Heartbroken

arctic

New member
Hi all, I made a post here a few months ago about my lack of trust with my partner and got some good replies.. predictably, things have gotten much worse. I posted on another forum but found this place to be very supportive, so here's my long story..

My partner and I were exclusive for about a year and a half, then tried opening the relationship.. it was under the premise that we would remain primary partners, discuss and adjust boundaries accordingly before anything happened. He claimed he knew himself well enough to know he didn't want long term monogamy with anyone. Shortly after that he re-connected with his ex (who he had cheated on for their entire relationship), and began almost daily phone calls with her, usually lasting for hours. It made me uncomfortable and he tried to assure me it was only platonic at first. Then he went to see her (she's in another state), and informed me it was no longer platonic.. I had seen that coming and said I was also going to start seeing other people, at which point he said we should "take a break".

I've pieced things together in retrospect, but basically after that he planned another trip with her, and she said she didn't want to see him if he was still being intimate with me. We continued to have sex, although much less frequently, but he didn't tell her. He also lied/omitted things about their level of sexual contact on their first trip. When all I had asked was that he'd be honest if it happened.

So he continued to string me along with back and forth, "not sure" where things are going with me or her.. pointing out all my flaws and reasons I drove him to behave the way he has if I ask for any clarity. Then after his second trip, he tells me he's now exclusive with her and is re-thinking monogamy.

So I did something petty.. I messaged her and told her we'd hooked up since she'd asked him not to. He was furious and essentially made me message her back saying it only happened once and I initiated, which is not true. Now they're on good terms again, and I'm left to pick up the pieces and move out of our very nice home we just moved into 4 months ago.

I know I'm not blameless, I know I had some overly emotional reactions in the beginning.. but I really did try. To understand where he was coming from, to understand and do my research on polyamory (which in itself I'm not opposed to, just opposed to a consistent lack of transparency). I got into therapy to address my own issues with anxiety that were contributing to the dynamic. And all so he could end up saying he might be monogamous after all.

Do I think it'll last with her? His history and patterns suggests otherwise.. but who knows. She's clearly willing to put up with it, while still remaining loyal to him. Regardless, he clearly "just wasn't that into me" as much as he is with her. Sorry for the rant, it's just kind of tearing me apart currently and I don't have many people to talk to about the open relationship aspect of it.

On another note, I started seeing a guy friend who is also in an open relationship, initially just to get his perspective.. but so far that's been drastically different experience with little to no jealousy, and his other partner is totally fine with it. I'm meeting her this week. So although I didn't intentionally seek it out, I now seem to be actually doing the poly thing. Life is funny sometimes.

If you made it this far thanks for reading. Any thoughts or perspectives are appreciated
 

Marcus

Well-known member
There are likely numerous reasons that a person would say "I don't want to be monogamous with anyone" and then decide they want to be monogamous with someone... just not you. It could be that they were planning it all along, maybe they had an unexpected experience that changed their minds, maybe they were lying to themselves and didn't know it, etc. In the end it doesn't really matter because the end result is the same, we now have the responsibility of picking ourselves up emotionally and moving forward.

One aspect that is actually important is our part in it and what we can learn from the experience. It's constructive to look back and replay the events, think honestly about how we contributed to the outcome, where we might have taken a wrong turn, or maybe what expectations might not have been aligned with reality. At that point we can look at making adjustments if we can figure out what those might be.

What makes that guy tick and how much his decisions irritate us might seem like a natural thing to focus on but it's pretty far from constructive. I'm glad you have a new possible relationship on your radar, but I hope you will take a deep breath and let things develop at an organic (and hopefully measured) pace. If we don't take a moment to reflect on our past in a way that helps us understand it, we are much more likely to encounter the same problems in our present.
 

arctic

New member
There are likely numerous reasons that a person would say "I don't want to be monogamous with anyone" and then decide they want to be monogamous with someone... just not you. It could be that they were planning it all along, maybe they had an unexpected experience that changed their minds, maybe they were lying to themselves and didn't know it, etc. In the end it doesn't really matter because the end result is the same, we now have the responsibility of picking ourselves up emotionally and moving forward.

One aspect that is actually important is our part in it and what we can learn from the experience. It's constructive to look back and replay the events, think honestly about how we contributed to the outcome, where we might have taken a wrong turn, or maybe what expectations might not have been aligned with reality. At that point we can look at making adjustments if we can figure out what those might be.

What makes that guy tick and how much his decisions irritate us might seem like a natural thing to focus on but it's pretty far from constructive. I'm glad you have a new possible relationship on your radar, but I hope you will take a deep breath and let things develop at an organic (and hopefully measured) pace. If we don't take a moment to reflect on our past in a way that helps us understand it, we are much more likely to encounter the same problems in our present.
Thanks, yes I've been re-playing my faults, mistakes, and wrong turns nearly constantly since the situation with the ex began. Had I not gotten into one-on-one therapy recently, I think I'd still be quietly accepting all the blame and thus believing there was still a chance if I could just adjust or change myself enough.

The new relationship is very casual still and I've made it clear I'm in no place to be starting something serious.
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
My experience with jealousy is that, if my needs are being met, my partner and I are communicating effectively, and I have agency in my relationships, then I'm much less likely to feel jealous. In fact, I will frequently even feel compersion for my partner. Even in a healthy relationship, I can still feel jealous at times, but it's much less frequent and much easier for me to work through it without it causing strife in the relationship.

From what you've written, it sounds like your ex partner either didn't know himself as well as he thought, or wasn't fully honest with you. He sounds messy. Marcus is right though. Since you aren't trying to repair that relationship, trying to figure out why he did what he did, or focusing on his issues won't help you. Better to figure out why you chose a partner with questionable ethics and why you stayed with him as long as you did. When we respect ourselves and have healthy boundaries, we're less likely to become involved with messy people and more likely to end the relationship quickly when we realize we aren't compatible with our partner.

It sounds like you're on the right track, with therapy and the internal work you're doing. Keep doing the work and you'll find yourself attracting the partners who respect you and share your values.... and you'll pass on the messy partners like your ex! (That's been my experience in my journey anyway. )
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi arctic,

What I get from your description of the situation is that your (now ex) partner wasn't very honest, and honesty is the one thing you really wanted, and asked for. I feel bad that he broke up with you, but I think that maybe in the end it's for the best. You are beginning to see someone new, and already you are beginning to see how much better a relationship can be. That's one silver lining right there. I've reviewed your other thread, and I just feel bad for all you have had to go through with this (ex) partner. I hope (all) your future partner/s will be much better for you, much more honest with you, much more willing to give you space to feel things. So far, things are looking up.

No matter what happens, I hope you will keep posting sometimes and let us know how things are going. You can turn to us for sympathy and support whenever things are going badly, even if they were looking good in the beginning. And you can turn to us for a high-five whenever things are going well. Let us be your online friends, we are here to help. Thanks for trusting us so much so far.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
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