View Full Version : Lonely and panicky--when does it get easier?
01-18-2011, 03:22 PM
My husband and I have been married for about 8 months and together for 5 years. About a year and a half ago we decided to open our relationship, but until recently we've been just "poly in theory." My husband had a brief prior experience with poly in a past relationship, but this is all new to me.
He has been dating another woman for about 3 weeks, and my emotions are all over the place in ways I never anticipated. Even though we talked and read about poly for ages, I'm having really visceral emotional reactions that I'm finding very draining. He's been really great about supporting and reassuring me, and I met the woman he's dating a few days ago and I liked her. She had a long-term poly relationship in the past, so I feel like I can trust her to respect our boundaries and my emotions.
I expected to feel lonely on their date nights, so I try to plan other activities. What's confusing to me is that those nights are often easier than other nights when I'm home alone because he's working (he works part-time evenings and goes to school, I have a 9-5). I keep feeling just impossibly lonely. Then other times I'll get a little "bee" of doubt or insecurity that just grows and buzzes until I'm feeling really panicked and overwhelmed. And sometimes I can get over my neuroses for a minute and just feel happy and excited for him. Is all of this typical?
I feel like my relationship with my husband has gotten stronger over the last few weeks because we have both been forced to be radically honest with each other. I love that we are talking about issues that were easily ignored in the past, and I feel like I've already grown a lot emotionally. Still, all that good stuff is overshadowed by the really exhausting nasty emotions I keep getting gobsmacked by. It makes me wonder if I'm really cut out for this type of relationship, or if we are on a fool's errand. Do most people that make poly relationships work feel like being poly is an intrinsic sexual orientation? Or are there others like us that are just more, I dunno, attracted to the idea and willing to give it a try?
01-18-2011, 04:35 PM
.............It makes me wonder if I'm really cut out for this type of relationship, or if we are on a fool's errand. Do most people that make poly relationships work feel like being poly is an intrinsic sexual orientation? Or are there others like us that are just more, I dunno, attracted to the idea and willing to give it a try?
Yes - all these emotions are absolutely normal. And as far as I know there's really no 'shortcut' to putting them behind you.
Think about it. At this point in your life you've been subject to (probably) between 18 and 60 years of cultural conditioning ! You think you're going to reprogram that in a month ? Good luck !
But you can evolve beyond this if you choose to.
1> Study the differences between mono and poly some with an open mind. Make mental note of advantages and disadvantages of both. Weigh the philosophy of both against the world you DESIRE to live in !
2> If you choose to truly explore poly, involve yourself as deeply as possible. Read everything you can get your hands on. Find other successful poly people to communicate with. Talk, think. Repeat 10,000 times. Not necessarily in that order.
All of a sudden one day you will pause, look around, look back, and realize you are 'there'. And probably not realize how you got there :) But the lessons will never be forgotten.
01-18-2011, 04:55 PM
I expected to feel lonely on their date nights, so I try to plan other activities. What's confusing to me is that those nights are often easier than other nights when I'm home alone because he's working (he works part-time evenings and goes to school, I have a 9-5). I keep feeling just impossibly lonely.
When are you getting your date nights (watching TV in the same room while one person folds laundry or does the dishes doesn't count)? It sounds like you guys are not spending enough time together. I know when my husband is off at some meeting or another for more than 3 nights a week, I start getting irritable from being lonely.
01-18-2011, 06:04 PM
What you are feeling is normal as someone above said. And in the beginning it IS hard to get used to. I been there.. as im sure alot of folks here have. That is why I stand by figuring out ways that ALL can do things together. Because what seems to be missing is the time YOU need to bond with them BOTH. I mean what happens if he takes the relationship further and you dont get your time to bond to... and you find out that you cant stand the person in the long run. So if it were me... And you say you and him have a good communication... talk about it... tell him you would like to be included in their date nights.So you can have some time with them to. After all... your going to be spending alot of time with this person yourself. And its nice to really and i do mean REALLY get to know the person before making such a serious commitment as this one.
