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  #11  
Old 06-23-2010, 07:28 PM
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rpcrazy rpcrazy is offline
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easier said than done. How far do you go to attain harmony in your investment? That's where it gets confusing. How many years good times gone bad and bad times gone good, counseling, meditating, talking, etc etc before you say, "ok, looks like we're not gonna work"?
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rpcrazy View Post
easier said than done. How far do you go to attain harmony in your investment? That's where it gets confusing. How many years good times gone bad and bad times gone good, counseling, meditating, talking, etc etc before you say, "ok, looks like we're not gonna work"?
I totally agree that for some this is very hard to do and what is a good gauge to determine when to throw in the towel? For me it is a matter of the pain/pleasure balance. If you spend the majority of your time feeling pain and anxiety then I believe you should move on or reshape the nature of your relationship. For some this is easy, for others it is definitely not.

If you have to resort to sustained medication to deal with your relationship then I also think it is time to move on.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:08 PM
Lost421 Lost421 is offline
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I feel for you so much. I really feel like from what you are telling me that perm's poly relationships were in reaction to your poly relationship with cue. Of course I could be way off, but from what you're telling me that's kind of how it looks, since two of the other women in his life were quite attached to him and that distressed him. Sounds like his ideal would be you two having a pretty close marriage with a few short, somewhat superficial relationships on the side. This doesn't seem to be what you want. Regardless of how cue may not be a perfect person (who is?), I have the feeling that if you were in a relationship with somebody as close to perfect as you could get, perm would have problems with him.

I hate ultimatums, they force people to make decisions they don't want to make. You're in a really tough spot here, and my heart goes out to you. I'm not going to try and take sides, but you have to be true to yourself. Are you going to be happy if you have to live the way he wants you to live as a couple? Is life without cue going to change your marriage in regards to intimacy and one on one time, or is it wishful thinking? Will you resent having to break it off with cue? How will that change the relationship? It sounds to me like you are trying to compromise, but it's not enough for him. You have to figure out where your line is and stick to it. Just as he has to figure out what his line is and what he can live with. I know how you feel about the marriage fixing thing, I wouldn't call myself a Christian but I seem to have inherited the guilt and desire to sacrifice and fix things from my family, and I know how hard it can be to ask for what you want. Personally I think you need to figure out what is right for you and what makes you feel happy and loved and go with that. I know it's not that simple, but if I have any advice to give, it's to be true to yourself.

R
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2010, 03:27 AM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Originally Posted by joyfulgirl26 View Post
he broke our "condoms unless discussed" agreement 3 freaking times)

it's also been a red flag to me that he has been willing to dehumanize the chicks he's dating (calling them crazy, psycho, just generally really negative stuff)
Redpepper already pointed out, and I agree with her, that this sounds more like misogyny than anything else.

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Originally Posted by joyfulgirl26 View Post
after our session, he said he doesn't think our poly models line up anymore, wondered if they ever did, and then told me that i can either "get on board to getting back where we were" or "move out and get an apartment and be fine".
I'm not sure that the problem here is a difference in "poly models", so much as it is a difference in "how to treat human beings models". He's treated you badly by ignoring safer sex rules, he's treated his romantic partners badly by calling them names/pathologising them, and now he's demanding that you treat your boyfriend badly by dumping him to avoid getting kicked out of your home.

If he's willing to toss your marriage away because he thinks that your boyfriend is a loser and you're not doing enough housework, what's the next thing going to be that he throws a fit about and you need to change in order to keep him? And how much value is he placing in the marriage?
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2010, 07:02 PM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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some updates:

perm has hung out several times in the last 2 weeks with his most recent girlfriend. last week he went with her to run some "quick errands" (at 8:30) and didn't get back till 1am. he insists to me that they're still broken up, but dude, come on...they're clearly still hooking up or *something*. /sigh. i feel like that is unhealthy for both of them to drag it out if that's what's happening. i wish if he was still interested in her, he would just be honest about it. i like this gal and she and i get along great. i would have no problem with him dating her again!

meanwhile i haven't stayed with cue or even seen L since this whole thing started, which is a huge change for me. for the past 6 months, perm and cue were essentially my co-primaries, with my sleepovers split 50/50 or 60/40 with perm/cue - an arrangement that was the result of a discussion with perm and his suggestion.

