Ex's, Boundaries, Transitions
Hi and thanks for reading/ providing your feedback
My concerns/questions are my current girlfriend's ex. They were together for 17 years before I arrived on the scene. They do not live together nor are they legally domestic partners, though health insurance and some other financial stuff lists them as partners.
They had some very rocky years before I even knew them. Then I arrived and the ex became irate and overly emotional at my girlfriend. The ex claimed that they never had an open or non-mono/poly arrangement. My girlfriend was confused as both and she and the ex had had other lovers over the years. My girlfriend had some relationships that never went anywhere. My girlfriend offered couples counseling over the years and again during the 9 months of turbulence. The ex said no way. So the ex unceremoniously and abruptly ended their relationship 3 months ago.
Now its the holidays and the ex is back sniffing around looking for connection, seeking "to talk" with my girlfriend. Girlfriend is saying she won't get back together unless they go to couples counseling and doesn't think it is possible to become lovers with her again. She does want to try and transition the ex-lovership into friendship.
I come from a different way of doing non-mon - wherein everyone knows and meets each other. They had a don't ask don't tell setup (which failed quite wretchedly). Girlfriend doesn't want me to meet the ex saying that that ex will be jealous of me and cause further emotional wrinkles.
I'm out here wondering what the heck? Working on finding out where my boundaries are, what is reasonable to ask for, what isn't? What and how can a transition happen here when it seems there are so many closed doors and secrets and walking on eggshells?
My ideas for boundaries are:
- please let me know if there's contact (don't need specifics etc) but would like to know about dates or big emotional email/letter bursts
- when and if there is some resolution and what the dimensions of that resolution looks like
- sexual reconnection or reuniting; would like to know about this so i can make decisions for myself around the situation
I'd like input on the following:
- stories of transitioning old loverships into friendship (good, bad, ok, totally screwed up)
- what you might consider bad boundaries or emotional blackmail, if you were in this situation what would you be willing to make an agreement on if you were my girlfriend?
- any sage wisdom for the girlfriend who is faced with transitioning a person who has been part of her life for such a long time
anything else you can add (that is useful, not flaming) would be appreciated. I am not new to poly I know how to have conversations with grace and dignity. i know how to behave if i am a secondary or a primary or something else. just murky in my thinking around this situation.
The world was made round so we cannot see too far ahead