Cheers Sexy People!
Ahhh relationship breakups… they can be truly horrible, sad and even debilitating at times – yes even when we are involved in having multiple relationships at once as us polyamorous folk are wont to do. Last week marks a year since my former metamour broke up with my boyfriend. The moment I was informed of the breakup, I had no idea what was going to happen next, which can feel quite unsettling. Would my boyfriend continue to stay / date me? Where was he going to live? How in fact did I feel about this breakup? This was the third breakup my boyfriend had experienced since I have known him (for almost four years), but this one felt very different.
I’ll give you a little background from my own personal experience with poly breakups, and then offer some tips for surviving them…
When I met my boyfriend, he had just broken up with a woman who had decided to go monogamous. He told me about it upon our first date (which my husband dropped me off and picked me up from. haha!). Though we had a fun first few weeks together, he was somewhat distraught and sifting through his feelings, and I appreciated not being kept in the dark about his emotional state. It was at least somewhat odd to be getting to know a man who was sorting through feelings for someone else. That’s poly for ya! But we got through it fine in the end, and he is actually friends with her now years later, and they enjoy each other’s company from time to time.
Fast forward about a year later, after I had now fallen in love with my boyfriend and had come to really enjoy him in my life. At this time, my husband and I were still “in the closet” about our poly relationships as we sorted through our own feelings of “coming out”. I realize now how selfish we were being. My boyfriend was having a long distance relationship that was growing deeper and deeper, thus I knew that he might move for her. Eventually, that relationship did not work out, and again, my beau was upset. He would only let me console him from a distance, but did say that he was glad I was there for him. It was the first time that we all saw the benefit of poly relationships during a breakup, as just knowing that I was there for him and that I loved him very much was a comfort. And again, he is now friends with this former girlfriend, as am I! It turned out to be good for all in the end, as I don’t truly think anyone would have been happy picking up roots and moving for one another, while also forcing other relationships to thus most likely end.
Two years ago, my beau met a young woman that he eventually became quite enamored with. At this point, my husband and I were fully “out” to almost all of our family and friends as being polyamorous, and it felt quite natural to wear my “poly hat”. My husband and I tried to welcome this vivacious woman into our lives and our home. When she started to fall in love with my beau, she immediately started to have feelings that she did not enjoy (jealousy? insecurity? rage perhaps from possessiveness?). She informed my beau that she did not want to be anywhere near my husband and I, but that she could tolerate having a completely separate relationship with my beau, and he with me. It was an awkward time – and as time wore on, it became more and more awkward. I felt like I was in an invisible tug of war with this woman, my metamour, against my will. She let us know that she was “NOT POLY” over and over. And it seemed she was making many sacrifices to tolerate my beau’s other friends and lovers. I became increasingly stressed and saddened as I realized that maybe I would lose my love, if he had to make a choice between she and I. After all, I already had a husband. Was I being greedy for wanting and loving two men in my life? But why should my beau have to extricate people from his life that gave him happiness, that have been there for him when the chips are down? And would this woman be pleased even if he did? Did she really love HIM for exactly who he was, instead of what she wanted him to be? These questions plagued me. Some days, it was hard to get through the day, but I did, and I tried my best to be as calm and rational as I was able, in-between bouts of crying.
In the end, I got to a point where I realized that I had to put my own feelings aside, and remember that I loved this man, and I wanted him to be happy, with or without me in his life. I also realized that I was REALLY STRESSED OUT, and I didn’t want to go on like that. My beau and I had a heart to heart, and we told each other that we loved each other, we wanted each other to be happy. And if someday, he wanted to “go monogamous” with someone, I would wish him well, I would love him, and I would hope to someday have him in my life as a lover again. But I explained that I did not have the strength to “just be friends.” If he went monogamous with someone, our relationship – including our friendship – would have to end, at least temporarily until he was ever in an “open relationship” again. The boundary had been set. I felt a slight amount of relief. The very next day, this metamour broke off the relationship with him. How’s that for irony? We were all upset and confused. I needed some time to think. He was “this close” to choosing her over me, and removing me from his life. How did I feel about that? We had a few heart to hearts over the coming days from a distance, as we BOTH sorted through our feelings.
The end of that story is that we decided we still loved each other, and we still wanted to be in each other’s lives. So I helped him move his belongings into my house. We had NO IDEA what would happen next… if this situation would work out… if we would all be happy. Turns out it’s been a wonderful, wild, happy adventure! The three of us (my husband, myself, and my beau) actually really enjoy living together, and we all get along quite well. Our extended family (my husband’s girlfriend, other loved ones, lovers and friends) all come to visit, stay over, drink wine with us and laugh and laugh. It’s a happy place to be.
We are still just taking it all one day at a time.
“Relationships between people are not stagnant or fixed, they are flexible, changeable, they evolve.”
So I am rolling with it. Doing my best to love my family as best as I am able. Every day is a new adventure. And it starts with me.
So here are some tips I can offer from my personal experience of getting through poly breakups:
- Be kind to yourself. Remember that your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health are very important. Don’t tear yourself apart or let your health go to waste. Seek the counsel and comfort of others who love you if and when you need to. Remember to pamper yourself.
- Remember it’s not just about you. Particularly in a poly relationship, you need to think about what your other partners, metamours, lovers are going through. They are hurting too, possibly ALOT. They have their own problems, wounds and decisions to make. Try to be empathetic to their position.
- Take a step back. Remember that when you are in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. This one relationship is not the be all, end all. There will be other relationships. Try to look at the BIG PICTURE. Try to avoid tunnel vision.
- Don’t lean on others TOO much. When I was going through some difficult feelings with my other poly relationships, bless his heart, sometimes I beat the ear of my beloved husband way too much. He finally got to the point where he said, “I can’t talk about this anymore.” Then I knew I had overstayed my welcome, and I had to find a way to either solve my problem, go do something else to forget about my problem for a little while, or just decide it didn’t bother me. Something had to change. And I did NOT want to negatively affect my awesome relationship with my awesome husband. So pick up your boot straps, Kitty and figure it out!
- When in doubt, WORKOUT. I found that I did my best thinking sometimes to help solve an issue – whether it was a communication issue or trying to set a boundary – when I was working out… so run, jump, spin, go get on that treadmill, and let your mind wander. You might just come up with a great answer to a great problem.
- Trust yourself and your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right or is really bothering you, listen to that voice and that feeling. What is it telling you?
- Listen to your body. I had many sleepless nights, many days filled with tears, many gut wrenching “I can’t eat today” feelings dealing with breakups and potential breakups. That was all telling me something. Something was not right, and not good for me. Pay attention to yourself.
- Don’t let others have so much POWER over you. Others don’t have the power to hurt you unless you let them… and give them permission to stomp all over you and your heart. Be assertive. Stick up for yourself when you need to.
- Remember… you rock all by yourself. At the end of the day, remember that YOU are your own best friend, your own best lover (hey, masturbation rocks!), your own best consolation prize. It’s your life, make it ROCK! …with or without this other person in your life.
- Let go. I have recommended this article over and over here on this blog. I found it during one of my darkest days, and it still is very powerful to me. May it help you too.
For further reading, here’s a great article about breakups (both polyamorous and monogamous):
What about you? Have any breakup stories, epiphanies or advice to offer the community? Feel free to comment!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)