I was wondering if there was anyway that you can help us with this situation. I will try to explain the best way I can::confused::(:mad:
I was dating this guy (Jelani) for 2 years now. FOr a portion of that time him and I were dating other people however we decided to try to make it exclusive. He was unsure about it because he had such issues with being exclusive in the past but he decided to give it a shot because he had such deep feelings for me. In this time he decided to just be friends with one of the girls he was previously dating (Khadija). 3 months into our exclusive relationship he broke the news to me that he cheated on me with Khadija. This hurt me alot because I always had reservations about this person and never felt comfortable yet, I didnt say anything because I didnt want to come off as jelous. I felt he was entitled to be friends with whomever. He told me it was just a fling and he Loves me etc etc. I asked him not to see her again but he continued to and this affair went on for months. I stood by him as hurt as I was. I asked him to not discuss this girl with me but to figure out what he is going to do in terms of the relationship. Were he and I going to break up? Or was he going to get rid of her. He assured me that she was just a phase but she would phase out. SO I agreed to wait it out. Everyone deserves a second chance dont they? anyway, Finally in October 2009 he told me that he actually loved her but he still loved me and wanted to be with the both of us. This was very hard to process for me and I became quite combative and closed off with him. Through some research Khadija presented the idea that he may be polyamorous and he identified with that and the principles that came with it. I was very (and still kinda am) quite resistant to that. Not only did I have to deal with the betrayal of infidelity but I also, If I wanted to be with him, had to get along with this woman that hurt me so much. I started acting out I was always crying. I didnt want ne thing to do with her. I would avoid conversations which he didn't like. But slowly I am coming around.
Through this new relationship, there is a few things in regards to my communication style that they do not agree with. He said he had always disagreed with it but didn't make it an issue until now which I find quite suspicious and unnerving that he would keep something like that at such a minimal for such a long period of time. And I am now trying to work on them and alter them because I also agree they are negative. Through this process there were times where I would regress back to that stye of communication which they did not agree with and told me to stop doing. IT is not that easy to just cut out a behaviour you have been doing for so long, and I continuously try to explain that to them and ask them to be more patient with me as I go through this process. REcently we had an arugment which I feel all three of us were at fault with and now the new found problem is that Khadija is saying its too late, she doesnt want to continue on in this relationship with me. That i was argumentative. Defensive. I have an ego. And this is causing Jelani to pull away from me as well and question our future together because he feels that he had to tell me to alter those behaviours too many times. Now none of them want to talk me. They dont appear that interested in going to counselling or having a mediator. Neither of them want to talk about the fact of how this relationship was established on such dishonest grounds. They want to leave the cheating in the past but yet my past behaviours are still being held against me as much as I am trying to change them. ANd its like they don't seem to understand that establishing a relationship from such a place takes HARD work and they appear willing to just let it fall apart. They felt they did too much as is and now they are done with me. I do realize at times that I may shut down when I am very emotional. They keep saying they can't talk to me because I force them to repeat themselves. all I am asking for is time to really deal with this which my boyfriend Jelani is impatient with me. He barely wants to speak to me which isn't like him at all. we have a lot of letters to eachother back and forth and I think maybe I should also bring those in so you can have a better understanding of things. Am I really that problematic to communicate with? It feels like they want to be with one another but won't tell me. He wont leave, instead its like hes trying to get me to leave, like they are pushing me out. Maybe that is in my head but thats how it feels. They also have things they need to work on. But I feel a lot of the weight and emphasis is being placed on my areas of improvement and that is both overwhelming and frustrating.
In saying all this I feel I have to say that we all have really good attributes about ourselves that I like that are both intrinsic and extrinsic. Jelani is so loving; I love how he takes care of children. Watching him with my nieces and nephews as well as his nephew is such a joy to observe. He is so patient and playful and free-spirited. I keep urging him to pursue a career as a Child and Youth worker or a Teacher but he doesnít feel that is the right choice for him which I understand. He is also very funny and laid back and personable. He has a big heart. He is there for his friends and family. He is hardworking and a good listener (at times) and patient (to an extent. But who doesnít have their limits?). I love him more than words can say.
Khadija, although I donít really know her that well has positives to her as well based on the little I observed and what Iíve been told by Jelani. She is smart and talented. She can dance so well at times I envy her skills. She tries to her best to be objective and resolve situations (In saying that I still feel some areas of her conflict management skills need improvement). She loves Jelani very much and encourages him to better himself and better himself in life. Sheís strong willed (Conversely, at times that can be one of her drawbacks). She appears to be a good person with good intentions. But at times from my observations I feel she doesnít acknowledge, internalize or reflect on a lot of what I say to her. And Im sure she can say the same thing about me as well, which is where I feel A LOT of our issues lie. I hope this is a thorough enough depiction for you to make your formulations from. :(
Oh dear. What a mess :(
From your description of things, it sounds as though they haven't put very much effort into making you feel comfortable with things, and that discussions seems to have degenerated quite a bit.
