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  #171  
Old 08-08-2013, 01:03 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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I am sorry, Cleo. I wish I knew what to say to provide comfort. You are not a failure. Some relationships are like seasons and not meant to last forever. Just know that you are not wrong for wanting certain things and one day you will find those people who can give you those things. Sending hugs your way.
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  #172  
Old 08-08-2013, 01:21 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Cleo. Be kind to yourself.

((((HUGS))))
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  #173  
Old 08-08-2013, 01:57 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Hugs to you, Cleo.

It's just awful when so many things go wrong at once. Look after yourself - be kind and gentle with yourself.

IP
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  #174  
Old 08-08-2013, 02:04 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I'm sorry Cleo I really do think that there is a LOT of loss going on in people's lives this year - seeing it left and right in big ways. I know it's sure as hell not about you being a failure or bad partner, and I hope that with a bit of time you can only remember the any good/useful things you've learned from the relationships, instead of feeling the sad. *hug*
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  #175  
Old 08-09-2013, 02:55 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Well, holy shit. I am so sorry. That's awful.

I truly do know how you feel. In the summer of 2010, during the week of my 29th birthday, my boyfriend/best friend ended our 4-year (open) relationship in a way that was a total shock to me. He blamed me for his impotence, said I had never been his "real" girlfriend, that we'd never had emotional intimacy, and that I must have no friends if I thought of him as my best friend.

When I called my occasional/casual lover (also of 4 years) to commiserate, he informed me that he had found "real" love and was getting married (and, by implication, that he would never see me again, not even to say good bye).

When I went on a family vacation the next week to recover from this double loss, my brother was a complete asshole to me [for reasons totally unconnected with my dating relationships] and I stopped speaking to him for five months.

When I called my third (and only other) friend-and-lover and begged him to let me cry on his shoulder, he told me that he had been "merely tolerating" me in his life and that there must be something wrong with me if I was blindsided by the departure of the other two men.

Strangely, I had met and/or gotten together with all three guys in the same month four years earlier, so it was darkly poetic that I would lose them in all the same month too. At the time, I think I felt that I had been greedy or selfish to maintain involvement with three men; so surely I deserved to lose them all.

Meanwhile, the mutual friends I shared with my ex-boyfriend blatantly cut me out of their lives, which also meant cutting me out of the professional life I had been establishing for 5 years. My dearest platonic friend never spoke to me again. Another friend of my ex told me that I had been my ex's "practice girlfriend" and that I should have known it wasn't a "real" relationship.

In the space of a few weeks, I had lost the 5 people closest to me (my three lovers, my brother, and my best female friend) all in one blow, for no reasons that I could understand. So yes, I know how it feels.

I went completely crazy for 6 months. I sobbed for hours every day. I became physically ill. I could barely get out of bed, but I couldn't sleep either. I developed obsessive thought patterns. I tried medications with bizarre side effects, and a therapist who could not contain her shock that I had been involved with MORE THAN ONE man. She recommended a $2000 psychological evaluation.

What I really needed was to grieve. And to wallow in self-pity (it's okay to do that if you need to). And to forgive myself, because I damn sure thought it was all my fault and that I was a complete failure.

Honestly, it's the three-year-anniversary of this series of events, and only recently have I begun to feel truly better. I had to rebuild my sense of self piece by piece. But I've done it, with time and a lot of self care, and by sticking to my conviction that I truly want a life that involves dating relationships with more than one person.

The self-doubt about non-monogamy was the hardest to get over. Logically, I should have given it all up--the three "wonderful" men in my life all dumped me spectacularly. My relationships weren't "real." And yet, that was the one thing I knew I truly wanted, to be free to have relationships with multiple men.

Don't give up, Cleo. But do take the time to grieve without beating yourself up for it.
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  #176  
Old 08-09-2013, 10:14 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Thank you all, for your kind words. I guess I'm not taking a break from the forums after all. Writing about everything here does really help.

MeeraReed, wow.. I read before, somewhere on the forum, that you once lost several people at once. But this is a truly horrible story. I am so sorry you had to go through that.

This really jumped out at me:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Strangely, I had met and/or gotten together with all three guys in the same month four years earlier, so it was darkly poetic that I would lose them in all the same month too. At the time, I think I felt that I had been greedy or selfish to maintain involvement with three men; so surely I deserved to lose them all.

