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  #21  
Old 02-14-2012, 05:39 PM
elemental elemental is offline
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the cowboy reference also comes into play because BP told me she felt like I was stealing her GF away from her
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:01 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Yeah, I've gotta disagree with some of the harshness here.

Putting his past mistakes aside, what have been Elemental's transgressions here? He was in bed naked with his gf, and that was counter to what the group had previously agreed would be their boundary. It takes two to tango, both he and the gf screwed up there by not just asking for what they wanted, especially since it seems from some of BP's posts like she wanted them to take some separate space as well.

So, ok, major screw up bound to cause hurt emotions. But can you honestly call it cheating when this was someone with whom he was already intimate, just in a group setting, and they didn't even have sex per se?

Then there was the time he stopped by the bar. Again, certainly not cheating, just sort of a foolish impulsive thing since they were supposed to be on a beak from the triad at that point. More boundary pushing, potentially hurtful, but I just can't see getting *too* mad at someone for briefly seeing someone they're supposed to be in a relationship with in a public space. I would call that a minor transgression, though of course that's not my call to make since I'm not the one in the situation, and a I'm sure it felt like an extra big deal since they were trying to rebuild trust.

Let's have a little compassion here. Poly may or may not be the right choice for these guys at this time but I think the biggest mistake, which all three of them made, was in setting their boundaries at a place which, to my mind, truly just doesn't work -- all together all the time or nothing. In that context, Elemental screwed up but I don't think he cheated, even if he's been a cheater in the past. And it doesn't seem fair/accurate to say he was trying to steal the gf, either, just by having a little alone time with her... maybe she and he fell for each other more than she and BP, but that's just what tends to happen in triads, in one direction or another. Again, maybe it really did feel like that's what he was doing, and maybe I'm wrong and it really was his intent, consciously or unconsciously to turn the triad into more of a vee... but my guess is it was just that same natural process we seem to see over and over, handled poorly, as It all too often is.

Elemental, people here tend to operate under a model of tough love more often than not. Don't take it too much to heart. We've had people leave permanently before because they couldn't take the heat, which seemed like a huge shame because useful conversations were happening at the same time, so try to have a tough skin if you can! Haha, this coming from the person whobasically suggested you might have antisocial personality disorder above...
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:31 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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No, I don't think elemental was a cowboy in the poly sense. The cowboy/girl, generally speaking, would be the new third person, not one of the couple. Their gf is also not a cowgirl. There are no cowpeople in this case.

I agree that the thinking of this couple to "add" a third and expect all sex to be amongst the 3 was naive... and we constantly see that here. In fact, I made the same mistake when my ex-h and I first tried poly, with typically disastrous results, as BP knows.

But elemental and gf being in bed together naked, sex or not, while BP was supposed to be out (but came home unexpectedly) was a clear crossing of agreed upon boundaries. So was meeting gf in the bar when he was supposed to not be seeing her or communicating with her for 2 weeks. It's not huge or major, but it was still cheating, and still hurt BP. A lot.

Elemental knows he has a habit of breaking boundaries, and transgressing agreements with his primaries in the past, so even though these current transgressions were seemingly minor, they were still wrong, and still messed with BP's head.

However, yes, I applaud Elemental for coming here and "confessing" to his less than respectful patterns, and I hope this is a fresh start to more openness and honesty and eventual healthy polyamory with BP.
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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

me: Mags, 58, living with:
miss pixi, 37, who is dating (NRE):
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my bf: Ginger, 61, married to:
Robin, 60 (mono)
and dating (NRE): Carla and David, married couple, early 40s
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  #24  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:55 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Trust is a two way street. It is not merely doing what you say you will do which is where I see Elemental needing to put work in. It is also saying what you mean as BP (and her hubbo I hope too) discovered some work needs to be put in.
As well it is about believing you can say what you mean and not be "punished" or have it fall on deaf ears.

When Elemental and the GF discovered they wanted some alone time, it should have been shared first with BP. When BP was struggling to feel close to them as a result of being out of their loop, she should have been perhaps clearer about the emotions she was feeling over it and not push herself too much too soon to get over it. I commend the GF for telling Elemental he had to spill about showing up at the bar or she would tell BP herself. It means she knew what it could mean to BP and cared about that more than she cared about what was building between her and Elemental.

