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  #1  
Old 10-03-2012, 06:55 AM
tree166 tree166 is offline
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Default Greetings from upstate NY

I'm a 30 year old female in a challenging poly relationship, just trying to figure out what it is I really want.

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years and met when we were both married to other people. Those relationships ended (for myriad reasons, among them our spouses' demand for monogamy), and we became primary partners. For awhile it was all bliss, but I found out that he had been lying about the other women he was seeing, which kind of goes against the whole idea of being poly. He also went into every date with every new woman with the mindset that this was going to be some big, important relationship and that this other person should be as high a priority to him as I was. And that's not something I'm ok with, especially with a complete stranger.

I managed to convince him to take a hiatus so we could work through our issues, and after a year he's dating again, but I'm uncomfortable with the girl and with the situation in general. Every time he meets someone new I end up feeling neglected in some way. This week has been particularly hard, as there's been a lot going on. It's just frustrating that we've had to sacrifice the majority of our time together to deal with life, but he refused to give up one minute of the time he had allotted for her. I'm trying not to keep score here, but it's hard to feel like I'm important to him when he doesn't make time for us.

We also don't know any poly people (sane ones that is), and we're not out to most people, and it's adding to my sense of isolation. I'm just hoping for some guidance, or tough love, or something.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:11 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Welcome to the forum!

It's very hard for some folks to get rid of their monogamy-based societal programming. Even though they may have agreed to be open and honest, their habits don't reflect that. That is hard to change.

The poly dating dynamic is also very hard - finding the balance and not going overboard with NRE (even if the relationship is just in its fledgling state) - it's almost an "oooh shiny!" reaction and weaving a whole bunch of actions around that.

Hard for a partner to deal with, for sure.

So, if you don't mind sharing - have you been dating others?
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2012, 04:40 PM
tree166 tree166 is offline
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I don't mind sharing at all. That's kind of why I'm here.

At the moment I'm not dating, more out of a lack of options than a desire to be monogamous. I've been encountering a lot of single, monogamous men just looking to get laid and 'poly' women who end up being unwilling threesome bait for their male partners. I guess I'm in kind of a dry spell

I have dated outside the relationship in the past though. We didn't seem to have these same kinds of issues when I was dating. I feel like being poly comes more naturally to me than it does to him, but I'm not really sure what the issue is.
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:49 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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It would help me understand your situation better, and maybe others as well, if you would explain more about this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tree166 View Post
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years and met when we were both married to other people. Those relationships ended (for myriad reasons, among them our spouses' demand for monogamy), and we became primary partners.
and this:
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but I found out that he had been lying about the other women he was seeing
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2012, 01:22 AM
tree166 tree166 is offline
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My marriage ended after 7 years of polyamory because my husband woke up one day and decided he wanted monogamy now and forever. He also wanted kids and a house in the suburbs and all of the things I thought we were on the same page about for years, and he was unwilling to compromise. We had been starting to drift apart but I wanted to keep trying. He didn't. Game over.

My boyfriend's marriage ended close to a year before mine, a few months after we started dating. His wife has a chronic illness that caused pretty severe depression that she refused to seek help for. He became her caretaker rather than her husband, and neither party sought out the support they needed. The stress sort of caused the relationship to implode.

After my marriage ended and we made the transition to primary, he was dating a rather emotionally needy woman, K. I knew about her from the start, but he had sleepovers with her, in our bed, and lied to me about it when he knew those were rigid boundaries. She would also periodically stop by because she needed a hug, and would call and text incessantly when we were spending time together. They had been seeing each other for about 3 weeks at this point, and she refused to back off after several firm discussions about boundaries (seriously, who shows up unannounced for a hug after knowing someone a few weeks?), so he broke it off. I didn't find out about the sleepovers and the frequency of the drive by hugging until weeks after they broke up. I was furious, a fight ensued, he begged my forgiveness, we moved on.

About 6 months later he started seeing another woman, and again I knew about her. M wasn't as needy outwardly, but since she didn't have any sexual relationship to speak of with her primary, my boyfriend became her only outlet. Once again he lied about how often he saw her (at that point I was working nights so it was easy to hide) and where they had sex. She also began demanding more of his time, and since I saw him a total of 8 hours a week (even living together), I was not ok with this. I found out that he was telling her that I wouldn't 'let' him see her, making me out to be this total lunatic despite the tiny amount of time we had free for each other. I felt like that was just as much a betrayal as the lying.

