The complex nature of poly relationships means that at any given time there’s bound to be a lot of emotional or even health-related things going on in your periphery. Your metamour might be dealing with something that in turn affects your partner, making it hard to focus on your relationship. Or maybe your partner is the one who’s struggling and having to call upon the support of your polycule? Either way, there are a few things to keep in mind when you wish to be of help to the individual people who make up your relationship(s):
How to Be a Supportive Poly Partner
1. Be Flexible
Being happy in a poly relationship requires that you exercise a certain amount of empathy for the other people involved, which could mean giving up some of the time that you would spend with your partner for the benefit of your metamour. If they are going through something really difficult and needs your partner’s support, the best thing you can do is be understanding and as flexible with your time as you can. Of course, you want to be careful that your sacrifice doesn’t become a habit that eventually goes unnoticed. You want it to be part of the larger “give and take” of your relationship.
If your partner needs to vent about something that is affecting another relationship or your metamour wishes to talk to you about their issues, try to be supportive by listening and showing that you care. You might not wish to become any more involved than that, which is a perfectly legitimate choice. Offering unsolicited advice or becoming too involved can lead to other problems. Offering a sympathetic ear is never a bad idea though.
3. Do Something Helpful
The last time I was really ill, my metamour came over to my house with a giant crock pot and a bag full of groceries and proceeded to make a batch of chicken soup. I was really touched. It made me feel very cared for and supported and reminded me of the joys of being in a poly relationship. One side note is that it’s often best to ask what you can do to help in a given situation rather than jump in with what you think is required of you.
4. Don’t Make It about You
If the drama in your polycule goes on for a long time, or you are used to being the centre of attention, it can be tempting to want to create some issues of your own to balance things out. Try to be mature and understanding about the fact that your partner’s focus might be elsewhere for a while. If you feel it becoming all about you and your needs, maybe it’s time to do something nice for yourself instead of relying on others to keep you happy?