Advice on a situation

Goober7

New member
Hi!

I'm quite new to polyamory and seeking for some outside advice. I will try to keep it succint!

I have been dating my current partner, lets call them Finn, for half a year now, and we have progressed into a quite serious relationship. From the onset, we both entered the relationship with the intent of being polyamorous.

Some months into us dating, I met, let's say U for Umbrella. With the knowledge and consent of Finn, I have gotten to know Umbrella better, to the point me and Umbrella have now established a mutual interest in a casual relationship with physical intimacy.

Here's the thing:
Through some misunderstandings and miscommunications, I have failed to communicate and offer enough reassurance to Finn at a couple points of me being involved with Umbrella. This has understandably affected Finn's trust in me and my ability to handle polyamory in relation to Umbrella.
Me and my partner Finn recently had a conflict related to this. I decided to ask for some space from Umbrella until me and my partner Finn could solve the conflict, assert clearer boundaries and state more of our wishes.

Also, it has become apparent to us that my partner Finn has an anxious attachment style, and me going out on a date is very triggering for them by default. Thus, it takes me a great deal of effort, tact, reassurance, communication, care, attention, asking for needs and managing expectations, if I want to go on a date so that Finn still feels seen, heard, secure and cared for. And this is what I'm struggling to do sufficiently. Sometimes F gets very triggered, but still insists me to go see Umbrella, which might even perpetuate the conflict.

In this moment, Umbrella is eager to keep in contact, although I asked them for some space. I feel conflicted, since ideally in a non-hierarchical setting, one more established partnership should not have too much authority over my other relationships. I feel bad for leaving Umbrella hanging, and it feels unfair towards Umbrella for me to keep them at a distance because I am still recovering from a conflict with Finn.



I feel like I am failing at polyamory right from the get-go. It's like there's no alternative where everyone would be happy –– ironically, I feel trapped in this situation. I would like to keep seeing Umbrella, while trying to take as good care of my relationship with Finn. Returning to being friends with Umbrella would seem the easiest at this point, but I don't think Finn would appreciate me bypassing my own needs just to make Finn "feel more secure."


Any thoughts? I'm sure I'm making some beginner's cardinal mistakes at polyamory here. Please feel free to call me out.
 
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Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
What personal work is F doing to develop a secure attachment style, rather than you and them simply trying to manage your dating life with "a great deal of effort, tact, reassurance, communication, care, attention, asking for needs and managing expectations"? Secure attachment comes from within, not without.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Hi and welcome!
I'm quite new to polyamory and seeking outside advice.
Let's give your partners actual names. I will suggest Finn and Umbrella, but you can choose others. Nicknames work much better than initials for understanding.
I have been dating Finn for half a year now, and we have progressed into a quite serious relationship. From the onset, we both entered the relationship with the intent of being polyamorous.

Some months into us dating, I met Umbrella. With Finn's knowledge and consent, I have gotten to know Umbrella better, to the point that Umbrella and I have now established a mutual interest in a casual relationship with physical intimacy.
I am not sure what this means. It's important to determine and agree upon what all partners mean by "sex," especially if anyone is trans, non-binary, gay, queer, etc.
Through some misunderstandings and miscommunication, I have failed to offer enough reassurance to Finn at a couple points, since I have been involved with Umbrella. This has understandably affected Finn's trust in me and my ability to handle polyamory in relation to Umbrella. Finn and I recently had a conflict. I decided to ask Umbrella for some space until Finn and I solved our conflict, asserted clearer boundaries and stated more of our wishes.

It has become apparent that Finn has an anxious attachment style, and when I go out on a date is very triggering for them by default. Thus, it takes me a great deal of effort, tact, reassurance, communication, care, attention, asking for needs and managing expectations, if I want to go on a date, so that Finn still feels seen, heard, secure and cared for. And this is what I'm struggling to do sufficiently. Sometimes Finn gets very triggered, but still insists I go see Umbrella, which seems to perpetuate the conflict.

