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  #1  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:29 PM
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rolypoly rolypoly is offline
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Default Poly? Or lying?

I have a dilemma.

So, I've been seeing a guy for a couple months who's also been involved with a man long distance for the last year or so. He wants to break up with the guy, for different reasons. Right now, he's away staying with his "boyfriend" and I've been giving him space to sort things out.

Here's the tricky part. This guy doesn't know about me because he is not poly, so he would be hurt and jealous, (especially because I'm a woman).

At first, I felt uncomfortable about this, but felt more understanding when I knew a few more of the details. But, my original understanding was that they'd be breaking up during their visit and so far, the guy I'm dating hasn't had the courage to tell his boyfriend his true feelings. They've spent the last few weeks together and the boyfriend still doesn't know the truth!

This seems so dishonest to me and not poly at all! I feel uncomfortable about it.

I've pretty much decided I'm steering clear of the whole messy situation and intend to be just friends when he comes back. But, I thought maybe one of you wise poly's might have some good poly advice for me.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:39 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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First things first - thanks for sharing this story - I think it may be more typical than we'd like to think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rolypoly View Post
This seems so dishonest to me and not poly at all! I feel uncomfortable about it.
I guess it matters less to me whether or not it's "poly" and more whether you are ok with it or not.

Quote:
I've pretty much decided I'm steering clear of the whole messy situation and intend to be just friends when he comes back. But, I thought maybe one of you wise poly's might have some good poly advice for me.
For what it's worth, I would probably do the very same thing - I don't want to be anybody's "dirty little secret". Others can, and do live happily with that sort of arrangement. It all comes down to what you want, and what makes you comfortable and fulfilled in your relationships.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:47 PM
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DrunkenPorcupine DrunkenPorcupine is offline
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Quote:
Here's the tricky part. This guy doesn't know about me because he is not poly, so he would be hurt and jealous, (especially because I'm a woman).

At first, I felt uncomfortable about this, but felt more understanding when I knew a few more of the details. But, my original understanding was that they'd be breaking up during their visit and so far, the guy I'm dating hasn't had the courage to tell his boyfriend his true feelings. They've spent the last few weeks together and the boyfriend still doesn't know the truth!

This seems so dishonest to me and not poly at all! I feel uncomfortable about it.
The fact that it's making you uncomfortable means it's crossing a boundary or violating a value. That's pretty much how I define "cheating".

Quote:
I've pretty much decided I'm steering clear of the whole messy situation and intend to be just friends when he comes back. But, I thought maybe one of you wise poly's might have some good poly advice for me.
My advice would be to talk to your partner. Use a lot of "I messages". From your perspective, I know how it feels to have discomfort and insecurity and I think it's important to honor that and communicate it to people you love.

I also know his side, the fear of being honest. Of hurting others, or being hurt yourself.

So... I'd say try not to "fix" anything. Relationships aren't static things that have a "should be this way", they're fluid, always changing. So you'll never "fix" the problem. But you can express how YOU feel and open the doors for him to do the same.

If you feel uncomfortable in a realtionship, there's something wrong. But "just being friends" doesn't address the problems. It does nothing to ease your own misgivings and it does nothing to make it easier for him to deal with his fears. Expression and honesty DO.

Sometimes, it takes someone else being honest and sharing to trigger the confidence other people need to do it themselves.

Also... as a mental preparation, be prepared for his response to be something you didn't count on. Perhaps you were a "fling" and you should be prepared to hear this. Perhaps he's battling issues with his own sexuality and he's not sure if he wants to be "bi". I'm just tossing out examples; not suggesting anything, but you should be warned that this might be the tip of the iceburg for him in terms of deep-seated issues and tough feelings.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:40 AM
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Oh thank you thank you thank you!

I'm so tired of hearing the usual old-fashioned, "Well, if he __(was really a nice guy__, then he __wouldn't be keeping you a secret___" or "What an ___insert expletive____".... "advice".


Quote:
But "just being friends" doesn't address the problems.
This is soooo true. I suspect there's something I need to learn. And I'm having trouble shaking the thought that I've done something wrong.


Quote:
Also... as a mental preparation, be prepared for his response to be something you didn't count on.
Yes, there are so many variables I'm not yet aware of. We've known each other only for about six months and there are so many conversations we haven't had yet.

Neither of us has been clear what we are to each other. We've both sent our share of mixed messages. His sexuality is not clearcut, either.

So, I think almost anything he has to say wouldn't surprise me.

