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Old 01-03-2012, 04:53 PM
arondela arondela is offline
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Default Getting over past hurts & current hangups?

Despite having open & polyamorous relationships for several years, I'm just now discovering this forum. I've been reading for 2 days straight! I'm in an odd situation where I don't really have anyone to talk to about it, and am hoping for some advice/input.

My background - my BF and I have been together for 4 years. We met & started dating while both married to other people. His marriage was pretty awful and ended not long after we began dating. After about a year of dating my BF, my husband & partner of 10 years started dating a much younger woman. It was his first emotionally serious other relationship, and at first it all went wonderfully. Then 2 months in he began lying and hiding things from me. Things blew up and ultimately ended in him deciding poly was not for him and leaving me to be mono with her. We divorced, and they moved to a new city to start a new life together. She dumped him 6 months later...

This all happened almost 3 years ago. Despite the divorce going smoothly, I was left with a lot of emotional scarring. I became bitter and resentful to the idea of "forever" commitment and being married. He said and did a lot of things that prevented me from wanting a friendship with him, so I lost that relationship as well. My self esteem plummeted, and I struggled with hangups about being older and no longer attractive (I'm in my early 30s) for the first time in my life.

My relationship with my BF survived all this, and blossomed into something really amazing. I ended up moving in with him this year. We did some very small casual dating outside the relationship, but realized neither of us really had the true desire to pursue anything serious. We basically settled on "if the opportunity arises to do something together, we will. Otherwise, neither of us is really interested/looking." We have had a few kinky/sexually open friends who we have occasionally played together with on a casual kink/sex level. For the most part, that has all been problem free.

Then a new girl entered our lives, I'll call her K, via the local kink community. She is young (early 20s), physically stunning, intelligent, has great energy, etc. I liked her right away, and could tell my BF did too. She was vibing heavily that she was into both of us, and I thought it would be a great experience for all involved to do some BDSM play with her before she left. We discussed doing some play at an upcoming kink party, and she and my BF did some online basic negotiations (kinks, limits, etc.). We all left off the conversation deciding to talk more in person with all 3 of us prior to the kink party about what would happen. She was also invited to our NYE party along with a friend of ours she's been casually hanging out with (referred to from here on as her date).

The NYE party was supposed to be a vanilla affair, although a lot of our social circle is poly/kinky. My sister recently moved into town but is mono/vanilla so I was really focused on her and her BF fitting in and having a good time. They were sitting on one end of my sectional couch, I was in the corner of it, then it went my BF and K and her friend with other friends sitting/mingling around. After midnight my sis and her BF left the party, and I breathed a little sigh of relief for being able to relax some. Then all the sudden I look over and realize that next to me on the couch K is loudly making noises like she is orgasming. Her face is all scrunched up and red, and she's half laying across her date & my BF's laps writhing and gasping. My BF has his hand down her pants, a blanket now half covering them, and her date is stroking her head/playing with her neck. I must have looked shocked, and I think I said something like "wait, what's happening?" My friends all laughed and someone said, "Oh, you just now realized what was going on?" It turns out, my BF was fingering K under the blanket on the couch while my sister and my BF and I all sat there clueless. He continued to do so until she stopped making orgasm sounds, the whole time making smutty comments like "ooh, oh, you're wearing stockings. I love stockings"…etc.

To put it shortly, I was emotionally blindsided. We hadn't discussed any of this, and I felt humiliated in front of everyone and disgusted that my BF would do something like that around my vanilla family. (I don't think they knew, but I'm too mortified to ask.) Either way, it was totally inappropriate. Thankfully the party cleared out not long after all this happened. As I went to get ready for bed, my BF came in to inform me that K was spending the night, in bed with us. I was too stunned to argue and didn't want to make a scene. I ended up staying up all night in the kitchen, sobbing. He came and talked to me for awhile. His explanation for what happened was that basically she started rubbing on him, and it was like a cat with a shiny object. He just did it. He didn't think about me - at all. In fact, he didn't even realize I was sitting right next to them on the couch through the whole thing. There was alcohol involved, as well, but no one was shitfaced. He later confessed that "being secretly fingered in public" was listed as one of her fetishes on her online kink profile and that was in the back of his mind when he did it. Other than that, he can't give me a "why" for doing it, other than he just didn't think about me or how I would feel at all. This really hurts.