At this moment, Umbrella is eager to keep in contact, although I have asked them for some space. I feel conflicted, since ideally in a non-hierarchical setting, one more-established partnership should not have too much authority over the other relationship(s). I feel bad for leaving them hanging, and it feels unfair towards Umbrella for me to keep them at a distance when I am recovering from a conflict with Finn

I feel like I am failing at polyamory right from the get-go. It's like there's no alternative where everyone would be happy. Ironically, I feel trapped in this situation. I would like to keep seeing Umbrella, while trying to take good care of my relationship with Finn. Returning to being friends with Umbrella would seem the easiest at this point, but I don't think Finn would appreciate me bypassing my own needs just to make Finn "feel more secure."
Well, it sounds like polyamory was fine for Finn in theory, but they are struggling greatly with the reality of it. Is Finn dating others? Once they start, you might also have similar struggles. This is all common the first time you step into the waters of polyamorous dating. You're not alone. That happens to almost everyone. You're not a goober, although I know you feel like one.

It's OK for things to be wonky at first. Baby steps! Read the book Opening Up, for a good crash course in common poly pitfalls. It covers everything!

Finn feels displaced. They are not sure you'll still love them as much now. They might want more of your time. They might not like sharing, even though they thought they would.

You can give them all the reassurance in the world. But one option is to just go for it, and let Finn sit with their feelings when you're on a date. You should probably start slow, one date a week, no overnights. And limit your texting with Umbrella, when you're supposed to be spending quality time with Finn. Also, do not overshare what happens on dates with Umbrella. Finn does not need to know the details, and Umbrella should be allowed their privacy. Share that you used safer sex practices. Let Finn know where you'll be going, if that helps, and maybe an approximate time you think you'll be home. If Finn blows up your phone when you're on a date with U, let it go. There's no reason to answer texts unless there's a true emergency.

One thing you should not do is agree with Finn that you will only do X and Y sex things with Umbrella, but not A and B. What any 2 adults do together sexually in a consensual poly arrangement is up to them. Never let the 3rd party dictate what happens in intimate moments. People are all too likely to get caught up in the heat of the moment and break negotiations like this.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Goober7,

I wonder if you could go into more detail on the misunderstandings and miscommunication that resulted in Finn feeling insecure. What have you said to Finn to try to reassure them, and what was inadequate about what you said and why? It sounds to me like you are putting a lot of effort into making Finn feel better, and Finn isn't receptive to your efforts. What could Finn do to improve the situation?

Finn does not want you to scale back your relationship with Umbrella to just friendship, so I am not sure if that is really an option for you. Magdlyn's suggestion might be the best, to just go ahead and start dating Umbrella as you planned, and let Finn work through their own feelings. You aren't necessarily dropping the ball on communication, this could be Finn's deal, that they aren't listening to you.

If you could share more details, of what exactly is involved in your attempts to reassure Finn, and what exactly is involved in Finn's response to your efforts, it might give us a better understanding of what's missing in the puzzle you're trying to assemble. Sometimes it takes a longer post to really give the quantity (and quality) of information that is needed. What you have posted so far is a good start.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you are struggling. I mean this kindly ok?

I would like to keep seeing U, while trying to take as good care of my relationship with F.

You can do that to the best of your ability.

It might not be enough, because it's not just YOU in this system. And you cannot do everyone else's work for them.

What will F being doing? Going to see a therapist? And needs you to pause so they can at least get to a first appointment? Reading "Polysecure" and working on their anxiety? That might be reasonable.

But asking you to always do all this emotional labor before and after a simple date? That is not sustainable long term if all that does is use you for a crutch in the moment, and then enable them to SKIP doing their personal work. At that point you'd be enabling. If this is THAT hard for F, they may have to accept that poly is not for them right now. Rather than banging head on wall.

As for U, what will they be doing? They might be willing to be patient, but only to a point. They have every right to go "Ok, These folks are not ready to poly. I'm going to move on."

It may be a case of "F thought they could handle poly, but are underprepared and not actually ready." If YOU are ready? You could end it with F and move on. You've only been dating F for 6 mos. You might decide you want to date people who don't have these hurdles to overcome.

Sometimes? Things just don't pan out -- it doesn't mean anyone is bad. It doesn't mean you are "failing at poly."

It's simply just not working out. That happens.
 

