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  #51  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by beginninglove View Post
just for the record, sam, alex, and i are all queer females
ah, sorry for the assumption.
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  #52  
Old 11-08-2011, 06:31 PM
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Hey all, just wanted to give an update in case anyone is curious. I attempted to break up with Alex last Tuesday, and we agreed on a trial separation. However, over the past week as we have been trying to figure out what that would look like and what we would be trying to accomplish, we have decided to keep trying to work things out. I have realized that it is true that there are some issues that I need to work on in myself - old issues around trust and shame especially - but that having a supportive partner that also pushes my buttons may help me more in that work than trying to do it on my own. Not to say that she and I will be able to stick it out indefinitely...who knows? But for now that is what is happening.

We built a fire one night and I sat gazing at the logs, thinking about Magdlyn's analogy of the long-burning, deeply hot glowing log and the quick burn fire made of kindling. I was thinking about how sad it would be if there were only one kind of fire. Each type has it own beauty and interesting qualities. The fire made of kindling is easy to know because it is so easy to start, but the deeply glowing log takes patience to get to, and often some tending as well.

An update on Sam also: we have been having playdates about once a week. Last week she visited a cross-country lover for about a week, and I wondered how it would be when she got back. The other person she was seeing ended up breaking up with her primary partner and now has much more time and freedom to be with Sam, and it sounds like she may even want a primary (possibly even mono) relationship with Sam. Sam and I had a fantastic heart-to-heart about this and she told me she was not interested in giving up what she and I have, and I was very relieved to hear that! It even sounded like perhaps having her other lover break up with her primary is taking somewhat of a toll on her and Sam's connection due to a different kind of dynamic and perhaps even added pressure.

This got me thinking about how interesting it is that it seems like poly relationships seek and often find a balance for awhile, and then changes in the structure of any one relationship has ripple effects in the other relationships. Of course, everything is impermanent and ever-changing, but it is interesting to see how things change, then balance is sought, sometimes obtained for awhile, and then something changes and shifts everything again.
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  #53  
Old 11-08-2011, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginninglove View Post
... we have decided to keep trying to work things out. I have realized that it is true that there are some issues that I need to work on in myself ...
And aren't there issues she needs to work on?

I'm happy that you've reached a place in which you are comfortable, but please be careful not to step into the role of "the fucked-up one with issues" in this relationship. Your needs, fears, insecurities, inhibitions, etc., are your own to work on, but don't look at Alex like the "together" one who is so supportive and has to wait for you to get your shit in order.

I do recall that she is prone to making passive-aggressive comments about what you want, which you internalize, thereby leaving you to feel shitty, and like you were a bad person for wanting your relationship with Sam. If I were you, I'd make it clear that you are not the only one who needs to do some work here. I'd ask Alex that she take a look at her role in the discomfort you've felt, and how hurtful that kind of judgment and anger can be, even if the remarks are made with a smile or disguised as poking fun. If she doesn't get a handle on her tendency to make little jabs at you (probably out of defensiveness), it will undermine your attempts at striving for self-awareness and balance.

You've acknowledged that you need to work on your communications skills, but you BOTH need to! You would do well to work toward developing enough trust to be able to express the hidden or most painful feelings you have. Are you going to try therapy or a counselor? If so, I think it would behoove you to go together, and for you to really speak up and not swallow it when she dishes nastiness out to you (I'm not saying she isn't also wonderful and loving and supportive and kind, but everyone has issues).
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-08-2011 at 06:58 PM.
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  #54  
Old 11-09-2011, 12:29 AM
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you are totally right. i do have the tendency to feel like the "fucked up one", especially since i'm the one with the chaotic childhood, lack of models for successful relationships, etc and the one asking for change in our relationship. i also feel like i have been portrayed as the "difficult one" because of the changes i have asked for in the structure of our relationship (from mono to poly), and because she likes to tell me how our friends tell her they would never put up with it. so its easy for her to seem like the hero in this situation for even staying with me through this. thus, she feels very justified in making comments that put her in a martyr role, and me in a selfish one. because of this, i have also held off on talking too much about my feelings for sam because she has been really insistent that our relationship is "non-monogamous" as opposed to "polyamorous", meaning outside sex is okay, but love is not. i realize this is unrealistic in terms of my ongoing realtionship with sam, as i already have feelings for her even though i realize it is NRE and i feel like i have really gotten a handle on it as of late. is it wrong for me to not talk to alex about my feelings for sam? i am hoping that alex will come around on this issue with time, but i wonder if this type of withholding is really damaging?
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  #55  
Old 11-09-2011, 12:48 AM
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Sooo... in what way is someone who cuts you down, portrays you as the bad guy, and won't allow space for you to express your authentic feelings a "supportive partner"?
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  #56  
Old 11-09-2011, 12:54 AM
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Also, I feel I have to point this out -- you're deceiving her about the nature of your relationship by allowing her to believe you're emotionally monogamous when you're not, whether or not you've told Sam how you feel. Generally, basing a relationship on a lie for the sake of one partner's comfort doesn't resolve itself well.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #57  
Old 11-09-2011, 06:45 PM
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thanks for asking the hard questions, annabel. you're right in that alex does mkae passive aggressive remarks and seems to get some kind of solace from hearing from her friends that she's a rock star for hanging in there through this. she also has been working hard and at a faster pace than i think she prefers, in order for us to be able to open up our relationship this way. so i do give her props for that. she also has been supportive of my work on myself and has tried to be patient with me as i figure out what that looks like. i don't know that we will be able to stick through it as i grow and change as a result of this work i need to do. alex is pretty insecure and easily threatened. she may decide that this is all too much.

