I was at this relationship that ended badly last night.
I only had a few flings after deciding that monogamy wasn’t for me, but I studied a lot, and still do. So I met this guy through some friends in common, he was a non monogamist too, and a month after chatting online we started dating.
At first it was very nice, a few problems but everything seems overall ok, and I was pumped by the fact that he was everything my prior dates weren’t: Completely honest, eager to talk about his feelings, and apparently very emotionally responsible.
The “the talks” began. He simply couldn’t stop talking about his prior mono relationship, and how traumatizing it were. He alternated between being pissed with the relationship, talking about clinically and showering himself in self pity for not being able to make things alright. And by “making things alright” he meant, or at least he said he meant, that he just wanted to be friends with her again, despite the abuse, manipulation and that constant fighting he accused her of performing.
And then the situation escalated quickly when I got my job back in his town all of a sudden and didn’t have a place to live. At first I would stay there some other day, so I didn’t break myself financially with transport fees, but his family and the other people in the house really seem to like me and I ended up staying full time at his house.
“The talks” became more and more frequent, and I was feeling a bit drained. I wasn’t supposed to be his therapist, he kept saying that he could never be in a monogamous relationship anymore, that he didn’t want a relationship. So after some time I snapped. I told him “Look,as much as I respect this ‘no relationship at all, let’s just be together and whatever’ thing, that’s not what I’m looking for.
I need compromise, I need affection, I need to have my feelings at least at some degree reciprocated. I want to fell wanted and desired, and you are no giving me that, so it’s best if we break up this thing we’re having”. I moved my stuff to other room in the house and that didn’t held up not even 6 hours. He came to my door, not knowing what to say, wanting to talk, wanting to be “ok” with me. But I already had feelings for him, and we ended up just where we started.
And that was the first time I tried to “get away”, after that came over a dozen. It was completely crazy boomerang! I knew in my heart that was so wrong, especially after hearing for days about his prior relationship going the same way, but I couldn’t help it, not living in the same house. I told that I heard that he wasn’t ok with committed relationships, that it was ok if that was not for him, bit for me it was.
And he would say he wanted to try with me. I started telling him that if he was decided to stick with me, he would have to do some effort to change a few of his trauma behavior, going completely mad and pissed at anything that resembled romance (even holding hands had some mischievous meaning behind it), giving me attention, not treating me like I wasn’t there when he was with me, validate me, for God’s sake. I didn’t ask to be talked to everyday, or to cuddle all the time, or that he made public displays of affection.
And things would be good for a day or two and then everything turn back to point A.
I was becoming very overwhelmed by my job, apartment hunt, and then the moving process that went horrendously. I was having two other relationships, that was way superficial, and ended up terminating then for lack of time and emotional energy.
While I sorted my things out, he grew more and more distant, but still, everytime I mentioned we should split, he would state that he didn’t want that.
Everything was an excuse for my “neediness”. I was overwhelmed by work, or the problems at my new apartment were stressing me out, and he hoped that he could help. And I would say “I don’t need help sorting this things out, that I can do on my own! I just, please, need some comfort, some affection, some security!”
And he say that he would try, and still I never felt appreciated or loved. He said that he had a different way of expressing his feelings.
He would start talking about emotional responsibility, or insisted we go to non monogamy reading groups, I think in an attempt to make me less “committed”, or less demanding of affection.
He would try to say things in the most non compromising way when I asked where we were standing in the relationship, like “I care about you.”, “I have been loving you lately”. Never complete affirmatives, always on stealth mode.
And after I moved out, I really thought that he would be more relaxed, but NO! He got even more weird and distant, and we would spent more than two weeks without seeing each other, and he would tell sweet thing over text, that he missed me, and when we finally had the chance to be together, he wouldn’t even kiss me right, just a peck. The sex left me feeling like a doll. I became miserable, started to fight with him daily, and we alternated between long periods of fights and short periods of trying to mend things, until yesterday, after a week of silence between us, he basically told me he was not boyfriend material. While going to a birthday party at a club, with me sobbing furiously on the phone. He was unfazed.
I know that everything is pretty much resolved and that I simply should let him go and never come back, but I really do miss him, the person that was with me the first months…
I’m trying to move on and keep the no contact policy, but he is known for reaching out, like nothing never happened, and when that happens, what should I do?
And most of all, this whole thing left me hating non monogamy as I previously hated monogamy, so I’m sad about relationships in general, ’cause I don’t know how to be that uncommitted and loose about the people I like.
Thanks for reading…
Stop talking to him. No, seriously.
And in the future, in your relationships, if someone is more than willing to verbally trash an ex in front of you very, very quickly, be wary. I wonder if the real problem in his previous relationship was actually his ex, monogamy, or… really just him. Especially given he is so insistent on everything being “right” with her — in other words, he wants her to cosign his behaviour and she probably and rightly refuses to do so.
While it’s hard for me to say if I’d classify this man as abusive, it’s important to understand that abusive people have good and nice sides to them which is inevitably what keeps their victims coming back. Of course he’s nice at first. Of course he has periods of giving you roughly what you want. And then he pushes and pulls you back and forth. This isn’t non-monogamy. This is someone who either isn’t aware they treat people his way or knows fully and enjoys the power of jerking you around.
Regardless, he doesn’t give you what you want either because he doesn’t do emotions the way you want him to, or because he knows that he can play a better game by only giving you a little bit of what you want and then gaslighting you into thinking that you’re needy or that the problem is you.
You aren’t a problem. Nothing about your wants here is out of the ordinary, not conducive to non-monogamy, or even silly to expect or want. He intentionally pretends like nothing has happened because he hopes you will do the same. Don’t. Unfortunately, that means you become another story he can tell to another woman about how sad he is that he didn’t make things right with her. That’s not really your problem.
Get rid of this guy. He isn’t good for you, he’s tainting your life and experiences and he’s not worth this amount of drama and negativity. Even without his hot and cold behaviour, treating you like a doll during sex, or being completely unconcerned with you crying around him… he is not worth it.
Dump his ass.
I hope this helps and good luck!
Do you have a question?
If you have a non-monogamous relationships question to ask, please email it to email@example.com. Your question will be posted anonymously.