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Old 10-05-2012, 07:10 AM
finch finch is offline
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Hello, I'm new here, so please be patient.
When I met G he was in a primary relationship and I was happy to be secondary. I was just out of a long relationship with kids grown up and was enjoying having space. After maybe eighteen months, G's primary gave him the ultimation to move out as she felt rejected by him. G and I found a place to live together. Almost immediately the primary said she regretted her ultimation and for three years he split his time between there and here.
H, the primary, would have preferred him to be monogamous, they tried unsuccesfully to work it out. Somewhere down the line I become the primary. I am not too sure about this as secondary was fine for me.

Three or so years on and G meets a woman in another town and goes NRE in a big way. He tells her about me, and that he will not leave me, but does not tell her about his (now non sexual) attachment to H. I fill her in on that. She believes that G is polyamorous because he has not yet met the right woman. She believes I am polyamorous only to please G. She is only interested in monogamy and is very straight about it. I say I am against the relationship as I
1) realise that she is not going to change her opinion
2) do not believe him capable of the time management of three women in three different towns ie three LDRs
3) think she sees G as a backdoor from another unhappy relationship.

But.. I love G and hold strong to the poly idea. We have some heated discussions and yes, tears. He visits the woman, U, a couple of times for several days. She will not visit him here but visits him at his other home with H. They phone and mail. I see that after U's initial attempts to, I quote, "have him for myself" and after leaving her other relationship, U is cooling off and he is chasing an illusion. I tell him this and he tells me it is his private life and I should keep off, U will soon come round to polyamory if I would make more effort for her to like me. oooof. Big issue here!

More time passes and other issues between G and me build up- time management ( we are refurbishing a house and he is running a business from home), impotence (prostrate enlargement) his depressions and health issues of my own. This in addition to our high load of relationship issues.
It is more than I can manage and I tell G so. Our relationship is not pleasing or satisfying me and I suggest we make it less demanding so we both have more space. I suggest that he intensifys the newish relationship with U and wish him well. He says he won't leave and things will work out somehow. Uhuh, maybe I think. My frustration, sexual and otherwise increases. I am looking for other sexual partners but hesitate in bringing anyone in on this "complicated" situation.
Then H dies. Remember her? They were married thirty years and have three kids together. She dies of alcohol abuse. I am shocked as I hadn't realised she had this problem. His grown up kids see me as the cause of her problem. What? G and I agree that he spends more time with his kids during the hospital stay and run up to the funeral. We do not see each other for about a month, but speak regularly on the phone.
Then U breaks off the relationship. She has found someone else. Although she is invited to the funeral ( I am not because of the family hostility towards me) she refuses and breaks off communication from one day to the next.
This is where we are today. G desperately needs support and I am giving it but the last years have been such a turmoil that I am emotionally and physically drained. I would say everyone in this story is or was emotionally and physically drained.
Ideally I would like to enjoy a polyamorous life with G but I feel we both messed up badly. I saw dangers in G's relationship to U. I don't know if I should have kept them to myself,or maybe I should have been clearer. He got hurt and I saw it coming. By the way I have NOT said "told you so". I feel so sorry for him because she left when he needed her support. I feel sorry for myself as this has been so draining.

Any suggestions?

sorry for the saga folks and thank you for your time.

Last edited by finch; 10-05-2012 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:12 PM
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MusicalRose MusicalRose is online now
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Ick.

I'm really sorry you are having to deal with all that garbage. It does sound like G isn't really playing ethically in his relationships. Neither is U for that matter. One lesson I have learned from poly is that you NEVER "wait for someone to come around" to either monogamy or polyamory. That is wishful thinking and that ends up in people getting hurt. It is also incredibly presumptuous. Every time I have met someone who indicates that they think they could do "better" for me or shows signs that they think polyamory is just a phase or that I haven't found the right person yet, I send them packing. I'm sorry that G hasn't learned the same lesson and that you are suffering the fallout from the drama of it.

It also seems like G isn't really being honest with you. Did he not think it was important to let you know when your metamour, his wife of thirty years, was suffering from health problems? He sounds like he is doing a lot of wishful thinking and pretending that polyamory works for him, while not actually doing any of the work that makes it a healthy relationship structure for him or his partners.

I don't think it was necessarily wrong of you to voice your concerns about U. You didn't forbid him from seeing her, but you did let him know that you saw potential danger in the relationship and you were right. I'm also sorry that his family did not let you go to H's funeral and that they are blaming you for her death. Please do not blame yourself and don't let them make you feel as if it is your fault. You cannot be responsible for another person choosing to make healthy decisions with their lives.

