Here we go again...
So, short version of my previous posts: after 8 y of declaring our relationship is "open" but not doing much about it (apart from openly talking about our crushes for other women), my wife's crush showed interest in her and they got together.
C, This other person, is cheating on her wife to do so.
R, my wife, decided she wants this bad enough to ignore the moral aspects.
I am not happy with it, voiced my opinion on the cheating being wrong and having possible disastrous effects on both their lives (it's a work romance, C has kids), but am willing to tolerate this "relationship", as I feel I have very little choice in the matter. I'll take knowing and hating it over being lied to or left for the rush of NRE any day.
We struggled for about a month with the switch from theory to practice, discovered it is way harder than anticipated, and many issues - personal and couple level, were brought up by this (my fucked-up childhood and general mistrust of people, her problems accepting her sexual needs, our difficulties with "switching places" in recent years in our inner-couple power-balance and so on...). We did an OK job communicating about it for the most part, and if nothing else learned that everything gets better once discussed :)
As far as I was concerned, we were testing the waters and trying to figure out what our boundaries were and how much is helpful to know. But R was struggling with (my) pain and (her) guilt and (our) issues, and was looking for a quick-solve, and at one point freaked out she might be losing me and decided to call it quits with C.
This brought on two horrible (!) weeks. At first I tried helping R with her "breakup". But it didn't seem to get better. She kept seeing C and having talks with her at work, texting her, and using her facebook account as a communication channel via songs she posted, likes and so on.
I felt she wasn't at all committed to getting over it, or worse- she was blaming me for the relationship's end, though I never asked her to stop seeing her or stop sleeping with her. What troubled me most was I felt she was never 100% with me, and she kept hurting me by trying to pretend it was all over- losing interest while we were talking because someone texted, obsessing over her facebook and pretending it had nothing to do with wanting to see what C was up to when asked (she later admitted what I knew), and generally giving me very little positive attention. O, and when we had sex it felt like she was "coming to work", only trying to satisfy me, but having no real interest.
In short, it sucked.
So after a big fight over her pinning and longing for C when we were supposed to enjoy our time together on the weekend, and me feeling unwanted and replaceable, we totally stopped talking for 2 days. This was mostly my fault, and I am working on my tendency to "clam-up" when hurt badly, but I will say I found it very hard to talk to R the last few weeks. She would either try to avoid the subject of her still wanting C and hide it from me (mainly to spare my feelings), or resort to a childish "but I wanna!" position which was hard to communicate with. I also found it hard to tell her "if U want it so bad go get it", 1. because I was relived it (and the pain it was causing) was over for now, and 2. because I hate that she's enabling a cheater and risking her career, and I do think ending it was the right choice.
So today we finally talked again. And we both realized R was indeed not committed to the decision she made to give it up. She claims having sex with C once a week helps her get all the NRE "out of her system", and giving up on it while still wanting it badly was driving her crazy. She also admitted she did not spend enough energy on working on our relationship in this difficult time, and promised she wanted to work on it this time around, and was sure she would do better with keeping agreements (e.g no texting when we're on a date). I find it hard to trust that anything will be different, but as stated before- I have some trust issues to work on...
I was clear that I will never truly support a relationship that involves cheating, and would only tolerate it. And also voiced my need to be allowed to feel (and say) it's wrong, or have my own insecurities and issues, without being blamed that I am in some way making/asking her to stop doing what she wants so bad.
So they are going to see each other again. And I hope we handle it better this time around. Any advice or insights?
If it's not all out in the open, eventually it will end in a mess... We (nutbusterx and I) have had the experience of the other person in the V that was cheating and they (nutbusterx and the other end of the V) were co-workers.. It was hard for him to get over, it was hard for him to continue while every day telling her to be honest with her boyfriend, and in the end she finally came clean saying that she had no intention of ever being honest with either men in her life... After the break up (she continued flirting at work) the work environment was strange and took a few weeks to get back to a point where work was normal again...
