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-   -   Issues after a long period of happiness (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28985)

Mort 09-19-2012 11:48 AM

Issues after a long period of happiness
Hey guys,

After a bit of advice. Let me set the scene.

I've been married to a wonderful woman (who always told me from the very start that she was not interested in monogamy - I found this rather confronting at first) for nearly 9 years. About 5 years ago, I finally found another partner, who I have been (during the ups and downs) ever since.

My wife has had a hard couple of years partner wise, never found anything particularly solid. On the other hand, I've been very stable for a while now. She also has some anxiety and depression issues along with a whole lot of other mental issues. She has had periods of great happiness with some partners, but it never seems to last.

Now, it's over the last 9 months that some real issues have risen their head. We had to move out of a house that we loved, and were thrust into a rather unsettled situation house wise where we don't really have a spare bedroom, out kitchen has been in a state of building for the last 9 months (nearly fixed now) - and finally we have had the added pressure of having to take our kid to school every weekday (a previous pressure that was a lot less of a problem). Since we've moved into the new house (and a little before we moved too) - my wife has started having issues with my partner after a long period of her approving heartily of my relationship, and being happy for me.

It has become increasingly difficult for me to see my other partner - I can't go over there without my wife getting upset to a downright volatile level - staying the night at the moment seems all but an impossibility. My wife is TRYING to get herself back into a headspace where she's okay with it, but she just doesn't seem to be getting there and I don't feel like I have the time to wait for her anymore.

It's not the sort of situation where I can just leave, because I have a son who needs caring for (and when my wife is out of it she doesn't really keep this up to scratch) and a full time job paying off a mortgage.

I'm a bit at wits end, and I'm looking for advice on what to do. I feel like I work immeasurably hard on this, and get nowhere. Help!


dingedheart 09-19-2012 06:23 PM

hi and welcome,

Is your wife being treated for her mental issues ?

Are you saying she's been practicing poly or non monogamy for you entire marriage? or like you just the past 5.

Perhaps the stress of the move, increased work load relating to the kids ( school delivery) , upheaval with the kitchen ( generally the biggest stress-or in home remodeling) have pushed things over the edge.

Maybe try to reduce those or if she feels you have dropped the ball in your relationship with her try to identify what it is specifically and pick it up.

She might view your running off to have fun with your lover as escapism or jumping ship.....unfair or something like that.

Mort 09-20-2012 02:17 PM

She is indeed in the middle of therapy, but I'm not sure how effective it is. She's also on anti-depressants which appear to work very well. When I'm around there isn't a problem, she's happy as larry - it's when I go to see my girlfriend specifically that things become difficult.

Non-monogamy from the very beginning. The word Poly came in a little later. But still.

Things definitely pushed over the edge - I don't feel like she treats my needs properly - unless I really push when she's having a hard time how I feel rarely comes into it. She understands that it's not fair to feel the way she does, but she's not entirely sure why she feels the way she does either. She almost hates my partner now, it's awful. There's no real reason why she hates her - she used to get along quite well with her (I wouldn't say they were best friends or anything - they are very different people and my wife has her issues with my partner - they've just never been much of an issue and are very superficial).

I try immeasurably hard to make things easy for my wife. All the time. I will move heaven and earth to make things okay - and yes, there have been some issues between us that we have addressed. But she doesn't always want to talk about said issues, and can be quite childish about the whole thing.

Urgh, I'm really sorry - I'm tired and this is coming out a lot more whingey than I had intended. She sees me having fun with my partner as "not having fun with her". I feel really claustrophobic and unable to do things by myself, and I have begun considering lying to her so I can see my partner without issue. I am having severe troubles with being honest about the whole situation, when her attitude toward the situation is basically to become a deer in headlights and not really volunteer any potential solutions or situations where things will be okay.

The other night, she said to me that she set her personal goal to "not being upset when I see my partner" - and admitted quite frankly that she doesn't like it, but understands that it's the right thing to do.

But I don't honestly believe it will ever get better. How can things turn sour so quickly after 5 happy years?!


dingedheart 09-20-2012 04:48 PM

Have gone with her to therapy to discuss this specific topic?

Do the 2 of you have a date night ?

Have you heard of and or read Gary Chapman's book Love Languages....I should be getting a commission, for the number of fucking times I've recommended it here.:D I guess they have some online quiz too. A quick read for both of you but might help you connect on that intimate level when in each others presence.

Trust me things can turn sour over night ....real sour :( I will say the hating the partner is IMO the big stumbling block here. Their got the be a myriad of negative feeling thrown back on you and your relationship surrounding that situation. Perhaps try to untangle those hooks.

GalaGirl 09-20-2012 06:58 PM


The other night, she said to me that she set her personal goal to "not being upset when I see my partner" - and admitted quite frankly that she doesn't like it, but understands that it's the right thing to do.
Not a realistic goal if left at that. Feelings just happen. You cannot choose how you feel or when you feel it. You can only choose how you behave in response to those feelings.

The success of a goal is partially in the stating because it helps give clues to what behavior to change, tells you what to DO. Her stated goal only tells her not to feel things and that is impossible. She will set herself up for failure if she leaves the goal at that -- to not feel something.

Perhaps restate more like

"My goal: Minimize my upset when I see my metamour / my spouse enjoying time with my metamour.

How I will do it:

(list the steps she will take.)"

My dad has mental health issues and he attends recovery group to learn better coping skills. It's for ANY mental health issue from stress to anxiety to PTSD to... just anyone.

Here's their spotting worksheet. I don't know if that would help her learn to spot herself? Or of checking if you have a local chapter handy?

Some things we can learn to do on our own. But some things need more help.



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