Husband Crazy on NRE
I need some advice about communicating with my husband who is completely in the throes of NRE.
Some background: we have been practicing for four years with very little conflict. Up til now, hubby had never met someone he really emotionally bonded with. I had and had been involved with such people several times. Hubby meets an old high school girlfriend of mine. All of us spend a total of seven days together in 3 months, mostly because she lives 500 miles away. She becomes affectionate towards both of us and we return it, but thus far, there has not been even as much as kissing. In high school, this girl and I broke up because she adamantly refused to discuss our relationship, our future, our desires or our emotions. I felt I be never knew where I stood with her. I finally insisted that we talk about it, arranged a specific time to do it: she disappears and I don't hear from her for over a year. She contacted me after 18 months or so, we hung out as friends a few times, didn't speak to her for years, then ran into her by chance again recently. After the affection, I tried to talk to her about her position on non-monogamy, she would not answer. She goes back to her home 500 miles away
When we get home, hubby is talking about marrying her, buying her a car in the near future, inviting her on a trip we planned 6 months ago with friends and paying all of her expenses, spending 100s of dollars a month flying her up here regularly, etc.
I told him I thought it would be a mistake to do something like invite her on a trip before we even knew her position on monogamy, Ldrs, etc, not even getting into specific interest and desire questions. Hubby replies that her behavior makes it obvious she wants to have a non monogamous Ldr with both of us, and she only doesn't say so because she hates talking about emotional things. I have pointed out the difference between hand holding and entering a relationship, but he doesn't see it. He says he may be acting irrationally, but the last time he met a woman who made him act irrationally, he met me. That turned out well, so it must be a good sign in this case too.
How do I talk to my husband about investing too much time and money into something that is not yet even a relationship when he already feels it is very significant? How do I convince him a poly relationship that doesn't involve verbal communication about relationships or feelings will be very difficult, and insisting she talk about these things is necessary? How can I help him see the situation clearly? I have dated people I was serious about for years and not thought these actions appropriate. He has never suggested anything like what he is suggesting here with regards to those relationships. He says we should spend 100s of dollars and almost all of our free time next month on her so we can see if it will work out. I'm not so sure about that idea. It isn't something we have ever done for anyone before.
I want harmony, but I really feel we should wait awhile before spending large amounts of money on her and/or inviting her to live with us. Any advice on how to communicate that to my nre-stricken husband?
You probably don't like that answer^^, but in fact I am agreeing with you. Just wait a little while, and other forum members will be along to dissect your post and give you point-by-point advice.
I'm guessing you already know he's 'thinking with his dick', as Boring Guy suggested. Isn't that the point of your thread? He is thinking with his little brain and you want advice on how to hammer through to his big brain?
Incidentally... I don't necessarily feel that it is all about his dick; since he alluded to the similarities between his irrationality when he met you and when he met her. I assume he loves you; so he is clearly saying that he feels she might be someone very important, based on his gut feeling. If your husband were a woman, I'd be saying that he has probably been quietly yearning for a deeper bond over the years, after watching you develop meaningful bonds with other people. Chemistry is random and he COULD be feeling that '1 in a million' spark.... but more likely, he is feeling the '1 in 200' spark that tricks us into believing that person is 1 in a million. 1 in 200 is still a rare kind of spark and obviously he's projecting all of his hopes onto that. But... I don't know anything about men. So, yep. Maybe its all about his dick. ;)
Alright, well firstly... you might want to consider your options before you even try to persuade and appeal to him:
1. Do YOU really want a relationship with this girl? Or are you wary, because of her communication/commitment issues?
2. If you do, how fast or slow do YOU want to go? Or, what do you want to see/hear from her before you are willing to see her again?
3. Would you consider it ok for hubby to date her, if you decided she wouldn't be good for you personally?
4. Would you be ok to negotiate a budget around her eventually IF he wanted to date her alone... or IF you both wanted to date her?
I think that you need specifics. Basically put all your cards out there on the table for discussion. It's not all about your wishes; but it's not all about his either.
So, maybe that discussion would sound something like this:
1. current wants - "I'm not sure I even WANT a relationship with her, because she's messed me around so many times. I am / am not comfortable with you pursuing a relationship with her alone right now, for this reason."
