Don't want to play anymore...:((((
I have been in a V relationship for the last 3 years, having known the primary man a year before that online. I divorced my husband of 30 years who was an abusive asshole and had dreams of killing me, left my 4 grown children and moved across the world, from the States to Europe to be with this man....and his wife. I knew what I was getting into. I was raised as a preacher's daughter and spent my ENTIRE life involved in the evangelical Christian church...and although I was somewhat disillusioned by it all, still held the basic tenets. So i KNEW that according to the "Bible Belt " that I came from that what I was doing would be a "sin" and that I would basically be committing adultery...no better than a whore. But I loved him SO much and felt that we were truly meant to be together and he felt the same and the thoughts of living without him were more than I could bear, so I said yes, when he asked me to move in with him and his consenting wife.
He and his wife lead 2 separate lives, only meeting together at suppertime. He spends every moment with me. His wife agreed that she would not have sex with him, after it became a problem for me....and he agreed as well. She has never been sexual. It was almost something she dreaded and was glad to give away. She also agreed to let him sleep with me...all the time. So he is ALWAYS with me. As I said, they have always lead 2 separate lives.
They have a daughter and a set of twins that the husband seldom spends time with. He is not a "kid person" and so other than occasional kisses good night and helping pull out a chair at the table, he hardly ever has any interaction with them. That is the way it has always been. That has not been affected by my being here. Please don't get me wrong. He loves them dearly. He just does not spend much time with them.
The last 3 years have gone on FAIRLY well, with our fair share of working out details, but overall it has gone pretty good. It seems recently that it is not enough for me. I want it ALL. I SO BADLY want to be MRS XXX. I want to have that respect in the community. I have NO idea what to tell people when they ask WHO I am. I am not his wife....am I a girlfriend?...a mistress? I will have NO coverage should he die. SHE will be covered...his kids will be covered, but I have NO doubt that her parents will see to it that I get NOTHING. THEY hate me...his parents hate me. SHE is invited to all the family functions, but I am not. It was fine as long as they did not know WHO I was, but now that they know...I am the pariah. So out of respect for me, he will not go either.
I have no ring...NOTHING to indicate that I am "taken"...and we have agreed that I am. We have agreed that my heart belongs to him ALONE. That it will never belong to another. He says that he will get me a ring...when the time is right. And he is NOT one to lie. So I WANT to believe him, but he NEVER talks about it...we never look at rings. NOTHING.
I live here...in "our" house. But I have NOTHING in it that I can call mine, but our bedroom. There is NO privacy. I feel like I am always being watched or followed. There is CONSTANT noise from the kids and I am sick with a number of ailments and am 20 years older than he is...so it REALLY takes a toll on me.
With me being SO much older, I feel like my time is limited. I am 53...he is 33. He does not understand when I tell him that I feel like the clock is ticking and that if WE are to have ANY life ALONE together that NOW is the time, while I can still get out and do things and go places and clean.
They married for financial reasons, and because they felt like it was the thing to do...but NOT because they were madly in love and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. SHE has told me as much..although I am SURE that they have love and concern for each other...much as I love my best friend.
Any time I talk to him about marrying me all I hear him say is "What about (insert HER name)? What about my kids?
I DO NOT understand how it can be THAT big of a deal to give up something that was NOTHING more that a good financial decision and that she so willingly gives away. He SELDOM even TALKS to his kids. At least this way WE...HE AND I could spend some REAL quality time with them and "raise them" together.
But when I press him on the subject all I hear him say is that things are pretty much as good as they are going to get, that MAYBE at some point in a MYSTICAL time and place that he and I could have a life and that I AGREED to this. I AGREED TO IT! I AGREED TO IT!
