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-   -   Getting through past stuff (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53186)

PolyPaganHim 08-23-2013 10:23 PM

Getting through past stuff
 
Well this will be my first actual Thread.

Again for those of us who are "noobs" to this, there are A LOT of questions, emotions, issues, that come up when moving into a poly relationship. Perhaps some background. Im going to apologize in advance....this is going to be long.

3 years ago, while I was working at a restaurant, there was a co-working that I befriended. After sometime I learned that "she" (Moving forward she will be referred to as "L"), was struggling with alcohol addiction. Because of my previous addiction to Meth ( 16yrs clean now), I thought I might be able to help. We started to spend more time together, and talking more. At the same time I become more closed off to my wife, and began hiding things, and lying to her. This caused the obvious troubles that a mono marriage would see. I kept seeing L, and actually began to have feelings for her. Misguided as they were, I still had them. This nearly tore my marriage apart. Runied any trust we had built between us. Eventually L left the scene, and PPHer and I started to rebuild the trust bridge. Obviously I had to do all the work.

Flashforward to today. It has been 3 wonderful years since "the incident". In my mind and heart I have felt I have proven my trust to her. I have dedicated my everything to rebuilding that bridge and making it stronger, IMO. As we are discovering our poly-selvs we have been slow to move. First we agreed to allow her to date, and I stay mono. That didnt seem fair to me, since I believe the same things she does. So we began talking about moving forward to allowing me to date, but she had to get over the past loss in trust in me.

I udnerstand she has the trust issues, but there has to be a time when we have to take a step from behind the wall and put it behind us. I have agreed to move slowly, but Im not sure how slow it will be. Today I brought up putting up an OKC profile to meet new friends, and only friends (Men and Women). I figured if she got used to seeing me around other women in a friend compacity it might start to ease her trust issues with me. "Trust training wheels" if you will. It became quickly evident that even the mere mention of this upset her. We had to step back and take a breath. She proposed a "joint" page, so we could both meet friends. I did not agree to this, because it felt I was being forced to grow at her pace, but she was allowed to grow on her own. Are my feelings here a little to immature? Am I acting like a child in this?

Im not sure where to go from here. I do love and repect her feelings, and have respect for how she wants to proceed. At some point I feel that my feelings will need to be equally respected. I know she is worried about being "replaced" but if you knew her like do, you would know she could never be replaced. I dunno, really. Any advise would be helpful.

SweetSurrender 08-23-2013 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHim (Post 223928)
Well this will be my first actual Thread.

Again for those of us who are "noobs" to this, there are A LOT of questions, emotions, issues, that come up when moving into a poly relationship. Perhaps some background. Im going to apologize in advance....this is going to be long.

3 years ago, while I was working at a restaurant, there was a co-working that I befriended. After sometime I learned that "she" (Moving forward she will be referred to as "L"), was struggling with alcohol addiction. Because of my previous addiction to Meth ( 16yrs clean now), I thought I might be able to help. We started to spend more time together, and talking more. At the same time I become more closed off to my wife, and began hiding things, and lying to her. This caused the obvious troubles that a mono marriage would see. I kept seeing L, and actually began to have feelings for her. Misguided as they were, I still had them. This nearly tore my marriage apart. Runied any trust we had built between us. Eventually L left the scene, and PPHer and I started to rebuild the trust bridge. Obviously I had to do all the work.

I can empathize with this part completely! Nearly ruined my marriage with something similar but it was not as emotionally connected.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHim (Post 223928)
to today. It has been 3 wonderful years since "the incident". In my mind and heart I have felt I have proven my trust to her. I have dedicated my everything to rebuilding that bridge and making it stronger, IMO. As we are discovering our poly-selvs we have been slow to move. First we agreed to allow her to date, and I stay mono. That didnt seem fair to me, since I believe the same things she does. So we began talking about moving forward to allowing me to date, but she had to get over the past loss in trust in me.

That really does surprise me! Not knowing either of you well and of course not having been in a similar real life scenario it almost would seem that she wants to explore her options since you have already done so previously in the relationship. Just this time she won't feel any of the guilt since it is more in the realm of poly based exploration.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHim (Post 223928)
I udnerstand she has the trust issues, but there has to be a time when we have to take a step from behind the wall and put it behind us. I have agreed to move slowly, but Im not sure how slow it will be. Today I brought up putting up an OKC profile to meet new friends, and only friends (Men and Women). I figured if she got used to seeing me around other women in a friend compacity it might start to ease her trust issues with me. "Trust training wheels" if you will. It became quickly evident that even the mere mention of this upset her. We had to step back and take a breath. She proposed a "joint" page, so we could both meet friends. I did not agree to this, because it felt I was being forced to grow at her pace, but she was allowed to grow on her own. Are my feelings here a little to immature? Am I acting like a child in this?

