Poly quad - unusual moral conundrum (one of the 4 is mid-divorce, a mutual friend let something slip not knowing I'm part of the group)

Rickmanger

New member
So, I find myself in an unusual situation ~yet again~ (original situation is https://polyamory.com/threads/the-u...ld-friend-suddenly-isnt-just-a-friend.153630/ ).

Our mutual friends still hang out with Bryan (soon-to-be ex spouse of part of our group - was a quad, then a triad after the group decided that the fourth was not wanted anymore for a plethora of reasons, then I joined to make it a W), and one of them let slip something about the upcoming divorce. Specifically, Bryan finally got a lawyer, after totaling his truck (not his fault, at least) and using the proceeds to pay off the loan and buy something cheap to get himself around.

This has been a somewhat acrimonious process, as he doesn't want to give his ex-spouse anything she's owed (even the equity in the house)... the mutual friends asked me to keep it quiet, but... this is now my family too, and it directly impacts them and me (but we're not out to that group of friends). He keeps filing bullshit things with the court to make life difficult and use up the money before the divorce can be finalized too (and he's trying to tap out the retirement accounts/etc).

So... WTF would you do? Do you pass it on to the rest of your now-family, but violate the trust of the friends you're not out to? Or do you keep their faith, but know that it will be a surprise (hopefully a good one, laws here are pretty strict and the lawyer ~might~ put an end to all this shit and tell him what he really has to do), and that it might come out that you knew ahead of time.

:(
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
There's a Joe, Kayla, Bryan, Samantha thing, according to your other original thread.

Can you describe the configurations before and now? Just saying quad and triad and W isn't working for me. Who is actually romantically involved, or married, soon-to-be-divorced here?

Why do you feel you owe some non-involved friends any explanation of breakups, divorce, money, etc?
 

Rickmanger

New member
joe / Kayla married, primary.
Bryan / Samantha married, getting divorce.
they were together in a quad, now it’s Joe/Kayla/Samantha in a triad (Samantha is the secondary), and I’m a secondary for Kayla.

The mutual friends mentioned that Bryan (who has been screwing around with the legal process) finally got a lawyer, but also that he’s totaled the truck/etc. The mutual friends do not know that I am involved with Kayla, just that I am a close friend of the whole group.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Let me repeat that back so I know I understand.

You have this Friend who doesn't know you are in a poly network with Joe, Kayla, and Samantha.

Samantha is in the middle of divorcing Bryan.

Friend told you that Bryan was in some kind of accident where the truck was totaled. A truck that belongs to both Bryan and Samantha. Bryan is sorting out his truck accident with his truck accident lawyer and will use the proceeds to pay off the truck loan and then get a cheap vehicle to get around in.

Alright. Sounds like the truck accident is being dealt with.

This bothers you because Bryan doesn't want to give Samantha her fair share in the divorce, which you think would now include her share of truck proceeds. You are afraid he's going to use the truck proceeds to his advantage and rather than give her a cut before spending his, he's just gonna spend all the truck money for himself.

You are not her soon to be ex. You are not her lawyer. You also don't even date Samantha. You date Kayla, who is married to Joe, who dates Samantha.

Doesn't Samantha have her divorce lawyer helping her list assets and debts so they can finish splitting things up in the divorce?

You are just not part of the divorce circle. Can't you let those who are, deal with her divorce?

The extent of your divorce concern with Samantha might be to say "Sorry that's happening" if/when she tells you something about it. You actually don't have to be listening to ANY of her divorce stuff if you don't want to be. If she's dumping on you and you don't want to be listening to that, SAY SO.

"I'm sorry this is happening. This is your personal business between you and Bryan. I feel weird hearing about it, and would prefer to talk to other people more equipped."

Exercise stronger personal boundaries.

He keeps filing bullshit things with the court to make life difficult and use up the money before the divorce can be finalized too (and he's trying to tap out the retirement accounts/etc).

So what? Nothing new there. I doubt anyone would be surprised this. People sometimes act out when divorcing. And playing "starve the wife" or "other spouse" is common. You said he was abusive -- well, they don't leave easy. They try to get their last digs in.

Hopefully Samantha's lawyer has prepared her for common happenings in divorce.