Goober7

New member
Thank you everyone for the kind welcomes and helpful insights. I already feel less like in a fog right now! I also changed the nicknames for my dates with the ones @Magdlyn suggested. :D
Well, it sounds like polyamory was fine for Finn in theory, but they are struggling greatly with the reality of it.
This indeed is my impression as well. Not too long when we started dating, Finn called quits with their other partner, so I was their sole partner from then on.

You can give them all the reassurance in the world. But one option is to just go for it, and let Finn sit with their feelings when you're on a date. You should probably start slow, one date a week, no overnights. And limit your texting with Umbrella, when you're supposed to be spending quality time with Finn. Also, do not overshare what happens on dates with Umbrella. Finn does not need to know the details, and Umbrella should be allowed their privacy. Share that you used safer sex practices. Let Finn know where you'll be going, if that helps, and maybe an approximate time you think you'll be home. If Finn blows up your phone when you're on a date with U, let it go. There's no reason to answer texts unless there's a true emergency.

All of this makes perfect sense, and is akin to what I have tried. But following this route, letting Finn sit with their feelings, resulted quite badly. They were upset for not knowing all the details of what was going to happen when I met with Umbrella, and felt insecure after my date with Umbrella got postponed by a day. I know Finn needs me to create predictability to feel secure, but I'm simply unable to control all the variables. This resulted in a very serious conflict between me and Finn, which almost led to a breakup. :(

I am sorry you are struggling. I mean this kindly ok?



You can do that to the best of your ability.

It might not be enough, because it's not just YOU in this system. And you cannot do everyone else's work for them.
I appreciate your response a lot! I really feel seen. I do feel like I'm taking a lot of responsibility in a situation that is not fully in my control.

What will F being doing? Going to see a therapist? And needs you to pause so they can at least get to a first appointment? Reading "Polysecure" and working on their anxiety? That might be reasonable.

But asking you to always do all this emotional labor before and after a simple date? That is not sustainable long term if all that does is use you for a crutch in the moment, and then enable them to SKIP doing their personal work. At that point you'd be enabling. If this is THAT hard for F, they may have to accept that poly is not for them right now. Rather than banging head on wall.

Finn is doing lots of reading for sure, but at this moment they don't have the financial access to therapy. Which, really, is what they know they need, whether in a relationship or not. And I think I know this may not be sustainable, as long as they don't have access to that.

As for U, what will they be doing? They might be willing to be patient, but only to a point. They have every right to go "Ok, These folks are not ready to poly. I'm going to move on."

This is a very fair point. And I don't think this situation is fair towards me nor Umbrella. I hate the conflict to spill into my other relationships, but I think it's the most responsible thing to do to let Umbrella know of the situation, and make their decision.




Hello Goober7,

I wonder if you could go into more detail on the misunderstandings and miscommunication that resulted in Finn feeling insecure. What have you said to Finn to try to reassure them, and what was inadequate about what you said and why? It sounds to me like you are putting a lot of effort into making Finn feel better, and Finn isn't receptive to your efforts. What could Finn do to improve the situation?

Finn does not want you to scale back your relationship with Umbrella to just friendship, so I am not sure if that is really an option for you. Magdlyn's suggestion might be the best, to just go ahead and start dating Umbrella as you planned, and let Finn work through their own feelings. You aren't necessarily dropping the ball on communication, this could be Finn's deal, that they aren't listening to you.

If you could share more details, of what exactly is involved in your attempts to reassure Finn, and what exactly is involved in Finn's response to your efforts, it might give us a better understanding of what's missing in the puzzle you're trying to assemble. Sometimes it takes a longer post to really give the quantity (and quality) of information that is needed. What you have posted so far is a good start.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.

Thank you for the kind message Kevin!
My first mistake was, when I met Umbrella for the first time, I failed to let Finn know beforehand. I ran into Umbrella by a complete accident and we really hit off, so we decided to go for a walk together. Since for me the walk fell into a very ambiguous zone of "Is this a date or not?? Does this person want to be friends??", at the time I thought it wasn't necessary to let Finn know in the same way I would if I was going on a definite date intentionally. I told Finn afterwards I had gone out for a walk with someone, which was the first pang to Finn's trust towards me and Umbrella, both.

