the same time) say that getting together has helped us tremendously with our personal growth.
Your situation sounds similar to mine; I'm glad to hear it is working out as I am eyeballing a similar path, I have no doubt this will change my relationship to a lot more drama (seems to be the common Poly theme.. haha) and communication and personal growth.

I hope I can figure my situatin out as well as you have, I'll tell you that a lot of the feelings you had mirror mine. I still am not sure where we will end up but I have a strong feeling it will be in a situation like yours.

I also have similar past issues with relationships that make this even harder.

Thanks for the posts, helps me see a brighter path.
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  #17  
Old 05-30-2018, 09:48 AM
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I'm really glad if it helps even a bit. I likewise found a lot of stories here helpful and encouraging when I was struggling.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2018, 11:19 AM
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endusal endusal is offline
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It's been a while since I posted. I've been struggling.

I have been reading my journals I've kept in the past year and a half and all I can read is constant, conscientious effort, a desire to understand and empathise with others, and much, much pain. I have accepted most of this pain as an integral part of the personal growth that has taken part in the same amount of time. For the past couple of months, now, I no longer feel this is the case. I feel poisoned and twisted by it. I feel helpless and that makes me turn to anger and hatred. When I catch myself falling down that road, I collapse. This has been happening again and again.

I've decided to cut off contact with Thelsa once more.

I feel I've been going out of my way to accommodate her, and she usually responds warmly, but I feel that she engages in subtle power plays with every chance and it messes me up. Perhaps that doesn't matter very much. I cannot even say that she does it consciously; I know she tries to do well, to some extend. What I see as power plays could be the results of her own internal conflicts to the situation. I don't believe it is my job to judge that, though I often get tempted to do exactly that in the wake of painful emptions this leaves me with.
The bottom line is that our encounters together, even though they could be described as pleasant, almost invariably leave me drained and feeling awful. It seems to me that don't respect my own boundaries too well in the first place, and so cannot quite demand of others to do that for me.

I went back to therapy because I'm buckling under stress.

I have gone through a great deal of pain to convince my partner to acknowledge how I feel and it's been hard on both of us. He has been putting a lot of effort and is discouraged by how he seems to miss the mark so frequently. We considered breaking up. Neither of us wants to. There is a lot of internalised guilt, too, going back and forth. We reached some common ground where we could make another effort by me saying I don't want her in my life, and that he should respect that. (In the past, he was pressuring me to be friends with her.) We agreed on that, and on the fact that I want some stability: a reliable schedule, punctuality, and minimising the risk of exposure. None of us three want this to be public knowledge anyway.

In the past year, he has changed his manner towards me drastically. He is always warm, kind and loving. He wants to stay close to me. He is appreciative and supportive. I recognise both his own struggles and his right to experience life as he wants to.

I am just trying to find a corner where I can somehow heal myself, and I cannot quite see what shape it might have.
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2018, 04:41 PM
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I'm so sorry you have suffered for so long. And now you can't perceive your pain as growing pains, but as actual poisoning of your life.

I'm sorry that despite his trying, your partner so often "misses the mark" on helping you deal with him having another female partner. I'm sorry she seems to make power plays when you spend time together too, even though she's trying to be respectful.

I read your intro from back in May and I don't see you explain why you agreed to try polyamory in the first place. I'm also curious about how long you and endusal have been together? And when did he meet Thelsa, a while after you two agreed to Open, or before?
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2018, 07:13 PM
MayDecember MayDecember is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endusal View Post
It's been a while since I posted. I've been struggling.

I have been reading my journals I've kept in the past year and a half and all I can read is constant, conscientious effort, a desire to understand and empathise with others, and much, much pain. I have accepted most of this pain as an integral part of the personal growth that has taken part in the same amount of time. For the past couple of months, now, I no longer feel this is the case. I feel poisoned and twisted by it. I feel helpless and that makes me turn to anger and hatred. When I catch myself falling down that road, I collapse. This has been happening again and again.
Oh my God honey, how my heart aches for you. Talk about needing a hug.

Forgive me, this just isn't right. You will self-destruct looking at a future of pain and suffering. Of course you break down! When you see a field of flowers ahead, like it is too good to be true, you are on top of the world. It's not rocket science here.

As the man, looking at my #1, if I see hurt then I drop what I am doing. A man acts to pre-empt hurt by following strict protocols, and not permitting manipulative plays by anyone. But it is clear who the boss is for us, and it is my wife. Everyone's poly can be different, that's just ours. But the structure - parallel or whatever - has to be clear and people have to be totally cool with it. You aren't.

Your feelings are natural. There is nothing wrong with you.

It sounds like you zeroed in on something important, about boundaries: if you don't respect your own boundaries then nobody else will. They aren't boundaries in any case, if you let people exceed them.

You haven't been happy for a long time and what you are facing with this girl sounds like Covert Aggression. Dr. Georege Simon's book "In Sheep's Clothing" is a quick read and enormously empowering in understanding it.

A person can be cool with Poly, but the plan is executed poorly. Like choosing Ted Bundy as a companion.

The most alarming thing you said pertained to him not acknowledging how you feel. If not, it is a dealbreaker for a person with self-respect.

I re-read that part to make sure I don't misunderstand. It seems there has been progress with you saying "no" to a forced friendship with her, and him conceding.

I don't see the need for it.

The stability and reliable schedule - that is a step forward. A guy who won't give that is playing both against the other.


Magdyln asked an important question.

My warm regards. Best of luck.
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