Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 03-11-2011, 07:15 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,235
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray View Post
I can't train without him there. I can't socialize much with our mutual training friends without him. I can't go to knitting group without his wife being there. I can't go to any social events his friends have without them being there. I'm torn between a need for space and a desire to live life as I please. He's expressed no sympathy . . . None of our friends knew that we were together because he wanted it to be a secret so they all just think I'm depressed for no good reason. When I tried to go to an event it was painful watching him be fine, laughing, joking while I could barely muster up a smile or a conversation.
It is a bit cruel of him not to acknowledge your pain. A breakup usually hurts, especially if it's sudden and not arrived at mutually. It is also unfortunate that he didn't want any of your friends to know about your relationship, especially since you are part of their world. Did you think this was wise? Did that make you feel like a secret affair or was it really poly?

As I've said before, hold your head high - you didn't do anything wrong. You don't have to slink around afraid to run into him or his wife. He's the one who pursued you, asked for you to remain a secret, and then broke it off. Success is the best revenge - what I mean by that is that you will only prop up his ego if you hide out and are a mess around him. "Fake it til you make it" might apply here. Be as confident and self-assured as you possibly can be when you're around him and his wife. Let yourself fall apart around those you can trust. If I were you, I'd take some of your most trusted friends into my confidence and let them know about the whole thing. I would think that now, since you have broken up, you don't owe him anything and are free now to tell anyone you please, provided you feel it is safe to do so. You need the support, and you could gain even closer friendships with the people you both know by letting them in and knowing a bit more about you. They might have always thought of you as a bit guarded, since you were hiding something. Think of this as a wonderful opportunity to develop more friendships. Screw him!!!
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 03-11-2011 at 09:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-11-2011, 08:46 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,872
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray View Post
I did a thread search but didn't find much. So hopefully, I didn't miss some amazing thread with awesome advice.

Summary - O has decided to break up with me. I did not want the relationship to end and am feeling pretty depressed about the whole thing. Basically he doesn't feel like he can be enough time-wise and energy-wise. We have always been friends and we share a lot of the same friends. And I've never really had a break up before, O was my first love. I feel pretty lost.

The question, at large.

What experiences do you have with break-ups in general and particularly where you were good friends prior to dating and shared a social circle? How did you navigate transitioning back to being just friends, if you could? How were breakups when one person had a tough time accepting the end of things? Also, how do people deal with socializing with their former SO and their SO's SO? And any other information or anecdotes you may have on the subject of poly break-ups...
Well... how do you do it...

You just do. If the friendship means that much you have to put in leg work to making it work. You can't trust your instincts here, its almost like you have to re-write the book on how your interactions work.

In general my breakups are explosive as the beginnings of my relationships. I have only experienced keeping them as friends once. I am a big fan of dropping the person and moving on, at least for a time.

My current roomate E... well she was a local friend and we just ended up hooking up. (our love was very accidental.. ) Transitioning from loving someone to being friendly was f-ing hard work. Seeing her flirting and picking up men was one of the hardest things I had witnessed. I still had tinges for months... but the friendship was worth it. She in her own f-ed up way grounds me (she shows me a perspective on women I don't want hahaha). We make better friends than lovers anyways. Her and I would seriously butt heads if we were dating.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-13-2011, 02:12 AM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

@ Ari - I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that can be a tad 'explosive' when it comes to big changes with people. I guess it's a bit different for everyone and some people find it easier to be friends with their exes than others. I was beginning to feel like I was defective for struggling to transition.

@ nycindie - Initially, I understood that he didn't want to come out to his friends giving the timing with he and A's wedding. But it became clear that he had no intentions of ever coming out even to his friends who are all like swinger/pagan/kinky and wouldn't have cared. It's definitely been something I've not liked. Looking back, it's something I wish I'd made a bigger fuss over it.

@ TP - I think many of them didn't know. Our training friends are pretty mainstream, monogamous folk. If they suspected anything, it would have been an affair. His friends may have figured out that we were physically involved but I don't think that anyone knew it went deeper than that.

