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  #141  
Old 06-27-2012, 12:35 PM
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Vetoes suck. That is why I have a personal rule to never get involved with someone who has a veto agreement with his SO. Whenever I meet or am approached by a partnered poly person, I ask lots of questions about this aspect of their existing relationship(s). My boundary is that no metamours will be allowed to make any decisions about how or if I conduct my relationships. They can have all the rules they want between them, and it's okay if some of them affect me (like in how much time we can spend together, how often, or something like that), but if anything that does affect me clashes with my own personal boundaries, I walk away and do not get involved. I don't need the drama or heartache. This is why I am more cautious about married guys. And why I think singles/solos need to establish a set of boundaries for themselves and not automatically kowtow to a couples' boundaries without discussion and negotiation.
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-27-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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  #142  
Old 06-27-2012, 12:36 PM
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Wow, I think we should "start fresh", meaning you can date other people as long as they're not the person you want to date, even though I have no personal problem with her? That just seems really emotionally immature and un-compassionate of her. And wimpy of him, since as you said he could have taken more of a stand about it.

If she's got these major control issues, and he's willing to let her run the show in regards to his outside relationships, you're netter off with it being over. Rather than feeling victimized by their messed up decision-making process, just remember that you in fact were the one that broke up with him. Try to think of that in an empowering sense -- you *chose* to walk away. Now it might have been nice to get it back, but in the end it was still your choice to leave in the first place. Your mileage may vary, but I feel like that could give you more of a sense of control over the situation.

Do your best to move on, and don't enter situations with a veto power in place next time. You're going to be ok.
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  #143  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Yes, I do think that 25 years together, financial support, marriage, all of it makes for a very different situation than yours.

WH. I agree with you. History, Tenure, Finances, Owning property, Children etc would tend to make the scales tilt to the Primary Relationship. I don't know that full equality would ever be possible based on those circumstances. But what CAN be equal is consideration and effort. Both partners given equal consideration for their needs. Both partners assured that equal effort will be put into making the relationship work.


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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
In part, I worry about him, too. He's very, very emotionally invested, although he himself told me from the start that he can't offer me any real future and I MUST keep myself open to someone who can and he knows it will end someday.
That's great 6 months in. I've heard that same line of reasoning from my boyfriend until the last several months. Now, 2 years into this, it's a different story.

My bf also said how I should keep myself open to someone who can offer me a full-time relationship. My arguement in reply was always that my time is so limited, single parent, demanding career, this was probably all that I could manage and that I didn't want anyone else, just him.

Now, his tune has changed.

It hurts him so much to think of me finding another love. Rather than, "I'd be sad to lose you but happy for you that you found someone to build a real future with", the context has turned to "You wouldn't cheat on me, would you?" and "I'd be devestated if you left me. Please stay in my world with me." The thoughts of me moving on makes him sad, depressed, his mood gets quite sullen.

And that's ok! I am Mono. I choose to be with one person. I am happy with that. He recognizes that my being Mono would mean moving away from him if I were to find another. And I love the fact that he's finally being REAL to me about his feelings. Honesty is so important! And it's brought us that much closer.

My point is, it's inevitable that in time, feelings and motivations will change. And in the spirit of poly, all parties must be willing to work through those changes and what they mean to each relationship.

If one is to truely embrace Poly (as I read on here over and over again), then one must be willing to adapt to those changes. If progression is limited, then why bother in the first place? It's hypocritcal. That form constitutes an Open Relationship rather than a polyamorous one. There's another forum for that.

Last edited by newtoday; 06-27-2012 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Submit vs Preview.
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  #144  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:28 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Wow, I think we should "start fresh", meaning you can date other people as long as they're not the person you want to date, even though I have no personal problem with her? That just seems really emotionally immature and un-compassionate of her. And wimpy of him, since as you said he could have taken more of a stand about it.

If she's got these major control issues, and he's willing to let her run the show in regards to his outside relationships, you're netter off with it being over. Rather than feeling victimized by their messed up decision-making process, just remember that you in fact were the one that broke up with him. Try to think of that in an empowering sense -- you *chose* to walk away. Now it might have been nice to get it back, but in the end it was still your choice to leave in the first place. Your mileage may vary, but I feel like that could give you more of a sense of control over the situation.

Do your best to move on, and don't enter situations with a veto power in place next time. You're going to be ok.
Thanks. Yeah, one of my friends kind of said the same thing. It's messed up that he's allowed to date, but not women he actually likes. Lovely.

