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Old 06-23-2013, 09:29 PM
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AlbertaBea AlbertaBea is offline
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Default Ex boyfriend's wife doesn't want to share space

Hi Everyone. I'm Alberta and I'm writing about my on-again-off-again lover and friend, Tommy. I'm also writing about Tommy's wife, Jordan. Tommy and I broke up two months ago because Jordan was having a lot of trouble being okay with our relationship.

Since we broke up, Jordan has expressed frustration at "sharing space" with me. Jordan and I have 65 mutual friends on Facebook and we have many opportunities to share space. She has asked me before not to come to a party out of consideration for her, and when she felt "too intimidated" to ask me not to go to another party, she got Tommy to ask me. I lashed out at him :-/

So, that's the background story. Here's what I'm having some anxiety about now:

I want to go to a campout. It's a big event, taking place on a friend's private estate. I've been invited by numerous people. Jordan, along with at least two dozen other people, has been attending meetings to work through the planning stages of this campout. I've told Tommy that I was thinking about going for a day, but now I'm lonely (I wound up staying home from the party Tommy talked to me about) and most of my favorite people will be at the upcoming campout.

I miss my people. I'm going to this campout because I have the days off and I've been working every day since June 8th. I feel very strongly that I cannot let Jordan's feelings disrupt my social life. She has shown me repeatedly that she will not offer me the same considerations she demands from me - that's why I broke up with her husband. She doesn't have to talk to me when she sees me and I have no intention of approaching her.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:59 PM
CattivaGattina CattivaGattina is offline
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Go to the camp-out and just do your best to not be around where Tommy or his wife are. She (and he for that matter) have no right to try and cut you out from your friends or your social life jut because she doesn't want you there. If she doesn't want to be around you she can avoid go towards you at parties or not attend them just as easily as you can.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:42 PM
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Fist thing I would want to do in your situation is to make damn sure I know what my motivations are. Going to the camp out, for example, you said you're feeling lonely and want to go socialize with your friends; that sounds like good motivation. However, is there any *other* motivation? Are you feeling territorial or vengeful?

I am not saying that you are having these feelings it's just that, for me I would want to very closely examine my side of the street before I started telling someone to mind their own business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CattivaGattina View Post
If she doesn't want to be around you she can avoid go towards you at parties or not attend them just as easily as you can.
This chick can go have a nice tall glass of "grow up" as far as I'm concerned. Once you really are sure about your clean motivations there is just no reason to throw yourself under the bus of honorable sacrifice. Cattiva said it, this chick can elect not to go just as easily as you can... let her take a turn and serve her own insecurities for a change - sounds like she needs the practice...
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:45 AM
Delphinius Delphinius is offline
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AB,

Dan Savage of The Stranger's LoveCast has a lot to say on this so although it's usually directed more to LGBT people/relationships it fits here as well.

To use his general thoughts: Communities are small worlds and poly is definitely a small world. Even from the rather large metro area I live in the poly community seems almost like a soap opera at times (excuse me 'daytime drama', lol), lots of switching of partners and dramas and, like you're situation; I don't want to remember you're alive type people.

As Dan Savage says, since we're all part of that community and its small, it isn't fair to 'ex-communicate' someone from it (without serious cause). His suggestion is rather than completely avoid the person you acknowledge them and the situation. If/when you run into the person you state out loud about the awkwardness. "whoa, this is awkward. Know its tough but we have friends in common so we may as well make the best of the situation. Let's just try to make it easier on both of us...."

Or some such, Dan said it much more eloquently I'm sure but you get the gist. She has no right to ex-communicate you from the same small community you both are a part of. We alternative lifestyle people need to try to remember its can be challenging for us all and help each other out.

And she always has the option of staying home

(I also really appreciate how Dan advised if anyone makes you choose between friends b/c they're upset about what a person did; he'd choose the one that didn't make him choose)
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:27 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Is Dan Savage the new Franklin Veaux?
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:13 AM
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AlbertaBea AlbertaBea is offline
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Default Ex boyfriend's wife doesn't want to share space

Thanks for the replies CG, Marcus and Delphinius.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
... is there any *other* motivation? Are you feeling territorial or vengeful?

I am not saying that you are having these feelings it's just that, for me I would want to very closely examine my side of the street before I started telling someone to mind their own business.
I have been considering my motivations a bit. I am still hurt/angry about staying in the other night. I'm feeling accepting of the consequences that my going to the campout may have on my relationship with Tommy. I am feeling a bit territorial of my friends. I could see myself feeling lonely at the campout if, for example, Jordan is talking to someone I want to talk to. There will be times there that I'll be uncomfortable, but I've been in those situations before. If you date everyone at the party, you're bound to have some awkwardness there!

