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-   -   We made some mistakes (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64584)

katniss93 11-23-2013 12:31 AM

We made some mistakes
I'm posting because I'm new to this and have no one to talk to. Conservative family and friends make it hard to open up. My husband of 3 years, and I started trying to have an open relationship a month ago. We have a strong relationship and I love him very much. I've never considered divorce as an option to our problems because I believe very strongly in commitment.

Things didn't start out well for us. He actually set me up on a date with a guy he was talking to online. He started this because he thought this other guy and his girlfriend would try to swap, for both dating and sex, more for fun than having an actual relationship. I'm not confusing swinging with poly, I'm just saying that's how it started out and that's what hubby was expecting.

Come to find out after my date, me not knowing what to expect, that the guy had broken up with her after we met and told me he had problems withy their relationship and she was the one that pushed him into open relationship. So no one knew what they wanted or what to expect from each other.

This being my first time ever opening up my relationship I was very surprised to find out that I'm actually falling in love with this guy. And that was something I didn't expect and something my hubby didn't want.

We never set boundaries, which I know now we should have, as well as making our expectations clear. One thing is that my husband felt that he didn't like the guy and I he was insecure about me just up and leaving him. Even Though the whole time he kept telling me to go out with him and pretended to be happy because I was happy and excited. But then one night, 2 nights actually, he got drunk and kept sending hurtful awful texts to me and the guy I was dating. This guy, let's call him J, was very pissed off, for good reason, and tried to hash it out with H.

J hasn't left because he says he is very deeply in love with me and wants to be with me, even though he feels secondary to my husbands and my relationship. Which is something I don't want to him to feel because I can imagine having a long happy relationship with him.

I talked and fought with my husband over this and he has realized what he's done wrong and what he needs to fix. He and I are still working on it.

So here's where I'm struggling.

I am in love with two guys who wish they could have me all to themselves but don't make me choose because I've told them how badly that would hurt me and how I'd be more inclined to leave both of them I f they pushed me to do it.

Both of them feel like the other is having more fun. With me or is getting more time with me. And J keeps asking questions about me and H's relationship but ends up hurt by some of my answers.

My husband thinks that if I get pregnant I need to give up on J and focus being monogomous. Even though I'm so in love. My hubby says he wants things to work out between me and J because he makes me happy.

J wants to roommate because he wants to be closer to me and when I tell him it feels too soon he looks hurt because I have someone and he doesn't.

J likes H and wants to be friends but H finds him annoying.

I don't care if they become friends as long as they get along, but H thinks that if they're not friends it's not going to work.

I've read a lot of support sites but the problem is that I don't want to do because damage has been don't to both sides and I feel like I'm in the middle of a storm with two people who don't realize how much they are taking their pain out on me, and seem so caught up in their own feelings because of all this to be a support to me. I've been trying to put my foot down and establish some ground rules but sometimes it feels that we don't all want the same things. Which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel so overwhelmed and hurt. I've tried talking to both of them at the same time but that usually ends with J trying to fix things without listening and H shutting down.

I feel like I have so little strength but all I want is to hold onto both of them because I love them very much. And yes, I'm in love with someone I've only known for a month.

I know I should have done things differently and now I love two people who are hurt and confused. What can I do to be a support as well as not feel like everything falls on me to make them happy. J keeps telling me he misses me day and night when I'm gone and so does H. I care for them very much and want things to work out.

Thanks for reading.

graviton 11-23-2013 02:05 AM

your relationship with your husband is more important at this point. I'm sorry to say that and many may disagree, but you've been with H for a month! NRE city! DO NOT have him move in unless you want your whole world to implode!

Spock 11-23-2013 03:38 AM

How strong are you? You have two jobs here:
1) Sustain your relationship with your husband
2) Build a new relationship with J

It's not your job to make them get along, and they never have to, but if your husband doesn't want J as a roommate, you'll have to come to some other arrangement.

I'm not sure whether or not your husband actually agrees to polyamory, or not. The fact that he wants you to 'give it up' if you get pregnant pretty clearly implies it. You say you two know what the problem is, and what his problem is, but that's not immediately clear. If you get pregnant with your husband, will J still be around to help? Will he want to be involved? Will your husband let him?

london 11-23-2013 07:14 AM

This is why people should recruit their own partners.

Natja 11-23-2013 10:11 AM

It's too soon to think of moving in with your new partner, let the NRE die down, you might find that time and stability cause a change in your husband far more than anything you say, i.e. Actions speak Louder than words.

Taska 11-26-2013 09:31 AM

Wow, your story is very recognizable to me. My husband and I made plenty of mistakes in the beginning that are still having their repercussions now. I think it's very good of you to ask advice in such an early phase, cause I just kept thinking it would just run its course and solve itself, instead it just accumulates.