I believe each person is responsible for their own emergency preparedness. If during their marriage Samantha threw everything in joint with Bryan rather than hers, his, and ours? No prenup or postnup? And she didn't withdraw her half out to live on and close any joint accounts or cards before or during filing for divorce? Well, she has to rely on the divorce lawyer to help her detangle and claim her property then.

Leave it to the professionals.

It is not your job or responsibility to be on the look out for Samantha. She can look out for herself.

If people get mad at you later because they found out you knew stuff?

1) You don't have to be a mind reader and anticipate other people wants/expectations ahead of time and be their look out.

2) It's ok for them to be mad because they had unrealistic / unarticulated expectations of you. Could also be mad at the mutual friend for not giving a head up. (Not that the Friend has to be a mind reader either.)

3) You are still in the "getting you know you" dating process with Kayla. I find it pretty weird that you are calling these people "family" when actually, you have only been seeing Kayla a short time.

Don't jump the gun and get carried away.

You don't have to be responsible for the whole world. Pace yourself.

That would be my opinion/suggestion.

Galagirl
 
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Magdlyn

Well-known member
So your question remains the same, whether you are a close friend of Samantha or Kayla or someone's lover. Do you tell Bryan's wife that other friends told you that he has totaled his truck and is trying to spend all their money, and has gotten a lawyer. Right?
 

Rickmanger

New member
Apparently I drastically need to up my coffee intake before typing on days like today :p

Bryan has not had a divorce lawyer - he's been making life miserable for everyone by filing various legal-sounding things with the courts and claiming that he owes Samantha nothing out of the marriage. He used the truck insurance money to finally GET a divorce lawyer, as Samantha's lawyer has been beating him up in court - but he's burning through money by wasting the courts time (and Samantha's lawyer's, as she has to respond to everything) and also trying other creative ways of hiding resources and funds. The mutual friend that the four of us and him still have in common told me about the lawyer and truck portion, not knowing that I am now involved with Kayla (he thinks we are all just friends).

The question is - if he tries to hide all of this, should I be the one letting Samantha (more than anyone else) know, since I'm now part of THAT social circle in a different way than I would have been otherwise.

Hope that's clearer. Words. Mondays. Work. Need more sleep.

Galagirl - valid point on the family portion. Since I've known most of these people for so many years, it feels different at times - these are my best friend and his wife, after all - but a very valid point. My existence in that portion of the relationship is different than it would be otherwise.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
I don't really see a moral dilemma here. She is going to find out he hired a lawyer. Might as well find out from you. As for your friends, maybe they should have kept their mouth shut. Obviously they don't care about betraying Bryan's trust.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
The mutual friend that the four of us and him still have in common told me about the lawyer and truck portion, not knowing that I am now involved with Kayla (he thinks we are all just friends).

The mutual friend thinks you are just another friend. And the mutual friend is gossiping about people's private business to you. They are not keeping Bryan's confidence very well like that. I'd wonder if they gossip to others about you and what kind of friend this is.

That said?

You don't have to be repeating gossip. You telling Samantha at this time does what? ADD to her stress or TAKE AWAY from her stress?

I think it is neither here nor there. I don't understand what you think he's gonna hide.

Lawyer? His will talk to hers. So she will find out he got one.

Truck money? Well, they have to list all the things in assets/debts. It will come out cuz she's gonna ask "Our truck. We selling it and splitting it or what?"

That he's behaving poorly? All can see that.

The question is - if he tries to hide all of this, should I be the one letting Samantha (more than anyone else) know, since I'm now part of THAT social circle in a different way than I would have been otherwise.

Your call.
  • You could tell her you heard Bryan stuff from the gossipy friend.
  • Or you could say nothing and let it unfold on its own.
Bryan has not had a divorce lawyer - he's been making life miserable for everyone by filing various legal-sounding things with the courts and claiming that he owes Samantha nothing out of the marriage.

So he behaves poorly and talks blahblahblah. The court will sort it out.

He used the truck insurance money to finally GET a divorce lawyer, as Samantha's lawyer has been beating him up in court - but he's burning through money by wasting the courts time (and Samantha's lawyer's, as she has to respond to everything) and also trying other creative ways of hiding resources and funds.

Lawyers are used to it. That's what you pay then a retainer FOR. To reign in the crazy.

