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  #1  
Old 03-28-2010, 06:32 PM
kamala kamala is offline
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Unhappy She's backing out

Iím fairly new to polyamory and in my first polyamorous relationship right now. I have been lurking round these forums for a while now, learning a lot (not posting as I didnít really have anything meaningful to contribute!) but things for our little trio have gone badly pear shaped and I just wanted to ventÖ

The story is: I met a guy, letís call him N, about 8 months ago. He immediately told me that he was in an open relationship. His girlfriend, letís call her S and him had been together for almost four years, and had just opened things up. Later, he said that meeting me was something of a catalyst too, although he had wanted to have a more open situation for a while. I started some friendly dialogue with S, wanting to go ahead cautiously and respectfully. We met and got on. Things were going very well. My relationship with N progressed and near the end of last year we started to all hang out together as a trio. We had awesome threesome sex on New Years In my mind, and in Nís mind, we were slowly moving towards something more equitable, and Sís fears and doubts along the way were dealt with one by one.

But for whatever reasons, too many to get into here, S gradually came to realize that in fact she wasnít happy with the idea of sharing N at all. She had felt pushed and forced. She wanted to return to a monogamous relationship with N. About a month ago, things blew up. She had always entertained the idea that she would be the main girlfriend, that my relationship with N would always be casual and less than hers etc even though we had all explicitly agreed on otherwise.

Now, many heated debates and tearful conversations later, S is in the position where she has stated, in no certain terms, that she cannot go on with things the way they are. I am unprepared to step away from a fulfilling relationship, and N is sure now more than ever that he can never go back to monogamy. Although they havenít officially broken up yet, it seems to me that it will only be a matter of time.

Maybe this post seems cold and unemotional, itís just that so much has gone on and after everything I feel so numb. The feelings of guilt I feel are surprising me, because in the end I know that I actually have nothing to do with this and that the issue existed with them long before I came along. He wants one thing, she wants another. In fact, for a while I was very angry at them for embarking on this sort of thing while not being on the same page with each other, and I was angry at S for having strung me along, going ahead with more than what she was comfortable with and then just expecting it to all disappear!

N is now, understandably, hurt and feeling emotional. I want to support him in all of this, but wonder if I should just give him time to process it alone? I am so, so saddened to end my friendship with S, but she doesnít want to speak to me ever again I feel ambivalent about what our relationship will be now in the wake of this disaster. I know that Sís friends feel hostile towards me, and Nís family, although theyíve never met me, have always bought into this idea that S was a victim, that N was a bastard to her etc. even though she always maintained that she acted of her own volition etc.

Iím not sure what Iím really asking here, I just needed to get it out there. Has anyone ever experienced this? It seems like a really stupid newbie mistake to make, but what can you do if people change their minds? She agreed, I think, because she didnít want to lose him. I feel for her, and tried so hard to befriend her, to make things easier. It didnít work and she hates me regardless.

If she is freed up to find a relationship that suites her better, and I am freed up to have the relationship I want with N, and he too gets what he wants, then I should be happy, right? I donít know why I suddenly feel so strange about everything
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:18 PM
korindino korindino is offline
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Really, you have nothing to do with their relationship, even if you care for N romantically and S platonically. The ball is in their court to figure out what to do, but the truth is that S will never be happy being poly and N may never be happy being mono. If they realize this, they quite possibly could break up.

If that happens, you and N have the opportunity to explore a primary polyamorous relationship. If this is the case, then you should allow yourself to be happy. Maybe the relationship between N and S had run its course, and it took meeting you for them to realize it. You don't need to feel guilty for being with someone you can love openly, freely, and on equal terms.

In the meantime, it's probably best if you let each of them know that you carre about them and will be there for them whatever happens, but give them their space. They will figure out what they need to do without interference.

Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:55 AM
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Well, you are not alone it seems. There have been several discussions on these forums about such situations. It is very common. No doubt if you have gone back a bit you have found some.... I can't say I know any answers other than what I would do and that would be to continue to protect my best interest and keep myself moving forward to discover relationships that work for me and the people I am with.

Who knows what is going on between them. It really isn't to do with you as the precious poster suggested... I would think that the only thing to do is to be available to chat when he needs to and talk to him about how you feel. In the interim I think I would start getting out there and seeing friends and people who support me and make me feel good. Start doing things that make me feel good about myself and stay distracted until there is some kind of movement to continue forward with him (and possibly her) or not.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamala View Post
But for whatever reasons, too many to get into here, S gradually came to realize that in fact she wasn’t happy with the idea of sharing N at all. She had felt pushed and forced. She wanted to return to a monogamous relationship with N. About a month ago, things blew up. She had always entertained the idea that she would be the main girlfriend, that my relationship with N would always be casual and less than hers etc even though we had all explicitly agreed on otherwise.
Sorta like opening a flood gate, eh? She didn't want it to happen, maybe felt that it was the only way to hold on to N, and then realized that it was making her miserable. Now she wants to put the proverbial genie back in the bottle.

Quote:
I am unprepared to step away from a fulfilling relationship, and N is sure now more than ever that he can never go back to monogamy. Although they haven’t officially broken up yet, it seems to me that it will only be a matter of time.
Your wording, "unprepared," is very appropriate here. Because unfortunately, it's not entirely your choice. You need to prepare yourself for the possibility that this may be over. It could be that eventually, N will realize that he cannot be monogamous, but they could realistically see-saw for months or even years on the issue before reaching a final decision. How long are you prepared to wait?

Quote:
Maybe this post seems cold and unemotional
It doesn't. It seems sincere and confused and heartfelt.

Quote:
The feelings of guilt I feel are surprising me, because in the end I know that I actually have nothing to do with this and that the issue existed with them long before I came along. He wants one thing, she wants another.
You said it best, trust your instinct.

