Is this poly? NRE? the end??? Help!!!
Hi, My wife and I decided to explore Polyamory about 5 months ago. We had discussed it lightly before because even though we are (were) very much in love, we had become somewhat co-dependent and bored. Then one day, she came home and asked if it was cool if she went to coffee with her personal trainer. Im 34, she's 31, and he's 49. I accepted and after further discussion, we decide to give the poly lifestyle a try. The first two months were incredible. We were talking more than we had in years, having lunch together allot and going on dates, we've always had great sex but, now it was even better and more often. I was beginning to adjust to Jim (trainer guy) and she was adjusting to the girls I was dating (I haven't found someone steady yet).
Then things began to change. I read all about NRE as did she in books like The Ethical Slut. However, progressively she wanted to spend less and less time with me.
Now, she's saying that she's never loved someone like she likes this guy and that she wants to maintain a relationship with me but, not a romantic one.
We have 2 small children and I don't want to break up my family however, the pain of this process and the fact that Im unsure if this will ever rebuild itself into a real relationship again is killing me! Maybe we could have been a better couple to each other and maybe I should have paid more attention to our relationship however, I always considered myself a good husband. She says she loves me but, I dont know if I can deal with the everyday mechanics of a relationship, raising the kids together, taking care of responsibilities, etc, and not be romantically involved with this person whom I love.
Anyone ever experience anything like this? Think its NRE and we will eventually find a way to reconnect?
Everything is so uncomfortable and strained. Even the look in her eyes when we speak seems flat and lacking something that was there before.
Lou, I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this painful experience. I hope someone with more varied experience will speak up.
I think that if you don't want to break up, then that's your answer--you need to work at it, and sometimes it's going to be painful and hard and really there's no guarantee that it will all work out in the end. Take some time to picture what you envision as an ideal future and discuss it with your wife, honestly and openly. Take a deep breath and come at this from a calm place--it's possible that your wife's "dead eyes" are a defense mechanism, from her trying not to cause/react to/be involved in drama. Ask her what her ideal future is, what she sees down the road. Then take some time to figure out if there's a compromise, if it's something you can live with, if maybe what you're hearing her say is not exactly what she's intending to say. For example, it would be very interesting to get the exact definition of romantic to her, since she says she still loves you. You might also consider trying to find a poly-friendly therapist--it's amazing the different perspectives they can give you.
You can't make her change her mind or do work that she's not willing to do. There's only going to be so much that you can do. But you owe it to yourself and your children to make sure that you did as much as you could to fix this relationship.
Yeah, I have asked some of those questions and I do actually have a really good poly-friendly therapist. Sometimes its just good to hear other opinions, ya know. She's said things like, this new love is stronger than anything she has ever felt. She doesn't however want to lose what we have just has a different opinion of how our relationship should look than I do. I do intend on working on it, but just don't know how long I can feel this sad for.
Also, the people I've been dating have been rather unsatisfying as far as potential partners for me. I wonder if maybe my wife and I really aren't a good fit and that I need to find someone that I could truly connect with, maybe a relationship like the one she is proposing would be allot more acceptable. The thing is, I don't know how healthy it would be to start another relationship under those pretenses... this is all around the hardest thing I've ever been through.
Regardless, Im going to try and remain calm and definitely continue to work at things. Thanks for your kind response.
Unfortunately, I have no advice ... just wishing well and sorry to hear about this sad turn of events. :(
How would you feel about your relationship with your wife if you were dating someone you had strong feeling for? Are you missing a good relationship or are you missing her?
It may just be that you and your wife have grown apart. Or maybe she is just overwhelmed with NRE, that she is not appreciating what she has with you. NRE generally lasts for about 6 months (unless it is a long distance relationsyhip).
I wish you well.
You are a familiar, familial based love. Long term, well connected and stable.
She could well be mixing up love, lust and nre. I do believe that happens, although it is rarely talked about. lust and nre are easy waves to ride. Seriously, what does it involved but some time and body parts.
Your love is work, represents work and is tonnes of time. You have how many years with her? and how much time has she has with her new lover?
