when things change...
omg, this thing is so huge and detailed, i don't even know where to start. i think i'll just lay out facts and then say where i'm sitting right now and see if anyone has any thoughts. i don't know if i'm looking for advice, per se (although if someone has some great advice i'll certainly listen), maybe just some sympathy or empathy.
joyful - me: 28
bi since forever
poly in thought forever (and sometimes in action, i encouraged my boyfriends in mono relationships to "go have fun" and had a great open relationship with a female roommate throughout college)
first poly-in-name relationship with my husband, we never closed off our relationship and made "agreements" 2 years in
hubby and i have been together 5 and married for 2.5
boyfriend and i have been together for 1 year
raised catholic, catholic family, currently atheist with a yoga/buddhist slant
not out to parents/gparents
out to siblings, most friends and friendly coworkers
perm - husband: 35
poly in thought since i came along
raised methodist, EXTREMELY religious and conservative family
emotionally/physically abused by his father growing up
sexually abused by a caretaker at ~5
not out to anyone he knew before i came along
cue - boyfriend: 40
poly to some degree for ~15 years (started out with BDSM play, evolved to more serious poly relationships)
has been with L for 5 years (last weekend, yay!), engaged for 1 year
clinically depressed (mostly under control w/exercise)
out to anyone who is interested, but a private person
L - cue's fiancee and my...something: 37
homoflexible (yay fetlife!)
poly in thought since cue came along
has had some jealousy/security issues, but she and i communicate RIDICULOUSLY well and we have helped each other through a ton of stuff in the last year
she and i fooled around a little on new years, then she went to school for 5 months and we talked via letters/email...we hooked up once when she returned in may
out to anyone who is interested, but is a private person
so that's the basic picture. there are tons more details but that should give you general ideas of what we're all about.
long story short, while L was away at school, cue became pretty integrated into our lives. perm had a girlfriend who was living with us at the time. our marriage got off track for a number of reasons. one being that i didn't initiate intimacy and 1 on 1 time enough and got wrapped up in the shiny of cue (assuming, incorrectly, that perm was wrapped up with shiny too). another being that perm had/has trouble speaking up (or even identifying) when he needs something and it comes back later and bites us in the ass.
perm has since broken up with girlfriend (they dated for ~6 months total), had a series of flings (and he broke our "condoms unless discussed" agreement 3 freaking times), and dated a (really awesome) chick for about a month before breaking it off with her about a month ago.
so throughout my relationship with cue, which has admittedly been very intense, there have been a series of "enough!" discussions with perm: regarding time/money spent with cue, lack of intimacy in our marriage, etc. each time i was quick to accept responsibility, work with perm to determine a positive way forward, and keep cue in the loop so he could know what needed to change and why. the problem is that a lot of these things (especially the time) happen because perm is unable to express to me when he needs time. he was always quick to say "yep, go have fun!" and then 3 weeks later, blow up at me about it. i suggested non-verbal "red!" signals, counseling, weekly check-ins...i mean, anything to make him feel like he could talk to me. anyway, that happened maybe 2 or 3 times leading up to this last one. and each time i felt like we came to a good resolution, had a good talk, felt closer afterwards, etc.
but about 3 weeks ago, i came home one night and it was an argument, then a progression of restrictions regarding cue over the next week (all of which i went along with), ending with a final ultimatum: that cue has done too much damage to our marriage and that he has to go. !!!! i mean to me, this literally felt like it came out of nowhere. i mean literally there was NO BREAKING POINT. damage? what?
perm says the ultimatum was the culmination of the thought process from his flings + latest breakup...which, ok, i can see how you would get introspective. so i'll hear him out. he lists some legitimate problems.
- i spend a lot of money going out with cue. however, i am not in any debt because of it, and i can easily rein that in (and had already started doing that a few months ago) by making dinners at home, renting a movie instead of going out, etc. easy fix within my comfort zone and cue was on board with helping.
- i spend a lot of time with cue. this one seems like a simple fix. when i ask perm if we have plans on a given night, either say "yes" (and make some!) or say "no, but i want you to stay home tonight." or just start giving me more positive verbal feedback and i'll naturally gravitate towards that. easy fix within my comfort zone and cue was on board with helping.
- i wasn't pulling my weight around the house. this is the one i really got pissed off about, because i did/do most of the cleaning and laundry. he organizes the bills, i do the housework. but we bought a house in august and there have been some projects that he didn't feel i was helping with (frustrating, because i offered...), but this is the one where i can really make a compromise and start doing more than i'm usually comfortable with. and i am totally willing to do that since the house is new and perm is feeling off.
so then the not-legitimate stuff. he starts ripping into cue's personal shortcomings and accuses him of being irresponsible, a loser, a mess, "trampling" on our marriage...i can't even remember everything he said because it honestly made me sick. i am ok with discussing issues that may cause problems in our marriage...i am not ok with him dehumanizing someone i love, and (tearfully) said as much. he is a person, and despite his mistakes and shortcomings (which he DEFINITELY has!), he has feelings and fears and hopes and dreams just like anyone else. it's also been a red flag to me that he has been willing to dehumanize the chicks he's dating (calling them crazy, psycho, just generally really negative stuff) in order to feel closer to me. so this is not ok, and i unequivocally told him that during our arguments (one of the few things i really got riled up about...i'm generally really calm).
we ended up in a counseling session (which i posted about). it was marginally helpful in that the counselor pointed out that expecting me to anticipate his needs without him saying anything (which he outright says he did, and still does) isn't exactly fair. and also that it really seems like he wants something more traditional with a side dating relationship thrown in here and there, whereas i want people IN our lives. she said perm needed to define his needs and decide whether i can meet them (since i have already laid out on the table all my needs, all my abilities, and then some).
after our session, he said he doesn't think our poly models line up anymore, wondered if they ever did, and then told me that i can either "get on board to getting back where we were" or "move out and get an apartment and be fine".
so. there's no room for this person who i've been with for a year and have come to love dearly to fit into this picture? the answer has pretty much been "no". or that if he is to fit into the picture, he has to get "whatever is left over" from out marriage relationship.
one of the things that makes me really sick about all of this is the verbiage perm is using. it just feels hateful and negative and it makes me so so so sad that my husband has clearly been really unhappy for a long time and has just let it fester into this hatred and resentment towards cue.
so anyway, that's where i sit. we've been living in limbo since then, because i think we're both scared to make the next move. he's told me that i need to go back to counseling, but i dunno man...like i said, i feel like all my shit is on the table. if anyone goes back, i think it should either be as a couple or him solo, so he can sort out his real needs.
i'm just...heartbroken. i don't feel like i recognize the person i'm dealing with here. i thought he liked cue (and up until 4 weeks ago, ACTED like he was a good friend). i was happy. there were things to fix with perm, sure, but i was focused on moving forward and figuring out solutions...not going back to "the way things were". cue HAPPENED. he changed me (i think for the better), he changed my relationship with perm, no question about it. but this is not the time to wish him away...it's a time to grow from that, to learn from it. this has shown us our weak points, stuff we can fix, stuff we can make stronger. instead i feel like perm wants to rip out the growth (or opportunity for growth) and go back to this "perfect" life he thought we were living before.
so yeah. sympathy, empathy. hell even: you're fucking nuts woman, dump your boyfriend. i mean, anything. my catholic upbringing is screaming "FIX YOUR MARRIAGE", but my heart and brain are telling me that it may be time to throw in the towel...
Last edited by joyfulgirl26; 06-24-2010 at 01:47 PM.