Partner breaks up because metamour changes mind on polyamory

Luckywanda

New member
Dear all,
I have been reading a lot here over the last few months and it has helped me a lot. Now that I am in a sad and confusing situation, I would appreciate your opinions. Please excuse my bumpy English and that my text is a bit long.

About a year and a half ago, I started seeing a man more often whom I had known for a while. We got on very well and became closer.
Then about a year ago he opened up to me that he has had a partner for years and he described this relationship as non-monogamous. At the same time, he told me that he also wanted a relationship with me.

At first I was shocked because I tend to be afraid of connection and potential hurt anyway. The fact that this connection was to be non-monogamous added to the difficulty. I had not rejected the concept before, but it was my first real contact with it.

After initial difficulties, we started to communicate a lot. I learned to identify and express my needs. Together we found ways to deal with my insecurities and jealousy. And we realised that our ideas of (polyamorous) relationships were very similar. In all of this, this forum helped me enormously (thanks again!) I have never before learned so much about relationships as I did in those months.

In the meantime, my metamour broke up with my partner without giving him any real reason. He was pretty devastated, and he then also told me for the first time that she had a special meaning in his life - but things were still going very well between the two of us. When they met again a few weeks later, she realised how much he meant to her and they decided to try again.

This marked the beginning of months of nerve-wracking arguments for the two of them, during which my metamour addressed many of the problems in their relationship and many of her needs probably for the first time (after years of being in a relationship!). At the same time, it also became apparent that she had many fears and insecurities that had to do with his relationship with me. My metamour wanted to work on that though, as she said. She also wanted to get to know me, which I initially refused out of anxiety and insecurity.

In the meantime, things were going very well between me and my partner and he managed well not to carry over the problems he had with my metamour to our relationship. At the same time, however, I was only now really realising how much she meant to him and becoming anxious that he might end up deciding to have a monogamous relationship with her. When I addressed these fears, however, he said that would not happen and renewed his affirmation that he wanted a relationship with me. I decided to face my fears head on and meet the metamour.

In the meantime, however, she had found out for herself that she wanted a monogamous relationship, had also told my partner this and announced that she would very probably break up with him. I only found out about this during my meeting with her, which she only wanted in order to feel whether she really couldn't cope with the situation and my relationship with our shared partner. At the same time, she also told me that many problems in her relationship with our partner had only been catalysed by me, that she had actually always been an advocate of non-monogamous relationships and had benefited more than he had for years.

Unfortunately, I can only tell you what happened next from second-hand accounts and my partner's report: Two days later she broke up with my partner, accusing him of all sorts of things. Instead of leaving afterwards, they started talking and realised that they didn't really want to break up because they loved each other so much. By the end of the evening, my partner had decided on a gut feeling (his words) to break up with me instead.

Now they want to try to have a monogamous relationship, which my partner always strictly refused before and he - again his words - is only doing now because he loves her so much.

Now I am going through a whole range of contradictory and confusing emotions:

1. mourning the loss of my partner and the end of our relationship, which I thought was a very good and promising one (and I guess he did too until a few days ago).

2. disappointment and anger that he is leaving me for another person who seems to have a very poor access to her emotions, realises many things only very late and obviously cannot communicate her needs in a relationship well. At the same time I am trying to understand my ex-partner as he made this difficult decision out of his great love for her.

3. anger that he may have lied to himself for months by saying he does not want hierarchical non-monogamy. He described this notion as inhuman. In the end it turned out that there was probably a hierarchy after all, wasn't there?

4. anger and annoyance at the metamour that she has this difficult access to her emotions and that I have to suffer this. At the same time I try to understand her, because in the end everyone has the right to change their mind about polyamory, don't they? Or, in the end, does she only have a problem with polyamory if her partner has another committed relationship?

5. I try not to fall into the trap of hoping that my ex-partner might regret his gut decision and choose me after all, in order not to delay the processing and grieving process. But at the same time, it's all I really want.

6. regret that I was not ready to meet the metamour at an earlier stage. Maybe things would have turned out differently, who knows?

7. on the plus side, I don't feel my worth as a person has been questioned by this breakup (unlike previous breakups) and also think I haven't made any mistakes (except maybe number 6).

