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  #1  
Old 06-12-2018, 01:57 AM
goddessholly99 goddessholly99 is offline
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Unhappy Broken Triad Advice/Guidance Please!

I had been dating a hetero couple since last September, they have been together for the last 10 years but have never married. He's straight, she's bi, and have recently begun to identify as bi as well. 6 weeks back, there was a (what i felt to be a minor) conflict between her and I, we were working through it. He took this opportunity to express that he felt that we should end it, as he felt that's what "would happen eventually".
To make matters worse, he expressed this via Facebook message without having a conversation with her prior to breaking "us" up. He told me that he "had fallen out of love with me months ago" and couldn't force it, but wanted to "still be friends". He had been telling me that he loved me and continued a physical relationship with me for these months and up until just a few days prior to his ending the relationship had made love to me and expressed that he loved me.
Needless to say this greatly affected, and still does affect my emotions towards him. To say that I could never trust him again is an understatement...and she has expressed that she feels that he also lied to her and broke her trust.
She continues to remain in a relationship with him and after discovering that he was interested in another woman, he agreed to allow her and to continue a relationship (I feel that he provided "his blessing" so that he could be able to pursue this other individual). I was hesitant in the regard that he continues to have a great deal of control over my relationship/life/situation. He could very much end my relationship with her if he made her choose. He has yet to acknowledge the damage he's caused and refuses to have conversations with her or myself, stating that "it is what it is" "I can't change what I did".
I am very much in love with her, and while I do not expect her to leave him for me, I am uncertain if I can be with her and love her while I have such negative feelings towards him? I signed up and knowingly entered this Triad situation with the intention and promise of two partners and am now left feeling like a mistress with a life very separate from hers and a great deal of resentment towards her primary partner. I don't know how to engage him in any form of conversation in regard to he and I at least coming to a place of respect of each other but he's checked out, won't talk to me or her...about anything. I'm trying to be patient to let them work things out so that I have a better understanding of "my place" however I'm terrified in the process. I don't want to lose her, but am desperate to hang on to my self respect and some semblance of control. Advice? Experience?
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2018, 03:50 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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"Your place"? I'm not sure what that means to you. Your place is in a relationship in which you feel respected, valued, and heard.

It's important to note that even in a triad, there is not just one relationship. There's you and her, you and him, him and her, and the three of you. It sounds like the "you and him" and "the three of you" parts of the triad are no longer functional.

It sounds like you were in a relationship with him as well as with her, until he dropped the "I'm not in love with you" bomb. I'm sorry that happened to you. It's completely understandable that you're no longer able to trust him. Given that, I'm not sure why you would want any kind of connection to him at this point.

What seems to have happened is that you've transitioned from a triad, with all three of you involved with one another, to a V with your girlfriend as the hinge. That is, there's no longer a relationship between you and him or among the three of you, only between you and her and between him and her. While it would be nice to be able to have some communication and respect between you and him, it sounds like at this point in time, that isn't going to happen.

Your biggest concern seems to be the control he has over your relationship with her. Who is giving him that control? Does she allow him to dictate who and what she does with her life and her body? If so, that doesn't sound like a healthy situation for you, or, in my opinion, for her. It sounds like they have decided that they as a couple matter more than any individual, and if that's the case, that isn't likely to change either.

I see that you don't want to lose your girlfriend, but to be honest, the only way I see for you to retain your self-respect and control of your own relationships is for you not to be involved with a couple who place themselves and their marriage on a higher level than their connections with others.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2018, 04:39 PM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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I can't say what your girlfriend's feelings and motivations were in all of this, as you don't give much detail about that. However, your former boyfriend sounds like an opportunistic, manipulative user, and a cold-hearted one at that!

To KNOW that he was no longer "in love" with you - whatever that may mean to him, and if he ever truly was - and yet lie about it to your face for so long (either so he could continue to have sex with you, and/or because he was too cowardly to just TELL you, honestly and gently, that his feelings for you were changing) was just downright cruel.

I say "opportunistic", because he appears to have waited until he had a new love interest on the horizon before dropping the bomb that he'd fallen out of love with you, and dumping you. And I say "manipulative" because he used the minor argument with your gf as a springboard out of the relationship, instead of owning it himself and coming clean in the first place... effectively jettisoning the relationship between you and your gf at the same time. As you realise, he only "relented" and "allowed" you to keep seeing your gf (now "hinge") because it frees HIM up to pursue the new woman.

Have you talked about this series of events with your girlfriend, openly and honestly? What does SHE think about her OSO's behaviour in this situation? What is her reasoning for staying with him? (If you haven't asked or talked about this in detail, why not?)

You cannot control HER feelings or her decision to stay with him, any more than you could control HIS no longer wanting to be in a relationship with you, of course. However, I'd be wary about staying with anyone who gives a "pass" to that sort of callous act.