*hugs*
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:36 PM
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gomugirl1656 gomugirl1656 is offline
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oh Finch I am so sorry that you have had to go through this. I wish I had something truly useful to say to you on this. Just remember you can be supportive without having to fix the situation and you can take care of your needs without guilt.

I find that when I take care of my needs I can be supportive of someone I love that is in great pain, without feeling the need to make them different. But the only person I can speak for is me, and the only person I can change is me. So that's where I go. Things often work out if we stop picking at them. Be your kind loving self but take care of you. Just like if he were in the hospital, you would still have to eat, sleep, have some time away from the hospital it's the same here I think. Be a good communicator and state your support in clear terms with kindness and tact. I know you are hurting. I suppose if you want to cut your losses you could but that would ultimately be your choice. I hope this helps. Hang in there.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:10 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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*hug*

I am so sorry.

Quote:
Ideally I would like to enjoy a polyamorous life with G but I feel we both messed up badly.
I'm not seeing where you messed up. You tried to report your internal weather (feelings) along the way.

If he doesn't hold up his end of the responsibility sticks to you, he doesn't hold them up. His behavior is on him to execute.

Your behavior is on you -- and you choose to stay or not stay with G based on his behaviors toward you.

You may want to enjoy a polyamorous life with G but if his behavior is taking away from the enjoyment part of it? Then what? You break up.

Quote:
I saw dangers in G's relationship to U. I don't know if I should have kept them to myself,or maybe I should have been clearer.
Sounds like you reported. And when it became a thing, you heard his limit of "let me take care of my other relationship myself" -- and you took heed even though his idea that YOU should roll out the welcome mat more is out of line. (YOU decide how tight you want to be with a metamour or not -- not him. )

Some people just need to learn the hard way. Enter the power of staying silent and giving them the space to figure that out.

When YOU tell him of your need for space and desire to cool it/break up (I'm not sure of degree of separation by your post) he does NOT respect your need though. That's annoying when you acquiesced to his need to continue the U relationship without you commenting on it. Wassup with that?

His need to not be alone trumps your need for a break up? How come his needs are first?

Quote:
He got hurt and I saw it coming.
Yup.

But you are not responsible for his feelings.

Nobody can control emotion. It happens when it happens. Rain is rain. Sun is sun. Feelings are feelings. The only thing we can control and change is how we behave. He chose not to change his behavior. Here's a consequence then.

New feelings are going to be felt. Now he can choose his next behavior.

You don't control any of that -- not his feelings nor his behavior.

You can only control your OWN behavior.


Quote:
By the way I have NOT said "told you so". I feel so sorry for him because she left when he needed her support. I feel sorry for myself as this has been so draining.
Good for you -- not going "I told you so."

Yes, U's timing is unfortunate. It is what it is.

Yes, you can feel sympathy for him on the timing of it.

Yes, do feel sorry for YOU and do your self care -- put your OWN oxygen mask on first.

He is not doing right by you, a significant GF -- in not clearing it up with his kids and letting them treat you like "a cheating woman affair person."

H is no longer around to verify, but this is shoddy that you are not "allowed" to pay your final respects because G will not support your needs at a grieving time.

Yet he seeks you to support his needs? Sheesh.

Quote:
G desperately needs support and I am giving it but the last years have been such a turmoil that I am emotionally and physically drained. I would say everyone in this story is or was emotionally and physically drained.
You control and choose how you behave.

You can alleviate the volume of your own "emotionally and physically drained" by not giving him any/as much support right now.

Put your energies in supporting yourself. Again, put your own oxygen mask on and do your own self care.

Isn't this the guy you wanted to break up with earlier? Be firm but gentle about your own limits.

"Look, I feel sorry for you, and I feel bad, but I am drained and cannot give any more. I need my own time to process and grieve on my own."
Seek a counselor, a minister, a good friend -- whoever it is you normally seek for comfort at the Big Things like this.

Do the correct thing by H even if nobody else will ever know -- arrange to have flowers placed on her final resting place or go there yourself when the main funeral observances are over, drink a toast to her at her favorite park (or other place), have a private moment of observation, plant something in your yard in remembrance -- however it is you do it.

