I don't want to be here...
Actually, I don't want to be anywhere, right now, because of the amount of hurt and pain and anguish I'm in.
I waited for Mister Right. I 'kept' myself for marriage, and even though I was really popular and funny and bright and pretty, I always declined the boyfriend/dating thing, because I wanted to meet "the One" and halve the fairytale. When I found him, and was absolutely sure he was "the One" we got married and started a family. My first, true, only love.
The thing is, everything he promised, every vow, doesn't apply now.
I kept my end of the 'contract' in every way, and year after year he succeeded in breaking our marriage down piece by piece. I wasn't enough. All of my love and all of my loyalty and fidelity and support wasn't enough for him. He's decided his poly by nature, and the fact that he's PRETENDS to do the monogamy thing isn't a comfort to me in the slightest - it just makes everything we were meant to build together more of a sham. Every times he's lied to me, cheated on me, broken my heart...I've put on a brave face and 'supported him' through it and BELIEVED him when he swore every time that it was a mistake, a once-off, it-meant-nothing, I'm everything to him.
Til the next time.
So now he's come out and 'decided' that he's NOT a cruel, mean, liar - he's 'just' poly...and I'm mean to be heartened by this in some way. I'm meant to think "oh, that's okay then, I KNOW about it this time, so I have no reason to be upset" - when I'm told he wants me to be happy and he wants to spend his life with me as his "primary" I'm meant to think "oh yay!"
I know he's sorry for all the hurt he's caused me, and is causing me still.
I know he loves me and wants me to be his wife.
I even know he'd be willing to PRETEND he was happy "just" with me if that's what it took to "keep" me and the facade of the perfect marriage.
But how am I meant to put on a smile and go along with that when I know in my heart that I'm not enough for him, he wants something else? I sacrificed EVERYthing for this man's happiness; contact with my family, a career, a bank-account, a social-life of my own... everything, because that's what he wanted, to have "just me" all to himself. And I did it. Everything from my virginity to my name - because I believed him. I look back on it now and I feel gutted. I feel empty. I feel duped and used and cheap and pathetic and I just want the pain to stop.
(Edited to add: we've been together 15 years, I'm early 30's)
There is no way I could say anything to ease what you are feeling at the moment. That being said, remember that you are an individual and have strenght and independence and a right to be loved the way you want to be. It sounds like this has happened very recently and that usually means that you can barely focus on anything but pain. There is positive possibilities in this though. There is the opportunity to open your own heart up to others if you wish, to explore others with the support of a partner who should understand. I know this sounds really weak coming from me but there can be benefits and believe it or not a possible deepening of your relationship as well.
Understand that regardless of anything else, you are not in an inexscapable trap as you may feel. The idea of sharing him is probably as hurtful as the idea of him "faking" monogamy. There are options available for both of you to be healthy. Both of you deserve to be happy, loved and healthy how you want/need to be. Do not avoid this and talk. Cry scream or whatever but both of you need to be honest and strong. And remember that he is in pain too.
I will go out on a limb here and suggest that the issues in your marriage have very little, if anything, to do with polyamory. It sounds more like you are a hostage than an equal partner in this marriage. Your husband gets to have "just you all to himself" but he is "just poly" and therefore not a control freak?
Having said that much, it would be unfair for me to go on and on about this without hearing his side of the story.
There's a lot of information missing....
By "pretending" to be mono, do you mean he tells you he's being monogamous and then he turns around and cheats on you?
If that's the case, then he's not poly--he's simply a cheater, a bad monogamist. Trying to excuse his cheating by saying he's "just poly" is so much bullshit. Simply fucking around isn't poly, particularly if he said he wasn't going to do that.
I agree with YGirl--it appears there are a whole bunch of issues that need to be addressed in your marriage and polyamory has nothing to do with those.
It sounds really painful from here and I have to wonder how it's lasted so long. I hope you can find some way out of the mess in short order.
Oh. I'm so sorry, I'm very new to this, and I'm probably not being very coherent. He isn't physically screwing around. Yet, at any rate.
