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Old 02-09-2011, 12:38 PM
Purpurea Purpurea is offline
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Default Polyamorous love triangle

Hi, I don't really need any advice, but since I'm new here, and also new to polyamory, I thought this would fit best in this section.

I have always been polyamorous throughout my life, I guess, I just wasn't aware of it. I remember always having strong feelings for more than one person at a time, but thought it was a personal weakness that I'm not able to love just one person and be sexually faithful. So I struggled many times choosing between two people, hiding my true feelings from my partners, praising the rewards of giving up close emotional relationships and sex with others for one person, and still wasn't able to maintain a monogamous relationship longer than two years.

I was married last year when I met someone else whom I felt so much love for, that I finally didn't want to hide any more. My husband couldn't stand it and broke up with me, calling me ruthless and selfish for not respecting his wish to have a monogamous relationship with me. The other person had another close relationship with some other girl, claiming to love both of us equally much. I admit that I felt jealous in the beginning, but it felt good and right to finally overcome this feeling and allow him the freedom to share his love with whomever he felt like.

The other girl couldn't handle the situation though and made him choose between becoming her monogamous boyfriend or losing her. I'm sure, if you never felt deep love for two people at the same time, it's hard to understand what it is like. He chose to join in a monogamous relationship with her, labelling our relationship as "close friends", which means we will continue to spend our lives together, spend lots of time together, plan to live close to one another, talk a lot, be emotionally close, cuddle, kiss. We just won't have sex. (Where does "sex" start, by the way?! ) Once again I had to face jealousy from being put into second place, though he kept telling me that he still feels equally strong for me and for her. But I understand him, as I made similar decisions before in my life and felt it was good and right at that time to just go on struggling He told me that it was "just sex" that we had to give up. But if it was "just sex", why would we have to give it up? Obviously it is a little bit more than "just sex", at least for his girlfriend.

So we are friends now, and so far it works "perfectly" as he has cheated on her with me a couple of times already He keeps thinking it's a personal weakness and he just has to become stronger to resist me. You can tell that I really see myself in him, so I understand him perfectly and just hope for him (not for me, I'm fine with if we really wouldn't have sex any longer, as for me it really is "just sex" now) that one day he will get the same insights like I had last year. And hopefully his girlfriend will be able to grow with him. I'm pretty sure that the final word hasn't been spoken yet. We'll see.

He thinks I will change my mind about polyamorous relationships again as soon as I find a new boyfriend. But I'm pretty sure I will rather stay single for the rest of my life than ending up in a monogamous relationship again that is built on lies and dishonesty. I'm not sure if I will ever find people who I can have polyamorous relationships with, I find it hard to imagine that this will happen in the near future. Seems now that with becoming aware of being polyamorous, the number of people I could build up a close, long-lasting relationship with has reduced drastically. There seem to be so little of you guys out there But of course, you never know

That's my story until today. Let's see how it continues

Greetings from Germany,
P.

Last edited by Purpurea; 02-09-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:23 PM
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I think it's cool how you said you can see yourself in him. It sounds like you have a lot of empathy for him, and a genuine, true love as well!

For some reason I was just wondering about his public relationship with you, if that is a factor or not. She is his legit "girlfriend," so does that mean she gets to spend time with his family, or live with him, or share his resources, etc, while you are the girl on the side? That may be ok for you now but someday you might want a partner who you can stand beside, and who can be there for you as well.

I'm sorry for prying, I have no idea whatsoever why that came to my mind!

I don't know all your circumstances of course -- it may be that this is the perfect relationship for you for right now.

Maybe in time, he may find you to be the way cooler one, and his girlfriend's restrictions too limiting. If he is still cheating with you then I think that is possible. But I also think that he should have been strong enough to stand up to her and say he still wanted to be with you. He's setting himself up for guilt. Unless he gets a particular thrill in the sneakiness of breaking his promises to her. I feel bad for him -- wouldn't she be mad if she found out?? Not to mention hurt -- but either way, he would look like the bad guy, right?? And what about you?? You deserve better. Clearly you love this guy.

Sex is ok as long as it's without love, or love is ok as long as it's without sex.... what is this all about?! Believe me, these conversations are all over this forum, ha!

