Well, as I mentioned in my introduction, I'm here for answers and help. My husband recently admitted to me, after a lot of bull****, that he thought that he was polyamorous, and had been looking on sites for help. I entered research mode and went on here, seeing as how it was one of the first sites to pop up on google. My DH is also on here, but I will not name him, as I want this to be objective. You'll probably be able to make the connection, but it's a bit easier this way for me.
I suppose I should give a little back story as to the nature of our relationship before I delve into the happenings of the past year - from my perspective. It's all a bit intimate from the get-go, but I might as well put it all on the table.
I come from a loving home, but a troubled one. I met DH through my cousin a couple counties over at age 15 or 16 (It all blurs together) and we were friends for a while as he was in love with someone else at the time and I was dating someone too. We eventually met up, and clicked right away. I was very attracted to him, and it was very easy to fall in love with him. However, in the background, he was still somewhat in love with his ex, L, and when she came up, he proposed an experimental get together. I was a little uncomfortable, but intrigued. At first things went fine, but then her and I kissed, and I just was not attracted to her. Then her and DH started being intimate with me being left out on the sidelines. It kind of hurt me, as I had thought we would all be equals. She was also uncomfortable with this and her and I had a powwow and called it off. We are still good friends.
So he said that it was just him and I, and I was fine. We fooled around a little bit with close girlfriend of mine once or twice, but her and I were not intimate and it was very tame, just teenager stuff. He and I were exclusive, and in love. I got pregnant at 17 going on 18, and he said that he wanted the baby and I to have his name. I was a bit leery of this, since I know the consequences of marrying young (my mother), and on my mother's advice, asked if he would mind waiting a year or two, just to make sure. He said that no, he wanted this, and if I didn't, that he would not speak to me and that we would have to deal with custody issues.
So I married him. We lived with his family, he would go to work, and things were fine. He joined the marines, and came back two and a half months later; discharged for a broken knee and some other stuff. I then got pregnant with our second, despite my BC. He was happy, and I was too, despite our misgivings. We went through a lot after the birth of our second son. Homelessness, work, family, his father's illness, etc.
At one point, we actually had a trial separation, in which I discovered that I was, sigh, yes, once again pregnant. I was staying with my mother and stepfather and it was a tight fit. He moved down a state to be with his father, who was dying, and to find work. We reconciled and after I had the baby, I moved down to be with him. We had a problem with money for a while (this was on both of us. We were both depressed and missing our friends, and were still basically kids.) and we moved in with his family. His father passed away in 2009, and it was very hard on DH. After his dad passed away, we set up a house right next door to his mother and brother. (Bad idea, they rub each other the wrong way).
He had been going to college since we moved in with his family, and he would go out to work with his partner, K. This continued when we were in our own place. He took the summer off so I could work one time, and then continued afterwards. This is basically catching up to where the real trouble started.
Last year, starting around February 2011. He would go out, saying he would be back in a few hours. He wouldn't be back till the next day. We had no means of communication (too poor to afford phones) except for my free internet phone, which could only dial out. He would say he was going to stay at a friend's for the night, and then stay gone for the entire weekend, without notifying me. Around July, I started getting suspicious, but I couldn't find anything, as he would keep his laptop and anything like that separate from me. In July, we had a big fight, he left, and when I asked him to come back, he said he was coming back right away. That was around 3 am. I woke up around 6 am to him still not back. I was so angry and hurt and it had been accumulating over the months. I took a chair and stuck it under the handle of the side door, and taped a "F*** you" note to the door. I just wanted him to see it, and know how hurt I was, and sit it out and talk to me and apologize. (There's also a front door, which he has keys to, and also, I was 23 at the time. I'm still learning how to deal with this stuff.)
This was kind of the straw that broke, well, everything. We had another enormous fight, and then things settled down. We went on vacation, and everything seemed fine. He was wonderful. We get back, and he's distant. This continues. Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I find some things on his laptop, a story about him making love to this other woman, and some journal entries about how resentful of me he is. I confront him, and he denies everything, saying it was just a story. Fast forward to Christmas. He has a phone now, that I pay for with my son's SSI (my eldest is autistic), and this woman has been texting him, saying how she misses him, etc. He says she's crazy and has the wrong idea, and that I'm the only woman for him, and how much he loves me. January, I talk to her, and find out that they were having an affair. They deny having intercourse, and I believe it. I tell him to choose, and he says he chooses me. I tell the Other woman to please stay away.