8. as a lesson from this experience, I also do not question for myself that polyamorous relationships can work. However, in the future I would try to find out more about what issues and dynamics are present in potential partners' other relationships from the beginning.

Writing all this down has already done me a lot of good. Still, I would be grateful if you could write your impressions or hints.
Sorry again for the long and perhaps confusing story!
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Now they want to try to have a monogamous relationship, which my partner always strictly refused before and he - again his words - is only doing now because he loves her so much.

That sucks.

It's always so disappointing when we think we understand the direction a relationship is going and it suddenly gets the rug pulled out from under it. It's that feeling of missed future opportunity, like "ah man, that could have been something really beautiful."

Folks just don't know what they want, and that thing where monogamous couple open up and then snap back shut again happens. Some non-monogamous folks won't mess with long term (or married) monogamous couples. There can be a ton of baggage there, unreasonable promises made, and abrupt mind changing. That's not to say that we *shouldn't* date married couples, just that it will often come with a host of pre-built problems to sort through.

Sorry that happened; it's happened to lots of us, and it's never any fun.
 

Luckywanda

New member
That sucks.

It's always so disappointing when we think we understand the direction a relationship is going and it suddenly gets the rug pulled out from under it. It's that feeling of missed future opportunity, like "ah man, that could have been something really beautiful."

Folks just don't know what they want, and that thing where monogamous couple open up and then snap back shut again happens. Some non-monogamous folks won't mess with long term (or married) monogamous couples. There can be a ton of baggage there, unreasonable promises made, and abrupt mind changing. That's not to say that we *shouldn't* date married couples, just that it will often come with a host of pre-built problems to sort through.

Sorry that happened; it's happened to lots of us, and it's never any fun.
That's exactly how I'm feeling. Thank you so much!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry to hear about the break up.

I think the grief you are experiencing is normal. No break up (even when necessary) is going to be fun like "Yay! Let's make cookies!"

This really stood out to me.

8. as a lesson from this experience, I also do not question for myself that polyamorous relationships can work. However, in the future I would try to find out more about what issues and dynamics are present in potential partners' other relationships from the beginning.

You are trying to learn from the experience and do better for yourself next time by asking directly about things sooner. I think that's good.

It sounds like you were dating him for 6 mos before he told you that he had another partner of many years. Not sure why he didn't tell you all that sooner. Now you know to actively ask.

In the meantime, however, she had found out for herself that she wanted a monogamous relationship, had also told my partner this and announced that she would very probably break up with him. I only found out about this during my meeting with her, which she only wanted in order to feel whether she really couldn't cope with the situation and my relationship with our shared partner. At the same time, she also told me that many problems in her relationship with our partner had only been catalysed by me, that she had actually always been an advocate of non-monogamous relationships and had benefited more than he had for years.
I could be wrong in my impression. To me?

This almost sounds like she wanted Open for her, but not for him. And when it became Open for him too or when he found someone that seemed to last or was "serious" it got too real for her and she wigged out and stomped off breaking up with him. Maybe expecting him to follow?

Then she came back and he took her back rather than saying no. Then she kept on acting out with the arguments and all that. Then at the meeting she blamed everything on you.

Sounds like a really weird dynamic between them and a really weird meeting.

It stinks to have done nothing wrong, and try to be understanding and accommodating, have the hinge say he isn't going to leave you to do a monogamous relationship with her... and then have the hinge do just that.

Now they want to try to have a monogamous relationship, which my partner always strictly refused before and he - again his words - is only doing now because he loves her so much.

If he wants to go back to his emotionally out of touch partner, back to arguments, and doing monogamy when he doesn't really want that for himself and whatever else? His choice.

To me? They don't sound healthy.

And maybe it's ok for you to be away and out of all that. Like... save yourself even though it really hurts right now from the break up.

You don't have to experience any more NEW weird like collateral damage. You sound like you had enough.

5. I try not to fall into the trap of hoping that my ex-partner might regret his gut decision and choose me after all, in order not to delay the processing and grieving process. But at the same time, it's all I really want.

I think that is natural to feel when grieving. Be careful if he comes back wanting to get back together though. It's ok to say "No, thanks. I don't want to do that again."

