I have read and followed this forum for a while but I decided to join it today for the sake of asking a question.
I met my love online over a year ago now. He is an amazing man and pretty well known in our little community. He has also been married for 23 years to his wife and has children so our relationship is kept very lo key because we live in a small religious community that his wife's whole family lives in and she doesn't want anyone to know the situation.
I have been more than agreeable to her demands because I do love him so much. I can't even hold his hand or be myself with him in public when it's just the two of us unless we are far from home. I can't express myself to him at home unless the kids are in bed or at school and I accept all all those things. When I had my place I would at least get to sleep with him once in a while but now that I am living with him I don't even get that. Right now the only reason I ever get to be alone with him is because we are both unemployed and looking for jobs. Once we start working I will probably get no time to be alone and in love with him and I am even willing to deal with that.
The thing I am having a hard time with tonight is his wedding band. He has not worn a ring since I have known him. I assumed by choice but as it turns out it was just missing. last night his daughter found his wedding band and today he has started wearing it. Then hold wife comes comes in and goes now it's right where it belongs and makes a point of looking right at me and adjusting it a few times with a smug little grin.
I know I am being selfish but I absolutely hate that he's wearing his ring again and she is getting such smug satisfaction out of it. It's like this giant fucking reminder that I will never have that. I know I made my choice and I don't regret it one bit but I'm such a secret, and I spend every night alone. This was kinda my last straw. I want to be with him, I love him more than anything.
I just want to know if I ever get to stop being a second class citizen. Do I ever get to be equal to the woman he freely admits to even my family he does not love.
Being in the closet is not psychologically healthy. It will mess you up over time.
It's also bad and weird that you guys don't have any alone time. Why not? Why wouldn't he create that space, if he really wanted you in his like in a serious way?
But worst of all is just the general lack of respect and love going around. If she was a loving person, she wouldn't treat you with such condescension (seriously, what is with that weird ownership-y, rubbing it in your face thing, wtf is this high school?). If he loved you as much as it seems like you love him, he wouldn't put up with her treating you like that. If you loved yourself as much as you love him, you wouldn't stand for being treated that way.
What I'm trying to say is, this is a bad situation all around. It sucks like hell to leave someone you love, but this is not healthy, and you have choices. It doesn't have to be this way. You'll get over him, I promise.
Some reading on how a situation like yours could actually be done healthily:
I am sorry you are hurting. :(
If measuring against dimensions of wellness?
You seem to have two issues:
Could pick the one you can achieve faster to do first.
Love is not a rock, a thing to have or not. It is a VERB. An action to DO. We keep doing loving behaviors toward the people we care about because there's a continued return on our investment that makes it worthwhile -- usually reciprocity or some other satisfactory exchange.
If the relationship is one-sided, where one gets all the receiving? You run the risk of going bone dry. It appears you are drying up. You are unsatisfied.
So who exactly meets YOUR needs in this picture? Nobody. Not even you. .
You could consider doing loving behavior to you
Could correct your treatment of yourself and see if that also could help you feel better. If you don't want to feel "second class" could stop treating yourself "second class" and could stop keeping yourself/staying in environments that classify you as "second class."
Could consider if you like polyshipping but NOT in a primary-secondary kind of model. and negotiate for change.
Could deal with it one thing at a time. Could fix your environmental wellness first tho. That's seems like the "fastest to fix for biggest immediate return" to me.
GL on the job hunt - hopefully something turns up so you can move forward in other ways.
My 2 cents,
that type of crap can destroy you
And even if it doesn't you might one day wake up and realize you hate the person you had to become in order for it not to destroy you.
Speak up, and tell them how fucked up it is to exhibit those subtle mannerisms, or I guess the most effective way would be to inform them how hurtful it felt to you. The worst types of relationships occur when it's denied and allowed to continue.
There is a chance that their sense of humor is demented, either way if it wasn't malicious they need to know. After that if they don't curb that kind of crap You need to be wise enough to know it is a damaging situation, that is, if that's how you really feel and only you can know that. But I am a firm believer that people who knowingly lie, their ability to recognize truth in reality does get altered. People who knowingly lie are the types of people who live their entire life and after they die they still don't really know who they are, as I see it anyways, you can't really understand the truth of anything if you have no respect for the truth. It's quite possibly THE best way to end up feeling miserable about life.
There are few situations when lying may be necessary (unfortunately most societies are still diseased by hateful enforcement of ludacris traditions) but hopefully not for too much longer and I personally believe that children can handle the truth and it's the adults that cannot.
