He won't tell me to change what I do because he doesn't want to be in the position of controlling me or forcing me to give up something important to me, but I think he feels more and more betrayed by the fact that I am going forward in spite of his pain.
Let's try this on by taking ALL names out of the equation and talk about it like it's generic people. Sometimes that technique can help shed light by removing some of the emotion clouds.
- The husband could acknowledge he feels pain right now.
- The husband could take responsibility for himself and his own well being and long term health.
- The husband could examine what behavior he does that ensues in pain for him.
- The husband could acknowledge that he is choosing to participate in a non-monogamous marriage configuration that does not feed him.
- The husband could acknowledge that choosing SILENCE when something bugs him is not working for him.
- The husband could choose to change behavior to see if better feelings ensue over time.
What could husband choose to do as his next behavior?
The husband could choose to ask the wife:
" Wife, I gave it a try. I find it is still not for me. Are you willing to be in a monogamous marriage with me now that we've tried it on and it is time to re-assess?"
wife says yes, she is willing?
The wife says maybe or not sure?
- the husband could choose to stay with the wife in the new monogamous marriage configuration.
- the wife adjusts her stuff because she is willing to do it.
Wife says no, not willing?
- The husband could ask for wife to present final word by X deadline of reasonable time, and if deadline for "thinking time" passes without definite input from wife?
- Husband can choose to move his life forward to a healthier space without wife input since she has nothing solid to share at this time.(Wife was given opportunity to speak up or not. Wife did not give definite input. Husband has no choice but to move on without her input toward his best healths.)
- The couple could choose to end the non-monogamous marriage.
- The couple could choose to be friends afterward.
- The husband could choose to heal himself and when ready, find the partner willing to be in monogamous marriage configuration that would feed him in that bucket.
The wife could choose to heal herself and when ready, find the partner(s) for nonmonogamous marriage configuration that would feed her in that bucket.
- The husband and wife could each choose to reach TOWARD best long term health and well being for the individuals.
- The husband and wife could each choose to accept this configuration reached the final stop. The journey has ended. Time to get off the train and move forward.
I'm trying to find the middle road between guilt and longing. I love them both, and I want them both to be happy, but my husband is not happy.
- Wife wants to be in a non-monogamous configuration.
- Wife sees and knows husband is unhappy in non-monogamous configuration.
- Wife is concerned for husband well being.
- Wife is aware that husband is not willing to speak first.
What could wife choose to do as her next behavior?
Wife could choose to stay silent.
Wife could choose to speak up.
- Watch husband suffer some more.
- Suffer herself.
- Choosing this behavior is her demonstrating loving behavior to husband she loves. (Yes/no?)
- Does her TALK match her WALK with this choice when she says she loves him? (yes/no?)
WIFE could choose to initiate the Hard Conversation:
"Husband, I love you. I see you are suffering. Do you need to be in a monogamous marriage to feel better? Yes or no?"
If Husband answers yes? Wife must be prepared to answer:
"I am willing/not willing to be in monogamous marriage. I am/am not not able to meet that need and make the changes required."
I am sorry you are hurting.
But fear, or unwillingness to do introspection work on yourself, or not liking to feel yucky feelings...
Those are not a good reason to avoid having Hard Conversation that has to be had. HAVE IT. Are you a participant in your marriage tending or not? The marriage is hurting. Tend it. This includes talking to him about ending it to stop continual suffering you both experience and how you want to be after that sort of option if the couple chooses that.
What could the couple choose to do?
Could choose to speak to willingness.
Could choose to do the work of un-suffer.
Could choose to stop focus on what they do not want (aaaah! marriage ending!) that is causing paralysis.
Could choose focus to run TOWARD something good that both DO want:
- End the thing that does not work and cultivate a relationship that COULD work if both want it and are willing -- be it monoship or friendship only.
Not stay in UGH because of fear of yucky and stay cultivating a thing that isn't feeding either much of anything but suffering.
Whatever the outcome the couple decides to work toward? (new and improved polyship, monoship, break up and friendship only, something else?)
I suggest you both could choose to BE WILLING do the work of UN-suffer to get yourselves over there to the Happier Place.
SPEAK UP. SPIT IT OUT.
You even have a counselor already -- let's go! Work on the communication skills you both could grow to better steer this relationship to its next port of call.
Hoping you both do ok...