dealing with liars
Let me apologize in advance for the long post. I am dealing with a situation, and I would love some input from some of you more experienced.
My partner John and I have been together for a little over 3 years. We decided on being poly at the very beginning because we had both been in abusive relationships with cheater. Both of us had a ton of emotional scarring from our previous relationships, but through therapy and a lot of mutual work we have overcome much of the lingering insecurity and pain. We decided honesty and disclosure were #1, and it has worked extremely well.
Recently, however, his ex Ann has come back into the picture. For the past 5 years I have known my partner, his ex has been "The Devil". She cheated on him numerous times, lied repeatedly, then dumped him in a humiliating and painful way. When he started talking to her again, I was extremely surprised, because he has never once said anything positive about her.
Ann started talking to him because she had dumped her boyfriend (the same guy she cheated on John with and left him for), and started going out with a butch woman named Nancy. They soon start exchanging pictures and sexting, which I was fine with, because he shared them with me. What made me uncomfortable was that Ann was not telling Nancy what she was doing. This to me is cheating, even though there was no physical contact.
The drama started when Nancy became violent towards one of her friends, who she thought was flirting with Ann. After the incident, Ann dumped her, and Nancy's stalking behavior started. Ann then decided to visit her home, which is about 1 hour away from where John and I live. I offered for her to stay at our home, and even to pick her up from the airport. When John expressed desire to have sex with her, we talked about it and decided it was okay, as long as he used condoms. I warned him at this point about getting too attached to her again, my reasons being: 1. she lives in a different state and 2. her history of dishonesty.
I'm not sure why she decided to do this (I speculate because she wanted to make him jealous, but I will never know for sure), but Anne instead decided to get picked up by ANOTHER of the men she had cheated on John with, stay at his home and go to a baseball game with him. John begged her not to, threatened that he would not see her if she did, and in general was extremely upset. This was when I realized he still had strong feelings for her, and I tried to talk to him about it, but he was too upset to processes the emotions.
I began to get nervous when he decided to see her, despite the fact she had spent the night at another man's house. This feeling deepened when Ann decided she did not want to meet me. She asked John if I could go somewhere else for the night, so that they could be alone. When he brought this up, I suggested she get a hotel room if she wasn't comfortable staying at OUR home. :cool:
She did end up meeting me, and staying with us. Despite her shady behavior, I made a huge effort to be open-minded about her. She apparently "liked me more than she wanted to" according to John. I guess it can be weird to meet your lover's live-in partner. They hooked up a couple of times while she was in town, and I tried to shake my bad feelings about her. (This is hard to do when the person is someone who has hurt you're love over and over again.) I tried.... I really did....
Right before she left to go back to her state, two things came to light. The first was that she was still in love with John and the second was that she had herpes. John and her decided to work on building a relationship, despite all of the drama. Ann said she would be mono, and John promised he would stop texting/getting pictures from other women.
Since she left, things have gone from bad to worse. She has lied to him about who she was with, where she was, etc. He had her install a gps tracker on her smart phone, and CONSTANTLY checks up on where she is. They argue on the phone all the time, and sometimes for HOURS. Last night it got so bad that he deleted her from his facebook (OMG HOW MEAN ;) END OF THE WORLD). But he still is constantly texting her.
Here are my main issues:
1. This drama has set my partner back in the work we had done to overcome his insecurities
2. He is constantly in a bad mood, and doesn't have enough energy to meet my emotional or physical needs.
3. He sets limitations on her, and when she breaks them, there is no repercussions or follow through.
and 4. HERPES... god damnit
TL;DR version: my partner's love is a cheater and a liar, how do I deal with it.
Well, the simple version is that it is his relationship to deal with.
What you need to to is to protect yourself. If that means using condoms with John, then insist on that.
Be John's friend if he wants someone to talk with. He needs to learn this lesson for himself - he's an adult and has the capability to learn. It's not your job to protect him from his own worst instincts.
Learn about Herpes - many folks have it, and it just takes special precautions to reduce the risk of being infected and deal with it if it has happened.
If the drama is rampant (which it sounds like it is), you have the right not to let it into *your* house, or even into your life. Let them get a hotel room to do what they want to.
Has John had a previous history or habit of being drawn to distrustful people and drama queens?
And he was with Ann for 4 years, and all of them were drama-filled according to him and his friends/family. So the answer to your question is yes.
I'm not worried about your partner's partner Anne being weird. I'm not worried about your partner being weird with messed up boundaries.
I am worried about YOU tolerating all kinds of FRESH because YOU have weak boundaries/ethics. Or because you put him ahead of you in the hopes that he will do same one day. Or because you may be abused and stuck/trapped. :(
From your post you clearly can see bad news when it happens. It reads like a bad soap opera and you are "ok" with a lot of things I would NOT be ok with in an ethical, honest, loving polyship.
2) What does John do to protect you from harm? While tempting to blame it all on the Devil, what is JOHN doing to protect himself and you (his current partner) from crazy weird people? To help keep BOTH your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual healths in order?
3) What do YOU do to protect your own mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual healths? Since John is failing in this area? If he's going down with the ship, does that mean you have to also?
Knowing Anne is a Devil Ex -- did you try saying "NO WAY! THAT IS A HARD LIMIT!" at any of these points....
...because "This known Devil person messed you up, John. We went to therapy to cope with it. This person is BAD so keep zero contact or we break up. Hard limit here!"
Exes are exes for a REASON. So why is she not STAYING an ex? She might come sniffing around. Why does he say yes? Why do you say yes? Why do you stay with John?
This is even weirder to me and red flags.
Are you SURE she is the Devil in this soap opera? Because that is a control tactic to keep HER on a leash. He is stalkering her. That is not in keeping to the descriptions of her above. She may be a looney, but if SHE were the bitch she'd be GPSing HIS phone. Not the other way around.
If all you know about her comes from HIS mouth? "According to John?"
Be worried he isn't truthing and he's just making HER out to be Evil Incarnate when really she's another victim of his weirdo. Maybe he likes things just fine -- both of you dancing attendance on him unable to get away? He just plays the poor little ol' me card and everyone comes running to tend to his wants and needs and limits without him having to tend back in turn to your wants, needs, limits.
Get OUT of this drama relationship and find a nice, normal poly person to date instead who will be in right relationship with you. These people are weird and disturbing. :(
Polamory is about LOVE and the ability to love more than one person well. You are not being loved well. I'm not sure you are being loved at all. :(
I am also red flagging that you may not be able to do this -- say "NO WAY!" when you are being trespassed upon or be able to get away from Dramaville because you may be abused. I hope you are not being abused -- would not wish it on anyone. I sincerely hope I am wrong. But please see list at speakoutloud in case anything else reads familiar -- take it to highlighter. Tell your counselor about all these developments and take the highlighted sheet to them.
Get objective advice/support from counselor who is actually there. Ask them about the power/control wheel and the cycle of abuse wheel.
My heart is heavy for you.
I hope you are safe where you are and if not, soon able to get to where you ARE safe emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. You do not sound safe or in a healthy place. :(
PERSONAL BOUNDARIES have to be in place AND upheld before you can even begin to concern yourself with anyone else's boundaries.
It goes back to the airplane-put your OWN MASK ON FIRST-then you can help someone else.
FIRST you need to set down boundaries for what you will accept in a relationship-and stick to them.
THEN you can consider being a friend and helping him see the light of day (if he wants to).
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