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-   -   my husband's actions - NRE or something else? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20331)

ThisIsBad 01-19-2012 10:10 PM

my husband's actions - NRE or something else?
 
We've been married for twenty seven years. The last six of those years being polyamorous. It was something that I suggested after I fell in love with a friend. I started dating the friend about a year after our first serious discussion. There's also another guy that I started seeing three years ago.

My husband was never thrilled with the idea. I've offered to break things off with my boyfriends a number of times. My H has said that there was not point since the door was already open and couldn't be shut. One time, when it became really clear that H was unhappy, I took the initiative and went on a break with my bfs. H was not happy about that. He said "Go back to them. Do what makes you happy."

Our son moved out just over a year ago. This is when H got a girlfriend of his own. His gf and I are friendly with each other. For the past few months, H has been more distant. He started blowing off our date nights to spend time with his gf. Our communication has gotten progressively worse. He doesn't open up anymore.

I attributed it to NRE and brougbt the issue up with him. He says that it has nothing to do with NRE. I have two other theories which he disagrees with.

1. This is an exit affair.
2. He's doing it out of revenge.

I've gotten to the point where I wonder if my marriage is already over and I can't just admit it to myself.

What are your opinions? Can anyone relate?

IrisAwakened 01-19-2012 11:06 PM

I am not in your marriage, so it is impossible for me to really understand what it is like. But it sounds like he is getting back at you, perhaps subconsciously? He sounds like he really cares for you, wanting your happiness so much over the years. Even so, it must feel so great for him to have a gf of his own. Perhaps he is doing what he felt you were doing to him?

I would give him a break, he is new at this. NRE is powerful and stealthy. Giving him a break doesn't mean not communicating though! I would sit him down, have a serious conversation with him about his actions and how they are making you feel. Then perhaps, compare it to how he felt for the past few years. Just be there for each other and talk about your feelings.

I am in a similar position, as I pushed for poly and am the only one dating right now. I keep pushing my husband to get a gf, but he is only partially interested. I check in very often with him, making sure that he is alright with the way things went that week. It can be hard.

bookbug 01-19-2012 11:09 PM

I don't have any insight, but I do have questions.

If your husband doesn't attribute his blowing off date nights with you to NRE, an exit affair, or revenge, what reason does he give?

Is his gf seeing him only?

nycindie 01-19-2012 11:16 PM

You say you're friendly with his gf, your metamour. Do you ever hang out and chat with her? Maybe she can give you some insight into anything in their relationship which might have created a shift in him. Does she realize that he's been going out with her on your designated nights?

SourGirl 01-20-2012 03:55 AM

On very little info, it sounds a bit like he is debating an exit strategy. When you say that he was never thrilled with the idea, can you expand a bit on that ? I am also curious if his girlfriend identifies as poly, and if so, if she has other partners besides him.

dingedheart 01-20-2012 05:01 PM

Have you read the thread by KindaPOD. This sounds very simliar.

It would be interesting to analyze the language and conversations in the early years. Meaning what he said ...what you heard.

A possible reason the break offer failed is the concept behind it.... only a temp fix or gesture, heart is still divided among several other men. The mental and emotional component is out the door ...whats the point of denying the physical at that point.

An exit affair ...don't know what that is or why anyone would want to do that but you know him. Is he a long term planner. Did he talk about finding a Gf or did he just show up with one out of the blue?

Revenge ...maybe ...again is he capable of that. Could it be he did what he
had to do for the last six years coping wise and now he just doesn't care how it may effect you. You asked for this dynamic he didn't...now its your turn to suck it up.

Exist affair, or pay back, either way it's not good if you want your marriage to survive. Was there ever talk about how this could end your marriage?

My gut feeling is you lost him along time ago ...perhaps years.

polychronopolous 01-20-2012 06:27 PM

Honestly, it doesn't sound good. He may have resigned from the relationship along time ago. But all the outside opinion in the world is not equal to honest open dialog between the two of you. You need to ask him where he is at, permitting him to be completely honest, and be ready to hear things you may not want to hear. He has likely been carrying a lot of resentment for the last six years and may be paving his way out of the relationship. Then again, that may not be the case, but you can only guess and feel miserable unless you talk to him.

Phoenix

redpepper 01-21-2012 04:14 AM

dinged, thread addresses are helpful as this thread will get lost in time and if someone finds it again they are likely going to wonder who the heck KindaPOD is. Also the OP might benefit from not having to search around. If you need some help giving a thread address let me know.

I think I would cut this guy some slack and see where it goes. Likely its NRE. Some people are not very quick to admit NRE and do stupid things that they don't even know they are doing in NRE even if they do admit it. Try to have compersion, smile lovingly when he walks out of the door to see his gf and get about doing stuff you want to do without him. This is what PN did for me and I am grateful. I had shit to deal with and go through and he let me go and do it. Every now and then he said he needed my attention and I gave it to him. other than that the balance was off for a good long time.

SchrodingersCat 01-21-2012 08:13 AM

Some people are emotionally capable of loving more than one person at the same time. Some people are not. If your husband is not capable of it, then in order for him to develop romantic feelings for another woman, he has to lose romantic feelings for you.

This is what worries me whenever poly folk "push" their partners into dating. If they were so inclined, they would explore the opportunity of their own volition. If a monoamorous person is pushed into dating, it can feel to them like they're being rejected.

If it's an exit strategy, he may not even be aware that he's doing it. He might sincerely be trying to experience the same thing you are. But if he's not wired that way, then it will only have one ending, which is him going off with the other girl and leaving you to your boyfriends. Well, that, or you give up on the poly idea and work on restoring the marriage the way he would prefer it to be.

... I also sense some codependency on his part. "Do what makes you happy even if it makes me miserable" is a classic sign of that. Cancelling your date nights and dropping communication could be a passive-aggressive coping technique he's using to protect himself.

I've found that "taking breaks to protect your primary" works best if you don't announce that you're doing it. That just makes them feel like you're trying to sacrifice your happiness for theirs. If you think taking a break from other relationships can help, you could try saying that you need some time to focus on yourself right now. Which isn't even a lie, because who can't use some time to focus on herself every now and then??

Magdlyn 01-21-2012 09:10 PM

Yeah, I'm reading passive aggressive and martyr complex all over this thread. :(


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