Sometimes I feel like he is just waiting for her to get SO tired of the situation that SHE will leave...and then he will not feel like he is to blame...SHE made the decision. But that is NEVER going to happen. She is JUST FINE. She has his name, has his kids, has his house and garden, has the respect of the community and she is as happy as a bug in a rug. She can still do whatever she wants. She has NO commitment to make him happy or take care of him...she takes care of the kids. So that is what I do. She does not have to worry about sex, because that is what I do. So....I take care of him....I have sex with him....I am the one that he communicates with and watches movies with and talks to and sleeps with and cannot stand to be without. What does that sound like to you? A FUCKING WIFE! That is what it sounds like to me. But I am not given that most BASIC of respect because it would be financially hard and "what about my kids?" I guess that my 4 (GROWN) kids...in which I was a VITAL part of their lives...were NO sacrifice at all?????
PLEASE...I am angry right now...and I am sure that you can read that. But I do TRULY like his wife. I DO. I LOVE his kids. I DO. I don't want to hurt ANY of them. But all I can figure out is that *I* can hurt everyday of the rest of my life....or they can hurt. And yes....I am selfish. He has made sure to tell me that.
PLEASE PLEASE....can anyone tell me if there is anyway to work this out? Has anyone ever gone through something similar and made it over to the other side...or hell....ever even HEARD of someone that KNEW someone that did it? I feel SO alone. I feel SO guilty. And I am honestly heartbroken. I feel like I NEED him...I WANT him....It DOES matter to me...and it does not matter that much to her...and she will still be the mother of his children and get child support AND alimony. She will have her family. I have NO ONE. I am ALONE with no one but HIM.
It recently became such an issue that I seriously contemplated leaving and going back to the states. I told him that I could go back, but come visit on occasion. That way, I could be with my kids and grandkids and be a part of their lives. That he and I could STILL talk daily online and keep in touch, see each other once or twice a year and that WHEN that magical, mystical time comes....if it ever does..and we could be together, that then we could try it again. And he said no. That if I left that he wanted NOTHING else to do with me. That it would be too painful and that the pain had to stop and that would be the best way to do it. Just cut off ALL communication with one another. I was devastated.
FINALLY....after LITERALLY hours of crying and screaming and talking...he came to me and told me that when we were married that I was NEVER to talk to him in that manner again (and I WAS truly a bitch) ....that I was WRONG for having pushed this at this time...but...(and then he gave me a plastic ring) and said "Will you marry me?" Of course, I said yes...and we held each other for a while and then went out for a walk and he began to mourn the loss of his current life. When I asked him what was wrong he told me he needed time to mourn...and of course...over the next couple of days it has gone right back to where we were. Who wants to get married under THOSE circumstances? He looked like he was going to a funeral. I could not even TELL anyone I knew that he had asked me to marry him because it was SO FUCKING SAD! There was NOTHING happy about the situation and he told me that if I wanted him to be happy about it then, I should have waited until it was "right"?????????
I came here looking for answers...and after reading for a while, I felt some better and told him that I had found the forum and that I felt some better and after having read through a LOT of info on several places that I felt like it MIGHT be better if we had separate places. That I could have one side of the house and she could have the other and that *I* could cook for him and we could ALL get together on occasions together and still be close enough to see each other daily (kid problem solved) and let each other know what was going on and he and I would have some privacy and I would not feel like someone was standing outside the door listening while we made love. And then he said that if we had separate houses that he would have to stay some here in her house with her...and had I thought about that? I thought that I was doing well by taking the "marriage card" off the table....but I guess not. It seems that if I have my own house, then I have to give up the current amount of time that we spend together. Because as long as I am a "guest" here in HER house, then he and I can be together 24/7 and it is ok. WTF? I am so tired of this. I am SO confused. It is getting to the point that I am asking God to just take my life, because I have fucked this one up royally and CANNOT NO MATTER WHAT I DO, fix it.......I am FUCKED anyway I look....
If anyone has bothered to read this to the end (1). God Bless You (2)....Help?
