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Old 04-17-2012, 10:23 PM
Questioning Questioning is offline
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Default Been a hard road.

Hi. I am not sure of anything lately in my relationship. Perhaps you folk can help me understand us a bit better. This post is a long time coming, so might turn into an epic.

Not sure what's about to come out, but I sure need to get it out.

As a young man I drank too much and cheated on pretty much every girl I went out with. I then hated myself profusely, drank more, and reinforced my 'worthless' behaviour with more cheating. I learned to equate sleeping with other than a primary partner as an act of cheating, a disrespectful and dishonest thing. I was always looking for the next partner because I "couldn't make relationships work" - possibly because I was a drunken unemployed absentee boyfriend scouring bars for 'the one'.

I've come a long way. I no longer self destruct, but lately, I have almost gone off the rails, for a girl I suspect is polyamorous but does not understand it yet.

I met M 18 months ago at university. We spent months talking, I didn't even fancy her sexually at first but she is attractive. She wore a mask. As I got to know her I began to look forward to our talks, and then one day I truly saw her, she wore a flower in her buttonhole for daffodil day, and I read between the lines of all the tomboy feminist angry and ecologically outraged front and I saw her as a strong passionate caring woman, from that moment on I was completely smitten. We slept together 4 weeks later, it was the best we'd ever had. She holidayed, came back, I visited and she said "You don't want to get involved with me" I'm seeing someone else, it's complicated". I said I'll go then, she said "but I really like you" and away we went having the blissful honeymoon period that new lovers do, with months of summer off school to enjoy it all. We fell in love and I was so happy I thought I might swoon with it.

M had been seeing Mark irregularly for 2 years prior to us getting together. She had a couple of dinner dates with him a few months into our dating etc. I began to get jealous. Root causes - fear I am not enough, fear she is leaving me (remember, when I cheated, I was looking for the next partner), fear I will always be alone, fear the woman I love doesn't love me... Horrid stuff. I began acting out. Sulking, cold shoulders, walking off, accusatory rants. After months of my being insecure and unstable she had to pull the plug. I was broken, but I rebuilt, got counseling, and six weeks later, still in love, I won her back.

Another period like the start began, but better, she said it was possible I was the man for her, no more emo crap, and we'd be ok. We were so happy. And it was wonderful, then I found out she'd slept with Mark just before we split (when I was being unbearable), and another guy while split (a mistake, but trying to replace me), and Mark again.

More emotional crap. Despair, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, terror. I was so in love with this girl and the more I tried to work it out the more I messed it up. I asked her to please let me have time and adjust. She gave time but I didn't adjust very well. Another old beau, who she'd said she would see when he's in country, sailed in, and she spent a week with him. I wanted to die. A weekend with Mark again shortly after that, and last week, four days with him.

I think she is polyamorous. That I am her primary, Mark her secondary, the sailor another secondary who has been phased out as she's realised he doesn't love her just wants sex. The mistake guy was her trying to replace me as I was unstable for a long period. I still feel very hurt and confused by things, but I'm really trying to understand, and reach some kind of acceptance around everything.

She does love me, or I wouldn't still be in the picture, and she wouldn't have tried to be honest about everything right from the start. I was very hard work for a long time when I was all broken and jealous. I am mostly loving and supportive today, but am on thin ice, a man should be a rock, not a wreck.

She believes she is some kind of horrible person, but the evidence is to the contrary, only this behaviour is evident, everything else is loving, hard working, caring, passion, consideration...

I'm trying to heal. To not be jealous. to not be insecure. To love without conditions. I've tried explain polyamory to her, she thinks she's not, she thinks there's something wrong with her and I should leave her for my own sake. She has a history of messing relationships up in similar manner. She has a history of hiding stuff to try protect those she loves. She hates to hurt people, wants love but thinks she is doomed to a life of singledom if she can't stop being 'slutty'. She's not. My friends think there's something wrong with me for sticking it out. All that pain. But she's worth it.

I really love her. Take away all the sex and favours and I miss her yes, but I still love her. I am willing to accept polyamory and work through jealousy, and am doing remarkably well lately, I guess I'm here for support, advice, guidance.

Am a bit lost. Think I'm monogamous, or just afraid if I was polyamorous somehow my love would be untrue or diluted as in my past confused formative years, and somehow her love is diluted to me due to mark etc.

Basically, if she is polyamorous I'm willing to accept secondary lover/s. The jealousy and insecurity are less. I have to do daily self help to keep it together though. It's the not knowing where we stand that is scariest now I guess. I wonder if it is all worth it, but have decided not to give up. I love her, she loves me, I want her to be happy, and her I.

Help.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:34 AM
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Hi Questioning,
Welcome to our forum.

