Relationship Polyamory and PTSD... makes things a bit easier but not much!

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Hey everyone, I’ve so appreciated this forum in the past. I’d like to express, vent, bleuuugh. A unique situation... I am polyamorous (which means being involved with more than one person) and currently have two partners both with a past that involves CSA, and both that exhibit signs of PTSD. I went through a long period last year with one person who shutdown for a few months... I battled and won (and he very much battled and won too) and at the moment he’s in a good space, but currently living a long distance away, so I don’t get to see him. About 3 months ago, I got involved with another person.. I had no idea at the time that they had a past and similar behaviours that the first partner had (indeed I was celebrating finding someone who seemed so healthy!) but now.... here I am again... they (I say they because this person is non binary) has shutdown mostly.. Doesn’t want to connect with me...has gone through a period of push and pull and just turned me upside down with it all...

And you’d think (hope??) that doing a poly lifestyle would make it more bearable when a sufferer needs to self soothe. But .... still it breaks my little heart, And the thing is, if it wasn’t for the first partner, I wouldn’t have so much of a clue how to deal with this or what’s going on. So there is that gift. And what messy dynamic have I created with two partners who both have PTSD ... and honestly honestly.... it was all about romance and wonderful stuff when I began both relationships. On a brighter side.... I have just begun dating someone who (at the moment!!! doesn’t appear to have the same issues) so this is some relief.

Anyhow, the moral of the story could be.... try polyamory so you get your needs met when your partner shuts down. But in my case, wtf... As an aside... I also work in the field of sexual violence.... so basically I’m surrounded! (But very knowledgeable!! at least!)
Like most advice, "try polyamory" sounds simple but everyone has to do their research first. Also, not everyone is cut out for polyamory.

PTSD sufferers often shut down sexually. We also often experience hypersexuality. Polyamory is not going to be a fix in either case.

Speaking for myself, one relationship is difficult enough. Adding another at the same time would probably make me tear out all of the hair I have left.


Your argument for poly goes something like this.

“My best friend Susie can’t hurt me because I also have my best friend Sam.”

This is an oversimplification of relationships and a basic misunderstanding of what it means to be in a relationship.


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I could see polyamory being extremely difficult just from the standpoint that a lot of sufferers isolate heavily, we value our alone time and tend to shut everyone out when we are overwhelmed. If we have multiple people needing our attention all the time? Oh hell no, I would get very overwhelmed, very fast, and shut everyone out. There’s only so much peopling I can do.

Besides, relationships in any sense are really hard even for healthy people. A lot of us already struggle with meeting one partners needs. It’d be a disaster to try and multiply that.


It’d be a disaster to try and multiply that.

As someone who has dated poly in the past... (thinks) ... about a decade and a half?, I really dunno about *that*.
As in depends more who they are, as people, and the relationship.... than just multi relationships occuring, simultaneously.

I just really, really don’t think poly relationships in any way are *automatically* a disaster. Sufferers or not.
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