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Old 02-13-2012, 12:11 AM
elemental elemental is offline
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Default cowboy confessional

I’m a Cowboy. I push boundaries to breaking points. I have cheated in all my previous long term relationships under the guise of “polyamory”. I have selfish tendencies around relationships and sex. I am very sexual, have a strong sexuality, love to experiment, and a sexual late bloomer. When push comes to shove I have a history of giving myself what I want, when I want it. I have enabled my behaviour by refusing to address character deficiencies with self serving explanations. I have been sneaky, and dishonest to partners in the past. I have a long rebellious history with any kind of authority and am prone to addictive behaviours, having struggled with addiction issues and anger management most of my adolescent/adult life. I am charismatic, attractive, masculine, strong and creative, a man's man. I come from middle class white upbringing, with an anarchistic street punk art student youth. I have been criminally minded, and a long history of living in the margins,
In the shadows, between the cracks. I am self employed, a self made man.

I am 42, in a relationship with the woman of my dreams who is 10 years younger for the last five years, married for 2. We came together as a casual encounter, both being in sexually unsatisfying relationships, her with permission, me in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” forced open kind of way. We fell in love, she left her fiancé to be with me, and I left my wife.
Our relationship was bonded on an incredible sexual connection, and we worked hard to add the compatible elements of a partnership as we went along, both of us working really hard to stay together, to do our self work, counselling, self examination, group work ect.
We have grown a great love, and understand each other like no one else ever has in our lives, having seen all the warts. She knows me, keeps me honest by not letting me get away with my past patterns, for the most part, stands up to me. She is a strong woman for sure, also a self made woman. A Boss.

We both have a long history with poly. Her with multiply boy/girl friends, me with multiple girlfriends, being the secondary in a MMF. So when it came time for us to want to open up our relationship, to experiment it came pretty naturally for us. We experimented with a threesome, had a great time, moved to a couple, also great except for some compatibility issues, moved on to another threesome, and met this great lady, a student at a local university, looking for us as well. Things started so well, fun, great sex, great communication; we quickly went deeper than any of our previous experiences. My wife was falling in love with this woman, quickly making plans to include her in our life.
I cautioned against rushing in to anything, but was quickly swept up in NRE, let my guard down, quickly developed feelings for this woman, all with the encouragement from my wife. That’s when my Cowboy tendencies started to really come out.

I started pushing our agreed upon boundaries, the physical, the emotional. Initiating contact outside of the triad, initiating sex when it made my wife uncomfortable, always wanting more. I was falling in love with our girlfriend, and it was scaring the shit out of my wife. We would talk and talk with each boundary transgression, I would assure her that it wouldn’t happen again, but still I would find ways to push the limits, always in my head finding ways to justify my actions, my feelings. It came to a head when my wife came home from work and found us in bed together. That changed everything for my wife, killed her NRE for our girlfriend, and was the moment of change in our poly life.

Me chipping away at her trust has now blown a huge hole in our relationship. After a month of trying to work it out she broken up with our girlfriend, again after another boundary transgression, me meeting up with our GF having drinks at a bar with friends, me just showing up unannounced, uninvited. Me just doing what I want, not thinking of anyone else, just being a Cowboy. We had worked our way back to giving the triad another shot, and I just ramble in and fuck everything up with my stupid selfish behaviour. Now I have split up our GF and my wife, who really care about each other but I feel I have eroded my wife’s trust to the point of not wanting to re-establish the relationship. Our GF loves the couple experience, and I have taken that from her. There has been talk of me and our GF continuing on in a V with my wife, but I don’t know if that is even possible now. I really care for our GF, want to keep seeing her but can’t have a relationship with her at the expense of my primary relationship. Yee–fucking-haw.

So I have this battle inside of me, my wants and desires of poly triad partnership with my wife and our (ex)GF, my desire to keep seeing her myself, and my concern for my wife and my love for her and our relationship. Add to it all my Cowboy tendencies and it’s just a party in my head and heart.

I am posting this as a way to get it out of myself, to add to it as it comes. My questions to the community on here are mostly for others like me, reformed Cowboys/girls who like me have struggled with these issues. Any tips on coping or ways to work this out of myself, I really do want to be a better man, to be the man I know I can be. I want to be a good poly man, who lives his life being good to his partners, taking care of their needs and feelings, as well as my own. I want to change these Cowboy ways.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:44 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hmm, it seems you are using the word "cowboy" in a different way than most poly people use it.
The world opens up... when you do.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:59 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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So, why does the gf bear no responsibility... was she unaware that your wife would object to finding the two of you in bed together? As for the couple experience, your gf can find that with many other people, hot bi babes are always in demand, you haven't taken that chance away from her.

If I were you I would step away and let it be a vee with your wife as the hinge. Let her and the gf be together, if indeed they want that, and you stay out of it until you all feel you've regained some trust. A test, basically -- will you actually be able to stay away? Can you change? Or, maybe you and your wife should abandon poly for the time being altogether while you do some counseling or soul-searching or will-strengthening exercises or something.

