"veto" power in order to heal
If, at the first introduction to poly, you were unfaithful (sexually, emotionally, verbally ... not necessarily only including physically unfaithful here) to your SO (bad way to start) and your partner expressed distrust (obviously) and as a request to rebuild laid a stipulation that 'other' involved with unfaithfulness had to be removed .... what would you do?
* a general question, but more specific to my situation - I am married (to someone I suspect is in denial about degree of mono-ness) to an amazing person for 6 years now. I fell in love with another person (a mutual friend) and denied and hid my feelings until I expressed them. Current to today - partner is left feeling hurt and betrayed (I left my partner in the dark under the guise that all was OK, and respectful... which the actions were, intentions were not if that makes sense. I have been sexually attractive to people within our relationship in the past, but never 'fallen' for someone, someone else who I wanted to share my life with. This lead to a doubt in my ability to give my partner everything they deserved, and have everything I wanted.).
We are currently in the healing phase, regaining trust, under a stipulation/assumption that this relationship/these feelings were laid to rest. How can you just shut that off? I can't, and feel like a hole is now there. I am also not willing to give up my relationship with my partner (which is at the utmost importance right now) but I am struggling to find a balance.
I am new to this too, but bear with me.
Perhaps you need to let them know that you can't just shut your feelings off, that you would love to, but it doesn't work that way. You could compromise to not actively pursue a relationship with said person, but that you could remain friends or that you have "permission" (understanding really) to feel that way about them.
I am in a similar situation, actually. I broached the topic of poly to my husband a few months ago and he said something like, "you don't have anyone in mind, do you? That would be different." So we put it off, then I met this wonderful guy and I told him about my feelings. He accepted them but cannot (as of yet) accept the idea of me expressing those feelings sexually.
Your SO has to give a tiny bit, at least in accepting that you can't help the way you feel. You need to accept that he is going to take a while (read as: it feels like FOREVER) to even get used to the idea.
I hope that helped a little:)
(more description below, fail at internet communication!)
Yes, the middle ground! That is what I am still searching for. Is there one? It depends on the person, as you say. My husband is alright with me loving someone else as long as it never gets physical. My poly friend's BF is fine with sex but not her loving someone else. We are all different in that respect so the middle ground would be different.
Yes, it is selfish of both of you, but that is human to look out for one's own happiness. The trick to finding the middle ground is getting each side to give in their stance a little. That might mean moving slower than you would like or maybe having stronger boundaries. For your partner it may mean having to accept you for who you are and letting forge closer friendships with people. Or at least agreeing with you about having the conversations more often.
Only you (proverbially) know what each risk is worth. You might want to (slowly) integrate a conversation about the stakes in this game, ie am I going to lose you if I ____? That is the conversation that helped me the most, was he going to divorce me over this? If so, then no, it wouldn't be worth it at this point in time. If no, then it might be worth continuing a chat about and considering.
Current to today - partner is left feeling hurt and betrayed (I left my partner in the dark under the guise that all was OK, and respectful... which the actions were, intentions were not if that makes sense.
the action IS the biggest problem. How does your SO know, if you put her in the dark and left?
You have to work really hard, if you want to be together with them.
For me, it sounds may harsh, but you are just try to be justify yourfself.
We are currently in the healing phase, regaining trust, under a stipulation/assumption that this relationship/these feelings were laid to rest.
Are you really sure about that?
I am having a similer stiation, I dont really feel in healing phase..... Even we are trying.....
I am also not willing to give up my relationship with my partner (which is at the utmost importance right now)
your partner means your wife or GF?
but I am struggling to find a balance.
Have you really talk about those things with your SO and GF?
I am having problem my hubby doesnt want to talk about it.
I think only you can make or find a balance when you talk with them.
That's what i want really...
Doesnt your wife want to talk about it?
Doesnt your GF want to talk about it?
