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Old 07-08-2017, 02:39 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Default Collateral Damage

More to come, but I wanted to at least start this blog.

As I think about XBF's (who will get a name someday) experiences over the last 20+ years and his mantra that he and his wife are very, very happy, as I think about some of the things he told me about previous women he's been involved with, Collateral Damage seems a good summation of his life and values. So it seems a good name for this blog.

He's really, really sorry I'm hurt. But he's not sorry about anything he or his wife actually did. They live as they do and they are very, very happy, and it's too bad there's Collateral Damage.
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:13 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Collateral damage is a general term for deaths, injuries, or other damage inflicted on an unintended target.
I may provide more background later, but today I'll stick with saying, recent events continue to convince me that our relationship was not as full of altruistic selfless love as he claimed. Rather that his brand of poly really is all about himself and his wife.

He never meant to hurt me but he did--as he had hurt other women before. Sorry you're hurt. But I'm not going to change the way I'm living that has left a trail of pain. He and his wife simply don't mind a little collateral damage. As long as it's working for them, they're willing to pay that price.

After breaking up a few years ago we've maintained some connection due to a work/special interest group where we met. Over the months/years since we broke up, he has turned every business contact into personal e-mails, telling me all about his life. What he really told me all about was how rough life was, how hard, how very tough.

Bit by bit, a pattern came out. He didn't ask much about mine. When I told him a few things, he gave a quick pat nod to it and went back to paragraphs about his own hardships.

I've been curious why he tells me these things. Isn't he getting enough sympathy from his wife? Just trying to reel me back in?

Recently, we've had some contact about work/business again. Once again, he's skimmed over the business aspect to send me long detailed e-mails about all his difficulties.

In the months since our last contact, and since our breakup, I've had my own share of difficulties. Not once has he asked how I'm doing.

Once again, I'm left feeling that anything between us is ultimately about him. And perhaps about his wife. If I could pick up some of the slack and take care of him, she can get on with her next date and boyfriend and not have to deal with it.
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Old 07-22-2017, 03:05 PM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post

He never meant to hurt me but he did--as he had hurt other women before. Sorry you're hurt. But I'm not going to change the way I'm living that has left a trail of pain.

Over the months/years since we broke up, he has turned every business contact into personal e-mails, telling me all about his life. What he really told me all about was how rough life was, how hard, how very tough.

Bit by bit, a pattern came out. He didn't ask much about mine. When I told him a few things, he gave a quick pat nod to it and went back to paragraphs about his own hardships.

I've been curious why he tells me these things. Isn't he getting enough sympathy from his wife? Just trying to reel me back in?

In the months since our last contact, and since our breakup, I've had my own share of difficulties. Not once has he asked how I'm doing.

Once again, I'm left feeling that anything between us is ultimately about him. And perhaps about his wife. If I could pick up some of the slack and take care of him, she can get on with her next date and boyfriend and not have to deal with it.
I'm not sure if you've ever read anything about narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and I realise it seems to be the disease du jour at the moment, however if you're unaware of the way these people operate, please do yourself a favour and do a quick google search.

Your (former?) partner's method of giving you just enough attention to cause you to hope he reciprocates your own feeling for him, before turning it off and making it all about him (or his wife), is one of the narcissist's classic behavioural patterns. As is the sob story to gain your sympathy and ensure your focus never strays far from him.

My question is... IF you'd already distanced yourself from this person years ago, what keeps you hanging on, ready to jump every time he says so? You may need to work on your own self esteem and/or assertiveness training of some kind, because this is not a healthy relationship, or even friendship.
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:04 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by lunabunny View Post

Your (former?) partner's method of giving you just enough attention to cause you to hope he reciprocates your own feeling for him, before turning it off and making it all about him (or his wife), is one of the narcissist's classic behavioural patterns. As is the sob story to gain your sympathy and ensure your focus never strays far from him.

My question is... IF you'd already distanced yourself from this person years ago, what keeps you hanging on, ready to jump every time he says so? You may need to work on your own self esteem and/or assertiveness training of some kind, because this is not a healthy relationship, or even friendship.
Hi, luna, yes, I've read quite a bit about narcissism and yes, he absolutely fits the profile in many ways.

I'm well aware he's not going to change how he's living and yes, I know his sob stories are a ploy for sympathy. Tone doesn't always come across in writing, and I'm saying this almost with a tone of amusement: here he is again, telling me his sob story. Here he is once again making it all about his needs.

Since we broke up, our contact has been about business. Which he routinely turned into telling me his sob stories. And then him getting angry when I would say the way he's living is causing his problems, or going silent when I'd remind him he has a wife to sympathize and help him with all this.

So there is an amusement factor in asking, why does he keep trying this? He keeps getting the same two answers from me--change your behavior and/or lucky you have a wife to take care of you.

This recent conversation stemmed from me letting him know that one of our mutual friends is very ill. Doing him a favor. He responded, amazingly, with how hard his life is. This isn't me hanging on hoping he'll love me. This is me telling the story of who he is and how he is showing that.

Yes, he has plenty of narcissistic traits. So does she. They are all about themselves and getting their needs met no matter who gets hurt in the process.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:39 PM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
This isn't me hanging on hoping he'll love me. This is me telling the story of who he is and how he is showing that.
Please pardon me for joining Luna's question, but what is it that still makes you look back after years have passed? You must have been hurt, but so have been many people in relationships - and not everyone is compelled to start blogs about their exes, tell the story of their ex instead of their own. There is some strong driving force withing you, an open question perhaps, which attracts your thoughts again and again and leads to you re-telling over and over again the story of this relationship.
You can do that here, it's your place of course. But I must say I would be genuinely curious about the reason - though I don't expect you to write it out any time soon. I'm also writing this with a slight hope that asking yourself the question "what makes me tell the story again" could maybe, hopefully, give you a little relief from the remaining hurt.
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:31 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Hm...what makes me tell the story again? I wonder if that's a question that is asked of everyone who writes their story, or their memoir, sometimes years after the fact.

