Frustrated with polyamory
I need some insights from my fellow poly friends. I'm essentially trying to figure out if I need to separate/divorce with my wife, and I'm torn on it. Here's the back story:
I've always been extremely monogamous. Once I met my wife-to-be, I didn't notice other women, even if they were flirting right in front of me. I was happy. My wife and I did everything together. We were inseparable, and I believe it was a few years before we even spent our first day apart. I saw us as one, soulmates, meant to be together. We've been married 20 years and have two wonderful children together. We've had our fights, as everyone does, and we've had our rough patches, but it's been a wonderful 20 years together. She's my partner and love.
And then she fell in love with someone else, but still loved me as well. That's when I first found out about polyamory. It was crushing, and I couldn't imagine how it could even happen. At the same time, I saw how happy she was, and how this type of relationship helped make her even more "whole", more self-confident, and I was happy about that. I never blamed or judged my wife for wanting this... instead I saw it as part of who she is, part of her sexuality, and I loved her, so how could I do anything but support her in this journey?
Since then, I've come to see polyamory as a wonderful alternative to monogamy. I accepted my wife's OSO into our family, and the three of us get along great (in a poly "vee" type of relationship, with my wife as the fulcrum, i.e. I'm friends but not romantic with my wife's OSO). I see my wife's OSO as an equal partner in our family, co-primaries, etc.
But of course, the relationship with my wife changed dramatically. We still love each other, but we're no longer "two peas in a pod". Love may be limitless, but time isn't, and I find myself lonely for long periods of time when she's out with her OSO. Plus, there's a certain quality that's missing in my life, and I can't quite put my thumb on it... something about being cleaved to my wife, being "partners in crime" (my apologies if you're sick of that overused expression), building our life together... just the two of us against the world. Now I feel more like a roommate in my own house and (when her OSO is over) the secondary in the relationship. I'm becoming more independent... do activities that I like (sailing, hiking, etc.) on my own rather than the two of us together, and I miss her.
In order for this to really work long-term, I feel like I need an OSO myself, someone not just to spend time with but also to build that same type of close partnership that I used to have with my wife. Someone that I love and adore, that loves and adores me, that wants to spend time together, have adventures, and build a shared life together... be something serious and meaningful.
But I can't find anyone. Everyone I meet that wants a serious relationship has been monogamous, and all the poly either (1) eventually want us to be mono together, i.e. they were cowgirls or (2) wanted a casual side relationship, a FWB+varying level of relationship type of deal. It would be easier to find someone if I was only interested in casual relationships, or even just flat out "cheating", but I don't want any of that.
And so that leaves me in my current conundrum. I love my wife and don't want to leave her. I also don't want her to leave her OSO (because they're great together, and I feel compersion for her)... I know it would crush her to leave her OSO. But I'm also lonely, and even if I weren't, I'm still missing important relationship qualities in my life.
I feel selfish to even thinking about leaving my wife, and I would be very happy if we could build a more balanced poly family together. I'm not against polyamory in principle, and I recognize that it can be wonderful... but as a guy, I feel like I'm treated like a disposable person by many of the women out there, maybe precisely because I'm married. As such, it feels like the only real chance I have for building the type relationship that I want is through monogamy, which means leaving my wife, and that option seriously sucks.
Therefore, I'm reaching out to everyone here for help, advise, even just moral support. I really want this to work, but I'm so frustrated.
Well, I've also been married over 20 years (21 tomorrow :)). With my own marriage and in talking with others who have been married 20+ years, it seems to be common for our interests to diverge and we do more and more things separately. This used to be a problem for me, but with some help from a counselor and effort from both of us, it's not such a big deal anymore. We do have to make time for just us and that takes effort, not like when we were first married:(, but lets face it, that was 20 years ago :eek:.
When was the last time you and your wife sat down together and discussed how your feeling, your plans for the future and some of your short/long term goals? It's easy to allow ourselves to get sucked into a specific pattern, only to realize one day that this pattern really sucks. Time to turn off the auto pilot (GPS got you a bit lost) and figure out how to re-map where you really want to go and how to get there from where you are right now. It is possible that even some little changes by the both of you can alleviate your feelings of being secondary. Does she realize she is making you feel secondary?
PS Where are you sailing out of?
1) How long has the OSO been around? Is wife still under New Relationship Energy lala clouds and neglecting you, the Older Established Relationship?
2) Rather than look without right away since you do not seem to want to actually divorce, look within. What has been her response to the time management problem? Has there been discussion on that? Have you gone up to her and said...
4) Does she want to work with you on this or not? And if not, are you prepared to break up? What are YOUR limits here?
I am sorry things are so rough and frustrating for you right now.
The biggest mistake to make in any relationship, whether poly or mono, are when we think we know our partner so well that we stop seeing them anew each day. People change, relationships change, life is full of changes, and if we cling to wanting everything to stay the same or like it used to be, we will be in pain.
Ken Keyes wrote:
". . . Everything is either an effective or ineffective way of creating love, peace, and oneness.He was talking about unconditional love in that passage. You can still, by all means, have your preferences about what you'd like in your life, and go for them, but if you stay attached to your old romantic dream about what your marriage should be, and protest or fight against rather than accept what is, then you will not be present to deal with the here-and-nowness of your life, and that means choices you make will be limited and made from a narrow perspective.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't allow yourself to feel sadness or grief over the end of what was, but there is a time to move on. Whether moving on means with or without your wife is something only you can decide, but one thing for sure is that change is the only absolute in life and we need to embrace it if we are to survive and thrive.
I have a suspicion that you have problems meeting women who meet your standards because you might be giving off a bit of a self-pitying vibe, and that could be turning off more appropriate partners for you. No one wants to just be a substitute, a consolation prize to a man who is really wishing they were someone else. Look at what you're attached to in your marriage, work on becoming aware of your emotional and thought processes, find out what makes you happy that isn't dependent upon another person to supply it, and accept the present situation for what it is. Then you can make a choice that is truly in your best interest and not coming from a place that would rather hold onto the past. Acceptance is a great healer.
Anyone bother to look at the join date.
Read the other threads he started. Read the advice ...high fives you gave him before on those other threads.
Having a 20 yr marriage, history, a family and then Being cut back to a 50 % time, attention, focus allotment what are unrealistic expectation.
Sounds to me like you've put an enormous amount of time and work trying to keep this marriage . Knowing now what you want ....the marriage or relationship you want.. I'd trust your gut go find and build that life.
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