Recovery from toxic metamour: advice to keep relationship going?

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
i don't think he knows what he wants! we are all figuring this out, taking the path unknown, sorting out what's right and what's not. we are all learners, including yourself and every human being who makes their own path. I l was open to NH in theory and then i tried it and found it to not work for me. it did not make sense to be NH with a meta who was never around, and who did not share any daily life with, and who is mentally unsafe. i know that's not how everyone feels, but it's how i feel, and so NH in that situation isn't okay for me. Maybe NH would be okay for me one day, with the right person. i'd have to really trust a Meta to be NH with, and know that they have my back, but def not if they're around 1/2 the time, violent, demanding, inconsiderate of me, and practice cognitive disassociation and act like i don't exist. i don't want to be NH with anyone who i do not get along very well with. i think my partner got in over his head with a woman b/c he was afraid she'd kill herself. tbh.

I think you put far too much emphasis on you and meta.
 

kittykate82

New member
Hello kittykate82,

In order to heal from the ordeal you went through with C, you need to explain to J just how hurtful it was to you, for him to date C for four years. You need to explain to J each of the various ways the past situation hurt you, and you need to explain how, why, and what parts of the hurt are still ongoing for you. Then you need J to acknowledge the hurt, to take responsibility for it, and to make a solemn vow that he will never do those things again. Those are the things you need to do in order to start rebuilding your trust in him. Rebuilding trust will not be a quick or easy process, you will need to be able to see J acting better, and not dating anyone like C again, for many years. Truth be told, you and J need to not do anything poly at all for awhile, not until some of the healing has taken place.

You and J have built a life together, so I do not recommend that you separate. I do, however, recommend you take some steps toward healing, toward rebuilding trust, toward moving ahead, and toward keeping the relationship going. If you can set up some sessions with a poly-friendly therapist, by all means I would recommend you do so. It would even be good if you and J could see that therapist both separately and together. Yes, C is now out of your life. But while she was in your life, she damaged your relationship with J, and now, you and J are stuck facing a damaged relationship with each other. A therapist could help mediate your talks with each other, so that the two of you could come to some agreements (and compromises), and start to heal. I hope some of the posts in this thread have been helpful so far.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Thanks Kevin T. that's good advice thank you for the kind and thoughtful response! We actually went and saw a poly relationship counselor, but he actually recommended we go and see individual therapists so that's what we do now. I think we should find another therapist and try with a new person. We have been looking but poly friendly therapists are expensive. i'm grateful to have done no poly since March, since the pandemic. For me personally i don't have an interest in dating people outside my relationship...for me it was a time suck, however, i support the principles and ideas around poly so that's why i stay poly and believe in it. i've had those kind of conversations ad nauseum with m partner, and he has promised to never do something like this again, anything close. however my bad feelings still linger. i'm not sure how to release them, but maybe it will be with time.
 

kittykate82

New member
i don't know what you mean, and it feels like you are bullying me.
it's my right and preference if i insist that my relationship with my meta with my primary partner is healthy and good. i don't judge other people who don't need to know their meta, why is it necessary for me to be judged that i need to have a healthy, good, and caring relationship with my own meta? if i am trying to understand you correctly, it seems you are giving (unsolicited again) opinions that i "Should" not care about what my meta is doing. that's YOUR opinion! your opinions are not written in stone.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
My opinion is not unsolicited when you post on this forum. I am a member here and this is the point of the forum.

Relationships change and evolve. It is really hard to find one person who is a good long term match for you. What you're insisting is that J finds someone who isn't only a good match for him (including not obstructing his relationship with you) but one who actively works on having a close relationship with you. I use "close" instead of "healthy, good, and caring" because I would hazard a guess that many of us who do not necessarily have "close" relationships with our metamours would describe them as "healthy, good and caring". Sometimes they are those positive things because we respect each other enough to know that forcing ourselves to be "close" would ruin anything healthy or good about it. Not because we hate each other but because we understand each other to know that we are not compatible for that level of personal interaction and most importantly, we can both be good partners to our hinge partner without it. You don't seem to be open to J having a partner who can be good for him but not close with you.

That leaves J in a sticky situation because relationships evolve. Someone who can be close with you today might not feel that way in five years. Maybe you fall out over some political debate or you just find their annoying traits too annoying over time. Then what? J has to break up with them?

