Open Relationship Trouble

Cas78

New member
Hi Everyone,

I'm new here, but not to the lifestyle. A bit of background, my first ploy relationship ended when my husband and girlfriend decided they wanted to go solo and asked me to leave the relationship...which I did VERY reluctantly. After I healed for some time, I realized it was for the best and I was better off without them as I met a wonderful man who is a much better fit for me. He was also wanting an open relationship, which was great because I loved the lifestyle even though my first experience didn't end exactly as I hoped. We've been together for 2 years now and in the beginning things were awesome. We were both dating other people, but were each other's primaries and spent most of our time together. All was well until I fell in love with him and started becoming paranoid things would end badly again. This caused me to begin putting pressure on the relationship and jealousy became an issue any time he was off dating someone else. The jealousy and fear factor has been intensified by him reminding me our relationship is NOT long term and that it will eventually end. He doesn't want it to end right now, but at some point in the future he's determined it will. In addition, he continually goes back and forth on whether or not he loves me. He at times says he does, but then he pulls back and says that he just "really likes me" and has "feelings" but he's not in love. He's also gone back and forth on how he wants to define the relationship...sometimes saying he doesn't really want to date other women solo and would rather we find a GF or another couple and leave it at that. But when I start to become anxious about the other women he's dating, he back pedals and says he does want to date around as he needs "variety" and thinks we need to dial back our relationship as well. So you can imagine my confusion between him trying to figure out if he does love me and if he does or doesn't want us to date others. He'll also go silent on me the days he has dates and I won't hear from him for 24-48 hours, which after 2 years I find pretty jack-assy of him. He's now saying he's worried for my mental state because I get really upset when we have these constantly shifting conversations about our relationship. And yeah, it sucks not knowing if my partner really loves me and if he's just using me as a place holder until someone better looking, more exciting, more intriguing, comes along to take my place. ANYONE would feel major anxiety and fear. I'm not a crazy person. I'm very confused and exhausted. Just recently I suggested we break up as I am tired of this and I don't want to hang on for 2 more years waiting for things to end, but he said he doesn't want to break up...that he just wants to enjoy our time together, and that were just not on the same page at the moment. I just don't know what to do. I know it's a mess and I'm really just looking for constructive feedback.

(PS- He was divorced 3 years ago from his wife of 28 years. They have 3 grown kids who want them back together. The wife gave him a hall pass and he abused this, so the marriage ended. So he's always been the philandering type. He says that when his libido is gone, he plans to go back to her and mend his family. She would take him back tomorrow if he agreed to be with only her, but he says he's not ready for this. I know. What a winner :(
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing that out.

I could be wrong, but it sounds like this to me.

Your first poly relationship ended up with your husband and GF pairing off and ending things with you.

Now you have this new BF. NRE wears off somewhere between 6 mos and 2 years. You are at 2 years with him.

Him? He's divorced with grown kids who want them back together. He wants to play the field for now, and when his libido is gone he plans to go back to his wife and mend his family.

He reminds you that this relationship is not a long term one -- he has other future plans.

In the meanwhile... he annoys you when he waffles.

In addition, he continually goes back and forth on whether or not he loves me. He at times says he does, but then he pulls back and says that he just "really likes me" and has "feelings" but he's not in love. He's also gone back and forth on how he wants to define the relationship...sometimes saying he doesn't really want to date other women solo and would rather we find a GF or another couple and leave it at that.

I wonder if he's starting to change his mind about that future plan? Or trying to keep you at arms distance so him getting more attached to you doesn't mess up his future plan? Or he's one of those people who "doesn't like labels" on things, but then that makes it hard to communicate?

You came to this relationship with your baggage. He prob has his. You just have to decide if it's worthwhile here, and if you are willing to deal with it when he's waffling or not.

Just recently I suggested we break up as I am tired of this and I don't want to hang on for 2 more years waiting for things to end, but he said he doesn't want to break up...that he just wants to enjoy our time together, and that were just not on the same page at the moment. I just don't know what to do. I know it's a mess and I'm really just looking for constructive feedback.

If you want to break up with him? You do not "suggest" it. You just tell him you are done if you are done.

If it is that you enjoy being with him, but want a clearer "break up deadline" rather like one knows a summer romance is done at the end of the summer? Then set a clear breaking up point and enjoy your time together. Then when that point comes? End it and move on.

Mostly you sound like you want some CLARITY about what to expect from this relationship and some REASSURANCE that when it ends it will go WELL rather than end badly again.

Is that true? If so, end it well now because you feel done. Or set an agreement for ending it at X point in time and part well then.