I was trying to stay general so I could get opinions from others' varying types of situations, but I guess that made it confusing! More me thinking things through, and realizing that the 'what if' of having to walk away from the beginning (as in first) 'other' of a disaster-start-poly was a proverbial question I wanted to ask the general forum. I am tentative as I find forums can be extremely difficult to express yourself on without others reading the message incorrectly due to grammar or vocab chosen! :)
I female, married to husband (i said partner) He is of the utmost importance - in this, in all things (a relationship part that I have been defected in showing in the past) and me not wanting to hurt him, or our marriage, stays at the top of my list.
I am struggling with my emotions because I am deeply sad to walk away from the 'love' (any strong emotion can be inserted here) that I felt in the relationship with the 'other'. A friendship has been lost (or is in the motions of being lost) as it seems impossible to continue on as 'just friends' when that is all we were the entire time (we talked often as the basis of friends, got to know each other well and feelings started to grow) until I was able to be honest with myself (and the other only, which is where my biggest mistake, dishonesty and disloyalty was).
The verbal expression of these feelings are actions too, it is correct to say this - but what I meant was that there was no physical expression ei sexual contact etc.
In all honesty, the 'feelings' were 'easy' to walk away from because the 'other' expressed their disinterest in a poly relationship, and I was not interested in leaving my husband (this was not implied or asked of, just that the 'other' is mono and wanted to stay that way) After the situation came to a head, we (other and I) discontinued contact with my request for space to work on my relationship with my husband and the damage I had done to it. The 'other' just sent me a message stating that they had a harder time walking away than they thought, and wondered about the possibility of starting contact again - on respectful grounds, with my husband as the primary importance.
Hence my question, because I know that my husband will NOT be ok with this, and will NOT support a relationship in this arena due to the heartbreak that was caused from my dishonesty to begin with. I am scared to bring up the topic again (as of now, time to heal has been a request and to spend more energy focusing on our relationship - date nights, etc, which has been fantastic) as I kept all of my feelings hidden and denied prior (you can read that as secretive, because it was on my part, the denial of feelings) and this situation has given me the out to be open with my husband.....but this new message has thrown my head for a loop, and given me new thoughts to rework.
I am not trying to "justify" anything - I had feelings, wasnt honest with them because I was scared silly as to what that meant to my marriage, didnt want to hurt my husband, hurt my husband, and am now left confused and still not wanting to hurt my husband whom I love and do not want to lose as an amazing contribution to my life.
I f*cked up, and am feeling like the loss of the 'other' and the trust of my husband are the consequences - ones that really suck to swallow. Thats all.
You reap what you sow.
You had a committment to your original partner. You broke that trust/deal. Love or no love, right or wrong, regardless of intentional out-come. Humans make mistakes, and hopefully, we learn from our wrongs. Cheaters are not neccessarily jerks or bad people. Many times, they are people who made genuine mistakes.
However, you broke trust. You probably lied, and you definitely hurt your partner worse then you can imagine.
If what he is saying, is that he can learn to grow into accepting you as poly, but cannot handle you doing that with the person you cheated with....why not right your wrongs ?
I have rarely met a cheater who wants to actually be accountable for their actions. They want to cheat, be forgiven, and carry on with both partners. They always profess they can`t live without the love, of the partner they cheated with. Where, rarely are they asked to give up loving that partner. They are asked to QUIT the relationship, nsa, and work on the marriage problems that led to lack of communication and cheating. No relationship, is definitely not a forever statement, when someone is still hurting with pain.
It is always full of drama, when someone is determined to keep both partners, and I have yet to see a good out-come. There is always this up and down yo-yo effect, and nobody is truly happy.
However, on the flip side, I know of someone who cheated, professed to love both the original partner and the mistress deeply. Wife asked him to give up the mistress and work on their marriage. Wife was initially adament, that she never wanted 'The other woman' near them again.
So he did. Threw himself into fixing the wrongs.
A year later his wife told him he could invite the mistress back into his life, as a girlfriend instead. They took their time, went slow and did things 'right'.
