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Old 04-17-2014, 08:54 PM
BillNIndy BillNIndy is offline
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Unhappy Need Advice - Very... very weird situation

I am in a V with a married woman. Prior to engaging in a relationship with Boo (37), I asked her husband Thinker (54) for his blessing to begin dating his wife. D was very accepting and eager for me to date her.

Thinker & Boo had discussed their desire to live life poly. (As it turns out, Boo is poly, Thinker is more "swinger" -- really can't handle the emotional attachments)

Boo and I began dating and quickly found that we were amazingly compatible and had so much in common that we connected emotionally extremely quickly. (Soon followed by a physical connection after we both were tested for STIs, etc.)

After our feelings for each other began to turn from "wow" to "love", Thinker began to feel very threatened by Boo's love for me. He asked me to "bow out" because I was starting to cause problems with their marriage. Boo and I discussed this because I felt that she should have a say in this decision since it's her life and our relationship was not his to control (Boo and Thinker neither have VETO power).

After talking to Boo, we decided that what we have is too significant to toss aside and we both really want to see where our relationship will take us. Boo believes in not having "primary" and "secondary" relationships. She and I both believe that labeling relationships can make one seem more valuable than the other, which is not the point for us. Each relationship, while unique, has equal value to our lives.

So, since Boo and I decided not to stop seeing each other, Thinker kind of .... well, no not kind of... REALLY went off the deep end. Thinker is a psycho-therapist and is very cerebral.

He began getting increasingly manic.. He started by being very manipulative then turned to blaming Boo for his downward spiraling mental health. He became verbally and emotionally abusive towards her. He took her daughter to a hotel (without Boo's knowledge and consent) because he said that Boo's decision to continue seeing me was poor judgment and was tired of Boo's daughter being exposed to it and to her being "absent" even when she was home. He "diagnosed" me after only meeting me a few times for a few minutes and began spouting out how I have some major psychological issues and trying to convince Boo that I really didn't love her because I am "a sociopath" and that I am unable to have real emotions, etc.... (very, very weird stuff -- You should see the e-mails...)

He would do things like be in the car with Boo and they would start talking about the issues and about our relationship and he would lliterally stop the car, get out and RUN down the street, leaving Boo in the passenger seat of the car.

He dropped to the floor in Wal-Mart like a 2 year old, lying on his stomach, hitting the ground with his fists and kicking and screaming because Boo would not quit seeing me...... (this is a 54 year old man we are talking about....) People from aisles all around were coming to see what was going on and if this man was ok, which infuriated and embarrassed Boo to no end.

Thinker had finally decided that since we would not stop, we were now having an "illicit affair".

Boo kept trying to work on things with Thinker. Thinker eventually stayed at a friend's house for 3-4 weeks, and Boo would go over there almost daily to visit with him and try and work on these issues and get him to realize that she IS NOT going to stop seeing me and that she DOES NOT want to lose him, but she can't/won't NOT live Poly.

It never really got better from here. Boo & I were spending the weekend last weekend at a friend of her &thinkerD's house celebrating her daughter's birthday party. (with Thinker's knowledge that I was there --- although he wasn't thrilled about it, but Boo's daughter really wanted me there) Thinker was very upset/manic on Sunday morning and tracked down Boo and I at the grocery store simply to say he was "done" and he wanted a divorce. He said that he would move the rest of his stuff from their apartment, he no longer considered her his wife, he took 1/2 of their joint savings, etc. That's the end of it. Boo was very sad to hear this, but after all that he had put her through over the past few weeks, she was almost numb to this news... it was a "relief" in many ways.

He called us up after that interaction and told us that he told the home owners (where we were staying for the weekend) about our "affair" and that how I was there disrespecting their house and how I had these mental illnesses, etc. and that the home owners wanted me to leave their house IMMEDIATELY and that they wanted T and her daughter to leave as soon as they got the place clean.

Boo was devastated/pissed off about all of this. She felt that Thinker was out telling lies on her and sharing her personal business with people that had no reason to know. We left and that was that......

The next day (Monday), Thinker asked to meet Boo for breakfast to discuss some things concerning the end of their marriage. Boo agreed to go see him yet again. When they met, Thinker was (as Boo put it) "back to normal" and very calm. He said that he "releases her" from her wifely responsibilities, no longer considers them a couple, but wants to keep her in his life (he'd rather have something with her than nothing).

So, he has proposed: He will be her 'sugar daddy'... For companionship and sex, he will pay her bills. They will remain legally married until one or the other decides that they don't want it anymore. Boo & Thinker will go to relationship counseling together to learn how to better communicate with each other (at Thinker's expense)

Boo's agreed to this at this point because Thinker is acting "like his old self". I am SOOOOO hesitant about this whole thing.

