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  #21  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:35 AM
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rory rory is offline
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The previous drama sounds awful, and I totally understand why you feel uncomfortable with the prospect of them dating again.

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Originally Posted by CageyCate View Post
I try to play this out in my head. What if I have no contact with her? If we are just honest and say we don't like each other and we won't interact? Would that work?
This would be the first thing for me. I would honestly express how I feel about her, and about them dating. I would want him to know, and also to hear what he has to say. If he wanted to do it, I would not try to stop him (because I just don't see it as my place). However, it would cause two things.

Firstly, I would make so strong personal boundaries around it. That is, exactly the kind of things you describe. E.g. I don't like her, will not pretend to like her, and will not be sucked into her drama and, thus, will not socialise with her. There is no requirement to be friends with metamours, or to like everybody your partner likes. If he tries to pressure you into having contact with her, I would take that as a huge red flag of him not respecting your feelings&boundaries.

Secondly, it would make me evaluate my relationship with him. There is no getting around that, difficult questions would arise. He knows what she is like. He knows she would rather have him for herself, he knows she does not respect you or your relationship with him, he knows dating her will likely lead to drama. Yet, he wants to date her. What does that tell about him? Is it lack of consideration? Lack of respect? Prioritising his feelings of love/lust/addiction over stability of his current relationships? I would think about these things in the context of his previous actions (such as having the affair), and consider what that tells me about my partner and his trustworthiness. Thus, even bigger issue than the potential drama-ridden relationship would be my partner wanting to have such a relationship.
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  #22  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:04 AM
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DarayTala DarayTala is offline
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Me and my partners don't have veto power per say. We have it I suppose, but only under certain limitations. Those are, if some one deliberately tries to end one of our relationships in favor of theirs they are gone, and if someone is physically abusive they are gone. I don't know your boundaries, his, or what your veto power means, if anything in this case. I would say though, this person tried to disrupt your relationship in the past, so why should they get another chance? It doesn't seem like they want to be poly with your partner, it seems they want to be with your partner under whatever circumstances they can, and that can lead to the same drama as before. If I'm wrong, disregard all of this. But if this were me, I would say "this person did xyz before and because of that I'm not willing to get involved again, I see it as a danger to our relationship. I can't control you, but these are my wants and needs and I would hope you respect them" and see what happens. I wish you the best of luck, and hope either I am wrong and it ends well, or you avoid a toxic situation all together.
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  #23  
Old 12-24-2012, 02:25 PM
Moose17 Moose17 is offline
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Default I don't know how much you've talked about it

But you really need to explain to him why you see her as a threat, and come to him honestly. That may even mean fessing up to your own Machiavellian Machinations of days past so you can tell all about hers and give him the whole picture.
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  #24  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:47 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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I think that Moose has a good point.

Women are absolute Mistresses of manipulation. I should know - I'm a woman and I only date women. ~laughs~

I have been in the position of having my girlfriend absolutely hate my secondary - so I can relate to your problem. It's incredibly tricky. She was the only other woman I had fallen in love with. I did not want to let her go. But, in the end, I had to choose between them.

You husband's ex certainly doesn't sound like someone I would want in my orbit. I'm taking your words on face value... I believe what you are saying, but know that there can be two sides to every story. However, I abhor cheating and whilst I understand *why* it happens, I also understand the colossal destruction it causes.

You have a number of options here. I'm assuming your husband already knows your feelings and that you've talked to him openly and honestly. If not, obviously, you'll want to be doing that

Option 1 - The Veto
To be honest, I don't think there's any such thing. Veto means "you cannot do this" - obviously, in poly, we cannot tell our partners what they can and cannot do. Essentially, what a veto really means is "I cannot be in a relationship with you, if you are in a relationship with her." Basically, you're giving him a choice. If you decide that this really is how you feel, I would put it across that way. This is what my girlfriend said to me and I made the decision to end it with my secondary. It took me a very, very long time to get over that and a long time to let go of the resentment - but, it was probably for the best and I do believe that now. Hopefully, if your husband decided to call it quits on the subject of her, he would also see that eventually too.

