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  #11  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:25 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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I am sorry that you are going through pain right now and that your relationship has come to an end.

Try looking at it a different way; it might help.

Having someone make a decision for you is never going to make you feel happy about the relationship being over. Our mind naturally wants to fight against what we are being told. When I was 17, I had a two-year affair with a married woman. Endless times, she broke it off with me, saying that I needed something more than she could give me. Endless times, I argued "no, I don't, I need this!"

In the end, of course, she was right.

That's point one.

But also - think about what their motivation is for ending it. Stress, if they're more self-focused. Guilt if they're a kinder soul.

Even if your girlfriend was thinking of you, there would also be some level of selfishness, the same way there is with everyone on the planet. It wasn't working for *her*. You couldn't change that; you can't change that... and it might help you to understand things from her point of view.


Quote:
She decided after 4 months that I clearly was mono, a call which may be true but I still haven't made. I still don't know now.
That is for you to decide. My girlfriend used to say the same thing to me - and now, I don't stand for it. Explore life as you want to - don't be labelled by someone who does not live inside your mind.

Quote:
The problem is her husband has never had a partner and while he says he is poly has not been trying. That puts more pressure on her as she was trying to meet everyone's needs. That also hurts because as the secondary not having my own partner meant our end, the primary is safe to not look if he wishes.
A person can identify as being poly without dating other people. If he's sharing his wife with someone else, he's *in* a poly relationship. If he's planning to stay, he's *choosing* a poly relationship.

There are many reasons for staying 'mono' whilst your partner dates. Perhaps you're picky. Perhaps you're shy. Perhaps you're not ready. Perhaps dealing with the jealousy side of the coin is enough of a struggle, without launching into "let's make my wife feel jealous too and really rock the boat". Perhaps you're not slutty and want something meaningful. Perhaps you're in no hurry. Perhaps you're not sure if you want to be poly.

If your ex girlfriend, his wife, had you, her husband and a LDR to balance, that's *her* decision. If she couldn't balance her time, meet everyone's needs, that's *her* cross to bear. Can't meet some of the needs of three people? Don't date three people. I don't think that's her husband's fault at all.

I can understand what you are saying, but I don't think it's the case that the primary is safe not to look for others, whilst the secondary gets dumped for it. I think it's more about how you may have portrayed yourself and/or how she may have perceived you.

For example...

I have a primary partner. I look for secondaries who are very independent by nature. I don't mind whether or not they have a partner, or are looking for a partner - as long as they do not expect me to fill the shoes of a 'primary girlfriend' figure. I do not have the time or the emotional capacity at the moment. I ended one relationship for the same reasons you were given by your ex girlfriend. The girl I dated was, in my opinion, very clingy, very needy, very co-dependent and very pushy. No matter how much I saw her, it was never enough. No matter what time I said I needed to leave, she wanted me to stay longer. No matter what my primary relationship guidelines were, she wanted to bend them. No matter how much she told me she was happy, I could see that she wasn't. But she was emotionally masochistic (by her own admission, later on).... she would never have ended it. When I was 17 and in love with the married woman, I would never have ended it. She had to end it with me, to do me a favour.


Quote:
I'm not sure she was ready for the balancing and compromise needed to handle multiple relationships. She also said she had not planned on. Our relationship becoming as strong as it did. We spent most of it undefined and for a while called it equal but then things were shifting I was feeling much more secondary again despite coming very close to a couple primary relationship. I would have been very happy with Co primary but she said that was not something good she could give. I think she originally wanted her other relationships to be more casual and tertiary but that was never discussed when we started.
I think this is really important and genuinely, I do truly think that it is sad. I really do feel for you. It does sound like your relationship got very close and that she wavered on what she wanted.

Try to practice forgiveness... if you can? She was learning. You were learning.

It's important for everyone to lay out their expectations and not to expect things to remain stationary. Things can change - one person can fall in love and the other can back way off. One person can start off wanting something casual, but end up craving more. It's also important to understand NRE. New Relationship Energy (that buzz we get from clicking with someone new) makes us want to spend lots of time with a new person. It can give secondary partners the wrong impression when, after a few months, reality kicks in and the married/partnered-up person realises... shit... I don't have time to be chatting online for 40 hours a week... I haven't tidied my house, walked my dogs, played with my child, had sex with my husband in a month.

It's your choice whether or not you choose to explore poly again

But I do think that either way, many of the rules relating to poly can be transferred to monogamy. And now you're better equipped to talk about your expectations.

The number one thing I would say is a benefit to take with you into any kind of relationship? Not simply a list of "this is what I expect"... but, instead... "this is what I expect right now and for the foreseeable future... but... my biggest expectation... is that we can feel safe and free to talk to each other, if and when our feelings change." To be honest, they often do.
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2013, 02:48 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderSavesAll View Post
If I learned of each thing it is better communication and clear expectations from the start and ongoing. We were originally undefined, got labeled serious and then issues were held in. I may be taking a step back from poly for a while.
There's some value to that, but I would be careful about swinging too far in the opposite direction. Some people put down a lot of expectation at the beginning of something, and then try to force the relationship into a pre-defined mould rather than allowing it to grow organically.

