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  #11  
Old 03-22-2014, 02:27 PM
elemental elemental is offline
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Default Lily

Thanks Arrow, I like your posts on here. respect.

When I returned home I could see the relief and desperation in Cinders eyes. It was too much too soon. Cinder is an emotional woman and despite her best intentions couldn’t deal with the emotional load of having me away with Raven, it brought up too much for her. Being back we were able to reconnect physically and emotionally and that made most things better. Our physical connection was the bedrock of our connection, and being able to “make love” usually supplanted the awkward and difficult emotions that came with the processing. I had a lot of respect for Cinder for even trying to make it work a second time, and could let go of her reactiveness while I was away. What bothered me was her justifying her behavior, as if it was her right to freak out on me. There was little in the way of objective self-analysis, of stepping outside of her experience to see what her actions had done to me and Raven. This was a common occurrence in my experience of Cinder, that her emotional over reaction was always justifiable, and that it should have no repercussions. I generally accept people as they are, and do not actively try and change them, either we can work together or we can’t. I always felt Cinder angling for change, always attempting to tweak my personality to be more copasetic to her. It became a sore point in our relations over time, and had a direct impact on my base desire for her. My experience also raised a lot of red flags in terms of Cinders desire to control all aspects of my interactions with other women. It would be something I would look out for in the future, and found myself being more guarded and emotionally withdrawn in our processing and emotional interaction.

With Raven out of the picture again, Cinder was on the hunt again. After an abortive attempt at a 4some, she found Lily on OKC. Lily was an experienced Bi lady, again much younger than I. A talented and bubbly type, her and Cinder got along famously. Lily and I also got on, and Lily was also practicing a more committed form of poly, involved in local poly groups and the D/s scene. We had several dates together and talked extensively about our experience with Raven and others. Lily had quite a lot of opinions on poly, and had done a lot of the emotional work around it. I found her to fun and kind of refreshing. One of the things we all agreed upon was the need to have independent relationships with each other, as well as the triad dynamic. At this point we had all agreed on independent communication as well. I was proud of the work Cinder and I had done up to this point around these issues, we had made great progress in some regards. Cinder and Lily also had a deeper personal connection so I think that also helped things along, Cinder liked to feel “in control”.

So we started dating Lily, together and independently. Lily and I had a few independent dates, and although we connected in a friendly way, I didn’t feel that rush of chemistry, it was just one of those things. Maybe she was too much like Cinder? I just wasn’t feeling it. Later when things went badly Cider said it was because Lily wasn’t falling all over me, but that wasn’t it. We just didn’t connect in that way independently, and I didn’t put too much into it. Lily and I did have great conversations though about my relationship with Cinder and Raven, and the dynamic between Cinder and I. We discussed at length my struggles around my perception of Cinder’s need for control and emotional manipulation. She appeared to be supportive and concerned, even forwarding me articles that explained or dynamic in archetype detail. She did not approve of Cinders relationship “management” style, at least to me. Her Interactions with Cinder where very different, and they developed a deepening connection. I got the feeling that Lily was playing both sides of the fence, and began to distance myself from a deeper personal connection with her. She was dating multiple people at the time as well and didn’t really have time for me, which was fine. We just let things run its course, and had a triad in name only.

Cinder continued to bring the odd lady into our lives, with the usual dynamic playing out. It seemed to me, even with the appearance of more interactive freedoms on my side of the experience, things only worked if Cinder was at the pinnacle of the triad. This dynamic was seriously wearing on me, and I could see how this also played out in the structure of our marriage. The veil was starting to lift and I became increasingly anxious in my daily life. I was struggling and no amount of processing around finite details seemed to work, I think Cinder could sense my unease, and it created an impatience in her and intensified her focus on my personality, and how I could fix it. She had become increasingly intolerant of certain foibles of mine and continually told me I was stretching her beyond her limit, and alluded to some “breaking point” after which there would be no coming back from. I felt more and more under pressure to change something fundamentally inside myself and I had no idea what it was or how to do it.
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2014, 03:36 AM
elemental elemental is offline
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Default Third times the charm

