Lying to myself
This weekend my partner, who I was engaged to marry, has gone off to be with a woman from his past. They have been texting and sending each other photos of their genitals and he spends every minute at work texting her.
I knew they were texting, but not the extent of it. He has talked to me about being non-monogamous and over time I have intellectually seen how interesting and possibly wonderful poly could be. We decided that he would go and spend the weekend with her.
After less than 24 hours I am finding myself very sad, frightened and angry that I agreed to this. He has not called me, as he said he would, and he is not answering texts or emails.
I feel that I need to end our relationship because I feel so stressed and that this would basically be the way it will be for the rest of my life if we got married. I guess some people are just not right for poly. It makes me so sad because I am very much in love with him
It sounds like you need to have a talk about your boundaries and what you need to feel special and important. It sounds to me like this is all going very quickly and that you're not able to keep up emotionally. It's ok to tell them to slow down. It's also ok to tell him what you need.
I'm not saying that you are cut out for poly for sure but if you love him it's worth giving him a chance. Push back the wedding date if you have to. Is he willing to talk things through with you or does he just do what he wants to and let you just sweat about it? Not calling you when he said he would is disrespectful. You deserve to be treated with respect in any relationship that you're in.
Expect some heavy conversations when he gets back and a lot of tears. But I want you to know that what you are feeling is normal. Poly is a lot of work for everyone involved. If anyone isn't willing to put that work in, on getting to know themselves and getting to know each other, poly probably isn't for them. Good luck.
Thank you for responding. I find this forum so helpful. There are so many caring people. And right now, I need someone to care. I guess there is some comfort to know this is normal, but how do you do it when you feel so bad?
These emotions are so strong and I feel unable to control myself. I think you are right that things are going too fast, I guess I could have slowed things down, but didn't forsee having feelings quite so powerful. Right now, none of this seems worth it, if I will be going through this everytime he is with someone. I don't see how this meets my needs at all.
I am not interested in just going out and finding someone to be with when he is, I do spend time with my friends, but most of them would never understand this and tell me to dump him. My fear is that they may be right and I have been lying to myself about how open I am.
In line with what Derby said, I highly recommend a very long engagement while you figure things out. Take care and talk to your friends...they might not agree but are they not valued enough to hear out? If you marry and live a poly lifestyle they will eventually find out. Stay true to what your heart says and stay healthy.
Hi Leslie and thanks for stopping by and sharing !
I'm with Derby & mono - I'd think that any marriage shouldn't be in the immediate future. You both are still trying to figure out each other - and yourselves ! A marriage at that point would only complicate things for you both. It can change the whole dynamic (not for the better).
I wouldn't take any lack of communication at this point personally. There could be a variety of reasons from poor/no reception to a lost device. Or maybe just a whirlwind time trying to optimize what little window of time they have available. Try putting the shoe on the other foot maybe ? :)
The stress and anguish is all perfectly understandable. Breath deep ! It will pass. Use the other side of your brain to balance the reality and don't let just the emotional side hold sway. You'll be needing that skill set anyway :)
Good luck and keep us posted.
You folks are so awesome, each response is so thoughtful and really helps
Let me tell you what has happened and some of my thoughts about it.
After the awful night, of trying to get in touch and texting and leaving messages. He finally calls me after I leave a message on her phone.
He is completely shocked at the depth of my despair, not having looked at his texts or listened to the messages I sent that were progressively more desperate sounding.
He is very upset and saddened by how I feel. He feels terrible and apologizes for not looking at the messages. The two of them go out for breakfast and together decide that he should cut short his visit and he immediately gets a plane back across the country to be with me.
When he returns, I am still so hurt and triggered that it takes a very long time to think coherently, while he patiently listens and tells me he loves me.
At some point, he decides to give up on Polyamory entirely, seeing that it is too painful for me.
Later the next day, he tells me that he will not be seeing her again, and then tells her. We are now planning a monogamous relationship together.
