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Old 06-27-2012, 05:30 PM
mercury mercury is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 84

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for a minute. Let's see how this works:

So let's say my boyfriend and I have decided to try an open relationship. We're brand new to this, and when my boyfriend finds someone to date I struggle with jealousy. I'm willing to work on it, though, for myself and him and because I know it's not fair to this other person to just stop this experiment in its tracks. But ultimately the other relationship ends. She doesn't care for the situation as it stands now, and I am relieved because things were strained between me and boyfriend. Maybe after more time, more discussion, we can try again, because this is something I'd like to make work.

Several months pass. Maybe we're taking the time to discuss more and strengthen our own connection, maybe not. He doesn't date anyone else that I know of. Then suddenly he tells me that he got back in touch with the person he dated months ago. My stomach clenches. He didn't talk to me about this first, and now I have to decide how I feel about this. I take some time, a week, to really think about it and discuss the pros and cons with him, rather than just giving a gut reaction and shutting down lines of communication. Ultimately I decide I'm just not comfortable with what I feel is a step back towards a place I don't want to return to, dealing with that tension, and I ask him to please not re-start a relationship with this other person.
Minor correction: It was I who got back in touch with him, but...he was indeed happily receptive.

Anyway, actually, I think what you wrote above was very close to her thought process. Still doesn't make it right, though. What doesn't make sense is that they are still in an open relationship in which he is allowed to date women. I am a woman. They are even still in a place of being open to having meaningful relationships with other people. That was one of the first things I asked him. I said, "Is it that, now that you guys know how it feels, you want to only date others casually and not develop meaningful relationships anymore?" He said, "No, we're still willing to have meaningful relationships with others."

They're only in a "different place" in the sense that they've had the experience of me and know it can cause some insecurity. That's only normal, though. Structure-wise, they're in the exact same place as they were when I had my first go 'round with him.

Again, I am still a woman who's available to him to date, one who want(ed) to be friendly with her and develop a relationship with her as well.

Now, perhaps this was not the girlfriend's thought process, but it's one possibility as it reflects the information given in mercury's posts. So, why is she the bad guy here? No, maybe she didn't have the perfect response of communication and willingness to work on her own issues within her relationship, but for a brand-new non-monogamous person, I think she did okay. I don't see her, from what we've been told, as being particularly cruel or immature. He boyfriend TOLD you he had thought about leaving her, you've said yourself you're very similar to her- of COURSE she sees you as a threat, with good reason! That's not HER fault, nor is it your fault. From what I can see it's the boyfriend who is not being the responsible one and is creating the drama in this situation.
Well, I don't really go around calling people "bad guys," but for all intents and purposes, I still believe that she is being immature. I'm no less brand-new to polyamory than she is. (In fact, I'm MORE new to polyamory than she is, because while she's been thinking about it for at least few years that I know of (and maybe for longer that I don't know of), I've only ever even thought of polyamory since I met him. It is just as hard for me to be with a guy that has another woman as it is for her to be with him while he has another woman, yet I'm willing to face the challenges of insecure and jealous feelings.

And there's no "well, it's harder for her because she has a bond with him and it's harder for her to let go of that, while you are only gaining something; you don't have to feel the sense of "losing" something..."

If anything, the secondary person has even MORE reason to feel insecure because she's "up against" (for lack of a better phrase) an established bond that she'll never be able to compete with. Or it would be a long time, anyway.

If he was going to abide by her wishes regarding who he dates, then he should have checked in with her before ever trying to reconnect with you. HE'S the one who created this situation, not her. I understand you're hurt and upset, and you have every right to be, but don't hold him up as this loyal, caring guy. If he REALLY cared HE'D be the one pushing for better communication among all of you, and making sure his relationship with his girlfriend is stable before adding someone else to the mix. You don't want to make him the bad guy because you care about him, and I get that, but besides wanting to still try an open relationship when she's not ready for it yet, I don't see how she did anything significantly out of line.
Well, as I said, he didn't contact me. I contacted him, and he responded well to me, and then talked to her about it. We didn't go on a date or anything. We'd just traded a few short emails and then talked on the phone. He didn't do anything "on the sly" and then proceed to check with her.

And I don't vilify her while keeping him the good guy. I've mentioned in past posts that to the extent I blame them at all (which is considerable but not 100%), it's both of them, though her a little more so than him. And the reason I blame her a bit more than him is that I can't see myself doing what she did, but I do see myself *potentially* doing what he did (abiding by the wishes of a 2 year partner vs. a 7-weeks partner). They are in different positions in this whole thing. In her position, I don't think I would have done what she did. In his position, I might have. That's where I have a slightly softer stance on him. Check my past post about him.

ETA: One more thing I thought of- this is one area where "open relationship" and "poly" are NOT the same! If he had feelings for you, that could have interfered with whatever agreement they had regarding what an "open relationship" meant. For many newbies, it's okay to casually date, but they're not ready to emotionally share their partner. Still shitty for you, but it doesn't make her the villain. The two of them need more communication and more understanding of their own boundaries before they date other people as well.
Actually, (and I know you have no way of knowing this), but they were claiming polyamory (not just "open") from the start. Both of them. It was their intent to be allowed to love other people besides each other. They communicated about that.

"She just didn't know how it was going to feel." (that's what he said to me in explanation of the backtrack)

Last edited by mercury; 06-27-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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