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  #11  
Old 12-28-2011, 03:13 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Bookbug - I'm so sorry for what you are going through. As I read your story I felt a real connection to you because of my experiences over the last year. I was part of a MFFM quad which was powerfully passionate and eventually exploded brilliantly due to inherent personality clashes. We each contributed our own issues to the mix, and my husband and I discovered some marital issues of our own but one of the most significant problems with the quad was the terrible quality of the other couple's marriage.
I am so sorry to hear that. I'd wondered if quads were possibly more stable given equal number of men and women, but yeah, I can see where an unstable marriage as in your situation would be just as damaging.

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Over the next months though we began to discover the cracks in their foundation, each of which my husband Jute and I tried to rationalize away because we deeply loved them by then and wanted the poly family of our dreams so badly.
Those pictures we paint for ourselves are truly beautiful, aren't they?

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I'll avoid the sordid details, but long story short they are divorcing now, and Jute and I were separated for a few weeks, but are now together and happy again.
I'm so glad you were able to reclaim your relationship with Jute. It must have been a very tough period.

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I would be there for them in a heartbeat if they needed help. I know what you mean about not being unable to 'un love' another.
That is the crux. I keep thinking that this all ought to be fixable since we do love one another. But yes, that is the road to insanity.

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In my opinion these people need to become your distant friends for your own good. Focus on yourself, and what you've learned from this experience for a while. Throw yourself into a new project or activity. Meet new people, but you don't need to date others if you're not ready to do so. It took me a while to even feel ready to be with my husband again. About 6 months from their exit I have just now began developing a relationship with someone I've known a long time prior. Dating someone brand new at this point is probably beyond my emotional capacity.
I think you're right about me developing new interests, but not worrying about dating yet. It's just too soon. I always want logic to care of these things, but sometimes, it just takes time.

Thanks so much for sharing your story. Hearing others' experiences does help!
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2011, 04:30 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I'd wondered if quads were possibly more stable given equal number of men and women...
It's not the number of people involved or poly configuration that make relationships stable, it is the people themselves. Just about any configuration can work well if the players are healthy in their approach, self-aware, honest, and willing to do the necessary work.

In your case, the healthiest and most nurturing thing to do, for yourself as well as for them, is to walk away and let them tend to their difficulties. You leave the door open by finding strength within yourself to take care of your needs and simply allowing for possibility; waiting for them and putting your life on hold is NOT the way to do it. Doing so will only keep you stuck and, eventually, resentful.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2011, 04:40 AM
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It's not the number of people involved or poly configuration that make relationships stable, it is the people themselves. Just about any configuration can work well if the players are healthy in their approach, self-aware, honest, and willing to do the necessary work.

Agreed, and well said.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2011, 04:48 AM
dragonflysky dragonflysky is offline
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It could be that hanging in there as he is asking would only serve to delay them having to face and deal with their relationship issues. If he has you waiting on the side....instead of moving things along to be with you...he might just delay making some difficult choices/decisions. If he doesn't have you as a "crutch"...or stand-by", he may face the realities of their problems much quicker. Just a thought........ Also, he wants you to wait to see what happens.....in terms of whether or not she leaves him when she finishes school? I think not! Wouldn't you rather know he chose you instead of accepted you AFTER SHE decided what SHE was doing??


Not an easy decision to make by any means. ((Hugs))

Last edited by dragonflysky; 12-29-2011 at 04:51 AM.
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2011, 06:13 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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It's not the number of people involved or poly configuration that make relationships stable, it is the people themselves. Just about any configuration can work well if the players are healthy in their approach, self-aware, honest, and willing to do the necessary work.
Yes, I can see the logic of that, which is how I operate ~ logic. However, many people do not live there, it's all about just the emotions with little reasoning behind them. During the deterioration, my friend intimated several times that she would have coped better in a quad situation. Although she never said it, I kept getting the feeling that she felt her husband didn't have enough love for both of us, but if another male were involved, it would have balanced out. Yeah, I don't get it. But this is what led me to wonder. I learned a long time ago that most people's minds do not work like mine.

