I've been lurking around here for about a week, reading as much as I can, and taking it all in. I signed up for a username yesterday, and was about to post, but I just didn't feel it. Today, I'm feeling it.
I've been married to my husband for 2 years. When we first got together, we decided an open relationship was best for us. Both of us are young, bisexual, and while we love each other completely, there are certain things we can't get from each other that we have gotten from others (I won't go into details, I'm not ready yet).
Then, we hit a skid early in our relationship (before we got married). Our "rules" for each other were to make sure a "date" was ok with the other one of us. As in "Hey, I want to go hang out with X tomorrow night, do we have plans?" We did that for 2 reasons. 1. In case the other one of us had made plans for us to do something, and 2. it felt a lot less like cheating when the other one knew what we were doing. It was exciting and brought us really close together. Then, one night, he showed up to pick me up from work (I worked in the photo center of a local superstore) with a HUGE hickey on his neck. He hadn't told me of any plans with anyone, so I was shocked to say the least. I hadn't given him that hickey, and he walked right into my work, smiling wide, and expected me to be ok with it.
Needless to say, I wasn't. I was actually hurt. I was hurt more that he'd let another woman mark his body in a way that OBVIOUSLY took some time (this was not a normal hickey. It was black. Solid black.) than that he didn't tell me he was going to go see someone else that day.
So, we took a break from that. We only played with other couples, and we only played together. That worked great. Until some things were said on both sides that were hurtful (water under the bridge, now). So, he gave up on looking for other couples. And suggested that we try partnering with other people we get along with, maybe bringing them into our dynamic. I was very ok with this, even if it didn't end up benefiting me in the end. He was being open, right? He was including me, and being honest with me.
Until I wanted to do the same. I had been ok with him going out a few times with a woman that he had met, and I had met a man that I simply wanted to go out for coffee with. He got jealous, so I dropped it, and told the man that it wouldn't work.
A few months later, he told me that he wanted to see me happy like we were at the beginning, and that he wanted me to find a playmate. So, I found one. And, everything was going great. We'd met up once in public, and hit it off great. I wanted to swing by for a little bit after work that night...and he hit the roof. He said, and still insists, that it was because I was driving his mother's truck and not our car, but it didn't seem like it at all. Especially when every time after that, my attempts at meeting my friend went unfulfilled. There was always some reason I couldn't go.
So, I sat down and talked to him. I told him that, maybe we needed to focus on just us. During that talk, it came out that he'd found a woman that was interested in both of us, and wanted to meet me. He insisted that he hadn't met her face-to-face (later found out that was a lie), and that if I was uncomfortable, I could halt it at any time. We went out to dinner at a bar near her house, and, while she was a nice person, I wasn't at all attracted to her. She was definitely the type of woman he fantasized about, but that's not my type. And, every time I tried to put the breaks on things subtly, I would be reminded how excited she was to meet me, and how excited they both were to make this happen.
Needless to say, I participated in literally the least-enjoyable threesome in the history of sex. Or, at least from my point of view. I got almost nothing out of it, while they were obviously glad to be there (seriously, how else to describe this in a PG manner?)
I let my husband know how I felt on the drive home. He apologized, but thanked me for doing it...and then wished me a happy Birthday. Yes, folks, this was my birthday present. *sigh*
I agreed to let him continue his relationship with her, because, frankly, I was over it by then. She wasn't really competition....she fulfilled his need to be with a much older woman. I obviously can't fill that position yet, so I didn't feel jealous. I just didn't want it rubbed in my face.
Well, life went on, he continued seeing her off and on, and I just continued with life. Then I found out that he was "staying late" at work in order to see her on nights that we'd set up to go out and do something for us. I got hurt, but I got MORE hurt hearing from her what he was saying about me. (Don't get me wrong. I'm all for a little venting of the spleen once in a while to friends who get the perspective. But, this hurt.)
I just simply asked that it end. I had nothing against her, wished her every happiness she could find, just I didn't want her in my life anymore. I thought that went well. Thought being the operative word.