And if they're not up for close with you, then they get subjected to "hierarchy". Not the inevitable consequences of J being committed to raising children and maintaining a marriage and home, namely, lack of time, but this vague "hierarchy" with the promise of fairer treatment if they play ball with you.

Instead of focusing on who you need your meta to be, you should focus on who you need J to be. You need him to be a person who values what is called kitchen table poly over other forms. You need him to be a person who will turn down someone otherwise compatible because they do not think working on meta relationships that do not flow naturally is a good use of time. You need someone who regardless of who your potential meta might be, you know would not be swayed from their commitment to you. Instead, you focus on what you need in a meta.
 

kittykate82

New member
I am so sorry this happened. I hope you feel a bit better airing some of that out.

I see that you want to stay with your partner. Is this from habit, or from a true desire to be together? And if WILLING... after all this will you actually be ABLE?

Have you taken a step back to assess that? Because you also say



What's he done to make ammends for the betrayal? And are you able to forgive and be together? Or forgive but NOT be together any more? Or something else?

If J wants to still "be friends" with C -- is that a dealbreaker to you? Because maybe healing for you means NO ties at will C for you. So if J is still being pals with C, maybe you have to let go of J because you want C nowhere near you?



I do similar with my spouse with the house, cars, joint checking accts, etc. Except I do keep one bank account that is just for me in my name only. And he has his. Because while unlikley that either of us would steal all the money in joint and run off? In case it DOES, then neither of us is left in a total bind because we have our personal accts to lean on.

On low income you may or may not be able to see a counselor to help you heal. Sometimes university and college students provide free therapy as part of their studies under supervision. Some of my friends go to Al-Anon to have a form of group therapy that way.

Women's shelters sometimes do "healing from abuse/healthy dating" classes in libraries, malls, etc. There may be other ways. You might want to call some of those to see if you can get into a class, esp if your family of origin background was rough too. You may not have the skills strong enough to pick out solid partners or you might be attracted to wonky because it feels familiar if not actually healthy. Could that have happened?



So he's not esp firm or maybe easily swayed. And where C used to tell him what to do, now you do it? Is that what you are saying?



See above about about being easily swayed. He says for now it is just friends and overseas. Do you trust him to keep better personal boundaries there or not? Or will she come creeping back?



He never thought to call her next of kin and the suicide hotline? Because he cannot live like her "life raft." You say he's got some
white knight" stuff going on?



What trustworthy behaviors is he doing now?

What trustbreaking behaviors is he doing?

What about you, in your heart? If this went on too far and whatever new efforts are feeling like "too little too late" -- why be here? IS it too little too late? Would you be better off starting with a new partner "clean slate?"

What do YOU need to heal from this horrible experience?

Those are all things only YOU can answer. You pick what you will and will not put up with.

So I suggest you do your soul searching. Do not stick around here just because you want kids and feel like the bio clock is ticking. I don't know about you, but I rather have no kids than kids with a shaky partner I don't really trust.

Do prioritize YOUR well being, whether or not you ultimately stick with this partner.

It's ok to not want to do poly for a while (or ever) after this experience. YOU get to pick how you want to life your life.

Galagirl
thanks for the thoughtful response Galagirl. A lot of food for thought. appreciate it.

these are great questions to ponder on and i'll totally write them in my journal and reflect on them, thanks so much.

no i don't tell J what to do now, that would be totally counterintuitive to having health and healing. i'd be a hypocrite if i said that wouldn't i? what i do notice however, is that when i met my partner, he presented himself as a Poly Relationship Counselor, was dating about 8 women in the poly scene, is younger than me and good looking and presents himself as a Dom. so that's the man i thought i met. I had no idea, the woman he never mentioned, was actually telling him what to do, almost all the time, including what he could do sexually. it took me several years to find out this man i thought i met was actually quite confused, boyish, and liked to be managed. i re-fell in love with this new person, not the man i thought i met. what hurt is that once i found out the real situation, i found out C called all the shots, and subsequently on me too. She spent most of her time away and the relationship was long distance, so the real-life situation looked like his time and actions were managed from afar, though the person with him daily was myself. A lot of my trauma stems from being caught up in that, and feeling invisible and like a throwaway. I would have walked away but J kept saying that as soon as she gets home from traveling he'd leave her and this controlling situation so i got caught up in this for four years. yes, i should have left earlier, i know. but i didn't...i can't beat myself up about it. and now she's gone entirely. and as for my boyfriend who lacks a "manager?" well...now he is pretty much begging me to tell him what to do. at first it was weird for me, but after a while i found i could lovingly and gracefully ask for what i needed him to do. for me personally it's been a huge evolution in my growth to be able to say what i want and need. when i wanted us to buy a house, he did. when i wanted him to get a better job, he did. and so on. i never saw myself in this way, more egalaitaliran but my partner seems to wish to be told what to do...so....domme in training? lol


What trustworthy behaviors is he doing now?

He shows up everyday, been a rockstar with me thru the pandemic, he listens to me, we have fun and work together and build our lives in a beautiful way. we've spent 24/7 together since march and we've been doing wonderful things, built a beautiful home, share finances well, take care of our families.

What trustbreaking behaviors is he doing?

it seems he can't shake his connection to C tho they are friends i worry there is something he isn't telling me. through the four years he downplayed their relationship to me so i think he's doing that now. considering asking him to make a total break with her, but i feel that is a method of control i do not want to enact. I don't trust him to be transparent and clear with me, using slippery "lawyer type" language to provide smoke and mirrors over what he is doing with other women. i think he has an issue where he likes to please many different women so makes himself seem way more available to women than he is. that's my major issue. he is kind of addicted to his phone so i am paranoid he's just in his phone writing to many different women at once having them believe things that aren't true. the reason this bothers me is that i feel it will have untold problems later down the line, when they have expectations based on his behavior to them, he will blame me for the reason he can't continue, and these women will anger at me (this has happened before). it seems like his moral compass needs some work, and i wonder if poly isn't the best course of action for him...and i wonder if there is hope for him to change b/c although our relationship one on one is amazing this facet of him is troubling.

What about you, in your heart? If this went on too far and whatever new efforts are feeling like "too little too late" -- why be here? IS it too little too late? Would you be better off starting with a new partner "clean slate?"

i'm not sure! i waver between trying to make this work and leaving, it hurts my heart to leave and def afraid to start over: new home, new everything. as you wrote yourself, my partner and i built a life together as you did with your spouse so it's not easy to begin again so easily and as you say soul searching must be done.

What do YOU need to heal from this horrible experience?

not sure! but will think on it. besides leaving forever? lol...i'll have to think on it. all methods thus far i've tried, and i've tried many have not stuck or worked.
 

kittykate82

New member
My opinion is not unsolicited when you post on this forum. I am a member here and this is the point of the forum.

Relationships change and evolve. It is really hard to find one person who is a good long term match for you. What you're insisting is that J finds someone who isn't only a good match for him (including not obstructing his relationship with you) but one who actively works on having a close relationship with you. I use "close" instead of "healthy, good, and caring" because I would hazard a guess that many of us who do not necessarily have "close" relationships with our metamours would describe them as "healthy, good and caring". Sometimes they are those positive things because we respect each other enough to know that forcing ourselves to be "close" would ruin anything healthy or good about it. Not because we hate each other but because we understand each other to know that we are not compatible for that level of personal interaction and most importantly, we can both be good partners to our hinge partner without it. You don't seem to be open to J having a partner who can be good for him but not close with you.

That leaves J in a sticky situation because relationships evolve. Someone who can be close with you today might not feel that way in five years. Maybe you fall out over some political debate or you just find their annoying traits too annoying over time. Then what? J has to break up with them?

And if they're not up for close with you, then they get subjected to "hierarchy". Not the inevitable consequences of J being committed to raising children and maintaining a marriage and home, namely, lack of time, but this vague "hierarchy" with the promise of fairer treatment if they play ball with you.

