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  #11  
Old 12-16-2009, 12:07 AM
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Macbeth Macbeth is offline
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Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

It really is a messy situation, right now. J is feeling very caught. Their relationship has been rocky for a few months, partly due to a VERY minor mess up on her part, but his reaction has been way out of proportion and has led to a lot of difficulties. She's really starting to see that, and we had a very good private talk last night after the 11 hour talk between the three of us. She feels she needs to try this one last stab at seeing if he's willing and able to work on their relationship. I'm supportive of her, but I don't have any faith in his ability to be anything other than a selfish manipulator.

I'm doing everything I can to keep her from being isolated by him. I know that she and I will be able to keep ourselves intact through this. I actually feel for him, since he's sabotaging himself and doesn't see how. I don't feel TOO bad for him, though. He's making his own bed.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:34 AM
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crisare crisare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macbeth View Post
I'm doing everything I can to keep her from being isolated by him. I know that she and I will be able to keep ourselves intact through this. I actually feel for him, since he's sabotaging himself and doesn't see how. I don't feel TOO bad for him, though. He's making his own bed.
Good for you. Honestly when I read through more of the story, the warning bell that sounds in my head is "abuser". That is based on my own history, of course, but I know that the goal of most abusers (whether physical or emotional) is to isolate the victim until she has no one to rely on but her abuser. I think making sure that she is not isolated by him is a good thing ... and I hope that she can stand strong and that your relationship will survive.

Good luck to all of you!
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2009, 04:03 AM
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Macbeth Macbeth is offline
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Thanks, Crisare. Lady Macbeth and I have been thinking the same thing, and with her history, she's been afraid of the possibility as well. She's trying to be cautious about inaccurately interpreting his actions, but at this point I really don't think she is.

During our talk to figure out what we were going to do about salvaging both relationships, I found myself getting sucked into his control. Later on, when we were moving into the negotiation phase, he had to leave to go and pick up his other girlfriend (who was going to be joining us). As soon as he left, it was like a veil was lifted, and I realized what had been going on. I was angry at myself for both being fooled, and for giving up everything that I had been so adamant about before we started. When he came back, I could tell he was shocked and confused, and felt like he was suddenly talking to a different person, since I dropped back to my stance of not wanting to just give up all of my control in my relationship. We ended up with no agreement on what we were going to be doing, which was fine by me. I have no intention of just letting him control my actions and feelings.

In his long diatribe at the beginning, he listed a bunch of issues, some valid, most not. He basically blames her for ALL of the problems in their relationship, admits no fault or any contribution to it, said that she could obviously not work on two relationships at once, and said that he didn't care about my feelings. It basically reaffirmed that he has completely bankrupted himself to me, both trust-wise, and as being worthy of my respect.

I'm torn, because I think she needs to leave him. Not for me, although she would be with me, but for herself. Fortunately, she sees what's going on. I'm doing everything I can to keep her spirits up, and keep her focused. She's been so confused by him, since he seems to have changed into a completely different person since we started dating. I keep telling her that he hasn't changed, she just hasn't had an opportunity to see the real him before.

Thanks, everyone, for their kind words and support. I'll post updates as it progresses. Cleaning out my office now, to make a guest room . . .
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2009, 07:43 PM
LadyMacbeth LadyMacbeth is offline
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This past Wednesday we had what my monogamous boyfriend has humorously called, "poly summit #2." I sat down with my husband, his gf J, and her bf B2 as he has been called. I absolutely committed myself to be open, objective, and to try to honestly hear his point of view.

It went well, although failed to change many of my opinions. After a five hour round table, I left feeling a slight bit more optimistic, but not much. Basically, I left feeling like he wasn't necessarily being emotionally abusive, but being narcissistic. He was less rigid than I thought and seemed willing and able to listen to alternative points of view. SHE disturbed me with being very placating and taking ownership for "twisting my opinion of him." His ultimate lack of empathy and sense that others should take care of his own emotions for him was startling. Two quotes he gave were telling,

"People always see their own feelings as most important" (Yikes!!)
"All I've asked of J is that if she knows her behavior will upset me, to not do it." (Double Yikes!!)

So, in response to quote number one, I looked him straight in the eye and said calmly, "That BS, maybe YOU see your feelings as most important, but not everyone does that."

In response to the second, I asked for a repetition because I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. I was indeed hearing it correctly, and stated at some length what I perceived to be wrong with the statement, particularly since he didn't seem to feel that it was also his responsibility to do the same, and had admitted that his feelings were erratic and changed daily.

I wasn't easy on any of them, and also owned my own stuff. They are all taking trips for the holidays, and a little time for all of us to independently reflect can't do anything but good. My husband is still dealing with intense grief, after having a wonderful few weeks of regularly scheduled dates and overnights and beautiful NRE that hadn't crossed any lines. Now he is being prescribed an indefinite separation and after two weeks, will be "allowed" a two hour lunch where they are not permitted to have any physical contact. Then B2 will determine, based on how he "feels", what the prescription for the next stint of time will be. Macbeth is concerned that it will be several months to get back to where they were, which hurts because he and J did nothing wrong, crossed no boundaries, and it is all based on B2's "feelings" of discomfort when they are together.

The piece that I am wrestling with is this...B2 (who has been poly much longer than I) keeps saying that he feels justified because "they were already having relationship problems and should never have added another person." This may be true, but that doesn't change the fact that they did, and now J and my husband are hurting. I can't help but think that his imposed prescriptions will only serve to further damage their relationship, extend Macbeth's and J's NRE indefinitely as "star crossed lovers," and ultimately lead to their demise.

But...I have done everything I can. I will continue to call a spade a spade and try to prevent J from being isolated. I have a pandora bracelet with charms for all of the member's of my circle, it's like my "promise ring." She and I will go shopping together to find a bead to represent her to add to my bracelet.
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2009, 10:43 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Dealing with folks who don't know whether they are on head or horseback is a huge challenge. Trying to work through it sucks everyone in and is a major drain on any positive energy that could be there. The commitment you are all showing to trying to make this work is highly admirable and I hope that something good comes of it for you.
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