Help! Poly gone wrong :( My Seemingly unsolvable problem.
I come here looking for advice mostly because other people would not be so understanding of the pitfalls or complexities of attempting to be poly. It has been 3 years since my story started and we serve as a very good example of how not to enter into and experience a poly relationship.
I have reached a breaking point where I need to make decisions in my life that will most likely require the complete overhaul of my life as I know it today.
My wife and I have been involved with another couple for close to 4 years. At this moment we are all back to being friends. It started with me having an emotional affair then she got on board with poly and off we went. Many ups and downs. I have struggled quite a lot. I am now at the point where my wife is asking me to remove my OSO from my life. Yes, she is willing to remove her OSO from her life as well.
Why? My wife has a hatred for my OSO. Now the two of them are totally different women. One intro-verted (wife) the other an extrovert. So naturally there would be some friction. Mistakes were made on both their parts. However none which I would deem worthy of such a hatred. In fact she has admitted to me that she has pretty much faked being friendly to her for 3 years!
Being the one stuck in the middle I have become increasingly frustrated to the point I don't want either of them in my life. Being single or anything else is far better than this emotional turmoil (push/pull) I have been going through. The problem is we have 3 children. My OSO has become my best friend..rather my only friend (hard making friends as a parent). Heck even my mother likes her. I am not sure erasing her from my life is something I could even do even if I tried. It would literally also break her heart. To my OSO I am the guy she was always looking for. She settled for a "nice" guy but then this. I am fairly certain that if I were to disappear it would ultimately mean the end of her marriage as well. I just don't see them working anything out.
Also for me, this experience has shown me what it would have been like had a chosen a more compatible life partner. I was young (18, married at 24) and we were both insecure children to be honest. It exposed many of the things that were missing in my life. In addition, my wife's behavior the past 3 years has really pushed me emotionally further away.
So this sums it up without going into a book of history. I just started seeing a therapist to help me make whatever decision I need to make to be happy. I've just been so unhappy I don't deserve this. I am a good person and father. Good husband? Outside my emotional affair my wife agrees I have bent over backwards to be a good husband.
I am very sad it's come to this. I do not see any solution to my problem other than removing myself from it entirely (divorce, whatever is required). I have accepted the fact there is no "right" answer. Only poor, good or better ones.
I would be interested in hearing anyones suggestions if you read this far. If you did I wholeheartedly appreciate you reading this. If you reply, well, I will toast to you every new years till my end! If you don't do either, you should. You may learn something.
Thank You for listening.
Hatred. Sounds familiar. Maca hated GG with a vengeance. He was ready to kill him-quite literally.
That was... 12 years ago.
Today he has a patience tolerance for him.
It is very unlikely they will ever be "close".
But-we live together and we have a happy family for the most part.
The biggest single thing that made a difference was HIS decision that he needed to let go of his animosity if HE wanted to be happy.
If that hadn't happened, I don't think we would have been able to create a happy dynamic.
It took... Until 2 years ago for him to make that choice.
In the meantime (10yrs) GG and I sucked it up.
No real advice. But I empathize.
I think at this point since you've been given an ultimatum you pretty much have to decide who do you want to be with more. If you leave your OSO because your wife demands it will your marriage survive? I know I'd have a hard time forgiving someone for causing me to make the choice, id be very bitter and resentful
It seems that your wife was never okay with you being poly and now she feels she has to do something extreme to make herself happy, similarly to you're considering now. Was this always above board or was there cheating at some point? If there was cheating, is completely reasonable and understandable why your wife wouldn't want the person you cheated with anywhere near your family and why she would feel rather hostile towards them. Only someone incredibly selfish and toxic wouldn't.
But anyway, it seems like she has reached the end of the road and you both have tough decisions to make. I would stay in situations that make me the happiest. It seems your OSO is the one who does that.
Woah, wait a sec....you wrote 'your wife is willing to let go of her OSO'? So she has not done it yet? Wait she doing, waiting for you to dump yours before she dumps hers? Is she still seeing him, talking to him, sleeping with him all the while waiting to drop him cold as soon as you drop yours?
She sounds like a cold hearted bi-atch sorry, is that the type of person you want to spend the rest of your life with? Someone so callous?
(as a rule of thumb, anyone who gives me a "them or me" ultimatum, whether they are family, friend, lover or employer-is the one I write off.)
What do you want? Not simply within the framework of one vs the other; if you had freedom to choose how you moved forward, what would it be? You said maybe neither, but most of your answer didn't mesh with that.
I know sometimes you're stuck with 2 bad choices and have to pick one; however, I wonder if you have to be the one to make a choice here. At any rate, if you actually want to maintain relationships with both women, I question that you're obligated to pick. They may not have a friendship, but that's not essential to your having two relationships.
Working with a therapist sounds like a very positive step for figuring out what is best for you. Good luck!
I am sorry you are struggling. :(
I am glad you have secured a counselor for yourself to give you extra support and help at this difficult time.
I don't know if it could help you, but here's how I see it. I could be wrong, but here's my simple summary:
You are free to answer with
Right now? This is a question of participation.
Previous polyship shape has ended.
Where is you willingness to continue to participate in polyship?
Where is your willingness to continue to participate in marriage?
The OSO leaving the picture does not resolve the things between you and wife like her lying behavior over 3 years. Only she changes that behavior. And there is no mention of the wife being willing to change her behaviors in your post.
So at this time with data to hand? The answer seems to be:
Ending the marriage
So... that's the way it looks to me. Your emotions need time to settle and catch up. But the path to one possible solution is there.
I do not know if you and wife have listed what it would take/cost to stay together:
So could spent some time articulating the rest with your counselor. So you can make a final decision with all the path options and their pros/cons laid out properly so you can run down the list and check your (willing & able) against each one and whether or not the path meets your needs.
Then you pick the best path that is the best decision for YOU. But right now you seem to incline toward these to me:
Either way, both point to (ending your participation in the marriage). So could deal with one thing at a time there. End the marriage participation first at this time. Process the loss of the previous polyship shape, the loss of the marriage. Sort legalities, give you time to grieve etc while seeing your counselor in the transition time.
If you do not know if your polyship partners want to continue to polyship during a divorcing time? ASK. Something like
"OSO, I am planning a divorce. It will take time, effort and energy. Are you willing to remain in polyship during this transition? Or would you rather disband and then see if we can resume once it is over? I would like to continue through the transition. I need to know where YOUR willingness lies."Hang in there. Breathe, and take it one thing at a time.
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