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-   -   Greetings! I'm new and could use some advice :) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24746)

goodnightmoon 06-14-2012 06:17 PM

Greetings! I'm new and could use some advice :)
 
Now to start out, I apologize if anything is misspelled or grammatically incorrect because I'm typing on an iPad.

Im not really sure where to start.
My name is E and I'm from the D.C. area.

At the beginning of this year, a lot in my life changed.
I got engaged! And a few days after that, my fiancÚ, C, brought the idea of an "open marriage" to my attention. I was shocked, hurt, I didn't understand why he would want this, or why he would bring this up so shortly after we got engaged. I went from the excitement of being engaged to misery in such a short period of time.

We had long talks, for days, and I eventually chose to look into it. I read multiple books, including: "Open" as well as "The Ethical Slut"(my favorite) and talked to people, talked to C, read your wonderful forums, and really took sometime to myself to decide the benefits of this lifestyle. I had a lot of self conflicts, but I began to really see a positive behind everything. My main issue I was dealing with was my jealousy.

Through all of this, C eventually met a woman while traveling the country for work. He was gone for a month and a half, so I had to figure out what being open meant to me, all the while him being thousands of miles away and our only communication being through email.

This woman, we'll call her G, met C through work and they formed a strong connection. He didn't mention much about her, but said that she was someone he definitely wanted to have in his life. Then one day, a few days before he was set to come back, he told me that he wanted to meet up with her(she lives out of state) and he would've been traveling through, and go spend an evening with her because she had wanted to discuss what would come of them when he came back home. She knew about me at the time and determined that there would be no future with him because of the situation and she wanted to say goodbye, in person. He asked me how I felt about that and told me that if I wasn't okay with it, he wouldn't meet up with her. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take the first risk of our relationship and said, "why not?". They slept together that night. He returned home a couple days later and told me all about it, as well as all about her. I told him that if he was going to continue a relationship with this girl, I may as well know what she's about.

C and I talked endlessly on it, I asked him how he felt about her and what that meant for us. He said that she was a friend, and that he wasn't sure if it would progress or not. A few days later, she wanted to contact me. I emailed her and from there, she gave me her number to text message her. We spoke for a few days and I got to know her, and she really was just as incredible as he made her sound. We both talked about being friends and how it would make things so much easier on all three of us.

Then about a week ago, she stopped speaking with me. Around that same time, C mentioned that G had been talking to him privately about how she felt that she needed someone who could give her themselves fully, but she didn't want to let him go. I told him that I think her attitude is counter-productive to our cause. If she is looking for something exclusive then she has come to the wrong place. This has also made me feel that she may have only been conversing with me to ease C's mind.

I don't really know how to respond to any of this. I'm sure there is so much information I have left out.

blytheandbonny 06-14-2012 07:26 PM

Hi goodnightmoon, and welcome to the forum!

Quote:

Originally Posted by goodnightmoon (Post 139660)
I got engaged! And a few days after that, my fiancÚ, C, brought the idea of an "open marriage" to my attention.

[...]

We had long talks, for days, and I eventually chose to look into it. I read multiple books, including: "Open" as well as "The Ethical Slut"(my favorite) and talked to people, talked to C, read your wonderful forums, and really took sometime to myself to decide the benefits of this lifestyle. I had a lot of self conflicts, but I began to really see a positive behind everything. My main issue I was dealing with was my jealousy.

Um, I'm sort of new to all this myself, but my question here is what your fiancÚ means by "open marriage". I think there's an important nuance between that and poly. How do you feel in general (situation about G aside) about his being emotionally tied to someone else v. just sexually tied?

Quote:

She knew about me at the time and determined that there would be no future with him because of the situation and she wanted to say goodbye, in person.

[...]

Around that same time, C mentioned that G had been talking to him privately about how she felt that she needed someone who could give her themselves fully, but she didn't want to let him go.
This doesn't sound like she's into the idea of poly and would not support being a mono with him being poly to me. And I'm highly suspicious of "wanted to say goodbye in person," honestly.

From what you've described, this, to me, doesn't sound like a healthy situation. I applaud your research and his openness of communication with you - but this other woman doesn't sounds supportive of your relationship, which as I understand the construct, means she's not really a good addition to your lives together.

Best of luck to you!