Galagirl
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
Hi and welcome to the forum. 😁👍

The post script part of your post really helps explain your BF’s vacillating bullshit in the middle of your post so thanks for adding that. I guess the question I would have is dating him “ as a primary “ impede you finding a better / more suitable long term partner that doesn’t have some relationship clock actively counting down. ?

WHY not use him as the place holder just like he’s doing to you ? but in a slightly different way you’d be shifting to a more suitable and stable primary and thus making him more of a secondary if those labels work if he hadn’t left the relationship for greener pastures or went back to his ex wife.

Do you have concerns about the number of yrs you invested in a marriage that didn’t work out. Time spent healing. Plus another 2 yrs with this guy as a marketability issue and not wanting to be in limbo for say another 2-5 yrs?
 

Cas78

New member
I hope you feel better for airing that out.

I could be wrong, but it sounds like this to me.

Your first poly relationship ended up with your husband and GF pairing off and ending things with you.

Now you have this new BF. NRE wears off somewhere between 6 mos and 2 years. You are at 2 years with him.

Him? He's divorced with grown kids who want them back together. He wants to play the field for now, and when his libido is gone he plans to go back to his wife and mend his family.

He reminds you that this relationship is not a long term one -- he has other future plans.

In the meanwhile... he annoys you when he waffles.



I wonder if he's starting to change his mind about that future plan? Or trying to keep you at arms distance so him getting more attached to you doesn't mess up his future plan? Or he's one of those people who "doesn't like labels" on things, but then that makes it hard to communicate?

You came to this relationship with your baggage. He prob has his. You just have to decide if it's worthwhile here, and if you are willing to deal with it when he's waffling or not.



If you want to break up with him? You do not "suggest" it. You just tell him you are done if you are done.

If it is that you enjoy being with him, but want a clearer "break up deadline" rather like one knows a summer romance is done at the end of the summer? Then set a clear breaking up point and enjoy your time together. Then when that point comes? End it and move on.

Mostly you sound like you want some CLARITY about what to expect from this relationship and some REASSURANCE that when it ends it will go WELL rather than end badly again.

Is that true? If so, end it well now because you feel done. Or set an agreement for ending it at X point in time and part well then.

Galagirl
Yes, you’re right about needing more clarity which he can’t provide because at the end of the day he doesn’t know what he really wants. He doesn’t want to break up, and neither do I, but he also isn’t sure he wants to go back to the ex and end up cheating again. There’s also a lot of bad energy around sex in their relationship and I don’t know if it can be repaired. But not my business really. I also agree 100% all of this is his way of pushing me away and dulling his feelings dating all these other women. He doesn’t want to get too close. I pointed this out to him recently and he said nothing, so silence may be admission I suppose.
 

Cas78

New member
Hi and welcome to the forum. 😁👍

The post script part of your post really helps explain your BF’s vacillating bullshit in the middle of your post so thanks for adding that. I guess the question I would have is dating him “ as a primary “ impede you finding a better / more suitable long term partner that doesn’t have some relationship clock actively counting down. ?

WHY not use him as the place holder just like he’s doing to you ? but in a slightly different way you’d be shifting to a more suitable and stable primary and thus making him more of a secondary if those labels work if he hadn’t left the relationship for greener pastures or went back to his ex wife.

Do you have concerns about the number of yrs you invested in a marriage that didn’t work out. Time spent healing. Plus another 2 yrs with this guy as a marketability issue and not wanting to be in limbo for say another 2-5 yrs?
I like your perspective! And he would NOT be happy being secondary, but he made his own bed in this regard. I do plan to start dating again, and have 2 dates on the calendar already. The ridiculous part of this is that he really doesn’t like me dating other men 🤦‍♀️ Huge double standard here. He’s convinced it’s only out of revenge for his dates and I’ll never really find someone else I like to spend time with. And yes, investing time into another potentially fatal relationship is a huge concern for me. But I won’t be in a monogamous relationship and suppose you always run the risk of a breakup...well, really regardless the type of relationship you’re in. But him feeling confident we won’t work on in the long run really sets things up for failure ultimately. He’s also 19 years older (I’m 42, he’s 61), so this is a factor as well. He feels like the clock is ticking and he only has so much time to repair his family by reconciling with his ex.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I know. What a winner :(

You don't speak very highly of him, and you don't sound like you two are a good match. That alone is plenty of cause for making a change.

He is a bad guy, he's distant, he is flippant, he's a philanderer, blah blah blah, now what? This association sounds like it's on fire and there is nothing but kindling as far as the eye can see, so I don't think you need to put much more thought into how to salvage it. What I think is more important is that YOU decide what YOU want in your life, and then take the actions that will increase the odds of your getting it.

