I've been dipping into this thread, the tiny bit I've read is fascinating but I'd thought that I shouldn't get involved (add opinions) because I haven't read it all... and haven't got time to (or do I??? - I could copy and paste it into my memory stick and read it at leisure back home [solar-panel-fed laptop without Internet connection]). It's been going like wildfire: just over a month and 11+ pages long already. Maybe I shouldn't comment until I've read it all (but by the next time I'm connected, it'll be several pages longer...)
What's decided me to write now is that Carma
has always seemed so positive (enthusiastically
positive) about poly in the past, has sent me nice, encouraging messages, and is obviously suffering now. So I decided to suggest something. And she herself has beat me to it:
Originally Posted by Carma
Today I just want to call up Barbie and tell her that I am willing to share, as long as she knows the truth and respects me and my marriage. But how can I do that if Sundance won't tell me directly that he even wants that??? And of course, he will think it's because I want to see Butch, that it's all about me.
And I'm hella curious about Barbie.
She was really falling in love with my husband. What's so terrible about that? Could we have been on the same team? We sure have something in common. So she bought him gifts -- is that so bad? Did it have to be so secretive? How dumb. I know I overreacted, but it's because he hid things -- which in turn led me to overreact, which led him to hide things...!!!
I haven't read enough to know if you've ever met Barbie. Why don't
you make the effort? If you have met her, why not make the effort to get to know her better? I assume that that name, Barbie, is YOUR invention, because you see her as an empty-headed, unreal doll. She's a human being with feelings [and that would be true even if she DID happen to be rather empty-headed], she has - as you point out - fallen in love with your husband. I gather that he has lied to her about you so that you - for her - are also an unreal stick-figure. Give her a chance to meet the real you, to realise just how SD is lying to her. Isn't SHE a victim of his lying, too?
[All the above - and below - is going on the assumption that your version of the facts here is honest and well-balanced. I'm taken some criticism in the past for assuming this. So let me say that I don't assume it. (Neither do I assume the opposite. AAArghhh!
) But this would be my advice if your version were 100% spot-on. I can't give any other advice, unless SD and Butch - or Barbie - contribute their versions...]
I think that you should at least consider the following possibilities
1) That SD doesn't care for Barbie at all, never has. That it was all a calculated plan to manoeuvre you into dropping Butch.
2) That he's gaslighting. [see Magdlyn's post, above] And possibly gaslighting the 2 of you.
3) That he IS cheating on you. I don't know SD, I'm certainly not accusing him of it. But I DO know that many people think like this: "She cheated on me when I was being faithful. Now it's my turn. Serves her right!"
If you can't trust SD not to lie to you, I can only imagine one way (aside from tailing him or hiring a private eye - or waiting for gossip to fall into your lap) for you to dispel (or confirm) these doubts: to talk honestly with the woman. Don't treat her like the enemy... or a doll.
It's not failsafe. She might refuse to stop treating you as the enemy (or a stick figure). But give her that chance.
You yourself pointed out that you were really unhappy before the agreement to go poly. And you're really unhappy now. I was sorry to read that you were giving up on poly (but that's me and my values: they shouldn't condition your
choices)... and glad to read that you're at least considering reconsidering.
But do you have the right to "sneak" behind your husband's back and get honest with his gf (or ex-gf)? You're American, right? I believe that this [inalienable
] right is anchored in your country's Constitution (or is it the Declaration of Independence [THAT would be fitting, re: polyamory]): "the pursuit of happiness". Go for it, Carma
! Goodness knows you deserve it.
Off topic, but I'm listening to this
right now and - who knows - it might help. Crank the volume up and have a good cry. (No, not because it's sad, just because it's beautiful).