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-   -   Don't know if I should stay or go. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18704)

STBF 12-13-2011 02:57 PM

Don't know if I should stay or go.
Hello. My wife and I have been poly for just under 2 years now.

My wife was the one who suggested the idea. My reasons for agreeing with her suggestion are sort of complicated, and I'll explain below. She began dating soon after. I met my gf in February of this year.

My dilemma is that I'm unsure if I want to maintain my two relationships. These feelings only really came up soon after I started dating my gf so I don't know if it's just limerence or something else. I am also at an age where I could be going through a mid-life crisis. Those are some of the reasons why I'm so hesitant to divorce my wife. Also, I still love her a lot and I hate the thought of hurting her with a break-up. We have 2 daughters that will be affected. My relationship with my gf is lacking in drama.

Another factor to consider (this is the big one) is that for most of my life, I've been very emotionally needy and completely reliant on external validation. I believe that the root cause of this was my mother, who has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Before I moved away from her, she would psychologically abuse me on a daily basis.

I remember that when I first started dating my gf, the appeal of polyamory was quite simple: More people to love. This most likely doesn't sound like a bad thing to any of you guys but try to understand that this was coming from the thought process of a person with severe codependency and self-esteem issues.

It was pretty soon after I started dating my gf, that I also began working on my own emotional problems. I hit a point in the start of October, where I was no longer as reliant on other people to build up my confidence or make me happy.

I feel like quite a different person now. What sort of complicates things is that I feel incredibly muddled up, when it comes to my marriage and my relationship with my gf. Since I've become so much more independent, I don't know if I want to be in a relationship any more.

Any thoughts on this?

dingedheart 12-13-2011 03:31 PM

So what you're saying is, after some self discovery you'd like to dump both of them and start over from the stand point of the "new" you.

After your mother was diagnosed did anyone encourage you to talk with a therapist about the abuse you suffered? Have you been treated for that?

Whats your wife think of the new you? Have you talked to her about these new feelings and the possibility of divorce?

AnnabelMore 12-13-2011 03:36 PM

If these are both solid, happy relationships, why do you want to leave? It's great that you've realized you don't NEED them to be happy, but that doesn't mean they aren't wonderful things to have in your life, yeah?

What do you think you will gain from being single versus what you stand to lose in terms of love, family, and support?

Bathory68 12-13-2011 04:21 PM

If you are unsure..dont act and hurt everyone. you may be going thru a midlife crisis and regret your decision.

BigGuy 12-13-2011 04:58 PM

Congratulations on your growth. I'm sure it has been a hard road to travel. If you're not already doing so, I suggest counseling to help sort out your feelings and relationships.

MonoVCPHG 12-13-2011 05:19 PM


Originally Posted by Bathory68 (Post 115767)
If you are unsure..dont act and hurt everyone. you may be going thru a midlife crisis and regret your decision.

Great advice! I've acted on new emotional thoughts far to quickly in the past. With a little time things can look and feel much differently.

redpepper 12-14-2011 02:20 AM

What I hear is that you have discovered your own autonomy and independence so therefore don't need a relationship or two and that you want to go it alone. That seems extreme to me and perhaps you should consider finding a balance instead. We all need companionship at some point and you will be void of that if you say goodbye to perfectly good relationships.

I have two (well four actually) partners and I am completely autonomous and not the least bit co-dependent with them. I love spending time with them but have made sure that the time I spend is not out of obligation or because I have to. That is a balancing act as they also need to spend time with me so I do my best to weigh up where I am at and act accordingly. I consider myself independent and free to do what I want with some boundaries we have discussed at great length.

Congrats on your new found you... take your time and see where you feel in a year. This has been less than a year and you are still getting to know where the new you is at. Why not recruit your loves in discovering who you are? They might like that. Even get really inspired by you and excited for you... besides there is no reason why you can't set different boundaries and ask for more alone time and time to pursue other interests. We don't all spend time with loves, there is other stuff to do in life.

I do burlesque and sing. My partners are my greatest and most cherished supporters. They don't always come to see me, but its enough to know that they love me enough to step back and let me do my thing.... why? Because I give them tons in return. :)

SoulRising 12-14-2011 04:24 AM

"I feel like quite a different person now. What sort of complicates things is that I feel incredibly muddled up, when it comes to my marriage and my relationship with my gf. Since I've become so much more independent, I don't know if I want to be in a relationship any more."

Hi STBF...Congratulations on your changes! Becoming independent and loving yourself first is so important. It takes ALOT for someone to come out of the emotional struggles you say you have surpassed. But you didn't do it alone. Of course you feel like a different person now...you have two people that have probably been stable and emotionally supportive to you as you are changing and growing or evolving into a better person!:D

Speaking from the GF side of things (i am actually experiencing a similar situation now), i would reccomend to first and formost give some appreciation and acknowledgement to your wife and GF for their giving and support. Love heals. Sounds like the love you recieved from your GF and wife may have helped give you the strength to face what you had to face to work on your emotional problems.
I would maybe have a conversation about how you are starting to feel. If they love you and have encouraged you thus far to grow and change into this "new" person...i am sure they will do all they can to understand where you are right now, and give you the space that you need. To throw all of that away so quickly seems abrupt and selfish. Not saying that they are who you are supposed to be with in the future (near or far), but take the time to handle this re-evaluation with maturity and newly learned insight.

If you have learned anything from what they have given you so you could get where you are...is the act of giving. Give time and attention to you. Give the wife and GF respect and appreciate their help and care for you. It is in the giving that we recieve.

Best to you and your ascent out of muddleness.

STBF 12-14-2011 02:10 PM

Yes, I have a therapist. He advised that I think hard about this for 6-8 months before making a choice. It's been two months.

My wife and gf have been very supportive. Very kind and helpful. They're both happy about my overall changes. I appreciate that I have both of them in my life, and that's why I feel very guilty for thinking about leaving them. It is selfish, and this is coming from somebody that has been selfishly selfless for most of my life.

My wife doesn't want a divorce. She has been trying very hard to get me to talk about this decision (we've already gone over all of it multiple times). Her background and personality is far more stable than my own, so it's been very difficult for us to connect when we do have our talks.

It was my gf who suggested that I might be going through a MLC. Her ex-husband went through a MLC which ended their marriage, so she can spot all the signs. I've done a little bit of research and this theory is quite possible.

I understand that it doesn't seem very rational to split up. That's why I'm trying to make sense of all of this. I think that dingedheart and redpepper are very close to what I'm thinking though. The logic that I am running on is sort of like this - ending these relationships would be like cutting off a gangrenous limb. Certain aspects of my past being this gangrenous limb.

I just have this very strong feeling that if I do end both relationships, there would be a sort of finality to all of this. No idea why.

Would it be okay if you told me more about your current situation, SoulRising?

dingedheart 12-15-2011 06:33 PM

Did you have trouble adjusting to your wives dating....what was her reasons for wanting to open up the marriage?

So what I hear you saying is ...now the new changed you wouldn't have
necessarily selected them....or perhaps no way would you have selected them. You found a new "type" so to speak ...maybe they have personalities similar to your mother or something and you need distance from that.

I think the therapist is right in the time assessment...whats the rush?

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