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-   -   Thinking about poly, am I being unreasonable? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56270)

Stevefromtexas 09-24-2013 08:55 PM

Thinking about poly, am I being unreasonable?
 
Hello to all

Myself and my wife have been together for 13 years, married for 8 and have been strictly mono. A few years ago we both "lightly cheated" right about the same time (no actual sex, supposedly, but it did get physical) but if not found out/caught, probably would have eventually got to sex. I have realized we both must have been missing something for it to be timed so perfect. We decided to try and work it out and continued our marriage. Since then, to sum it up, we have both engaged in flirtatious conversations and maybe even some "more than just a friend emotions" with others which eventually "again" had means to get deeper if not found out. We are adults and we have talked about this and we both think what it comes down to is, we both enjoy the attention, feeling of being wanted, and the excitement that comes from a new relationship with someone else. I do still love her and I believe she does me, but I can honestly say, we love each other, we are not "in love". Now after the fact and even my self admitting of my "friendships" with others, I feel that she did worse, because I never actually met up with any of these women behind her back, and she did meet up with her male friends. Granted, it was always in a group setting. It's not like she met up with him at his house all alone at 3AM. We both like the attention but I feel she was more disrespectful to me since she met up and I was just sending texts.
Fast forward to now. She feels I'm cold and heartless and don't love her the way she wants to be loved. I understand this, my profession is one where you get hardened very quickly and see the worse in people and the world. I don't doubt that I have a very slight level of PTSD and I try not to let it affect me but it sometimes does. Very slightly and nothing even worth mentioning in this conversation so in a ways feel I cut her a little slack. Now I feel that she wants all that "love" but I am only willing to give her so much of myself because I feel she has betrayed me and violated my trust. I know I did too but I feel she did worse, and the first time she had a "friendship" with one guy was before I did anything and was still so in love with her and she had 100% of me. So, in closing, she wants 100% of me and I'm only willing to give let's just say 70%. I know that if I give her 100% I probably wouldn't have to worry about her doing anything, but I just see it as (you F'ed me over and you want me to give you all of me so that you can be happy after you hurt me.) So were at this stalemate where we both wonder if we are done (we both don't want to be, but something's gotta give.) So I looked into staying together but trying other things. We talked about open marriage, but we both think the jealousy and constant wondering would be too much for both of us. Then we said well, open marriage but no sex. Just open to "date" others, but thought what if after multiple dates real feelings started developing for the individual and would that ruin our relationship. So I pitched the idea of US having a girlfriend. US as in we would both have to be on the same page. Playing devils advocate, anyone could say, well why not a boyfriend, but to make it easy, that ain't gonna happen, and she doesn't ask that herself. Not to insult anyone but we both find it easier to see two women together than two men non sexually or sexually. I honestly feel that I can love more than one person without taking away love from the other. She has listened to me and heard me out but I think it may just be to entertain my "thought" and not have any intention of following through with it. When I had my "friendships" I found myself more sensitive to her needs because my mindset was in the pleasing process due to my new friend at the time. Sorry for babbling on I'm just confused and hoping anyone can help.

Anneintherain 09-24-2013 09:12 PM

I'd actually just suggest at least a few sessions of couples therapy, where you can determine if the two of you want to still be in a relationship, whether its the form it is now, or maybe you two step back from a marriage sort of dynamic date each other but also date others. A poly friendly therapist can also help ask the questions you both might be missing about if poly is a realistic or viable option for the two of you.

I sure wouldn't want to be the girlfriend of a couple who had such obvious issues still, and most people wouldn't. Mainly its the fact that you are hung up on how "she did worse" than you did makes it seem pretty clear that you two need to work through that problem before inviting other people to get entangled with you.

Dagferi 09-24-2013 09:18 PM

My only advice is DO NOT DATE OR BRING IN OTHER PEOPLE INTO A BROKEN MARRIAGE.

It isn't going to fix things.

Also dating as a couple is also not a good idea. Only in extremely rare cases does it work.

Read these links

http://www.multiplematch.com/2012/11...ple-privilege/

http://davidlnoble.com/so-somebody-c...nicorn-hunter/

LovingRadiance 09-24-2013 10:54 PM

Fix the issues first. Always.

TOTALLY unfair to any third party to be dragged through existing bs.

You feel she did worse. That's totally normal.
I would bet money she feels you did worse. That's totally normal.

