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-   -   skeezer broke my heart (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23521)

psychomia 05-07-2012 04:56 PM

skeezer broke my heart
I'm really new, and really shy, so this is hard to share but I'm really depressed and trying to get a handle on what's happened.

I have Aspergers so I'm naturally on the naive side and very sensitive to drama, so I try to live my life as honestly as possible and communicate with the people who are in it so we all know what's going on.

I'm in a relationship with a man for going on 9 years now. it was very rocky at first, then we settled into a stable monogomous relationship, separated by necessity when I moved, he later joined me and we married, then annulled the marriage after I went through PTSD treatment. I knew at that point that he was miserable living with me and my kids, so I worked on getting out of his way and getting a place of my own. for a while we didn't see each other, then we settled on being FWB but we'd led such separate lives even when married that we had no social overlap, it really was just about getting laid by someone safe. it hurt emotionally to feel like I had that little worth to others but I worked through the feelings of isolation and came to accept my life as a loner.

then one day he invited me to a philosophy club meeting, on the condition that there be no gestures of affection because there was a woman he was interested in. I thought it wasn't a big deal so I agreed. we'd attended a club years before so he knew I would enjoy it, and I was desperately isolated, so the opportunity to go outweighed and potential issues of pretending to be strangers that I could see at the time.

I didn't anticipate meeting someone. I'd had opportunities to date but had avoided them because most people make me so uncomfortable. this guy, though, was fun to talk to and interested in interesting things. we started talking. we spent a day together and I learned he was in an open marriage, and I told him I had a FWB but not who it was because I felt constrained by how I knew my FWB felt about keeping it out of the public view.

new boy, E, made it clear he was interested in pursuing a possible relationship with me and I agreed. I tried to talk with FWB about being interested in someone and wanting to continue to see him, and he said fine as long as I leave him out of it and keep it out of his face. I started to struggle with the secret of FWB and E knowing each other but not knowing they were both sleeping with me, so I told E.

at first he was mad and felt like I'd deceived him, and so did his wife. it was a lot of drama and there was a lot of talking and there was backlash from FWB because he ended up freaking out over the reality of me actually seeing someone else, which made it even more uncomfortable.

throughout, E stressed open communications, and I clung to that like a lifeline. he wanted to talk to FWB, I arranged it. I spent hours with FWB processing his emotions. the week before the talk, E started withdrawing from me, wouldn't see me, then had the talk with FWB and decided that FWB wanted to be exclusive with me, although FWB had specifically told me that he did not, but that the theory of sharing me hadn't prepared him for the reality of it. after the talk E texted me how much he wants me and he was going to come see me, but he never showed up and for the following week we evaded my every attempt to find some time to talk to him.

I finally told him to decide if he's in or out because the stress of all the drama had made me physically ill. he said he felt like there was too much dishonesty and that we'd gone from a triangle to a square (although we weren't a triangle, since he was keeping me away from his wife and excluding me from activities if she or my FWB was going to be there) and we sure aren't a square because FWB doesn't want to be in a close relationship with them.

E goes on and on about honesty, but he really led me on then ultimately had no forgiveness for my mistakes, although I did my very best to correct them. I think he's a skeezer, but finding that out doesn't make it hurt any less that I opened my heart up for the first time in years and it got stomped.

there has been no communication although he asked to meet with me so I could explain why I told him I thought he had no integrity then blew that meeting off, too. I thought open communications was a tenet of the polyamory community, and I think it's essential especially given my recent experiences, and he at one time told me he holds himself to a high standard because polyamory is so misunderstood, yet my experience of him indicates he isn't communicative, and therefore he is being dishonest.

someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I think I've taken responsibility for my mistakes in the situation, and so is my FWB, but I am not being forgiven nor has E manned up to leading me on inappropriately if he wasn't committed (which is why I think he's a skeezer).