My BF went back to our bed to snuggle with her, and I laid awake alone in the kitchen the whole night. I felt raw that he could just forget about me when I was sitting right there. I felt like I didn't matter. I felt like this was all going to be a repeat of my last relationship. I felt abandoned and betrayed, and spent most of the night thinking of leaving but having nowhere to go. We've done poly stuff before, and I have always, always, always been super considerate of his feelings/potential feelings/boundaries. I felt like not only was I disregarded, but disrespected, and humiliated in front of our friends as well.

We talked all day the next day. This all sent me into a horrible downward tailspin of self loathing and personal doubt, triggering emotional things that must lie unresolved from my last relationship/rejection. I managed to force myself to attend the play party the next night, mostly to save face, but we did not do BDSM play with K. It was all I could do to even be around her, but for some reason I wanted to force myself to do it. Whereas I used to see her as someone desirable, now I feel jealous of her. Whereas I used to see her as beautiful, now instead I see myself as hideously old and ugly and dull next to her. Whereas I used to trust my BF to play with someone together, now I feel like he's only in this for himself and doesn't really care what I feel or think. I feel like just like in my last relationship, it's just a matter of time until I'm replaced by someone younger and better and more new and exciting, and don't matter at all.

For the record, he says he feels terrible about what he did. He has been fine with calling everything off with K. She is sort of in the dark about it all, because I didn't feel she did anything wrong (followed his lead) and I didn't want to drag her in since this was supposed to be something casual. We have just played it off as I had a bad hangover all night and was tired the next day at the play party.

Did I mention NYE is also our anniversary? Sigh.

I can't seem to let this go and I'm beating myself up over it. Women we both feel attracted to and who are attracted to both of us don't come along very often, and I was truly excited about the chance to experience something fun with her. I looked forward to it for a week plus. I resent him for "taking that away" although really it's me who can't come to terms with things after his transgression. She's leaving the country for a year in 2 weeks, so she won't be around after that.

Part of me still wants this opportunity, wants to salvage something good from 3 straight days of pain. I feel like the higher, "good poly" road is to try to get over my shit and let this happen, but I'm also wounded to the core and haven't been able to sleep or eat for 3 days. The other part of me feels like I want it to be over because HE doesn't "deserve" it and shouldn't be rewarded in all this. (I know how immature that sounds even as I type it.)

So, a few questions I guess:

1. How do you work through issues that stem from old (but very deep) major hurts and insecurities from past relationships? My BF tells me over and over he loves me and isn't going anywhere, but I just can't seem to trust that now. How can you just "forget" about someone you supposedly love and care about? How do you move on from something like this and forgive? I feel like the act itself was so minor, why can't I just get over it?

2. How do you conjure back feelings attraction to someone, instead of being intimidated/threatened by them once a boundary has been crossed? I have no reason to be angry at K, but I am resentful of her now. Just being around her socially calls up huge feelings of inferiority, whereas I didn't feel that before. I hate feeling this way about myself and someone else. I want to feel good, but can't seem to pull out of this self loathing/depression.

3. Is it sometimes a good idea to just push through something and do it, and face your fears and insecurities head on? Or am I just setting myself up for more pain and heartbreak? Sometimes I feel like I could handle a carefully negotiated scene with them if I forced myself to "get over it." But I also see potential for disaster there.

Anyway, thanks for reading my long-winded tale. I appreciate any and all feedback or insight. I'm too embarrassed to talk to any of my friends about this, since many of them were at the party and saw it happen.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:18 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I see some of my life in your story, my ex husband and I (our anniversary also happened to be NYE too) were poly for about 9 months and then due to lying & cheating, we divorced. I was in my early 30's then and felt a lot of the things you feel. I am now married to the person I was dating at the time I divorced.

Really, being in your early 30's doesn't make you past your prime or unattractive. I am sure you know this but you probably could use a gentle reminder.