And yes, there are things about the situation which reduce the sting.

1) He did want me back. On just a basic, instinctual level, he's attracted to me and would've been glad to see me.

2) I never 'capitulated' to being of secondary importance to her. When I came back, my new mindset was that she and I should be friends and get to know each other more in order to keep things peaceful and reduce insecurity and jealousy. I did not come back with the stance that "Okay, she matters more, and you can subordinate me to her." And I never did convey that that would be okay.

3) I know that she is a human being and that she may not have meant to be unfair or un-compassionate or whatever, but that maybe she is looking out for # 1 (which only makes sense). There aren't that many people -- even good people -- who don't put their own needs above others. At the same time, I still feel like I'm the more principled person here because, as the poly person she claims herself to be, she's taking the easy way out by saying 'no' to him dating me, and just being unnecessarily restrictive. If she disapproves of me as a person for him to date (and as I said, I'm the epitome of clean cut, even a colleague of hers who she's been friendly with in the past), I don't know who she can approve of...

Last edited by mercury; 06-27-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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  #145  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
3) I know that she is a human being and that she may not have meant to be unfair or un-compassionate or whatever, but that maybe she is looking out for # 1 (which only makes sense). There aren't that many people -- even good people -- who don't put their own needs above others. At the same time, I still feel like I'm the more principled person here because, as the poly person she claims herself to be, she's taking the easy way out by
There are other ways to look out for #1 without it being at the expense of others. There is compromise, communication. You said it best in an earlier post, "I'm struggling with this and will need alot of reassurance...."

I look out for #1 too. But I could never live with myself knowing that it hurt someone else.

Annabelmore is right. It was emotionally immature and uncompassionate of his girlfriend to do that.

And it was cruel and cowardly of him to let it happen.

You can and will do better next time.
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  #146  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:38 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Vetoes suck. That is why I have a personal rule to never get involved with someone who has a veto agreement with his SO. Whenever I meet or am approached by a partnered poly person, I ask lots of questions about this aspect of their existing relationship(s). My boundary is that no metamours will be allowed to make any decisions about how or if I conduct my relationships. They can have all the rules they want between them, and it's okay if some of them affect me (like in how much time we can spend together, how often, or something like that), but if anything that does affect me clashes with my own personal boundaries, I walk away and do not get involved. I don't need the drama or heartache. This is why I am more cautious about married guys. And why I think singles/solos need to establish a set of boundaries for themselves and not automatically kowtow to a couples' boundaries without discussion and negotiation.
None of us asked enough questions or even knew what we were doing. That's the danger of everyone being new to poly and just sort of "winging it."

At the same time, since *I* was willing to negotiate / create a peaceful situation even after the confusion, I think she could have been more open-minded too.

Thanks for your response!
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  #147  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:03 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for a minute. Let's see how this works:

So let's say my boyfriend and I have decided to try an open relationship. We're brand new to this, and when my boyfriend finds someone to date I struggle with jealousy. I'm willing to work on it, though, for myself and him and because I know it's not fair to this other person to just stop this experiment in its tracks. But ultimately the other relationship ends. She doesn't care for the situation as it stands now, and I am relieved because things were strained between me and boyfriend. Maybe after more time, more discussion, we can try again, because this is something I'd like to make work.

Several months pass. Maybe we're taking the time to discuss more and strengthen our own connection, maybe not. He doesn't date anyone else that I know of. Then suddenly he tells me that he got back in touch with the person he dated months ago. My stomach clenches. He didn't talk to me about this first, and now I have to decide how I feel about this. I take some time, a week, to really think about it and discuss the pros and cons with him, rather than just giving a gut reaction and shutting down lines of communication. Ultimately I decide I'm just not comfortable with what I feel is a step back towards a place I don't want to return to, dealing with that tension, and I ask him to please not re-start a relationship with this other person.

Now, perhaps this was not the girlfriend's thought process, but it's one possibility as it reflects the information given in mercury's posts. So, why is she the bad guy here? No, maybe she didn't have the perfect response of communication and willingness to work on her own issues within her relationship, but for a brand-new non-monogamous person, I think she did okay. I don't see her, from what we've been told, as being particularly cruel or immature. He boyfriend TOLD you he had thought about leaving her, you've said yourself you're very similar to her- of COURSE she sees you as a threat, with good reason! That's not HER fault, nor is it your fault. From what I can see it's the boyfriend who is not being the responsible one and is creating the drama in this situation. If he was going to abide by her wishes regarding who he dates, then he should have checked in with her before ever trying to reconnect with you. HE'S the one who created this situation, not her. I understand you're hurt and upset, and you have every right to be, but don't hold him up as this loyal, caring guy. If he REALLY cared HE'D be the one pushing for better communication among all of you, and making sure his relationship with his girlfriend is stable before adding someone else to the mix. You don't want to make him the bad guy because you care about him, and I get that, but besides wanting to still try an open relationship when she's not ready for it yet, I don't see how she did anything significantly out of line.

