How do you handle poly drama?

In the time I’ve been living this modern poly-relationship life, I’ve been lucky to avoid outside drama. Then my boyfriend got a new boyfriend and, well, things have started to get bumpy. Luckily, I know exactly what to do: talk about it with patience, empathy and, if all else fails, kick his ass to the curb.

The problems I’m having are ones you’ve probably had before: The new partner isn’t great at knowing and working with their emotions.

Recently, this has caused some trouble between him and Bubby due to the fact that the new boy is being rude and petty toward me. Since I recognize what’s going on and why it’s happening, I have been very permissive and patient. I gave Bubby the same thing and ended up in a very strong, committed relationship; I’m hoping Bubby and his new boy can develop something similar.

Even still, I want to snatch that fucker’s weave and send him packing. Though I’m patient, the new boy still is getting on my fucking nerves and that’s something we need to deal with.

As with all my relationship problems, my first instinct is to talk it out. Unfortunately, with the new boy being young, dumb and inexperienced, he hasn’t quite learned that calm words usually will work better than childish giggling, defensiveness and pettiness. Even still, communication is the only way to solve the problem.

The new boy’s opposed to talking things out because he has “nothing to say” to me. He also doesn’t think there’s a problem. If he hadn’t said that and simply refused to talk, he’d already have been dumped — but this we can work with.

Someone putting up a great wall of defensiveness is a sure-fire way to make the other person/people (Bubby and me) lose patience really quickly. Luckily, though his behavior was defensive, he still managed to give us a look into his feelings and a solid starting point to begin working through these issues.

Now that I know what’s going on with him, I know that the new boy simply needs some time to cool off and an empathetic hand going forward.

When I met Bubby, he didn’t really know how to express more emotions than anger, joy, arousal, munchies, shame, intoxication, cuntiness and anxiety. He’d experience these emotions one at a time, and feel and express fully but without much consciousness or thought behind them. Afterward, he’d calm down and feel ashamed that he’d acted so badly.

The new boy is exactly the same in that regard.

So right now the new boy is being cunty, but, given time, he’ll feel differently. That means in order to try to move forward, we have to wait until he’s cooled off and therefore open to being led toward a better understanding of his emotions and this adult relationship.

Of course, it’s not guaranteed he’ll be open to it. Some people like him will completely shut down as to avoid feeling bad again. Then again, for Bubby and many others like him, sometimes all they really need is someone to care enough to persist through their bullshit while they get it together.

I learned how to do it for Bubby. Now he’s learning to do it for the new boy.

When Bubby gets mad he says all sorts of stupid shit. He can be petty and cruel, and it used to bother me because I took it seriously. Then I realized he was just saying shit. Without listening, thinking or filtering, he was exclaiming every thought that passed through his head.

This behavior was something he learned from his upper-middle-class, Obama-birther, Fox News, “thug”-fearing, anti-gay, W.A.S.P. family of slave-owning ancestry. This also was something I was able to fix when I looked past the behavior and sensed the true problem: he lacked emotional intelligence and communication skills. I had those things, and, since he was open to it, we got through that rough patch and into better times.

When it comes to the majority of relationship problems, communication really is all you need. You just have to know what you’re looking for and take the initiative to fix the issue with an empathetic understanding of how people’s lives have shaped how they handle life.

If you’re willing to give it a shot, you could end up with a great relationship. Even still, if you feel like kicking the fucker to the curb, there’s no need to feel guilty. Other people’s emotional growth really isn’t your responsibility.

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