Instead of focusing on who you need your meta to be, you should focus on who you need J to be. You need him to be a person who values what is called kitchen table poly over other forms. You need him to be a person who will turn down someone otherwise compatible because they do not think working on meta relationships that do not flow naturally is a good use of time. You need someone who regardless of who your potential meta might be, you know would not be swayed from their commitment to you. Instead, you focus on what you need in a meta.
i agree with you that we should focus on the partner we choose to be the person we need them to be. however, for me, i've found after trying poly different ways that i need Hierarchy, as well as the ability to trust my metamour to be a safe person (aka not go into violent suicidal rages in my home for example). but more than that, if i'm going to share space with a meta, like, they will sleep in my home, come to my events, share holidays....then yes, for me personally, i need to get along with them. that's not the case for everyone but it is for me. i don't like to have anyone in my home i do not like or trust. if my partner wants to go to her house it's fine, but i need to know they aren't going to quickly begin to demand his time and space, taking away from our own home, our responsibilities, and so on. i dont want to integrate someone into my life i don't trust...and if my partner shifts his energy away to making a new life with someone else, then i'm stuck doing it alone. that's already happened to me, i spent enough christmases alone to last a lifetime, with no remorse from the meta. that's not what i need...i am not okay with escalation or non-hierarchy or sharing space until i feel safe with that person and feel they can be part of the "inner circle" of my life. when i live with my partner and share daily life, it's hard to NOT have a meta be part of that circle, because there's a certain level of scarcity that exists once they come into the fold and want to also utilize your partner's time space and energy. and yes, i know with poly you can put your needs on another person. but i don't want to date anyone else, that's my choice. my extra time away from a partner is spent making my art and seeing my friends, i'm straight and one boyfriend is enough i'd rather date my hobbies. once i like someone i always like someone, even if i find something annoying. they won't be "Demoted" the only way i'd agree to non-hierarchy again is if my partner was in a relationship for several years, and the three of us were sharing space and a partner very well and i trusted them...trust is more important than just "liking them." did i feel this way when i first became poly? no i was totally into non-hierarchy and autonomy, i would have applauded your remarks. however 5 years of exploring has me with a clear opinion i need hierarchy and to get along with my meta. i support what you think and feel but there's no way i'd budge on my own, i did it for long enough.
 

Evie

Well-known member
I'm concerned you're still planning to have a baby or two with this man, who you don't trust. Having a baby won't get him to put down his phone and stop talking with other women, potentially leading them on and causing trouble for you later down the road.

As for C, she was his Domme, clearly from your writing, and now you are but in a more subtle way. He is, and will be, emotionally attached to her probably for a very long time because for ages she was the only one who knew his submissive side when he was presenting to the rest of the world as a Dom. I suspect you'll simply have to accept their new relationship as friends plus, and not overthink the plus.
 

kittykate82

New member
thanks Evie that's pretty insightful. i agree i have the same misgivings. I should clarify...my partner told everyone he was a Dom, including to his partner C. in fact, they had a DDLG relationship where he behaved as her Daddy, and he managed her medication, mental health, all of it. so it was super bizarre to me when i learned after a really long time, it was C who called the shots in the world, but not in the bedroom. in fact, she had a rule no one but her could do DDLG, use titles, or receive bondage. when i met my partner i was drawn to his Dom side, and have a DDLG kink. it was hard to not express that kink for a year with him, but finally we did. after 4 years of my partner being a Dom, in a DDLG dynamic with TWO women, he broke up with the one, and for me, it was all so insane we are on a kink hiatus for now. i need to clear my head from all this. and trust me after being a sub little for four years, it's strange to tell my partner what to do and have him like it. he bought me a strap on recently out of the blue. i'm def confused lol.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
i've found after trying poly different ways that i need Hierarchy, as well as the ability to trust my metamour to be a safe person (aka not go into violent suicidal rages in my home for example).

See the way I think of it is that you need a partner who will not sustain relationships with people who prove to be consistently mentally unstable. Do you see how they takes the onus off of the person you have literally no control over and onto the situation you can control. You can make a rule with yourself that you will not sustain a relationship with someone who habitually sustains relationships with unstable, unhealthy people. You get to decide to keep that rule. You don't have to rely on your partner (J in this case) to keep it for you. You dont have to rely on your metamour (C in this case) to keep it for you. It's all in your hands.


but more than that, if i'm going to share space with a meta, like, they will sleep in my home, come to my events, share holidays....then yes, for me personally, i need to get along with them

That's understandable. Me too. However, a lot of my metamours haven't needed to use the place I live (even if I share it with our hinge partner) to facilitate their relationship. And that's before you even factor in how we might get on. That's just been how they do things. I think a lot of people would say the same.