It IS possible he is some kind of narcissist who systematically uses/abuses people and partners, then discards them when something new or "better" comes along. (You weren't in the relationship all that long, relatively speaking, so I'm not sure how well you knew these people before getting involved, or what you know of his/their history of relationships with others.) But then again, this could be a one-off... and he just handled it REALLY badly, because they were new to polyamory, or because he is conflict-avoidant, as many people are.

Your goal is to HEAL from this experience, first and foremost, or it WILL affect your ability to trust long-term. You're having a hard time being in the same general "space" as this man because you're still HURTING and do not feel he has taken any kind of personal responsibility for his behaviour. (IMO, I'm not sure your hinge/gf isn't simply burying her head in the sand too, when it comes to the potential ramifications - for your relationship AND for her in the future.)

I'm not sure the healing process can be accomplished effectively while you're still involved with this particular woman, since she chooses to stay with this guy. You can TRY, of course. But you will need to create safe spaces (physically, emotionally and time wise) in which he is NOT welcome, and over which his influence is minimal. This includes agreements such as phones off/gf not messaging him when you two are together, or allowing him/their relationship unfair advantages over yours/gf's. It will only work if your shared girlfriend can manage to compartmentalise, and resists bringing him into conversation at every turn, or deferring to his every wish/demand.

If she cannot promise you that ^ - at least while you're still healing from the heartbreak - then there probably isn't going to be much hope for a happy future with her. Also, counselling might help.
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Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible
Jester: M, 59, straight, primary partner (LD)
Boho: F, 57, heteroflexible, primary partner (LD)

Red: M, 53, straight, ex-husband
Bud: early 20s, son
Lola: early 20s, daughter
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2018, 05:12 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry this happened this way.

Quote:
I'm trying to be patient to let them work things out so that I have a better understanding of "my place" however I'm terrified in the process. I don't want to lose her, but am desperate to hang on to my self respect and some semblance of control. Advice? Experience?
Yes. Create your own place. Decide to step back and take a time out. Put a time frame on it. Say a month, two months, whatever you feel is best for you. Tell her you will touch base at the end of that time.

Then you don't have to be around him any more. That also gives them space to figure whatever out. It gives you time to heal before you start dating again.

You signed up for a triad. That is over. All are "lost" already. I think you could work on accepting that this break up has ended the previous model. There is no more triad. Now you are trying to figure out if you want to start a NEW relationship with her. Like a "V" thing.

You could consider that. Do you want to date her again in a "V" model where she is the hinge/shared sweetie? And you and this guy you can never trust again are the V arms? How is this a great dating offer/situation to you?

If after the break, and you contact her again? If you find out that she decided to continue dating him -- a person that lied to her and broke her trust?

You will have to reassess if you still want to pick her out to date in these conditions. You cannot control who she picks out to date. But you can control who YOU pick out and what you choose to get yourself into.

I can imagine the feelings around this are not easy.

For your own healing/safety though? I think you could keep away from both of them if they remain a couple. You might consider dating her if she ends it with him, but not if she continues to date him. Have firm personal boundaries for yourself so you don't get dinged again here. By him directly, or through her indirectly.

You don't trust the guy, and she seems like she is willing to accept a lot of a poor behavior. She also accepts him making her choices for her. Which makes her not esp healthy sounding to date to me. Maybe not as bad as him... but not esp great either.

Quote:
She continues to remain in a relationship with him and after discovering that he was interested in another woman, he agreed to allow her and to continue a relationship (I feel that he provided "his blessing" so that he could be able to pursue this other individual). I was hesitant in the regard that he continues to have a great deal of control over my relationship/life/situation. He could very much end my relationship with her if he made her choose. He has yet to acknowledge the damage he's caused and refuses to have conversations with her or myself, stating that "it is what it is" "I can't change what I did".
Then why sign up for that situation and put him in a place of power over you? Since she cannot be relied on to tell him NO when he tries to make her do stuff?

I suggest you bow out. She could choose to leave this ugly situation also. But if she doesn't? At least you got out. You don't have to stay on a sinking ship just to keep her company. You can say "I love you a whole lot. But not even for you will I put myself in situations that hurt me."

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-12-2018 at 05:31 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2018, 08:10 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hello goddessholly99,

It sounds like you are mourning the loss of your triad. And maybe on some subconscious level, you are hoping to get your triad back. Like you are hoping he will take you back ... even if you know that's something he would never do, and something you could never accept. Your trust in him is shattered. And he's not even interested in trying to fix it.

It doesn't sound like she would ever leave him, no matter what kinds of ultimatums he holds over her head. I think that's a shame, she should leave him now for the sake of her own psychological health. As long as she continues to let him control her relationships, she will be a bad partner for you. An unsafe partner. One that would break up with you if he just snaps his fingers. I'm thinking you'll probably stick with her as long as you can, but on some subconscious level you wish you could count on her more. That you could count on her not to break up with you at the snap of someone's fingers. You're in between a rock and a hard place. Just know that when she does break up with you, she is setting you free. Free of that drama/situation. Free to seek out other partners who will be nicer to you.

You do deserve better than what you're getting.
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
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