Boundaries in poly relationship

Kaylee

New member
I'm new here, and trying to figure out how to deal with my current poly relationship, which has taken some unexpected turns.

In summary: I've been poly before, in a poly-fi triad with a guy and a bi girl. It ended after a year and a half, when the girl became a man... the other guy (call him "Mark") in the relationship is straight. So "Mark" and I decided to be monogamous until recently, and he and I are now engaged.

A couple months ago, Mark brought up the possibility of being with other people. He said he really didn't want me to be with other people (due to jealousy issues), but he wanted to see someone else casually. I wanted to make him happy, and I figured his having a casual relationship with another girl wouldn't come in the way of my needs being met, so I agreed. I also figured he'd come around and let me see someone else eventually... that didn't end up happening, though. It was something of a point of contention between us, but I dropped it when I realized that it just wasn't worth hurting him over.

Mark started seeing a girl right away... literally, two hours after we had the discussion about seeing someone else (Let's call her "Cathy"). He says Cathy told him that she wanted to definitely discuss boundaries with me one-on-one before sleeping with him. But that didn't happen... in fact, I haven't been able to have a single one-on-one conversation with her so far. She's always had Mark ask me if they could do things, or not asked at all (eg, in the case of being intimate at our place). Cathy also said she was interested in me romantically (bi-curious), but said it would have to be on her terms, and that she'd let me know when she wanted to sleep with me. When the three of us have hung out, I've felt like it was hard to get a word in edgewise.

Then last week, I found out from Mark that Cathy is in love with him, and he's "halfway" fallen for her. He says Cathy told him that she could never let someone she loved be with other people, and that it's more natural to be jealous of your partner. She also has apparently been telling him that I'm not good for him, and advising him to leave me. Mark tentatively decided to stay with me after all, and Cathy responded by ending their sexual relationship. He told me that things were over with her, and I was kind of relieved, but I found out yesterday that they're still being sexual online, they still talk every day, they're physically affectionate and he goes to see her a lot. Basically, she's still his primary confidante. He also says that until he's "sure" that he wants to stay with me, he's going to keep dating her... and she knows this, as well.

I really love this guy, and I don't want to lose him. We've been arguing a lot over boundaries, and I know it's hurting him, and he sees me as the sole source of discontent in his life. I'm worried that his seeing Cathy is going to really make it hard for us to have a good relationship. I was hoping that Mark would keep things more casual, or bring in someone we both had chemistry with, and I feel like this is not what I signed up for. I know I need to talk to Cathy, but I'm terrified because I feel like she has me over a barrel... he's quoted her as saying some very critical things about me, and I'm worried she will just tell me to get lost. Would it be possible for you guys to give me some suggestions on what to do?

Thanks for reading...

Kaylee
 

maca

New member
OK>>>>>>> HELLA RED FLAGS>>>>>

IMO you should not marry this guy.... It seems to me that the lines of communication are not complete.. I have a few questions for you.

1) Have you told him how YOU feel?
2) Why do you feel its ok for him to be with another but not ok for you?
3)Are you ok with the fact that he is still with her after knowing he told you it was over?

I hate to be so blunt but IMO your self confidence and self worth need a boost.Although I have only got a bit of info ( and only from you) I dont see this as a healthy relationship for any of you. IMO you need to step back and take a serious look at the relationship, ask yourself::

Is this relationship honest?
Is it open?
Is it compassionate?
Is it loving?
IS IT HEALTHY FOR YOU??

I wish you the best of luck.

Peace and Love
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
First, wow! This has to be an incredibly painful situation for you! Hugs for that.

Now to the hard stuff.

You seem to have two problems: Mark and Cathy.

From what you're writing, it's pretty evident that Cathy is what some poly circles call a "cowgirl"- someone who pretends to be poly or open to poly but with the intent of actually splitting you from your partner so that she can have him to herself. That's bullshit.

Right now, you should not be negotiating with Cathy about your boundaries with Mark. She's not Mark, and he's the person you should be talking to about that. Plus it's clear that she has no respect for your relationship with Mark and is a pretty poisonous presence. Quite frankly: fuck her. And I don't mean that in the fun way.

But I think she's the least of your problems here.

