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Old 09-21-2010, 04:49 AM
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Default Secondary guilt/triggers?

I was visiting one of my long-distance boyfriends this weekend and met his local, primary girlfriend for the first time. She was tense and uncomfortable during the visit (tea at a local shop) and later on she sent him an email saying she'd been a bit freaked out by meeting me, though she said that it wasn't anything either of us had said or done at the time.

I've actually been dating my boyfriend longer than she has, though she sees him more often because of the distance between he and I. I was surprised and have been feeling increasingly anxious and a bit guilty about causing problems between them, as well as nervous about repercussions for me and my relationship with him. I've let my boyfriend know how I feel but I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and how you've dealt with it?
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:18 AM
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Almost daily for the last 18 months. Secondary doesn't mean less love, on the contrary, however it does mean alot of anxiety and tiptoeing. Sometimes I am not so graceful on the tiptoeing part. I haven't had any experience with lessening degrees of anxiety in this as of yet. I feel guilt for pain that KT and my husband have felt; but not guilt in the development of my relationship with 2Rings.
For the anxiety I have been really lucky in the friends I have made on here- both sides of the fence so to speak. I have gotten really sound advice and thunks to the head- I have not always taken it at first offer, often to my detriment but always eventually concede the point. You know when everyone you trust says "hey, that wasn't the best way to deal with ____________," then you kind of need to take heed(spelling?). I can be brash and quick to temper but usually that is because I am hurt or worried, and need some kind of outlet or action to take away the nervousness/pain. Believe me it is not ever the best way to handle a situation.
I would think that the best way to deal with all of the negative emotions of being a secondary is to be patient, wait it out, don't act before the dust has settled, be as supportive to your lover as you can be and try to understand the fear and insecurity from which your lover's primary is working. It really isn't ABOUT you, it is about them and where they need to find security in eachother. Unless you are overtly or even covertly trying to put distance or distrust between them, you aren't to blame for discomfort between them. Someone on here (LR maybe) has said you can only control your behaviors. You can only be responsible for your own happiness, or journey to happiness. You cannot let the fear of what may happen to them dictate what your relationship is. In short, be true to you (Mono said that I think). And relish in the fact that you can take a break from the drama by it being an LDR.
I am no expert but I know how you feel. Chin up!
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:59 AM
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Aw gemini girl that sounds rubish, I don't have a completely direct comparison, but was in sort of similar place a while ago. One of my best friends from school is male, we went to diffent uni's and he met his (now ex -but thats irrelivant) girlfriend there, when I went up to visit she was jelous of our friendship (evan tho it has always been totally platonic and aromantic.) Has your sweetie got other loves? Has she met them? Could it be she's just adjusting to the reality of your pressence? I totally know what you mean re not wanting to cause people you love heartache, but I agree with morning glory, really don't think you have anything to feel guilty about. It sounds like you went with good intentions and treated everyone nicely, imo there is nothing more you could have done. Hopefully time and communication will heal her wibbles and all will be able to be healthy and happy. I coped with my sitch by remaining constant with my friend and trying not to dwell on it, for us it blew over. Hope the best happens for you

peace and love

Nim
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:02 PM
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Having been the person who was uncomfortable with meeting my husband's partner for the first time a lot of it for me was because there was an expectation that we would just get along and could just jump right into a friendship. I'd never met her before and had no idea if I would like her and the way that I had agreed to meet her in the first place was changed on me. I think maybe she has some stuff to work through and chances are that it will all blow over once she gets to the bottom of why she was uncomfortable. From what you've said here, Gemini, I think this is her stuff to own and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. Deep breaths and I hope the rest of your trip other than the coffee shop incident was enjoyable.

-Derby
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:02 PM
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From the perspective of the freaked out primary, I can tell you that sometimes I communicate things like this to Easy, and it's just that, communication. I'm letting him know how I feel and that I might need his help to work through it. Since she said that it wasn't anything either of you did, it sounds like she wasn't so much upset as nervous. I second the idea that she's got some stuff to work out, but it doesn't sound like anything you need to worry about, and certainly not feel guilty!

Also, if there are problems that you're not causing intentionally, if you're behaving normally and in a mature, adult fashion, then you're not actually "causing" them, do you know what I mean?
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:37 PM
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Yep, you're all bang on, of course, in the sense that I don't have to feel guilty about her emotions or nervousness. I have figured out that I have a trigger about this kind of situation since being in a poly relationship years ago with a couple. When my girlfriend would get triggered, she enlisted our boyfriend to help her, in effect, punish me for how she was feeling and this has resulted in me being more stressed than I should be when I feel like "oh no.. it's happening again!"

Fortunately, I've been able to communicate this to my current partners.

*deep breaths and letting it be for now*

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminigirl View Post
Yep, you're all bang on, of course, in the sense that I don't have to feel guilty about her emotions or nervousness. I have figured out that I have a trigger about this kind of situation since being in a poly relationship years ago with a couple. When my girlfriend would get triggered, she enlisted our boyfriend to help her, in effect, punish me for how she was feeling and this has resulted in me being more stressed than I should be when I feel like "oh no.. it's happening again!"

Fortunately, I've been able to communicate this to my current partners.

*deep breaths and letting it be for now*

Nice to hear GeminiGirl see you tonight!
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:49 PM
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I think its important to remember that you came to life for her. Up until now you have only been seen I pictures, have been an on line partner to your shared love. She knows you are real, that isn't what I mean, it's just that when actually faced with someone, it is a completely different thing.

Just as in meeting someone you have been chatting with on line. There is all kinds of assumptions made about who they are based on what you know in text and pictures/videos, then you met them and see that they are flesh and blood just like you, have an energy about them, just like you and that there is all the other bits that are not relayed in text etc, just like you. Chances are it was just a shock and she will adjust with time.

No doubt it will have brought up some stuff for her around boundaries and what her needs are with your love, but that is a good thing no? Maybe just a few points, maybe more....better that than nothing. I would be more concerned with nothing! I would wonder if she were human!
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:53 PM
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Hehe, yep, I agree RP. Better she and our mutual lover discuss things now than leave them to grow and get bigger than they need to be. My job is just to be patient and trust him to communicate to me when the time comes. EASY job, right? :P

Hugs & see you tonight at the monogamy debate, Mono!
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminigirl View Post
My job is just to be patient and trust him to communicate to me when the time comes. EASY job, right? :P
Oh ya, real easy...
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