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Old 01-17-2011, 06:40 PM
rubrklnx rubrklnx is offline
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Default Am I being too hasty?

Hi everyone,

I find myself in a situation I could use some advice on. I would appreciate lots different perspectives on this matter; I feel like I can't really get a "forest through the trees" view on it and I am sure there's a wealth of knowledge and experience here.

I met a guy, let's call him Aarin, at an event in the summer of last year. At that same event I met his wife, Anika, and her boyfriend, Michael. Aarin and I got to chatting and found ourselves quite smitten with each other that evening. We spent some time alone together and some time with Anika and Michael. All was above board and quite twittter-pating.

I, fortunately or unfortunately, have a couple stumbling blocks that I bring to this scenario. The first is that I've had a relationship with a married man in the past that ended up ending on a very sad note because the boundaries of he and his wife's marriage didn't allow for me to progress with him beyond a casual dating scenario (kudos to them for setting that up and being honest about it). I felt more than a bit sad after that parting and decided married men weren't really for me unless I had another partner with whom I could be involved. Secondly, I did a lot of exploration while in that relationship and came to the conclusion that I'm not in the strictest sense "polyamorous." I don't believe I have the capability to be in love with more than one person at once. I am fine with this conclusion and still see it as ok to date people who do define themselves as poly as long as we're all on the same page about our feelings and the nature of our relationship.

So, back to Anika and Aarin. I first tried to stop seeing Aarin entirely the week after our meeting because I had resolved to not date married men again. Anika was actually quite a big supporter of Aarin and I pursuing a relationship, to the point of calling me and asking why I wasn't following my heart with this one. Finally, I agreed that I should be happy even if it's for the short term, and decided to pursue a relationship with Aarin.

Over the course of the next few months Aarin and Anika experienced a wonderful kind of compersion through Aarin and I's NRE, and Anika and I even at a couple points had some interesting entanglements. Unfortunately, as Aarin and I's relationship grew it became more and more obvious that Aarin and I are meant for each other (I know, it sounds a bit high school, doesn't it?). He and I have a way of communicating and seeing eye to eye that neither of us has ever experienced with someone else.

Anika and Aarin's relationship has suffered somewhat because of that fact. Anika has broken up with Michael after some unrelated and some related events, which leaves her even more lonely and needy for Aarin's time when he's with her (and even sometimes when he's with me). She and he had a defining series of conversations where he was as gentle as he could be admitting that he loves me in a different way that he loves her, and yes, he still loves her deeply, but not like this. She had to take a while to adjust to this and has only just in the past couple weeks really gotten back to feeling in support of he and I's relationship and not needing to process and work through things with Aarin on a daily basis.

So a couple days ago I told Aarin I needed to break up with him. I couldn't be around and entangled with a marriage that is suffering this much (and the lines are blurry on whether its because of me, because of them, or some of both), and also because, as I told Aarin, I need to find someone for myself for whom I can be Primary, and being in love with Aarin and trying to date other people will mean I can't fall in love with anyone else.

Aarin and Anika both think I'm being too hasty in leaving Aarin. They say I should be happy with him while I can, even if it never means that I can be married to him or be his Primary. Its tearing me apart thinking I might be pushing the love of my life away, and its tearing me apart knowing I'm the reason Aarin and Anika are at odds with each other. I feel between a rock and a hard place.

Does anyone have any experience or perspective they could offer me on this? I would really appreciate a view on this that is from a few neutral third parties.

Thanks in advance, and to all of you,
rubrklnx
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:49 PM
lovinhimloviner lovinhimloviner is offline
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I guess I can relate to this story from the wife's point of view. My H's GF is mono. I know if she started having feelings for someone else then maybe she would leave him too. That would break both of our hearts. I know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can love more than one person at a time. I know this because I have 4 children and a husband that I love more than life it's self. I know without question that my H loves me and always will. I also know that he loves his gf too. I can see it when they talk to each other when you touch and when they kiss. It is possible to love more than one person at a time.

I can see where they wouldn't want you to leave. You are a part of their family now and losing you could hurt everyone. However you must stay true to what you want. I would hate to see you throw away a good thing because you can't open your mind and heart enough to see the possibilities. You also don't want to be in a relationship of any kind that isn't worth the work and effort it takes to make a relationship work properly. If you are not happy with him then what is the point?
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:45 PM
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I think you know what you want and are determined to not let anything get in the way of that. Good for you. Sure you could hang out and enjoy his company, but it sounds like you know that you will be looking for a mono person to share your life with and that it would eventually end. Why waste your time and spend your time with them when you could find something that works for you entirely.

I think you are better off thinking of yourself before you become too involved. It sounds like they are hurting in more ways than one and that is too bad, I feel for them, but it isn't up to you to save the day or make it right for them. They need to work on what is going on for them and other areas of their life on their own time. You can listen and support by being a friend just as easily... that might be better for them in the long run anyway...

