this is what happens when you don't listen.
my name is faye, and i have been in a two year long relationship - the first very serious one that i have ever had. i am very much in love and want more than anything to make my boyfriend happy.
in the beginning he told me that he is polyamorous but that he is not seeing anyone else right now, and it is my mistake that i did not take it more seriously at the time -- it was really stupid of me. there was never any really deep conversation about it, and at the beginning we were just getting to know each other. after a year and a half of it being just the two of us, i saw things as just that.
i have never met anyone like that before, and i have read a lot of things to try and understand it better. i thought maybe if i gained more understanding then i would not be so hurt now.
it is only recently that he has started indulging in that side of himself with another girl. i want him to be happy and i do not want to be a trap for him. he said it's like a trap if it is with only me. he does not spend as much time with me as he did for so long, though he says that he wants to be with me forever and that he loves me just as deeply. he says that i make him happy and that he needs me for his happiness.
i am trying very hard to be at peace and accept these things. i would like it if i could really embrace his dream and help make it come true. the truth is that i could do it but it's not in my heart, no matter how much i read and understand and accept. i feel like a bad person because i am so hurt and he says that he just wants to love.
the thing that i find myself imagining the most is three people lying in bed together at night. i imagine him rolling over with his back to me and putting his arms around another woman and falling asleep. i stare at his back.
i understand that it can be natural to be attracted to other people, and i am not a very jealous person. i won't pretend and say that nothing can make me jealous, but it really is not about that, i don't think. i do not want or need more than one sexual partner. i'm not bisexual. i have found other men attractive and charming and can appreciate their qualities and have good friendships, but i do not feel myself as being restricted. on the contrary, i am proud and happy to devote my heart to one special person -- to let him know that he is that important to me :) because he is.
i have tried to become friends with the girl that he is with. she is a lot different than me, and i do think that she is fascinating and wonderful. still, she does not initiate conversation with me or say 'what about you?' when i ask her things. i do not ask things specifically to hear that, but i do notice when i'm trying and someone else is not. she is not someone i am easily close to at all and not someone who, under normal circumstances, i would choose to have as a close friend .. although i can and do appreciate her.
anyway, i know that this is a lot of blabbering.
the things i am struggling with are very confusing for me. i do not feel ready to make the decisions that i am faced with.
1) do i look at the facts and emotions that i have in front of me and protect us from further pain right now? if i am hurting, then i will hurt him -- and this is the opposite of what i ever want. :(
2) he wants me to 'stick with it and see what happens'. maybe it will not work out with this other girl. maybe it will just be the two of us again for another couple of years before this happens again or doesn't happen at all. live for the moment and then when/if it hurts TOO MUCH, then go.
i do believe that it's important to live life to the fullest, but i feel kind of like saying that, in this case, is kind of like saying that you should get in an airplane that's programmed to have an 80% chance to crash so that you can enjoy the ride while you're in the air.
my biggest fear is that my negativity is making it about ultimatums. i really am trying very hard to *see* this so that perhaps i can embrace his dream as he does, but i know that it is not healthy to simply 'endure' something.
Two things jumped out at me from your post. (Welcome, by the way!)
First, he wants you to 'stick with it and see what happens' and he knows that you are hurting in this situation. Your well-being is way, way, way down his list of priorities.
Second, he says you make him happy and he needs you for his happiness. This is not a man who takes 100% responsibility for his life.
He is who he is. If you stay in this relationship the way it is, you are in a relationship with a man to whom your well-being is not a priority, and who doesn't take 100% responsibility for his life. Regardless of his polyamory or the state of his relationship with the Gamble Girl, is this the kind of partner you want to be with? The answer may be yes or it may be no, but the important thing is: the choice is all yours.
This is your life not his. You are not responsible for his happiness.
I have learned that two people who want to live life in very different ways cannot have a successful relationship.
You want to live a life in which you devote yourself to one intimate relationship.
He wants to live a life in which he is free to participate in many intimate relationships at once.