What you've described in this post brings up several red flags for me:

* Mark wants the freedom of outside relationships for him but isn't allowing you that same freedom- essentially asking and practically forcing you into making a sacrifice that he's not willing to make for you.

* It seems like this Mark/Cathy thing was already going on to an extent behind your back. If he's jumping into a date two hours after the discussion, it's clear the date was planned before the discussion. That's definitely the WRONG order and it seems to suggest that your feelings are not high on Mark's priority list.

* Mark now seems putting you on some kind of romantic probation, basically saying he's not sure if you're good enough to stay with. That's a bullshit thing to do. And he's leveraging his relationship with Cathy against yours.


All of these things suggest that Mark is leaving little room for your needs or feelings in this relationship. For me, these would be pretty fundamental issues and I really can't see anything else that a person might offer me that could outweigh these REALLY big problems. So I have to wonder why you're choosing to stay in a situation where you're clearly being treated pretty horribly.

If my partner was acting in ways that clearly showed that my needs and feelings are not important to him, I would set a very clear boundary with that: I would leave.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I'm new here, and trying to figure out how to deal with my current poly relationship, which has taken some unexpected turns.

In summary: I've been poly before, in a poly-fi triad with a guy and a bi girl. It ended after a year and a half, when the girl became a man... the other guy (call him "Mark") in the relationship is straight. So "Mark" and I decided to be monogamous until recently, and he and I are now engaged.

A couple months ago, Mark brought up the possibility of being with other people. He said he really didn't want me to be with other people (due to jealousy issues), but he wanted to see someone else casually. I wanted to make him happy, and I figured his having a casual relationship with another girl wouldn't come in the way of my needs being met, so I agreed. I also figured he'd come around and let me see someone else eventually... that didn't end up happening, though. It was something of a point of contention between us, but I dropped it when I realized that it just wasn't worth hurting him over.

Mark started seeing a girl right away... literally, two hours after we had the discussion about seeing someone else (Let's call her "Cathy"). He says Cathy told him that she wanted to definitely discuss boundaries with me one-on-one before sleeping with him. But that didn't happen... in fact, I haven't been able to have a single one-on-one conversation with her so far. She's always had Mark ask me if they could do things, or not asked at all (eg, in the case of being intimate at our place). Cathy also said she was interested in me romantically (bi-curious), but said it would have to be on her terms, and that she'd let me know when she wanted to sleep with me. When the three of us have hung out, I've felt like it was hard to get a word in edgewise.

Then last week, I found out from Mark that Cathy is in love with him, and he's "halfway" fallen for her. He says Cathy told him that she could never let someone she loved be with other people, and that it's more natural to be jealous of your partner. She also has apparently been telling him that I'm not good for him, and advising him to leave me. Mark tentatively decided to stay with me after all, and Cathy responded by ending their sexual relationship. He told me that things were over with her, and I was kind of relieved, but I found out yesterday that they're still being sexual online, they still talk every day, they're physically affectionate and he goes to see her a lot. Basically, she's still his primary confidante. He also says that until he's "sure" that he wants to stay with me, he's going to keep dating her... and she knows this, as well.

I really love this guy, and I don't want to lose him. We've been arguing a lot over boundaries, and I know it's hurting him, and he sees me as the sole source of discontent in his life. I'm worried that his seeing Cathy is going to really make it hard for us to have a good relationship. I was hoping that Mark would keep things more casual, or bring in someone we both had chemistry with, and I feel like this is not what I signed up for. I know I need to talk to Cathy, but I'm terrified because I feel like she has me over a barrel... he's quoted her as saying some very critical things about me, and I'm worried she will just tell me to get lost. Would it be possible for you guys to give me some suggestions on what to do?

Thanks for reading...

Kaylee

Wait a minute-why do you say you really love this guy? I really SHOULD know that before I can even begin to address any of the rest of this post... but somehow I fear you won't answer before I go to bed-so I will probably pull a HMA and tell you what I think without knowing anyway.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
first, wow! This has to be an incredibly painful situation for you! Hugs for that.

Now to the hard stuff.