Elemental, is there any insight you might have to what gave you the impulse to go around BP in a more vee pattern than the triad situation already afforded you? Did you feel challenged by their rapport or made to feel like you would be eventually hedged out yourself? Do you struggle to not be the center of attention in group situations? Or did you and the GF really want to do away with the rule of all involved but felt BP was not receptive to the idea? Did some part of you know it would create a split between them and make you more the focus of them both?
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  #25  
Old 02-14-2012, 07:13 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
Elemental, is there any insight you might have to what gave you the impulse to go around BP in a more vee pattern than the triad situation already afforded you? Did you feel challenged by their rapport or made to feel like you would be eventually hedged out yourself? Do you struggle to not be the center of attention in group situations? Or did you and the GF really want to do away with the rule of all involved but felt BP was not receptive to the idea? Did some part of you know it would create a split between them and make you more the focus of them both?
Yes! I totally meant to ask some of these questions too but got distracted. I think it could be very fruitful to know what happened that resulted in the major beach of trust with you two being in bed together... what were the actions and thought processes that led up to it? It's silly for us to speculate when you could just tell us.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #26  
Old 02-15-2012, 07:37 AM
elemental elemental is offline
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What preceded the event, hmm. Things where moving along swiftly, gf was staying over and bed sharing for days at a time, BP would get up and go to work leaving us to snuggle in bed until we got up. I think part of that was an extension of that, as well as our strong sexual/sensual connection. Partly willful ignorance that if we were not having penetrative sex or foreplay then it was all right to be in bed together, we both enjoyed denying ourselves, which inevitably lead to a more charged sexual atmosphere that helped alienate BP. Part of me feels like if we would have been allowed to have sex then there would have been less pressure on BP, but it seems the hurt would have still been there no matter which way we took it. I think willful ignorance, not seeing how our actions where stressing BP out added a lot to the mix. I guess I can attribute it to a certain selfishness, selflessness has never been my strongpoint, although I do find great satisfaction in acts of service as a love language. There where other boundary transgressions, probably to some minor but when all added up and mixed with past hurt was all too much for BP. I know now that I handled that whole situation poorly, on everyone’s behalf.

One of the early boundary struggles I had was around communication, as BP was handling all of that, I could read up on the emailing and txts but had no independent communication with our gf, and that bothered me. At times I could see the logic in it as they grew their friendship, but as we became more of a triad I began to resent the limited communication I had. I wanted to be able to say “ thinking of you” without it being a boundary issue, but it was. Eventually that boundary was negotiated but not without lots of processing.

I think once the relationship got moving along ( too quickly) I started to resent some of the boundaries and my old patterns of rebelliousness where triggered, as well as our swelling NRE which kicked in the desire for more part of it. All of which attributed to BP’s feelings of being alienated and overwhelmed. She wrote a real nice piece about her experience in the blog section of the forum “ Ideals vs Realities”.
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  #27  
Old 02-15-2012, 07:16 PM
elemental elemental is offline
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Some pretty hard realizations hit me this morning, this part should be called the “addict confessional”, and I am really struggling with the realization that a lot of my behavioral pattern is built up from my addictive nature, that all the signs along the way have shown me that I was back sliding into old patterns. I guess feeling good in recovery and letting my guard down, it seems to start with little things, drinking more regularly, started smoking more regularly, the more intense sexual experiences, tripping on the nre, losing sight of the selfish behavior, all that justification bllsht. UGH. Got to get out of the downward spiral and get clear.
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  #28  
Old 02-15-2012, 08:19 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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You remind me a bit of my husband. Well, not so much now but how he use to be. So don't wallow too much because the work you need to put in and the better habits you need to establish are not impossible. And it might bring to you what it unexpectedly brought to him - real pride and peace of mind. It might not sound as sexy as "outlaw" to you but it sure has made things sexier around my house than it use to be!
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  #29  
Old 02-15-2012, 08:23 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemental View Post
Some pretty hard realizations hit me this morning
I hate mornings like that
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  #30  
Old 02-15-2012, 08:47 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Ok, so you and the gf already had a history of being alone in bed together, presumably naked (or not? I sleep naked but I know not everyone does), with BP leaving you two alone to snuggle when she went to work. The problem occurred when the gf was left in bed by both of you, and you came back home first and got back into bed with her naked. Is that correct? Was there, in fact, a clear rule about this sort of situation? I'm not trying to make excuses for you, since you yourself seem to feel very strongly that what you did was wrong, but the boundaries here seem really fuzzy to me.

Did you know that what you were doing that day would cause a huge stir if BP found out, or did you think it would be ok? Did you plan to tell her, or did you not think that far? Was, in fact, any sexy stuff happening, or was it just snuggling along the lines of what you two had already been doing in bed together alone with BP's knowledge on the days when she left for work first? Did you leave work early specifically to spend time with the gf, or did it just happen to work out that you got home early? Was the gf still in bed when you got home, or did you two get back in bed?

These may seem like really invasive questions, and I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to answer, but the nuances here seem important to me since this was the point at which everything started to fall apart, and I still have no idea, as an outside observer, of what actually happened.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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