In poly relationships there’s a lot of talk about emotions. They are expressed, heard and processed over and over again. Most of the time this is a good thing. It’s important to get our feelings out and for everyone to know how things are going.
Sometimes, though, sharing becomes very one-sided and before you know it, you find yourself in the role of therapist. It’s an all too common occurrence and one that is very unhealthy. Why should we try to avoid this dynamic whenever possible?
It Can Ruin Your Relationship
Especially the sexual aspects of it. Being a therapist can be a real turn off because it often involves taking on a parenting role. Even if you’re into that kind of power-exchange sex, it’s not the same thing as playing with the idea in the controlled world of kink.
When a partner relies on you 24/7 to ease their emotional pain, it becomes exhausting and can feel like the worst job ever.
It’s Not Your Responsibility
As an adult, your partner has a duty to take care of his or her own deep-rooted issues. You aren’t obligated in any way to take that on, even if you love each other!
Sometimes we feel embarrassed to enter into therapy, as if doing so is a sign of weakness or mental illness. It isn’t! In fact, everyone on the planet would probably benefit from the attention of a licensed therapist.
You Probably Aren’t Trained for the Job
Even if you are, it still isn’t a good idea to use your skills on a partner, at least not for the long term. Therapists undergo a great deal of schooling so that they can deliver their assistance in a professional way. They learn about boundaries for a reason.
Therapists shouldn’t fall in love with their clients any more than you should be in love with the person you’re treating, even if your treatment comes mostly in the form of pillow talk.
It Can Create an Unhealthy Dependency
This is related to my other point about the “therapist” taking on a parenting role while the patient becomes the “child.” I was once in a relationship wherein I relied too heavily on my partner to reassure me and tend to my emotional needs and after a while, I became completely reliant.
That’s not a good place to be on either side of the coin. Relationships work best when everyone is in it because they want to be, not because they feel lost and frightened.
It Might Affect How You Feel about Your Metamour
If your role as therapist involves hearing all about the issues your partner is having with another partner, you will likely start to develop negative feelings towards that person. It’s hard not to when everything you hear about the situation is negative and one sided.
If you want to maintain a harmonious vibe within your polycule, it’s best to talk things out as a group and to avoid dealing with things behind each other’s backs.