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  #1  
Old 04-07-2013, 01:09 PM
loserville loserville is offline
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Unhappy Don't know what to do (long)

Hey all,

I've lurked here for years now and only just joined up because I really need advice that doesn't come in the form of 'leave him!' just because people don't get how poly works.

Anyway, husband and I have been together for sixteen years and married for twelve and we've always been open to sleeping with others. In 2009, we separated for a while but got back together and, one of the things I asked for then was to be open to the idea of having relationships with others instead of running on our old rule of no emotional connection. Not that I wanted to do it then, it just seemed like a logical step from where we were and have the possibility of exploring it on the table for the future.

So, we got back together and we seemed to be getting stronger and stronger which was great.

Fast forward to last year and things got a bit weird.

Husband finally found someone he liked enough to have a casual encounter with and did so and all was good. I was happy that he'd finally got laid to put it crudely. Then he met someone else in November who I'll call Mary for this.

Suddenly, without consultation, the no emotional connection rule was thrown out because he wanted Mary badly. I wasn't happy with it, but as I'd asked for this sort of thing back in 2009, I could hardly complain and instead, tried to put some boundaries in place such as no sleeping with each other until after Christmas so I could get used to the sudden shift which he agreed to. Two weeks after meeting her, he slept with her while I was out of the county and he couldn't (and still can't) see why that was a problem.

To say I was miffed is an understatement. Coupled with that is the fact that he texted her constantly and three days after Christmas, despite my asking him to keep Christmas for us, he nagged me into agreeing to him staying at hers which he did.

There's a lot more things I could add, but won't, because this will be long enough as it is!

Needless to say, husband started pulling away from me more and more, both physically and emotionally and I was furious because in between all of this, I was trying very hard to form a friendship with Mary to make things easier for all of us.

The fury translated into wild mood swings with husband and he said he refused to discuss our relationship until I'd been to see a shrink about my moods so I went to the doctors for a referral. Once I had that, he said he wouldn't discuss anything to do with our relationship until I'd been formally diagnosed with something because my mood swings weren't normal.

This just made the swings worse and I started keeping a log of what was going on so I could see for myself if I was actually nuts. Things with husband deteriorated further to the point he said I was delusional and so, to get perspective, I posted everything for our friends to see on a social networking site.

It was the wrong way to go, I know that, but I honestly couldn't see any other way to go about getting husband to listen to me and talk to me about how he was being and I was sick of trying to blame it all on NRE.

Anyway, it all blew up and he ran to Mary's house for the night saying he didn't know if he could be with me. I had a total meltdown that night, said stuff I didn't mean and was generally a rotten human. While he was there giving comfort to Mary, she sent me loads of texts telling me she was hurt and that she was done and would only be giving support to husband. I could understand the hurt but also kind of blamed her because when I tried to talk to her about it, she dismissed it as hubby had saying it all felt natural to her with no discussion about boundaries and such.

Husband came back the next day to talk and said he wanted to be married to me and that he loved me and agreed to talk to a neutral third party about the whole mess.

I felt I couldn't trust husband though because of his behaviour and, to my shame, when something still felt off, I snooped on his texts with her. I found that they were still sharing sexting fantasies and saying they loved each other. Now, to me, support doesn't include that kind of things, and I got mad.

Husband dismissed it saying I'd misread it, as I'd misread other things and it didn't mean what I thought it did. So, that's where we're at, a very rocky truce and waiting on the shrinks.

I don't know what yo do any more. He's behaved badly and I have in return and while I want to have a solid marriage and be able to be poly happily, I don't feel able to while he refuses to give Mary up or put the conversations they have on a neutral footing.

I get that she feels something for him, I get he feels something for her but I feel so very unequal and pushed aside that all I seem to be able to do is respond with anger now.

Help?!
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2013, 11:27 PM
KerrBear KerrBear is offline
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Okay, so I'm new to all this poly stuff but my husband and I have been swingers for some years now and are use to sharing each other with other people.