01-18-2011, 06:37 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've been having some of the same concerns re: going out on "all three of us" dates and needing more of my own date nights with my husband. Even before he started dating her, I felt like we didn't have enough quality time together because he works three evenings a week 2pm-11pm, one of them Sunday. So there are two weekday evenings I spend alone and essentially one entire day on the weekends because we usually go out Saturday and sleep late Sunday. I have to get up early for work, so I'm usually dead tired by the time he gets home in the evenings. By the time you add in a day or two to go out with the new girl, and a day or two to spend apart with friends, there's not a lot left over for me each week. A lot of our "date nights" lately have been hanging out with friends, not the one-on-one time I would like. We've been working harder to carve out more time for just the two of us, but I'm having a hard time feeling like it's enough.
I've also been pushing him to organize something for all three of us, but he's been kind of procrastinating because he was still trying to feel out how much potential the two of them had together and wants my relationship with her to develop "organically." Or something. So we got a little five-minute intro last Friday before they left on a date and she is having a birthday party this weekend that I was invited to. I don't want to be a third wheel, but it's hard to accept that someone I don't even really know is having a huge affect on my life. But he has said she also expressed interest in other 3 person dates, so I know they will happen...just not as quickly as I would like.
01-18-2011, 07:02 PM
You seriously aren't getting enough time with your husband. Sit him down with a calander and come up with a workable schedule, possibly include the g/f in the process. By the way, this is not just a poly issue, especially when your work schedules are different.
01-18-2011, 08:20 PM
everyone has had really good stuff to say. Everything you are saying seems pretty normal to me... its all such a transition. Keep communicating and being radically honest. It does get easier and more normalized. It sounds like you have some boundaries to adjust and discuss. No one should ever have to compromise for long, it just gets way too uncomfortable. sometimes to the point where resentment takes over and hatred. If you feel you are getting to that place, then time for more honesty. Even if you can't really determine what it is that is going on for you...
06-07-2011, 05:51 AM
...coming from me, but be gentle with yourself. You're awesome just for taking the time to truly look at this honestly. I for one know just how difficult it can be. I have a no running, no avoiding policy in place with the universe that works for me. It is painful at times but also wonderful and amazing to experience.
My one suggestion is to keep writing and posting here, So many have made it through this and it is they who continue to offer up hope.
It may not seem like it but I think you're doing great.
Be well my friend.
06-07-2011, 05:53 PM
I've been reading your thread for a while because so much of what you've written resonated with the feelings I was experiencing. But so much has changed for me since I started this thread! The woman my husband (who has since joined the boards and is going by Nexus) was seeing when I wrote this broke up with him to date her roommate and shortly thereafter he started dating someone new, A. Nexus and I talked a lot about what did and didn't feel comfortable, what issues this was raising for me, and what we wanted from each other and our relationship. The relationship between A and Nexus moved a little slower pace so I didn't feel quite so lost. I also started seeing a therapist to work on some of the anxiety and insecurity I was feeling.
Finally about 6 weeks ago I decided to put myself out there and go on a date of my own and all those insecurities just went *poof* and disappeared. Seeing things from the other side of the table made me realize that my fears were mostly unfounded. My attraction and feelings towards the new guy I'm seeing how didn't in any way lessen the feelings I have for Nexus. I'm really loving the sense of freedom I have now to pursue other relationships. It's also seemed to take some of the pressure off my relationship with my husband to be *everything* for me so it can just be the best possible version of itself without me trying to mold it in a particular direction, if that makes any sense at all. Me dating another man has raised some insecurities in Nexus, but I feel confident that we can both work through them too.
Freetime, I wish you the best in your relationship. It seems like you've made a lot of progress and I really respect your honesty and courage in dealing with this. I can't remember if you said you were mono or if you might be interested in dating outside your marriage too. If it's the latter, I'd recommend putting yourself out there and giving it a try, even if you feel like you don't have it all figured out yet. My impulse is to make myself "perfect" before I get close to others, but when the issues I'm dealing with are about relationships, that strategy is counterproductive. If dating isn't for you, keep doing what you are doing. I agree that opening up a relationship is incredibly difficult, but ultimately worth it. The communication between Nexus and me has improved so much, my confidence has improved, and all the old hurts and insecurities that were brought to the surface are actually being worked through and not just covered up.
I have been writing less here because things have been going so well (that and I've been very busy), but I'll try harder to keep posting.