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  #11  
Old 01-25-2013, 04:36 PM
Chupacabra Chupacabra is offline
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I apologize for resurrecting this thread, but there have been new developments that are...troubling, to say the least.

Let me first say that, since my last post, I caved and gave in to her new terms. I told her to date him, but drop all other relations but him and I. Perhaps this was not the most self-respecting of decisions, but I simply crumbled. Perhaps if I hadn't and stood resolute, we would not have arrived at the current predicament.

This weakened compromise came about literally the night I posted last...the 7th. She texted her ex and put everything into motion, but he put her on the backburner for weeks. She waited on an answer, and even kept delaying the time when she would just say "Too late." On the 18th, he accepted. Now, up until this I tried to not think of it. When he accepted, all hell broke loose in my head. I felt uneasy, depressed, anxious, unsatisfactory. I had pretended it would not come to pass...and it did.

We fought the next day. It ended when she very passive aggressively said she'd be breaking up with him. I told her not to bother, I didn't want her to hate me; in some ways, that'd be worse.

Fast forward to last night. It was the night after our one month anniversary. Now, one of the things she promised not to do was to bring him up on her own. And what does she do? She (all smiles, no less) pulls out a love letter he wrote her while they were together. She shows it to a friend of hers and I (it's a beautiful letter) and says to me "Good luck topping this." And then goes further and says "And to add insult to injury, he's my secondary," as if we needed a reminder.

This hurt me deeply. It made me feel like I couldn't compete with him emotionally. Another fight between us broke out last night and we came very close to ending the relationship. When I asked her to break up with him, she said she'd resent me...which doesn't bode well for this so-called "trial period". She continuously says I'd hate anyone she dates when NONE of our arguments have been about polyamory; they've all centered around her ex.

I need advice. I don't want to break up with her...this is a last resort. I want to know how to handle this mentally and emotionally. How can I assert to myself that the amount of emotion she can invest in me can eventually equate to the massive amount of love she already feels for him?
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:44 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Have you answered the question "Why don't I want to break up with somebody who's actions have led to so much turmoil, unhappiness and stress for me in just one month?"
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:54 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Chupacabra View Post
I need advice. I don't want to break up with her...this is a last resort. I want to know how to handle this mentally and emotionally. How can I assert to myself that the amount of emotion she can invest in me can eventually equate to the massive amount of love she already feels for him?
Really, there is no way to assert such a thing because it may or may not even be true. No one can predict what their emotions will do in the future, no one can honestly promise to love you as much tomorrow as they do today. Oh sure, we all make such promises, and fully mean them at the time. But in reality, emotions change and we cannot always control them.

You need to realize that you did not "cave in" to her demands. While her communication leaves something to be desired, she's been basically telling you: "I'm going to start dating my ex. Get over it or leave." The fact that she would bring that into the relationship when she's not even sure if he's going to agree, and then to keep it on the table when he's on the fence about whether to agree... shows that she's got issues. Her issues, not yours, and there's nothing you can do to fix them.

This relationship seems dysfunctional. You seem to have an unrealistic sense of authority over her, in terms of whom she's allowed to date. She seems to be inconsiderate, e.g. implying that you'll never live up to the bar he's set with that love letter.

Of course she'll resent you if you try to end her other relationship. She's right to do so. You don't own her, you cannot control whom she has relationships with. I would say the same thing if you'd been married 20 years and only recently opened up; however, after only one month, that reality is a thousand fold.

You can only control you. She's made it plainly clear that she desires and intends to be in a relationship with that guy. Give up, immediately, on the possibility of him ever going anywhere, or of her being considerate of your feelings. Make a decision based on reality, not on what you'd like things to be. You are unhappy in this situation. You cannot change that situation. It may be possible to change the way you feel about them together, but you don't seem to be in the right place to do that. You're too attached to a specific outcome.

