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-   -   Is it polyamory? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6811)

reesereese 02-16-2011 03:40 AM

Is it polyamory?
 
My girlfriend and I have been together for a little over three years. For half of that time, we have been involved in S&M communities. We have only "played" with each other. Nine months ago, we both began to feel a desire to meet and date new people due to our growing interest in S&M, though we were still madly in love with each other. We read The Ethical Slut together and talked with friends who were in or had experienced open and polyamorous relationships. We decided to let it marinate for a while. After three months, the desire to see other people had fizzled out and we happily skipped along our merry way.

A couple of months ago, she met a guy online. He was similar to us in age and lifestyle and I was glad to see her making a new friend, especially because I've spent the last six weeks caring for my dying grandfather. His funeral was just a week ago. They went on a couple of friend dates and, again, I was glad that she had found someone who fulfilled needs that I wasn't able to at the time. One week, to the date, I flew back home after a weekend-long funeral. As we drove home, she told me that she had a date planned for that coming weekend. The tone in her voice suggested that it was a date with romantic motives. When I asked if it was a date with romantic motives, she confirmed my suspicion. I was stunned speechless.

During the time since she and E met, I was under the impression that she was seeking out nothing but friendship with him. We had discussed the idea of an open relationship and/or polyamory before, but we'd never acted upon it. I thought she would have enough respect for me to at least tell me her intentions with him when her feelings diverged from the platonic sort. I asked what the date would involve. That Friday, they planned to go to the symphony, then they would sleep at his place, have an "adventure" on Saturday and she would return home in the early afternoon. I didn't know what to do during the couple of days leading up to that Friday except ask her about what I was/wasn't doing and what this meant for our relationship. I felt like denying her this date was too selfish because we had spent months talking and discussing an open relationship.

"I feel safe with him. I mean really safe. We have so much in common and I think the love that I get with him will transfer over into our relationship." The knife twisted that much more in my heart. I spent Friday night with a friend and cleaned our entire apartment on Saturday just to distract myself. She got home after 6:00 PM and looked slightly surprised and guilty to see me flitting about the kitchen. I said nothing and pulled her into a hug. When I released her, she looked over my shoulder and waved out the window. Upon closer inspection of her neck, I noticed a few small hickies. I felt sick. I spent that night with a friend.

The next day (Sunday...keeping up?), after work, I returned home and resumed cleaning the apartment as a peace offering for being unable to talk about her kissing him. She wasn't home yet. While tidying up, I went through our "play" bag and noticed that something was missing--a box of condoms. I really did throw up then. I tried texting but she didn't respond. Finally, after calling and not getting an answer, she sent a vague text explaining that she'd made last-minute plans, wasn't alone and couldn't come home right away. She didn't come back until Monday afternoon. I confronted her about taking the condoms and not responding to my texts and calls, especially without letting me know at least where she was and if she was okay. I flat out asked if she'd had sex with him. She had sex with him, multiple times Sunday night and Monday morning. I've never cried so hard in my entire life.

We spent the rest of Monday talking and trying to figure out what this meant. We even made love and she continually reassured me that she loves me. She said E wanted to meet me, to see if I was okay with all this and how we could "share" her without animosity. I feel betrayed, threatened and backed into a corner. I love her so much. We're not married and I'm afraid of telling her that I'm not comfortable with her kissing him and having sex with him because I fear she might choose him over me. I feel like the Old Love trying desperately to burn brightly enough not to be snuffed out by the New Love; or, like a dog that's being overlooked by the new puppy. I know she and I went through a rough patch the last couple of months because I was away taking care of my family, but I never expected her to move so quickly with someone she's known for so short a time. AND most of it was done without ever asking me how I felt about the situation!

