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-   -   Benn there, done that, dont know if I like it or not (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12235)

ClariceK 07-15-2011 09:40 PM

Benn there, done that, dont know if I like it or not
I am a 35 year old female who has been married for 15 years to her just out of high school sweetheart. When I met my husband I was in love at first sight. He has a bit of emotional baggage, as did I. ( I have childhood sexual abuse issues, so sex is a kinda iffy thing for me as it is) and a big part of why I loved my husband was because he "took care of me". I had a kinda volitile family life and he stepped in many times and changed the way my faily treated me and for a very long time we have a very codependant relationship. ABout a year into our relationship he expressed an interest in "seeing other people with me" after I expressed to him that I had not had sex with a man and had sex with women my entire high school life. I was shocked to be in love with my husband myself, as I had kinda been afraid of men. I knew I loved women. I loved spending time with them, I loved my "girlfriends" and he expressed his "need for more sex" because well, I was not very sexually active because of my abuse issues. We started going to swingers clubs, but neither he nor I are into the whole man thing. I love my husband for the poerson he is. not because he is a man. When I am old he is the person I want sitting on a rocking chair next to me. I love him more then I have ever loved anyone or anything in my life.

I didn't like the "sex clubs" as we called them because I didnt like men being involved sexually. We began to look for a "lesbian" who might be into men also, or a bisexual girl. He talked to me about living a poly lifestyle with another woman. Having a girlfriend who was here to be with me when he went to bed (he works nights and I spend many nights alone while he sleeps as I am a night owl) and someone to help around the house. Someone for both of us to love. I loved the idea. We have in the past 12 years dated a number of women, many of them have been very short term, lasting less then 2-3 months. Usually because of issues that I have with what you guys refer to as the "green eyed monster". My husband and I have no children. We had always talked about how we really didnt nessecarily want children. I thought we were ont he same page about this. When we have dated these women, my hisband has told me that I have no reason to be insecure. That I am number one. That if I for any reason dont like the women that we are with, he will (and has) gotten out of the relationships. I begin these relationships loving the other woman. Loving spending time with her, falling in love with her and every time much more in love then my husband ever is. He is very much interested int he sexual side of it. I have spent the last 15 years saying through gritted teeth "I dont think this is going to work" and "I love having you all to myself, I dont like sharing your income or your time with another person the entire time not realizing that I am also jealous of my husbands relationship with our girlfriend. I am jealous because now I am once again sitting in the living room alone while they have sex. She always comes out and spends the rest of the night with me. and she does whatever I ask her to to help me (eventually, which is anoher issue, as I d the cooking and she does the dishes, if she doesnt do the dishes, I dont have the things to cook with. This angers me greatly, there are other situations like this, but I use this as a example) , as I am partially disabled, she is a very sweet girl, and while she is a young, and sometimes (ok often) has the "I know better" attitude of youth that we all had (she is 24) and I could get used to that I guess. I mean we all have things about the other person that kinda annoy us, we smile and say "uggh I hate that!!!" but we dont end relationships. I always feel like crap after my husband is told that I dont like a woman and I want him to end the relationship. He always does, and he is always sad. I am torn, I want to make him happy, I want the picturesque scene that he talked about. The one where we are all happy, and that other woman is perfect for us. We both love her deeply, and I dont have any jealousy and I am fine with everything. That is not this lifestyle.

To further complicate things, she has a 5 year old daughter. She moved in with us about 3 months into the now 6 month relationship due to a situation that kinda made it nessecary due to her circumstances. The kid is a very sweet little 5 year old girl who is really a good kid compoared to other kids. My husband ADORES the little girl. I think she is agreat also, but I also am not in a place in my life where I wanted or ever saw myself having kids. The fact that my husband loves this little girl so much hurts me very uch because I feel like he said he didnt want kids because I didnt, and that if I had said I did want them he would have loved to have had them. I feel like I can not give him that (I am a masters student, I have career plans that do not include having a child nor did my husband and my plan to "travel the world" take into consideration the financial and logistical feasability of that with a child who is because of school going to have to be pretty local for the next 15 years.