It sounds like your relationship started out undefined and was being allowed to develop in its own way. Unfortunately for you, it developed out of a relationship, instead of into something deeper. Sometimes, that's just what happens.

Playing Devil's Advocate here, it's possible that she was already feeling too much pressure and having a hard time balancing your needs in the relationship with her marriage. So then, to be asked for more time when she's already strained with what she's giving, is just too much.

I can see parts of myself in her. I've been in situations where people are willing to put more into something than I am, and I feel guilty about it, not because I'm not doing more, but because I'm perfectly happy with not doing more. It's taken a lot of work for me to accept that it's okay for relationships to be unbalanced, as long as I'm open and upfront about what I'm willing to invest; then if someone is willing to invest more, and they know it won't be reciprocated, that's their informed decision...
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2013, 02:13 PM
EnderSavesAll EnderSavesAll is offline
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I thank everyone who has posted so far, it has been very insightful.

I hope to be able to forgive and get back to a place were we can be friends. I'm still rather hurt right now, the way it was done though unintentional was extremely painful and I'm dealing with feeling very hurt.

To her it was not okay for things to be unbalanced. I know her anxiety and I know that is what took hold, I had helped her work through some of her other anxiety. That is one thing that hurt, she worked through anxiety with other people, it hit our relationship and I was a casualty. I don't know if that is a fair feeling, but that I what I currently have.

I think she was getting too confined, too stressed, too pulled. When she emailed her issues everything she said really just said "too much"

She was very much focused on being unlabeled, let it be what it is. She later said she had not planned for anything more than a secondary only to say a few times later she wanted me to be as equal as possible to her husband. I don't know if the NRE wore off or if her issues and anxiety just exploded us, but instead of being able to work, maybe back off, take a little time she just ends it.

There are things I have left out her around her marriage that I just don't want to air. I will only say they are still working through things. I don't believe jealousy was an issue though, if it was it never occurred in front of me.

As for never ending it, she spoke of that fear that I wouldn't. I though always had a feeling we would part ways eventually, maybe I would have drug it on too long, I can't say now. I however did not expect it yet, but maybe I missed how much of a strain it put her under. She had seemed happy, very much present and committed shortly before. She did say though, when she dropped the issues on me all at once (by email) that she had not intended it to be a breakup. I think the guilt of our imbalance is the final piece that pushed her to that.

I'm tired this morning but not as anxious, I hope this came through as coherent though.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2013, 02:36 PM
EnderSavesAll EnderSavesAll is offline
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I'm not wanting to demonize her. I know the emotions and reasons and I still love her. I am dealing with my emotions now and I know she is dealing with hers. I also know our relationship was not perfect, I was dealing with my own issues and trying to figure out what to do about them. I wasn't at breaking up though. Maybe once I am past heartache I hope we can be friends, I can't avoid her as we share friends in a very social group. I hope she is able to work through things and find out what works for her, I have watched her anxiety make her miserable at times and being a very anxious myself don't wish that on her. We were definitely learning.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2013, 02:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I don't think either of you is bad people.

Just dealing with the reality here of having broken up.

You sound like you are being healthy as you can about it -- so kudos to you!

hugs,
Galagirl
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:11 PM
EnderSavesAll EnderSavesAll is offline
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Thanks GalaGirl,

I'm trying to be as healthy as I can. Working through the thoughts, distracting myself as much as I can and spending as much time with friends as I can. It has been rough though. I am a person I strong emotion and anxiety. Both of those have tried to rip me apart.

We haven't talked or seen each other since two days after the breakup, which was really before reality had set in and has been almost 2 weeks. I will see her in two days and I am curious how that will go. It is a big group social outing so we do not actually have to interact. It's going to be weird if we do, weird if we don't.
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:01 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You can do it. If the goal is to be good exes, just get it over with. Be polite, etc. You can always bail and go home early if it gets to be too much. Baby steps.

GG
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:17 PM
EnderSavesAll EnderSavesAll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
You can do it. If the goal is to be good exes, just get it over with. Be polite, etc. You can always bail and go home early if it gets to be too much. Baby steps.

GG
She said she wanted to be friends and still hang out some when we last talked. Good exes is easy enough to do I think, the friendship is going to be a lot more difficult.
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  #19  
Old 01-17-2013, 05:44 PM
EnderSavesAll EnderSavesAll is offline
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My Ex has been posting online in comments about the dynamic and issues of Poly/Mono and I finally had enough.

We haven't talked much but I did send her an email saying that labeling me mono in terms of our breakup was not fair as it is not a label I have taken. I stand between the two and haven't accepted either label. I think it is unfair to have first ended the relationship under that pretense that because I was her secondary and had no primary that it automatically made me Mono and would not work. Now if she is going to continue to talk about our past relationship using a label I never took I felt the need to correct her.

Sorry for the short rant
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  #20  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:35 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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That sounds fair. She can talk about your relationship from her perspective (which might be quite illuminating to you!) but presenting it as "Because they were mono and I'm poly this happened..." isn't helpful to anyone reading, since you do not currently identify as mono.

(As a hinge with two partners, neither of whom currently have other partners, I can understand feeling overwhelmed at times. But then it needs to be presented as what SHE felt, and it needs to be said that you didn't have other partners, not that you were "mono".)
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