My Big Fat Poly Mistakes
1. I did not spend much time or effort in getting to know my Beta's wife. Our feelings for each other (my Beta and I) and NRE escalated, and that was precisely when we should have been spending more time with my husband and his wife. But we instead spent every available moment together, just the two of us. I started to feel entitled to my own private relationship with him. I believe, as his Beta, I needed to earn that private relationship by communicating more clearly with his wife.
2. I agreed to secret trysts and stolen moments that we didn't confess to our SOs.
3. I did not hold true to my own expectation of communication from my Beta. The lack of it was hurtful at times, and often gave me mixed messages. I struggled and tried to adapt instead of taking care of myself emotionally and expressing what I found unacceptable.
4. I used my husband as my primary sounding board when I was struggling and feeling bad about things. I should have used other friends and outlets.
5. My husband and I invited my Beta to move in with us when his wife decided she wanted a full-time relationship with her lover of five years.
6. My feelings for my Beta really grew when he was living with us, and I could feel that relationship becoming more important to me. The difference between Husband-Primary and Boyfriend-Beta was shrinking. My husband felt and saw it too, but he and I did not talk about it.
7. I broke all but one of the very few rules my husband and I have. I did not ask permission before breaking them, and he did not hold me accountable. We didn't discuss it.
8. When my Beta's wife wanted him back two weeks later, and he began seeing her and sleeping with her again, I told him he couldn't stay with us if his intent was to put his marriage back together. That if that was his intention, he needed to move back home and do it, with our support. I did not hold firm on this boundary for the next four months.
9. When my Beta's wife told him she didn't want to know when he and I made plans or did things together, he lied to her about how he was spending that time. I didn't call him on that or tell him it was unacceptable.
10. I neglected my husband and our relationship while diving into sharing our home with my lover. I let our nuances and daily routines fade away.
11. I did not make an effort or spend much time getting to know my husband's new partner.
It's been six weeks since my Beta moved out. He is working on repairing his marriage, as he describes it, and that, of course, means he and I are over. His wife was never really okay for the year he and I were together, and at least she is telling him that now. My husband and I are repairing, too, and that is a good part of the journey. He is a kind, compassionate partner who allows me to make mistakes. We think we are really good at communication, but we've shown ourselves how easy it was to avoid the very important and difficult topics in this situation.
I know this may not have turned out any other way, but I do accept that I made big mistakes, and they played a part in the loss of this man whom I love, and this relationship that had a very big and positive impact on my life. There is a lot to be learned, and a whole lot of opportunity for growth. My husband and I did some things right even though we weren't at our best. And the three of us did some things right when we were all living together. I will admit, and I am only speaking for myself, that I am really glad to have had that experience of living with both men whom I loved and who loved me back.
Good for you for owning your mistakes, and not hiding behind them.
( Thus, blaming the other party.) That is a rarity I think.
I really think you are ahead of the game now. Good Stuff. :)
a very brave post and a really important way of sharing, IMHO. its easy to find a lot of advice on how things "should" be done, but its also important to be reminded that things don't always go the way we intend, people make mistakes, and there are consequences. i know for me, being currently in the midst of really strong NRE means that i am a prime example of what tristan taormino describes in her book "opening up" as someone with their "head up their ass". i can recognize this and see that it is happening, do my best to ground myself and keep to the agreements i have made, but ultimately have a really hard time pulling it out when the NRE feels like a really amazing drug. thanks for your post and for the reminders about WHY we make all these agreements...to ourselves and each other.
Very helpful post. Thank you for your honesty. Very valuable info here.
Honesty is Sexy.
Wow, what an incredible post. That kind of humility and soul searching is an incredible strength, and i take my hat off to you for steppin' forward and finding the ways/patterns/choices that created unhealthy relationship dynamics. Been doin' a lot of this myself, and it's a pretty humbling experience ie - i didn't really know what i was doin', but now i can see where i've gone wrong and want to repair that in myself and my relationship.
you show a lot of courage and dignity in addressing this shit, and i think it's pretty inspirational. if we can't see where/how we need to grow, we never will.
I agree, this is very brave and very valuable because I certainly can say I've made my mistakes too. It would be easier to say I've been a poly goddess and never made a mistake in my life but I simply haven't. I've made stupid mistakes as well, and they have been hurtful for all involved, even myself.
I won't say much more here, but I decided to post more to my own personal thread because that seemed more appropriate.
(If anyone can show me how to link that'd be great, lol, and I'll do so...).
Thank you for your honesty and sharing. It sounds like you've done the right thing to begin a more healthy pattern for everyone involved.
As others have said, it's really helpful to be reminded of the temptations and also to see the example of owning your mistakes.
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