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-   -   Love lost better left that way?? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10335)

JnR 05-26-2011 07:31 PM

Love lost better left that way??
Been thinking about how to write this out without it being a long novel yet get my concerns and questions out there to await the wonderful feedback from you amazing people on this site! So, I am going to try and do a condensed version of the past to get to the things I am struggling with at the moment.

My husband and I got involved in a poly quad and it lasted 2 1/2 years. There were many wonderful and insightful times as well as some struggles and outright ugly times. The best thing that came out of that whole experience is how my husband and I grew in our relationship, the lessons in compersion, communication and acceptance that we are carrying forward with us. Our relationship is stronger than ever and I feel that we have reached a new level in our life journey.

The quad relationship ended with the other couple getting an ugly divorce and cut off contact with the female. Needless to say, neither my husband or I want anything to do with her or the destruction she caused and continues to cause. My husband cared about her and her deception to him caused him pain as well. We continued to see the male of that couple through his struggles to distance himself from his (ex)wife and tried to be loving and supportive to him and his children. The male and I continued our relationship and my husband was comfortable with it and encouraged it, saying that the male needed my love and support more than anything through that difficult time.

The troubles began when my husband starting feeling that the male's dysfunctional life was impinging upon ours. Its so hard to explain the entire situation without details, but suffice to say that the female of the couple was very upset that we were still in contact and helping him, threatening my husband with pedophile charges and just being really crazy and scary. She truly has no boundaries in what she would do in attempt to get what she wants, including making serious false charges and harassment. My husband really tried to stick it out as he knew that I cared deeply for this person, but it was getting increasingly overwhelming. And the male just could not stand up to his (ex)wife and was downright scared of her too... she is that wacky!

Anyway, my husband finally reached his end one night when the other male basically disrespected me through his actions. He told me that this situation was never going to get any better, in fact it was getting worse, and my husband was tired of this man's dysfunctional situation affecting our life. He felt it was a very one-sided involvement and was tired of seeing me stressed and also felt that I was not being a participant in our life, as all of my energy and time was being sucked up by this man's drama. It was hard for me to see, as I was still deeply emotionally attached to this man, but I could see what my husband was saying when I really stopped to think.

Well, my husband is not the best when it comes to social interaction and how to deal with problems and issues. His style is to say, I have had enough, screw it, slam the door shut and never look back. I, on the other hand, do not deal with problems and issues in that way, I prefer to break things off slowly and/or see if there could be adjustments made here and there. My husband put his foot down, told me to tell this man goodbye, to not have any more contact with him, and that was that. No negotiations, no talking about it, he was done and wanted me to be done too. This sent me into a huge tailspin! I wanted to respect my relationship and my husband's feelings, however this man had become almost a second husband to me and I loved him dearly. But, I did as my husband requested and oh boy, the heartache and loss was awful. The other man was very upset and sad and felt abandoned, especially all that he was going through. I felt so torn and devastated. Needless to say, my husband and I fought a lot for a couple months after this incident and that was painful as well.

Okay, now to the present: It has been months since all of that happened and my husband and I went to a few counseling sessions as well to see how we can deal with our very different styles of dealing with people and situations. And I wanted to have the ability to see if I could somehow repair the relationship with this man, be it just a simple friendship or perhaps something that resembled what we had before, just not as daily involved as we were. Between the discussions with the counselor and conversations between husband and I, we came to a compromise. He would be willing to let me see if I could carry on a friendship with this man, as long as I could keep the (ex)wife out of our life and not bring the drama of his life into ours. I should say at this point that my husband does think that this man is a good person, he just could not deal with everything that he was bringing into our life.

So, I contacted this man and told him what my husband and I talked about. He said that he would be willing to give it a try to see if we could form a friendship or some sort of relationship. He is reluctant and I can understand why. He felt very abandoned and betrayed and felt that he did not even get to defend himself or have a say in our relationship. He was told it was over and that was that. Since the time of our breakup and now, he finally starting getting out and dating other women. He is not wanting a committment as he is putting his efforts into his children and how his divorce has affected them. He has found that there are many women out there interested in him (he is a good looking and fun man) and so he is thoroughly enjoying his new found attraction with the ladies lol That stings a little, I have to admit, but overall I am just happy for him that he is progressing from a very abusive marriage and finding himself and moving forward with his life.