I'm not judging your man, or your situation, believe me, just writing off the top of my head! (For one thing, I've set myself up for plenty of guilt in my lifetime! Trying to avoid it as best I can, these days!) I don't like it when people make assumptions about my situation, so please don't be offended by my questions/musings, because truly, that's all they are.

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Old 02-10-2011, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purpurea View Post
The other girl couldn't handle the situation though and made him choose between becoming her monogamous boyfriend or losing her. I'm sure, if you never felt deep love for two people at the same time, it's hard to understand what it is like. He chose to join in a monogamous relationship with her, labelling our relationship as "close friends", which means we will continue to spend our lives together, spend lots of time together, plan to live close to one another, talk a lot, be emotionally close, cuddle, kiss. We just won't have sex. (Where does "sex" start, by the way?! )
Sex starts where his girlfriend says it starts... I am guessing he hasn't checked this out with her. I think this is very important to check on as you likely have crossed a line somewhere already and are good to go in the cheating realm... if this is to work then I would suggest this gets cleared up as soon as possible so as to have a good foundation of integrity, honesty, respect and compassionate consideration for all involved... these to me are the basis of good relationships. Especially poly ones.

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Originally Posted by Purpurea View Post
So we are friends now, and so far it works "perfectly" as he has cheated on her with me a couple of times already He keeps thinking it's a personal weakness and he just has to become stronger to resist me.
So you are cheating then! I think you have a lot of fessing up to do and a lot of apologizing. You have destroyed the trust of another and come off as uncaring about it. Cheating is not poly. It's cheating...

I suggest you look at some of the threads hear on the foundations of poly and cheating. You can find them by doing a tag search for "foundations" "lessons" and "cheating." You have a lot of work to do to make this right. The first thing to do is realize what you have done. Just because the two of you love each other does not make it okay to fuck each other and go behind someone elses back to do it...

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Originally Posted by Purpurea View Post
I'm pretty sure I will rather stay single for the rest of my life than ending up in a monogamous relationship again that is built on lies and dishonesty.
you have already built a relationship on lies and dishonesty. The one you are in is based on that... you are still not in a poly relationship. You are having an affair. Call it what it is and then decide if you are either okay with it of not, but please don't call it poly. I doubt there will be many here that will be okay with your using the term for what you are doing.

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Originally Posted by Purpurea View Post
I'm not sure if I will ever find people who I can have polyamorous relationships with, I find it hard to imagine that this will happen in the near future. Seems now that with becoming aware of being polyamorous, the number of people I could build up a close, long-lasting relationship with has reduced drastically. There seem to be so little of you guys out there But of course, you never know
There are a lot of poly people but not too many that would be interested in a cheater. Poly comes with a set of values that don't involve cheating. Poly is based on full knowledge and consent of all parties involved. You are not practising this, therefore in my eyes are not poly and would not be interested in you... if you want to attract poly love, then I suggest that you start learning what that is.

I feel for you. You have a "friend" that is stringing you a long. You are cheating on his girlfriend and he is using you for sex because he "can't control himself"... how long that will last is until he loses interest in the sex I think. The thrill of cheating or the thrill of it being under the table perhaps?... I would suspect that he is full of shit and you are enjoying his "I can't keep my hands off of you" bit... that is really quite sad and I wish for you that you find someone that is willing to cherish you in your entirety once you get your act together and act with some integrity.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:00 AM
Purpurea Purpurea is offline
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@redpepper: Interesting point, thank you for your comment.

The title I used for this thread was probably not a good choice, I guess. I chose it because I think that underneath it all there is a polyamorous relationship hiding, simply because he loves two people equally much at the same time. The way we live it, couldn't be further away from a poly relationship in my understanding and is in fact a complete disaster, I absolutely agree with you. Just the fact that his relationship with her restricts my relationship with him in some way completely contradicts my understanding of polyamory relationships. So no poly relationship here, of course.

I made it clear to him that the only two ways for me to stay away from having sex with people I find attractive, is if either they don't want sex with me or I stay away from them physically. I have neither the self-control nor any reason to resist and he knows it. I have not once tried to seduce him though after he told me he will not have sex with me no longer. But of course I still want sex with him because I love him. And as for me, this is something between the two of us, so I see no reason for me to hold back if he offers me sex. In my opinion (and he agrees with me on that) it is his responsibility to make this work with his life, so having made this decision to be her boyfriend he has to decide whether he is strong enough to control himself or if we should transform our relationship into a non-physical one. Both would be fine with me.

