TO: MY WIFE's RECENT EX-GF,
Reading this will contain stuff you can't unlearn!
Don't read if you don't want to know!!!! STOP NOW, GO BACK, DO NOT COLLECT $200
Don't whine to me later if you proceed anyways!
You have been warned!
My wife carried on developing the relationship with the guy, to the point now where they are bf/gf now. Iíve had very little to say, although my wife has been good about checking in frequently with me about how Iím dealing with things. She knows that Iíve still got concerns, but Iíve tried to adopt Freetimeís attitude about it...damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Deal with the consequences on the other side
. Iíve refrained from trying to drag out any control measures like vetoes, or imposed timelines. Iíve not asked for any promises to give the illusion of certainty or security that she may not be able to keep. I havenít asked her to slow down or stop, and the other day she actually made a comment thanking me for it, which was funny since it was the first time Iíd actually considered that it might have been a possibility to do so.
I am a little conflicted though. Iím not entirely comfortable with the future of my wifeís new bf. Heís got a factor in his life that could result in him doing things that will end up hurting my wife if he doesnít negotiate things very carefully.
I asked to be kept informed of when things were likely to happen, and so it seems weíre finally on the cusp of passing through the crucible. So I find myself again trying to seek compersion and failing. Trying to keep anxiety at bay, and bring unsure of where itís all coming from.
How many of these will sound familiar to others?
- I try not to play the competition game. It does nothing positive for self-worth, and my wife is so competitive I wouldnít be able to help but lose anyways. If sheís now open to other guys, then she may have no issues in the future finding people willing to give her affection. As a guy, the playing field is much different, and having been told twice recently how not-pretty-enough I am, itís hard not to fall into a vicious cycle that makes it very difficult to be positive about my prospects for dating my own self. (On a side note, thereís an envy vector here as the bf doesnít seem to have too much trouble getting female attention, from more than just my wife) Thereís probably also a time issue here too that I might need to revisit later, in that my wife is already a busy person with a lot of time away from home for hobbies. While her gf once upon a time asked ME to guarantee HER a date night with my wife at least once every 2 weeks, she rarely lived up to her part of the bargain to take my wife away that often! By contrast, my wife had already been spending an increasing amount of time with the bf even beforehand. So perhaps I need to make better efforts to make sure weíre getting our quality time again
- The usual scripts are supposed to kick in, and perhaps thatís what Iím concerned about? Am I less a man because my wife is seeking comfort in another? (She was doing this before anyways with a woman, so what really has changed?) Am I going to be suddenly not enough, or undesirable at all? More importantly, am I *actually* concerned about this? Or do I just think I should be? When I was about to get married I had a period of doubt which had nothing to do with my own concerns, but the constant echo of friends in my ears telling me about why I should be fearing marriage. Eventually the echoing was loud enough that I had to ask myself if maybe I should be worried about marriage, if others were seeing something I wasnít. Is this a similar thing where the scripts tell me I should be worried? Am I ignoring legitimate worries just because I think it might be like those old echoes, and Iím trying to tune it out? Itís a paradoxical vortex that has nowhere to go but down.
- Am I hesitant just because I havenít had time to process? Should I have tried to slow things down? Am I just playing along as the dutiful husband and a good poly partner because I donít want to be *that guy* who has a patriarchal double standard or de-facto OPP? Am I intentionally ignoring warning signs or possible issues because it would be too easy to mistake as my own insecurities and I donít want to seem petty? Is the self-imposed pressure of having to be supportive in the wake of my wife being dumped making me drive towards a higher standard of behavior than Iím actually ready for? If I am being blind to warning signs because Iím trying to behave, what happens when the warning comes true and Iím not ready for it? Or am I simply past the point of these considerations being an issue and I am in-fact at the point of being comfortable about my wife being with men, and just having trouble admitting it to myself?
- This will be the first time since weíve been together that my wife has been with another guy she actually loves. Whatever that particular status was, or may have represented will go away once sheís been with him. Part of me wonders about that, possibly curious if Iím having trouble celebrating something that Iím more inclined to mourn. (Mostly on account of the guy before me was such a putz that it was a point of pride for many many years that I was the BBD at the end of that fiasco) Or is this, to borrow from a line from Firefly regarding virginity...it is simply a state of being, in which case the transition from one state to the other is simply a natural progression without any real consequence that need be considered.
All the above things have two facets that mostly balance each other out. Iím not finding the compersion I should in this situation, so I am trying to dig at these various roots to try and get at the core of why Iím not happier about it. What Iíve been finding is that I donít really think any of these is actually *bothering* me.
So here I am, on the eve of my wife possibly consummating her new relationship, and not feeling particularly thrilled about it, but also Iím not upset or fearful. Right now, my best guess is that the compersion-blocker is due to the uncertainty about the bf and the factor that could make everything go sideways and my wife getting hurt. Sheís a big girl, and is aware and accepting of this risk
, but as my own very protective nature goes, it doesnít slow me down one iota about keeping vigil on her behalf.
I feel...neutral. Which I suppose is better than some of the alternatives. Hopefully soon the near term unknowns that are casting shadows on the situation will shake out, and for better or worse, weíll get some clarity.
And then maybe...just maybe, once I feel better about everything, I can get back to sorting myself out, and finding a way to get fewer not-pretty-enough speeches. Two in a week, you know what we say about what the common factor is when we get the same results in relationships with different people...itíd be me.
Tune in next time when youíll hear someone say, ďYou wouldnít believe how big it was!!Ē