2. conditions Before I will even consider inviting her on our trip, or flying her out here, I want to have some verbal assurance about what she wants from us"
3. time limit "If she does that, I'd be happy to explore things with her online/in person/on phone (whatever) for one/two/three/six months"
4. possibilities At the end of that time, we can discuss the idea of flying her out here again."
What do you think?
I thought of something else, as far as the "spending money and time" bit. This was brought up over Thanksgiving, during which our host expressed desire to move forward in life with other people interdependently, instead of alone/independently. I did not express my opinion at that time, but I will express it now - and it may or may not be relevant to your situation:
I can enjoy creating something out of nothing WITH other people - I have no aversion to combining efforts to build a life together. But when it comes to jeopardizing what I already have - I will not put that at risk where other people can contribute to possible loss or failure over which I have no control.
For example - I would share my home with a friend who needs a place to stay, but I would not sell my house and put the money into buying a piece of property with other people.
I'm thinking that when your husband met you, you both had "nothing" and built a life together. Maybe now he "feels" the same thing about this girl-friend, but you and he are in a different place in life now. You won't "recapture youth" by trying to repeat the experience with someone else, and you might even lose what you have if you risk too much too soon in trying to achieve that.
Also, the girl-friend not wanting to talk about shit is not very encouraging. I don't care who or what you are, but sometimes you HAVE to do things you're uncomfortable with in order to put things in order and move forward (see the thread I started about "Comfort Zone" for more on this). Other people cannot do the communicating FOR you just because you don't LIKE it.
And yeah you are very right when you say there is a difference between holding hands / being affectionate and being "in a relationship".
I'm not sure if there is anything you can SAY to your husband that will get through to him. But there are things you can DO (or NOT do) that will SHOW him you are serious.
What if you just tell him - "Go ahead and spend your OWN money and your OWN free time getting to know her. I'm not in a place where I can do that with mine."
In writing this post, I have come to notice that the more you resist, the more he will try to push for it. Just let him go do it - but don't offer to risk your own self if it is not what you want deep down (it doesn't even seem like it is "deep down" with you - you seem to know very well what your parameters are). Let him learn for himself whether or not she is "relationship material". You may be pleasantly surprised - but these things don't happen overnight. I'm not sure how old you are, but I have discovered that the older I get, the more quickly time seems to pass, and the easier it is to wait for something. When you're in your teens and 20's, you want it NOW NOW NOW, you don't want to wait another year OMG! But as you get into your 30's and beyond, a year or two is really not that long at all when it comes to getting to know someone - especially if you're entertaining the possibility of having the person in your life for the long-term.
I think you've got some really good points, BG.
Thank you for your reply. These are very good questions.
2. If she wanted to use her time and money to travel, it would be nice to see her, but I don't want to drain our savings account and put other relationships and friendships on the back burner for this. I want to date without a relationship for awhile, seeing each other once in awhile and forming a bond gradually over time. Then, if things work out well, we could consider some of the things he is talking about.
3. It would be ok for hubby to date her by himself if she was at least willing to discuss sexual health, financial responsibilities, other relationships, commitment, etc.
4. The budget issue is sketchier. I have long distance relationships that have been intact for years, and I see each person once every few months, we take turns picking up the tab. Spending a lot more on the newest person in the arrangement does not seem like a good idea to me. If we couldn't afford it for those relationships, which we agreed upon a long time ago and continued to agree upon, why can we afford it now?
I am worried about pushing this issue too much when I am not getting much of a response, but he's now planning to out us to people we have purposefully remained closeted to for years over this person. He's not risking work, but he is talking about exposing himself to his family finding out from someone other than him and thinks this is ok so he can have her around for a weekend. I am having difficulty slowing him down regardless of what I say.
Your four questions got to the heart if it sparklepop The problem is, I have already said these things and have mostly been argued with. I can refuse to spend my time (unless he incites her to our activities with others which he seems intent on right now) but we have shared finances, property, etc so I can't cover myself from the risk.
I am in my 20s, and a year does seem long to me, but mostly at this rate I worry about how everything else in our lives will look if he continues acting this way. It worries me.
Bg your guess that we had nothing and have built up is spot on. When were first dating we had nothing but debt. Now that we've built a life with more flexibility, I don't want to endanger it. I see our wiggle room as security, he sees it as "we can afford" to spend this money, but it seems to be true only in the context of one particular relationship.
Whether he's thinking with his dick or his heart, I really need to make contact with his intellect right now. I guess it's probably just inaccessible right now. I hope it blows over soon.
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