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-   -   The First Broken Heart (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4456)

StrangerinKS 12-13-2010 04:58 PM

The First Broken Heart
Well, that was fast.

Three months ago, I fell in love with a beautiful woman. Both my wife and her husband approved of our relationship. The first month was total bliss...a lot of sex-related NRE no doubt, but also just amazing intellectual chemistry. She helped me through some difficult emotional problems, and I helped her through some of hers.

Then it fell apart. I went on a business trip. While I was gone, she had an encounter with another man. That was fine, it wasn't against our rules or anything like that. I did have some jealousy over it, but I got through it in a few days.

But then things went downhill from there. Her other guy lived 10 minutes from her house, while I am 40 miles away. Due to my work schedule, I could only see her once a week or so. She began seeing him two, then three, then four, then five times a week. The thing that hurt the most was that she just presented this as fait accompli, not giving me time to adjust. She continued to say through all of this that I was her primary lover (other than her husband of course) and that the other guy was just someone she was having fun with. However, she was spending so much time with him that the things we used to do, texting and emails and chatting and phone calls, tapered off dramatically.

I coped as best as I could and was doing the best I could to accept the situation. Finally, three weeks ago, during our weekly get-together, I asked her if I was really still her primary lover, or if the other guy was now. She admitted that the other guy was now her main interest both romantically and sexually, but that she still loved me. I told her that it was really hard to go from being the primary lover to the secondary lover without seeming to have any input in the matter and I needed time to think about it.

She then told me that the "main" reason she had chosen him was that it was "easier" to be with him because she knew she was hurting me by being with him since he isn't as sensitive as I am. Essentially, when I demonstrated pain over the situation, it just made her want to be with the other guy more, which of course just made my pain worse. Irony: she said the reason she fell in love with me in the first place is because I am so honest and open emotionally. Apparently it is the same reason she ended up picking the other guy.

It was a no-win situation. I felt like she was giving me an ultimatum: "stop feeling bad about this or I will leave you completely." It felt like blackmail, and I wouldn't stand for that, so I finally took the initative and broke up with her. My wife says I deserve someone much better than this person turned out to be. I know that is true, yet my heart still bleeds with pain, and I can't get this woman out of my head.

We've had a few scattered electronic contacts in the last two weeks and she says she misses me tremendously and still loves me but does not want to cause me further pain. Despite all that happened, i still feel love for her too. But it co-exists with a huge amount of pain. I was hoping that taking the initiative and breaking up with her myself would help me heal from what felt like a betrayal, but it just made it worse.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to cope? I still love her and want to be friends with her, but the dichotomy between the love and the pain is ripping me apart.

SNeacail 12-13-2010 05:53 PM

It sounds like you were in love with this woman and emotionally invested in her, but she was in it for the sex. It doesn't sound like she want's an emotional connection with her partners, just someone to play with.

StrangerinKS 12-13-2010 06:13 PM

in love
Yes, I was in love with her and heavily invested emotionally. I still think I am in love with her.

She SAID she was in love with me too, and even that she still is. But she also says that she is in love with the other guy, and she didn't understand why I made it so complicated. I tried to explain that I was having a hard time because the rules kept changing so quickly, without my input and without giving me time to adjust. Even that I would have gotten used to in time I think, but the part I could not take was when she said that it was my pain and confusion over the situation that was pushing her to be with the other guy. I felt like she was trying to put the burden of responsibility for her own choices onto me.

I just don't know how to get over this. The wound is very deep.

nycindie 12-13-2010 06:47 PM

I agree that it seems you did make things more complicated than they needed to be. In your first post, you said that her seeing someone else wasn't against your rules, and yet you are upset that the rules "kept changing." You were able to see her once a week, but you couldn't enjoy being with her because you were focused on her relationship with the other guy instead of what you two had together. Why should it matter whether she labels you her primary, secondary, tertiary -- or her little nincompoop, for that matter -- as long as you are having a good time and enjoying each other's company? I have to say, it seems that you let yourself become a bit clingy and possessive. It sounds like you got caught up in a whirlwind and did not want to come back down to earth. And now you're having a tantrum. If I were her, I would have felt as if there were nothing I could do that would satisfy you, or help assuage your insecurities. You would've pushed me away, too! To me, it looks like your broken heart involves an awful lot of wounded pride. Sorry to be so blunt, but that's my take on it -- and I do offer my opinion in the hope that it can be helpful to you in some way. I think the best way you can deal with this is to look at your part, and what you were responsible for in how it all played out.

StrangerinKS 12-13-2010 06:51 PM

That's fine, I don't disagree with anything you've said here. Obviously my insecurities had a great deal to do with it, and yes, I am working on myself.

Jade 12-14-2010 03:25 AM

Distance and time. You were farther away and had less time. I doubt she'll keep up the pace she has been with him. Can't imagine five times a week will sit well with her husband for long. It may be that she'll reach for you when the pendulum starts swinging back. You may not want it, but umm, don't be surprised.

redpepper 12-14-2010 07:23 PM

It sounds to me like she might be a bit of an NRE junkie. The NRE died down with you and your absence for work didn't help that, and so she found another to have that energy with.

There is nothing wrong with NRE if there is some control over it and all the foundations of poly are at play. For me the foundations are to respect, communicate honestly and openly, have integrity and empathy. It sounds like she was a bit short of empathy and not entirely respectful as a result. It doesn't sound like your feelings weren't considered by her and that you were made to suck it up while she just went ahead and did whatever she wanted... I don't know, as I don't have her story, but that is what it is sounding like from your perspective when she said was more drawn to him because of your hurt and pain.

I don't see why you needed to break up though. I guess if it was all too much then ya, but there might of been room to negotiate your boundaries a bit more and a long conversation with her and him might of achieved some more appropriate boundaries for all of you.

There is no reason you had to give up your once a week and be in her life with less texts etc. You could of requested that when you see her for a weekly date that there only be an hour of conversation about him and the rest be free to talk about other stuff and requested that in order to feel she loves you that she text you once a day... that's the thing with poly, you can work out whatever dynamic works... to me it sounds like you were on the verge of that and then threw the baby out with the bathwater and gave up because it was too hard and you wanted it over... well, it doesn't sound over, because you are still hurting and so is she.

nycindie 12-14-2010 10:17 PM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 55751)
I don't see why you needed to break up . . . There is no reason you had to give up your once a week and be in her life with less texts etc. You could of requested that when you see her for a weekly date . . . it sounds like you were on the verge of that and then threw the baby out with the bathwater . . .

I agree with RP on this. I actually was going to add something about that to my post, but didn't for some reason. I think you two could still work it out and continue with the relationship, but you have to deal with your insecurities and know what the parameters are. Plus focus on what you have with her, not what she has with him or anyone else.

StrangerinKS 12-14-2010 10:36 PM

After thinking about it the last few days, I have to agree with both of you. The breakup was premature on my part...this could have been fixed, or at least I needed to give it more time. This was the first poly experience for either one of us, and the mistakes are clear.

I miss her terribly, and from her brief messages it appears she feels the same way but she says she still needs time to think. But she also said she doesn't want to cause me further pain. I just don't know if this can be rebuilt.

I really don't know what to do. I am working on my insecurities, which is all I can do now. But I can't get her out of my head, I still feel totally in love with her, and I miss her so damn much.

StrangerinKS 12-14-2010 10:47 PM

If I could do anything right now, it would be to have her back, with me working on my insecurities and both of us doing a better job of communicating.

Alas, I don't know if she is willing to try, or if my wife will approve if I want to try.

I just feel like an idiot for reacting out of fear and not giving this more time to play out.

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