It sounds like you are trying to talk yourself into being ok with this situation when you are really not ok, and you will never be ok.
Faye, it might be really painful for you but I think at this point you have to keep your dignity and walk out of the relationship. If you don't do it now, you will have more misery and struggle and your relationship will end eventually anyway.
Why he needs you in his life? The answer is very simple. He feels very important when two women are in love with him, fighting over him, being jealous of each other. Without one of you two it wouldn't be the same.
It gives him high of adventure, of something risky in his life.
But there is nothing about You in his feelings. It' about his Narcissistic self.
Plus, it might be very serious relationship for you, but obviously not for him. If he was afraid to loose you he wouldn't hurt you that way.
Agreeing on that you are losing more and more value in his eyes. Instead of appreciation for understanding and patience he will look at you as at something with no value, no respect for yourself and no independence.
If you want to win in the situation you have to give him a choice - either it's only two of you or you are out.
If he doesnt' agree then he doesn't love you and need you enough and it wouldn't work out any way.
You already know the "right" choice for you. But - you're afraid to take it.
Why? You claim it's out of love for him, and I believe you. I believe you truly love this guy - you're not trying to change him. But the real question is: do you love yourself? Because you're trying to change yourself.
Ultimate question: if you don't love yourself, then is what you give to him really love? Or is it just fear, clinging, and neediness?
i understand what you are saying about what kind of partner he is, but the fact of the matter is that i have put him in a bad situation. he was responsible in the first place by telling me what he believed in, and that also tells me that he does care about my well-being .. right? he did not want to pursue relationships with people to hurt people. he wants everyone to be happy too. i have put him at a disadvantage because he allowed himself to fall in love with me believing that it would be okay, and now he is as confused as i am.
i am very non-confrontational and this is the first time that i have really spoken my mind about something that is truly emotionally hurtful to me -- because he has a very bad temper that scares me and makes it hard to talk if i do.
i know that none of this really matters and that all that really matters is the choice itself, regardless of how it came about. what i have are the feelings in front of me and inside of me.
thank you for talking to me, i know it seems like i already know what i should do -- but the truth is that i am far from taking action and i am trying to reenforce the things that i already know with support from people who seem to be very courteous and honest.
right now we have a life together, and while i may not be responsible for his ultimate happiness, i can not think of a better use of my time than to help him build his happiness .. :) .. so long as it doesn't destroy mine.
the future is filled with things that may or may not ever happen. the problem is exactly how inevitable this is -- it's so inevitable that it is, in fact, happening and will happen again, even if this doesn't work.
i guess i am worried that it's some kind of wrong way of thinking in my head. that's where feelings come from right? from your experiences and how you are taught and things like that. your life. i figured that if i could alter my way of thinking truly -- truly come to see things in a different light .. maybe .. maybe something would be possible.. something could work where everyone can be happy.
i know it might seem like i am trying to 'change myself' -- but i feel more like i am trying to 'see the light' than anything, you know? it's like he has some kind of clarity that i don't have about something.
but yes, you're right. i do not want to delude myself or continue this with a secret wish that his other relationships just 'won't work out'. that would make me destructive toward him, and i do not want to impede his desides at all .
if he is a person who needs more than one person to be fullfilled, that means i can't fullfill him by myself -- that in itself is very hurtful to me. the thought of 'not being enough'. it is true that i am not very confident, and it is something that i work on -- but that idea all in and of itself is striking out at my lack of confidence even more. it makes me wonder if i can't handle this because of my lack of confidence? because i need to feel important?
that doesn't mean that he doesn't love me, i don't think. his eyes look like he loves me. i never had anyone to look at me this way.
i hope that this is all not as cruel as you say, but i will think about it.
your questions have made me feel a bit worried now.
It sounds like a lot of your energy is aimed at giving things to him and the relationship.
What does he give you? What do you give yourself?
Welcome to the forum. I was reading the posts here and this one line jumped off the paper for me:
The whole polyamory thing isn't even relevant. You should simply never have to be afraid of your partner! He may rain on your parade every now and then (nobody is perfect), but that's it.
