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Old 04-30-2011, 06:32 AM
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Ivy Ivy is offline
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Default Breakups and Social Circles?

So, Iím new to polyamory and I think Iím failing at it pretty badly so far. Or maybe associating with the wrong people. Or something.

My husband and I have been together for 13 years. We were monogamous until about a year ago, when I started dating ďE." Unfortunately, E and I had a somewhat messy breakup a little over a month ago.

The breakup itself needed to happen, and we settled that peacefully. We were incompatible on many levels, but most significantly, we had very different personal histories and levels of sexual confidence. E is the type who can walk into a grocery store and come out with a new sexual partner (and probably will, if sheís in the mood). Iím not unattractive, but I could spend six weeks in a bar wearing nothing but lingerie and even the bartender wouldnít offer me a drink.

E and I had the same circle of friends, and, because of her confidence, she has on-and-off sexual relationships with most of these people. Since our breakup, almost all of them have cut off contact with me, but remain in (very) close contact with her. I canít help but suspect theyíre doing that because they want to maintain their sexual relationships with her. Theyíre simply applying a cost-benefit analysis, and choosing sides based on it.

To complicate matters, over the years Iíve been attracted to several of these people, but only one ever returned the flirtations, and that was a no-go because I was monogamous at the time. We agreed to remain friends. Ironically, heís now Eís primary, and was the one who set E and I up to begin with. Heís also told me directly that heís uncomfortable remaining friends with me in light of the breakup (but at least he was polite and honest about it).

Iím heartbroken over the breakup, but to compound the pain, Iíve lost most of my social supports. My husbandís been tremendously encouraging, but his kind words arenít helping as much as they should. My sexual confidence has somehow gotten worse, and Iím even skittish about getting nekkid around my husband now. In theory, Iíd like to start dating againómy husband thinks this would help my confidence, and I agree, sort ofóbut the thought is just plain terrifying.

I havenít had a whole lot of breakups in my life, but especially not poly ones. Is it normal for entire social circles to vanish like this? ĎCause it really sucks.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:19 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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I would say this can happen with any breakup, whether poly or mono. It is they who suck, not you. You can start a blog here and make some new social contacts and friends.

I am on the ipod so that is all im gonna write for now. I think there is a plate of eggs benedict somewhere out there which has my name on it.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:08 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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I have to agree with Neon... this happens regardless.

I lost a lot of friends to my ex many moon ago. In the end they were more her friends than mine. It happens.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:06 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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It's situations like this that show you which ones are your real friends and which ones aren't. If a friendship was so weak that it was "lost" over this, then you're better off focusing your energies elsewhere (namely, on yourself).

I had the eggs benedict, and it was good
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:15 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
It's situations like this that show you which ones are your real friends and which ones aren't. If a friendship was so weak that it was "lost" over this, then you're better off focusing your energies elsewhere (namely, on yourself).

I had the eggs benedict, and it was good
Congrats on the eggs benny

I was lucky, I knew they were her friends and not mine. For the most part that whole group was "lost" to me in the last few years of the relationship. I did recognize it at the time.

I am even trying to think of when I had friends breakup. There was always a "side". I always friended one side more than the other, it was rarely even. It wasn't malicious (ok one time it was).. but the sides were there. Just by pure commonality.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:28 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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I don't think I've ever "lost" friends because of a break-up, but I sure can think of a couple times when someone else's break-up sent ripples through a particular circle of friends. I seem to recall people taking sides, but I don't recall any REAL friendships being destroyed in the long-term. If they are really friends with both members of the erstwhile "couple", they will say "I think you're both good people who are just not right for each other, and I want to stay friends with both of you, so please don't talk shit about each other to me."
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:19 AM
MrFarFromRight MrFarFromRight is offline
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All opinions that I express here are based on the premise that we can take your version of events to be true. (I write this because I'm a big believer in hearing all sides to any story. It doesn't mean that I doubt your word, but NONE of us are capable of being completely objective, and it would be holistic to read B and E's - and K's - take on what happened and why.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
Unfortunately, E and I had a somewhat messy breakup a little over a month ago.

To complicate matters, over the years Iíve been attracted to several of these people, but only one ever returned the flirtations, and that was a no-go because I was monogamous at the time. We agreed to remain friends. Ironically, heís now Eís primary, and was the one who set E and I up to begin with. Heís also told me directly that heís uncomfortable remaining friends with me in light of the breakup (but at least he was polite and honest about it).