I am on the flipside of your story, however. I have found a sexual partner that has turned into something more to me. I love him, but I still very much love my husband as well.

Relationships evolve and sometimes old rules don't apply anymore. You yourself have said that you've even broken your own boundaries once upon a time. And from what's going on, it is clear that these rules are not working. Your husband is in love with another woman but he still loves you. I think the withdrawal part has something to do with your responses to this and because of these rules. I also think that is what's going on with the arguments. Maybe it's time to sit down and really focus on the rules and what your needs are from him. Maybe you both can come to an agreement, but I think you have to learn to accept this new love. It's not like he can just turn off these emotions he's feeling. . .
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:00 AM
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nancyfore nancyfore is offline
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Will he be able to put her on neutral if the dr thinks he should?

It's my understanding that being poly isnt "this is my love and you just suffer with it"... It's sitting down and talking about a speed in which everyone feels comfortable, and the loving partners supporting the one that is having some problems.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:12 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyfore View Post
It's my understanding that being poly isnt "this is my love and you just suffer with it"... It's sitting down and talking about a speed in which everyone feels comfortable, and the loving partners supporting the one that is having some problems.
There are certainly some who function under this type of approach to dealing with partners. This is often true when talking about previously monogamous couples moving into a more polyamorous arrangement, as well as with anyone who views "sacrificing for love" as a virtue.

For me and some others, this kind of approach is not relevant. The speed at which I become involved with someone, alter my worldview, get new hobbies, get a new job, change my sexual orientation, is not anyone's concern but my own. Of course we want to mitigate hurt feelings, discomfort, or inconvenience as much as possible - but not at the sake of letting someone elses feelings dictate how we live our lives.

Of course, any relationship is going to include supporting a partner who is having problems (at least to the degree appropriate) but I make a very clear distinction between "supporting" and "capitulating".
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:55 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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When you discussed removing the no emotions rule in 2009, did you do any discussion about how that would happen, what the parameters and agreements would be for communication and keeping one another in the loop?

If you didn't, then you can't really fault him for not following rules that weren't in place. You can't expect him to be a mind reader and just know how you'd want to handle things if you'd never talked about it before.

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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Take responsibility for YOUR actions (not HIS actions)
Decide what it is you actually want out of a relationship
Determine if that picture includes your husband
Breath deep
Agreed. You cannot control his behaviour. You can only control your reactions and your own behaviour.

Try talking to him in a calm and controlled manner. Outbursts and demands are not an effective method of communication. Show him that you're willing to be reasonable, but that you need him to be reasonable as well.

Ask him if he'd be willing to put his relationship on pause while you and he work out some issues. Give him a set amount of time so he doesn't feel like you're just trying to sidestep the issue permanently.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:52 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
When you discussed removing the no emotions rule in 2009, did you do any discussion about how that would happen, what the parameters and agreements would be for communication and keeping one another in the loop?

If you didn't, then you can't really fault him for not following rules that weren't in place. You can't expect him to be a mind reader and just know how you'd want to handle things if you'd never talked about it before.



Agreed. You cannot control his behaviour. You can only control your reactions and your own behaviour.

Try talking to him in a calm and controlled manner. Outbursts and demands are not an effective method of communication. Show him that you're willing to be reasonable, but that you need him to be reasonable as well.

Ask him if he'd be willing to put his relationship on pause while you and he work out some issues. Give him a set amount of time so he doesn't feel like you're just trying to sidestep the issue permanently.
I agree with SC.. You can not control his behavior.

My opinion probably wont be popular. But how dare you ask him to force your wants and needs on Mary. She has feelings and etc too. So she wants nothing to do with you. You two do not need to be friends just respectful.

I am a hinge. I have two separate and equal relationships with my husband Butch and my boyfriend Murf. I have to worry about BOTH of their feelings, wants and needs. And I am not going to put Murf on the back burner because Butch gets his undies in a twist. Butch would like to be friends with Murf. Murf is really not interested in that. They are friendly and respectful.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:51 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Could this "poly hell" article help you articulate to husband what you need from him to feel better about your relationship with him? Maybe if that could help ID problem areas, it could then help point toward calmer conflict resolution ideas?