Lots of sympathy
Hi El...I'm new here as well and this is the first time I've posted, although I've been reading these forums for several months now. (I promise to post an introduction in the appropriate section soon, guys, but know that I think the people on this forum are aces from reading all your intelligent, compassionate posts.)
I just wanted to say my heart goes out to you. Whether or not you are being selfish, I understand how you feel. It doesn't feel good to be in a committed relationship in which you get no respect from your community or your partner's family. Especially since you moved to another country to be with him! It's not like you have your own social circle to support you there. I hope you've found a few friends there that know your situation and care for you.
It sounds to me like your man is making very little attempt to validate or understand your feelings, and is only thinking of the life he's set up for himself. A lot of narrow-minded people criticize poly as being a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too mind of lifestyle, but in this case...I think it applies. He's not giving you the respect or consideration you deserve in this situation. It sounds like he is treating you like a convenient plaything instead of a living, breathing human being with wants and needs. Why can't he see that you need more space, more respect, and more compassionate understanding from him? From what you said, he seems to argue with you on every point you make, denying every reasonable request with selfish questions intended to instill fear and guilt in you. Example:
"I felt like it MIGHT be better if we had separate places. That I could have one side of the house and she could have the other and that *I* could cook for him and we could ALL get together on occasions together and still be close enough to see each other daily (kid problem solved) and let each other know what was going on and he and I would have some privacy and I would not feel like someone was standing outside the door listening while we made love. And then he said that if we had separate houses that he would have to stay some here in her house with her...and had I thought about that? I thought that I was doing well by taking the "marriage card" off the table....but I guess not. It seems that if I have my own house, then I have to give up the current amount of time that we spend together. Because as long as I am a "guest" here in HER house, then he and I can be together 24/7 and it is ok. WTF?"
That's just not fair...you asked for space and privacy, and his response was basically, "Well then you won't get as much of me, and we will suffer." I just don't understand where this man is coming from.
Another thing - I've been in a situation where I moved away from all my friends and family for a relationship, and I know how isolating that can be. It can make you feel and act crazy, and it can intensify your emotions to a point where you can't always handle them well.
If you wanted my advice, I would say you need a break from this man and his family to gain some perspective on how you want YOUR life to proceed. Perhaps a visit to the States for 3-4 weeks to see your kids and let things calm down a bit. Then you can re-evaluate if this situation is really working for you, and if it's worth the huge amount of compromise and sacrifice you've been giving. It's no good to try to sort through these kinds of issues with this much anger, no privacy, and no escape from the situation. A break might do you some good.
That's my two cents. I really hope you find a way to get to a happier place soon!
I'm sorry, I have to disagree with the post so far. It is not disrespectful to explain that if you live in a separate space you can't 'have him' 24/7. First of all, no one should feel as if they own anyone else. That's a big red flag there for me as it is. Honestly the post screams red flags.
You say you knew when you moved there it would be a poly or at least open relationship as he was married. But you asked him to stop having sex with his wife???
Am I mistaken or would you blow a gasket if his wife asked you two to lay off the sex? You can make excuses 'they don't really love each other', 'it's just a marriage of financial convenience', but it's not appropriate. My husband does NOT have veto power over my sex with boyfriend and boyfriend does NOT have veto power over sex with my husband. RED FLAG ONE.
You say he loves his kids but really barely talks to them or does anything with them. He refuses to go to relatives parties or events because they won't include you. Instead of working together, all three of you, it's just more and more pitting one of you against the others. RED FLAG TWO.
You want him, full time. Well, that's not how poly works, I'm sorry. Dividing time is part of having more than one relationship. SO no, it's not rude to say that if you were in another home he'd not see you 24/7. He has a wife! He has kids! Those are responsibilities and relationships he needs to also spend time on. RED FLAG THREE.
You talk of him and you getting married and 'raising' the kids yourselves. Really? You think it's appropriate to cut his wife out of not only his life but his kids so you can have a husband all to yourself and his kids? RED FLAG FOUR.