There have been numerous times in our marriage when he's formed 'relationships' that were based on phonecalls/online chatting/webcamming in an explicit way - each time, before he physically 'went through' with meeting up, I realised what was being planned, or he came clean and told me what he had the opportunity to do, but WOULDN'T do because he didn't want to hurt me. And now he's trying to be 'honest' and 'open' with me about his needs and wants.
I mean by "pretending" he's mono, he's now saying he's willing to go along and pretend and act like he's happy and content and satisfied with being in a traditional 'couple' married relationship with me, so everyone on the outside knows nothing about how unhappy he is having to 'settle' with just being monogamous with one person (me).
This 'poly' revelation is recent, and I'm still trying to understand it myself- but from where we are now, he knows full well that I'm definately completely monogamy-orientated myself, and his way of being 'kind' with this is to suggest that he'll go along with that charade if that's what it takes to keep me?
I never wanted to be his Primary. I wanted to be his Only.
Hell, that's the reason I married him, I believed I was his Everything.
The problem with that, of course, is that I now know I'm not enough for him. I guess part of me knew that 2 years into the marriage, but he swore blind I was his everything and he never wanted anyone else but me, he couldn't live with out me... and I believed him.
I know full well I'm in a ridiculous position now.
I also know I have myself to blame for believing him, and assuming that just because I was totally committed to our vows ("and forsaking all others keep thee only unto him/her") that he would be too.
Welcome Matilda. Sorry you are hurting!!
I have a few comments.
I'm going to re-post a quote by Ariakas below because he said it well and it applies here, I believe.
Thank you for your replies.
Part of the rub of this is that my husband put himself forward as wanting the fairytale too- he literally used metaphors like "knight in shining armour" and "one true love" and ''destiny'' and ''happily ever after'' the whole time to bring me around to believing he thought and felt the way I did. So, now I feel really stupid, really duped, and really naive.
In regards to Ariakas' points that Idealist quoted (I agree and they are valid points and I take them on board readily)...the problem is that I don't HAVE that circle of friends and support closeby because my husband saw to it that I could not make friends outside of him. I was to be his everything, and he has always refused to 'share' me or my time with anyone (I don't mean in a sexual way, I mean coffee/chat/go to a show/go out dancing friendships.
Any time anyone tried to get close to me, my husband shut it down and either scared them off or insisted I not 'pursue' the friendship on the grounds that he didn't need or want anyone else in his life, and if I loved him as much, then I shouldn't either.
Obviously, looking back on it now, it smacks of emotional and psychological abuse and serves to make me feel like more of an fool. I just feel like I'm drowning.
You're no fool, though. Because you've seen it for yourself now that you've had the chance. Abusers are very good at manipulation and making you see what they want you to see. It's not your fault that you've been treated this way.
You need to get yourself and your children out of this situation. The control he exerts over you will extend over them. They will grow up believing this kind of relationship is normal, that this is the way husbands are supposed to treat their wives.
I know how daunting that sounds: you have no money (he controls the accounts), no job (he wouldn't let you get one), no friends (wouldn't let you have them) and you've lost contact with your family.
Are your family members still alive though? I would bet that if you call them up and tell them you have an abusive husband and you need to get out right away, they'll help you get started.
I'm going to end by reiterating that you are not a fool, you are not cheap, you are not pathetic. You are a woman who wanted something special and was taken in by a master manipulator who told you exactly what you wanted to hear.
For good or ill, I love my husband.
I feel a responsibility for him, and a duty towards him.
When he senses he is being abandoned...in any way...it sets off a chain of events that leads to hurt and upset and distress for everyone around him.
I can see how things are, and I'm looking at our relationship through new eyes, like a veil has been lifted somehow - and I feel it cannot continue on with the framework that is currently in place.
I'm scared of hurting him. I'm scared of upsetting the children.
I'm scared of being 'alone' - I'm scared of possible revenge he would seek were I to rock the boat. I'm scared of 'letting him down' - I'm scared of blowing the whistle, I'm scared of everyone outside of us as a couple KNOWING what's been going on all these years. I'm scared of everything.
I want him to be happy and feel loved and wanted and respected for who he is as a person...but I want to be happy and feel loved and respected for who I am as a person...and I don't know what to do. And it terrifies me.
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