I am looking for advice or anyone with experience on transitioning a relationship from primary to secondary. I feel confused because I'm new to poly and new to breaking up. For a little background my husband and I have been married for almost 6 years. He was my high school sweetheart. My first everything. A year and a half ago we fell roughly into the poly thing. Now we are divorcing, but potentially maintaining a LDR. I can't decide what is best for me as we transition our relationship. I didn't want the divorce. Not a real one anyway. Now I have the opportunity to live with him for another year until he can be with his other person. We both want me to be here with him for the year and she is ok with it too, but I have concerns. To give more background about a year and a half ago I discovered that I was possibly bi. That started our intro to a poly lifestyle. It has been a rough intro because we made poor decisions and didn't communicate well. I hurt him in that process. About a year ago he met a girl and discovered his own interest in being poly. We didn't handle this well either, and I struggled a lot with his feelings for her. We worked at communicating and agreed that he could see her and I could see my best friend. Both of our outside relationships are LDR's.
In my case my best friend is married and her husband doesn't know the truth of our feelings for one another. For that reason my bf and I agree to not pursue a sexual relationship with one another. The emotional connection is still there for both of us. It's hard to define. We are best friends but I love her more deeply than I would ever consider possible among best friends.
My husband's gf (not sure what to call her) is mono. The original agreement that we had was that we each had one other person outside of our relationship. We also hoped that the relationship between him and her would develop into a v where we all lived together. This is where it gets tricky. My husband and "N" are both in the military. I'm not. In order to make living together possible my husband and I would have to get a divorce and I would have to follow them both around. Eventually their relationship developed to the point that they knew they wanted to be together. I was very insecure as this developed because she had never committed to the idea of a v and he isn't great about dealing with difficult emotional issues. I was trying to give her time and space to figure out what she wanted. She and I get along well and have had several long conversations together.
Eventually we all sat down and talked together about that decision. I wanted the three of us to be together. She mostly wanted it to be him and her, but didn't want to be unfair to me. He said he didn't think it could work logistically with me following them, but he still loved me. In truth me following them did present some difficulties because of our careers, finances, and the ever present possibility of them being sent somewhere new. So basically we were at the "D" word. A real divorce not a paper one to keep us all together. That was a difficult time. I left for a week and during that time my husband and I connected and saw clearly how much we still want and value a relationship together. After a talk with his "N" she gave me an open invitation into their lives whenever and a place to stay in their home. I actually had already done the same for her, but it was nice and meant a lot to me.
So now we are just about to the present situation... My husband's post in our current location ends in roughly a year. I'm a teacher and my job ends in summer. All three of us are ok with me staying here for the next school year with him if I want. I really like the idea but I have some doubts and concerns. Do I want to be divorced? Sometimes I really don't. I didn't choose that option. I simply learned how to accept it. One of the issues that led to the "D" word was that he told me he loved her more than me. I put that in the forums and received advice about NRE ect.. I've read him those posts and discussed things with him. The "loves her more than me" thing has progressed into him ultimately choosing to be with her over me. He can't see himself without her. Can I accept that he loves her and enjoys her more in all ways? Am I even supposed to believe that or am I supposed to chalk it up to NRE and wait it out? Does that even matter we already decided on the next step?-->divorce. Do I want to stay with him for another year until he can be with her? Is it healthy for me? I feel like it leaves me hoping things will work out and change between us. I want to accept what this is and enjoy what we have in our transitioning relationship. I can see his love for me in the way we relate. I still love him, but I'm afraid of being at a disadvantage emotionally because I am hurt and angry at how this turned out. I'm still grieving over that even though I seem largely ok on the surface. I feel like I got dumped you know. I've never been on either side of a break-up. I want someone to love me the way he loves her. Is that wrong? Or maybe the appropriate question is does that point to some weakness I have that I'm not seeing?
As I think about what I need to do for me to be happy I keep coming back to the idea that I want the opportunity to go out and see other people while we do this. The problem is that he isn't okay with that. Am I wrong for wanting that? If I'm honest with myself I have always been curious about what it would be like to be with other people sexually. I think it would increase my confidence and understanding of my sexuality. I'm also interested in the possibility of exploring varying degrees of intimate personal relationships with other people. Plus there is the confusion I still have about my sexuality. I'm not sure what the situation with my bf really means. Am I bi? Just curious? My bf and I had sex once. It was wonderful but it was also wrong because we were doing it behind the backs of the other people we love and care for. l love her with a depth that is hard to explain and the sexual chemistry was there but because it was all so new I am unsure what it means.