I feel like Thinker screwed up his chance with Boo. If for no other reason, the manipulation, verbal and emotional abuse that she has had to endure from him. I understand that Boo is a very loving, compassionate and forgiving woman.... But I don't understand her willingness... idk. Not to mention the complete disrespect for/towards me.

If I ever dated someone that treated a partner of mine with the contempt/disrespect that I felt from him.... That'd be the end of that. All of my partners in my eyes are equals. You don't have to be friends, but you sure as hell aren't going to disrespect each other and put me in an emotional tight spot and try to FORCE me to pick YOUR side, which is exactly what Thinker had done to Boo.

So, I had spent yesterday/last night with Boo and I am spending tonight at her house as well. Before I came to work, it was important that all of my stuff was put up because Thinker was coming over... She didn't want it out for him to see. (For her own reasons)

Although their marriage is "over" according to them both, they are spending every day together (at least in some portion - she spent about an hour at his house yesterday while I sat at her apartment alone) since they decided it was "over".

So, these are my thoughts/concerns/questions:
1. He still has her ear on a daily basis to "plant seeds" of his contempt for me. (Boo says she doesn't allow him to speak ill of me and I believe it... But that doesn't make me feel better.)

2. If their marriage is over, why do they continue to be around each other daily?

3. Why/How can she forgive him for putting her through what he didn't her, her daughter or for treating me the way he did?

4. They're staying "legally married" .... which would prevent us from ever taking that step if we wanted to in the future.

5. Why do I feel like I am still playing "second fiddle" to him? I mean, he knows I'm there... why hide my stuff in the closet so he doesn't see it? Why walk on eggshells? I feel like she's hiding our relationship just so she can keep hi from "dealing" with it.

6. How can I convey this all to her.... all my thoughts on the situation... without sounding like I'm telling her WHAT to do. She's a grown woman. I'm not JEALOUS -- I've processed that much. I am upset with him. I dislike the person he is. I feel he's been horrible towards my girlfriend. He doesn't deserve to spend time with such an amazing woman. But, it's her choice.


ANYHOW... Sorry this was sooooo long, but I've been bottling this up kinda.. I've talked to Boo about it some, but not completely. I don't want her to think that I'm trying to control her or convince her to make a decision to cut him out... Please --- any help/advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Last edited by BillNIndy; 04-17-2014 at 11:25 PM. Reason: To change initials to nicknames... Sorry I'm not real creative with nicknames
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2014, 09:23 PM
jayt jayt is offline
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You can not control either of them... can you live with / accept the situation as is or not? If others behavior is harmful to you, you have to withdraw. Any person who wants to be with you, must take the action needed to do so.

You just don't have any control over what they choose to do.

Its a really sad situation
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:26 PM
WhatToDo WhatToDo is offline
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Run, don't walk yourself out of this situation. He's definitely not stable and I have my doubts about her state of mind as well. Until their marriage issues are fixed or she's out of that situation it doesn't seem like its a safe thing for you to be involved in.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:46 PM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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Have you communicated all of this to her? If not, I'd let her read it. It's organized, thought out, and shows how/what you're thinking. If you haven't made it perfectly clear to her how it makes you feel to hide your things or know she's spending time with someone who is so disrespectful, then you need to.

If you have, then maybe you need to consider the fact that she used to LOVE this man. Hell, she probably still does. People do crazy things for love, and putting up with his bad behaviour for a bit may be the crazy thing she is willing to do to keep him in her life. You're upset that he's disrespecting you and discounting your relationship, yet you seem to have no respect at all for the love, affection, and relationship that they have built for (... I don't know how long...). Am I justifying his behaviour? No, but you're judging a man based on things he said and did during an incredibly difficult time of emotional upheaval for him. If this situation works for the two of them, then leave it be. If it doesn't work for you, explain why and let her make a decision. After she does that, you can decide whether to stay or go. That's it.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:12 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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(It's easier for us to follow if you use nicknames instead of initials)

Old habits die hard. People who are married for a long time share huge parts of their life together. They're parenting a child together. Those aren't things to be thrown away casually. It sounds like you took their blow-out as your chance to move in and set yourself up. That might come back to bite you. Choosing to keep you is not the same as choosing to leave him.

She can only forgive him for what he's done to her, not what he's done to you. Forgiving him for what he did to you is your role, or not, as you choose.

Harboring hate and anger only hurts yourself. I can fully appreciate T's willingness to forgive him and try to continue having an amicable relationship. Holding grudges never does anyone a bit of good.

I can appreciate that having your stuff hidden out of the way doesn't meet your need for acceptance. But you know what he's like. Can you really blame her for taking steps to avoid dealing with his anger if it can be avoided with a bit of housekeeping? I don't know the time scale all this happened on, but it doesn't sound like you wasted much time taking advantage of his absence. For whatever reason, they've chosen to remain married. They might even choose to get back together and resume their full marital relationship. Respecting her autonomy means accepting that choice.

