Can I learn to accept her and not resent her?
I guess this is part intro/part help request.
Hereís the best condensed version of my storyÖ
Four years ago my husband was making online connections with women via some game chat groups. Most of the connections didnít make me bat an eyelash. But one hung on. She was married and would stay up late telling her tales of woe about her husband and mine would tell her how he would be her knight in shining armor. I came across parts of conversations that felt like a knife slicing through me -- how he loved her, etc. Never did I come across a negative statement about me. He dug his heels in saying she was a friend he couldnít live without. We took a weekend away and I asked him not to bring her with (texting/phone/etc). He agreed but she was offended when he told her he wouldnít be available for the weekend. That was the end of their relationship but really the beginning of my roller coaster ride.
Within a year M (my husband) had joined an online game that had itís own social circle. Within that circle was B. Sheís a single female who runs a day care out of her home. My husband is disabled and home all day. Two adults who needed adult interaction during the day. Whatís evolved from that is now an acknowledgement from my husband that heís poly and he loves her.
Originally I interpreted this as someone he loved to flirt with. Then I found out they were having online sex. I tried to participate but quickly felt like the outsider. We have had many conversations about his flirting with women. I donít mind the flirting but Iíve always said I donít want anyone getting their claws in him. Didnít see this coming.
In our discussions heís always wanted a threesome. Tried three times with B but I canít. I canít relax. I donít trust. Iím self-conscious. I either end up severely depressed or I just want to toss in the towel and tell her she won. Thereís 800 miles between M and B and the last time we were all physically together M told B it probably wasnít ever going to happen again because it was causing me so much distress.
Bís connected electronically to him all day long. We play massively multiplayer online role-playing games (mmorpg) together. I realized a long time ago it was better to keep her on the same playing field for me. If I let them have too much time to themselves my imagination gets the best of me. So I go home from work each night, make supper, and then am connected with her for 3-4 hours. I no longer use his computer for anything nor do I go anywhere near his phone. I don't want to see their communication exchanges. He's sent me messages in error meant for her and I hurt so badly after reading those.
Weíve been married 16 years. Over the past three years Iíve considered leaving him many times. Iím mono Ė doesnít matter what I do or try, my wiring takes me back to a mono perspective/comfort zone. This isnít the for better or for worse I expected. However the one thing that keeps me connected is that I love him and I know he loves me. But he also loves her. And I need help with that. Can I learn to accept her and not resent her?
Hey. Thanks for posting. You sound like you're aching right now, deeply compassionate about your husband and where he is, while also trying to assert your own right to be your truest Self. That's really awesome.
But it also sounds really hard.
This question isn't meant as a hard one, but what's holding you back from trusting him? He's sound like he's trying to be sure that you're doing well. Could you figure out what you need to trust him to love someone else, and then let him actually do it?
He is not keeping his original mono marriage agreements. Sounds like he took up with her from gaming and then shared sex behavior behind your back with the online sex. It is hard to trust when he does this.
You do not want to participate in a polyship and make new agreements.
You both are not willing to love each other as exes and be friends? Let go of the marriage so he can be free to pursue and you can be free of turmoil watching him break agreements?
Could accept limit reached. :(
It is not really about her right now. It is about him... Being willing and able to forgive and trust him again after cheating on your shared marriage agreements not just once but two times with gaming people. :(
If he keeps on dinging you you could get out of the line of fire. You cannot control his behavior. You do control your staying-ness.
I know it is hard... But pick your hard and move it forward. Don't keep it in the stuck.
Thanks for the responses. It's very helpful to hear what an outsider sees. I've run your questions back at me multiple times over the weekend. Don't have any set plans yet but they've provided insight for discussion and that's already been helpful. Thanks again!
Glad it is helpful.
If he is not able to come to you respectfully to discuss changing wants or needs, changing limits or boundaries, or changing relationship shapes up front? Could examine why he is not able to do this behavior -- talking openly and honestly with his spouse.
Those are intrapersonal and interpersonal skills -- people either work to grow them or not. Merely changing from monoship to polyship shape just adds players to the mix. Doesn't address the lacking skills or behaviors for relationships to remain healthy and harmonious. Doesn't address damaged trust.
If his skills are poor right now and his behaviors are poor right now, they aren't going to "magically improve" just by changing the shape of the relationship to a polyship shape.
If you both are able to renegotiate marriage agreements so he can stick to them because his need for connection/adult interaction is being met and you can be willing to rebuild trust in his ability to stick to new agreements, great. Whether that comes in a monoship or polyship shape is up to you all.
If monoshipping is a hard limit for you, accept limit reached. Disband the marriage and figure out how to love each other as friends and exes rather than staying in a thing that no longer works for both of you and having that frustration erode love you do have with resentments.
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.
You feel disappointed because you signed up for a monogamous marriage, and ended up with a husband who wants polyamory and threesomes. It is understandable if you feel disoriented, hurt, even desperate. Your husband could have handled this better, by negotiating with you rather than just changing his behavior and leaving you to figure out the change or not. Doesn't sound like loving behavior to me but I do get that you are probably venting to a large extent.
To be honest? I think the best way to decide whether this is something you can cope with is to visit the Life stories and blogs board and see firsthand what troubles and revelations other people have had in their own lives. Some have found that they could make poly work -- in their own unique way -- while others have found out that it's just not an option for them. And it's good to know, I think, sometimes, that you're not alone in feeling very taxed by all this poly stuff.
Anyway I think you need him to slow down. Just to see if this is even possible. I mean, did he ask permission to do poly and threesomes or did he just start inviting poly partners into his life without getting your go-ahead?
Perhaps we can turn this vent around a bit, and you can think about what are the good things he does, that prove that he cares about you. Not just that he finds you handy to keep around! but that he really cares about your well-being. So, what does he do to demonstrate that?
Any chance a poly-friendly counselor might help? I can post some links if you'd like help seeking one out.
I hope your time on Polyamory.com is healing and helpful.
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)
There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!
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