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-   -   Told it was over as secondary because partner could not meet needs? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36578)

EnderSavesAll 01-07-2013 12:36 PM

Told it was over as secondary because partner could not meet needs?
Looking for perspective. A few weeks ago my partner of 4+ months told me she could not continue our relationship. They are married and have been together 2 years and we had been talking for 6 months but together for a little less. I thought thinks had been going very well, but she let me know that meeting my time and sexual needs was too much of a strain for her. I was told that because I am still mono that being in a poly relationship is not fair to me and that I should go find someone to be my everything. Besides her husband she has another partner who is LDR.

GalaGirl 01-07-2013 03:00 PM

I'm sorry. Breaking up stinks. I'm glad she was up front as best as she could be with you though. I rather have that than be given "run around."


I thought thinks had been going very well, but she let me know that meeting my time and sexual needs was too much of a strain for her.
Fair enough. If meeting your needs is a strain for her, it is a strain. IF she's no longer willing and able, she's no longer willing and able.

But were you given opportunity to discuss to double check and see if some of your needs are actually wants rather than need-to-haves, and can be compromised on to alleviate the strain so the relationship can continue? Or she's just done?


I was told that because I am still mono that being in a poly relationship is not fair to me and that I should go find someone to be my everything.
You can be monoamorous and ok in a polyship. (Are you ok and happy in it?)

Is it about her? That SHE is not comfortable with dating a monoamorous person and dealing with her guilty feelings over it somehow? If the problem is her, it is kinder for her to own it when breaking up than try to shoosh it on you like you being monoamorous and poly-willing is somehow a failing! It isn't! And she doesn't determine what is "fair" and tolerable for you. You do. YOU decide what you are willing/not willing to accept.


EnderSavesAll 01-07-2013 03:33 PM

I had asked for more time a week before but it was a want not a need. She kind of dropped her issues as one big bomb and I broke down.

I tried to discuss compromise to deal with them, but that is when she actually ended the relationship. She just decided she was done. I think it was about her, it really bother her the lengths I was willing to work on this while she said there was nothing she could do. She decided that wasn't fair to me to give so much for so little back. Once she came to that conclusion I had no say. It was too much for her. She couldn't let me do that.

EnderSavesAll 01-07-2013 03:39 PM

Note this was her first poly relationship and she is still recently married.

AnnabelMore 01-07-2013 05:30 PM

Were you interested in possibly dating others at some point, or were you set on her being your only partner? If the former, I think her decision was unfair and premature. If the latter, maybe it really was for the best, if being co-primary with her husband wasn't considered a possible option down the line. Either way, I feel for you, it sucks to be told you're being broken up with for your own good. In addition to the normal hurt, you end up feeling condescended to.

EnderSavesAll 01-07-2013 06:35 PM

She knew from the beginning that I was poly curious but not decided. I was open to the idea but not sure how to try or if it was me yet. She decided after 4 months that I clearly was mono, a call which may be true but I still haven't made. I still don't know now. I think part of the pressure on her is we were very much close to co-primaries or were for a bit. The problem is her husband has never had a partner and while he says he is poly has not been trying. That puts more pressure on her as she was trying to meet everyone's needs. That also hurts because as the secondary not having my own partner meant our end, the primary is safe to not look if he wishes.

nycindie 01-07-2013 06:39 PM

Gawd, I hate when someone makes a decision for me, as if I am unable to take care of myself. That sucks! I'll be the one to decide what I can and cannot handle!

Sorry to hear it went down that way, without even giving you a chance to state what you wanted. Grrr.

AnnabelMore 01-07-2013 06:49 PM

It is possible for someone to have two primary partners even when neither of them has another partner. Phy's story, in the life stories section, is an example of that. I mean, its all well and good for her to not want too much pressure, but what if both you and her husband had found other partners, but then both suffered break-ups? Would she have insisted you both find new partners again, to avoid making her feel pressured? Best to take each relationship on its own merits, rather than making them dependent on each other, I'd say.

GalaGirl 01-07-2013 07:07 PM

It sounds like polymath pressure built up for her as the hinge person maybe?
  • First, recently married. So perhaps she is not solid on "working things out skills" with the husband. How he and her communicate.
  • Second, first poly relationship for her.
  • Third, she is not solid on her "working things out with you" skills. How you and her communicate.
  • Fourth, weird guilt of hers with her having another partner and you not.

Being polyamorous has nothing to do with current number of partners. One can be SINGLE and polyamorous.

Having the skills required to polyship well in a "V" shape is another thing -- either as the hinge "shared sweetie" person or one of the "V arm" people.

Again, I'm sorry you are dealing with the pain of a break up.

It sounds like it was up front as much as possible under the circumstances.
You were willing and able to work things out. She was not willing and able.

You have learned what so far from the experience?
  • That maybe you like a co-primary model of open relationship?
  • That maybe you don't like a primary-secondary model? Some other model?
  • That maybe you want to ask your future shared sweetie how good they are balancing needs? And dealing with other partner jealous of you? (Was the husband jealous?)
  • That maybe you prefer this type of break up -- up front? Something else?
  • What your polysaturation point and that your future partner is good with that?
  • Time management expectations?
  • Conflict resolution expectations?

Breaking up isn't fun. But that doesn't meant the experience wasn't worthwhile. Do the TLC you need to do for yourself. Heal. Then when you are ready to move forward, you could see what you can bring forward with you from this experience for your own benefit.

Hang in there!

EnderSavesAll 01-07-2013 08:32 PM

I'm not sure she was ready for the balancing and compromise needed to handle multiple relationships. She also said she had not planned on. Our relationship becoming as strong as it did. We spent most of it undefined and for a while called it equal but then things were shifting I was feeling much more secondary again despite coming very close to a couple primary relationship. I would have been very happy with Co primary but she said that was not something good she could give. I think she originally wanted her other relationships to be more casual and tertiary but that was never discussed when we started.

If I learned of each thing it is better communication and clear expectations from the start and ongoing. We were originally undefined, got labeled serious and then issues were held in. I may be taking a step back from poly for a while.

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