You seem to have two problems: Mark and cathy.

omg i am so fucking in love with you right now ceoli!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

maca

New member
Im so glad LR and Ceoli jumped in ( had to many drinks) but honestly you need to get rid of him and find some selfrespect and love for yourself..Srry but its for the best..


Peace and love again
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I'm new here, and trying to figure out how to deal with my current poly relationship, which has taken some unexpected turns.

In summary: I've been poly before, in a poly-fi triad with a guy and a bi girl. It ended after a year and a half, when the girl became a man... the other guy (call him "Mark") in the relationship is straight. So "Mark" and I decided to be monogamous until recently, and he and I are now engaged.

A couple months ago, Mark brought up the possibility of being with other people. He said he really didn't want me to be with other people (due to jealousy issues), but he wanted to see someone else casually. I wanted to make him happy, and I figured his having a casual relationship with another girl wouldn't come in the way of my needs being met, so I agreed. I also figured he'd come around and let me see someone else eventually... that didn't end up happening, though. It was something of a point of contention between us, but I dropped it when I realized that it just wasn't worth hurting him over.

Mark started seeing a girl right away... literally, two hours after we had the discussion about seeing someone else (Let's call her "Cathy"). He says Cathy told him that she wanted to definitely discuss boundaries with me one-on-one before sleeping with him. But that didn't happen... in fact, I haven't been able to have a single one-on-one conversation with her so far. She's always had Mark ask me if they could do things, or not asked at all (eg, in the case of being intimate at our place). Cathy also said she was interested in me romantically (bi-curious), but said it would have to be on her terms, and that she'd let me know when she wanted to sleep with me. When the three of us have hung out, I've felt like it was hard to get a word in edgewise.

Then last week, I found out from Mark that Cathy is in love with him, and he's "halfway" fallen for her. He says Cathy told him that she could never let someone she loved be with other people, and that it's more natural to be jealous of your partner. She also has apparently been telling him that I'm not good for him, and advising him to leave me. Mark tentatively decided to stay with me after all, and Cathy responded by ending their sexual relationship. He told me that things were over with her, and I was kind of relieved, but I found out yesterday that they're still being sexual online, they still talk every day, they're physically affectionate and he goes to see her a lot. Basically, she's still his primary confidante. He also says that until he's "sure" that he wants to stay with me, he's going to keep dating her... and she knows this, as well.

I really love this guy, and I don't want to lose him. We've been arguing a lot over boundaries, and I know it's hurting him, and he sees me as the sole source of discontent in his life. I'm worried that his seeing Cathy is going to really make it hard for us to have a good relationship. I was hoping that Mark would keep things more casual, or bring in someone we both had chemistry with, and I feel like this is not what I signed up for. I know I need to talk to Cathy, but I'm terrified because I feel like she has me over a barrel... he's quoted her as saying some very critical things about me, and I'm worried she will just tell me to get lost. Would it be possible for you guys to give me some suggestions on what to do?

Thanks for reading...

Kaylee

Where on earth do I start?
First-what they said up above!

Second-honey-answer these:

what is it that makes you feel so worthless?
Why do you doubt your value in a relationship?
What on earth makes you want to be abused & taken advantage of?
Why is it that you doubt what you need matters?

I can't begin to tell you how painful it is to make yourself suffer needlessly only to later find out that the other person never did care.
I also can't begin to tell you how wonderfully exhilarating it is to know what it's like to be loved for who you are, how you are and where you are in life with no limitation.

Go find a real man-(or woman) who knows how to love you FOR YOU, not for what kind of doormat you can be for them.
Read on here-as many threads as it takes for you to figure out that YOU can and do deserve to be LOVED by the person(s) you devote yourself to loving.
 

redpepper

New member
Oh this is hilarious.... LR and Maca... you are hilarious. I love you guys...you two Ceoli ;) you are such a hot item on here!:p If only they all knew how cute you are in real life (trying to get you some dates sweetie, hope that's okay?)

Anyway, Kaylee, this has been a topic before on our dear forum... you are not new to this situation. Have a look around and see what others have said... this is why I wish people would tag threads so that others can do a more thorough search for stuff that is relevant to them grrrr....:mad:

Anyway again.... yup, your Mark seems to be a little gun happy with the term "Poly." Perhaps a wee gander on here would show him that respecting a partners boundaries is number one. He seems to be in a state of NRE that makes him feel awesome and is forgetting (because NRE fucks with your head and hormones) that you have boundaries around this.