So you have choices. You can forgive him yourself and try to heal from the damage he caused you mentally. You can refuse to forgive him and continue holding on to your anger. You can stay with her and accept that putting up with his behaviour might be "the price of admission." You can choose not to put up with his behaviour and avoid any and all contact with him. You can choose to take that a step further by ending your relationship with her.

I don't disagree that there are some potential signs of abuse. However, the thing about abusive situations is the receiver has to be the one to see it for themselves, and pushing them towards a specific action is more likely to alienate them than help them. The best thing you can do is stand by her side, support her choices, and help her deal with any issues as they arise. If she's already got an abusive husband, the last thing she needs is another boyfriend telling her what to do.

It's reasonable to be upset with him. But your anger is your own, the result of your thought patterns. You can choose to be angry or you can choose to forgive. Staying angry is unlikely to help the situation. Involving her in your anger is unlikely to improve things either, and it places an unfair burden on her. She's not the one who behaved that way, she was caught in the middle of it. I would be wary of bringing it up as it would be difficult not to present it as a guilt-trip.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:22 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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If I were you I would walk away. If and when she chooses to leave her abusive relationship, divorce and get herself daughter safe I would stay away for her benefit. This guy sounds dangerous and your presence in her life sounds like it's causing her a lot of trouble. I would never be in a situation where I had to tiptoe around and hide my things. Either we are out ad proud or there is no relationship
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:52 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am so sorry. This does not sound healthy. I would walk away.

If you decide you stay involved in someone degree perhaps these help you. An abused person sometimes goes through various stages before making a permanent break. Scroll down the stages links. There is info at the end of each stage article for friends and family of the abused person.

http://www.speakoutloud.net/contact-me/questions/

This also might help you/ her identify some of these behaviors into categories.


https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...rch%202014.pdf

This might help explain the cycle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_of_abuse

If she has been living with this a long time and it has been her "normal" she may not label it abusive.

Where you are getting first looks at it so it is clearly over the top to you.

You might seek counseling for yourself to help you think out your next steps because to me this goes beyond the scope of internet strangers' advice. If you decide to stay you also will need support of your own because you cannot ask your GF at this time. One kvetches out, and comforts in. She is handling one loopy dude, she does not need to have you bearing down on her also adding to her burden. Maybe she wants to attend counseling herself solo or with you.

Remember she may not be fully healthy herself. I have friends who have been in those shoes. One told me that when she was in it, she was not able to see how bad it was. It was not until she left and had time to heal that she could see how bad it had been.

Hang in there. I hope you are all safe. He does not sound stable.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-18-2014 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:09 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is online now
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Can you expand on what the timeframes for all of this were/are?

It may not matter.
But it seems to me that it would effect my suggestions.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:19 AM
BillNIndy BillNIndy is offline
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Thank you ALL for your helpful input! I appreciate it greatly. In all fairness to everyone involved (Thinker, Boo and myself) - there are other details to the story that are not in the OP. some good... some bad... it's just a lot to try and write in a story that would keep people's attention without making a novel. What was listed were the "key highlights" that led to where we are today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayt
can you live with / accept the situation as is or not?
That is exactly what I'm working out at the moment. I am pretty sure I can.. It's just something I have to wrap my mind around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysGrowing
Have you communicated all of this to her?
I did this evening when I got back to her place from work and before she went out. We talked about it and she understands how I feel the way I feel and she also understands that I am not trying to control her or tell her what to do/how to feel. - She still wants to read this post when she gets back home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysGrowing
If you have, then maybe you need to consider the fact that she used to LOVE this man. Hell, she probably still does. People do crazy things for love, and putting up with his bad behaviour for a bit may be the crazy thing she is willing to do to keep him in her life. You're upset that he's disrespecting you and discounting your relationship, yet you seem to have no respect at all for the love, affection, and relationship that they have built for (... I don't know how long...). Am I justifying his behaviour? No, but you're judging a man based on things he said and did during an incredibly difficult time of emotional upheaval for him. If this situation works for the two of them, then leave it be. If it doesn't work for you, explain why and let her make a decision. After she does that, you can decide whether to stay or go. That's it.
She does love him, you can't turn that off. I understand that very well. Especially with her personality. We are very similar in that way, but where we differ is when I'm "done wrong", I am "done". She is very compassionate and forgiving -- even of people who have done her worse than this. I do have respect for the love they have. It does make sense, though that this is not the "norm" for him. This is something traumatic in his life and he's not himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
It sounds like you took their blow-out as your chance to move in and set yourself up. That might come back to bite you. Choosing to keep you is not the same as choosing to leave him.
I don't feel that I have. Things for us have not changed much since the beginning with the exception that we recently took a trip out of state together and spent nearly a week together (this was before the "final straw" for Thinker). I don't WANT her to feel like she needs to make a choice. I just want to understand her thoughts and feelings better. Fortunately, we are pretty good at communicating with each other.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
She can only forgive him for what he's done to her, not what he's done to you.

