My husband and I will be married 7 years on Monday. The first year of our marriage was really rough, and in the years after that I think that we've grown a lot. There is a lot of background to give, but it is the last year that has been even rougher for us that I could have ever imagined.
I have decided to go back to school for physical therapy, and part of that is taking prerequisites before I can apply. I was in the middle of Calculus last winter when I took a trip with one of my best friends to NOLA for her 30th. Leading up to the trip I spent many nights burning the midnight oil, so that I wouldn't have anything hanging over my head while I was in NOLA. The problem with this plan is that my husband was starting to feel like I was doing all of this to avoid him. The end result was that while I was in NOLA, he went to a party with one of my other best friends and ended up having sex with her that night.
I'm not sure what the appropriate reaction was to have when I found out, but I know that how I react to things I consider to be someone life shattering with very little grace. We glossed over what happened as best we could, and tried to repair the relationship with my friend but that relationship is dead at this point.
Shortly after all of this happened, my husband told me that he was in love with a previous acquaintance we ran into on his birthday before all of the above happened. From day one he has felt someone ashamed and guilty for having these feelings, and I'm not sure if that is something that happens with anyone going from a previously mono relationship to poly. I don't want him to feel guilty of loving someone else, and I *think* I've been very supportive of their relationship.
His new girlfriend also has a female partner that she has been with for 5 years. In all the craziness of Calculus, I made time to have them over for dinner to discuss boundaries and whatever else the outside partner needed to have to feel comfortable. My husband and I have only had a few outside sexual partners, and our line/rule/boundary has always been no penatration. In looking back, this was very much MY boundary. I'm not quite sure why he agreed to it so easily and why any issue with it was not discussed sooner. The boundaries set by his girlfriend's partner were far ahead of mine. Sexually, she did not want them doing anything beyond kisses and hugs. Also, spending the night at our place was not allowed at first. I'm still not sure I am aware of all of her boundaries, but the hardest one for me was that she wanted me involved in the relationship between my husband and his girlfriend. His girlfriend also had her own set of rules for herself. The one that sticks out is that if our marriage was not copacetic she would leave. Give that we never fully dealt with the incident with my best friend and what caused it, this rule was already broken from the start.
So all the rules above with the new girlfriend (even her own)...all of them broken. Every promise she made to me and her partner...broken. We had a long talk with all four of us involved this past Sunday, and his girlfriend finally admitted to her partner that she has not kept any of the promises/boundaries that were set. We're trying to move forward, but overall I do not think or feel that I can ever trust this woman.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to find a poly friendly counselor on our insurance plan. We have seen her a couple of times together, and I saw her once after my husband told me that he and the new girlfriend had slept together during this last semester while I was in class. The truth is I'm hoping to find others in this community that I can talk to that have good advice to give. Let's be honest, 45 minutes with the counselor once a week is just not enough.
My husband and I have our plan to repair our marriage, and I know what we are specifically working on there. However, with his girlfriend I'm clueless. Basically, the two of them are two peas in a pod with what seems like nothing to work on. His girlfriend and her partner have a good deal to work on together.
There are many details that need to be filled in, but this is the very general jist of where we are at now.
I'm sorry you came to poly the way you did. The whole situation (cheating and lying) sucks. I'm also sorry your husband can't seem to respect boundaries that the two of you have agreed upon.
This is the gf who is m-to-f, right? Just making sure I have the stories straight.
In my new and never-very-humble opinion, this woman is untrustworthy, as she breaks all her promises to all her partners. I would tell that to your husband and, if you have veto power, I'd kick this woman out of your life. If you don't, I'd strongly suggest that your husband do it.
I'm horribly confused and I think I may not be understanding your situation. What rules did your husband's girlfriend break?
Ok, you and he had the no penetration rule (assuming vaginal intercourse) but his girlfriend is mtf so the no penetration rule wasn't applicable? (I'm assuming she is pre-operative.) Or did they have anal penetrative sex and so broke that rule? What other rules or boundaries did the two of you (your husband and you) have? Did she know those boundaries?
His girlfriend has the rule that your marriage has to be strong for her to be involved with him. That kinda makes sense - I am also hesitant to get involved with a struggling couple. But you mentioned here or in another thread that since he had sex with one of your best friends and not openly and honestly while you were away meant that the marriage was in a bit of a crisis. And then you and he covered that up in front of the girlfriend or minimized the trouble your relationship is in to her? Did I get that right? If you don't tell her you two are having issues how is it her fault she didn't follow her own rule? Maybe you don't mean it this way but to my mind that reads like you are blaming her for not being a mind reader and *knowing* that your husband and you are in marriage difficulties and stepping aside.
I also don't get why the rules your husband's girlfriend's other partner (some names would be lovely just to avoid constructions like that!) have to do with you and your husband and his girlfriend. Did she break rules her other partner set for their relationship? But more importantly why is that your problem? Here is what I mean. Don't import another couple's issues into your own relationship, and into your husband's relationship with his girlfriend. If she did break those rules, that is of concern to her partner and her - you and your husband are not automatically a party to this, even if the issue happened because of interactions with your husband. Bluntly, it's to be sorted out between the two of them, not between you, your husband, his girlfriend and her partner. Yes, sometimes a pattern emerges that someone is incapable of following any rules or boundaries. It may be that your husband's girlfriend is one of those people. Or her partners and metamours are setting impossible boundaries while communicating poorly.
And that thing about you being 'involved' in their relationship from your husband's girlfriend's partner? What the heck does that mean? You have to be there when they have sex? Threesomes only? Are you supposed to monitor them or something? That reeks of overly controlling behavior to me. It makes no sense and is a ridiculous imposition. Why is everyone all up in each other's business? You are not a quad, correct? Handle your business and let them handle theirs.
