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-   -   I Don't Know If I Can Do This (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2181)

ak2381 02-20-2010 07:02 PM

I Don't Know If I Can Do This
 
I guess first I should say that I am not the one in my marriage that has a significant other outside. It is my husband and it just all started coming out and happening in the past week. Now here I sit typing and looking for help on how to deal with my emotional rollacoaster.

Let me start with the background and how this came to be.

My husband has this woman at work. He was really good friends with her. I was insanely jealous that he was this close to another woman. He talked about her constantly. She and I finally met and became friends ourselves. I was still a bit jealous but came to really like her over the past couple of months. This woman is married in an open relationship of her own. They have four wonderful children. So she and her husband have had this lifestyle for years. I understood that from the beginning. But I also believed both her and my husband that there was nothing going on between them that they weren't telling me about.
As time passed the three of us decided we wanted to give a threesome a try. My husband and I had tried in the past but to no success. The first time was so new and hard to see another woman with my husband that I was very depressed. The second time the woman stalked him until I had to step in and put a stop to it.
This woman is different from the others. Enough that we did this a couple of times. It was very hard for me after so many failures. But I trusted her to be honest. Then about a week ago my world fell apart. One of the rules we had was that it stayed between the three of us. No lies, no leaving me out, the wife. They broke those rules and lied and lied about it. When I found out I was devastated.
A week ago they met after work in my husbands truck and had oral sex. And continued to have text sex throughout the week, making plans for future get togethers without me. My baby happen to turn on his phone one day. As I took it out of her hand so she wouldn't break it I found that someone was named Kitten in his text messages. Suspicion immediately arose in my chest. He had given her a nickname apparently during this week.
I read these text and felt myself going to pieces. I confronted him about them. He didn't lie at that point. He knew he had been caught. We went through a week of misery. I confronted her and got the usual apologies.
In the end of alot of talking and hurting and crying and a little more lying and getting caught in those lies I knew what I had to do. I had to give him this polyamory relationship if I wanted to save our marriage. I knew it was something he needed. He felt an emptiness I couldn't fulfill. And that kills me.
This other woman, oddly enough, has talked with me and helped me through alot of it. She admits that she did fall in love with him. I fear he loves her too. I agreed to share his body. I know he has feelings for her. I don't think he knows yet if he loves her.
Tonight is the first night they are getting together with my knowledge. And it is killing me. But I know I need to be ok with this. If I am not then they will do it with lying and I could loose him because I can't let him go out and do what he needs to. I just don't know how to get there. I don't know how to accept this yet but I want to.
Oddly enough again, once I accepted that this is the way it needed to be our marriage skyrocketed to happiness. We realized it has actually been years since we were happy but were too blind and wrapped up in our daily lives to realize how far we had come from romance and each other. Another reason I need to accept this. I had to forgive her so he could be happy with her. Sometimes that is pretend. I hope if I pretend enough it will be true. Right now I am going through so many ups and downs. I feel so unattractive, unwanted, uncared about.

Is it ok that I am forcing my happiness about this right now? Does it ever go away? Will I ever be really ok that we have chosen this lifestyle? I guess I feel a little falling apart and I could use some in sight from those who know more about this lifestyle choice. Thank you.
:confused:

redsirenn 02-20-2010 07:33 PM

Ok.

First of all, you don't HAVE to be anything. Remember that you have alot of power in your life, and that power comes in the form of the ability to make choices.

You seem to feel cornered, that is a very uncomfortable place to be, since it can feel like you have no power. There are no rules, nothing you have to do, you can take any pace you like. The worst feeling is going through pain because you feel stuck. Tell your husband how you feel, no need to pretend.

RickPlus 02-20-2010 08:54 PM

Dear ak2381,
I feel for you, this is awful. Polyamory is not supposed to be like this. It is supposed to be about honesty and respect. They have cheated and lied to you and you have every right to feel betrayed, angry and six kinds of terrible. The fact that you are finding some hope and good feelings about this situation says that you have a bigger heart than I could likely muster in that situation.

