Needing support

Carmina

Member
FWIW, there's a thread on that topic: How do you achieve compersion?
Thanks, very interesting and clearly it comes more naturally to some people but not all. I wonder if there are several aspects to compersion? For example I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't want my partner to be happy, and didn't accept that this is what is good for her. I also feel ethically this is the right thing to do and that I don't have a right to limit her just for my own sake. However at the same time it is painful for me to imagine her in someone elses arms, but I hope, as Icesong says, I can at least come to feel more neutral about it over time, in fact I am doing much better so far than I thought I would do, my world has not collapsed and I am not falling apart. I trust that she is coming back and will still love me.

If I could separate those aspects maybe compersion rests on 3 pillars: altruism, autonomy and emotional detachment? - I can handle the first 2 because they are more based on reason and ethical principles, but the third will take more work.
 
Last edited:

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I guess the thing about compersion, is that it is more a single separate feeling, than it is a set of component feelings and reasonings. You can want your partner to be happy, accept that poly is good for her, want to do the right thing, and not want to limit her, all day long, and still not feel good about her being with someone else. It's like liver, you can reason with yourself that it's good for you, and still not like the taste. You know (or at least believe) that poly is good for you (and her), but you still don't like the taste of poly. (If you like liver, try the analogy with raw crickets.)
 

Carmina

Member
Ok good analogy. Although I guess it also implies that you can get used to the taste, or perhaps if it is 'prepared' a certain way (eg I don't like liver much either on its own but do like it in a pâté - I hated curry when I was younger but now love it, I think because my tastes have matured)
 
Last edited:

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I think compersion rests even more on trust, and it sounds like you’re getting there… once the idea becomes just an ordinary part of your life it quits being something you have to do hard emotional work around on a regular basis. Perhaps that _is_ like liking curry…
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It's possible compersion is "just an acquired taste." Maybe.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It's like learning to "trust" a certain kind of food. Right?
 

Carmina

Member
My partner came home this morning and we have had a lovely day together. We are both pleased I coped pretty well and although they have another date planned in a couple of weeks, this time for 2 nights, hopefully that will continue. In the end I didn't use much of my list - what helped most was to treat it as some 'me' time, so I bought myself a book that I had on my Amazon Wishlist for ages, treated myself to a box of chocolates to eat while watching a favourite movie, and cooked one of my favourite meals. I still needed something to help me sleep as I was anxious in bed but on the whole I did much better than I thought I would. Thanks all for your support.
 

Carmina

Member
You're on the right track regarding the fact that long term security is an inside job, but strong people aren't necessarily able to handle poly better, strong people are better able to stand by what they value. What's important is that you become ever more clear about what you want, what brings you joy - not that you conform to someone else's wants and joys. Focusing on what brings you joy instead of focusing on being able to handle poly is the path to greater peace of mind. That emotional independence is the path that's most likely to lead to harmony in your relationship. That's the path of emotional health and yes, it's a habit, too. It definitely can become your new habit if you practice it little by little.
I just realised I did this without being conscious I was doing it at the time :)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Glad to hear that your coping abilities are working out so far.
 

Carmina

Member
We are back down at dad's this week sorting out the house and unfinished business with the family member I mentioned in the OP. Some hard conversations! In many respects as a couple we are feeling even closer, it's been lovely - almost as if we are feeling this "NRE" as well. Is that usual?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I would say that is normal enough. When you have to support each other, through the tough times, it creates an extra feeling of closeness. Very much like NRE.
 

Carmina

Member
Yes I realise that but I was thinking also that the fact that I was able to show trust in her and accept her being poly seems also to have brought us closer.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
You're right; building trust is a major component of closeness, and can feel like NRE. You've learned to trust your partner more because of the poly; hence, poly has led to a kind of NRE.
 

Carmina

Member
I think in many respects it's like we also have a new relationship - at least our relationship is now on a different level. I suspect that is probably a principle of poly relationships that a change in one part of the 'polycule' (is that the right term?) affects the whole (a bit like a gestalt).
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Yes, your relationship has changed. (And polycule is the right word.) The change in one part of the polycule has affected the whole polycule. Every little change adds up to one big change.
 

Carmina

Member
So this weekend she is going for 2 nights - hopefully after that we will settle into some sort of pattern and I will get more used to this.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It does help to have a pattern. I hope you can get through the difficult times.
 

Ariakas

Bosun
Thanks, very interesting and clearly it comes more naturally to some people but not all. I wonder if there are several aspects to compersion? For example I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't want my partner to be happy, and didn't accept that this is what is good for her. I also feel ethically this is the right thing to do and that I don't have a right to limit her just for my own sake. However at the same time it is painful for me to imagine her in someone elses arms, but I hope, as Icesong says, I can at least come to feel more neutral about it over time, in fact I am doing much better so far than I thought I would do, my world has not collapsed and I am not falling apart. I trust that she is coming back and will still love me.
I will state something here that may not be accepted overall but its my experience I am conveying. My ability to feel compersion is entirely based on the partner, 100%. I have found throughout the years that compersion for me is based on my interpersonal relationship to that person.

I can't, and honestly not even sure if I can, feel jealousy for my wife. When she meets people and flutters around them, I feel happy that she has meshed with someone. Its always amazing.

Some previous partners, I could not feel compersion, depending on the engagement. Maybe it was my needs not being met, or maybe it was built on previous discussions about jigsaw poly, where people have these tiny little niches and each person fills them. That description always left me feeling like I could never be enough, which meant I would feel jealousy instead of compersion.

This one will piss people off, but if one of my partners is interested in someone, and they dont hold up to the standards of "something" to me, than I felt .. slighted. This one is a bit like friendship to me. I like and lived the new "kitchen table poly" concept where in general everyone gets along. If I didn't get along with the person on the other side, I sure didn't want to know or hear about it. I run into this quite often since I am a relatively non-standard poly person, which can run afoul with some peoples views. So I wouldn't feel jealousy, and I wouldn't feel compersion.. it would run more akin to icky. If I hadn't been trying to live kitchen table poly it might have been less important. But its hard to sit across the table from someone who you really dislike. This is likely where something like DADT is better suited for some folks.

So not only are there aspects to compersion but also it can be directional. I have met amazing long term poly folk who never get jealous, with the wrong partner - suddenly be very jealous. Likely a sign that something is wonky and needs to be explored together.
 

PinkPig

Active member
I agree with Ariakas, my ability to feel compersion does depend on how secure I feel in my relationship with that partner, and how well my wants are being met. Also, in my experience, in a healthy KTP set up, I can feel compersion for my partner and my meta pretty easily. It becomes trickier if I don't like my meta, haven't met my meta, and/or my partner is being a leaky hinge (telling me too much about meta and vice versa.)

That said, I do think my meditation practice helps cultivate compersion.
 
Top