I agree with your feelings that this is not quite right. I understand her wanting to have the upper hand on things, after what you have done secretly in the past. This sounds like she is almost controlling the situation to show you how what you want is not really going to happen. If that makes any kind of sense. You are not being childish or immature. If the two of you have decided to expand what will happen in the relationship, it should be at a level that you BOTH feel comfortable. Just sounds like she is the one with all the say and if you argue with her, she will just pull the rug out from you. Taking eight steps back for every two you get ahead is not going to work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHim (Post 223928)
Im not sure where to go from here. I do love and repect her feelings, and have respect for how she wants to proceed. At some point I feel that my feelings will need to be equally respected. I know she is worried about being "replaced" but if you knew her like do, you would know she could never be replaced. I dunno, really. Any advise would be helpful.

Once again, my complete lack of actual experience in getting anywhere with my own spouse may make me the most useless person to be responding. :D I am though... and I say again that there is something odd in the water here. I know that though she is outwardly agreeing with your ideas, it seems she goes backwards when it will become reality. That is exactly where I am at the moment. This idea of them trusting us again after the trust is broken and to move forward with actually being able to connect with others is almost a no win situation. I don't know about you but I am actually MORE frustrated because now I am being honest and STILL not allowed to live as I want. It's almost like they are not actually willing to let us be happy even though they continue to say it is what they ultimately want!!! Agh!

Have you asked for a timeline on when she might feel confident enough to allow you to talk/hangout/date other women? What sort of hoops does she still need you to jump through?

PolyPaganHer 08-23-2013 11:43 PM

Let me just say that I am honestly not trying to make him jump through hoops at this point its me becoming comfortable with what he has expressed. It has only been a weeks time since he said he has been thinking about dating. Its taking me a little time to adjust. Also this is the first time in 6 years of marriage that he has choosen to be honest with me. Which again is taking some time for me to get use too. I have told him that this is my issue and I need to work it out. There maybe a little part of me that is trying to control the situation but mainly to keep myself from being hurt by him again. This is something that I have to move past and work through. Which is what I am poundering now, how does one move past having their trust shattered repeatedly? Maybe I just need to suck it up, put my big girl panties on and move forward...
Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetSurrender (Post 223939)
I can empathize with this part completely! Nearly ruined my marriage with something similar but it was not as emotionally connected.



That really does surprise me! Not knowing either of you well and of course not having been in a similar real life scenario it almost would seem that she wants to explore her options since you have already done so previously in the relationship. Just this time she won't feel any of the guilt since it is more in the realm of poly based exploration.



I agree with your feelings that this is not quite right. I understand her wanting to have the upper hand on things, after what you have done secretly in the past. This sounds like she is almost controlling the situation to show you how what you want is not really going to happen. If that makes any kind of sense. You are not being childish or immature. If the two of you have decided to expand what will happen in the relationship, it should be at a level that you BOTH feel comfortable. Just sounds like she is the one with all the say and if you argue with her, she will just pull the rug out from you. Taking eight steps back for every two you get ahead is not going to work.



Once again, my complete lack of actual experience in getting anywhere with my own spouse may make me the most useless person to be responding. :D I am though... and I say again that there is something odd in the water here. I know that though she is outwardly agreeing with your ideas, it seems she goes backwards when it will become reality. That is exactly where I am at the moment. This idea of them trusting us again after the trust is broken and to move forward with actually being able to connect with others is almost a no win situation. I don't know about you but I am actually MORE frustrated because now I am being honest and STILL not allowed to live as I want. It's almost like they are not actually willing to let us be happy even though they continue to say it is what they ultimately want!!! Agh!

Have you asked for a timeline on when she might feel confident enough to allow you to talk/hangout/date other women? What sort of hoops does she still need you to jump through?


SweetSurrender 08-24-2013 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHer (Post 223944)
Let me just say that I am honestly not trying to make him jump through hoops at this point its me becoming comfortable with what he has expressed. It has only been a weeks time since he said he has been thinking about dating. Its taking me a little time to adjust. Also this is the first time in 6 years of marriage that he has choosen to be honest with me. Which again is taking some time for me to get use too. I have told him that this is my issue and I need to work it out. There maybe a little part of me that is trying to control the situation but mainly to keep myself from being hurt by him again. This is something that I have to move past and work through. Which is what I am poundering now, how does one move past having their trust shattered repeatedly? Maybe I just need to suck it up, put my big girl panties on and move forward...

Perhaps hoop jumping was poor wording on my part. I guess what confuses me the most about it is that it looks like you are ready to begin dating. What are you adjusting to regarding his dating? Is it just because in the past he was not honest? Once you made the choice to stay together and commit to one another that should have been left in the past. You ask how you move on but you have already. Now you are looking to a future with this man and basing it on open and honest communication. I applaud you both for being able to talking through what will be best for the both of you.

