LDR Poly during COVID

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
"well you chose this lifestyle and so you need to suck it up".....I keep feeling like I should just be stronger.
Being a strong person doesn't mean putting up with sh*t (or anything that feels remotely like sh*t, no matter what is happening or who chose what, or, or, or.) Being a strong person means that you know what you want or have and you stand by what you want or have. There is no Poly Pledge of Allegiance, no rules to which you must be loyal - other than honesty. And just because you're down with poly, you don't have to be OK with every person or every situation. In poly, just as in any relationship configuration, individuals and circumstances vary greatly. Strength is not compromising ones peace of mind for the sake of having made an agreement to be with someone(s), strength is respecting your internal guidance and honoring your values, no matter what.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Anyway this has been really helpful guys. I have a way more manageable perspective now and I will make some adaptations based on these talks and report back with an update soon.

Glad you are feeling a bit better and the thread participants gave you some ideas to try/think about.

GL!
Galagirl
 

MyFickleHeart

New member
Hey all! I wanted to send an update to any interested in this thread!

So here we are 3 months later.

Action steps I have taken that helped:
- I "muted" his other music friend/project on instagram (this helped a lot)
- Regular journalling almost every morning
- Songwriting
- Trying to keep myself busy
- I read "in the FLO" and started cycle-syncing
- Many supplements and doctors appointments to take care of my health stuff
- Exercise every morning
- Making a new plan with an emphasis on MY life and goals separate from him
- Establishing a regular weekly "meeting" for us so I could count on dedicated face time
- Reading more about ADHD
- Learning to "take a pause" when things started to spiral in a conversation and possibly write an email after some cool down time

The details (if you're curious):

We had a really rough patch starting end of December lasting about 3 weeks.
I was still feeling increasingly unhappy. A lot of it is the pandemic and my POI diagnosis and feeling like a caged bird because of lockdown but my relationship with him was really what I kept going into spirals about.

Although we had been communicating about things often I decided to lay it on the table and let him know things were really getting into the red zone for me (ie we may need to break up) in December. A week previous he had gone through a few days of burnout and depression and during that time he didn't really want to talk to me (just because he didn't feel at his best) and when pressed he said he was just "feeling lonely".

Apparently he was having delayed processing from his nesting partner leaving him a year previously and he said it was nothing to do with me/us. I understood (I have thought his business might be a way to avoid those feeling) but still felt a little hurt and shut out. Plus my feelings of frustration about not being on his mind/important to him were really building up. I also felt concerned because if this "lonely" feeling meant he was about to try and date more people I new it would be hard for me and could lead to even more of the same feelings.

So one week later he was feeling better and I mentioned I had been really struggling emotionally and tried to convey how serious it was (that I had been having thoughts of us breaking up, which I usually would never do in a relationship). He was immediately so sweet and said all the right things and assured me that he didn't want to break up and that was the last thing he wanted etc. He agreed he wanted to work harder and give me/our project more time. It felt like such great progress and we felt really connected! I mentioned us getting/reading the ADD book tdh suggested as an action step.

However, that very SAME DAY he ended up meeting someone new and within a few days they had gone on a date. I was kicked right back into my spirals. I had expected we'd have at least a few weeks to work on us before a new person showed up! He barely sent me any messages on the day of the date and I felt so bad/hopeless. When we spoke a few days later he hadn't gotten the book and I was so upset and spoke even more strongly about how I wasn't sure I could handle our relationship and I felt I was drowning emotionally. He got uncharacteristically mad and frustrated because he said he really wanted to find someone he connected to (like his ex) who he wanted to live with and set up his life over there so we could have a better future. He felt this person he just met (we'll call her Jill) could be that person. He said without me in his life there would be no point but his greater goal was to have a more serious nesting parter (his current other partner was more casual) and build a home with her so he could tour with me and have it all. I believed that was fair and wanted to be supportive but couldn't see how he could possibly balance it all given how things had been so far!

