Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:03 PM
Lilysmile1 Lilysmile1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Default V Triad is a happy family... but where did my lover go??

I would be grateful for any advice. This is long. Sorry.

My husband and I have been married for 20 years, swinging for many of them. We opened our marriage about two years ago at his request, because we were leaning more toward friendship and involvement with another couple and yet found that attraction and connection was difficult to achieve. We met another couple with whom we were good friends but he and she connected, whereas he and I did not... So he wanted permission to date her solo. It was a very tough thing for me to make the transition, but I have and I must say I have grown a ton as a human being as a result. Things still come up sometimes, and our relationship is changed fundamentally, but its been good. Our kids are off to college so this crazy adventure is kind of timely.

About a year ago I met a man that I fell for. Hard. NRE like I had never experienced before, just madly, head over heels in love with him. The first two months we were dating, it was a two way street without a doubt. He texted me all the time, we had incredible sex often, he said great things about me, so demonstrative and passionate, we connected in every way. Awesome. He is a single dad with sole custody, and I love his kids. About three months into our relationship a few things happened in his life that hit his self esteem. I noticed a big change in him, he really turned inward. I resolved to be patient, stand by him, love him, because he assures me his feelings have not changed... he was just feeling low about himself.

Fast forward. We moved in together as a V triad. Things are pretty awesome on the homefront. The guys get along, we have a schedule, the kids are super happy and doing great, he is a stay at home dad (we are totally fine with that- he is a fantastic dad and the kids have really benefited from this), and its just peaceful. In many ways I feel like our family structure and the simple happiness in our lives are just awesome. I am a fantastic mom and I find a lot of joy in sharing my life with his kiddos. So, where is the rub? He and I have sex FAR less often. Id say we are down to 1 time a week or less. He is not demonstrative much at all anymore. I have a pretty high sex drive and am very affectionate; touching and intimacy don't have to lead to sex. He has turned me down or been totally passive when I snuggle him often enough that I am hesitant to initiate these days. He rather quiet and withdrawn. He says it is difficult to get used to being affectionate with my partner around, but wait a minute, he isn't very affectionate when my partner ISN'T around. He says he and his kids are super happy, it is just hard for him to adjust to being supported by us, and that he appreciates our support so much and just needs time. He has always had to work to support himself, and not having a job is a big adjustment to him.

I believe he loves me, I sure do love him. I know we are all happy in so many ways and it makes me feel guilt that I think of ending it because I am basically signing up to be a parent for another 20+ years with a man who is no longer my lover... and that is not really what I want. To raise kids with a man who is as in love with me as I am with him?? SURE. To cut the sweet connection between myself and a darling man down to 1/3 of what it was in order to do this? I am not sure. I have talked to him about his apparent withdrawal and he just maintains that he feels not quite depressed but down, and that we need time to settle in to what is very new to all of us.

I also want to mention that when I met him he left his phone laying around unlocked all the time. I never took a look, but I noticed that he did not guard it. To me it meant, nothing to hide. Guess what? Yeah, you guessed it... he is super guarded about his phone now. Who knows what that could mean? A need for privacy just because of all the new and shared things? Scheming to get back together with his X who is the mom of his kids? Financial or other troubles that he prefers I not know? Something else? I tend to see that sort of behavior change as meaning something... am I wrong?

My husband was concerned about supporting him merely because he thought that it would impact our new partners self esteem, and cause harm to the relationship. Could it be as simple as this?? Do I need to give it time and patience? Or am I being used and should I believe what I see; that he just really isn't all that into me anymore? Is all of this just the fact that his NRE has worn off and he just needs to be able to focus on his kids for a while and the fact that we are supporting him makes that convenient? I have been telling myself to be patient, be patient because I just love him so, so much. We have so many reasons to be happy together as a little family. But... where did my lover go? :'(

I know none of you are mind readers (darn!) but if you have some insight to share I would be very open to hearing it. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:48 PM
KerryRen KerryRen is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 90
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmile1 View Post
I have been telling myself to be patient, be patient because I just love him so, so much. We have so many reasons to be happy together as a little family. But... where did my lover go? :'(

I know none of you are mind readers (darn!) but if you have some insight to share I would be very open to hearing it. Thanks!
When NRE wears off, that often changes the dynamic of a relationship. Usually that's when people make the decision to do hard work to maintain their relationship, or alternatively, choose to end it.

It seems to me that you've moved out of the "lover" dynamic and into the "family" dynamic. Having kids, taking care of them, changes things a lot as I'm sure you've already experienced. Have to ask, however, if this is your lover's first experience as a parent? Or as a SAHD? It's a job that you can only learn as you go. If he's worked outside all his life, having parenting become his primary job can be a head-trip -- not a bad one, mind you, but there's a period of mental adjustment. Length varies depending on the person.

And taking care of children, even older ones, can leave one feeling over-loved at times. Emotionally drained even while emotionally satisfied, overloaded on tactile sensations.

Maybe he needs a day off to recharge. Or maybe just to get away from it all to feel romantic/erotic again -- being around children can be inhibiting.

Just some thoughts.
__________________
-- