How to think poly....
Here we are, Rider and RBR continuing our journey. We had one good day, now things aren't so good today. Not a big meltdown, but definitely struggling. We could use your help again.
The question I would like to get your input on is about how to think poly about activities. When this all started, RBR wanted someone to do things with that I couldn't do, or wasn't interested in. And she wanted me to have someone to do things with that she wasn't interested in. That all made sense, it gave her an outlet to still do those things that she needed and filled in holes in her life. Check, no problem.
Today we have come to a situation where an activity has come up that is a "once a year" type thing, and her boyfriend asked her to go do it with him. The event will occur on Saturday night, which is a testing of our freshly minted agreements of yesterday, so she was very careful in telling me about it, specifically said that she was trying to not put me in the bad place of having her ask me if she could do it. It was clear to me that she was asking though, why would she tell me about it if she didn't want to go and didn't want my blessing for it. (In our agreements for slowing things down with them, we agreed that the weekends would be our time for the time being unless we agreed otherwise, so there was/is a door open to where it was probably ok for her to want to do this. It's really soon, but not a breaking of the agreement.) My initial response was to try to think with my poly brain and be ok with it, and I told her that, but also told her that I didn't want to make the decision immediately. She was ok with that. Having thought about it a bit, it's not a meltdown thing, but it definitely doesn't feel good. This activity is something I would have loved to do with her. When she told me about it, she had clearly convinced herself that this was something I wouldn't want to do, that seemed to give her the feeling that I wouldn't care about the activity. My only problem might be her asking for time that is designated as our time to do something with her boyfriend. The problem is that she was wrong. I wasn't up with current events, didn't know it was going on, and her boyfriend got there first.
So what is the correct way to be looking at this from a poly perspective? It seems logical that people arranged in a V like we are will have activity overlap. How does the hinge decide who to do what with? And how does the losing side of the V not feel bad about that?
The immediate situation is that I think she's going to go with him to the activity. I didn't ask her not to go with her boyfriend, but I did ask her to understand that I feel that she has marginalized me, placed me in a little box, and she really doesn't have a correct image of me in her mind. (which is an amazing discovery after 20 years of marriage!!!) Because I wanted to go to this activity as well, I suggested to her maybe I would go too, separately and not attempt to hang out with her and that other crowd. Her response was very negative, feeling like I was being punitive, feeling like I was crashing her party. So this also feels bad, now she and her boyfriend get to do the activity, I don't, and that feels punitive coming from her. I have transitioned from being told I'm her primary and she loves me, to someone that it would be awkward and intrusive to even run into at an event. That definitely does not feel good.
Going poly has really brought out some weaknesses that we had in our marriage that I didn't know about. Her idea of who I am is very incorrect.
As for the transition into poly, this side of the V strongly feels like I have to lose something for her boyfriend to gain something. I have read over and over on this forum that she won't love me less as she starts to love another. I hear that and want to feel that, but I don't. So far, her developing loving feelings for another rips and tears her away from me, and it makes me the bad guy because its not easy for me like it is for her. As she chooses to do more and more with her boyfriend, I don't understand how that will have any other effect than her and I having less and less in common, to the point that we'll wake up one day and wonder why we're living in the same house and staying married. I have discovered that most of my problem so far with trying to be poly is not the sharing of her itself, but rather the changes in the way she treats me. It feels very much not an adding of affection so much as a shift of affection. His gain is my loss.
And what makes this all worse is that the more trouble I have with all this, the less she wants to be around me. I want her to continue to be honest with me about her feelings, and she told me about this this morning when we were talking. So it's a self defeating activity at this point.
I'm hoping someone out there has some pearls of wisdom that can help me learn how to do this without feeling bad all the time....
married, heterosexual male currently in an a newly opened relationship; married to RunBabyRun