Advice welcome - when to give up?
I posted an introduction to this Forum a few months ago. Here's the short version of what was and now is. M and I have been married since August. I brought up the idea of open relationships in June; the whole idea took him aback and he has been struggling since then to accept that this is what I want. We married in the midst of this, as I believed our relationship was strong enough to get through it all, but now I am seriously reconsidering this.
In September I met D (who works with me) and fell in love with him, thereby complicating the situation immensely. M knew about this from the start and stopped us from having a physical relationship, but by January I hated the situation and feeling like I had to hide the emotions that I had.
I told M that I didn't think our marriage was working any more - that ultimately we wanted different things from life (me poly and he mono) and that I wasn't willing to give up seeing the people I loved in order to be with him. He, much to my surprise, offered to try a poly relationship to see how it went, and asked me to give us more time together before calling an end to things. So I did.
We've tried poly for the past 3 months and I still feel unhappy, despite having two wonderful men in my life who both love me very much. Here are some reasons:
- I asked for D to be an equal primary and not just a secondary, but M was not comfortable with this. So the rules are: no staying over with him, and no holidays. This makes D feel second-best and it feels like we cannot enjoy a proper relationship. I hadn't realised how important sleeping over with someone was.
- I constantly feel bad about asking to spend time with D, even if it is just two evenings a week. M is always so upset when I leave, and also when I return, that I am constantly wracked with guilt and anxiety over it. Simultaneously I feel guilty for only giving D two evenings a week of my time.
- My romantic feelings for M have all but disappeared. I haven't wanted sex for many months now, and also feel physically repulsed at even lesser things such as kissing with tongues or him just stroking me in a sensual way. I'm struggling to understand why this is, but suspect it is a combination of my emotional distance from him and also a need to compartmentalise the two relationships I'm having. I can't tell if those romantic feelings would return; right now I simply love M as a brother.
- M and I have just moved in together (February) after having most of our relationship long-distance. My flat is small and we have little personal space. M thought it had been the distance causing friction in our relationship; I think the closeness will do more damage.
- I find it difficult to talk to M about my emotions. I either feel that he simply doesn't understand me, or that he tries to make me feel bad for the feelings I have (because knowing about them upsets him). Conversely, I can tell D everything. He has an emotional maturity that I am still learning from myself and has been so great at helping me work through my feelings and issues (and never tries to alienate me from M). I really don't think I can sustain a marriage with M (poly or mono) given these communication issues.
I love both these men, and, in a different world, could see myself being happy with both of them. But right now this situation is making all three of us unhappy and I see little choice but to end it with one of them. Leaving D would break my heart (though I am aware I am still in NRE with him) and would possibly end my marriage in itself. Leaving M would be very sad, as I married him for a reason and we make a great couple in many other respects. I hate looking at the future and seeing sadness in any of the choices I make.
I know that many of you have been in similar situations and would appreciate your advice. When is it best to keep trying, and when is it best to call it a day and admit that things aren't working?
Thanks in advance for any replies.
M = husband since Aug 2013
D = bf since Jan 2013