I'm sure that a number of more experienced people will weigh in, but here are a few things that strike me about the situation:

-- As the harmed party, you have every right to ask them to put their screwing on hold for a few weeks while you get your emotions under control. If they are unwilling to do this, I would seriously be wondering if you want to spend much of your life with these people.

-- You seem to feel that you have to do this. As RedSirenn, points out, you do have choices. If you habitually allow yourself to be disrespected, people will take advantage. A very important longer term goal would be to do things to gain a more equal stance with your husband. Hard to say anything more specific since I don't know your situation (economic, etc.) in any way. If there is a massive power imbalance in your relationship with your husband, adding more people to the mix will just make things worse.

-- It really burns me that they did this when you were trying so hard to get into this polyamory thing. You had already moved far from your comfort zone in allowing 3-somes, etc. Their behavior was a massive disrespect to the compromises for the relationship and courage you had already shown. An old girl friend did something like this to me years ago. It wasn't just that she had screwed another guy, but the cruel way she treated my feelings. I dumped her.

-- Ideally, a polyamorus marriage starts with a very strong relationship to begin with. Opening your marriage will put huge strains on your existing relationship with your husband. I am very uneasy about the health of your marriage now. Can it take the strain of adding more people to the mix, particularly ones who are amoral?

I'm afraid I've mostly looked at the bad news. However, a few successful poly groups have formed from starting points as bad or worse as yours. (Some of them are posters on this forum.) So if you are determined to make it work it can happen. But the others have to start making an honest effort if you are to have any hope at all.

Please take care of yourself.

Warm regards, Rick.

Lemondrop 02-20-2010 10:26 PM

You are not taking care of you. You have no obligation to give your husband anything that makes you unhappy.

You can, as was mentioned before, find a way to make a poly relationship work from this point on, but FIRST you must figure out what it is that you want. You must do some soul-searching and find out what will make you happy. Both your husband and his lover have violated your trust, and you have to find out what you need to do to proceed to rebuild that trust. You have to be painfully honest with yourself about your motivations, your needs, even your negative impulses. When you think you have you figured out, you have to talk to your husband. You've got to find out what his idea of the perfect future is, and whether you can make your futures mesh. It probably wouldn't hurt to find a poly-friendly therapist to talk to.

No, you can't get away with faking happiness in a poly relationship. It doesn't work, trust me--it will blow up sooner or later. Absolute honesty is necessary to make it work.

Please do some research into ethical poly lifestyles. I hope things work out for you, but "I have to" is a terrible place to start. I hope you can get to a place where you can say, "I want to".

Quath 02-21-2010 04:40 PM

There are a lot of mistakes people make in relationships as they discover polyamory. It sounds like you are willing to try to work past some of your husband's mistakes and still try. That is a very tough decision, and I think it can work if everything else falls into place.

When someone's partner is on a date with someone else, the standard advise I hear it to find something to do for yourself. Don't stay at home and obsess. Do something fun like take a relaxing bath. Or break out some snacks and watch your favorite DVD. Or go out with some friends.

Another thing is you should let them know what you are feeling. You can tell them, that you are working very hard at trying to trust them. You can say that you want to feel more loved. Polyamory works for the most part on communication. Say what you desire and be willing to compromise and work together. Passive aggressive behavior is very poisionous in a poly relationship.

You are also dealing with NRE (new relationship energy). It lasts about 6 months to 2 years. Basically, it is the honeymoon period of a relationship. If you can see that this stage is temporary and it doesn't mean anything bad about your relationship with him, it may ease some of your worries. He should also realize that he is in NRE and monitor himself to an extent.

I think reading some books on poly will help all of you. It will provide some good tips. It can also lead to discussions you need to have, but are having a hard time bringing up.