The one main difference for me is I stayed friends with my ex, so over the years we have been able to visit the things that went wrong, the lies, cheating, etc, and I think I have pretty much reached closure on them 7 years later, but it did take a lot of time, and negatively impact my relationship with my now husband, because I worried he would do the same things, hurt me the same way, and it was too easy to say "my ex did X, you did X, so I'm sure you will also do Y and Z and hurt me."

I wish I had some great advice, but I don't so much.

1. How do you work through issues that stem from old (but very deep) major hurts and insecurities from past relationships? My BF tells me over and over he loves me and isn't going anywhere, but I just can't seem to trust that now. How can you just "forget" about someone you supposedly love and care about? How do you move on from something like this and forgive? I feel like the act itself was so minor, why can't I just get over it?

I read a _lot_ of books. I go to the used bookstore and browse through the self help section, and grab anything that seems useful. Self esteem, self worth, communication, relationships, anything that strikes me as being useful or interesting.

2. How do you conjure back feelings attraction to someone, instead of being intimidated/threatened by them once a boundary has been crossed? I have no reason to be angry at K, but I am resentful of her now. Just being around her socially calls up huge feelings of inferiority, whereas I didn't feel that before. I hate feeling this way about myself and someone else. I want to feel good, but can't seem to pull out of this self loathing/depression.

I do not know. I imagine working on your self esteem would help though.

3. Is it sometimes a good idea to just push through something and do it, and face your fears and insecurities head on? Or am I just setting myself up for more pain and heartbreak? Sometimes I feel like I could handle a carefully negotiated scene with them if I forced myself to "get over it." But I also see potential for disaster there.

Sometimes, but you've already forced yourself to do two things you did not want to, and perhaps should not have (especially the first one).
1. not telling your boyfriend you did not want K to stay over.
2. going to the play party

Is there any chance you could play with K without your boyfriend? Do you think that would help at all? Maybe it would be good for you to remember that she is attracted to YOU too. If you don't think it'd be a positive experience to do so with your bf, I would really recommend that you don't risk it, and having to add another negative thing to what you are already dealing with emotionally.

I also want to point out you say contradicting things.
"I felt humiliated in front of everyone and disgusted that my BF would do something like that around my vanilla family. (I don't think they knew, but I'm too mortified to ask.) Either way, it was totally inappropriate."
"I felt like not only was I disregarded, but disrespected, and humiliated in front of our friends as well"
and then
"I feel like the act itself was so minor, why can't I just get over it?"

DO you consider the act to be minor? I think because of the presence of your family I would find it hard to classify it as minor if I were in your shoes. I am wondering if you really feel it was minor or are trying to convince yourself to see it that way so you can get past the hurt you are feeling by telling yourself it's not a big deal . So the physical act is minor, but the emotional aspects of the act obviously carries a LOT of weight for you.

I also would have similar feelings and see it as indicative of a larger relationship problem, but I am sure my husband would say that it wasn't, if we were in this situation, and it would lead to lots and lots of long talks. I of course would overreact and go on and on about how our relationship was doomed and obviously we were totally incompatible, etc etc, so it is good you are keeping a level head.

Oh AND
"We've done poly stuff before, and I have always, always, always been super considerate of his feelings/potential feelings/boundaries."
Do you feel that he has also been super considerate of YOUR feelings and boundaries? Do you think that if you sat down and negotiated/re-negotiated boundaries that they would be respected and held to?

I know those of us who feel we are SO considerate of our partners feelings often expect others to show us the same behavior back and feel hurt when they fail to do so. It's better to remember that each person is different, and if you hold him to higher standards (of communication, considerateness, etc) than he can realistically give, it can cause resentment. As long as he is giving you as much consideration as he'd give to anybody else, then I would suggest to do your best to trust that he cares about you, no matter what your fear says.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:36 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Ewww!!!

I don't know why you think there is something to correct in your thinking because you feel disrespected. You and your family were dissed, big time! What your bf did with K at the party was rude, obnoxious, dismissive of you, and downright icky. And then to invite her to share your bed, see you sobbing, and still go back and cuddle with her - what the fuck? Did he lose his mind?