if my partner wants to go to her house it's fine, but i need to know they aren't going to quickly begin to demand his time and space, taking away from our own home, our
Again, let's switch that. I live with Jules, right? I don't have to worry about whether r not Jules will meet someone who will put her off paying her share of the housing expenses because I trust Jules enough to know that she will not consistently bail on our stuff for another relationship. That's because I know we want the same things and have the same goals. That is why we chose to nest. We are those terrible people who got a lockdown puppy that we both absolutely want to be well socialized and trained and that takes major commitment. I'm not worried about Jules' tendency to bail on this sort of "home" stuff because I know we both want the same things the same way. I don't have to rely on someone else to police that.

What you need to know is that J will fulfill his commitments because he shares your goals and vision. That way, it doesn't matter what other people want. He will only accept partners who are compatible with his vision for his future. You can't give him a vision.

You keep talking about this like it is a poly issue and I'm wanting you to subscribe to relationship anarchy. This is basic incompatibility. If my partner wants to have a big, expensive wedding, I don't need to tell their friends not to go out with them so they save for it. They'll make the effort themselves. They'll tell their friends, if anyone, to reject their invitations/not invite them out. Not me. If they don't make those efforts, I can assume that the big, expensive wedding isn't a shared goal.

You need to get to a place where you arent worried about what other people might want, forgive me for saying, but like you pretended to be about C's intentions earlier.
 

kittykate82

New member
See the way I think of it is that you need a partner who will not sustain relationships with people who prove to be consistently mentally unstable. Do you see how they takes the onus off of the person you have literally no control over and onto the situation you can control. You can make a rule with yourself that you will not sustain a relationship with someone who habitually sustains relationships with unstable, unhealthy people. You get to decide to keep that rule. You don't have to rely on your partner (J in this case) to keep it for you. You dont have to rely on your metamour (C in this case) to keep it for you. It's all in your hands.




That's understandable. Me too. However, a lot of my metamours haven't needed to use the place I live (even if I share it with our hinge partner) to facilitate their relationship. And that's before you even factor in how we might get on. That's just been how they do things. I think a lot of people would say the same.



Again, let's switch that. I live with Jules, right? I don't have to worry about whether r not Jules will meet someone who will put her off paying her share of the housing expenses because I trust Jules enough to know that she will not consistently bail on our stuff for another relationship. That's because I know we want the same things and have the same goals. That is why we chose to nest. We are those terrible people who got a lockdown puppy that we both absolutely want to be well socialized and trained and that takes major commitment. I'm not worried about Jules' tendency to bail on this sort of "home" stuff because I know we both want the same things the same way. I don't have to rely on someone else to police that.

What you need to know is that J will fulfill his commitments because he shares your goals and vision. That way, it doesn't matter what other people want. He will only accept partners who are compatible with his vision for his future. You can't give him a vision.

You keep talking about this like it is a poly issue and I'm wanting you to subscribe to relationship anarchy. This is basic incompatibility. If my partner wants to have a big, expensive wedding, I don't need to tell their friends not to go out with them so they save for it. They'll make the effort themselves. They'll tell their friends, if anyone, to reject their invitations/not invite them out. Not me. If they don't make those efforts, I can assume that the big, expensive wedding isn't a shared goal.

You need to get to a place where you arent worried about what other people might want, forgive me for saying, but like you pretended to be about C's intentions earlier.
wow seasoned poly, please go ahead and live your life doing the way you want....but i didn't ask for any of this "advice!" this is totally non consensual. i asked for how i find healing with my partner after a violent, terrible metamour controlled our lives for four years. you're calling me out and bullying and criticizing me about things i didn't ask about. please stop!
 

kittykate82

New member
Hey all! I'm sorry but this thread got me really depressed. i came on here with the hopes i'd find some really like minded poly people but once more it seems i just got bullied by people who feel superior. I'm a woman with PTSD who has a boyfriend who does not know what he wants and we both were controlled by a woman for four years and i was looking for ways we can start again and heal. I was looking for support, not critique on what's wrong with the way i practice poly. i didn't ask for that. i'm gonna head out now but be sure to leave this post up so others can see my journey on it and who wrote what. thanks for the folx who actually listened to me and offered me helpful questions and feedback.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi kittykate,

I'm very sorry that some of the posters have made you feel unwelcome here. I can understand and appreciate why you would need to head out now, but for my own selfish reasons I wish you could stay. I hope you are able to keep your relationship going with J, it sounds to me like he has some issues with dishonesty, like his habit is to tell various women what he thinks they want to hear so that he can date lots of them. He says he's just friends with C, but I have suspicions he is nurturing a long-distance romance with her. That's obviously not fair to you, maybe you need to have a talk with him about his habitual dishonesty.

