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Old 02-20-2018, 01:45 AM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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One of the things that is the most missed for me in mu current dating situation is the lack of a consistent “family”. I have people who join in with me. Or I with them, for various lengths of time, sometimes days at a time; sometimes very short. It makes me very, very happy to have the sort of situation where we are eating together and pitching in (not a given even when spending time, because of a partner’s depression). The kids seem to thrive, too.

Then it ends- usually by someone leaving- and I have an increasingly predictable reaction, going through all the grief stages, and making it hard to work for a bit. Makes me a bit of a crappy parent and worker, and has me questioning how to do differently.

It helps if: I don’t see three people in three days that I love, followed by not seeing anyone, because that’s a lot of goodbyes in a short period of time, and harder to be alone after..

It helps if I’m the one to leave. Or at least alternate- it’s harder if I can’t name the last time a “goodbye” wasn’t someone leaving my house.

It helps if I’m seeing someone I love 50% or more of the days.

Having some overnights helps.

It helps if the goodbye is connected, to the point I will stop dating people who deal with goodbyes by turning their emotions off.

It helps to avoid kink, unless by rare stroke of luck, we have extended time after together.. (I’m more vulnerable after, and not having the person present exxagerates the crash)

It can help not being vulnerable or considering them less close than they are, but then, what’s the point of relationships if we can’t be vulnerable.
———
Sometimes it helps to not talk to others until I’m over whoever sufficiently- otherwise, it’s more missing. It helps if someone reaches out to me, not me to them, when I’m feeling vulnerable and unbalanced.

Self-care doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference- in fact, jumping into enjoying kids or friends in any capacity, including giving, seems a better strategy.

It’s especially difficult if I don’t know the ending time of time together before it starts, or end a get together or series of get togethers not knowing when I will next see anyone again. Yet- there’s only so much scheduling that can be done in advance given my irregular schedule, and other people who need to be checked in with.

It often has me questioning “is it worth it?” especially if the reaction lasts longer than our time together.

Any idea what is going on or how to mitigate? I’m slightly emotion blind, so I’ve only just figured out this set of feelings is grief. I’m not sure how normal this is— if it’s something that most people would feel if in a solo poly life while not really designed for it, and if I should work on changing the circumstances— or if I am overreacting/reacting to baggage, and should work on changing me.

Last edited by 1234567; 02-20-2018 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:11 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I could be wrong and I also found that a bit hard to read without names. I assume most of this pertains to your situation with Apple? My general impression is that you sound really lonely.

And like you are living out "solo poly" with some bright spots of "family togetherness" in there somewhere. But it isn't enough to make up for the not so bright spots where you feel left out or lonely or sad. Cuz you don't really want to be doing solo poly.

Is that it?

Quote:
Any idea what is going on or how to mitigate? I’m slightly emotion blind, so I’ve only just figured out this set of feelings is grief. I’m not sure how normal this is— if it’s something that most people would feel if in a solo poly life while not really designed for it, and if I should work on changing the circumstances— or if I am overreacting/reacting to baggage, and should work on changing me.
TBH? I think Apple's depression makes her a patient partner, not a regular partner. And maybe what you want most is a regular partner. Maybe you don't want to be doing caregiver stuff any more.

You also sound like you mostly fill the gaps so Apple and Banana can function together better... but I'm not too sure who fills your gaps to help YOU function better. It sounds like this situation is sucking you dry. But you aren't ready to give it up or leave it and are trying to figure out how to make it work.

Maybe you are in the bargaining stage of grief and not at final acceptance.

TBH? It largely sounds like a one-sided relationship to me. I think you are in or approaching caregiver burn out. One where you do a lot of caregiver service towards supporting Apple, but it's starting to suck you dry because you don't get enough out of it in return. The family time is nice, but it doesn't make up for the lack of dating time.

And maybe it hurts to think about parting ways, but staying here like this also hurts.

I think if you are going to stay, you have to make enough changes so you are taking care of yourself too. Not the center focus of everyone's attention being Apple and her depression.

In your other post? You had Banana stuff and Cherry stuff and Apple stuff. If you can hang in there better with the Apple stuff if it was JUST the Apple stuff? I encourage you to talk directly to Banana and Cherry to sort those parts out so your load is lighter.

After that? If the Apple load is still too much? You may have to let it go for your own mental health and well being.

Quote:
It often has me questioning “is it worth it?” especially if the reaction lasts longer than our time together.
If you get 2 days of "time together" and then have to spend more than 2 days in a funk recovering from the goodbye? I would say no. It is not worth it. Takes more out of you than it puts in.

Also kinda like picking at a scab. Be easier to me to do the final goodbye, heal for real, and stop picking at it. Rather than pick and repick.