so i come home every night (although i admit i've been working late and spending more time at the gym)...but the house feels hostile and empty. i won't say i feel uncomfortable here, because i refuse to feel uncomfortable in my own home, but there definitely isn't much discussion happening. he sleeps on the couch (not because i asked him to...i go to bed earlier than he does and about a week ago he just stopped coming to bed with me). a few times i've tried to start a conversation and it's lead to an argument and goes right back to the ultimatum.

yesterday i started making a kind of map of possibilities, with extremes on all sides (ending my relationships with cue/L, ending my marriage with perm, ending all my relationships, ending none of my relationships) and working in towards the middle, factoring in variables like living arrangements and alignment (swinging/poly/polyfi/mono).

my thought is i'll identify the options/paths and i really want, the ones that i can accept as long as we're working towards something else, and the ones that i cannot accept at all. then maybe i can sit down with perm and see if we can find some happy medium. if we can, then i can go to cue and L and see if this aligns with what they need/want...which will piss perm off because they haven't "earned" the right to anything, but i really feel like they deserve a say or to at very least be informed.

so that's kind of my project at the moment. i feel like if i have a "map", then i can set about the emotional task of making that a reality. right now i feel nothing towards perm except maybe some pity and concern. i love him, but i do not want to be physically or emotionally close to him at all.

surprisingly, he agreed this morning that i could go spend some time with cue and L today to celebrate L's birthday. then he promptly invited his ex over...lol. so they're both sitting here now watching soccer and i get the distinct impression they'll hook up after i leave. i don't know what she knows or doesn't know and i haven't had an opportunity to talk to her about it...but that just feels weird.

i went ahead and made another individual appointment for the therapist for next wednesday. not sure what i am going to talk to her about, especially if i have my possibility map finished. but we'll see.

thanks to everyone for your words of kindness, support and wisdom. it feels nice to have a support system with some knowledge and experience, even if it is virtual!
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2010, 07:16 PM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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Originally Posted by jkelly View Post
If he's willing to toss your marriage away because he thinks that your boyfriend is a loser and you're not doing enough housework, what's the next thing going to be that he throws a fit about and you need to change in order to keep him? And how much value is he placing in the marriage?
see that's the thing...he is doing this because he doesn't feel like i am as emotionally invested as he wants...and i get it. i really do. he doesn't want to throw our marriage away, but truly, in his mind, I am the one throwing it away because i am not giving him what he wants or needs. but when i ask for things i can do, he points things i've fucked up in the past, or cue being a loser, or me *not* doing x, y or z instead of talking about what he NEEDS to feel like i'm emotionally invested. and hey, i am the first to admit mistakes and agree to learn from them and changed based on those lessons. and i have tried time and time again to just accept responsibility and ask forgiveness so he can get some closure on the things that were wrong...but when all i get is the past rubbed in my face, i don't even know how to start changing things.

i've explained time and time again that unless i can get specifics (and i mean POSITIVE specifics, not "dump cue so you can focus on us"), i naturally gravitate towards MY model of emotional investment: being here physically, trying to engage him in conversation and check in with him, keeping up my part of the housework, contributing to our joint accounts, supporting him in his career, hobbies and other relationships, forgiving him if things go wrong, telling him i love him, etc. if he wants something different or more, he either needs to spell out specific THINGS for me to do or he's going to have to step up/change the feedback he gives to get the results he wants. i've never gotten much in the way of feedback from him, and i even suggested more positive verbal feedback as a very easy way for him to get me "engaged" again. his response? "well obviously cue does that and i don't, so i'll just deal" and completely shut down despite my insistence that it was about ME AND HIM, not him vs. cue. ARRRRGH!!!!

but like he said to the therapist, he truly feels like if i REALLY love him, i should anticipate what he needs and he shouldn't have to spell it out for me. so yeah...frustrating.

Last edited by joyfulgirl26; 06-26-2010 at 07:19 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2010, 05:11 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Default I am so sorry...

(((hugs)))

If I were you, I'd hug Perm, told him I loved him but I couldn't do it anymore, and leave. Maybe move in with Cue and L, at least until I could get my own place, but I'd be out and done. I'd get a lawyer and serve the divorce papers, make sure to watch my own ass in terms of the proceedings. (The court isn't likely to know about poly and open marriages.)

If he can't communicate to you about his needs, and refuses to grow, the relationship is stalled. He's the only one who can restart the engine, and if he won't then there's nothing else to be done.