All these hard emotions sometimes make us "think" we are in love with someone, when really we are just feeling like crap and being with someone we like makes us feel good. Good enough to think we love them... I would let them go and just be friends... who knows, that could change, but for now, stand by your decision.
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Last edited by redpepper; 01-20-2011 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:29 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubrklnx View Post

So a couple days ago I told Aarin I needed to break up with him. I couldn't be around and entangled with a marriage that is suffering this much (and the lines are blurry on whether its because of me, because of them, or some of both), and also because, as I told Aarin, I need to find someone for myself for whom I can be Primary, and being in love with Aarin and trying to date other people will mean I can't fall in love with anyone else.
I understand your desire to break up with them. It's about being a positive in their lives; bringing them closer together. If a person is entering an established relationship and isn't adding to it then I truly believe they should have the strength to withdraw. That being said, it is a dangerous game to assume you know what is happening for them. If I didn't trust in the re-assurances of Redpepper and her husband, I would have taken myself out of the equation before ever getting this far. Trust in them but be able to do what is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubrklnx View Post
They say I should be happy with him while I can, even if it never means that I can be married to him or be his Primary. ,
They have no right to pressure you to "settle". If you need a primary partner and someone that has the potential for marriage and kids, they should respect that. To say you "should" do anything because it suits their needs is selfish.

This isn't about what is going on for them...this is about what is going on for you. It sounds like you are deflecting the truth of the issue. It sounds like you need to look deep inside and ask yourself what you truly want.

Good luck my friend...it's a hard road
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:52 AM
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Hi

Firstly how do you know you're mono and can't love more than one person?

Secondly I think it's important to know how old you are? If you're young and wanting to have a family I agree that this may all be in the "too hard" basket.

But if that isn't an issue I don't really see what your problem is, except that you seem to have decided you're mono, need to have a mono primary and that all their problems are your fault.

If his wife was still really anti I could understand, but she's come around. Poly relationships are always going to be more complex than mono ones simply because there are more people involved. I think the break-up of his wife's other relationship is what caused her upset, not you and she had to work through that which is perfectly understandable. It sounds as if you're projecting the old pain from your previous relationship with a married man on to this one.

In situations like this I think that it's best to take a look at your basic long-term wants and needs. I wanted a deep and committed relationship with someone who would partner me through life. That didn't mean he couldn't be poly and it didn't mean that I couldn't choose to be mono.

It sounds as if you need to have a discussion with this couple about primary and secondary labels. These labels are helpful on a superficial level but in reality as the relationships deepen they are made redundant. Discuss the concept of being co-primaries. I love the saying "If you have to move a primary says when do we leave, a secondary says when can I visit and a tertiary says it was nice while it lasted. It sounds like you and this guy have a primary kind of love and maybe the reality of that has also come up for his wife. It doesn't sound like she couldn't handle it, just that it requires work.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage View Post
I love the saying "If you have to move a primary says when do we leave, a secondary says when can I visit and a tertiary says it was nice while it lasted.
I love this too! I'm taking it to add to the lessons learned thread.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:24 AM
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Actually you're undoubtedly making things more difficult for his wife by breaking off your relationship with him. Just because you've decided to step aside won't make the fact that he has had the feelings he's had for you any less painful for her. With the break-up of her own relationship she's had to deal with a lot, but she sounds like a very courageous woman. I would talk to her and see if you could map out a way forward that would work for all of you.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:38 PM
rubrklnx rubrklnx is offline
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Default Thanks!

Thank you all for the very helpful perspectives on the matter.

To answer a few questions that were raised -

1) I believe I am mono because while I was with the married man previously he and his wife both actively encouraged me to date other people and "find someone else to fall in love with," and I did try, and got interested in a few other people but didn't fall in love. The same has happened in the intervening months with Aarin - I've met other people but can't seem to change my "love focus" for lack of a better term.

2) I think the idea of talking to Anika and Aarin and seeing if I can find a way to be Primary while also giving Anika the place in the relationship she expects and deserves is a good one.

3) As to what I want, which has been raised by a few people, I know for sure that I want to be with someone long term right now. I don't want to keep dating, I definitely want to settle down with someone. Marriage, kids, I don't know, but certainly stability and a committed partner. I also want someone with whom I don't have to negotiate time or attention. I've been feeling while Anika has been processing a lot of things that Aarin's attention is really divided and I can't ask for the time I want with him when Anika's hurting. I'm not sure how to navigate that when she's working through stuff, so I've left it be.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:42 AM
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You seem to be thinking about the right kind of issues. In reality we have to learn to negotiate for time and attention whether our relationship is polyamorous or mono. Polyamorous relationships just seem to make it more evident. I found that a positive aspect of my polyamorous relationship because I have finally learned emotional independence.

The following is a link to a post I did on it, you might find it useful. Let us know how it works out for you.
http://www.polyamorouspeople.com/201...ependence.html
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