But that is me. You have to figure out what you want to do with all this and what is "worth it" to you.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-20-2018 at 05:55 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2018, 11:06 AM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
One of the things that is the most missed for me in mu current dating situation is the lack of a consistent ďfamilyĒ. I have people who join in with me. Or I with them, for various lengths of time, sometimes days at a time; sometimes very short. It makes me very, very happy to have the sort of situation where we are eating together and pitching in (not a given even when spending time, because of a partnerís depression). The kids seem to thrive, too.

Then it ends- usually by someone leaving- and I have an increasingly predictable reaction, going through all the grief stages, and making it hard to work for a bit. Makes me a bit of a crappy parent and worker, and has me questioning how to do differently.


It often has me questioning ďis it worth it?Ē especially if the reaction lasts longer than our time together.

Any idea what is going on or how to mitigate? Iím slightly emotion blind, so Iíve only just figured out this set of feelings is grief. Iím not sure how normal this is
I don't know how "normal" it is either, but it's definitely a form of grief.

I entered a phase of deep sadness, confusion and anxiety after Jester's lifestyle abruptly changed and his NRE died out suddenly... while I myself was still fully immersed in all the pleasurable emotions we associate with new love.

Later still, I crashed hard when I returned home after spending an uninterrupted month in the home country of my partners. Going from being with my loves 24/7 for weeks, to zero in-person time at all (our relationship is long distance) sent me into a downward spiral of depression a few days after returning home.

Even if you're the sort of person who values "alone time", there are limits to how long you can spend in your own company without missing those you love, and - even worse sometimes - feeling you are missing out on important moments and events in their lives; ones you'd prefer to share together if it were possible.

Technology, photos and anecdotes recalled later can only go so far towards bridging that communication gap - especially if the person CAN'T keep you in the loop in "real time" because of family commitments that take precedence, difficult relationships with other partners, or personal limitations and challenges, such as mental illness or addiction issues.

It is immensely difficult to sit on the sidelines, waiting and watching from "without" a world going on without you. It is hard to constantly be left yearning for something you can rarely have, yet be expected to remain patient and supportive while other reap the benefits of that support.

Unfortunately, I have no easy answer. Other than end the relationship outright, the only workable solution I can think of is to search for a partner who is more available and less burdened by complicated commitments elsewhere (health or partner issues, for example). A live-in polyamorous partner might be what you need. Or, if not live in, at least someone who is willing and able to spend at least 50 percent of their free time with you.
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Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible
Jester: M, 59, straight, primary partner (LD)
Boho: F, 57, heteroflexible, primary partner (LD)

Red: M, 53, straight, ex-husband
Bud: early 20s, son
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2018, 02:05 PM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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THAnks- that all helps. It sort of frees things up. And lonely- thatís a good word. (It may seem obvious to you- but again, the touch of emotional blindness makes me need to work harder to identify what is going on). I think I might need to take that a bit more seriously. A friend is coming over with kids today- one of my emotionally and logistically intimate friends- and my whole world has brightened up.

I think what I miss is a combination of time and emotional intimacy.

My polycule at the moment is Apple, Date- who is. FWB who therenis also love with, Dateís wife, a friend with some benefits, and Esteban, my ex.

The most present is Esteban. Used to be Apple. The coparenting thing with Esteban created consistency, partly, and we do manage to have a family connection.

Exploring this set of feelings was set off by feeling the same sense of absence I usually do with Apple when a family vacation with Esteban came to an end,

Esteban is; logistically, a huge bright spot- a wonderful helper. We overnight at eachotherís place, and all- especially during storms, as we each live close to the otherís work, and holidays.

The down side is Esteban and I we were REALLY volatile together- without assigning blame- and working things out when they happen seems to be off the table. Same dynamics apply as did then- if asked to do something differently thereís a mass of exhausting defensiveness. Which is way less volatile than it used to be- itís at least in the boundaries of decent behavior now. But it does mean sometimes the best response to being treated unfairly is distance, not talking about it. (Hence limited emotional intimacy- weíre great in the friends department. And he makes a great person to bounce off stuff with other relationships. But solving ours- not so much.).

The most emotionally intimate was Apple. But itís shifted into the same dynamics as with Estebanó talking ďusĒ stuff exhausts her, and is really off the table; she really does well in being there for my despite everything, but thereís heck of a lot in her way right now.

Multiple people feeling talking is too much has me questioning if it is me- and I think that is valid. No one has a right to emotional labor from anyoneó but also, itís sort of necessary to do SOME to have an emotionally intimate relationship- unless Iím wrong there. So Iím trying I figure out boundaries there- I suspect I picked up a sense of entitlement to emotional labor somewhere that is unhealthy, but also, ironically, a sense of tolerance for not having it present.

Date is my sexual flameó I have loved sex with all of my partners when it happened, but he has a way of playing off my strengths that is really delightful. Seriously amazing.

