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Old 08-07-2012, 04:10 AM
Sarcophagus Sarcophagus is offline
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Post Bad introduction to polyamory.

So here's my predicament.

My relationship hasn't been doing well for the last two years for various reasons; in large part due to my own personal issues preventing my fiance of six years from getting what she needed out of me which, in turn, prevented me from ever getting what I needed out of her. She was gone on a research grant for two months recently, during which time she cheated on me several times with the same person. On returning, she told me immediately, face-to-face. When asked why she wouldn't have called beforehand, she insists it was sudden and spur of the moment, and that at the time, we were pretty much not working anyway. When asked why she didn't tell me before continuing, she was afraid I would have just moved out and left her while she was gone, without hearing her out.

When I initially found out, I was going to leave. But in the time I spent with her before I could gather my belongings and rent a truck, I fell for her all over again. She's gone through a sort of metamorphosis into someone more honest with herself and, therefore, with me. To say she was abrasive and even belligerent at times before now would be an understatement.

What hurts the most is how I understand her feelings on the matter and would have been willing to open up from the start. Envy aside, I would have been fine with the idea of an open relationship if it had been presented to me first, and if we could have gone into that form of relationship comfortably and mutually together. But even after she told me, it basically came down to "this is who and what I am, this is what I'm going to do with him; please accept it or get out".

We and he live in different states, but she plans on visiting and staying with him for some time near the end of this month, regardless of what I have to say. Given how uncomfortable I am with the situation as a whole, and how I never had a chance to give my consent in the first place, it really just feels to my heart like "she's just cheating on you again, and now you know exactly when and in what situation".

The idea is that, while we love each other and work magnificently well domestically, she has a passion for him that I don't ignite. She's the most Alpha female I've ever met; I wouldn't call myself a Beta in most cases, but where she's concerned, I absolutely do go completely Omega. It's a hell of a turn off to both of us, really.

And in my case, I pretty much just wouldn't mind company while she's immersed in her career.

I've asked her if she would cut it off with him hypothetically. The vibe I get is that she would, but she would also be devastated. I asked her if she would at least cool it off with him in the mean time and get into this mutually from the start like it should have been in the first place, but we're far past a point where that would be viable, it seems. He's also aware of her intentions toward me; I think he mostly just respects her, is attracted to her, and wants a no-strings-attached relationship.

I think the hardest part is how I want what he gets out of her. I don't think I'd be jealous if I didn't. It's a side of her I find endearing from afar, but something just goes horribly wrong when I try to approach it myself.

I'd like to have romantic relationships with other people myself, too, and even threeway encounters with my fiance involving right people and comfort levels, but the way this played out was just the most absolutely wrong way for me, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I suppose if this relationship with her is so important to me that I just won't walk out, then letting go and taking it as it comes from here on is the only real option, but something is keeping me from that. I'm not comfortable with her and our situation. I'm pissed off, and bitter, and jealous, and it's ruining me. We're so closely entwined now that that translates to me not being comfortable with myself, so I can't even muster the give-a-damn to flirt with anyone else I'd find attractive otherwise.

It's just a confusing mess, really.

Last edited by Sarcophagus; 08-07-2012 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:57 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Likely to remain frustrating while you work through your emotions. It isa shitty way to start, but not uncommon. You have to decide if the work is worth it to you, to learn to accept that this is how it started and this is who she is. OR if you would rather leave. If you want to see how that work may manifest i suggest reading the blogs of a few of us who started poly from cheating disasters.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:49 AM
TheCubist TheCubist is offline
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That's not an intro to polyamory. It's an intro to cheating. You weren't given any choice besides "take it or leave it".
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:54 AM
Sarcophagus Sarcophagus is offline
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LovingRadiance, I'll do that. Maybe put things into perspective.

TheCubist: Exactly. And that's the bit that really cuts deep. She listens, and she's tried to be supportive, but when it comes down to it, she hasn't actually done anything to try and make this right to me other than that. Pretty much all I can do any more is bitch about the situation, and that doesn't help anyone.

Last edited by Sarcophagus; 08-07-2012 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:46 PM
TheCubist TheCubist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophagus View Post
LovingRadiance, I'll do that. Maybe put things into perspective.

TheCubist: Exactly. And that's the bit that really cuts deep. She listens, and she's tried to be supportive, but when it comes down to it, she hasn't actually done anything to try and make this right to me other than that. Pretty much all I can do any more is bitch about the situation, and that doesn't help anyone.
That's because this guy is more important to her than you. I know it's easy to say because I'm not there in your shoes .. but I'd really consider leaving the relationship. It's not good for you and your self respect.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:40 PM
Sarcophagus Sarcophagus is offline
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I'm not sure. Apparently he was unaware of me the first time, and after that, she told him about our engagement and how she has no intention of breaking it off. Obviously, they continued anyway.

It all just seems so...casually intense between them. I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around my part here.

