This past Wednesday we had what my monogamous boyfriend has humorously called, "poly summit #2." I sat down with my husband, his gf J, and her bf B2 as he has been called. I absolutely committed myself to be open, objective, and to try to honestly hear his point of view.
It went well, although failed to change many of my opinions. After a five hour round table, I left feeling a slight bit more optimistic, but not much. Basically, I left feeling like he wasn't necessarily being emotionally abusive, but being narcissistic. He was less rigid than I thought and seemed willing and able to listen to alternative points of view. SHE disturbed me with being very placating and taking ownership for "twisting my opinion of him." His ultimate lack of empathy and sense that others should take care of his own emotions for him was startling. Two quotes he gave were telling,
"People always see their own feelings as most important" (Yikes!!)
"All I've asked of J is that if she knows her behavior will upset me, to not do it." (Double Yikes!!)
So, in response to quote number one, I looked him straight in the eye and said calmly, "That BS, maybe YOU see your feelings as most important, but not everyone does that."
In response to the second, I asked for a repetition because I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. I was indeed hearing it correctly, and stated at some length what I perceived to be wrong with the statement, particularly since he didn't seem to feel that it was also his responsibility to do the same, and had admitted that his feelings were erratic and changed daily.
I wasn't easy on any of them, and also owned my own stuff. They are all taking trips for the holidays, and a little time for all of us to independently reflect can't do anything but good. My husband is still dealing with intense grief, after having a wonderful few weeks of regularly scheduled dates and overnights and beautiful NRE that hadn't crossed any lines. Now he is being prescribed an indefinite separation and after two weeks, will be "allowed" a two hour lunch where they are not permitted to have any physical contact. Then B2 will determine, based on how he "feels", what the prescription for the next stint of time will be. Macbeth is concerned that it will be several months to get back to where they were, which hurts because he and J did nothing wrong, crossed no boundaries, and it is all based on B2's "feelings" of discomfort when they are together.
The piece that I am wrestling with is this...B2 (who has been poly much longer than I) keeps saying that he feels justified because "they were already having relationship problems and should never have added another person." This may be true, but that doesn't change the fact that they did, and now J and my husband are hurting. I can't help but think that his imposed prescriptions will only serve to further damage their relationship, extend Macbeth's and J's NRE indefinitely as "star crossed lovers," and ultimately lead to their demise.
But...I have done everything I can. I will continue to call a spade a spade and try to prevent J from being isolated. I have a pandora bracelet with charms for all of the member's of my circle, it's like my "promise ring." She and I will go shopping together to find a bead to represent her to add to my bracelet.