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  #11  
Old 02-18-2013, 06:28 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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Sorry to be so harsh, but having been in the shoes of the cheated-upon, I have very little sympathy for you. From M's husband perspective, you're the "other man". You've cooked up a lot of rationalizations about how you're fine with that, but none of that is going to fly with him. He wants monogamy in his marriage, and you and his wife are spoiling that. What if he finds out you're still communicating? Suppose he sends you a nasty email or letter and tells you to back off, or worse, confronts you in person? When my W had an affair, I made her cut-off communications, and then I contacted OM's fiancee and told her all the sordid details. There's nothing like the harsh light of reality to end the fog of an affair.

Suppose as a result of your behavior they divorced, and sent the lives of the kids into turmoil? Study after study has shown the incredibly traumatic upheaval that results in the minds of children who are suddenly faced with losing a parent, or being a pawn in escallating custody battles, and often faced with reduced standards of living.

End this affair until (and if) they work out their issues and actually make a decision to pursue polyamory.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:10 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Actually, I think you're looking at this from the wrong perspective. It's not about M and her husband--it's about you and your (awesome-sounding) wife.

You say your wife is supportive of you continuing a friendship with M. But would she be okay with you resuming a relationship with M if her marriage ended?

Many people do arrive at poly from cheating. It sounds like you have done a good job of starting over with honesty. It sounds like your wife has done a wonderful job of learning about poly and forgiving you.

But is it be fair to ask your wife to let you continue seeing M? You have the chance, now, to start over with dating people whom you can be honest about from the get-go.

M is continuing to be dishonest with her husband. She won't make the hard choice to leave him, but nor will she commit to having a truly monogamous marriage with him either.

I think M's issues are her own to deal with. I think you should move forward with your now-poly-friendly wife as your first priority.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:02 AM
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vmsmith vmsmith is offline
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Sparkelpop, thank you for your insightful and compassionate words, and SchrodingersCat, I like the way you cut to the chase.

I realize that people need to paint a picture based on my short summary in order to frame their advice, and while I acknowledge that I may also be biased, I would like to assure you that M is not remorseless or heartless. She doesn't trash talk her husband and struggles with the ethics of our continued communication as much as I do. But we do work together and have to communicate professionally anyway, and it just seems absurd not to ask how things are going now and then.

I can't speak to the details of her negotiations with her husband, but I do know that's she's concerned with his emotional stability and is probably making whatever concessions she feels she can live with to help him through this. When she did share that we had even one conversation it was devastating to him, which is why she's probably chosen not to pursue it further for now. Not ideal, I know, but I'm not going to judge her too harshly.

Some of you mentioned that I just focus on making new friends, and I certainly agree, but please remember that S and I are still very new to this as well. We're trying to take things slowly and she isn't quite comfortable with the idea of new friends yet. Also, S has expressed that she would be OK with me resuming a relationship with M if it didn't work out with her husband. I suppose it's easier for her to accept a known quantity.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:31 AM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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It sounds like people have answered your question, have given you their reasoning, and have offered advice. Yet you still try and find a reason why it's okay. You're struggling with it. Well gee, get out the martyr card! You feel badly while you do something you know you shouldn't! So at least then you are already paying the price and can just keep doing it right?

In the end, no matter what anyone here says, it sounds like you've made up your mind, and are just going to keep trying to get everyone ELSE to change their mind so you instead get the validation you want.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2013, 12:59 PM
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vmsmith vmsmith is offline
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Victoria, thank you for your concern, but I'm not seeking validation, the one true answer, or to change anyone's mind. I was seeking only perspective and opinions and I received them, and they are various. I am quite capable of making my own decisions based on my own values and beliefs. I provided more information only because I thought it would help people better understand the context. In my experience unless I know someone or the situation very well I tend to reserve personal judgement. I believe in general rules not absolute ones and every situation is unique. I appreciate all of the perspectives and opinions provided here, but will give more weight to those delivered with compassion and respect.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2013, 03:44 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I'd like to take your advice, but its very hard to let a good friend go.
I don't see it as letting a friend go. I see it as giving a friend space to sort her problems at home out. You do this in polyshipping anyway -- respect that time with their Other. So I guess I don't see that gesture as being "different" just because you are not "officially polyshipping" with her. Friends and family do this for each other too.

Quote:
I honestly have no other friends with whom I have been so close.
Could make new friends and cultivate emotional intimacy there. FRIEND friends. Not romantic partner people. Because sooner or later, we all need help from friends -- so along with cultivating the polyship, could cultivate the support network of "general community."


