T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 90518
posted 07-29-2012 07:55 PM
I'm having some serious doubts about my current life situation and I just wanted to talk to someone about it.
I've been in a polyamorous relationship with my partner, A, for roughly 11 months now. In the beginning I had serious doubts about our relationship, I had really liked him from the start, and had wanted a relationship, but he wanted to hold off and just be "friends with benefits." I went along with it and at times it was painful but somehow we both stuck it out and a few months ago after a long discussion we decided that we were, in fact, boyfriend and girlfriend, and while neither of us can predict the future, we're on a pretty solid foundation of mutual trust and communication now. A has another long-term girlfriend who he started dating at roughly the same time as he started dating me. He's had a few short-term "flings" with other girls but none have been willing to be poly, and lately he's been deciding that what he has is more than enough and he's not really actively looking for a third relationship. I've been more or less monogamous with A throughout this. I had one brief relationship which ended when that person demanded that I be monogamous with them, or stop seeing them. This summer I developed a crush on a boy from my university who I was meeting with twice a month for our writing club. A few weeks ago I asked him out, and we had one spectacular date in which I confessed that I was poly and he revealed that he had been, too, in his previous relationship. We've seen each other twice after that, briefly, but both times were really nice and even though he'd told me that he wanted to take things slow (which I was in complete agreement with) it seemed like both of us were enjoying the others company. The last time I saw him was four days ago, and when we parted we'd said there would be a "next time" though we didn't schedule anything right then. I sent him a text the next day and received no response, and while it generally takes him a day or two to respond to texts (he's a busy guy) it seems concerning that I haven't received ANYTHING. I really really like this guy and I'm just wracking my brain to think of something I could've said or done that might have scared him off. On top of this my mom has now discovered more or less that I am actually poly and this distresses her to no end and she says it makes her sad that I'll never "be able to truly love anyone" and she wishes I'd realized that A is just "using me for sex," and that any friend that I might have who accepts that I am poly must just be lying to me and judging me behind my back. I have a long history of conflict with my mother and I moved out about six months ago after a barrage of verbal abuse relating to my relationship with A. On top of all of this I'm currently unemployed and if I don't find a job in the next few weeks when tuition fees are due and my sublease comes to an end, I'll either be couch-surfing or be forced to move back home. The job market where I live is not good and I was let go from my previous job after only three months. My mom insists that this looks terrible on a resume and I'll be hard-pressed to find anything else due to it, which I don't find very helpful. I'm terrified that I won't have a place to live come September, and I'm stressed out and heartbroken over my writing partner and I'm worried that I'll never find anyone else who's willing to be poly and that this will take too much of a toll on A and I's relationship, eventually. I'm anxious and sad and it's paralyzing me and I don't know what to do but I just needed to get it out. Thanks for reading.
Member # 56822
posted 07-30-2012 04:43 AM
A really affirmative, heart-warming and honest book, relevant to every single human being on this planet, about what could have been the worst summer of her life but turned out being one of the best, is "This Is Not The Story You Think It Is" by Laura Munson. While it is not specifically to do with polyamory, it is about what happens when you are able to accept the profound and uplifting truth that "our happiness does not lie outside us" and let go of fear and judgement and reliance on other people to make us happy. She has been writing for years and has finally got past the initial hurdle of getting a book published. If you are at all interested, go to her website,
" http://www.lauramunsonauthor.com " and read a bit. I would say that it is one of the most heart-warming, sensitive and empowering autobiographies I have ever read, and I can safely say she is a really great person, compassionate, caring and wise, and she reads all the letters and emails written to her, and replies to most of them too! I myself intend to try out a closed triad when I get the opportunity, and I want to show that people who have loving polyamorous relationships including those who are bisexual are expressing their true selves. People who accept someone for exactly who they are, including the sexuality that is a core part of one's identity, are true friends, and I intend to be a positive example to other people and society as a whole! [ 07-30-2012, 05:02 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]
Member # 90293
posted 07-30-2012 08:00 AM
You do have a lot to be stressed about right now!!! As I was reading your post, I was wondering if you have anyone in your life that you can talk to about all of this? Are you able to get support from A? There's a lot here, and I'm wondering what feels most important for you to talk about first? I have a few thoughts, and we can definitely talk more about any of this. Regarding your job situation, considering that the job market is not strong right now, chances are many people have short job stints on their resumes. I'd venture to say that your mother's predictions that this will pretty much spoil your chances of getting work are not in keeping with current trends. You have my sympathies on the struggle to find employment and best wishes for finding it soon. Regarding why your writing partner hasn't gotten back to you, unless you can think of something obvious, it's doubtful that it's something you said or did. It can be a viscious cycle of self-blame when we take responsibility for other people's behaviour and choices. It sounds like you do care for him very much, and I definitely hear your disappointment. So, lots of support and a hearty "you're really okay" from here, and we can definitely tackle any of this (including your relationship with your Mom and her attitudes towards polyamory) in greater depth.