We did order the ADD book and fast forward 3 weeks he had barely touched it but I had read quite a bit of it and was starting to see some links and surprisingly many things that applied to myself! Although he was making an effort he was also in full NRE with Jill and struggling to keep his commitments with me and everyone else. I felt for him and was really trying to be patient and compassionate but I had to hold firm and when he tried to cancel on me because he'd made another mix up and booked something on our usual chat night (with no other night that week that could work for him) I felt really disappointed and had to let him know. He got very defensive and unbalanced and spiralled at me like never before and kept threatening that maybe we should just go on a break. I didn't think that was what we needed but he was really reacting strongly.

I ended up agreeing to the break but sending him an email I had been drafting earlier that day (for my own therapeutic purposes) reiterating my experience in a non-blaming level-headed way.

I had been grieving over the news that I am in peri-menopause at 36 and feeling deep waves of sadness washing over me as I came to terms with my infertility and the implications of this upcoming change of life... this paired with greatly diminished sexual interest from Aus and finding out this new partner (who he was now showering with time and affection) was 21... well it had me feeling really... well... I hate to say "old" because I know I am not old and that "old" is a mindset... but kind of neglected and used up. My uterus is acting like it's 10 years older than it is... and with no exciting career or lover to distract me I was simply feeling/processing all my feelings so much more intensely.

I reiterated how much I deeply loved him and how I wanted nothing more than our those dreams/life we had set out for ourselves before the pandemic. I said I was willing to forgive it all and just learn to love him better and let him be as free as he wants/needs - I just couldn't pretend it was all fine and I knew I may have to leave if things got too hard for too long.

Uncharacteristically I also told Mick why I was so sad (I usually try not to let things with Aus affect my relationship with him) and he sweetly consoled me and had a bit of a chuckle "sounds like someone I know" and I was reminded of how alike Aus and I are, and how it's usually me having the crazy adventures and too-busy life and my poor Mick who has to put up with ME.

We never went on a break, Aus lasted 20 minutes (even though I decided to give it the night) and apologized profusely. He then read my email and thoroughly responded in very sweet detail.

Fast forward to now, I also read a very interesting article about ADHD and relationships and found that, not only did it EXACTLY describe our dynamic... it also made me aware that I have a very similar but opposite dynamic with Mick and that I believe I also have undiagnosed ADD! I was shocked but when Mick read the description he agreed it sounded just like ME. Aus read it and so did Jill (she also has ADD apparently) and it really helped all of us. I have always known that Aus is my mirror but this has been a surprise! It was good for me to look at that and acknowledge that I have been hyper-focusing on our relationship, which is not helping. Aus was feeling criticized like he could never be good enough and always failing me and so it was making him reactive.

So things with Jill seem to be going well... they're together most of the time he's not working right now but he's happy. I managed to switch gears a bit and just re-focus on my career and relationship with Mick. It's been good. A bumpy ride. Still feel sad sometimes but not like before.
Now I understand what's going on I guess I feel more freedom from it and can see where I need to let go. He has also apologized further and has assured me he is taking steps to re-focus and be more careful with his priorities in the coming months. I have more therapy scheduled to talk about ADHD and how to work through some of these challenges.

I know that one day the tables may turn and hopefully this new partner does turn out to be a good, stabilizing presence as the NRE becomes less intense and things settle down. We know that realistically it will be a minimum of 6-7 months before we can see each other again and I think we have had to really accept that (as difficult as it is) and it has brought a kind of peace somehow.

So things are good for now. Still in love!

If you made it all the way through my ramblings I am impressed! Hope you're all doing alright out there and sending love.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
ADHD hyperfocus is gorgeous when it's on something you want it to be on... and terrible when it's on something you don't. I've definitely been there. You might also want to look into rejection sensitivity dysphoria; it's another thing that tends to travel with / be part of ADHD and learning it existed actually made it a LOT easier for me to be able to shut my particular brain chemistry up on the "he doesn't love me" feelings when it's super clear that he - whichever "he" I'm worrying about at that moment, sometimes both of them - actually does.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I read this, and you have made some great progress! Good job.
 

tdh

Active member
Glad the book help you. Also find the youtube channel How to ADHD an excellient resource. She does a 2 part episode called"The Wall of Awful" which is helpful to dealing with a lots of stuff. Also feel free to reach out and chat if you want to discuss experiences.