Speaking from experience, nothing should continue unless and until the other person is honest and not cheating... If this person is being dishonest with someone they love already, what guarantees that she will be honest with your wife?
Thank you Nancyfore. I totally agree with what you've written. I have no doubt this will end in disaster, and I've told my wife that. I also told her I would not trust everything C tells her about her marriage (AKA: we never ever have sex and therefore STD's are not a concern), since an untruthful person is probably untruthful in more than the one relationship. Not to mention the fact that because it's a secret we both have to think twice in terms of who we can discuss it with and how truthful WE can be with some friends (e.g from her work). I feel like I'm being pushed back into the closet. It sucks all around.
Problem is, whenever I bring these concerns up, R gets very mad at me and acts as if I was trying to rain on her parade. Which in a way I am. She says she doesn't give a damn about any of it right now. How can I deal with that? I just wait, hoping the fire will at some point relax somewhat, and for my moral, respectful, honest and kind wife to regain her senses. Anything else in your experience I should be doing?
Reading your story almost makes me shudder, being that i was recently in a situation similar to yours. The main difference being that i was led to believe my partner had the intent to come clean with her primary. I wont ever put myself in a situation like that again. Period. If I cant be loved out in the open, then so be it.
It's going to get sticky on a bunch of levels. You have stated you're already experiencing some hindrance as to who you can be truthful with and HOW truthful you can be.
Are BOTH of you prepared to be outed as cheater's and/or accomplices?
Unfortunately, most of the advice I can give on this pertains to your wife more than you, and we both know you can't control anyone else.
My advice to you- don't tolerate it without raising a fit (if at all). The potential price is too high (C's kids, R's job, your freedom to be Truthful at will) Certainly, you don't own her, but you do have ownership in what you'll agree to participate in. If she wanted to steal someone else's puppy I bet you'd tell her no. That may sound silly and I'll get flamed for it, but it's perspective.
If C was lying to YOU, would R be her accomplice then too? This all reeks of NRE drunkenness impairing judgement. Big hugs.
Quite frankly-if my husband or my boyfriend got a wild hair up their ass and decided to date someone who was cheating after I told them it was an issue for me-I would contact the person being cheated on my self.
I don't have the power or right to control other people's choices, but I won't be dragged in as an accomplice to lying.
Additionally-I would stop having sex with my partner until such time as it was resolved reasonably to my standards-because it's not worth the risk to me that both people are cheaters and potentially sending back STI's in my direction.
Thanks NutBuster and LovingRadiance.
Your comments are really helping me not to feel so alone.
I think I made a mistake the first time around, as I was not clear with myself and my partner on how much the cheating bothered me. When it all started I made an an attempt to add a "no home-wrecking" rule to are previously agreed upon set of rules (it's pretty basic- no lying, not in our house), but R was already drunk with NRE (Love this "expression" NutBuster!) and there was not much of a conversation to be had.
I was later too focused on dealing with the opening up of the relationship- strengthening my poly identity, dealing with my issues, communicating- that I neglected to notice this was NOT poly. This forum (specifically- GalaGirl) helped me a lot with gaining clarity on the matter. So at least now I'm clear. And I won't be pushed into being a happy-go-lucky accomplice. I know I am an accomplice no less, but at the very least I'll go down fighting.
I won't "snitch" to C's wife, as I don't wanna be the cause of any unnecessary pain. I do think they have some responsibility over their own relationship, and it's not like R took the lead in creating this mess. she gave C every chance to back off. Also, not surprisingly, this is not the first time C's cheating... It sucks, but I wouldn't tell on a cheater to anyone. I'd sooner leave R to make her understand how unacceptable this is. Which I am not doing for now, because I feel like nothing is going to stop her at this point. All I can do is give her a hard time, and be patient.
I did have the sense to make R ask about the possibility of STD's before they slept together for the first time. And I appreciated the fact she did (that's not an easy question to ask :o). I don't know how much the answer's really worth, being as she is a liar and I can't imagine a married woman asking her family doctor to test her while she's cheating, but whatever. Asked R not to preform certain sexual acts that are more likely to pass stuff, and am hoping she will have enough self control to respect that.