Going forward again to this April. I get a funny feeling in my stomach and look up his phone history. He's still talking all the time to her. We have it out and he says that he loves both of us equally and that if we took the time to find out, we'd find out we had lots in common. We keep having it out and he says he can't choose and I ask to use his phone, and we have a short scuffle, and he calls the police. They make him leave for the night, and he stays gone for two days. He texts a friend that he's going to kill himself, and I end up, after a sleepless night, dragging my kids out of bed at 7 am, and even going as far as to call the Other woman to see if she'd heard from him. No answer there. I drive and drive, and find nothing. He finally calls me hours later, and I was so worried. He still says he doesn't know what to do. Finally, he comes back, saying he's chosen me. And that was that until July 7th. That night, he told me that him and her had in fact been intimate and she had become pregnant and had aborted. I had talked to her a couple times before, and she too had lied to me.
It has been hard for me to come to grips with this. And he then told me this week, that he is bi (which I had figured out), but that he wanted a poly-amorous relationship. That he loved me, but he wanted to love other people, and I was being selfish asking that he love me the most. And it wasn't that I even said that, I just wanted him to have some feelings if I went out and were intimate with guys. He says that if it made me happy, he would be fine with it, and that wanting him to be jealous, or possessive is very ill-intentioned of me. I just want to know that I matter, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. That I'm not replaceable.
I'm still coming to terms with all the feelings I feel. And I told him, that the Other Woman will always be a sore point, because of how they lied to me. Of how they tried to play me. And while he is more at fault then her, they did not attempt to come to see me in the beginning, and she says "Well, I wanted to contact you , but he said that it wasn't the right time."
When I asked DH about it, he said he was scared and not thinking right, and wanted to keep up both. This will not happen. As I told him before, I am not against future rendezvous with someone else, just that he tell me before it happens, and we make decisions as a couple. He goes on to say that he believes in marriage, but doesn't think of it like a partnership, or an ownership. I try to explain that it means that we answer to each other, and are responsible for one another. That we do indeed share a piece of each other. And he keeps saying "Possessive love is hate. You just are attached and want to possess me, and keep me from other people."
To me, being poly-amorous is being treated equally, and if you are married, you sit down with your partner first, and discuss it, and decide if it can be done. Especially with children in the mix. He does not seem to see it this way. He sees it as being free. As being free to choose who to share his love with.
We've so far agreed to share if we are attracted to other people and discuss it and decide what to do about it. And that I have the right to make a decision as it is my life too.
I'm just so very hurt. It seems like my whole marriage has been a lie. He says that his father made him marry me, even when I gave him an out, that I would be the bad guy. And I still love him beyond what is probably reasonable for the situation, and he claims he still loves me and wants to be with me. What more can I do? He tries to play this holier-than-thou, enlightened attitude, while I stand there crying, asking him just to care a smidge about sharing me, or to be afraid of losing me. I just am very tired.
I'm sorry my story is so long, but it's been a long time in coming. Comments, advice, and suggestions are more than welcome. Do you think that I'm being too possessive or unreasonable? Do you think that he's being selfish? I am so conflicted. Thank you for reading.
Your story has a LOT of red flags to me. :(
I suggest you take a highlighter to the list at speak out loud and ID any other stupidshitthings you are all too familiar with.
Do NOT sugarcoat your reality to YOURSELF. Own it. Assess it well.
You have many dealbreakers there that had it happened to me, I'd be out the door and never look back.
But this is your life, you have to decide how to Life it, what you can put up with AND what you WANT. Life is not about "putting up with" all the time. It is actively seeking the things you love and feed you. Then compromise to the happy medium with partner(s). You aren't getting much compromise here or air time -- he lives his life and expects you to just.... lump it.
And you are starving here. Is this what you signed up for? I don't think so or you would not be on here reaching out.
FIRST You have to decide just on the YOU Level...is it even worth all the bother any more or am I just DONE? What do I hunger for? Am I at the right feeding station? So my mind, heart, body and soul buckets are being supported and nourished well?