He agreed to be faithful to you and wasn't. Doesn't matter if he's poly, that's wrong. Now, he is asking you to consider a poly arrangement. What's really missing from your story is whether you want this or not...?
If you do, there's a lot of work ahead of you, and it begins with lots of research and honest, open conversation with all three of you. If you don't, well :)
I would just take things slow for the time being. Pull back a little and let your head clear. After all your strong emotions have cleared, you can take a more thorough look at the options, and act accordingly. If they are both interested in having you involved, let them know they need to support you, that your bf needs to acknowledge his infidelity and you all three need to realise that this may actually not be something that you want to or can do!
Not wanting to talk is a bad sign. I would say you're in an emergency situation :) Let your bf know you love him, let the girl know you have nothing against her, and spend some time asking yourself what you want, what you need, and what you are prepared to give. Then, some honest communication...
I'm sorry things have been stressful for you... Stay strong :)
I agree with kamala: care, patience, and thoughtfulness are going to be very important to you. The issues with infidelity are troubling, and there needs to be acknowledgement of what went wrong and how to keep it from going wrong again with some other person.
Sadly, no one on this forum can hand you the solution to your problems. No matter how careful your descriptions, we have only words to look at. But you are dealing with real people, real emotions, and doing it in real time. So you will be the one who finds the key to making it work, or perhaps the reasons why you need to find something better.
When I'm at work I notice that different people contribute different things to the team. Sure, some have expertise and competence, but others are the gentle jokers who make it possible for us all to work closely. Some are quiet and stay in the background until they see just the right thing to do at the right time. Etc.
If there are three people in your relationship, who is the agenda-setter? Who is the one who defuses argument-bombs? Who is the one who challenges? Who is the one who makes tea for everyone else? Who is the one who always has an opinion, and who is the one who sometimes smiles and says nothing? Who is the one who reaches out to touch, and who is the one who pulls back -- and why?
People take different roles at different times, of course. But -- to take an obvious example -- if there are two people who are always trying to set the agenda and challenge the group then there is likely to be conflict.
You might look at your partners and think about their roles, and the role you can take. Can you all balance each other?
You might think about needs, wants, and time. What are your needs from this relationship? Affection, obviously. One-on-one quality time with Jelani, obviously. What else? Do you want friendship with Khadija? Do you need time to yourself? Do you need time to spend with other friends, or on school or job duties, or with family? Make a list of the things you want and need. How do you think you can structure your relationship so that you will have times when these needs and wants can be met?
And how about Jelani and Khadija? What do you think their needs and wants are? Make two more lists! Try to see how you, if you were queen of the world, would arrange things so that everyone got the best shot at getting their needs met. But then, if you can, ask them what they need. Ask how they think you all might to get to a point where everyone is getting what they need, and at least most of what they want.
See, none of us here on the forum have answers to these questions. We can't even guess! But you're smart and relationship-aware, so you can figure it out.
And there are probably lots of other questions you could ask about you, Jelani, and Khadija. The two about roles, and about needs/wants/time are the two that came to my mind first, that's all.
I guess the main thing is to think about the relationships. kamala is right: go slow and be thoughtful.
Cheating is wrong.
I want to put that first-because you may not know anything about my story.
BUT-so is trying to be someone you are not.
It is COMMON for people who are poly to struggle to fit into mono situations and fail miserably. FAIL often =cheat.
It's not RIGHT. It IS real.
I agree that he was SO wrong to cheat on you.
I can't help hearing the sentence where you said he agreed to TRY to be exclusive but had concerns that he couldn't-BECAUSE he had always had that issue.
That's sort of like saying, "I know you suck at baseball and you've never hit the ball in your life, but I want you to try to do it now because if you don't hit the ball we lose." Then getting pissed off because the person doesn't hit the ball. Most people would think/say "what were you thinking? Of course they didn't hit the ball."
Sex/relationships are obviously a MUCH bigger deal than baseball games. But the point is the same.
YES people do generally deserve a second chance.
But more than that, people deserve to be accepted for who they are.
It sounds very much like you knew in advance that PROBABILITY said this man wasn't capable of an exclusive/mono relationship. WHY doesn't matter. He may or may not be poly. But he sure as heck isn't exclusive/mono if he's never been able to manage it.
IF what you want/need is an exclusive/mono guy-you need to go find one of those, not try to change a guy who isn't into what you want/need.
I'm not trying to be a bitch. Seriously-I am just trying to show you HOW you can control whether or not you suffer from this situation AGAIN. We tend to repeat mistakes we don't learn from. Asking for exclusivity from someone who'd never managed it... that was a mistake...
He also made MANY mistakes here. But we can ONLY change OURSELVES. So there is no rhyme or reason in outlining his mistakes. Only he can change them. The only thing YOU can do is work on YOU.
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