Your behavior pattern sounds kind of compulsive. What do you think caused you to act that way? On the one hand, your past history suggests you just have issues that need work, I almost thought antisocial personality at some points since you seemed to have so much self confidence to the point of arrogance paired with so little regard for the feelings of others.

On the other hand, *why* was it so bad for you to be in bed with the gf, or to drop in on a social outing? I feel strongly that even triads need alone time for the various dyads involved so if that wasn't allowed, I can certainly see why you (and, perhaps, she as well) would strain against that particular boundary. Seriously, I can never understand the idea that it's ok to fuck or socialize in a group but not separately, it seems to set people up to break the rules since it's such a natural desire to spend some one-on-one time with someone you like now and then... in my mind anyway. It's like, if you're going to do poly just go for it. How is someone your "girlfriend" if you're not allowed to meet them at a bar? I know that doesn't address the issue you're asking for help with so please excuse the mini-rant, it's just a pet peeve, as someone involved with a married couple.

Kudos, anyway, on wanting to change, nothing can happen without that.
Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:42 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Good for you fessing up to your short comings as you see it. That is very brave. It seems that you need more bravery and more fessing up however....

This is thread that might help with the term "cowboy." It doesn't seem to me that you are a cowboy by the regular descriptions in poly theory. I would say you are a "cheater." With a cheater mindset. I have been one also and it took years to re-train my head.

It takes years to get through the entitlement one learns to take on when one cheats. Its almost as if no one else exists. The concept of being considerate/empathetic/compassionate seems to have to be re-learned. It sounds to me like you have not learned this yet. So start now. Every time you find yourself in desire of what YOU want, ask yourself what would occur if you acted on that. How would your wife feel about it, how would your gf feel, what would the possible scenario unfold if you were to "go there?"

I would suggest that if you have one ounce of doubt about what you are doing, either don't do it and relay the circumstance later to those involved and check if your gut was right, or ask. Make a phone call and check it out. Don't assume anything and don't expect others to be willing to just bend because you want them to. If they say that in no way would they be okay with what you are asking, then don't do it. Walk away.

I would suggest asking your wife for help on this. You seem to be unable to do it alone. You will likely have to make yourself very vulnerable to her and others, but in that, you might be able to re-build your integrity in her eyes so that she can trust you again. You will have to work hard to get to a point where YOU trust yourself again.
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Last edited by redpepper; 02-13-2012 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:11 AM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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Actually his negative application, makes more sense then the poly-applied one.
When speaking of ignorant crap, anyhow.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:30 AM
Jade Jade is offline
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Elemental, I give you total credit for being self-aware. You acknowledge things that few would dare admit to themselves. The challenge you have is to be honest now with others. It won't be pretty. When you live in an untenable lie, the only way to break it and mold it into something real is to be honest about your bullshit.

I wish you luck. You have the intelligence to do it. Now show that you have the courage.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:31 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
On the other hand, *why* was it so bad for you to drop in on a social outing?
Because he wasn't invited. I mean sure, it's a free country and people can go where they please. But when your partner tells you "I'm going out with some friends" and doesn't include "would you like to come?" it's a clear indication that your presence will be unwelcome. Ignoring her desires and showing up uninvited is disrespectful. By the sounds of it, he got in trouble from the girlfriend for intruding on her outing with friends, not from his wife for meeting up with the girlfriend behind the wife's back.

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
It doesn't seem to me that you are a cowboy by the regular descriptions in poly theory. I would say you are a "cheater." With a cheater mindset. I have been one also and it took years to re-train my head.
While I don't disagree that parts of his (mis)behaviour include cheating, I don't think that's the core of what he's referring to. His issue is much deeper than just cheating, it seems to extend into many aspects of his life.

I think the word he's looking for is "outlaw."
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 02-13-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:47 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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My girlfriend started out not unlike you. She cheated on virtually every partner she'd ever had.

Eventually she learned about poly and it changed her life. She started living openly with her partners, started being honest with herself and with them that she could not do monogamy.

So it is possible to reform.

But I think before you start working on being poly, you need to work on yourself. To be blunt: what you describe as "cowboy ways" I describe as "being a jerk." It's not enough to state that as a fact, you have to actually change it. Start doing things for other people. At first, you'll just have to force yourself, but eventually you'll learn how wonderful it feels to make someone happy (other than yourself). Once you get a taste of the reward, you'll probably start doing it more, and that can really be an upward spiral.
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:06 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Pride and Falls

It does something wonderful to my heart to see you on here; no change can come from outside, only from within, and while there is growth that others can inspire you, it's the growth that you choose to pursue yourself that will alter the course of your life in unimaginably beautiful ways. I am proud of you for being on here, and speaking your truth - for sharing the places you hide, and being honest. Free yourself from old ways, and find a new way of being, am here to support and love you as you find out what that new ways is.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:54 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Oh, BP, I thought maybe this guy was your husband. Your situations seem so similar.
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 62), dating... again!
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