With sympathy,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I can imagine this is hard on you. In the hopes you are still reading...

Might want to give the kink a break until you can clear your head and figure out what to do here. Adding things that mess with your head (even in a good way) may not be a good idea right now.

considering asking him to make a total break with her, but i feel that is a method of control i do not want to enact.

Why not? You can request. He is free to tell you "No, thank you. I will not be doing that."

Then you can know for sure how this stands.

You wrote earlier he himself realizes how unhealthy this relationship was. Is this long distance friendship about letting her go slowly as he heals? Or is she always going to be "part of the package?"

And how do YOU feel about that? Because you might be ok one way, but not the other if what you need for your healing is to be totally away from C.

This seemed important. I took the liberty of coloring some of your worries blue so they stand out.

What trustbreaking behaviors is he doing?

it seems he can't shake his connection to C

tho they are friends i worry there is something he isn't telling me.

through the four years he downplayed their relationship to me so i think he's doing that now.


considering asking him to make a total break with her, but i feel that is a method of control i do not want to enact.

I don't trust him to be transparent and clear with me, using slippery "lawyer type" language to provide smoke and mirrors over what he is doing with other women.

i think he has an issue where he likes to please many different women so makes himself seem way more available to women than he is. that's my major issue.

he is kind of addicted to his phone so i am paranoid he's just in his phone writing to many different women at once having them believe things that aren't true. the reason this bothers me is that i feel it will have untold problems later down the line, when they have expectations based on his behavior to them, he will blame me for the reason he can't continue, and these women will anger at me (this has happened before).

it seems like his moral compass needs some work, and i wonder if poly isn't the best course of action for him...and i wonder if there is hope for him to change b/c although our relationship one on one is amazing this facet of him is troubling.

What about you, in your heart? If this went on too far and whatever new efforts are feeling like "too little too late" -- why be here? IS it too little too late? Would you be better off starting with a new partner "clean slate?"

i'm not sure! i waver between trying to make this work and leaving, it hurts my heart to leave and def afraid to start over: new home, new everything. as you wrote yourself, my partner and i built a life together as you did with your spouse so it's not easy to begin again so easily and as you say soul searching must be done.

If you do not trust your partner to be honest with you because in the past he has misrepresented himself to you and to other women? And then these women have come after you in their anger? The only way not to be in the line of fire any more than I can see is

a) He stopes lying to these people and stops misrepresenting himself (You can ask him to stop doing this. Then see if he actually does. And if he doesn't... move on to option B. You do not control his behavior. He does. )

b) You stop being there (Something you can control. Because you control your own behavior. Your "staying-ness" or not belongs to you. If you are done with second chances, you could skip right to option B. )

Of course it hurts your head to think about changes. It's a lot of change to have to deal with! And it may include grieving the loss of what you hoped would be.

At the same time? Being afraid of changes is not a reason to stay. Having a baby with a person who is not honest is not a good idea.

You have to do your soul searching to figure out if you want to keep investing here, or if you are done here. Only you can answer that.

Maybe this article helps you. Though written for teens, I find it can work for adults too. The full article is here


The questions are

Still not sure if you should stay or go? Already tried a bunch of the things in the list up there without results? Here are some common sticking points you can check in with yourself about. For the most part, these are all not-so-great reasons to stick with a relationship, so if any of them hits home, give them some real thought:

  • Is this the right relationship for you in your life now, or was it only right in the past?
  • Are you staying in because this feels good, or because this feels familiar?
  • Are you afraid of change in your life or of being alone or single? Is this relationship keeping you from needed change or growth?
  • Do you feel like letting go means you failed? Are you staying to try and prove something to yourself or someone else?
  • Are you staying because you feel guilty about having been sexual in something other than a lifelong relationship?
  • Are you choosing to stay because you've become a partner's caretaker or counselor rather than their partner?
  • Are you staying because any relationship seems better than no relationship, or because you're afraid this is the only chance you'll have for this kind of relationship?
  • Are you staying because it's what the other person wants or says they need, even if it's not what you want and need?
  • Are you staying because you made some kind of promise that you know you can't keep or don't want to, but feel guilty about breaking?
  • Are you staying in figuring you'll just wait and see if something better comes along, and stay if it doesn't?