If you fear his temper, do what is best for you and bow out of this relationship with love sooner rather than later (when things get ugly).
Faye, I hear a lot of "yeah, but" in your responses to the responses -- some devil's advocate stuff going on (and guess who is the devil in this situation! :D) What I mean is: it sounds like you have a pretty good sense of what it takes to live a life you love, but you are second-guessing it, doubting your own inner truth. That's fine, and it can lead to a new perspective and personal growth. You can make your choices in your own good time, and you can't really make a mistake.
And... from my perspective, it looks like one thing you could generate that would make a difference is Trust -- trust for yourself primarily. Can you see anything that you could generate, completely independently of what he says, does, or thinks, that would make a difference? Also, something you could let go of?
I know it's a tough spot. I've been there -- a different flavor of it, not polyamory. But a similar feeling.
Before you call it quits, try this test on your boyfriend...
Here is the test (and be serious about it, if he senses you are joking and not serious, it allows him to continue manipulating & controlling you the way he currently does)
You are willing to indulge in his 'polyamorous' (seriously a stupid word) ways if he is willing to indulge in you allowing the same thing in your life.
Tell him that for most of your life, you thought that it was all you need was one person but you are kind of seeing it from his perspective now and think you may want to try it. You met someone at work (or at school or through a friend, whatever, just make it believable) and you notice there is chemistry between you & this other man but never pursued it because you wanted to be true to your mate.
But now that you are starting to see how it can be an open experience for your partner to love more than one person that you are thinking you may want to try it out too just to see how it feels, possibly you could enjoy it as much as your boyfriend currently enjoys it.
Check out his expression, if he is fine with it, look into pursuing another relationship with another man. If he isn't fine with it (which I'll just assume he isn't because I think I know better), he will question why you need to do this. He may even get a little angry or jealous that you brought up this new thinking.
In life 3 things are sure: we love ourselves more than anything else (regardless of what we are willing to admit), we want things we can't or don't have and we don't want to be controlled or manipulated or restricted.
Your boyfriend loves himself very much (and obviously much more than he loves you), he wants to have his cake (in this case pie, pardon the pun) and he wants to eat pie from different bakeries without being tied to eating pie at just one bakery and he doesn't want you to control or restrict him.
He has the best of all worlds: he has you, he knows your devoted to him and attached (at the hip almost). He has you and has you very easily, which is why he doesn't want you as much and wants others. When we have something already, we don't want it as much, that's just life and how it works.
You want him to want you & only you?
Detach yourself from him. Stop making him your world.
Show him that you can be with other people, spend more time with friends.
Go out, start to make yourself look better, shopping, tanning, makeovers, clothes, going to the gym, getting dressed & looking hot when you go out, start dating other men, etc.
See the reaction you get from him. I'm sure it will change the tune he's whistling. He will no longer have control over you, he will lose his power over you and you will become very attractive to him, so much so that he will forget his other ambitions (polyamorous).
Either way, if your partner doesn't want to be with you exclusively, drop him.
If you really want to keep him, show him what he'll be losing. Remove yourself from his grip, make yourself more attractive to other people, start dating, enjoying your life without him. If it doesn't phase him at all, you are losing nothing, and if it does bother him, wake him up and tell him that you are nobody's slave or fool
Respect yourself, you deserve much better than this man is giving you.
If you've read my posts in other discussions, I'm all about equal treatment for both men & women. I'm not just about men getting fair treatment, I'm about all of us getting fair treatment & respect. I hate it when either side tries to take advantage of the other.
Don't let him take advantage of your love anymore.
Respect yourself and teach this boy a lesson!
I'd be interested to hear how this turns out if you are willing to try my suggestion, I have an idea as to what will happen but I'd love to hear about it from you. Let us know!!!:)
Very good advice form robc.
I wanted to advice you to tell him that you want to be a ploygamist now too.
And you like another guy very much.;)
But I want to add, that I am very pessimistic about your relationship.
