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Help coping with past relationship loss

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by JennIsOn, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. JennIsOn

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    I don't know if anyone can relate to this, but I literally created an account because of this.

    Quick backstory: happily straight-married 22 years. I'm 42. Figured out I was bi in my 30's. Husband is totally supportive. We were/are monogamous.

    About 8 years ago, husband started an emotional relationship with another woman. We tried to just work through it without it becoming a big deal. It became a big deal, and I became close to her, too. We each fell in love with her. And she with each of us.

    She was married with kids, and she had wanted to leave her husband before all this. He was not ok with any of it, wanted no part of it, and wanted her to cut it out and return to him exclusively (which is fair). Over a couple years, my relationship with her ratcheted up in intensity, and I believed we would have some sort of future together. Everything changed, but my husband and I were willing to make it work. It was very hard at times trying to navigate the three sides of our triad relationship. I loved her so, so much.

    Then, she left without any warning. And I am still not over it. It's been almost six years since she left. And I. Can't. Let it. Go.

    I think there was a brief email once when my husband's father died. Otherwise, we haven't spoken. I haven't reached out to her in any way out of respect for her husband (and kids) with whom she is still married. But it just about kills me. We live in a smallish area, and I have seen her around town rarely, and she looks away. She's just out of reach.

    I think she is ashamed about how she hurt me. And everyone in her life. It's a lot to go into, so I don't know if I've even explained it well. But I just can't seem to move on. I loved her and felt committed to her as much as I am with my husband, and I don't know how to let go of her. I don't know if I can or want to. But it's just eating me up.

    I needed to say all this to someone other than my husband (who is completely over her and, I think, regrets all of it). I don't expect anyone to fully understand or have any advice.
     
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  2. QuietPeace

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    I am going to try to sum up what you said as I understand it, if I get something wrong please clear it up for me.

    You were in a monogamous marriage and due to circumstances opened up your relationship. The person that both of you added discovered that she could not handle being poly (due to the nonacceptance of her monogamous partner) and so left the relationship. Now you find that even years later you cannot accept the ending of that relationship with her.

    I think the best thing for you to do is get therapy. You will need to find a therapist who is at least accepting of both LGBT issues and polyamory, one who specializes might be even more helpful but might be difficult to find. Once you work through and accept that the relationship is over you can then discuss with your husband if the two of you might still be ok with you being with a woman while also continuing to stay in your current relationship.
     
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  3. Tartanskrt

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    Hi. I feel like I can hear your pain in your writing. You feel in love with her and you feel it was never fully resolved and that is pain. I don't really have an answer. To feel that intensely about someone and having to occasionally see them but without communication is so hard. It's not the same thing but I see the woman who I adore about 4 times a week but I know no matter how I feel I can never show her and it feels horrible, yet the desire feels amazing and that is the double edged sword. Feel free to talk here. I'm sorry you're going through all this.
     
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  4. JennIsOn

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    Thank you @QuietPeace and @Tartanskrt . You've both helped so much. It helps just to admit my feelings "out loud."

    I did see a therapist, and it may be time to go back. I stopped seeing her when I felt I was ready to move on, and I did move on for a while. She wanted to delve into the poly thing because she had other poly clients, and I think that was new for her. I felt like we didn't touch on other issues in my life, to be honest. But it was a safe place to talk about that, at least.

    I don't know what has triggered this resurfacing of feelings. Maybe it's natural when you truly loved someone.

    Tartanskrt, I hope you can find some peace in your situation. Sometimes it's nice to have someone in your life, even in a small way, and sometimes it's so difficult. I hope you find a way to openly express your feelings somehow. I used to write poetry. It helped.
     
  5. Mirko

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    Hi there, going back to the therapist might be a good idea, to continue working on being okay with things and letting go. It seems that the relationship with her that you and your husband started to build and the way it ended had a traumatic effect on you. It would be only natural for deeper feelings and emotions to come up and have triggers.

    Continuing the therapy might help you to uncover them and turn the page on it as it were.
     
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  6. QuietPeace

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    I do not think that obsessing over someone years after the end of a relationship is healthy. I also feel that if you truly care about someone you will want what is best for that person, even if what is best for that person means that they are not in a relationship with you. I second going back into therapy.
     
  7. JennIsOn

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    It did have a traumatic effect. Thank you, @Mirko , and I'm sure that's related to other things that have happened in my life. It was very hard to have something so positively reinforced day after day and then to be ghosted, for lack of a better term. Thanks for your comments.
     
  8. JennIsOn

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    You could be right. Thanks for thoughts. I do want what's best for her, and I have always been respectful of her choice.