For yourself -- eat, sleep, perhaps get a massage -- I'm not sure what you like best when you need self care. But do take care of you. It's been a doozy!

hugs
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-05-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:02 PM
finch finch is offline
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Thank you all for your kind words and support.
Musicalrose:
Quote:
He sounds like he is doing a lot of wishful thinking and pretending that polyamory works for him, while not actually doing any of the work that makes it a healthy relationship structure for him or his partners.
That's exactly what I think, and what I have been trying to communicate for some time. I have not been able to get this message across, I guess because I get loud when something that is so apparent to me is so foggy to another person.
gomugirl
Quote:
the only person I can change is me
This is where I am. I will not get loud, I will not argue any more.
Galagirl
Quote:
Now he can choose his next behavior
I wish he would! I have said this is crucial to me if our relationship is to continue. He is playing the same old begging for sympathy card and I find it on the one hand immature whilst on the other I AM sympathetic.
To you all, I am caring to my own needs to relax and I try not to put myself under pressure. I do not believe I am the cause of H's illness and I wrote a kind but clear letter to G's kids telling them this. Took some courage as I didn't want to mess them up further around their mother's death but it worked out fine. They have since apologized to G but not to me. The girls aged 20 and 21 have however since visited me at my home for the first time ever, so that's one sort of apology I suppose.
Galagirl:One day I hope to be the one to fill in those kids on the real story. Their mother H presented me as the cheating other woman. I asked G to clarify this them but he has not done so yet. When the time comes, I will.
Thank you once again, you wise women. I will let you know what happens.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:25 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I wish he would! I have said this is crucial to me if our relationship is to continue. He is playing the same old begging for sympathy card and I find it on the one hand immature whilst on the other I AM sympathetic.
He IS choosing is next behavior. Because he does not choose the behavior you wish for best, does not mean he hasn't chosen a behavior.
  • He has chosen to play the begging card.
  • He has chosen to NOT elucidate his children.
  • He has chosen to NOT meet your needs.

Quote:
I do not believe I am the cause of H's illness and I wrote a kind but clear letter to G's kids telling them this. Took some courage as I didn't want to mess them up further around their mother's death but it worked out fine. They have since apologized to G but not to me. The girls aged 20 and 21 have however since visited me at my home for the first time ever, so that's one sort of apology I suppose.
See? You chose your next behavior and tried something. It helped assuage your own feelings. (Even if the adult kids never did anything in turn.)

But actually? The adult children chose their NEXT behavior in turn -- they apologized to the father and came to visit you. They are still working on the rest -- but this bodes well, and they can be given a bit of a pass since they have to digest all this while grieving their mother. Perhaps a more formal apology will one day come -- in the meanwhile they sound like they are trying to make some kind of ammends for their ugh behaviour toward father and you.

That's a good thing right?

Quote:
I asked G to clarify this them but he has not done so yet. When the time comes, I will.
You also chose your next behavior toward G and made a request of him. You are waiting to see if he will honor it or not. (Did you give a time limit?)

You also chose to tell the children more when the time comes. (Do you have a time limit or checkpoint in mind?)

I see you are moving things forward -- that is a big plus for you. Moving it forward to get your closet to the Healing Place is always a good thing.

Emotions may pop up unbidden and sometimes they are fun to feel and sometimes they are yucky to feel.

But emotional management is just that -- getting on with appropriate management tasks. You can do this. Hang in there!

hugs
GG
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:01 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finch View Post
I have not been able to get this message across, I guess because I get loud when something that is so apparent to me is so foggy to another person.
I relate to this. Do some searches here or on the web in general in "Non-Violent Communication". Learn about your communication style and his and learn how to speak his language and how to teach him yours. Believe me, even a small shift in how we communicate can make a HUGE difference.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:39 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by finch View Post
He is playing the same old begging for sympathy card and I find it on the one hand immature whilst on the other I AM sympathetic.
Wow, I feel like I'm coming at this from the opposite side as everyone else. I apologize in advance for being abrasive, but certain things need to be said.

People. His wife just DIED. It's not a "begging for sympathy card." He's a human being going through the stages of grief. Calling it a "sympathy card" is incredibly callous. There's nothing "immature" about grieving the death of your spouse and needing sympathy and support from the people who supposedly love you.

The kids' MOTHER just died. Who the fuck cares whether they're "justified" in blaming you for their mother's alcoholism? Of course they're not: alcoholism is a disease, no one is to blame. But these kids are going through the stages of grief, one of which is anger. They're directing it at you because it's too painful to direct it at their alcoholic mother. But they're in crisis. The last thing they need right now is the woman they blame and hate telling them they're also dealing with their grief wrong.

