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fastlymagic 01-09-2009 04:12 AM

My first third
I met Virginia six years ago and we've been in love every sense. She's my world, and the best thing that ever happened to me. I recently found out about polyamory, which was quite an epiphany for me, as I realized that's what I am. Soon after, I got back in touch with an old friend, who had been my girlfriend about 16 years ago (yes, when I was 10, so obviously we weren't all that serious). We'd been friends on and off for years, but started getting close again. She's very unhappily married with two kids. We talked online, then on the phone, then started getting together in person. It wasn't long before she sent me one of the sweetest letters I'd ever read, confessing her love for me. I told her I felt the same, and all was bliss. Virginia, a bisexual and the most wonderful, open-minded woman I'll ever know, gave her full blessing to this, and we began our tentative little dating lives as a triad.

Of course, the classic story follows. The friend had fallen in love with ME, not us, and it wasn't long before she gave me the ultimatum. Time to choose, and Virginia simply can't lose that bid. So, tearfully, we admitted it could not work.

I'm poly now. This is what I expected, and what I expect will come in the future. I accept this.

Sure, I had to escape to the break room at work more than once this last week, ball my little poly eyes out, and figure out ways to make the red eyes go away (and advice on this?) so I could face the public again. But I'll deal. With that part.

The big problem is she'd been ready to divorce her husband. Her husband, who is mentally abusive; who controls her actions online when he can, sends threatening messages to her best friends, and does everything a controling, abusive husband classically does. And now she's still with him, and seems to be regressing. The last I heard from her was this "what if he can change? I don't want to risk missing the chance to see him change, and seeing things like they used to be" message from her. She's gone from being ready to leave, being willing, being strong, to being afraid and broken down. We offer help, and she says she does not want it. Her other friends meet with the same wall. It is tearing me up to see her hurt herself like this, to stay in this painful and unhealthy situation, but she cannot be helped if she does not want it, right?

I feel powerless and I don't know what to do. I love her so much. She's my oldest friend, and I am afraid for her. If she can't get over Virginia and we can't be together, I am okay with that, but I want her to be happy and safe, and she is not, and I can only watch. He got rid of her facebook and myspace accounts, and I haven't seen her AIM for days. I know the tactic; he's broken her down so she has nothing but him and won't leave. She must see this, but she is afraid to leave.

I have told her all of this. I have shown her ways to get help, given her phone numbers, websites, ways to get in contact with counselors. She has refused, but has the information now should she ever want to do it. All I can do is hope she will.

Okay, well, that's not exactly off my chest now, but I've at least gotten to write it out. Thanks for reading. I hope this isn't too insane an introduction to my first poly community.

Olivier 01-09-2009 10:17 AM

Hey Austin,

First of all very welcome to the forum. Your situation is all too common unfortunately. I have had the same happen to me, and many of my friends. One of the hardest things in life is not breaking (abusive) cycles like this yourself, but to watch others stuck in cycles you have already broken. I think it's fair to say you have tried to help your friend as much as you can. But she will have to do it on her own from here. It might sound harsh, but this is her moment in life where she will actually gain a lot IF she finally decides to break up with him. It might happen, it might not happen. All you can do is be there for her when she finally does. I have seen people beaing teared down waiting, and I suggest you try not to wait 'actively'. Maybe it's hard right now but pushing it to the side might be the best option. Also make sure that she's not just constantly using you as a vent. It might be good for her to build up some anger or bad feelings and use it as a catalyst to come to some realisations and actions. When she finally breaks this abuse cycle there's no guarantee either that she won't repeat it elsewhere, but her breaking up on her own might seriously help to prevent that. Hang in there ;)

Damek 01-09-2009 06:06 PM

hi fastlymagic,

I don't feel I can add anything Oliver hasn't already said, but I wanted to at least add a voice of support and sympathy. That's so hard to go through, and it seems like you've done all you can so far, which is hard to bear. Like he said, hang in there.

fastlymagic 01-09-2009 09:21 PM

Thats the same thing Virginia said, and I did that, but I had to give it to her as a message as its been hard to get to see her lately. I told her that I would be here if she come around, but I won't talk to her about him. My reasoning was that if she was venting to me, and justifying her circumstances in converstaion with me, I was sort of a sounding board for those excuses. So I wouldnt listen anymore, and she'd have to sit there alone with the truth. A girl that works for me was in an abusive relationship once, and she said it took a year before she just suddenly realized it for herself. People had talked to her but she never got it until it just, randomly, clicked for her. I guess that's what I have to stand back and let happen for my girl, but in the mean time I'm torn up about it. It's so hard.

But Virginia gave me some Winnie the Pooh figurines and some excellent um...cheering up...and a good regiment of that should help me feel better at least :D

Olivier 01-09-2009 10:21 PM


Originally Posted by fastlymagic (Post 51)
But Virginia gave me some Winnie the Pooh figurines and some excellent um...cheering up...and a good regiment of that should help me feel better at least :D

Haha nice Austin.. yeah who can resist the magic pooh with a bonus on the side :D

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