Then, me meeting with Umbrella made Finn upset, and led to a conflict. To my understanding the upset was that I was unable to offer enough reassurance for Finn when Finn started to feel very insecure at the day of the date. I suggested that I canceled the meeting with Umbrella because Finn seemed upset, but this made Finn angrier. They were upset that I had assumed their feelings, and was even more against me canceling the date than actually going. This left me feeling in a catch-22 situation, where Finn was upset at me for going on the date, and even more upset if I didn't.

Now, more recently, I met with Umbrella after we had established mutual interest towards each other. And it led to a second, very serious conflict between me and Finn. This time I think it was my failure to manage expectations and make sure I understood Finn's boundaries first. We were supposed to meet with Umbrella on a Wednesday, but Umbrella postponed it to Thursday. This was the first issue that gave Finn a feeling of instability. For Finn, it is important that they know when the date is happening soon enough, so they can arrange other plans and support for themselves. (This had not been explicated however, but I only learned of it now.) Then, I had let Finn know I was going to only quickly meet with Umbrella to bring over an item of Umbrella's – which was my honest expectation. We hanged out however, and we had some cuddling and kissing. The fact that our meeting was not just a quick hello, but could be considered a date, was very upsetting for Finn. The physical intimacy part made it worse for Finn.
Earlier that day, I had sent Finn a long text of reassurance they had asked me prior I went on a date – but they were under the impression today was not a "date". The text, which I wanted to send just in case (because hey, never enough words of love, right?), made Finn even more disoriented of my intentions.

TLDR: I had not anticipated and thus not let Finn know this was a date and not a hello; I had the time of the date change on a short notice; and I had not ensured Finn whether cuddling at this point was okay.

Finn told me that in a monogamous relationship, they would have considered this cheating. It hurt a lot.

It would have been my responsibility to act only when I knew exactly what level of intimacy Finn was comfortable with – and if I was unsure of it, ask until I was. I acted on the assumption that, based on what I had read, a third person shouldn't dictate what happens in intimate moments. I also acted on the knowledge of what Finn had told me up to that point: that they didn't want to restrict me, and that they were not sure of their boundaries. This should have been a sign for me to wait until I was exactly sure, not to do whatever.


I hope this is enough details to better assess the situation. I know I'm limited in my perspective, so please don't feel hesitant to hit me with hard truths on where I should have done better. Perhaps I am a goober!
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
From the onset, if me and Finn both entered the relationship with the intent of being polyamorous? And now they are going to pieces over little things? Nope. Not for me. What did they think poly was gonna BE?
  • The first thing? It's just a walk with someone you just met. Why get bent out of shape over some exercise and chat?
  • The second thing? Upset if I do meet up with Umbrella, and upset if I don't? I'll make the best decision I can for myself and let the partner figure out their upset. Not like inconsiderate or mean to them but come ON. There's a point, you know? I dislike back and forthing. I prefer people be firm of purpose.
  • The third thing? Things come up and schedules have to rearrange. Wed got bumped to Thurs? I would have said "Ok. Thanks for letting me know. Have fun!" and gone about my business.
  • The fourth thing? Need to know about the date ahead of time so Finn can arrange other plans and support for themselves? Like WHAT? Why's it got to be a big deal? Why are they so latched on to me like I'm the security blanket person?
  • The fifth thing -- you decided to share some cuddling and kissing? That's fine to me. It's your body, your date. Do what you want. That behavior is totally fine in poly dating.

If that's all it takes for Finn to fall to pieces and lose trust in me? A walk, a change in schedule, some kissing? And I've only been dating Finn 6 mos and I have been up front that I want to poly date and we agreed we are practicing poly?

I'd start rethinking it and most likely would break up with Finn.

This is just too much emotional volume for small potatoes to me. I need partners who are more emotionally resilient than this. I just don't want to be doing THIS much emotional labor. And Finn is clearly not ready to poly well.

And I don't feel like being the poly tutor or experiment poly relationship person with whom they figure themselves out.

Just reading it was making me feel suffocated.

