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-   -   My world is shaken (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3736)

ThatRomanticGeek 09-16-2010 04:20 PM

My world is shaken
You all might remember this thread where I wonder if my girlfriend would ever be okay with this.

Turns out, she wasn't. Bree finally "broke" and said that she was at a place where what she wanted and what she needed finally aligned, and that didn't include pining for me. And... my world shattered.

Amid my pathetic wailing and sobs, Michelle texted Bree and implored her to reconsider, that it's obvious that Bree makes me happy where Michelle does not anymore.

It's clear to me now that I've been suffering from severe depression, not enjoying my life the way it is, not appreciating my wife and kids. It's clear to me now that Bree was a safe port in that storm, and now... now she's not here. She's convinced that she broke up Michelle and me, and is licking her wounds, not allowing any contact between us (although, she has asked Ralph a couple times how I'm doing).

And... truthfully, I am shaken to the core. Why was I okay sharing Michelle polyamorously, but felt jealously protective of Bree? Why did I have plans for the future with Bree, but with Michelle I was content with the status quo of raising the kids and... just doing whatever it is we do...

At some level, I suspect that I subconsciously interpreted Michelle's "coming out" to me as poly as a signal for me to fall in love somewhere else. The funny thing is, my conscious mind loves that Michelle is finally not bottling things up, finally honest with herself about being poly. Even though it creates a longing in me to feel that connection I felt with Bree with... anybody. And yes, I know NRE played a big role in that, but I'm sure it wasn't all of it. I know Bree fulfilled something in me that I'd been missing, and Michelle knows it too.

And now Michelle and I are... we're at a bad place. She feels inadequate as a spouse, that this life we have together is apparently not enough for me... Apparently it's making me feel trapped. My god, what a horrible feeling, to feel like I'm trapped in a life I don't want. I love my kids. How can I even think that???

So, right now, I'm dealing with a slew of crises...
  • Grieving over Bree
  • Figuring out why my life with Michelle and the kids makes me feel trapped
  • Reconciling Michelle's poly wiring with my apparent mono wiring. I don't want her to change, I don't want her to be dishonest with herself, but I don't know if we're compatible in that regard
  • Dealing with the medical and theraputic realities of this major depression (which I am, on both counts)

Sigh. I'm a mess.

Vinccenzo 09-16-2010 05:59 PM

Is it at all possible that the hurt you are feeling over things ending with Bree might be coloring how you feel about the relationship with your wife?

I read through your other post and saw you thought of doing a start over with Bree to meet her needs, but your last post in it seemed to imply that you were aware that the newness of Bree might be causing you to get ahead of yourself. It seemed like you were going to slow down and see how things progressed.

What caused the change? What happened right before you began to feel this way about your marriage and what caused Bree to end things? I guess I'm just trying to get a sense of the order things played out.

thinking about meeting Bree's needs for monogamy and kids
then thinking maybe you should see how things go
then what?

sage 09-16-2010 06:16 PM

I agree with Vin (If I'm interpreting correctly). Could you see yourself in a mono relationship with Bree? Mono/poly relationships don't work for everyone and yours could be contributing or even causing your depression.

ThatRomanticGeek 09-16-2010 06:58 PM

There's definitely a question of chicken and the egg.

Yeah, I totally saw myself in a mono relationship with Bree, and she was constantly struggling with the fact that I wasn't able to be mono with her. And when it finally came to a head with her (nothing I did, she just couldn't deal with the struggle anymore) she broke it off.

The order of events goes...
  1. Michelle tells me she wants an open marriage. I hop on board. After all, I'm progressive. I trust her. Besides, it's a bit of a turn-on.
  2. Michelle starts talking to Ralph about the same time I start talking to Bree.
  3. Michelle and Ralph maintain a casual, occassional communication. Bree and I, however, quickly lose ourselves to each other and are in constant contact. Ralph and Michelle tease us for being like cute teenagers.
  4. Michelle stays at Ralph's for 9 days. I realize that I enjoy Michelle's independence, and yes, sharing her is a turn-on. However, I find myself longing for something like what she has.
  5. Bree reaches a breaking point and cancels our mid-September trip we'd planned. At Michelle's encouragement, I meet Bree face-to-face and we spend a great weekend together
  6. The next few weeks are rife with bouts of mania and depression as I try to gauge Bree's plans regarding our mid-September trip. This is when I posted the other thread.
  7. Bree finally cancels the trip, saying that she is unable to allow this continue at all. My depression takes a dive off a cliff.

Michelle's theory, which is looking true to me right now through the haze of grief and depression, is that I was already on a track toward depression, being burnt-out on the life we have, not getting the emotional connection or intellectual stimulation I needed from Michelle, as well as feeling beat down by work and kids and chores and life in general.

