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.