Is he right when he says my wanting to see others is a spite move? Am I trying to provoke him or am I making a point that I'm not his anymore? Ok maybe a little on the ownership issue. He chose to make the divorce a real change in our relationship rather than a paper change to accommodate us ALL living together. He can't see the 3 of us working out logistically and he isn't sure if he'll still want me around when he has her full time. But I'm trying to make it clear to my heart and to his that our relationship is already fundamentally different now that we've made these decisions and acknowledged these feelings. How am I supposed to watch him plan his life with her and not want to work on my life too? I resent that he is trying to hold me back. That's what it feels like. He's already acknowledged that he will let me go to be with her. I still think we are good together in many ways and we have the opportunity to capitalize on that for another year, but I need him to give me the freedom to move on as well. I can't lay my heart at his feet for the next year knowing that when the time is up I get tossed to the side. I still love him but I don't think it's healthy for me to be tied to him exclusively. I feel like I've acknowledged that our relationship is now different. And that he hasn't. He feels like I want to violate our original agreement. I feel he already has. I want to see if we can handle a new definition our what our relationship is and enjoy this opportunity. Glass half full. Not completely an end but a beginning to something different. I worry that his inability to give me the space to see people on the side if I stay here the extra year indicates that either: he is using me to fill the time until they are together, or that he is avoiding his feelings about letting me go even though he decided it was over. He doesn't deal well with feelings. They are scary so he hides them from himself as long as he can. So this is where I am. Confused. Hurt sometimes but the hurt part heals. I still have to make some decisions and rather soon because of my job. If I'm not going to stay with him I need to decide where I want to go. I don't like our current location. I never settled in here. Plus I'm a first year teacher and so overwhelmed with that and my 2 hour daily commute. I practically live at that school and still feel woefully inadequate as a teacher. I feel all this pressure from so many directions. I want to talk with him again about this situation but I don't want to fight. And I'm trying to make sure I'm asking for this freedom for the right reasons. Anybody ever dealt with something like this?
So your husband and his gf want you and your husband to get divorced so that they can be together but he doesn't want you persuing any other relationships? That seems completely unfair to me and that you're really getting the short end of the stick here. I wouldn't stand for it. From what you've said here it sounds like you're letting them walk all over you.
If I were you in the situation you're in now I would plan on getting my own place and setting up date nights with your current-soon-to-be-ex husband. If you have your own space it might be easier to make that boundary clear that you don't belong to him. You are your own person and you should be able to persue relationships that make you happy. I don't think it is healthy for you to stay living with him until the absolute last minute. It's probably going to be easier to start your own life now as an independant person.
I'm not seeing a lot of respect here towards you at all. If he still does want a relationship with you I think he should put some effort into wooing you again. If he's not willing to, move on. There's going to be someone(s) out there who will value and respect you. Don't just hang out being the stop gap until he can be with her full time. That's not fair to you. It's not up to you to fill a gap in his life. If this is the call that he has made then maybe he should be spending some time alone.
I am having trouble following. You have a girlfriend that you have named "bf?" Is that it? Cause I am getting confused with "bf" meaning "boyfriend" as it often does. Am I to understand that you are cheating with her? Her husband doesn't know about your connection or that you had sex?
As for the husband thing. I got that you are married and your husband has a girlfriend that he wants to be with/live with, so you are getting divorced, yet you are still together? Why are you getting a divorce? Because she is mono? Because it has something to do with being in the military? Because you have both moved on from being that in love any more?
I don't use the primary/secondary description personally. No one is better than another to me. So if I were you I wouldn't assume I was secondary.
If you want to be divorced and still date your ex husband then fill your boots. Why not? That doesn't make his new girlfriend better or have any rights over you. Their relationship is their own and yours is your own with him also.
If the relationship with your girlfriend is to become more then you both will have to fess up and see if her husband is tolerant enough to deal with not only the cheating, but the fact that he has a poly partner. That is a lot to assume will work out. I suspect he will be very hurt and deceived...
It sounds like you have two relationships that are not solid and not all that serious in terms of commitment, depth and connection. Is this what you want? If so then I am not getting what the issue is. Just do your own thing and carry on. See them whenever you feel like it.
If you are not okay with this then you will have to start putting your foot down about what you want and do a heck of a lot of work to make sure you are getting your needs met. If they are interested in having that with you that is. They might not be.
To be frank, it doesn't sound like it... he sounds like he is moving on and just playing lip service to you until next year when he leaves you. and she sounds like she is just seeing if it is fun to be a lesbian or bi... she doesn't sound all that interested in having an above the board relationship with you. You are just convenient by the sounds of it. Or maybe I missed something?
