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  #1  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:43 AM
catspaw00tng catspaw00tng is offline
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Hi again,

I was asking about secondary relationships a few weeks ago, and felt really good about the outcome of my relationship talks with my SO and his wife. But, my SO's wife left him last week. I was in town for a weekend visit, got stuck there because of bad weather and airline issues, and she kicked him out because he asked if I could stay at their house until I could leave, to save money. The breakup was very hurtful; she has an OSO and a new b/f, and she attacked her husband in every way possible on the way out, maligning his attractiveness, his loyalty, his honor, his sexual prowess.... She also sent emails to me saying that she always knew I was trying to break them up and destroy their marriage, etc., and so on. It's been a nightmare.

Now he's grieving, and I don't know what to do. I've been trying to be supportive and be emotionally "there" for him, but I'm back home, 3000 miles away. All I can do is be a voice on the phone, or words on a screen. I don't know what I'm supposed to do... if she had died, I'd know. If he were just a friend, I'd know. But in this case I'm completely lost.

Over the last couple of days he's been really erratic; one minute he's calling, asking me for help and saying he loves me and is grateful for my support, and the next minute he's telling me I'm needy and smothering and he can't "take care of" me.

I'm dealing with other problems with work and family here (elderly parents, surgeries, etc), so my emotions aren't the most stable, and with him a wreck I've got no one to lean on for support for me (especially since I am closeted here - very conservative office, very conservative friends, and a very good chance that my being open about being poly would result in my being jobless and homeless).

Have any of you got any suggestions?

-Cat
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2011, 06:05 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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OUCH Catspaw. That's terrible.
Friends?
It sounds like the perfect moment for some "just friends" on both sides to pop up and listen through the emotional rambling of the stress that isn't poly-related.

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Old 03-02-2011, 08:23 PM
dragonflysky dragonflysky is offline
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First of all Cat, I'm sorry you're having to go through this. You did mention concerns about this couple that when they met with you they had an "It will all work out", attitude, but not much in the way of details to back it. At least you're getting a prime example of how they cope with troubles and problem solve....not very well obviously!

My ex-couple are not married, but have lived together for over a year. They were originally in a V relationship...with her as the hinge between her husband and our guy. She subsequently divorced her husband when he no longer wanted a poly relationship. My couple consider each other to be "husband" and "wife" within their poly relationships. I moved partially to be closer to them and to work further on our relationship. (His and my relationship...and to build a deeper friendship with his other partner.) I lived with them for the first month here and then found my own place...which was our plan right up front. Once I moved out I saw less and less of him. I raised this issue with him numerous times and he'd repeat that he didn't want me to be in a secondary role, but to just give him some time because he was getting adjusted to a new job. (as was I!)

Well come this past December, 4 months after I moved, he told me he wouldn't even commit to seeing me once a week as I had asked for, because life was just too hectic and busy and he didn't see an end to that anytime soon. He just couldn't stretch himself that far. I had offered to do the driving to his area so he wouldn't have to spend the hour on the road to where I live. I offered for some of "our" time together to be family time, including his partner, her son, and/or her mother, etc. (We'd done this on numerous other occasions. I'd even babysat for her son on one occasion when both of the parents had to work on a Saturday.) I offered to be flexible as to what day of the week it was that we'd get together on a week to week basis. (I'm no longer married and my sons are adults who live on their own, so I have much more time and flexibility. Her son is 9 years old and she was just finishing up her nursing degree and holding a job.) It was still a "no go" on his behalf. I was sick at heart that he apparently cared so little for me or was so self-centered. He didn't see either as being true!

I had discussed my move with both of them at different times throughout the process of interviewing for a job in the area and before I accepted the job offer in the area and then moved. I wanted to make sure I wasn't pushing myself on them and that BOTH were okay with my being closer and more involved with the family. They had invited me to stay in their home the first month until I could search around and find a place to rent....I didn't ask them. I made sure I was out of their house at the end of the month's time. He'd told me several times he didn't consider of me to be a "secondary" and didn't want me to feel that way, even prior to my moving closer.

Sooooooo...'nuff about me and my relationship with an established poly-couple!

With regards to your guy.....perhaps you can just ASK him what he'd like from you or if there is anything he can think of that would be helpful on your behalf. Put it back in his hands. Don't try and mind read because, if he's feeling powerless right now in the other relationship, he may be taking it out on you and you'll never quite get it "right". If he can't come up with anything, just tell him if he does, to please let you know and in the mean time you'll just leave the issue alone unless he says something to you about wanting your help/input, etc.

