The people in the relationship are the only ones who decide when it ends

The people in the relationship are the only ones who decide when it ends

Should you leave a relationship because others tell you to?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 directly

1:30 Topic: When to bow out

K has been in a relationship for over two years for over 40 hours a week and feel completely committed. His wife refuses to see or communicate with K, and that wife has been diagnosed with stage three terminal cancer. Should K bow out of this relationship she’s put so much into?

Our response:

  • Resist the urge to value the original couple more highly than subsequent relationships. When a partner or metamour faces hard times, support rather than absence is generally a compassionate response.
  • ┬áRather than taking advice from others, ask the people involved what they want. Ask him and her what they want. No one else’s opinion matters.
  • Say what you want. You are in a valid relationship and have a voice.
  • Remember that you do also always have the power to leave if the situation becomes untenable or unhealthy for you.

10:45 Happy Poly Moment

K shares a fabulous happy poly moment of spending casual, pizza-and-pajamas time with a metamour and that metamour’s wife.

13:00 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? ­čÖé Check out PolyWeekly at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!


Commenting area

  1. I just listened to this episode and have to say, at first LustyGuy sounds pretty heartless, but ultimately his stance makes sense.

    I agree with both of you. Since Husband’s actions — including his relationship choices — do have an impact upon Wife, I think that Wife should have some say in what K does… assuming that Wife will communicate more than she has been willing to do so far. However, Husband and K are the ones who move their relationship, whether closer or apart.

    I guess my summary is that the two in the relationship are the ones who make the decisions on that relationship, but they are not making their decisions in a vacuum. As Cunning Minx has noted in previous episodes, OSOs are part of what makes a partner that specific person.

    As for the advice, I like that you say, “Ask Husband (and Wife, if she’ll communicate) what to do; don’t go with outsider opinions.”

    Thanks for the episode on an issue I would never have thought of! I hope that you all are enjoying your trip and ceremony!

  2. I suppose it is always difficult when there are external factors impacting so heavily on the relationship…but I agree that ultimately it is the two in the relationship that have to decide on which direct they want to take. x

  3. Week–

    Agreed; it sounds pretty harsh at first to say “the two involved decide.” But if the wife has consistently refused to talk over the years, there are pretty much two options: (1) accept her silence and work with your partner to decide what to do with the relationship or (2) refuse to accept her silence and leave the relationship.

    The truth is that you can’t force someone to talk to you any more than you can force someone to love you. What you CAN do is to set your own boundaries and needs and talk to the partner who WILL talk to you.

  4. Hi, Minx, I know you asked for sponsor feedback, too. I tried checking out the GetSTDTested site, and while I don’t live in a small town (New York City!), the closest testing location was in Connecticut! So, that was a bummer, since it seems like a good resource. Hopefully they’ll have more locations soon.

    • Rachel – Thanks for checking out! Unfortunately, our services are unavailable in New York, NJ, RI and MD due to state laws. We have nearly 4,000 testing sites nationwide, but at this time those states are excluded. I apologize for the inconvenience and contact us if you have any other questions.



Comments are now closed for this article.