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Old 11-10-2014, 07:09 PM
Eirien Eirien is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3
Unhappy Break-up and advice required

For some background, I've been in a relationship with my current partner for just over 3 years. I live with him, his wife (who is unfortunately my ex-girlfriend, but we get on well still) and their daughter. I'm also very far from home - I'm British, living in the USA and am almost halfway through a PhD. When I finish my PhD, my US visa will end. I will either have to continue the relationship as a transatlantic one and try to build a life back in the UK without him, or manage to get a job and a work visa within the USA, still possibly somewhere that is a plane journey away, as he and his wife are committed to the part of the USA we currently live in, in order to ensure their daughter grows up around family. He also moved 10+ times as a child, attended several different schools, and wants to give his daughter the security he never had. So, even if I stay in the USA, I'm looking at seeing him on the weekends at best, or 4 times a year at worst, depending on where I am located. This uncertainty has been causing me a great deal of stress and worry.

Recently (I think in April) I started dating a friend from my university. He is married with children, but his wife and I get on well and she has always been very supportive of our relationship. Things were amazing. We're very compatible, have a lot of fun together and were/are very much in love. He moved abroad for a year as part of his PhD, and then 3 or 4 weeks ago his wife told him she was going to divorce him. He was, naturally, devastated, and leaned on me quite heavily for support. In the course of trying to work out his life without his wife he made it clear to me that he would eventually remarry, and they he would like to marry me. I thought this sounded like something I would be interested in, but we agreed that no decisions needed to be made - especially as our relationship, while deeply involved, was only 6 months old.
It kept coming up, though, and last week he told me that if he were to marry me, my partner would have to be bumped down to 'secondary' status. Due to a variety of reasons (but mostly that I won't be able to live with my partner forever due to visa issues, and therefore our relationship will be changing in the near future anyway) I did not immediately tell him no, but discussed it with my partner first. He was incredibly upset - unsurprisingly. After much deliberation I told my boyfriend that no, I would not be willing to do that as my partner is someone I want in my life for a long time to come - even if we're halfway across the world from each other, I still want to talk to him daily spend some holidays with him, and be able to drop everything if he has an emergency and needs me.
My partner made it very clear that if I felt I needed to pursue a relationship with my boyfriend in order to be happy, he would make whatever sacrifices he needs to.

Upon hearing this, my boyfriend said he hoped that everything worked out for me, but that we could no longer be in a relationship. I am, for lack of a better term, utterly devastated. I have never had my heart broken like this, and I was so very excited for some kind of future with this man. I understand that he's scared and needs control over his life, but I feel like he used me to take away the pain of his wife divorcing him and then dropped me when it became apparent that I wouldn't fit into the mold of what he's decided he wants his new wife to be. I was willing to potentially drop my career, never move home to the UK, uproot my entire life AND become step-mother to his 2 daughters - both of whom are lovely girls, but I've never wanted children - but he was unwilling to even try and accept my partner's importance in my life. He also didn't seem to understand why what he was asking was so impossible. That's possibly my fault for being unable to explain it.

The problem is, I also feel like I am losing an incredibly important person. I realise that this is still a new thing, but all I can think is how much I don't want to lose him, and how great we are together.

I don't know what to do, or how to deal with this, and I am second guessing myself all over the place - he can give me stability that my partner can never give, and my life has been directionless for so long that the thought of some kind of direction and security is deeply attractive.
Any words of advice, guidance or anything else would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:25 PM
Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Crazytown USA
Posts: 1,886

So your choices are

Marry your boyfriend and call your other boyfriend a secondary

Or move across the world and have a ldr with your primary partner but break up with the boyfriend who wants to marry you.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:38 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,307

I am very sorry you hurt.

Let me try to recap what I understand so far. You correct me if I am wrong, ok?


Your school visa ends at graduation. Choices that stress you out at this time:
  • Go back to UK. Start life over there. Date USA partner as a transatlantic LDR.
  • Go back to UK, get a work VISA, some back to USA. Continue to date USA partner, but as shorter distance LDR than transatlantic.
  • (unspoken: maybe break up? or break up because LDR does not work out like you hope? Is this a fear/worry?)

  • 3-4 weeks ago his wife tells him he wants a divorce.
  • He proposed marriage to you. You were initially interested.
  • Last week proposed again (wanting final answer?)
  • He is willing for you to date USA partner, but as a secondary partner.
  • You declined his proposal of marriage.
    • You don't want a primary-secondary model.
    • You don't want kids, and he has 2 kids.
    • Don't want to drop career.
    • You are committed to USA partner, and additional commitments to 6 mos BF would not line up with previous commitments.
  • BF said he hoped that everything worked out for you, but since you declined, he prefers to end the romance and part ways.