I hate to break it to you, but children usually inherently know what is going on, and unless you are having sex with the children as an audience, being affectionate towards your partner is healthy. Hugs, smooches, embracing, all that is very much part of a healthy relationship and shouldn't be hidden from children (at least not innocent forms of it) All of bullshit stories about loving more than one person effecting children negatively, are false. Children are damaged by bigots of a community and their behavior of unrecognized and denied hatred, not and never from healthy, age appropriate ways of witnessing love.
Why did you move into his family home? What if a member of the church dropped by early and you were there?
And now that you're living together, you don't get to sleep with him (sex OR sleeping, you mean)?
Move back out! Move to a town 15 miles away. Have dates at restaurants another 5 miles further away so you can act like lovers in public. Demand he gets overnights with you X times a month and get your sexin'! Right now you ARE a second class citizen. It's up to you to stand up and make some changes.
I understand you live in closeminded conservative community... Personally, I live in Massachusetts. I think every gay, genderqueer, transgender and poly person should live in a liberal state! It's hard enough being queer and poly here, I just wouldn't be able to stand being the way I am in a state full of hypocritical bigots.
I can't figure out why people stay in places like that. I figure they have to either BE a conservative hypocritical bigot, or there are a lot more people who ARE queer, eccentric, open-minded in those communities but they are just afraid to admit it because they think they are the only ones.
tl;dr New England, West Coast, pick a place, urban, rural, i guarantee you go there and no one will even NOTICE you.
Moving to another, more tolerant place or even dating in a separate place from where a person lives is one set of solutions. I'm sure they're workable and effective for quite many people.
Nance and I live in a place full of religion, hypocracy, and closed-minded-cookie-cutter monogamy minded people (many of whom have zero sight of ethical anything.) Having been something of a global Nomad on many U.S. Government sponsored adventures, and then being in a civilian occupation that demanded travel, I adapt well. I chose to move here from Hawaii, when I fell in love with her. I made that choice knowing that I/we might experience some scrutiny. I personally don't subscribe to the policy of people outside of my house having much control or influence over the choices made inside my house or the people who live there. I have a life to live and a family to lead. I choose to live my life proudly and fairly colorfully. People will talk. Who gives a shit? Some of our kids will travel the world. Some of them will never leave this town. None of them deserve to be taught that they don't have the right to be whomever they choose and do whatever they like, regardless of their zipcode, IMHO.
The OP's topic was equality within the relationship. As to that, I think a series of rational conversations covering what your needs are is in order. To me, it sounds as though the wife is making something of a last ditch power play in a misguided effort to "show you her place." Remember, when you bring this up that she most likely is doing this from a place of pain in her. I'm not saying she's a victim. I can't know if she is or isn't, from what you've written here, but clearly she is acting out. I'd read up on Nonviolent Communication skills and maybe consider ways of resolving this in the best, most balanced way for the entire family unit rather than just "demanding" to be "equal." I do hope you find a way to feel better about this. Good luck :)
I really recommend a discussion with at least your sweetie if not all three of you. There's no reason to be feeling like a second class citizen. Now, just wearing a ring I don't think should be a problem. DH never takes his off, I had to get him a special wedding ring that doesn't conduct electricity since he works with electronics daily! I know I feel weird if I dont' have something on that finger and the other ring finger since I fiddle with it all the time!
However, we've gone out and he's flirted with women and I see no need to make it KNOWN that he's 'mine'. If he chose to take the ring off when he went out as long as he was honest with people he was pursuing a relationship with, I wouldn't care. If it made his gf uncomfortable I'd be fine with it being off until she was more comfortable with a poly relationship. As long as it wasn't that she wanted to pretend he was single and just her man. That's just silly.
If anything I might get kicked out of a room while he was with a woman for teasing or making awww faces when he got affectionate. He's not huge on PDA so a hand holding is cute to me!
My Spouse and i don't have wedding rings. It doesn't serve a symbolic purpose, they have no personal significance, it's not what our relationship is about. I realize it's important to other people but to me it's one of those things i am relieved to not have to keep track of. Besides, i work in a lab so i'd be taking it off all the time. And i don't wear jewelry anyway. It bothers me.
Sorry i don't have anything to say that will make it all better. You've got bigger issues than whether or not he wears a piece of metal on his body. I don't know how you got yourself into this kind of deal, but it seems to me you can do better.
I made the comment about living in a more liberal state, as well, because even if you prefer being out and proud and supposedly not caring what people think of you, it just stands to reason one can make more friends in a state where it's easier to be alternative, and where the first question people ask you upon meeting is not, what church do you go to?
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