Thought it was a "healthy" open thing I was entering...
I'm new to polyamory and have found myself in a difficult situation with the relationship I've entered. I didn't look for a relationship with a couple, but I got involved in their open relationship slowly and found myself ok with it, and really getting serious with the woman. It's been a very intense 6 months or so of falling in love with her, and coming to disrespect, dislike, and disapprove of him.
I'd like to get some advice about the specifics of the situation, but when I sat down to write out the details, it turned into a book. And I don't know how this forum handles super long posts. I could trim it down and post, but could use a little guidance on if that's necessary, and where to post.
I've read a lot of posts here since I started considering being involved with her as a boyfriend. And I am encouraged by the variety of open, honest, and sometimes complex conversations here. I'd like to be a part of that.
We're all here to help if we can.
I'd suggest putting an abbreviated synopsis together first to post and then deal with the finer details as questions come up requiring clarity.
Happy to have you.
Ok, here's the short synopsis :-)
Met a woman online who was poly, bi, "happy with her man" and looking for bi women, or cool people to get to know in the area. We chatted for a few months, then had lunch a year and a half ago. It went great. Hours of talking, a hug for goodbye, and then she didn't write back.
This summer she writes me and we get back to talking. We have a few lunches and she tells me that last summer she didn't write back because she found me attractive and hadn't broached the subject of having a boyfriend with her primary male partner. In the spring she finally did, and he was totally ok with it as if she didn't even have to ask.
We date for a few months, it gets serious, she divides her time between us for a while. I check with him directly to make sure he really is still ok with me becoming intimate with her. He is.
She tries to plan things for us to all spend time together. But he and I quickly realize that we are not at all on the same page for how to have a mature conversation with other humans. We don't talk much, but I am at their house about 3 times a week and she divides her time between us.
Over time I come to see very clearly that she is in an emotionally abusive relationship with him. He is 14 years older than her and she was 23 when they met. She has grown up and out of her "wild and crazy" college phase, but he continues to treat her like he's her father. He constantly disrespects her, ignores her, doesn't enjoy doing anything with her, expects her to do all the housework, and plays his favorite online video game morning, night, and weekends -nonstop.
By then I've come to really love and care for her and it hurts to see this and have her confused by the way he is acting, and in the worst times crying on my shoulder after he is particularly hurtful. She says he's always been like that. She makes excuses for him. She says it will blow over.
More time goes by and she starts to see a significant difference in how she feels with me and with him. She starts hinting with me that she's thinking about leaving him. She's honest with him that she's in love with me and things may change soon as they had always known they could.
One day about a month ago he just becomes cold to her. He won't talk to her at all, won't touch her, won't be near her when he doesn't have to. She is completely confused and hurt and tries to pull it out of him. But he won't say why. He just does what he always did and walks away expecting her to just deal with it till it blows over.
She tries for a month to get through to him because she loves him and he must be hurting. But she also feels that he's hurting her and me with his actions and talks more seriously with be about leaving him. She decides that she is leaving him. But she wants it to be as friends, not like this.
So she is in this pattern of trying to get through to him while I wait, unable to do much about any of it because of my conflict of interests, and her need to make the decision herself.
At this point I was going to ask for advice on how I could, as a boyfriend, help her out of this trap. Or should I just be patient and loving and supportive until she gets out herself. But last night as I was going over all this and decided to post here, things came to a head. They had spent the whole weekend with friends and had a lot of time they had to be together. She finally had the blowout conversation with him where he told her that he knows she's not happy, he isn't either, they are separating and so on.
Their break up wasn't over me. It was very between them. But it's obvious to all of us that my relationship with her was the catalyst.
So, that's probably all resolved now... I see her tonight and we will talk about everything that happened and how things will start to be. I already know that I'm not welcome at their house anymore. But they have been living together for over 4 years and have a lot of pets, cars and stuff to get sorted out. So she's not just leaving overnight.
My request for advice is now this. What do I need to watch out for in this developing relationship with her? I know things can change emotionally about one partner when another major change happens. I love her and want to be with her. We talked about living together. But haven't discussed any details. I know she will be maintaining some sort of relationship with him as a friend.