I feel like I will not try dating again. there's no way to tell when someone is simply addicted to NRE and will run as soon as it's over, and I can't afford to waste my time on people like that.

ThatGirlInGray 05-07-2012 05:21 PM

No, I don't think you're wrong. From what you've written, I can't even see the mistakes you claim to have made. You told E you had a FWB. If he had a desire to know the identity of said FWB, he should have made that clear before pursuing a relationship with you. FWB said he didn't want to know, and hopefully he's learned that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies usually come back to bite one in the butt. None of that is your fault or within your control.

E sounds like the kind of person who always finds someone else to blame for his shortcomings. He seems to pay lip-service to the honesty and communication parts of polyamory, but when it comes down to it he isn't willing to do the necessary work. He sees it as not his fault because FWB wants to be exclusive with you, or because you didn't tell him who FWB was (I can see there being some awkwardness once they discovered they knew each other, but not this level of drama), or some other reason he concocts in his head. You can't control how he spins things in his own head, nor can you control the way he's blowing off meeting with you.

I'm so sorry you've found yourself in this position, and I totally understand if it puts you off opening yourself up to people for a while, but hopefully you won't give up entirely. (I think posting here was a GREAT step!) There are unfortunately a LOT of people out there unable to be in honest relationships, but there are a few good ones too! *hugs*

Edited to add: in the future, if you do try dating again, if someone says they're poly but keeps you away from their other partner(s), that's a red flag. It may be nothing, it may be innocent, but it should be recognized and discussed early on. And instead of (or in addition to) E talking to FWB without you, the THREE of you all talking together (if, you know, E would man up and show up) could have been beneficial, instead of playing, "He Said, She Said".

psychomia 05-07-2012 05:27 PM

thank you for being so kind, ThatGirlInGray. I've kept my emotions so bottled up over this that I actually just burst into tears.

ThatGirlInGray 05-07-2012 05:33 PM

Hopefully they are good, cathartic tears! I get very annoyed with myself when I cry, but part of me KNOWS it will ultimately be a good thing to release some of the emotions that have built up. I hope it does that same for you.

PixieBoo 05-07-2012 05:52 PM

Hi. Just wanted to let you know that I agree entirely with ThatGirlInGray. It looks to me like you've tried your hardest to be open and honest and sadly the guys in your life aren't giving you the same in return.
I hope when you decide to give dating someone another try you find someone who can treat you the way you deserve :)

ViableAlternative 05-07-2012 08:08 PM

Wow, what a nightmare. I hope you're treating yourself kindly; you really need to cut yourself some slack.

I see you taking a lot of blame in the way you've worded things, and not letting the other people involved own their own faults, mistakes, and mis-steps. Let go of the blame, you really do need some slack here.

Without knowing the other sides of the story, one can only make inferences from what you've said here, so take this with a grain of salt. But WTF is up with FWB?! Do you think some of your seemingly low self-worth could be stemming from how he didn't stand by you after he'd married and committed to you, and had his commitment to you annulled when you were being treated for PTSD? What gives him the right to use you exclusively for sex, tell you not to be affectionate in a public meeting because he has the hots for someone else, and then create scads and scads of drama for you because he wants you all to himself for sex but not have any duty to you emotionally? I am ALL about having friends with benefits, but NO ONE may treat me like that. NO ONE should treat you like that, either.

From what you've typed, I see an awful lot of fault on FWB's part, and little to none on yours. I don't think you've done wrong. It really seems like FWB caused this drama and frankly, were I you, I would consider cutting him out of my life. I do not want or need that kind of drama from someone who only uses me for sex. If his only benefit to you is the sex, then it might be time to invest in a good vibrator. The sex might not be as good, but vibrators rarely cause drama for prospective relationships.

As for E, I think your views are justified. He does sound like a skeezer, not following through, etc.

So, do cut yourself some slack; you've been through some rough stuff and deserve to be kind to yourself.

psychomia 05-07-2012 08:58 PM

thank you PixiePoo.

