Wasn't looking for poly; LD BF's wife is pissed
(Started writing this on the 16th. Haven't bothered to change the time spans.)
Been reading, learning, lurking for a little less than a month. Feel like there are things I want to ask, so it was time to join, and start with an intro.
Late 50's, been married to B for over 34 years.
Wasn't looking for poly, and B says that what I've become involved in doesn't even qualify me for a poly "learner's permit".
The short story is that an old HS BF (JP) reconnected with me in early September. Both of us have been married to our respective spouses for over 30 years. All we've done is e-mail and then phone calls - we're thousands of miles apart. He was professing love but a totally different sort of love than what he has for his wife And then backpedalling and saying, OK, we're friends. Quite the roller coaster, particularly for him. He'd found our breakup (my junior year of college) quite traumatic and apparently never forgot it.
Meanwhile, I made up (as far as __I_ knew!) the term emotional affair, and then figured out that I was falling back in love with JP. I'd heard of poly and read up on it, finding this forum and other on-line stuff. While reading up on polyamory, found references to "emotional affair" and sent them to JP, who was horrified. This obsessing is _exactly_ what's going on! Is this affecting your relationship with B? I'll stop writing right away. JP was floored by the idea that I said, if anything, this was making my relationship with B stronger because of, among other things, appreciating his qualities more and because we were talking more.
Told my husband B about falling back in love first before I admitted it to JP. B is glad that I figured out a way to fall in love with someone else without falling out of love with him. (Told him I didn't _figure out_ anything!)
Same day that I talked to B, I told JP that I thought I was falling in love with him. And pointed him at some polyamory links. He had never heard of it, was calling it "pal-amory" for a while. Which is kind of cute.
Anyway, B pointed out that JP's wife A being unaware of this was unstable. The three of us (me, B and JP) had a phone call trying to give JP some advice on how to break it to her. B suggested he start slow, saying that, in spite of her previous objection (about our e-mailing via his work account, behind her back, so to speak), that he did want to still be in touch with me. Off the phone later, when B said to think of how I would want to be told, I said I was of 2 minds. While I could see being pissed and shocked at hearing everything at once, I could also imagine being upset to be fed the story in bits, and to find out that I hadn't been given the whole story when I started hearing things.
JP finally told his wife A that weekend (8 days after I talked to the both of them about falling in love), and apparently spilled everything more or less at once. I can't tell what upset her the most - that we'd been in touch behind her back, that she can't believe he hasn't lost any love for her, that she thought he wanted to her to become part of a some polyamory relationship (although I have no idea what that would actually _mean_ in this situation) or what. She said she wanted a divorce. I got some terse e-mails a couple of weekends ago telling me what a disaster telling her had been, and that he needs to drop out of sight for the foreseeable future. And a one liner saying it was over between us.
One of the things in her history is a previous divorce, and a first husband who cheated on her. So apparently the idea of being in love with someone else is a huge trigger. She has 2 daughters from the previous marriage, but the parent-kid love analogy doesn't cut it for her either. (B and I have no kids, and JP and his wife have no kids of their own, Although he helped raise her kids, and considers the grandkids "his", to the point where he doesn't expect to get cut off from them in the unhappy event that a divorce _does_ materialize.)
Talked briefly on the Monday (Happy Birthday to me, not that he knew that!) to get more details about the weekend, and he followed up with the e-mail he'd already been writing, pretty much re-iterating how terrible things were. And threatening to move out and see how much she liked that.
On Tuesday I couldn't stand it, and wrote a short e-mail saying I was breaking silence to advise him _not_ to move out. That it would only confirm her belief that he didn't love her anymore. He responded that he hadn't been serious about that threat, and that he seemed to be slowly getting out of the doghouse - they were going to counseling Thursday evening.
So, for the time being all communication with JP is cut off, understandably.
B is being quite supportive, so that's not an issue.
I'll get around to putting more into one of the relationship threads.
1) Is B right - that if I'm not juggling things like physical time together and sex, is it even worth calling poly?
2) Should I just forget the whole thing? B suggested that I write the e-mails that I would send to JP, just not send them for now. Most of them have been either catching up on 38 years or what has been going on that day. Think of them as kind of a journal, and maybe one of these days or months or years A will calm down and we'll be in communication again.