She's emotionally stable when not dealing with major challenges, and very mature and rational. I'm generally very rational, stable, and attentive. But I still worry that she will find a reason to go back to him, or not actually leave. Relationships have a tendency to feel much better when they find a form that's comfortable. If friendship is comfortable for them, will they make another go of it? Of course you can't know the answer to that. It's just a worry of mine.
Thanks for any experiences or advice you can offer. And yes, this was the shortened version. ;-)
All you can do is cultivate the skill of honest communication. I will be the first to stand up and tell you that it is not always easy to put it all out there and take the chance that you will be kicked around a bit. Hopefully, when you express your concerns, she can give you some reassurance that she is committed to you. If she can not give that reassurance, that is the time that you need to decide what you are willing to tolerate and if this relationship is worth investing more of your emotions in.
Interesting story. It does sound like she has matured enough to let go of that Daddy/girl relationship and seek a more balanced egalitarian one. My only advice is, don't move in together (yet)! Sounds like she needs some time living independently for a while.
Well, this is obviously no longer poly, if it ever really was. I think you have been doing the right thing all long, not being pushy or trying to interfere in their relationship, but just being there to support her when she needed you. I think you both seem level headed .
Just carry on doing what you are doing. Be thankful for what you have for now and give her plenty of space, and I think things will turn out well. I should not worry much about her going back to him , I very much doubt that will happen but if they manage to remain friends then you should be happy for her.
It looks like she is in love with you, she said so to him as well, just give her time and space.
Nice guys don't always finish last eh? Good luck
Things going well so far
We were able to get together last night and have diner and talk over everything that happened in their conversation. It was a good talk they had where he was angry enough to actually vent about how he was feeling instead of continuing to keep it to himself and leaving her confused.
Essentially he said he felt the relationship failing for years and it had changed this year to where he was no longer sure he wanted to be in it. Since my arrival he saw that she was very different when she was with me, happy. At first he was happy for her. Then he started feeling like they were fighting more often as she was not backing down as easily when they did fight. He said that he felt he was losing his partner and it stressed him to see her interacting with me and being happy.
So I'm not welcome at their house anymore. He didn't mention any hard feelings about me, just didn't want to feel uncomfortable around his own house. He asked that she not try to initiate sex with him because he wouldn't feel right about it anymore. She is going to continue to live there until they can get their stuff separated and hopefully transition to a comfortable friendship. When we are together it will be at my house or out.
Overall, I think this is all the best that could be hoped for. I do hope she maintains a friendship with him. Though he told her that he doesn't think it will work since it never has for him. Probably they will end up being cordial, but not really talk much.
I didn't really feel like it was a poly relationship either. He and I never got along after about 3 conversations. It was much more her having two mono relationships. I've talked with her about what I would want in a poly relationship if we were to be in one again. Essentially I would want to feel like a family, not two people dating the same one. She agreed that is what she would want too, but she has told me (and him) that she had started to feel like it would be natural to be monogamous with me. She had never felt that with other people. So who knows.
I agree that we shouldn't move in together right away, and that it would be good for her to have some time alone if she wants it. I will try to not pressure her in that way. But when she does move out, most likely she will be moving to a city over an hour and a half away. There will be challenges in seeing each other very often. But I think we could handle it for a couple months if we make an effort to still see each other and "date" often.
Thank you for your encouragements.
Well, glad to see that your girlfriend was finally able to completely air out the other relationship. I say continue to enjoy each other and just let things progress naturally. You guys will know when it's time to do what if you just listen in here ><3<. I wish you the best.
There's no rule that says a polyamorous relationship has to be a healthy, happy relationship in order to get the poly-stamp. Any more than a marriage has to be happy and healthy to be a marriage. Now, to be a GOOD marriage, and a GOOD polyamorous relationship, that's a different story all together...
Sounds like you're very together and already know what you're doing. You're giving her the space she needs and you let her reach her own conclusions.
Best of luck in this new relationship you will have with her. :)
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