Help squashing resentment
Hi all, I lurk a lot and first time posting here.
The Dear Hubby and I have been together for 13 years, married for 11, and poly for about a year and a half.
DH had a real hard time with poly at first, as I hooked up and then started a relationship with a close male friend of mine, C, who has been married just as long as we have and is also poly (along with his lesbian wife). He had asked us to back off from the NRE for a bit, and we did, and we only got to see each other maybe once a month, although we talked online almost every day. We have a group of close friends too, so we did get to keep in close contact. We've been lovers since Jan 2012.
DH was all over the place for the first year, sometimes wanting to join in in a cuckolding kinda way, other times disgusted with the fact that his wife had a lover, and struggling with the fact that he wanted me to be happy, etc. We were patient with him and 12 months later, we all ended up having a nice little threesome, at which point DH really turned a corner and accepted his and mine feelings. Those 12 months were really bad though, as he was kinda Jeckle and Hyde, alternatively punishing and praising me. He had other issues going on at the time, and we knew this so we stayed patient. Suffice to say, however, he was really unfair and really put me though the wringer although he recognizes and regrets that and aims to treat us differently.
Now DH is entering his second relationship. His first one lasted about 4 months, when he realized that he wasn't really attracted to her, she was just a nice person who validated him. This time he found someone on a dating website and I approve of her. They're due to meet up this Friday.
C and I were going along just fine for a year, my feelings deepened into love, and everyone was aware of that, and C's were deep but not quite, which was just fine by everyone as well. This February he met up with an ex girlfriend of his and they engaged in some oral sex, just for her. This was a huge blow to me because I had no idea it was going to happen and really didn't consider our relationship to be "open." He was surprised because he thought I knew that he never really "closed" that relationship. His wife knew the ex was a possibility all along, and C had just forgotten that he never made that clear to me. Prior to that he had agreed to run any possible liaisons by both me and his wife, with the general understanding that we trusted his judgement and would likely approve anyway. With this one, he just didn't think it was necessary because he already thought I knew, but although I was hurt, we took the opportunity to re-work out our rules and boundaries.
Thing is, this blew me away (pun really not intended.) I felt so... betrayed. That he just casually mentioned that he was involved with someone else. I felt that I couldn't trust him to tell me things I needed to know, like this woman was a possibility (which I would have been fine with, I knew both him and his ex when they were dating, we all went to prom together in high school!) He agreed to work on re-gaining my trust again no matter how long it takes - he's really a great guy.
DH helped me work through what I felt was a large betrayal on the part of C, and helped me come down from my anger, so to speak, and deeply understood how I am about just.., not having knowledge.
So now I've asked for daily updates on DH's new relationship, only in that what point are they at, and it's still only a few weeks old. They are pretty much ready to meet in a hotel room after drinks. All fine with me. I asked several times today what general things they were talking about and DH seemed to avoid my question. Come to find out they were exchanging naked pictures. I felt betrayed again, as I asked him several times to let me know of any developments and I felt like he was hiding that from me.
I have personal reasons why just knowing what I could possibly expect is a HUGE deal to me and both men know this. I'm left feeling betrayed and that everyone is really hiding everything from me, and I KNOW this is all my problem, because none of these men are shady or manipulative and both care about me SO much, and would do anything I ask, yet when I ask to be updated on status, they both conveniently "forget."
So I'm left wondering, no, concluding, that it's probably just me. That I just freak out when I don't know everything, and that it's probably hurting both relationships. I resent DH because he gave me such hell throughout this past year even when I told him everything he wanted to know, and now acts all secretive and offended and forgetful when I want information. Not details, but you know, if they go from exchanging first names, to having a flippin' baby together (not okay, by the way,) I'd like to have a little bit of a heads up to know that things were going that way.
Sometimes I wish I could just flip a switch and not care about what either man is doing. I can't help it though, I get real panic attacks when I don't know what's going on. Again, I don't need details, but I need updates. And even with regularly scheduled, daily brief updates, they still leave out what I consider critical information. Both of them take responsibility for the oversight and are willing to work with me, but... I just don't feel like I can still trust them. And I hate that because I love both of them SO much.
Help dealing with my feelings??