I think if I really pushed it, I could convince her to not see him, but that would probably come to "if you visit him, I'm gone". I'd rather not go that route. It doesn't actually address anything and only serves as a sort of vindictive punishment.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:15 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophagus View Post
LovingRadiance, I'll do that. Maybe put things into perspective.

TheCubist: Exactly. And that's the bit that really cuts deep. She listens, and she's tried to be supportive, but when it comes down to it, she hasn't actually done anything to try and make this right to me other than that. Pretty much all I can do any more is bitch about the situation, and that doesn't help anyone.
There's so much I could say-but it's been covered so many times, especially so in my own blog.
Because I cheated and that is how we ended up getting to where we are now. But, I cheated with my best friend, who is a major part of our kids lives. There wasn't REALLY an option to remove this person from our lives even if I was willing to do that, because it would have destroyed our kids too.
So, in addition to me earning trust back, my boyfriend had to earn my husbands trust back AND we all had to figure out how to move forward together.
It hasn't been easy-not at all and we're certainly not the prototype for "perfect poly" if that even exists.
But, it's been almost 3 years (Sept. 25) and we're living together as a family with the kids and things are honestly going pretty well.

So-it IS possible.
But, I have to say-it's taken A LOT OF HONEST WORK on my part and on my boyfriends part to change our behaviors and attitudes AND
to re-earn trust AND
to work with some **Seemingly** stupid boundary limits AND
stay loving and considerate of my husband AND
really honestly, truly work to make amends for our past actions

in order to get to this place.
It's also required a LOT of work on my husbands part to forgive and move on.

None of that is easy.

I honestly can't say I would have made such major efforts if we hadn't already been married for 10 years and already had 4 kids in the mix. I probably would have bailed if we were less than a year in. And I KNOW he would have.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:28 PM
Sarcophagus Sarcophagus is offline
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That must have been one confusing mess.

That's something else that bugs me about this. I don't know this person. I may think he's an upstanding individual otherwise, and I may appreciate what he's done for her on some level, but I just don't really want anything to do with him.

Perhaps I should elaborate. She was in a very bad way before she left, feeling closed off and disconnected from everyone else. She felt she had to be a rock, an inhuman, "perfect" thing. As I understand it, this person was capable of breaking down her walls and drawing her out, making her comfortable with herself. I'm kind of frustrated that I had my head up my ass for so long that I couldn't even fix her, let alone myself.

So that's why he's so special to her. Watching them converse long-distance, I find myself having trouble wrapping my head around them. It seems he's into his own research and has attractions for others; as much as she may mean to him, I don't think he's pursuing anything permanent. If anything, he may see it as a special FWB thing.

Regarding her, I have no idea how she'd react if he went monogamous with someone else. I get the idea she's more interested in him than the other way around. He was there when she was most vulnerable. He was capable of "saving" her in her mind. It's definitely a strong source of attachment.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:10 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophagus View Post
When asked why she wouldn't have called beforehand, she insists it was sudden and spur of the moment, and that at the time, we were pretty much not working anyway. When asked why she didn't tell me before continuing, she was afraid I would have just moved out and left her while she was gone, without hearing her out.
Sleeping with someone several times happened in the spur of the moment?

She waited until she got home to tell you because she knew it would be much easier to manipulate you into accepting what she did if she could talk to you face to face. This is obviously not the first time she has "convinced" you to accept her bad behavior. In the six years you haven't gotten married (what's the real reason for the delay?), I'm sure you've taught her where all your buttons are. She filed that information away. I know I sound like I'm picking on her a lot. There's evidence of manipulation everywhere.

Your fiance is an accomplished manipulator. I can cheat because we weren't doing well anyway? She rationalizes a lot to help her accept her own deceitful behavior. Almost any kind of destructive behavior is possible if she uses this kind of thinking. She is going to do what she wants to do. Your options look pretty simple to me. Accept that fully (and I mean FULLY) or leave her. It looks like she's not giving you a 3rd option.

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Originally Posted by Sarcophagus View Post
Envy aside, I would have been fine with the idea of an open relationship if it had been presented to me first
So now you've had a chance to think seriously about poly. Remember, poly is about honesty. Do you really see honesty when you look at her? Consider moving on with your life and meeting new people.

Last edited by snowmelt; 08-07-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:24 PM
Sarcophagus Sarcophagus is offline
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I see honesty now, yes. Either she's had some realizations and it's an ongoing shift, or it's just some temporary honeymoon phase and she's still basking in afterglow from the other week.

The reason for our delay was that, initially, I wasn't cool with settling down. She actually proposed to me at first. I was resistant; I was young, and wanted to keep my options open, but I also clicked with her very much at the time. And yes, I do see the irony in how things turned out. Now it's a matter of university and work being excessively hectic.

You're quite right, though. She knows exactly what buttons to press, and knows how I'll react given most situations. Of course, I don't know if she's actively doing that; I really do think she's just frustrated with me being resistant and spiteful at this point.

Last edited by Sarcophagus; 08-07-2012 at 07:35 PM.
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