BUT.. This is really not possible, he is now so hurt by the thought of never seeing her again, and monogamy, that he goes into deep grief. It is real, not manipulative and very difficult all around. Although I feel relieved that he is willing to sacrifice so much for me, I know it is wrong to do this. We talk a lot more and I figure out some of the elements that went wrong with our poly experiment. Firstly, I should never have spent my evening when he was gone with someone so openly hostile to poly and to him. Second, If he were willing to just text me something reassuring, I think I would have been fine.
Third, he totally freaked his girlfriend by telling her about us getting married. she felt betrayed and confused and was not really in on what poly is all about. She is in the process of breaking up with her husband, has 4 kids and is very emotionally needy and also was raised in a very conventional way. She was thinking about a reunion that would end with a ring on HER finger someday soon.
So here is my idea, please let me know what you think.
I think the the ladies in this situation need to have more control of the outcome. Throughout this, we have been learning about each other through email and have a pretty good rapport.
I want to do several things, apologize to her for my rampant emotionalism, second, suggest that we discuss what was really bad about the situation and come up with a list of things that we do not want to have happen again, and what we would like to have happen, if we were to try again .
One thing I think is that there is tremendous power in women working together as opposed to being in competition. If we planned the times together, I think it would work out better. The man in this situation finds this idea hot.
Next, I am actually interested in having a sexual relationship with her as well. I think that would be interesting, and maybe even a threesome, also.
Also, I think it would be good to have her come to our home, so she is away from the stresses of her family and wouldn't have to be in a sleazy motel room where she feels like a whore.
What do you think of this idea? Please let me know what you think is terribly wrong or stuff that seems ok.
You sound very much like me a couple of years ago
I had a very similar experience at the beginning of my relationship with Z. Two differences: we were planning to live together rather than getting married and she wasn't expecting a ring on her finger as a possible outcome.
We too had discussed the idea of polyamory intellectually but I was totally blown away by the painful emotional intensity that erupted from inside of me when he actually went away to be with her. And they weren't even sexual.
In the couple of years we have been together I have experienced the deepest most loving relationship of my life but we have also bounced backwards and forwards between him trying to give her up and me trying to accept polyamory.
This forum has been a really positive thing because I am actually seeing poly now as a positive for our life rather than a necessary evil that I just have to earn to live with.
It sounds as if things have got better for you but it won't be an easy steady path, you will still have emotional highs and lows when you seriously wonder whether it is all worth it.
We have had Z's secondary to stay and we have stayed with her but to this point she has found it very difficult to be the same around him when I am around. This is our next step. Accepting being a secondary in someone's life is also a very difficult thing. One thing in poly, life is rarely boring.
breaking through old thought patterns and ideas is never easy. But notice how well you reviewed the situation after you had gotten yourself into a 'safe' place (mentally). And see the wonderful, sensible plan you came up with.
So very proud of you !
I especially like the idea of women working together.
I always worry about women who date for the sole purpose of finding husbands, expecting each relationship to one day lead to a ring on the finger. It's kind of stupid. Forces them to do unnatural things to steer the relationship the way they want it, rather than allowing it to unfold naturally.
Leslie, I want to say that I think your fiance made some mistakes here. Others have just passed off what he did as being caught up in the moment, but I feel differently. I do agree that he was caught up in the moment, but I don't agree that that's an excuse.
For one thing, this was the first time you had to deal with your fiance being on a date with another woman -- for that date to be a weekend getaway is a bit like going from 0-60. You were expected to share him with someone you've never met before, and for a whole weekend.
Now if you agreed to that and believed you could handle that, there's nothing wrong with it. But you had boundaries (being called and supported), and he did not follow them.
Afterwards, it sounded like you guys went too far in the opposite direction. 60-0 by slamming into a wall.
Do you guys have a tendency towards extremes? Seems like you went from one to another, skipping the middle points all along the way.
Also, by the sounds of it, your fiance wasn't entirely clear with this other woman about what his life was like and how she might fit in to it.
If I was dating someone whose partner was having a hard time, I would want to know if the partner was expected to call her. Then I would make sure he did. What's 5 minutes out of my weekend if it will help a suffering partner have some peace of mind?
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