I was in a relationship that feels to me like yours seems to be (though we didn't marry) for four and a half years, and it was technically open for the last two and a half of it. I loved him, and still do three years later, but he's mono and I'm not, I'd compromise and he wouldn't, and it was the most unhealthy situation I'd ever been in. He wouldn't let me tell mutual friends about A (my other boyfriend), imposed serious restrictions on A's and my physical intimacy, insisted on a DADT policy that wasn't tenable (I couldn't tell him if I was going out with A, and then he was constantly was checking up on me), and was hysterical every time any poly-related topic was brought up. The only times he'd even talk about being willing to compromise where when I'd tell him I was leaving-- and those offers were alongside vaguely suicidal threats.

I wish I could give you a more balanced perspective on this, but the best I can say is that when I was in similar shoes I threw them off and ran.

Thanks for being brave enough to share your story. Keep posting-- we're here for you.

In cahoots,
~S
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2010, 10:48 PM
Lost421 Lost421 is offline
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I feel for you, and thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like perm is shutting down and shutting you out. It's really up to him if he wants to talk to you or not, and you can only do so much. You do have to be true to your wants and needs. Sounds to me like he doesn't want to talk about it and he just wants you to do what he wants you to do. I know it's not perm vs. cue but he feels that way, and you can only tell him it's not so many times. Some people just have a different opinion on what constitutes a loving relationship and I think he wouldn't call an open marriage a loving relationship. It's too bad, because a little more openmindedness goes a long way to being truly happy and healthy, but people want what they want. If I was in your shoes I would give it some time to see if he comes around, then leave. Hope this helps.

R
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2010, 11:41 PM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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thanks much for the love. hanging out with cue and L yesterday was great...i felt like i could actually relax and not be paranoid about what i said and did. again, i know a lot of that is "the shiny", but hey, i'll take the lack of tension when i can get it right now!

i am so freaked out by the idea of leaving. i love this house. it was totally my dream home and despite what perm has said, i feel like i have worked hard to make it feel like home. my family will freak. i mean like giant flaming abyss of catholic family drama freak...the thought makes me absolutely shudder. our mutual friends who (at perm's insistence) don't know about our arrangement will freak. and it will be really easy for him to make me out to be the bad guy: "well obviously she was cheating on me with that guy who was always around"...whereas he can easily write off his girlfriends because he was so careful to keep them at arm's length.

lesson learned, self. lesson learned. be honest, be open, be real, and listen to that little voice when it tells you something's not quite right.

/sigh

Last edited by joyfulgirl26; 06-27-2010 at 11:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-28-2010, 06:27 AM
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he truly feels like if i REALLY love him, i should anticipate what he needs and he shouldn't have to spell it out for me. so yeah...frustrating.
In my relationships I tell my partners what I want to hear and what I am feeling and thinking at every turn as soon as I know for myself and it is appropriate. There is never an bit of info left out for long. If I need to hear something or I need them to do something in order to maintain my comfort I tell them. I'm talking down to ever detail.... they have learned so much about me from this. I also don't expect that they will. They know it's a request... quite often they are relieved that I have relieved them of the burden of guessing what is going on for me.

Some examples are that I will say, "I need you to tell me I look good in this dress, because I love this dress and feel rather fat and ugly today and need to know that I look okay." Or I will say, "I need for you to just give me a hug and not try and pry out of me why I am quiet and emotional right now. I don't want to talk about it until I wrap my head around it and I will let you know when I am ready to talk." Or, and this one comes up often for me and nerdist, "please stop asking me if I am okay. I am fine, I will tell you when I am not fine. I need for you to stop asking me that because it is making me frustrated and you seem to be reading my frustration as my not being fine. I need for you to trust me and assume that I am fine until I say otherwise." Oh, a biggy "could someone offer me a drink (or whatever added in here)? I just would like to be treated like a guest right now instead of a mummy, could someone offer me something so I feel like I am not always the care giver? thanks... that would be awesome..." (I suspect those that know me might be laughing as they read this as I actually do talk like this... I know some people can't deal with it... meh *shrug* too bad for them, I am what I am,,,, and it works with those I am with)

It isn't okay that anyone assume or presume anything at any time in relationships or otherwise I don't think. It just sounds whiny to me. No one is a mind reader. I check as often as I can and welcome others to do the same. It just makes everything far more clear and takes away half the battle of communicating effectively.
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