Our girlfriend works full time (she hasnt till just recently) and my husband has been working during the day, and I have been home with the little girl all day long watching her and TRYING to get my school work done. As a college student it takes me many many hours of studying and research at this level of education, and I am sacrificing my schooling in order to watch the child.

I know this has been long, and I am sure that not many will have read this far, but I guess I am kinda stuck. I dont know what to do. I thought I wanted this. Now that I have it, I dont know. Can someone please give any advice. There is more ot this story (there always is isnt there) but these are some of the details. Please help this Family figure this thing out!!.

sagency 07-15-2011 10:07 PM

Welcome, ClariceK. *hug*

Setp #1 is talking to people that can help you get perspective, so you've gotten started.

Two things popped out to me on an emotional level in reading your story. First, you referred to your "Family." I don't know if that was intentional or not, but you used capital F and you called your situation a family--not help us or help me. This leads me to believe that on some level you identify your unit as important and as a (albeit non-traditional) family.

Second, you have a world of pain--sexual, physical, and emotional. There are many posts in these forums about jealousy. Tags will help you find those posts. As for the sexual abuse, I'm sure many here can offer words of advice. I have shared relationships with several women who had abuse in their backgrounds. They are each and every one precious and wonderful souls. It was very hard in most cases for them to feel a connection to a man, but I feel blessed that they would share some of themselves with me. You are precious, too. Your husband's actions speak volumes about his devotion to you, and I suspect it's because he has had the chance to see the inner you.

I suspect that your particular case of jealousy is complicated by feelings of frustration. I suspect that you worry about the disparity between your desire and your husbands. This is followed by opposing emotions of abandonment when he is with someone else and failure that you're not the providing that outlet. These are heavy things, and I'm not surprised that they have been hard on all involved. You might consider in-person counseling as that level of interaction may prove more effective for your acute situation.

In the meantime, there's a lot of information here, and a lot of people devoted to helping polys live happier, healthier lives.


Derbylicious 07-15-2011 10:35 PM

One small thing that might help with the feeling that you're being taken advantage of would be to get the little girl into daycare. It sounds like the work that you're doing as a student isn't being valued in the same way as working outside the home by your partners.

Also setting up a schedule of who does what and when in regards to housework might be helpful. She may not know how important it is to you that she have the dishes done by a certain time. Little things like that have a big impact on feeling loving in a relationship.

As for the sex while you're alone in the living room. Is there something else you can do during that time outside of the house so that you're not feeling left out and abandoned?

Talk things through very clearly with both of them about how you feel and what you would like to see and then listen to them with what their wants and needs are. It sounds to me like you try to push things down until it just gets to be too much and then you end it. Talk about the little things before they get big (This is a do as I say not as I do message, I'm one to push things down a lot of the time too).

redpepper 07-15-2011 10:40 PM

The little girl is going to be in a world of pain when this ends. I really get bothered by that. Kids attach and when adults are sloopy with their relationships it's a the kids that suffer. Not to mentuion the adults who love them.

I think that if I were you I would find my own girl friend and stop sharing. It isn't necesasary and I have seen very few examples of fly by the seat of our pants whirl wind triads working out. This was way too fast to evolve on top of the less than positive out comes that start in this way. Triads seem better to evolve than be forced. Try a different approach and be independent. Co-dependent couples looking for unicorns create a lot of pain for their women I find. Might be something to think about. Your involvement is with three people not with a pet. It doesn't seem you realize that.

Next time: take your time, don't move her in until well after the NRE is over (like a year at least), find your own girlfriends, and don't take on other peoples kids until you are DAMNED sure you can be there for the long haul.

You might want to do a search in the tags for "moving in" "unicorns" "triads" and maybe "jealousy" there has been many threads that address what you are concrned about that might be helpful.

ClariceK 07-16-2011 08:45 AM

I absolutely agree that the 5 year old little girl has to be the biggest priority. I guess I am wrestling with the idea that I havent had the experience of a 5 year old being my priority. I have not lived my life around children enough to feel like I wont say or do something that will mess the kid up for the rest of their life. It doesnt help that I am studying and have studied how even the smallest thing can be the biggest thing to a child, so I worry more about that then I think even her mom does sometimes. That isnt to say her mom is uncaring, or anything like that at all, but I worry about this on her developing little person. Honestly, having found this site/community has been the biggest souce of hope I have had for a Poly relationship working, and for this relationship working.

