Holy crap, my monoship is a novel. Advice welcome.
As you can guess from the title, this is not about a poly relationship, it is about my dissolving monoship. But some of you have a lot of relationship wisdom in general so I am looking for advice, encouragement, whatever you have.
I was drawn to polyamory because of the enormous amount and intensity of love I am capable of giving.
This is also what drew me to my soon-to-be-ex-husband. He is hard to love. He has poor social skills, although he can be very engaging when he wants to be. He is a person who simply does not like other people and doesnít put much effort into learning how to get along with them. He has at least one psychological/emotional disorder, maybe more. He is moody, has a volatile temper, and is a pathological liar.
And I got together with him because I wanted the challenge. He was so unlovable and yet I could love him (in that unconditional, not-necessarily-sexual way, although obviously I was highly attracted to him as well). It was the opportunity to ďscale the Mount Everest of loveĒ if you will. People warned me about him and I was like ďI KNOW, but I am strong and capable and I can handle him!Ē I kind of wanted to prove something. And I was thinking from a mono mindset Ė if one person is all you get, I wanted my ďone relationshipĒ to be epic. I didnít want to be with just a Nice Guy, I wanted to be with someone who made the story interesting.
(When we first got together I was totally in Invincible Teenager mode. Then as we got older, everyone in the world wanted to give me advice and tell me what to do about my relationship with him, and finally I was like SCREW YOU IíM DOING WHAT I WANT EVEN IF IT TURNS OUT TO BE A MISTAKE. And Iím glad I did it that way. I donít think I would have learned as much about myself otherwise.)
Anyway, the thing is, it seemed to work! When I first got together with him, his behavior seemed to improve exponentially. He even admitted to me that he did have a propensity to lie a lot, and he didnít know why. You donít normally get that admission out of a pathological liar. At least, I donít think so. (Qualification: I saw the lying as no big deal because it was always patently obvious when he was lying, or at least stretching the truth. I didnít see him as capable of truly deceiving me.) Even his family noticed that I seemed to be making a real difference in his life. But due to life circumstances, our relationship turned into an LDR for a while, and during this time all the positive effects seemed to wear off and he went back to his normal antisocial self.
Part of the reason our relationship lasted so long is that his family was wonderfully supportive of us. They are all much saner than he is, they just put up with him because heís family and they love him. So I did the same thing. And the good times were REALLY good. But the good times happened less and less often, and he turned into basically a grouch that I tried to ignore most of the time while occasionally trying to do nice things for him. He became increasingly dissatisfied with me and eventually told me to leave. And I did. Rather gratefully, to be honest. One of the big things I have learned is that Unconditional Love does not equal Unconditionally Staying With. In some situations it is healthier to love from a distance.
But I was, apparently, not as immune to his emotionally manipulative tendencies as Iíd originally thought. He has an emotional hold on me. He has this way of convincing me that heís absolutely right and I should agree with him even though I KNOW heís spewing a bunch of BS. Itís this authoritative tone of voice that he gets. Also, he knows that I do desire to make him happy and he takes advantage of that. Maybe not even purposefully. Maybe he does it without thinking, like the lying. Either way, I find myself hanging on every word of his, even now. Itís almost hypnotic.
And we are going through a divorce and I have to make myself NOT listen to him in order to protect myself and our kid (1 year old).
So here are some current complications:
- I want him to have as little influence as possible on our kid. I donít want our kid learning these behaviors from him.
- I do want him to have a relationship with our kid. I think that would be good for him. And he is really good with kids when heís not angry at them. (I have never seen him get really angry at a kid but I have reason to believe it wouldnít be pretty.)
- I want his family to have a relationship with our kid, as they have been heavily involved in kid's life.
- I have no idea how to get the courts to take his mentally and emotionally abusive tendencies into account. Thereís not any particular incident that I can point to as obvious. Itís a lot of memories all muddled together in a soup. And itís not very obvious to an outside observer.
I feel like I canít think logically about how to deal with him, ESPECIALLY in the heat of the moment. I donít get explosively angry at him like I used to, thank goodness, and I at least notice that heís manipulating me now. But still it is really hard to overcome the effect he has on me.
Iíd love some outside opinions. I feel like I canít really share this with most people, as they would basically say heís a horrible person and give me reactive advice. I donít need reactive advice, I need honest, sane, boundary-setting advice. Or encouragement or SOMETHING.
Independent polyperson seeking friendships, in which physical intimacy may or may not develop.
I do not wish to attach to any particular person. My love knows no limits.