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  #1  
Old 10-22-2009, 03:28 AM
Kaylee Kaylee is offline
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Question Boundaries in poly relationship

I'm new here, and trying to figure out how to deal with my current poly relationship, which has taken some unexpected turns.

In summary: I've been poly before, in a poly-fi triad with a guy and a bi girl. It ended after a year and a half, when the girl became a man... the other guy (call him "Mark") in the relationship is straight. So "Mark" and I decided to be monogamous until recently, and he and I are now engaged.

A couple months ago, Mark brought up the possibility of being with other people. He said he really didn't want me to be with other people (due to jealousy issues), but he wanted to see someone else casually. I wanted to make him happy, and I figured his having a casual relationship with another girl wouldn't come in the way of my needs being met, so I agreed. I also figured he'd come around and let me see someone else eventually... that didn't end up happening, though. It was something of a point of contention between us, but I dropped it when I realized that it just wasn't worth hurting him over.

Mark started seeing a girl right away... literally, two hours after we had the discussion about seeing someone else (Let's call her "Cathy"). He says Cathy told him that she wanted to definitely discuss boundaries with me one-on-one before sleeping with him. But that didn't happen... in fact, I haven't been able to have a single one-on-one conversation with her so far. She's always had Mark ask me if they could do things, or not asked at all (eg, in the case of being intimate at our place). Cathy also said she was interested in me romantically (bi-curious), but said it would have to be on her terms, and that she'd let me know when she wanted to sleep with me. When the three of us have hung out, I've felt like it was hard to get a word in edgewise.

Then last week, I found out from Mark that Cathy is in love with him, and he's "halfway" fallen for her. He says Cathy told him that she could never let someone she loved be with other people, and that it's more natural to be jealous of your partner. She also has apparently been telling him that I'm not good for him, and advising him to leave me. Mark tentatively decided to stay with me after all, and Cathy responded by ending their sexual relationship. He told me that things were over with her, and I was kind of relieved, but I found out yesterday that they're still being sexual online, they still talk every day, they're physically affectionate and he goes to see her a lot. Basically, she's still his primary confidante. He also says that until he's "sure" that he wants to stay with me, he's going to keep dating her... and she knows this, as well.

I really love this guy, and I don't want to lose him. We've been arguing a lot over boundaries, and I know it's hurting him, and he sees me as the sole source of discontent in his life. I'm worried that his seeing Cathy is going to really make it hard for us to have a good relationship. I was hoping that Mark would keep things more casual, or bring in someone we both had chemistry with, and I feel like this is not what I signed up for. I know I need to talk to Cathy, but I'm terrified because I feel like she has me over a barrel... he's quoted her as saying some very critical things about me, and I'm worried she will just tell me to get lost. Would it be possible for you guys to give me some suggestions on what to do?

Thanks for reading...

Kaylee
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2009, 04:58 AM
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maca maca is offline
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OK>>>>>>> HELLA RED FLAGS>>>>>

IMO you should not marry this guy.... It seems to me that the lines of communication are not complete.. I have a few questions for you.

1) Have you told him how YOU feel?
2) Why do you feel its ok for him to be with another but not ok for you?
3)Are you ok with the fact that he is still with her after knowing he told you it was over?

I hate to be so blunt but IMO your self confidence and self worth need a boost.Although I have only got a bit of info ( and only from you) I dont see this as a healthy relationship for any of you. IMO you need to step back and take a serious look at the relationship, ask yourself::

Is this relationship honest?
Is it open?
Is it compassionate?
Is it loving?
IS IT HEALTHY FOR YOU??

I wish you the best of luck.

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  #3  
Old 10-22-2009, 04:20 PM
Kaylee Kaylee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maca View Post
1) Have you told him how YOU feel?
2) Why do you feel its ok for him to be with another but not ok for you?
3)Are you ok with the fact that he is still with her after knowing he told you it was over?

Is this relationship honest?
Is it open?
Is it compassionate?
Is it loving?
IS IT HEALTHY FOR YOU??
1) I've told him how I feel, repeatedly and often. (Probably too often... I have a tendency to beat a dead horse, unfortunately, but I've been working on that.) I tend to be big on talking, and I see those conversations as good, but they tend to take a lot out of him. One of the biggest issues is that he sees my asking for things as upsetting if he doesn't want to give them, because he is unwilling to say "no" directly, so he'll just get more and more agitated and talk about how he really wants things to stay the way they are, and try to argue me down. I've talked to him about this, and he's trying to work on it.

2) The important thing to me, in any relationship, is that my needs are being met. Even if the "rules" are uneven, my major needs have been met in the relationship, basically. The biggest issue of late has been one of honesty and trust... I feel like Mark has been holding things back from me so that he wouldn't have to lie to me, and that's something that hasn't happened before, and is a huge source of worry. But up until recently, the relationship has been good.

