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  #181  
Old 03-17-2011, 09:59 PM
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Hey Lady I

I am very impressed with you. For one so new you really seem to have come to grips with poly/mono in a very measured and healthy way.

I don't quite understand what you mean when you say that your personal boundaries are welded together? Perhaps you could explain that a bit further?

I am in a big learning phase around co-dependence so I apologise to anyone if I have things out of whack.

Like anyone Z has some quite distinct ....I can't find a word for it. It's more than moods, it's the way his energy is. His energy ranges from beautiful and very loving to sad and emotionally withdrawn.
I've noticed that I've been invested in keeping him in the "beautiful loving" space. What's wrong with that? It prevents him from dealing with his stuff. Sometimes he needs to go into his dark and lonely cave to work through things.

His relationship with J is one of those issues. It is unbalanced (he's far more invested in it than she is). A lot of it is fantasy in his mind but I've been supporting it because it makes him so happy (i.e in his loving energy space).
Now that I've realised this I'm going to start very gently speaking my truth (when the opportunity presents itself), even though I know I risk losing him to his big black cave.

We can be all set for a wonderful weekend together and if I touch a nerve it can be wiped out, he can be emotionally withdrawn and sad for days. So I've learnt to stay away from those nerves. But this isn't healthy for either of us and now I'm learning to create my own lovely energy so that I can allow him his cave and hopefully help him deal with the nasties that lurk there.

hugs right back at you

Sage
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  #182  
Old 03-17-2011, 10:16 PM
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I've noticed that I've been invested in keeping him in the "beautiful loving" space. What's wrong with that? It prevents him from dealing with his stuff. Sometimes he needs to go into his dark and lonely cave to work through things.

. . .

We can be all set for a wonderful weekend together and if I touch a nerve it can be wiped out, he can be emotionally withdrawn and sad for days. So I've learnt to stay away from those nerves. But this isn't healthy for either of us and now I'm learning to create my own lovely energy so that I can allow him his cave and hopefully help him deal with the nasties that lurk there.
Ah, Sage, this is a key realization.

I remember one occasion, early on in my marriage, when my husband was quite upset and angry about something. I don't recall the particulars, but I know his upset wasn't from an outside source, like something that had happened to him that day, but an issue he had with us or our relationship. He wanted to argue his point, I think. Anyway, my response to him was something like, "Well, you have every right to feel what you're feeling and there's nothing I can do to change that. But I'm not going to argue with you about it. When you're ready to have a conversation, let's talk about it."

He told me afterward (when he was ready to talk) that the fact I didn't try to change or prevent him from processing whatever he needed to process instantly melted him. He said he realized at that moment that I was willing to let him be who he was, and that the stuff he had going on was his stuff and not my responsibility. He told me that when I said he had every right to feel whatever he was feeling that he felt like he had a true partner.

I don't think you were talking about J. being angry about something, but I think you see why your post reminded me of this. There is so much value in letting people be, as well as being available to prod, comfort, or shake them, etc., when they need it. This is why I often do not immediately touch or hold someone who is crying -- because making contact physically could dissipate the release of energy they are experiencing. People get so uncomfortable with others' discomfort, we don't realize how much we are invested in comforting others or making them happy largely so that we ourselves don't have to see them going through that pain.
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solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 03-17-2011 at 10:30 PM.
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  #183  
Old 03-17-2011, 10:50 PM
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I don't quite understand what you mean when you say that your personal boundaries are welded together? Perhaps you could explain that a bit further?
The short version of what I mean is it can be hard at times to know where my needs end and his begin, or vice versa.

Long answer: My husband and I are so in tune with each other that when we are happy or sad, in pain, angry, etc. the other one is very much aware of it as well and often feeling it. I don't think that is a bad thing, but the next part that often happens is not great: when it is him who is in pain then I want to help him or heal that pain, I don't let him heal himself at times. I tend to do this with the "negative" emotions like pain and anger. I feel pain too so I want it to be immediately over, or I feel the anger and I don't like it so I try to calm him down right away. Sometimes this means that the actual issue is not worked out, but just a band-aid is put on.

I am learning a similar lesson to yours with Z (it sounds like): I need to let him deal with things his own way and not interfere sometimes.

Thanks as always for the emotional support! And NYCindie I wish that I had learned the lesson apparently you already knew, year ago!
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  #184  
Old 03-17-2011, 11:09 PM
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And NYCindie I wish that I had learned the lesson apparently you already knew, year ago!
Oh hey, thanks, but it could be that I just hate to get into arguments, and it worked out in my favor and made me look really enlightened when I just wanted peace and quiet! Hahaha!
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #185  
Old 03-18-2011, 01:48 AM
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It's nice to have one's realizations acknowledged.
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  #186  
Old 03-18-2011, 03:28 AM
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Not that this is a cure-all at all, but has Macha ever been to counseling? Do you think he might be willing to go? It is helping our communication skills to talk to someone who has seen other people with similar communication issues to ours. She is able to somewhat untangle our communications in front of us and applying that has helped when we are alone as well.
He's in counseling. We've gone off and on over the years. But, not for long enough for anything to stick. The hardest part is that you have to actually put the steps into practice. Go figure.

I know he loves me.
I know I love him.
I know we can work it out.
I also know-we can't get to the working it out step if we're caught up in the drama.

Sage-that was an AWESOME realization. I struggle with that. In fact, that's part of what got us where we are right now. I figured out that I can't just "say what makes him feel better" I have to say what is TRUE.
Sometimes the truth hurts-a lot.