Iím heartbroken over the breakup
Do you mean the break-up with E, or the one with that "only one [who] ever returned the flirtations" [whom I'll refer to here as "B"]? If the former, I'll get back to that after a few more quotes:
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Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
Iím not unattractive, but I could spend six weeks in a bar wearing nothing but lingerie and even the bartender wouldnít offer me a drink.
I had to laugh at this one! I'm sure it's not true. But - on the unlikely chance that it is - I recommend that you hire (or buy: it's well worth watching again and again) the DVD (NOT the VHS version which cut the best [in my opinion] part of the film [the opening monologue by Jumper]) of Scorchers by writer/director David Beaird and pay attention to the character Talbot... before AND after she talks with Thais. (Highly under-rated film - tied #1 of my favourites.)
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Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
[B]First, [E]'s ability to garner male attention was astounding. Much of the time, she expressed no attraction toward these men, or even a bit of disgust, but would still cultivate their interest. The problem was, she seemed utterly unaware of others' feelings, and treated sex as something entirely meaningless.
[...]
Perhaps more significantly, I was realizing that I wasn't over my feelings for [B...] I realized I missed him very much, and that I was still attracted to him.

I told [E] this, of course. She became profoundly upset over it. She asked what my ideal outcome to the situation would be, and I told her, quite simply, that I wanted to be involved with both of them. She replied "Yeah, that's definitely not going to work."

Then, a few months later, [... E] was going into explicit detail about the depth of [B] and [K]'s involvement, and the intensity of feelings he had expressed for her, and I just wanted to leave. I couldn't listen any more. Finally, she was ending an explanation of the situation, and said "anyway, she really, really likes him, so I guess that's that." I snapped, "I really, really liked him too, you know." She just stared at me like I didn't get it, and said, "Well...sorry."
OK, that last quote was from another of your blogs, and brings me back to the first quote I use in this comment:

a) If it's B that you're "heartbroken over the breakup" with, I can well understand that, but frankly he seems to have been willing to give you up with just a whimper... Which makes him a wimp and totally undeserving of you.

b) "Unfortunately, E and I had a somewhat messy breakup" Frankly (and going by your version of the situation on these 2 blogs) I don't think that it's unfortunate at all. I think that you're well shot of her. First she seemed to treat you with disdain. Then - once she knew that you were interested in her - she seems (to me) to have decided to add your scalp to her collection. She seems (again - from your account) to be a predator, with little regard for the feelings of others, as long as she's having a great time.

c) I agree with others who have advised not jumping to the conclusion that mutual friends don't value your friendship. But (after honest communication) if they do turn out to be willing to drop you like a used tissue because of loyalty to E (or wanting to retain her sexual favours) [and this applies to B, as well]... walk away with your head up high and NO regrets, because "friends" like that ain't worth having.

d) Your husband - on the other hand - sounds like a winner!
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:37 AM
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Ivy Ivy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFarFromRight View Post
All opinions that I express here are based on the premise that we can take your version of events to be true.
A very fair observation. My feelings are hurt, and I realize much of my anxiety of my friends' reactions is motivated by further fear of loss. Only so much pain a girl can handle in one go.

(And E has her own problems, which give her behavior so much context, but I'm not comfortable disclosing them here--they're hers, not mine.)

The breakup has really magnified my insecurities, hence the bar comment. I've also had people tell me I give off an "anti-sex" vibe (including some of these friends, as well as my husband, who teases me pretty mercilessly about it). Probably a defensive holdover from my earlier years, but still, a habit that needs to be broken.

Scorchers is on my must-view list already from reading another thread.

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d) Your husband - on the other hand - sounds like a winner!
So absolutely true. Which makes it easier to lie on the couch in my PJs, wallow in brokenheartedness, and avoid rebuilding friendships. ComfyHappyFail.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:02 AM
MrFarFromRight MrFarFromRight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
(And E has her own problems, which give her behavior so much context, but I'm not comfortable disclosing them here--they're hers, not mine.)
I can imagine - for example - a deep-seated insecurity driving somebody to treat others with contempt and/or as trophies. E's problems - whatever they are - are her business. But they don't give her a moral right to treat others badly.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:48 AM
HappiestManAlive HappiestManAlive is offline
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I was actually on the opposite side of this when evrythig went south with Adrian. ALL my friends - EVERY SINGLE ONE - took my (or "our, including Violet and Lana" as they saw it) side, and weren't very nice about it. This really upset me - I know Adrian was hurting too, and didn't need the blatant shunning on top of it. At one point i actually had to call some people out on it on FB, their comments on one status update got so mean spirited.

When my previous ex (before Violet and I got together) and I broke up, it was messy with friends. People I'd known twice as long or more than she had stopped talking to ME becuase she skewed their perceptions of the situation. Some mutual friends turned on her amid my protests. It took over a year to settle down, and some of those bonds never reconnected. Oddly, a very good mutual friend started dating her shortly after the breakup, and our friendship survived, and survived THEM breaking up, and survived Violet and I dating HIS ex at the same time (remember Anne?) whom MY ex that he was now seeing had set him up with, LMAO! And he is still close to her and to me/us - though NONE of us talk to Anne anymore, lol. Some friendships are made of stronger stuff I guess.
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