Your full involvement in his pursuing others seems like a good start to putting your mind at ease. Why was this not enough?

PolyPaganHer 08-24-2013 12:18 AM

You make a very valid point and truthfully I had not looked at it that way... maybe out of fear. I am not sure. I honestly think its been a lot for me to wrap my head around and its brought up a lot of past feelings and new ones. The adjustment is coming because he had expressed that he bad no desire to date and as of a week ago he has begun to think about. They are just thoughts at this point. I am probably over thinking things and being a little more emotional than I should be. Its just been a lot of me to process. It definitely helps to have some one to talk to, that poses these questions, outside of just him. If that makes sense

Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetSurrender (Post 223948)
Perhaps hoop jumping was poor wording on my part. I guess what confuses me the most about it is that it looks like you are ready to begin dating. What are you adjusting to regarding his dating? Is it just because in the past he was not honest? Once you made the choice to stay together and commit to one another that should have been left in the past. You ask how you move on but you have already. Now you are looking to a future with this man and basing it on open and honest communication. I applaud you both for being able to talking through what will be best for the both of you.

Your full involvement in his pursuing others seems like a good start to putting your mind at ease. Why was this not enough?


SweetSurrender 08-24-2013 12:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHer (Post 223950)
You make a very valid point and truthfully I had not looked at it that way... maybe out of fear. I am not sure. I honestly think its been a lot for me to wrap my head around and its brought up a lot of past feelings and new ones. The adjustment is coming because he had expressed that he bad no desire to date and as of a week ago he has begun to think about. They are just thoughts at this point. I am probably over thinking things and being a little more emotional than I should be. Its just been a lot of me to process. It definitely helps to have some one to talk to, that poses these questions, outside of just him. If that makes sense

It can be overwhelming. I'm glad to help in any way possible, even if its just to talk. I am often the same way your husband is it would seem. At one point you think you can wait and be patient and then the next its like you might go crazy if you cannot just have things right now! lol. In my case, it is years of denying myself just bubbling to the surface. It is tough for those in our lives to keep up with our ever-changing impulses. I think the best thing to do is to keep making little advancements while still making sure your feeling secure about things. Perhaps if you give him something to work with in little steps it will keep him from wanting everything all at once.

Emm 08-24-2013 03:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHim (Post 223928)
Flashforward to today. It has been 3 wonderful years since "the incident". In my mind and heart I have felt I have proven my trust to her. I have dedicated my everything to rebuilding that bridge and making it stronger, IMO.

Does her heart and mind agree? Trust is difficult to rebuild. It's not just a matter of ticking a certain number of boxes and getting a clean slate.
Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyPaganHim (Post 223928)
First we agreed to allow her to date, and I stay mono. That didnt seem fair to me, since I believe the same things she does. So we began talking about moving forward to allowing me to date, but she had to get over the past loss in trust in me.

When the two of you agreed that the Her half could date, was a down-the-track dating option for the Him half mentioned? If not I could understand it seeming like a bait 'n switch when it suddenly came up. It's all well and good to harbour feelings of unfairness, but if you've not expressed them then you can't complain that they've not been addressed in a timely fashion. Ask for what you want. Don't try to accrue martyr points expecting that you can then redeem them for the relationship concession of your choice.

PolyPaganHim 08-24-2013 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emm (Post 223964)
Does her heart and mind agree?

I can't say to that. She would be the one to say if she has changed her heart and mind. I want to also add, that I had inadvertantly forgot to mention that there were a few other minor incidents if untruthfulness. I'm fairly certain these did not help with the rebuilding of trust.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emm (Post 223964)
When the two of you agreed that the Her half could date, was a down-the-track dating option for the Him half mentioned? If not I could understand it seeming like a bait 'n switch when it suddenly came up.

At the time, her dating was the only option. She had a in-house date one night, and after seeing them interact, I realized that she was going to get to enjoy NRE again, and prolly several more times. I started to feel jealous of that. I had them mentioned that I had started thinking about dating again. She explained that it would take some time for her to be comfortable with that idea. No "time table" had been given. I realize I kinda "sprung" this in her, but I was just trying to have some fairness here while maintaining her comfort level and helping to increase that.

UPDATE: After a good long discussion last night. I now have a friends only profile on OKC. In addition I have made it clear that she may seek other men "as friends" to help with my comfort level with that aspect. I see forward progress together. Thank you all for your input.

gorgeouskitten 08-28-2013 12:08 PM

Good luck to both of you....I can tell you that 3 years after getting past an affair, my spouse and I did become successfully poly. I have a great boyfriend, and spouse is dating (promising date this week! yeah!)

My advise is if polypaganher needs to go slow, keep the same boundries as for polypaganhim (which sounds like you are doing). Have you two considered couples therapy? with a poly friendly therapist only, otherwise forget it. lol ;)


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