oh man... this is getting deep
Ok... so I am in a lovely relationship with my husband... G... and my boyfriend. .. T.
So when I met T he was just getting out of a relationship with this girl ... B. B and T have had an on again off again relationship for a few years. T is somewhat entrenched with her because he was acting "dad" to her kids and so naturally he loves them and is attached to them. However, B is a mess. She is abusive... physically and emotionally... bipolar.... and very depressed to the point of attempting suicide. Not long ago she came to his house in the middle of the night, went through his belongings and his cell phone, found texts between T and I and crawled on top of him ( he was asleep) and started beating him. The next day he came to me pretty ragged.. but he refused to file a report against her because he doesn't want to ruin her little family...
T told me that was the end and that he was done with her...
Yep... you know what comes next. A few weeks have past and the bruises have healed and they are talking again. He told me that he might want to "work it out" with B. If he were to ... that effectively means he and I would no longer be together.
But i love him... and he loves me. But he has a hard time seeing into the future of "us"... he wants to have a family and he doesn't want to just be "on the side" forever. I understand that... but our relationship is so fresh and new... I cant say to him "yes" ... because I don't know yet how all of this will work out. I was pretty sure I was done having babies... but I am young and maybe a few years down the road that *could* happen but that is too big for me to promise now. He sees that as a possibility with B ... plus he already cares for her kids. I am sure that if he were to be with B he would continue to be in an abusive relationship that would end in a lot of pain for him. As a friend. .. I don't want him to go back to that so he wont get hurt. As his girlfriend. .. I am somewhat hurt that he would leave our happy little relationship to go back to that... since everyone agrees that I treat him WAY better then she did, does, or will.
so after talking to me about it, T promised me he would give "us" a real chance and if a year from now things aren't going in the direction he needs I will let us part ways without a fight. So that also means he has to tell her they are NOT going to "work things out" - and although I trust him and have no reason not to... I have a hard time believing he WILL say that to B.
So here I am... he is confused... I am hurt... G is trying to support me but he feels that T is getting "the short end of the stick" and he doesn't know how I AM going to manage both relationships without someone feeling neglected. We are happy now.. but this is new to us... so we don't have answers. I think T isn't really running back to B... but what was his "normal"... because this relationship is complex and new and scary... and T is afraid that if things don't work he would be responsible not only for breaking my heart ... but also my marriage and possibly my family. I don't forsee that happening... but I can't help but feel empathy for his concerns.
I don't know what advice I want or need... I just want to hear from someone... maybe get some hope more than help. Any ideas on what to say to help assure T that this can be doable?
It is possible to have 2 lifetime partners. Yes it is a lot of work but doable.
I am going into year 2.
I am wondering if the best thing you could have done was to reverse the situation for now and have let him try to work things out with B. He has feelings for her and I have no doubt that his love for the kids is a huge a factor in his quandary. He may view himself as their protector if B is as crazy to them as she is to him. However, I would bet having had a sane gf, he would find B's behavior even less tolerable than before he met you.
Here is where I am coming from: I joined a couple. Turns our the wife was emotionally to her husband. He didn't like it, but thought that is just how things were. However, I am emotionally stable and easy going. The husband quickly discovered that not all women are mercurial lunatics, and that changed much in his point of view.
I left. He tried for a year to get her to quit using him as an emotional punching bag. They are currently in divorce proceedings, and he and I are slowly rebuilding.
Honestly, there should not be a 'but' here.
He is on the side and you're not promising him any more than that.
He has no reason to think he can ever have children or a family with you.
When we love someone, we want what's best for them, and expecting him to spend his life with half a relationship, with no marriage, wife, shared home, or children, when he clearly wants those things, is not what's best for him.
Do you love him or are you merely enjoying NRE and don't want him to take it away?
The fact that B will even be in a toxic relationship with a person like T is something to take seriously. It's a big red flag. I have been exposed to similar drama and it was enough to make me walk away- even though I was madly in love. I am probably a good bit older than you and I have learned that it's best to walk away as soon as I see signs of that level of drama.