It's pretty obvious that this won't work, that's why I said that the final word hasn't been spoken yet. He will tell her about the cheating next time they meet in May (they have a long-distance relationship). I think though he should tell her sooner, so she can make her own decision if under these circumstances she still wants to travel all the way to see him. He was also trying to hide the decision he has made with her from me until we met again (we also live a bit apart), but I managed to find it out a little earlier. But I can only tell him my opinion, it's not my job to make his decisions or tell her, I don't know her and I wouldn't even know how to contact her. Anyway, our relationship will become non-physical, their relationship will open up, or he will find a way to learn how to control himself. We'll see what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carma
For some reason I was just wondering about his public relationship with you, if that is a factor or not. She is his legit "girlfriend," so does that mean she gets to spend time with his family, or live with him, or share his resources, etc, while you are the girl on the side? That may be ok for you now but someday you might want a partner who you can stand beside, and who can be there for you as well.
I don't know what they plan for their future, I guess they even don't know themselves yet as they also just got to know each other last year. But of course, I'm fine with that, as this relationship doesn't keep me from building up close relationships with other people. And I will love this guy no matter what. I don't love him for the role I'm allowed to play in his life, I love him for who he is. And if he chose to never see me again, I would still love him from the bottom of my heart, as I do with many other people who have left my life long time ago. I think he makes a lot of mistakes in this current situation, but I would never judge him, as we all make mistakes. Me too, of course, I'm not holy. Not yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carma
I'm not judging your man, or your situation, believe me, just writing off the top of my head! (For one thing, I've set myself up for plenty of guilt in my lifetime! Trying to avoid it as best I can, these days!) I don't like it when people make assumptions about my situation, so please don't be offended by my questions/musings, because truly, that's all they are.
Oh, that's fine, don't worry, I can handle that! I shouldn't write in a public forum if I can't handle opposing opinions I see them as what they are: Other people's opinions. I will reflect about them and see if I can agree with them, learn something from them or not. I'm really happy when people tell me what they truly feel or think, so please feel free to let it all out without holding anything back

Last edited by Purpurea; 02-10-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:45 AM
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[...] So you are cheating then! I think you have a lot of fessing up to do and a lot of apologizing. You have destroyed the trust of another and come off as uncaring about it. Cheating is not poly. It's cheating... [...] you have already built a relationship on lies and dishonesty. The one you are in is based on that... you are still not in a poly relationship. You are having an affair. [...] There are a lot of poly people but not too many that would be interested in a cheater. Poly comes with a set of values that don't involve cheating. Poly is based on full knowledge and consent of all parties involved. You are not practising this [...]
While I agree with most of your comments (not just the ones I quote here), I think you're being a little harsh on Pupurea, and I don't agree at all with your evaluation that she "come[s] off as uncaring about it" or your calling her a "cheater". As she's said, she's "new to polyamory [... has] always been polyamorous throughout my life, I guess, I just wasn't aware of it."
I myself am new to the term and the movement "polyamory", and there's much for me to learn. Purpurea comes across to me as someone not at all new to the feeling, but new to the practice - and for a while, it was polyamory, because the "other woman" did know about it. SORRY! Not quite correct. It's not polyamory without all parties' consent.
But I assume that we're all feeling our ways along in this relatively new movement, I certainly feel that Purpurea's heart is in the right place, and I think that advice to a "newbie" from someone with more experienced in the movement should be more kind, forgiving, and understanding than judgemental.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:56 AM
Purpurea Purpurea is offline
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But I assume that we're all feeling our ways along in this relatively new movement, I certainly feel that Purpurea's heart is in the right place, and I think that advice to a "newbie" from someone with more experienced in the movement should be more kind, forgiving, and understanding than judgemental.
Like mentioned in my post above yours, I think anyone can express their feelings and opinions they way they want to. If someone wants to judge me, they are free to do so as long as they don't harm me physically I don't think judging people is the right way to enlightment though, but I have been judgemental myself and probably still am in a lot of situations. However, I haven't felt offended by redpepper's post at all, it is his/her point of view which I can choose to share or not. And compared to being called ruthless, selfish, and radical, which was definitely meant to make me feel bad about myself, his/her post was very kind and I felt it was rather meant as some kind of good advice
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:29 AM
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I've rated this thread ***** because I think it deals with a problem that most of us have waded through, are wading through, or will wade through in the future. I empathise a lot with Pupurea, and - although I agree with redpepper that this isn't a polyamorous relationship, I disagree with her that the blame lies with Pupurea. If A offers B love (whether pure polyamorous love or a less-than-perfect kind) - and I'm sure that the man in this triangle isn't JUST interested in sex (or Pupurea would know it) - and B rejects that love, who is being closed? OK, so A is cheating on C. And in a way, B is cheating on C as well. And let's repeat this to make sure we're all agreed: this isn't polyamory. But I do think that it's love, even if I personally have decided never again to have a sculking, hidden relationship.

