Originally Posted by dagypsy
New word for me. Boyfriend claimed to be polyamorous 4 years ago when we entered into a monogamous relationship. For 4 years. Has had ongoing online/phone relationship with woman number 2 since before I met him. I am facing my first weekend with him away to spend 3 days with her. I don't understand. He claims to love me, that nothing has changed, we are still 'together'. Help me see this as something other than a case of he wants his cake and eat it too. Isn't this just self-centered? How do I learn to live with this? How do polyamorous relationships work?
Lets start with "boyfriend claimed to be poly 4 years ago when you entered a mono relationship." I have to agree with the question that Breathesgirl asked, you went into a relationship with someone who had put out to you honestly that he is poly. Did he say that you two would be mono or did you assume it? Did you ask about what poly was, was it discussed at all before getting into this relationship?
"Has had an ongoing online/phone relationship with a woman since BEFORE you met him." And I assume that this online/phone relationship went on during your 4 years together. How did that make you feel? Were you alright with him having this relationship with the "other woman" all this time? Did either of you try to talk about it or just let it slide figuring nothing will come of it? In essence if not in physical fact, he has had a relationship with this woman all this time.
I'm sorry if I am making it sound like you are the one to blame, that is not my intent. I see possible blame on both sides but that is because I do not have all of the details. There is not much here to go on.
It is possible that you are, by nature, mono. If that is the case, you may never understand or even want to understand as it causes you so much pain. If that is the case then yes, if you stay in this relationship you would be the woman who sits at home and pines away jealous and alone.
One of the biggest missing details in your original post is communication. What has been talked about? Was the subject dropped right after he said he was poly? Did he offer to answer questions, did you ask any? Did either of you discuss the "other woman" issue before it got to this point or did he just up and say, "Hey babe, remember 4 years ago I said I was poly, well I'm using that to go meet the woman I've been talking to for longer than I've known you. See you in 3 days!"
Poly relationships basically work the way any good healthy mono relationship works...COMMUNICATION IS KEY. From your post one assumes that nothing was ever talked about. If that was the case then this is not a good healthy relationship of any kind. Poly people and the people they love, whether mono or poly, understand or learn to understand that LOVE is not limited, TIME is the limiting factor.
How much of how you are feeling have you talked to your SO about? The time has long past of the woman having "no power" and "no voice" in a relationship. Speak up and tell him how you feel, tell him you are not comfortable, that you hate that he is going. If you have already done this, what was his reply? Does he try to be understanding? Is he open to discussing the situation? Does he get defensive and say you are crazy?
Devil's Advocate is sprouting her horns now. How about the other woman? How do you think she gets on every day knowing that the man she loves? is however many miles away living? with another woman he met after they started their relationship? Is she sitting at home pinning away or feeling trod on? Is she happy that he has found more love with you? Have you ever talked to or met this woman?
I ask a lot of questions, some of which need to be asked between you and your SO.
I am not saying that you should just clam up and accept what he is doing, but I am also not saying that you should demand he never sees her or speak to her again. Neither are the answer. Those two options will only cause more pain and suffering.
I really do wish you luck. This is not an easy road to be on, for some it is worth the journey, for others it is not.