Read around, there are poly terms in place here. One is called the 'cowgirl'. You've entered a situation that is poly and have decided it doesn't work for you. I'm sorry, I really am, it's a really hard thing. Poly, is a lot of work, and compromise, and balancing of time and energies among your relationships. However, it is NOT appropriate for you to decide that since it's not working FOR YOU, that you need to pull this man away from his family, marry you so you can 'take care of him' (RED FLAG FIVE), and start over. That sounds horribly like the mistress syndrome. You want to stop being the mistress and be the wife. A monogamous wife.
So what happens if he does all this? Leaves his wife, marries you, big white wedding, your taking care of him and his kids, ex sees the kids on weekends, happy little family! Then give it a few years and he falls for someone else (not instead of you but as well as you) and he wants to have another relationship IN ADDITION to yours?
I get that you are upset, horribly and no I don't think, personally, that he's handling things well, but none of you are. Get a meeting with all three of you, STAT. Find out where you all stand, what you all want and how to make it work for you all. Compromises all around. OR, if you want monogamy, the wedding, the ring, the whole white picket fence thing, move on.
Some of us are married and poly, but I am betting, and I'll take odds, that not one of us would veto sex with any of our partners because they other said so! The idea of poly is NOT to have someone on the side that would make a good partner when we are ready to leave the partner we are with now.
well, i mean essentially you 'forced' him to ask you to marry him-to give up and walk out on his wife and kids-that wasn't part of your relationship agreement when you moved to him, was it? I am, frankly, surprised that he agreed. I don't think most people would.
as for understanding his viewpoint...I can't. I was involved for nearly 8 yrs with a married man who swore he loved me, told me i was the only good thing in his unhappy life and that he hoped we would never part ways. That was the last time i heard from him...8 months ago. He and his wife haven't had sex in about 5 years now...she didn't keep up her end of their financial marriage agreement...but whatever she has, he obviously prefers it to what i offer. Your man wants, for whatever reason, to stay with his wife as well.
imho, you are asking your man to re-negotiate your contract after it has been signed, too. you went to him as a poly and now you want him to leave his family and become mono with you. Poly is HARD under the best of circumstances-its nature engenders jealousy and insecurity. It is sharing on the most elemental level-not everyone, including me, can do that.
I don't mean to sound harsh but i think you saw him as your knight in shining armor that would rescue you. well, to an extent, he did...and now you have to pay the price for that. It may be too dear for you. I don't know you and would never presume I know more than what is posted but like Vixtoria said, this isn't a poly attitude you are showing and I doubt youwill find success with this family until you accept the limitations of the situation and learn to work within the framework of this family.
And, no, you probably never will be welcomed by their families...most people don't understand or approve of a poly lifestyle.
reply to livinglight 11
Thank you so much, livinglight 11. I appreciate your response. In all fairness, I AM writing thru emotions...and I know that they have a tendency to color a situation. He really is a wonderful man. He has tried to give me everything I want and to accommodate me at every turn when possible. And she has too. They have BOTH been more than kind. He has bought me a new fridge (for the house of course, but still...the kind I liked) a new car, he took me to Amsterdam....I mean, really...all I have to do is say I wish I had a green unicorn with a pink horn and if there was anyway possible, he would find one and have it special ordered for me. He takes EVERYTHING I say into consideration generally....except for this. And when it comes to this...there is NO swaying him. I have NO friends here, with the exception of the wife. It is a non english speaking country and those that can speak english well enough to communicate with can be hard to find. So yes, it really MAKES me rely TOTALLY on him. I know that is part of the problem. I miss my kids terribly...and my grandkids. But truth be told...they were part of the problem at home...always taking from me...and never giving. So while I DO miss them, I also remember what it is like to be in the center of that hub. That being said, it WAS and IS a great sacrifice for me and I DO wish I could see them more...especially on the Holidays.