Should I confront her and demand/request(?) to get a say in how I feel about sharing her, especially because I feel like ours is the primary relationship? I don't even know if ours is the primary one anymore. She's on a date with him tonight (planned again without talking with me). I want to demand that she not see him anymore because it's not fair for her to bring someone into our relationship when ours still needs to be worked on. We haven't fully resolved the snapping and lashing out that happened while I was away. I'm going crazy and hurting so much. I feel like he's taking her away from me. I don't want to lose her. Please help.

greeneyes 02-16-2011 11:42 AM

Wow. That sounds awful. I'm sorry.
It sounds like she has her own agenda and she doesn't seem to concerned with how you feel. I have only seen your side of things... maybe you could invite her to join the forum? Read up on what she's doing?

It sounds to me like you are more upset about dishonesty and betrayal than non-monogamy.

I have to say that the "sharing" lingo bugs me out a little bit- even when invoked by her- she isn't property. She's a person. That said, it sounds like things are moving at the speed of light, and it seems difficult for you.

The only thing that you can request is to be treated with respect, and you can define what that means to you. You have to decide what to do if that respect never materializes.

Hugs to ya.

Magdlyn 02-16-2011 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reesereese (Post 66620)
I never expected her to move so quickly with someone she's known for so short a time. AND most of it was done without ever asking me how I felt about the situation!

Should I confront her and demand/request(?) to get a say in how I feel about sharing her, especially because I feel like ours is the primary relationship? I don't even know if ours is the primary one anymore. She's on a date with him tonight (planned again without talking with me). I want to demand that she not see him anymore because it's not fair for her to bring someone into our relationship when ours still needs to be worked on. We haven't fully resolved the snapping and lashing out that happened while I was away. I'm going crazy and hurting so much. I feel like he's taking her away from me. I don't want to lose her. Please help.

She is acting irresponsibly. New poly practices need to be negotiated, and she is running roughshod over your feelings.

You mentioned S&M (BDSM). And cleaning the apartment to deal with your feelings. Leading me to wonder if she is your Domme and if she thinks that gives her carte blanche to act as she wishes without taking your feelings about this moving much too fast for your comfort?

Not cool, dude.

AutumnalTone 02-16-2011 06:48 PM

Is it polyamory?

Without the full consent of everybody involved, no. With negotiating that in advance--and having had discussions about the possibility of opening things up is *not* the same thing--she's just openly cheating on you.

What people do is a more accurate measure of what they actually think and feel than what they say. She may say she loves you and wants this all to work and what she's done indicates that she doesn't give a damn what you think, as you're not an important consideration.

Walk on. There are other ladies to get involved with who will actually respect you.

NeonKaos 02-16-2011 07:41 PM

Without hearing the other side(s) to this story, I can suspect the following:

It sounds like your idea of "open/poly relationship" and her idea of "open/poly relationship" are not the same thing. Unlike the other responses here, I don't see egregious disrespect or "cheating", I see two people in a relationship who are not on the same page. When you discussed this and "let it marinate", did you clearly establish certain things such as:

1) what's the difference between a "friendly" date and a "romantic" date, and at what point does it become the other partner's business when a "friend" becomes "more than a friend" or a "friend with benefits"? Personally, when I go out with someone who is "just a friend", I don't call it a "date", and when I go on a "date", there is the implication that there could be sex involved AT SOME POINT in the future.

2) things do not always appear the same on paper or in conversation as they do in practice. You can "discuss" "opening a relationship" till the cows come home, but you will never know how it really affects you until one of you finds someone else to be with and the other has to deal with it as a reality.

3) having said 1 and 2, it is up to the partner who finds someone else FIRST to make sure that the "solo" partner is told about it and brought up to speed as the previous discussion(s) established. However, it is BOTH partners' responsibility to each of their selves to say something to the other when something needs to be said. Just because you live with someone or are in a relationship with them for a long time does not make either one of you a mind-reader.


I don't see any disasters-in-the-making here from what was said in the OP. I see some typical mistakes and counterproductive assumptions were made by some people who are new to a certain way of life. My advice to both of you is to think about it, write down what your hopes, fears and expectations are, and especially try to identify what is real and what exists only inside of your mind. The last thing is something that I struggle with and it helps to remind oneself that just because you get along with someone really well, it doesn't mean their mind operates the same way yours does. I see people on this forum often discussing the difference btwn sympathy and empathy. You really do need both, because sympathy tells you how YOU would feel in someone ELSE'S situation, while empathy is about understanding how someone ELSE feels in ANY situation.