Member # 95710
posted 07-30-2012 05:07 PM
Redcatmonster, I'm so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time right now. Having a relationship and an identity that you value you much, and having your mother not understand you or think negatively about it, must be very hard to handle. Is there any way that you could have a civil conversation with your mother; telling her how you feel about her comments and that you do not agree with he assertions and assumptions?
I'm so sorry that your writing partner has not contacted you as of yet. There are many people in my life who just don't text back at an "expected" time (i.e. A few hours or so after one sends them a text). I sometimes get texts days later; and sometimes think, "what are they talking about?" before realizing they're answering my former text. My partner doesn't always get back to me, either; and sometimes days will go by before I get a response (he's also busy, so I try and think that that is the reason, or that he is just unable to talk at the moment). As Robin said, if you can't remember doing or saying anything to him, I am sure you didn't do anything to make him upset. What would you do if this was a random friend who wasn't texting you back? Would you feel the same way? I am in the same boat as you on the unemployment front. As Robin said, the job market is not feasible right now; and I'm sure that potential employers would see short-term jobs as run-of-the-mill, and proof that despite the state of the market, you're still trying and finding work wherever you can. Persistence and hard work are great traits that they will look for. I also have tuition debt to pay off, so I comiserate with you on this. I'm sure you will find something soon! Look online and see if there are any job fairs in local malls or community areas. Monster.ca is a Canadian job site that works well, and it's free to use. Please try and take care of yourself, and I hope that you are feeling better.
Member # 90518
posted 07-31-2012 02:57 AM
WesLuck I really appreciate the recommendation! Definitely looks like a worthwhile read. And it's encouraging to hear about other people recognizing that poly can be a good thing. Robin, A is the most supportive person I know. He knows all about the problems with my mom, etc, and he's been my literal "shoulder to cry on" on more than one occasion. I sometimes feel like I have to step back, though, and be cautious because I don't want my venting to become the entire basis of our relationship. I think we both really make an effort to communicate, though, (it sounds silly, but we've even discussed how we would break up in the most mutually respectful way possible, should that day ever come) and I feel safe talking to him about all of these things. regarding the writing partner, deep down I know it probably isn't anything I did, but I just wish there was some way that I could tell him that his ignoring me hurts far more than it would if he would just tell me he didn't want to see me anymore. I feel like he's being disrespectful at this point, which sucks because I don't want to think of him like that. I really thought he was a decent human being. I've tried, so many times, to have a calm, civil discussion with my mom, and while neither of us are the type to yell or get violent, it just seems to always be rehashing the same old argument and nothing is ever resolved. Like I said, there was a history of conflict, starting from my early teens when I struggled with anorexia and subsequent anxiety disorder. I was always made to feel like it was my fault, and maybe it was, but at the time I just wanted someone to understand. That got better but when I started seeing A, and factoring in a ten-year age gap and the fact that I was sleeping with him before we were "boyfriend/girlfriend" (which I find to be a redundant distinction,) my mom decided it would be somehow constructive to start calling me a whore every time I left the house. Things got bad, and we weren't speaking, and I didn't know what to do but get away from that because I had friends and a relationship that made me feel good about myself, but every time I went home I felt worthless. She argues that I shut her out, that I've chosen to throw away everything she's taught me, and I just wish that she could see that the present doesn't render eighteen years of parenting obsolete, and that I just wish she could appreciate that I'm happier now. I guess I still feel like I'm running away, and maybe this is eventually going to prove fatal for my other relationships, but I honestly am out of ideas. I want to give up but she won't let me.
Member # 79774
posted 07-31-2012 09:17 PM
Just wanted to offer you a little solidarity about it feeling rubbish when other people delegitimise our non-exclusive relationships. It really hurts, and it's just not true when people say stuff like it must mean we don't really love a partner, or a partner is just using us. If we are truly aware and happy in our choices, those people just don't understand and are wrong. Sometimes those people have their own experiences that they're wrongly mapping onto ours, thinking that someone Must be getting hurt in our situation, but although these people mean well, they're mistaken. I'm sorry to hear your mother isn't very supportive of you. The eating disorder and anxiety condition wouldn't be your fault, because those things are never our fault. I know it can be very hurtful when someone tells us it is. Even if your mother thoroughly does not understand or approve of your relationship model, it's wrong of her to call you names. I can understand how that would be very upsetting, from one's mother. I think it's not surprising that you would shut her out if she does things like that, and even if she's feeling upset about being shut out, mistreating you is absolutely not a fair or constructive response to that. Could you maybe explain what you mean by feeling like you're running away - who or what do you feel you're running away from? And how does your mother not let you give up? Given the situation as it is, and your mother behaving as she does, what kind of relationship with her would you ideally like, and what would you need for that to happen? Also, I'm not sure quite what you mean by being worried about "other relationships" - if it's about being worried that because you currently can't have a successful relationship with your mother, you won't be able to with other people, please be comforted with the knowledge that us not being able to have a healthy relationship with someone who is treating us badly in no way means that we can't be successful with people who are healthy for us. It's a very different thing. If you're concerned about your relationship with your mother having a negative impact on your other relationships, what do you think you need to try to stop that happening?