You call it a moral conundrum, but I don't see it. Where is the problem? Because without your input it gets solve anyway -- she will find out.

I could be wrong but it sounds like you are having anxiety watching this unfold. So maybe what helps you with the anxiety is taking a step back, stronger personal boundaries, and leaving the divorce process to Samantha and her lawyer?

Galagirl
 
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Rickmanger

New member
That's very fair. I guess this was the first time that I've had someone we know tell me something/say something not realizing that I'm part of the relationship, which is very new to me - cognitive dissonance, more than anything now that I have some space to look at it. Everyone is in the closet for these relationships, with a few small exceptions for very very close friends, so... it's the first time that I'd ever encountered a situation like this.

One minor clarifying point: The friends that told me about Bryan are some of the closest (and know about the triad, just not the latest change adding me) - their concern wasn't gossip, but that Bryan was acting like he might be entering a manic phase again, which tends to lead to a massive pile of legal bullshit coming Samantha's way, and they were warning me that he'd stopped by and seemed to be back on the crazy train again (not implying anything about actual diagnoses or people who suffer from mental illnesses and struggle with that, much of my family does, but Bryan does tend to have extreme mood swings, and we know what the results are - that's all it was). So it literally did slip out, and left me sitting htere in what I felt like was a weird situation.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
That's very fair. I guess this was the first time that I've had someone we know tell me something/say something not realizing that I'm part of the relationship, which is very new to me - cognitive dissonance, more than anything now that I have some space to look at it. Everyone is in the closet for these relationships, with a few small exceptions for very very close friends, so... it's the first time that I'd ever encountered a situation like this.

Something to think on then, if this is your first time having to live in in the "poly closet." Sometimes that pinches. How will you deal with this next time or long term? Stuff like that.

Pace yourself.

One minor clarifying point: The friends that told me about Bryan are some of the closest (and know about the triad, just not the latest change adding me) - their concern wasn't gossip, but that Bryan was acting like he might be entering a manic phase again, which tends to lead to a massive pile of legal bullshit coming Samantha's way, and they were warning me that he'd stopped by and seemed to be back on the crazy train again

Again... stronger personal boundaries.

Could have told the friend "I see you are worried. I don't live there. You could tell Samantha and the people that live over there directly if you think Bryan is going to show up at their house unwanted. You could tell Bryan to skip going over there and work through his lawyer instead. "

It sounds like you were caught by surprise and didn't know what to do.

I'd suggest you keep it a lot simpler on yourself as you adjust to being part of this new poly network.

Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi Rickmanger,

I guess my vote is to go ahead and tell Samantha what the friend told you. But also explain to Samantha the moral conundrum that you are in, and ask her to keep it under wraps until she would have found out anyway. You are close to Kayla, and that puts you one step closer to Samantha. So it is kind of your business.

On the other hand, it's understandable if you choose to not get involved. I don't think it's an easy decision either way.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

tdh

New member
What type of communication did all the partners agree to?

Mania is a huge problem to live with and things won't make sense. There is also legal entanglements that come with marriage too. When you care about people, you don't want to see them hurt but that isn't always possible to prevent.

For these things, would default to the communication agreement between partners as a good guidance measure.
 

Rickmanger

New member
With the first group (Joe/Bryan/Samantha/Kayla) - totally open... which resulted in no communication until it blew up. With this group - totally open... which is what I decided to go with.

I had a chat with Samantha about it - she appreciated the information. Put her in a good place too. She then chatted with me about a few things she didn't know how to bring up with Joe - so I went and had a chat with him (needed to check in and make sure he was still good with things ~anyway~), and that managed to knock him out of a rut he'd been in unintentionally... which gets me another awesome date planned with Kayla, and we're planning on a weekend getaway now for the 4 of us in December. So... remembering that we had agreed to be stupidly and even awkwardly open, got us to an even better place overall. Just by being open and saying "hey, can we chat about X, someone is feeling a little vulnerable at the moment..." - because this time everyone listened, and we were able to make things better before they could ever need fixing. (Kayla made a comment that we were the one part that was doing perfect at that point).

She has made a few more comments about how well we fit together too. Figure that's all positive :)
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Sounds like things are going pretty well right now ... that's good to hear.
 
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