ETA: One more thing I thought of- this is one area where "open relationship" and "poly" are NOT the same! If he had feelings for you, that could have interfered with whatever agreement they had regarding what an "open relationship" meant. For many newbies, it's okay to casually date, but they're not ready to emotionally share their partner. Still shitty for you, but it doesn't make her the villain. The two of them need more communication and more understanding of their own boundaries before they date other people as well.
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 06-27-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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  #148  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:30 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate for a minute. Let's see how this works:

So let's say my boyfriend and I have decided to try an open relationship. We're brand new to this, and when my boyfriend finds someone to date I struggle with jealousy. I'm willing to work on it, though, for myself and him and because I know it's not fair to this other person to just stop this experiment in its tracks. But ultimately the other relationship ends. She doesn't care for the situation as it stands now, and I am relieved because things were strained between me and boyfriend. Maybe after more time, more discussion, we can try again, because this is something I'd like to make work.

Several months pass. Maybe we're taking the time to discuss more and strengthen our own connection, maybe not. He doesn't date anyone else that I know of. Then suddenly he tells me that he got back in touch with the person he dated months ago. My stomach clenches. He didn't talk to me about this first, and now I have to decide how I feel about this. I take some time, a week, to really think about it and discuss the pros and cons with him, rather than just giving a gut reaction and shutting down lines of communication. Ultimately I decide I'm just not comfortable with what I feel is a step back towards a place I don't want to return to, dealing with that tension, and I ask him to please not re-start a relationship with this other person.
Minor correction: It was I who got back in touch with him, but...he was indeed happily receptive.

Anyway, actually, I think what you wrote above was very close to her thought process. Still doesn't make it right, though. What doesn't make sense is that they are still in an open relationship in which he is allowed to date women. I am a woman. They are even still in a place of being open to having meaningful relationships with other people. That was one of the first things I asked him. I said, "Is it that, now that you guys know how it feels, you want to only date others casually and not develop meaningful relationships anymore?" He said, "No, we're still willing to have meaningful relationships with others."

They're only in a "different place" in the sense that they've had the experience of me and know it can cause some insecurity. That's only normal, though. Structure-wise, they're in the exact same place as they were when I had my first go 'round with him.

Again, I am still a woman who's available to him to date, one who want(ed) to be friendly with her and develop a relationship with her as well.

Quote:
Now, perhaps this was not the girlfriend's thought process, but it's one possibility as it reflects the information given in mercury's posts. So, why is she the bad guy here? No, maybe she didn't have the perfect response of communication and willingness to work on her own issues within her relationship, but for a brand-new non-monogamous person, I think she did okay. I don't see her, from what we've been told, as being particularly cruel or immature. He boyfriend TOLD you he had thought about leaving her, you've said yourself you're very similar to her- of COURSE she sees you as a threat, with good reason! That's not HER fault, nor is it your fault. From what I can see it's the boyfriend who is not being the responsible one and is creating the drama in this situation.
Well, I don't really go around calling people "bad guys," but for all intents and purposes, I still believe that she is being immature. I'm no less brand-new to polyamory than she is. (In fact, I'm MORE new to polyamory than she is, because while she's been thinking about it for at least few years that I know of (and maybe for longer that I don't know of), I've only ever even thought of polyamory since I met him. It is just as hard for me to be with a guy that has another woman as it is for her to be with him while he has another woman, yet I'm willing to face the challenges of insecure and jealous feelings.

And there's no "well, it's harder for her because she has a bond with him and it's harder for her to let go of that, while you are only gaining something; you don't have to feel the sense of "losing" something..."

If anything, the secondary person has even MORE reason to feel insecure because she's "up against" (for lack of a better phrase) an established bond that she'll never be able to compete with. Or it would be a long time, anyway.