Quote:
In fact, for a while I was very angry at them for embarking on this sort of thing while not being on the same page with each other, and I was angry at S for having strung me along, going ahead with more than what she was comfortable with and then just expecting it to all disappear!
It's good that you're no longer angry with them for this. In a perfect world, everyone would always know exactly how they're feeling and exactly how certain decisions are going to affect them in the future. Unfortunately, humans are not psychic. She was most likely hiding these feelings from herself as much as from you and N.

Quote:
N is now, understandably, hurt and feeling emotional. I want to support him in all of this, but wonder if I should just give him time to process it alone?
That's a judgement call. My personal opinion is that being close to him puts you in a really good position to understand his feelings, without judging him or criticising him the way his friends and family apparently will. He may need someone on his side. So what if you catalyze their inevitable breakup? Why should they grasp at something that is already falling apart, especially if they have fundamentally incompatible lifestyles?

Quote:
I am so, so saddened to end my friendship with S, but she doesn’t want to speak to me ever again
Here, you and N can support each other in the mourning process of your relationships with S. You will both obviously be going through very different losses, but I think you can be each other's shoulder to cry on for the other.

Quote:
It seems like a really stupid newbie mistake to make, but what can you do if people change their minds?
Damn, did your poly crystal ball break on you again? Hate it when that happens!! ... what can you do? Roll with the punches, that's about it...

Don't beat yourself up. Think of it as a learning experience. Whatever experiences you've had in the past didn't prepare you for this situation, and you did the best you could under the circumstances. What more could you ask of yourself??
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:55 AM
kamala kamala is offline
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Hey, thanks for the responses

I sit down and look at everything, and I don't feel bad about any of the decisions I made, and I don't feel bad in myself for anything, but...

Anyway, enough impotent whining I needed to just air some of this and I suppose get confirmation that I'm not some calculating intruder. I feel both elated and really crushed that she might leave, so... just... *sigh*

Thanks for the suggestions
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:50 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I sympathise - a situation like this is a nasty one to get involved with and you want the best but aren't sure what that is.

It's hard when one person in a partnership wants to be poly and the other is faced with it. Sometimes you can read all the books, and read all the internet and think you can deal with it, but when it comes down to it, you realise that it just isn't for you. I think that may have been what S has been going through.

In other words she has learned something about herself.

Now N and S have non-negotiable bottom-lines that conflict with each other. They need to get that sorted out. It doesn't matter what triggered it, or what family and friends think. You were just a catalyst - if it wasn't you it would have been someone else.

Your responsibility, as I see it, is to allow them to get themselves sorted out, now that they have this new knowledge. You can't help and, given your closeness to the situation, it would possibly make things worse.

Since S wants things to be monogamous, I would be distancing myself from them for a while - give them the space without her having to worry about what you and N are doing together behind her back. I wouldn't surprised if a lot of monogamous conditioning starts kicking in and you don't want to be close to that, unless you feel comfortable in a role as a punching bag.

I wish you luck in a difficult situation.
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:14 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hi Kamala,

Yes this is unfortunate but as others have mentioned it kind of comes with the territory. Old ways of thinking don't change easily and I wish everyone experimenting with this change would just know and acknowledge this from the start.

You are right to carry no guilt here ! This is no-fault living/exploring. Everyone made their own choices along the way.

Ciel says it nicely............

Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
In other words she has learned something about herself.

Now N and S have non-negotiable bottom-lines that conflict with each other. They need to get that sorted out. It doesn't matter what triggered it, or what family and friends think. You were just a catalyst - if it wasn't you it would have been someone else.
Take a deep breath, keep a low profile for awhile and let the dust settle where it may. As Schrodingers cat said - these damn crystal balls just don't cut it.

GS

Last edited by NeonKaos; 03-29-2010 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:54 PM
lisbeth lisbeth is offline
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another posted alluded to this but I'm going to say it even more strongly: Don't assume he's going to leave S. unless you have some hard evidence things are moving in that direction. Sorry to sound pessimistic, I've just heard too many stories of guys who promised they were going to leave their primary partner and then never followed through.

Take care of yourself and I'm sorry your first poly experience had to be like this. But just think, in a few more months you'll have learned so much that you'll be on this forum giving advice! maybe..??
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:03 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Unfortunately anytime anyone pretends to be something or to be ok with something that they are not-it matters not WHY they did the pretending-there will be fallout.

I think a lot of people forget, even in poly where we SAY it's all about honesty, that honesty doesn't JUST mean being honest with OTHERS, it also means being honest with OURSELVES.
If you think "could I.... would I.... ???" and the answer is "IDK" then you have no business moving forward until you dig a big deeper into yourself.

*****not ragging on you OP! This just seems to be what happened with S and thus I thought maybe some other reader would find this helpful to avoid the mistake and pitfalls S made causing this heartbreak train for all of you******


Only when you can know YOURSELF fully and honestly are you ready to start sharing yourself fully and honestly with other people.

Yes I know we all change-that means this is an ONGOING responsibility to "keep knowing yourself"!!
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:26 AM
EdibleStrange EdibleStrange is offline
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I know I'm kind of late to the party, but for what it's worth, I'm really sorry that happened to you. I can see your pain and personal confusion and heartache in your post and I sympathise deeply. Lately, I worry that my story is going to go down the same road as your's...

But, we can't let our fears guide us, otherwise they'll take us exactly where we're afraid of going.

You can't control how she feels. You can't control what she DOES. It's unfortunate that she felt unable to be open and honest in her relationships, but at the same time...like I said...nobody can control how she feels. I'm sure you and he did all you could to try and ease her mind (and if you think you didn't, learn from the experience).

You didn't do anything wrong. You are not a bad person, or a bad poly lover.
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