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  #11  
Old 12-07-2013, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FarAwayLover View Post
1) Is B right - that if I'm not juggling things like physical time together and sex, is it even worth calling poly?
I prefer not to get caught up in the whole "poly or not" debate. It detracts from the ultimate goal of figuring out what to do next and how to make things better for all.

Instead, I try to focus on the needs and feelings of everyone involved. Right now, the "loudest" unmet need is A's need for honesty and trust. For that need to be met, she would have liked to have been told earlier, as soon as "anything" was known that could possibly affect her marriage. It's too late for that now, but fixing that problem is between herself and JP. You did what you could by urging him to tell her before things progressed further.

Quote:
2) Should I just forget the whole thing?
For now, it sounds like it's out of your hands. JP and A need to rebuild the lost trust before anything could conceivably move forwards.

In the meantime, if journaling in the form of writing unsent letters to JP helps you cope with your end of the situation, then by all means. There's no harm in that.

As for looking towards the future, I recommend being hopeful but not attached. That means, you don't have to totally give up on the idea, but at the same time, be prepared to accept that a relationship between JP and yourself might never happen.

Quote:
3) all the definitions of poly talk about everyone being out in the open with it. I feel like we didn't start that way because we had no idea where it was heading. We were a couple of old friends catching up.
There's no use beating yourself up for not being a fortune teller. Once you saw where it was going, you promptly told your own spouse. JP is accountable for his own actions. A is responsible for her own responses to those actions. You don't have to hold yourself accountable for things that are outside your control, specifically the actions and responses of others.

---

An overview from my perspective?

A has a history of being cheated on, and she perceives this as a retelling of that story. In your shoes, I wouldn't get my hopes up that this is going to turn into anything with JP. But, you have learned a valuable insight into your personality: you are capable of falling in love with other people without falling out of love with your husband. You've learned that your husband is able to accept that. So that, in itself, makes this whole ordeal "worth it" because it allowed you to learn more about yourself and your marriage. Yay!

You dated JP in high school, and then you broke up. You got over him once, went thirty-something years without having him in your life, and you won't die if he's not in your life again. You say the break-up was traumatic for him, but I notice you didn't say it was traumatic for you. You'll get through this.

I believe that people come in and out of our lives in order for us to learn or experience something, and grow from it. When that lesson is learned, those people leave. While we mourn their loss, we can also celebrate the lessons they left us.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 12-07-2013 at 06:22 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2013, 03:27 AM
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Hi FarAwayLover,

Sorry I was late arriving here but I wanted to say welcome and throw my hat in.

Re:
Quote:
"Is B right -- that if I'm not juggling things like physical time together and sex, is it even worth calling poly?"
In my experience, polyamory is most often defined as romantic involvement between more than two adults, with the knowledge and consent of all adults who are involved.

The above definition doesn't talk about juggling physical time together or sex. Its definition only entails:
  • more than two adults in the romantic equation;
  • knowledge and consent of all adults involved in the equation.
As long as you have those two factors, you have polyamory. So the problem here isn't the lack of sex or physical time together, it's the lack of consent on A's part. Alas, that pushes the arrangement back one step behind the "poly line." Although, it could become poly if A comes around and consents.

Re:
Quote:
"Should I just forget the whole thing? B suggested that I write the e-mails that I would send to JP, just not send them for now. Most of them have been either catching up on 38 years or what has been going on that day. Think of them as kind of a journal, and maybe one of these days or months or years A will calm down and we'll be in communication again."
Sounds like you should hold on to those emails for now, and kind of just let go and forget about JP, unless and until he contacts you. Which doesn't seem likely given A's reaction, but this is something for A and JP to work out, and then it's up to JP to let you know what's happening if he can.

I suppose you could send him (and A) a short email just promising to respect their wishes as a couple, that you'll assume they need more time without hearing from you unless/until they contact you first, and that you hope they'll be able to contact you soon with an update.

After that, I'd honor radio silence with JP until he or A contacts you. And in the meantime, ponder whether you'd want to pursue any other poly partners (such as through OKCupid or PolyMatchMaker). Are you happy enough with just you and B together?