Firts of all he scares you with his anger, I would leave him because of that, if nothing else.
Secondly, he persuaded you that he is in love with you, but he actually takes you for granted, being sure that if he feeds you with his talk about love enough, he will keep his hold on you.
You sound to me like you were brainwashed by your boyfriend a lot.
And in your relationship you were always "a giver", you liked him so much from the very beginning, that were ready to put up with his polygamy.
there are some things that he does for me -- he listens to me and helps me to make some decisions. i am not very good at it to be honest. i can drive around town for an hour not being able to figure out where or what to eat and then never end up eating anything!
sometimes he will take me to a movie or if i ask if we can go to the park, then he will take us there for a little while.
Is this all? I think plenty of guys could do the same for you
JimOfferman!!! thank you so much for the welcome. it is nice to talk to you. :)
ack! :o it is just that i am rather skittish. i don't like to make anyone angry, especially him. it is really difficult for me to ever be angry and when he is mad he says the most awful things. i think that is normal though, right? some people just have a bad temper. sometimes i wish i were the fiery sort of person who can stand up to things like that, but when i think about it, it probably would just make it even worse.
Angela, thank you for coming back. you are very nice and helpful. :)
what you say is true -- i am doing a lot of second guessing because i do not feel that i can do things one way or another lightly. i can not continue as i am with the thinking that has been going on in my head. i can not simply leave, because of other thoughts. what if i am wrong? i don't know. it's all very confusing for me, so i hope that i am not being confusing to everyone. the truth is that i just want him to say that he loves me and wants just me, but i don't think that it's going to happen. that realization has been like a physical blow. i'm still reeling from it and trying to piece it together and be rational and hopeful. trying to keep his desires and views in perspective. i feel like i already am being selfish by having to struggle with this.
this may sound really awful but your question about trust and trying to generate a thought independent of anything but him is very hard. maybe because he would not want me to. you are right that maybe i should trust myself more. if i trusted myself more then a lot of things would have been different -- no. everything would have been different. there are so many good responses here and i am so glad that you care to respond to me. i can not think of an answer off the top of my head, but i promise that i am thinking about it very hard.
greetings, robc, and thank you very much for this very long and well thought out reply. it is a lot for me to swallow -- not because i am too lazy to read. on the contrary, i devoured all of this very eagerly and hopefully. the reason it is hard is because, if i were to try what you said and tell him that i am attracted to someone else --
-- i think that he would know that i am lying.
some of your response assumes some things that are not true. he would get mad at me if i don't work out and don't try to look my best, so unfortunately that is already the case. i would not want to embarrass him. i am not saying i am perfect, but the effort to be appealing is already there. i wish it wasn't. then i would be able to latch onto that and work on it with all my might. as it is .. all i can do is feel inadequate or try to change my outlook. maybe the focus on things besides him stuff .. although that in itself is pretty daunting. i guess that sounds pretty awful.
still -- as for the first part, i think i will try what you say. i will have to work up the nerve to do this, so it may be a few days before i can tell what happens. rest assured, though, that i will report the results.
thank you again. you have given me a lot to consider.
it is true that he gives good advice, although it is scary to really go through with it. still, that is why i am here. i don't know about being brainwashed. i do feel like something is wrong.
i hope that telling him that i like another guy will not backfire on me.
And all your "yeah,buts" all add up to "Yeah, but I LOVE HIM!!!!" (which is the chorus of what I call the Chicken Opera, and lots of us have sung it! :p).
Just because you love someone, though -- even if it's A LOT -- that doesn't necessarily mean you're good partners together. Good LLTMBR partners help each other feel better, in every possible way. Does Mr. Menage do that for you?