Quath is right, nre lasts about 6 months. Give it time and have patience. I believed the love I felt for our ex was the most intense ever. Once my head cleared and my hormones returned to normal, it was all about the same as I felt with my wife and the gf before that. In the moment, it is like a drug high :)
I second a lot of what Ari has mentioned. NRE is a powerful drug ! But is does lose it's effectiveness in time.
But first off.......what/how do you define 'love' ?
It's a word we throw around about as much as 4 letter bombs but don't usually dig in to see what it really means to us.
It seems is something comprised of a bunch of smaller components. Shared interests. Shared ideologies. Shared passion. Sex (good, bad, mediocre). Lots of little things - but all things we also share with people we may not proclaim to 'love'
But at the bottom of the term we always seem to find RESPECT as the binding foundation.
We can care about many people. We can share commonalities with many people.
How much respect is there between both of you ? (both directions)
You may find clues there into the direction & longevity of your relationship - as well as the shape it takes in the future.
Passion comes & goes. Deep bonds and connections require healthy respect & understanding of who each other really are beyond the surface, beyond the passions.
I'd suggest checking this out :)
Respect is (and can be) built with right actions and right thoughts. If that is there most anything else is possible, but no matter what follows it will seem kinder and more loving.
You guys have made me feel much better! Weve been together for 10 years, shes been seeing him for like I said almost 5 months, Id say its been serious for about 3.
Like I said, I knew there'd be NRE and I am dating... However, I would like to find someone to truly connect with. Im sure it will happen in time.
I just didnt expect her to get as distant as she has... Glad to here that it may be somewhat typical?
Thanks again to all of you...
Any other suggestions, feel free to bring it on!
Hi there. I am in agreement that NRE could be the cause of her lack of romantic feelings for you. For me NRE lasted much longer than 8 months with Mono. Just so you know it can be longer.
It sounds like the two of you had NRE for poly itself and then when she fell for this guy it became about him. Realize that this is all new and her love for him will become stable and less crazy in time. Right now she is experiencing romantic and lustful love for him and attachment love for you. Both are valid but can be confusing for someone in it. I started a thread on this in general discussions. The thread is about an anthroplogist that talks on this. Her name is Helen fisher. Check my stats on my profile and threads I've started and you will find it.
If I were in your position I think I would hold off on dating in order to hold fast to the reigns of your partners raging love for this guy. She is like a wild horse with it right now and just wants to run with it. Its exciting, makes her heart soar and she thinks that the open meadow she is galloping through is endless. She has been bored and now is inspired. It isn't going to last, but she will be changed. She will tire herself out and will come down to reality in time. Like fire, it consumes itself eventually. This is when you'll need to be ready for her and what change comes of this new stage. She could want to maintain a long relationship with this man and will want to negotiate that, or she could realize its not for her and she's had her fun. I suspect she will object to the latter right now ;)
Good luck. You aren't alone on this journey as is evident if you do a whole lot of reading here. I suggest she does too as it is a great resource in many different ways. I suggest a tag search on NRE first.
Red Pepper - Great reply, thank you. The apparent craziness may just be due to NRE. She likes this guy and I truly can see how they match. They share interests that dont interest me and i think thats really good. I just didn't know it would mean that she would cut me off the way she has.
Another problem that is somewhat unique to our situation is, part of this disregard for my feelings and staying out of the house as often as possible, has created a bit of a breakdown as far as the way our household runs.
You see, over the course of the last 4 years, we agreed I would work and she would stay home with the kids and work on her Bachelors in Psychology. Well she just recently acquired her degree and she is unable to get a job... My youngest just started kindergarten so both kids are in school and she's done. From a timing standpoint, it went exactly as we had planned. It would be ok if she was trying really hard to get one but, unfortunately she isn't.
So right now, I kind of feel shafted a little. Its like I work all day, do my part as far as taking care of the kids, household stuff, etc. She does her part as far as the same but, spends the amount of time she could working or looking for a job with him. So I feel more like the roommate that pays all the bills currently.
I think if I still had a true partner around this wouldn't make me feel as bad. I understand the NRE thing well thanks in part to all of your help however, Im having a little bit of trouble chalking the utter disregard for my feelings up to something she couldn't help?
|All times are GMT. The time now is 12:32 PM.|