Option 2 - Change Your Approach
Sometimes, when there is no room to maneuver within a current relationship makeup, a change of perspective is needed. For example, in my poly relationship, it used to be important that everything fits and everyone gets along well enough. After a few situations, including a current situation of my GF dating someone I severely dislike, I realised that it doesn't really matter what I think. I could either leave, which I didn't want to do; or stay, but under a new frame of mind. I have adopted a more autonomous approach to poly and have distanced myself from my GF's relationships and from hearing about them. Basically... if she's going to say to me "if you want to be with me, you have to accept him", I have countered it with "if you want me to stay and accept him, you'll have to compromise and accept my dislike of him, accept that I do not want to hear about him and accept that I do not want to see him". This way, both people are compromising.

For me, this works best because I believe in promoting my partner's freedom and letting her make her own mistakes. If I 'vetoed', or gave an ultimatum, I'd either lose her, or end up in a relationship where she resents it for years. By letting go of the purse strings and basically telling her to go and do what she wants, I am able to let her play it out for herself. If and when it fades out, at least she'll have gotten it out of her system.... if and when it does, at least she will be feeling grateful for having had the chance to explore that. It could work this way for your husband. He's clinging onto what they did have, because he has unfinished business with her. I have a strange feeling that if he did start a relationship with her, it would not last forever....

Option 3 - Compromise and Compromise Again
You could go with the controlling approach. You could give the green light on their relationship, but under strict rules and guidelines. I do not think that this is productive. I think *some* general guidelines are good; but they have to be realistic. If there are more than about 8-10, I'd be worried. If they forbid emotions, or are stringent, I'd be worried. This approach is going to be the trickiest - it's going to take time and hard work. It's going to be incredibly strenuous for you. At least, that's the way I see it. I think it's possible that it could work - but I don't think it's the easiest path.

Incidentally, I DO think that this is one of those rare cases where it IS ok to say "sorry hon, I cannot manage this"... and let him make his decision on what he wants to do. This may just be my perception of your typing, but I am sensing a lot of blame towards her and a slightly softer approach towards your husband... because, to be honest, you love him, you've communicated with him, you've worked together. You haven't been able to do that with her.

My inclination, if I were in your shoes, would be to have a trial period of him dating her. Three months. You will not know how you feel until it happens. At the end of the three months, review it. He'll have spent some more time with her, which might be good for him. I still hang onto the ex I broke up with for my girlfriend. I still think about her. But... each time I see her for a catch-up, I drift further and further away from those 'in love' emotions .... because, out of the situation, I can see her flaws more clearly. It's possible that this could happen for your husband. One thing is for sure.... if he truly feels that he has to have her, that this is very important, he'll probably never get over her if you force his hand....

If it were me and he agreed to this three month trial, I would want a letter, or some form of communication from her. It's one thing for metamours not to get along - clashes happen. It's another thing to be expected to like the woman who caused you such pain. She basically has some grovelling to do and regardless of your behaviour, needs to show you an ounce of respect and compassion if there is any chance of you being able to cope with a relationship between them.
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  #25  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
Option 1 - The Veto
To be honest, I don't think there's any such thing. Veto means "you cannot do this" - obviously, in poly, we cannot tell our partners what they can and cannot do. Essentially, what a veto really means is "I cannot be in a relationship with you, if you are in a relationship with her." Basically, you're giving him a choice. If you decide that this really is how you feel, I would put it across that way. This is what my girlfriend said to me and I made the decision to end it with my secondary. It took me a very, very long time to get over that and a long time to let go of the resentment - but, it was probably for the best and I do believe that now. Hopefully, if your husband decided to call it quits on the subject of her, he would also see that eventually too.
I think this is more like an ultimatum. Veto is an agreement-enforced "you cannot be with him/her". Some people do have those kinds of agreements, though what you say also applies: the partner could still decide not to comply with the veto (because you really can't force anybody do anything). To the end result, I'd like to add that the other option is also possible. While he could come to see that it was for the best to give up, he could also come to see that it was a mistake to make a choice in an ultimatum situation, or to choose the person making the ultimatum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
Women are absolute Mistresses of manipulation. I should know - I'm a woman and I only date women. ~laughs~
This is OT, but just wanted to say that, even as a joke, this kind of sexism makes me pretty darn uncomfortable.
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  #26  
Old 12-25-2012, 07:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Could tell him how you feel about her.

Could ask him how exactly he plans to rebuild trust here with you when he wants to be back with his ex-cheating partner.

Could tell him you are not willing for her to re-enter your lives and you are not willing to rebuild anything there.

I know it is hard to feel, but give him clear communication on where it is you are at with this.