The STD's card was useful in explaining to R that despite whatever story she and C are telling themselves, I am connected to C's wife by virtue of possibly passing an infection all the way down from the person she might be cheating with (who knows) to me, and the number of liars in between, and what justifications they come up with, won't change that. As well as expressing my concern about being seen as an accomplice when it will all come out.
In the first "wave" R and I had a lot of sex, as a form of communicating all the crazy emotions going on, and because frankly R is really sexy when she's in NRE, and I needed to feel she still wanted me. This time I really don't see myself sleeping with her, as I don't feel safe or close to her while she is acting this way. Couldn't even sleep in the same room, I get mini panic-attacks and sleep in the guest room.
I hope that might hasten the cooling down of all this NRE, because to be honest it is hard for me to see how it will ever cool down when they can only get together once a week and then have an entire week to re-build the fire via texting and secret work glances and so on. It is always going to stay unattainable, and therefore sexy. I just hope missing me a little might help R get over this crazy infatuation faster :(.
Not EVERY chance. Not the chance to feel "broken up with R -ness because of my lying and cheating" feelings to see if that modifies her poor conduct.
Could note this.
You are in a hard space -- dealing with many peeling onion layers and arriving at new awarenesses with each one.
Hang in there.
Oly, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Stay strong.
Re: "It is always going to stay unattainable, and therefore sexy." -- this is sometimes really the only advantage the "outside" partner has over the partner on the homefront. I say this as a former outside partner. But the thing is, unattainability is not an actual trait of R's -- it's not part of her character, it's situational. Whereas the wonderful things that made C love you are part of your character, you developed them, they will always be with you.
If she ever "sobers up", she will see that.
I empathize with the sexual safety thing too. I was once married to a really outrageous cheater (I got so tired, eventually, of all the people ratting him out to me, about so many different women!). But I also had a really awesome family doctor. He was a quiet, older man, the kind of doctor who you'd think would avoid talking about anything sexual with his younger female patients. But after i asked him for a round of STD tests once, he asked a bunch of probing questions and eventually became the one person in my life who pushed me, relentlessly, to get out of my marriage. There was physical abuse, too, and he was the only person who knew about it because he had to treat me for an injury once. But even before that injury, he was relentless in grilling me "are you using condoms with your husband? Are you? Every single time?"
Sometimes I think that the safe-sex stand I took with my ex husband -- because I didn't want to let down that doctor, or have to tell him that I wasn't protecting myself -- was the only real stand I ever took in my crappy marriage. Seems pathetic, now. But it made me feel a little bit strong. So, insisting on protecting yourself in your situation may be just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health.
leelee22, Wow. Your story really moved me. And gave me strength. I am glad to hear you're in a better place now.
As I've updated in a different thread, the safe sex issue is even more important than I initially figured, cause the cheater had admitted to having sex with other people as well, in the time period she is sleeping with my wife.
So for now we are not having sex at all (not just for health safety reasons, mainly due to mental health reasons). We're sort of on a break. And I will probably ask for a clean bill of health before I can feel safe with her again.
I do feel kinda stupid about it sometimes, as the chances for lesbians to contract STDs are relatively slim, but still, I am too fond of my private parts being nice and healthy to mess with this sorta thing :o
Calling someone out on what you perceive as conflicting with a moral axiom is another matter. I always concede that someone can express whatever opinion to me they like whether it is welcome or not. I have, in turn, the right to instruct them to live their own lives, or turn and walk away from them and adjust the nature of our relationship accordingly. Someone should have enough respect for me to keep from speaking at me in ways I find unpleasant - if they don't then clearly we are not going to get along for much longer.
So, you can insist on calling your wife out on enabling a cheater and she (as a fully functional adult) can tell you to shove it, she can take it, or adjust the nature of your relationship accordingly.
The right to speak ones mind is a two way street.
You worry about your career, let your wife handle hers.
You worry about your emotions, let your wife handle hers.
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