ChemFem

Does Your Primary Limit You?

9 posts in this topic

I just got dumped by my secondary partner because they don't like my primary. Not in the sense that they dislike the arrangement - they specifically dislike this individual. Normally my reaction to "it's me or them" is "I'm choosing the one who didn't make me choose." However, this is not the only person in my life who dislikes my boyfriend. 

Due to a belladonna allergy he has sporadic anger management problems when he has ingested something he is allergic to, such as chili peppers. That was actually demonstrated this morning when he got in an altercation with security on the train. I had half a mind to break up with him then and there. Maybe the conversation with my secondary would have gone a different way...

They say the only common thread in your failed relationships is you, and I do cop to my fair share of baggage. However the saying doesn't entirely hold here. This is the second person who's broken up with me because they didn't like him. The first time, there were other issues, but with this most recent one it's literally the only reason.

If I'm honest with myself the secondary partner is a much better fit for me. I think all three of us know that on some level and it's the source of some of the tension between us. Half the conversations with my primary partner lately have been about various problems in our relationship. It's not like we're married or engaged - the only formal thing holding us together is a lease that's up in July.

Feel free to respond with "dump his ass already!" "this is why poly doesn't work" "you need to go to couples counseling and read xyz book to strengthen your primary relationship" "men suck!" "hugs" or any sentiment that strikes your fancy. Warning I am grumpy and sarcastic but I will restrain it as best as possible.

/rant

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The nurse in me has to question these "allergies."  That is the first time I have EVER heard of someone having angry outbursts due to food... who wasn't an abuser.  And I have never heard these referred to as "allergies."

He doesn't sound like a healthy partner, in general, and when those around you feel that way, it's something to pay attention to.  My ex-husband was very much like that.  When we were in a triad, at one point, our GF wanted to stop seeing him, and she did tell me much later that I was the only reason she was there.  I have the feeling some of the other women we met didn't work out because of him as well.  It was one of those things I didn't want to admit to myself, that he really was THAT bad of a partner.  I tried to stick it out because we were married and had a kid.  I didn't take those commitments lightly.  But I will say I am SO much happier being free from him, and I have a partner who takes much better care of me.

What is keeping you in this relationship, besides your lease?  Maybe it's time to evaluate what does and does not make you happy about this relationship, and made some decisions.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the nurse in you, here's an article on nightshade allergies:  https://strengthandsunshine.com/what-to-avoid-with-a-nightshade-allergy/

Mood swings and depression are listed as symptoms. To me it is less a question of what is causing him to behave this way and more whether he can control it. In the same way that I would blame someone for being bipolar, I don't blame for him for his allergies, but the question of blame is largely beside the point if the person can't manage their symptoms sufficiently. To be clear no outbursts have been directed at me; I am in no danger of abuse. I just don't approve of how he treats others, in a "don't date someone who's rude to the waiter" kind of way.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think sometimes when an illness doesn’t give you pain it can be harder for you to be tight about avoiding the things that trigger your symptoms. And when one of those symptoms is depression it makes it even harder... that being said, I suspect from what you’ve written that maybe you need to look at which behaviours are allergy related and which are personality traits. It’s so easy to say “well he’s sick so..” 

i think the pain of his illness is in your suffering and he need to recognise and address that! And if he can’t then yes, maybe it’s time to ship out! 

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Twiceifilikeit said:

i think the pain of his illness is in your suffering and he need to recognise and address that!

I very much agree! The question now is does he recognise that he's not treating others well? Does he resent it? Does he do something not to do it again? If he doesn't and he thinks in a way that "well, I have this in me, either you take it or leave it." then maybe you need to do more reflections about what you want to do with your relationship with him. Having a relationship with someone who has issues (illness, trauma, emotional baggage etc.) can be daunting but it's not doomed. Who doesn't have issues? The key is recognition and doing something about it. He must be able to realise that there's something wrong in his actions and behaviours in order to take actions, either to prevent things from happening or to mitigate the consequence.  I hope you'll be able to sort things out. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he is willing to make positive changes. For instance he plans to start taking lemon balm nightly as this reduces the reaction.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now this is obviously just my personal opinion but if other people dislike him so intensely that they're cutting ties with you then perhaps it's time to really think about why you're staying and whether it's worth it. He sounds like a pretty negative influence on your life. I wouldn't put up with it, allergy or no allergy, but then I don't know either of you so that's probably a harsh judgement. It just seems like you're making a lot of sacrifices for him.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having a medical problem does not relieve someone of responsibility for their behavior. It's one thing if you don't know about the problem yet - like someone having their first psychotic break or manic episode. It's another if they know this is a problem, but choose not to address it appropriately, especially if they know it affects other people.

If he has a known allergy/intolerance to nightshades that causes anger management problems, then he needs to strictly avoid eating nightshades. Taking something to reduce the reaction is good for accidental exposure, but if he's having serious mental issues, he needs to actively try to avoid it. This is both for the sake of others, and for his own health, as mood swings are unlikely to be the only negative effect. I say this as someone who avoids certain classes of food myself - it isn't easy, it takes learning and effort, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

The fact that he doesn't act this way towards you also implies that he does have a level of control over his anger which he is choosing not to exercise.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The exposure is predominantly from tobacco at this point and there is significantly more of it here than in California. I don't either of us were prepared for the extent to which that would cause a strain. @Apsalar15 has articulated the main thing giving me pause. People not wanting to be around me to avoid him seems even more severe than breaking things off with him directly.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now