Finally, I think you are projecting much of your anger and resentment about your husband's actions onto her. He is the one who broke rules and boundaries. He had sex with one of your best friends. You don't trust him now and seem to me to be projecting that lack of trust onto his girlfriend. She isn't the cause of the problems between you two. I suggest first working with your husband - who seems willing - to rebuild trust between the two of you and don't concern yourself with his girlfriend's other relationships. Not yoru problem and you have much bigger and more important fish to fry.
Welcome to our forum.
I was also somewhat confused by some of your story, such as how each rule was broken by your husband's new girlfriend. Can she change, and start keeping the rules? Do you believe she can? If you're never able to trust her, then it will always cause a problem for your husband to continue in a relationship with her. How does he feel about the rule-breaking?
Is this perhaps not just a trust issue with the girlfriend, but with your husband also? Has he kept all the rules? Will he in the future? If he was involved with this girlfriend, wasn't he breaking the rules with her? Can he change and keep the rules in the future? Can you trust him?
Some kind of in-depth discussions are probably needed, at least with you and your husband present, possibly with his girlfriend (and her partner?) present also. If rules have been broken, then it must be made plain what you need to restore any trust that was lost.
I hope Polyamory.com is of some help to you.
So here goes my 2nd attempt at writing this. The forum ate my last response after working on it for an hour. It was time well spent and I am already accomplishing what I set out to do.
Sally & my husband broke my one rule of not having penetrative sex. She is pre-op so it was anal. Her partner, Amanda, had quite a few other rules such as not spending the night with us, no oral sex, and wanting to know what was going on. Sally also had her own set of rules to protect herself from the situation. Again, she said she could only be in the relationship if our marriage was copacetic.
I have plenty of regret for not being crystal clear with her from day one about what happened with my best friend. She knew that whatever happened almost caused irreparable damage to our marriage. The problem is that I have never felt like asking her to leave so we could repair our marriage would help. It wasnít until I found out that they slept together that I was finally able to ask for no contact until the end of January. Little good it did at that point.
I know that she was knew where my boundary was because the four of us had brunch to discuss it. She told me several times that she could never smoke pot with him because she would not be able to control herself. Iím really starting to think she has no self control regardless. The crappy part of my weekend was that I found out that they slept together more than once over a 2 week period. It kind of makes me want to kick her in the face for saying, ďWe talked about doing it again but it made me sick to my stomach to think of the trust Iíve broken with you.Ē Iím assuming it was twice. I am not comfortable asking for details from my husband, because he carries so much guilt already over what has happened this year.
I had my one rule, and once that was broken I asked for him to cut off contact with her completely to give us some time to focus on just our relationship. He did this and deactivated his Facebook account too. He let her know on Sunday morning and by that evening she was texting him again. He brought her messages to me, and I told him it was okay. But then, she started texting him again by the Friday after. She wanted to hear his voice. They talked that afternoon. So once we finally asked her to step out for about two months, she could not do that to give us the space we needed to work on our marriage.
What happened after that was the most gut wrenching fear I have ever felt. I came home from work to find my husband gone. He must have just left, because his computer was still pulled up to a website on how to overdose on hydrocodone. He left his keys, phone, wallet, so I had no way to contact him. I called his mother and Sally. I had no idea what to do. They both came and helped me look for him, and thankfully we found him before he took anything or disappeared into the city.
As for the boundaries and rules set by Amanda, the only reason I know that all the promises and boundaries were broken are because of a long hashing out session we had the Sunday before Christmas. Amanda ask Sally if any of her boundaries had been respected and promises kept, and the answer from Sally was no.
Until that day, I had no idea that I had been involved with breaking one of Amandaís boundaries for Sally with me. Sally and my husband had already broken the oral sex rule, I did not think it was still a boundary. I think everyone involved should be aware of the boundaries. If I had known that oral sex with me was not okay with Amanda then I would have respected that boundary. I am not the kind of person to frivolously break rules and trust. Communication anyone?
In trying to move forward, Iím kind of stuck on the why they slept together. Easy answer, they were both horny and wanted it. There is something in me that keeps wanting to believe that Sally pushed it with a more malicious intent. When someone *repeatedly* tells you that they are not trying to destroy your marriage, it starts to seem like quite the opposite is true.
I had written something different in my last attempt at a response, and it ultimately lead me to talk to both my husband and Sally about it. Unfortunately, Iím less clear as to whether my being involved was actually something Amanda asked for. Regardless of the reason why I was involved initially, my life would have been much easier if I didnít have to be involved. Iím not going to jump on the, ďIím poly too, because you areĒ train because I know that I donít have time to devote to a second romantic relationship. I did tell both Sally and my husband this. I think sometimes people block out what they donít want to hear.
I know that I projected most of my anger and resentment onto Sally. However, I and most upset with myself for letting it happen. I regret not being clear that my husband and I needed to work out what cause the situation with my best friend. I know what I did to cause that, and we were and have been working on that.
The plan seems to be to work on our relationship and the relationship between the four of us. Better communication seems to be the main goal. For my husband and I, weíre working on making sure we set aside time for each other. The setting aside time is mostly my responsibility since Iím the one with work and class.
I had a shorter talk with Sally and Josh this past Friday, and I finally said that I would really much prefer to just work on my marriage. Sallyís response was that I donít get that unless my husband asks for it too. Iím still not quite sure how to take that.
I appreciate the tough love. Iím new to all of this, and I have never given poly much thought as part of my life until now.
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