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-   -   How can this go wrong? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69084)

ICanBeStunning 02-25-2014 09:31 PM

How can this go wrong?
Hi all,

I just want to get some advice or perspectives on my poly situation.

About five years ago I started a casual relationship with my married bf Bear. I had other partners at the time and didn't really consider him as anything more than a friend with mild benefits. It's long distance and I saw him maybe once or twice per year.

At the beginning of our friendship Bear informed me that he and his wife have a DADT relationship and would remain that way unless I wanted to meet her. We became more serious, and I did eventually meet her a few times. She's a lovely woman but we're not destined for friendship, which is fine by me. I didn't understand the severity of their DADT and accidentally let some things slip that she wasn't privy to; she became angry but the night ended up with all 3 of us cuddled up in bed which reads as OK to me. (He brought up the conversation and I had no clue that she only knew parts of the story).

I wouldn't say that he's bullying her to get the relationship he wants, she, at the point that I met her, doesn't seem to care… she seems disconnected. Their marriage seems more like old friends with benefits and he came to me for the emotional support. She wasn't interested in fixing it or changing things.

Last year we broke up. I partly because he was concerned about my NRE (it wasn't real for me until January 2012), issues at work and in his marriage. We reconnected this January and resumed or relationship after talking about it. I'm not sure that she knows I'm back in the picture. We're planning on spending a part of the weekend together in their home but I doubt he will tell her this. We communicate often and she might know that it's with me (or another woman I guess)… that's basically all that I know about what she knows. This seems wrong, but I cannot adequately express why.
On a different note I'm noticing a lack of consideration or regard for our relationship from Bear. Two years ago during the NRE thing we spoke almost daily. I broke up with my former partners and was only seeing Bear. If our relationship was hierarchal, he would say that he was my primary while I was his secondary, whereas I would mention that my school and work were my primaries and he was also secondary.

That year we spoke about me moving closer to them, commitment ceremonies, vacations etc. Whenever I mentioned seeing someone else he expressed displeasure. It seemed that he did pull away (right before the breakup) around the time that I started dating again (I think to give me the opportunity to find the ideal dyadic, hetero normative relationship).

This year I'm dating someone new and I have an FWB/play partner. They both live closer to me and I can see them more often. He says he's fine or getting used to this new situation, but his behavior indicates that he has issues with it. He was constantly asking me which of the two I was with if I didn't talk to him for the evening. He wanted me to compare techniques. As much as I care about Bear, I know that he has a few insecurities about our relationship. He's several years older than me, and he thinks that I'm out of his league when it comes to physical appearance.

Usually I get a sweet message from him on Valentine's day, but this year he didn't say anything until the next day. He spent a great deal of time telling me what he got for every other person in his life (wife, child, mother, siblings). This seemed a little passive aggressive to me.

In consideration of his fear of my feelings towards him, I've been giving him some space, but I'm afraid that it's translating to "I like my other partners better than you." He told me that he feels like the last year didn't happen, but to me it feels like we're back to being casual.

I would like some help organizing my thoughts on what to say to him.

PolyinPractice 02-25-2014 10:21 PM

You're dating a guy whose older, insecure with you dating others, has to maintain DaDt with his wife, and is passive aggressive to the point of telling you what he got everyone for Valentine's, but didn't say anything or get anything for you?

He sounds like a loser, and you are 20 something with two other guys. I'd say dump him; it might seem like you have nothing to lose, you're poly! But he's just extra baggage that might make it harder for you to find new partners :p

nycindie 02-26-2014 05:28 AM

Oh honey, big red flags all over the place! Don't ignore them!

GalaGirl 02-26-2014 05:11 PM

What would you like in this relationship with Bear? To end it? For Bear to stop X behaviors? Start Y behaviors? You do not clearly articulate. I just hear general "I am unhappy with Bear behaviors" stuff.

I could guess wrong, but here's what I'm getting:

"Bear, I'm noticing a lack of consideration or regard for our relationship from you.
We used to speak almost daily. Now we do not.

I'm dating someone new and I have an FWB/play partner. You say you are ok with this, but your behavior indicates that you have issues with it:
  • You constantly ask me which of the two I was with if I didn't talk to you today.
  • You want me to compare techniques.
  • Usually I get a sweet message from you on Valentine's day. This year you do not say anything until the next day and spend a great deal of time telling me what he got for every other person in his life (wife, child, mother, siblings) in a passive agressive way.
I'm giving you some space, so you can sort out your behavior and what it is you want in our relationship, and how much energy you want to put into it at this time.

I want _______ from our relationship. I am willing to _____. I am not willing to ______. And the dealbreakers are _______.

At this time (we are / are not) compatible. "


I'm afraid that it's translating to "I like my other partners better than you."
Do you? Because to me it sounds like the other partners are easier to deal with right now than Bear.

What's so terrible about Bear knowing that his current behavior is a drag? You fear what if he knows this? You do not articulate.

In general, it sounds like being with him costs you more effort than you get back from him. Maybe you want to break up again and stay broken up? Cuz you are not finding the relationship worth the return on your investment? Are all those reasons when you broke up with him before still reasons today -- him concerned about your NRE/yoru other partners, issues at your work, and in his marriage? (Some of those still sound like they apply today to me from your post.)

These kinds of questions only you can answer. :o

So I'm sorry you struggle, but it is what it is. Only YOU can determine what you want to do next.

Without knowing your desired outcome, it's hard to give feedback to help you phrase it to him. What IS your desired outcome here?


ICanBeStunning 02-27-2014 07:22 PM

Thank you for the responses. You actually helped a lot Galagirl.

I realize I wasn't that specific about what I wanted, but I couldn't adequately express what was wrong, so I did not know what sort of resolution would be best. Ideally I would have liked to try to fix the things that are wrong between Bear and I. Other relationships aside, he's more supportive and caring than the others, partly due to the nature of that relationship. I enjoy the bond and friendship I have with him, and I don't want to lose that.

I'm realizing I'm extremely unhappy with my relationships with my play partner and the new person. The play partner has requests and needs that I'm unwilling to comply with. As far as the new guy, I'm finding facets of his personality extremely unpleasant to deal with. Ultimately I may have have to walk away with all three of these guys.

scarletzinnia 02-28-2014 05:37 PM

Honey, you're a bi poly woman in your 20s. The world is your oyster.

I would so dump Bear's ass based on his Valentine's Day behavior alone. Yuck. What a bastard. Not even a card? He sucks.

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