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  #1  
Old 12-30-2011, 02:34 AM
paintscribe paintscribe is offline
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Default On Taking a Break

I am a prescriptive secondary who is very deeply in love with my BF. I have finally gotten to where I am OK with my relationship being part-time and moving on to enjoy the benefits when I find out that my BF and his wife have been having a super rough time lately. I did not realize it until today, when he IMed me and told me about their fight and that he was really close to walking out on her.

Insert my super devastated reaction. The last thing I want him to do is break up with her.

soon, she was IMing me, and I heard some of her side, and...

The short and sweet, if you put everything together... he is giving me all the emotional love and support and not giving them to her. She has never blamed me, and specifically said there was nothing wrong with me. But she asks for things he gives me readily. On top of that, they have communication issues, but refuse to see a counselor.

He made it sound like they were giving it their last attempts, and I realized that all I can do to help them is to take a break from them. So that I'm not being a source of outside sex and emotional outlet. Maybe that be enough of a kick that they get things together.

The question is, how far does this taking a break go? I know the no sex, no sleepovers, and no extra nights hanging out. But is it recommended that I cut off all time alone with him? We luckily meet weekly for games with friends, but there has been alot of personal time lately.

I know that usually it ought to be the primaries deciding this, but they realize this is their issue. However, I don't think they realize how I add just a little bit more kindling to the fire.

I've done my best not to get in between them, or fix things or psychoanalyze, offer advise (aside from the counselor idea).

I don't know what else to do. Part of me knows, that if he bails on her, moves in with me.... it's going to damage a heck of alot. It will be rough on our mutual friends. I will get called names by some people (and will feel they are correct), and I think eventually, he and I would hit that spot as well...

I'm also thinking of telling him that in 3 months, we three will get together and discuss how things are and if this needs to go longer, or if it is time to start integrating me back into their lives....

advise?
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2011, 04:30 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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What a tough situation. I think you've got the right idea with the break, and three months sounds like a reasonable stretch of time to me. Loving someone means wanting the best for them, and if you believe that losing his marriage would not, in fact, be in his best interest, then the loving thing to do is to give them the space they need to try to fix this.

Their myopia is kinda worrying. How could it fail to be obvious to either of them that him pouring emotional resources into his relationship with you is, at the least, a complicating factors in their struggle not to break apart? And why on earth the resistance to counseling even in the face of what sounds like imminent divorce??

Even if they can't work it out, stepping back now will at least put you out of the blast zone if their relationship does suffer a critical meltdown.

As for how much to step back exactly, that's a tough question. I would say keep it to the gaming sessions and emails. Make it a real beak.

Good luck!!
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-30-2011 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:38 AM
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I think you are being amazingly considerate in this situation, I admire that. I agree that break is a very good idea. That may or may not give him the incentive to work on his marriage, but you'll know that if they do divorce it hasn't been because of you (and your friends will be more likely to see this as well). Don't have much of advice, you seem to have a clear and good handle on what you think is the best thing to do.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:09 PM
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I think it is a very mature and compassionate thing you are doing by taking a break, and I think setting a goal of three months to check in and see how they're doing is wise and generous of you. I admire you for that. It is much better that such a break come from you, rather than them. That indicates strength and love on your part. I am thinking of a married couple who was having deeply damaging difficulties, very similar to what your bf and his wife are going through but with lots of nastiness and arrogance toward his wife. The gf was almost arrogantly standing by, not budging, and both she and the husband were making it seem like the wife was the problem and she had better shape up because the gf wasn't going anywhere. It was very sad, the wife was so depressed, and the whole thing pushed her to the brink. The gf only backed off for a few weeks when wife finally insisted on it, but couldn't really keep her word on that. I hated to see the wife jerked around like that. So kudos to you for being the one to acknowledge that the strength of your relationship cannot be allowed to run roughshod over their relationship, and that for you to flourish, you need them to thrive also.

As for how much of a break is needed, I think, for me personally, that I would take a break from all alone time with him. Being around him yet not being with him sexually might distract him from looking at the relationship he has with his wife. I would make it a clean break and have very little contact, and probably not see him in person much at all, whether in a crowd or not. In fact, I would limit contact to a phone call maybe once every other week. He needs to see the severity of the problem, and I think that would do it.

Are you also ready to walk away completely, as well, if they do not remedy things between them? Because you really don't want to be part of an unhealthy dynamic. And I would be very cautious about involvement with him again, whether they stay together or not, because of the way he treated her. There has to be an effort shown that he will treat all his relationships with respect and loving consideration, I would think, for me to trust him myself if I were in your shoes.
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Last edited by nycindie; 12-30-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:28 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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How long have they been married?

Have they had other poly relationships?

How long have you been in this relationship?
Does the wife have an additional partner also?
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2011, 01:43 PM
paintscribe paintscribe is offline
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nycindie -
I can't completely break off contact, as that would break up 2 gaming groups, and create many more problems. But I can limit to just the already arranged social group interactions we have.

I am also aware that I may not have a relationship with them after this. It doesn't make me happy, but I acknowledge that this may be the price I have to pay. If I have to, I will.


dingedheart -
They have been married for 2.5 years, together for a total 5 or 6. I have been romantically involved with them for 22 months.

No, they have not had other poly relationships.

She does not, she's pretty much turned mono out of insecurity. I am really close to her as well...


the rest of you, thank you for your support.

Part of why he resists seeing a counselor, is because he was forced to see therapists when he was a kid because the other kids were beating up on him and his mom thought he was lying.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:15 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Why did they decide to do this? Poly thing

Did she struggle in the beginning or have things been building?

You said romantically with them....so you and her have a sexual relationship as well?

Last edited by dingedheart; 12-30-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2011, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintscribe View Post
nycindie -
I can't completely break off contact, as that would break up 2 gaming groups, and create many more problems.
Hmm, well, I don't know what a gaming group is, nor why it is that once you belong to one, you can never leave. Did you sign a contract in blood or something? Is keeping the group together more important than your sanity and health in a relationship? What if you moved somewhere else? They would find someone to take your place. So, really, how much does it matter for you to be a part of this gaming group for them to stay together? I think your priorities are mixed up. Gaming is a hobby; relationships are integral to life and your emotional health. But if you see gaming as that important, well, do as you see fit - but it doesn't make much sense to me. I would always choose to walk away from any activity or social situation if I had to in order to nurture my own emotional well-being. And being part of a relationship where you were under one impression about how things were, only to find out that everything was radically different from what you had thought, does not seem healthy to me.

I don't know. If your bf has been treating his wife with disrespect and inattention, and lavishing all the good stuff on you, I would be hesitant to be involved with him at all. I need to be with someone who can manage and balance all his relationships with love, respect, caring, and nurturing. I would never want to be the recipient of such lop-sided attention to the point where a spouse is set aside (just as much as I never want to be set aside to appease a spouse's insecurities).
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2012, 06:43 PM
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PS - what does this mean, exactly? I have never heard this term:
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintscribe View Post
I am a prescriptive secondary...
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2012, 11:23 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
PS - what does this mean, exactly? I have never heard this term:
"prescriptive" secondary basically means you're "not allowed" to ever become more than a secondary, you'll never be as valued as the primary, and if your relationship ever becomes "too threatening" to the primary relationship, you're out the door.

Compare to "descriptive" secondary, where it's more like you just happen to have your life not as entangled (i.e. your partner has a wife with kids together, shared bills, and a joint mortgage) so the "secondary" status just describes the nature of your current relationship, without forcing it in a box that says it will never be allowed to become something more.
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