There are so many things floating around my head. *sigh*

Thank you for the wise advice.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:43 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I am and am not comfortable with in a relationship, and being dishonest with another partner would definitely be something I am not okay with.

This isn't in terms of me making demands or trying to control others behavior, it's just a "this is something that really bothers me, and if the behavior continues to the point it's fucking with my emotions, then I need to make the right choice for my emotional well-being."
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:52 AM
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Everything "fucks with my emotions", so if I did that, I wouldn't live. LOL!

Gee, I really don't know how I feel. The thing is, I feel a lot of different things and some of them really conflict. I don't know which of these feelings are me and which are the beliefs with which I was raised.

For instance, a part of me is thinking, "Well, what kind of man could he be? I've seen this pattern before - a pleaser who is not honest with himself. This leads to trouble when he does what you ask of him and then he resents you afterwards. It's not worth it. I need to disentangle myself from this man's issues. I don't need a project."

I don't know how much of this is me on my moral high horse. And more importantly, how much I'm using this as a decoy for avoiding what I'm truly afraid of.

What I'm really afraid of is loving too hard. Allowing myself to feel the full spectrum of my emotions, which are pretty intense at the best of times and having the rug pulled out from under me when he tip toes his rejection into my heart saying those dreadful words, "I just don't feel the same way about you". Gay or not gay, it doesn't matter the reason. I feel a lot of shame and embarassment when I feel so strongly and it isn't reciprocated or it scares others.

And I'm afraid of committing. I'm afraid of the big tangled mess that relationships seem to be. I'm afraid of feeling trapped.

Feeling restricted is my version of hell. The limits imposed on me by the "rules" of my partner/relationship, for one. But especially the self-imposed limit I place on myself when I have really strong feelings for someone or something, which seem to be so radically different from the way others feel. I fear rejection for being too enthusiastic, too intense, too emotional.

So, when I have genuine feelings for someone, I hide and clam up.....



I would like to hear what their agreements were with each other. I know definitely that their agreement wasn't that they are a couple. They've been in that uncertainty phase calling it, "whatever it is that we are". My guy, (at least - I don't know about the other guy) has been calling himself single. So, I haven't heard him say these words, but I don't think they had any agreements about exclusivity.

The way it was explained to me is that the other guy was wanting to move towards that, but my guy doesn't want to.

So, holy crap how scary is that! I can completely empathize with how the other guy must be feeling and what an awful situation to be in! He's about the have the rug pulled out from under him and be heartbroken, it seems.

So, does this make me uncomfortable? Absolutely! Is it because he's violated a value? I don't really know, but the way it feels in my body, no. Is it because I'm terrified of the foolishness and heartache of loving someone who doesn't love me back? Frig, yeah!

I have a belief that is very deeply engrained in me that I am not allowed to have a partner. That somehow, this is a cold hard fact of life I just need to accept and come to terms with, the way you accept and come to terms with someone's death or the inability to bare children.

I'm so terrified of being vulnerable about my feelings and then coming to that dead end when he says to me what he is about to tell his guy, "I like you, I care about you, you're great, but I just don't want to be in a relationship".

And then... there's another part of me that feels like I could pour all of my passion into something else, like music. If I know that my relationship with this guy will never move past a certain point and will never turn into moving in together, having kids, being a "couple", then I go into this space in myself that just keeps everything light and I don't engage as much. Things matter less to me and I just have fun.

Oh, I don't know....
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:18 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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I hear you on the vulnerability thing.

What would bother me about the situation is that your guy has been leading the other guy along, letting him think things are fine, going to see him- and then planning on dumping him after spending a few weeks acting like everything is fine? Or possibly telling you he's planning to dump other guy, when he has no intentions of doing so, just going along with whatever will make the person he's currently with happy, because he has serious problems being assertive?

My assumption is that a partner is likely to treat me in a similar way to however he's treated other partners- and I very much prefer to get to hear their side of things.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StitchwitchD View Post
I hear you on the vulnerability thing.

What would bother me about the situation is that your guy has been leading the other guy along...
<snip>

Quote:
My assumption is that a partner is likely to treat me in a similar way...

Exactly! I can't say that I'm clear on how I feel at this point and I am focusing a lot on the fears this brings up in me, so that I can face them.

But, definitely; a partner is going to treat me the same way he treats his other partner.

Be warned of the dynamic that plays out with a person who likes to please others and isn't honest with themself! Either the person burns out and then suddenly drops a bomb. Or they slowly fester and start resenting because they're doing things they don't actually feel in their heart.
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