Final update on our (failed) "triad" experiment
She and I mutually ended things three days after he broke up with her. She thought about how, if in a year, she and I were still good (which I doubt we would've been, but that's another story), she'd still go to bed alone nearly every night. I realized that - especially given the problems in my relationship with her (her lying, primarily) - I was never going to be fully comfortable choosing to spend time with her over my husband.
We tried to stay friends, and it was gut wrenching. Then I uncovered some more lies in IMs she'd granted me permission to read months ago. I never read them then, but I was frustrated with her and I think probably looking for something to use to be angry. I sure found it. She has this tendency to make her own truth. She thinks something seems right or good, and regardless of whether or not that thing actually happened, it's enough because she thinks it should've or she wishes it had. In this case, it had to do with early in our relationship before we became a closed triangle. She had online sexual relationships, and after we met her in person, we assumed she continued those until we all agreed to close the triangle and be poly-fi - which wasn't for about two weeks.
Months after the fact, I was feeling insecure about her feelings. She has no coping skills, and her job was bugging her and she'd been very withdrawn with both me and my husband. She and I had some planned alone time, during which - in an attempt to assuage my fears - she told me that after we left her and went home, she wasn't able to "be with" anyone in her online commune sexually. She said she realized how empty it would be, and couldn't do it because what we'd shared with her was so real and so good.
I was somewhat skeptical of this, mostly because I knew she'd spent a good bit of time with those other people in those two weeks... but it sounded so good, and I wanted to believe it. This was before we'd caught her in any lies, so I did believe it. After we caught her in several lies, and suspected others, I doubted again.
My doubts were founded. Not only was she sexual with those other people, she was with one of them mere hours after we left her. And she was with him at least three times after we met her and the other group of people at least once. So, it was a lie. I also uncovered a few others (she had a friend she swore she was never sexual with, but she was in a threesome with her and the same aforementioned guy at least twice). It was on April Fool's day that I learned this, and boy, I felt the fool.
I broke off communication with her. She kept hurting me, probably out of carelessness, but it made me want to lash out and hurt back. I was so in love with her, and to feel that the whole thing was built on lies was rough.
We turned our lives upside down for her. We never wanted or planned to be poly. We met her online and what was supposed to be a "game," a test of boundaries in a "safe" setting turned into something very real (for me, at least) and very intense. It was her telling us how since she saw this dumb movie at 13 she's wanted a closed triad that made us take that leap. Obviously, we wanted to... but if she'd not presented this as the relationship of her dreams, as the "thing" she'd wanted all these years, we wouldn't have done it. She always knew we wanted a closed relationship if it got serious. She made choices based on knowing what we wanted. They were apparently the wrong choices for her.
My husband now doubts that she was ever really in love with him. He thinks it was all about me. Certainly, at the end that was true. For the last two months of the relationship, he and she barely touched or kissed. They'd become friends, and barely that. The relationship had clearly turned into a vee - it was just unofficial. I saw it, and it made me uncomfortable. I was okay with them having a sexual relationship because it was based on love, on true feelings (or so I thought). When I saw that relationship deteriorating, I knew I wouldn't be okay with them having a sexual relationship anymore, and - true to my word - I made that clear to them. I didn't fully understand why I was suddenly uncomfortable with it at the time, but the minute I knew I was, I told them. Just like last October when she'd - once again - withdrawn into this isolation where we really didn't seem to exist, and I told them both that I felt uncomfortable with "alone" sex where she was concerned. I felt like the relationship between the three of us was in serious trouble (and it was), and I wanted to shift the focus to that. He and I were good. She and I were not. The two of them were not. The relationship amongst the three of us was not. So, I wanted to work on rebuilding that, but she never really put in the work, hence the breakup a month after. She moved out, we decided to try again. In a way, it was a trial separation.
Since I stopped talking to her (he'd basically already stopped when they broke up), she's gone back to her old lifestyle, the one she swore up and down she didn't give up for us and that she didn't want. She's said in her profile that we're the ultimate liars because we couldn't accept her for who she is, and she's had to take the blame for that. This is pure crap, and it hurts me and pisses me off. We had no chance to accept her for who she really is, because she has NO clue who she is or what she wants. Right now, she morphs into the person she thinks she needs to be in order to have what she wants in the moment.
She wants things that don't really mesh. She likes a closed relationship - and she has a jealous streak a mile wide - and yet, she doesn't want to be "trapped" by a closed relationship. She wants to fall asleep in the arms of the same person (or people) nightly, but she doesn't want to deal with the reality of a relationship. It takes effort, honesty, communication and trust - and she's not willing to put the work in. Her meaningless sexual relationships leave her feeling empty and isolated, but she throws herself into them, and tries to convince herself she actually cares about the people - and vice versa - and is hurt to find out she's just another body to those people.
She's 41, but acts 20 (or younger). She has a lot of growing to do as a person before she has any hope in hell of having a real relationship.
As for me, I miss having a girlfriend, but not badly enough to go through this ever again. I have my husband and I've always gotten everything I need from him, emotionally and sexually. The things I had with her were a bonus, and I loved her dearly. But I won't share him ever again, and he feels the same. Going into this experience, I had no way to know what sharing would feel like. It was hard, and often painful. I was hurt when they'd done nothing wrong. I don't need to go through that again. We never claimed to be poly, even when we were living with her. It was never about poly, it was about falling in love unexpectedly with someone we thought (incorrectly) was amazing.
So, my poly days are over... and though there are things I will miss, I am healing and letting go. It's easier every day. The reality is, though I wish it hadn't happened for the reasons it did, cutting her out was the only way for me to really let go and heal. I needed to do that for my own sanity, but it makes me sad that she lied about things that she didn't have to lie about. Most of her lying was her not trusting us to love her even though she'd screwed up. This lie, though, was different. This one was totally uncalled for. I think, as I said, she liked the way it sounded. Maybe it felt empty when she was with those people, and so to her, that made it close enough to the truth.
I (we) see truth in black and white. She sees it in many, many shades of gray.
Anyway, thanks to all of you who read my posts. I found insight here and even made a good friend.