Is it too late?
I am new to this situation and I need some advice.
I was raised in a very old fashioned home. I have tried my whole married life to make my husband happy. I have also always been very adventurous sexually.
About a year and a half ago my husband approached me with the suggestion that we invite a friend of ours to join us for sex. I was very excited about the idea and agreed. The experience was wonderful and I enjoyed it.
This friend was getting out of another relationship and trying to finish college. She needed a place to stay and so we invited her to stay at our house for as long as she needed.
At first it was wonderful. We hardly came out of the bedroom. One day I passed the computer and found an IM that they had been talking on. I know I shouldn't have snooped but I was curious. He told her how much he loved her and how happy he was to have her in his life now. I felt sick. It was one thing to be having fun in the bedroom but a whole different thing for him to be in love with her.
All the insecurities I have felt my entire life came bubbling to the surface. Why wasn't I good enough for him? What did I do wrong?
I made the mistake of agreeing to things that made me unhappy just because I thought they would make him happy. Then when it would happen I would have a meltdown and freak out on him.
I am jealous of the time they spent together. I compare everything he does for her to what he's done for me. It's awful, I feel so inadequate.
My husband has tried to be honest right from the beginning. He told me that he would never have a sexual relationship with someone he didn't have feelings for. He tried to go slow. He tried to get me to talk. I hid my feelings until I was at the freak out point.
The thing is, I love them both. I want this to work and for everyone to be happy. I just don't know how to get past my own self doubts.
I don't want it to be too late to save either relationship. My husband doesn't know what to do with me anymore. He doesn't trust my new look at things because of my past actions. He has stopped being loving and close to me.
I would love your advice. Thanks for listening.
I dont think it is. I think that you need to sit them both down and have a frank and Open conversation about everything. Communication is the key.
I really hope that you can talk to them both and Let them see how you are feeling. You might be surprised how it goes.
It is hard going from the cultural frame of reference you grew up with into a new perspective. There is no reason it can not work out. Everyone should be able to be happy in the end since there is a lot of love to go around.
It sounds like a big part of it is dealing with your feelings of jealousy. That is one of the most common topics in polyamory. I have heard lots about it and everyone feels it differently. The main concept is that we don't try to stop feeling jealousy. It is a feeling that is telling us a lot more what is going on. In your case, you compare what he does for her and compare it wo what he does for you. So it is showing that you are feeling a little insecure in your relationship.
If you treat jealousy as a symptom, then the goal is to deal with the insecurity and the jealousy should diminish. You can do this by asking him why he wants to be with you. How he feels about her does not make him love you any less.
Polyamory is not a game in which one person wins the other person away from an established relationship. If the established relationship fails, it is because the people don't want to be together anymore.
Sunshinegrl is right in that communication is the key. If you talk about how you are feeling, you won't reach the breaking point. Keep the lines of ommunication open. Be willing to say that you are feeling a little needy and want some extra loving time. Let the other woman know how you feel and what you want.
Just remember that because he loves you, he doesn't love her any less. It is analogous to a parent having more than one child. They don't love the first child any less for having another.
It's never too late...until you give up on yourself.
Quath and Sunshinegrl seem to have covered off most of it...communication...some frank, honest discussion between all parties is what's needed.
Some things you might try to keep in mind...old fashioned or not, marriage & relationships in general are a two way street. Doing things to keep your spouse happy is fine and dandy, but there has to be some reciprocation, and occasionally you need to make sure your needs are being met too.
It sounds like you have an awesome thing going on...something you could all enjoy...did enjoy, and could again. You also have the self awareness to have started identifying the reasons that you've been reacting the way you have. If you can discover the root causes, then as a couple, or group, you should be able to find a solution. It sounds like everything else you need is already there...including the desire to keep everyone together.
Since you asked for advice I will offer this ...as Quath said...treat jealousy as a symptom...and dig down deep for the root of the insecurities. While you are doing so...try to stop yourself from making comparisons. I generally find it to be a waste of time and a distraction from finding the root. You'll need to stop hiding your feelings...open up and be honest about them...both to your husband, your lover...and most importantly to yourself!