Quote:
We have had conversations about all of the points you raised and she acknowledges their wisdom. She has come out as poly to her family, which is more than I've been able to do, and she did attempt to renegotiate the communication agreement, but failed. My wife and I had been working on this for years, I can't expect her to make the same progress overnight.
No, but she could ask her spouse if polyshipping is a hard limit NO WAY or if it is a soft limit that could change in time. Ask for his forgiveness and work out what amends she needs to make to regain his trust and goodwill.

Ask him how she is to maintain her professional relationship with you since you work together. Work together to determine something realistic and doable.

And that's all their turf -- you are not a part of that picture yet (if at all.)

For YOU, she could be more clear in her communication. What are you to her? A friend only? A person she wants to date eventually? Not sure? Whatever it is at this point in time, clarify that, determine the next check point and until then keep noses clean.

Quote:
If we measure our ethics by what makes us feel least yucky, well... I would prefer to remain a messy and imperfect friend than cause us both to loose a friendship on principle.
Could choose to measure your ethics by ETHICS. Keeping good ethical behavior sometimes sucks. One is asked to do things one does not WANT to do, but could do "in the line of duty" or "in service to the greater relationship."

As I see it?
  • If she is ready to leave him, fine. Help her meet her goal to leave in appropriate ways. Watch her dog. Get some U-haul boxes. Clean her new apartment. Whatever.
  • If she is NOT wanting to leave him at this point in time and wants to reconcile with him, fine. Help her meet her goal to reconcile in appropriate ways. Step back and give her space. Encourage her to work with him, seek a counselor. Not talk to you about things that are not appropriate or puts you in the middle.

Could ask her what it is she wants for her goal, and both of you align yourselves toward that goal in your conduct.

Could be her friend first. Truly her friend.

Could worry about being her maybe again lover later.

A proper time and place for everything. Could strive to have everything in its proper time and place. Could think about your shared potential polyship with her -- and could think about giving it the best start time possible. Is starting a new polyship with her in a time of weird the best time your could offer yourself? Her? Your wife? (the Husband, if he's still in it?)

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-20-2013 at 02:34 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2013, 04:16 AM
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vmsmith vmsmith is offline
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All very good points, GalaGirl. Thank you!
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2013, 05:20 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I skimmed the rest of the replies...and there are some really smart folks here and you should consider what they have to say...but I did want to share my "take" before I went to bed.

*****

First off, this is one of the few areas where I disagree with my husband (and many of the folks here). It is my position that the person who is actually IN the relationship (such as the relationship between your M and her husband) bears the PREDOMINANT responsibility to maintaining the boundaries of that relationship.

Yes, if you truly care about(/love) her then you will try to help her by enforcing any decisions that SHE makes about what is right for her and her relationships (i.e. If she asks you not to talk to her/ communicate with her because it is difficult for her to not respond - then, if you care about HER, you will help he stick by her resolve.)

I have shared my own experiences here (you can read about it in my "Journey" blog - the /jackassery/ section). When I broke the, albeit ill-defined, boundaries with my spouse, an explosion occurred. Part of the outcome of that was a "no contact" demand - which I respected as well as I could. If Dude called...I didn't answer, but told MrS that it had happened. If I ran in to Dude, I let MrS know the specifics of the the encounter. If Dude emailed, I deleted it without responding and let MrS know that he had contacted me.

10 WEEKS later...Dude emailed MrS with an impassioned plea for forgiveness. (Which was pretty awesome, if you ask me, since I was the asshole in this story.) Some stuff happened...and...happily ever after (so far - 2 years later).

Now, my situation is (as all situations are) different. MrS and Dude were "best friends" before all this went down. BUT, I am actually convinced that it was my dedication to enforcing the "no contact" dictum that convinced my husband that I was sincere in my desire to doing "whatever necessary" to preserve our relationship. So, when Dude contacted him, he was already convinced of MY dedication. (OK, 10 weeks was actually well short of my time frame - I had told myself that if MrS was still in turmoil at the "1 year" mark then I would "let" him divorce me without a fight.)

My point, if I have one, is that THEY have to figure out THEIR relationship in light of this, new, information. And that takes TIME. Yes, your wife is awesome - granted. But this may be an entirely new paradigm for him - if you (e.g. you+her) give him time, then he may be able to wrap his head around it, but if you push him, you may shut down any possibility of that.

At some point here, you implied (said?) that "if it didn't work out with her husband" then you could pursue this further. BUT, how much BETTER if things DID work out with her husband AND you could pursue things further? (Tongue-in-cheek: how much MORE poly could that be?)

"Life is short, but the years are long."

"Waiting is, until fullness."

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2013, 09:43 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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One important question is who reached out to talk or meet for coffee after the communications embargo started you or her ?

Is it your assessment she going through the motions for the kids or did she tell you that directly ?
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