Ya, if it continues then I think I would leave... well actually I would leave now really. Once those boundaries are not respected for me in such a repetitive manner I can't go back from that and frankly the relationship is forever changed so what is the point. Perhaps if you leave he may become panicked (your panic about it will be given/translated/past over to him,,,, about time you get a rest from it too I might add!) and decide to change his ways and actually include you in his relationship as far as establishing boundries, which is kind of the point to it all in the first place, or will decide he wants to move on... at least you will know.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
To me, it looks like he's saying (actions speak louder than words):

"If you want to hang around with me, fine, but I'm going to do what I want and don't want to hear any complaints. If you don't like it, the door is right there."

The way he "won't let" you see anyone else but requires you to "let" him do so... The way he has Cathy the Spare Tire™ waiting in the wings while he decides whether your relationship is worth continuing... Those two things tell me that he wants to break up with you but doesn't have the maturity to do so himself so he wants to drive you to the end of your rope so that YOU will leave and he will not have to grow up.

I think you should oblige him. I don't know how financially and logistically intertwined your lives are, but if you can't pack your bags and move out, and if you can't afford to pack his bags and kick him out, the very least you should do is corner him and say that YOU have decided that since HE gets to see other people, YOU can do the same. No negotiation. You don't have to actually go GET another relationship, just assert some equality/fairness in THIS one.

And Ceoli is right. Fuck Cathy and her sniping. She is LESS than nobody to you because you reached out to her and she basically slapped your hand away.
 

Kaylee

New member
I guess a little more background is in order.

I'm a student in university (in my last year), I work part-time, and I have disabilities. When the conversation about poly came up, I had just gone through a really stressful week involving summer class finals and having a chronic health condition kick in. Mark's work had been really stressing him out, but I asked him to help me get to the doctor because my vision was messed up (he telecommutes, so has flexible hours), and he agreed. Anyway, we'd both been under a fair bit of stress, and on the way home he was talking about how he felt like I was taking too much out of him, and my problems were stressing him out. So I asked what I could do, and one of the things he said was, "let me see other people." I totally didn't expect this, given that he'd been the one pushing for us to be monogamous after our triad broke up, but I figured it was worth a shot. After all, I'm really busy, and although I spend most of my spare time with him, there were ample times when I was away that he could see someone else. I was cheerful about the idea, encouraging, figuring that he'd be nervous about my response. I assumed (bad, I know) that we'd have more conversations before anything happened, but a couple hours later, he brought up a girl I'd met a couple times (Cathy). He sent us both an email asking for permission to do things sexually with her, and I sent them both a reply saying, "Have fun!" The next day, they ended up in bed together. It was way faster than I expected, but I figured that if he wanted to do this stuff again so much, that would explain why he'd been so stressed out...

Through it all, Mark had some misgivings, mostly that he was hurting me by doing this when I couldn't. I talked to him frankly about whether it was what he really wanted, and it really sounded like it was, and the only barrier in his mind was when he worried about my feelings. I honestly wanted to see other people if he was, and told him this, but he straight-up said that he would just leave if I did. He talked about how he saw his being with other people as a failing, and that doing it again was making him realize that it just wasn't worth it, and that he'd pretty much gotten it out of his system. He said that "Cathy" would be the last time he was poly, and that after things ended with her (she's been looking for a monogamous partner), he wanted to be monogamous with me. But he said that he was worried that I'd always want to be with other people, and that I'd never be satisfied with just him. He also started saying that he hadn't really wanted to be poly that much, and that in fact I had "pushed" him into it by encouraging him and suggesting that maybe this was what he really needed.

