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-   -   Mixed signals...now what? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4126)

mumbles 11-03-2010 07:17 PM

Mixed signals...now what?
Hi all,

Mumbles here, checking in. Since I last posted I've been really working on improving my personal relationships in all aspects of my life. It's been difficult, but positive; people have noticed, so I hear, and that's definitely a good thing.

That all being said...I'm still floundering around, and I just don't know what to do.

A quick recap; C (my wife) and I talked about opening up our marriage; she was enthusiastic, followed by apprehensive, which is pretty reasonable. That weekend I went out with my crush, S, and had a good time...until I ruined everything with my big mouth. We were both drunk and got a ride to her place from the bar, I had planned on staying there (she has an extra bed). Anyway, that night against my drunken better judgement I told her a lot about how I felt about her...it's still unclear to me exactly how she reacted to it. As far as I can tell, the fact that I'm married was the big hangup. But that aside, I just can't tell if there's anything there, or if I'm just seeing things.

I apologized for acting out of line the next day, and she accepted - noting that she wasn't upset, or anything, and that she didn't really think I owed her an apology.

Anyway...I expected things to be really weird after that, but they haven't really been. We sort of both agreed to pretend like that night didn't happen - but I think her perspective is that I was trying to cheat, even though I wasn't - sadly, I don't know how well my drunken self conveyed this notion. Poorly, I imagine. I know she said "things would be different [if I wasn't married], but I don't know if that was just figurative pat on the back for a hypothetical she figures is impossible, or what.

I just can't figure it out, guys. We were at a Halloween party last weekend, and nothing was weird - in fact, we flirted and touched more than we ever have, a fair amount in front of my wife C, who has actually been in favor of hanging out with S and I a lot. I expected S to act really differently, like try to ignore me, but she wasn't doing that at all. S and C danced together (with me) a fair amount, which was a blast and a half, but again, really confusing.

I guess my question is to the girls out there who have become gf's of married guys...

I know the details are too sparse to really weigh in, but does it sound like S has any feelings for me? I had some limited opportunity to talk to her about it, but we were both so drunk and awkward that the conversation really wasn't that helpful. Why would she keep our relationship so flirty and touchy AFTER I talked to her, if she'd been weirded out, or put off?

Part of me wishes I could just make this go away. I've thought if I could just make her hate me somehow, I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore, but I know I can't bring myself to do anything like that...

On the other hand... C has been really supportive and almost...enthusiastic about it? I had a talk with her sometime after the drunk friday, which was in some respects a rough talk - it wasn't really a 'cheating' conversation, but a spiritual cousin, I suppose - but it ended really well, and I think she's pretty warm to the idea now, especially since her needs are getting met so much more effectively since we talked. It's an amazing show of security on C's part to be engaged in becoming closer friends with S...it almost feels like we're courting her together, which I suppose isn't totally surprising.

I also think that's the only way this will ever work, is if she gets close enough to both of us to realize "it's okay," or whatever, but that's going to take time, and I'm just impatient I guess.

For the record, after a lot of reflection, yes, I am interested in an emotional connection with S, that's what I really hunger for...If she could get past the stigma, I could even see it working really well for her - she's pretty busy with work a lot of the time, but could really use someone to be there for her...

Anyway, for the time being I'm going to just keep trying to be as good a friend as I can, and let C help things along if they're there to help. I've noticed that I call S "babe" pretty regularly now, it's just become my pet name for her - even in front of C, which is kinda funny (C will always be Bear), C doesn't seem to mind at all, which is really cool.

So...what I have is...an incredibly awesome, loving, supportive wife, who is at the very least interested/curious about this, and...a perplexing relationship with a girl I have a hard time understanding, who is constantly sending me mixed signals...big sigh.

Dunno what I'm asking for here, and I know I'm particularly rambly, but as usual it just feels good to share. Any comments or ideas or insight, especially from "secondary" gf's, would be really appreciated...thanks!

redpepper 11-04-2010 04:03 AM


Originally Posted by mumbles (Post 51283)
Anyway, for the time being I'm going to just keep trying to be as good a friend as I can, and let C help things along if they're there to help.

