Support during metamour breakup

Rougewarrior49

New member
Hello,

I'm new here, so I apologize if this thread is a repeat. I've been looking around for a few days and have not found relevant discussion. If this is not so, please do let me know.

Question: I would like to be supportive of partner Cal during his recent divorce. I would love any insight on pacing/timing/giving space to partners going through their own breakup/divorce. How slow should I go? How much time is reasonable to give post-breakup/transition?

Background: I travel a lot. Cal and I have been partners on-and-off (travel allowing) for several years. We make time for each other when we can and it is always lovely. Two years ago, he entered a mono marriage (love+economic stability), during which Cal and I mutually & respectfully broke off contact. It was amicable and we remained on good terms. In those 2 years, the marriage ended when he ex suddenly left without much explanation. Cal is deeply hurt by the sudden breakup (he talked about it by phone, I am 3k miles away) but feels emotionally that the relationship was over for some time now.
Cal reached out immediately after separation to let me know that his situation had changed and that he had missed my friendship. We have resumed talking slowly. We've had some prelim discussion about transitioning our dynamic (formerly no-contact) towards LDR companionship. Cal acknowledges that he's having a difficult time internally, and that he is not yet sure how his needs have changed.

Me: For my own transition, I feel anxious and excited (NRE) to resume contact with a beloved flame. Covid isolation has been lonely. My goal is to be respectful, patient, and considerate to best protect our connection through this breakup. I would love any insight on how best to do this and what kind of pacing has worked for others during metamour breakup. Thank you!
 

Magdlyn

Active member
Hi, welcome!

Let me see if I understand your situation.

I would like to be supportive of my partner Cal during his recent divorce.

It seems you still consider him your partner? Why is that? Isn't he more like an ex?

I would love any insight on pacing/timing/giving space to partners going through a breakup/divorce. How slow should I go? How much time is reasonable to give to a post-breakup transition?

Of course, there is no set time to allow for the grief process. It depends on a lot of factors.

I travel a lot. Cal and I have been partners on-and-off (travel allowing) for several years. We make time for each other when we can, and it is (was?) always lovely.

I am not clear if you actually had an on-going, in-person relationship at all, ever. Can you clarify?

Two years ago, he entered a mono marriage (for love+economic stability), during which we mutually & respectfully broke off contact. It was amicable and we remained on good terms. After 2 years, the marriage ended when his ex suddenly left, without much explanation. Cal is deeply hurt by the sudden breakup. We talked about it by phone (I am 3K miles away) but he feels emotionally that the relationship was over for some time now.

Cal reached out immediately after his separation to let me know that his situation had changed, saying that he missed my friendship.

We have resumed talking slowly. We've had some prelim discussion about transitioning our dynamic (formerly no-contact) towards LDR companionship.

I am not sure what this means. Have you ever had contact? Are you thinking to resume a romantic, in person relationship? Is Cal poly? Will he just break up with you again when he meets a mono lady again? How would that feel for you?

Cal acknowledges that he's having a difficult time internally, and that he is not yet sure how his needs have changed.

Of course. He is in rebound mode. Do you want to be his rebound person? Do you not feel a bit used, rejected, re-used?

For my own transition, I feel anxious and excited to resume contact with a beloved flame. I have NRE, again.

Covid isolation has been lonely. My goal is to be respectful, patient, and considerate, to best protect our connection through his breakup and recovery. I would love any insight on how best to do this and what kind of pacing has worked for others during metamour breakup. Thank you!

Again, the issues will vary. It's not your job to help Cal heal. You want to respect him, but you deserve respect too. That starts with self-respect. You need to be careful of your own heart. I'd definitely talk about how he rejected you to do mono and now he's come crawling back to you for comfort. What kind of romantic future is possible with a guy who dumped you to go mono 2 years ago? Be wary! Don't let your soft feelings for him set you up for rejection again, in a year or so.
 
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GalaGirl

Active member
Welcome.

Let me repeat back in my own words so i know I got it how you mean it. You correct me if I get anything wrong ok? Blue is mine. I quote just to visually block it off.

Your ex BF Cal and you used to do poly together. But then 2 years ago it was a respectful and mutual break up. Because he was getting monogamously married. (You were still poly-dating Cal while he was dating his monogamous partner?)

The marriage did not work out after all. They are divorcing.

Cal is hurting and reached out to you.

CAL WANTS

  • comfort thru divorce (???)
  • to be just friends (???)
  • "LDR companionship" what's that mean? Friends who visit? Without social disancing? FWB? Go back to poly dating?
  • Cal acknowledges that he's having a difficult time internally, and that he is not yet sure how his needs have changed. (So he doesn't really know WHAT he wants?)

YOU WANT

  • You want to know how to support Cal through his divorce as a friend.
  • You want to know how fast is too fast for you and Cal to resume poly dating? Cuz you are excited about that idea again.
  • You posted here wanting help because you are worried that... you think this might be a rebound thing? Something else?