I'm curious...do you have a relationship with the friend yourself?...distinct from that you have with her through your husband?
As for your husband being withdrawn...I would suspect he'd be a little gun shy at this point. The cycle of holding back and smiling followed by 'freaking out' does nothing to build the trust you need in each other. There's ways of discussing things that don't need to involve tears and heartache...The Ethical Slut is an oft recommended book, and does speak to several techniques, but any book on communication, particulary on contentious issues would provide the tools you can use should you not possess them already.
I sincerly hope you are able to resolve these things for yourself. It sounds like you're only a short step away from something awesome. In reading about Sunshinegrl et al., and Redpepper's relationships and the little victories they enjoy, the rewards of resolving your self doubts will be well worth the effort.
What they said. I'm rooting for you!
You were saying something about constantly comparing what he does for you vs what he does for her. What you might want to do is to sit down and think about specifically what needs you need to have met. If your needs are being met you're likely to feel more loved and secure and therefore less likely to have the need to compare "me vs her".
It helps to be able to ask for what you need before the heat of the moment. For example one of my needs is that I need to feel like I'm special for being me and not just to feel like a housekeeper/child raiser. To achieve this we spend an hour a night together (when we are both home and don't have visitors over) without the TV or computers on just to talk about our days or whatever else there is to talk about. This helps me to feel connected to my husband and I worry much less about the time he spends with others (I don't feel like I'm at risk of being replaced). Everyone's needs are different and it's important to figure out why you feel how you feel and to voice it so that your needs can be met.
Thanks for all the comments and advice. :) It helps so much to be able to talk to people who understand!
I know that my jealousy issues stem from my own low self esteem and insecurity. It is a problem I have struggled with my whole adult life.
We are two very different people. I am a homebody while she prefers to be out doing stuff. I have two children while she doesn't have any. She is outgoing and says whats on her mind. I am shy and let people walk all over me. She helps my husband to feel care free again. In the back of my mind that's what I'm afraid of. Living a life of very few responsibilities vs. two kids and a mortgage. My husband has reassured me that this will not happen. He enjoys different things with each of us.
To answer a question from above, my lover was my best friend for a couple of years before we became a couple. It was very comfortable for me to be in a relationship with her. We enjoy our time together very much. The three of us together is awesome. Its the time my husband spends alone with her that I have a hard time handling.
Again, thanks for listening.
If your husband had been completely honest with you he would have told you right away that he was falling in love with your mutual friend and there would have been no surprise IM. There is no excuse for "trying" to tell you things. He just had to say them so don't blame yourself for not being aware of how things were developing. Also, I am a little surprised that your female friend would not say anything to you herself. You are being too hard on yourself. There is three people involved here, three parts to the equation. Two were quite clear on what was happening, one was not.
We hope you work everything out and you all find what you need to be happy but I hope more than anything you stop viewing yourself as the proverbial "bad guy" in this. There was a clear lack of openness from your husband and your friend in this; otherwise you would not have been caught off guard. Hopefully they have taken ownership of this and not put it on you.
Take care and best wishes:)
It sounds like he is getting something different from each of you. In a way, you are offering him something that he is not getting from hsir relationship from her. She is also giving you something that he is not giving you.
If I were you I would feel very threatened and would probably react similarly. Not many people can pull off poly and your guy isn't doing the best job of it at the moment. Neither is your friend. If I found out that my husband had deeper feelings for one of our others that he didn't tell me about or discuss with me I would flip!
I expect him to tell me everything. That doesn't mean he always knows what is going on for him, but he knows if he is feeling something and therefore I expect him to say, "look I feel different somehow and just want you to know that something is coming up for me around this, I will fill you in as I know." That is everyone's duty in poly or it just doesn't work in my mind. I would feel like he is cheating emotionally.
Sex can be just a physical fun thing and can be good times all the way, but if he had more than feelings of lust and so did she and didn't tell you? this situation isn't poly in my book, just someone cheating on his wife, with his wife's friend.
good luck my friend.... I am angry for you. I have a really hard time with dishonesty, not facing fears and justifying behaviour for ones own gain. not cool!
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