3) I don't know. I did say originally that it was okay for them to be together, and as Mark points out, Cathy's feelings are now involved, so we have to be sensitive to that. He says he doesn't see talking about sex online, and seeing each other one-on-one, as a problem, since they're not actually sleeping together. I expressed concern that they would just fall back into bed, but he says that absolutely won't happen. I think that he sees what they're doing as not technically dating, but just being close friends. He says they don't have full-on cybersex, so I shouldn't be concerned... I'm mostly worried that the close proximity combined with having to "stop" is just going to make them want each other more. He says they'll be talking about fantasies or whatnot, and she'll be like, "Oh, we'd better stop, or we'll both get turned on..." And I think that in itself is a bit over the line, but he doesn't see it as a problem.

He and I love each other, and care about each other's feelings... as for the honesty issue, that's a new problem and something I didn't expect. Simply not mentioning things if I don't ask directly isn't exactly lying... it's just not being open. The worst thing is that at one point, I said that maybe he should just not mention when he and Cathy see each other (because it was making him worry about my feelings, and then we would have long angsty talks), and even though I've retracted that, he still takes it as an excuse to withhold information. He does say that he'll definitely tell me if they end up sleeping together again, but that they won't... so I see this as effort on his part. I honestly think he's trying and that he wants to stay with me, but being with Cathy has been super-flattering because everything she says and does is new.
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2009, 04:49 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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The more you try to explain to us how HAAARRRRD things are for him and how you pushed and made him uncomfortable and caused him to be a dicktard... and how HAAARRRRD things are for him, the more he sounds like a douchebag.

And you gotta figure - you are trying to make him sound "not so bad", like you have "some responsibility" toward why he is the way he is... He still sounds like an asshole. I can only imagine what he's actually like in real-life, and it ain't a pretty picture.

It sounds like he has you brainwashed. You come here for an objective opinion, yet you defend him in such a way that the more you defend/explain, the worse he looks to the outside audience.

It still looks to me like he wants to break up with you but doesn't have the nerve to do it. This business with Cathy being the "last one" until he is "sure" he is ready to be monogamous is just so much bogus horseshit.

I'm glad I don't know you because if you were my friend I'd be a lot less easy on him, and on yourself too.

ETA: You "have to be sensitive" to Cathy's feelings even though she's talking shit about you behind your back?

You will read people saying that there's "no one right way to be poly" but there are definitely WRONG ways to be poly and this is one of them.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 10-22-2009 at 04:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2009, 05:01 PM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
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SisterWoman, this man is playing you. He knows where your buttons are and just how to push them.

For whatever reason, you have placed yourself and your needs in subservience to him/his. Stop it. (Don't beat yourself up too much about it, though. Lots of us make this mistake. But it obviously isn't working for you or you wouldn't be looking for our help.)

You deserve respect and fair treatment. But you have either taught him or allowed him to treat you poorly. Change that.

IMO, you need a clean slate and an even playing field, and you will never get it with him, certainly not as long as he maintains his current attitudes toward you/your relationship. And that's whether Cowgirl Cathy is in the picture or not.

Make time and space for you to get your head together and figure out what YOU really want and need. Give yourself time and space to heal. Remember how to love yourself, and treat yourself with the respect and compassion you offer to others.

I wish you Godspeed, and a safe and happy landing.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2009, 08:07 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Ya, dump him. Before he dumps you. At least you can walk away proud you took care of business and when he starts behaving like this with Cathy he will remember to get to the point, make a decision and act in a more respective manner.

I think he's just scared to leave your long time relationship because its been a journey you've had that he sees as over. If you leave now you may at some point be able to salvage a friendship later and remember the good times and talk about what you learned.
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:29 AM
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redsirenn redsirenn is offline
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allo.

Everyone has given good responses. I read thru the posts and had the same gut reaction. The only thing I have to add is this:

If you decide to leave, understand that in reality things will probably not be as hard as they are right now. I was in a relationship for 8 years that was abusive. In my gut I knew it, but I said the same things you say in your posts, e.g. "day to day things are "fine", he treats me well, generally", etc. and in the following sentence of yours, the subtle "basically" leads me to believe that your needs are not actually being met. Think about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
1) The important thing to me, in any relationship, is that my needs are being met. Even if the "rules" are uneven, my major needs have been met in the relationship, basically.
It seems like you know this in your gut...

Once you are out of an abusive relationship the skies clear up, everything is easier, not harder!

I look at my current relationship and become freaked out because of how smoothly it runs - it was only a little over a year ago when I felt that something like this was only fiction.

Listen to yourself - you know better than anyone what it is you NEED, once you identify that, fight for it.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:16 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maca View Post
OK>>>>>>> HELLA RED FLAGS>>>>>

IMO you should not marry this guy.... It seems to me that the lines of communication are not complete..
Every thing Maca said...this does not sound healthy, fair or sustainable.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:27 AM
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crisare crisare is offline
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The OP hasn't logged on to this site since Oct 26th. I suspect she's not reading any more since she got advice that she didn't want to follow.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:30 AM
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redsirenn redsirenn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisare View Post
The OP hasn't logged on to this site since Oct 26th. I suspect she's not reading any more since she got advice that she didn't want to follow.
just noticed that. too bad.
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