Originally Posted by mercury
Basically, the upshot was that they spent a week talking it over, and even after all the deliberating, her stance was this: she did want them to stay in an open relationship, but she preferred that he not date me in particular. She said "let's start fresh." So his final words to me were (paraphrasing): "I can't date you. We're still in a poly situation but Jeni has to be comfortable with the person I date."
I understand how hurt you can be at Derek and Jeni's choice but I guess I don't consider this veto. It reads to me like it was a mutually agreed upon decision between the two made after a week of deliberation. How is her stating her preferences (and/or boundaries) a veto (which I understand to be making a demand)? Derek wants Jeni to be comfortable with the people he dates and apparently based on the previous history between you three she felt uncomfortable with you. We are getting your side here which I understand may feel very unfair, not right, but we don't know Jeni's side. How Derek handled NRE, etc... You could be a lovely person and not be toxic or drama or whatever else you consider ok reasons for veto. Maybe Derek's behavior while in a relationship with you was toxic, damaging, or stressful to Jeni and Derek's relationship in ways you don't know. It sounds like your info regarding their relationship comes from Derek and not Jeni so the lack of complete info wouldn't surprise me.
We know he did say he might end up leaving her if he continued in a relationship with you. And you originally left because you couldn't handle sharing with his GF. It sounds great that you've changed and are willing to work on the relationship with the both of them. If that is indeed the case I wonder why you chose to reach out just to Derek alone and and not reach out to both of them in the spirit of teamwork and inclusion.
Maybe she has her own reasons why she is unable to process you specifically in Derek's or her life due to past experiences with Derek. Especially if she believes that you really would prefer not to share (so much so that you left after 7 weeks). If in only 7 weeks my BF or DH was contemplating leaving me for another and my relationship turned upside down (this is unclear to me) I would be a bit gun shy at trying that same configuration again. I would also be a bit jaded or skeptical at any new huge philosophy shift that seemed to be made exclusively in order to be in a relationship with my partner.
I don't think there is anything wrong or immature in Jeni knowing what she can or cannot emotionally handle for herself and her stating as much to her BF. It is her responsibility as a loving partner to communicate what her capabilities are and what her truth is. She may not be in a place in her life where she can deconstruct and recreate a dynamic that has so much baggage for her. Perhaps trying to do so would take up too much processing and be detrimental to her mental health and ability to function in her relationship or productively in her own life. It is Derek's responsibility to take what she says into consideration and make his own choice- which he did. Saying, "you can do this why can't she," sounds a bit lacking in empathy for Jeni as her own person with her own faults and limitations. It sucks that her needs currently mean not being able to work on a shared relationship with you but that is where she is mentally at right now. It is neither right or wrong. Just like it was neither right or wrong for you to have originally left after 7 weeks for your own mental health.
Some years ago I was in a place where I could not process a specific outside relationship my husband had. In my case it was due to lack of trust and many broken boundaries. It would have taken too much for me to rebuild that trust. Perhaps my situation is more understandable but regardless of cause I believe that sometimes a person cannot emotionally put in the work that it would take to heal a previously broken relationship dynamic (especially if they believed it damaged or almost cost them their relationship). It is their choice not to have to do so. Derek might have agreed to Jeni's request because he also believes that she is unable to emotionally do so now AND he chooses to prioritize their relationship for whatever reason.
For what it is worth... if I were Jeni, things that might change my mind/perspective would be if you approached me independently with what I believed was a genuine interest in healing and recreating OUR metamour relationship (even if it just be platonic). To see if we are compatible as friends or just respectful people before we get emotionally entangled with our shared lover where it previously fell apart. Of course this is not necessary nor to be expected as standard but it would show me good faith and intention on your part to not want to damage my existing relationship. In time I could slowly begin to trust you and welcome you into my life and hear directly from you how your views and feelings have changed and share mine as well. Of course Jeni could be very different than me.
Best wishes and future happiness,