The problem is after amazing intensity and lust and happiness - I crash super hard when I leave him. He is conscious of the fact I can, and gets why, and sensitive to it, and knows that it helps me to reach out- and always responds- and is a very present partner considering we are so low-communication, low-commitment ó but I think all the hormones make the parting harder. When things are right in my life elsewhere, it works- I head into the rest of my life happy and grateful- when Iím lonely, it just makes it worse.

And I think youíre both right- itís made me very happy when I can spend a large chunk of my life just doing regular couply things, and either someone who could do that with half their spare time or some other way where I GOT that would work. I think I do a pretty good job of getting it to happen with the people I have occasionallyó but itís always a question- when will I next have this? - rather than a given- ďI can relax because I have a sense of family and community in my lifeĒ.

Partners often provide that. But not this sense right now.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:15 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thank you for using names and more info.

Quote:
Multiple people feeling talking is too much has me questioning if it is me- and I think that is valid. No one has a right to emotional labor from anyoneó but also, itís sort of necessary to do SOME to have an emotionally intimate relationship- unless Iím wrong there.
I think maybe you expect emotional intimacy from relationships that aren't fruitful for that.
  • Volatile ex? Even though he works better as friend and coparent now? Still volatile. To seek emotional intimacy there is not a good expectation.
  • Depressed patient person Apple? Even though she tries hard? Still a sick patient person. To seek emotional intimacy there is not a good expectation.

You seem to keep wanting emotional intimacy from these people because these are the people who are already around. Rather than work to cultivate it elsewhere. How about the friend with the kids who came over? Meeting new people who are more compatible for this kind of sharing?

With Date... even though the sex share is awesome?

Quote:
When things are right in my life elsewhere, it works- I head into the rest of my life happy and grateful- when Iím lonely, it just makes it worse.
Then don't share sex with Date when you feel lonely. Only share it when you feel ok. That is a personal boundary you could have for yourself.

Quote:
And I think youíre both right- itís made me very happy when I can spend a large chunk of my life just doing regular couply things, and either someone who could do that with half their spare time or some other way where I GOT that would work.
To me it sounds like since you have let go of expectations for Apple to be that? You could take some time to heal from the break up. (Even if you both want to transition to a new model, you will mourn the old thing. Because Apple cannot be your #1 emotional partner any more.)

Then start dating again to find a person who can provide you with emotional intimacy and the companionship you crave.

Galagirl
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:35 PM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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That sounds reasonable and logical. I think the only thing holding me back is tornness— it really seems good for my kids at this stage to have two parents around. It’s a configuration that works well for THEM- Esteban is usually very friendly to my dates, but not all tolerate him quite as well as Apple. And new people need quite a lot of solo time, which cuts into kid time.

And the pros of integrating Esteban into my life besides longevity and friendship include more time with my kids. Who are more important to me than my love life.

But perhaps less of a happy/effective time if I’ve used up my extrovert/together tolerance without getting emotional intimacy needs met.

This is probably more of a parent dilemma than a love life dilemma.

And I’m definately cultivating my friendships, actively, that are more integrated and emotionally intimate. Especially ones with kids the same ages.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:49 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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What does "having 2 parents around" mean? Physically around? Do you and Esteban cohabitate?

Or emotionally available, and spending regular time with them? Something else?

Are you divorced? Who has custody?

Quote:
But perhaps less of a happy/effective time if I’ve used up my extrovert/together tolerance without getting emotional intimacy needs met.
Yup.

Sometimes I have to tell my kids NO when they want something. Not because I don't love them, but because I have to take care of my basics before I help anyone else with bonus. It might be a basic to them but their basic? Is MY bonus. They can do their best on their own attending to their basics, and then I will try to come help them out when my own basic stuff is done. Cuz I am not helping anyone before I pee in the morning! I have to attend to ME first.

If I'm running ragged, I cannot be a good parent.

So if you are running ragged? You may have to attend to your own self care more. And rethink what it is the kids need.

They need you putting them first all the time no matter what even at the cost of dinging your own self?

Or they need you at your best?

Kids also watch. "Is running myself ragged and putting others first all the time" the thing you want to teach them to do when it is their turn as adults?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-20-2018 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:57 PM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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Iím thinking itís a simple if/then.

IF I want to continue to have Date, Apple, and Esteban as major players in my life, in any form for any reason, THEN I also have to dedicate time to cultivate string emotionally intimate relationships outside of what they can offer to balance, in order to be an effective parent and person, and loving to myself.

I can figure out the exact balance and how as I go along

Thank you for helping me unstucka both of you.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:58 PM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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Crossed posts- shared custody. Flexible as to the needs of both parties.

We have separate homes but sometimes share space and time when it is convenient, including offering thenother a bed if storms/late nights/proximity to work/ability to see kids involves logistics where sleeping in the other’s space is easier. which is usually at least once a week right now. And find we like the ability to parent one on one that provides. And it makes the kids happy/ meets some of our company needs.

Last edited by 1234567; 02-20-2018 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:59 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad talking some helped you get unstuck.

Galagirl
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