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-   -   Relationship in crisis. Help (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40734)

ConfusedPartner 02-16-2013 09:29 AM

Relationship in crisis. Help
Hi all,
I need help.
I entered into a relationship with my partner more than a year ago with the understanding that it would be an open relationship...we would share adventures together, and group sex was not an issue.

Over the past month, my partner, who lives in another town, and whom I see only over the weekends, has developed a relationship with another woman. We had a threesome with her the first day I met her, and he never told me that he had slept with her before. He had, but when asked, he said no. After a blow up over that, I dropped it.

But since then, he has made sent signals that he wants us to be a poly househols. He has never actually talked to me about this and consulted me on whether this was ok with me. When I tried to bring it up, he went balisitc and said I wanted to control the situation. When I tried talking to him about this a second time, he reassured me that his relationship with her was not that important...that I was his focus.

Since then, he has suggested to her (in front of me), that she introduce us to her parents.

I am really confused. What should I do? I am afraid of asking for a group conversation again, because of how angry he was the last time. I am afraid of having a conversation with him in private because he says that I always complain and "make him pay" for having a good time and bringing adventure to our lives.

So confused. I did not sign up for a poly relationship...and I feel like I'm being manipulated into one.

Marcus 02-16-2013 02:35 PM


Originally Posted by ConfusedPartner (Post 184833)
I did not sign up for a poly relationship...and I feel like I'm being manipulated into one.

Ordinarily I don't buy in to statements like this, but in this instance I'd agree with you. He's not being honest (with you) and doesn't sound like he plans on starting that trend any time soon.

In the end, you decide what kind of relationship you are in. Be honest with yourself when you are figuring this out. Do you not want to be in a more poly set-up because you weren't asked? Or is it against your fundamental worldview entirely, regardless of how it was presented? Once you feel like you have a handle on what you want then you get started on the task of deciding how to go about getting it.

Either way, if what you are saying is the unbiased truth, you both need to do a great amount of work on your communication skill set.

GalaGirl 02-17-2013 05:54 AM

Could just state all that you state are your problems to him:

1) I agreed to an Open relationship. I did not sign up for a poly relationship. What open relationship model are you after?

2) I do not feel physically safe with you. (Lied about sex with her before, could put you at health risk!)

3) I do not feel emotionally safe with you.
  • Blows up angry.
  • Blame shifts to you
  • (In order to avoid serious relationship conversation and being held accountable.)

4) What are his suggestions for getting back into right relationship? Here are your suggestions. What's he willing to do?

BUT BEFORE YOU EVEN GO THERE... could examine this. Why do you want to be with an unsafe person like this? Why be with this guy? What does he bring to you that is wonderful, loving and kind? :confused:

You feel manipulated? That's an alarm bell ringing. Could choose to pay attention. Could spare yourself a LOT of future grief by choosing to sit with that for a while before doing anything else above in purple. Weigh out his worthiness and trustworthiness on your inner balance scale.

Is he worthy of you? Me? I'd walk away. :(

he says that I always complain and "make him pay" for having a good time and bringing adventure to our lives.
He sounds like he values HIS good time above all others and doesn't want to be held accountable to anything vaguely responsible in an open or poly relationship.

I am sorry you are hurting. Please do take good care of you. Step away from shenanigans. He sounds too shenanigan-y to me. :(

My 2 cents.

doxyflower 02-17-2013 07:53 PM

I agree. Remember that nobody can/should manipulate you into a relationship that is not right FOR YOU. You have free choice here. I understand Life happens. I'm sure he was not expecting to find himself feeling this way about this other person. But HELLO??? He needed to communicate! Not let things get to the point where he is wanting to share households without having a LOT of communication with you about how he is feeling and how YOU FEEL! :(

A big flag here is that you are afraid to bring anything up because he gets angry. You are responsible for communicating your needs, he is responsible for his reactions to that communication. Sounds like he is avoiding accountability on many levels which tells me this is not someone who has the emotional maturity to be a partner to ONE...let alone TWO!