Re:
Quote:
"All the definitions of poly talk about everyone being out in the open with it. I feel like we didn't start that way because we had no idea where it was heading. We were a couple of old friends catching up. There's the piece of me that's kicking myself for having even brought up the reading material and/or giving JP the idea that he needed to talk to his wife, and there's the other part of me that insists that it was the right things to do, and that it would have just hurt more if it had blown up even later."
No I think you did the right thing. As soon as you knew that you and JP were becoming an "item," A needed to hear about it. Actually there's something to be said for playing it safe and sharing with your spouse even mere friendship that seems to be blossoming with someone outside the marriage. That way the "monogamous spouse" isn't blindsided by a whole poly story all at once. Now you guys probably didn't think to do that, but as soon as you realized A needed to be told, JP told her and that's what counts.

Those are my thoughts for now. Two main TL/DR points:
  • Honor JP's request for radio silence;
  • Don't count on JP to return into your life.
Really you should just think about what polyamory itself means to you, now that you've had this experience. Spend some time reading from our various threads and boards, and see what you think. Post any thoughts, questions, or concerns you have along the way.

I hope you and JP will get another shot but alas I fear it's not likely. Just take as consolation the many online friends you'll be able to make here on this site. Who knows what the future may bring?

Glad to have you onboard.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2013, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I suppose you could send him (and A) a short email just promising to respect their wishes as a couple, that you'll assume they need more time without hearing from you unless/until they contact you first, and that you hope they'll be able to contact you soon with an update.
For some reason, that just reminds me of when teenagers or young children look straight at you and say "I'm ignoring you." I always feel compelled to respond "No you're not, you just spoke to me." That always seems to receive a decent eye-roll and an over-exaggerated sigh.

In my opinion, the best way to let someone know that you're respecting their request to give them space is... just give them space. If it's what they requested, they'll understand that's why you've gone silent, and not because you're being passive-aggressive with silent treatment.
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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."
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2013, 11:27 PM
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Welcome to the board.
Please feel free to lurk and browse.
There is a LOT of helpful information in "goldennuggets". Worth taking time to read.

Please be sure to read through the guidelines so you know what the expectations are.

The board is an open forum, where anyone can (and will) share their opinions. So keep this in mind if you post questions or seek advice. Any given opinion may not fit for your situation and that's totally ok. You can ignore any posts that don't interest you. You can also block any posters you feel a need not to continue reading.

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  #15  
Old 12-13-2013, 06:12 AM
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Oh seems to be standard, but it's quite off putting.v
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:18 AM
FarAwayLover FarAwayLover is offline
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Default Thanks! and update on communiques

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all the responses and welcomes. I'm behind in responding - I've been spending my time on the forum reading the story of the success in Mono and RedPepper's (and others') relationship(s)!
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...Poly+Vignettes

I've been writing stuff in my head, but not getting anything down on paper (nor on the screen, or whatever). When I was in college I was the type who read and read and read, then thought and thought and thought, and finally started writing the paper the night before it was due. And I'm not good at writing short, either. So I think it'll take me a while to respond to the various thoughts here, and also bring things sort of up to date.

Since early November when things blew up, there have been 3 or 4 short bits of communication. I'll provide more details, in a bit. But my general impression is that things are still not going great, and that JP is still working on having A forgive him, whatever that might consist of. So don't know if even just a friendship is possible going forward or not.

1) I got around to posting a picture on my LinkedIn page. We all got pictures taken at my office for the company web page, and were told we could use the pictures elsewhere if we wanted. I purposely didn't post mine on LinkedIn right away, because i wasn't sure what LinkedIn would do in terms of telling JP that I had a picture up. I was trying to avoid being too much in his face (you may remember that LinkedIn is how we reconnected int he first place…), but did at some point feel that it also didn't seem appropriate to hold onto that for an extended period of time. I got a short e-mail note saying that it was a nice picture, and that since, as I knew, he wasn't supposed to be in contact with me, we was going to delete the message out of his sent folder as soon as he sent it.

A good little me would have just sat on that message, I guess, but I _did_ respond. Somewhat lengthy message about how the pictures came to be - my office-mate is a freelance photographer - etc. Got a reply telling me that A seems less angry with the counseling they're getting, but JP is still in the doghouse, and he still sounded concerned about his marriage.

