Not exactly new to poly,but new here and facing new situations
I have been in a semi-open relationship for the past 2 years. We started out fully poly, but he found a girl that was just absolutely completely positively rude to me. Pretty much the only thing she would ever say to me is how he would be hers if she wanted him, and how I should feel lucky that she chose someone else. That defies my #1 rule: Both parties need to be treated respectfully... After that, he stopped pursuing relationships with other women.
Somewhere after that, I talked to him about a crush, and asked permission to go on a date. He agreed, but when it came time he got so amazingly incredibly upset and jealous that the other guy just left me at home and barely spoke to me again..... So I stopped pursuing relationships with other men.
All along, he'd been telling me that if I wanted to hook up with a girl alone, he would be fine with that. This past summer, I did. Nope.. He wasn't. He got jealous all over again.
That left us with the avenue of playing together with other women.. Which has happened with absolutely positively no drama or hurt feelings for 2 years.
Prior to our relationship, he traveled a LOT. He would bounce from a small subset of cities on an extremely regular basis. He always speaks of kind of missing the lifestyle, but for reasons I could never be sure of.. He would never go. He kept talking about how he wanted to be here for me/with me.
Meanwhile, there's a pretty vibrant poly community in our city, but.... They're all between 5 and 16 years younger than he and I.. So needless to say, we don't get invited to a lot of the gatherings. In the city 45 minutes away, there's also a poly community more our age, but even though they knew him, most of them had not even met me until I began dating him. He made some pretty profound changes, like staying in one relationship, and staying in one city... So I guess everyone assumed I had given him some rules. Nothing could be farther from the case, but I find that I have people with as little as 1/5th of the experience I have in poly relationships trying to explain to me what polyamory is all about. No matter how much I try to say I'm not new to it, they don't seem to listen. They just get on their soap boxes and try to explain to me how I'm feeling (entirely based upon assumption), and why I should feel differently. Not that everyone behaves in such ways, but it seems that those are the only ones who come forward and talk to me about polyamory. I think the rest are just wise enough to know not to speak on what they don't know much about. Again, not invited to the parties. It doesn't help that I'm a relatively picky person with who I'm attracted to.
This past August... I discovered myself to be pregnant. 2 days later, my travellust boyfriend hit the road leaving no promises for how long. I was supportive of it because it is something he's neglected for 2 years, but I can't say that with the timing it wasn't hard. I honestly wasn't sure if he was going to come back, and I was scared. I asked him to please not take up any temporary girlfriends on the road. The entire month, I got plenty of well wishing facebook comments, but not a single visitor or phone call. Not one. I spent the entire rest of my 1st trimester absolutely positively completely alone. Just me and the kitty.
The whole next month after he got back, he was avoidant of me. He was pretty much never home. I had to absolutely corner him to get him to talk about what was up. Turns out, he was still upset about the girl earlier that summer, and he was upset that I had asked him not to hook up with anyone while he was on the road.
He remained avoidant and distant for about a month and a half. Then, just as suddenly as he freaked out, he was back to the sweetheart that he's always been. Later that month, it came to an annual fetish party that some of my friends from my old town throw. We went. Things between he and I went quite well, but something else happened that absolutely shocked and offended me. I was walking my obviously pregnant naked but through the main room when across the room I see the girl from a recently separated poly relationship grab my boyfriend, kiss him, and start stroking him (he was nude as well). I kind of chuckled about it, and kept walking, but I didn't make it far before her partner noticed me, and stopped me in my tracks to put his arm around me, and turn me non-nonchalantly in a direction where I couldn't see what was happening while extremely nervously asking me if I was doing okay and felt all right. As soon as he realized that I wasn't distraught, he told me that some friends had just arrived and in where another room and shoo-ed me off. I honestly don't think he realized that I had seen what was going it. It didn't strike me as the most "ethical slut" of behavior.
Fast forward to last week. Another road trip on the part of the boyfriend. I did some math...
In the time that I had known I was pregnant I had officially stayed 50% of my nights absolutely positively completely 100% alone. No boyfriend. No friends calling. Nada.
On his way out, he just absolutely positively did NOT want to go, but he had made a very important promise to a friend for his wedding, and thus he went. The day after the bachelor party, I got a text from him telling me that he had met a bisexual hottie that happened to live 3 blocks away from us. He hung out with her again the next night. The night of the wedding, he told me that she had invited her to come stay with her that night, but he had opted to stay with the wedding party. He was home the next night, but he's been home a week now and he just absolutely positively will not quit talking about her and the serendipity of meeting her 2 states away when she lives 3 blocks away. She's 23, a stripper and a webcam girl, and very very flirty with him. She'd been bugging him nightly to go out drinking with her... Welp.. I can't really drink right now, so he was nice and stayed in. After a few nights of that, I decided I wanted to meet her. So he took me to where she was hanging out that night. He introduced me as his "ummm.. girlfriend." and she was cordial at first, but really didn't speak to me at all after introductions. He and I wandered off to another bar where a dear friend was performing. Within a half hour, he was busy texting this girl. Within 15 minutes, she shows up. But she doesn't say a word of hi to me.. At all.
