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Old 11-28-2012, 10:26 PM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 451

Originally Posted by InquiringOne View Post
I am not practicing poly (yet)
I was in the same situation for about a year. How clear and simple everything seemed then!

Originally Posted by InquiringOne View Post
I love to play basketball, but if i play basketball five nights a week it's going to have an effect on my family. It seems reasonable for my family to allow for me to play one or two nights a week, because after all I am not ONLY here to take care of their needs..
Oh, wow.

Do you really want to go there? There are, um, important disanalogies between having an intimate relationship with someone and playing basketball. You enjoy basketball, but that isn't the same thing as loving and being responsible toward another person.

You can always just walk away from basketball, and it will not be harmed in any way that really matters.

If I were to have a relationship with another person, it wouldn't just be "playing one or two nights a week." The other person would become a part of my life and, by extension, a part of my family's life; she would not be just a little something I enjoy on the side.

Your basketball analogy comes perilously close to the "slippery slope" argument offered by some conservative idiot a year or so ago, to the effect that legalizing gay marriage would lead eventually to people marrying inanimate objects. After all, people love milkshakes, so, if you can marry solely on the basis of love, why not let people marry milkshakes?

Originally Posted by InquiringOne View Post
Going off to Europe or other trips and leaving you as a single parent (if it's fairly regular and constant) is shirking her duties as a mother and a spouse. you are allowed to address that without saying we have to blow the whole thing up. While you say divorce is not a live option (and I feel strongly in my life that it's not either), I think you have to recognize that your relationship with your wife will have to change somehow. It is utterly unfair for you to "have no hope" while she is off with multiple lovers. It's not a matter of her problem being that she is poly, her problem is that she is being neglectful and uncaring which would be unacceptable in any type of relationship. If you really need a scapegoat and you want to make "poly" that, you may never get to the core of the problem so that you can have hope.

I wish you the best man. I wouldn't want to be in your situation for anything. But if your telling is accurate, you need to stand up and set some limits so you are not being trampled on. That's not right no matter what the relationship configuration is. If she doesn't understand that there is no such thing as total freedom when obligations have already been made, then she is not acting like an adult.
How simple you make it seem! It's ALL HER FAULT,the naughty girl!

Of course, it's more complicated than this, and I won't play the usual poly game of dumping on the spouse. My wife does recognize the pain I'm experiencing. She is doing her best to be responsible toward me and the girls, trying to make life as easy as possible when she's away.

Also, there's history here. It's hard for me to say she's ruining my life when, from another point of view, I could just as easily be said to have ruined hers over the previous 16 years of our marriage. We both had a hand in creating our current situation, we have both done damage to one another along the way, as any two people inevitably will.

I have to acknowledge that giving her some freedom to travel, at least, serves both to improve her health and to give her a chance to live and explore a kind of life that had been denied her. I actually do want her to have some degree of freedom, even though it comes at a heavy cost to me.

That's all part of the bind I'm in, the constraints that drain away my autonomy.

Originally Posted by InquiringOne View Post
Is it so outrageous to her for you to ask her to slow down a little bit, or to put a limit on how many days a month/year she can leave you alone with the kids? You can't keep yourself in a situation where you allow her to ruin your life. Eventually that will not be helpful to your kids to have seen her do that to you. Take care of yourself so you can take care of them.
This has already been covered under "palliative measures" in my long note from earlier today. She is willing to reign it in, at least in that she will stop taking in strays.

But she will remain poly, and she already has an ongoing relationship with her boyfriend in Europe. She can't just drop him like a basketball and walk off the court.

Some of the pain can be eased, perhaps, but the fundamental issue - the asymmetry in our relationship - remains and will remain for as far down the road as I can foresee.

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 11-28-2012 at 10:41 PM.
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