Last edited by dragonflysky; 03-02-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw00tng View Post
. . . my SO's wife left him last week . . . It's been a nightmare.

Now he's grieving, and I don't know what to do. I've been trying to be supportive and be emotionally "there" for him, but I'm back home, 3000 miles away. All I can do is be a voice on the phone, or words on a screen. I don't know what I'm supposed to do... if she had died, I'd know. If he were just a friend, I'd know. But in this case I'm completely lost.

Over the last couple of days he's been really erratic; one minute he's calling, asking me for help and saying he loves me and is grateful for my support, and the next minute he's telling me I'm needy and smothering and he can't "take care of" me.
It took me three months to pick myself up off the floor and stop sobbing after my husband announced he wanted a divorce and moved out soon after. It is a heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching, and nerve-racking thing to be married and have it come to an end, especially if it's sudden and against your wishes. There's really nothing you can do but offer to listen if you can. Just be as compassionate and patient as you can, and know that he will be erratic. Let him fall apart a little -- men have a harder time doing that usually, so it might be good for him. He shouldn't expect to bounce back quickly and you shouldn't take anything he says as being written in stone. I'm still a bit of a mess eight months later. I couldn't be there for anyone else for a long time, and I am still feeling fragile and broken a lot of the time. It's a horrible, horrible situation to be in and it takes time. All my divorced friends told me that and now I've been seeing it is true.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-02-2011 at 09:42 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2011, 12:32 AM
catspaw00tng catspaw00tng is offline
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She said she wanted to work things out, but she doesn't want to reconcile because they had a horrible relationship. He can court her, however, and try to woo her back. Then she said she was tired of trying to work on a relationship she's never been happy with, so she was done, she wanted to split up. Now she's in love with him again, and she wants to make it work and reconcile, but it's all up to him. They haven't slept together in over 18 months, until last night when she decided she wanted to patch it all up. All this since Monday.

He asked if I was up for a phone call tonight, said that he and I were still solid and our relationship is good. I said yes, I'd love a call... and he says "ok, I'll ask if it's ok. She might want to spend time with me to work on our relationship, and I told her I'd ask permission before spending any time with you until she feels comfortable again."

</3

I wanted to be a part of their family. I have stayed in hotels, rented cars, changed plans, cancelled tickets, rescheduled trips, all so that she would feel comfortable. I even paid for them to have couples counseling, and date nights (because she wouldn't have date nights in with him... she said it was too stressful. So I sent money so they could go out.).

I feel... sick. Lost. Used. I want to know why anyone but he and I gets to give or withold PERMISSION for us to talk on the phone or see each other. I am fine if she wants to talk about dates, times, etc., and even if she wants to request restrictions, but I want to be in on the negotiations. I want an opportunity to put in a suggestion for compromise if the times she picks won't work around my schedule (I have a very busy, complicated work life, plus school). I want to be part of the communication.

I fear that she is going to tell him that he cannot be involved with me anymore, and that he'll agree... and that I will never have a chance. My relationship fate will be decided completely without me.

Is this poly? Real-life, honest to goodness poly? Because I don't know if I can do this... I thought there was supposed to be communication, and compromise. She has several SOs, so why can't my b/f have me and me him? I can't even have anyone outside of my relationship with him, because she felt uncomfortable with it, and didn't trust my judgment. If I wanted to stay in the relationship with my b/f, I couldn't date anyone she hadn't approved in person. Since I'm 2k miles away, that's a little bit of an issue. I have to believe that this is not the way poly is supposed to be done. Please tell me that it's not this way all the time... I need hope. I am dealing with the possibility (probability) that he is going to leave me to keep her. I'm not okay with it, and I am having a lot of problems not doing something stupid, but I'll deal. I just need hope that poly can be possible.


-Cat
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2011, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw00tng View Post
If I wanted to stay in the relationship with my b/f, I couldn't date anyone she hadn't approved in person.
WHAT???!!! That's ridiculous!
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:46 AM
catspaw00tng catspaw00tng is offline
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It's nice to know that's not a common rule. That's one of the ones that has grated on me. :'(
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2011, 03:24 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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The thing about negotiating rules/boundaries/relationships in poly is that they're negotiated.
One person saying "I want/need X" isn't enough...the other person has to say "yes", "Can do", or at least "That is acceptable" with perhaps a "for now" tacked on the end.

If the rules are grating on you, then you might want to consider renegotiating them, or find someone to date with more reasonable about negotiating.
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