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-   -   Poly Isn't For Me/Tired of Sharing My Wife (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41997)

Matt 03-05-2013 02:56 PM

Poly Isn't For Me/Tired of Sharing My Wife
 
A little backstory. My wife and I have been together for 13 years and married for 9 of those. We have two children. When we first met, it was just the two of us as we were establishing our friendship before a relationship could begin. Around the same time, she met her now-girlfriend. I was alright with it, since it made her happy. I love our marriage. It's something we've both worked on because we both took our vows seriously.

Fast forward to 2013. I have two issues. Last year, I decided to give this poly thing a try, and her girlfriend became our girlfriend. Thus, the birth of a poly-fidel relationship. Over the past few weeks, I've realized a few things: 1) I'm not cut out for poly by any stretch. I tried it, and I will never do it again. I felt like I was cheating on my wife every time I was with her. I've asked my wife for forgiveness. I don't know if it's normal to feel guilt or to feel that way, but I know that I can't keep the relationship going. I'm ending it. She's falling in love with me, and I don't feel the same. 2) I'll never love another woman the way that I love my wife. She's the only woman that belongs in my heart. That's my reality, and there's no denying it.

Biggest issue at hand: I'm tired of sharing my wife. I've hidden it well due to wanting to keep my wife happy and knowing that she loves her girlfriend. The turning point started when our second child was born last year. Having to share those bonding moments immediately after the birth with her girlfriend bothered me for some reason. I started thinking, "This is the child she and I created from love, but there's a third person in here sharing in our joy." It didn't sit right wit me and secretly rubbed me wrong. She's beginning to feel like a third wheel, and I hate feeling that way. I don't know what to do about these feelings. I don't want to hurt my wife or force her to choose. Divorce is not even in my realm of thoughts. It's not at that level or even close. What's the best way to channel these feelings?

Recently, my wife was on a business trip, and I flew there to surprise her. Initially, I wanted to spend the week alone with her. Low and behold, her girlfriend showed up on the 13th. Well, I had already planned a getaway within the trip, so when her girlfriend showed up, it almost ruined it. My wife didn't say anything, but I think she wanted me to invite her girlfriend. I didn't because I wanted to spend some time alone with her without her being around. Truth be told, I don't feel bad for not inviting her. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to be alone with somebody you love.

I know my relationship with the girlfriend is over and ending as soon as I get back home. I don't want to send an e-mail or break-up with her via Skype. She deserves better than that. I don't know what to do about the feelings regarding her feeling like a third wheel and my desire to no longer "share" my wife. Before anyone says it, yes, I knew my wife was poly in the beginning, but as we all know, people change. What you liked five years ago, may not be what you like today. I think I've just changed. All opinions and advice are welcome and needed. Thanks in advance.

SchrodingersCat 03-05-2013 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt (Post 188435)
Before anyone says it, yes, I knew my wife was poly in the beginning, but as we all know, people change. What you liked five years ago, may not be what you like today. I think I've just changed. All opinions and advice are welcome and needed. Thanks in advance.

.

I'm sorry you're hurting and that things haven't been as smooth as you'd hoped.

If I'm interpreting this right, you're saying that you've changed but your wife is basically the same person you married, at least in regards to being polyamorous. This is not a new thing, it's exactly what you signed up for

In that case, you basically have two options. One is you learn to deal with your feelings. The other is you leave. You've indicated that the second option is off the table, so that means learning to deal with your feelings.

The first step in that is communication. You need your wife's support, and she can only provide that if she knows how you're feeling. But make sure you take responsibility for your feelings and own them as your own. There's a huge difference between "I'm feeling like this ___ and I just wanted to keep you in the loop" and "I'm feeling like this ___ and I want you to change your behaviour so I don't feel like that."

Communicate your needs and how she can help you meet them, without any expectation that she will leave her girlfriend. This is primarily about you and your marriage, not so much about the girlfriend. If you need family-time with your wife and children, tell her so.

It's amazing how effective simply getting them out in the open can be. When you keep them to yourself, they tend to spin around and around in your head. Over-analysis makes them seem much worse than they really are. Voicing them makes them real, and making them real allows them to be dealt with.

