Originally Posted by ThatRomanticGeek
... No. Not really. You know what I get from Bree? The feeling of actually being wanted. The feeling of being thought of as good company. Feeling important. I don't get that from the wife. I get comparisons ("my BF holds my hand! He listens to my problems! He does xyz, ad nauseum..."). I get told that all I want from her is sex... Which, while my libido outpaces hers considerably, isn't true. But I *do* get irritated and and lonely when we haven't had sex all week (or maybe we have, but only because she felt obligated to) and yet she's out the the door to spend the night with this guy. Who can always do no wrong.
This sounds like poor communication skills. Using statements that lay blame and say "you" did something is not communicating well. Have you tried learning some new ways to communicate? We use techniques that have really helped. We have studied communication for years ("Non-violent communication" or "compassionate communication") and have some really good skills that make us open up, feel safe and that really help get our feelings and needs across. Perhaps some therapy around this would help.
I hear in what you are saying that she demands from you and you demand from her. I want this and I want that. I also hear that you are angry because neither woman is doing what you want... valid, but not going to get you very far. Until you talk about your feelings in safety to them I doubt you will end up being with either of them. Until they have a safe space to talk about theirs too I doubt they will want to stay with you either... that kind of thing doesn't seem to resolve and even if you go on to another woman and communicate the same way, it will be the same thing... in my opinion. Communication skills are learned, we don't get them handed to us at birth. One has to learn to empathize, advocate for our needs to be met and to really listen and ask questions in such a way that is respectful. It's hard work, but so much more is solvable.
I really don't think you need to leave personally, I think this is still salvagable. I think that you are stuck and it hurts and you want out, but with a more effort I think you could turn it around. I would suggest doing some conflict resolution stuff. Talk about what you see happening around you without emotions about it, then talk about how you feel about it, without using "you" statements (it might be an idea to go over in your head what you are going to say on that one as its easy to fall into blame talk)... talk about your needs from the situation, stuff like "I need to feel appreciated, I need to be touched, I need some words that indicate that I am loved"... then ask for those needs to be met and start strategizing about how that might happen.
Then ask her what she thinks from where she sits and when either of you start getting into the blame thing, stop and start again. Realize that you both do it and remind each other... ask what the other means in terms of what they feel, rather than what you have done wrong. It's hard work to do this and you both have to want to, so be patient. There is more info on communication in the "communication workshop" sticky.
Originally Posted by ThatRomanticGeek
I resent the notion that the desire for mutual monogamy has anything to do with ownership. And I'm not a hypocrite: I'd enter into a mutually monogamous relationship with Bree in a heartbeat. If I could. But I can't. Instead, I'm stuck with a polyamorous wife who doesn't appear to have any idea what I'm feeling or why. "I'd let you do whatever you wanted, why can't I have the same courtesy," she says. That's missing the point. But she doesn't want what I want, so maybe it's stupid and pointless that I'm still around. Other than these little things called the kids. And this life that we've spent over ten years building.
I'm confused. You want monogamy with your wife and your girlfriend? What do you want? I don't get it, so maybe that is why others don't too. You seem to want to be monogamous but will be poly to suit you because it would be with your girlfriend... if she decides she wants you that is in which case you will mono? If not that then you are not poly, you are back to mono...? please help me understand?
To me poly means that you can and do love more than one person. Sounds like you are capable of that and there for are a poly person... If you aren't then really you are a mono guy using Bree to move on from your wife no? and now you seem angry with her for not accepting you and removing you from your situation... how is that fair for her? I wouldn't be interested either. Why would I want to deal with someone elses crap? even if I loved them.
If this were me I would forget the girlfriend, who seems to be uninterested and confused at the moment anyways and salvage my marriage. Do the work necessary to get things back in some kind of order and ask your wife to rise to the occasion to do the same. Put other lovers on hold until things are on the way to being sorted. Poly relationship dynamics such as yours are not that solid if the foundation is cracking. Your foundation, your primary relationship with your wife, is cracking... take the time to fix it. Go to therapy and put the work in to learn some new skills and get on your feet again... thats what I would do anyways.