Tonberry 06-14-2012 10:09 PM

I believe she either expected he would eventually leave you and "pick her" (in which case she doesn't understand what non-monogamy is about) or she gave it a good try because she cares about him, but realised it's not working for her.

Either way, if what she wants is a monogamous relationship, and she won't take anything else, it needs to end between her and C, and he needs to be very clear about that, which may be hard if he has strong feelings for her.

I think he needs to tell her in no uncertain terms that she can be with him, and so will you, and that's not going to change, or she can find someone else to be monogamous with her. It might be a good idea for the conversation to be between all 3 of you, if you can through IMs for instance.

A lot of people hope that things will change (that they'll become comfortable with poly; that their partner will become mono) but it an be unhealthy to spend too much time hoping for things to change when they don't. I think it's good that she realised it wasn't working for her, but I don't think she dealt with the situation very well.
You might want to try resuming communication with her, asking her if she wants to talk with you, if she needs help with anything. You might be scary for her, as you're the one who is engaged to him, and so if you hold out your hand, maybe she will try to reach out as well.

Good luck, but I have to say in my opinion it's likely the relationship with her is going to end. She would need to be comfortable with polyamory, and she certainly doesn't seem to be.

AnnabelMore 06-14-2012 10:19 PM

Hi there. It sounds like your fiance's friend is confused and hurting, not unlike you were when this subject came up. The idea of poly can be really trying for people who are new to it! As long as she's not actively trying to steal him away I see no reason why they shouldn't stay friends, but if that's really how she feels then maybe he should be the strong one and tell her it's over. Or maybe she just needs time?

Mudita 06-15-2012 03:33 AM

Hi goodnightmoon.
I'm not poly so I've been trying to keep my mouth shut around here and let those with the experience do the talking.

Your post rang a few warning bells for me though, mono, poly or otherwise.
First
Quote:

Originally Posted by goodnightmoon (Post 139660)
And a few days after that, my fiancÚ, C, brought the idea of an "open marriage" to my attention.

At a minimum he's been less than frank with you at the time of the engagement. At worst, he has in sales parlance, 'locked you in' emotionally and then pulled a bait and switch, which would be a very manipulative and self-serving act.

Quote:

Originally Posted by goodnightmoon (Post 139660)
what would come of them when he came back home

Makes me wonder what was 'of' them prior to this. Again I'd suggest he may have been less than fully frank with you.

It sounds like you are a very accommodating & considerate person by nature and this is a good thing. It can lead to being taken advantage of though if you don't demand the same thing of others.

Flip it around: would you be comfortable getting engaged with someone and then telling them a couple of days later that you wanted an open relationship of some sort?

If a friend came to you and told you this story what would you advise them?

Would you have got engaged if he had told you at the point where you both agreed to get engaged , "I'd love to marry you however there is something I feel I need to tell you first..."

Don't lose yourself so totally in this guy you forget who you are and what you want.

It may well be you decide poly is really what you want. If so, a common theme here on the forums, is a need for honesty and communication. He needed to be honest with you _before_ you agreed to get engaged and had told all your friends and family. If this is going to work, you will need him to be committed to being honest with you, and not just after the event.

Tonberry 06-15-2012 03:57 AM

While I see where you're coming from, Mudita, when I read the OP my impression was that they got engaged, and that as a result he realised he had to tell her about polyamory before getting married, and so he did. Getting engaged just means you want to get married, I'm not sure it has such a strong "before vs after" thing as getting married does.

I do agree that he needs to be honest and communicate, though.

ThatGirlInGray 06-15-2012 04:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goodnightmoon (Post 139660)
she felt that she needed someone who could give her themselves fully, but she didn't want to let him go.

If she were to really do the work to wrap her head around poly, she might find she could have both. There are many of us here (and it sounds like your fiance may be joining this particular group) who are poly but have at least one mono partner. However, being mono has to be a partner's choice, not a demand. It's no good saying, "I'm going to be with you AND this other person but I want you to only be with me."

There are also situations where people might date until they find the "right one" and then commit to just that relationship, so she could still date him while she continues dating others. If he's okay with the knowledge that their relationship will likely end when she finds someone to commit to just her, that could work too.

I don't have much else useful to add at the moment, I just wanted to point out some possible scenarios that maybe hadn't been discussed yet.


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