The way your husband acts sounds exactly like mine. My husband also wanted to set us up on dates with swingers from the internet, but I wasn't comfortable with that. And later it came out that this was also a way for him to feel more control over the situation, this way he could chose my partners instead of me going out on my own and maybe really liking someone and leaving him.

--We never set boundaries, --
Have you set up boundaries now? If you look at some of the golden posts on this forum (can't remember exactly where now) they had some tips on how to start this discussion, and how by visualizing certain situations you can see whether you're uncomfortable with them or not and what feelings come up. Then you can investigate why these feelings come up, what need is it that you are scared of not being met?

This is easier said than done of course. I tried having this conversation with my husband many times and we have only had it a couple of months ago. This was also because in the beginning we did set up rules, but we went about it the wrong way and I broke a lot of them and this turned my husband off to ever rediscussing them. I let him set up very strict rules that I couldn't abide by instead of looking at his needs that were underneath those strict rules, f.i. I wasn't allowed any contact with my bf except for setting up our datenight and then my husband would be allowed to read those texts. Instead of telling my husband how intrusive I felt this was, I just started seeing my bf irl outside of our date nights without first discussing it with my husband. And so my husbands fear of me leaving him for my bf was nearly confirmed because I would just be over at my bf's house instead of making my husband feel more secure about his position.

It sounds like your husband has this same insecurity and what I can advice you is to take it reeeeaaaaallllyyyy slow. Looking back I think that it would have helped a lot if I hadn't let myself be swept away by NRE and had paid EXTRA attention to my husband. I say extra in capitals cause I thought the same amount of attention as usual would be enough, but it isn't, with someone this insecure they need a whole lot of extra attention when you try to add another relationship to the pile. So you do need to consider whether practically you have the time to start another relationship and give your existing one extra attention.

My husband also pretended to be happy with me going out with my bf, but then when I would come home he would blow up about the smallest things. It got so bad that I just didn't even want to come home anymore, I would just stay late at work or secretly go to my bf's house. This hurt our relationship a whole lot. I still don't trust that he tells me the truth, I always worry whether he is just saying yes to things because it's easy. The only thing I can advice you here is to be really open and compassionate for the fear your husband might be experiencing, which is really hard when someone is yelling at you. And at the same time you have to keep your boundaries in mind, don't let him go so far in expressing his pain that it starts to cause you pain.

My husband also sent my bf terrible texts multiple times during drunk rages. I think here it's good to draw a line, try and explain how hurtful these texts are to you and your bf and how they make you feel.

In the beginning my bf also wanted me to himself, I think this was a combination of nre and him seeing how hurt I was by my husbands anger and he just wanted to protect me even though at the beginning of our relationship I clearly stated I was not planning on leaving my husband. He was jealous of my husband having more time with me and then just using it to fight with me and my husband was jealous that my bf was getting to do all the fun stuff with me.

This has changed now that we were able to have the discussion of what feelings were underlying all these problems. And in the beginning I tried to make sure that all the fun stuff I did with my bf I would also do with my husband (even though we would be fighting throughout, at least he saw I was making an effort). And to spend the same amount of quality time with either.

To move in together is just way too early. You have so many kinks to work out first, please make sure your relationship between you and your husband is stable. And that everyone feels comfortable in the situation and feels safe enough to express their feelings. Please think about what you want and expect and give h and j the opportunity to do the same. It's still early, you can still correct your mistakes and try and make it so that mistakes can easily be worked out in the future. Don't end up like my relationships where problems just drag on for years. H and j don't need to be friends but if you all want to live together then they do need to be able to get along with each other in a respectful manner.

Now to throw a baby in the mix seems extremely premature, I think you, your husband and bf have a whole lot to discuss before even thinking of a child. A child needs a stable environment, not one where you are unhappy and sad about not seeing your bf or where your husband is angry about you seeing your bf. my husband had the exact same ideas as yours about this, but since he has a girlfriend he started being open to the possibility of continuing to be polyamorous while starting a family, but of course this is still work in progress.

If j keeps asking you questions about you and h and is hurt by it, that is his own responsibility. All you can do is be compassionate about his feelings but it is not your responsibility to lie to make him feel better or censor him. You could ask him every time he asks such a question whether he is willing to feel the painful feelings that might accompany the answer, but feeling those feelings and working through them is his responsibility which you can only help him with if he asks for help.

I can totally recognize your feelings of being in the middle of a shitstorm, and there is nothing more to do then stay communicative, honest, open and compassionate and sit it out. My bf just needed some time to accept I wasn't leaving my husband and that all I wanted was a secondary. And my husband needed some time to accept I was capable of loving another man without leaving him or loving him any less. This process has taken two years, so to see you write about moving in together and babies just seems extremely premature. Of course I also had fantasies about being one big happy family together, but i saw them as just fantasies fueled by nre, especially because my husband and bf just don't get along.

Thank you very much for writing down your story, it made me feel less alone. I hope you can avoid some of the mistakes I made now that you know a bit of my story. Good luck with everything!

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