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  #27  
Old 12-25-2012, 07:22 PM
CageyCate CageyCate is offline
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Default Thanks for all the insightful comments

This is my first time posting and I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to make such thoughtful responses. This gives me a lot to think about.

Something I noticed: I am getting the sense that some view poly as you just do your thing and I do mine. In my house, we are in a life-long relationship. We do not operate our lives quite that independently, or have one foot out the door. We discuss everything. We check in with each other before and after dates and make sure what we are doing is in keeping with comfort and commitment levels. We have been together more than 20 years, are raising a child, and are committed to growing old(er) together. So, we don't just say, choose your secondary or choose me. That's just not our scenario. Yes, he knows how I feel about the ex. Ad nausea. That is why he isn't pushing so much as just reminding me periodically that he is still interested in her and would appreciate me not closing the door to that. I seriously consider it every time it is discussed (a few times a year?) and say I am trying to get my head around it and here is where I have trouble, how can we get past that? No solution has become apparent yet. We talk and I say I will think about it. But whenever it comes up, I have such a negative visceral reaction, it doesn't go much further.

I do not think that my telling him how I feel is not making him resent me. He realizes I have legitimate concerns and that she (or the relationship I guess, to be fair) caused major drama before. He justs wants this because she is a fun fuck and low maintenance (which I understand -- very appealing). For him. He is not desparately in love with her and my saying it pains me for you to do this won't end his world. I would also add that if the roles were reversed, I cannot see myself refusing to end a relationship with someone who hurt my spouse so much and who obviously causes such pain in our relationship. My husband is first, always. And I am first with him. That's just how we operate.

I should also say that seeing people outside our marriage is more for dating enjoyment and less a "lifestyle" mandate. While we have caring feelings for those we date and love some of them in nurturing, non-posssessive kind of way, I would not say we are "in love" with them in any way close to the way we are in love with and committed to each other. So, our polyamory may differ from yours. I realize that some folks emphasize the "amory" more than others. Maybe you could describe me as more polysexual? I'm not sure the term. While I like having a primary secondary I really connect with -- that sounds awkward -- I may also have periodic dates with others, as might my husband (which I fully support), for whatever reason. New experiences? New connections? Doing things our regular secondary or primary is not into? Just plain fun?
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  #28  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:17 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Any talk of what you can or can't do aside, I think it's quite reasonable to have an issue with this. My personal feeling is that, if I LOVE someone, heck, even if they're a friend that I just LIKE, and someone treats them like crap, I'd have a problem seeing my friend or loved one treated like crap. I wouldn't want to be with someone who treated my friends badly.

If this is what's gone on in the past, there's no reason to think the trying to break up your marriage will stop now. If they've both been willing to lie to you in the past, do you have reason they're going to be 100% honest with you now?

Quote:
Women are absolute Mistresses of manipulation.
I am upfront. I don't manipulate or play games. My female friends are the same way.
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  #29  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:10 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarayTala View Post
if someone is physically abusive they are gone
Only physically? Are emotional and psychological and verbal abuse not equally damaging? Bruises heal, but all kinds of abuse leave the same invisible scars.
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  #30  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:22 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I don't know if it's "appropriate" from an "I don't own my partners" perspective... but I, personally, would be playing the "If you really love me and value our marriage, you would not ask about going through with this" card.

It's one thing to cheat, and then get caught and keep on cheating for almost a year. It's one more thing to then try and turn that cheating relationship into a poly relationship. But it's another thing entirely to allow that cheating partner to try and break up your marriage. And make no mistake, she had that ability only because he gave it to her. He and he alone had the power to say: "You are not respecting my marriage. Our relationship is over." But then to turn around two years later and do it all over again? Please.

She is what she is. She does not respect boundaries and she's fixated on stealing your husband. I won't waste time talking about her changing, because that won't happen. But your husband need to get his act together and realize that he's asking to bring a toxic person into your marriage.

That being said, I probably wouldn't say "I forbid you to see her" because:
1. You don't own him and you're not his guardian. You're not allowed to tell him what he can and cannot do.
2. He'll probably lie and do it behind your back.

I would, instead, focus on trying to get him to see her for what she is and see the potential harm she may bring to your relationship. Then ask him to make an informed and educated decision, specifying that you'd prefer he tell you if he's going to see her anyway, rather than cheating again.

See if you can get his other girlfriend on board, too. This ex will probably be as harmful to their relationship, and it's really difficult for men to win any argument against two headstrong women!
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