Good luck.

ak2381 02-22-2010 09:35 PM

Thank you all for all your support. I did manage to survive their first encounter the other night. I curled up to watch the Olympics with some popcorn I admittedly never ate. I played on Facebook a little bit. I finally forced myself to go to sleep for a bit.
Before he left that night he was near tears saying he shouldn't go. I told him I wouldn't make that decision for him. He had to do that on his own. But he can't not go and then hide things from me later. I would rather him go, even if just to talk out what they were feeling. I would rather him figure out exactly what the hell he is wanting. If he would like a poly relationship then that is fine. But I just don't want to be lied to anymore. That is the most painful part.
He went and came home several hours later. When he got through the door I welcomed him with open arms and we talked until we both fell asleep. He told me everything that happened, without going into obvious detail that just would have added salt to the wound. He knew I was sensitive that night. I told him that given the hour I knew that more than talking had occurred. It didn't take a genius to figure out that you don't just talk for five hours. He admitted to having sex with her, as well as oral sex.
She loves him. She let me know that. She had truly fallen in love with him. Even I can tell that. She wasn't just in it for the sex. She takes care of him when I am not around to do that, and not just sexually. She makes sure he is happy and healthy. As glad as I am for that, I hate that she loves him. But I would rather he be with someone like that than a one night fling that could hurt him or us.
He doesn't know if he loves her yet. He knows there are feelings there. He tells me he loves me more and there is no possibility of that ever changing. I believe that, as hard as it is right now to do so. I do believe that. It is just so easy to question right now.
I was pretty good the day after. We had fun together. Asking questions and making comments as they came to mind. But for the most part enjoying a rare good weather day with our daughter. I even talked to her to let her know I didn't hate her. I had agreed to this as well. In fact I am the one who told him that we were officially in an open marriage so that I would not be lied to. I started it.
She and I have talked alot. I know she went through this with her husband years ago. They are still in a poly marriage. I don't know if she has fallen in love with her other lovers. I haven't asked that question yet. I do know her husband works night shifts, all night until early morning hours. Makes it easy for him to go over and comfort her.
I love him more than words can explain. I don't have the strength to leave him, I don't want the strength to leave him. I would rather have a poly marriage than ever be without him. It does get easier as the days go by. It is the quiet times that I hate. I over think things. I worry too much. That is when I question if he loves me or who he really wants or why we can't just be us anymore.
Truth is we haven't been happy with just us for a long time. It took an affair for us to realize that. And it truly hurts. But it is easing.
I am still doing well from their first night. They have already tentatively set up another night for when he gets back from his business trip. I told him that was fine and I understand. I don't know why I care about her or worry about her. I don't want to sometimes but I do.
I know I am not making sense and am just rambling at this point. Thank you for listening. And thank you for your help and words. I am sure I will post again to get through this time.
Amanda

CFstasha 03-04-2010 05:12 AM

I'm new to this all myself, but my gut instinct upon reading your posts here and in another thread: You are not ready for this yet, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE IF YOU'RE NOT.

Maybe this is harsh, I don't know. This is one of the reasons when my husband and I married we both made it clear that if we were going to meet someone else we should talk about it rather than cheat. We've been through ups and downs in our years together, and if I'd met my new boyfriend even a year ago, I wouldn't have moved on this, because it wasn't a great time for us for a lot of reasons. I can't imagine opening up my marriage if we weren't okay with US. Sure there are situations where that's how it starts, but every healthy poly relationship I've seen starts from a place of respect, and the fact is you're hurting a great deal, feeling horribly pressured and like this is your only option, which means your feelings aren't being respected as much as they could be.

Respect involves you not having to dig to find out what's going on. It sounds like he's being open with you only when he gets caught; this cannot work if that's his attitude. I want to be encouraging, I really do, but seriously, there's cheating and there's polyamory. If you feel like he's cheating every time he's with her, that's not okay. If you feel like you have to interrogate him to get to the truth, that's not okay.