You have every reason to feel disrespected and I see no obligation on your part to try and make things better for him. It would take me a long time before I'd trust him again, and I wouldn't even know if I could be with him for a while. I'd probably take a break until I felt he was sorry, willing to make amends, and that he had proven he is not just another inconsiderate dick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arondela View Post
I have no reason to be angry at K...
And why not? She knew your family was there. Any sane person would have known that what they were doing was totally inappropriate. I'd also be upset with every one of your friends who knew it was happening and laughed about it. There is a time and place for everything, and I assume you made it clear it was not a kink party.

Why do you take on the burden of telling yourself you have no right to your feelings? Your feelings are your feelings, and valid.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-03-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:56 PM
arondela arondela is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I read a _lot_ of books. I go to the used bookstore and browse through the self help section, and grab anything that seems useful. Self esteem, self worth, communication, relationships, anything that strikes me as being useful or interesting.
Thanks for all your advice/insight. I saw on another thread someone had posted a specific book that I'm going to check out.

Quote:
I imagine working on your self esteem would help though.
Agree, completely. It has been a life long struggle, and in a way it is unrelated to poly or even relationships at all. It's a personal battle, that can easily be triggered by other things.

Quote:
Is there any chance you could play with K without your boyfriend? Do you think that would help at all? Maybe it would be good for you to remember that she is attracted to YOU too.
That's part of the problem, K and I never even got to the point of personally discussing anything just between the 2 of us. She's more heteroflexible whereas I'm more bisexual, so I wasn't even sure exactly what level her physical attraction to me is or if she was just going along with a package deal. We were all supposed to talk about it before playing...

Quote:
I also want to point out you say contradicting things....

I am wondering if you really feel it was minor or are trying to convince yourself to see it that way so you can get past the hurt you are feeling by telling yourself it's not a big deal . So the physical act is minor, but the emotional aspects of the act obviously carries a LOT of weight for you.
Bingo, this is exactly it.

Quote:
Do you feel that he has also been super considerate of YOUR feelings and boundaries? Do you think that if you sat down and negotiated/re-negotiated boundaries that they would be respected and held to?

I know those of us who feel we are SO considerate of our partners feelings often expect others to show us the same behavior back and feel hurt when they fail to do so.
It's more that once he's in the situation where he's excited about someone, he just doesn't think of me or my feelings at all. He then feels horrible afterwards, but in the moment it's like I don't exist or am not a factor/consideration. He even he admits that I've been amazing about respecting him, taking things slow with others, giving him time/limits when he's needed them, and so on. Even to the point where when something isn't a boundary cross, I've still proceeded with caution and consideration for his feelings.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:46 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Why do you feel the act was so minor? Clearly from your reaction and reluctance to talk to other that were there that's not entirely true?

This party was at your home? ( the incident w/sister)
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:20 PM
arondela arondela is offline
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Yes, the party was in our home. I often struggle with feeling bad or wrong for whatever I'm feeling on top of all the crap that comes with being hurt. It's also something I know about and work on, but I guess it leaks out a bit still.

After more talking yesterday, I went ahead and opened a dialog with K about what happened. She's very new to all of this, which I should have included in my original message. I think not being honest with her about what happened was making me feel guilty as well.

Silver lining, I'm glad the situation brought me to this forum and look forward to being active here. Seems like a really great group of people!
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:57 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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So he knew the guest list, knew your sister was going to be there, knew that you wanted that part of your life to remain private, correct. And yet new thought it would fun to push things to the edge....put on a show...possibly out you/educate your sister in womanly arts, and or humiliate you in front of your sister and other guests. Nice fucking guy. ...but fun at parties .

His judgement and impulse control is what would worry me. Would he want you to do something like that at his parents house. Why not dare him to do this at one of his family functions. He might get a real thrill out of that. Its cute that she wrote that in her profile ...but to "decide " to use this venue to execute that speaks volumes on your dynamic.

Just got a late thought ...they should go to a crowded water park ...lot of kids and families around...I'm told that's really, really. really thrilling

Last edited by dingedheart; 01-04-2012 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Waterpark stuff
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:52 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Seemed like a reasonable assumption and I figured the OP could correct me if I was wrong.
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