.
I got together with C and MrB in the same month (december 2011). This was after a period where I was sort of frantically dating, having lots of one night stands / casual sex encounters. Getting together with mono guys who after one or two dates (with sex) said they couldn't deal with the poly thing, after all. I was SO ready for a committed and serious relationship besides my marriage. And then I found two (though they were very different, what they had in common was that both guys claimed to be truly poly and to be in for the long run).
I jumped right in, with both of them.
It needs mentioning, probably, that before I got together with Ren, I'd never had a serious long term relationship. I had never really been in love. I had never had my heart broken. I had never been committed to someone, I had never experienced a relationship with all the lovely and not so lovely things that it brings - closeness, disappointment at times, friction, expectations, etc.

So at 42 I am starting out as a relationship novice, having only the experience of being with Ren for almost 20 years.

I have never learned that love can be love and yet change, that things don't stay the same forever. I think both with C and MrB I started clinging to ideals without looking at how the reality had changed.

In his last email MrB said that he is not saying goodbye, that he values our friendship and our love, and that we will see which form or shape this will take. I think what happened between us is that I started making 'primary style' claims on his time and energy, something I KNEW wouldn't work - but I needed it, especially after breaking up with C. I KNEW it would screw things up with MrB but I did it anyway, and that's the part where I feel like a failure - like I wasn't strong enough for him, not 'good' enough to be his partner.

But I think it could not have gone any other way - I could not NOT have asked for these things, and it was necessary that he told me that he is not able to give me this.

So there is not a definite goodbye between us, and I don't know where that will go. I only know is that I need to work on my expectations, and just let things be instead of wanting to control it all.

Poly sure is a challenge for control freaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
The self-doubt about non-monogamy was the hardest to get over. Logically, I should have given it all up--the three "wonderful" men in my life all dumped me spectacularly. My relationships weren't "real." And yet, that was the one thing I knew I truly wanted, to be free to have relationships with multiple men.
Yes, this too.
I'm having an article published in a major paper here in a couple of months. It's about my poly life, with Ren, C and MrB (who are of course not mentioned by name). I felt so STUPID the last couple of days, thinking 'when that article comes out everyone will know that what I am propagating, actually did not work out at all...'
but when I though harder about it, I know in my gut that this is how I want to live my life, and there will be other loves, and even if there won't be, it is still how I want to live my life and I still believe in it.

I am seeing my counsellor next week. Unfortunately I will only be able to talk about the situation with my parents - I can't talk about the relationship stuff, tried it before, he says he's not equipped to help me with that because he doesn't know anything about it. He's not judging (he's a great, great guy who has helped me work through a lot of stuff over the years), he just says 'sorry, can't help you with that'.

So I guess for those things it's back to introspection, and venting here, and hashing things out on this blog.

Thanks for reading and comments are always very welcome.
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the guys: Ren - husband; Curlz - bf of 2 years, Brig - bf of 7 months; Knight - non-sexual bf; MrBrown - it's complicated
Ren's girls: Lou - gf of 2 years, Liz - very new gf
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  #177  
Old 08-09-2013, 10:27 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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... and some thoughts about dating, which I want to write down here to remind myself later.

Next time I start to date someone I want to take things sloooooowww.
Become friends first. Not share my whole life story on the second date. Spend time together, get to know each other. Making suspense, attraction without immediately acting on it, a part of the whole process. Not think of guys as my seriously committed long term lover straight away.

I think this is what I did with BGuy.. it seems to be working so far. We became friends, and now we occasionally see each other and have great talks and great sex. I'm not kidding myself, I would love a more involved relationship, at some point (not with him). But I really need to keep my dreams and expectations in check next time I meet someone.
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early forties, straight.
the guys: Ren - husband; Curlz - bf of 2 years, Brig - bf of 7 months; Knight - non-sexual bf; MrBrown - it's complicated
Ren's girls: Lou - gf of 2 years, Liz - very new gf
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  #178  
Old 08-11-2013, 09:49 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Good days and bad days. Sometimes I'm doing ok, and think that it is all for the best. And then I get these huge waves of grief because something pops into my head - I'm reminded of something C said, something MrB did - and it's overwhelming.

The relationships were so very different but now it almost seems like the grief over them has melted together into one big pool of mourning. Maybe that's a good thing?

Trying to take good care of myself. Eat healthy. Not drink too much coffee or alcohol - they tend to increase my anxieties. Talk to friends, but not too much, cause I find that all the talking and hashing out doesn't really help much. Spend lots of quality time with Ren. I took some time off from work, and hope that will also help to ground myself again.