Cinder ended up breaking it off with the married man who had no time for her and starting up with another fella she met while we were at a poly meet up with Lily. He kept staring at us/her the whole night, and as he left she ran out to give him her number. She was always taking the lead in that way, doing what she felt was right for her. I guess she felt entitled to pursue another guy as she felt my relationship with Lily entitled her to also have independent relationships. I considered us as “open” so felt like if that was what she wanted then I was able to finding my own girlfriend. But like all things that was not the case. I wanted my own profile on OKC, and the ability to choose a suitable secondary, but of course that came with all kinds of processing of uncomfortable emotions from her end of things. It kind of sucked being non possessive and not a jealous person by nature to be partnered up with someone so very insecure and controlling. It meant that I would never have the freedoms I could happily grant my partner, and I had difficulty letting go of my resentment. She played the “uncomfortable emotion” card so much it was difficult to be excited about meeting new people, as I didn’t want to subject others to this kind of drama and top heavy processing that my relationship dictated.

So I was in a tight place. Cinder was pursuing relations with Lily and the new guy, and I was left to have a non-connected casual thing with Lily. It didn’t sit well with me. I kind of withdrew and let her have her fun, feeling a little bit burnt from what had transpired with Raven. Cinder could sense (we also talked about it) my unhappiness, and suggested a solution. Why don’t I have Raven for just my secondary?

Are you fucking kidding me?

Yes, Cinder just floated out there that I should consider Raven as my girlfriend. We already had the chemistry, the connection, and from her perspective, Raven was again the known entity. I had broken up with her twice for Cinder, and now she was dangling her in my face again. WTF? At first I said no, no way. I was not going to put us through that again, any of us. But Cinder has a charismatic way, and convinced me that things could be different this time. And like a fool I believed her. What would Raven say? Turns out (again) that her and Cinder had been in touch, and had discussed the possibility. Raven loves me, and wanted a chance to be in my life, without Cinder in a Triad. It took some persuading, but eventually it looked like this was going to happen, Raven and I talked on the phone, contact rules were lifted and shifted. Was this what she wanted? Seems like she was willing to try. And Cinder? She promised me that things would be different this time…. We’ll see. I knew there was a high probability of disaster, but I liked Raven and our connection, and saw the potential in it. It should be fun right? Why we do this? To bring more fun and sex and love into our lives? It was never a merry-go-round of people collecting for me. I have a hard time making connections and then just dumping people at the first sign of trouble. I hated the idea that someone could veto another. I struggled with the hierarchy. I had to think a lot about this, was it worth it?

Cinder assured me all was good. We had a pretty good communication going after 5 ½ years together. We went over all our concerns, and re-affirmed our commitment to each other. With good dialogue and processing we could make anything work right? In the back of my mind I knew it was a bad idea, but somehow convinced myself that yes, this time could be different. I knew that Cinder was at times unstable and prone to mood shifts, but thought things could be different this time.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2014, 02:10 AM
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newtoday newtoday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemental View Post
I have a hard time making connections and then just dumping people at the first sign of trouble. I hated the idea that someone could veto another. I struggled with the hierarchy. I had to think a lot about this, was it worth it?
Hi Elemental. I'm captivated by your story. I've been on the secondary side of a similar relationship disintegration for 4 years. Yes, 4 years. 2 years of heaven. 2 more of pure hell.

I connect with your struggles as noted above in vetoing another person. I connect with your struggles with hierarchy. I value Truth and believe in Consequence and hence LOVE the title of your blog. I , too, am living with telling the truth and the collateral consequences on all sides for being the only truthful person in our 'relationship'. But the truth had to be told. The lies , to spare the primary, were slowly killing me.

And a funny thing about your story, my (now former) boyfriend, used to passionately and tenderly call me his Raven Haired Goddess. I'm heartbroken for him. I miss him. I will love him and desire him like no other for the rest of my life. He and I believed we had a very rare chemistry and connection that could last a lifetime. But the emotional terrorism of his significant other and his deception designed to spare him more of her horrific meltdowns was not something I could stand in my life any longer.

If you're interested, you'll find a brief view of my 2 year hell in the link below in posts 43 and 45. A view from the Veto'd side.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69142


I look forward to reading more of your story.
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2014, 01:44 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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I am following your story with great interest. I love the way you write. It has pulled me in and caught my attention.

