On Taking a Break
I am a prescriptive secondary who is very deeply in love with my BF. I have finally gotten to where I am OK with my relationship being part-time and moving on to enjoy the benefits when I find out that my BF and his wife have been having a super rough time lately. I did not realize it until today, when he IMed me and told me about their fight and that he was really close to walking out on her.
Insert my super devastated reaction. The last thing I want him to do is break up with her.
soon, she was IMing me, and I heard some of her side, and...
The short and sweet, if you put everything together... he is giving me all the emotional love and support and not giving them to her. She has never blamed me, and specifically said there was nothing wrong with me. But she asks for things he gives me readily. On top of that, they have communication issues, but refuse to see a counselor.
He made it sound like they were giving it their last attempts, and I realized that all I can do to help them is to take a break from them. So that I'm not being a source of outside sex and emotional outlet. Maybe that be enough of a kick that they get things together.
The question is, how far does this taking a break go? I know the no sex, no sleepovers, and no extra nights hanging out. But is it recommended that I cut off all time alone with him? We luckily meet weekly for games with friends, but there has been alot of personal time lately.
I know that usually it ought to be the primaries deciding this, but they realize this is their issue. However, I don't think they realize how I add just a little bit more kindling to the fire.
I've done my best not to get in between them, or fix things or psychoanalyze, offer advise (aside from the counselor idea).
I don't know what else to do. Part of me knows, that if he bails on her, moves in with me.... it's going to damage a heck of alot. It will be rough on our mutual friends. I will get called names by some people (and will feel they are correct), and I think eventually, he and I would hit that spot as well... :(
I'm also thinking of telling him that in 3 months, we three will get together and discuss how things are and if this needs to go longer, or if it is time to start integrating me back into their lives....
What a tough situation. I think you've got the right idea with the break, and three months sounds like a reasonable stretch of time to me. Loving someone means wanting the best for them, and if you believe that losing his marriage would not, in fact, be in his best interest, then the loving thing to do is to give them the space they need to try to fix this.
Their myopia is kinda worrying. How could it fail to be obvious to either of them that him pouring emotional resources into his relationship with you is, at the least, a complicating factors in their struggle not to break apart? And why on earth the resistance to counseling even in the face of what sounds like imminent divorce??
Even if they can't work it out, stepping back now will at least put you out of the blast zone if their relationship does suffer a critical meltdown.
As for how much to step back exactly, that's a tough question. I would say keep it to the gaming sessions and emails. Make it a real beak.
I think you are being amazingly considerate in this situation, I admire that. I agree that break is a very good idea. That may or may not give him the incentive to work on his marriage, but you'll know that if they do divorce it hasn't been because of you (and your friends will be more likely to see this as well). Don't have much of advice, you seem to have a clear and good handle on what you think is the best thing to do. :)
I think it is a very mature and compassionate thing you are doing by taking a break, and I think setting a goal of three months to check in and see how they're doing is wise and generous of you. I admire you for that. It is much better that such a break come from you, rather than them. That indicates strength and love on your part. I am thinking of a married couple who was having deeply damaging difficulties, very similar to what your bf and his wife are going through but with lots of nastiness and arrogance toward his wife. The gf was almost arrogantly standing by, not budging, and both she and the husband were making it seem like the wife was the problem and she had better shape up because the gf wasn't going anywhere. It was very sad, the wife was so depressed, and the whole thing pushed her to the brink. The gf only backed off for a few weeks when wife finally insisted on it, but couldn't really keep her word on that. I hated to see the wife jerked around like that. So kudos to you for being the one to acknowledge that the strength of your relationship cannot be allowed to run roughshod over their relationship, and that for you to flourish, you need them to thrive also.
As for how much of a break is needed, I think, for me personally, that I would take a break from all alone time with him. Being around him yet not being with him sexually might distract him from looking at the relationship he has with his wife. I would make it a clean break and have very little contact, and probably not see him in person much at all, whether in a crowd or not. In fact, I would limit contact to a phone call maybe once every other week. He needs to see the severity of the problem, and I think that would do it.
Are you also ready to walk away completely, as well, if they do not remedy things between them? Because you really don't want to be part of an unhealthy dynamic. And I would be very cautious about involvement with him again, whether they stay together or not, because of the way he treated her. There has to be an effort shown that he will treat all his relationships with respect and loving consideration, I would think, for me to trust him myself if I were in your shoes.
How long have they been married?
Have they had other poly relationships?
How long have you been in this relationship?
Does the wife have an additional partner also?
I can't completely break off contact, as that would break up 2 gaming groups, and create many more problems. But I can limit to just the already arranged social group interactions we have.
I am also aware that I may not have a relationship with them after this. It doesn't make me happy, but I acknowledge that this may be the price I have to pay. If I have to, I will.
They have been married for 2.5 years, together for a total 5 or 6. I have been romantically involved with them for 22 months.
No, they have not had other poly relationships.
She does not, she's pretty much turned mono out of insecurity. I am really close to her as well...
the rest of you, thank you for your support.
Part of why he resists seeing a counselor, is because he was forced to see therapists when he was a kid because the other kids were beating up on him and his mom thought he was lying.
Why did they decide to do this? Poly thing
Did she struggle in the beginning or have things been building?
You said romantically with them....so you and her have a sexual relationship as well?
Yeah, I originally began as dating both of them. It faded into just him, with her calling me girlfriend.
Things were great for about a month, then jealousy blew things up. They've worked on alot of stuff. He has a medical condition which makes some resolutions difficult. I'm not sure how much that was used as an excuse. It had seemed like they had been just working through things and have had a few rough patches. She lost her job this summer, but has been employed for the last 3 months.
I thought they were doing much better than this..... I kinda felt blind-sided.
They originally had an open relationship because she insisted on it. I hung out with them as friends until I realized I was in love and wanted to be part of their family. I asked her first, since I figured she would be the one who might say no. She was thrilled with it, and gave me my first girl kiss.
You say that you acknowledge you may not have relationship with him even in the event of divorce. If it were me, I would advise that you not automatically rule it out depending on compatibility. My two loves are both responsible wonderful people, and were drawn together due to shared core values. That said, they are so dissimilar in so many ways, I am shocked they've managed to function together for so long. Long way of me saying that perhaps you and your bf are more compatible than he and his wife.
Still, I think you are very wise to remove yourself from the picture for awhile and let them sort out their issues alone.
You said she turned mono after a month or so...I take that to mean she stopped wanting to be with you. But it could also mean she wants to go back to just her and him.
Has anyone asked what she really wants.
It's got to suck being caught in the middle or left out in the wind. Take care of yourself in this....lets not forget she wanted to open up their relationship. And with that I feel she has a much higher burden of responsibility to deal with her negative feelings. Its a nice suggestion to back off but I don't know how far I'd take that. To me it seem unrealistic to break all contact for a period of time then get the green light and jump back in where we left off.
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