Read through everything and it sounds like you all really cleared the air. Sorry to hear about your POI diagnosis as that can suck and really make you feel out of time. Bodies are so weird sometimes. It is also great you have refocused on yourself and what you can control. That is really hard to do when hyper focused on something.

ADHD hyperfocus is gorgeous when it's on something you want it to be on... and terrible when it's on something you don't
AHEM! And in both scenarios the world could be burning down around you and it isn't the meme "Everything's fine" but it is more like, "I got this thing to do what do you mean the world's on fire? I don't have time for that" :ROFLMAO: But I do enjoy the ADHD superpower for creativity, truly getting lost, seeing things other people miss and more.

When I was first diagnosed there was ADD and ADHD. Now it is all lumped under ADHD in the DSM with either inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or a mix so what was ADD is more inattentive now. Think knowing more about this and finding tools handle it will help you both. Also if reading is a struggle for him there is also audio books (library might have them or audible) for the book too.

Glad you writing to. Especially when dealing with partners, the writing sometimes snaps you back to reality or helps get out the emotions. Especially poems or songs. The therapy will be extra with that. Aus and Jill are hyperfocusing away with NRE and you are pivoting to Mick and your needs. Great progress!
 

MyFickleHeart

New member
Aw guys thank you for your compassionate replies. It really means a lot to me to have a support network of other poly people cheering me on! I always expect more criticism and am a little afraid to read the comments but you are all so open and sensitive (not that I should be surprised at this point).
You might also want to look into rejection sensitivity dysphoria; it's another thing that tends to travel with / be part of ADHD and learning it existed actually made it a LOT easier for me to be able to shut my particular brain chemistry up on the "he doesn't love me" feelings when it's super clear that he - whichever "he" I'm worrying about at that moment, sometimes both of them - actually does.
Wow icesong you just blew my mind a bit! Reading about that was very revealing. I definitely relate to this and it goes pretty deep. Thanks for the info! This does explain a lot.

I read this, and you have made some great progress! Good job.
Magdlyn thanks so much for taking the time to pat me on the back - that made me feel really good <3

Glad the book help you. Also find the youtube channel How to ADHD an excellient resource. She does a 2 part episode called"The Wall of Awful" which is helpful to dealing with a lots of stuff. Also feel free to reach out and chat if you want to discuss experiences.

Read through everything and it sounds like you all really cleared the air.
Thanks so much tdh! This revelation was really one of the most helpful things for both of us. Just understanding what is going on changed the perspective enough to re-set our trajectory. We could both see the pattern and have our feelings validated while alleviating so much of the "I'm failing at this" energy. Now we're both a lot more encouraging and understanding. This has helped Mick and I a lot as well! I'll be sure to check out the further resources.
Sorry to hear about your POI diagnosis as that can suck and really make you feel out of time. Bodies are so weird sometimes. It is also great you have refocused on yourself and what you can control. That is really hard to do when hyper focused on something.
Thank you, yes it has been a tough one and even though I have always felt like I was "running out of time" now it feels extra intense! Still glad to be so in touch with myself and understand what's going on so that I can learn how to handle it. My hormone shifts really make things harder sometimes and I need to watch it when I feel those little rainclouds rolling in. Apparently POI can make certain ADHD symptoms more pronounced and that would explain a lot! Bad timing in some ways but actually good timing overall because I have so much time to rest, learn and heal so that hopefully when I can get back out into the world I will be better equipped to actually achieve my goals! Forced study time! haha

This will help all of us become better partners and I'm glad Jill can learn about some of this stuff earlier than I did so that hopefully she can have an easier time with it all.

As always thanks for your insights! Lots to chew on and now I really feel like I'm on the right track. <3
 

MyFickleHeart

New member
Hey all! Just wanted to give an update for anyone following this thread.

Things that helped the most:
- Focussing on ME and getting more exercise and meditation in
- Regular talk/meeting times (and trying to end on a positive note)
- Reaching out to my new metamour (with my partner's consent)
- LOTS of journaling and talking to friends
- A couple of appointments with my therapist
- Hypnosis
- CBD oil (which is legal here)
- Developing future plans that excited ME and were separate from him
- Listening to Esther Perel's podcast "Where do we begin"

Sad to say Aus and I ended things about a month ago. It was me who instigated it and it was a difficult decision because I'm still in love with him and very attracted to him but after 13 months apart and 4.5 months of Aus being with Jill (who is decidedly mono) it was just too challenging for me.