Right now, he's told me that what he really wants is to just be with me, but that Cathy "makes him happy", whereas he and I have issues still standing (at this point, mostly about her). I don't see how you can compare a two-month relationship to one that's lasted for years... it's impossible to have emotional baggage in such a new relationship, isn't it? It sounds a lot like Mark pours his heart out to Cathy when they talk, and that he's emotionally dependent on their relationship, which would explain why he was clearly so torn up at the idea of not talking to her anymore. I really think that he wants to make things work with me, but as long as Cathy is acting in a therapist role, it's going to be hard. I told him that I wanted them to stop talking about sex, stop seeing each other alone, not discuss me, and just generally limit their interactions for a little while until things had cooled off. But he said no, they're still close friends, and if I set these boundaries then he'd tell her that the reason they couldn't be at her place, or whatnot, was because I'd said so. I didn't want to give Cathy more reasons to criticize me, so I backed way off and asked him what he thought I should do. He said I should just trust him. I'm trying...

I know we need to set up some appropriate boundaries, but I'm not sure what they are. Do you guys think my requests were unreasonable? The petty side of me wants to see their chat logs and emails, but I know that would be way over the line, and I want to respect their friendship.
 

Kaylee

New member
1) Have you told him how YOU feel?
2) Why do you feel its ok for him to be with another but not ok for you?
3)Are you ok with the fact that he is still with her after knowing he told you it was over?

Is this relationship honest?
Is it open?
Is it compassionate?
Is it loving?
IS IT HEALTHY FOR YOU??

1) I've told him how I feel, repeatedly and often. (Probably too often... I have a tendency to beat a dead horse, unfortunately, but I've been working on that.) I tend to be big on talking, and I see those conversations as good, but they tend to take a lot out of him. One of the biggest issues is that he sees my asking for things as upsetting if he doesn't want to give them, because he is unwilling to say "no" directly, so he'll just get more and more agitated and talk about how he really wants things to stay the way they are, and try to argue me down. I've talked to him about this, and he's trying to work on it.

2) The important thing to me, in any relationship, is that my needs are being met. Even if the "rules" are uneven, my major needs have been met in the relationship, basically. The biggest issue of late has been one of honesty and trust... I feel like Mark has been holding things back from me so that he wouldn't have to lie to me, and that's something that hasn't happened before, and is a huge source of worry. But up until recently, the relationship has been good.

3) I don't know. I did say originally that it was okay for them to be together, and as Mark points out, Cathy's feelings are now involved, so we have to be sensitive to that. He says he doesn't see talking about sex online, and seeing each other one-on-one, as a problem, since they're not actually sleeping together. I expressed concern that they would just fall back into bed, but he says that absolutely won't happen. I think that he sees what they're doing as not technically dating, but just being close friends. He says they don't have full-on cybersex, so I shouldn't be concerned... I'm mostly worried that the close proximity combined with having to "stop" is just going to make them want each other more. He says they'll be talking about fantasies or whatnot, and she'll be like, "Oh, we'd better stop, or we'll both get turned on..." And I think that in itself is a bit over the line, but he doesn't see it as a problem.

He and I love each other, and care about each other's feelings... as for the honesty issue, that's a new problem and something I didn't expect. Simply not mentioning things if I don't ask directly isn't exactly lying... it's just not being open. The worst thing is that at one point, I said that maybe he should just not mention when he and Cathy see each other (because it was making him worry about my feelings, and then we would have long angsty talks), and even though I've retracted that, he still takes it as an excuse to withhold information. He does say that he'll definitely tell me if they end up sleeping together again, but that they won't... so I see this as effort on his part. I honestly think he's trying and that he wants to stay with me, but being with Cathy has been super-flattering because everything she says and does is new.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
The more you try to explain to us how HAAARRRRD things are for him and how you pushed and made him uncomfortable and caused him to be a dicktard... and how HAAARRRRD things are for him, the more he sounds like a douchebag.

And you gotta figure - you are trying to make him sound "not so bad", like you have "some responsibility" toward why he is the way he is... He still sounds like an asshole. I can only imagine what he's actually like in real-life, and it ain't a pretty picture.

It sounds like he has you brainwashed. You come here for an objective opinion, yet you defend him in such a way that the more you defend/explain, the worse he looks to the outside audience.

It still looks to me like he wants to break up with you but doesn't have the nerve to do it. This business with Cathy being the "last one" until he is "sure" he is ready to be monogamous is just so much bogus horseshit.

I'm glad I don't know you because if you were my friend I'd be a lot less easy on him, and on yourself too.

ETA: You "have to be sensitive" to Cathy's feelings even though she's talking shit about you behind your back?

