I met my leading lady in 1999. She told me she believed in polyamoury. I had questions, and I said I'd try to deal with it as it came. No promises. No guarantees. I needed time. I stuck to that. Never reached acceptance. Only tolerance.
Around this time in 2000, she met Snowflake. I didn't know much about her. I wasn't around her much. I never experienced this compersion stuff you all speak of. I knew who she was. To be blunt, she really wasn't in my thoughts. It wasn't DADT, but the relationships were completely separate, at first.
2002-2008 were fairly normal years. New marriage, work, education, etc. Snowflake wasn't involved in our marital decisions, and there were no specific boundaries broken. I didn't have a problem with her back then. Then again, it wasn't like I knew her on a personal level. She was in her lane. I was in mine. My marriage was half mine then, and what I said actually mattered to the woman I loved.
In 2008, the Mrs. and I decided to start trying for the first child. By March, she was pregnant. This is when the first problems hit. I wanted to bond with my leading lady over the life we had created. It was our first kid. I was going to be a daddy. Excited, nervous, worried, and more in love with her than ever. I was at every doctor's appointment and part of the whole shebang. Snowflake was, too. I didn't like it. It made my wife happy, but I felt like she was just too close for my liking. I sucked it up as long as I could. The day our daughter was born was the day that changed everything. Snowflake was in the delivery room and holding my kid shortly after she was born. It didn't sit right with me. I held my tongue and kept in mind that was a happy time. I wasn't going to let her steal my joy.
A few months went by, and Snowflake wasn't involved that much. Her career didn't permit it. When she did get too close, I let her know that, no disrespect, but we need time to gel as a family. That could've been wrong, but it was what I needed. She backed off and gave us the space. As the kid got older, she became more involved--when she wanted to. I coined it as selective parenting. Choosing to be a dad on M, F, and Sun., if it doesn't interfere with my plans? Nah, I don't believe in that.
Snowflake thinks differently. She thinks being there from time to time is enough. Nah, buddy. Why weren't you around for the hard stuff? She can't blame it on scheduling conflicts. She changed jobs to one that allowed her to have a more normal schedule and more off time. My Mrs. didn't stop her from being involved. My say didn't matter, so I was silent. The kids just weren't her first priority.
Somewhere between 2010 and the start of 2011, my resentment reached a higher than usual level. My Mrs. had given her the a-OK to be mother #2. I found out after. I tried on many occasions and over the course of that year to let her know that I wasn't game or on board.
When the end of 2011/early 2012 rolled around, I was a mad son of a gun. Hearing my kid call Snowflake mum pierced my heart. It didn't sit right with me. She got to be a de facto parent, and she hadn't done shit to prove she was even serious about it. That wasn't cool. My kid was calling her mum, so she had become attached to her. It was too late to stop it then. It infuriated me because this is what I had been trying to stop. I can't count the number of times I pulled my Mrs. to the side and told her what I needed or how this made me feel. It became redundant, but I wasn't going along with her idea of big happy polyamorous family, so why would she want to hear me?
I was forced into sharing my kids with this person because of my lady's decision. Suddenly, I not only had to check with my Mrs. as far as plans, but I had to ask an outside person if she had any plans for the weekend with MY kids. I'm going to call it like it was and still remains. That's some bullshit.
I work hard, and my hours are long as my wife's. When I walk into my house or have free time, I'm devoting most of it to my wife and our kids. With this person having these rights, I couldn't just make plans without checking in. It felt like my plans had to be approved by mothers #1 and #2. If I wanted to take my kid to see Shrek the Musical, do you know I had to ask Snowflake if she had made any plans before I could purchase tickets or make plans? I can't tell you how many times I had to compromise to make accommodations and concessions for makeshift mummy's plans.
Before anyone asks why I didn't fight or rebel against it? I did for years. When I dared to say no, all hell was raised. How many times did I hear she's as much of parent as you are and she loves them? That made me angry. I love them, too, and I wanted to spend time with them without having to get the OK from a non-parent. I was ill every time I heard that. It reached a point when I just got sick of fighting with my wife, backed down, and accepted that I wasn't going to win that war. I buried my feelings because they were being ignored anyway.
My Mrs. was pregnant with our second kid, and in the spring of 2012, she had to have surgery. Snowflake and I became her support system, and I started hanging out with her. I wanted to know why my kid had become attached to this person. What was it about her? She was a decent person, but not what I'd call parent material. Feelings came up. In December, we became a couple. Things were straight until I realised I couldn't do because I'm a one woman kind of guy, and my guilt was stronger than the feelings. I pulled away from her. I let her know what the deal was.