This, you decided already that you want to be a good friend to her and to connect with her over and above any kind of official relationship, so keep at it I think... maybe not over think it all? It sounds like things are good and if you ever find a moment where you are not drunk to tell her so, take it. There isn't a need to have descriptions of what we are to each other or what we do necessarily. Unless it helps to be able to talk to her and others about what it means... and then you get a whole set of preconceived rules that go along with that description/definition... ya, wait it out I think and see where you get :)

mumbles 11-04-2010 05:37 AM

Thanks redpepper...I was just kind of worked up and needed to vent it out I think.

That being said...S just lied to me tonight...I don't handle being lied to very well. It's, uh, going to make things a lot 'easier' for me now. <.<

diane 11-04-2010 05:58 AM

Talk to her
I think she likes you. Well, i suggest you talk to her and find out her feelings for you, she would not risk flirting with you in your wife's presence if she did not like you. Ask her whether she is ok with Poly..., if she is ok with it, then go ahead and talk to your wife about it. If she is not ok, then keep it at a friendship level, dont even Flirt.

Am also new to poly, and my bf is married, he opened up to his wife which was so hurting to her but she was so understanding to atleast try the poly relationship. I have a few challenges, but life is an experience, and lets see. maybe we can be happy.

Ask me if you have more questions for me.

mumbles 11-04-2010 06:28 AM

Yea, honestly after tonight I think I gave her too much credit. If you treat people 2nd class you can expect to be treated 2nd class. grrrr

redpepper 11-04-2010 07:09 AM

What happened mumbles?

mumbles 11-04-2010 03:58 PM

Just caught her in a really poorly crafted/totally unnecessary lie about plans... it was just really low and uncalled for. Why can't people just be honest?

SNeacail 11-04-2010 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by mumbles (Post 51373)
Just caught her in a really poorly crafted/totally unnecessary lie about plans... it was just really low and uncalled for. Why can't people just be honest?

My husband does this to avoid conflict. If he thinks I will explode or be hurt (very likely), then he will hem and hah around a subject or just flat out lie about it to avoid my reaction. 19 years and I'm still telling him that my reaction will be 100 times worse when I find out that he lied to me than any reaction to the actual situation. Not only will I be more angry, I will also assume there is more that he is not telling me that is 10 times worse than anything he could think of and trying to convince me otherwise will be much harder than telling me the truth in the first place.

Talk to her about this. Why did she think it necessary to lie to you?

eklctc 11-04-2010 08:23 PM

Yea...regardless of the reason why people do it...people who lie to supposedly avoid the 'whatever the result may be for being honest' should give themselves and/or the receiver of the information more credit instead of rationalizing being a liar. I respect honest, communicative people because they show me respect by allowing themselves to share honestly and provide me with the opportunity to come to my own, informed decision about a situation. I, personally, am an honest person and, yes, I have paid in various ways (some physically abrasive) for that honesty. Not many can handle honesty but I can't handle knowing I have intentionally held back requested information or left out details I know they are really inquiring about. That eats at me.

mumbles, honesty and open commuication (at whatever level that works for the parties involved) is very important in the creation and sustenance of these relationships so ... this situation is good 'food for thought' as you continue your journey.

redpepper 11-04-2010 09:11 PM

Honesty is all good, but its also important how its delivered. Being careful how to use words and maybe suggesting what words we need to hear next time can be really helpful. I like to hear peoples honesty, but I don't like to feel battered after. I also like to know what people want to hear if I have come across abrasively or not conducted myself well in their eyes.

I think its important to be patient and keep things positive and compassionate. So often there seems to be this one uping that people do. Kind of this idea of "see! You fucked up and should know better." well, really, we are all learning constantly and if people aren't compassionate and honest about how they feel at the same time then how else do we move forward having learned?

On the same token, we also need to be open to receiving feed back as much as being brave enough to take a risk and give it.

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