Do you know what you're looking for? Think of a relationship that is by your design from top to bottom, what the communication style looks like, the amount of time you spend together, how you handle disagreement, do you share a life completely or are you two independent entities, and what expectations you have on each others time and energy. Once you have a working concept of what you're looking for, do a close assessment of the actions that you are taking and how you are treating your romantic associations, and see if your actions and goal line up.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Yes, you’re right about needing more clarity which he can’t provide because at the end of the day he doesn’t know what he really wants.

To me that is a kind of clarity.

"This guy doesn't know what he really wants. Do I feel like sticking around waiting for him to figure it out or not?

He doesn’t want to break up, and neither do I

Sometimes breaking up is what is best in a situation even if people don't want to break up. Nobody I know breaks up like "Hooray! Cookies!"

But if participating in this relationship right now makes you feel anxious, fearful, exhausted, and frustrated? Like you are banging head on wall? Break it off.

Take some time apart to reflect.

There's no law that says you can't get back together later if you both want to. But... maybe you find you like being apart and not having to deal with all this stuff any more.

I do plan to start dating again, and have 2 dates on the calendar already. The ridiculous part of this is that he really doesn’t like me dating other men 🤦‍♀️ Huge double standard here.

Well, good that you are dating other people then. You don't want to be monogamous so don't be.

He feels like the clock is ticking and he only has so much time to repair his family by reconciling with his ex.

Then he could on with it if that's what he wants.

You really don't seem to think much of him or enjoy being around him right now. Maybe instead of waiting on him to decide things YOU just decide things for you.

Galagirl
 

Cas78

New member
I
To me that is a kind of clarity.

"This guy doesn't know what he really wants. Do I feel like sticking around waiting for him to figure it out or not?



Sometimes breaking up is what is best in a situation even if people don't want to break up. Nobody I know breaks up like "Hooray! Cookies!"

But if participating in this relationship right now makes you feel anxious, fearful, exhausted, and frustrated? Like you are banging head on wall? Break it off.

Take some time apart to reflect.

There's no law that says you can't get back together later if you both want to. But... maybe you find you like being apart and not having to deal with all this stuff any more.



Well, good that you are dating other people then. You don't want to be monogamous so don't be.



Then he could on with it if that's what he wants.

You really don't seem to think much of him or enjoy being around him right now. Maybe instead of waiting on him to decide things YOU just decide things for you.

Galagirl
I do agree time apart is warranted and I do need to prioritize my needs above his.
 

Cas78

New member
You don't speak very highly of him, and you don't sound like you two are a good match. That alone is plenty of cause for making a change.

He is a bad guy, he's distant, he is flippant, he's a philanderer, blah blah blah, now what? This association sounds like it's on fire and there is nothing but kindling as far as the eye can see, so I don't think you need to put much more thought into how to salvage it. What I think is more important is that YOU decide what YOU want in your life, and then take the actions that will increase the odds of your getting it.

Do you know what you're looking for? Think of a relationship that is by your design from top to bottom, what the communication style looks like, the amount of time you spend together, how you handle disagreement, do you share a life completely or are you two independent entities, and what expectations you have on each others time and energy. Once you have a working concept of what you're looking for, do a close assessment of the actions that you are taking and how you are treating your romantic associations, and see if your actions and goal line up.
I do know I want someone who isn’t going to want me one day and the next tell me there’s an expiration date on the relationship. Other than this part of the relationship, we’re great friends and really enjoy eaxhorher’s company. He’s not a bad person, he’s actually wonderful and very giving. But it doesn’t overshadow his poor behavior when it comes to him being an ass about the current state and future of the relationship...
 

MeeraReed

Active member
And he would NOT be happy being secondary, but he made his own bed in this regard. I do plan to start dating again, and have 2 dates on the calendar already. The ridiculous part of this is that he really doesn’t like me dating other men 🤦‍♀️ Huge double standard here. He’s convinced it’s only out of revenge for his dates and I’ll never really find someone else I like to spend time with. ... He’s also 19 years older (I’m 42, he’s 61), so this is a factor as well. He feels like the clock is ticking and he only has so much time to repair his family by reconciling with his ex.
WHY do you want to keep dating this guy at all? Count yourself lucky that you won't have take care of him when he's 80--his poor wife will have to do that!! What a lucky lady--when he loses interest in sex, he'll reconcile with her so she can care for him in his old age!

Surely you have better dating prospects than this guy? He doesn't even want you to date other people! So he's not really poly, he just wants to do whatever he wants.

I know you are still healing from what happened with your ex-husband. Both of your partners leaving you for each other is a huge rejection. It sounds like this guy is kind of a rebound--and it's time for you to end it.
 

