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Old 04-29-2013, 01:31 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Default looking for a fresh perspective

Please forgive me if this is covered somewhere or if I have posted incorrectly. I have never done this before and I am finding it overwhelming. I will try to be concise.

My partner and I agreed to an open relationship. I had reservations at first but it seemed to work out fine. I had no jealousy issues; things weren't impeding on our life together. We were getting ready to go to an event where play was a possibility and where polyamory was widely practiced. I brought this up in discussion. I said I was comfortable with our open relationship but I could not understand how people managed poly relationships. I specifically said I did not want a poly relationship. My partner also said he did not want one, that his plate was full already.

We went to the event (which was a several day event) and was approached by someone for play. All was going well. I noticed they seemed to click more but I figured it was because of the style of play they enjoyed. We continued to communicate after the event and even visited each others' homes (a relatively short drive). It wasn't long, however, before I realized that there was more to their relationship than just play. I asked my partner about it and he said that they did not have a relationship. After some more discussion he finally admitted they had a relationship. He, however, did not see how this was any different from before and would still not call it poly.

I'm not sure exactly what he told her but she was under the impression that we were both poly and that I was OK with things. When she realized that that was not the case she offered to step back (but not completely exit) and let us work things out. As he and I discussed things he told me not to make him choose because he could not. It was too late to back out. I told him I would try to make this arrangement work but I did not like it.

For the last nine months I have been trying to make this arrangement work but I still do not like it. I have learned some things about myself that I realized I needed to change. There are aspects of our relationship that have gotten stronger because of this. Yet, I still feel like my heart has been ripped from chest. I still feel like I have lost him. I still cannot deal with the emotional turmoil. He, on the other hand, seems quite beside himself and boasts that he has two girlfriends.

I have been trying to decide if I should somehow keep trying to make this work or if I should go my own way. Neither option is what I want. But what I want I can't have. Usually I am able to calm and center myself enough to find direction but in this case I'm just as torn as I was in the beginning. I am not able to pin point exactly what bothers me so badly, what I want to change. Since I'm unable to do this I don't bring it up because I know the topic only exasperates him (and his partner). And when I don't say anything he assumes all is well. But all is not well and I don't know what to do about it.

I realize that this is my decision to make. I am not asking for direction. I am simply wondering if someone has a fresh perspective for me to consider. I am interested in the opinions of someone from the outside with a poly perspective that can maybe explain my partner's actions better than he is able to. Perhaps I'm simply missing something. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:50 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You sound like you have summed it up well. You've even tried it on for 9 mos already and still feel the same -- polyshipping is not for you because are not "polyamorous" or "monoamorous and poly-friendly."

You sound like you are monoamorous (love only one) and polysexual (willing to have several lovers.) So this configuration is not one in which you thrive.

Quote:
I have been trying to decide if I should somehow keep trying to make this work or if I should go my own way. Neither option is what I want.
There's two kinds of freedom. The freedom TO and the freedom FROM.

There is no " I want the freedom TO do X" here because you do not want to do either option. So the decision then is about "I want freedrom FROM."

When you look at it that way? If what you want is freedom from being in polyship -- which option is the path?
  • Staying in the polyship with him and her.
  • Leaving the polyship.

Maybe that change in perspective could help with your emotional management?

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-29-2013 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:16 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Galagirl,

I like the distinction of "freedom to" vs "freedom from". With that perspective in mind I guess what I want is 'freedom from' my emotional "hang ups". Logically this can work. My brain understands the poly concept. I am not uneducated in the principles. (I am not implying that you are insinuating this. I am just making a statement.) The 'reason' side of me wants it to work. I love my partner very much. I want him to be happy. I know that he loves me too. I just can't convince my "feelings' that this is working. So with that in mind, is there a way to catch my feelings up with the intellect? After nine months I'm starting to lose hope. I'm starting to believe that I am indeed mono- whatever you called it (I liked those distinctions too) and that this arrangement will not work because of that. Thank you for your input.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:21 AM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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You're struggling because your partner cheated on you and now crows about what he got out of doing so. It might come off like he is bragging about something others might feel ashamed of - hurting their partner with lies.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:39 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Vinccenzo,

Yes I 'feel' like he cheated. Yes I am wounded by his gloating. However, he is not malicious and I don't think he ever intended to hurt me. I think he fell in love before he realized the situation had changed into something different than what we agreed upon. One cannot help falling in love. What I am struggling with is how I respond to that. I want him to be happy, therefore I do not want to impose 'limitations'. However, I cannot ignore my own happiness. I am also struggling with his inability to see things from my perspective. It's like we've lost our ability to effectively communicate.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:37 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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When you say "play" do you mean sex?
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:11 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Nycindie,