I am VERY tired tonight, so I cannot put all the coder style indents like if I were writing actual "if, then,else" code. So you format it for yourself if it helps your visual. "Sorting spaghetti emotional code" -- helps me to assess a potential journey of mine to myself. It's the assessment of the risk and if the journey is one I actually want to travel or not.
Right now? He's not on the level with this at ALL and you are taking poor treatment of you. He's not thinking at all or thinking with his dick. I just do not see how you both can poly ethically and on the level with all players without a lot of trust rebuild on MANY tiers of your closed polyship of 2 that you have right now.
I apologize for it sounding so awful and coarse but I'm at the "Ugh. Have to just SPIT IT OUT so it can move forward" place.
I hope you are at that place in your inner conversations with yourself. I hope whatever the destiny of this particular relationship, YOUR relationship with yourself and YOUR destiny takes you to where you need to be so you can be at your best and happiest. That is my wish for YOU.
I know I'm just repeating what I wrote you in your other thread. But it is a Truth and I am trying to Speak it to you even if it is Hard to Hear. :(
Sigh. Hang in there.
GG, thank you so much. *hugs*
It's sad to hear this from other people, but at the same time, easier. I'm very glad I came on here. I will also be having my husband read this, so that he can ask these questions of himself as well.
Also, can't believe you read the whole thing, haha. It kind of got away from me!
Well, I'm glad to hear it was well received. I always worry the first time I spit it out in Plain English to a new person.
You don't sound like a "run away-er" type. So yeah, glad to help support you if you can take it. First answer though to YOU -- "Am I too abused in this to even bother any more? Too sick and tired of it all?" Take it to paper at speakoutloud. See what flags there. Consider the cycle of abuse.
Take a REAL assessment of this rship because some things are too damn broken to bother to try to fix. Some of your stuff red flags so bad I wonder if you are actually safe there. If you are not safe, please hang tight, get yourself together at your own speed and seek out the OTHER kinds of resources you need to leave a bad rship safely. The leaving time is the hardest time.
If you still want in and I'm misreading abuse red flags... (I pray I am, NOBODY deserves abuse)... Work it then. Demand better treatment or walk away head held high.
Read things like "Ethical Slut" book or http://www.morethantwo.com/ and similar. Get educated on real poly, swinging, and other ethical nonmonogamies before attempting it. You have to KNOW what you are after before trying to get it.
But read the rest of whatever you guys need-- on communication skills, conflict management, amicable divorce, self esteem work etc. ALL the cards that might come into play, so you can see what's in the deck before you start the chess game and figure out who/what you are to each other NOW.
Where do we come from? What we? Where are we going? Then the HOW TO GET THERE.
Check ongoing adult classes for married couples at your county extension. Communicate is communicate.
Who cares if in the polyship of 1 or closed marriage 2? Or a splitting couple in divorce transition? The communication skills are all the same regardless of relationship framework!
And all win if all can improve themselves on that front -- the communication side. Whatever new thing comes next. If not him, then just improve YOU then, and meet your next rship from a better headspace!
That's quite a history between you too. If someone asked me to quickly summarize what I just read, it would go like this:
He does what he wants to, when he wants to, how he wants to. You put up with it, hoping hour by hour, day by day that he will change. He pressures and threatens you (custody threat) into marrying you, then does whatever he wants. He cheats on you, lies about it, then when you catch him he tries to excuse it by calling it poly, and his new spiritual awareness. You get his attention only when you REALLY get mad at him. He accuses you of being possessive and calls himself poly, when all you're really doing is asking him to be a responsible husband and father. He doesn't want to be responsible. He doesn't want to be a husband. He doesn't want to be a father. In fact, after he lies and cheats, he works really hard to convince you that you are the one doing all the destructive things by calling you possessive. He tries his best to convince you that you are the destructive one, so you'll continue to put up with the abusive things he does. Sometimes this strategy of his works.
Poly requires honesty. Poly is way to fancy for where you too are right now. You need to take a close look at all the abusive stuff he does and why you put up with it. He does what he wants, then lies about it when he thinks the truth will make you mad. He is a baby. No one is requiring that he grow up. Why do you put up with all this abuse? Where is your self esteem?
My words are probably very unpleasant for you to read, but that is what I see in the story you told. The only way you're going to find the strength to improve your life is to look within yourself and find the self esteem that is there somewhere.
I wish you the very best. I hope you find the courage within yourself to give yourself the very best.
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