3) all the definitions of poly talk about everyone being out in the open with it. I feel like we didn't start that way because we had no idea where it was heading. We were a couple of old friends catching up. There's the piece of me that's kicking myself for having even brought up the reading material and/or giving JP the idea that he needed to talk to his wife, and there's the other part of me that insists that it was the right things to do, and that it would have just hurt more if it had blown up even later.
Thanks, all! Reading this forum has been really helpful!
M - Me female, 59 - _trying_ to figure out if I'm poly
B - 56 - my husband for over 34 years
JP - 58 - my high school boyfriend, newly appeared in the picture after 38 years; very long distance; haven't actually seen him
A - 65? - JP's wife of over 30 years
Answering your questions in some fashion:
1) Sure, it's poly. This is about the ability to love more than one person at a time, and no proximity is needed for that. If it's an emotional, deep, loving space, call it poly and be proud of it, why not?
2) I wouldn't forget about it, because you seem to be in a phase where every 5 days is a new situation. A obviously took it horribly, and that needs to be repaired. B seems cool with it and highly supportive of you being emotionally strong and safe. And JP is wigged out, understandably, because he's reconnected with you (felt awesome) while being suddenly distanced from A (felt horrible). So sit and wait. Write or don't, but definitely be there as support and as a presence. Point JP back home, since that's where everyone seems to want him to be, and also be present.
3) There is no right time to come out, about these things. JP does deserve some blame for not quickly saying "Hey, I've found Person-From-My-Past-X, let me tell you about her!" and having A respond to it honestly and deeply and in the moment. Waiting did make it worse. To her, it was an affair. That's her baggage to claim, open up, and air out, but it's his place in a marriage to be considerate and respectful and compassionate. He wasn't but he got around to it soon enough. I think your reading about poly helped him, because it got you to insist on an honesty that is important.
Good luck, and keep us up to date. I hope it all works out.
2. I think you've got to let the guy work out what he wants from his marriage, if anything. He needs to decide if he wants polyamory more than his marriage because his wife isn't poly. The kid analogy really isn't very good, by the way.
3. What's done is done.
How to be present?
I'm not sure _how_ to be _there_ as a presence. Maybe I wasn't clear. We're not in contact now. The writing is to my draft folders, or to e-mails that I send to myself for now. They'll get sent later if we get in communication again. Being in touch behind A's back got him in trouble in the _first_ place. I feel like my place is to be in contact _if_ I'm contacted, but to otherwise remain silent.
The one place where we agreed (after she got pissed the _first_ time) is that I would let him know when we are visiting my B-I-L and M-I-L in Minneapolis in the spring. He was hoping to see me there - has lots of connections there. If I haven't heard from him by then, my plan is to send the e-mail to both his account and A's account, so there's no hiding.
1. Yes it is polyamory. I had a (mostly) emotional affair to a man for 4-5 years. Is what made me realize this is "my thing". Us not once being naked together did not make an ounce of a difference, it is just that adding sex adds more pleasure! We still went through the whole cycle of falling in love/New relationship energy, a more stable phase of love turning into Long relationship energy, a more problematic phase of re-orientation towards the future, and an emotional break-up and now trying to get along as loose friends.
It don't totally see the accusations about "secrecry". He told his wife the moment he realized it was something more than friendship going on, what more can anyone do? Especially when they do not expect polyamory. One has to work from one's standing point, and in that respect you have done no wrong.
2. The kid anology only works when you have felt poly (plus it does not sit well in most people's stomacks to compare sexual love with the love for a child). The best anology is to say it is simply about love, but a generous love. "Love is like a magic penny..." And there are real limitations, like time, but it is not neccesarily so that spening less time makes one feel less loved, because it is also about what happens during that time, and also time could be taken from other activities to make the relationships priority.
