What are the consequences of broken rules?

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
In the past, I have used something similar to a three-strikes rule only I did it by the calendar. If things improved by such-and-such a date, then I'd stay in the relationship.

Another thing you can do if you're not ready to break up, is do a temporary breakup. Such as living in an extended-stay place for a certain amount of time, a month or two months or whatever.

By the way, if the penalty for breaking a rule is something that she has to impose on herself, then you need a "Plan C" to implement if she changes her mind and decides not to impose the penalty on herself.
 
So then she was repeatedly going back to this other guy who is not poly, emotionally manipulates her, and doesn't respect our relationship, and after spending a weekend together with her depressed about him the whole time, and then going back to him yet again when he changed his mind, I got fed up and told her she needed to stop seeing him. "Yes I should stop seeing him but I can't because I like him too much." This has been making me really upset for months now, so I tried to break up with her.

Another thing you can do if you're not ready to break up, is do a temporary breakup.

So that's what I said we're doing. I don't know what this means, though. We're still talking, just not as much. I think it's just going to give her the space to fall more deeply for other guys.

I'm really depressed and I don't feel proud about sticking up for myself.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
You are grieving a loss. It is ok to feel that right after a break up even if in the long term getting off the roller coaster is best for you. Just takes time.

Hang in there,
Galagirl
 
How does one "try" to break up with someone? You either broke up or you didn't.

Meaning I couldn't bring myself to do it. I just said things like "we should stop seeing each other" without committing. A day or two later I made it official that "we are taking a break" (whatever that means).


I don't know, but I don't.
 
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Norwegianpoly

New member
The consequenses of breaking the rules should be to opologize and to perhaps make rules more specific.

For instance, me and my husband at one point, before really entering poly, agreed that I should not kiss the guy I was in love with. I didn't , but I did kiss another guy I met. It hurt my husband very much and he felt somewhat that I had cheated on him. I said I was sorry and we worked through it. We went through our rules a million times, and after many discussions we ended up with the "no spontanity " rule. There has been a few issues with this rule, too, when my husband ended up sleeping with a woman he had sort of dated, in our bed. We had sort of vaguely been discussing if our bed could be used for others. I was very upset my husband had just used our bed - what hurt me the most was it was not tidy and there were pics on my boyfriend on the shelf, so I felt not only were they using our bed but I sort of got my private bedroom space invaded. The both of them said they understood why I felt that way. The next time they had sex were someplace else. I said I might be open to them using our bed later, if I can be sure things I regard as private are not laying out in the open. Lately my husband ok'ed that my boyfriend can use our bed when he is here (he and my husband will switch between a hotel room and our one bedroom flat), maybe in the future I would be ok with husband's girlfriend doing similar.

It is all a constant negotiation. But saying she can't abide to rules is no excuse - surely she was there when the rules were made and agreed to? It is her responsability to speak up if the rules are not working. I will forgive almost anything but people acting like their actions are not their responsability.
 
But saying she can't abide to rules is no excuse - surely she was there when the rules were made and agreed to?

She's the one who wrote them down.

It is her responsability to speak up if the rules are not working.

Yep. She first said she wanted to change them 4 months ago, and then again the other day while fighting, and I'm like "You've had 4 months! What have you done about it in that time??"
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from cuddlecakes):
"So [a temporary breakup is] what I said we're doing. I don't know what this means, though. We're still talking, just not as much. I think it's just going to give her the space to fall more deeply for other guys."

One of the things a temporary breakup does, is it reveals what her priorities are. Will she use the time to ponder (the rules and) her relationship with you, or will she use it to fall more deeply for other guys? If the latter is the case, then I would make the breakup permanent.

Do you have separate domiciles during this temporary breakup? I would suggest that if it can be done.

What all rules is she breaking right now? Are they all rules she agreed to abide by?

Would a couples counselor be helpful at this time?
 
So, for the record, the break never ended.

We tried to see each other maybe a month later, and had a really nice day together, like old times, but then tried to talk and it just turned into a stupid fight about nothing and she stormed off and we haven't seen each other since.

We were still affectionate and communicative for a while after that, but there was never any official breakup or attempt to fix things; communication just slowly faded away. I've been in a rut of depression for.. 9 months now? I've been doing my best to focus on projects and self-improvement and avoid thinking about her, but it's tough. Tried to go on a date with someone new but I was just thinking about her the whole time. Asked out by others and didn't feel up to it. Not very poly to be obsessed with one person to the exclusion of all others, I know. Maybe I'm just not emotionally stable enough for poly? Maybe I'm not emotionally stable enough for any relationship? I'm starting to look for a therapist.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi cuddlecakes, I'm glad you posted an update, sad that things haven't worked out like you hoped. I think looking for a therapist is a good idea, and I hope you'll still keep posting here.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Leetah

Member
It sounds like she forced you into doing the breaking up when she was the one who wanted it first. No wonder you felt confused and have not been able to get past being railroaded. The right therapist and sometimes a time on the right medicine to re-balance your brain are very worthwhile.You did not deserve such unlooked for treatment.

