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  #1  
Old 12-07-2011, 04:56 AM
Lila Lila is offline
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Unhappy Enforced Polyamory?

Hi,

I am new to all this, my husband of 20yrs just told me last night that he wants me to consider polyamory. I don't want to, we have had our issues but I think things could be worked out if we made more effort. (ie. we've not been out on a "date night" for over 4 years!)

I guess the only alternatives are living separate lives in the same house (we have a toddler to consider) or divorce.

I can understand that he doesn't want divorce for our sons sake, he says he still loves me but needs a new "dynamic" as he puts it, and has "more love to give" and "we'll both benefit". I just don't see it that way, call me jealous but I'm thinking of all the things he wants to do with a new woman that he never bothers about with me. I am not usually a jealous person and he's given me no reason to be jealous until now, but I think this would push me over the edge.

I feel like I wouldn't be going into it willingly so on that basis alone I doubt it would work.

Is there anyone who has been in this situation and felt pressure to comply? If so, how did it work out? any advice PLEASE!

Thank-you!
Between a rock and a hard place.

PS. I'm pregnant, so his timing REALLY sucks!


(edit) further info:

My husband wants a deep and meaningful, loving intimate relationship with one other woman and believes somehow she can fit into our lives and we’d all grow from the experience. Whether she lives with us or not she would somehow be integrated into our family. He doesn’t want a fling (I wish it was that simple!) he doesn’t want to cheat and he doesn’t want to be promiscuous, he doesn’t want to swing or have a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy (unless I'd prefer that).

I appreciate his honesty, but sometimes it seems so brutal that I think my heart will implode! He said he has no-one else to talk to about it, but I find it hard to be objective even though I really do want him to be happy, but right now if feels like it would be at my expense.

I mentioned a long time ago that we really needed couples therapy but for some reason he didn’t want to do it, don’t know if he thought it wouldn’t help or just wasn’t up for sharing the details of our relationship, I will have to ask him about that and convince him it is essential, even just from the point of improving communication and letting go of the past.

I am also responsible for the current state of our relationship, I have no doubt about that. I guess I didn’t realize how bad it was until he got switched onto the idea of having another woman in his life, he has been pondering it for a couple of months now, but I think this polyamory idea only came to him yesterday. He would be happy for me to start a relationship with another man, (post-pregnancy) but it’s just not on my agenda, I don’t want to complicate my life even more! We both agreed that if we were to start over we would choose completely different types of partners for ourselves.

If it wasn’t for our son, we would have divorced a couple of years ago and started fresh. But right now that’s not an option, we want to offer our son the stability that neither of us had when we were kids, (I never knew my father and my husband was from a divorced family with no real father figure). We do not want that for our son. Therefore I seem stuck with either a poly option or living separate lives in the same house in order to ensure stability for our son.

At the moment I’m pretty sure he’s just seeing the positive side of this idea (he admits he’s a dreamy idealist with his head in the clouds!) I don’t think he realizes that it still takes lots of effort to make it work and that there would still be rules and boundaries.

Anyway, I will speak to him about it further and see what we can do, though I am definitely not in any position to decide anything at the moment.

Thanks to you all for your advice, please keep it coming, I’m so grateful that you have taken the time to reply as I’ve no-one else to discuss this with!

Thanks, AnotherConfused I will take you up on that advice!

NB: "Relationship broken, add people." Seems so ridiculous when you put it like that!

Last edited by Lila; 12-07-2011 at 10:17 AM. Reason: further info...feel free to comment!
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2011, 05:00 AM
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Somegeezer Somegeezer is offline
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You don't have to be poly yourself. Consider his own freedom though.
The way it sounds to me, is that he is not happy about something though. Try sit him down and talk to him, without distractions. Nobody should be looking for other relationships when there are problems in the ones they already have.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2011, 05:12 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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So, he asked you to consider it. Why does that amount to an ultimatum, i.e. it's this or the dissolution of the marriage? Is that how he framed it? Does he need you to make a decision right away?

Is he willing to commit to 1) putting the spark back in your marriage, 2) giving you time to process this new idea without pressure, and, 3) if you both decide to go for it, taking it slow and considering your feelings carefully at every step, not just getting everything he wants right away?

Poly is hard work and requires a rock solid foundation when you're coming from an existing mono relationship... does he realize this? Has he done any reading or seeking out of feedback (the way you're doing here) himself?

Sorry for replying with questions rather than answers, but it's hard to know how to respond without more context.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-07-2011 at 05:14 AM.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2011, 05:49 AM
Lila Lila is offline
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Hi,

Thanks for responding, I know him well. Once he gets a bee in his bonnet he just won't let it go. The discussion went like this, he said, "Today I found a word for what I've been searching for, what I've been needing and feeling for quite a while. I've sent you some links to read." He wanted to discuss it after I'd read the links but I pushed him for a discussion because I knew of the word polyamory already (my worst nightmare!)

He feels that he is half dead and needs other forms of emotional expression, to start living again, to have a relationship with someone who is dynamic and fiery and bubbly etc. He said something had to change and asked what would I consider, either polyamory, or living separate lives in the same house, or divorce. I don't want any of the above! I said I wanted to work really hard on our marriage.

I asked if he would at least wait until our baby is born (April) before making any moves and he agreed. I told him I feel vulnerable right now and have enough on my plate (baby has not developed left or right brain hemisphere - trisomy 13 genetic disorder, unlikely to be born alive).