I'm so isolated and lonely because of my job and location, I need to take this time to see my friends. Tonight I'm asking a close friend if she'll camp with me and be my moral support if anything shitty goes down. I'm gonna try and camp out of sight from Jordan and Tommy and I'll DEFINITELY not be talking to anyone at the campout about the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphinius View Post
She has no right to ex-communicate you from the same small community you both are a part of. We alternative lifestyle people need to try to remember its can be challenging for us all and help each other out.
I agree with you. Jordan is newer in the community and I've had a few friends express willingness to stop inviting her to stuff. I asked them not to do this because I believe that Jordan has the right to pull support from our amazing community just as much as I do. My experience with her is in a unique context and doesn't have anything to do with how our mutual friends will experience her friendship.

So far, she hasn't tried to exclude me in indirect ways - which I'm grateful for. I don't think she could ex-communicate me if she tried. People only get excommunicated from our scene for violence and I've put about 10 years of energy into building my alternative friend circle. Jordan is just laying the foundation of her role in the community and I doubt any of my friends would accommodate her by not inviting me. Having heard her arguments against me straight from her, I know how ridiculous her reasoning on this topic sounds - and I know how reasonable our friends are :-P

It would be great if we just got along!
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:34 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is online now
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Sounds like high school drama to me.

Who the frick cares what she wants. Stop letting others have control over your life.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:46 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagferi View Post
Sounds like high school drama to me.

Who the frick cares what she wants. Stop letting others have control over your life.
I was just about to say the same thing. (this might be interpreted as "dogpiling" or "ganging up" on the "newbie" but all it is is two or more people who agree. #preempt #tiredofbeinglecturedforthesakeofwank)

You are giving this person way too much power. She made her husband break up with you; she is not someone you need to consider. You do not gain anything by walking on eggshells around her.

So, she might be talking to someone you want to talk to. She going to talk to that person all night? If yes, then that person must be really into her, and probably wouldn't be into you quite so much anyway. Talk to someone else instead. She can't be in more than one place at a time. If this is a "big campout event" and you have been invited by "multiple people", I fail to recognize the dilemma. It isn't like it's someone's wedding and you're both asked to be brides-maids or something.

It's been my experience that when I have wanted to avoid someone, and I choose to attend an event at which that individual will be present, it usually turns out that the person I want to avoid is equally or more determined to avoid ME, and I don't have to do anything I wouldn't ordinarily do anyway.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:22 AM
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No idea why you've let this woman control your life.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:54 AM
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AlbertaBea AlbertaBea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
You are giving this person way too much power. She made her husband break up with you; she is not someone you need to consider. You do not gain anything by walking on eggshells around her.
I don't see it like that. She did have a role in why we broke up, but she didn't make anyone do anything - we're all accountable for our actions. As such, I may not need to be considerate of her, but I can be considerate of her in all the ways I'm considerate of everyone (when I'm not wrapped up in my own shit). Like it or not, our spirits have crossed paths and we've encountered each other and we'll never forget each other. I'm writing the memories I'll look back on in fifty years, so why shouldn't I be considerate of that by not being a jerk to everyone I disagree with? I want to be proud of my history.

She doesn't take disappointment well and I don't walk on eggshells around her. She does not have any control over me. I won't accommodate her and that's the source of our drama. I'm not inflexible about much so it's a big deal for me to maintain the boundary of "you don't get to tell me what to do" by being uncompromising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
So, she might be talking to someone you want to talk to. She going to talk to that person all night? If yes, then that person must be really into her, and probably wouldn't be into you quite so much anyway. Talk to someone else instead. She can't be in more than one place at a time. If this is a "big campout event" and you have been invited by "multiple people", I fail to recognize the dilemma. It isn't like it's someone's wedding and you're both asked to be brides-maids or something.

It's been my experience that when I have wanted to avoid someone, and I choose to attend an event at which that individual will be present, it usually turns out that the person I want to avoid is equally or more determined to avoid ME, and I don't have to do anything I wouldn't ordinarily do anyway.
I already made up my mind to go. I want to manage the situation gracefully. I have some anxiety about potential drama and with good reason in this case.

I appreciate you sharing your experience, but I have to say I can see why you may be #anxiousaboutgettinglectured. I felt defensive responding to you. That first paragraph about ganging up on the newbie introduced your reply as a condescending criticism. It's like when a person says, "No offense, but...[you're fat.], [you have no ears.], [etc.]." I'm not looking for a flame war, I just want you to know how your tone came off to me so you can consider reframing the #tiredofbeinglectured issue you wrote about.
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