Yeah, breakups suck. But if she's treating you like this right now, after only a month, when she should still be in the honeymoon phase, why do you think it's going to improve with time?
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 01-27-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:01 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am sorry you are hurting.

But here's the nutshell of all that:
  • I caved and gave into her new terms, even when I knew it was not what I wanted to do.

Don't beat yourself up over that. I'm sure you were hoping for the best and wanting to be loving toward her. But do try to see clearly here. I think your love for her may be clouding your best judgement for your own best healths and well being. You being loving toward her is not HER BEING LOVING TOWARD YOU.

In your post you list how she continues to break promises and treat you in rude ways:
  • passive aggressive behavior, fights
  • breaking promises about bringing up the ex
  • and knowing how you feel about the ex and how generous you have tried to be to work through it and include him in the polyship? Rubs your nose into it like it is a competition with that letter. For what? To stroke her own ego that she's so desirable?

Is this loving and kind behavior shown to you? No.
  • She is not showing behavior of a loving, kind partner (poly or otherwise). Partners do not choose behavior that hurt their loved ones.

You are only a month into this polyship and are reaping this heartache. My advice to you?
  • Could stop making choices for yourself where you do things you really do not want to do that undermine your own best healths.
  • Could choose to break up, and spare yourself more shenanigans. One month is plenty. You do not need more. I know you really don't want to do that either, but it IS choosing your own best healths. (When two choices stink, pick the healthier one for your long term well being! You have to put your own oxygen mask on.)

Quote:
We fought the next day. It ended when she very passive aggressively said she'd be breaking up with him. I told her not to bother, I didn't want her to hate me; in some ways, that'd be worse.
You sticking around to prevent her "hating you" makes no sense. Her behavior already demonstrates that she does not value you, love you, or respect you. That is painful to hear, I am sure.

But mentally "running away" from that knowledge is hurting you MORE because you stick around for more bad treatment. Her words say one thing but her ACTIONS are another. Believe her ACTIONS. Her words lie. Get yourself out of the line of fire.

You cannot control her behavior. You can control yours. Putting you into situations that are rife with shenanigans with this untrustworthy person? That's not valuing your own well being.

You could choose to value yourself more. Just leave and skip all that mess and do the TLC you need to heal, and move forward to your next future happiness. Hopefully to a relationship that is NOT one where you are stuck in YUCK.

Again, I am sorry you are hurting. But please think about what you need to do to better care for your long term well being.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-28-2013 at 01:55 AM.
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:31 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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I apologize for resurrecting this thread, but there have been new developments that are...troubling, to say the least.
Don't apologise - it's totally ok to have an ongoing story and most of us here are actually interested in developments.

Quote:
Let me first say that, since my last post, I caved and gave in to her new terms. I told her to date him, but drop all other relations but him and I. Perhaps this was not the most self-respecting of decisions, but I simply crumbled. Perhaps if I hadn't and stood resolute, we would not have arrived at the current predicament.
Really though, poly isn't about saying "you can have this" or "you can't have that'. Perhaps it's just wording, but wording says a lot. You can't be poly and "tell" her to do anything. You can only communicate what *you* can deal with.

You can't stay and control her. You can only stay and offer your genuine limitations. Then she has a choice whether to stay, under those limitations, or leave.

Quote:
We fought the next day. It ended when she very passive aggressively said she'd be breaking up with him. I told her not to bother, I didn't want her to hate me; in some ways, that'd be worse.
In all ways, it would be worse. There is no point being in a relationship that is based on control and resentment.

Quote:
Now, one of the things she promised not to do was to bring him up on her own. And what does she do? She (all smiles, no less) pulls out a love letter he wrote her while they were together. She shows it to a friend of hers and I (it's a beautiful letter) and says to me "Good luck topping this." And then goes further and says "And to add insult to injury, he's my secondary," as if we needed a reminder.
If she genuinely said those words, man, what the hell are you doing with her?

