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Old 04-21-2011, 12:13 PM
Quaternary Quaternary is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
Default Sad Puppy - Halp!

Hi, I'm Quaternary, sorry to introduce myself with a sad puppy post. I'm monogamous for now; my husband, Rho, has a couple of longterm girlfriends, Sigma and Pi. There's been all sorts of trouble in the past, but me and Pi get along pretty well these days. Sigma and Pi were introduced to each other by Rho, and also dated each other for a while, but ended up breaking up with each other after a while. Both are still seeing Rho. Both Sigma and Pi have husbands of their own who know about their other relationships.

The problem is, me and Sigma do NOT get along at all, and have not for a long time. I thought we were making some progress in working things out, but when Rho and me announced our wedding date to her several months ago (we're married now) - Sigma took it very, very badly, saying it would ruin her life, she thought that we were horrible for each other, she said everybody she knows would think it was horrible, et cetera. (Sigma had known since the beginning that Rho and I were domestic/primary partners, and engaged; we simply hadn't set a date until last year.) After that she pointedly stopped communicating with me completely. We have exchanged nothing but small talk at a very small number of gatherings of mutual friends since then. I generally greet her when I see her, but I do not dare attempt to reestablish any sort of meaningful direct contact with her beyond that. If I do, past experience tells me that she will most likely respond either aggressively by chewing me out and sending nasty emails or texts, or passive-aggressively, by posting things online or otherwise spreading rumors amongst mutual friends. But, even if I do nothing, there will be social consequences. There have been multiple occasions where she has told people (including my husband) not to invite me to events, and/or threatened loudly and at length to leave if I showed up.

I feel really hurt at her past actions, and I am intensely uncomfortable with this situation. I don't want her to lose time with her friends, but this is a situation she is willfully creating and I'm not okay with missing out on time my own friends simply because they're her friends too. I'm also scared of being blamed by mutual friends who don't know the whole situation. I'm scared of her making it look like I was making threats, like I was issuing ultimatums about who got to go to what party - when it's the other way around.

I don't know what to do with this mess. Sigma doesn't acknowledge me as any sort of legitimate partner for my husband, much less as a domestic partner or wife. I feel dehumanized by her in almost every interaction I have with her. I love my husband very much, and I know he loves both me and Sigma (and Pi!) very much, but with all the past history there is, when I feel Sigma start pulling social strings, I have panic attacks. I can't deal with this. I feel like the victim of a junior high school bully even though we're all adults. I've spoken with my husband about these problems before, and how it has long since reached the point of harming my physical health (have experienced shakes, racing heartbeat, fevers, headaches, and exhaustion, to the point of having lost time from work because of it), but there isn't much of anything he is willing to do. He seems to feel completely powerless to solve this, and he completely shuts down when I try to talk to him about it any further. He is uncommonly affectionate, loving, and supporting in most other facets of life. But, I can't so much as get a few kind words from him if he knows I'm upset about how Sigma is treating me, no matter to what degree or in what manner I express it. It's like he becomes a completely different person. There has been talk of us all meeting together with me and Rho's therapist, but I have no idea if/when it will actually happen. I have no idea whether or not it will actually help.

What do I even do with this mess? I want everybody to be happy but I don't have some special power to make it happen without anybody else's input or support. I am tired of being pushed around and every option I look at, I'll be under intense pressure of some kind or another. Could use every kind of advice.

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