practically in tears...
just an awful day for me. I am really confused and hurting. Looking for some advice.
Over the summer, I fell in love with my wife's friend. We did not cheat on our spouses. Emotionally yes but not physically. Both our marriages had real problems and when you fell no love in your life, eventually someone else will fill it. I never stopped loving my wife. It was just the love that we felt was so strong between me and her friend we didn't know what to do. Eventually it came to the thought of leaving our spouses but we just could not do that.
Well time went on and we discovered polyamory. Myself and her friend really took to this notion of love more than one. Our spouses got involved and we all got together (in the same room!) to figure things out.
Since september, our spouses let us have this relationship that was more GF/BF. Everyone knew how we felt and was accepting of it. I tried being just friends with this other woman and it's just not in the cards. The attraction on the emotional and spiritual level is just so strong. Recently I gave into to these feelings and said since everyone seems ok, I'll let myself feel love and express my love. Words only and friendly kisses.
Well monday night the other woman tells me she talked to her husand about the physical side. Maybe going on a date with me. After 14 hours of talking, he gave her complete unconditional love. He was accepting of this and wanted her to have whatever made her happy.
Needless to say but I had to ask the question of my wife. She has joked that we looked like a cute couple, would let me kiss her and cuddle so I thought maybe there was a chance. Well it did not go well at all. She wants me to drop the other woman from my life entirely. She says if you want to show ME unconditional love you will do this.
I do love my wife dearly. More so after the past 6 months where our marriage has gotten far better. I just don't think I am strong enough to leave this other relationship. I just don't think I can lose this other person from my life. Tonight I am sad. My heart is in pain. I may have to leave this other woman entirely. Even if things go back to the way they were recently, I'm not sure I can be around this other woman and just be friends. The feelings are just too great.
never in my wildest dreams did I think I could love two people. Never believed or experienced chemistry this strong. As all of this from words and very little physical experience. Crazy thing is my wife does like the other woman. Like best friends but is also hurt by this.
well not much else to say. just a really sad night in store for me. possibly worse. This is just a horrible feeling. :( :( :( :( :(
Other then doing like y'all did the first time: Getting everyone together and involved I do not really have a clue what you can do.
It really depends on how your Wife feels about it and if there is a group consensus from there on.
What about all four of you getting together to talk again? Maybe that will help?
I also asked my partner to give up his SO in the beginning. He was also sad, very sad and although I know he really tried he was never the same. It took a couple of months but in the end I told him to resume the relationship and that's when I really started learning about polyamory and how to make it a positive thing in our life, even though I didn't feel the need for another partner myself.
I started a blog about my experience(link in signature) and it might be helpful for your wife to read.
Our relationship is now very good and I have a great relationship with his SO (although not sexual). I do think however, that it was important to me that he did honestly try to be monogamous and relegate her back to just a friendship status. I suppose that was easier for him because she is long distance, although he still found having her just as a friend difficult and for those few months had little contact.
I know it's going to be a difficult time for you because we've been through it, but if your love for this woman is really as strong as you say it is, I'm sure your wife will see it and appreciate the efforts you've made to work on your relationship with her. Be patient, let your wife comfort you and vice versa and keep communicating honestly.
Don't be tempted to cheat that will make everything worse, much worse.
Good for you not cheating.... keep it that way or you will be fucked ;):D
I know you are in pain, but be patient and loving and keep talking. You might find that there is a glimmer of hope. Cling on to that and do as she asks for now. It sounds like she needs some time for everything to filter down. Tell her that and let her know that you intend to keep in touch with this woman and that dropping her entirely is not an option for you... you are allowed to set boundaries. Her boundary seems unreasonable for you, so don't agree to it and keep negotiating with her about what would be acceptable. You might find that you never reach a point where you can find a good agreement and might just have to compromise and be willing to let some of your needs go. That remains to be seen though, you are just starting out.
Maybe your wife would like to join here too or at the very least look at some threads on similar experiences. Here in this thread alone there are many. Lots to read. There are also some really good blogs to read also...
You are not alone. Know that. It's all very hard, but you have just begun and the future is not what you think it will be.... take a step at a time and do so with as much love and compassion/consideration as you can... that all comes back to you
I understand the EMOTIONS she's struggling through, but that doesn't change the fact that unconditional love can't be forced or demanded. If you force or demand or manipulate someone into an action, their action is no longer unconditional love-it's obedience. Plain and simple.
I just finished reading a book that really succinctly and lovingly explains this. (It's NOT A POLYAMORY book.) Might be helpful for her in addressing the reality of dealing with her emotions constructively. Sounds like she's struggling with that (understandably, but why continue to struggle if you can fix the emotional hurts?).
"Real Love: The truth about finding unconditional love & fulfilling relationships"-Greg Baer, M.D.
I also would reiterate, don't cheat. It's not worth it. Been there, done that, it will hurt you most and it's just NOT worth it. (great job on NOT doing that to begin with by the way!)