What happens when the next time she finds texts from you on his phone and she decides to come after you or your family instead of beating on him? You need to consider protecting yourself and your existing family.
Metamours are important.
After reading your story I get a very real sense that you need to back up a couple of steps. You sound like you have a heavy dose of empathy, which is not a bad thing, however it seems to be drawing you IN TOO DEEP.
There are things outside of your control here...and though its natural and lovely for you to be feeling for all sides of the situation I have a strong feeling myself that you are allowing YOURSELF to be drawn in too deep, emotionally, to the elements of this dynamic that are outside of your control.
Back up to the point where you have feelings for T and you have a relationship with G. For your own health and well being I would be concerned about the impact of having a "dotted line" connection to B and what that could mean for YOUR family having her connected to you in this way (especially in her reported state). That is where you need to "live" emotionally speaking...managing your connection to G and T with the understanding B is connected to T. Getting emotionally invested beyond that will cloud your judgment and choices.
Focus on what YOU want and what YOU need for your health, happiness and well being. Then focus on what YOU want and what YOU need in your relationship with G and T. Where you are lacking...take action. Where you are fulfilled...acknowledge and appreciate. No less, no more.
To obsess or concern yourself beyond your needs and desires in these relationships is to take on the emotional "shoulds and should nots" of the other people. That is where you are getting too deep.
My advise...back your focus out a bit and hold at the place centric to you and your needs. Taking on the needs and wants of others will only make your head spin and lead you to a place of NOT YOUR CREATION.
Dagferi... Thank you for the response... its nice to hear about success!
Bookbug... I have decided to leave to him how he wants to deal with his relationship with B. He says he wants to try to remain friends with her... and although I am not thrilled about it... I get it. Its not my choice anyway, truly. He has told me since I last posted that although he was considering going back to that relationship with B... he realizes that I do treat him better than she did and if for nothing else... that is a good reason to stay around for a while.
What happened: your post really made me think. Its true I cant promise him those things. Even if I were single without kids I couldn't promise those things... although it might seem more likely I guess. Its all too new. If T were going to leave to go get "that" ... the whole package of a wife.. kids... house with a picket fence... reluctantly ( because I DO love him) I would say "go be free little butterfly"... but that wasn't the case. I don't control him or his choices... but I cant NOT voice my opinion when someone I care for is running toward something that is bound to hurt them. That said... I do have a lot of NRE and I don't want it to go away... because it will hurt. .. and to pretend otherwise would just be lying to myself. In our conversations the last few days at one point I said to T that I don't know what our relationship will end up like. .. and it certainly wont be conventional. He has since said that he doesn't want a conventional relationship, he just wants me. He said he was afraid of all this because he doesn't KNOW what it will be like. I want him to be happy. .. and he is happy with me (he says).
Idealist: I have thought that the fact T was in a toxic relationship with B might be a bad sign... it takes two to tango right? BUT I was in a few pretty screwed up relationships before I married G. When you tell yourself something is normal or fixable long enough you start to accept it. I know T is half of the equation though and I expect that he will have his own issues crop up too. But until I see them ... I am not going to run away. I certainly have my personality flaws and I hope that we can all work past those to. Only time will tell I guess.
NovemberRain: I have considered that. Cutting off T won't protect me or our family from B necessarily. I don't think she is going to come after us. With this particular issue all I can say is that I am going with my gut instinct... it usually doesn't fail me.
drinnt: your post really "hit the nail on the head" for me. I am trying your advice. T knows how I feel... G knows how I feel. I am getting all wrapped up in Ts business at times. I have decided to leave it to T... even though that might leave me "vulnerable" a little bit. I cant make him do anything and truly I don't want to make his choices for him. He is giving me time and so we are going to see what happens. I am grateful for that. I am starting to accept that a relationship with T will probably always have B "around" more or less... so I will have to figure that part out. I am going to try to focus more on what IS in my control... how I treat T and G and how I spend my time and who I spend it with... and enjoying more and worrying less. All things considered we are all pretty happy right now and we have a "plan". T will give me time with him... and that is what I want.... truly... is some time.