Integrity is never something I want to have to negotiate for with someone. It is either there or it isn't. He is lacking in that department...do you truly feel he could earn your trust again?

HUGS to you and hang in there. Take care of YOU here. ;)

jmk 02-17-2013 10:57 PM

all i can do is re-iterate all the good advise given above, and tell you that if it doesn't feel right to you, it isn't right.

ConfusedPartner 02-17-2013 11:35 PM

Thank you all for your advice and comments.
Since I posted this, my partner and I have had a conversation, in which I sensed honesty and clarity from him. I did not feel manipulated.

He has told me that he lied about sex with her and he is sorry for it, that it was not how he should have handled it. He has reiterated that our relationship is fundamental, and that harming our relationship is never on the table.

I am reassured by this, and am willing to give what we have a chance. Looking back, I also can see that I have been interpreting everything he has said and done from the lens of "He lied about this; I can't trust him; I presume the worse."

Your advice that I should ask myself why I am opposed to this is very important, and I am not entirely sure that I have thought that out. He may have been manipulating me into this poly relationship, but I may also have been assessing it through my emotionally wounded perspective. Both can be true at the same time.

So I have decided to go with the flow for now, to be open, and above all, to be open and honest to all parties -- including myself. I will trust him and make my decisions from a positive place rather than a negative one.

This is my hope, anyway. Easier said than done, right? But, emotional manipulation or not, this relationship is worth saving. This has been a bad episode for us...we usually are so much in sync that this lack of communication has left us feeling helpless.

But I feel our conversation has allowed for some clearing of the air. It gives us the opportunity to come at this from a better place...together, rather than at odds.

I hope we can work through this.

Thank you all.

kdt26417 02-18-2013 11:02 PM

Sounds like things are going much better now. That's good to hear. Keep us posted as the situation evolves.

ConfusedPartner 02-19-2013 03:16 PM

I have thought about what really upsets me the most. Yes, he lied to me about the relationship to begin with, but I can get past that.
I am also not upset when he spends time with her during the week.
But we have a long distance relationship and only see eachother during the weekends. And what really hurts me is when he wants to share that precious time we have together with his new girlfriend. Also very hurtful is that during the whole weekend that the three of us spend together, he behaves with her the way he does with me...the snuggles, the silly quirky playful things he does etc. And while I realize that all this goes in when they are alone together, having it rubbed in my face all weekend, and never having equal alone time with him to share these intimacies feels devastating.
I talked to him about it. He says he just wants to enjoy both of us together. I understand this impulse. So I've suggested that on weekends the three of us have play time together, but then he and I get alone time as well.

The weekend is a few days away. And I'm both looking forward to trying the new set up...but also nervous that it will not happen.

Keeping fingers crossed. We've played casually with others before, but never had him be in love with the other person then. This whole poly thing is new to me, and I am just going by my gut alone here.

jmk 02-19-2013 03:38 PM

good luck! sounds promising, and a little scary. sometimes that is a good thing!;)

learninginTN 02-19-2013 03:47 PM

I'm sorry things are not working the way you like in this relationship. It's frustrating to be with someone whom you don't feel comfortable expressing yourself. Quite often this is due to the other party being defensive (like this guy) and not validating your feelings. I go through this all the time with my W (although it's getting better with therapy). It's frustrating to feel you have to constantly defend your feelings and have your partner try to convince you your feelings are somehow invalid. Feelings just are, and if your partner does not validate them, eventually you stop sharing. Then communication goes out the window, leading to misunderstanding and hurt. And then you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of having your wants understood and met.

There's a wonderful book out there called "The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work" by John Gottman. It contains wonderful advice on communicating in an effective way. The advice is applicable to partners in any relationship. I suggest reading it. It really is eye-opening reading about the mistakes people make when trying to discuss something important.

Eventually you're going to have to make your wants and needs known in a manner that suggests the status quo is not working for you. It's entirely appropriate for you to want some alone time with him that is not shared. If you're really his "primary", he'll understand this. Otherwise he's just being a bully who insists on getting his way with everything. Maybe suggest a compromise, like every other weekend you get him all to yourself.

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