Originally Posted by Magdlyn
Well... have you been neglecting her? Has there been longterm lack of intimacy? Poly isn't a bandaid for that, but it can point to areas where you two have work to do to get back on the same page.
This is Mrs. Cheesehead. We're from WI and we do love cheese. We have really appreciated this forum and the senior members being able to offer us some thoughts about all of this. No, I wasn't giving an ultimatum, I wasn't threatening anything, and I certainly wasn't seeking anything as any kind of revenge. I haven't posted on here sooner because I have been bombarded with a lot of angry questions like, "how can you do this to me" and have not been able to think straight.
Someone posted why do I think polyamory is for me or something along those lines. Through a number of experiences the last few years (we have been together 5.5 years, married for 1), this would now be the 3rd person that has caught my attention. The pattern seemed to be I was feeling confident about myself and when Mr. Cheesehead was not around (long distance) I didn't want to be by myself and tended to end up in gray areas with other people. No, I never cheated, never kissed anyone or anything like that, but it threw me and of coarse him for a loop. I thought, o boy, only bad things happen when I feel good about myself for Mr. Cheesehead. So, along with any number of other things, and whether I ever consciously made the decision or not, I seem to have begun making decisions and taking action that would not hurt him. In a way I think I managed to lose part of myself to prevent myself from hurting him.
To be honest, the idea of having an open relationship of some kind has come up several times before. We'd even talked about it to the point of watching a few movies about it, each time thinking that it would make life very complicated and it probably wasn't worth it. We had been missing some sparks at home and the last discussion we had about it, Mr. Cheesehead said out loud a thought something along the lines of "maybe having a non heavy physical relationship will help you get through this". No, I didn't think "hey, I've got the green light to go screw other guys!", I was surprised that he would see the benefit and open to the idea. That was months ago.
At the same time, I'm involved with a business group which encourages you to open your mind, step out of your comfort zone, open your heart, etc. in order to better connect to people and grow a stronger business.
Also to keep in mind, in the process of getting ready for our wedding Mr. Cheesehead wanted to give me the freedom to make all the decisions for our wedding which left me overwhelmed and feeling that I had no help - during that same time he felt abandoned at home because I wasn't keeping up with my chores. We thought when the wedding was done everything would be ok because the huge amount of stress would be relieved. We then took our honeymoon in another country and I came home with a stomach bug which took me about 3 weeks to get through. He felt that since things didn't automatically pick up in bed that life was just going to suck and I feel did somewhat neglect me for a substantial amount of time.
A number of months later when we finally decided to go to counseling, I had found other things to do to occupy my time and he continues to not feel important. I don't know how long I was supposed to sit around and do nothing before I got up and started doing /something/. We seemed to have been both waiting for the other one to initiate something and I got tired of waiting/being ignored.
Also a few months after we got married I started working on this new project at work. This person I am working with seemed to notice me loosing steam or something and began just giving me small encouragements. Letting me know I was doing well, on the right track. Small. Simple. That seemed to be all I needed to pick my head up again and keep going with everything. He honestly reminded me of some of my favorite things of Mr. Cheesehead when we first met.
Then a few months ago I started having these interesting feelings and couldn't quite place where they were coming from. It seems that by the time I figured it out, I was curious enough that I went back into that gray zone again. I don't think that was ever a conscious decision either, but I can see now that that's what happened. I'm curious, co-worker is also curious. He's playful, likes to push people's buttons a bit, and so do I. That made our difficult project less stressful and more fun. Then I started missing him on Saturdays. I didn't think that would go anywhere good so I took some time off of work to try to maybe come back to my center. That didn't seem to change anything. Finally I kind of gave up and said fine, let's see what happens here. Surely it will go away soon. Instead, feelings grew more. I found out the co-worker also cared about me. Made things much worse. I had been bringing all that energy home, and things for Mr. Cheesehead and I finally seemed to be working. Spark came and seemed to hit us both like a brick. We were having lots of fun and finally happy that things were not so heavy, labored, and hard.
For the last I don't know how many months, I'd been feeling that I in fact had a lot of love and passion to give, and nowhere to go with it. From all of our bad times Mr. Cheesehead built up so many walls that I couldn't get through. Finally I found a source that when I would say - "look at it pouring outside, I want to go jump in puddles!" would say "go for it," instead of, "well, if you think about it, you have an hour and a half left of working and if you go out there now, it's 72*F which means when you come back in you'll be cold and...." I think you get the idea. I have appreciated how Mr. Cheesehead has balanced me out, brought me back to earth at times, tried to get me to bed on time so I can get up for work. At the same time I feel like our whole life has been over-analyzed and really just wanted to play and have fun. I read somewhere, "I'm married, not dead!" and really do still want to be spontaneous and get into trouble (like jumping in puddles), so it makes sense to me that if Mr. Cheesehead doesn't want to go play in the rain, and I don't want to spend 3 days discussing all of the possible options of how to play in the rain or what the consequences would be, that I could get some of that so-called trouble maker out with this other person and then come home reasonably calm and happy so I don't stress out my hubby.
Then like he said, I came across the idea of polyamory about two weeks ago now and told him about it the same day I discovered it. Why does it appeal to me? It feels natural to me. I know I can care about two people at once and see the benefit for all parties involved. Part of me honestly thought he would say, things have been so great, keep it up! It seemed that a poly situation had started but I wasn't going to go anywhere with it without talking with the hubby first. I also ordered some books about it - The Ethical Slut, and Polyamory in the 21st century so we could figure it out. But like Mr. Cheesehead said, I made that decision and took action without him. It seems to me that has been quit pro quo for almost two years. I ask a question, get maybe half of a response, something needs to be done, so I feel I have to decide myself.
I do understand that all of this seems to have happened very suddenly so it's been very hard on him, but I don't understand why it takes me saying I want to go so you don't have to be tortured by me for him to tell me that I am actually important in his life and bring value into his life. Then I think of how many rules and analyzing and this and that has been in our relationship for so long. When that is paired with over a week of hurt and heavy emotions, when I'm asked, "Why did you marry me?" I can't remember. Like he said, the american dream has not been for us and every picture outside of our first 5-6 months seems to have a fight associated with it. I'm married, not dead. I do want to have fun, but it scares me a bit that it takes an additional outside source of energy for us to work properly. I do care about my hubby a lot and I do greatly appreciate that he has taken the initiative to find this forum and do some reading about everything. I do also feel that sometimes I am a bit too "crazy" for him, stretch him a lot, and just stress him out a lot.
As an update, co-worker did think about the poly idea and does not want to bring it up with his wife. They've talked about it before and it sounds like it went very bad. In the meantime, we still are working on this project for who knows how long. Mr. Cheesehead seemed relieved to hear this and maybe it will give us the chance to figure things out for ourselves. We both do have people telling us to run from each other, so it has been hard to take all of this information and make any decision about anything.
That is my point of view.