is it normal / healthy to feel very upset / scared and insecure when your primary has broken up with their secondary?

If you’re feeling something, know that the feeling is real, and it’s valid, and it’s yours. There is no “normal” or “abnormal” reaction to something. Sometimes feelings can be unpleasant or seem (to ourselves or others) that they do not reflect reality, but the feelings are still real. They are valid. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling.┬áNow, we can react to feelings in ways that are unhealthy or destructive, and that’s something each of us works on in our own ways. But feelings on their own are not healthy or unhealthy; they simply are.

If you’re asking if these feelings are common, then yes, they are. Polyamory invites us into relationships that we don’t often have models for, like our relationships with partners’ partners. They become part of our lives and our worlds, and our partners’ other relationships become part of our relationship. When big things happen in our poly network, they ripple back to us. We feel those ripples and often don’t know how to understand or respond to those ripples.

I would suggest you reflect a bit on what’s behind those feelings. Maybe you saw your partners’ relationship with their secondary as a permanent, solid thing in your life, and its dissolution has reminded you of impermanence in ways that are scary. Maybe you are startled by the realization that your partner can break up with someone like that, and are worried that they will do the same with you. Maybe you created a bond with their other partner and are wondering if that connection must be severed because your network link has changed. Maybe you are seeing your partner feel hurt over a breakup and are absorbing that or feeling shame about not being able to fix things. All these are valid reasons to feel upset, scared, or insecure - but they’re all very different.

Once you figure out what’s behind these feelings, you’ll have a better understanding of how to respond to them and how best to discuss them with your partner. Seeing the feelings as unhealthy and trying to un-feel them won’t solve things, though, so let yourself feel them, let yourself sit with them, let yourself move through them. I am sorry to hear that your network is troubled at the moment and wish you the best in healing as you deal with a re-shifting of various relationships.