Warning...long post, with a lot of background. Looking for advice.
I’m hoping for some advice and possible insight on my current poly relationship with a couple. I am new to this forum, but not new to polyamory. (Although,I think every relationship is different, so I pretty much feel like a newbie in every new relationship.)
Basic background: I’m a 39 year old divorced mom of four. The couple I’m dating have been married for 27 years, and I’ve been dating them for 2.5 months. She is 10 years older than me, he is 6 years older than me. They have 3 children and both work in the same office together.
The M of the couple contacted me through my online dating profile, saying they recently (as in only a few months) opened their marriage up and since the wife recently discovered her bisexuality, they were looking for a third for fun, nothing emotional. I turned them down, I wasn’t looking for casual sex or to date a couple, but he responded that they just wanted new friends. They live an hour from me, so I told him if they were ever in the area I’d have drinks with them.
He and I continued communicating. Soon he started saying that they were actually looking to date, and bring a female into their relationship. He told me he had had a few affairs that caused the marriage to break up, and when they got back together they decided to open the marriage. I was concerned about this, but I did agree to meet up. There was an instant connection with him, and the wife was sweet, I liked her. We ended up spending the weekend together, and after that, I started to see them.
There were a few things that I was concerned about at this point, like being asked that all my text communications with them be via group text, but then they would still privately text each other. He was very concerned that everything was always “even” with us ladies, from kisses to touches. If I did anything with him, he’d instantly mention that now I needed to do it with her. I had several conversations with them about not wanting to be dating in an (A+B)+C environment, that I needed individual relationships with them both. They continue to assure me this was what they want too.
Within a month, they started talking about wanting me to move in with them, taking my four kids (including my autistic son) out of their schools and moving them in with them.
When I go to events with them, I am introduced as a co-worker. Their relationship with me is secret from their kids and their families as well. The only people in their life who know is her best friend and his best friend. If there is anyone else in company, I am not allowed to be affectionate with either of them. When we go out, they do pay for everything for me.
At 1.5 months I was told that they want me to me monogamous with them. When I expressed not wanting that, the next request was that they met and approve of all my sexual interests, to make sure that no one was trying to take me away from them. We haven't finalized that conversation.
I have asked them if they see me as a secondary, but they both say they see me as an “equal” primary. Although everything is run through her. He has come to see me twice without her, and she has to approve what time he comes back, he must keep his phone on loud the whole time, check in frequently, and report what he spends. All the rest of the time, I always only see them together. She also has to approve when they visit and when they leave and what we do. The couple of times I’ve suggested doing things, she went along and then didn’t like it. I’ve asked them a few times if we can all talk about what we really want out of this, and that I would be okay with being a secondary, as long as we could all just be honest that that’s what they want, and then I could ask for my needs accordingly. They say I am not a secondary, and that they are reading The Ethical Slut that is helping them understand this all.
She says that she loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, telling me that I’m the only woman who has ever made her cum, and he is very happy about this. He also frequently says that he wants her and I to have a better connection, but I told him that it’s between her and I. We’ve had a few fights, and he will get mad at me for something I did, and then they text and discuss me together, but not with me. I asked him the other day what would happen if I just ended up in a relationship with just her or just him, and he said that we’re not even going to consider that as an option.
Two weekends ago, he apparently got upset, but her and I didn’t realize this. (There was alcohol involved) When he left the bedroom to go sleep in another room and just said he didn’t want to sleep in the middle, we took him at his word, and so we played together on our own and had a really great time. In the morning he came in and told us that he was VERY upset with us both that we didn’t see that he was angry and come talk to him when he left the room. Then he said that he planned to come ask us if we’d had sex last night, and if we had, that he was going to ask me to leave the house. I asked him why ME, when he was upset at us both, and he just said that it was because that was their house. I was very hurt by this, and I’ve not been able to really let it go. Now he says that I am punishing him for expressing his feelings, and that because he didn’t act on it and go through with it, I am being unreasonable to be hurt by it.
Last night, he was drinking, and he called to talk to me and we ended up fighting. It wasn’t a bad fight (I thought), it was over something super stupid, and I thought once we ended the conversation the argument was over, but as the night went on he got more and more angry, and was texting me angry things. I tried to call him to discuss it, but he denied my call and texted that he didn’t want to talk to me to avoid saying something he would regret, and then texted “Goodnight”. 15 minutes later, I picked up the phone and saw he sent the message: “Text me back or it’s over.” Then 5 mintues after that text, “Goodbye”. I hadn't seen them, so I tried texting and calling him back, but he would not reply. I called her and she just said that I should text him that I love him and that we can talk in the morning, and that he is drunk, etc. I told her that this is not okay at all, and that I shouldn’t be treated like this. She told me he probably wouldn’t remember it in the morning.
