Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-03-2013, 01:51 AM
mewster's Avatar
mewster mewster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Default Ex's, Boundaries, Transitions

Hi and thanks for reading/ providing your feedback

My concerns/questions are my current girlfriend's ex. They were together for 17 years before I arrived on the scene. They do not live together nor are they legally domestic partners, though health insurance and some other financial stuff lists them as partners.

They had some very rocky years before I even knew them. Then I arrived and the ex became irate and overly emotional at my girlfriend. The ex claimed that they never had an open or non-mono/poly arrangement. My girlfriend was confused as both and she and the ex had had other lovers over the years. My girlfriend had some relationships that never went anywhere. My girlfriend offered couples counseling over the years and again during the 9 months of turbulence. The ex said no way. So the ex unceremoniously and abruptly ended their relationship 3 months ago.

Now its the holidays and the ex is back sniffing around looking for connection, seeking "to talk" with my girlfriend. Girlfriend is saying she won't get back together unless they go to couples counseling and doesn't think it is possible to become lovers with her again. She does want to try and transition the ex-lovership into friendship.

I come from a different way of doing non-mon - wherein everyone knows and meets each other. They had a don't ask don't tell setup (which failed quite wretchedly). Girlfriend doesn't want me to meet the ex saying that that ex will be jealous of me and cause further emotional wrinkles.

I'm out here wondering what the heck? Working on finding out where my boundaries are, what is reasonable to ask for, what isn't? What and how can a transition happen here when it seems there are so many closed doors and secrets and walking on eggshells?

My ideas for boundaries are:
- please let me know if there's contact (don't need specifics etc) but would like to know about dates or big emotional email/letter bursts
- when and if there is some resolution and what the dimensions of that resolution looks like
- sexual reconnection or reuniting; would like to know about this so i can make decisions for myself around the situation

I'd like input on the following:
- stories of transitioning old loverships into friendship (good, bad, ok, totally screwed up)
- what you might consider bad boundaries or emotional blackmail, if you were in this situation what would you be willing to make an agreement on if you were my girlfriend?
- any sage wisdom for the girlfriend who is faced with transitioning a person who has been part of her life for such a long time

anything else you can add (that is useful, not flaming) would be appreciated. I am not new to poly I know how to have conversations with grace and dignity. i know how to behave if i am a secondary or a primary or something else. just murky in my thinking around this situation.
__________________
The world was made round so we cannot see too far ahead
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-03-2013, 04:50 AM
Anneintherain's Avatar
Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 820
Default

I just know that in that particular situation, I would more or less insist on MEETING the ex if there is any chance of rekindling the relationship - just coffee or a passing hi. That would likely be good (or at least, telling) for each of you, and as this isn't a new relationship but an old one, putting a face to all the emotional feelings and seeing that you're just a nice person is the only thing that could make me feel optimistic that is was going to be doable.
__________________
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-03-2013, 06:17 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

If my partner insisted on meeting my other partners when he knew that is something they don't want, i would think that they have problems respecting boundaries and end the relationship.

It also sounds as if you're threatening to punish her if she dares reunite with this guy. What you need to realise is that the boundaries you request need to be about you and her not her and him. As long as they have safe sex, their relationship and how it doesn't work is their business, not yours. If their shitty relationship does start to affect yours then make sure he stays away from you and she doesn't discuss him but other than that, it isn't your concern.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-03-2013, 06:57 AM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,286
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mewster View Post
Girlfriend is saying she won't get back together unless they go to couples counseling and doesn't think it is possible to become lovers with her again. She does want to try and transition the ex-lovership into friendship.
Sounds like she's managing her relationship.

Have you taken an honest look at what it is exactly you are afraid of? My shot in the dark guess is that you're afraid he'll come back in her life and force you out. Or is it the potential drama associated with having a toxic metamour?

In either case, if she were waffling and of weak moral character then it might be reasonable to assume there will be trouble. At this point it might be a good idea to plan your exit strategy. If she's a grown woman entirely capable of managing her own relationships then you might just be letting your insecurity fog up your vision and prompt you to take action on something that is not your business.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-03-2013, 07:33 AM
mewster's Avatar
mewster mewster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Default

thanks for the opinions and feedback.

first, we're all women, no men in this situation, thankfully (no offense guys).

mostly im concerned about about the co-dependency that's been operating for a long time here. i am wary not jealous because of what i've witnessed going on between the two of them, albeit from a safe distance.

but yes, my boundaries are about keeping myself safe which i guess is a backwards way of controlling that thing over there. i know i don't want to be a passive aggressive controller person so i've got to to think about what i can ask for that isn't sideways or backwards. watching my girlfriend get steamrolled, not stick up for herself and become re-enmeshed in a former relationship that wasn't meeting any of her needs (her words not my viewpoint) is not something i want to put myself through.

the question i think i need to be asking myself is that if the reunion happens how much co-dependency will i put up with - where is my threshold? i've got to dig a little deeper here.

thanks again for the perspective.
__________________
The world was made round so we cannot see too far ahead
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-03-2013, 07:39 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

But the co dependency is between your partner and this other woman, right? Not your partner and you?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-03-2013, 08:07 AM
mewster's Avatar
mewster mewster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Default

Yep co-dependency is between them. But it has impacted me when the other one cried wolf, went into freak out mode and my girlfriend went running. Wary of bad behavior.
__________________
The world was made round so we cannot see too far ahead
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-03-2013, 08:36 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

We are not isolated from the thoughts and feelings of our partners, even if those thoughts and feelings are directed at another person, their job, their family, or hurricanes in Malaysia.

Sure, our partners might have issues in another relationship and those issues aren't about us and our relationship with our partners. But few people are able to completely isolate their feelings in one relationship from their other relationships. It's a perfectly reasonable question to pose: "Given that I cannot control whom she associates with, how much carry-over pain and angst am I willing to put up with? At what point do I say enough is enough, and move on?"

Allowing someone to continually bring negative energy home and into our own relationship is not healthy for ourselves or for our relationship to that person. It sucks our energy as that person continually requires our support. As much as it's unhealthy to control other people, it's unhealthy to tolerate our own lives being dominated by the actions of people we have no direct contact with.
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:13 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Quote:
If their shitty relationship does start to affect yours then make sure he stays away from you and she doesn't discuss him
Wrong pronouns, right premise. I think it was Marcus who once said that if his partner were to stay in an obviously unhealthy relationship, he'd have to evaluate why he thought she was a good partner for him to begin with. She wouldn't be the person he thought.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-03-2013, 04:07 PM
mewster's Avatar
mewster mewster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
if his partner were to stay in an obviously unhealthy relationship, he'd have to evaluate why he thought she was a good partner for him to begin with. She wouldn't be the person he thought.
Yes, this.
thanks much folks for the feedback, witnessing & reminders.
much obliged
__________________
The world was made round so we cannot see too far ahead
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:24 PM.