I needed space and time alone with my wife and kids. too. I communicated that in the form of asking her to call before coming by. She complied at first, but whenever my Mrs. was home from her trips, that went out the window. It became a vying for my wife's attention and time situation. Boundaries were stepped over and kicked to the side. I didn't think wanting time alone with my wife and kids was unreasonable. I work with Snowflake, so I was seeing her various times throughout an 8 or 10 hour day, and then I'd be seeing her again after work, for dinner, and then sometimes the following morning if she stayed the night. Can I live and breathe without you being a constant presence? That's all I asked for, and I couldn't get that.
She was around too much. Too involved in our marriage, too. I felt suffocated. I found out some things that didn't sit well with me. She had veto power. So not only did she have as many rights as me or my wife, she had the power of veto. "What the fuck" was the first thought that hit me. That was news to me. I found out what she didn't want to move and that she and my Mrs. were making other plans without asking me how I felt. My kids and I had lost the right to say anything regarding their futures? That cut deeper than a knife.
I have been there every single day and every step of the way. Even when I was gone for that two week period, I talked to my kids every day multiple times a day. I video chatted with them, too, so they could see me. I was mad at their mother, but I still kept in constant communication with them. My kid thought I was just gone on a trip for work. When I came home, her only question was if I had brought her anything? Nothing else to wonder about because she had been talking to me, telling me all about her days, telling me about her play dates, telling me about ballet practise, and telling me about everything that was important to her. Yet, I had lost the right to have any say with my kids.
I stopped feeling like the biological parent, and I began to feel like the third pseudo parent, and it hurts to feel that way. I'm not willing to accept Snowflake as a parent. She bowed out from being a parent because she was upset with me. So what? I don't like her, and I still tried to let my kids have a relationship with her until I found out about her removing herself from my kids lives. My Mrs. didn't tell me that immediately. I found out in counselling, which is when I cut off all access. You don't get to hurt my kids and prance back in like nothing. Who died and made her queen of anything?
I've told my wife this, and I believe it. She's too forgiving. This person you love so much hurt your kids, and you just let her come back with no questions asked? I had to be psychoanalysed by a shrink and told that I'm emotionally abusing my kids by refusing to let them be around her, and she lets her get off with a slap on the wrist? Let's delve into this and see how much damage she caused my kids when she was mad at me. She left freely, didn't answer calls, and let me and my wife to have to answer questions about why she had bailed on them. That's not cool, and no shrink in the world is going to make me accept that.
Being in a relationship with my lady, being friends with her, or loving my kids doesn't mean she should've been granted that kind of say. The nanny loves them like her own, but I don't see my kids running behind her calling her mummy. It takes a hell of a lot more to make a parent than a title.
I felt undermined as a parent. I felt more like a sperm donor who had given a lesbian couple the children the always wanted than a father, so I suggested divorce. I consulted with lawyers. We had prenuptial and current post-nuptial agreements in place. The divorce would've been settled with no arguments from either side. Custody of our children? Nah. That would've been a contentious battle. We wanted two different things.
Some say my offer of divorce was a threat. It honestly wasn't. When you feel like you don't matter to someone and that they view you as expendable, why stay? I was hurting and the only one who didn't want to be part of a polyamoury arrangement any longer, so it made sense for me to leave and let her have the life she wanted.
I accept responsibility for what I did wrong, and I'm getting better. My stance on this is unwavering.
I actually agree with you. From what I've read on your wife's thread and yours, I don't see Si as a parent in any way, shape or form. I'm sure she cares about your children. But in my opinion, when she was angry and hurt and didn't make any attempt to check on them in any way, that spoke volumes. And I suspect if your wife makes the choice to sever ties with her, you won't have to worry about telling Si she can't see the kids. I don't think she'll bother. Just my opinion.
I didn't address the state of our marriage. We have good days and bad days. We have misunderstandings. She's slipping back into some of her old habits of not listening to me, but I say something when I see it. It's usually met with resistance, but we talk about it. It's tough.
I came back from my holiday with the intent of trying to work with my lady and her ex. I don't know why I expected things to be different. I don't know why I'd put myself through any of it again. I listened to people who kept telling me that it wouldn't be right for me to make my wife choose. I listened to people who reminded me that I signed up for this and knew what I was getting into. I listened when people said that I was the one who didn't want to be part of it, so I needed to leave. I chose to try again and negotiate my needs. Back to the same old habits of making concessions and accommodations for her relationship once again? That seemed more like the outcome. I think I was being unfair and letting my feelings get in the way before I left. It's not my place to tell my Mrs. who to love or how to conduct her life. I've apologised for that. Not entirely sure I should have but yeah, I did.