If you decide to open your marriage for him, that involves your feelings mattering as much as his and his new lover's do. Just because he takes another lover doesn't mean he can stop working on your marriage. That's not polyamory. If you're feeling jealous, he needs to give you more than lip service and genuinely work to make things okay with your relationship. You deserve better than that and should be honest. Pretending to be okay will only hurt you more and allow him to think that he can continue treating you with such disrespect.

Good luck to you. I really wish you the best.

assets 03-08-2010 07:22 PM

Please, for your sake don't pretend to be okay with this if you aren't. Talk to your husband about the way you feel. I pretended to be okay with my BF's girlfriend and it has ended with us separated and me having to find a new place to live. I'm not saying that is going to happen to you but it certainly won't be comfortable for you if you just push all your emotions away. You are allowed to have those emotions and to feel the way you are feeling and you should be respected in your relationship. I wasn't so it ended badly but your husband may just not realise exactly how you feel.

Good luck and stay strong

GroundedSpirit 03-08-2010 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ak2381 (Post 22753)
........ When he got through the door I welcomed him with open arms and we talked until we both fell asleep. He told me everything that happened, without going into obvious detail that just would have added salt to the wound.

That's awesome AK ! It really does seem like you are BOTH trying hard here. Of course it's painful. Change always is. But if you can do it together, support each other as much as possible - that's the 'ideal' in practice :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by ak2381 (Post 22753)
She loves him. She let me know that..........
....She makes sure he is happy and healthy. As glad as I am for that, I hate that she loves him. But I would rather he be with someone like that than a one night fling that could hurt him or us.

Keep talking ! (with her) She seems like she's sailed this ocean and can undoubtedly feel where you are at. Let her show YOU her love too !

And really - think about it ? How can we "hate" that anyone is loved ??? Isn't love what we would wish for every living thing ? (I know you didn't mean that quite so literally but connect to the Freudian slip).

Every situation and person is different. I don't know you or your hubby. I see some are considering that he's pushing you too hard - too fast. That you need to assert yourself more.
I can't speak to that because you two know each other on a far deeper level than any of us internet ghosts.
Some people need a little "push" to get over certain fences and I only hope this is just one of those cases. From your writing it 'appears' he's doing everything possible to be kind & considerate short of giving up his own needs/desires entirely. And we all know what THAT would lead to eventually.

Hang in there. {{{hugs}}}

GS

korindino 03-10-2010 05:39 PM

Okay, honey.

1) This is not polyamory. This is cheating. For polyamory to work, it has to be about openness and honesty. Because he cheated, your husband has proved himself to be lacking both of these qualities, which leaves him massively underqualified to be in a polyamorous relationship.

2) Your "friend" obviously isn't. Anyone who is part of an open or polyamorous marriage should have the good sense not to go behind the back of a married woman. This is very amateurish, and I think belies certain weaknesses in HER marriage. There's no way that their open marriage is structured on a basis of love, respect, and openness that is the core of successful polyamorous relationships.

3) You need to take some time for you, so you can develop your self-esteem. I see in you a woman who is wonderful and giving--sacrificing everything, including your own happiness, for your husband's. The fact of the matter is, he's taking you for a ride. You don't deserve to be treated this way, and you need to stand up for yourself and demand what you want and need from your marriage.

4) You and your husband need to take the time to figure out something that will be mutually beneficial, something that will make both of you happy. Polyamory does not seem to be that thing, at least not for you, at least not right now. You agreed to a threesome--which is NOT the same thing as agreeing to an open marriage. Communication is key here--and if you can't figure out a way to make your husband happy short of letting him go around with a mistress (which is what it is--I refuse to accept this arrangement as a true polyamorous relationship at this point) maybe you need to go your separate ways.

My heart goes out to you because I can sense the depth of your pain. But if you're being forced to give up a monogamy that makes you happy and safe and comfortable in your relationship, maybe the relationship isn't everything you need.

Good luck, and be well. <3


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