Take it in chunks if you need to. Esp if thinking hurts your head.

But I encourage you to think, reflect and do that soul searching.

What do YOU need to heal from this horrible experience?

not sure! but will think on it. besides leaving forever? lol...i'll have to think on it. all methods thus far i've tried, and i've tried many have not stuck or worked.

In the end, you may just have to put it on a clock because banging head on wall is not healthy either. Like if you've given X months trying, and still no avail? Rather than keep going, could decide to end it. At minimum, no TTC until you sort all this out.

I hope things get better for you one way or another.

GL!
Galagirl
 
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Ostrich

Member
KittyKate82,

My question is how do I find peace and healing. If you have any advice to my question I asked for I’d really appreciate it!

From reading your posts, it sounds like you are on the right path to healing. You have a therapist. Good! Do you feel comfortable with that therapist? You have a set of friends. Are they open to hearing about you practicing a poly lifestyle, and issues associated with that? If so, that's great as well. Are you and J seeing a relationship/marriage counselor? If not, maybe consider couples therapy. I'm not saying that is the end all, be all, but it may be worth some serious consideration.

In my experience, finding a forum like this one has been very helpful to me. YMMV. One word of advice: be as open and honest on any board as you can. That way, people who are very experienced in this can provide more accurate feedback to your questions. Even if it doesn't put you in a good light, don't lie. There are some really good people on this board who are willing to help.

Another word of advice. If you haven't done so, take a look through the blogs section of this board. You might consider blogging your practice of poly on that board. In my experience, it has been very therapeutic/cathartic for me to put my stuff out there. I've been able to process things in a much healthier way, rather than keep things bottled up. Again, YMMV.

I hope through all this, you find peace and healing.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
wow seasoned poly, please go ahead and live your life doing the way you want....but i didn't ask for any of this "advice!" this is totally non consensual. i asked for how i find healing with my partner after a violent, terrible metamour controlled our lives for four years. you're calling me out and bullying and criticizing me about things i didn't ask about. please stop!
No, what she is doing is giving her opinion on how to heal. How do you expect to heal without looking inward?

I think we can all agree that C exhibited signs of manipulative narcissistic behavior. While J may not be narcissistic, he does show signs of manipulative behavior, which may or may not be a result of being manipulated by C. You state that C and J broke up, but they are still in each other's lives and J has indicated they may see each other in the future. The commonly accepted way to get out from under a narcissist is to go no contact, period. As long as J remains in contact with C he is at risk to be manipulated again. That means you may never be completely healed. It's like ripping a scab off over and over. Obviously you can't just put demands on who J sees and how those relationships go, or you would be just like C. Plus, how can you know you can trust J? He already misrepresented himself to you from the beginning and admitted he lied to C to avoid conflict. Perhaps that is a pattern with him.

SpA made a little poly inside joke about a certain individual. The reason is that J closely resembles this person's very public behavior. He pretended to be a poly expert, was dating a multitude of women while keeping details from all of them, and even claimed to be a Dom. You should Google the name. It might be very enlightening. At least it might give you some perspective on why people might think J is not a good choice for a partner.

You seem to be asking for advice on how to make this crappy situation work, but the answer may be to leave the crappy situation. We all understand that can be a very hard thing to do. But the answer to that can only be found by self-examination, in my opinion anyways. You are free to make up your own mind on that.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Hi Katie,

I'm sorry you felt bullied. Unlike what Kevin said, no one "made you feel" anything. Seasoned didn't make you feel bullied. You didn't like her advice. But, you asked for advice.

You have come to a place, polyamory.com, which is set up for people to get advice from experienced poly people. Sometimes our members only have a few months of experience. Sometimes they are mono, but dating a poly person. Sometimes they are ex-swingers. Sometimes they have a decade of experience with polyamory, or more. Some are kind, almost too kind, some are misguided, some are direct, with a tough love or even abrasive style.