They had been seeing each other about a month when I found about the lies through ridiculously dramatic means (her panties in an empty laundry hamper... seriously?). I attempted to confront him about it, but his goal at that point was not canceling the date he had planned with her. He didn't want her to be disappointed. I went home to pack my things, huge fight ensued, mainly due to his refusal to end the relationship until he could get his head straight. In the end he acquiesced, begged forgiveness, and I stayed.

That pretty much brings us up to speed with this new girl. I get the whole NRE thing and I'm happy for him when he finds someone he likes spending time with, but I don't like that it's higher on his list of priorities to make time for her than for us as a couple. My instincts tell me there's something not quite right about her, but that's something I have to let him find out on his own. I just wish he was as excited about seeing me or having sex with me as he is with her.

And I don't want you to get the wrong idea about him - he really is a great guy, and when there's not some shiny new woman distracting him he's very thoughtful and attentive.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2012, 03:52 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tree166 View Post

And I don't want you to get the wrong idea about him - he really is a great guy, and when there's not some shiny new woman distracting him he's very thoughtful and attentive.
Okay...I want to believe you...but he's coming across as an idiot who lies to you routinely.

Being THAT excited about women he barely knows seems like a huge red flag. You may be tempted to view all of these women as crazy/needy/walking headcases (which they may be), but the common denominator is HIM. Why does he deliberately choose unstable, possessive, needy women?
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2012, 11:05 AM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Hi tree166,

Thanks for the explanation. MeeraReed asked a very good question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Why does he deliberately choose unstable, possessive, needy women?
The answer is because he is unstabe, possessive and needy himself, but in a different way than the women he finds are. A "compatible" way.

The two of you started a relationship with each other during a period of time when each of you were in a transition out of your then current relationship.

He wants to feel good about himself. He satisfies that need by finding women who need him. He looks for this neediness in other women, because it is the fuel that helps him feel good about himself. That means the woman's neediness is either one of a small number of things or the one thing that keeps him interested in the relationship.

You were attractive to him when you wanted out of your marriage, because your were seeking relief from your marriage. You were needy. That made you interesting to him. That was the "relationship fuel" he was looking for.

Now that you are more stable, you are no longer as interesting to him as you were when you were in transition out of your marriage. You are not as important to him as you used to be, because you don't offer him the neediness you used to. He needs that neediness to feel good about himself. He wants to feed the needy new girlfriend, because it gives him the high of feeling needed. It sounds like he is willing to sabotage his relationship with you to free up more of his time and attention, so he can give it to her. You enable all of this by accepting his lies, and trying to convince yourself and others that he is really a good guy.

Your boyfriend doesn't have relationships. He has transitions from one woman to another. These transitions take enough time that they look like relationships, but they are not.

It's time for you to look at who he is, instead of who he used to be or who you want him to be, and do what is best for you.

Last edited by snowmelt; 10-04-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2012, 12:12 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowmelt View Post
Your boyfriend doesn't have relationships. He has transitions from one woman to another. These transitions take enough time that they look like relationships, but they are not.
Well put, snowmelt - added to my list of quotes on my profile page.

JaneQ
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
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Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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  #9  
Old 10-06-2012, 04:22 AM
tree166 tree166 is offline
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You make an excellent point snowmelt, and it gives me something to think about. I've spent so much time thinking that there was something wrong with me. Like I'm just jealous or i can't handle it or I'm being crazy. Or if I could just do more or work harder, he wouldn't be so inclined to choose these types of women.

Anyway, thanks for being honest.
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2012, 05:37 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tree166 View Post
Anyway, thanks for being honest.
Sure. I'm glad you're willing to take an honest look at it. I know this stuff can be a lot of work to process. If you're willing to take this a little further, I want to point out there is a reason you are attracted to a needy guy like your boyfriend.

There is neediness in you too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tree166 View Post
I've spent so much time thinking that there was something wrong with me. Like I'm just jealous or i can't handle it or I'm being crazy. Or if I could just do more or work harder, he wouldn't be so inclined to choose these types of women.
This neediness in you is part (or all - I don't know yet) of the reason you are attracted to him in the first place. Resolve it, and you will move past it. This means you will no longer be attracted to needy people. You will be emotionally available for relationships that are much more vibrant and intimate. Yes, this means you will move past him too.

I'm telling you all of this because you seem to be open to looking at yourself, and I want you to know you can get to a better place. I'll be happy to talk to you more about this if you want.
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