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Old 05-05-2011, 12:36 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hi MT,
If I recall correctly, your counselor is poly-friendly, right?
Yes. She made it clear, however, that all parties involved have to want to be in that kind of relationship for her to support it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I ask because I think this re-examination and question your counselor wants you to ask yourself is really based on the fact that poly doesn't work if a marriage isn't stable and in good shape. She (is it a woman?) would be remiss, I believe, if she didn't do all she could to make sure you two are on solid ground before encouraging any sort of exploration of polyamory. And it has only been one session alone, and one together, correct?
Two sessions alone, one together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Your counselor is also just beginning to know you. Find a way to be a little more patient, though I know you feel as though you've been chomping at the bit for far too long now. The process of getting to know yourselves better can only benefit you both.
I don't disagree; however, I strongly feel like my wife does not want to know the real me; she wants her idealized me, and I fear that if she does not get it, she will end our marriage. If I can at least have some reassurance that it's not going to be "her way or the highway," I believe I can relax and have patience. I don't know how to get that reassurance, as I'm certain from the things she has said that she's not ready to give it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
A few other points hit me when reading your post.

One is about developing friendships with women and the possibility of falling in love. I say, what's wrong with that? [...such relationships do not have to be sexual...] It could be a great way to enter into poly if you do find a friendship like that. And you never know where your wife's feelings about it will be if some day in the future you have a close woman friend and wish to take it further into the physical. In other words, having the go-ahead to develop close friendships with women could be a blessing, not a booby prize!
That is a helpful way to view it. However, I do not view it as a booby prize, rather, a minefield. I think I know me well enough to know that I form emotional attachments easily, and if my wife thinks that I can have close friendships with women and guarantee that I will not fall in love, then she is deceiving herself. That was the whole reason why I've avoided forming such friendships. And I hate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
The other thing that stood out for me is a pattern I'm seeing emerge from your posts. It seems that when you do talk about what you want, either with your wife or the counselor, you apparently acquiesce or agree to something, and then rethink it and rail against it, pretty much feeling like you've agreed to getting the short end of the stick. I wonder if this is a behavior you have adopted around issues that keeps you feeling like you will never be satisfied, or that you are being forced to compromise yourself more than you really want to. Or it could just be that you personally need to take some time to let things sink in for a bit before you make choices, so you can gain more clarity.
I think it's me trying to live out what everyone recommends: be slow, be generous, and have patience. I also think that maybe I spend too much time inside my own head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
(...fully voice concerns, or ask for time to think before agreeing to something, which may provoke questions that allow for more elaboration...)
That's a good thought. I think part of what is happening is overeagerness to be accommodating, as I still see myself both as heroic for having held all of this in (though in hindsight, I should not have) and as the bad guy for spoiling my wife's view of our marriage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
All the things you brought up as concerns are valid and good stuff to bring up in your nest counseling sessions. It is quite evident that you are a thoughtful man, though feeling frustrated right now. (...)
Today, I'm beyond frustrated, all the way to lovesick. I've repressed my feelings for my current crush for years now, and I don't really know what to do about that. My wife doesn't want names or details, and it's certainly unfair to my crush to disclose it to her right now, I think, though I want to so very badly. I'm trying to just take deep breaths and pull my head out of my rear, and do everything in the proper order, as I believe that honesty and fairness to others demand it, yet I cannot help but wonder, what about fairness to me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
Not going to even bother messing with the quotes, but what NYCindie said. Especially about allowing yourself to develop close friendships.

I'd bet that your wife feels insulted by this. Part of the problem is that you are assuming that any future resonses to small stuff will be equal to the reaction you got when you slammed her with the big stuff seemingly out of the blue. My husband does this also, I have one meltdown and he assumes that will always be my response to anything else even partially related. The truth is I react much stronger when I think he has been keeping secrets or hiding things from me.
And it all spirals in a horrible feedback loop. Out of fear of a big blowup, he keeps things from you, and then when he does disclose it, there's a big blowup, and out of fear he keeps things from you ... rinse, repeat.

This is certainly a two-way street. I've had to unlearn the response of getting angry and defensive when I receive criticism, as that has kept my wife from talking to me as well. I'm still working on it. Training each other not to rock the boat has nearly sunk it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
You might want to create a time limits for yourself so the whole thing doesn't seem so open ended or never ending. Like for 3 months or so, you will just work on the relationship with your wife with absolutely no mention of others by you. If she brings the subject up, answer honestly, but keep it short. If she pushes for more, say you don't think your relationship is strong enough to have this discussion yet. At the end of 3 months, s[t]art a new step, such as theoretical and hypothetical discussions or such (ie. What is jealousy?). Each time you reach your time limit, evaluate the situation and decide if you can start introducing more. As your relationship improves, being able to discuss sensative issues will become easier.
(deep breath)

I'll try. There are good days and bad days. After a decade-plus, I'm anxious to get through it, but to her, it's still new.

Thanks.
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