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Old 03-29-2010, 06:50 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by kamala View Post
But for whatever reasons, too many to get into here, S gradually came to realize that in fact she wasn’t happy with the idea of sharing N at all. She had felt pushed and forced. She wanted to return to a monogamous relationship with N. About a month ago, things blew up. She had always entertained the idea that she would be the main girlfriend, that my relationship with N would always be casual and less than hers etc even though we had all explicitly agreed on otherwise.
Sorta like opening a flood gate, eh? She didn't want it to happen, maybe felt that it was the only way to hold on to N, and then realized that it was making her miserable. Now she wants to put the proverbial genie back in the bottle.

I am unprepared to step away from a fulfilling relationship, and N is sure now more than ever that he can never go back to monogamy. Although they haven’t officially broken up yet, it seems to me that it will only be a matter of time.
Your wording, "unprepared," is very appropriate here. Because unfortunately, it's not entirely your choice. You need to prepare yourself for the possibility that this may be over. It could be that eventually, N will realize that he cannot be monogamous, but they could realistically see-saw for months or even years on the issue before reaching a final decision. How long are you prepared to wait?

Maybe this post seems cold and unemotional
It doesn't. It seems sincere and confused and heartfelt.

The feelings of guilt I feel are surprising me, because in the end I know that I actually have nothing to do with this and that the issue existed with them long before I came along. He wants one thing, she wants another.
You said it best, trust your instinct.

In fact, for a while I was very angry at them for embarking on this sort of thing while not being on the same page with each other, and I was angry at S for having strung me along, going ahead with more than what she was comfortable with and then just expecting it to all disappear!
It's good that you're no longer angry with them for this. In a perfect world, everyone would always know exactly how they're feeling and exactly how certain decisions are going to affect them in the future. Unfortunately, humans are not psychic. She was most likely hiding these feelings from herself as much as from you and N.

N is now, understandably, hurt and feeling emotional. I want to support him in all of this, but wonder if I should just give him time to process it alone?
That's a judgement call. My personal opinion is that being close to him puts you in a really good position to understand his feelings, without judging him or criticising him the way his friends and family apparently will. He may need someone on his side. So what if you catalyze their inevitable breakup? Why should they grasp at something that is already falling apart, especially if they have fundamentally incompatible lifestyles?

I am so, so saddened to end my friendship with S, but she doesn’t want to speak to me ever again
Here, you and N can support each other in the mourning process of your relationships with S. You will both obviously be going through very different losses, but I think you can be each other's shoulder to cry on for the other.

It seems like a really stupid newbie mistake to make, but what can you do if people change their minds?
Damn, did your poly crystal ball break on you again? Hate it when that happens!! ... what can you do? Roll with the punches, that's about it...

Don't beat yourself up. Think of it as a learning experience. Whatever experiences you've had in the past didn't prepare you for this situation, and you did the best you could under the circumstances. What more could you ask of yourself??
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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