What do you do when You change?
I’m part of a V relationship. My husband and I were married (and casually poly) several years before his girlfriend became part of our household (she was a roommate first, it just kinda happened) over a year ago. It was alright at the time, and really everyone has been very supportive of one another. We didn’t really start things ‘right’ – there were no real discussions about the relationships or any sort of loose poly agreement/understanding, because very quickly, I started having a lot of health problems that took over our attentions.
Since then, there has been a lot that has happened to me. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness after years of being sick all the time and not knowing why. I spent weeks in the hospital and almost lost a limb – I’m not really entirely out of the danger zone on that one, but it’s looking good against all the odds. I had to go on medical disability, and deal with unpredictable fatigue and pain.
During this, I had a couple friends have big crisis they needed my support/ear – custody battles involving a rapist father that left five damaged and some suicidal children, and a messy breakup that had a young mom and her baby staying with us awhile. Throughout my life, but especially that year, I’ve had depression issues – I was put on several different antidepressants until I was either high as a kite, or cranky and withdrawn, and occasionally having panic attacks. I started seeing a therapist several months ago, a very smart, straightforward lady who’s been very helpful, and a psychiatrist in the same clinic. I was diagnosed bipolar, and finally got on the right sort of medications.
I became pregnant at the beginning of this year, after thinking that wouldn’t be possible, and then had a miscarriage a couple weeks after finding out. Now I’m having trouble breathing again, which could be another bout of pneumonia, or a blood clot, either of which is likely given my history (don’t worry, already went to doctor, awaiting test results). I have no idea what tomorrow might bring, and my life feels boiled down to a handful of pills I take morning and evening.
My marriage is strong, and I feel lucky to have such a good husband who has stood by me through all of this. He’s been able to support me emotionally and financially – its good not to have to worry so much about me losing my income, though I hate not contributing right now.
His girlfriend came into the relationship rather suddenly – she had needed a place to stay, and they happened to click, and at the time I thought I was fine with it. Things moved VERY quickly since she was already living with us, and at one point in the year we were all talking about doing something to make our family ‘official’ – when I wasn’t really ready for that, but I thought I was.
I don’t have a whole lot in common with his girlfriend, and we’ve had communication issues. When things kinda got quieter (health-wise) around December, we did finally bring out all the rocky issues we’d been having, and started going to a group councilor. I think there’s a good chance that with the counseling things can work out, but…
I’m not sure I want it to. I’m a terrible person. During the pregnancy, we moved from the usual every-other-night plan for where husband sleeps, to having him be with me for two nights, then with her for one. This was really decent of her. We’ve kept it since then, and I really don’t feel remotely ready to go back to sharing fully. To be honest, I really don’t want to share anymore.
I still believe in the poly philosophy. I feel bad about this… but I also feel just too overwhelmed. I don’t have more than a friendship with her. I feel like all I’m doing is losing time with my husband, when I really need him right now. I hate even thinking it – but right now, this poly relationship just feels like an added stress. I don’t think either of them really seem to grasp how out of sorts I am, though I’ve tried to say it.
It’s not jealousy or envy I feel. But being with him keeps my depression at bay… I don’t mean I’m clinging to him constantly, or can’t handle him and her doing things without me. I’m normally not very sentimental and like having time to myself – I used to like having nights alone.
But I suddenly need the sort of time that we used to have when it was the two of us. On the nights without him I end up crying – not because he isn’t there, but because I feel so horrible. I know I should be stronger than this. I’m working on ways to keep myself busy and have my own life as always – hobbies, walks, writing, and so on.
I feel alone, and I feel bad that his girlfriend, though she is supportive and everything, just isn’t who I want or need right now. My husband wants me to know they are both there for me, but I just want my husband.
I wish she didn’t live with us. It would make things easier to slow everything down or put it on pause. Now it seems like anything I do would cause a dramatic shift and hurt good people.
It feels like a bad play, based on bad timing. Had we met her some other year, this may have played out more naturally. But as it is... I don't know what to do.
Last edited by merry; 03-16-2010 at 07:49 AM.