Don't know what to do (long)
I've lurked here for years now and only just joined up because I really need advice that doesn't come in the form of 'leave him!' just because people don't get how poly works.
Anyway, husband and I have been together for sixteen years and married for twelve and we've always been open to sleeping with others. In 2009, we separated for a while but got back together and, one of the things I asked for then was to be open to the idea of having relationships with others instead of running on our old rule of no emotional connection. Not that I wanted to do it then, it just seemed like a logical step from where we were and have the possibility of exploring it on the table for the future.
So, we got back together and we seemed to be getting stronger and stronger which was great.
Fast forward to last year and things got a bit weird.
Husband finally found someone he liked enough to have a casual encounter with and did so and all was good. I was happy that he'd finally got laid to put it crudely. Then he met someone else in November who I'll call Mary for this.
Suddenly, without consultation, the no emotional connection rule was thrown out because he wanted Mary badly. I wasn't happy with it, but as I'd asked for this sort of thing back in 2009, I could hardly complain and instead, tried to put some boundaries in place such as no sleeping with each other until after Christmas so I could get used to the sudden shift which he agreed to. Two weeks after meeting her, he slept with her while I was out of the county and he couldn't (and still can't) see why that was a problem.
To say I was miffed is an understatement. Coupled with that is the fact that he texted her constantly and three days after Christmas, despite my asking him to keep Christmas for us, he nagged me into agreeing to him staying at hers which he did.
There's a lot more things I could add, but won't, because this will be long enough as it is!
Needless to say, husband started pulling away from me more and more, both physically and emotionally and I was furious because in between all of this, I was trying very hard to form a friendship with Mary to make things easier for all of us.
The fury translated into wild mood swings with husband and he said he refused to discuss our relationship until I'd been to see a shrink about my moods so I went to the doctors for a referral. Once I had that, he said he wouldn't discuss anything to do with our relationship until I'd been formally diagnosed with something because my mood swings weren't normal.
This just made the swings worse and I started keeping a log of what was going on so I could see for myself if I was actually nuts. Things with husband deteriorated further to the point he said I was delusional and so, to get perspective, I posted everything for our friends to see on a social networking site.
It was the wrong way to go, I know that, but I honestly couldn't see any other way to go about getting husband to listen to me and talk to me about how he was being and I was sick of trying to blame it all on NRE.
Anyway, it all blew up and he ran to Mary's house for the night saying he didn't know if he could be with me. I had a total meltdown that night, said stuff I didn't mean and was generally a rotten human. While he was there giving comfort to Mary, she sent me loads of texts telling me she was hurt and that she was done and would only be giving support to husband. I could understand the hurt but also kind of blamed her because when I tried to talk to her about it, she dismissed it as hubby had saying it all felt natural to her with no discussion about boundaries and such.
Husband came back the next day to talk and said he wanted to be married to me and that he loved me and agreed to talk to a neutral third party about the whole mess.
I felt I couldn't trust husband though because of his behaviour and, to my shame, when something still felt off, I snooped on his texts with her. I found that they were still sharing sexting fantasies and saying they loved each other. Now, to me, support doesn't include that kind of things, and I got mad.
Husband dismissed it saying I'd misread it, as I'd misread other things and it didn't mean what I thought it did. So, that's where we're at, a very rocky truce and waiting on the shrinks.
I don't know what yo do any more. He's behaved badly and I have in return and while I want to have a solid marriage and be able to be poly happily, I don't feel able to while he refuses to give Mary up or put the conversations they have on a neutral footing.
I get that she feels something for him, I get he feels something for her but I feel so very unequal and pushed aside that all I seem to be able to do is respond with anger now.
Okay, so I'm new to all this poly stuff but my husband and I have been swingers for some years now and are use to sharing each other with other people.
I am on the flipside of your story, however. I have found a sexual partner that has turned into something more to me. I love him, but I still very much love my husband as well.