2) Back in October, JP was collecting the state quarters. I found a number of them, and put them in a package near the end of the month. I included a quarter for the year he graduated high school and a penny for his birthyear. I had the post office track the package, because the mail code he gave me looked a little funky, so I wanted to make sure it actually arrived. As it happens, the arrival was after things blew up, so I didn't receive an acknowledgment from JP. So I was glad to have had the post office track things. And the last I knew, he had one state left to find.

So a couple of weeks ago B (who sorts out mail) brings me this skinny envelope with a return address from JP. With what looked like a check in it. This was rather puzzling - wasn't expecting any mail, and certainly not a check. I had visions of the skinny rejection letter from college. B very kindly sat with me while I opened it and read it. Turns out it _was_ a check, for the quarters I had sent. Plus a note. Thanking me for the quarters, and telling me of a plan he'd hatched. Earlier he'd had a dream about buying a $15K engagement ring for A. Well, the plan he's cooked up is to spend 10-15K on an engagement ring and a new wedding band, take A out to a fancy restaurant, and ask her to marry him. With something to the effect of - if that won't fix things he doesn't know what will. Which tells me that things still need fixing.

3) Somewhat emboldened by the receipt of the letter, when the shootings happened in CO a few days after the letter arrived, I sent JP a short e-mail saying I was thinking of him at that time in light of the fact that he used to live in that town. And saying it was going to snow soon. Got a note back to enjoy the snow and stay warm, and then a followup note pointing out that he now had a pager. Right, I said, just what I should be doing - paging him.

4) Over Thanksgiving I'd found a couple of copies of the last state quarter that JP was missing, plus a couple of the national parks (the next sequence that he had started collecting). I had been trying to figure out what to do about them, since I felt like they were burning a hole in my pocket. Having received a communication about the other quarters seemed to open the door, and I shipped those last quarters off the other day, looking for closure on that. And telling JP on paper about my plans to send e-mail in both directions when B and I make our travel plans to Minneapolis.
----------------------------
So, communication has been pretty sparse, but I haven't been as good about it as I probably should have been. At least it's been minimal and what I would consider neutral. And I've typically been waiting to hear something and then responding, as opposed to initiating contact.
----------------------------

I know I've learned a lot about me and B. We're doing a better job of talking with each other about things, and I certainly _do_ tell him how awesome he is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Hi FarAwayLover,

And in the meantime, ponder whether you'd want to pursue any other poly partners (such as through OKCupid or PolyMatchMaker). Are you happy enough with just you and B together?

...

Those are my thoughts for now. Two main TL/DR points:
  • Honor JP's request for radio silence;
  • Don't count on JP to return into your life.
I'm not sure that having learned I'm capable of loving more than one person will do much for me, in that I don't feel a strong need for other people the way that it seems many people on this forum do. (It's interesting to read folks who figured out back in high school that one person wasn't enough, for example…) In the case of JP there was a lot of history (which I'll go into in another post). I don't _think_ I'm going to be out there looking, and I have a hard time imagining investing enough time in a relationship with a random person to have this feeling of closeness and love sneak up on me.

So, to answer Kevin T's point, I think I _am _ satisfied with just me and B. I don't _need_ another relationship.

----------

By the way, what's TL/DR?

Again, many thanks, everyone! There will be more responses later.

FAL
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2013, 10:49 AM
london london is offline
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Too long/Didn't read.
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  #18  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:03 PM
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... is what TL/DR stands for.

Good to hear from you FarAway, hope to hear more soon.

I think a few minimal bits of contact with JP here and there are okay. Just my personal opinion.
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  #19  
Old 12-25-2013, 01:08 AM
FarAwayLover FarAwayLover is offline
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Default Missing something...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
... is what TL/DR stands for.

Good to hear from you FarAway, hope to hear more soon.

I think a few minimal bits of contact with JP here and there are okay. Just my personal opinion.
Thanks, Kevin!

Was there supposed to be a subject line that explained TL/DR? Or is my browser being weird? I didn't see anything!

Thanks!

FAL
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  #20  
Old 12-25-2013, 07:58 AM
FarAwayLover FarAwayLover is offline
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Default P.S. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post

I think a few minimal bits of contact with JP here and there are okay. Just my personal opinion.
Kevin,

Thanks for the reassuring comment!

FAL
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