RP, I think I followed her a little better than you. OP discovered she might be bi, talked to her hubby. They agreed to each have one relationship outside their marriage. She started a relationship with her female best friend, while her hubby got a girlfriend. She slept with her bf (best friend) once, but decided not to continue persuing a sexual relationship with her because her bf's hubby doesn't know his wife is bi.
OP and her hubby wanted to move their relationship into a triad or a V at some point in the future with hubby's gf moving in with them. Due to their being military and being in a poly relationship being against the UCMJ (Universal Code of Military Justice), OP and hubby decided to get a paper divorce, so that hubby and gf would not be prosecuted for their relationship. Hubby is caught up in NRE and has decided he now wants the divorce to be real. He wants to be with his new gf, but doesn't want to give up OP. So until he moves to be with gf, he (and gf) want OP to stay living with him and continue their relationship and move it into a LDR after hubby moves away.
OP isn't sure she should put up with this, especially since hubby doesn't want her to date other people in the meantime.
IMO, she should put her foot down. She has the right to see other people if he does and if that's what they agreed to. If she's not seeing bf anymore, she should (according to their agreement) be able to date one other person. If she doesn't want a divorce, she doesn't have to sign the divorce agreement, though that will most likely lead to what none of them want - the military finding out about her hubby's affair.
Thank you for your responses. RP I didn't think about how some of my story might not be clear. BF does indeed mean best friend for me. I should have wrote it out. And Brigid does have the story correctly. The military nuances make it confusing as well. I've spent our marraige following him around. In order for my husband and his girlfriend to ever be on the same base they will have to get married. So my husband and I would have to get divorced. That's where all that part comes in. And yes he would get in a lot of trouble if any of this were ever to be discovered. I agree that is time for me to stand up for myself which probably means leaving, but it seems so much harder than it sounds. I don't know why I can't just let go.
I think it's so unfair that you need to divorce. I think this is something that shouldn't be taken lightly at all - have you and your hubby tried counseling? I just don't get why he has chosen her, a year-long LDR, over you, someone he's been married to for six years.
You seem to believe the problem is your not being able to let go. Yet, I don't think you've been treated fairly or completely respectfully in this situation. At least it doesn't seem that way to me.
Why can't he and his gf continue as a LDR for a while if they get separated to different bases? What's the hurry? How much longer will he be in the military?
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It seems no one is able to be there for you in the way you desire and need. My immediate thoughts?
1) Hubby sounds like a serial monogamist, not poly.
2) Him divorcing you to be with someone he, according to his own words, loves more, leaves with you with NO obligations whatsoever to your relationship IMHO.
3) If you want to be with your best friend, it's time to fess up. Look around for tags on 'cheating' and brace yourself.
4) It might be that your best friend is not willing to risk her relationship with her man to be with you. I'd suggest trying to hit the lesbian dating scene anyway, to find about, if that bothers you, if you have sexualove for this particular friend only or for women in general.
I feel for you. My sweetheart is military too, and married to ex-military.
thanks for clearing some of that story up for me :) I appreciate it :)
Don't do it!
Although I am not in the US military, I have over 20 years in the Canadian military and getting divorced is going to leave you high and dry if something happens to him.
Right now, you are entitled to some benefits if your husband passes away or God forbid gets killed in the line of duty. If he divorces you and remarries, you will be out in the cold and entitled to nothing.
I agree with others who have already commented on him being a serial monogamist. I think most people are naturally serial monogamists in fact.
"He's already acknowledged that he will let me go to be with her"
Let me be very suspicious for a second. If you all get together and plan an amicable divorce between you and him then no doubt they will convince you that you don't need to press on things like support or pension sharing "because you'll all be together anyways".
If you get a divorce, and I think moving on is something you should be thinking about, then make sure you get a lawyer to look out for your interests. You need the full protection that any person getting a divorce would get...don't be lulled into signing agreements under the belief that you will always be together. You're going to lose out in this unless you prepare to actually be divorced and independent.
Look after yourself my friend...this is a scary and preposterous idea in my opinion.
Yes, you will have to stipulate in the divorce agreement that you will receive a portion of his pension (calculated for net present value), retirement account, social security benefits, and ask to be assigned his life insurance (assigned, not a beneficiary. He can change his beneficiaries at any time). These things are not automatically awarded to you. That is in addition to spousal support, which you had also better ask for, in case you are indeed left high and dry if he becomes enamored with his gf and you don't all wind up together.
His proposal of this situation is CRAZY!!!!
Don't sign anything until you've spoken with a lawyer familiar with government employees!
But I would say start with a therapist first - there seems to be a real problem here.
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