Beofre I found this site I thought "Ok, polygamy might work because those people follow a religion that tells them EXACTLY how this is supposed to go, but what about if you dont have "principles" to follow?"

I also struggle with the feelings and emotions of the women that we get into a relationship with. I have had the thought "what kind of woman would want ot be ij this relationship in the first place?" The fact that my husband and her were both perfectly ok with having sex with each other the first day they met, I am not of the same morals. I can't just "go find a unicorn to run and play with" like my husband often seems to be able to. This makes me wonder about the morals of the women who DO end up being in this realtionship. It is amazing how much time I have spent feeling and thinking the EXACT same things that I am reading here then feeling like real total crap for thinking or feeling that way.

I am sorry if my description made it seem like we are just going out "unicorn hunting" but that isnt the case at all. We both have the intention that it will all work out, that it will all be awesome and then reality sets in. I feel like I wish I had read so much of what I am reading here tonight before tonight because it would have made things much easier. I blew up tonight over the two fo them being late from work and not calling to tell me they were going to be late. To me it shows a lack of caring that I am waiting wondering where they are, and honestly makes me think that they dont have the same urgency to see me at the end of the day that I have after not seeing them all day. The fact that when I went out and saw them pull up everyone was all smiles and happy and like they didnt have a care in the world, to me it showed that they hadnt even had a second thought to how worried or how anxious I had gotten by that time. I blew up because I felt that it was a case of "Well as long as he has her with him, why does he care what I am doing, he isnt the one sitting here alone AGAIN. This could have been solved by either one of them calling or texting and saying "Hey, we are running late, I know your waiting for us, and we are trying our best but it is just taking forever!!" I would have been perfectly fine with that. Itis little things like this that send me over the edge, especially when I have been trying all day to get school work done to not be able to because of other household stuff.

sagency 07-16-2011 09:18 AM

K (my wife) and I have a few rules we agree to that help relationship life in general. One of those rules is:
No blowing up unless you've already articulated--in your out loud voice--what it is that is upsetting you.

In your story, you see the lack of a text as uncaring. Hubby and girl come home to find a fuming wife. To you, they're happy-go-lucky. To them, they walked into an explosion.

You see, they might not have processed how important their timeliness or a text is to you. Yes, one could argue this is common courtesy, but people need reminders and they need to know boundaries. If you haven't articulated the things that you need--arrival by X time or some sort of check in by Y time--then their expectation and your expectations might not match. If I were coming home and found a wife upset at being late, one of the things I'd wonder is, "If you were worried, why didn't you check on me?" So a lack of clear guidelines means confusion in all sorts of directions and no real accountability.

Instead, articulate the issue, state a suggested remedy, and get the people involved to acknowledge the plan going forward.

"Hey, I get worried about you guys, and I don't feel important if you're more than 30 minutes late and I don't get contact. In the future, I'd like you to call or text if you're going to be that late, ok?"

If they agree and don't follow through, then you can blow up all you want (and you get to add the "you know better!" nag). But I've found that using this technique means we have minimal blowups but are able to be mindful of each other's needs. Many times if I screw something up, chances are I just had no idea and had I known, I would have tried to do it right the first time.

ClariceK 07-17-2011 03:42 AM


Originally Posted by sagency (Post 92156)
K (my wife) and I have a few rules we agree to that help relationship life in general. One of those rules is:
No blowing up unless you've already articulated--in your out loud voice--what it is that is upsetting you.

In your story, you see the lack of a text as uncaring. Hubby and girl come home to find a fuming wife. To you, they're happy-go-lucky. To them, they walked into an explosion.

You see, they might not have processed how important their timeliness or a text is to you. Yes, one could argue this is common courtesy, but people need reminders and they need to know boundaries.

Instead, articulate the issue, state a suggested remedy, and get the people involved to acknowledge the plan going forward.
Many times if I screw something up, chances are I just had no idea and had I known, I would have tried to do it right the first time.