Leetah
 
Nov 24, 2015, so it's been … almost 7 years since that last post. Damn. That relationship itself only lasted 4.5 years. You got a new forum and everything, but my post is still here.

So, I got over her after that, but I never really recovered from the breakup. I've been … wounded ever since. 😔 So I remembered this thread and thought maybe it would be helpful to post here again.

I think looking for a therapist is a good idea, and I hope you'll still keep posting here.

I've cycled through a bunch of chat therapists/coaches but they don't really do much. (Yes, therapist, I agree 100% with you that I was objectively happier in relationships than I am now, just like I agree 100% that I don't have anything to fear in social situations, yet both are still difficult for me, regardless of how irrational I know that to be.) I should keep looking and keep trying.

It sounds like she forced you into doing the breaking up when she was the one who wanted it first.

I don't know, I don't think so. We tried to stay friendly after that, catsit for each other a few times. She seemed to be trying to win me back, and asked if we could start seeing each other again, but I had lost attraction to her and had no interest in dating by that point, and slowly cut her out of my life. I rarely think about her anymore. She liked one my social media posts the other day and I thought "Oh, she still follows me? Weird."

In the meantime, I focused on self-improvement, went to a social anxiety workshop for a while, and it was really helpful for me. I met someone else there, mutual attraction and went on a few dates, but I wasn't really interested in more than her appearance.

Started going to Meetup groups and met someone at one of those. She got super upset when I told her my previous relationships were poly, but then wanted to date me anyway? 🤷‍♂️ We saw each other for a few months, and it was a nice … warm feeling? But when she said wanted to be my girlfriend, I just felt sad and couldn't bring myself to, and she cut me off and then moved to another city.

Went on a few first dates from apps but wasn't attracted to them in person and felt really depressed after each, criticizing myself for being superficial and bad at conversation. Matched with a bunch of people but couldn't think of anything interesting to say. I feel like I've lost the ability to flirt, to be clever and fun and (self-deprecatingly) confident like I used to be. Was (inexplicably) still asked out a few times, but never responded, felt like an asshole, said "Who am I kidding?" and disabled my accounts.

Got super into rock climbing, have made a bunch of friends from that. I'm really happy in the moment while I'm doing it, but fall back into loneliness and sadness in between.

Have developed a super weird obsessive crush on a friend I met there. We text pretty frequently, meet up for what feel like dates a few times a year, but despite both saying we want to hang out more often, it rarely happens. This has been going on for 2-3 years now? Years. WTF. Again, I can't seem to flirt or show overt interest. I just get this pit of sadness in my chest when I think about it.

So my life has gone on, I've improved my platonic relationship skills, but my dating life shriveled up and died. I'm stuck in some kind of hole and not making any progress getting out.

Am I even poly if I have these obsessions with one person at a time? I don't know. I was really happy when I had two partners; they complemented each other and it was a nice (if awkward) dynamic.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad to see you again.

Kinda concerned you are maybe dealing with depression? With some bright spots here and there but mostly depressed? Have you been checked for that?

I was really happy when I had two partners; they complemented each other and it was a nice (if awkward) dynamic.

It's ok to miss that.

If that's a want? You have to do the work of dating to find that again.

And (I want to be in a V again) vs (I don't want to do the work of dating right now) leads to inner conflict. For you to be at peace, you have to let one of the wants go. It sounds tough. I sympathize.

GG
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello cuddlecakes,

It's good to hear from you again, although it's unfortunate that you are having such difficulties with dating ... and I want to say I'm sorry you broke up with your partner of 4½ years, but it sounds like that was for the best, and you have moved past it. It doesn't sound like you have any trouble finding people to date, and you don't have any trouble convincing people to date you. The trouble is, you have some kind of internal block that is stopping you from enjoying the dates and from flirting with the people you date. You seem to have lost your confidence, and something about dating depresses you. We must find out why you have this internal block, and what that block is made of. Does it have something to do with poly? I can't tell. It sounds like poly has made you happy in the past, but it was also awkward for you. I think you need to make peace with whether or not you are poly, but I can't tell how to do that.

I hope we can help.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I think the question of whether you are poly or not is extremely moot. You don't receive much pleasure from intimate relationships. You don't seem to have a clue why, despite having seen therapists. Were antidepressants ever offered to you? Did any therapist ever go into what happened in your childhood to prevent feeling safe and honorable in deep, vulnerable intimate relationships?

I doubt you want to go through the rest of your life mostly feeling sad and lonely. It's odd you don't further pursue your rock-climber friend/crush. You don't need to flirt or "be charming" to date someone who likes you just for being you. But the fact that you are apathetic about spending more time with her is concerning. Is there something scary about being vulnerable for you? Do you have attachment issues?
 
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