Recovery from toxic metamour: advice to keep relationship going?


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.

Very similar! And I forgot to mention that before my passive ex dumped me, he spent about three months trying to get ME to dump him (so that he could remain passive). I was so naive I didn't catch on to what he was doing, I was just increasingly bewildered by his meaner and meaner behavior toward me. Finally I had to tell him that if he wanted to break up with me, he needed to do it himself, I wasn't going to do it for him. He finally agonizing month later.

I'd like to say he was the last passive guy I dated, but there was one more. He is now happily married to a controlling woman, LOL. It took me until I was 30 to figure out how to identify, and not date, this type of passive dude.


Well-known member
i honestly think my partner just doesn't know what he personally wants, so he lets his partners tell him, which is why i am not sure if he is suited for non-hierarchal poly as you describe.
Someone who doesn't know what he wants is not suited for any kind of healthy relationship.*

However, it's expedient and easy to blame our partners for the big problems, but the truth is that if one partner is wobbly about what he wants, he'll always end up with someone who has equally bad boundaries - and those bad boundaries result in either doormat behavior or super controlling behavior. You and your meta took on these rolls. The rolls are different but the underlying issue is the same. All three of you are not clear about what you want. Your words may perhaps be clear, but your (all three of you) demeanor and behavior does not follow up. People who are emotionally healthy and clear about themselves (AKA have healthy boundaries) do not end up with partners who are unsure. Exploration of limits from a solid base of self understanding is very different than wobbly personal boundaries. "J" is not on stable ground about his own values and so the partners he attracts will be as equally unstable in this area.

The productive way forward for you is not to imagine that things will stabilize with "C" out of the way, nor is it to look to "J" for healing and stability. The productive way forward is for you to focus on what you want, what you value, what you're all about. The clearer you are about what you value, the more you're able to partner up with others who reflect this clarity - and you don't get to clarity by talking about it, you get there by doing the internal emotional work. You will find much more fulfillment moving forward if you base your quest on firming up your own values rather than basing your quest on keeping "J" in your life.

*Don't be fooled into thinking that D/S relationships are exempt from this. The most emotionally damaging of these involve people who have murky boundaries. The best of these involve people who know exactly who they are and what they want. Power exchange is just another option of relationship type, it's not an excuse for bad boundaries and codependent control issues. Mono, poly, kinky, gay, straight - every healthy relationship requires that the individuals know who they are and stand by their own values.
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New member
Hi All! I'm back, a few years later to return to this thread. Posting here was during a time i felt the most alone, scared, and afraid. I was posting to find support from like-minded people. I'm still with my partner, we are married and own a house, and the partner in question is out of the picture. We are trying to get pregnant.

I still speak to my therapist about the trauma I had from this time, and both myself and my partner are in couples therapy and we are both in a healing place from being in this situation (to all the people who policed me about using the word "triad" wrongly, i was searching for words that fit and that was the one that stuck). We are still poly, and we engage with healthy people...everything is going great, and we are enjoying our polyamory experience. This experience was terrifying for me because I came out as poly, and my poly experience was so painful, and at each turn I tried to speak to people about my metamour, many people told me the problem was me....and in my heart I knew that i was actually dealing with a toxic narcissist, but to say so would be considered "not correct" in poly. well...fuck that! i told my partner i couldn't be with him if he kept a dangerous person in our lives, and my meta is out of the picture, and now my partner and i have other partners who we are super excited that they are in our lives. I'm happy he is happy with healthy people who do not control him, and subsequently me. My meta left the picture, and got back together with her ex husband, and they are monogamous.

My metamour was a toxic person, period. She was physically and emotionally abusive to my partner, and used suicidal ideation to control my partner and myself. I spent four years trying to speak with her, getting on a kitchen table level, but each time I tried, she didn't listen or absorb any of the information given since she smoked several bowls of pot while speaking to me as I stayed sober. She disregarded me, my presence in my partner's life, the fact we lived together, the fact we were going to get married and buy a home. I felt erased, not listened to, worn down, and diminished. My partner spent every day for five years worried if he said the wrong thing to her, she would kill herself, since she said if he left her she would do so.

I'm happy to say we've now been together for 6.5 years and we have been poly this whole time. In total I've been poly 8 years....and i continue to not relate to the polyamory scene. The poly I relate to is not maintaining a bevy of partners, but rather, I spend a lot of time alone and with friends, when I'm not with my partner. My partner has a landscape of other partners, all of whom I appreciate. What has helped immensely is we have hierarchy around our home, and having children only together. As a person who did not grow up with a stable home or family, I needed those things to stay in place and be locked down. my partner has agreed he doesn't want to do those things with other people, we both realized how hectic and chaotic it is, and we decided to focus our energy on other things, like our careers and taking care of our parents. poly is a lot of work and it's worth it to many people....but for me i found non-hierarchy to be an energy suck from the things in my life i needed to do.

I decided to return to the thread as a healing moment, to share that I appreciate the people who actually said helpful things, but to the people that didn't, you made assumptions about my supposed ignorance and were unhelpful. I felt ashamed, afraid, and like leaving poly all together...I felt ganged up on and belittled by a traumatic situation I was looking for support for. This website actually made me feel like being monogamous, which is saying a lot. I hope that when you speak to other people and comment, they don't walk away with as much hurt feelings as I did...and sit with it for years. I'm over it now, but i'm here to say, in a better and stronger and healthier place, my piece. Thanks to the people that said something helpful and were kind. I hope you help others!


Well-known member
Glad to hear that things are going better for you and J. And that his narcissist/abusive/weird ex C is in the past and all ties with her were cut. Glad that you both moved on to have other poly relationships with healthy people, continue to find couple therapy helpful, and are now TTC and looking forward to starting a family.

Overall, it sounds better. So, yay! :)



Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi kittykate,

Thanks for returning to give us that update. I am glad, and encouraged, to hear that things are going so much better for you now. You have weathered the storm, and come out stronger. I am proud of you for that.

I want to apologize for any hurt I may have caused you on this thread. I did not mean to criticize or belittle you. I think you had a very tough situation on your hands, and I am just glad you were able to get through it. You just wanted healing, you wanted advice on how to get healing, and I'm afraid we didn't provide that. I know it's not my place to apologize for anyone else's posts, but please accept my apology for anything I myself may have said that may have been hurtful (or even just unhelpful).

Again, thank you for updating us on your situation, sometimes on this forum someone posts one time and then disappears; we never get to find out whether they were ever able to get any relief from their bad situation. In this case, you did come back to let us know, and I appreciate that.

Kevin T.


Active member
but the truth is that if one partner is wobbly about what he wants, he'll always end up with someone who has equally bad boundaries - and those bad boundaries result in either doormat behavior or super controlling behavior.
This sounds vaguely familiar. If only I could think of who else had issues with establishing strong boundaries. Their names are on the tip of my tongue, but they escape me. Who am I fooling, it's DAG and me.

kittykate, welcome back and glad to know your relationship with your partner has improve.