My girlfriend is tactless as hell sometimes. She always lets things slip, she gives me too much information and she accidentally teases below the belt. I've heard her moon on about how sweet a guy is, how peaceful, how he soothes her, how another guy is so sexy. I even stumbled upon a conversation where she told her ex submissive that she couldn't talk to anyone the way she could talk to him, after I'd just moved in with her. I found *that* out of line ..... but this?? Even my GF would never do something like that. God, what the hell are you doing putting up with that? I cannot think of a single innocent explanation for it.

She's clearly either trying to find a way out, trying to push your buttons, or trying to show you that she's full of resentment.

If I were in your shoes, I'd be pulling her up on it - to be honest, I don't think I'd be sticking around. If I did stick around, it would be "two strikes and you are OUT".

Quote:
I need advice. I don't want to break up with her...this is a last resort. I want to know how to handle this mentally and emotionally. How can I assert to myself that the amount of emotion she can invest in me can eventually equate to the massive amount of love she already feels for him?
I've got to be completely honest.... I don't think you have any hope of reassuring yourself. The initial reassurance has to come from your partner. If they don't give it, you aren't going to feel it. You also can't convince yourself, or assure yourself, that she will eventually feel the same way towards you, as she feels for him right now.

When I got involved with my girlfriend, as I said, she already had a husband and a secondary she was in love with. I *hoped* that one day, I might get to that level with her.... but I never expected it, or told myself I would. I just let things develop naturally.

This poly handout on insecurity is really useful. If you read through the page 5/6 things and you notice that she's not doing any of that stuff, pay attention. You can't succeed together in poly without nurturing. It's NOT all about you getting over your jealousy; it's about you getting over it and her HELPING you do that. http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im...ed_10-6-10.pdf

As a final note, I believe that relationships often continue the way that they start off. Especially if you don't hammer out the danger signs swiftly. When I met my current girlfriend, she had learnt bad arguing techniques after 10 years with her husband. During our very first fight, she was very rude to me, swore at me, ordered me around, told me to "get my ass over there NOW". I was nervous. I didn't want to rock the boat. I almost didn't protest. I almost went over there. But.... I didn't want that kind of behaviour to become the future of us. So, I stood up straight, got some balls, and said "I want to talk to you and sort this out, but there is no need to speak to me that way. I will come once you stop being rude." Two years later, I'm so glad that I did, because she's never, ever spoken to me quite that way again.

So, what are you going to do? Are you just going to feel (understandably) depressed and anxious, bury your head and attempt not to be insecure? What about the next time she upsets you? What about when you need a cuddle, or reassurance? Are you going to keep doing all the work on your own and torture yourself? Or are you going to stand up and say "hey, what was all that about with the letter? Why did you say that to me?"

You will only be treated as you allow yourself to be treated. If your relationship is two thirds bad to one third good, you might want to do some serious thinking honey.
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  #16  
Old 01-29-2013, 03:57 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I've got to be completely honest.... I don't think you have any hope of reassuring yourself. The initial reassurance has to come from your partner. If they don't give it, you aren't going to feel it.
Excellent point. It's like "How can I convince myself that this Pitbull isn't going to bite hand off?" when it's standing there, snarling at you and snapping at your hand.

Quote:
As a final note, I believe that relationships often continue the way that they start off. Especially if you don't hammer out the danger signs swiftly.
Also a good point. By and large, relationships tend to degrade over time. It takes commitment and hard work from both partners to maintain them, and even more commitment and hard work to improve them. If both people aren't on board for that, improvement just ain't gonna happen.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:31 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
As a final note, I believe that relationships often continue the way that they start off. Especially if you don't hammer out the danger signs swiftly. When I met my current girlfriend, she had learnt bad arguing techniques after 10 years with her husband. During our very first fight, she was very rude to me, swore at me, ordered me around, told me to "get my ass over there NOW". I was nervous. I didn't want to rock the boat. I almost didn't protest. I almost went over there. But.... I didn't want that kind of behaviour to become the future of us. So, I stood up straight, got some balls, and said "I want to talk to you and sort this out, but there is no need to speak to me that way. I will come once you stop being rude." Two years later, I'm so glad that I did, because she's never, ever spoken to me quite that way again.
[...]
You will only be treated as you allow yourself to be treated.
This is one of the best examples I've ever seen of the point:
We teach people how to treat us.

thanks, sparklepop.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:04 AM
ManofDiscovery ManofDiscovery is offline
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I think you have to ask yourself if you're actually ready to go poly yet or not. It sounds like not - it sounds like it's something you're doing to try and please her.