But-honestly, I am already seeing so many benefits of being real with myself, being real with everyone else. It's hard work-but I think it's worth it.
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  #187  
Old 03-25-2011, 04:40 PM
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Ladies- Just wanted to step-in here and say I am reading along. I may not post much but I follow the posts. Honesty IS the great equalizer, and communication (listening and talking) its vehicle. Without it, there is nothing. Had a long talk with 2Rings on this matter on several fronts. But, as LR said being real with yourself is key. Being afraid to hurt someone is not a good enough bandaid for the damage misleading or dishonesty can cause in the longterm. All you can do at this point is move forward with that attitude and resolve in mind.
Hi Sage! "Codependence" is a tough word. I am so unsure about the line between codependence and interdependence. Obviously a lover needs to depend on his/her lover. But how much is too much? I want to be a safe-haven, touchstone, lovey place for 2Rings- and the hubs, but when is it creating a false sense of healthy and happy? Know what I mean? It is a bit of a slippery slope. Keep posting on this- I am, as always, learning.
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  #188  
Old 03-26-2011, 01:27 PM
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HI MG, great to hear from you.

I think the difference between co-dependence and interdependence is that one is healthy and one is not healthy. Over the past few months I've scaled back my support of Z's relationship with J from encouraging to neutral. I started out with the best of intentions supporting Z in his relationship but if I'm honest I think that to continue actively supporting it would be co-dependent. It stops him having to deal with his stuff and makes him more loving to me. He needs to deal with that stuff and in the process he isn't probably going to be very nice to be around.

Initially he used me as the excuse for their relationship not progressing, hence my encouragement and hard work to befriend J. But after many months it's now clear to me that she is not going to progress beyond where she is and she is not going share any more of herself with him beyond her best behaviour self. They each share only he best of themselves with each other and I don't see how that is love, that to me is something else, maybe a kind of crush, or crutch?
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  #189  
Old 03-26-2011, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sage View Post
I think the difference between co-dependence and interdependence is that one is healthy and one is not healthy. Over the past few months I've scaled back my support of Z's relationship with J from encouraging to neutral. I started out with the best of intentions supporting Z in his relationship but if I'm honest I think that to continue actively supporting it would be co-dependent. It stops him having to deal with his stuff and makes him more loving to me. He needs to deal with that stuff and in the process he isn't probably going to be very nice to be around.

Initially he used me as the excuse for their relationship not progressing, hence my encouragement and hard work to befriend J. But after many months it's now clear to me that she is not going to progress beyond where she is and she is not going share any more of herself with him beyond her best behaviour self. They each share only he best of themselves with each other and I don't see how that is love, that to me is something else, maybe a kind of crush, or crutch?
Interesting point Sage, I would agree with your first statement about co and inter-dependence. Co is when one can't make a move without the other being right there along with them. Every decision made, every plan, every breath taken is with ones partner. New love tends to be like this. I think it is healthy, in time, once people know each other, to make plans for doing ones own thing, making decisions without the other with boundaries about what is okay and what needs discussing. That would mean inter-dependence to me.

What can happen, and we see it all the time here on the forum, is that people in couples decide they want someone new to come into their lives. That can often be finding a unicorn for them in their co-dependence or one decides they want to break away and find their own love, challenging the co-dependence of their monogamous relationships. When I say co-dependent here it is in a matter of degree mind you. There is complete co-dependence and that which monogamy is based on. A level of trust and understanding that the couple are exclusive. The latter is common in our culture and completely valid. The latter is destructive to ones autonomy and dependence. At least in terms of going on the theory that we are our own primary, which is what I go on.

When a new love comes in it is really easy to either be jealous and complain and fight for it not to happen, or it can go the other way. It can go the way of making it all comfy and cosy for the new couple so that they are at their best and no one is the wiser about either of their true natures.

I know someone who did that at the beginning of their husbands relationship as far as prompting him to write emails to her while he was away because he isn't good at keeping in touch... I pointed out that it is HIS relationship and this new woman would have to deal with his inability to keep in touch. They would have to develop their own method of relating and asking for their needs to be met. Besides, maybe it isn't something she is all that concerned about anyway... it is so easy to project onto someone else what is important to us. It's easy to project on to someone else's relationship in terms of what we value also.

Good for you backing away and letting them sort themselves out. I can imagine it would take a huge load off of yourself and what you think you "should" be doing. You can concentrate on your own plans now instead of investing in theirs. Be more inter-dependent perhaps

Maybe it is all surface and good times, but really, if that is all they both want then Meh, it means you likely will be around for the long haul and she won't. I have found that a balance of good times and rough times is what makes a relationship rich and worth holding on to. If they don't have any struggle or plans for the future, then I would wonder if they will dwindle out at some point.
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  #190  
Old 03-26-2011, 11:04 PM
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Thanks for such an indepth reply Rp. I always appreciate the generosity of your comments :-)

I disagree about co-dependence being as totally encompassing as you say however. My ex and I were very co-dependent even at the worst of our relationship, when in many ways we lived separate lives. I wasn't happy but didn't have the courage to get out and I hated our financial situation, but he kept me happy by trying to give me and more stuff, bigger houses and better cars, which I accepted. That to me was co-dependence.

It will be interesting to see if J and Z's relationship fizzles out. It's been going for years like this but in many ways it is a fantasy for him and I've been supporting that fantasy. Having only recently realised this it would be co-dependent of me to continue buying into his fantasy because of the benefits it brings me.

I do agree with your point about unicorns. We did that briefly ourselves. I thought a unicorn might give him what J didn't. I believe the depth for our relationship will come from me having the confidence and fortitude to ride out his periods of gloom without filling the void and instead looking to the root courses.
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