River 02-16-2011 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AutumnalTone (Post 66702)
Walk on. There are other ladies to get involved with who will actually respect you.

While I'm wholeheartedly in agreement with AutumnalTone's wisdom up to the part I'm quoting here, I cannot agree (based on the available words) that she should be gotten rid of without further consideration. Not yet.

First, the two of you should (a) set this other relationship aside for a while, and (b) talk, talk, talk, and talk. That is, get everything out in the open, talked about. That means that you should embrace your own feelings and needs and be clear about them with her. And she with you. If both of you really want to hang with this and can't get it worked out all on your own, consider a councelor for help. It will become obvious if this won't work out and you have to let it go. But it sounds like you both should give it a try.

River 02-16-2011 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeonKaos (Post 66713)
Unlike the other responses here, I don't see egregious disrespect or "cheating", I see two people in a relationship who are not on the same page.

I see it largely like this, as well. However, it does seem she should be more considerate of his feelings and needs than she had been. Then again, I think he needs to honor his feelings/needs enough to express them in current time. And by "current time," I mean each of them need to renew their discussion about opening up their relationship ... and be current with one another on this mutual process of exploration.

It sounded to me like they had talked about and read about non-monogamy, but had come to little or no mutual agreements.

NeonKaos 02-16-2011 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by River (Post 66722)
I see it largely like this, as well. However, it does seem she should be more considerate of his feelings and needs than she had been. Then again, I think he needs to honor his feelings/needs enough to express them in current time. And by "current time," I mean each of them need to renew their discussion about opening up their relationship ... and be current with one another on this mutual process of exploration.

It sounded to me like they had talked about and read about non-monogamy, but had come to little or no mutual agreements.

That's what I meant by this:

Quote:

However, it is BOTH partners' responsibility to each of their selves to say something to the other when something needs to be said. Just because you live with someone or are in a relationship with them for a long time does not make either one of you a mind-reader.

River 02-16-2011 08:24 PM

I prefer to say in many words that which can better be said in few.:D


---


Anyhoo, a LOT of us are unhelpfully and unnecessarily slow to express our needs, wants, hopes, desires. Often this is becuase
when we were growing up (and becoming ourselves) these were not given a proper awareness and respect by our care-givers. Also, often the direct asking/saying of these was often not "modelled" for us well by same 'care'-providers.

It's never too late to begin lovingly, kindly, re-parenting our little selves.

redpepper 02-17-2011 12:22 AM

you had a funeral to go to and while you were gone this woman made a long fuck date with a guy she met on line. She told you this was how it was going to be and went and did it. When she got home you freaked out and she left to fuck him some more.

You have every right to feel what you feel and every right to express it. You also have every right to request that she pay attention to your needs and go at a snails pace from here on in....

Unfortunately she has gone ahead of herself and the process that is generally more workable in poly. That will be incredibly hard to come back from.... 24 hours of sex, twice in a row, to nothing is hard. .....Still, if she loves you..... ?

Sorry my friend... I can see some short comings on your part in that the moment she told you about the date you could of said, "no, this isn't what I agreed to..." you agreed to "talk" about opening up, not full steam ahead, do it. no?

This woman is either scared shitless about dealing with your extreme (and very valid) emotions, is completely weak where this man is concerned, or just doesn't give a shit about you... not sure which, but I'm willing to bet its one of these.

BTW, I am also willing to bet that 10 years from now, or earlier, she won't remember the hot sex she had with this guy, or the great make up sex she had with you, but what a shit she was and will wonder how she could of done that. This will likely play a huge part in her future feelings of self worth. I feel for her.... I really do.

Do me a favour... move on, love yourself, and try and forgive her.... cause she might never be able to do that. Moving on will help with that I think. staying and loving her more could possibly only make her self hate worse in the future. In the spirit of D/s, maybe this is the lesson she needs to learn and you can teach her it.

Lastly, why not invite her here to read. Might help.


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