Things are calming a bit but I'm still a mess. It's been helpful to have some space. I've decided that regardless of his typical Vulcan zen characteristics, that until he can show a shred of sympathy, I don't think we'll be doing much more than coexisting. I mean, the way he's acting, I don't know if he remotely even cares that we broke up. Or if even our relationship really mattered to him? Everyone's entitled to deal with things their own way but it doesn't even look like he's got anything to deal with. He doesn't realize (or maybe just doesn't care) that he often fails to relate to people in an empathetic manner or a way that makes sense to anyone other than himself.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:15 PM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

Well, having had some time to not see him, I've been doing a little better. I wouldn't say I'm doing well but I'm trying to be realistic in my perception of him and his actions. Looking back, when the relationship started, I'd never really been in one before, I had no experience with any kind of non-monogamy and I'd just left/been abandoned by my church 'family'. I was in a very vulnerable spot with little experience by which to judge whether or not getting into the relationship was wise.

Knowing what I know now, I'm not sure that I would have decided to get involved. I don't think he and his wife were ready and they still aren't. He apparently can't actually accept the risk of an alternative lifestyle. I question whether she was ever fully comfortable with any of it. Or perhaps she was ok with him having a make-out buddy but nothing more. And the two of them have some major communication issues. I don't think they were ever really willing to do the work to be poly. When it started, I didn't have the ability to ask the right questions or see through the bullshit. Now when I look at the situation, it seems really obvious that they weren't on the same page with each other or me.

I hate that I may never be able to have a friendship with him again. And tomorrow night is the knitting group and I wish I could go but I'm pretty sure that A will be there. I'm not sure that I'm ready to handle that. I don't think I'd have much fun. And there's a martial arts test on saturday that one of my friends is doing and has begged me to come. I want to be there to support him but I know I'll see O. And I wish I didn't have to. On the bright side, this friend is having a St. Patty's Day party tonight and was kind enough not to invite O (he's the only one of our training friends that knows). I never asked him to do it but I do appreciate that he was considerate to make an event that I could feel comfortable attending.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-17-2011, 03:09 AM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 999
Default

Glad to hear you're doing better, ray.

While I'm not especially old, I have certainly put myself through enough bullshit in relationships to recognize it now. But you know what? It took a long fucking time to be able to not only see it, but call people on it and be strong enough to stand alone if that's what was needed.

So try not to get down on yourself for not seeing it while you were in the midst of it. Or, seeing it but choosing to ignore it. I'm sure there isn't s single person here that hasn't pulled the same trick on themselves.

You were in a vulnerable spot, needed someone, and to some extent, O filled that. The fact that the relationship ended shows how you've grown; you weren't content to sit and wait for the scraps that they were offering like a good little secondary. You wanted to be treated like a person and they couldn't give that.

What I'm trying to say is use this relationship as a learning experience. Figure out the good parts, and use them as benchmarks against future relationships. More importantly, look at the bad parts and watch for those traits in new relationships.

Forgive yourself.

Last edited by TruckerPete; 03-17-2011 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Typo
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-19-2011, 09:16 PM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

Thanks, TP. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who makes those mistakes.

I have a confession. I suppose there is a difference between a break up and a break down. After a long talk with my therapist, I realised that I am really floundering. And that it's ok to admit that I'm not ok. That simply suppressing my feelings does not equal progress necessarily. I realized that I've felt so isolated not having my friends know what's been going on with me. Today there was a belt test for one of my friends. O was there and it was really tough but I did get the chance to confide in one of our most trustworthy, mutual friends. And that felt good. He was really sympathetic and it felt like a huge relief to just come out with it and stop pretending like I'm fine. He was really supportive, trying to encourage me to come back to class. O sent me an email during the belt test, apologizing. I haven't responded. I'm really not sure what to say. I think I will take some time, share it with a few people and see what I decide.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-22-2011, 07:59 PM
ghost's Avatar
ghost ghost is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
Posts: 8
Default

First off, I want to say that I'm sorry you've had to go through all of this, ray. Keep working at it, though, and you'll see yourself through.

It might not be the case with O, but I can say that things aren't always easy for the person who's decided that they can't be what their partner needs in a relationship and, as such, chooses not to be in a relationship with that person. Watching someone I dearly love, even from afar, try to find the quality relationship I can't provide has been one of the most painful and challenging experiences of my life. Still, as MindfulAgony's partner says, I'm committed to the person, what's best for her emotional health, not to a relationship with her (especially one which we can't have).