This:

Quote:
So there is light at the end of a very dark time in my life. And love, intimacy, respect, redemption.
When you get to that light, it is the best feeling. I found joy at the end of a very dark tunnel. Nobody can take it away from me because I fought for it. I made some shitty choices, and I walked the path of redemption in order to get the familiarity of love, intimacy, and respect back. The journey has made me a better person.

Regardless of what you did in the past, you cannot undo it or any hurt you caused. You can only go forward and learn from the mistakes. If you have not, forgive yourself for whatever you think you did wrong.

You have been through a lot in the bit that you have shared. I do hope writing is cathartic and a healthy outlet for you. You never know who may take something from your experiences. I hope you are doing well, and I look forward to following your story.

Ry
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Mr. Grey - The once distant stranger that I complement beautifully. DH of 12 years and father of our (3) children.
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2014, 11:43 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Yes, please keep sharing. I am sure it is good for you to get it out and let people know your side of the story.
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Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2014, 04:53 AM
elemental elemental is offline
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Default here and now

Thanks everyone for the kind words and support. It is a very challenging time for sure in the present, and reliving it here has brought up a lot of the old hurt. But my effort is to do it one last time, get it out of me and into the public record, if only in an anonymous sense, although some here will know me, of me, and our story, albeit from a different perspective.

NewToday – I looked into your story, and it does have some stark reminders for me. “Emotional terrorism” is a good term. I did create deceptions to try and mitigate Cinders emotional episodes, and that’s on me. There were so many other instances throughout our relationship that were like that not related to poly that I can think of where I self-edited or capitulated out of fear of emotional reprisal. I see it as a form of abuse now. Lies are like the strangling weeds that choke out the garden.

FullofLove- I have regrets, and many lessons to learn. But I am who I am and those mistakes were made honestly and without malice. In the tangle of a broken open relationship, things are seldom black and white. I look forward to owning my shit and becoming a better man. My life depends on it. I am working hard to forgive myself, and Cinder. I will, I must forgive, but I will never forget. We are coming up to a more complicated section of our story and there will be more self-examination for sure.

NYCindie – Thanks for your support. Yes it is good to get my experience out there. I hope peeps can take something from these experiences.

Things have been challenging lately. Work has been intense, 6 days a week, which is a lot of construction. I have had some contact with Cinder lately, trying to hammer out the last of our separation agreement. It’s been typical of Cinder to be constantly changing the parameters of our agreements, which is something I have been expecting, but it still hard. Getting ready for a big move into my own place, with basically nothing, I am faced with rebuilding my whole life. I have been missing Cinder and our life together a lot, but it is good to interact with her and be reminded of the reality vs the ideals of her that lives in my head. It’s pretty hard.

Been taking a break from dating these days with so much going on, keeping things on a friendly casual basis. Everyone has been super understanding of my situation and time constraints. It’s been good to be involved with people who are emotionally responsible, a good reminder moving forward.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2014, 05:58 AM
elemental elemental is offline
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Default beginning of the end

So, here we go again. In hindsight it was the beginning of the end. It was the death of my ideals around my relationship with Cinder, The things that transpired over the next 6 months. It was one of the hardest and most draining times of my life, and I have been through some shit.

Our dynamic was this- Cinder had Lily and “Willy” in her life, and I was to have Raven as my secondary. We set out some ground rules about sleepovers, time together. All of these relationships where with people not in our community so it was going to be pretty easy to control time and space. Raven came back into our lives, and we did initially spend three days together and re initiate our intimacy, together. Almost immediately Cinder was raising the idea that Raven should move in with us, which R and I thought was ludicrous, but Cinder’s way. When we flat out rejected that it seemed to irk Cinder. She didn’t like her ideas being rejected offhand. It was September, the start of Raven’s last semesters of school, and likely her time near our home. Cinder liked to remind me of this and put an end date of our relationship, which I felt was weird, but knew better than to rock her boat. Generally I would reflective listen and neither agree or disagree. It was a limbo of listening but worked to keep out the fighting and disagreements. Right off the bat the personality differences between R and C started to come up again. I guess I was the hinge in the V between the two of them, and tried to mitigate and translate emotion and purpose between the two of them. It was a lot of work.

