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-   -   confusing breakup (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4106)

Marle 11-01-2010 03:26 AM

confusing breakup
Hi there. I'm in a poly marriage and I live with my husband and his girlfriend. But this isn't about them. My first secondary partner just broke up with me this week, and I kinda don't know how this happened.

We'd been dating for three months, but I didn't know, until he was breaking up with me, that he was actually against polyamory. He was telling me how he wanted to have a relationship with someone that could get to marriage, and I reminded him that (obviously) he could see someone else while seeing me. But he said that he wouldn't want to be with someone who would let him do that. He wouldn't accept his partner seeing anyone else, so he didn't want his partner to accept that of him. Wait, what? was my response.

How did I wind up with someone who was against poly? Probably because I didn't think that would be possible if I was open and clear about my situation, given that I'm living in a poly household. Wouldn't adamantly mono people just stay clear of that kinda thing, because that's not what they're looking for? I assumed that anyone who would get involved with me would be at least open and curious about poly. But the ex never actually was. We never talked about what we wanted out of a relationship. It was great at the beginning, and I didn't think there was anything to talk about, because it was great as it was, and we'd have time to figure out what it would be later. I made the mistake with my husband's girlfriend of worrying at the beginning about where was it going to go, where could it go, etc, and there were no answers at the time. I eventually let go of the worry, and now she lives with us and it's pretty cool. So I didn't think anything of not having a game plan in the first few months. Another warning sign was that he didn't want to spend time with my husband. But at the time my husband was leery of him too, as he was just starting to get used to jealousy from his perspective. So it was easy not to have them ever see each other.

So we had a great relationship for 2 months (NRE and everything :) ) and then he started becoming distant and withdrawn. This correlated with some things in his life that would make one pretty stressed and depressed, so I didn't push too much at the change. I kept trying to talk to him though, but he didn't want to talk. Then it was over. I found out during our breakup talk that he had basically been trying to ignore that I was married and that got harder and harder. Because of the situation and the way he was looking at it, he got very bitter about our relationship and polyamory in general. He wasn't seeing the opportunities of poly, he was seeing it as keeping us apart. And I had no idea that he was feeling that way. By the time I finally knew how he felt, it was clear there was no fixing it. He doesn't want to be polyamorous, he doesn't want to be with someone who is. I just wish he figured that out three months ago before starting this.

I'm kinda lost right now, because I wasn't expecting it to end. I never expected we had problems that were completely unrepairable.

Has anyone else ever gotten in a relationship with someone who unexpectedly turned out to be monogamous? How does that even happen? It wasn't like we were in a relationship for a while that he assumed to be mono. It wasn't like we had been friends and he had a secret crush on me and jumped at the chance as soon as he found out. I went on a dating site and put in my profile that I was married and not much else, and ten minutes after I posted that he was messaging me. Before we ever even talked on the phone he had a clear picture of my life. I don't know what he thought about polyamory at that time. I never thought he could think negatively about it and still pursue a relationship with me. Maybe he thought we'd have a just-sex relationship and then we didn't? I don't even know.

Anyone with similar stories? Advice to get over it? Advice to make sure it doesn't happen again?

MonoVCPHG 11-01-2010 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by Marle (Post 50993)
Maybe he thought we'd have a just-sex relationship and then we didn't? I don't even know.


I think you've nailed it right here. When I first got together with Redpepper, I thought we would have a casual, time filling relationship because she was married and with other people. So, yes I thought it was going to be mostly about sex.

Well, I fell for her in no time (almost instantly :o) and things definitely changed. I had always identified as mono from the get go and have never waivered on that. We worked extremely hard to overcome the differences between our natures but one thing that never phased me was that she had a husband. It made me nervous and a little worried that he was going to kill me.
A lot of this type of mono/poly dynamic is dependant on life experience. Like it or not, most monos are going to want to experience things like the rest of thier mono friends and the greater bulk of society. Your boyfriend does not sound like he has enough of this to fulfill those needs.

Keep in mind that being with someone who is poly does not make someone poly. It makes them poly friendly or accepting and there is a considerable difference.

Marle 11-01-2010 07:37 PM

Thanks for responding. :)

Based on the conversation we had when we broke up, I don't think he was actually poly friendly or accepting, which shocked me because I didn't think a mono person could get involved with a (honest, open) poly person if they were actually against polyamory. I think what happened is once he developed feelings for me he tried to pretend I wasn't married, because he didn't understand enough about poly to process it. That obviously didn't work too well, and by the time I got out of him what he was feeling he was just really bitter about the situation, and he was long past the time we could have worked it out. I just never knew how he was feeling, and I feel confused and like an idiot for not. I try to tell myself that they're only so much I could do, I'm not a mind reader and I did try to talk to him about how he felt, he just always had something else that was getting him down and not me. But then I wonder how I'd prevent that from happening in the future? Maybe I'll date only married people from now on. ;-)

MonoVCPHG 11-01-2010 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by Marle (Post 51059)
Maybe I'll date only married people from now on. ;-)

That could work LOL! Later down the road, he may explore a poly relationship again and things would be different, maybe not. You were his first exposure so he didn't have any developed skills or knowledge to pull through. Don't blame yourself, the way you see things is probably so totally foreign to the way he does that you can't be blamed for missing things.

The important thing is that you learned something and therefore are now in a better place to build something healthier and more positive in the future :D

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