Dealing with breakups


New member
I'm fairly new to polyamory so there are, of course, many scenarios that I am unfamiliar with.

The thing I'm curious about currently is dealing with breakups and the relevance of "being on the rebound" in a poly relationship.

Now, in general terms as it relates to monogamy, that rebound period is the time after a breakup when you are emotionally vulnerable and may seek out temporary relationships for various reasons. Some of those reasons may or may not include "filling that void", affirmation that you are desirable, to mask your feeling of rejection, sex, etc. I'm sure you get the point.

Now I'm not completely sure that the rebound period may even exist for some poly people. I will use myself for example. I've always been naturally poly and always been capable of loving more than one person at a time. Usually, by the time a breakup happens I am comfortable with the outcome because I've already spent allot of time analyzing the situation, relationship, and my feelings. Personally, I rarely feel like I'm "on the rebound" after a breakup even when the breakup causes painful feelings. Even when I'm mourning that loss, it has never affected the way I already feel about someone else.

How does this work for some of you in a poly relationship with two or more people? Do you find that breakups can be less painful? How much does the added support of your other partner(s) help you through the mourning process? Do you think that you should give it some time before staring a new relationship with someone else? Do you think that those feelings of mourning can be isolated to that specific person with whom you just broke up with and still be able to enter a new healthy relationship soon after the breakup? How do you react and how do you feel when your partner goes through a breakup?

I'd love to hear any perspectives anyone may have on this. I know there is no set standard when it comes to polyamory with the exception of complete openness and honesty and I'd be interested to hear different viewpoints.
Well, I know that I've not had any rebound relationships since breaking up with a GF last autumn. I've simply avoided entering into any. I know that I require time to grieve and recover and I'm allowing for it.

The same appears to be what some friends are doing. They had a triad and out of the blue one of the ladies announces that she needs to move on. The divorce was amicable and the male and remaining female are getting married before long. They've refrained from any other relationships in the aftermath, though I doubt they'll remain just a dyad on anything approaching a permanent basis.

I could probably engage in another healthy relationship, were an interested party to crop up in my life. I realize that I still need time to decompress and having another relationship would draw that out, which I'd rather not do.

I suspect it is easier to take while still having another relationship to draw on. My wife is available provide comfort, when needed, and that makes a significant difference.
In my last break up, (MFF), it was tension between me and the boy, and in the break up, our lady sort of got lost in the sauce. I lost both of them, and it was incredibly painful. Especially for her- watching your family fall apart and leave you alone is never easy.

What was difficult as well, for all of us, was moving on to new poly relationships. It's difficult to find poly folks, (it was for me anyway), and I felt like at first, I was seeking more sisters just to fill the void I felt from my last relationship, having lost everyone all at once.
That sounds like a really painful thing to go through! I think one of the benefits of being poly is having other people around for support when something goes wrong. If that entire support system disappears at once, though, I'd say that magnifies the pain quite a bit.

I'm happy to see you're through with that and back to living normally.
Before my bf and I became an actual couple but had been dating for months we had to stop seeing each other for awhile. He and his wife had some issues which I was told had nothing to do with me but still to make her feel more comfortable about the other situation he volunteered to get rid of me. It totally hurt that he didnt think I was special enough to want to keep. Since i was on the outside of their relationship, I hadnt been seeing anyone but him and didnt go find anyone to see right after so i had only had support from my bestfriend and sister. What was hardest is he told me by text, and all he said was "some things went down that dont involve you but I cant see you anymore" I was shocked, i just got dumbed by text all i was responded was wow that sucks and he said yep but that was it he never talked to me again until about 2-3weeks later when his wife contacted me asking me to come try and hang out all together and work things out because she just wanted him to be happy and she felt bad that he had given up something that was important to him. I dnt know if it was stupid of me but i went back and we worked things out became better friends than we were before, his wife as well and now things are great.
I don't think taking a break was necessarily a bad thing of itself. I do think the way he went about doing it was quite bad. Something like that seems to warrant a discussion of some sort, at the least.

I hope the apology was spectacular!
I just went through a break-up and am O.K.