Relationships evolve and sometimes old rules don't apply anymore. You yourself have said that you've even broken your own boundaries once upon a time. And from what's going on, it is clear that these rules are not working. Your husband is in love with another woman but he still loves you. I think the withdrawal part has something to do with your responses to this and because of these rules. I also think that is what's going on with the arguments. Maybe it's time to sit down and really focus on the rules and what your needs are from him. Maybe you both can come to an agreement, but I think you have to learn to accept this new love. It's not like he can just turn off these emotions he's feeling. . .
Will he be able to put her on neutral if the dr thinks he should?
It's my understanding that being poly isnt "this is my love and you just suffer with it"... It's sitting down and talking about a speed in which everyone feels comfortable, and the loving partners supporting the one that is having some problems.
You wanted to be open.
He took you up on your offer.
You told him you changed your mind.
He acted on his desires anyway.
You became a crazy rage monster
Now he thinks you are a crazy rage monster
You're going to couples therapy
All I can say is this:
Take responsibility for YOUR actions (not HIS actions)
Decide what it is you actually want out of a relationship
Determine if that picture includes your husband
For me and some others, this kind of approach is not relevant. The speed at which I become involved with someone, alter my worldview, get new hobbies, get a new job, change my sexual orientation, is not anyone's concern but my own. Of course we want to mitigate hurt feelings, discomfort, or inconvenience as much as possible - but not at the sake of letting someone elses feelings dictate how we live our lives.
Of course, any relationship is going to include supporting a partner who is having problems (at least to the degree appropriate) but I make a very clear distinction between "supporting" and "capitulating".
When you discussed removing the no emotions rule in 2009, did you do any discussion about how that would happen, what the parameters and agreements would be for communication and keeping one another in the loop?
If you didn't, then you can't really fault him for not following rules that weren't in place. You can't expect him to be a mind reader and just know how you'd want to handle things if you'd never talked about it before.
Try talking to him in a calm and controlled manner. Outbursts and demands are not an effective method of communication. Show him that you're willing to be reasonable, but that you need him to be reasonable as well.
Ask him if he'd be willing to put his relationship on pause while you and he work out some issues. Give him a set amount of time so he doesn't feel like you're just trying to sidestep the issue permanently.
My opinion probably wont be popular. But how dare you ask him to force your wants and needs on Mary. She has feelings and etc too. So she wants nothing to do with you. You two do not need to be friends just respectful.
I am a hinge. I have two separate and equal relationships with my husband Butch and my boyfriend Murf. I have to worry about BOTH of their feelings, wants and needs. And I am not going to put Murf on the back burner because Butch gets his undies in a twist. Butch would like to be friends with Murf. Murf is really not interested in that. They are friendly and respectful.
Could this "poly hell" article help you articulate to husband what you need from him to feel better about your relationship with him? Maybe if that could help ID problem areas, it could then help point toward calmer conflict resolution ideas?
I could be wrong... but to me it sounds like you could be struggling with the "demotion" paragraphs in the article. Your old agreements changed to include emotional deepening with new partners but didn't sound like it covered how to cope with resulting changes in the shared established relationship.
Maybe you are feeling out on a limb and need to feel connected and reassured by partner? Keep trying to sort it out.
I just want to say this to give you perspective, and I mean it gently.
But what you described-- the way you are acting sounds extremely unpleasant. I would not be able to stay in a relationship with you if you treated me that way.
Between posting things on a social networking site, and snooping in his texts, you have behaved in ways that would be a deal-breaker for me. And on top of that, you can't help but feel anger at him?
FWIW, my husband and I are "open book" about our texts and social media. I don't feel like I'm "snooping" when I look at his texts, because half the time he's right there with me. Same goes in reverse. It's just curiosity, neither one of us has a reason to hide anything from the other. We're married FFS. If we had to hide our texts, I would be far more worried about all the other things we'd be hiding.
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