At this point, I start feeling like something is wrong. I pulled a friend of mine aside that knows me very very very well to talk about it. Not unusually, I got told my boundaries should be different than what they are. That with the baby, I should have patience for anything he does that is an expression of fear of losing freedom. When we walked back in, my boyfriend was talking with the other girl. I walked up, and he put his arm around me, and she stormed off rolling her eyes obviously annoyed. Shortly after that, he asked me if I was feeling okay and wanted to know if I wanted him to drop me off at the house. My red flags were going off. No way in hell I was going to get dropped off for him to go back out. I was tired, but I did not admit it. Shortly after that, the girl just disappeared entirely, and we went home.
I brought her up... Asked if he had a crush on her. He said that he had been, but that night had turned him off.. He had noticed her storm off, and apparently she kept coming up and hitting on him when I wasn't looking, and had spent quite a bit of time trying to convince him to leave me behind to come over to her place.
I reminded him that she seemed to be defying my biggest rule... People treat both parties of the relationship with respect. I suggested maybe offering for her to come over and hang out. She didn't show up. The next morning, I snuck onto his cell phone and learned that she was asking him to instead come over there to go to bed with her and "her girl."
The next night rolls around (last night). He had stayed up all night long on the computer. He accidentally left himself logged into okcupid, so when I woke up the next morning I found a message from him to her mentioning how she happened to be on his quiver list.
Tonight, I came home from work to find him on the computer again.. Nervously closing an okcupid window. I just got quiet. I asked him how he would feel if he was suddenly pregnant, working 50 hours a week, and I was talking to someone who was hiding from him, and trying to get me alone wihtout him, and lived 3 blocks away. He got on the defensive about how he was being held guilty for activities he hadn't even done.
Meanwhile, he's telling me he wants me to cancel the date I had setup for the both of us next weekend.
I had to go back to work tonight until 4a. I bring my laptop (which he uses as well). I dropped him off at a party on my way to work. When I got the laptop open, I found in his nervous hasty closing of okcupid's window, he stayed logged in again. I opened my browser to have it load to another message sent AFTER I had my talk with him tonight..... Inviting her to the party that I had just dropped him off at.
I don't get off until 4a, and I am absolutely beside myself.
I feel like all of these people, who all talk so wonderfully about The Ethical Slut, need to sit down and copy it out on a chalkboard 100 times. No matter what pregnancy hormones may be, you cannot reasonably tell me that what is going on is ethical or right.
I don't feel like there is a single soul that I can truly trust to talk to about what I'm feeling.
I keep hearing about how the primary cause for Postpartum depression is a lack of support, and it scares the living hell out of me because I'm feeling lonely and being snuck around on at 5 months into pregnancy... lord knows what its going to be like when I have a baby and CAN"T make it out of the house.
I do know something about ethics, but I don't even need to draw on that to figure out your boyfriend is being a jerk. His conduct is irresponsible, even reprehensible, and there's no reason you should have to put up with it.
If I read this right, he gets to do whatever he wants, and he resents any effort on your part to establish boundaries; but then, he gets resentful and jealous if you try to establish the kind of close relationships with other people that might offer you support and comfort through your pregnancy. So, you are stuck at home, without other support, while he goes sneaking around at will. He wins, you lose.
Am I reading this right?
I don't know exactly what to advise - others on this forum would probably do better - but it seems your boyfriend needs a good talkin' to, some hard and direct conversations about the nature of your relationship and the commitments it entails . . . especially since you're pregnant with (I assume) his child.
Starting those conversations will be a fearful thing, but at least it's a fear you'll see the other side of. It would be better than the constant agony of anxiety you're feeling now.
The bottom line, the ace up your sleeve, is the possibility that you might actually be better off without him. True, you would risk being alone for the rest of your pregnancy, but you're alone at least half the time, now, and, when you're not alone, you're dealing with his deception and his petty self-absorption, which is a source of stress you really don't need.
Without him, you might be more free to develop a support network for yourself, at least a circle of friends who can keep you company through the coming months, or maybe even an intentional community you can join.
I don't know if that's feasible for you, financially, but it wouldn't hurt to expand your options.
Anyway, with that up your sleeve, you can be more direct and forceful in your conversations with your boyfriend. It takes away some of the power he has over you.
I get the sense that he has consistently disregarded your rule of treating people respectfully. Do you have any guidelines or rules for your relationship that you and he have agreed to and have been followed over time? Your post reads like he sets guidelines for you but doesn't follow them himself. Or changes things midstream (which is fine when all involved agree but this seems more unilateral). In fact, he comes across as controlling. Is that accurate?
I would be worried and scared in your position too.
I can't wait until some of the others get ahold of this. Wow your boyfriend is being a prick. There's struggling with change and there's being rude. He's being rude.
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