You will read people saying that there's "no one right way to be poly" but there are definitely WRONG ways to be poly and this is one of them.
 
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Fidelia

New member
SisterWoman, this man is playing you. He knows where your buttons are and just how to push them.

For whatever reason, you have placed yourself and your needs in subservience to him/his. Stop it. (Don't beat yourself up too much about it, though. Lots of us make this mistake. But it obviously isn't working for you or you wouldn't be looking for our help.)

You deserve respect and fair treatment. But you have either taught him or allowed him to treat you poorly. Change that.

IMO, you need a clean slate and an even playing field, and you will never get it with him, certainly not as long as he maintains his current attitudes toward you/your relationship. And that's whether Cowgirl Cathy is in the picture or not.

Make time and space for you to get your head together and figure out what YOU really want and need. Give yourself time and space to heal. Remember how to love yourself, and treat yourself with the respect and compassion you offer to others.

I wish you Godspeed, and a safe and happy landing.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
SLIGHT HIJACK

Oh this is hilarious.... LR and Maca... you are hilarious. I love you guys...you two Ceoli ;) you are such a hot item on here!:p If only they all knew how cute you are in real life (trying to get you some dates sweetie, hope that's okay?)

I just absolutely love it when I pop on this board and I READ what I am thinking! Ceoli smacked the nail right on the head. ;) Gotta love that. I love how many intelligent, thought-provoking and seriously well intentioned people are on here to talk to!
 

redpepper

New member
Ya, dump him. Before he dumps you. At least you can walk away proud you took care of business and when he starts behaving like this with Cathy he will remember to get to the point, make a decision and act in a more respective manner.

I think he's just scared to leave your long time relationship because its been a journey you've had that he sees as over. If you leave now you may at some point be able to salvage a friendship later and remember the good times and talk about what you learned.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Ok,

So-let me be frank here.

I fell in love with my husband and married him and I don't regret it.
A few years of hell with his ex literally tormenting me to the point of insanity (long story not going to hijack your thread) and I was a fraction of hte person I was when we got married.

I did still love him-but I couldn't even think clearly. Literally was unable to think through simple basic concepts without getting lost. All of this was purely a stress/emotional reaction to the ongoing trauma of dealing with his ex-wife and their ongoing court battle (in the end it lasted damn near to 8-9 years).

I had an affair with my best friend against my best friend's better judgement. He (C) attempted to talk me out of it-but the reality is he did love me and I wasn't ok and when push came to shove he was unwilling to prioritize Maca's feelings/needs over mine when I was so obviously the one in need at that time. Not that Maca's feelings didn't matter-they did. But he was fully responsible for why he had to deal with his ex and her issues-I was not and I was the one getting burned, not him.

So anyway-every person on here can agree that cheating is against every rule in the monogamy book and every rule in the polyamory book as well. But the reality is that sometimes even good people do the wrong thing. I was no exception.

I fell in love with C. Over the years I tried to walk away from that-but that ended up being realistically impossible. I moved away from both of them for several months. I cut off contact with C another time for several months. Maca moved out and we were seperated for nearly a year. All sorts of efforts.

But the reality is that I love Maca and I love C. Now here we are after much heartache, a baby of C & I's aborted (because it was during the affair and I couldn't bring myself to destroy the rest of the kids even though I thought abortion was wrong), nearly losing Maca's sanity, nearly losing mine and C struggling through to support the kids while we found what WOULD work.

I made a friend online who explained the term poly and asked if that might be part of my issue-that I was poly and trying to pretend not to be. I searched through every poly site I could find and in tears figured out it was totally "my problem". I found this site, started posting, started marriage/communication counseling and wrote a letter to Maca explaining to him all inside of a few days.

So I do get the idea of what you are saying.

Maybe "Mark" is a good guy who pushed himself into a mess. I don't know.

BUT-if he is there are some steps he MUST take asap to fix it.

1. is realizing if he is Mono-then he needs to DROP one of you RIGHT NOW. Pretending to be something you are not does psychological damage to yourself, every minute is more damage.

2. is accepting that your feelings/needs are no less important then his or Cathy's. No exceptions.