Here is my issue: I have tried reaching out to him, calling and seeing if he wants to have lunch, go out for a drink, just spend some time together. I send him funny jokes, emails about what I am doing and whats going on, texts to say hi... and I get very little feedback or interest from him. I miss him tremendously and still love him greatly, but it feels to me that he does not still have the same feelings for me. And that does hurt. I guess I just expected that he would be happy and jump at the chance to rebuild something of what we shared together but its beginning to look like that is not the case. I did finally say something to that effect to him (I am a bit shy when it comes to stating my mind and my feelings) and what I got back from him was that he does still have feelings for me, but he is finding it difficult to open up his heart to me again. He is afraid that the rug might be yanked out from him yet again. He said that if I could help him with that, things could be different. Again, I understand what he is feeling and I can relate to that, not wanting to stick your heart out there again only to be stomped upon.

I am having a rough time with this because I have sent him a few long, heart felt and very insightful emails into what happened and how I feel and my ideas about how we could revive our friendship. The only response I have had to those is that he appreciates it, is busy at the moment, but will get back to responding to what I am discussing and sharing. That was weeks ago and I have never gotten anything from him. My husband used to tell me that he felt that he and my relationship was a bit one-sided, all about what I could provide for him and not much back in that way to me. Hmmm... I hate to say it but I am beginning to think that maybe my husband is right in some way.He seems to make time for the ladies he is currently dating, but just doesn't have it for me. My heart had been on its way to healing over the break up between my boyfriend and I, but now I am starting to feel that same heartache again and I am afraid I have opened myself up to another bummer. This man says he is afraid to open his heart to me because it may get trampled, but I would be opening my heart to him and risking the same thing. I know that someday he will find a woman he wants to settle down with and share his life, and I am fairly certain that at that point he and I would not be able to see each other when that happened. But it is a risk that I am willing to expose myself to, as I love him and if I went around afraid that my heart is going to be broken, then I would never get to experience any love at all ;)

JnR 05-26-2011 07:32 PM

oops, too long, gonna be a sequel here :)

Okay, so here it is... should I continue to try and reach my hand and heart out to him in the hopes of regaining a friendship/relationship with him? Does he truly need more time to feel comfortable, or is this just his way of passively letting me know he is not interested and has found other outlets that he enjoys? Ugh! I don't want to spend a lot of time and emotions chasing something that will not be. Maybe I should just close that door in my heart and move forward, but I have such love for him still and miss having him in my life... Is it possible to go backwards and try to regain something with the heartache issues from the past?

I know this is long and involved, and probably some holes in the story that may make it confusing. I am looking forward to any ideas, advice, criticism, thoughts on this whole mess. It's difficult to discuss with my husband, although he does try. He just doesn't really trust that this man has my best interests at heart, so its difficult for him to be impartial with his advice :) Thanks!

AutumnalTone 05-26-2011 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by JnR (Post 83377)
He seems to make time for the ladies he is currently dating, but just doesn't have it for me.

What people *do* is the single greatest indicator of what they actually think and feel. If he isn't making time for you and he is making time for others, it's not important to him to make time for you. You've made your thoughts and feelings known, so until he shows some signs of interest, leave him be.

JnR 05-26-2011 07:51 PM

Thank you, AutumnalTone, for taking the time to read my post and respond to it. What you said is what my head is telling me, I just need to get my heart in the same spot :rolleyes:

You know, I have been wanting to write that all down for a while now, its been swimming and swimming in my head. That was very therapeutic for me and now that I can 'see' it, it does look like I just need to take a step back from the whole thing and see how it plays out.

Okay, I am going to enjoy the fun weekend I have planned with my Hubby and not think about this or contact that person in any way :) It will all be here waiting for me when I get back LOL

Amazing... I do feel better! :D

JnR 05-26-2011 10:49 PM

Well, as usual with me, I can't leave something alone once it is in my head :) So I sat down and wrote out an email to him that laid it all out on the table... whew! We shall see what kind of response I get to that. I think I did a good job of stating my feelings while at the same time, not making him feel bad and giving him the option to say how he feels without pressure from me... as I said, we shall see....

This forum has been great, I have read and read and read until my eyes get blurry. I love the great discussions that occur on here and all the different insights into complicated issues. :)

rory 05-27-2011 08:50 AM

I'm sorry to say but if I was left like that, as in my partner's spouse telling her to stop seeing me and she agreed, I would be very reluctant to try again even if I did still love her. :(

Raven 05-27-2011 12:24 PM

Just my two cents:

I would imagine that even if he's still head-over-heels in love with you, he's extremely reluctant to reveal that and invest in this relationship because he's (justifiably) terrified that just when he needs you, you'll disappear again.

Personally, what I would recommend is to not push too much or too far right now and be willing to be happy with what he can give you. Ask for specific, small things - like "Hey, when can we next get together? I'll buy coffee, and it doesn't have to be very long if you're busy." Then give him time to adjust and work out for himself if this is something he's willing to risk again. Essentially, you broke his trust, and he doesn't have much reason to trust you again just yet. If he is willing to work on re-building that trust, then you will need to be patient with him and not insist that he jump back into being loving and committed right away. It's also possible that he isn't willing to really risk it again, but cares enough about you that he is reluctant to say so because that would hurt you. In that case, he may be trying to break off contact slowly.