In part, yes, sex. The event I refer to was BDSM in nature. So when I say play I mean it in that sense. That, of course, can be sexual and/or lead to sex but not necessarily. Also, the primary reason for the open relationship was to be able to “vent” / explore sexually where one partner was not able/interested in doing so. I can separate sex and love but I cannot separate commitment and intimate exclusivity (to sound off one of your quotes). I believe him when he says he can love more than one person. I believe him when he says he is committed to me. But I am unable “to share him” (as he puts it) on the intimate level.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:14 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Yeah this guy sounds like a friend of mine once described a friend of his - "the Dan Ride". ("Dan" is actually a swell guy, he grew out of that phase and has a nice family now). "The Dan Ride" is when the guy does whatever he feels like, decides what you should be able to "handle" if you want the awesome experience of being part of his life. As soon as you have had enough, you are free to get off the "ride". But the "ride" is what it is. So, babe whattaya say? Are you up for the "dan ride" or is it too much for you?
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:07 PM
alternativevirgo alternativevirgo is offline
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Default Hi Conflicted

I would react the same way if I were you. You and your partner set boundaries and he did not respect that. He probably didn't do it intentionally, but he wasn't mindful of his actions and his relationship/feelings went further than you were comfortable with. However, the fact that he let this woman believe that ya'll were poly concerns me. It seems that he lied (even if it was an act of omission) in order to maintain a relationship with the both of you; maybe to spare both of your feelings or make him seem more ethical in the eyes of his new lover. Either way, that’s not okay. I may be new to this, but it’s my understanding that poly relationships only work if all parties are honest and open with one another. That means setting boundaries, but being able to communicate your needs/re-negotiate the boundaries if they are hard to maintain; not lying to your partners when you are having trouble maintaining a certain boundary.

So if you decide to stay in a poly relationship with this man, he needs a talking to about respecting boundaries and having the courage to communicate his needs (instead of going about it in a dishonest way). You can always tell him that if he doesn't get his head out of his ass and start handling himself in an honest and respectful manner, that soon he’ll have zero girlfriends
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:09 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am sorry you continue to hurt.

Quote:
Yes I am wounded by his gloating. However, he is not malicious and I don't think he ever intended to hurt me.
Then why does he gloat? Is he aware this is also hurtful behavior to you?

He could not ding you on purpose and could not ding you THOUGHTLESSLY either.

Quote:
What I am struggling with is how I respond to that. I want him to be happy, therefore I do not want to impose 'limitations'.
You seem to be linking things that do not need to be linked.
  • He can be happy partnered with you.
  • He can be happy not partnered with you.

Could throw that out the window for a minute. Because YOU may want him to be happy just like I want you to be free of hooha. But just as I cannot wave a wand to make it so, neither can you. His happy does not apply here. Because it is not something YOU can control.

Quote:
I do not want to impose "limitations"
You do not want to speak up to make known what YOU need to be comfortable in polyship? How is this you meeting your own needs?

Is he a mind reader? Nope. He cannot know what he doesn't know.

Part of you meeting your own needs is making them KNOWN.
  • Could tell him what you want, need, and have for limits/boundaries in polyship.
  • Could ask if he's willing to meet those needs so you can be happier in polyship with him.

Whether he complies or not is on him. The part that is on you is to get it OUT there. If you do not feel safe bringing things like this to his awareness because he creates a climate of GRRR in your relationship? That's telling you something.

Quote:
However, I cannot ignore my own happiness. I am also struggling with his inability to see things from my perspective. It's like we've lost our ability to effectively communicate.
From my POV? If you are keeping information hidden he cannot know it.

He requested something from you.

Quote:
As he and I discussed things he told me not to make him choose because he could not. It was too late to back out. I told him I would try to make this arrangement work but I did not like it.
You complied with his request and you did not ask him to choose.
You went against your OWN willingness. Not liking it at the start and for 9 mos trying this on despite not liking it. Now you are finding your feelings pinging you again -- you still do not like this.

I think he has a hinge responsibility to two GF's to meet their reasonable wants,needs, and limits in polyship. His unwilling to hear you? That's not cool. He's not a hinge who tends to his poly people well then. Maybe he's doing fine because he gets all his cookies. He doesn't feel like being accountable to the rest?

But this is not about him alone. It's about your behavior too.

Rather than listen to your smoke alarm going off (your feelings) telling you that this configuration is NOT one where your needs are met?

You seem to want to turn the smoke alarm off. So you don't have to hear it ringing. What about dealing with the fire in the house then?

You are not meeting your own needs by not articulating.
He is not meeting your needs with being a solid hinge.

Who is left to look out for your own well being then if he's not doing it and you aren't doing it either?

Again... If what you want is freedom from emotional hooha and freedom from being in an unsatiscatory polyship? And you are NOT willing to state your needs/limitations? And he is not willing to talk about this any more? Negotiation is off the table.

Which option is the path that is left on the table? To me it looks like these:
  • Staying in the polyship with him and her with no changes.
  • Leaving the polyship.

Coming to grips with that and trying to see if there are any other possible alternatives is natural. I hope you do find something. But if after looking, all that is there is just those two?

Could choose to leave the polyship. Love him from a safer distance and out of the line of fire.

Love alone is not enough. Love does not equal "staying-ness" if the situation you are in is hurtful to you. Staying another 9 mos would not be cool for you.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-01-2013 at 12:23 AM.
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