Hence you can just about cope with the idea of her meeting some random dude that she has no feelings for, but meeting her ex is a different ball game.

I've met quite a few couples online before where the guy is quite happy to see his wife getting banged by 6 guys at once, but gets a bit insecure if she's with one guy, and she seems to quite like him.

It just hits that nerve of 'does she like him more than me?'

To me, that is all jealousy is - the fear that your partner is meeting someone better than you are.

If you want to become truly poly (and I know that you should probably take my words with a pinch of salt, as I'm only just starting out on this road myself), then you have to start by fulling accepting that:

1) You are who are you are, and you have certain things to offer
2) Other people have different things to offer than you that your girlfriend might be interested in
3) That does not imply anything about your own value
4) There is the risk that one day your primary will find someone who she sees as a better match than you, and will want to make him her primary instead.

If you're not willing to accept these things, then you'll always struggle with the poly way of life I believe - because you'll always want to put limits on your partner. You'll only allow her to see the type of guys that don't make you feel insecure (ie the ones you feel you know you are better than). Guess what - she wants to see the ones that prod your insecurities - not to upset you, but because they are naturally going to be the most attractive guys.

Note that all of these 4) points still apply even if you're mono. There are still other guys out there, and there is still the chance she will meet someone else. Even if you get married and tie her down...that's still an illusion that you now 'own' her and she's fully attached to you.

You have to realise that if you really are truly poly, with no jealousy or insecurities, you are offering her something that 99.9% of guys cannot give her - that total freedom and lack of judgement. I doubt this is something her ex can offer. There's a decent chance that if you're fine about this, that he'll be the one who gets jealous and insecure, and turns her off...and she realises you are the one she wants.

However you don't do this as a tactic in order to make it happen. You just know that you're an awesome dude with something really special to offer. Some people will see it, and some won't. But don't try to force it...just put yourself out there as you are, and allow people to see it if they want to.

Now obviously she has to keep her side of the bargain. You are the primary, which means she has to respect you, and not treat him like the primary.

I guess the question is - what do you really want? I have a sneaking suspicion you just want this girl as a mono partner. In which case I'm afraid, she is probably not for you.

Last edited by ManofDiscovery; 02-07-2013 at 09:09 AM.
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2013, 03:35 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by ManofDiscovery View Post
. . . if you really are truly poly, with no jealousy or insecurities . . .
In what rule book is it stated that only those who do not experience jealousy or insecurity are "truly poly?"

Having those feelings is very human, and if one experiences insecurity and jealousy, that fact simply points to areas in our psyches that need attention or issues in need of some sort of resolution or letting go. This is true, no matter what sort of relationship structure or configuration one employs in their life (mono, poly, whatever).

The only thing that is truly poly is the fact of having, or being open to having, multiple loving relationships. That is it. There is no "One True Way" to be successful in polyamory. It is detrimental to have avoidance of feelings as a goal, or to uphold some sort of robotic, unfeeling, objectivity as an ideal.
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2013, 03:41 PM
ManofDiscovery ManofDiscovery is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
In what rule book is it stated that only those who do not experience jealousy or insecurity are "truly poly?"
The definition doesn't matter...I don't see the value in debating it.

If you're living a lifestyle that causes you constant insecurity and general bad feelings...and it's not just a phase you're working through...then it is not for you.

You can still technically be poly, but why would you want to?
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