If that is more or less the case? Then I think in order to achieve this

My goal is to be respectful, patient, and considerate, to best protect our connection through his breakup and recovery. I would love any insight on how best to do this and what kind of pacing has worked for others during metamour breakup.

I would be his friend only for at least a year. Even if it excites you, even if he brings it up? You tell him you prefer to wait at least a year out before thinking about being more than exes and friends. So he can have time to get his post divorce bearings first.

It's ok to be and hang out as friends, but NO. Not adding sex or romance to the mix just yet. You prefer to hold off and pace yourselves.

I suggest you keep strong personal boundaries and remember you are not his rebound person, his life raft, or his free therapist.

I agree with Anita Wagner in her pitfalls article.

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/images/A._Wagner_-_Avoid_the_Pitfalls_of_Polyamory.pdf

Type 2: Dating people recently widowed, separated and divorced - special
considerations:
  • It is well known that for many what we want and need from a love relationship during the divorce process is much different than what we will need after we’ve finished it.
  • Emotional resources more limited while “achieving an emotional divorce.”
  • True even more so with custodial parents.
SOLUTION:
  • Very high risk - go slowly.
  • Pace yourself emotionally.

I've seen my divorcing friends make some weird choices while in that post divorce head space. Some went sleeping around looking for "warm body comfort" to numb the pain. Some went more "sow wild oats" party mode. Some latched on to whoever came along first "so I don't have to be alone." Making insta-commitments from fear of never finding another rather than actual deep compatibility.

Divorce is 73 points on the stress scale. The only one that beats it is death of spouse at 100.

If you are wanting something more than FWB? Hold off until Cal is more able to be that kind of partner. Don't let your excitement over maybe getting back together with your old flame cloud the view and make you forget to ask "Is this even the right person? At the right time? For the right reasons?" Don't daydream what if this and that about it either. Chasing NRE lalas. Have feet planted more firmly in the present.

If all you want is some kind of LDR FWB? Then hold off and maybe find someone else to LDF FWB with that doesn't carry fresh divorce baggage right now. LDR FWB doesn't have to be with Cal.

Those would be my suggestions.

HTH!
Galagirl
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
Speaking as someone who has had plenty of LDR and loss along the way, it's simple from your end. Just let him guide the discussion. He'll let you know at what speed he wants you to move.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Rougewarrior49,
I did a search for you, and found some similar threads, that may help:

Heh, I didn't think the list would be that long. But better too much than too little, right? Just click on the titles that call to you. I listed the newest threads at the top of the list; I listed the oldest threads at the bottom of the list. I hope it helps!

One thing that seems to be unique in your thread, is that you are looking for how long to wait before restarting your relationship with Cal. And for how fast or slow you should go. I think the best way to figure that out is to take your cues from Cal. If Cal is mostly talking to you about his divorce, let that be your main focus and just as a friend. If Cal is talking like he is ready to move forward, go ahead and respond romantically. Just don't go too fast; mention to Cal that you want to avoid a rebound situation, but that you're definitely interested. Certainly you can open the doors of communication with him. Skype, calls, texts, emails, and Zooms. Honestly, the fact that you are long-distance will help you to tap the brakes, which is probably a good thing. Remember, you had to break up with Cal due to one monogamous metamour. It could happen again.

Hopefully the posts so far are helping. If you're willing, keep us updated on your situation. Good luck.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Rougewarrior49

New member
TYSM everyone! I will look through the suggested posts! I appreciate your responses and consideration.

To clarify:
I "dated" Cal for several years. We never used a label, we're just two people who care about each other. (To those confused, I use the term "partner" because it makes sense to me conceptually). There wasn't a breakup, per say. We both mutually respected his decision to marry, as it created a lot of economic stability for his kid. I am and have been out of state for years, so "LDR Companionship" meaning that we have stayed friends:people who care about each other.
I am not worried about being a "rebound" (I am over 3000 miles away) and I do not feel hurt regarding his breakup with my meta, though I am sad to hear that his marriage has ended. It must be very difficult for him.

My concern is how to best be considerate/supportive of a partner who has just divorced *their* partner (my meta). Thank you!!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi Rouge,

The forum has been switched to a new format and as such, all of the URL's have been altered. So, sad to say, the threads I listed in my last post are no longer available from clicking in the list I made. You can however do a search by thread title; go to https://polyamory.com/search/ to do that. I'm too lazy to redo the whole list, but I'll do it a few threads at a time, if there are certain titles that call to you. Let me know.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Evie

Active member
They are working again now 😁
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
@ Evie ... holy wow! What a fix! 🤩 I am, like, mega impressed.

@ Rouge ... go ahead and use those links in my list. They are now connected to the new URL's. Yay!
 

Rougewarrior49

New member
@kdt2617

Thank you for providing relevant material. Pre-format update, i was having issues finding the right results with the search function. Your links have saved me a lot of time and headache scrolling. Thank you! I can appreciate the advice of staying present, maintaining awareness/keeping eyes open to transition states post-breakup, and taking time to process independently.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
I think you have the right idea. Happy I could help. Slow but steady wins the race, as the saying goes.
 
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