Everyone: I think things are going to be ok. T will try to be friends with B ... which makes me uncomfortable. .. but is completely reasonable. I will try to focus on what I am responsible for rather than what is out of my control. G will laugh at me for being way to over-concerned about everything and everyone. T will give me time with him. And a while from now we will see... oh and T is gonna spend the night over at our house (in the past we either went out or got a hotel room... but he has only been over to our house for a few hour visits before) I am WAY excited. It will be fun!
Thanks a ton...
It seems to me if he was considering staying with B, that he might expect to get the whole package deal with her.
Another thought on B: do you know her personally? Did you know her personally before you started hearing these things about her from him?
The reason I ask is that, your story makes me wonder how upfront he was being with her about his relationship with you. She came to his home and found texts between the two of you. Was she open to poly? Was she poly? Did she enter this relationship knowing and expecting that he'd be seeing other people? Or did she start to get an inkling that something was going on with him and someone else and he wasn't telling her?
Because discovering that someone you thought was your boyfriend, father to your children, and committed to you and only you is actually involved with someone else...well, for short let's call it cheating...DOES raise some very powerful emotions. Fear, abandonment, betrayal, much more.
I've been in her shoes, and I imagine that virtually every one of us betrayed spouses on the infidelity forum has been called 'abusive' by those who a) are as lacking in common decency as the cheater and/or b) have no idea of the whole truth of the story.
I'm not saying she's not abusive. I have no idea. I'm not there. But I'm asking for more information, because I've seen all too often in my life how a person can be unjustly brushed with accusations that look very different when the whole story comes out.
WhatHappened: T and B were not together when we met. They were broken up ... but occasionally still saw each other and were considering getting back together. I have talked to other people who know them both and this is the story on both sides. B IS abusive... physically for sure. She actually posted on facebook a pretty terrible slanderous thing about T (accused him).. and then a day later she apologized on Facebook and said that she had lied about that and that in fact she had brutally beaten him and that she had no right to do that... and she said that they were not together and she had no right to attack him since he was not her boyfriend.
She is not poly. He wasn't cheating either. However she didn't know that he had a budding relationship with... she didn't NEED to know because they were not together. I don't know B personally... I know some of her friends. The other reason B didn't know about me is because she works with my husband, G's sister. We aren't exactly "out". Well of course this whole mess go out on facebook so to save our selves from a torrent of mixed up backlash G and i gave his sister a heads up that B is upset that i have been around T... we left out the specific details... but she already knows we are kind of "open" so we are sure she can fill in the blanks. If T were to date B again he would have to either tell her about me and our little situation and see if that is acceptable for her... or be done with me. Right now they are probably going to try to be friends. I asked him to inform her that he is dating someone at the moment.... and I requested that he not do anything sexual or emotional with her... so he doesn't muddle things up. He said "of course" so I think we are seeing eye to eye on this. I do know there is another side to the story since some of Bs friends have shared thier opinions of T to me so I don't lay all the blame on her. BUT I do think it is fair to say that they are not good for each other.
I am going to trust T until I have a reason not to. I think that's fair. So far all his stories check out. I haven't had him ever tell me anything and had it be a lie in the end. (He did tell me he was done with B... yes... and now they are talking again... but he was completely up front about it so I don't consider that lying) I am also trusting him to be honest with her. I don't have to *LIKE* B to respect her as a human being worthy of compassion and honesty. T has my trust until I have a reason not to. T is trusting me too... and he doesn't even have people to ask about me... so he is basing all his opinions on what I and G tell him.
I suspect that eventually I will know B personally. I hope that will come about wi th hout any sort of catastrophic event. I also hope that we dont end up with a hate-hate relationship. .. because that is not good for anyone. BUT I am not exactly going to show up at her door and say "hi B, I am cherry... t's polyamorous married girlfriend... want to have cake and discuss things?" (Ironically that actually sounds like the course of action I would want in her shoes... but something tells me that would not play out well. I am weird ) But the day will come... and when it does I will figure it out.
for now I will leave b to t and t and g to me and me to us.
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