Thread: Matt's Thoughts
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:37 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I think one of the things you're driving at in your last few posts is, Ryl might not be able to stick with monogamy forever, and you in turn might not be able to tolerate one more bit of polyamory. This combination of opposing forces would, logically speaking, spell the end of your marriage. Or to condense that idea, you're wondering if you and Ryl are really compatible as a married couple after all. Sort of like saying what happens if you take one person who's 100% polyamorous (by orientation), another person who's 100% monogamous (by orientation), and pool the two people into a marriage. Isn't the marriage guaranteed to fail? It seems more like a question of when than if, and the how is just details.
Yeah. I started thinking about this over the weekend. It's that argument of what was signed up for. I didn't sign up with the hopes of it ever being a monogamous marriage. It has been a polyamorous marriage for 11 1/2 years. It just makes me wonder if we're compatible in a monogamous marriage. Yeah, the chemistry is there. The passion is there. The love is there. The structure? Completely different. Can I really get used to having a wife around all the time? Will I even like having her around all the time? For years, it wasn't anything like this.

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I can see your reasons for not wanting to lead Ryl down that rabbit hole when she's already chafing with regrets, but in part of my mind I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to somehow at least let her know that all is perhaps not as well in paradise as she perceives, believes, and thinks. If for no other reason, so that she wasn't blindsided when this "inevitable divorce" materialized. For instance, you might consider pointing out to her that you and she are enjoying something of a "second honeymoon," and you're worried about what happens when the honeymoon's over. I don't think that statement would aggravate her guilt feelings too much, it's just something she could hear as a statement of your (understandable) feelings and perspective.
I know she feels or felt guilty. I just don't want the root of her desire for monogamy to be guilt based or because of something I said in therapy or privately.

It's worth bringing up. What happens after this? Every high has a crash. This has been a high. It's not that things aren't going well. I mean, they are. Really well. Its been cool to feel something other than anger towards her. I'm happy. I enjoy being around her and having her around. It never gets old walking in and seeing her in the kitchen or hearing her voice. A few weeks ago, we went to a charity event in Sydney, and she was looking at me from across the room. With the tilt of her head, a smile that lit up the room, and that look, I knew what she was thinking. I miss her as opposed to intentionally distancing myself from her. I enjoy seeing her smile and laugh as opposed to crying and stressing to the point of losing weight. I enjoy having her around. I love her sense of humour and that smile that had me from the first time I met her. I love the way her perfume lingers even after she has long left a room. I love when she borrows my clothes. I love that sparkle in her eye when she talks about the causes she's passionate about. It's all those things. Its been nice knowing that she's working just as hard as I have been and that I'm not in this marriage alone. I remember why I love her and what made me fall in love. I'd hate to give this up. Look at that. I do have feelings outside of anger and joy.

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Perhaps the hitch is if she feels "guilty for being polyamorous." Such guilt feelings could be skewing her naturally inclined thoughts and actions. But in a way you're both in the same boat if you, in turn, have been made to feel "guilty for being monogamous." If the marriage is eventually going to be tested anyhow, would it be wrong to test it somewhat now with admissions of the doubts and fears that currently exist? I don't have the answer to that question, but I reckoned it might be worth mulling over. The potential benefit might be that you and she could both put some of those old guilt trips behind you, even if it meant you had to admit you might not be meant to stay together forever.
I don't think it's wrong to test it. We've survived worse. Most of this year? Yeah, we can handle this. It's cool that she's all committed and an equal in the marriage now. I don't doubt her sincerity, but I question her driving forces. It could be the missing trust producing these fears. It's no discredit to her. She's worked hard to earn my trust back. Sometimes it's just easier to stick with what's known and not trusting her came with ease. I have to learn to trust her.

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I think it's okay to not know whether you're "really compatible" until the passing of time makes that known. Sometimes it's enough to be "in the now," appreciate whatever blessings you have while you have them, and "give them a try;" find out if they'll stick by putting whatever heart and work you can into them. Given Ryl's considerable smarts, I wonder if she wouldn't be able to understand and assimilate all of that. Maybe she needs the chance to hear "the rest of the story" and cope with it in her own time and way. After all, you and she both seem to me to be strong people who can confront the hard truths with objectivity and courage. Some things are hard to hear, but you can still learn to make peace with them over time.
Agreed. I've made peace with everything involving my wife. I've dealt with it in time, and I don't have any negative feelings towards her. She can have all the time she needs to process what she needs to. I've been here this long. Not planning on going anywhere.

Seeing as how our marriage has never been monogamous, I'm not sure if we're compatible or not. That's why I'm treading with caution. It's foreign. I think I've forgotten what it feels like to be in a monogamous marriage.

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Perhaps the most important thing to remember, no matter how this all plays out in the end, is that you do love each other. If in time you find that you have to part ways, try to do so amicably if at all possible. Try not to let the kids become a wedge that drives you apart. Instead, I'd like to see the kids become a kind of glue that helps you and Ryl stick together at least as friends. Don't blame yourselves or each other for things that "weren't meant to be;" retain the respect and regard you have for each other. Let the kids continue to be involved with both of their parents, and make their own decisions in life as to whether they choose a monogamous or polyamorous path. I state this as if it were meant as advice, but I feel that it is more an expression of my own hopes for you, Ryl, and the kids.
I do love her. I'm not sure I could ever hate her or cause her pain intentionally.

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Of course we all hope that things will turn out just fine, that you and Ryl will somehow find your compatibility when the "real work of the relationship begins." Don't undercut yourselves though, I think you've both already been working quite hard on your relationship, even if the "honeymoon aspect" has made the work relatively joyful so far. It's not like the two of you haven't also waded through your fair share of sorrow in the past six months or so.
This is the most unusual marriage. We've been married for over a decade and starting like it's new. This formerly open marriage is looking more and more normal than this from where I'm sitting.

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Maybe the best direction for therapy to take is figuring out whether you and Ryl need to be on the same or separate paths, and to research how to navigate which of the two futures is best without hurting each other (or the kids). I don't say rush into any of these decisions or "expressions of advice," but I offer them up as food for thought for now. Is there any way your therapist might see the benefit in such a shift in direction? Can you share with Ryl some of the deeper fears you've shared here? You do stand to gain some potential closeness, even if it ironically be on those two different paths.
That's some of what we've started working on recently. She thinks we need to be on the same path. She's been working with us since June, and she's confident in our ability to be a healthy and strong couple.

I could share my fears with her. Telling her might be beneficial. I'm not ruling it out. She'll be home Friday, and I'd rather tell her in person. We have therapy Friday afternoon.

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I am sorry about the permanent wounds the past has branded you with. I guess that is one of the mysteries of life, that we all seem to end up with damage we never "really" recover from. Even after all the forgiveness and acceptance we can muster, the past still leaves us with a "twitch." What you can't erase, I guess you just try to learn to live with as best you can. Thus and so are my wistful musings about it all, at any rate.

Regards,
Kevin T.
No need to apologise. If nothing else, we'll be stronger and closer. I'm learning to live with it. Some days are harder than others but not unbearable like before. The good beats the bad any day.

Last edited by Matt; 10-01-2013 at 04:35 AM.
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