Matt 03-05-2013 10:23 PM

Thanks. I've been away for the past week on business, so I've had a lot of time to think, process my thoughts, and figure out what to say to her. For me, it's not over-analyzing. I just needed time to think, and I've done that.

Her girlfriend is always around, and there's part of me that wants to tell her to back the hell up in the nicest way possible. Right now, there are days where I don't even want her at our house. At one point, she was there every single day and spending the night. She was spending 28 out of 31 days at our home. The 3 she didn't spend there were because of working overnight. She doesn't live with us, but if she did, the tension would be thick. The one place you should always feel comfortable is at home, and it would be far from that if she lived there. I think she could sense that her presence wasn't wanted or welcomed, so she has been staying at her apartment.

Let me put it like this, my wife flew here to be with me, and this has been the most peaceful and relaxed week. It has been peaceful because her girlfriend hasn't been around. We've had the time to talk, go on dates, and enjoy it just being the two of us and spending time with our children. Its been cool, and I would love for it to just be the two of us or the four us including our children. I'm not forcing my wants on to my wife. That wouldn't be right of me, since I "signed up" for this. Too bad I can't amend that deal and back out of this deal. There have have been signs--be them subconsciously or intentionally. We were invited to a wedding, and I RSVPed +1, with the +1 being my wife. I excluded her. Maybe I should feel bad about excluding her girlfriend and intentionally wanting her to be left out, but half of me doesn't.

My feelings aren't stemming from the pending demise of my relationship with her girlfriend and the transition back to a Vee. I've been feeling like this for a few months, and I thought the feelings would just subside and balance out. They haven't. They've become clearer, and I now know for sure that I can't continue being with her when I know I'll never be able to love her.

The problem with telling my wife my feelings is she's automatically going to feel torn and like she has to make a choice. That's what I'm trying to avoid. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I don't want her to feel like she has to choose between me and our family or her girlfriend. She already knows about my intentions of transitioning from a triad back to a Vee. She respects my feelings in that aspect. I won't say that I'm miserable. I'm not by any shot, but I'm happier when her girlfriend isn't around like the plague. :(

SchrodingersCat 03-05-2013 10:56 PM

Ah, I think I'm understanding better now.

In that case, my advice is somewhat different. When you started dating your wife, did you agree to one day cohabit with her future other partners? If not, then asking for more quality family time is well within the initial polyamorous relationship agreement.

It doesn't sound so much like you're dealing with jealousy or even having a problem with your wife's polyamory in general... rather that this person is just there too much. So make that known. It's your home and you have every right to arrange it in a way that makes you comfortable. The girlfriend has an apartment, your wife can visit her there.

That doesn't remotely mean you're asking your wife to choose between her family and her girlfriend. Spending time with just her husband and kids in no way precludes spending other time with her girlfriend. You're not even requesting that the girlfriend never come over - just that she not come over all the time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt (Post 188559)
Her girlfriend is always around, and there's part of me that wants to tell her to back the hell up in the nicest way possible. Right now, there are days where I don't even want her at our house. At one point, she was there every single day and spending the night. She was spending 28 out of 31 days at our home.

I can relate. That would drive me bonkers. I'm a solitary introvert and I don't like people in my space. My husband is the first person I've ever been able to spend a consecutive week with, without contemplating ways to dispose of the body. Even then, at the end of his three week annual vacation, I can hardly wait for him to go back to work.

Quote:

The problem with telling my wife my feelings is she's automatically going to feel torn and like she has to make a choice. That's what I'm trying to avoid. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I don't want her to feel like she has to choose between me and our family or her girlfriend. She already knows about my intentions of transitioning from a triad back to a Vee. She respects my feelings in that aspect. I won't say that I'm miserable. I'm not by any shot, but I'm happier when her girlfriend isn't around like the plague. :(
It's nice that you're so caring and compassionate, but sometimes hurting feelings is unavoidable. Your wife sounds understanding - she'll get over it. It's not like you're asking her to break up with her girlfriend... you just want your own home to be your space once in a while. I think everyone will be understanding about that.

SchrodingersCat 03-05-2013 11:00 PM

Further thoughts... possibly the best way to phrase this would be to focus on what you need for your family rather than making it about the girlfriend being there too much.