Thank you sooo much for the reminder about his intentions not being to be rude or hurtful or ncaring. I know my husband is a great guy. I have also found that my therapist I have been seeing for the last 10 years has not had the positive afect on my maarriage that I thought it was. I didn't really realize that my therapists telling me that my husband was "running away" from having to face a commitment to me by wanting to add partners, but after a VERY VERY hard night last night in which I didnt sleep on wink, since after the blowup my husband was very vry upset with me. He feels (and is correct) that as a student of psychology, as an adul, as a person in a loving relationship with ANYONE that my blowing up and yelling and screaming and storming out to leave everyonehere scared for my well being as well as the relationship as a whole and our individual relationships. I kept having this nagging voice of my mother saying "Don't be a freak!!" (I have always been a little lets say odd LOL) and after having a serious long cancer battle, starting a non profit from that experience, a life changing experience (not to mention relationship changing as far as my hmarriage, my husband, who's mother died from Cancer 2 months before I was diagnosed, didnt deal with my illness well as far as being the most supportive he could be. He took very good care of me when I was ome, but he had major fearsof being with me at the doctor, so he didnt go with me to chemo or any of my doctor appointments. Luckily I have a GREAT BFF who loves me for who I am, poly, mono, gay, straight, who went with me to all my appointments as well as took me to lunch before or after every one. SHe is older then my mother is, having children older then I am, but she herself in her marriage has had both open relationships as well as both her and her husband both having affairs on each other. She knows the terrain of rocky marriages and hers survived everyting the wringer put hers through) so I have had major resentments toward my husband. I asked him once again, for about the 50th time, why he abandoned me when I needed him most, and he said "I have given you the same explanation over and over, just because it isnt what you want to hear, I am not going to change my feelings just because you want me to say I had a different reason" which he was right about 100%. He wasnt right in his actions, he has apologized over and over for it, he has expressed shame in himself for not being able to handle the situation, and my holding it over his head is unfair, I either need to decide that he doesnt care about me based on that exerience which was EXTREMELY overwhelming to him, and leave him because I have too much respect to be with someone who doesnt care about me, which I know isnt in ay way the case. I was with him while he sat in a hospital while the Dr told him his mother was getting better and that she would be ok, he saw that dr as having lied to him, he hadnt really liked drs before, and after that experience, he felt that he couldnt not be sarcastic, rude, and even maybe mean to my dr after he tried to send me home from the ER without doing any tests when I went because I was sick. My husband saw one dr send me home with a "stomache virus that was causing a gas buildup" after having not done any kind of test on me, only to have my husband bring me tomache and intestines. My hsuabd by this point had a SEVERE anger toward anything ANY doctor would have to say to him. He felt this would have caused a issue with my treatment, and added stress to my life from him and my dr not getting along. When I look at it from that perspective, he actually made the right choice even if it wasnt the choice I wanted him to make at that time.

After this entire last night of fighting, crying, begging him to please communicate with me because he had shut down after I stormed off, he went to bed and wouldnt hold or touch either me or our girlfriend, I felt like I was loosing 2 relationships, and when I stormed off, I called and fired my therapist because "I need someone who is supportive of my choice in relationship and who doesnt think ym husband is a asshole who hates me when I know that isnt true" my therapist suggested that I not just stop suddenly a 10 year relationship with him and that he would help me transition to someone who is more understanding of my situation. He admitted that he hadnt realized that he was putting his own values and feelings about who I should be and how my life should be into the relationship and that the fact I had been seeing him for 10 years had caused a much much too "friendly versus theraputic" relationship. I dont know if I want to do this or not, but he has left our regularly scheduled appt time open this week and has invited me to come if I want to. By the time I had gotten to a point where I was at the end of my rope I felt like I had ended 3 relationships in one day, that I had ruined at least 3 peoples lives, that I had said things to our girlfriend that I could never unsay. I showed her this site, she is trustynatasha (hi baby!!) on here, and she and I talked after I read her some posts about blowups, about jealousy, about boundaries and she forgave me. My husband was a much harder sell to get back in the boat of slavaging this relationship. HE told me I had "broken him" and that he didnt want this relationship if this was the way it was going to be. He went to bed, she went to bed (we share a king bed, so they were in bed together) I spent the night going throught the depths of insecurity, depression, fear and OMG anxiety.

