Look, hug wife and reassure.
Then see this current thread -- it's from the mono woman trying to understand the poly man's poly announcement. Kinda similar situation.
NOTHING has changed. You are still CLOSED relationship with HER -- your wife right?
Most of this stuff is just TALKING -- and that's the only thing really that you most wanted, right? To be able to talk more freely with your spouse about your feelings.
Most of the actual poly stuff is a "Does not even apply in this closed relationship situation." Reassure her on that. Be patient. She's having emotional weather. Standby. Tell her you aren't going anywhere, love her to pieces, will be right here with her to weather the storm together.
(In hindsight, I feel that should have exercised my empathy a little more to foresee this. I'm quite aware of my wife's introversion; it seems silly to think that she would see polyamorous romantic relationships any differently.)
Nope. You cannot mind reader her any more than she can mind reader you.
You are trying to FIND OUT her views and actually have meaningful conversation here. Don't shoot the whole thing down and chicken out now just because you got brave and she had an emotional wind blow up. Hang in there.
I told you. People cannot help
what they feel when they are in the middle of feeling it. They can choose how to react and how to act later when calmer.
She's feeling right now. Be patient. Support. Endure with her, reassure. But don't NOT discuss. Set appointment for discussion later. Right now apply first aid where needed and hold during the storm.
Clear communication is a skill. And ok, so it's a bit clonky uncomfortable right now because it got a bit awkward and it is windy.
But neither you or her are going to grow into good weather reporters or weatherman who study the weather, or a solid couple that weathers the Storms of Life if you don't both actually start opening mouths to talk to each other about windy weathery things without fear.
Avoiding all discussion ever because of fear is not "getting along great" or being "good communicators." It is avoiding.
But before moving forward any more on the mono-poly thing, get her buy in that she even WANTS to grow in better communication with you.
Something like --
"Hon, I don't do this to upset you or make you crazy. I am sorry. I was not the most graceful with it. I'm trying to learn.
Really? What I WANT is to be able to come to YOU when my head or heart are heavy. Who CARES what the topic of the day is? The point is that my head and heart are heavy and I want to reach out to my beloved wife.
I don't want to leave you, I don't want to upset our marriage, I don't want to upset you. I LOVE YOU.
But I just don't know how I can get better at coming to my wife with my thoughts and problems if this is how it always ends up. I want to do better by you, by us. Avoiding talking about deep heavy thoughts isn't the answer I want for us. What do you want for us?
How can we get better at our communication? How could I have brought this up better? How do you want to be treated or approached when I have heavy thoughts next time about some other thing? How can I better be that person for YOU when you have heavy thoughts? I want to be that person for you, I want to be a better husband. Basically I want to get to know you deeply and be able to share be deeply too. Is that something you want too? "
I hope she does. You seem to want this so bad.
Then go a lot slower. Baby steps. Maybe one of the things learned from this experience is that your wife can't deal with a double whammy.
- Whammy 1: Whoa! Out of nowhere hubby now wants to be Mr Deep Communication, an area where I'm not good at.
- Whammy 2: Whoa! And the sample topic he picks to practice our weak skill on is WHAT?!
Reassure MANY times you don't want to change the relationship in any way other than better communication.
So... watch the weather. Use the feelings lists. Print 2 -- she circles hers you do yours -- only if she's willing though. Don't FORCE this.
What crazy feeling birds are flying out there in the emotional storm? Don't FIX any of them. Just learn to ID them with wife, if she's willing and feeling more reassured.
Baby steps. Circle. Date the pages. And that's enough for today. See? Nothing horrible!
Set pages aside to visit next week. Pause the Deep convo. Live normal life again for a week. Love, reassure, etc.
Next week? WHY are those the birds out there? No novels, here. Just go down the circles fast and why that bird may have popped out on that list. Now that heads are cooler. Yay. Put lists away. Live normal life again for a week. We can visit Deep Convo Growing later. Smooches.
Next week? Well, bird caca, man. P. U stinky! Now that we know the kinds
of birds out there, and why they might
be out there -- what can we do to have less
of those pooping on our house? We could we try together? Jot some ideas down.
Live normal life again for a week. Just take it all in baby steps. Next time there's an emotional storm with those birds? Try on these new bird techniques. Did that work? Was there less caca? How was that for you, honey? You like the broom or the mop better? Do I have you back enough? Did you see any new birds?
My spouse was willing, but horrible at this. And you know what? Me not going anywhere, normal life going on every week? Baby step weather check ins? Over time he got lots better.
And now it's like "Dude! Possible Bird Sighting! Because! Stand By!" and he throws me the heads up and I get the binoculars on. Sometimes it doesn't even fly near us. When it does? He's no longer Mr Avoider. He's shouting "Incoming bird crap! Let's GO! Man up!" and he's throwing me a mop and we're off to shoo it away together.
I'm not going to say we are bird caca FREE. But certainly a lot less. If better communication skills is what you want, you have to practice the skills.
Hang in there!