[Quote from one of my children's stories:
ďI'm not willing to wait around for anybody to notice me. Iím not willing to wait until Iím acceptable. Iíve learned that Iím too important for that. Oh, Iím important to you, Iím important to Maeve; but thatís not what Iím talking about. Maeve helped me find this out, and youíve helped as well. But if I lost the both of you, I'd still have learned my lesson: I'm important to myself. Too important to hide in any corners until the respectable people are out of the way, like Iíve been doing with Ernestine, Gladys, and Primrose. I want to be proud of all my friends. And I want them to be proud of me... I canít offer you an easier choice than your father has. Iím sorry..." - Ella Of The Cinders]

If Love is infinite, shouldn't we love the non-polys as well? OK, OK, it doesn't have to be sexually...


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Originally Posted by Purpurea View Post
I was married last year when I met someone else whom I felt so much love for, that I finally didn't want to hide any more. My husband couldn't stand it and broke up with me, calling me ruthless and selfish for not respecting his wish to have a monogamous relationship with me. The other person had another close relationship with some other girl, claiming to love both of us equally much. I admit that I felt jealous in the beginning, but it felt good and right to finally overcome this feeling and allow him the freedom to share his love with whomever he felt like. [...] Once again I had to face jealousy from being put into second place [...]
I'd like to take up this point of jealousy, because it's a very sticky issue.

In my opinion, the first time you use this word, it's perfectly correct. Jealousy as meaning "I don't want to share you with anyone else" / "I want all of your love for ME". Or even not "I don't want..." but "I hurt when..."

But the second case seems of a different class to me. Here it's a case of "If I'm willing / really want to love you without limits, why do you relegate me to second-best?" And - in Purpurea's case, "You allow yourself to cheat, and allow her to believe that she has won. But you let me know that I have lost." Is this a real case of jealousy. Or is it a wounded sense of justice?

Allow me to give an example from my own past. If you don't like long, boring stories, skip to the next comment!
Long before the days of polyamory, I had an "open relationship" with M. She lived in Germany and I in Spain. I made several visits to Germany so that I was spending perhaps 3 months each year there, and she spent - in all - perhaps 3 months each year in Spain. So we saw each other about 6 months each year. Because I wanted her to be happy and feel fulfilled, I was actually happy each time she wrote to me to say that she'd fallen in love. My attitude was: "If I can't be with her, at least she can share love with somebody else."

Whenever I fell in love with someone else (and noticed that it was reciprocated), I let them know that I was already in a long-term, important relationship; that I wasn't cheating on M, because I was unwilling to do so (lie to her); that I would be delighted if the new love could grow to equal (not "rival") the already established one in strength and importance, but if she (the new one) had any plans to "win" me away from M, she should forget them... or we should remain "just" good friends.
While camping on the beach in Spain (with a female friend-not-lover), I met a German guy, H, who (judging by my friend's and other women's reactions) seemed quite attractive to women... and who lived less than 100km from M. I liked him, too (this is important) and thought that M would like him. Whether or not that "like" had a sexual aspect to it was up to them and perfectly OK by me, either way. So - once again in Germany - I introduced them to each other.

On one of H's visits to M (and me), we spent the night in the same bed, with M in the middle. On waking, we had a tickling/stroking session. And then M suggested that we make "suÔss" [Swiss] for breakfast. This is a Catalan speciality: thick hot chocolate with cold whipped cream piled up on top. Traditionally with sprinked sugar, though M and I substituted honey. H seemed interested and we assigned each person a task: I would make the chocolate, M would nip out to the shop and buy some whipping cream, and H would whip it. M (who tends to be impatient) said, "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's do it!" So I jumped out of bed (there's more to Love than bed), went down to the kitchen, and started to make the chocolate. And waited. And waited. And waited. And went upstairs to ask an embarrassed pair why they weren't downstairs, the chocolate was cooling off and the cream was still in the shops, unwhipped.