TXretired

Member
I am truly sorry sorry you are experiencing this. A Wishy washy approach is why my wife broke it off with her secondary. First he loved her, then liked her then wanted to be fwb. She got fed up and nutted it. If you do not have the stability in this relationship after two years, it is not going to appear.
 

Cas78

New member
Yeah,
WHY do you want to keep dating this guy at all? Count yourself lucky that you won't have take care of him when he's 80--his poor wife will have to do that!! What a lucky lady--when he loses interest in sex, he'll reconcile with her so she can care for him in his old age!

Surely you have better dating prospects than this guy? He doesn't even want you to date other people! So he's not really poly, he just wants to do whatever he wants.

I know you are still healing from what happened with your ex-husband. Both of your partners leaving you for each other is a huge rejection. It sounds like this guy is kind of a rebound--and it's time for you to end it.
 

Cas78

New member
You’re right about his ex. I do think he eventually plans to go back to her after his libido dies. In the meantime, he’s very attractive, successful, and is trying to seduce as many women as he can until the inevitable happens. So I’m an idiot thinking I’m any different from the rest of his lovers and know it’s time to move on. We just have so much fun together and are great friends. It’s so hard to pull the plug...
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Cas78,

It sounds like this is a good man who is perfect for you in every single way, except for this one little thing. Well, maybe a few little things ...
  • You fell in love with him ... thus opening a portal to the past, compelling you to be jealous, and to put pressure on the relationship.
  • He minimizes the problem: "We're just not on the same page at the moment."
  • He implies that you're only upset because you're (supposedly) off your nut.
  • He wants to date other women ... but doesn't want you to date other men.
  • He goes silent on you the days he has dates ... for as much as 48 hours at a time.
  • He says he wants to stop playing the field ... then takes it back.
  • He says he loves you ... then takes it back.
  • He's already planning to break up with you ... on his timetable, not yours.
He is a good man who does bad things. And I know you're not ready to break up with him, so I am not going to suggest that. I do think you need to address his behaviors though. Explain to him what he's doing wrong, and why he needs to change it.

Take back some of the personal power that you have lost in this relationship. Don't let yourself be triggered by the past. And consider the possibility that you're only jealous because you're being treated badly. Give yourself some credit.

I hope you can work some things out.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Hey MeeraReed, I am 65 and Pixi is 43, and she's fine with "taking care of me," lol. That sounded a bit ageist. I don't think a 20 year age gap is of itself a bad thing. As long as the older person "still got it," why not? And even if they are becoming infirm, they still have value, they can still get up to some hanky panky, and they can be very interesting and exciting people to love.

There's no guarantee this guy in question is going to "lose his libido" anytime soon. It is a cultural fallacy that older people stop liking sex, or stop having the ability to do it. Ask anyone who works in a senior living facility. I have heard there is quite a bit of sex going on, with people who can move at all. I think younger people like to think older people don't have sex, or if they do, it's gross, just because of the incest taboo. Mom and Dad should never be seen as desirable. (Then you look up porn preferences, and see that sex with mom, step-mom or a MILF are in the top 10 of searches...)

I do think it's really gross though, that this guy thinks he'll finally go back to his wife, and somehow make his grown kids happy, when this happens, when he loses all desire. First of all, the wife must have very low self esteem to take him back after that. Second of all, I don't think the "kids" will be so happy when he comes crawling back at age 75 or 80! lol *shakes head*
 

Marcus

Well-known member
But it doesn’t overshadow his poor behavior when it comes to him being an ass about the current state and future of the relationship...

You mentioned this previously, but you also mentioned that everything was going fine until you "fell in love" and started getting jealous and applying pressure to the relationship. It was only then that you begin to describe his being wishy-washy about your association.

All was well until I fell in love with him and started becoming paranoid things would end badly again. This caused me to begin putting pressure on the relationship and jealousy became an issue any time he was off dating someone else. The jealousy and fear factor has been intensified by him reminding me our relationship is NOT long term and that it will eventually end.

This is not an attempt to throw you under the bus, but merely to point out that it sounds like both of you brought some unfortunate baggage to this association, and it is faltering because of it. Generally speaking that's the way it works, only one person randomly detonating a relationship for no reason whatsoever is far more rare that most people would like to admit. He sounds like he's really dropping the ball, you'll get no argument from me, and you can easily paint him up to be whatever bad-guy you want him to look like, but I don't think that is a constructive use of your energy.

I encourage you to take this opportunity to investigate the paranoid jealousy, and to step away from finding a way to blame it on this current guy. I hope that once you get through the agitation of a relationship going tits up, that you will take a moment to gently do some self examination and learn from your mistakes and shortcomings, whatever they may be.
 
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