It would have been my responsibility to act only when I knew exactly what level of intimacy Finn was comfortable with – and if I was unsure of it, ask until I was. I acted on the assumption that, based on what I had read, a third person shouldn't dictate what happens in intimate moments. I also acted on the knowledge of what Finn had told me up to that point: that they didn't want to restrict me, and that they were not sure of their boundaries. This should have been a sign for me to wait until I was exactly sure, not to do whatever.

I would have done what you did.
  • Finn doesn't get to say what I do or not do with Umbrella.
  • Finn gets to say what I do or not do with FINN.
  • If Finn says they don't want to restrict me and are not sure of their boundaries?
    • I am not going to behave like jerk at Finn.
    • I'm also just gonna be my normal. So Finn can figure out if they can be with authentic, real me or not.

Because I'm not afraid to find out that Finn and I are not compatible. I'm not afraid of break ups.

They are a reasonable risk of dating -- that sometimes it is not gonna pan out because the two people are not compatible.

Isn't that the point of dating? Figuring out the compatible ones?

I hope this is enough details to better assess the situation. I know I'm limited in my perspective, so please don't feel hesitant to hit me with hard truths on where I should have done better. Perhaps I am a goober!

I think you might be taking basic care and consideration a bit too far. Maybe even coddling Finn too much because you want this poly thing to work.

But maybe it's ok to let Finn go and let the poly V thing work out better with Umbrella and new partner X, who is yet to be discovered?
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you everyone for the kind welcomes and helpful insights. I already feel less like in a fog right now! I also changed the nicknames for my dates with the ones @Magdlyn suggested. :D



My first mistake was, when I met Umbrella for the first time, I failed to let Finn know beforehand. I ran into Umbrella by a complete accident and we really hit off, so we decided to go for a walk together. Since for me the walk fell into a very ambiguous zone of "Is this a date or not?? Does this person want to be friends??", at the time I thought it wasn't necessary to let Finn know in the same way I would if I was going on a definite date intentionally. I told Finn afterwards I had gone out for a walk with someone, which was the first pang to Finn's trust towards me and Umbrella, both.
This was not a mistake. Any adult human is allowed to meet a nice person and if they feel like taking a walk, take a walk. Does Finn know how real life works? Do they know how dating works at all? Have they had much dating experience? Because, besides their deep insecurities, dating goes like this:

You meet someone, whether irl or online. You see if you like each other. You go something (preferable in public, for safety's sake). Then, you two get to decide what happens next. If you feel drawn to each other physically, you proceed to explore that, at your own speed, on your own chosen timeline. No outside person gets to dictate that in monogamous dating, and they don't get to dictate that in poly dating either.
Then, me meeting with Umbrella made Finn upset, and led to a conflict. To my understanding the upset was that I was unable to offer enough reassurance for Finn when Finn started to feel very insecure at the day of the date. I suggested that I canceled the meeting with Umbrella because Finn seemed upset, but this made Finn angrier. They were upset that I had assumed their feelings, and was even more against me canceling the date than actually going. This left me feeling in a catch-22 situation, where Finn was upset at me for going on the date, and even more upset if I didn't.
Yes, this is totally unfair and manipulative. I wouldn't stand for it.
Now, more recently, I met with Umbrella after we had established mutual interest towards each other. And it led to a second, very serious conflict between me and Finn. This time I think it was my failure to manage expectations and make sure I understood Finn's boundaries first.
Finn doesn't get to establish "boundaries" for you. Finn can establish boundaries for themselves only. You are an adult and get to do what you want, as long as you're kind and polite. "Don't be a dick" is your rule. You can take Finn's schedule into consideration. But Finn needs to learn to be flexible and take care of their own emotional management.
We were supposed to meet with Umbrella on a Wednesday, but Umbrella postponed it to Thursday. This was the first issue that gave Finn a feeling of instability. For Finn, it is important that they know when the date is happening soon enough, so they can arrange other plans and support for themselves. (This had not been explicated however, but I only learned of it now.) Then, I had let Finn know I was going to only quickly meet with Umbrella to bring over an item of Umbrella's – which was my honest expectation. We hanged out however, and we had some cuddling and kissing. The fact that our meeting was not just a quick hello, but could be considered a date, was very upsetting for Finn. The physical intimacy part made it worse for Finn.
Finn didn't need to know what degree of physical intimacy you reached. You can tell Finn, "I am an adult and so is Umbrella. Adults have sex drives. 2 adults who are attracted to each other may have sex at any time. Just consider that a given.
Earlier that day, I had sent Finn a long text of reassurance they had asked me prior I went on a date – but they were under the impression today was not a "date". The text, which I wanted to send just in case (because hey, never enough words of love, right?),
No, these aren't words of love. These are you managing Finn's feelings for them.
made Finn even more disoriented of my intentions.