I could be wrong... but to me it sounds like you could be struggling with the "demotion" paragraphs in the article. Your old agreements changed to include emotional deepening with new partners but didn't sound like it covered how to cope with resulting changes in the shared established relationship.

Maybe you are feeling out on a limb and need to feel connected and reassured by partner? Keep trying to sort it out.

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-09-2013 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:02 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loserville View Post
I get that she feels something for him, I get he feels something for her but I feel so very unequal and pushed aside that all I seem to be able to do is respond with anger now.

Help?!
I was going to give a long drawn out response but, honestly, I don't even pretend to know how to fix a situation that has been this blown out of proportion.

You wanted to be open.
He took you up on your offer.
You told him you changed your mind.
He acted on his desires anyway.
You became a crazy rage monster
Now he thinks you are a crazy rage monster
You're going to couples therapy

All I can say is this:

Take responsibility for YOUR actions (not HIS actions)
Decide what it is you actually want out of a relationship
Determine if that picture includes your husband
Breath deep
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2013, 03:41 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by loserville View Post
In 2009, we separated for a while but got back together and, one of the things I asked for then was to be open to the idea of having relationships with others instead of running on our old rule of no emotional connection..
.
.
.
Suddenly, without consultation, the no emotional connection rule was thrown out because he wanted Mary badly. I wasn't happy with it, but as I'd asked for this sort of thing back in 2009, I could hardly complain ...
How could he have thrown out the no emotional connection rule when you yourself had removed it already?

I said this in another thread recently, but it bears repeating: for me, stumbling into poly via a friend in an open marriage, this is exactly the sort of post that makes me think some people really do see OSOs not as people, but as toys, hobbies, and marital enhancers.

I see a bit of a catch 22: you understandably want your marriage to be protected--to come first--when you start on poly, yet having a romantic relationship with another person changes things. It's not only unfair, it's downright selfish and cruel, to bring another person in, involve their feelings and emotions, and then toss them to the curb when it proves inconvenient or uncomfortable.

Even putting the relationship on pause is a little problematic. Mary is not a DVD to be watched when it's convenient. She is a person who was invited into this and stepped into it with some trust. She is now used to spending time and emotional closeness with someone she's come to value and maybe depend on a little, someone she looks forward to talking with or seeing on a daily basis. Now she can just cool her heels and find something else to fill that space while you decide if you want the flip or the flop or something in between or something altogether different?

How often can she expect this to happen? How often will she be asked to just step aside for a bit from what is now also her relationship and her boyfriend, as well as your husband?

I admit that my feelings have changed over the past year and some months of seeing a married man, of watching the dynamics of poly close up both in his marriage and here on the forum. At first, I felt that I just needed to 'understand' that I'd stepped into this knowing he was married. Now, I feel that a married couple at least equally needs to understand that they are inviting real people with real emotions into this situation, and those people need to be treated with as much respect and care as they would in any other relationship. If BF were to tell me at this point that his wife wants him to take a break, I'd say, Go ahead, just realize I won't be waiting around, and the men I meet on dating sites are highly unlikely to agree to poly.

There is no way in hell I'd be putting my life and opportunities on pause while waiting for a third party to decide where my relationship with BF goes...especially knowing it could happen repeatedly and ultimately be tossed out altogether by her.

Last edited by WhatHappened; 04-14-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2013, 04:37 PM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post


I said this in another thread recently, but it bears repeating: for me, stumbling into poly via a friend in an open marriage, this is exactly the sort of post that makes me think some people really do see OSOs not as people, but as toys, hobbies, and marital enhancers.

<<<>>>
There is no way in hell I'd be putting my life and opportunities on pause while waiting for a third party to decide where my relationship with BF goes...especially knowing it could happen repeatedly and ultimately be tossed out altogether by her.

Seconded!!! Well said,

N
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