But no one is just going to "support" you. You just won't get anyone telling you not to practice polyamory. That is how we differ from monogamous or swinger-type dating advice forums.

Everyone here will speak from their own places on their poly journey, from what works for them in their day to day lives. Plus, we all have had different upbringings in our families of origin. You came from an abusive background. You are looking for red flags of abuse and bullying, and narcissism. You also seem drawn to these types of circumstances (as GG suggested) as they feel familiar, if upsetting.

You've had some kink dynamics of D/s, DDlg, which play around with someone telling someone else what to do. It also seems that J has issues with being told what to do. Does he want to Dom or sub? It seems it varies. He's a switch. And he sounds dishonest. You say you want to "heal from your metamour's behaviors," but it really seems to boil down to a lack of trust in your partner. When we love someone, it's just easier to blame a meta than to blame our partner. This is pretty common. It also happens in cheating situations. People tend to heap blame on the mistress or lover, rather than on their own spouse or partner.

J has lied to you about whom he is dating. You suspect he's talking to multiple women still, despite trying to live with you in a kind of blissful domesticity of the American Dream: owning your own home, 2 cars, shared bank account, plans to get pregnant and have kids, plans to take care of your low income parents in the not too distant future...

But in the background is all this unease, unrest, stress, anxiety, feelings of being bullied by your metamour, thinking she needs to stop being controlling. Despite Covid shutting down dating new people, stuff is going on, on his phone, which are still undermining your happiness and ability to trust J.

It boils down to: you don't trust J to do what is best for a conventional mono marriage, with the above-mentioned assets and expectations. You think he's secretly carrying on, playing at being a Dom to random unknown women, and still engaging with his so-called ex, as well.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
Hi kittykate,

Your ex-metamour sounds a lot like an ex-metamour I had in college. She had a husband who she was separated/getting divorced from but claimed they were "still life partners" (turns out he had to get a restraining order against her). She claimed to be totally comfortable with non-monogamy and never jealous, but she would flip out if I referred to our shared boyfriend as my "boyfriend" in front of her. She traveled a lot and was vague about her income sources. She made all sort of weird rules about when my boyfriend was allowed to see me or not. She was controlling, manipulative, and delusional.

But I wasn't dating her, I was dating my boyfriend. And my problem was HIM.

My boyfriend continuously downplayed his relationship with her--they were friends who were living together for convenience, they were roommates who sometimes slept together but it wasn't a big deal, they were "best friends" who weren't going to sleep together anymore, etc. It was always shifting and they always claimed not be to "partners" even though that's what they were. They had shared bank accounts and a life plan to live together permanently. But my boyfriend would flat-out lie and tell me he was planning to move out soon, etc.

She was manipulative in an aggressive way, but he was manipulative in a passive way. He'd give vague answers or tell me what I wanted to hear or promise to stop letting her control him, etc. But nothing would change. He was stringing me along and manipulating me.

I was too young and experienced to figure out that she was his Domme and that was the nature of their relationship. And he certainly would never communicate honestly about that to me.

He didn't care how badly she treated me--he wouldn't stand up for me. He wouldn't give me honest answers about his future plans with her so that I could make informed choices about what I wanted to do. If I complained about her, he would accuse me of being controlling. Finally he dumped me because I was so "controlling." (I was all of 21; he was 28 and she was 36).

My life pretty much instantly got better without those two in it, even though I cried every day for months.

He would never disentangle himself from her. I think eventually they did split up...but he ended up with ANOTHER controlling woman, naturally. Because that's what he wanted. He also continued dating young college-age women while pretending his older partner didn't control every aspect of his life...because that was also what he wanted.

So, with my ex-metamour out of the picture, my ex-boyfriend stayed the same passive asshole he always was.

I am sorry you have gone through such a difficult experience. But I don't think the problem is that you are struggling to heal from the trauma of his ex (who he is still very much emotionally involved with, for sure). The problem is that you still have a passive partner who will tell two women what they want to hear to string both of them along.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
It's too bad that kittykate has left the building because she didn't like Seasoned's advice. She split before other people could chime in! Meera's experience sounded so similar.

sigh...
 
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