i was thinking the other day about how love is not a commodity, it is something to be freely given and received and we all could benefit from learning to revel in it when it arises in our life. i suppose if we were all enlightened beings, we would all feel such a deep love for each other all the time, even strangers. but romantic love often triggers the need to control and possess, and i would like to learn how to transform that in myself. i have started to feel what transforming that feels like, as i feel i have already been doing that with sam.

i do need to talk to alex about my feelings for sam. i feel somewhat at a loss of what words to use (i hate the whole "i love her but i am not 'in love' with her" distinction, what does that really mean??) and i fear triggering alex when really i am happy with what i have with sam right now and at the moment i don't feel like i am pining for more. sometimes i do wish i had more freedom in how often and in what context i get to see her.

on a side note, i have been approached by some friends of ours who are a couple who want me to hook up with them. i definitely am attracted to both of them and really want to do this, but am also wary of throwing something else into the mix right now. i'm thinking i should probably hold off on this for a bit, but i'm wondering how to handle approaching alex about this eventually. i wonder if she will also feel frustrated that here is yet another thing to deal with on top of the sam situation. she has already expressed feelings of jealousy around my connection with one of the members of the couple, and i wonder if she will feel left out somehow by not being invited in on the action. i'm not sure she would be up for it even if she was, but i wonder if other folks have run into this situation? does this just sound like a horrible idea?
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  #58  
Old 11-09-2011, 07:03 PM
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To tell you the truth, you sounded more confident about breaking up with her and moving on. Now that you've back-tracked, you are all over the place and second-guessing yourself again. I'm not suggesting anything, but what does that tell you?
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  #59  
Old 11-09-2011, 08:46 PM
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hmm, that is some super interesting feedback. i definitely have noticed that my body was more energized when i was convinced i would break up with her, and now i feel more anxious/tired. but i have been attributing it to just the hard work that comes with long-term relationships, thinking that we/i will come out on the other side of this eventually.

here's the other wrench in my confidence as of late: in the past month, both my mother and sister have been diagnosed with breast cancer. i went for a mammogram to get myself checked out, and as a result of microcalcifications they found they are asking me to come back for a biopsy. i am not terrified and i know i will be okay no matter what, but it has brought home how nice it is to have someone who i know cares, knows my family and cares about them too, and who i know will support me through whatever i end up needing to go through. that's not to say i don't have other people in my life who will support me, because i do. it just has given me another perspective to think about. i don't want to stay with alex out of fear of being alone, but how does one weigh the pros and cons without thinking about these things?
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  #60  
Old 11-11-2011, 06:27 PM
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So sam just cancelled a playdate with me for the first time ever. Her long distance lover is coming into town spontaneously and sam feels like it would be disrespectful to keep her date with me since this woman is coming from so far away. I feel a little disappointed that she would cancel our date rather than tell the other person that she had a standing date and she should consider that when making her travel arrangements, but sam didn't choose that route and that's okay. It does hurt a little but it's the kind of hurt that makes me feel stronger somehow. Like hey, yes I can acknowledge that it hurts and I can roll with it too. I know I can't give sam my full attention while I'm still with alex, and even if alex and I break up I know that I would still need my space where sam is concerned. Sam wants more time and attention than I can give her and I get that. Still, my heart hurts. I notice that my impulse is to withdraw, end things with sam before she ends them with me, but i'm just trying to notice those feelings and not do anything reactive.
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