Quote:
If he was going to abide by her wishes regarding who he dates, then he should have checked in with her before ever trying to reconnect with you. HE'S the one who created this situation, not her. I understand you're hurt and upset, and you have every right to be, but don't hold him up as this loyal, caring guy. If he REALLY cared HE'D be the one pushing for better communication among all of you, and making sure his relationship with his girlfriend is stable before adding someone else to the mix. You don't want to make him the bad guy because you care about him, and I get that, but besides wanting to still try an open relationship when she's not ready for it yet, I don't see how she did anything significantly out of line.
Well, as I said, he didn't contact me. I contacted him, and he responded well to me, and then talked to her about it. We didn't go on a date or anything. We'd just traded a few short emails and then talked on the phone. He didn't do anything "on the sly" and then proceed to check with her.

And I don't vilify her while keeping him the good guy. I've mentioned in past posts that to the extent I blame them at all (which is considerable but not 100%), it's both of them, though her a little more so than him. And the reason I blame her a bit more than him is that I can't see myself doing what she did, but I do see myself *potentially* doing what he did (abiding by the wishes of a 2 year partner vs. a 7-weeks partner). They are in different positions in this whole thing. In her position, I don't think I would have done what she did. In his position, I might have. That's where I have a slightly softer stance on him. Check my past post about him.

Quote:
ETA: One more thing I thought of- this is one area where "open relationship" and "poly" are NOT the same! If he had feelings for you, that could have interfered with whatever agreement they had regarding what an "open relationship" meant. For many newbies, it's okay to casually date, but they're not ready to emotionally share their partner. Still shitty for you, but it doesn't make her the villain. The two of them need more communication and more understanding of their own boundaries before they date other people as well.
Actually, (and I know you have no way of knowing this), but they were claiming polyamory (not just "open") from the start. Both of them. It was their intent to be allowed to love other people besides each other. They communicated about that.

"She just didn't know how it was going to feel." (that's what he said to me in explanation of the backtrack)

Last edited by mercury; 06-27-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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  #149  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:52 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Anyway, actually, I think what you wrote above was very close to her thought process. Still doesn't make it right, though.
Agreed.
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  #150  
Old 06-27-2012, 06:02 PM
mercury mercury is offline
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He boyfriend TOLD you he had thought about leaving her, you've said yourself you're very similar to her- of COURSE she sees you as a threat, with good reason! That's not HER fault, nor is it your fault. From what I can see it's the boyfriend who is not being the responsible one and is creating the drama in this situation. If he was going to abide by her wishes regarding who he dates, then he should have checked in with her before ever trying to reconnect with you. HE'S the one who created this situation, not her.
Oh, and let me clarify that he didn't quite say it exactly as I wrote it. What I wrote was: "I may break away from her, I don't know."

(It's been months; I didn't necessarily have the exact wording off the top of my head when I wrote that other post)

But I do have a good memory when I think about it. What he actually said was this: (it's not all that much better, but I think it is a little better): "It's understood between me and her that we might meet people we like a lot and end up branching off into a traditional relationship with that person."

So he said it in a way that was like...she could just as easily stray from me with someone she dates and really likes.

And as far as she and I being a lot a like, to me, that doesn't make it any more reasonable for her to say "Don't date her." I mean, come on. We're alike, but we're not replicas. And even if we are more alike than she'd be considered "alike" with most women off the street, why is that such a big deal? Doesn't it just mean that she and I could be better friends because of it? Doesn't it also mean that I have to deal with knowing that she's very much competition for me too because she has a lot of my same positive traits?

The point is...you can't make all these little concessions for controlling. Like, it's okay for her to control your particular situation because you're so much like her. In other words, he can't date women who have any of her same qualities because only she's allowed to have those qualities for him to appreciate. In other words, from her POV, "Date other women who are great, but great in ways that are different ways than I am great so that I don't feel threatened."

It's hard enough to find people who fit all these criteria 1) open to being polyamorous, 2) mutual attraction on the part of the girl and him, 3) willing to be friends with his girlfriend (her) and cultivate a congenial, mutually supportive situation.

On top of that, she wants to stipulate that the other woman can't be too much like her?

She's just as much like me as I am like her, and I don't have a problem with it. I don't feel as if only I'm allowed to be down to earth and into plays /theater because if he gets that from someone else too, well that's MY territory...

Immature.

Now, mind you, this wouldn't be immature if you're a mono person. But if you're self-proclaimed polyamorous (doesn't matter that you're "new"; as I said, I'm new too and even newer), putting all these restrictions on it is silly.

You don't grow by avoidance....

Last edited by mercury; 06-27-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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