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-   -   Out of the shadows to say thanks (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22374)

Bach 03-18-2012 10:40 PM

Out of the shadows to say thanks
I've been a lurker on these pages for a while and wanted to thank you all for sharing your stories and ideas. I don't think I will be here long as I see this is not an option for me if I want to be with my wife, but your words have given me a view into accepting who I am, what I am and the feelings I've felt for over 20 years.

I've always thought that there was no limit to love, and have felt it to one degree or another for many women over my life. I've never understood the "one true love" and have wondered what was wrong with me over that time.

I've been married to a wonderful woman for the past 17 years, and have fought those urges during that time. I've distanced myself from any female friendships as much as possible as a result. I've been aware of polyamory since my first computer in 1995, but it was easier to blame my own inadequacies for my feelings instead.

Moving forward, my best friend has been in a MFF Triad for years, and my wife has been very accepting of their relationship. I finally thought that perhaps she was strong enough to accept that in me, and love me as I am, but my attempt at such has ended in disaster.

I decided three days ago to tell her, and the relief I felt was overwhelming. I finally felt that we could be together honestly and grow closer together, but when I told her yesterday the last 19 years of our relationship was shattered. That I have never loved her completely, and the honestly and safety she counted on was gone. She doesn't think she can ever trust me if I allow myself to love another - physically, emotionally or romantically.

Things are now worse than when I started.

dingedheart 03-19-2012 04:11 PM

Sorry, she took the news badly. I admire the bravery and honesty that this must have taken. You must feel better having this out in the open. And I'm sure she feels better knowing exactly how you feel to allow her to plan what type of relationship she wants.

Things are worse from when?

Bach 03-19-2012 04:43 PM

Thank you for your compassionate words. I felt much better knowing I would tell her. It was a great relief to tell her who I was and plan to move forward growing closer and knowing she could love me without deception.

She feels that she already is less important than anyone else because it was so important to me to tell her this now. I knew in my heart that she could never doubt my love and feelings for her, but that was not the case. She sees this only in that I have lied to her all this time since I have always had these feelings. I've recommended articles and sites to her but she doesn't have any interest.

Things are now worse than they were before I told her who I am. My outlets for this haven't been healthy (I've not touched another woman since we started dating but I have played online to keep things from getting serious and feel some connection, albeit temporary) but now that I have admitted what outlets I do use her trust issues are compounded.

I don't know that therapy is the answer for us. I know I am portraying my wife as unreasonable but she had no idea apparently and I had no idea the level of betrayal she would feel. For now I will subvert my own needs for those of my family and hope that I can control them better in the future.

Thank you again for your compassion and understanding.

dingedheart 03-19-2012 05:10 PM

Her response seem reasonable. Sounds like she got blindsided.

Why don't you think therapy would work. Clearly there is a philosophical difference, the betrayal, resentments....then the normal marriage crap...I can't see how it couldn't help even a little.

Bach 03-20-2012 09:48 AM

Thank you DingedHeart.

She was blindsided for certain.

We discussed therapy last night. She has a psych background and isn't open to the idea. For her any attempts to resolve this difference means that she will lose me despite my assurances to the contrary. That's what got her spiraling on the poly reading material as it discusses ways to work through it.

The sad thing is we have always had a good marriage but this psychological difference is too vast. It would have been easier had I admitted an affair or 'she meant nothing to me', but telling her I want an emotional, romantic relationship outside of our marriage is too much to ask.

I feel selfish for the damage I have caused and while I know I am poly I don't think she can ever feel safe with those feelings.

dingedheart 03-20-2012 02:32 PM

I get it, she views the therapy as a technique to allow you this new life style.

I was thinking of the therapy as a place were each position could be heard and understood. Not part of a poly agenda. But I could see her reluctance.

Whats her plan ?

Whats your plan ?

Bach 03-20-2012 07:06 PM

I agree with you on the reason for therapy but you are correct on her impression.

Her plan - ignore the issue and try to avoid it.

My plan - try to salvage our marriage and ignore my feelings. It's either that or cheat.

Neither reaction is mature and both are destructive to our relationship.

dingedheart 03-20-2012 07:30 PM

Someone reminded me of a book yesterday ...The Five languages of love...I think the guy's name is Chapman ...are you familiar with the book? Do you know her love language? It's talked about here a lot....check the book section.

Seeing how things are fragile now why not invest the time and effort you were planing to use to find and date an additional partner and devote that to your wife. Use the knowledge gained from the book to maximize your efforts. Set to build a solid foundation.

SNeacail 03-20-2012 08:09 PM

I've been in a similar situation as your wife, but seem to find the table turning a bit now. My husband and I are emerging from some serious bad spots in our 20 year marriage and are probably the strongest we have been in a really long time. I can only suggest keep trying to get her to agree to counceling, even ask her pick the counselor (you can always change if it's not the right fit). Keep talking to her, she was blindsided and needs some time to process her reactions to all this. This next year will not be an easy one.

My husband has done a lot of the SECRET online relationships and I did (still do) see that as a form of cheating and I suspect that your wife does too. This breach of trust is hard to get past, but not impossible. If I found out that he was secretly carrying on with someone online again, I would be extremely hurt, but if he came to me and said "I'm feeling the need to flirt online again" (or some such), I would tell him "Go Ahead, just keep me in the loop". I'm not sure he's ready to trust that I would handle it well based on our past, but I do mention it from time to time.

He does have a few very close platonic relationships that definitely go beyond merely friendship. It took me a long time to understand this and be OK with it. We are told over and over again how we "should" love and if we just love someone enough, we "can't" have these other feelings. It doesn't work that way, but it's a hard programing to break. When I discovered that I could be OK with this new way to view relationships, I realized that we are very similar in this respect, only I spent years pushing people away and keeping a safe distance from everyone for fear of letting people get too close.

Definitely spend some time getting to know your wife again and let her get to know who you have become. "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman is an awesome book and should be read by everyone in a relationship. you will find your self wanting to slap your forehead and saying "Well that explains a few things".

Bach 03-20-2012 08:49 PM

Thank you for the recommendation. I've found the book at a local library and will pick it up tonight. Your suggestion is a good one.
Thank you for the advice.

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