If the goal is to do poly well, in a way that leaves everyone loved and happy and fulfilled, then we have things to learn from the stories of those who did poly poorly. Like a football team watching tapes of the game--there are things to be learned from seeing the mistakes made.

I think Byron is a good name for XBF. Byron told me, when I told him some of the sagas going on here, that people here obviously just did poly poorly, that he and his wife had no drama.

Stories he told me suggest that wasn't quite accurate. For instance, an event came up once which resulted in him asking..."You've never had a public scene at a restaurant?" Well, no, actually. I haven't.

He has moved a girlfriend in with him and his wife. To date, I have not seen any FMF arrangements work out. I ultimately broke up with him because of his wife--or, his failure to be a good hinge, depending how you see things. Both can be true.

His wife was thrilled that he'd found a hobby--me--to entertain him while she was out dating. She was not so thrilled when she realized he was actually in love with me, and started playing games to make it clear to me who was really in charge. To make it clear where I really stood.

I told him once, twice, I don't appreciate it. I'm not her door mat. I'm not your pacifier. I'm not a chew toy to be thrown to the dog to keep it happy while she's out with other men. Enough of the games.

It became very clear to me that whatever he thought of our relationship, she thought my purpose was to keep him sated so he didn't get upset about her being out with other men.

His wife tried to walk in on us more than once. Didn't call ahead as she was supposed to, didn't knock. Was just suddenly there at private moments.

He hinted to me that other women had fallen asleep in his bed, that his wife had come in late, left early, and these women never knew she'd been in the bed with them. No big deal. In knowing all I do since then, in knowing how she kept 'accidentally' sorry not sorry walking in on us, I believe that if I'd let him talk me into spending the night, that I may have woken to find her hands on me, and I wonder if this would count as #metoo.

Funny thing: the new GF, after many decades of being straight, suddenly 'discovered' that she likes women. His wife in particular. It seems an amazing coincidence to me, and I suspect it's more that she realized quicker than me that they're unicorn hunters, that he was expected to bring home treats for his wife, and New GF was more willing than I was to do whatever it took to keep him.

The sad upshot of the story is that the new GF is dropping huge hints that she's miserable and disillusioned with her new situation. She turned her life over, sacrificed everything, in ways that can't be undone, to be with him and it is going sour very quickly.
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2018, 03:07 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Default #metoo

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showp...1&postcount=21

I frequently see posts here that make me think, this is exactly why I titled my blog as I did. I rarely have time to write about them.

This post is no better or worse than any other that has made me think this. I just have, or am taking, a little time today.

Over and over in the world of polyamory, we hear the phrase 'getting my needs met.' When we live life by thinking only of getting our own needs met, there are bound to be problems. Life works better if we're all looking at meeting each other's needs.

And here we see again a situation where there was a fantasy--sexual and possibly otherwise. Another person was brought in, it's all going haywire, and the clear answer is to save the marriage.

I'm all for saving marriages. But as is so often the case, there is no consideration given to the secondary. The answer is invariably 1) how do I save myself and by definition 2) how do I save the marriage with no consideration that the actions of the couple have had profound impact on another person who also has feelings, whose life and emotions have also been upended by this.

The answer on the board is: what do you want?

The answer for a mature person should be or at least include: how do you face the impact of your actions on another person and what can you do to provide the least harm to all involved? But generally, the people brought into these situations are dismissed as collateral damage--oops, sorry--if they're considered at all.

* * *

In my own personal situation, it's time to give XBF and his wife names. Byron is suitable for him. Iago works well for her. She is deceptive.

I came across a blog she keeps in which she films people she works with when they clearly don't know they're being filmed. I find it creepy and invasive. She and I were at the same restaurant this past August. Twice I looked up to realize she was filming me with my date. No, it's not exactly what the #metoo movement means. But it's creepy and invasive.

Although I'm still in regular contact with Byron, I have not bothered telling him this. While I was with him, she tried a few times to walk in on us in what she expected to be intimate moments. #metoo. She had a hundred excuses for why she couldn't help it. Once is a mistake. Beyond that, it quickly becomes a pattern. Byron's response was to deny.

He expressed the wish many times that I would feel comfortable falling asleep in his bed with him. Told me how previous 'girlfriends' meaning one night and one week stands, had, and never even knew Iago had come and gone in the night.

A post a couple of months ago, a woman talked about sleeping in bed with her girlfriend and waking up to find the husband's hands on her.

A friend read the post and made the comment to me: that's exactly what would have happened to you, if you'd spent the night with him. Given her other behavior, I also believe that. #metoo.

True it never happened. I don't know it would have happened. But it never happened because her previous behavior made me unwilling to trust her. If she was going to keep walking in on me and trying to cop a glance while I was fully conscious, I have no reason to trust her while I'm unconscious.

Her habit of filming people secretly only convinces me more that she has absolutely no boundaries and no respect for anyone else as autonomous human beings with rights to boundaries and respect. And that I was right to refuse to be put in that situation.

The sad thing is...human nature. Iago herself complains about men violating her. She has completely blinded herself to how she herself violates others' privacy and boundaries.

Another sad thing is, Byron denies and refuses to admit to the clear patterns and behavior. I wonder if the upshot with his newest girlfriend--the only one he's ever gotten to stay for any length of time--will finally be the straw that forces him to admit at least to himself what's going on. More on that later.
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