I'm sorry you guys are struggling.
Here's how it appears to me. I could be wrong.
HER TRIGGER is BF not being responsive like she wants him to be.
To solve this BF thing, she broke agreements with HUSBAND? This does not compute. YOUR TRIGGER: She told you MORE than you agreed to share. She crossed the TMI line.
Her deeper layer problem seems to be emotional management and coping with her hurt feelings /behaviors appropriately so she can arrive at an effective possible solution.
Rather than break TMI agreements with you to solve BF problem, she could ask him if he's willing/able at this time to give her responsiveness like she wants it to be. Or if he's willing to give her a time a bit later so she can know WHEN the time will BE for resolution.
If he's an "avoid" style conflict resolution person and she doesn't like dealing with that, she could evaluate if she still wants to be with him. That's all up to her.
She can choose to move on any time she wants to.
If she sometimes needs help from you to figure OUT the possible solutions she could try? Or she's decided to move on but needs help with the HOW of that? She could ask for your "willing/able" first. Not just break TMI agreements and "rain doom from the sky" on you. Nobody likes being ambushed or taken for granted!
HEALTHIER RELATING IDEAS
To solve a WIFE'S oversharing behavior problem, you plan to beat up the BF and “take care of him yourself?” This does not compute.
Your deeper layer problem seems to be identifying “who owns what” and keeping good boundaries with your wife so you can arrive at an effective possible solution to her TMI-ing you without your consent.
Then you can balance “being there” for her with “responsible for my own well being and my own behavior."
You seem to feel resentment when your time together with wife is clouded by her BF problems. But this is not the BF's fault. He's not the one dumping "doom from the sky" on you telling you things. This is wife's behavior – telling you things in a way you find objectionable. That's a wife communication problem.
Kvetch OUT, not in. You posted here. That is kvetching out. Good for you!
She's breaking agreements with you to dump on you. That might make her feel better for the airing out, but that is kvetching IN. Not healthy for you, or the marraige, or the polyship. She seems to be acting out and seems to be flipping it around on you because you have had bigger acting out problems in the past.
So? That doesn't mean she's not acting out here on this one TODAY. Her behavior ADDS to the problems, not TAKE AWAY.
What about you? You saying you will beat up someone she cares about (BF) -- does that ADD to the problems or TAKE AWAY?
You found that just continued arguments and did not arrive at conflict resolution between you. Maybe you both could focus on behaviors that TAKE AWAY? Review your own conflict resolution skills with each other?
Could learn the kvetching circle. Comfort IN, kvetch OUT.
When you NOTICE her cross the TMI limit agreement, you could hold it up and go “Whoa, Nellie! This is TMI-ing me. Time out! You did not ask me if I am willing/'able to hear this at this time and give you a special pass on that limit FIRST. This behavior is not considerate of me.”
When your wife does not consider you, it can breed resentment. That paves the path to anger. She may not be dinging you intentionally but she seems to be dinging you thoughtlessly. This is not being considerate in general.
When she crosses the standing TMI agreement and breaks it without checking in with you first to obtain your consent, that also is not being considerate of you in this specific case. It's not "keeping it separate" if she's raining it on you.
She's tried reassuring me what she has/had with him is separate to what she has with me, etc.
And if her behavior does not match her talk? When she tries to verbally reassure you, you have a hard time trusting because her behavior tells otherwise. You aren't actually reassured. Her talk is "just talk."
By doing that chronically? If she does that? She teaches you she's not willing to control her own behavior so she doesn't ding ya -- intentionally or thoughtlessly. So then you end up wanting to control what/who enters your environment so you aren't getting dinged / feeling anxious chronically. This approach is not serving either of you well. Breeding ground for resentments.
I assume agreements/limits between you are to encourage healthy relating behaviors between you.
- If you agreements as they stand are good but not being enforced? Enforce them.
- If they are not good? Renegotiate and rewrite them so they serve you better.
You punching the door does not sound healthy. That's way overloaded.
If you were sitting on other unarticulated frustrations that came out in the "WHOOSH!" or contributed to your angry meter rising? You could express your emotional state more often to your wife. "Nip it in the bud" action. You both could take steps to prevent "overload" in either direction.
You both could remember spouse is a person too -- they are not on call to meet needs 24/7. One could ask spouse if they are willing/able at this time to meet a need request. Not just ASSUME. Spouses deserve basic polite -- in fact, they could get MORE consideration than random strangers.
You both could become more "need" articulate and use “need words.” See need inventory.
I think she could be saying "I need to be understood" when she means "I need to be comforted."
In this case? She actually doesn't have to detail her hurts TO YOU. You are there. You have eyes. You notice her hurting. You notice it affecting your time together already. You already seem to understand
If she needs comfort?
You could remind her that she could ASK you if you are willing to provide comfort first. Then after you give consent, NEGOTIATE what form that comfort could come in. Pick a "comfort thing" you could do for her that serves BOTH your needs. http://goodlifezen.com/21-ways-to-co...end-in-crisis/
You get "no ambush" and she gets comfort.
If she still wants to tell her story to air out, she could pick a different person
than you to tell it to. You are too close on this one and are in the kvetch circle.
You are ALL in the kvetch circle because you are ALL in the polyship. Maybe BF needs to be offered comfort rather than kvetches. Maybe (Wife + BF) need to agree on conflict resolution
style they will use. Maybe all could assume positive intent.
He texted her – “maybe we should call it a day...we're playing with fire." Face value? He seems overwhelmed. If you and she are struggling with polyshipping realities – he could be also!
When you guess he used her for sex? And she guesses he's an “avoid” style conflict person? You are guessing.
This is not KNOWING. Rather than keep on guessing and crank yourselves/each other up? You could focus on constructive solutions. Step OFF the destructive merry-go-round.
You both could take a time out to cool off, and then examine behavior done/ not done BY WHO that set off WHAT part the chain reaction. Figure out where the deeper problems lie between you in communication, boundaries, and dealing with conflict resolution.
Otherwise, even if she breaks up with this
BF? If you and wife continue to polyship? You could find yourselves here again. Same ol' song. Different day.
You can do this. BREATHE. Take it one layer at a time here. Take breaks, but keep breaking it down and solve it. Talk about poly hell
feelings, more jealousy
feelings. Make the plan for coping with feelings/emotional flooding.
This time? You had no map, and it seems that ADDED to the problems.
Hang in there!