3. Identifying what it is he needs if he is staying with you in order to deal with his stressors (for example, I had to get a restraining order against maca's ex and insist that she may not call our home EVER or in any way have contact with me or my children EVER)

4. Make a commitment to being true to himself and uphold it.

5. Make sure that he is honest and open about life with whoever his partner is.

YOU need to insist that if these things can't happen NOW-then for your own well-being AND HIS-and because you DO LOVE HIM that you need to leave because it's not good for him anymore then you to keep playing this charade.

JMHO based on personal experience
 

Kaylee

New member
Wow. I didn't expect to hear so many comments to the effect of "you should just dump him", and all. The idea that this relationship could just be over is really... overwhelming. Painful. I don't want it to be true.

Just to clear a couple things up... I think "Mark" honestly believes at this point that he wants to be monogamous, and because of that, he feels that he has to decide between either me or "Cathy". He's threatened to leave me a lot lately. I think he honestly does want to stay with me, but doesn't know how to deal with losing one of us. So when anything goes at all wrong between us, it's right in front of him and he thinks "this is the deciding factor. I'm unhappy right now and if I weren't here I could be happy again." I think the main reason that he's unwilling to be poly himself is that he can't handle the idea of someone he loves seeing other people. I think he's telling himself that he's no longer "dating" Cathy, but he's still having a relationship explicitly for the purpose of staying on good terms with her so that if we break up, they can be together again.

Mark isn't a bad guy; he's hyper-sensitive and has a lot of anxieties, but he can be really sweet, and is, most of the time. In terms of our day-to-day interactions, he actually treats me really well. We have an incredible amount in common--we're both in physics, we have great chemistry, and we have very similar lifestyle preferences. If you throw in the fact that I have physical disabilities... well... it would be very difficult for me to find another partner who would be a good match. The other issue is that he was/is my first boyfriend, and my first love relationship. I've been dating him since I was 18. It would be incredibly emotionally difficult for me to break away from this relationship at this point. I'm taking the GRE's in the spring, and I'm in my senior year of university.... there's a lot of stress in my life right now. Also, I'm not in great financial shape at the moment... it's not to say that living on my own would be impossible, just that it would be harder than things are right now. It means that I want to be really, really sure before I abandon this relationship. The stress right now kind of sucks, but going from a long-term partnership to totally alone would mess me up. And... as I've said... I still love him.

If it turns out I have to leave, I will. I don't think I could do it today, but if I decide I have to work toward that point, I think I can. I just want to do whatever I possibly can to salvage this relationship before taking the irreversible option.

Right now, you should not be negotiating with Cathy about your boundaries with Mark. She's not Mark, and he's the person you should be talking to about that. Plus it's clear that she has no respect for your relationship with Mark and is a pretty poisonous presence. Quite frankly: fuck her. And I don't mean that in the fun way.


Ceoli, my intuition agrees with what you've said: that talking with Cathy would be a really bad idea. I don't see her as someone who's just going to walk away if I ask really nicely. On the other hand, the fact that we haven't talked about boundaries is partially my fault. I didn't talk to her right away because Mark had said she was going to reach out to me, and I didn't want to seem pushy/bitchy/suspicious of them. When it started out, things weren't happening at my place or in my life, and I figured that the first time we were all three on a date, she'd talk to me. Actually, she just monopolized Mark. So... at that point, I could have demanded that she talk to me... but it was really clear that she'd rather be spending time with Mark. And I didn't want to seem mean or suspicious. That just continued until I found myself here. So... I don't want to talk to her. But I feel like maybe I should have insisted she and I talk about boundaries... that by not asserting myself, it was really my fault that my lines got crossed. In which case, I wouldn't have any right to really blame her. :(
 

maca

New member
I cant even finish reading the responses......

Do you know what a person that has been abused sounds like?????????

Sounds just like you Kaylee..

He/she is not that bad ... Its not there fault....I asked for it.....Its my fault....

Are you f'ing kidding me?????This is why kids get sexually abused and beaten cause they see the adults around them living that way and making excuses..

I really would like to help you Kaylee but Im so pissed off atm that I can only see red....

PLZS PLZS read some of the posts here and take some time to be introspective...

Peace and love
 
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