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In your case, the healthiest and most nurturing thing to do, for yourself as well as for them, is to walk away and let them tend to their difficulties.
I moved out of the house 2 months ago, and in the last 72 hours some progress has finally been made. For the first time ever, my friend's husband finally got her to acknowledge that I was not the sole source of the problems between them. (I do think I catalyzed their acknowledgement of problems.) She also finally sanctioned the friendship between he and I. Since I left, she had continued to try to dismantle even the basic friendship between he and I. Interestingly enough, the way the sanctioning came about is for him to offer to cut off all contact with me on two different occasions in the last ten days. Each time she has said no. My theory is that faced with that option, she realized that cutting me out of their lives entirely would actually not fix a damn thing. And then she admitted that she was not ready to give me up.

My friend's birthday and mine are on the same day ~ tomorrow ~ and she and I are spending the day together.

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post

You leave the door open by finding strength within yourself to take care of your needs and simply allowing for possibility; waiting for them and putting your life on hold is NOT the way to do it. Doing so will only keep you stuck and, eventually, resentful.
It's a psychological maze, sometimes isn't it? Since neither of them are letting me go, so to speak, (and likewise, I don't want to be completely out of their lives, I just want us all to be happy) it just occurred to me in responding to you that I need to re-frame this whole situation. I need to let go of the loss, and start from here, today. See what happens.

My friend's husband, revealed that he will have me back one way or another (and he hopes it is with his wife in agreement). However, he realizes if their specific issues cannot be remedied, then it may be without her as well. That said, he wants to give her a chance to grow.

So in the meantime, I will live. Take where we are now as the basis, and let it be as it is, and if anything manifests, let it grow (or re-grow) in its own time.

Thank you for offering your perspective on "leaving the door open". Sometimes, it's hard to see that certain things are not mutually exclusive.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2011, 06:53 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by dragonflysky View Post
It could be that hanging in there as he is asking would only serve to delay them having to face and deal with their relationship issues. If he has you waiting on the side....instead of moving things along to be with you...he might just delay making some difficult choices/decisions. If he doesn't have you as a "crutch"...or stand-by", he may face the realities of their problems much quicker.
Yes, I probably should have moved out prior to this. I've now been gone two months, and just now, she has finally acknowledged there were problems between them that have nothing to do with me. I think she had to experience time without me in order to realize that. But of course, feelings take forever to work through....

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Originally Posted by dragonflysky View Post
Just a thought........ Also, he wants you to wait to see what happens.....in terms of whether or not she leaves him when she finishes school? I think not! Wouldn't you rather know he chose you instead of accepted you AFTER SHE decided what SHE was doing??
I knew going in that should this fail, his primary responsibility was to his wife and children. I can't fault him for that. He's never lied to me. He feels that he must provide every opportunity for reconciliation. That said, part of their ability to live an amiable existence in the future will partially depend on her understanding and acceptance that he loves me as well as her. He'll do all she asks configuration-wise, but if she loves him, she's going to have accept who he has become. (Loving me, while a primary focus, isn't all of their problem by any means.)

In any case, he has never wanted the question framed as him having to make a choice between she and I ~ although she kept pushing for exactly that. But I know and he knows that people are not interchangeable. (She seems to think if I had a new guy, I'd get over the love I have her husband, like getting a new puppy to get over the loss of the old puppy.)

In the last day or two, her husband informed me that he intends to have me return to his life at some point in time. I want this too. And while I know he's not comfortable with the idea of me spending time with another guy, he said whatever happens in between is unimportant. So I view this as an acceptance of sorts. Understanding that I can't keep my life on hold, but wanting me to keep the door open. Which I will gladly do.


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Not an easy decision to make by any means. ((Hugs))
With the help of the fine people here, I am finally getting my head where I want it to be. Thank you!
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:44 PM
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risingscarlet risingscarlet is offline
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Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
I kept getting the feeling that she felt her husband didn't have enough love for both of us,
That you think she feels this way tells me that she may just not be able to emotionally handle the relationship. Love is not finite, and as long as she feels it is she is going to take issue with her husband's dividing his attentions.


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Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
She also finally sanctioned the friendship between he and I. Since I left, she had continued to try to dismantle even the basic friendship between he and I... she realized that cutting me out of their lives entirely would actually not fix a damn thing. And then she admitted that she was not ready to give me up.
This reminds me so much of my former quad. My girlfriend would alternately extend and retract her 'permission' for the relationship between my boyfriend and I, and she would 'break up with' and then reunite with me repeatedly. It tore our hearts to shreds. Reading this just made me sad.

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My friend's husband, revealed that he will have me back one way or another (and he hopes it is with his wife in agreement). However, he realizes if their specific issues cannot be remedied, then it may be without her as well. That said, he wants to give her a chance to grow.
I'm sorry but it sounds to me that he is choosing to leave you hanging because he doesn't want to let either of you go. Consider if that's something you're willing to accept.