I got pregnant. Right after I got pregnant, we ended up going down to Florida for 6 weeks for his job, so it was just the two of us down there. It was BLISS. We went out on dates, we went to the beach, we chilled in the pool, we went on picnics, we just took walks...it was amazing. You know, except for the morning sicknes. :rolleyes:
I found out, at about 7 months, that he was seeing her again. I didn't think anything because he was working late BUT his checks were reflecting that. I felt I had no reason not to trust him. Looks like I did. Rather than coming to me and saying "Honey, because your gag reflex is at 10000% and you can't give oral, do you mind if I go somewhere else?" Because, frankly, as weird as my hormones were at that point (and they were all over the map), I was a-ok with him going elsewhere for gratification. (I'm a large woman. When you're large AND pregnant, sex is more awkward than fun.) I actually asked him if he wanted to. He told me over and over that he was ok. He wanted to prove himself.
He proved himself untrustworthy. Over and over and over.
Fast forward to last Monday (not this past, the one before it). I had had enough. It was our son's 1st birthday, and I spent the whole day playing with him, making it a fun day, even though the only memories he'll have of it will be the photos I took. Of the two of us. Going to the park, playing in the yard...My husband? He spent 1/2 of it at the shooting range with an old friend, and the other half sitting in a parking lot, talking to his new girlfriend. When he got home (10pm), I hit the roof. I was obviously livid. I probably got scary at certain points in the conversation. But, we talked everything out.
He was convinced that I didn't want to share him, period. I told him over and over of all the times I would share him with others, and he would trample on my trust. We had a good long talk about all of everything that had gone on.
In the end, I conceded again. Or, at least that's what it feels like. I've read posts of those of you who have come out to your significant others, and the things you did to make it ok for them....and I cry. Because it was the reverse in this case. *I* am the one trying hard to make sure he knows I'm ok with the arrangement. *I* am the one trying to be more romantic. Or, I was. As of this Monday, I can't handle it anymore. I am so numb. I can't find any way to make him realize how much he's hurt me. And, the idiot I am can't find it in me to hate him. He has hurt me so much, after all the times I have opened the door for him to have his fun because I *knew* he would return to me, after everything. I haven't been a saint. I've been downright evil sometimes. Yes, I did the evil thing a few times and went through his emails, IM's, and texts. Because I knew what to look for....when he's secretly found "someone" else, he first gets distant. Then, he just gets mean. (Not abusive, I NEED to stress this.)
But, right now, I'm sitting here. I've been reading posts in this forum all week, trying to wrap my head around why, trying to find comfort...trying to find a reason to trust my husband. And I just hurt more. Someone, please tell me that this gets better! Please tell me that it will eventually hurt less, and that we will have something like what those of you who are happy have! I've never personally been what I would consider Polyamorous. "Swinger", yes. "Married, with friends with benefits", yup. But, I've never loved any of my partners in a way that is even close to what I feel for my husband. My relationships with them, when I had them, were...well, friends. *sigh*
Anyway, this is my intro. Yes, I've been crying throughout. It's noon here, too early for wine, so I'm probably going to go take a nap with my son. Thank you all for reading and understanding, and even if you have to get in my face to tell me I'm wrong, please, PLEASE, I would love feedback.
It can get better. You're husband has completley disrespected you with his dishonesty and that is the biggest hurdle for you both to overcome now. Yes you broke trust in going through his e-mails butthat does not remove the crime so to speak. Building that trust is going to take a long time I would imagine. Setting boundaries and actually keeping them is the only way I can see to move forward. But he has to be honest and he is historically better at an affair aproach to relationships then an open communication one.
I think he is lucky to still have you in his life..escpecially after ditching his responsibilities as a father on your child's birthday. Parents that don't prioritze thier children above all else make my blood boil. Sometimes doing what is right for them means doing things that aren't easy on them..like divorce or seperation..but it is definitely not sitting in a parking lot chatting to some woman during thier birthday.
I wonder if your husband gets off on cheating and being less than honest with you. It seems to me like you've gone out of your way to encourage honesty with him and he continues to go behind your back to see other women. I'm also wondering how much he's into being a husband and father. I would be pissed if my husband blew off one of our kids' birthdays to hang out with friends or another partner.
He seems to be disrespectful of you. I realize that we only have your side of the story to go on but I'm having a hard time seeing the redeeming qualities in this relationship. It also seems like he wants everything his way all the time. Relationships aren't one sided. If you want some more freedom you should be able to negotiate that. I wonder if maybe he's projecting his lack of desire for you to see other people onto how he thinks you'll react to him having outside relationships.
I know that you were hoping to hear that things will get better. They might get better but it sounds to me that something has to change in the way you relate to each other. You might want to set some consequences on what you are willing to do if he is dishonest about his whereabouts or if he fails to be present during family events. And then you have to be willing to stick to the consequences. Why would he change his behaviour if there has never been any reason to? He's having his cake and eating it too.