Angela, the first thing that i have to say is that a chicken opera makes me laugh very hard. at first it just made me smile, but then as i began to actually imagine chickens singing opera and people sitting on balconies with tiny binoculars watching them -- it became hysterical. BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK! ahem.
please keep in mind that i am upset right now and i am telling you specific details but not all details. i already talk too much as it is. he is not a hideous demon.
there is something that kind of worries me, though, but it is not something i can prove even to myself. it's not something that would ever be admitted, even if it was true, i think. it is rather intimate, though, and i am not sure of how explicit i am allowed to be here. :( i don't want to be offensive to anyone. i will try to say it in a way that can not offend anyone too much, and if i should take it out then please just tell me.
sometimes i think that when he does things that are to make me feel good/ feel better .. i get this deep rooted feeling that he is doing it so that i am more receptive to making love. because whenever he does, that is what follows. i don't know if it is wrong of me to see that as negative or to even think that. i guess i just wish that sometimes it would be 'just because'.
Faye, I am sorry if I say harsh things. The reason for it is that I was in the situation like that and I am very greatful to people who were telling me the truth about my relationship and my eyes started slowly opening up
thank you for reading the post, sounds like you're halfway there...
Since you are already looking your best, try another approach, how about a different look from what he's accustomed too. Another thing, don't tell him about the other "guy" yet but do the following: go out a few times during the next couple of weeks during times when you would normally be going out with him. If he asks (or it sounds like tells) you to go out to a movie or out to eat at some time that you normally would do something together, just tell him that you have unfortunately made other plans with a friend but don't mention the name of the friend even if he asks, just say it's someone he doesn't know. I'm afraid of the anger part that you mentioned, I hope he isn't physical with you, if so call the cops immediately, love or not.
Anyways go out a few times during the next few weeks, dress up really nice, do the hair & makeup thing but go out to a movie with a girlfriend or go out to the bar but don't tell him where you are going or who you are going with.
Do this a few times and then when he really starts to press you for some answers, then lay the line to him that you are seeing another guy and you are trying the "polyamorous" thing yourself. But you are right though, you have to half believe it yourself if you want him to believe it.
Bad tempers may appear to be the norm, but they are not in fact normal. A bad temper is just an excuse that someone uses to avoid taking responsibility for his (or her) feelings. It's taking an emotional dump on your partner or friend and then leaving them to sort out the crap. But sorting out the crap is your own responsibility, not theirs.
It is also your own responsibility to stand up against being dumped on. If you don't do that, you are basically telling everyone that it is just fine to crap on you - so that is exactly what they will do.
Standing up for yourself makes things better, not worse.
I can relate to you about not liking confrontation and taking his help for making decisions and all.
I see that you are a veryyy understanding person. This thread proves it. You are trying to see his view because you believe you can change your perspective and a lot of times, all you need is a different perspective to solve problems. This is true a lot of times but not all. Sometimes, it's just not about solving problems. Emotions aren't just those things we learned and the way we grew up. They are an essential part of who you are.
The reason why I can relate to you is because I am very similar to you when it comes to understanding people. I will feel bad for yelling at someone if they gave me a reason that makes sense about why they did something EVEN if I know that what they did could have been avoided. I let it be. It's like the understanding level is so very high that I forget about my needs. This is when it sucks the most.
Lately, I have been getting very angry at myself for doing that. Uberinquisitive's question about loving yourself enough really spoke to me because that is really what my problem is. I do not have to understand people as much as I try to. Those people need to understand my view if they care about me. And you know what? I feel selfish thinking that. I know that I am not doing anything wrong but I feel selfish if I know I have the capability to understand their view and I still decide not to. Now, I do end up in more confrontations and I make other people see my views.
Anyways, point of this post is not to rant about myself. I really would like you to see that extremely understanding part of yourself and see how that might be working against you. It almost feels like you/me are better than other people and above it all which is an awesome feeling (I am not saying we are better :P) But we still haven't (at least I haven't) reached Enlightenment to really be able to give myself to other people and not let their lack of ability make me put myself second.
hello again, Rob! thank you again for keeping up with me. i can see that this will not be easy at all, but i am going to try. i have a really bad feeling about this, but what have i got to lose? i am not good at playing games, though, and it makes me feel a bit sick. then again, so does this whole situation.
wish me luck.
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