I made a post a short while ago about the V relationship I've been in for a bit over a year now. That post focused on one aspect of the difficulties.
Since then, I've been taking the advice given here and from friends and my therapist - being honest with my feelings, not bending over backwards to make them happy, and standing up for myself. Some things became much clearer once I wasn't spending so much of my energy on either of them.
We all started this with good intentions. I had my own version of NRE with her and I got ahead of myself too - we all felt that this was going to be a happy poly family. When I started realizing I wasn't happy, I tried many things to make it right again - we all want happy endings, right? After several months of trying to fix it on our own, in December we tried a group therapist.
The communication has improved - somewhat. It's not consistent. When I decided to follow advice and just treat her like an acquaintance - nice and polite - my husband thought that things were improving! He's treating me like the third, and her as his wife. He has no boundaries at all with her, and has entirely forgotten about the rules we started out with.
My own therapist is concerned about my husband and his girlfriend's co-dependency. I know that from my last post, it probably sounds like I'm the dependent one, but I really strive to stay independent and able. In the meantime, she has stopped working, and dropped out of school. We've been supporting her entirely, much of which was without asking me first. He really goes out of his way to jump at whatever she's upset about, and she doesn't make it easy. She's used to people having to press and pry at her to figure out what's wrong and then fix it for her.
Other people, our mutual friends, see this. They find her abrasive, sometimes crass, rude and generally distant. My husband just says she has ADD, possibly Asperger's, and we need to help her.
There is a difference between helping someone and being their parent. It's like he wants to be her superhero, and she wants him to be her daddy.
An example: Yesterday we were going to go out to breakfast with some friends. She wasn't being clear on whether she wanted to go or not, being evasive about making a choice. My husband finally got it out of her that she wasn't that hungry, that everything seemed like too much food. The friend who chose the restaurant had the menu up on his laptop, so my husband brought it to her and started going through the menu with her - "What about this? You could do such and such.. that wouldn't be too bad would it?" - like you would with a six year old. She was making faces at the suggestions. Then she said she really wanted to be on her laptop online so would prefer to just stay, and he went so far as to call the restaurant to see if they had any wifi in the area she could use.
I agree that we should help those we care about, or even just friends, but it's emotionally blackmailing for him to expect me to try and fix her while I'm dealing with all my own concerns. It's her own job to fix herself.
I've tried for months to make this work. I've tried everything that I am able and willing to do. It's not working.
Finally, I told him last night that she needed to move out, that I could not live with her. They can date, but as a secondary relationship based on the rules we had agreed to from the start. He was understandably upset about it. Instead of talking in private with me, his primary, he decided he had to make it a public thing with her there. It was inappropriate, but it made clear how little difference he saw between his relationship with me, and his with her. No boundaries whatsoever.
I did my best to stand my ground, not make it emotional or abstract, and not to reason with him. That's been tried and done. It's clear cut - it takes two Yes's to vote someone into the house, but only one No to send them out. I've been unhappy for a long time, and it's heart breaking that he didn't see it, or was denying it so he could have his cake and eat it too. It's been damaging our relationship, and we've supposed to be the core, the priority.
I had an appt with my therapist today so I could talk about it. It's HARD to do this. I'm not "giving up" - it's taking far more strength and honesty to stand up for myself like this than it ever was to just go along with it to please him.
I have to realize that he will probably never agree with me on this or be okay with it, and bear that burden.
I sent him an email today just saying that I knew this was hard for him and that he needed some time, and that we would sit down, the two of us, by the end of the week in order to start talking about how we were going to cope with and move on from this. Then we'd make an appt with the group therapist for just the two of us so we can begin healing and fixing our relationship. My therapist had said that's how I should attend to it from now on - the issue of her moving out is a done deal, now the conversation is about how we've going to move on from it.
We are still speaking and saying I love you, but he is understandably distant and down.
His girlfriend and I are just staying out of each other's way right now, and I'm sure she's hoping this will just blow over, but soon enough she'll have her official eviction notice. We'll still be paying off some of her cards for a bit to take off what we put on it, and we'll probably also pay for a few months of her medical insurance while she's getting a job.
Anyone else gone through this sort of thing, breaking up with a third that's living with you?
It sounds like your husband is the co-dependent type and for a while that was to your benefit since you were struggling so much and needed someone who would be there for you no matter what. Maybe the only thing that changed was that you got stronger and she got needy. A good co-dependent who has the need to be needed is going to go for the person who is really struggling so he can try to bail that person out. He is probably not that attracted to people who are independent and functioning in a healthy manner. That might not ever change either.....sad to say.....
I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. You mentioned that your GF stopped working.... just earlier this evening I had dinner with a bunch of friends, and one of them had been laid off today... I think think this crummy economy is putting added stress on everyone, especially relationships. Take care of yourself, sounds like you are on the right track.
It sounds like this girl is a complete child. If she doesn't have the maturity to decide what she wants for breakfast, how can she cope with a relationship? You're better off far away from her. This may be very hard for you to get DH to realize, but he needs to know better than to fall for this kind of attention-seeking nonsense.
I had a situation similar to this with a mono boyfriend I had a few months back. It was so easy to overlook the fact that he was freeloading and emotionally manipulating me, because it felt so good to be needed and the NRE was so strong and we were so in love, blah, blah, blah. I finally dumped him after a fight that wasn't going to be resolved unless I basically told him I would never stand up for myself. Even as I was making him leave that night, he was trying to blackmail me by telling me how he would be on the streets and how he would die of exposure. It was disgusting. Despite all this, it was so hard to break up with him, and I cried a ton. It was impossibly lonely without him, and I kept haunting myself with what-ifs.
...for about two weeks, that is. Then I realized how nice it was to come home to an empty apartment, to have extra money because I wasn't supporting someone else, to not have to listen to drama and whining all the time. I have absolutely no regrets about showing this guy the door.
Your DH is still in love with GF, he wants to make everything right for her. The problem is that she has absolutely no interest in doing anything right for herself. You cannot be responsible for another person's happiness. Once your DH realizes this, things should get better.
At least he has you around to offer loving support. :)
Good luck figuring this out and finding someone who deserves to have you guys in her life.
I like what Korindino had to say on it. emotional manipulators always feel the world owes them, and everything is the fault of everyone else. good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say. I am a firm believer, in the fact you can`t help those, who won`t help themselves.
By all accounts, your therapist sounds awesome. The advice has obviously helped you, and you seem to truly want to handle this in the best way possible.
Kudos to you, for staying strong, without playing games.
My only advice, is rather a small tidbit........ With everything you have said to your husband,...... Now it will take time, for him to see the other side of things. He will need to chew on this a bit, and reprogram his thinking. It might take a few weeks. Many times, however long it took to fall in love, it will take at least double that,... to fall out.
Stay on the same path, repeat how you feel, as often as neccessary. ....and be firm, yet don`t forget your compassionate side.
If a smart man, at some point the fog in his head will clear a bit, and one day he will be grateful, that you looked out for him, when he wasn`t strong enough to.
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