They are still a unit, 15 yrs later.
So I would say, it is AMAZING the good things that can happen, when you DO RIGHT BY PEOPLE, even when it is hard to do. Even when it hurts. Even when you suffer.
If you had a situation where you 'righted the wrongs', and the spouse still didn`t give you a inch, then you might have a leg to stand on.
Good luck to you, either way.
your stitation is so similer to mine. we started poly things as a desarster......
I am still trying to understand my hubbys feeling and thought. and he may feels same way as you feel,,,,
thank you to reply my mistake understanding.
again really sorry,,,,,
No upset taken from you, Lucia! I just realized I needed to clarify my story as it came across a bit confusing.
Reaping what I sow is definitely what is happening which is a decision I know is the right, valid and respectful one - and one that I am accepting. I lied to, cheated and hurt my partner (there is a reason that it is called this) and now it is his feelings that need to be upheld, and my job to work on the trust between us; I was expressing my thoughts on the current situation, processing the new hurdle, gathering my decisions into words, and it brought me to a what-would-you-do-if question. Two things melded into one post -
I really should have posted in the "General" section as I was mainly curious as to what other people thought on wiping out all things (relationships included) when outside your primary goes wrong and starting again fresh, or if it is worth it to stick with the original problem/person and work on that together. T'is all.
Epic internet communication fail on my part! I am happy for either end (personal or what-if) to continue, though! :)
Amor, you do seem to be beating yourself a lot for fucking up horribly. I'm still not totally clear on your situation here, but... can I check some details here?
You were married to your husband, right, when you developed a friendship with another man. Over a period of (months? years?) that friendship turned into love. Once you realized you loved this other man, you kept it a secret from your husband for awhile because you didn't know how to tell him and you didn't want to hurt him. How long did you keep it a secret? A few days? Months? This does sort of make a difference.
I think you didn't do anything physical with this man, and we're just talking about an emotional love?
It sounds like you eventually did tell your husband about your feelings--or he caught you and confronted you? Again, this makes a difference. And then you subsequently cut off all contact with this friend, right? Was that something your husband asked you to do, or did you do it to manage your own feelings, or both?
Pending more incriminating details, it looks to me like you did everything RIGHT, not wrong. Your husband's hurt because you love another man--and he should be hurt by that--but if my reading of your story is correct, you didn't "fuck up". You fell in love (it happens!) and then you mustered up the courage to tell your husband about it and then cut off contact with the object of your affections. What else were you supposed to do?
My point is that I think you should stop all this self-flagellation!
I guess you could say, "Well, I shouldn't have fallen in love," but you can't control your feelings like that. Nobody can. You could say, "I should have stopped seeing this guy sooner," but that is hard to judge, too.
Love can develop gradually, and sometimes it can be like cooking a frog: you start frogs off alive in lukewarm water, and gradually warm it. They don't jump out if you warm the water slowly enough, because they don't notice the exact point when it's become too hot for them to live. So they die in boiling water, never having jumped out. You died in boiling water, Amor. At some point, you were just friends with this guy, and then it warmed slowly and you couldn't tell you were boiling until it was too late. Right? And then--oh god--you were already boiling and you've already "fucked up" and you can't take it back, and how do you tell your husband that if that means you'll lose everything?
I've been there, Amor, I have. I mean, I actually did sleep with the guy, and my husband reacted differently than yours when I told him ("Oh, honey, you cheated? Thank goodness; I thought it was something serious!") but I understand the sick feeling in your gut that you have lived with for however long you lived with it.
So sure, beat yourself up if you want, but... also, take my sympathies, and my assurances that you're not the worst person in the world and that you've been hurt too.
That said, the question on the table is: can you see the guy again? You want to see the guy again, because you love him, and ripping an attachment apart like that hurts a lot, and gluing it back together, even imperfectly, can be comforting. But your husband doesn't want you to see the guy? Have you actually talked to your husband about that, or are you just assuming he wouldn't be cool with it?
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