ThatGirlInGrey, the tears did help. I don't let myself cry often enough, I guess :(

ViableAlternative, to be fair to FWB, I accepted his marriage proposal at the height of my worst PTSD symptoms and he stood by me through the most harrowing recovering process the best he could. I don't think he was at all prepared for what was going to happen. he's emotionally very reserved and has made a huge effort to move past that, but I was very lonely in our relationship and he has apologized many times for his role in that. the annulment was my idea and ultimately my decision and I felt like it was the right thing to do, given that had I been in my right mind I never would have remarried. it was only after I went through PTSD treatment that I entertained the idea, and I did present it to FWB as a choice, not an ultimatum. it did hurt that he wasn't in love with me, but he did offer to honor his commitment... but that's not enough for me.

but, you are right in many of the points you made. FWB does not fulfill me emotionally although he has been a steady friend and supporter over the years. I just changed too much after I went through treatment. and yes, he did create the drama and has taken responsibility for it. if I didn't know from experience that he can and will change his behavior based on self-realization, I would have dumped him a long time ago. when I moved out it was just about keeping someone around to have sex with, but he has been and is my best friend, aside from his dickish behavior over my relationship with E, and to his credit he's made a huge effort to change his attitude toward my love life since I called him out on his double standard.

not that I have a love life now :(

ETA: and you're right. I take on blame that I shouldn't. still a leftover feature of the marriage before FWB.

I don't know how people do this. the stress of getting to know someone seems like a major deterrent to finding people to share your life with.

psychomia 05-09-2012 12:50 AM

my situation goes to illustrate how important REALLY CLEAR communication is in poly relationships, I guess. I finally met up with E last night and we talked for a couple of hours. apparently he has been talking to his wife and putting a lot of thought into the situation and has been wanting to see me... the breakdown occurred because he did not tell me he felt like he needed a week away from me and the situation to process everything after he talked to FWB. I don't have a problem with that, I just need to know what he needs so I don't misunderstand. he understood why I thought he was a skeezer and wasn't being honest with me, and took responsibility for creating an uncomfortable situation by failing to communicate clearly. I also appreciated that he acknowledged that I was angry without trying to invalidate me or even talk me out of being angry, he just tackled the issues that I was angry about.

so we're starting over with a clean slate, armed with better knowledge about the other person works.

all I want to know now is why I'm compelled to try to connect with other humans when relationships are SO CONFUSING AND DIFFICULT.

ThatGirlInGray 05-09-2012 01:16 AM

RIGHT?!?! Sometimes being human sucks and I wish we could just use animal instincts. Glad some things have been worked out!


then had the talk with FWB and decided that FWB wanted to be exclusive with me, although FWB had specifically told me that he did not,
If you don't mind me asking, was this part figured out? Or does there need to be more communication between the two of them (maybe with you there as well) to get everyone on the same page?

HotPepper 05-09-2012 05:25 AM


Originally Posted by psychomia (Post 135408)
my situation goes to illustrate how important REALLY CLEAR communication is in poly relationships, I guess.

Wow - I keep seeing this over and over again. It really is about constantly reminding oneself to keep communicating. It's so easy to withhold something from a loved one. So easy just to let something go unsaid, and not discuss it. But it never works. "Relationship" should just be another word for talking - that's mainly what it is isn't it?


Originally Posted by psychomia (Post 135408)
all I want to know now is why I'm compelled to try to connect with other humans when relationships are SO CONFUSING AND DIFFICULT.

Confusing and Difficult because even though you may communicate everything with them, there's no guarantee that it's going to be reciprocal. Wouldn't it have been nice if once FWB realized that he was jealous after all (unlike what he said initially), that he then talked to you about it right away? What a difference that would have made, it would have saved you a lot of grief.

You've don'e so well explaining everything here, seems like most of the communication issues are with FWB and E.

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