Our anniversary is coming up this Friday. And we are not getting there in a good place. It's our first (together 8, married just last year), so it's all kinds of symbolic- the wedding cake is still in our freezer, all that. We toke time off from work months in advance, were planning a vacation. Now all I wanna do is stay in MY bed (she's been banished to sleep in the guest room a week ago) and cry all day.
My wife has been having a relationship I don't condone (wish I could link to older posts but I don't know how). With someone who is cheating on her wife. After posting and receiving much support here (thanx all!) I put my foot down and said "this is not ethical poly-shipping and I can't handle it". But I also gave my wife time to figure this out, created a sort of "safety net" for ourselves by promising we will not end the relationship (aka move out, tell friends & family we're separated and so on) until the end of the month.
And right now that promise is the only thing keeping me here. She broke my heart the other day.
We had agreed that for our upcoming anniversary we will not buy presents, but will instead make each other playlists of music. A sort of "mix-tape"... I was imagining how this would become a tradition, all the playlists we would give each other over the years.
Then she tells me she wants to give this cheater she is seeing a birthday present. What's the present? A disc she would compile with songs. I was so hurt. She wants to give this person, who in the month+ they have been "together" lied to her, cheated on her, exposed her (and me!) to possible STD's by being a lying bastard, and made her risk her marriage for that treatment, the same gift she is giving me for our anniversary??? :mad: (and to make it worst she says "No, it's not the same gift! you get a playlist and she gets a disc!". People on the NRE drug are so terribly stupid!).
It made me feel like we were of the same importance to her. And I am convinced that this person she is sleeping with is nothing but a player, who lied to my trusting wife and manipulated her to get into her pants. She just doesn't see it yet. She's been with me since the age of 20, she has no experience with this kind of behavior, so she is easy to fool.
But it is just too much for me. I held her hand through the death of both her parents. I helped her pull herself by the bootstraps to achieve higher education despite financial circumstances. I pulled her out of bed screaming and kicking and made sure she continued going to school when she was in grief and wanted to through it all away. For 8 years I was there for her, for better or worse. I never lied to her. I also never wanted the need to lie to push us apart, or to limit her freedom, so I wanted our relationship to be open.
But how can I have a poly relationship with someone who can't tell the difference between love and sex? How can I be in an open relationship with someone who can't distinguish an honest, loving partner and a lying, cheating, manipulating player?
She broke it off with the cheater after that, or so she says (we've been here before...) But even if it's really over it doesn't change how I feel. The problem was never that she was sleeping with someone else. I have zero jealousy of the possessiveness kind. The problem was she got so carried away in this infatuation that she made me feel like our relationship held no significance for her. Like the only reason she's not leaving me for this other person is that I am age-appropriate and socially acceptable as her mate.
I'm just so sad. I feel like I lost to NRE and the "you can only love one person at a time" model. Am I being unreasonable? I feel like a "bad" poly to be taking this so hard. But this is how I feel now. I look at her and I either wanna cry, slap her or vomit. So I just walk away. I can't talk to her anymore. How can I celebrate an anniversary with someone who has made me feel so unappreciated? If we manage to stay together, how will this not become something I will always carry with me, to every anniversary we have?
I don't know how we can come back from this and rebuild our trust and closeness. :(:(:(
first let me send you a big hug.
Your feelings are what they are and are neither 'right or wrong'. They are yours. I, too, would feel some of the same that you are.
I'm sure others will have better advice than mine but I think maybe you have to try to let it go just a little bit. I think infatuation usually runs its course and, believe me, sneaking around with a married person gets old quick. You always want more than they can give.
Do you have a trusted person you can both sit down and talk with-like a marriage counselor sort of person? Sometimes that third party can defuse and make effective communication much easier.
Thank you for the hug.
She (wife) has a therapist we could probably sit with. I don't think we need one, though. We do a fairly good job with the communication front, and I feel a counselor is usually more about helping with that skill then anything else.
Right now I just don't feel like communicating at all. I just wanna keep my distance until I get over this "wanting to cry whenever I see her" feeling. So taking a break from communicating. Time to cool of, I guess.
It is just that the timing sucks. I'm pretty sure I won't feel much different by Friday. And as our anniversary comes closer and it gets clear to my wife we won't be celebrating it together I anticipate she will get very upset.
Thank you for validating my feelings, anyway. It helps a lot just to write here.
I also want to send hugs but I am not too sure if you should let the whole present thing go, it is incredibly selfish. I am SO sorry you are going through that and no it is not the worst thing in the world but I would still expect an apology for it.
I'm sorry you are hurting. :(
The month isn't over, she broke up with the cheater. Pray it sticks and she starts coming back to Earth.
That said? Even if her lover had NOT BEEN a cheater person? That doesn't mean you wouldn't have gone through some of the poly hell feelings.
It is that in your case -- you get to have a double whammy. The "poly hell" feelings of change and transition PLUS cheater UGH side helpings magnifying it even bigger. :(
I see you are disappointed that the anniversary celebration you planned doesn't seem likely.
Could remember and keep in mind that your union is not about "remember the wedding day" -- it is about the union and recommitting to the union. Or at least it is in my book. Marriages have to be TENDED.
So skipping anniv. celebratory things like eating frozen cake or gifts to do the work to resecure the union? That takes priority and is more helpful to the endurance of the union than any mixed tape could ever be.
Could reconsider therapist appointment. You may feel tired, and you may feel blah, and you may feel grief and sadness. But making an appointment demonstrates your willingness to keep trying to resecure the union even through your pain. Then chill til appointment time rolls around.
You guys Opened without having all your communication business sorted out well. You could consider this is a second chance for all -- not just to heal from this, but to make a BETTER plan if you ever decide to try to Open again in future.
If you no longer want to be in the marriage, that is fine, and your right.
But if you do still want to be in it... BE IN IT.
There's no halfsies in marriage. You are either doing behavior that is moving toward your spouse or doing behavior that is moving away from your spouse. Feel whatever it is -- cry if you want to along the way. But emotions are just emotion. Sun is sun, rain is rain. Internal weather blowing on through here is just internal weather.
Don't not do correct behavior because of yucky weather. Get an umbrella and get on with the business of the day.
Could figure out what "correct behavior" for you today is. Could choose what behavior you want to be doing at this juncture, TODAY. Behavior that moves toward your spouse or away from your spouse?
Hang in there.
So sorry Oly.. Big huge hugs....
It was terribly selfish of her to consider giving the same gift to her cheater girlfriend, that you two had agreed to give to one another... Make sure your "cooling off" communication period isn't too long. It's easy to let the anger simmer and the resentment and hurt continue and get bigger and bigger.
Thank you all for responding.
I am feeling a little better, and making an effort to communicate in spite of the emotional storm. I don't want my marriage to be over, I just want to know my wife is as committed as I am to making it work.
In the meantime, she has finally read what I have posted and what others wrote in reply here over the last month (after I was encouraging her to do so for weeks), which I think is helping her to come off the NRE cloud a little and understand how things were experienced on my end.
Hope it all works out.
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