You sound like a very nice person. But don't be so nice to everyone else, that you forget to be nice to you. This whole things sounds like being put through the wringer.

I am very sorry this happened. It sounds really rough. :(

Over time I hope you find peace and healing.

Galagirl
 
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Luckywanda

New member
If he wants to go back to his emotionally out of touch partner, back to arguments, and doing monogamy when he doesn't really want that for himself and whatever else? His choice.

To me? They don't sound healthy.

And maybe it's ok for you to be away and out of all that. Like... save yourself even though it really hurts right now from the break up.

You don't have to experience any more NEW weird like collateral damage. You sound like you had enough.



I think that is natural to feel when grieving. Be careful if he comes back wanting to get back together though. It's ok to say "No, thanks. I don't want to do that again."
Thank you so much, your words are really empowering, GalaGirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Luckywanda,

I'm really, really sorry this has happened to you. I am inclined to think that your ex-boyfriend has been rotten towards you, first he assured you he wouldn't leave you (for her), then he turned around and that's exactly what he did. But I know he may have honestly thought he'd never leave you when he made that promise.

The truth is, any relationship, mono or poly, can end with an unanticipated breakup. No doubt you could have a better idea of what to expect, if you knew more from the beginning about what issues and dynamics are present in a potential partner's other relationship/s. But could you ever be 100% sure? I am thinking no, there is always a chance things could turn south with no forewarning.

In your heart I know you hope to get back together with this man. But stay strong, and listen to your mind. This man has proven to be unreliable, he goes back and forth, first he commits himself to nonmonogamy and then he commits himself to monogamy. And his partner only encourages that behavior by first breaking up with him, then getting back together with him. As strange as it may sound, you are actually lucky to be rid of him. If he comes back and wants to get back together with you, say no.

With sympathy,
Kevin T.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
You're welcome, hang in there.
 

Electrons

New member
Is this how it ends? The metamour changes mind about being a Poly couple and this terminates the relationship between the two other people. . . that's a lot of power!? Does this happen often?

I've been just a lurker here for several months, reading a lot on all the topics, trying to get an understanding of the scene. This thread jarred me into registering and writing a first post.

I'm a mid 50's single guy, always have been mono. Last year, I met a women and we had that instant connection - one that was unlike any other either of us have ever felt. She had always been mono and has been with her #1 for 20 years. She has no intention on leaving him, but (due to her sparks with me) they agreed to their boundaries and shifted to a Poly arrangement to allow her to experiment as the hinge, with the known heirarchy of me being her #2.

She and I have been seeing each other weekly and are enjoying all the NRE hormones flowing - feeling love, intimacy, and who knows, maybe just maybe we are soul mates indeed. He (my metamour) says he feels compersion, has kept his insecurities and jealousy in check, and has also been seeking new relationships for himself and I hope he finds one that is as satisfying as what I have found. We've all met and everyone is cool. I feel lucky to be in this relationship with her (them?), but at the same time, there's a foreseeable future out there where it could all come crashing down, totally out of my controls, and for no reason of my own doing . . . because in this newly experimenting Poly couple, the primary metamour could change his mind and ask the hinge break it off with me, the #2.

1. This forces me to live in the moment even more, not entertain dreams/ fantasy about a longer term relationship, and simply enjoy the time she and I have together.

2. What I'm trying to wrap my head around is. . . . if #1 did ask her to end their Poly experiment - and this is something she is embracing and enjoying to the fullest - would that not be the same as asking a person who has "come out of the closet" . . to go back into the closet?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
You might consider asking a mod to split your post into a thread of its own so more people see it.

We've all met and everyone is cool. I feel lucky to be in this relationship with her (them?), but at the same time, there's a foreseeable future out there where it could all come crashing down, totally out of my controls, and for no reason of my own doing . . .

That possibility exists even in a monogamous relationships. Your partner could decide to end it out of the blue, out of your control, for no reason of your own doing.

because in this newly experimenting Poly couple, the primary metamour could change his mind and ask the hinge break it off with me, the #2.

Well, if they practice primary-secondary model? And do vetos? Yes. That could happen. The meta could change his mind and ask the hinge to dump you.

At the same time? Hinge behavior is ultimately up to the hinge.
  • The hinge could agree and dump you.
  • The hinge could say "No, thanks. I said I would, but nope. Not actually gonna veto."

