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Old 05-25-2011, 07:54 PM
Lily Lily is offline
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Default Where do I begin?

I think I'm working up the courage to bring up the subject of poly with my husband... who, as far as I know, has and always will be completely mono and completely devoted to me. That used to be partly down to (co)dependency; but we're slowly dealing with that.

This forum is amazing, and I'd like to ask some of you amazing people (flattery will get you everywhere, so I've heard, but you really are quite gobsmacking round here) for your advice as I take some deep breaths and limber up to taking my first steps....

If my husband and I had had a very open, honest, communicative relationship during the past 23 years, I'd probably just sit him down and gently begin... but our relationship has been far from open. We've only recently, at crisis point, confessed to each other about the deep issues we've been harbouring for the last 15-20 years or so.... issues which had been left to fester for so long that they had developed into crippling anxiety (him) and bitter resentment (me).

Our relationship broke; I couldn't take it any more. And not just because I'd fallen in love with another. I was deeply unhappy and so was my husband, T. One of us had to make a move. After a few weeks of therapy, I finally grew the balls (proverbially, not literally), to say, "we're not working any more... enough is enough". And I'm so glad I did.

I left for a while, but now we're halfway back.... back to working together, but not living in the same house. We still love each other deeply, and tell each other so several times a day. Yes, we still have many things to work through, but we're doing OK in the sense that things are calm, we're able to work, and even to go out with friends and enjoy our time together. His panic attacks seem to be over (apparently a big shock can sometimes rewire the brain), he's starting to get a grip of his dependency, and is generally healthier. I'm dealing a lot better with my crap. And a lot of the little things which seemed so big a few months ago have just faded away. I look at T differently now; and am so full of appreciation for what we've got.

But my Other man, G, is not someone I can let go of. I've always, always believed it's possible to love more than one person at once. And by "love", I mean deep, complete, utter, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, heart-breaking love. That's what I feel for both of them. There are differences between them and what they give me / what I give them, but essentially I know (as far as I know anything) that I want to keep them both in my life.

I didn't know "this" had a name, until my therapist asked me if perhaps what I really wanted was a polyamorous relationship. When she explained what that was, I had a Eureka moment......... Yes! that was what I wanted! But my epiphany was quickly followed by...."but that would be impossible.... how could T or G ever accept that?"

So........... to stop rambling and get to my question. How do I begin to tell my husband that I want to go back to him, but in a relationship that is somewhat different?

That I want to stay with him - forever - but that I want to openly bring another person fully into my life - and that I want the Other to be in my life forever, too?

How do you bring up that subject with a man who is a) very monogamous (he says he has never even thought about being with someone else since the day we met)..... b) suffering from terrible low self-esteem....... c) no doubt still suffering feelings of rejection from our break-up just a few months ago, when he "tried" to throw himself out of a window...... (I'm using quotation marks because he used to threaten suicide on a regular basis if I didn't stay with him forever.... and I didn't believe that the run and jump towards the window was genuine, although it was very distressing at the time.)

(Bringing up the subject with G is another matter... equally difficult but I realise I need to take this one step at a time otherwise none of us will cope.)

From reading this forum, and from the benefit of my own experience in our recent discussions, I'd imagine that I probably need to tackle this gently, patiently and carefully.......... but how? Do I drop gentle hints? Write a letter?

The bottom line for me is that I want to save our relationship... and for me, that means changing it. I know this is going to be hard, but I believe it's worth a try.

My ideal, btw, is Vodkafan's arrangement - that I would spend 4 days a week with T and 3 with G......... but first things first. I need to find a way for the words to come out without causing any more pain and hurt than I already have done.

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. Thank you so much to anyone to takes the time to read this and respond.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily View Post
My ideal, btw, is Vodkafan's arrangement - that I would spend 4 days a week with T and 3 with G......... but first things first. I need to find a way for the words to come out without causing any more pain and hurt than I already have done.

.

Honestly, based on your husband's past experience with depression and suicidal comments, I'd say you should do this with a counsellor's help. Vodkafan's situation is very unique and probably years away from where you are now..unless you force it upon your hubby in an unhealthy way and he is desperate enough to accept it.

Poly with another poly can be a challenge.
Poly with an unstable poly can be very difficult.
Poly with a mono is a mountain or work.
Poly with an unstable mono seems almost like torture.