The bottom line is that you each did something that hurt the other. If you want to fix things-you need to STOP laying blame or trying to compete on who is worse. Start focusing on what to do to fix yourself.

bookbug 09-25-2013 01:22 AM

As the person who was unknowingly brought into a fucked up marriage - and in their case, unlike you, they failed to realize how broken their marriage was - I say don't do it. I was a pawn in the game and ultimately disposable. I was devastated. You guys know your marriage is fucked up. So what do you really have to offer in the way of love and consideration?

Btw, this whole keeping score: "she cheated worse than I did," isn't going to work for you in the long run if you want to maintain your relationship. You both cheated. Period. The question is why? You're fooling yourself if you think you're less culpable because you didn't go as far as she did. Once you both stepped over that line, the game changed.

nycindie 09-25-2013 01:34 AM

You need to do a lot of growing up and taking responsibility. Get into therapy and stop blaming her for this or that, and stop keeping score. You're either full partners willing to own your shit, or why stay?

And no one in their right mind would want to get involved with the two of you with such a mess going on! Marriage broken? DO NOT add more people!

dingedheart 09-25-2013 06:14 AM

Sounds like there trust issues ....still. No sex Supposedly

You got some resentment 70% investment as apposed to the 100%.....and by that math this doesn't sound like your wife is truly on board. This sounds like pay back .....or a backdoor way out of a failing marriage. Might be quicker to just pull the plug. Any kids involved.....staying together for the kids ?

GalaGirl 09-25-2013 06:34 AM

Let me cut and paste some of your sentences into groups. Ok?

Quote:

I am only willing to give her so much of myself because I feel she has betrayed me and violated my trust.
Quote:

I know that if I give her 100% I probably wouldn't have to worry about her doing anything.
What do you need to heal the betrayed and violated trust so you can give her 100%?

So that both you and her can forgive, make amends, repair, and put things behind you so you both can relax? And both of you can be giving 100% to the shared MARRIAGE to get to enjoy this:

Quote:

I do still love her and I believe she does me,
in a better way?

Quote:

I just see it as (you F'ed me over and you want me to give you all of me so that you can be happy after you hurt me.)

What about your happiness? Are you happy right now? Do you not want to be happy after being hurt?

Do you not want your wife to experience happiness ever again?

Do you not want THE MARRIAGE to be happy?

How does holding on to the hurt help any of these move on to being happy? You, wife or marriage?

What do you gain from "wanting to keep it in the stuck?" Especially when you too cheated on the marriage agreements -- is it that you want to play "blame shifty" so you don't have to "own" your part in co-creating this situation? :(

Quote:

We are at this stalemate where we both wonder if we are done (we both don't want to be, but something's gotta give.)
Well, if you both don't want to be done with your marriage... don't be! Start tending it!

How about not engaging in marriage damaging behavior like trying to figure out who made bigger mistakes? Are both willing to just let it go? Agree to say something like

"Fine. We BOTH made mistakes here and co-created this situation. Let's not merry-go-round who did what worse and keep it in the STUCK. Let's focus on moving it FORWARD from here."


How does holding back to "70%" help you move it forward out of the "stuck" and help support your marriage?

I would not begin new relationships with other people at this time. You guys do not seem to be managing a monoship well right now. Adding more players to change to a polyship? It is just more stress on a system that is already struggling. This marriage needs more time and attention paid to it right now -- not LESS because you both are distracted cultivating relationships with others. Spend more time tending and cultivating THIS relationship. It's been neglected.

(And your potential dating partners deserve to be more than just "filler people" for you and wife to date and avoid repairing your marriage problems if you actually ever Open, right? They deserves healthy partners to date -- not broken people, right?)

I'd suggest buckling down and doing some soul searching. Again....
  • What do you need from HER for you to become willing to give THE MARRIAGE 100% again? (Not her, the MARRIAGE.)
  • What do you need from YOU for you to become willing to give THE MARRIAGE 100% again?
  • What does SHE need from YOU to become willing to give THE MARRIAGE her 100% again?
  • What does SHE need from HERSELF to become willing to give THE MARRIAGE her 100% again?
  • What blocks you from being ABLE to give the marriage 100%?
    • How can you both work to remove these obstacles in your way?
    • How can YOU work to remove these obstacles in your way?
  • What blocks her from being ABLE to give the marriage 100%
    • How can you both work to remove these obstacles in her way?
    • How can SHE work to remove these obstacles in her way?

Could focus on that at this time. See what answers you and she come up with and if that helps you sort yourselves out.

Hang in there!