You might want to ask if they have any agreements that would affect you. Especially if you weren't part of the agreement making.

And if you don't like anything, ask to renegotiate agreements now that you ARE part of the group.

There's lots of threads on here with veto issues. Here's one article.


If this network does do veto, and you were not told before, and/or you don't like it? You may have to decide if you want to keep going with it as is, ask the renegotiate agreements, or bow out.

1. This forces me to live in the moment even more, not entertain dreams/ fantasy about a longer term relationship, and simply enjoy the time she and I have together.

Nothing wrong with either. Enjoying the present moment. Or dreaming about the future.

2. What I'm trying to wrap my head around is. . . . if #1 did ask her to end their Poly experiment - and this is something she is embracing and enjoying to the fullest - would that not be the same as asking a person who has "come out of the closet" . . to go back into the closet?

To me? No. To others? Maybe. I don't know. It's hard for me to imagine because to me it's two separate issues. People can practice poly while still being in the "poly closet."

To me the question would be "if #1 did ask her to end their Poly experiment and go back to monogamy with just them - and poly is something she is embracing and enjoying to the fullest... what would she do? Would she go back?"

Cuz if meta wants to stop and hinge wants to keep going? That's possible to do. They could part ways. Then meta can stop. And hinge can keep going.

If what you need is reassurance from hinge on how she'd break up with you IF she had to break up with you? So it's decent and not like at the whim of the meta? Talk that out with hinge.

Galagirl
 
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Electrons

New member
You might consider asking a mod to split your post into a thread of its own so more people see it.



That possibility exists even in a monogamous relationships. Your partner could decide to end it out of the blue, out of your control, for no reason of your own doing.



Well, if they practice primary-secondary model? And do vetos? Yes. That could happen. The meta could change his mind and ask the hinge to dump you.

At the same time? Hinge behavior is ultimately up to the hinge.
  • The hinge could agree and dump you.
  • The hinge could say "No, thanks. I said I would, but nope. Not actually gonna veto."

You might want to ask if they have any agreements that would affect you. Especially if you weren't part of the agreement making.

And if you don't like anything, ask to renegotiate agreements now that you ARE part of the group.

There's lots of threads on here with veto issues. Here's one article.


If this network does do veto, and you were not told before, and/or you don't like it? You may have to decide if you want to keep going with it as is, ask the renegotiate agreements, or bow out.



Nothing wrong with either. Enjoying the present moment. Or dreaming about the future.



To me? No. To others? Maybe. I don't know. It's hard for me to imagine because to me it's two separate issues. People can practice poly while still being in the "poly closet."

To me the question would be "if #1 did ask her to end their Poly experiment and go back to monogamy with just them - and poly is something she is embracing and enjoying to the fullest... what would she do? Would she go back?"

Cuz if meta wants to stop and hinge wants to keep going? That's possible to do. They could part ways. Then meta can stop. And hinge can keep going.

If what you need is reassurance from hinge on how she'd break up with you IF she had to break up with you? So it's decent and not like at the whim of the meta? Talk that out with hinge.

Galagirl
From the very outset, hinge had originally stated that #1 had the power to call this all off and she would comply with such request. My being #2 was all very clearly spelled out - mostly to alleviate his insecurity - and I suppose in part to prevent me from thinking things might ever develop beyond a #2 level of her heirarchy.

With every day that's passed by, it seems less and less likely that meta will change mind and ask her to end Poly agreement. . . but Yes, I will ask if that "veto power" has changed now that she's embracing and enjoying poly, and the "could you even go back to mono" if asked to - of which I am most curious as well.

I know relationships of mono or poly can end suddenly and without good reason. Reasurrance of how it ends (via meta) would be nice, but in reality not possible. I suppose my request is simple - if/when it comes time, she tells me it is that she has changed her mind, and not that she has been asked to change her mind by #1 and she has agreed to that request.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Electrons,

Sorry you are in such a difficult position, you are at the mercy of #1 and his veto power, you have the sword of Damocles hanging over your head. The hinge could cancel the veto power, but again that is not up to you. The best you can do is live in the moment, and try not to worry too much about the future.

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 
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