I have to say that I’m oddly happy that I’ve been home with my first real bout of sickness in a couple of years during this unfolding of events. It’s given me a real chance to reflect, engage in dialogue with you fine people, and come to my husband, and soon our girlfriend with a lot of clarity. In my normal everyday life I don't have a great deal of time to sit down and write this much/reflect this much - it's a much longer process! I’m sure part of Ray’s “do you have a split personality?” feelings come from the unusual amount of growth that has happened in a relatively short amount of time.
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore
What made me come around completely to thinking that your situation is a healthy one was that:
- the boundaries are about very reasonable worries concerning your husband's tendency to deal horribly with NRE, not about trying to keep the third in a "safe" controlled position in relation to the two of you
- you're open to and embracing of the possibility of love and of the relationship becoming whatever it wants to be in time
- you see these boundaries as a starting place and are open to changing them as needs/comfort dictate
- you obviously respect your third and aren't engaging in the deeply problematic, controlling behaviors that some couples do, like demanding exclusivity before she's had a chance to form anything like a real partnership with you
I truly feel heard and understood here – I feel like you get me, and for that HUGS!! While I appreciate the challenging and question asking, I think that I’m a total weirdo in that I do all of that myself all of the time anyways. In my ridiculous assumption that you all would psychically know that about me already, I was a little caught off guard and felt pretty misinterpreted
We are still exploring whether we want to have individual sexual relationships with each other. At present, I do not – I am very much enjoying the dynamic and energy that we are creating. S joined us because she very much wants and loves to be part of a 3 – she doesn’t do as well in independent relationships, and grew up with two brothers and misses that feeling of happiness between three people. She has said time and time again how much fun she is having. My husband still maintains that he is not interested in an outside sexual relationship with S, but that he would like to be able to txt her if he's thinking about her (something we'll be talking about on our date on Sunday, which thankfully was not set up as a sex date so that we can really focus on good communication... well... mostly focus
, we have a tendency to get a little distracted by each other in general
.) This may change for her, for me, for my husband – we’re going to have some long talks in the upcoming weeks/months, I’m sure, and if it evolves there, great. For the time being, we have that boundary to avoid complications while we’re establishing a functional and respectful framework that takes everyone’s wants/needs/desires into consideration.
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore
I also do think that everyone gets that your husband's boundary-breaking behavior is not ok -- some people have mentioned it, and it's very clear on other threads that we don't cotton to selfish, thoughtless overstepping here -- but people are choosing to focus instead on what they see as the bigger issue, which is the question of where the boundaries are coming from and whether they're helpful or harmful.
Totally agree with this as well – I think though, that in such a new relationship the bigger issue is the violation/transgression of boundaries. There is plenty of time for exploring whether those boundaries will fit long term down the way, but basic respect, honesty and communication are WAY more important to me at this point.
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused
I know for me, if I were falling in love with someone and I was told I could not text them or contact them without a third party's permission, I would find that really hard to bear. (Do you limit his contact with other friends and family, or just with her?) For whatever reason, he must have figured doing it behind your back was easier than talking to you about changing the rules.
My husband admitted to his core reasons for contacting her – he felt left out, as S and I have a lot of communication (all of which he reads with her knowledge) including letters, emails and txts. Instead of coming to me with those feelings of being left out, he consciously decided to take what he wanted – there’s where the problem lay for me - not in his desire to communicate, but in his violation of our boundaries. I don't believe his motivations lay in not thinking that talking to me would be easier, he was simply doing what he wanted because he had some dark-cloud feelings about the whole situation and didn’t want
to have to talk with me about it (RED FLAGS FOR ME
! Which is why I freaked).
We are talking about it as a group on Sunday to revisit where everyone is with it. I absolutely do NOT control who my husband has relationships with. If/when I have had issues (his very abusive/controlling ex wife contacting him out of the blue, and me feeling very protective and threatened for example) I sit down and talk with him about it until I feel comfortable (I am even friends with some of his exes at this point!) Mind you, when she came to town last summer, I had a lot of reservations around that (she was extremely abusive to me in the past, and to him, we still have work to do there!) He was respectful of that after long talks, in which I shared how much I feared her hurting him, judging him/us, etc. We'll get there, I know we will, but she is a total exception to the rule!
Thanks for your insight and questions. I think it has helped me realize again that my husband has a lot of shame and rebellion in him around asking for what he wants/needs, and often acts like a warrior when he comes up against uncomfortable feelings, instead of my life partner. I have so much compassion and love for him and his struggles, and know that he is a truly good man, but that doesn't mean that I will EVER excuse his bad behaviour; it’s all about laying down good ground rules and holding fast to keeping things honest and going great.