I'm sorry you hurt. :(
It's ok to feel shaken up.
Trust in their judgement of choosing partners who are not nutjobs? That remains to be seen over time.
Trust in telling you a heads up? They are willing... but do they know WHAT is "newsworthy" to you? And WHEN do they do the telling? Do you want to be told of sexual behaviors with new people before the fact, right after the fact, never?
Since it seems that they are willing to meet your request to be "updated on the status" but then you end up upset that they don't disclose... You could own some responsibility in moving this forward to a better zone too. Could you TELL them what is "newsworthy" to you that you expect them to disclose?
Could a checklist help you all calibrate that boundary line more specifically?
"All this stuff on THAT side of line -- share or not. Up to you. THIS stuff on THIS side of the line -- I would like a heads up please."
Also could talk about polyhell and dealing with it. New people on the mix rock the boat sometimes unexpectedly as feelings pop up.
Don't expect words of wisdom here since I've had some wine, but I wanted to empathize with you. You sound a lot like me in the "information is important" department. A month ago I found out that my husband had been keeping stuff from me, and then lied about a couple of things. This has made me hypersensitive to being over-aware of what my partners share with me - or leave out. 32 days ago when information was left out that I thought fell under the "important to share" umbrella, I KNEW that it was left out due to oversight, but as of 31 days ago, it's been much harder to remain objective and not ascribe negative motives to ANY of my partners actions that leave information out.
Obviously you should've been told this was in the works as it seems to have been your agreement, but you weren't, and now you have to deal with your feelings. To be surprised by your DH while still reeling about C about the naked pictures well that exacerbates everything, doesn't it? Makes you question your partner choices, scares you, pisses you off and frustrates you. (maybe Im projecting ;) )
I've learned I cant expect things to be specifically disclosed unless I had an agreement otherwise. I mean I'D expect a "primary entanglement" would bring it up to me, cause I talk to them so often, but I've found partners don't always feel the same way about the same things, which is why I brought it up and know my husband doesn't want my partners to have naked pics of me, and wont do it either (and if I find it important to change that understanding, I'll be proactive and tell him I'm going to do it). Maybe it wasn't a part of your courtship with DH and you didn't know that was something he'd do... I'd try to roll with it. Maybe you told DH "Hey I'm feeling really sensitive right now and want to know as much info as possible" while I work through this crisis - maybe he's said yes, maybe he's not directly answered - but I'd stress this point, and hopefully he will sit down with you and answer all your questions, or you can email him with anything you can think of that you feel you "need" to know right now, and he will find it easier to share that way, giving you time to process and respond calmly if you find anything troubling.
I know you're raw and working through this, and your partners aren't exactly making it easy by becoming totally transparent, and I'm guessing it was more tolerable to accept their flaws in the disclosure department before the oral sex episode. I think its smart to remember that you know what he considers to be the important thing - they plan on ending up in a hotel room together. You cannot know every detail of their courtship and flirting even if you ask him 100 questions, but if some things are things you want to know - well then DO ask, just try to understand if he keeps surprising you, that he just doesn't think like you. He told you about the pictures, even though he didn't happily or automatically volunteer it - I'd try to not make too big a deal about it or he might start reacting defensively int he future, which makes information more scarce. I've found that the easiest way to roll with the punches is if something wasn't shared with me and it's really important, to ask if the person will share with me if it happens again in the future with other partners, and accept if they aren't willing to.
I'm going to recommend this book "If the Buddha Dated" for you, it is quite helpful for me in situations like this, with my mind racing with questions and worries.
Thank you both SO much! These resources are great - I wish I had stumbled upon them earlier. Both of you are so right. I considered myself an excellent communicator before, so it's weird that I guess I didn't ask some specific questions that I should have. And need to accept things that they're not willing to share, as long as they don't violate any of my boundaries.
GalaGirl, that list is fantastic! I didn't really consider myself into any BDSM, but going through the checklist, I may now be interested in a few more things. ;)
Annie, thank you! I'm so happy to hear that at least two people empathize. Email tends to work well for both me and DH... and C as well, now that I think about it.
Patience, books and checklists and websites. I have my work cut out for me. Thank you! :D
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