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-   -   Your partner's in pain.. what to do..? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3722)

marksbabygirl 09-14-2010 03:29 PM

Your partner's in pain.. what to do..?
What do you do when your partner is in pain, you have the power to end that pain, but to do so would cause you pain?

Either way, I lose. My husband is in enough pain that it is affecting OUR relationship, but to end the paIn means I would hurt and possibly affect our relationship.

So what the fuck do I do?

TruckerPete 09-14-2010 03:44 PM



When you are calmer, post more details so we can help. :)

Anon 09-14-2010 05:58 PM

Similar problem over here (hi, I'm new to the forum, btw). I feel like either way, I'm going to lose. That I must now make a choice of *what* I'm going to lose.

I've been married to my husband for almost 15 years now and we only just switched to polyamory a year ago (my idea, he was a bit reluctant at first, but not terribly so). I've had two relationships since then. A pretty relaxed, very infrequent one with a friend who lives in another city and another new one that's been super intense (in a good way) with someone who lives only a few blocks away from me. Both are still going. My husband has only dated one person and that only lasted for a few weeks.

A (smaller) part of my problem involves the fact that my husband doesn't have a girlfriend now while I do and is unlikely to go and get one (too shy and antisocial). This makes him feel that me going out with other folks is threatening and a reminder of what he wants and doesn't have and it bugs him that I am more social than he is. But, he makes no effort to go out and try to connect with people. I invite him to go do things with me in social settings, but he refuses to go (he's really not a people person and has been mostly this way since I've known him). I can't really do much about that part and I'm just waiting for him to recognize that this is just a consequence of his own choices and to stop resenting me for being different.

The major part of my problem though is that I've become quite attached to my new boyfriend. Fallen in love, actually. This is super threatening to my husband even tho I am jumping through all kinds of intense hoops to make him feel special and loved, loved, loved. But it's like he's already made up his mind to be pissed about it and just doesn't make any attempt to see my love or understand my situation. He's acting super jealous but then denying that he is! Aaaaarrgh. So frustrated. So confused as to how I can solve this problem when he is denying his emotions about it. It seems impossible other than to back out of it and then talk about the emotional part after the fact when he isn't hurting so much.

I think I will probably end it with my new friend. It makes me extremely, extremely, extremely sad, but I really do love my husband (we've been together almost 15 years now), don't want to lose him, and don't want to put my children through a divorce. Plus, I think of the two relationships, the one with my husband is most likely to work out, if we can make it work out. But, it's going to be very, very difficult for me to do this and not feel resentment towards my husband. I don't think he'll even really attempt to understand what it is I am willing to give up in order to keep him and try to work things out.

I think long term, we need to work on our communication. I have no idea how to do this. He denies that there is any problem at all in our communication. It's pretty ridiculous, actually. Has anyone ever had any kind of success with a marriage counselor? I don't even know if there are any that won't be weirded out by the polyamory thing and who won't just suggest going back to monogamy as a way to solve our issues. I don't think that I can do that, fully, but I might be able to keep my relationships a bit more toned down in the future (if I try really, really hard? I don't think love works like that, tho, but maybe if I see them very infrequently?).

Another (again, minor? or maybe this one is more significant) part of the problem is that I have a pretty severe and permanent injury that makes it very difficult to have a real job. I stay home with the kids and do the housewifey thing. I hate it tho. I want to feel independent again. Part of the reason that I wanted to do the polyamory thing was so I could have that feeling of making my own choices and being my own person again. He resents that I'm not working right now, but we cannot afford the childcare to allow me to work. My skills are technical, but I cannot use them due to my injury and can only get very low paying jobs that won't cover the costs of childcare so I can work! I'm feeling trapped in mommyhood over here.

Sigh. Sorry for the huge, emotional dump. I just have really very few people to talk to about this situation. Very few of our friends know that we are doing the polyamory thing and most would probably freak out if they found out. This feels very socially isolating sometimes, so I'm glad that I found this forum.

Didn't mean to hijack your post, marksbabygirl! I hope you can find a way to get what you want while easing your husband's pain. Is he seeing anyone right now? What's your situation?


redpepper 09-14-2010 08:20 PM


Originally Posted by marksbabygirl (Post 44359)
What do you do when your partner is in pain, you have the power to end that pain, but to do so would cause you pain?

Either way, I lose. My husband is in enough pain that it is affecting OUR relationship, but to end the paIn means I would hurt and possibly affect our relationship.

So what the fuck do I do?

Are you talking physical pain? I know your hubby is unwell and has health issues... is this what you are referring to?

In terms of relationship pain... I would not do something that would cause me pain. In the end it would mean no one would be happy. Instead I would keep negotiating and keep at figuring out how to work things out so there is a balance that is sustainable, fair and causes the most happiness. I try and make it as win win as I can along with the help of all those involved...

Something else that I have noted is a big factor in the ease of these kinds of things is time... time dulls emotions so that we may be able to deal with them more efficiently. There seems to be more affect in change when there is adequate time given to allow what needs to manifest to have space.

It's amazing to me how strong we all can be, sometimes emotional pain means a shift to something better than we thought possible. Something unforeseen that would not of come if there was not a painful process. I think that just like jealousy, one needs to walk through it, pick it apart and see what the reasons are for it... usually there is an un-met need there I would think. How can that need be met?

I have just been through some pain with the process of creating some space and time for myself. I went on a five year journey or longer with it. Mono became entangled in all of that and if it weren't for time and walking through the pain, I would not of come to the realization that I am not getting a basic need met in my life. That of privacy. I think this kind of process needs a lot of respect, but I don't think we should give something up to make others happy and relieved of their emotions.

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