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-   -   Breaking up...maybe transition to secondary? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29897)

mostlyclueless 10-02-2012 11:03 PM

Breaking up...maybe transition to secondary?
After many months of trying to make it work my partner is throwing in the towel. He thinks that what we want out of poly is just too different. He wants basically a commune-like living situation, with many life-partnered people living together. I just want to be a normal person who has other lovers sometimes.

I would be willing to keep working and try to find a middle ground but he has basically made up his mind that he wants only this one specific thing and I can't give it to him.

I am so heartbroken, I feel so sad and disappointed. I thought we were a family and we would continue to build our lives around each other.

He suggested that instead of breaking up completely we just transition into something more like secondaries. He said whenever his next relationship happens, he will take it very slow due to mistakes he made with me, so it will give us some time to transition.

I don't know what to think or feel about this. I don't want it at all, I want everything to stay how it is. I don't want to move and I really don't want to stop being in love with him. He thinks this is the best way to do things, and he said he will love me and be supportive when I find someone new.

Please, if anyone has any thoughts or advice, I could use your help. This is the worst breakup I have ever experienced. It hurts so badly.

GalaGirl 10-03-2012 11:18 PM

He's telling you he does not want the shape you want. Fair enough. He can want the shape HE wants from his relationship model he seeks.

Just like YOU can seek the relationship model you seek. It does NOT line up here so you guys can fly together.

Unfortunate and sad. It is painful to break up. But we do not die from that. Time will heal. You will be ok. *hug* You have to clear what you do not want before what you DO want can be invited in, and your next happiness can take hold and have space to grow in.

But this business of suggesting you stick around for something you do not want AT ALL in the first place, but in secondary form instead?!

Asking you to ignore what you know you DO want in your relationship so you can sign up to be his placeholder person to service his needs? While your needs are never going to be met here and he KNOWS he never will meet them? Asking you to compromise yourself ANYWAY and be ok with that because he will be slow when he brings his new honey over and he will be ok with it when you have your new honey? WOW! :eek: How fresh is THAT? Not loving or kind behavior.

You can skip the part about dealing with servicing his needs and dealing with his honey. Just get YOU to the healing place faster and toward your next honey without his cling on fresh.

STAY broken up. And then Run! Do not re-sign up for what you already KNOW you do not want.

And do not sign up to compromise yourself for his needs either. Meet YOUR needs. Not his. You are exes now.

You will have much better offers than THAT later down the road and hopefully closer to what you ARE looking for in relationship. You deserve happiness in the shape you are looking for.

Not leftover cling on freshness of his!

I am so sorry you are dealing with shenanigans from him. Ugh.


nycindie 10-04-2012 07:22 PM

I don't know why so many seekers of polyamory believe that the configuration has to come first, and all they need do is insert the people into it. People come first (of course), and out of that the configuration should develop organically. I believe he will be hard-pressed to find a commune, or any bunch of people ready made for communal living, and just waiting for him with open arms. He's going to have a rude awakening when he sees how much work he will have to put into maintaining any relationship if he wants to steer them all into a communal setting.

I am sorry you're going through this.

mostlyclueless 10-04-2012 07:58 PM

Thanks for both your replies.

nycindie, I agree completely. This came up in our last discussion about it last night -- for me, most of the appeal of polyamory is NOT having to predefine roles for people in my life, and letting them just be what they are. My partner is SO SET on having this specific configuration (and all of a sudden, too, this came completely out of the blue) and I agree with you that it is just a completely unrealistic expectation.

Of course when I said as much to him he was really hurt that I was calling his dream "bullshit" (his word, not mine). I am thinking before I give up completely I want to talk to him about a lot of practical issues he seems to be avoiding.

SchrodingersCat 10-04-2012 08:36 PM

Can you imagine if people turned these ideals into literals? Walk into a bar, find a pretty girl, hand her a large steel box. Tell her she smells nice and ask if she would kindly step into the box so you can carry her away. How can some people think the figurative box of group marriage doesn't sound just as ridiculous?

Talk about a bird in the hand... Or throwing out the baby with the bath water.