When I first came here....it was with the consideration that the two of them would still be sexual...I knew that. And I always figured they were, but after I had been here about a year, he and I had gone to the store and had had a wonderful time together and we came back to unload the car. It was then that I heard them. They did not realize that anything that went on upstairs in a certain room could be heard by all downstairs. I just sat there and cried and cried. I cried literally for days. I thought I was going to die. I did not understand WHY he would do that...leave me downstairs unloading the car after we had just been together talking about OUR life together to go grab her and have sex with her. It was TRULY the most painful thing I have ever endured in my life. After a couple of days of tears, we ALL agreed that although I had come here saying that it was ok, that THAT was off the table now. And there would be no more sex between them. And as I said, I am sure that is not a big deal to her. She has told me that she just does not enjoy sex. So fine....I do.
When I first came here he did not sleep in the bed with me at all. It was an odd situation and we had to move and get a bed for me...and blahblahblah...but finally I told him how painful it was for me that he never slept with me and that I stayed up all night just praying for daylight so that I could be with him again. And so he talked to her and we decided to divide it up equally...and that was better...then I only stayed awake half the time. But then she went on vacation for 3 weeks and I had him all to myself...and I cried and cried, thinking of her coming back and not being able to sleep with him anymore and when she returned, she said that she did not want me to cry and be alone and that it was fine with her if he slept with me all the time. I could not believe it. She is really a much kinder and more well rounded woman than I ever will be I guess.
She REALLY does not ask for much....at all....and so I KNOW he hates to ask more of her and he says that she has been good to him and kind to him and that he does not want to hurt her. I understand that. But does that mean that it is ok for ME to hurt so that she doesn't have to?
I am SOOOOOO confused and feel SOOOO guilty on SOOOOO many levels. I TRULY do not want to hurt her either. She is my only friend here. I DON'T want to leave their kids without a father....:( I don't know what to do. I feel like my only options are to live with it the way that it is and hurt everyday of my life while I continue to lie to my family...or leave him and the life that we have and could have forever behind. NEITHER answer sounds do-able. I feel trapped and condemned anyway I go. There is NO right answer. Any way you look at it, someone is going to get hurt.
To Pollyanna and Vixtoria...
Yes...I KNOW that it is not a poly viewpoint. I understand that. I KNOW that what I am asking for was NOT what we agreed to. I do not know WHAT has happened that has caused me to react this way, but whatever it is, it seems to be getting worse. I realize that perhaps this is NOT the lifestyle for me. i THOUGHT that I could do it....but as time has gone on, it seems to be getting harder...NOT easier.
I don't need to know that what I am talking about is not a poly attitude....or such...i KNOW that. What I need to know is...do you know of anyone or you yourself that has been in a similar situation and has made it work? And if so, how? I don't know HOW to change these attitudes and feelings that I am having. Am I wasting my time here? I am not sure I will ever be able to do it.
He has always told me that he loved me and would never lose me. That IF it ever came down to it, that he would choose to be monogamous with me rather than lose me, but when I finally said "I cannot do this anymore"...then he said the decision was mine. And only after I started to make arrangements to leave, did he "ask me to marry him". I am not sure that I am made of the stuff I need to be made of to continue in a poly relationship. Is there something I can read....something that someone else has done or used to get them through a hard time?
Please understand...I am not criticizing the lifestyle...I just don't know how to live it. I NEED some space and some privacy.
There's lots that I could say about how you start to work on those inner feelings, because it's not something HE needs to fix but you. YOU need to think about why you feel certain ways and get to the root of it. Mono or poly there is something wrong with crying for days because your partner can't sleep with you in your bed every single night.
However, I will answer the questions above. On another list I am on, yes, it has happened. A woman was the 'third'. She came to a man who was married, told her he loved her and that his marriage was not as full of the 'love' that the two shared. That when it came to it, he would choose her, that he loved her and could not lose her. He did leave his wife. He did marry her.