I'd also try to work out for yourself if what you want is really fair to this man. What do you mean, exactly, by not letting his drama into your life? How does he attract drama in his? If it was purely a situational thing with his wife and not likely to happen again, that may be fair. But if your husband is going to insist on you dropping the relationship as soon as something happens that makes you emotional, then all you're doing is asking him to trust you again even though you won't stick around when he needs you. You know this man, what sorts of support he needs, and how you handle giving that support a lot better than anyone here, so you're in the best position to consider this question and see whether or not you can be a good, committed friend.

Carma 05-27-2011 09:57 PM

Oh, JnR, I can sooo forsee my future in your story! I know the day will come when my bf is ready to move on, to a more conventional relationship, and I know how much it is going to hurt. But, (like the title of your post) it is still better to have loved and lost, IMO.

Sounds to me like he is ready to start a new chapter in his life. I would hold onto my dignity and allow him his. He will be grateful to you for gracefully letting him move on, without feeling guilty for it. It will give a lot more validity to the love you did have, that you are willing to love him enough to let him go.

I can only imagine the heartache you must be feeling :(. But I think it is worth it, to love with all your heart, and take the pain that goes along with it (such a sacrifice). Hopefully you can pour your heart and your energies back into your relationship with your husband (who sounds like an awesome guy!), and eventually be open to love more, again, someday. Until then, I say hold onto your dignity. Let him go, show you are high class. You don't need to beg for scraps of his time, you had the best of him at one time, tuck that in to your heart and hold it close, a precious experience that can never be taken from you. He will then be able to look back on his relationship with you with a smile. That Love was like a beautiful butterfly that lighted on your hand, and then when it flew, you did nothing to rub off the powdery substance, necessary for flight! Yay, you!!!

nycindie 05-28-2011 01:30 AM


Originally Posted by JnR (Post 83378)
. . . should I continue to try and reach my hand and heart out to him in the hopes of regaining a friendship/relationship with him? Does he truly need more time to feel comfortable, or is this just his way of passively letting me know he is not interested and has found other outlets that he enjoys?

My take on this is: leave him alone and walk away. You have reached out numerous times to him. Stop. Work through it for yourself that it is over. Frankly, I don't know why you need to go back there. Give him space -- he truly needs it.

Unless you've ever been through it yourself, you don't know how utterly devastating divorce is. And he is dealing with a messy one, and a crazy ex, it seems. I am approaching a year now since my husband and I separated -- and I am only now beginning to feel like I might (maybe!) come back from the brink of madness. I am not exaggerating.

Divorce is is a very gut wrenching time in one's life, no matter who initiated it. It is probably the hardest thing he has had to experience. A lot of people make light of it until it happens to them. I would even go as far as saying that the heartache you feel about him is probably miniscule compared to the heartache he is grappling with. I don't mean to be cruel or to belittle what you're feeling. I am simply speaking as someone going through divorce myself. He needs his independence and to create a new life for himself, on his own terms, not part of a couple (or quad). I've been doing some reading about recovering from divorce and it's generally agreed upon by many types of counselors and professionals that it takes a good two years to heal and feel "normal" again, and it doesn't matter whether one is the dumper or the dumpee. Two years to heal. Even after that, it is still a fragile state to be in. There may be too much pain in it for him to be involved with you again. Maybe you represent, in a way, the way things were when you were all together. Maybe in his eyes, you are just another woman who betrayed him. Doesn't matter, he is trying to rebuild his life and needs to protect himself as he sees fit. I think you are going to muck it up for him if you push this. If you really want to express your love for him, let him go. The most loving thing you can do is leave him alone, and trust that he will find a way to heal by creating the journey he needs for himself, even if it doesn't include you.

JnR 05-29-2011 04:07 PM

Thank you all for the wonderful replies :) I appreciate it! I took a train ride down to a friend's house on Friday, and on the 4 hour ride, I thought a lot about the situation and tried to figure out where my head was/is and why I feel a need to have some connection with this man. Yes, I do love him dearly and in the relationship we had, he had almost become a second 'husband' to me. But that relationship happened in a different time and in a different dynamic for him and the four of us. My head has been telling me all along to step back from him, let him rebuild his life and if he wants to have any contact with me, let him approach me... its just that my heart has not wanted to follow along with the logic in my head :rolleyes:

Thanks again for your input. Its so wonderful to have a 'family' to sort things out with, so to speak :)

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