Trust is one of the most important aspects of any polyamorous relationship. Well, of any fulfilling relationship really. I’ve written a little bit about it before but lately it’s been popping up again and again like it’s a lesson that needs to be remembered by rote learning.
The trust I had in Thistlebird has gradually worn away over time after certain actions have played out and words have been said.
I’ve felt completely hopeless over the last few months because I didn’t know what to do… if I want to have a relationship with Hectic I have to trust Thistlebird and I have to have some form of a relationship with her to make it all work.
And I didn’t get a choice in any of it happening.
The only choice I really have is to leave – which I have seriously considered – I don’t want to give up on what I’ve built with Hectic though so it feels like a stalemate. I’ve felt trapped and began to resent their relationship as being the cause. I know logically it isn’t… that none of us really know what we’re doing or how to make it work and we’re all doing our best but it still doesn’t change how I feel about the situation and it doesn’t help me figure out a solution.
Thistlebird and I spent about a month not talking because of something I said which offended her – I’m sure this wasn’t the only reason.
To be completely honest it felt a bit trivial in comparison to some of the things she has done and said to me in the past which have left me feeling betrayed, violated and dismissed but I’ve been berated by Hectic for saying this – all it has done is solidify the belief that Thistlebird’s emotions take precedence because I deal with my stuff internally therefore making me more “capable”.
Personally I believe it’s because I don’t trust other people with my feelings, insecurities and weakness’. Why would I communicate those things to people I don’t trust?
In any case, I’ve realised this is part of the issue and I’ve been working on trusting people more… the only way I’ve figured out how to do this is to find where my own boundaries lie and communicate that.
About 3 weeks ago Hectic, Thistlebird and I had a round table where we agreed to talk about these things and lay down some rules.
There were two that I had set for myself. The first was a time limit to our discussions (2 hours max.) because I feel like after a time they just become cyclical. The second was that I didn’t want to be friends with Thistlebird and would prefer a parallel type of arrangement where we rarely interacted directly (up until this point we’ve been trying to make kitchen table polyamory work).
During the discussion it also became apparent that Hectic hadn’t been advocating for himself properly or communicating with Thistlebird about the parameters of their relationship.
During the time I’ve known Thistlebird it’s become obvious that she has a knack for pushing boundaries whilst claiming ignorance or a miscommunication when you point out what’s happening. Even though she accepted my boundary without question and created her own similar boundary with me she’s been messaging me, trying to start up small talk and offering me emotional support. It has made me anxious and uncertain and I’ve had to reinforce them by explaining that I only wanted to talk to her about our mutual concerns regarding Hectic. She tried arguing with me about this!
I can’t tell you how frustrating this is – to constantly have your boundaries pushed and prodded no matter how clear you communicate what you’re OK with.
We have a second round table coming up in about 2 weeks where I said we could discuss it further if need be. If they respect and help me reinforce these boundaries – to help me feel safe – then maybe I’ll begin to trust her, and their relationship, again.