I'm not saying it's fair to you, finch. I'm saying that there's nothing you can do about it and trying to change that would only make things worse. Be grateful that they seem to have reconsidered their hatred, and don't hold your breathe for an apology. They never asked to be involved with you, and they owe you nothing.

U was no good at poly, you had objections for valid reasons... but she's out of the picture now, so that's all moot. Learn from it for next time, but as far as she's concerned, get over it.

The past is the past. Sure, he made mistakes and could have handled things better. But right now, that's all irrelevant. The pressing issue at hand is that he is now a grieving widower. You're being selfish. This really is not the time to focus on your relationship issues. He's not in any state of mind to think about what he did wrong, which may result in more guilt over her death. That will get you further from where you want to be. Only when he's out of the fog of grief will he be capable of thinking about his relationship with you.

Now that being said, if you're emotionally drained, then you're not going to be any help to anyone. It's the old "Put on your own oxygen mask first, before assisting other passengers" routine. Who do you have in your life that can support you, so that you can support him?
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Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 10-05-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Wait, I was under the impression they are exes? Like she broke up and he was all in denial like "I don't wanna break up!" and making a fuss over her moving on. Then wife suddenly died and he is being "no, we can't break up now, I need you!"

OP -- are you broken up? The timing is terrible... But if you broke up, you broke up.

In those shoes, I wouldn't want to give GF level support here. Makes emotional weirdness when you are trying to detach.

As a friend, sure -- attend the funeral, pay my respects, grieve myself for a person that was a part of my life, be kind to him and the adult kids, show compassion, make a casserole, walk the dog, etc in friend appropriate ways if the rest of the family does not see this as intrusion of their mourning period.

But getting sucked back into some weird rebound romance relationship thing... now? You don't mess with fragile. Backing off to an emotionally appropriate place still seems better to me.

It would be unseemly in a monoship. For his wife to die and for him to start up with a new lover person before she's even cold.

Since your old thing ended, you have no thing now. It would be starting a new thing again if you got back together. I just can't see how it is prudent to start up a new thing at this time -- monoship or polyship -- in a time of emotional upheaval. Esp when in the past he was not great at polyshipping with you to begin with.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-05-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:21 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finch View Post
Our relationship is not pleasing or satisfying me and I suggest we make it less demanding so we both have more space. He says he won't leave and things will work out somehow. Uhuh, maybe I think. My frustration, sexual and otherwise increases. I am looking for other sexual partners but hesitate in bringing anyone in on this "complicated" situation.

Then H dies.
I'm guessing this is what you interpreted as
Quote:
Originally Posted by galagirl View Post
Like she broke up and he was all in denial like "I don't wanna break up!" and making a fuss over her moving on. Then wife suddenly died and he is being "no, we can't break up now, I need you!"
Whereas I interpreted it as she was still willing and trying to make it work when H died.

These are the parts I read that led me to believe they are still together:
Quote:
Originally Posted by finch View Post
This is where we are today. G desperately needs support and I am giving it but the last years have been such a turmoil that I am emotionally and physically drained.

Ideally I would like to enjoy a polyamorous life with G but I feel we both messed up badly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by finch View Post
I have said this is crucial to me if our relationship is to continue. He is playing the same old begging for sympathy card and I find it on the one hand immature whilst on the other I AM sympathetic.
While I do stand by what I say that this is not the best time to work on relationship problems, my re-reading of the first quote above does complicate matters. It does sound like you were ready to throw in the towel, and then H goes and gets herself killed, making you look like the bad guy for leaving when he needs you most. There's no good advice anyone can give you there, since it comes down to a question of personal morals. I would not fault you for leaving, since you were heading that way already, and it's not like you killed his wife. But I myself probably could not leave at that particular instant, without picking up at least some of the pieces.

I'm certainly no expert in polyamorous mourning... However, it may not be so dissimilar from when a married couple loses a child. It's not uncommon for that to completely destroy a marriage, because both parents become so wrapped up in their grief that they stop dealing with marital issues. Often, they end up blaming each other for the child's death. What I'm getting at, is that whether you support him as a friend or as a girlfriend, probably won't make a lot of difference at this point, since I'm guessing the sexual/romantic aspects of your relationship would have dried up while he grieves, leaving only the friendship aspects anyway.
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Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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