Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:03 pm

So it turns out my partner was cheating on me this entire time. And he never told me about his other partner at all and we were having unprotected sex, which means I may have an STD so the first chance I get, I’m going to get tested. Thanks for all the support you provided through this time. I’m done with relationships and am so tired of the constant abuse i face through them.

Gone.Sorry.
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:30 pm

I'm so sorry, Herstory. I'll admit that I'm kind of relieved this is a turning point for you in ending this relationship, but I wish you were having a better time and better experiences. I hope you'll still give counseling for yourself a shot. You've been through a lot and are going through a lot. You deserve to have someone to talk to about all this and to spend some time just taking care of and caring for yourself. Give it time and be as kind to yourself as you can. You deserve all good things. Sending you all my good vibes and well health wishes. <3

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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Siân » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:39 am

Ohh Herstory, I'm so sorry. That's really tough, I know how hard you tried to make this relationship work. This person was so clearly undeserving of that effort. How are you feeling?

I get that feeling of being "done" with relationships, and a breakup like this is a great time to focus on just yourself for a while. I second horriblegoose's point that a therapist for yourself would be a great option right now. If you wanted, I'm sure they'd be able to speak to you about this pattern you're seeing of entering dysfunctional and abusive relationships and how break out of those dynamics in the future.

Besides sending some therapist recommendations your way, how can we best support you right now?

Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:38 pm

I just feel so disillusioned. And I realized he abused me more than just emotionally... I’m in complete shock and feel so traumatized. I currently went to therapy so I’m taking the first steps. But I just want to know what to do... I feel so empty and broken and I feel like this is my fault.

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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Mo » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:54 pm

I'm glad you're seeing a therapist; I think that's a great first step. How much distance are you able to take from him right now? I think limiting contact as much as possible will be good for you. I think the thing for you to do right now is focus on taking care of yourself in whatever ways you can, from things like therapy that you're already on top of to trying to do nice things for yourself in your day to day life. Do you have friends you can make plans with right now? A new show you've been meaning to watch? Can you take some time for journaling or meditation?

Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:14 pm

I already filed a no contact report. Next step is restraining order. I’m taking steps to do this.

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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:12 am

Those are all really big, tough steps to take in terms of looking after yourself, and you deserve a moment of feeling proud of yourself for taking them.

How are you feeling right now? Have you had a chance to do somethings to be kind to yourself, or to spend time with people who care about and support you?

Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:58 pm

I have, but it’s so hard not to think of everything. He lied to me about literally everything, including having cancer. I feel so stupid and lost. I feel so helpless and worthless. I don’t know what to do with myself... I’m trying my best to be with people I love, doing things I love, but I find it extremely hard to do and I don’t know how to take my mind off all this trauma.

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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Siân » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:21 am

It's understandable that you're mind is full of all this right now - being lied to on so many fronts is really disorienting and it can take a while to put your world back together in the light of new information, unpicking the true things from anything else. You're not stupid, I promise.

Doing things you love with people you love is great. I know it's hard right now, and I wish I could make it easier but you're already doing all the right things - going to therapy, taking steps to protect yourself from him and taking care of yourself. It sounds trite I know, but if you can keep those things up then all it takes is time.

In the meantime, there may be opportunities for self-care to help process the trauma or take your mind off it. We have some ideas here: Self-Care a La Carte. With big things like this, lots of people find writing it out or other forms of creativity help. Do you see anything in there that might be useful to you?

Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:33 am

I am going to start working on my art again. I feel like I lost myself to the point where I forgot who I was so I’m going to do the things I remember I love doing like drawing and writing music.

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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Heather » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:44 am

I think that sounds like a great idea.

Suffice it to say, I'm so sorry this is how this wound up going, Herstory. I know you know I felt iffy about it throughout, and later clearly like it wasn't healthy, but I had certainly hoped for the best for you in it. (I also don't think this is about you being stupid or worthless, and I hope that you can move on from a self-blame stage as quickly as possible.) I do think it's always best to get out of something that was in any way abusive, but that certainly doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like hell all the same.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am

I feel like I can’t function normally. I keep thinking about the trauma and abuse over and over again and it’s like it doesn’t leave me mind. I need to do homework, but I can’t concentrate on it. I’m scared to go out. I can’t hang out or talk to people without fearing my life and safety. I feel so trapped. I don’t know how to not think about this and how to not let it affect my life. What do I do?

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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Heather » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:10 am

It's completely understandable you're feeling this way. I don't mean to be a broken record, but like others have, I'd strongly suggest counseling if you have access to it. This clearly has become -- and no surprise there! -- a profound mental health crisis for you, so calling in qualified help with that would be a sound choice.

If your access to mental healthcare is limited, or you need some help before you can get to see someone in-person, the GLBT National Help Center's hotline would probably be a good option for you. They can also help callers find local help. Their hotline is: 1-888-843-4564.

