Third Eye Blind

Sometimes, you don’t know how to deal with things as you’re going through them. When it’s not your relationship directly that’s tumultuous, but you see and feel everything, it can be hard and take a toll. Do you know what doesn’t get talked about often enough? Being the third in a triad when the primary is in trouble. Worst, what about when the primary ends? What and where are you then?

As the third, I don’t have many of the same relationship responsibilities. I love being a third and it’s my preference for a lot of clear reasons. Even with some downsides, I enjoy the freedom and power being the third gives me.

It’s a whole other ballgame when the dynamic changes. As the third, I’ve struggled with what to say and when when things are hard. When you love both partners (even if one partner isn’t your lover directly), you want to be supportive and caring toward both. I can’t take a side, I should be careful what I say here, I want to be understanding for everyone. When a part of who you are is defined by the relationship, you do all you can to see things return to normal.

But in a lot of ways, because it isn’t your relationship directly, you’re a helpless bystander. You’re watching and feeling the hurt, pain, anger, and the rapidly approaching end. It all hits you, it all makes you cry, and it all makes you uncertain about so many things. The shifting, questions, and ultimate dissolution hits hard.

I’ve started likening it to being the unintentional causality of everything. Maybe I wasn’t there from the very beginning, but I’ve been there when things went from happy to hard. That helplessness has its own damaging effects that impact things like trust. I’ve been deeply impacted by things, but have been silent because I didn’t/don’t feel it’s my place to talk about how I feel.

Coming almost to the other side of things, I’m still sorting out where I am. I’m no longer a part of triad so who am I now? There are still a lot of questions as I try to find my place, my trust, and my voice again.

Nothing in life is ever simple. Rebuilding and reorienting has to occur when change happens. Naturally more things are changing and not just the dissolution of the triad. This post was mostly a reminder that in many situations in kink, there’s a silent partner or person who is being carried along. That’s the not fun side of poly, is it? This is the stuff we don’t always talk about because what can you say?

I guess I’m saying I’m coping and trying to grow. You learn from everything. Ah, and all this keeps my therapist in business.


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  1. missy

    I have been thinking about you, Cara, and wondering how you were managing with everything. I have no experience of poly, as you know, so can’t image the complex emotions or offer any pearls of wisdom. Please do know that I am thinking of you though and hoping that your sense of completeness is just around the corner, whatever form it takes. Hugs 🙂

  2. Dawn D

    This year is bringing with it the end of a long cycle of 34-35 years, that leads to new beginnings. Unfortunately, it means many things in our lives will change, relationships shift and so on.
    I cannot imagine (or I have only a small inkling of how hard it is to not feel free to write about your emotions on your own blog.
    I’m sending lots of positive energy your way to help you find the path that wil guide your life for the next cycle, and, closer to us, for the next few months, as things find a new balance.

  3. slave sindee

    Be well and Be BLESSED !!
    Indeed “nothing in life is ever easy” so we cope the best we can. Be strong Be Blessed

  4. Floss

    Like Missy I too have been thinking about you and wondering how you were coping with the changes occurring. Sending lots of warm and positive thoughts your way x

  5. May More

    I have so wondered how you were coping – have gone to DM u a few times – but not wanting to pry. I do hope you are managing to work through everything in your head and in your life.
    Sending you positive vibes and an ear if ever u need one xx

  6. Brigit Delaney

    I can’t even imagine how you must feel in all this, especially as it puts you in a position of no longer being the comfortable third. Relationships are certainly complicated, but this? There is no manual for how to handle it. I guess you play it by ear and trust your own instincts, eh? I wish you all the best in navigating your changing situations.

  7. Marie Rebelle

    You have been on my mind for months, Cara, and I really hope you will be well, that you will find your place, that you will be happy. You are a wonderful person, and you deserve your own happiness, whatever that means to you. Please take extra care of yourself, as I can imagine how difficult and uncertain things must be for you now.

    Rebel xox

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  10. Posy Churchgate

    Gosh Cara – how tough this must be to negotiate. Sending you all the love and hugs for strength and positivity – you truly will be a passenger here so I hope your journey isn’t too rough and that you’re happy with your final destination. xx

  11. DeviantSuccubus

    It must be so very confusing and painful to see relationship you care about fall apart, and at the same time trying to find your own place in a new relationship dynamics. I hope you will find where you belong in relation to whom soon again!

  12. Jupiter Grant

    “That’s the not fun side of poly, is it? This is the stuff we don’t always talk about because what can you say?” That’s very true. It’s a difficult position to be in when you care about the other party/ies very deeply but almost have to hang back and allow their situation to play out as it will without getting too involved, even when you want to be there for each of them. Isolating for you, though, and I empathise with you.

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  14. Kristan X

    Relationships can be incredibly complex. I’m in awe of people who take on the task of managing complex relationship structures, and I always find any insight into their lives fascinating. So this was a great read for a number of reasons. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with the complex things in your life.

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