My Mrs. ended her relationship, and it wasn't what I expected. It's a shock to go from three to two. I don't want to get used to it being two of us because at any minute she may change the playbook. I'm already not that comfortable due to the lack of trust, but it's been hard to adjust to it being two of us. I chose to sleep apart for the first few weeks. Not every night but a couple of nights a week. I don't want to get my hopes up that it will stay like this forever. I don't want to get used to waking up and seeing her in the morning. I can't expect my Mrs. to deny who she is for me. I find myself wondering how happy is she really going to be in this dynamic?
I'm sure people want to know why I changed positions in regards to my kids. A few weeks ago, I realised how big a of prick I was being after talking to my kid. She missed Snowflake and spoke highly of her. I put my feelings to the side and agreed to let them continue a relationship. Snowflake and I talked briefly. Long enough for some apologies to be issued. I realised what my kid wanted was more important than what I was feeling, so I went along with it.
My Mrs. said that Snowflake had been distant. I blamed my actions and treatment of her for that. I took responsibility and realised that I had been very mean to her. I even apologised for how I handled the situation. I told her she wasn't part of the family and didn't matter. Who'd want to be around after being told that? My Mrs. didn't offer up details like my kids had been calling her and the calls were never returned. She presented it like she was probably just busy. She didn't explain that contact was initiated by her every day. When I found that out, my whole demeanor and stance changed.
It became a problem when I found out everything that happened during the time I was gone. All the details came up and out in a session. How my Mrs. invited her to join them on outings, for lunch, dinner, ballet practise, recitals, and Snowflake ignored calls, text messages, and didn't bother to talk to them at all. I was fuming. I was upset with my wife for withholding info. We're in therapy to repair the trust, and she chooses to withhold info about my kids being hurt? Then, she expected me to be OK with them continuing a relationship after that discovery was made? I took the hard stance of not letting her ex be around at all. The Mrs. tried to talk me out of it. Urging me to consider how much it would hurt her and yada yada yada. What about how she hurt our kids?
The problem is my Mrs. continued to go against my one demand after all was revealed. I was wholeheartedly against it, and she knew it. Nothing in me could support it, and what happened this past weekend? Snowflake saw one kid on Saturday and the other on Sunday. It sent me right back to that place of feeling like I still wasn't being heard. I stayed away from her and stayed quiet because I knew I'd want to argue with her. I can't go for being disrespected. When I was ready to talk, I let her know.
That's how I got to where I am today. I didn't just wake up and decide to "alienate" her for my own self-serving purposes.
Just a few thoughts:
I'm glad you are learning to speak up when things are going askew. It happens, bad habits return by all involved. Remember, don't assume anything - don't assume that asking for someone to call before they come over automatically translates into "I need more time with my family" - guaranteed, it won't. Say what you mean and be direct. Also don't assume that everyone will remember to what was agreed upon. Reminders will be necessary for all, it's easy to slip back into old habits and that doesn't make a them a bad person or even mean they are doing it intentionally. If you have certain expectations that you think should be universal, don't assume your wife or anyone else sees it the same way. If you have certain expectations, spell it out then ask them to explain it back to you so you know your on the same page (surprise, she did not hear what you thought you said). This was a huge problem within my own marriage that we are still working on.
Your anger over not being told of Si's actions toward your kids while you were away is understandable. However, none of you have been in such a situation before, anger, hurt and resentments were running high on all sides, she screwed up. We all FUCK up when emotional and then later wish we could undo things we did, said or didn't do. I do think the hard line about not allowing her to make amends with the kids is premature at this time. Now this is not saying the 3 of you shouldn't sit down and discuss it, and draw up some boundaries and specifics about what is acceptable and what's not. Again remember, your wife "shielding you" from of Si's behavior is a old habit, bad habits are hard to break and it does take time. That you addressed what you saw as a problem immediately is good.
Did Si or your wife tell your daughter to call Si mum, or was it unconscious on you daughter's part? If it was an unconscious thing, let it go right now. There were 3 other women, my youngest would unconsciously call mom, both grandmothers and my husbands best friend. If he was around them for a few hours, he would just start calling them mom. At first I was hurt when he did it to husband BFF, until I realized that he also did it to the grandmothers too. Then he would start calling me or even BFF grandma, if he had been around either of the grandmothers for a few hours. Now it's just a big joke.
It sounds more like Si had the role of Godmother, Aunt, close personal friend who loves the kids, etc. It might be helpful to just drop the label.
Looking back, there are many things that I would change about how things happened during/after the birth of my kids if I could. Having my in-laws stay with us for a month afterwards - BAD IDEA! While #2 was better, I would still have liked to do some things drastically differently for my own peace of mind (now #3 is no longer an option). Sometimes, it's just not possible to know how you will view a situation until after the fact.