And then Bree came along and changed that. Talking to Bree constantly became the highlight of my day. Here I had a beautiful young woman who found me attractive and was playful and stimulating and always sought my attention as much as I sought hers. And then, unable to reconcile her emotions for me with the fact that she can't truly have me (since she's definitely wired mono, apparently), she ended it. Which made the rest of my existence seem even more trapping and smothering than it already was.

At the end of the day... I know I'm suffering from depression, and it pre-dates the open marriage. I think the episode with Bree brought it to a head, though.

And the question I'm left with... is what am I? Am I wired as a mono? I think... I think I might be. I don't think I can have the type of semi-detachment that Michelle has with Ralph. What am I prepared to live with? Am I prepared to tell Michelle that the poly thing isn't working out for us and she has to stop? Force my own apparent mono-wiring onto her? That's a horrible thing for me to consider, especially when I've spent 15 years (10 of which were married) pleading with her to assert herself when it comes to what she wants. And, in a vacuum, yes, I could accept that we're not the same people we were when we married and it might be time to move on. But... the kids... I don't want to hurt my kids...

Or do I live as a mono and let her live as a poly? That's possible, right? I know people on this forum do that. But... I don't know if I'm necessarily okay with that. I feel envious, not of Ralph, but of Michelle. She has something that I don't think is likely for me. I think I would always fall for the girl, but the girl would run from the open marriage. So I'd just watch Michelle and Ralph, like some sort of a willing cuckold.

And Vin, you're right, my feelings for Bree do color it some, I think. But to what extent, I couldn't tell you. Michelle thinks it's a case of sending the boy back to the farm after he's seen Paris... That maybe Bree and I had better chemistry than Michelle and I do...

sage 09-16-2010 07:08 PM

You still haven't answered my question. Do you think you and Bree could have a future together?

ThatRomanticGeek 09-16-2010 07:15 PM


Originally Posted by sage (Post 44665)
You still haven't answered my question. Do you think you and Bree could have a future together?

Right now, at this moment? No. Bree is fraught with guilt right now, convinced that she unwittingly drove a wedge between me and Michelle, and she couldn't live with herself. As she put it to me, she doesn't want to be the prize for me breaking up my family.

At some future time, after I figure out what I want from life and Bree has had some time to heal? If the stars align and we were to reconnect, I think we would have had something really good.

Vinccenzo 09-16-2010 07:28 PM

Purely from an outsider perspective I think there is a whole lot of this being fairly new. Use of terms I am having to re examine right now too.

Poly and mono. If being poly means you have to always have more than one partner no matter what, I might be needing to jump ship again!
And from what I know of mono (many years of practice) I didn't always have only one or even one partner to be considered mono.
You brought up cuckold. And I wonder - you feel pressure to compete because of how you identify it. To avoid it you feel you have to have someone with urgency maybe? Your wife may have a lover now, but who can tell where that will go?

And the regarding your wife's opinion of Bree as Paris and you being back to the farm. Maybe she is feeling a bit insecure right now and feeling like she has nothing to offer in comparison. She tells you what she thinks is going on, but with you so undone right now, maybe you don't know yet if that is the case but its easier to agree than not knowing how you feel right now? Take some time. Go do something with your kids. Address what you will do to manage your depression. Maybe making big decisions right now isn't the best idea?

ThatRomanticGeek 09-16-2010 08:10 PM

Yes, she is feeling insecure. At the same time... So am I. Trying to understand her needs as a poly, and where I fit in as a mono. And trying to understand if what I had with Bree was indicative that I'm in the wrong life, or if it was just a relief from depression. Or how much was NRE. Realistically, probably a combination of all of the above.

Yeah, I'm not in a hurry to change anything. I'm hurting, Bree's hurting, Michelle's hurting, and Ralph is being the sounding board for all of us (poor guy). Michelle and I are in therapy (individually and together) and it'll take some time to resolve.

I miss Bree terribly, though. Wish I still had her to talk to, but she's too close to this. It's too dangerous for her, and I'm sure she's afraid she'd make things worse between me and Michelle.

anotherbo 09-19-2010 12:17 AM

Sorry to hear you're in such a tough situation right now. :(

From my experience with depression, its hard to believe that anything will get better when you're deep in it. But once you are in a better place depression-wise, these problems might not seem so unsolvable.

Good luck man and hang in there,

Anotherbo :)

AutumnalTone 09-19-2010 05:14 PM

It sounds to me like the stereotypical mid-life crisis, minus the new sports car.

Feeling trapped in marriage/life? Check.
Feeling invigorated getting involved with sweet, young thing? Check.
Buying sports car to show continued virility? Um, you haven't been stopping by car lots, have you?

I'd say addressing the depression and mid-life crisis is the first order of business. Once you get yourself settled, then you can fully turn your attention to the relationships in your life.

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