TLDR: I had not anticipated and thus not let Finn know this was a date and not a hello; I had the time of the date change on a short notice; and I had not ensured Finn whether cuddling at this point was okay.

Finn told me that in a monogamous relationship, they would have considered this cheating. It hurt a lot.

It would have been my responsibility to act only when I knew exactly what level of intimacy Finn was comfortable with
No, that is not your responsibility. See above. Your body belongs to you and you get to decide what to do with it! Let Finn know this. If they think they have ownership of your body, they are not cut out for polyamory, with you or anyone else.
– and if I was unsure of it, ask until I was. I acted on the assumption that, based on what I had read, a third person shouldn't dictate what happens in intimate moments. I also acted on the knowledge of what Finn had told me up to that point: that they didn't want to restrict me, and that they were not sure of their boundaries.
Nope, you made the right choice.
This should have been a sign for me to wait until I was exactly sure, not to do whatever.
No.
I hope this is enough details to better assess the situation. I know I'm limited in my perspective, so please don't feel hesitant to hit me with hard truths on where I should have done better. Perhaps I am a goober!
No, you're not a goober, except in that you are coddling Finn too much. They aren't your parent or your boss. They don't get to tell you what you can do with your body.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Goober7,

It sounds like one of your issues with Finn is that there isn't enough (quantity) communication between you and Finn to satisfy Finn. Finn feels insecure when they don't know what's going on, or when they don't know what's going to happen. So you may be able to solve part of your problem just by communicating more with Finn. Of course, the quality of the communication matters too; we will try to work on that.

In some ways, Finn is going in two directions. They want you to have your relationship (dates) with Umbrella, but then they get mad when you do date Umbrella. I am going to assume it is the communication aspect of it that is upsetting Finn. Finn needs you to do a better job of reassuring them, although I would also say that Finn needs to do a better job of listening to you (and asking questions) when you do try to reassure them.

So, when you try to reassure Finn, what words do you say? I'll have a better idea of what different (or additional) words you can say, if I know what you're already saying. Again, the problem may also lie in Finn's court. They need to ask you questions instead of making assumptions or jumping to conclusions -- and I'm not sure what they're already doing in that area.

I think Finn needs to do a better job of communicating with you. It seems to me that instead of expressing to you their needs ahead of time, Finn waits until you inadvertently fail to meet their needs, and then they get angry at you, essentially because you failed to read their mind. This is actually not uncommon; it is a mononormative belief that when two people really love each other, they will know each other's thoughts, needs, and feelings without being told.

One of Finn's pet peeves seems to be when they don't know exactly what's going to happen ahead of time. They don't like it when the plans change. You can address this peeve up to a point. You can try to stick to the original plan as much as possible, and you can inform Finn of when an articulated plan might change. But you can't always plan every little detail, and sometimes plans do change. It happens; it isn't necessarily your fault.

Anyway, those are my latest thoughts.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Goober7

New member
Thank you so much for your input everyone. Outside perspective always helps to get your head off from the muddy waters.

So, when you try to reassure Finn, what words do you say? I'll have a better idea of what different (or additional) words you can say, if I know what you're already saying. Again, the problem may also lie in Finn's court. They need to ask you questions instead of making assumptions or jumping to conclusions -- and I'm not sure what they're already doing in that area.
Thank you for your willingness to help and spesific questions to try and pinpoint the problem, Kevin. I tell Finn what I appreciate about them and our relationship, how much I care for them, and how I want to stay with Finn too, while also seeing Umbrella. I tell them that I believe me seeing Umbrella will only add to our relationship, and improve my well being too. I tell Finn how deeply I care about their needs and I want to make space for them and for their requests. And that I want to reconnect soon after my date with Umbrella and very gladly do so, and to have fun and easy dates together with Finn.
Their trust in me is damaged though, and I don't know if a thousand words of affirmation will ever fix that.