Seriously, if you are going down this road I would use some professional help. Explaining this to your hubby is not going to be easy.

Good luck and welcome to the forum
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:08 PM
Lily Lily is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Honestly, based on your husband's past experience with depression and suicidal comments, I'd say you should do this with a counsellor's help. Vodkafan's situation is very unique and probably years away from where you are now..unless you force it upon your hubby in an unhealthy way and he is desperate enough to accept it.
Thanks MonoVCPHG.

I'm sure you're right, which sadly just makes me think that this is all too impossible to even consider. T will not go to a counsellor. Or at least, the answer the last 20 times I brought it up was an emphatic no.

I certainly don't want to force him into anything or give my needs any hint of emotional blackmail... I was on the receiving end of enough of that to know how unhealthy it is.

Perhaps my friends are right - I just need to make up my mind one way or the other and suck up the pain of losing one of them.

Then again..... feeling that I'm compromising my own life isn't going to make me happy.

And then again, again.... T's suicide threats stopped a while back when he realised I'd actually gone and left him.

I have a lot of working out to do.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:08 AM
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I think that approaching this whole thing in terms of independence is a great idea. It sounds like you are just coming into creating the "idea" of independence and that might not be the right time. Perhaps feeling that first would be a better time...

I can imagine, if I take a wild guess, that the best time is to say something is when you get to a place where you can talk along the lines of how much you are looking forward to having your own things to do, your own goals and life, all the while loving him and creating goals and a new life with him also. When he says he has some great ideas of what he would like to do with his life and who he wants to hang out with as buddies....At this point he will hopefully realize that you not only need to be independent from him and have your own stuff going on, but that you are excited about it, need it and also love and look forward to be with him... also that he is excited too.

It sounds like he is still very much anxious and nervous and not ready yet. It sounds like you might be jumping the gun a bit and be one step ahead of him; or several. Take a breath and relax into this process. Life is about the journey, not about the end result. You have time and if you take it, you could have something rich, connected yet freeing and nurturing with him.

I don't at all suggest thinking about any other man that you could be with and certainly don't think that planning out details will be at all helpful to your mental health (it could drive you crazy with longing). I think you should put all that on the back burner for at least the duration of a few steps to get to it. This man of yours has huge needs and that should be your focus I think... trust, stability, encouragement, empathy, baby steps to doing things alone.... all need covering first I think before asking for 4 days on and 3 days off or any specifics like that.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:03 AM
Lily Lily is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I think that approaching this whole thing in terms of independence is a great idea. It sounds like you are just coming into creating the "idea" of independence and that might not be the right time. Perhaps feeling that first would be a better time...

trust, stability, encouragement, empathy, baby steps to doing things alone.... all need covering first I think before asking for 4 days on and 3 days off or any specifics like that.
Thank you RP.

I understand what you suggest about independence... I'm already doing that on my side. I'm living away from home, developing my own social life, and doing a few things I've wanted to do for years. He's also talking about things he wants to do.

I do realise this will all take time. Perhaps I mislead readers by mentioning Vodkafan's arrangement. Believe me, I'm under no illusions that that's where I'll be in a few weeks' time! I mentioned it just to say that that would be my fantasy. (Just as it would be my fantasy for my husband to suggest to me that poly might be the best way forward...) Fantasy and reality are often a long way apart.

I know this will take a huge amount of time, if I decide to do it. I'm not decided. I wake up every morning in fear because I just don't think either of the men I love will accept it.

Life isn't simple, and sometimes you have to make choices. I've read a lot on this forum of mono people's unhappiness at the position they find themselves in and their ongoing struggles with this whole "lovestyle". I don't want to be someone who causes unhappiness and struggle, life's hard enough as it is. At the same time, I want to find a way of being true to myself, which, I've come to realise, is the only way to be.

thanks again.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:21 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hi there, Lily. I am also an admirer of Vodkafan and his arrangement, and think it's an awesome goal to have. Just curious whether I understand your situation and dynamics correctly...

When you and T. split temporarily, you began a relationship with G.? And you've been investing in that relationship. So, now you and T. have been spending time together in a friendly way, still separated but expressing your love for each other and working on issues.

Is T. aware of your relationship with G. at all, or would that be a total shocker for him? I am sure G. knows that you are separated, but how much does he know of your interactions with T.?
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-26-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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