Galagirl

Stevefromtexas 09-25-2013 06:42 AM

First off, thank you for all the honest replies. You all have opened my eyes, but please allow me to explain my thoughts behind the "trying poly" comment, I may still be wrong, but I just think it might help me sort out my issues. We do have a son 3, and I do feel he is a major part of why we stay together, but I do feel we still love each other.
My reasoning behind poly is....since we both mutually like the feelings of being wanted, someone new, etc. I thought bringing someone in might give us both that spark. This is not a backwards attempt at me trying to get back at her or get my way sexually. May sound weird, but I enjoy the emotional side of it more and well if it gets physical then so be it, but that is not my overall goal. With a third "in my mind" there would also sort of be a mediator at all times regardless of which 2 are having a problem, and could maybe help the situation. I do admit, that I never really thought about how the third would be dragged through our problems so thank you for bringing that to my attention. I wouldn't want to put someone through that. I don't know if this matters either but for example, let's just say she had a really close fiend who we were all good together, would this be better or worse than let's say finding a stranger, because we already have that friendship to begin with. For the record she doesn't have a friend I'm considering this with, just curious. I will try and take you guys advice on fixing myself. I know we are in a bad spot. It I would just like to try anything to make it work for us.

GalaGirl 09-25-2013 06:50 AM

Quote:

With a third "in my mind" there would also sort of be a mediator at all times regardless of which 2 are having a problem,
That's called a "counselor." Not a "shared GF."

You assume the "friend" even has the willingness to play this role.

You assume the "friend" even has the ability -- the skills to mediate/counsel you. (Which even if they were counselor by profession, would be a conflict of interest to treat you while dating you!)

If what you want is a "mediator" seems easier to just HIRE a professional mediator/counselor type person from the get go.

Quote:

I know we are in a bad spot. It I would just like to try anything to make it work for us.
So hire a professional to help guide you guys through this. Could decide to INVEST in your marriage health. I mean that kindly -- I know you are struggling right now and may not be seeing/thinking clear here. :o

But no healthy person wants to sign up to be some broken married couple's "freebie counselor" who smooches and shares sex with them too on the side. That's a messed up dynamic! :(

Have you considered the OTHER ways it could play out? Anyone signing up with bells on for that? You could wonder if they could be a cowgirl/cowboy person seeking to break you guys up on purpose to rope off the other one. Or a person who is even more broken than you guys are sucking you both dry. Risking this at this time could help you both attain health and well being in the marriage HOW? :confused:

Tread carefully when you are feeling upset, OK?

Could not RUSH into action just avoid sitting with "yucky" you don't want to be feeling any more.

I see that you want to feel "yummy" feelings instead right now like when you had your "friend. " The NRE crushy stuff felt yummier than the feelings you might be feeling right now and you want to have something "yummy" again.

SIT WITH THE YUCKY anyway. Let the feelings be felt and see what they bring to the surface. Let time pass even if you feel squirmy waiting. See if time brings clarity to your situation.

Already you have good clues for things you could change. Look --

Quote:

I honestly feel that I can love more than one person without taking away love from the other.
Great! Could start by loving the 3 you are already with. Not 70%, but 100% -- love your wife and love you and love your marriage

Quote:

When I had my "friendships" I found myself more sensitive to her needs because my mindset was in the pleasing process due to my new friend at the time.
Great! Then get your mind in the pleasing process.

Meet your needs for a healthy marriage. Be sensitive to your own needs for peace, health, and happiness.
Meet her needs for a healthy marriage. Be sensitive to her needs for peace, health and happiness.
Meet the marriage's needs for a healthy marriage. Be sensitive to its needs for peace, health, and happiness.

Stop holding back, dude. Be an active participant.

You are aware she wants and welcomes all of your love. You determine to dole out 70% only. How's this being in the "pleasing process" or being sensitive to your/her/marriage needs?

Could take a leap of faith. Could invest your time, energy and effort in your own marriage. See if that serves you better than the holding back.

Could consider grabbing on to your wife and your marriage and letting go of the resentments. Rather than letting go of your wife/marriage by tiny cuts and increments because you grab on to the resentments and hold hard to those instead.

Quote:

We do have a son 3, and I do feel he is a major part of why we stay together, but I do feel we still love each other.
Could focus on this. Before you think/do/say anything ask yourself...."Is this me doing loving behavior toward me, my wife, AND my marriage?"

Maybe that could help you sort yourself out. It's hard to risk getting dinged again when you were dinged once before. But to arrive at "new trust being built" you could allow yourself to be vulnerable to a NEW ding. Take the scary leap... and land and come to find you were ding free. You find CAN trust you wife not to ding you any more. But to learn that? You actually have to leap at some point. :o

Galagirl


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