Can you really blame her for taking steps to avoid dealing with his anger if it can be avoided with a bit of housekeeping?
Agreed... and no.. I see your point, perhaps that thought/feeling was/is a bit petty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
it doesn't sound like you wasted much time taking advantage of his absence

However, the thing about abusive situations is the receiver has to be the one to see it for themselves, and pushing them towards a specific action is more likely to alienate them than help them. The best thing you can do is stand by her side, support her choices, and help her deal with any issues as they arise. If she's already got an abusive husband, the last thing she needs is another boyfriend telling her what to do.
I don't feel this is the case, not much has changed. We do spend a little more time together at the moment, but we grab what we can since we live an hour away from each other and are both parents with kids at home.

Agreed - She classifies it as abusive herself. (Albeit mental/emotional, not physical -- thank goodness) I want to stand by her side and support whatever choices she makes in life, but the protector in me feels strongly that she deserves better. But, ultimately, it is her choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
Involving her in your anger is unlikely to improve things either, and it places an unfair burden on her. She's not the one who behaved that way, she was caught in the middle of it. I would be wary of bringing it up as it would be difficult not to present it as a guilt-trip.
This is what I'm afraid of. I don't want her to feel bad about it, but the feelings I have are inadvertantly carried over in my demeanor from time to time when something triggers them. She is extremely intuitive and picks up on these quickly. So, when she asks what is wrong, it's not an option to say, "nothing" -- she knows better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo
If and when she chooses to leave her abusive relationship, divorce and get herself daughter safe
I have to state that only the past 6 weeks or so have been mentally/emotionally abusive and her daughter is always physically safe (I don't think he'd ever intentionally hurt her, although he's drug her into the middle of the "adult" problems of their marriage and her polyamory)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl
If she has been living with this a long time and it has been her "normal" she may not label it abusive. Where you are getting first looks at it so it is clearly over the top to you.

You might seek counseling for yourself to help you think out your next steps because to me this goes beyond the scope of internet strangers' advice. If you decide to stay you also will need support of your own because you cannot ask your GF at this time. One kvetches out, and comforts in. She is handling one loopy dude, she does not need to have you bearing down on her also.
GalaGirl -- this site would be completely different without you (and not in a good way... haha) - She has been in mentally abusive relationships previously and has vowed never to let that happen again, but as her nature is to forgive, she has forgiven those men and has even continued friendships with them. As far as this relationship is concerned, it's only been about 6 weeks of "crazy" stuff.

I mentioned to her the other day about possibly her and I going to couples counseling as a preventative measure. While I think overall we are in a good place, I think that people tend to go to counseling as a reactive measure instead of a proactive measure. She's on board with the counseling idea. There are a couple of poly-friendly counselors in our area, so I am checking into that. I hadn't really considered going to a counselor individually for myself, but that may not be a bad idea either.

You make a good point. I don't want to burden her with my feelings because I don't want to come off as being bossy/manipulative/controlling, etc. But, I do still need to be able to communicate with her about my feelings. I worry that (and this is why it is hard to talk about it with her) if I tell her how I feel but maybe use the wrong words it could really push her into a bad place emotionally. I want to make sure that when I do communicate with her that she knows that where I am coming from is ALWAYS a place of love and supprot and not a place of control or demand. Having someone I could talk to professionally may allow me to figure out exactly how to phrase things (or maybe counseling as a couple would help that as well)

I even suggested (but I don't know if it is even possible) that somehow, someway, we could all use the same counselor for some therapy so that the therapist has a "complete picture" of the entire situation. I thought it would be nice for say... Boo and I to go on Monday and maybe Thinker and Boo go on Wednesday... But, I think there are ethics issues with professional counselors that would prevent that and Thinker is not in a place where he even would want to be in the same room as I am (so all at 1 time is wayyy out of the question).

Anyhow --- thank you all! I truly appreciate all of the feedback, even if it is stuff that is hard to hear. I appreciate this forum to have a place to come and use you guys as a sounding board and being able to have people chime in and offer a different way of looking at things than I have. You all are great people and I love being here!
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:24 AM
BillNIndy BillNIndy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Can you expand on what the timeframes for all of this were/are?

It may not matter.
But it seems to me that it would effect my suggestions.
LOL.. Very quickly. All happened within 2 months.
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