View Single Post
Old 03-30-2013, 08:45 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,435

There's nothing wrong with taking a break from polyamory to focus on rebuilding your marriage and learning to communicate. There's a big difference between "who you are" and "how you behave." That difference cannot be overemphasized.

Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
I really wish it was because of religious reasons. Boy, do I ever? Too bad that is not why I am feeling guilty at the moment. I walked away from the church before, and if I had to venture a guess, I could do it again.
Without getting into a debate, walking away from the church and erasing a childhood's worth of training are two very different things.

Our style is not one where the outside relationship enhanced the marriage, improved communication, or anything else.
By its mere existence? Of course it didn't. How naive to expect it to. That's just like saying "having a baby will fix all our marriage problems." Guess how often THAT works.

Working on your marriage enhances your marriage. Working on communication improves communication. "Your style" was going about your business, ignoring the problems and pretending everything would fix itself if you just stuck your head deep enough in the sand. That has nothing to do with poly, it's a problem that mono people have just as frequently as poly, if not more.

It is realising that I was oblivious to everything that was going on and going wrong because of my beliefs and who I am.
No. Everything was going wrong because you were ignoring your husband's attempts at communication, and he was not communicating clearly enough to make sure he was understood. Again: behaviour, not motivations.

You could go forward and never have another relationship outside your marriage. That won't fix a damn thing with Matt if you don't learn to listen and he doesn't learn to talk. Conversely, if you learn to do these things, there's no reason you couldn't be successful at having polyamorous relationships.

I still think that guilt solves nothing, but if you insist on feeling guilty, at least feel guilty for what you did not who you are.

It was a domino effect of sorts. If I was not poly, then Matt would not have been displaced by another relationship because there would be no other person. If I was not poly, Matt and my MIL would not have been on the outs all that time. If I was not poly, would my husband have felt the need to be over 16k km away from me to find peace? If I was not poly, would I have still ignored him and what he had been telling me for ages?
To all your statements: Yeah, right.
To all your questions: Yeah, probably.

In other words, you're claiming that if you were not poly, you would have magically been a perfectly considerate wife, a perfect communicator and listener, and you would never have had any personality issues? Yeah fucking right.

Sorry hon, but you don't get off that easy. Being poly isn't what made you fail at those things. Failing at those things is what made you crash at poly.

If I was not poly, would we even be in counselling for any of these issues?
Probably not, but only because you would have been able to coast right on by the way many mono couples do, ignoring these deep underlying issues in their relationship because nothing forces them to deal with their personal shit. Does that mean your marriage wouldn't have these issues? Hell no. It just means y'all wouldn't be dealing with them the way you are now.

What I do need is for her to remember that this is not about her.
I completely agree with you. Except, it's not so much that she needs to "remember" that it's not all about her. She needs to LEARN that in the first place. By the sounds of it, she has tantrums when she doesn't get her way.

I do not think that asking someone to support you in your decisions and pursuing your dreams is unreasonable. Support should be a given as long as you are not trying to hurt anyone or do something illegal.
You don't need to justify your life choices to anyone. They're right for you, they're right for your children, they're right for your husband. Si isn't your dependent and she can deal with it like an adult. She can move closer if being with you is so important to her. That was the plan before; she's the one who changed her mind in the first place. She doesn't get to change her mind and manipulate you into agreeing to her demands and then throw a fit when you revert to the original plan before she convinced you to placate her.

I am trying not to act now with all the guilt, but my said true nature has caused many problems. I have to face that and deal with it.
Lots of people are poly and they don't all have these problems. Even more people are mono and have all these problems. So I completely disagree that it's your poly nature that caused these problems. However, choosing to placate your girlfriend and prioritizing your wants over your husband's need to be heard and acknowledged probably didn't help matters.

Hey...I got to be myself, be with the people I loved, but in being myself and following my true nature, you could say that I hurt others in my pursuit of happiness. That is an extension of why I feel selfish.
You feel selfish because your behaviour was selfish. You did not balance the needs of everyone involved, you thought only of yourself. That's got nothing to do with being poly. Lots and lots of mono people make the same mistakes you've made. Instead of a girlfriend, it could have been your career, or parenting, or tulip breeding. People have thrown marriages away for all kinds of obsessions.

The point I'm trying to make is that if you keep misplacing the blame, you're only going to repeat the same mistakes but with a different focus. So you ditch the girlfriend -- what's to stop you from throwing yourself into the next thing that "me me me" wants?

I get it. I really do. I'm a lot like you: strong-willed, selfish, oblivious. I want what I want and I figure it's mine for the taking. But I've seen the destructiveness that can cause, the pain it can bring my husband, so I had to learn to change that behaviour if I didn't want to hurt the people I love. Changing the behaviour gradually changed those desires. I've become more compassionate and understanding. But it starts with recognizing the real problem and dealing with it at the root. Your real problem is not poly, it's how you treat people. Just because poly was the trigger for the behaviour does not mean that behaviour would not have occurred with a different trigger.

But you don't have to believe me. You're free to run your own experiment, try being mono without changing that other stuff, and let me know how that works out for you.
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
Reply With Quote