Not six months later she was back on the list all upset because he found another woman to date. He told this new woman that he loved her. That his marriage didn't have the same kind of 'love'. She had now been raising his kids with his wife that he left and their new child together. She was upset, he was choosing the new woman over her. It wasn't fair, she now wanted him to be mono with just her. That did not work. As far as I know, the last we heard from her, she left. Leaving behind the children she had been raising, taking her child with her, and now believing poly to be evil. And/or him to have never been poly at all.
when i met my dh, he was married to someone else. She was NOT poly and was forced into a bad situation. Either accept a somewhat poly lifestyle or lose her husband altogether. He loved me altho he was willing to honor his commitments to her. I mean we didn't plan to fall in love--shit happens.
anyway...i found out real quick that I have trouble sharing. It was hard. We went thru some awful moments. She jealously guarded their time together and I always wanted more. As 'second wife', I always felt like i got slighted. In the end, she actually tried to murder him because if she had to share him, then neither of them was going to live. So, no...that didn't end well.
I have been in the alternative lifestyle with many poly friends for several years. Other than us, I really don't know any one who has left their spouse in favor of the second. Generally speaking, the third usually (at least in my experience) eventually moves on to a more monogamous relationship with one significant other. Again, just my experience.
I doubt you can really expect him not to have relations with his wife, regardless of what they say. They Do have sex and they will feel entitled to continue to have sex and I don't know how you can 'fix' those feelings. It's how you feel and hearts, unfortunately, don't listen to any kind of sense. I wish they did!
I think I would try to tread lightly and try to open communication rather than cry and pout and demand. If you show yourself to be a problem, you may be shown the door. I'm not saying let them walk over you, i'm just saying try diplomacy rather than demanding.
I'm not banging on ya, honey, really I'm not. I have cried for days over men myself...all the while loathing myself for doing it. All my crazy jealousy is why we have a MWM triad and NOT a WMW. I ain't that damn generous or understanding.
Reply to Polyanna
So are the three of you still together? And if so, for how long? awww....I see that you are not...sorry...I did not see the rest of your post. In anycase, TY so much for your kindness and understanding. I really AM just trying to figure it out and see what I CAN and CANNOT live with. All I know, is that it is VERY painful....and I am SO glad you found something that works for you. I wish you the best of luck...and again....thank you.
I think you really need to do some soul searching and figure out why you're feeling the way that you're feeling.
You ask if it's fair for you to hurt to stop her from hurting? As far as I can tell, the wife has made all of the compromises whilst (apart from the initial moving there) you don't seem to have made any.
For example, the situation with them having sex whilst you unloaded the car. Was it insensitive? To leave you doing work and run off to have sex whilst you were in earshot? Yes. Did it mean they should never have sex again? No. You could have come up with a compromise, like 'no sex when I'm in ear shot'. You instead when for an absolute that leaves nothing for the wife to work with.
You seem to have at least tried to compromise with the sleeping together thing, but then needed to have him every night. Leaving no time for the wife. Even if she doesn't like sex, I find it difficult to imagine that she didn't take some comfort in sharing a bed with a comforting, familiar presence. Now that is gone. Completely.
I agree with Vixtoria. I think your problems are stemmed deeper than just poly. I would consider it very unhealthy for someone to stay up all night crying because their partner wasn't with them even in a monogamous relationship.
I live with one of my partners and he doesn't always sleep well, and often he just wants to stay up late playing computer games. Do I enjoy him sleeping next me? Yes. Do I prefer it that way? Yes. Do I lose sleep over it? No.
It is unhealthy in any relationship to not be able to be away from your partner. If possible I would suggest seeing someone about it. I know that's difficult where you with the language barrier, but it's possible (especially as some people are happy to do it via Skype or something similar). I think before you can figure out how to be with him, you probably need to learn how to be with YOURSELF. Learn to function on your own and not need to always be with someone, you never know, if you can learn to do that, the whole situation might seem more amenable to you.
I wish you luck.
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