Sunday was the big discussion about the bullshit with Dandette, in which I said I’d like to keep seeing him but things can’t go on as they have been; he needs to devise a plan. Wednesday was me asking him if he’d come up with anything, and adding that if he needed more time to think, that was fine. He did not respond to that at all, and today is Sunday again, so I flat-out texted him asking if he has a plan yet.
He replied, “Well I’m not willing to throw Dandette out while she’s still getting her shit together. That would be too mean. But I guess that also means nothing will change as quickly as you’d like.”
On a side note, I hung out with my friend Kaija the other day and told her about all this shit that’s happening and she said it sounds like the Dandy is one of these pseudo-helpless people who just, like…flails and whines that stuff just happens to him, when in fact he brought it on himself. I fully agree – I mean he hasn’t directly whined about his lot in life but I have observed here before that he’s exasperatingly passive sometimes. Like, when I saw the crazy message Dandette wrote on his birthday cake he just smiled awkwardly and shrugged like “what’re you gonna do?”
I think that attributing my anger entirely to Dandette is an extension of that same passive, helpless, “there’s nothing I can do, shit just happens to me” attitude. So in response to him saying he won’t kick Dandette out, I said: “Okay, but Dandette’s presence in your life isn’t actually the problem, it’s a symptom of the problem, which is that – by your own admission – you have no idea what’s appropriate in your relationships and you probably have more than a bit of a saviour complex. What are your steps to fix this?”
Ten to one he’ll just flail and be like “I don’t know!” or else tell me he’s gonna solve this by just, like, going off by himself and thinking really hard, and I will be fucking infuriated. During the big discussion a week ago, when he said he doesn’t know what’s appropriate in relationships, I told him I agreed and that he should probably go to therapy and get that sorted out. Also, Dandette and I are both in therapy to get some issues sorted out, as he is well aware. If he forgets that therapy exists at this juncture then he’s just being deliberately obtuse.
And I’m still so very angry at him for having a saviour complex and yet utterly failing to save me. The first time I ever went over to his place, Dandette (whom I’d never met) was out when I arrived but we knew she’d be back in a couple of hours. The Dandy and I had naked fun while there was still privacy and then he threw on some sweats and went to cook us dinner, first tossing me his bathrobe to lounge around in. And lounge I did, assuming that dinner would be a bed-picnic, this being a date and all. But no; Dandette returned home and shortly after that, The Dandy called me to come out and get some food – and brought our loaded plates to the dining room table. There was a plate there for Dandette, too. And this is how I ended up meeting my date’s ex-girlfriend for the first time while wearing nothing but his thin, holey bathrobe for the obvious reason that we’d just been sexual together. I wouldn’t even have wanted to meet a date’s actual platonic roommate that way, let alone his ex!
Dandette was friendly enough toward me that night, but right off the bat she remarked petulantly that The Dandy hadn’t made her dinner in ages and I silently categorized this as a possible red flag. But The Dandy’s known her for years and clearly felt it was fine to bring me out in just a robe so we could all have dinner, so obviously everything must be fine and I was just being overly jumpy, right?
By the way, I’m the first person The Dandy has dated since he and Dandette broke up, so he wasn’t being a very good saviour to her, either; it is seriously insensitive to initiate her into the idea of him dating by bringing me out looking all post-coital. Also, I mean…he’d dated her for five years and continued living with her for another two, so how did he not realize what a jealous, unstable attention whore she is when I picked up a whiff of danger within the first five minutes?
Next time I came for dinner, Dandette knew I was needing to make a bra for a cosplay thing I was doing and she had offered to help (she’s worked as a props person in films). So I brought over my materials and we did a bunch of measuring and cutting and this whole time, Dandette was being super chatty and friendly and even saying we should go to this or that local event together. I felt uncomfortable with the idea but also uncomfortable with rejecting her, so I just kinda vaguely said maybe. At one point – inspired by all the measuring of my tits – she asked The Dandy who he thought had the bigger boobs. I did not enjoy the competitive implications of that. That was also the night when she decided that The Dandy needed to give her equal affection to me: if he hugged me, she pouted and demanded a hug, too. If he affectionately rubbed my knee, she’d butt her knee up against his and stare expectantly at him.
I did not point out to The Dandy how fucked up this was and insist he talk to her about it because 1) I subscribe to the idea that every relationship in a polycule is its own separate entity. Which, at the time, made me think that maybe it wasn’t my place to tell The Dandy to tell Dandette how to act, as she is not in a relationship with me.* 2) Her jealousy and attention whoring were so motherfucking obvious that I kind of assumed The Dandy would address it with her as soon as I was gone. But I guess not, since she did the same thing the next time I saw her – the night we were all out clubbing and then I came back to their place and she was being drunk and invasive and awful.
So I broke things off but then stupidly got back together with him a few months later because I missed the snuggles. And I thought, hey, now he knows that Dandette is jealous and unstable – and that I hate drama to the point that I’ll bail on someone over it – so he’ll totally keep an eye on Dandette and keep her in check this time around, right? Or at least keep her drama from affecting me? NOPE! Because she wrote a passive-aggressive note to me ON HIS BIRTHDAY CAKE and he did fuck-all about that.
Shittiest white knight ever.
Anyway. I probably should just leave the relationship; he’s broken my trust pretty hard and I’m creeped out by the whole white knight thing (and I mean, how can I ever compete with Dandette, who will periodically decide to kill herself and literally go bolting for the knife drawer? I’ll always be second fiddle). But I do care about The Dandy, and I assume that if I don’t push him to fix his issues he’ll just continue to metaphorically punch himself in the face and then be confused by the fact that he has bruises, so I’m kind of trying to stick around long enough to push him into getting professional help, at least. Although if he pushes back on this I really will go. We’ve only been dating for four or five months. That’s not nearly enough history to be worth the level of hassle he’s putting me through.
*I have since changed my framing of this: yes, Dandette was not the one I was dating, and yes, I’m still against making rules of any kind in a poly relationship, especially for someone I’m not even in a relationship with. However, Dandette was overstepping my boundaries and I have a right to defend them by telling The Dandy that he needs to smack that shit down or I’m out.