Stay broken up.

You could sit tight and weather out the emotions and process. I get that it is fresh right now, so it hurts. You feel sorrows and regrets but ultimately you went with "no." So stick with it. Weather these feelings out and let them pass. It is appropriate to hurt some in this situation. You are sad and doing the "what if?" process. It's part of grieving. And you do not have single load grief, but several dings:

You are torn because you are in anticipatory grief for the LDR future of your other relationship. (Ding one).

You declined his proposal. Does not line up at this time for many reasons. (Ding two)

You would like to continue to date rather than "lose him." He prefers to part ways amicably since you declined his marriage proposal. Not compatible wants there either then. (Ding three.)

Processing 3 dings is a lot.

And if this is your first proposal ever -- ding 4. Less than wonderful timing and approach! What's the matter with that guy? You haven't even known each other a year. His divorce is not even FINAL. Already looking to latch on to someone else? Weird. I don't blame you for wondering if he's shopping for a caretaker/was using you for a wooble.

I gently suggest you create your OWN stability. Get through this transitional time surrounding your upcoming graduation/job hunt and get that squared away. Some things in life we cannot help when they happen, but other things we CAN help when they happen to reduce the stress scale. Maybe check what you have available to you for student counseling services if you need more support?

In your shoes? I'd focus more on getting to studies completion and a good grad. Because no matter what, you gotta eat... so you need job/housing solutions in near future. Stabilize that first.

Give yourself some time and then reassess later down what you want to do about the changing to LDR relationship.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-11-2014 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:34 PM
Candiedlove Candiedlove is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 272
Red face A few things

I'm not particularly a fan of the way New Boyfriend said you HAD to demote First Boyfriend to secondary. Or how it looks like he just can't stand to be single and is looking to latch on to Wife #2.

That being, said, First Boyfriend is offering you very, very little. It's okay to develop a second relationship with someone who gets much more priority in your life than he does. It's okay to consider him a secondary relationship to your other primary or primaries. Not because you care for him less, just because he may be a secondary involvement in your new life.

Please note, I am giving this advice based on what you seemed to emphasize on your priorities. And the fact that you wouldn't see First Boyfriend very often seemed to bother you. Some people consider LDR on the same level as local partners. Being able to talk to their LDR every day can be just as fulfilling as living with them. If so, First Boyfriend could well stay a primary relationship in your life.

So, I guess my questions are,

A) How significant of a relationship do you see yours with First Boyfriend as being? Is he giving you enough that you would fell just as fulfilled as in any other romantic relationship in your life?

B) Do you mind if he becomes a secondary involvement in your life? With poly, you needn't break up if things aren't "enough" for you. But you may or may not want to continue investing in a secondary type relationship. Especially once you find, or if you want, primary style relationships.
Newly poly, but never monogamous

The "polyship":

Me 28F,
Sam 39M, my partner
Jen 38F, Sam's fwb & my friend

The former players:
Candi 41F, Sam's and my fwb/emphasis on the "f"/light on the "b"
Felycia 29F, Sam's and my fwb?/potential girlfriend
Leana 29F, Sam's and my girlfriend
Charlene, Sam's ex-wife
Paul, Charlene's boyfriend
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:49 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 978

I agree BF #1 is offering you very little.

That said, you and BF#2 apparently want different things out of marriage. There is no need to demonize him, any more than you would like him demonizing you for what you want. We can be incompatible without saying or hinting that the other person is scared, controlling, or inflexible (or whatever other character flaws.)

I'm curious--did BF#2's wife have a boyfriend, too? I'm assuming they were poly, since she was fine with you seeing him.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:16 AM
MoostacheKitteh's Avatar
MoostacheKitteh MoostacheKitteh is offline
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 67

I think that boyfriend #2 of six months Wasn't quite mature enough to allow someone else to be your primary and it was selfish of him to put you in a position to choose (not ultimately) between the two of them when it came to primary status at least. If you were meant to be together he will come back into your life, but if it wasn't then you will get over him in time and meet someone who respects and supports your primary decision.

Originally Posted by Candiedlove View Post
Some people consider LDR on the same level as local partners. Being able to talk to their LDR every day can be just as fulfilling as living with them.
This is how I feel, it's mostly the emotional connection that attracts me. I have not met many people who feel this way so I feel it is rare, but I am sure it isn't as rare as I think lol
ME: F/30/Bi/Poly
HUSBAND: Jon - M/29/Mono
GIRLFRIEND: Danielle - F/33/Bi/Poly
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break-up, divorce, long distance

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