Got an email from C yesterday. 'It's been a month, I wonder where you stand, and if there is still something between us? What do you want to do?'
Ugh. So typical. Not a word about how he feels. Putting all the responsibility on me. I replied that nothing has changed for me since we last spoke, and that I do want to talk to him, but not now because feelings are still too raw, and that I need another month at least.

BGuy got in touch, but hasn't responded to my proposal for a date yet.

Came across this Dorothy Parker poem the other day. It pretty much sums up how I feel about any potential new relationship.


ULTIMATUM

I'm wearied of wearying love, my friend,
Of worry and strain and doubt;
Before we begin, let us view the end,
And maybe we'll do without.
There's never the pang that was worth the tear,
And toss in the night I won't -
So either you do or you don't, my dear,
Either you do or you don't!

The table is ready, so lay your cards
And if they should augur pain,
I'll tender you ever my kind regards
And run for the fastest train.
I haven't the will to be spent and sad;
My heart's to be gay and true -
Then either you don't or you do, my lad,
Either you don't or you do.
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early forties, straight.
the guys: Ren - husband; Curlz - bf of 2 years, Brig - bf of 7 months; Knight - non-sexual bf; MrBrown - it's complicated
Ren's girls: Lou - gf of 2 years, Liz - very new gf
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  #179  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:18 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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It's rather freaky at times how much our stories are parallel these days! I've read quite a few posts from you that seem to describe my recent experiences and feelings. And now reading your history above, I start to see why.

quote:
It needs mentioning, probably, that before I got together with Ren, I'd never had a serious long term relationship. I had never really been in love. I had never had my heart broken. I had never been committed to someone, I had never experienced a relationship with all the lovely and not so lovely things that it brings - closeness, disappointment at times, friction, expectations, etc.

So at 42 I am starting out as a relationship novice, having only the experience of being with Ren for almost 20 years.
/quote

Increase the age by a few years, and that's me, aside from 2 long affairs. In one of them I was just too young/immature to properly work out relationship issues, though we did try; in the other we never talked about issues/expectations, and this ambiguity became very stressful for me. And my husband is not much of a communicator, so we failed for years to address problems.

So just truly learning emotional/relationship skills in my 40s, and in a relationship I jumped into way too fast, with tons of (unrealistic) expectations. It's been quite the crash course and emotional roller coaster. And I had a break up a few weeks back that turned into a non-break up, although I still don't really understand the what form the relationship will take now.

(This last reminds me of both of your relationships - it looks to me like neither C nor MrB wants to lose you. Even with the complications and mistakes (which we all make) they are still interested in you.)

So I'm also vowing to do it all very differently next time around, and feeling better equipped to do so. And looking back, I see that the affairs did grow more naturally, from relationships that were friendships first, and that provided some comfort at the time.

FWIW, from a fellow novice, it seems to me like you're handing this crisis period pretty well, and doing a good job at taking care of yourself and navigating through the grief.

I wondered why, though, in responding to C, you didn't tell him this reaction:

quote: Ugh. So typical. Not a word about how he feels. Putting all the responsibility on me. /quote

Does he already know this, or is it implied in the answer you gave him? Because to me it seems like your emotional reaction and the answer you gave him don't fully match, and I wonder if communicating your true reaction more clearly might be beneficial.

Hang in there, and glad that you've decided to continue to hang around here!
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  #180  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:31 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildflowers View Post

So just truly learning emotional/relationship skills in my 40s, and in a relationship I jumped into way too fast, with tons of (unrealistic) expectations. It's been quite the crash course and emotional roller coaster.
Yes, this, very much this. Expectations need to be kept in check next time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildflowers View Post
I wondered why, though, in responding to C, you didn't tell him this reaction:

quote: Ugh. So typical. Not a word about how he feels. Putting all the responsibility on me. /quote

Does he already know this, or is it implied in the answer you gave him? Because to me it seems like your emotional reaction and the answer you gave him don't fully match, and I wonder if communicating your true reaction more clearly might be beneficial.
Well, I did say something like:'you don't say what YOU want, am I the only one who gets to decide what's going to happen now?'
I did think about making it more emotional but that is exactly what I don't want from this email exchange and why I don't want to see him yet... too much emotion. I still get very angry at him sometimes and that needs to fizzle out, because it's not going to bring us anywhere to fight.

and yes I'm still around, because it's just too hard to get away from the stories of people who are going through the same stuff!
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early forties, straight.
the guys: Ren - husband; Curlz - bf of 2 years, Brig - bf of 7 months; Knight - non-sexual bf; MrBrown - it's complicated
Ren's girls: Lou - gf of 2 years, Liz - very new gf
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