RP is right too, relationships are a series of compromises. Your wife has stated what SHE wants to see happen, now it's your turn to state what you want to see happen. Then the two of you negotiate on a compromise that is acceptable to you both. That's part of a healthy relationship. It's not a healthy relationship if either partner makes demands that impede the health (whether emotionally, physically, sexually or psychological)of the other person. Both partners have to be able to meet their needs in whatever compromise is decided on.
If deleting the other love from your life is going to be destructive for you (and history has shown that most people find it destructive to turn away a loved one); then that isn't a reasonable compromise. It may be reasonable to agree to be only friends.
You (both) need to really look at what your personal NEEDS actually are, not just WANTS, but needs and then sit down to discuss them.
In my personal experience, having tried to cut off the second love of my life completely..... it doesn't result in ANYTHING good. Not only does the person doing it end up miserable, but the person asking them to also ends up miserable-with the now miserable (and often resentful) spouse.....
Could somebody offer a real quick-an-dirty definition on what is the distinction between having a boundary and having a compromise?
I love to fall back on dictionaries for clarification of meanings, especially when it comes to relationships.
A boundary is defined as a demarcation of the "farthest limit," or something that limits, confines, restricts, or restrains. So, basically, you look at how much you can tolerate or live with and set that as a boundary. But it can change because you set it.
To restrain can mean to hold back, keep in check or under control, or repress. It can have positive and negative connotations. Such as in restraining one's temper or restraining one's freedoms. It can mean to deprive someone of freedoms or to hamper or limit any general or specific activity, growth, or effect.
As far as compromising: I think the word compromise is interesting. On one hand it means "a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands," as well as the result of such a settlement. But it also can mean the endangerment of something, or to make a dishonorable or shameful concession, as in "compromising one's intergrity" or compromising your location to an enemy, that sort of thing.
So it would seem to me that compromising is pretty much a balancing act. You can compromise on where a boundary is, and how much restraint is needed, but you have to be careful that the compromise does no harm.
I think it's also helpful to consider the difference between the two words "surrender" and "sacrifice" in compromising and making boundaries. To surrender is to voluntarily yield, submit, or give oneself over to someone or something else. To sacrifice can include surrender but involves giving something up, and possibly even permit injury or disadvantage to oneself do so. I see surrender as a way to let go of old wants and adopting your partner's wants as your own, in a way to feed and nourish the relationship. Surrendering, to me, is something that encourages solidarity. It's like saying, "I want what you want." But sacrifice in negotiating a compromise leaves a sense of loss or missing something, and possibly encourages a little bit of martyrdom. It's a very subtle distinction, but important nonetheless.
Okay, that wasn't really quick and dirty but I've never been known to be brief.
As to the difference between boudaries and compromise?
For me a compromise is made at the beginning of boundary negotiation. Compromise is about the journey to get to a boundary that works for all. It seems at the beginning of boundary setting people need others to compromise so that they can catch up. Sometimes that means not engaging in activities, not talking to someone, spending more time elswhere until the boundary line can be moved again and a boundary be moved towards. Compromising ones desires so to speak.
In this way, to me, compromise is meant to be temporary. It has happened (in cases like my own) where a compromise is all that can be done and in this case surrendering to it is the only option. For me that has meant going through a time of sacrifice to get there. I waffle back and forth with that still and don't know if that will ever change just as I don't know if the compromise I have made will ever change and a boundary found.
Well, after the initial shock my wife has calmed down. She spoke with the other woman's husband and he explained his reasoning. She was upset at him because throughout all this, when we were going to leave our spouses he stuck by her. Now by changing his view, she felt like she had nobody to to stand by her.
She also spoke with the other woman. The great thing is the two of them get along VERY well. She seems to bring the best out in my wife. My wife as always had social issues and such, nothing major but my wife has made huge strides in life with her help. She has friends now, joins clubs,etc. Its just great. Anyway the other woman explained exactly how she felt about me and she wanted to be able to express the affection with something more than just words. She talked about quality alone time.
Well my wife understood her. I supposes the two of them share something very special. Their love for me. My wife said she would be open to listening and understanding. She said she may be ok with some kissing in the future but no idea when. The two of them told each other they loved each other and the call went really well. In fact, we had a major sex romp right after the call! She said having someone else "into" me turns her on!
So my wife has started reading about polyamory. Her main problem with it is when does it end? meaning, If A is married to B and they both have others (C&D) then (C&D) have others (E&F) and so on. To tell you the truth, I don't know how to reply to this. I could use some suggestions.
Here is the great part! After talking about this with her. We woke this morning and I asked her what she was thinking about. She said, "I am trying to figure out how I can be OK with you having a GF." which I thought was really loving of her. Then she also said.."So show me how you would kiss her."...and I did and she kind of giggled it off. She also asked about herself.
So things are better in the sense that I don't think my wife will force me to lose contact with the other woman. I think she is trying to digest and understand this and to tell you the truth, I am as well.
She also brought up "unconditional" love. she said "if you love me, you would move me to warmer weather" which I really don't to do. Didn't really know what to say other than I didn't and we could compromise. She agreed. I suppose she was using this as an example.
I guess I have a lot of thinking to do. Thanks for all your kind support. I have a feeling I will be around these parts very often.
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