Late in the morning she texted me that he did remember the whole thing, and that he just needed “time”, and to give him a day or two. I called him and left a voice mail that this is a really terrible way to treat someone, and if he was serious, that it's messed up and sad since the argument was over something unimportant, and if he WASN'T serious, and just wanted a reaction or to show his power/anger/control, that's even more messed up and also abusive. I don’t think someone should use a breakup as a threat. I told him since he didn’t want to contact me, I am going to assume he is serious and that we are done.
This evening he has texted that he doesn’t want it to be over, that he’s sorry that he hurt me, and that he promises he will never do that again, but can I also promise that we will never have an argument like that again.
I don’t know what to do.
I am SO sorry that this has been so long, and I know it sounds like so much drama. I admit I am so confused, tired and hurt right now.
My big concern is, am I being unreasonable to feel like I am being treated like a toss away whenever I’m not “behaving”? Or am I overreacting to normal growing pains of a new poly relationship with people who are new to poly? On the one hand, I see so many red flags, and I feel they are not being honest with themselves about what they want, but on the other hand I’m worried that I’m not being patient enough with them and giving them time to figure things out.
I’ve asked myself if I feel it is something that can be fixed and grown into, and if there are things I need to grow in and do better with, but with the situation the other day of almost getting sent home for having sex with the wife, and then now this…I’m too blinded by my feelings of hurt and feeling expendable to be able to see clearly.
Any advise would be very welcome. I am so sorry again that this is so long.
Two and a half months? They've shown you who they really are. Cut your losses and get the fuck away.
They have so many issues, just leave, honestly, that's just a hot cup of cray cray.
Get away. Fast.
Is this for real?
That have exhibited bad poly couple fronting behaviour 101 and you still went through with it and you are saying 'Am I wrong'?
I am sorry I don't believe you, I think we are being wound up again.
I'm prone being an optimist and working on relationships rather than letting them go, but even I think this one isn't worth it. End it.
I was going to say don't look back, but actually I think it could be useful for you to think about why you'd even consider putting up with such a lousy situation.
Your first and formost responsibility is to your children. Do you want them around your kids? I would not continue this relationship if I were you. Less than three months and so much turmoil. Drunken rants, dramatic ultimatums, childish break ups. Are you honestly asking if you should stick this out?
They are not ready for this. Let them cut their poly teeth on someone else. Bail out. Change your number. This isn't healthy. It's affecting you badly and it will eventually affect your kids if you keep at it.
It sounds pretty bad, but we are only getting fragments of the story, I am going to assume that you are not desperate and these people are not as bad as they sound. So hopefully you are not just asking because you are trying to weigh out the scarcity with how much you can tolerate, so unless it's really as bad as it sounds:
1) Alcohol problems I personally won't tolerate, if he can't remember his actions that is dangerous
2) Let's say that's black outs are not the norm, sometimes people who are half way intelligent do extremely stupid things like get up and leave the room because he wants to talk to the two people in the room he just intentionally left. What does he say when you inform him that he is going to have to think of a better way to direct his life than steering in the opposite direction he wants to go?
It seems like after all the drunkin bullshit he needs to place some of the responsibility on you. WTF? He has trouble with alcohol, gets drunk, starts a fight that you cannot do anything to resolve the dispute and when he sobers up part of resolution is you have promise to not fight too?
I don't know how long I would put up with someone that every time they got drunk they would start a fight, or worse an argument that cannot be resolved.
Even if you were completely out to the whole world, equal partner is not going to happen after a three of months with a couple of 27 years of marriage. Maybe they want you to be an become an equal, but not being realistic about it would be hard not to take as manipulation.
In regards to dating only one of them, I don't share the same seemingly popular view of veaux poly rules he and his committee has devised for couples and singles. You shouldn't have to "date" both of them, but I think it is reasonable that you do have to be able to get along with his spouse well enough where you could all hang out together. You don't have to be buddy buddy or ever make plans and hang out together without him there, but it shouldn't be awkward to the point where you cannot handle all three be around each other.
I am not saying I have more experience or even a wealth of experience in couples and singles, but I feel if a person really is OK with polyamory and they will be able to have poly relationships without having frequent events like you've described here, then you should be able to be around his spouse and she should not have a problem sometimes being around you. Unless every hour of your life is considered "free time" most peoples lives do not have the time to devote to two separate healthy intimate relationships that have no overlap. It's definitely a poly dynamic, but one that may best be described functional denial, in that if you have to pretend that the other partners don't exist, I think it's asking for trouble. Everyone has to fake it til they make it a little bit, but if all you are doing is putting on tennis shoes, tennis shorts, tennis hat, and tennis socks I'd say maybe, but it you have to carry around a tennis racket in a case with a strap I would say that's too much, either be on your way to play a game of tennis or pick a different sport, but if you write a how to book on tennis, you might get laughed off the tennis courts.
Run.. do not look back.
These people are controling and abusive. Why for God's sake are you putting up with this BS?
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