Anyway, I said I can't agree to this right now because then what would be your incentive to work on OUR relationship? NONE!

I don't know how much research he's done, just what he looks up while at work. I think he's just focused on the benefits to himself and decided in his head that I "shouldn't want to keep him on a leash like a puppy" which I do not! I'm happy for him to have female friends, I just don't want to share intimately.

He was even wondering why I objected so much to the possibility of someone else moving into our home....I mean, he's already talking as though it's such an obvious solution (for him!)

Personally I think it's a mid life crisis - he HATES his job, it's very unfulfilling and he's looking for satisfaction elsewhere (he has already bought the electric guitar!) He feels really bound by his current commitments, mortgage, bills etc. Realistically, I have no idea where he would fit in another partner as he constantly complains about being so time poor....even though he only works a 4 day week.

Agh! Just shoot me now!

PS. the other post didn't have a "reply button"...not sure how to respond. Hope I have answered everything here...
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:08 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Sounds really difficult.

I wonder - how does your husband feel about your pregnancy? I mean this gently and with compassion - but is it at all possible that having another child is your version of filling the emotional need that isn't being met by your marriage?

I ask because I was discussing this sort of situation with my SO recently. I wonder how often people who are having problems in their relationships look for outside solutions? Particularly to fill the emotional need that isn't being filled by the relationship?

For me, the worry is that babies, pets and other partners all need work, effort and time. And if your emotional energy is already being used up by a difficult relationship, is there enough left over for adding somebody new?

I once hastened the end of a long-term, loving relationship by getting a puppy. The relationship was difficult at the time and in need of work - work that neither of us knew where to start with.

I have always loved dogs and forced us into getting a puppy. The puppy hastened the end of our relationship - I just didn't have the emotional energy to deal with both the relationship and the needs of the puppy.

I hope you and your husband can work together to find a solution.

IP
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:49 AM
Lila Lila is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
Sounds really difficult.

I wonder - how does your husband feel about your pregnancy? I mean this gently and with compassion - but is it at all possible that having another child is your version of filling the emotional need that isn't being met by your marriage?

I ask because I was discussing this sort of situation with my SO recently. I wonder how often people who are having problems in their relationships look for outside solutions? Particularly to fill the emotional need that isn't being filled by the relationship?

For me, the worry is that babies, pets and other partners all need work, effort and time. And if your emotional energy is already being used up by a difficult relationship, is there enough left over for adding somebody new?

I once hastened the end of a long-term, loving relationship by getting a puppy. The relationship was difficult at the time and in need of work - work that neither of us knew where to start with.

I have always loved dogs and forced us into getting a puppy. The puppy hastened the end of our relationship - I just didn't have the emotional energy to deal with both the relationship and the needs of the puppy.

I hope you and your husband can work together to find a solution.

IP
Hi, you are right, even though we had always planned to have 2 kids (with time running out, I am 40) it was a shock for him and I don't think he could accept it. This baby won't live anyway due to severe genetic problems, so it's just a matter of getting through this painful time. With all the stress of his revealed feelings it's been hard to cope so we have been considering whether to continue the pregnancy. The hospital recommended termination and my deadline for deciding is tomorrow. I would still have to go through the birth as normal, but either way I come home empty handed. Still my husband says we can try again, EVEN IF he starts another relationship...obviously I would have to wait and ensure that we were in a good place, other woman or not. (PS. we already tried the puppy!)
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:14 AM
calya calya is offline
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I'm new to this. I don't know very much, but I have been in a failed monogamous marriage. It sounds to me like he is not putting any effort into your marriage, and that he has no plans to put any effort into your marriage.

Two of his three options involve not being with you and he sounds fine with that. I hate to say this and I'm sorry, but it sounds to me like the marriage is over. It could maybe be fixed with therapy, which I highly recommend, but you can't make another person willing to work on it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:06 AM
Bathory68 Bathory68 is offline
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if you are having problems this will not fix it -it will make it worse or destroy it. it sounds like he is bored or trying to validate what he wants to do outside the relationshop by bringing it to the relationship. poly is hard- it stretches even the most mature generous person to the limts of sanity and emotional capacity more often than not. i would suggest counseling. another person wont fix the intimacy or what is lacking between the two of u. i joined a married couple-we have been together for and live together for 1 1/2 years...what you think you are agreeing too doesnt always work out that wauy..realtionships and emotions are unpredictable...i iwish you luck
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:15 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Ouch, I feel for you! It sounds like you two have a lot on your plates, and maybe he is even a little depressed?

If he seems to be in a place where "yes" is the only answer he wants from you, try this one: "Yes, I agree you need some romance and dating and sex in your life, but with our toddler and this pregnancy and everything else, I'm worried you don't have time for something like that. Can you prove to me that you do? Start by dating me. If you take me out at least one night a week for the next few weeks, and spice things up in the bedroom, and then you still have time and energy for another woman, we'll talk about it then."

And who knows, maybe once he is meeting all your needs, you won't feel so strongly against letting him "off leash". (Or maybe not.)
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:31 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
"Yes, I agree you need some romance and dating and sex in your life, but with our toddler and this pregnancy and everything else, I'm worried you don't have time for something like that. Can you prove to me that you do? Start by dating me. If you take me out at least one night a week for the next few weeks, and spice things up in the bedroom, and then you still have time and energy for another woman, we'll talk about it then."
Love this!!
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