In other words, you need (e.g.) a couple nights a week and one day on weekends that is designated family-only time. Then it's in no way about the girlfriend or your wife's polyamory, and in every way about your family's needs. Rather than being exclusive of the girlfriend, it's inclusive of your family. Point of view is everything.

SNeacail 03-05-2013 11:11 PM

Please look into counceling and work on the communication skills between the two of you. It's understandable that you would need alone time with your wife and your family. Your feeling overwhelmed and oversaturated and all your relationships are suffering. You NEED to be able to talk about this! Others here have said there are multiple relationships here and each need attention.

You and your wife
You and your wife's g/f (even as just a metamour)
The three of you together
Your wife and her g/f
You as an individual (and each of them as individuals)
Now add in each of the kids, etc

If sounds like the relationship between you and your wife has been overshadowed and neglected by the g/f.

I've been through the "OMG! Why is ___ always here. I want my house and family back. I never get to spend any time with you." Let me tell you, the emotional outburst/cut everything off usually doesn't work all that well:rolleyes:. Specifics work better and sometimes you have to just start with one or two changes and build and adjust from there. It's amazing how just getting one of your needs met (that are currently being neglected) can change your outlook on the situation and toward this other person.

Not sure how old your kids are, but as they get involved in 500 activities, even in a mono relationship, scheduling and communication are key. Set a schedule for a weekly date night between you and your wife. Set 3 days that are just "your family". How many days a week do you NEED your house to be visitor free? I can't handle constant company either, but even worse is coming home to find people in my house after work. I don't like surprises, give me a couple hours warning and I do much better. Do you have other activities you are involved with, that are just for you?

A number of years ago, things got so bad that every time I tried to plan a family vacation, my husband would invite this other family with out even discussing it with me. All of a sudden they were coming with us. I finally got fed up with it and had to preface every vacation planning with "this is just for the 4 of us". He got the clue and now I don't have to make that statement anymore.

Matt 03-06-2013 12:51 AM

Flat out...her constant presence annoys me. Our marriage isn't suffering, but it's to the point that I don't want her around because she's there that much. She has a key and the passcode to the alarm system. She's like the houseguest/unwanted visitor who just won't leave and overstays their welcome. The initial agreement was that she wouldn't move in. That still stands. Our marital home and bed were off-limits as far as living in. That was firm from the moment of proposal on. My wife and her girlfriend agreed. Visiting one's apartment isn't living there. That's what she does. She doesn't even need to pay rent. She might as well move in and help pay the mortgage as much as she's around. Before that happens, I'd move out first.

I hate to be a prick, but I've come close to putting her out. Within seconds of opening the door and asking her to leave right then and there. Rude? Yes, but I've been there. Necessary? It feels like it. At one point she was trying to share our bed. I shut that down. Stay in one of the other four guest bedrooms if you just have to be in the house. Stay out of our bedroom.

It's not registering in her brain that we need alone time. I can't tell if she doesn't care or if it just doesn't matter to her and she just is a habitual boundary crosser. I'm huge on respect. Respect my time with my wife and fall back. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary and the one place where you can feel at home. Not the place you want to avoid.

Our children are young. 3 and 8 months, so it will be awhile before they have football practice, cheerleading, etc. to keep them out of the house and busy. The 8 month old is still being nursed. My wife is the one who insists on being at home every night. I never imposed that on her. It's what she always insisted on, so it's her choice to not spend the night at her girlfriend's apartment. She doesn't want to be away from our kids or break the nighttime routines like reading them stories and getting them ready for bed. That's her thing. I can understand that.

And I am fed up with my wife's polyamory as a result of this, and I'm tired of sharing her. I'm steering clear of that fork in the road that leads to me asking her to choose between me or her. At times, I do want it to just be the two of us in this marriage and not three. I revealed that last night, and she was taken aback and quiet after that. I guess she has to process that, so when she's ready to talk, she'll come to me. There was no way I could express that without making somebody feel bad. That's just what it is, and I needed to get it out and in the open.

The lines of communication are open. We've always been honest with one another. This situation worsened over time. I thought the feelings would go away and that things would smooth out.