3. Your situations is a BIT similar to me and my "ex", although I knew his girlfriend too and my ex's girlfriend watched us falling in love so there was no specific time where she needed to be informed. Similarily, I almost broke off their relationship (and I did break up their engagement. They even took time during their engagement party to discuss his feelings for me!). Looking back, I feel rather naive for waiting so long to actively discuss the issue, but is was also a matter of my husband only feeling half up to it, and I did not have an active polycommunity like I do today. Anyway, at the end of the day I felt that the two of them were not up to the task of intermingling our families (well, on a bad day I would describe it more in terms of she being a lyer and he a coward, but the end result is the same: them not being capable). I hope for you that you are luckier, and perhaps more clever, in putting your wants out there and making them into relality. If you are reader, I recomend "Opening up" (Tristan Toarmino). Best of luck :)
Yeah, for now, it seems like all you can do is wait. I'm sorry, because it sounds rough to be in such am ambiguous place.
What hit home with me were the questions, "Why did you have more than one kid?" or "Why do you have more than one friend? Why do you make friends?"
And it's not about one person not being able to fulfill all your needs (which I really do hate as a rationale), but it's just about wanting more. Period. Finding something that clicks in a friend, or wanting another child. Not due to anything lacking anywhere else.
That's the only thing that got through to me. Your mileage may, of course, vary. Good luck, though - it seems that JP and A have some things to work out between the two of them before anything can get on track with you and JP. Glad B's very supportive of you. :)
You are having a crush on an exBF. Him too. This at this point in time is a CRUSH.
This is not being in a polyship or considering being in a polyship.
A person could be polyamorous -- they have the desire/capacity for loving more than one at a time. But a polyamorous person could ALSO be single, married, in a polyship, not in a polyship, etc.
It is not (polysexual) for you here (sex share with several concurrent lovers, but not necessarily group sex) at this point in time.
It is not (polyamourous AND polysexual) here. It is not any polyshipping kind of relationship here at this point in time either. Nobody is dating here.
It is A CRUSH.
I subscribe to Love Theory. I would call this one of the lightest flavors of love -- a crushy "liking" thing because you were both having fun catching up and reliving old times. A warm glow. A meeting of the minds.
Does you talking to exBF/crush guy right now ADD to his burdens or TAKE AWAY at this time? I think ADD. Because he's got stuff to sort with his wife -- heavy stuff.
I'd go with your husband's suggestion as a middle path so that YOU can process. You get the writing outlet at this time and get to "put it out there." But your exBF/crushy guy doesn't have to "receive it right this minute." Or ever.
At this time what he could need that you could give?
You could give him space and time to sort out whatever he needs to sort out and not be adding to his burden.
You could be firm and point him back to solving his stuff if he's hanging about. You could not be his pen pal crush person that he uses for escapism to avoid dealing with his problems at home. He could deal with the old before starting anything new -- even a crush thing.
I find it interesting he has to email from work and keep that hidden, and that he was not as quick to make the BF's wife aware as YOU seem to have been with your own spouse. Then depending on how he let his wife know it could have snowballed into bigger. If he drops a bomb on his wife, then she wants divorce, and then he threatens to move out to "punish" her? Dude, they don't sound stable in their OWN marriage. Not because of the crush thing but for OTHER things long before you. To do all that emotional hooha over a little pen pal crush is disproportionate to me. :eek:
Frankly, that would turn me OFF. If something as simple as a crush can break down the entire system like that? Neither person sounds emotionally stable or secure. Forget polyshipping here -- even crushing here is a no go to me. I don't like drama. :(
For YOU I think it could be better to let it go, and let him sort his life out. Then let future tend to itself. Deal with future stuff at THAT point in time.
Your OWN spouse on the other hand, sounds awesome, secure in himself and in your shared marriage. And you having a little pen pal crushy thing isn't going to ruin his entire world or send him off the deep end. He's a blessing. Kudos to him. :) You could let him know you appreciate him and his support/understanding.
And YOU sound up front honest in your efforts, if a little confused with the current outcome. Kudos to you for trying to play ball on full frontal honesty. That's awesome too. :)
Your exBF? Who knows but him what his intent was toward his wife with all this? :confused:
But again... you could get some perspective. This is/was an email crush thing at most. If something so small can send the whole system crashing in their marriage? They have other, deeper problems besides a crushy email thing with you.
You could steer clear so YOU and YOUR spouse don't get sucked into their unfolding drama.
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