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-   -   Struggling with time and honesty... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16457)

Overthinker 11-01-2011 04:43 PM

Struggling with time and honesty...
I am looking for some advice with the current situation that we are struggling with. My husband and I have been in a quad for a year now and of course weíve all had our ups and downs. Weíll call husband M, husbandís girlfriend N and her husband/my boyfriend H. I have recently had a break down after I have been struggling for a while. Itís been over some inequality in the two extra relationships (which I know and donít expect them to be totally equal because we are all different people).

For the past few months I have felt like I have been just watching the relationship between M and N from the sidelines while I have got close to nothing from H. M and N have regular lunch and drink dates, talk on the phone constantly, and at times he will text her for hours while I just sit there on the couch watching him. He sneaks out of the house to call her or waits for me to leave to jump on the phone. I on the other hand never know when I will hear from H, will go weeks without seeing him and it has been months since weíve had a lunch date. H has a totally different personality than M and I am learning how to handle it but most of the time I feel very alone in all of this.

To top it off there have been a couple of times that M has not been completely honest with me when I have asked him about very minor things. About a month ago both of the men were out of town so N and I went out for a girlís night out. While we were out she answered a phone call from M and went into another room to talk to him. This made me feel a little uncomfortable. Mainly because a few days earlier she was out with friends so I decided to hang out with H for awhile because I hadnít seen him in weeks. Well when she found out I was there she begged me to come out with her. She kept saying ďjust forget them menĒ, etc. So since I thought she was trying to make an effort in our friendship I dropped what I was doing and went out with her. I felt like her taking that phone call was kind of hypocritical. If H would have called me while I was out with her I would have ignored it in a heartbeat. But all in all, it wasnít that big of a deal and wasnít worth me bringing it up with her at the time.

Well it caused more problems a few days later when I was in a conversation about his out of town trip and I asked M if he had called N while we were out that night. He told me no, even though I knew he had. I stewed on it for a day or so then told him that I knew the truth and he said, ďwell maybe you are right, I donít remember what time I called N because I was drunkĒ. He then said that he told me he hadnít called her because I put him on the spot. I told him that I didnít care if he called her, even though at the time it made me feel a little awkward, but I would expect him to just tell me the truth, ďhey I did call her but I was drunk and have no idea when I did.Ē That would have been just fine.

There was another recent incident where he disappeared to his man cave while we had family over. I knew that he went out to call N. Well when he got back in the house I asked him what he had been up to. He made up some excuse of what he was doing. I donít know why he didnít just say what he was doing, itís not like he doesnít already have permission.

So, back to my break down. It came to a head the other night when I had made a dinner for M that he had requested and he ended up being late without letting me know in advance because he was having drinks with another friend. Well after he came home and dinner was cold he told me that he had been at Nís house having a drink as well. I wasnít upset that he was there, but that he totally disregarded me and the family. We ended up having a heated discussion where I told him exactly how I felt about all the time he spends with her and how I felt second. By the end of the night I told him that I didnít think I could do this anymore and I wanted to call things off with the quad (which we all have the agreement that if one person wants out then we all are done).

After doing a lot of talking with M into the wee hours of the morning, he totally understood where I was coming from and agreed to call everything off. I decided that I had been too harsh and we all needed some time to talk and let everyone know how I felt and that it didnít have to end right now. H wasnít even in town when all of this happened and I felt like I had to talk to him as well about how I was feeling.

Well I talked to H about everything in detail and told him that I needed more from our relationship if I could continue to be able to handle M and Nís relationship. I guess it is easier to overlook the time that M spends focused on N if I am somewhat preoccupied with H. H is struggling with being able to focus on me more because he doesnít feel like N cares to be around him or work on the relationship that they have. I totally understand that and mentioned that maybe we should back off of things until their marriage is in a better place. So I really donít know what is going to happen there.

But in the mean time, M is upset and he says he canít even talk to or text N because he is scared of what I will think. I have not asked him to totally stop everything with her. I have asked that he be honest if I do ask him things, which I donít do very often. I feel like he has taken everything that I shared with him about how I have been feeling to another level that it doesnít need to be. He told me that he is so frustrated with everything and that he was actually somewhat relieved when he was going to tell N that things were over. N does have a tendency to cause some drama and not be very honest herself.

So I guess after my long novel, I really donít know what to do with M now? I donít want him to feel like he has to worry about his every move, but I want to be able to be honest with him if I am struggling with something.

So go ahead and shoot, Iím readyÖ.lol.

Minxxa 11-01-2011 05:07 PM

A very short reply to a very long post :)

But I would search the forum for posts on NRE. It just sounds like M and N are in the midst of new relationship energy and are having trouble maintaining balance with their current relationships. Maybe reading a bit about it might help you (and him) to see what's going on.

The fact is NRE can be great, but it needs to be something he (and she) are aware of, so that they do the things they need to do to maintain their already established relationships. It might take conscious effort to do that, but it needs to be done. They have to realize that they can't just do whatever they want to do or everything they feel like at every particular moment because there are other people involved.

It seems that H is in the same boat as you, so my guess is both of them need to rein it in a bit. Not give it up, and not NOT enjoy it, but be caring of the other people they are involved with.

I'd also tell him directly that he needs to not take what you told him about how you're feeling and turn it into something it's not. If he has questions about what you're feeling and thinking he needs to ask you, not make a wild stab in the dark. :)

Overthinker 11-01-2011 05:21 PM

Thanks Minxxa. Boy I have read almost everything there is :) I had actually thought that a lot of the NRE had been over with them or at least diminished.

AnnabelMore 11-01-2011 05:29 PM

A few pieces of advice.

- Insist that M take his relationship with you seriously, not disrespect you, and be 100% honest. Tell him that if he can't do that it will badly impact your marriage, plain and simple, just a it would if anything else in his life were causing him to treat you poorly. Make it clear to him that none of those things involve not seeing N, maybe show him this thread to try to help him understand that. Promise him that if he lives up to the commitment to do those three things you will not guilt him or pressure him or in any way give him grief about his relationship with N.

- To help M keep the commitment to treat you right, ask him to read up on NRE, because that is in fact what's going on. Maybe even ask to sit down with M and N together, the three of you, so you can explain what actions have hurt you and why, and can make it clear that you support their relationship just not those inconsiderate behaviors.

- Treat your relationship with H as its own entity. If you're not getting what you want/need from it, then there's no reason this has to be a quad rather than a vee. You could go out on dates, maybe meet a new poly or poly-friendly guy who will give you more time/energy.

Minxxa 11-01-2011 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by Overthinker (Post 108785)
Thanks Minxxa. Boy I have read almost everything there is :) I had actually thought that a lot of the NRE had been over with them or at least diminished.

It can last for differing amounts of time (from what I hear), but generally I think in 12-18 months it generally starts to fade. :)

I know you say you've read everything, but has he? One issue I've had with my hubs is that I am the one that has researched, read and gotten other people's perspectives on poly and issues with poly, here and there over the past 15 years. He's hardly read anything. So everything comes "through me", and is sometimes seen and brushed aside as my own personal opinion and viewpoint, and not as information I've garnered from a lot of people's own experiences and advice.

I would suggest that HE be the one to read about NRE, maybe some info on how experienced poly people handle it respectfully so that he can see it's not just YOU freaking out about something, but it's a common poly issue that he seems to be unaware of or is ignoring in the heat of all of the chemicals flowing through his system. :)

The nice thing about seeing other people's experiences is that you don't need to reinvent the wheel yourself.

Jade 11-02-2011 12:35 AM

The way I see it, the big problem here is the current poor quality of H's relationship with N. Backing off sounds like a good idea, or at least cutting way back. Hopefully M can see the wisdom of that, since the quad will likely implode if N and H's relationship doesn't stabilize.

I feel for you. No one in a quad likes to be held captive by another's pace.

JnR 11-02-2011 01:42 AM

I have to agree with Jade, just based on a very messy and ugly quad relationship my husband and I were in. If the other couple does not seem to have a good solid marriage, I would definitely back off and see if they can work on their problems and issues. If all care about each other and understand what is going on and needed, no one of the quad should feel badly about taking a temporary break. If drama occurs because of this suggestion, especially from the other woman involved.... Run! LOL Sorry, it just sounds all too familiar to me....

MichelleZed 11-02-2011 04:26 AM

You don't need to force things with H just because its clear your spouses are falling in love.

Your husband just needs to be a bit more honest with you about how things are going with his new girlfriend, and needs to keep paying enough attention to you so that you still feel important. He can manage that even when in the throws of new love.

Overthinker 11-02-2011 04:56 PM


Originally Posted by MichelleZed (Post 108864)
You don't need to force things with H just because its clear your spouses are falling in love.

Your husband just needs to be a bit more honest with you about how things are going with his new girlfriend, and needs to keep paying enough attention to you so that you still feel important. He can manage that even when in the throws of new love.

I don't feel like I'm forcing things with H, but I have told him what I do want out of a relationship with him. It's not that H doesn't want to give me more, it's the fact that he feels like he's just a roommate and someone to help with the kids to N and not a husband. She is not very affectionate with him or anything else. But of course she is with M. So his mind is always wandering, wondering if she would rather be spending time with M instead of him. Mainly because she does spend so much time focused on M. So H can't get that out of his head to relax enough to actually be himself with me. Now, when he has been able to totally relax, our time together is awesome and I love it. I just wish I had more of him when he is like that.

nycindie 11-02-2011 05:09 PM

Well then, it's clear that H and N need to reconnect and get back to loving and romancing each other. They should be having hot dates together, just as you should be having hot dates with M.

I think it can only help the entire quad if the pre-existing couples step back from their OSOs, strengthen what they have together, and find the good stuff again, before going back into "swapping" positions. Then, take that slowly! Don't let NRE swallow anyone up to the point of ignoring someone else. Make an agreement that all of you speak up when you see that happening. Perhaps you should also all go out and socialize together as a foursome on a regular basis as well.

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