Whatever you call it, whether it's polyamory or something else, the thing you and M need to do is sit down and figure out how you can make your relationship work for you ... being realistic about your needs, boundaries, and limitations. It seems like you've set a good foundation of honesty with each other. Now you should let each other know that you can trust one another to stay together, in spite of the fears or "secondaries" or what have you.

You may need to agree on certain rules, rules that apply just to your relationship, perhaps temporary rules. Such things can be re-negotiated from time to time. But even more important is coming to accept yourselves and each other, not wishing you were different people, but valuing who you are.

Polyamory is a challenging lovestyle, but it can be done with lots of honesty, compassion, and love. Have a look at the various threads on this site, and don't hesitate to post any questions you may have.

I hope things between you and M continue (even if it's just slowly) to move in a good direction (towards each other).

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:05 AM
Questioning Questioning is offline
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Hi Kevin. Thanks for the reply. I have had 'the talk' with M and things are going much better now. I have a thread 'Mono man and his jealousy' in the General discussions forum if you're keen on finding out how it went.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:49 PM
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"for a girl I suspect is polyamorous but does not understand it yet"
"I read between the lines of all the tomboy feminist angry and ecologically outraged front"

There's not much respect for her in either of those statements. She is who she is, and she needs to figure that out for herself. Typically, the age range during which people attend university is also a time of radical growth and change. It's the first chance humans get to leave the nest in modern society, their first opportunity to learn who they are as adults. So to address the last part of your post first: if she does not think she is polyamorous, you cannot make her think she is. If she is, she must come to understand that on her own.

"I began to get jealous." And your subsequent actions created a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm glad you did seek counseling; it sounds like you needed to learn better ways to process your emotions. The actions you took after counseling suggest that you are still dealing with codependency to some degree.

"I found out she'd slept with Mark just before we split (when I was being unbearable), and another guy while split (a mistake, but trying to replace me), and Mark again." You were split. Expecting fidelity while you're not actually together is asking for heartache. This is also not an indicator of potential polyamory. This is normal behavior for an unpartnered person--which she was at the time.

And as much as you love her, I think she's bad for you. I think you need to look for someone who's a little more stable, no matter how awesome this woman is. Later, maybe, when she's got herself together, you two could try again, but it's looking like she only brings out the worst in you, and you deserve better! You need to be able to love yourself and be a great you while you're with her. Am I making sense?

I will go read the other thread, but I want you to consider some of this.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:09 PM
Questioning Questioning is offline
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Err - we are both adults at university. As for her finding herself - she believed she was flawed, fucked up, a horrible person, you think I did her no favors?

I will consider what you say, but with the assumption we are both young, I wonder how many other assumptions are in your post. My world is not yours. I am not being hostile here, a bit defensive though.

She's bad for me? No, the mysogynistic religious rubbish I was raised on is bad for me. This girl is my best friend.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:56 PM
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Okay. You are reading a lot more into my words than is there. I may have chosen some that are hot buttons for you, and I apologize. And if you are both older students, I'm sorry. I'm 26 myself and still in my undergraduate studies. Your world is a lot closer to being mine than you may think, vast expanse of ocean aside.

And I honestly had no idea you were raised religious. It wasn't in your initial post. Yes, that can screw with a person's mind. Let me just say, though, that "tomboy feminist angry and ecologically outraged" is not, perhaps, the most pro-woman epithet you could give her. Or any woman. There is nothing wrong with feminism. There is no reason to dismiss a woman merely because she is angry; she may have a lot to be angry about. There is, in fact, nothing wrong with expressing one's gender as "tomboy" or caring about one's environment. Again: if that's who she is, it's who she is. I can only judge her on the effect this relationship is having on you, and it doesn't sound healthy for you.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:07 AM
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Glad to hear things are going better with you and M. I'll try to check out that other thread later on.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:05 AM
Questioning Questioning is offline
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Hey no problem lovefromgirl. I was in a hurry this morning so my answer was a bit short.

I am an ecologist. My girl is an ecologist. The sentence that bothers you is describing a mask, not the girl I know. When we met she would go off on angry ranting tangents a lot. Today we discuss issues and solutions, far better than an emotionally charged speech full of hyperbole where the world is fucked and men are fucked and everyone's an idiot for not knowing that...

I'm not the only one growing up in this story. I'm 44. She 33.

I would love this lady as a life partner. That may not happen I'm fully aware there are no gaurantees. What I do have is a life long friend, and now I have accepted her polyamory and told her she is normal, and infinately loveable, she has just bloomed with this beautiful positive energy.

This relationship is amazing, and I would take the pain again for her because she IS worth it. I got no regrets today at all. I have grown tremendously, and I will be better in all relationships because of it.

We both read too much into what the other said. Moving on now...
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:14 PM
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Sounds like a pretty good relationship. Best wishes to you both.
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