Welp. We broke up

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by idiomie, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Mercury

    Mercury Well-Known Member

    It sounds like that "it takes two to tango" stuff might have been something she harped on since you seem to bring it up when you're talking about the awful things she did to you? But like... that only goes so far. You didn't make her make the choices she did, you didn't make her treat you in a certain way. If she was so upset about your behavior, she could have broken up with you! Instead, she punished you for it and it sounds like she did everything she could to make you believe that if you just weren't so whatever, she wouldn't have to be awful to you.

    Spoiler alert: insisting the other person MUST be at fault too is an abuser tactic. I can tell you from my own experiences with someone shockingly like Ariel that you could have poured every ounce of your attention into her and bent over backward to meet her demands and still gotten fuckall back, and she would have had lots of reasons for why you just didn't deserve anything more than she felt like giving you and why she had to control your time and relationships. There's no way to win with people who behave like this.
    • Like x 5
  2. budgie

    budgie not actually a bird

    Reading that made my heart break.

    There's nothing abusive about not wanting to rank your relationships in terms of most/least important. There isn't even anything abusive about Ariel considering your relationship a 'secondary' one. The abusive part is her expecting you to always consider your relationship with her the most important when she does not, and the way she kept emphasising how your relationship wasn't a 'real' one.
    • Like x 3
  3. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I feel like I hit back, though. Telling her "what did you expect; you're dating a polyamourous person" when she was upset I started dating Forest. Purposefully listing Dove as my "most important" relationship because I knew it would upset her. Those feel like shitty behavior. I feel like I could have done better.

    Not from Ariel, actually. It's from my mom, and it's what she used to say (plus "plenty of blame to go around") whenever my sister and I fought. Although, my sister was literally my biggest bully when we were children (she would cry and accuse me of hitting her when we fought so I'd get in trouble; she would frame me for things she did, like stealing candy from the candy jar; she would publicly humiliate me and make a concerted effort to drive away my friends, etc) and this was my mom's way of telling me that clearly I was doing something to deserve her bad behavior, so. Probably shouldn't let phrases like that hold so much weight.

    Yes. I'm not even sure why I'm arguing, because when I list the facts and compare notes with people who watched our relationship, this is the conclusion I reach too.

    Perversely, I really want to know what, exactly, Ariel holds up as evidence of me being abusive. Except I don't, because I'd probably just obsess over it and be convinced that it's true.

    I feel like, in order to acknowledge the things Ariel did, I have to make concessions of poor behavior from myself to "be fair."
    • Like x 1
  4. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    Okay, putting this as a separate post, because I kinda want to elaborate now about the relationship dynamics that were going on.

    N and Ariel had been dating for over a year when I met Ariel. Originally, it was my understand that all the relationships would be treated as equally as possible, especially because initially, Ariel really wanted us to be a triad. But then Ariel changed her mind. Now, we never had a formal conversation about "relationship ranking" after that. Maybe an oversight on my part, because I'm not really fond of hierarchical polyamory. So there is no conversation where Ariel looked at me and said 'you are my secondary relationship' per se. What happened instead is that Ariel loves ranking things, and I was always, always ranked second. The only time I wasn't was when she was fighting with N, and then our relationship was so much ~better~ and ~~healthier~~ than hers and N's.

    Then over the summer, she and N broke up for like a week, and the first day after they broke up she told me she needed to start going on rebound dates again because she was single now.

    I was completely blindsided by this and so, so hurt. She wasn't single? She was dating me? When I asked her about it, she told me that she didn't mean she was really single, just that we weren't like a real relationship, and so she felt single and anyway, every break up requires rebounds, even if you still have other relationships.

    This was the second time Ariel had told me we weren't a real relationship. The first time was because our therapist (we saw the same person), fucked up and broke confidentiality by assuming Ariel and I were no longer dating because Ariel had told her she didn't consider our relationship to be real. And then Ariel and I talked about it, and she was like "it was passing thing! i didn't mention it to you because i feel that way about N sometimes too. it's definitely a real relationship!!"

    Only apparently she still didn't, per the conversation after she and N broke up. And she told me the reason we weren't a real relationship was because we weren't having sex. And that - the sex, and the concluded lack of intimacy - started being a regular talking point during our fights.

    At the same time, Ariel had a really weird relationship with how she treated Dove and I's relationship. She'd oscillate between being aggressively supportive ("I won't let you demean your relationship by calling Dove your best friend." "Don't you care about Dove at all?!") and super uncomfortable with it ("Dove is taking advantage of you"). She was very very clearly threatened by my relationship with Dove and I often felt that I had to/was expected to downplay Dove's importance to set her at ease. The only reason she didn't outright tell me she felt threatened by Dove and I needed to leave her was because Dove was a preexisting relationship.

    Then Forest came along. Ariel didn't like Forest at first, warmed up to him and was very buddy-buddy with him, was initially supportive of us pursuing a relationship, and then the moment it happened, changed her mind. Forest was now Enemy Number One, he was manipulative, he was clearly abusing me. Either he was demanding too much of my time, or he didn't pay enough attention to me and spent too much time with friends. Forest was almost basically cheating on me with his "best friend" who was clearly actually a qpp. (The friend in question is someone that I feel has a lot of parallels a la me:Dove::Forest:friend, which is where "they're in a qpr" comes from; neither Forest nor the friend define the relationship as a qpr between themselves though.)

    And then the fights about us not being a real relationship and the sex got more ... pointed? It started to come up more and while I don't think I can say Ariel was trying to pressure me into sex because it was never overt, there was this very obvious assumption that if we started having sex, maybe then I'd be a real relationship. And there was this whole big deal about hand holding, which she hadn't wanted to do before I started dating Forest and we held hands, and kissing.

    So when Ariel and I started dating, I thought I hated kissing. It was kinda a hard limit, that kissing is not a thing I wanna do. When Ariel and I first got together, we kissed a few times, and it always involved tongue, which is the part I hate because it's fucking nasty, and she was like "well that's just how kisses go" and I was like "well let's not kiss then."

    And then I started dating Forest and we had a conversation that went kinda like this:

    Me: I hate kissing
    Forest: Why?
    Me: Because people taste weird and I hate tongues
    Forest: .... not all kissing needs to be with tongue?
    Me: what
    Forest: ....
    Me: Right, let's do this. Prove it to me

    And maybe this is stupid, but this was literally a revelation for me. And is how I discovered that I really like kissing!! It's great! I wanna do it all the time! Just no tongues, because ew.

    And there was the whole thing with ranking relationships, where she'd rank N first, and then expect me to rank her first, and she kept trying to poison my relationships with Forest and Dove. And we were fighting because I'd fucked up and started dating someone else, so I wasn't supposed to date anyone ever again.

    It just really really sucked.
    • Like x 2
  5. Aqua Vitae

    Aqua Vitae put some honey and sea water by your bed.

    Sort of off-topic and probably not that important but it's a bit strange that Ariel went right for french kissing and only french kissing? That's pushy second base intimacy, IMO.
    • Like x 4
  6. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    I wouldn't know, Forest is actually the first person I've ever kissed that didn't? Like, you might kiss closed mouth a little bit, but if it isn't a peck, there will be tongue, was just how it always happened.
  7. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    people like ariel are the reason why we have this emoji on this site:

    • Like x 3
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