A pattern developed. Cinder was committed to weekends in the city, completing some holistic training she was doing. This meant she was gone every weekend. It was Raven and I’s only chance to see each other, except for the very occasional weeknight, so she would make the trek out to see me and sleep over most weekends. We would hang out, sex it up, dinner. It was a nice time and we had a lot of fun. Our time together usually involved zero emotional processing which was nice. I was working a full 40h/week and also trying to renovate a vacation cabin nearby that Cinder and I had bought together earlier in the year, so my Saturday nights and Sunday mornings where my only down time and for about 6 weeks I spent them with raven, because Cinder was away. Sometime she was staying with Willy, sometimes Lily, sometimes just friends. Lily and I didn’t see much of each other anymore.
As those six weeks progressed, Cinder began to get more agitated with the time I was spending with Raven. Jealousy? She began to find fault with raven, and their limited interaction together. Cinder would seize upon a perceived fault of Raven’s and harp upon it, question it, ferret it out. I don’t know why she did this. It made Raven and I pretty uncomfortable. We would talk about it sometimes, question the intensity of cinder’s behaviour. But we loved her, even Raven in her own way and tried to be understanding and supportive. Raven struggled with Cinder’s judgement and emotional intensity, and I encouraged her to write it all down in an email. That way maybe they could start a dialogue and work out a basis of understanding. I was trying to be peacemaker.

I had accepted Willy as my metamour, we even spent some time together playing cards. We had some double dates, and all got along pretty well. He was very different than me, kind of a nerd ( I love nerds) very slight, not very masculine. I liked him, and could see he was becoming pretty attached to Cinder. Lily was pretty out of the picture for both of us, dating up a storm in the big city. On a rare foray weeknight into the city I dropped Cinder off at Willies place before having a date with Raven. I was a little late picking up Cinder, and she was pissed. It was the first inkling that she was not happy with my connection with raven, not at all. And I was about to find out how unhappy she was.

Cinder was furious I was late, and began blaming my relationship with Raven for a whole slew of perceived problems. I was not keeping up with the house work, I was not working on the cabin as much, Raven was a bad influence as well, she was lazy, drank too much etc.… I tried to use my communication skills to diffuse the situation, and it worked to an extent. I had become pretty good at navigating Cinders complicated emotional world. But at what cost to my own self-respect? How had the constant capitulation and caretaking affected my inner self? How much personal subjugation is too much? I am a dominant sort, alpha male. I found myself to be completely submissive emotionally to Cinder, and it did not sit well in my head or my heart. And I did it to myself, in a desperate attempt to make the woman I loved the most, who I had declared my life to, happy. But at what cost?

Around this time Cinder received Ravens email outlining her challenges with Cinders process and character. The whole thing blew up. Cinder went ballistic and off on an emotional bender. Things were already tense, and Cinder saw this not as an attempt to connect but as a character assassination. I tried to reason with her but that only made it worse. How dare I take her side! The switch had been thrown, Raven was again the enemy. All kinds of demands where leveled at me. Cinder made it clear I was to get in line and side with her in this tempest in a tea pot. But even the most trivial misunderstanding became world war 3. There was no mercy. Within the next few days Cinder had changed my phone number and forbid me from ever having contact with “that bitch” ever again. Things escalated so quickly. My phone. She changed my number. I lost all my contacts. I felt so grossly violated on so many levels. At the same time she dumped Willy, who as she said she could take him or leave him. He was way more into her than her him, so it was easy for her. I had, on the other hand, a real attachment to Raven, and to have in the space of a few day had her amputated from my life was heart breaking. Ultimatums where pronounced. If I ever contacted her again, we were through. Finished. Non-negotiable. I felt completely controlled and manipulated, depressed. Angry. We fought. I told her she was wrong on so many levels.

I was crushed. I felt so helpless in my own life. I felt I had no autonomy, no self-determination. In Cinders eyes it was a logical and justified move, so end of story. I was her man. Hers. Fuck that other Bitch. I felt like Chattel. Was I property? I had never felt more controlled, and of course I acted out. Rebelled.

I contacted Raven.
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:32 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I would also like to say that I am following your blog and finding a lot of worth in it. I hope that your life is settled again soon. IP
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2014, 11:30 AM
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RiverRose RiverRose is offline
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Hello Elemental,

Have to say that I am liking your blog, even though I feel so sad as I read it. Seriously hoping that you get some form of happy ending with Raven. Am I being silly for wishing for a fairytale ending for you? You certainly deserve it.