As for being friends with your exes, that's definitely possible. I remain friends with all of my significant exes and interact with them regularly, if mostly online (facebook has been a godsend for keeping in touch, since some live quite far away). I think this is possible because I genuinely love each of them, even if that love is no longer romantic. We might not have worked as couples, but that doesn't prevent us from working as friends; even close friends in some cases. Some of these women I'd dated and lived with for years and still manged to come to congenial terms, eventually, after our break-up. It wasn't always easy and it certainly didn't happen overnight (in most cases), but we found a way to make our friendships work because we still care about each other.
__________________
"I'm neither man nor beast. I'm something new entirely. With my own set of rules." -Dexter


Last edited by ghost; 03-22-2011 at 08:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-26-2011, 05:27 PM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

Thanks Ghost. I'm hoping that eventually things settle down and we can be close. He sent me an email right before I left on my trip and it actually explained what was going on. So i've been trying to process and readjust. Up until that point, he really hadn't been that forthcoming. I'm glad that he finally decided to tell me the truth though.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-27-2011, 08:39 PM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

I'm so sorry to beat a dead horse but I've been doing a lot of thinking and I could use some input.

Before O broke up with me, there was an incident where one of our training friends cornered me and got me to confess to having a relationship with O. He didn't have malicious intentions, he just got curious and decided to act like a jackass. O was very hurt and after I did my best to explain and we hashed out how we'd had different expectations, I thought he and I were on the same page about what had happened. He gave me the impression that breaking up with me was not about that but that he'd decided to anyway. He said repeatedly that he forgave me and wasn't angry about it.

In his most recent email, O admitted that it as about the incident. He feels that I am unable to keep a secret or understand what he wants in regards to secrecy. He still maintains that he is not trying to punish me. He believes that if our teacher (martial arts) finds out that he will be banned from training. He thinks that I am endangering his social life and hobbies.

I had been feeling very guilty and and what not but last night, as i was attempting to write him an response I had a sudden realization that he may actually just be nuts. And that I'm not sure I did anything wrong.

He believes his logic to be consistent and reasonable.

I will attempt to outline it here so that I can get some opinions.

He believes there's a distinction between suspecting and knowing. In his mind, someone can't know something unless they have evidence, like a confession, photographs, DNA... Until they have that, they only suspect. He didn't mind if people we train with suspected we had a relationship, as long as no one 'knew'.

While we were at training, he would initiate flagrant flirting with me. Groping, banter, pretty obvious stuff. One of our training partners actually thought that when O got married this summer, that he'd married me. I've learned, talking a bit to people, that pretty much everyone has suspected us of having an affair for some time now. O felt that all this was acceptable because it only led to suspecting. He had one or two people come up to him and ask him to his face and he convincingly lied saying we were just friends.

We would act like a couple in public places such as the grocery store or the university campus and while we live in a city, it's more like a small town and it's a miracle that we never ran into anyone.

We both knew that we weren't just going to walk up to some one we both knew and spill the beans. I told him months ago that I am a bad liar and asked him what we/I would do if some one from training confronted me. He said it depended and gave me a few ideas.

Apparently, he had the expectation that secrecy from our training partners would be of the utmost importance. He views what happened as a betrayal, even if he can admit that it was accidental. But he never told me about this expectation. Nor did he give me concrete instructions about what to do if i was in an iffy situation.

He had told me about how A's parents could never find out and we would act more conservatively around them. But he never really talked about that with training and we definitely left lots of clues around for people at training to figure it out. Was it reasonable for me to interpret those things the way I did? Assuming that it was important but not the end of the world?

I feel like he threw me to the wolves by expecting utter secrecy, not telling me, and then acting the way he did around our training partners. Not to mention the fact that they've had ample evidence to ruin us both for months. But no one cares. And I really doubt that he'd get banned from training. I'm not sure how I was supposed to pick up on all this when he never told me. I feel like I acted like a normal person. Part of me wants to say that he has no one to blame but himself. Is that too harsh?

To me, if you want to keep a secret, you shouldn't dangle it in people's faces. And besides, there's never a guarantee. And I though he knew that. That no matter how hard you try, sometimes things get out. I know this is long but I could use some help.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-27-2011, 10:01 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,235
Default

Yeah, he did throw you to the wolves, and acted like an asshole about it.

I am so sorry you fell so hard for someone who treated you that way. There are better men out there, keep looking. You are worth being treated much more respectfully.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
break up, break-ups, breaking up, ending, exes, first love, friends, lovers to friends

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 04:15 PM.