Here are the details if you're interested (almost more for my own processing at this point):

I found I was meeting resistance when bringing up future plans with Aus and seeing him on his home turf (because Jill would be there and she was starting to have issues with me/us being poly). It made sense to go to Australia because Canada would be getting very cold by the time we could visit again (even in the best case scenario) and there were several reasons why Australia was better (one of them being that the pandemic is virtually non-existent there, so we could get some gigs to help afford the trip! Plus Aus has a decked out camper we could use on tour). I felt like I was always the one pushing for us and it kept leading to intense feelings of rejection, even though he would eventually come around. Also his diminished flirtiness and sex drive towards me could feel very heartbreaking at times.

I did feel for them in the sense that they didn't get any support about being poly from any friends or family, he was feeling pressured about basically being labeled a cheater and she was also getting pressured by her friends about the situation too (WA isn't very progressive). She is apparently very "hot headed" and he felt like she was on the brink of leaving him about it (even though I wasn't taking up very much space in their lives at all - just my little 2 hours every Monday). Apparently he talked about me a lot and that upset her. I sent her a message (with his consent) just to reach out and say "I'm on your team" and offer her a link to the Multiamory podcast which she received well and that felt positive. I had been feeling a lot better after all my self-work and was having less mood dips but despite all my efforts I was still feeling a lot of resentment/negativity at times.

I underwent a hypnosis to help me with my insecure attachment style and that really helped a lot! I pinpointed a moment as a child when I had felt abandoned and was able to diminish it. One thing the hypnotist said to me in the sessions was "in life, I like to think of emotional transactions like financial ones. Some things are withdrawals and some things are deposits, it's okay to have some withdrawals from time to time, just as long as things were balanced with deposits". This made me think and I realized that my relationship with Aus had become mostly withdrawals. Also during a time when life had less deposits than usual.

Then I had a weekend when I got really depressed and just cried for almost the whole two days, feeling a lot of rejection and hopelessness. I was made further sad by the fact that I was still SO SAD after trying so hard to improve my mindset! I had been taking very good care of myself and it wasn't my cycle or anything. I felt like a failure because he had seemed to be happy and fine for all this time - he was so good at compartmentalizing and I just wasn't getting there.

I had just become a member of a FB group for international couples with partners in Australia (for info) and the information on there was very heart-wrenching. We had remained somewhat intentionally ignorant to the subject of Australia's border situation. Even people who were married and had lived together were having trouble getting exemption (for trips months away) I felt very discouraged. Australia's vaccine rollout is way behind Canada's and it was really sounding like it would be over 8 months before it would be reasonable to expect a chance to see each other (and at a very exorbitant price most likely). People were even saying it could be years!

I just got really overwhelmed and felt that I needed to take my power back in this situation and break up with Aus. It felt like at this point I couldn't really let go of my own bad feelings and the thought of 8 more months feeling like THIS was unbearable. I still didn't feel "sure" because I still want those dreams and love him SO much and I know if we could have only been able to see each other sooner it would have been different. 13 months apart is a long time. We were supposed to be meeting on the Monday for our weekly talk and I almost changed my mind but then he bailed on me to go camping with Jill (after knowing I'd been feeling sad)... so I took it as a sign and eventually I said we needed to talk and I told him I needed to break up.

It felt very surreal and he said he didn't want to but I explained it was because I wasn't emotionally handling it and it was basically a last resort (even though I still wanted our future/dreams so badly). The chat felt too short and he was kind but I think at a bit of a loss for words. I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking he had his plans with Jill and I didn't want to keep him (which in retrospect was a little irrational). He messaged me right after the talk saying "I don't want this and if you want to come back I'm here" but I said that I didn't want it either but I felt like I needed it. Then we didn't talk for a few days.

On the Friday he messaged me saying he hoped I felt better (which I thought was a check in) so I said I'd be willing to talk more if he wanted to process things with me. Then he spiralled out and got really angry and said he didn't have to be nice to me because we were broken up. I was surprised! It was an awful 2 days of text-fighting where he refused to talk to me properly but then said really confusing contradictory things. It made me feel desperate to talk to him properly because I hated the idea of ending things like that. He finally agreed.