Yeah, mistakes were made by all. We're human and subject to fuck-ups.
I spelled out many things. I don't know how many ways. "I need time alone with my wife," can be taken. That couldn't have been more clear. Hints didn't work, so I spelled out exactly what I needed. That's why I kept saying I have been communicating and letting my needs be known.
The problem I have is I asked is there anything I need to know that might change my decision about letting this relationship continue? She said no. I already don't trust my wife much. I didn't feel comfortable with that answer, so I pushed the issue in one of the next sessions. If I hadn't done that, I probably would've never heard about any of it. Lies of omission and partial disclosure aren't going to make my trust in her go up at all. It wasn't an oversight on her part. She knew what the answer would've been if I had had that info when making a decision. By her choosing to withhold information, I wasn't able to make an accurate assessment based on all the facts.
As far as my kid, I don't think that was an unconscious move. If it was, it would stand to reason that she'd do it with any female acquaintances of ours, my mates wives, and even the nanny. I can't shake the feeling of coercion or a planted idea. I don't know if that's my lack of trust that's making me question everything, but that feeling won't leave me. She's been around some of these people all of her life, and I've never heard her call anyone else mum. That's why it bothered me at first, and the fact that she's continuing a few years later hasn't helped.
I've dropped the title, and I still don't want her around. Aunt, special friend, godmother, aspiring mother of the year, or however it is titled, I see no purpose that she serves. Could my feelings be in the way? Presumably. Tensions are still high. Volatility is still soaring. I've agreed to talk to her, but my stance on this isn't going to change. We can talk about everything but my kids. That could be the wrong approach especially if they end up back together.
When my little girl (that I am nanny to) calls me Mommy or Daddy, we both giggle and she corrects herself. If I and her parents had *reinforced* it, I'd be another "Mommy" to her. But of course, it is corrected. There doesn't need to be coercion involved! That sounds so sinister.
Your feelings are in the way, and you are using your children, who love Si, as pawns in your game of power chess with your wife and your former lover. That is just all kinds of wrong.
Trust is not re-built overnight, expect it to take years. This also goes both ways. You have to prove that you won't go ballistic and make unreasonable demands when she does tell you everything. This is something I am extremely familiar with. I hate playing 20 questions and feeling like I have to trick the truth out of someone. It leaves such a horrible feeling in my gut and brings back such super strong (sometimes overly so for the situation) emotions that it causes problems. I've learned to just explain what each "lie" did to me and what memories and emotions it brought back, knowing that, he has been less inclined to hide stuff. This is a bad habit that has to be acknowledged and will take work (by both of you) to unlearn. It's likely a habit that was developed in childhood.
all of your (and your wife's) threads just make me so sad.
you married a woman who was in love with someone else. You knew, but you managed to delude yourself that these relations were separate - but when your wife had a baby, a major event in her life that she wanted to share with BOTH people she loved, this was no longer possible.
downhill from there.
I just don't think you all see the magnitude of the mistakes you made. you keep saying ' yeah we made mistakes we're human after all?' but you don't really want to face the consequences of the fact that you all lied to yourselves and to each other. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but I've been reading all your threads from the beginning and this is what I see.
And even in all the turmoil, there is no willingness to really look at yourselves and see what went down. Because if you really did? you would not be posting here. You would be talking to each other.
You call Si an outside person. She was not an outside person. She was your wife's OTHER PARTNER. They were together almost as long as the 2 of you.
and no one seems to address the fact that you became sexually involved with a woman you resented being part of your life. 'Feelings came up'? what feelings? lust, love?
I just don't understand any of this, at all.
I wouldn't have went ballistic. I never have. I don't start off upset. People make me mad. People disrespect me, and I feel inclined to dismiss them or put them out of my house just like I did when the royal Snowflake and I had that argument. You can't respect me? You don't need to be around me. There's the door, and get the hell out. That's the real reason why she has been banned from our home.
No doubt I would've been upset. I have minimal tolerance now, so my response likely would've been the same. Reasonable? The odds aren't in favour of that. I'm missing empathy for Snowflake, so her feelings are irrelevant to me at this time. If I had taken another approach, it would've been for my kids. I tried it once, and that wasn't even a strong enough force.
I don't see the whole argument that I'm using my kids. I'm not using them to hurt her. She doesn't exactly cross my mind. Just like the old days. It's not a power struggle. They're not pawns in any game. I have just as much say as my wife does. When someone can prove that I'm harming my kids, I might reconsider. I don't mean some trumped up shrink telling me that what I am doing is wrong and will come back as soon as my kids are old enough to understand what it is that I'm doing "wrong."
Serious question. What should I do with my feelings?
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