My wife and I have date nights, but when we return home...there she is. Buzz kill. It always starts off as 2 and it ends up as 3. You know it's bad when I have to be thousands of miles away from her to be alone with my wife with no interference from her end.

If it continues on this path, I will request that she not enter our home at all. If that means changing the locks and removing her name from the list at the gate, that's just what it may end up having to come to.

GalaGirl 03-06-2013 02:49 AM

Sounds like it could be a time management problem. You are tired of sharing your wife because your time/space management needs are not being met at home? You also don't want to date the GF. You do have her as your metamour.

Could tell her and wife direct --
" I would like to set an appointment time to talk about two things. In general...

1) We tried. Me and the GF do not work as a couple because I find I am monoamorous and my wife is IT for me. You and wife can keep seeing each other, but I am best off in the role of husband to her, and metamour to you. I am sorry the dating experiment came to this outcome but it is what it is. I would like to remain friendly. We could talk about all that more deeply -- changing from a triad back to V smoothly.

2) GF is over X times a week. I need some alone time here with wife. I need time alone with me. Could you both be willing to talk to me about space/calendar/time management issues so everyone can get what they need in terms of time and space? I feel crowded in my home. I need to be free of that feeling.

3) Do you have needs of your own that need addressing? When is a good time for all of us to talk so we remain in healthy relationship in our respective roles?"
Tell each separate and then together. So there's no triangulation and you get an appointment to talk in trio about these issues.

I was nursing for a long time - wife could take the nursing babe WITH HER to her GF's home. I took the nursling wherever I went. It is what it is in that stage of life. That is the price of admission wife could pay to a) keep harmony with you and b) still see the GF and C) meet the baby nursing needs all at once.

The "triad" configuration did not fly, but in a "V" you are still in polyship here. You do not want to divorce, but the polymath balance need to be restored to meet your needs too. So speak up so you have be ok in polyship with your polyship people.

Each mini relationship inside the larger polyship needs to be in balance for the overall thing to feel ok and flying true. Right now you sound like you fly crooked because you had unarticulated needs were going unmet. I am glad you took the bull by the horns and have opened a dialogue. Good for you!

You do not want a divorce. So could give it places to go where you could be ok --

Like she takes the nursling with her. And / or she leaves to see the GF after the kids are post bed/bath/story time.

You all make a calendar to address the polymath needs that are unbalanced right now:
  • Time for you alone
  • Time for you and the kids alone
  • Time for wife and kids alone
  • Time for you and wife alone
  • Time for you and wife and the kids alone
  • Time for wife and GF alone
  • Time for you and wife and GF without kids
  • Time for all together -- you and wife and GF and kids. (This is being overdone, but don't overcompensate and make it ZERO.)

Could take it on the semester approach. We do that here -- "Here's the map for THIS semester." Then people only have to suck up on compromises for that term, knowing that next term things can readjust again to meet changing needs.

Sometimes knowing that helps -- "Alright, just for this term. Next term I can ask for different at the check in time."

Could ask wife and GF what THEIR suggested solutions could be for meeting all the people's needs. Then you all cobble something together from those puzzle pieces that could work and agree to try it for a time and see. Check back in to evaluate after X weeks to see if things are good or still need tweaks. Could hold each other accountable to agreements/promises made.

Hang in there!
Galagirl

BoringGuy 03-06-2013 03:24 AM

Matt, I re-read your posts, and it's not clear to me whether or not you've vocalized these matters surrounding the girlfriend being at your place too much, or have you just kept your mouth shut and hinted and hoped things would get better, all the while the situation growing more and more untenable for you? Because, you say that the "lines of communication are open", but have you USED them? Have you had a conversation about this, and have your wife and her GF agreed but done what they feel like anyway? Please explain it better so I can understand that.

Also, you have made it clear that you do not want to be in a "poly family" with GF. Does your wife accept that, or does she tell you one thing and behave in another way?

It would be very helpful if wife and/or GF came here to give their sides of he story, before people give you too much more advice based on what you say and what they think might be going on in the other people's minds.

BrigidsDaughter 03-06-2013 03:39 AM

It looks like he has said this to his wife, but not to her GF. Perhaps it would help if you were clear about the amount of time you need for her not to be over, it would help her stick to your boundary.


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