I'm feeling quite hopeless to be honest, and I know Finn is too. I just don't know if a relationship is normally supposed to be this much work and despair at only 6 months in. At Finn's initiation, we're doing lists and mind maps and notebooks and google docs and... I'm burning out. I don't know if it's worth it. My relationship with Umbrella is affected too.
I normally have a quite (earned) secure attachment and resilient mental health in my opinion, but in this state all my waking thoughts are occupied by the miserable situation.

A wonderful crash-and-burn. I feel like a failure.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Goober,

It sounds to me like the words you are using to reassure Finn are already pretty good. The only thing I can think of adding is to tell Finn that you promise you will not leave them (and run off with Umbrella). You say Finn doesn't trust you, the only reason I can think of why is because they aren't being told what the plan is, or because the plan has changed. Perhaps to reassure Finn, you should say that you are making a resolution to give them a better idea of what to anticipate ahead of time. And that you will try to not change the plans.

I can't tell if maybe you and Finn are incompatible. Six months is an awfully short amount of time, for this much contention to have already developed. At this early stage, the two of you should be enjoying NRE with each other, not fighting all the time. Finn wants concrete plans that never change, you are more inclined to be spontaneous. I hope you and Finn don't have to break up over this, but it does concern me that you have this much difference with each other.

I don't think you are doing anything wrong. You are trying every possible thing to figure out how to get along with Finn, and I know Finn is trying too in their own way, though I have to say, they seem to be making things more difficult and complicated than what is necessary. Like maybe they should be doing more working on themselves, and not so much dragging you into it. It's a huge problem that they can't see a therapist, I don't know if they are ready or able to be in a relationship without getting therapy.

Try giving them more notice of the plans ahead of time, and try to avoid changing the plans (even a little), and if that doesn't work (for you, for Finn, or for both of you), breaking up is a sad and unfortunate course of action you might have to consider. I hope it doesn't come to that, I can tell that you and Finn care a lot for each other in spite of all the conflict and fights. Don't break up unless you have tried every possible thing to fix the situation.

Care and sympathies,
Kevin T.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Word of warning... don't promise you won't break up with Finn. If a relationship isn't working for you, you should be able to leave without the additional angst of "but you promised..."

At the moment, Finn is requiring you to participate so heavily in their security that they are about to turn themselves into a self-fulfilling prophecy, one in which you risk becoming 'the bad guy' for simply extricating yourself from the impossible.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I just don't know if a relationship is normally supposed to be this much work and despair at only 6 months in.

To me? This seems like WAY too much work.

At Finn's initiation, we're doing lists and mind maps and notebooks and google docs and... I'm burning out. I don't know if it's worth it. My relationship with Umbrella is affected too.

Then stop doing all this work. Encourage Finn to see an actual therapist. And if they do not or it is not enough? Break up so you and Finn can end this suffering.

From the onset, both entered the relationship with the intent of being polyamorous. So it is not a surprise or secret you want to date other people. If Finn has discovered it was ok in theory but in reality it causes them suffering? They could end it with you.

Instead it's all this work and upset and lists and mind maps... how much does one have to do to arrive at "No. At this time, I cannot do this?"

And how much do you want to be dragged along to keep them company?

I normally have a quite (earned) secure attachment and resilient mental health in my opinion, but in this state all my waking thoughts are occupied by the miserable situation.

A wonderful crash-and-burn. I feel like a failure.

To me you sound like your mental health is taking a dive. :(

When all the choices stink? Pick the one that leads to better health. Break up. Be sad for a time. Then after you are healed from the break up? Date Umbrella and whoever else.

Relationships really do not have to be this hard.

Finn simply is not ready and both of you bending into pretzels to make it so is not helping either one.

Even if Finn does not accept it? YOU could accept that Finn wants to become ok with poly but really is not.

Galagirl
 
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