When we talked it really helped and healed a lot of what I had been feeling. I realized that I needed to break up to finally get rid of the resentment I was carrying (unfortunately) and to get back to being honest and restore the balance. We were able to meet emotionally and open up properly and learn a lot about each other's true feeling/situation. He said he had JUST reached the point of being truly ready to make more time for us and our music goals again. He said he would have NEVER broken up with me and had wanted to spend his life with me and felt like everything he'd been doing had us as the long-term end goal. He asked me if there was any way we could get back together and I said I felt there was, but then he backtracked and said he'd already done the work to move on and close his heart to us and Jill had made him promise not to "flip flop" in his decision and he had told her he would be monogamous with her the night before. So at his suggestion, we agreed not to talk for 3-6 months. If I'm honest I felt relief at this decision.

In the end he was so sweet to me and said so many loving things that I wished I could have heard earlier. I feel bad about bailing during an emotional time and also ruining the chances of making it work with Jill (I know it must've been confusing for her and she was just trying to stick up for herself) but I wasn't really feeling safe knowing her disposition and feelings either, and how that was influencing Aus. He has messaged me since and also expressed that he still loves me and wishes he'd supported me better. I also apologized for not overcoming my insecurities enough to be more supportive. He's still feeling doubts about the decision to part ways... which I also feel. I don't know what's appropriate when it comes to messaging him now (even though I always want to) but feel like I should leave him to his life with Jill, so I just try to send him love in my mind and let it go.

In any case I do feel better keeping my energy for me and Mick right now and even though I still miss Aus all the time and feel like I could be open to having him in my future, right now the space feels right. At least we're getting a beautiful summer here and cases/restriction are lowering dramatically so I can finally play a few shows outside and move forward with my own goals.

I can still see both sides of this and I think I could have handled myself better but in the end I don't regret my decision and know that I made the right choice. It is what it is. If we are meant to be then one day down the line maybe we will pick things back up somehow. I just read that it's looking more like 13 months until Australia is fully vaccinated and ready to open their borders.

Hope you guys are all having better luck! My life feels completely chopped in half and adrift but I definitely feel stronger/healthier emotionally overall.

Thanks for all your support!
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
ADHD hyperfocus is gorgeous when it's on something you want it to be on... and terrible when it's on something you don't. I've definitely been there. You might also want to look into rejection sensitivity dysphoria; it's another thing that tends to travel with / be part of ADHD and learning it existed actually made it a LOT easier for me to be able to shut my particular brain chemistry up on the "he doesn't love me" feelings when it's super clear that he - whichever "he" I'm worrying about at that moment, sometimes both of them - actually does.


I know this is a bit late in the day, but thank you for posting this, my dear lady. Things just got a bit more clearer in some aspects and I am grateful for your posting this. :)
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I know this is a bit late in the day, but thank you for posting this, my dear lady. Things just got a bit more clearer in some aspects and I am grateful for your posting this. :)
I'm glad it helped - quite frankly I think that RSD is *wildly* underemphasized as part of ADHD and every ADHD person I know that I've mentioned it to, who hasn't heard of it, has had an "OMG EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE" now moment so I probably bring it up more often than I should just to make sure people know.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
I'm glad it helped - quite frankly I think that RSD is *wildly* underemphasized as part of ADHD and every ADHD person I know that I've mentioned it to, who hasn't heard of it, has had an "OMG EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE" now moment so I probably bring it up more often than I should just to make sure people know.


I do not have ADHD (that I know of, that is) and the penny literally dropped when I read up on that, so thanks again for that. 🙃
 
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Evie

Mod
What does this mean? I don't think we use this expression in The States.
A moment of clarity, a realisation, putting 2&2 together.

(Literally is actually figuratively, as it usually is).

Now I'm going to go hunt down the origin of the phrase because I have always used it but never known it.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
What does this mean? I don't think we use this expression in The States.



My apologies. I watch a lot of British TV and have even had best friends that were from the UK. I unconsciously pick up quirky bits of idioms and languages the way other people pick up bad habits. Sorry about that! :)
 
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