Over the 6 hours that they slept and I didnt, I thought about and read this site, I spent hours reading threads, not responding, but reading, reading about sharing, about how his love for her doesnt dimininsh his love for me. I realized that because my husband likes the "casual lets go get a woman also into casual sex and have sex with her" thing as well as wanting the LTR with another woman tor two (which we discussed would be a mutual among all decision of course) I felt the need to rein that casuality back, I wasnt ok with casual sex because I know too much about the mental damage that is done to women when they have casual sex experiences. When I gave it thought though I realized that it is no different then our girlfriend also being into the poly thing. She is also ok with casual sex, and they share that, I read something on a thread about how if I decide to rein in who he is as a person, rein in his sexual needs and desres, I need to be prepared for the consequences of that if he cheats because he doesnt feel ok with being open about his desires and needs. He has spent the last 15 years telling me that he doesnt even nessecarily need to be the one to pick the woman out. I have felt that since he always has been the one who goes out "hunting for unicorns" and I am not as forward (or god as for that matter) flirting and attracting woman, that is how it has always happened (I did find one woman who was NOT a ok person for us to be with, she was really not mentally stable, was in a marriage that was physcally abusive and had thought that getting into a relationship with us would be her "way out", because of the nature of abusive relationships, she went back to him. It hurt my husband and I both that she felt that her abusive husband was a better choice then 2 people who loved her unconditionally and would never intentionally hurt her.

ClariceK 07-17-2011 03:44 AM

By the time morning came around, I had decided that this relationship might or might not work out in the end, but it wasnt going to not work out because of a blowup on my part. I had yelled at and been just plain horrible to my entire family for over a week. This was all caused by fear, and jealousy and insecurity, but it was upsetting none the less. TB (girlfriends daughter) had crawled into bed with the two of them, and I walked past the open bedroom door and thought "See, if I left he could have his nice little family he has always wanted" but I stopped myself and said "you know, this is the happy family I have always wanted too" and decided that I needed some way to apologize in a way other then words. I made the three of them breakfast in bed while they slept. I woke them all up to bcon and eggs in bed, (cereal and bacon for the little on who doesnt like eggs) and I apologized to all of them for being so horrible and mean and yelling, and told them I couldnt promise I would never do it again, but that we would work out a better way to prevent or diffuse them when they do happen.

Our dryer had broken down, and while we technically could afford a new one this week, it would be tight and would be helpful to put off buying a new dryer this week and save up for a new washer AND dryer, both badly needed, dryer moreso of course, but to do that we needed to get the laundry that had been piling up done. I decided that I would go to the laundrymat (a very large physical task for me as I am disabled) and although GF was planning on going with me, I felt that she needed to spend time alone with hubby after the hard night that she had had last night. They were all tired (I had gotten my second wind after having not slept all night) so I left them all home alone. The three of them were going back to sleep, having not had to get out of bed due to the breakfast in bed I made, and before I left I said "Call me to let me know your thinkin of me".

I went to the laundrymat and did the laundry, about 9 loads, and while I was folding the 3rd of the 9 loads, GF called and asked what point I was at, I said "about 1/3 of the way through the folding" and she said "are you standing there folding it all??" I said "Yeah of course!" she said "put it in the baskets and bags and bring them home, we will fold them together and put them away" which I was eternally grateful for as I was hurting, tired, hungry (I didnt make myself breakfast) so I came home and ate something then went to get some sleep.

I dont know that this will all work out, noone does, but we will give it our best try, and make sure that if it doesnt work out, everyone is better off for having had the experience.

sagency 07-17-2011 03:57 AM

ClariceK, I'm glad you're working through things.

I'm especially happy that you explicitly stated what you were doing and what you wanted (doing laundry and want a phone call). It's nice to see that trustynatasha called you home. It must have been a warm reminder that she was listening at that you're a part of the family.

ClariceK 07-17-2011 06:01 AM

Yes it was, and even though we didn't get to fold the laundry today we will have a folding party tomorrow with music and chips and sodas and it will be a blast, and give hubby a much needed break after watching the kiddo while both she and I napped (her on and off) all afternoon.

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