I have been so lost for a long time now. I need help to try and understand and see if I can make this work.
Last summer my husband and I decided to explore poly. We talked about it, and while we have been swinging for a while, I know swinging is nothing compared to being poly but we thought it could be the next step for us. I originally thought this would be something we would do together and explore together.
Now, my husband is much more outgoing than I am. He meets people easily and has an ease about him when it comes to dealing with groups of people. We originally thought adding a female and becoming a triad would be where we would start and I was ok with that being a bisexual female. We began meeting people and things were going well at first.
Then he met this girl. At first when he met her he didn't even mention he was attached. They talked for a couple of weeks and then he randomly sprung me on her, which was completely awkward for both of us. She is much younger than both of us. For the first little bit it was ok, not great, but ok. Then we had this night where we were all going out and she had this little freak out in front of me and it just completely turned me off. After that, things got bad.
I expressed to my husband my doubts, but he kept saying it will be ok and pushed the relationship on. Since then its been a constant source of fighting between us. I tell him I hate this on a regular basis but he says he won't give her up because they have feelings for each other. He keeps telling me he loves me and will never leave me, and while I want to believe him sometimes he just seems so unhappy with me and would rather be with her.
I have threatened multiple times to end it for him and he says if I do he will be miserable and I am honestly worried he will leave me. I don't know what to do anymore. The stress of all this is really getting to me. Originally we made a deal that he sees her 3 nights a week and I get 4 nights a week. But every minute he spends with her I resent it. Plus, anytime he has anything else on the go it always takes away from one of my nights, never hers because he claims he sees me more with the daytime hours we spend together.
I don't know what to do anymore. Please someone help me.
First of all, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that that the situation that brought you here is causing you such turmoil, hopefully you can find advice and support here.
I'm going to address several points in your post that raise some flags for me as to where some of the troubles may lie. I realize that relationships are complex and it is hard to convey the whole picture in just a short post.
From what I gather (I have never participated in the swinging community) one of the problems that people run into when making the shift from swinging to poly is that swinging tends to be a fairly "couple-centric" activity...it IS something that couples "do together and explore together" and the assumption is that they will "ease" into poly the same way. It sounds like this was YOUR expectation. (Was it also your husband's expectation? Or did he go along with that idea because it made you more comfortable with the whole poly concept? You don't have to answer, I am just asking.)
Problem is that when the focus shifts from an activity (sex) to a relationship (love) - things get a whole lot more complex and unique. People have individual relationships with individuals - and each one is different. (An example, I have a father-daughter relationship with my Dad. My husband has a FIL-SIL with my Dad. We both have a relationship with my Dad but they are not the SAME relationship. My husband and I can't meld ourselves into one "unit" and be a "daughter" to my Dad together.)
In practice this is very difficult to achieve (as you are experiencing). The most common experience that I see happen here is that if a couple DOES find such a girl it is uncommon that things progress "evenly" in all of the relationships. A Triad is a beautiful thing, when it happens, but it is NOT easy, and is fairly rare (at least in my poly reading). Most successful Triads seem to "just happen" organically, not because people are necessarily "looking for" them.
PS. If you read around here you will run across the term "Unicorn Hunter." This refers to a couple that is looking for a bisexual woman who is equally interested in both members of an established couple (the so-called "Unicorn" - because she is so rare and sought by so many). There is a fair amount of negativity surrounding this phrase so I just wanted to warn you so you don't take it personally.
The "springing her on you" bit is also rude and hopefully something that can be avoided in the future. When we first got together Dude sprung one of his "fuckbuddies" on me - invited her to my house! His reasoning was that two bisexual women who were both interested in him would, OF COURSE, be interested in each other....NOT so. Awkward.
I don't have any great wisdom but I can tell you that NRE wears off eventually (6-18 months depending on the person). He will see that this woman has her own foibles and flaws. The rose-colored glasses will come off. (This happens in mono dating as well - this isn't a poly thing - there is a reason that many people end up dating several people before they form long-term relationships.)
If he chooses to come here for advise there is plenty on dealing with NRE without neglecting existing partners. But for you, should you choose to stick it out, I can only advise patience and actually believing him when he says he loves you and will never leave you (as hard as that may be). You are in a hard place, there are no promises as to outcome, only intentions.
Perhaps you mean that you have threatened to offer him an "ultimatum" of "her or me". In which case, yes, he could, in fact, leave you. If you are not prepared for that possibility you should think long and hard about issuing that ultimatum.
On the other hand, you are certainly within your rights to set your own personal boundaries. If your boundary is "I can't be in a relationship with you under these circumstances - either the circumstances change or I exit the relationship." Then that is the line for you. You get to choose what relationships you engage in under what circumstances, as does he. If those don't match...?
3 nights to your 4 SEEMS like an awful lot - but in the NRE stages people are often driven to spend AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE with their new paramour (so they can't see this as excessive is my point). (PS. I am not one to talk, my Dude has been living with us since before Day 1 - this is not generally recommended but has worked well for us).
My other point is that you, apparently, agreed to the 3/4 split ("we made a deal") and are now finding that you are not OK with it. The fact that "time away" is taken from your time and not hers is almost a moot point (regardless of his arguments) since "every minute he spends with her I resent it". Would this be true if he saw her once a week? once a month? twice a year? Is there ANY amount of time with her that you could (now) see yourself being comfortable with - or is his very involvement with her AT ALL the issue?
(Sorry this got so long, I do that. I wanted to give you some "points to ponder" since I don't have solutions to offer.)
Could refocus him on meeting his obligations in his relationship with YOU instead.
Second? Whether he feels yummy things or yucky things with her? Could let him deal with his emotional management with her.
If he requests a moment of your time and wants nurture/support airing out his other relationship problems? You could choose to say
"Yes I am willing right now" or "No, I am not willing right now to listen to things about your other relationship."
Everyone could hold their own bag.
Are you able to be on your own independent of him? (finances secure, home secure, food secure, etc?) Could make sure you are safe in these areas if he does take off. Then you don't have to worry about it from that angle, and then you don't have to worry.
Do not threaten or demand. Request. "Could you be willing to _____?"
Then observe. Behavior done/not done. Note it. And if he continues to not hold up to his end of the agreements present him not with your feelings. But with HIS behavior done/not done and ask him what his plan is to change his behavior, if any.
Then you can make your next move in YOUR behavior.
Which is either to
I know you hurt, and I am sorry. It's hard to keep a clear head when facing a lot of strong emotion within (inside yourself) and without. (from his corner)
Sun is sun. Rain is rain. Emotion is emotions. Feelings can fly sky high sometimes! Do your best to let it blow on through, and land it back to Earth here. Where you can choose YOUR behavior.
Could see if that attitude/approach of "take action!" serves you any better and gets this thing moving forward again to a healthier space for you.
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