Fenway Health's evening helpline is another good option (and like the GLBT hotline above, it's both inclusive, can just listen and can help you find in-person healthcare, too): That one is 1-888-340-4528, Monday – Saturday 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. EST.

You might also consider talking to a guidance counselor at your school to see what adjustments/helps they can offer for students in crisis. It's entirely possible you might be able to lighten your academic load while you work on getting some help and start to work through this.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

SpaceCowboy
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby SpaceCowboy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:52 pm

Hey herstory,

Just wanted to say I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. It sounds like you are taking a lot of steps to take care of yourself and your safety and I just want to validate what you're already doing. I know how overwhelming and sad it can feel when a relationship comes crashing down around you because someone has lied to you. The feelings of being broken and empty won't last forever, and you may even be surprised someday by how fast they have passed.

Also wanted to say, you aren't stupid, even though I know how shameful and embarrassing it can feel when you find out you've been duped. It sounds like based on your posts that you tried to be a gracious and loving partner and there's no shame in that, even when it turns out the other person did not treat you in a gracious and loving manner.

Herstory
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Herstory » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:20 pm

Something I just can’t comprehend is why he wanted to be monogamous if he was going to have other partners anyway? Why would he keep me from being polyamorous when he wanted other partners too? Why would he lie to me all this time about wanting to be committed only to me when he was lying about having other partners? Why didn’t he just tell me? I’m polyamorous and he kept me from being my true self, yet he had the audacity to have other partners without my knowledge. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why didn’t he just tell me he wanted to have other partners instead of keeping so many secrets and lying to me all the time?

Heather
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Heather » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:37 pm

I'm not officially at work today, but I wanted to weigh in on this one. Oh boy, do I know this one from a personal perspective (and I totally understand your anger and confusion her, I have so been there), but that's also because I know about it from work, too.

Generally, I think it's safe to say that the long story short of this as a thing someone might do is that wanting to be poly -- to be open, honest, to have all of this be consensual -- is one thing. That's just not what someone else wants who wants to be with other people, though. And by all means, wanting to have other partners for yourself doesn't mean you want your partner to have the same privilege or right.

In a case like this, where this person was very clearly, in many ways, seeking to control you, he would keep you from that and many things because of control. He would also lie about his doing what he was doing because this person does not have regard for you: no one has real regard for us who abuses us. They just don't, as painful a truth as that often is to deal with.

He lied and kept secrets because those were excellent vehicles and tools for his control. He did what he want without letting you do what you wanted, because letting you do what you want means not having that control over you. Considering your real needs would require he had a real regard for you when he didn't. He didn't want to be monogamous. Obviously. That was a lie. He told you you did to control you and to keep in line with the part he was playing.

All the answers to all the questions in this in this case really all likely just boil down to this: he did what he did because he was emotionally abusing and controlling you.

I want to remind you again, because I don't think it can be said enough: none of this is your fault. This man's behaviour is 100% his responsibility. Not yours.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Gone.Sorry.
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Re: Poly Relationship Turned Awry

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:03 pm

Herstory, I have some book recs, if they might help you process? I know we all have different ways we learn and process best.

Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft is a highly recommended book that's been getting more attention in recent years. Lundy is a counselor who works with abusive men, and he compiled those stories and his experience in this book. The book covers a wide variety of topics regarding abuse, including going inside abuser's minds, warning signs for abuse, and how to escape. It may be a good book to help you recognize that what happened wasn't at all your fault and how brave and courageous you were to get out of this relationship.

I recently read Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse by
Shannon Thomas. It was more 101 than I was looking for, but I think it may be a helpful book for you. It outlines the steps to moving forward from abuse, as well as going over some different types of abusers. It might give you a helpful guide of how to take back a feeling of control over your life, though.
I like this book because it goes over how to accept what you've been through so that you can begin moving forward, and this feels very applicable to you right now, based off of what I'm hearing you go through.

I have a couple more books I was just perusing through to choose for my next read, as well, if you're interested in getting those titles?

Heather is absolutely right.
It's so hard to accept that someone was cruel and controlling simply because they wanted to be and that it really had nothing to do with us personally beyond the fact that they could ensnare us. We want to see the good in other people, find the excuses and reasons, and feel like we can just feel better about it because there was at least a reason beyond thoughtless cruelty. But that will never change how much you were hurt or make it better or easier to handle. It's okay to just feel hurt and be upset and angry and betrayed. Whatever his reasons, what he did was not okay, and there is no excuse. The best thing you can do for yourself is work on shedding the hold he had over you so that you can continue to live your bright, hopeful life, of which there's so much more still ahead of you. I know, it's so hard to think there is anything past the hurt you're feeling now, but I promise, there is. There is so much more.


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