I just went through a break-up as a secondary but didn't take it personally because it had nothing to do with anything being wrong between me and him. The problem was his gf was starting to freak out about him having sex with me and threatened to walk. We talked about it over the phone and both felt it was the best thing to do. Yet, it still hurts and is a loss. I feel angry and depressed too. But Overall, while I need some grieving time where I am not dating, I feel pretty good all things considered. Also, I feel a sense of relief to be out of a situation where one of the parties was really hurting because of me. Meanwhile, they are going to couples therapy. My bf and I left it that we would stay in touch rather than break ties completely. We have a very long history together and don't want to throw it all away.
So Heartbroken

:confused: My Poly relationship is very complicated and I need some support. My husband and I entered into a poly relationship with my best friend of 3 years and her husband. What originally started as a whole group activitiy quickly moved to seperate room swapping. Which then led to dates with the other persons spouse. My husband and my bff are very similar personalities and hit it off immediately. Her husband and I are also alike and enjoyed spending time together. We had an amazing friendship/relationship......until this past weekend :(

Sparing all the gorey painful details, it was discovered that each poly swap couple fell in love with each other. We are trying to work through this bc we all love each other and have kids who are best friends, but I dont know where this is going....there is a lot of hurt on words said, feelings kept hidden, dreams for the future.

The thought of losing my husband, my best friend and my lover is so unbearable I am having a nervous breakdown. I was about to call 911 and say I was suicidal b/c I didnt know what to do but then how do I begin to explain the messed up situation to an outsider?

I'm so lost, and broken. I love all three of them so much and the thought of being with out any of them makes me die inside.

Is this normal? Has this happened before? Can we all work through this and remain friends? I mean just two days ago we were looking at houses to buy together to all move in as one big extended family and now......IDK?

Please any support or advice....I dont know who else to turn to?

I'm new to poly, but this place is a great place to be. I'm going to give you some of the best/most common advice for first-time posters.

BREATHE! (seriously, do this, it helps)

I was a trainwreck for weeks when this bombshell was dropped on me. I was rushed into things, and I had to really struggle to find a comfortable place with it and I'm only now starting to feel like I'm actually in a GOOD place.

Let me understand this more, both men are in love with both women? At first glace, that situation seems to be fairly ideal in many respects, but it can bring up some fears. Some of those fears are rational, some are not... and only you can really decide which is which.

Poly only seriously works if everyone involved is open and honest with one another. This includes you being honest with yourself.

Calm down and relax. If you are feeling suicidal, then you should probably get some support. That can come from within your group of lovers, or from the outside (that can be tricky, since they have a moral and legal obligation to take certain actions if they hear that you want to hurt yourself).

Do whatever it takes to relax, and then start examining your fears one by one. Drag them into the light and put them under a microscope.

Upon doing just that, I surprised myself. I grew stronger and more confident, starting to understand that not everything I needed to know about love could be picked up from any number of disney movies.

Browse this forum, educate yourself. Ask questions.

Above all... Stay calm and stay safe!
What originally started as a whole group activitiy quickly moved to seperate room swapping. ...
Sounds like you are talking about swinging, when you mention "swapping," not poly.

Sparing all the gorey painful details, it was discovered that each poly swap couple fell in love with each other. We are trying to work through this bc we all love each other and have kids who are best friends, but I dont know where this is going....there is a lot of hurt on words said, feelings kept hidden, dreams for the future.
I don't understand the problem. That is what polyamory is about - loving more than one. It sounds like you went into this believing and hoping deeper, loving feelings would not develop, but thought that was poly??? Well, you called your swinging/swapping poly anyway, but now you are in shock that you are all in love with each other. Love and tender feelings are bound to come up when you are intimate with someone repeatedly, over time. Expanding your heart and being open to loving multiple people is a beautiful thing. No one should have been hiding it or lying about it, and I can understand why that would hurt, but I truly don't know why loving someone else, or your husband loving someone else, would be more risky to your marriage than fucking someone else would be.

You added your post to a thread about break-ups. Did some of you break-up? What happened? And what is it about loving, polyamorous relationships that you are afraid of, exactly? Voicing your specific concerns will get you better, more focused advice.
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I'm going through a similar situation right now. Not sure if I am "on the rebound," but I do feel that the recent break-up with my husband / former primary is having emotional spillover in my relationship with my boyfriend. My relationship with my boyfriend has only been going on a few months now, while my relationship with my husband was 6+ years long. To be fair to my boyfriend, I feel that I need to create some distance in our relationship for me to grieve the break-up of the relationship with my husband. I don't want to break up with my boyfriend, but I do feel it's better we spend some time apart. I actually posted yesterday in Poly Relationships Corner looking for advice on this, and the advice I received seemed to confirm my suspicion that I should ask my boyfriend if it's okay to "cool our jets" for a while.

That said, I think everyone is different. Some people are probably more in need of alone time than others, and I'm sure it depends on the nature of the break-up, too: i.e., if it was expected, mutually agreed upon, sudden, etc.
Isistopaz -- I am so sorry you are hurting. Please call 911 if you are in suicidal mode! That is not a healthy place to be.

I do not see why you have to "loose" anyone though just because tender feelings have been stirred up. Is there more to the story?

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