There's definitely a question of chicken and the egg.
Yeah, I totally saw myself in a mono relationship with Bree, and she was constantly struggling with the fact that I wasn't able to be mono with her. And when it finally came to a head with her (nothing I did, she just couldn't deal with the struggle anymore) she broke it off.
The order of events goes...
- Michelle tells me she wants an open marriage. I hop on board. After all, I'm progressive. I trust her. Besides, it's a bit of a turn-on.
- Michelle starts talking to Ralph about the same time I start talking to Bree.
- Michelle and Ralph maintain a casual, occassional communication. Bree and I, however, quickly lose ourselves to each other and are in constant contact. Ralph and Michelle tease us for being like cute teenagers.
- Michelle stays at Ralph's for 9 days. I realize that I enjoy Michelle's independence, and yes, sharing her is a turn-on. However, I find myself longing for something like what she has.
- Bree reaches a breaking point and cancels our mid-September trip we'd planned. At Michelle's encouragement, I meet Bree face-to-face and we spend a great weekend together
- The next few weeks are rife with bouts of mania and depression as I try to gauge Bree's plans regarding our mid-September trip. This is when I posted the other thread.
- Bree finally cancels the trip, saying that she is unable to allow this continue at all. My depression takes a dive off a cliff.
Michelle's theory, which is looking true to me right now through the haze of grief and depression, is that I was already on a track toward depression, being burnt-out on the life we have, not getting the emotional connection or intellectual stimulation I needed from Michelle, as well as feeling beat down by work and kids and chores and life in general.
And then Bree came along and changed that. Talking to Bree constantly became the highlight of my day. Here I had a beautiful young woman who found me attractive and was playful and stimulating and always sought my attention as much as I sought hers. And then, unable to reconcile her emotions for me with the fact that she can't truly have me (since she's definitely wired mono, apparently), she ended it. Which made the rest of my existence seem even more trapping and smothering than it already was.
At the end of the day... I know I'm suffering from depression, and it pre-dates the open marriage. I think the episode with Bree brought it to a head, though.
And the question I'm left with... is what am I? Am I wired as a mono? I think... I think I might be. I don't think I can have the type of semi-detachment that Michelle has with Ralph. What am I prepared to live with? Am I prepared to tell Michelle that the poly thing isn't working out for us and she has to stop? Force my own apparent mono-wiring onto her? That's a horrible thing for me to consider, especially when I've spent 15 years (10 of which were married) pleading with her to assert herself when it comes to what she wants. And, in a vacuum, yes, I could accept that we're not the same people we were when we married and it might be time to move on. But... the kids... I don't want to hurt my kids...
Or do I live as a mono and let her live as a poly? That's possible, right? I know people on this forum do that. But... I don't know if I'm necessarily okay with that. I feel envious, not of Ralph, but of Michelle. She has something that I don't think is likely for me. I think I would always fall for the girl, but the girl would run from the open marriage. So I'd just watch Michelle and Ralph, like some sort of a willing cuckold.
And Vin, you're right, my feelings for Bree do color it some, I think. But to what extent, I couldn't tell you. Michelle thinks it's a case of sending the boy back to the farm after he's seen Paris... That maybe Bree and I had better chemistry than Michelle and I do...