I don't know how far they got in their intimacies without me, and I honestly don't care. I was miffed that M had hurried me out of bed because she was impatient for suÔss, and then the both of them had acted like "well now he's gone..."

On a later occasion, while M was going through a crisis - literally on the point of going mad with grief over another business - and treating me like shit [she later said to me: "J, you know, the only reason why I'm throwing all this shit at you is because I've got a lot that I need to unload, and you're the only one in my life who I know loves me enough to take it all and still love me..."], H came for another visit. And it was "Oh, H! How wonderful that you're here! How glad I am to see you!"... and so on (while I - who was gently trying to nurse her through her crisis - was "Oh, you!" [you shit...])
At one point, when I let her know that I was pretty pissed off about this imbalance, she accused me of jealousy.
[Yes, Dear People, this is the point I've been labouring towards!]
"Jealousy???" I replied. "I'm happy that you're feeling better. I'm happy that H has come here. And I'm happy that he can make you feel better. Because I really do want you to feel better than you have been recently... But I feel that it's very unfair that I - who have stood by you through this whole Tiefpunkt and been supportive - am getting shit while H (who's a very likable guy, but light-and-easy and hardly the most dependable... and is here for a weekend) is God's gift to you. It's not jealousy: it's a feeling of being treated unfairly and shabbily."

Epilogue: After 6 1/2 years - during which M and I had both had other lovers, M declared (during a period when she actually had another lover and I didn't) that she wanted to put the relationship on a different footing - a monogamous one.
I replied: "You make your own decisions. I refuse to impose limits on you, and I won't accept limits on my love."

There were - of course - other issues involved. Among others, she was going through another crisis. [Amazing coincidence: she had to say goodbye to her car (would never have passed the T‹F, road-worthiness test), her flat, her hopes of finding a new place with her beloved downstairs neighbour and her children, her studies, and her therapy group... all on exactly the same day. I was hoping that when she woke up on the next day and discovered that life still went on - and was worth living - things could only get better.]

Shortly before that fateful deadline, she decided to end our relationship.
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If I can't dance, I want no part in your Revolution.
- Emma Goldman Anarchist and Polyamorous par excellence
The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
- old Chinese proverb
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin
I'd rather have a broken heart / Than have a heart of stone.
- from "Boundless Love (A Polyamory Song)" by Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

Last edited by Rarechild; 02-13-2011 at 12:10 AM. Reason: one right after t'other
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:05 PM
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I'm sorry I sound judgmental. Its me I am judging really as cheating is in hot debate in my life at the moment. Especially as my view of it contridicts my actions lately. I'm not perfect, we are all not perfect and the path to integrity is a difficult one. I understand everyone has their path and point of view. I gave mine simply as a point of view rather than to judge. Of course, in that, judgment comes out. Just how it is.

I do hope he talks to her before she comes. I think it would add insult to injury if she were to come all that way only to find she is faced with being lied to and the deciet going on. Poor woman.

Good luck on your path. May it be enlightening
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Last edited by redpepper; 02-11-2011 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:36 PM
Purpurea Purpurea is offline
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I do hope he talks to her before she comes. I think it would add insult to injury if she were to come all that way only to find she is faced with being lied to and the deciet going on. Poor woman.
I will talk to him again about it I guess, as I think I haven't made my position clear enough yet. I also hope he will tell her the whole truth, that it wasn't just once and that he really enjoyed it, and especially that he didn't do it because he was horny but because he loves me. He said that to me, and I have no doubt that it's true. I hope it for him mainly, for his karma. And I hope for her that it will make her realize that she is not more important to him and that she can learn to deal with the hurt and the situation. And for myself I hope I can learn to deal with whatever outcome this has.

Last edited by Purpurea; 02-10-2011 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:23 AM
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Questions; why is he picking a woman that he has an LDR with for a primary and do you feel that you are accountable to any part of the fact that you and he had sex behind this woman's back?
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