Good luck to you. Happy Birthday.
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Scarlet's Blog: http://scarletsredletters.blogspot.com/
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2011, 08:25 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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That you think she feels this way tells me that she may just not be able to emotionally handle the relationship. Love is not finite, and as long as she feels it is she is going to take issue with her husband's dividing his attentions.
Agreed. That said, it appears she has now become somewhat accepting of the friendship aspect. I think she has a big heart, but she is a very wounded person due to her upbringing.

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Originally Posted by risingscarlet View Post
This reminds me so much of my former quad. My girlfriend would alternately extend and retract her 'permission' for the relationship between my boyfriend and I, and she would 'break up with' and then reunite with me repeatedly. It tore our hearts to shreds. Reading this just made me sad.
Yes. The back and forth would be horrible. Our experience went like this: She was unhappy / insecure and would suggest "A" as a solution. So we'd do "A". Nope that didn't fix it, so she would say well, if you'd just do "B". And that didn't fix it. And each of these suggestions further limited the ability of myself and her husband to express our love for one another. Until we were down to a basic platonic relationship. We never got anything back as you describe. Just a downward spiral. Until he offered to end all contact with me. Here we actually gained something ~ the acceptance of our friendship.

He considered making the offer to cut contact with me a huge gamble, and yet felt there was nowhere else to go. If she had taken him up on it, he would have followed through, thinking that with me totally removed from the picture, she would no longer have any excuses and would have to face their issues. Thus far, she has used me as a convenient excuse for failing to acknowledge their problems.

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I'm sorry but it sounds to me that he is choosing to leave you hanging because he doesn't want to let either of you go. Consider if that's something you're willing to accept.

Good luck to you. Happy Birthday.
Thanks for the birthday wishes!

If it were up to me, I'd have the triad we started out with. I came from a MFF triad (vee formation) that worked very well and know how beautiful it can be when all members love one another and are well-adjusted. I totally understand him not wanting to let either of us go. If I were faced with the same decision, I wouldn't want to choose either. He loves us both, and hasn't figured out how to un-love either of us.

And actually his revelation that he intends to have me back at some point was welcome news, because the understanding I'd been working under due to our initial agreement is that if didn't work out, I'd be sacrificed and she would remain. As it turns out, it isn't that simple. He cannot go back to where they were before. He cannot just forget me.

Yes, the practical application sucks, and it does not change my circumstances dramatically at this point, but psychologically, it did me some good to know I wasn't that easily sacrificed, and that his love for me is deep enought that he has put 13 years of marriage on the line.

The fact of the matter is, I do not want to let him go either. So knowing this, I just have to work that into how I get on my with life. I wanted to leave that door open anyway. Now I know I have a legitimate reason for doing so than simply my own personal hope. I am far more relaxed than I was when I originally authored this post.
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2011, 07:00 PM
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I'm glad you are feeling more relaxed and content with the situation, and hope all works out well for you and your partners. I'm hoping you keep us up to date on things too, because I'm exceedingly curious how this will turn out for you.

Take Care.
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"Owning your feelings is basic to understanding the boundaries of where you end and the next person begins and the perfect first step toward self-acceptance and self-love." The Ethical Slut pg 69, Dossie Easton and Janet W Hardy

Scarlet's Blog: http://scarletsredletters.blogspot.com/
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  #20  
Old 12-31-2011, 05:46 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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I'm glad you are feeling more relaxed and content with the situation, and hope all works out well for you and your partners. I'm hoping you keep us up to date on things too, because I'm exceedingly curious how this will turn out for you.

Take Care.
I am exceedingly curious too! :-)

Interestingly enough, after he revealed his long term goal / hope about having me back, I spent the day with her and she and I had a heart to heart about where some things went wrong, and about rebuilding our relationship. (No, she is not interested in resuming a triad. But as one poster here shared, his wife changed her mind about poly after 6 years, so her husband and I have a glimmer. LOL!) She and I connected in a way that we have not for a very long time. It was a great day!

They had sought marriage counseling (no poly friendly counselor on their insurance) and she revealed that naturally, he suggested they dump me from their lives. Instead, they both decided to dump him.

In any case, I feel there is a good chance that we will eventually have a very good, close relationship of some kind, even if we do not get back to the full triad. That is far better than the pain we have all been suffering.
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