A guy I was dating recently was attempting to subtly manipulate and control me in an emotional way. We had several arguments in which things were twisted so that it seemed as though I was to blame. One occurred when I happened to mention that my little boy was awake and crying when he tried to talk to me by text. His reply was "ffs get a soundproof room?" He had barely known me and now he was making impatient and flippant comments about my son. I called him on it, and got the whole "hormonal, neurotic woman" line. Then my husband expressed his distaste about the comment, and he immediately backed down and apologised. He seemed to have a problem with any sort of feminist viewpoint as well. He went quiet after our last falling out, after he had moaned about me neglecting him when I had an exam and coursework assignment to work on for my degree. I had expressly told him that I would be unavailable for actual dates until those were out of the way. I was angry at him sulking like that, but hugely relieved as well. I have not heard from him since then, and I am more than happy with that.

So glad that you are out of that situation now, Elemental. Wishing you much future happiness.

RiverRose xxx.
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  #20  
Old 03-30-2014, 05:01 PM
elemental elemental is offline
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InfinitePossibilities - Thank you and much respect. I appreciate the type of Poly you are living and representing on here.

RiverRose - Thanks for your words. It seems there is all kinds of reasons for people to want to emotionally manipulate and control, even subtle things. Maybe I will start a post in the relationship section to address this more philosophically, I want to explore those experiences and stories more forensically. I am out of that situation largely, although the same dynamic keeps popping up as we seek to permanently separate our lives. We both have our patterns, I am so looking forward to one day soon discarding them for ever, and I hope she can too, I still love her so much, even after all the ugly things. When people hurt they do the worst, often to those closest to them.

I wish we could have bridged that gap but unfortunately we both came up short.

Let me speak of the ladies in my life, who support and sustain me. I am an intimate creature, whose heart speaks a language of physical contact and affection. I have found a need to be more emotionally careful for sure, and very clear about my boundaries and limitations coming out my marriage to Cinder. Luckily I have found some very understanding Adult friendships to help me along.

Raven - Raven and I are still friends. We talk regularly. She lives in another part of the country so obviously we don't see each other, but have maintained our connection and friendship, and still care deeply for each other.

Chiquita - Chiquita has been my friend and lover for over a year now, and she appears later in my story with Cinder. She is 33, a beautiful Finnish / Uruguayan mix. She lives in a nearby city and we have consistently been seeing each other a couple of times a month. She is Bi and we met through a threesome ( with Cinder ) and we kept seeing each other after Cinder and I split up for good. She is lovely and sexy and kind and gentle and sweet. I love her very much, and although we both recognize the impossibility of a more serious relationship we support each other and give each other the intimacy and emotional support that we both need.

Mz. Black - Mz. Black is an old friend that I recently became re-connected with, who is for the first time spreading her poly wings. She is 38, and an amazing mover and shaker in her fields of expertise. We are intimate, yet taking things slowly, as we are both very busy, but the time we have spent together has been wonderful and spirit sustaining. She is also located in a local big city.

Granny - Granny is 48, a local lady who I have connected with. She is fun and funny, and we have a lot of common interests. Yes she is a granny with two kids in their 20's, one with kids. She is probably the fittest 48 year old I have ever met, and so gorgeous and vivacious. We are friends and dating.

Dark Crystal - "Crystal" is another local lady, 43, a professional, who has an interest in a D/s relationship. We are negotiating the parameters of what that could look like, but right now it is all hypothetical. We'll see...

So I am dating. Not making promises I can't keep. Being honest. I still find I am flinchy about disclosing details, but am being up front with everyone. I am finding a place within myself where |I am becoming less invested with other peoples emotional reactiveness. I am learning to let go of things I have no control over... not that I would want that anyways. I let people know what is going on, and am open to questions. I will not over share or try and micro manage reactions. I want life to flow again, and let these relationships go where they want. I am done with the control and manipulations of the past.

I want to rediscover what it is to love, freely, honestly, with integrity.

Last edited by elemental; 03-30-2014 at 05:07 PM.
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