It sounds like you're in what could be described as a primary relationship. I don't usually use those labels myself, but does it even make sense to talk about a "secondary" when you don't have a primary to be secondary to?

Here's another approach... Let's be realistic. It's almost guaranteed that he'll never find this utopian commune he's looking for. You know this, I know this, but he does not seem to know this. So is there any harm in telling him that you're not opposed to the idea if it happens, but that you don't want to lose what you already have now in exchange for something that could take years to find? Let him go searching for this ideal, while you carry on as you were, until eventually he realizes he's not going to find what he's looking for, and drops this nonsense.

It's kind of like when I fantasize things that start with "When I'm a Millionaire..." and my husband smiles, nods, and literally pats me on the head.

mostlyclueless 10-04-2012 08:57 PM

SchrodingersCat -- I have been thinking about that. Like, even if he wants to go through the motions of "transitioning" to secondaries (mainly, me moving out) I kind of think we will end up back together anyway.

He feels like he needs a partner who is seriously committed to seeking out this lifestyle. For some reason he is willing to throw away our entire relationship on the basis of the fact that I am reluctantly/tentatively willing, but not enthusiastically dedicated to this idea.

Another thing that I am realizing as I respond to these points is that he also claims to not really want a hierarchical model -- which is hard for me to accept, but I can see some benefits to it -- yet HE is the one "demoting" me to secondary? This shit makes no fucking sense.

SchrodingersCat 10-04-2012 09:11 PM

Hear hear, sistah!

I mean, it's one thing to be in a relationship with someone who wants kids and you don't want kids. There actually are lots of people out there who want kids, so it's not unrealistic to think he could leave and find a woman who wants kids.

But if he wants to be in a love commune, he'll pretty much have to find one that already exists, make sure it hasn't reached its "penis quota," and pray that they're currently accepting applications.

Has he ever seen this work in real life? Does he know anybody living this lifestyle? Has he ever met even one single person who would be willing to do this? I don't know why I'm so bent on getting inside his head, I just don't understand some people...

Even if you were going to fake it, I envision a situation where he finds a woman dedicated to this crazy idea, but it turns out that you and she are incompatible for other reasons. Then, is he going to say "you never even wanted this, so you're just not giving her a chance" or is he going to respect your feelings?

mostlyclueless 10-04-2012 09:21 PM

He doesn't even want to find an existing situation, he wants to build it himself out of people he picks!

No, he has never seen this work. I guess we know 1 poly family in a similar situation, but he constantly uses them as an example of people who are totally dysfunctional and he doesn't even want to be friends with them!!! As far as I know he has NOT met someone willing to do this, in fact his 2 most serious long term relationships before me (including a marriage) both ended because the women had decided they wanted to be completely monogamous.

I have never asked him for monogamy, I admit I have asked for a lot of boundaries and really exhausted his patience at times, but I agree with you, holding out for this unrealistic fantasy is just nuts. NUTS.

woofwoof 10-04-2012 10:34 PM

As a member of a vee, where my metamour would rather have our boyfriend all to herself. You do not want to be there when your boyfriend falls in love with someone else. You will be miserable and unhappy and insecure. Your metamour will be devastated that you do not accept her as part of your family if that's what she wants and what your boyfriend wants. Wanting to be in a monogam-ish relationship rather than a poly one is not a bad thing! Be glad your moving on to someone who wants to be committed to just you. unlike your recent ex.

SchrodingersCat 10-05-2012 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by mostlyclueless (Post 158184)
He doesn't even want to find an existing situation, he wants to build it himself out of people he picks!

I hear you can order girls on the internet for that kind of thing... The first one will get a green card... Then he'll have to find some guys to marry the other ones. Or does his fantasy entail himself and a harem of devoted brides?

OK now I'm just being mean. I'll stop.

But at this point, I might show him this thread... Maybe hearing from enough people who have experience with polyamory will clue him in that his ideals are absolutely unrealistic. Do a search here for "unicorn hunter" and you'll find countless other examples of couples seeking a similar arrangement, and all kinds of experienced polyamorists telling them they're crazy.

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