Thanks for your responses...I know it's not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. I know that. And, he IS trying right now. It's just...it feels like he's trying only so he can get what he want, not trying because it's the best for our relationship. Right now, he's on the couch, waiting for his friend to pick him up for their lunch "date", and I'm sitting here literally wanting to cry.
I don't know what else to say...
((((((((justjeni))))))) Thats a hug for you :)
I am sorry you are feeling so low. I could rant and rave about how immature and thoughtless your husband seems, but that is not going to be helpful to you, and with the way I am feeling right now, would probably just be a reflection of what I am feeling at the moment.
I don't really have any advice for you at the moment, but just wanted to reach out and let you know that I feel for you. And to give you a hug
I would really question him, encourage his honesty by asking him what he wants and needs. Does he want a family and to be a father that is involved with the mother and child? Maybe he doesn't. It might be a hard thing to answer for him, but I would compel him to be totally honest. If he finds it too hard, and too much work, and something he just isn't cut out for, then I suggest he move on so you and your boy can find a man that wants to step up to the plate. He can be part time daddy. If I were asking this I would use a compassionate loving tone that is offering an open, safe place to talk honestly.
That being said, I would have a look at the "cheating" and "affair" threads... maybe send him a few. He seems to be lacking in empathy/compassion. That is a huge lack in the world as a whole really and for some reason gets over looked in raising children to adulthood. You have a boy, I really suggest thinking about that. He is not considerate because he either doesn't know how to be or he has learned, like most of us, that to get what we want we have to lie and go behind peoples back... There is a long history that I won't go into on that... but just saying.
You might want to invite him to read here also. Maybe he has a different idea of what to achieve in your relationship. If you are thinking more open, maybe his thinking is more love... who knows, that knowledge alone can start something off to a new footing. Open and poly relationships are very different more often than not.
Well, it's been about 2 weeks since my original post.
I did my best to be open, welcoming, and tolerant of our situation.
Several actions that he took made me realize that we need INTENSE therapy, together and separate. I know the why behind many of the actions he takes (saying that his parents were a horrible example on how to have a loving relationship is an understatement. They openly cheated on each other and didn't hide it from their kids. At all. Not an open relationship, not poly, openly cheating. On top of that, I'm the first girlfriend he's had that hasn't cheated on him...and I ended up marrying him, warts and all) But, knowing the why doesn't give him a get-out-of-jail free card. And, you're right. He's VERY lacking in empathy. He can't put himself in my shoes in what I would think obvious situations.
One night, right after we'd had sex, he checked his phone and got a text from his gf. She wanted to go out for drinks...rather than saying no on his own, he asked me for permission. I almost had to scrape my jaw off the floor. Shock does not describe my reaction.
Needless to say, we had a long talk this weekend. Ok, so a 4-day argument. I poured my heart out countless times. All I REALLY want from him is to actually work on OUR relationship. I came to a pretty decent place with everything, and even got to the point where we all hung out and watched movies at our house (after the baby went to bed, of course). He was cool that I needed to chill out, to slow things down, and he did.
The straw that broke the camel's back? The day after we had decided to put the brakes on any external relationship to build our own, he asks if I'd be ok with him meeting up with a fuck buddy. :confused:
Call me stupid, but I can't just walk away. When we're on, we have an amazing love that I can't even describe. Which is why it is so heartwrenching to see this.
Which is why I've decided to seek out counselling before I make my last resort decision. It's probably going to cost a lot, but we NEED it. I think his view of relationships is BEYOND fucked up, and after reading and talking to people who have been successful with polyamorous relationships, I am positive he has a very skewed view of what means. I tried to get him to come here, but he doesn't think he'll be welcome after this thread *sigh*.
Of course he's welcome here! Its always better to get both sides of a story.
Wondering: does he have ADD, perhaps? The way you described how he has long talks with you and then asks you things that seem totally inappropriate to you, considering what you just experienced together, or stuff coming at you out of left field just raised that question for me. Marriage is tough when one spouse has ADD and the other does not - there is often a disconnect in how they think and relate to each other.
That's what *I* told him. This is a VERY welcoming place. :)
He actually does have ADD. And what you said makes sense.
The mental disorder aspect has played a huge role in this with us....I have OCD, and my anxiety is....on my best days lately it's off the charts. And, honestly, this isn't the biggest problem going on in our life. :(
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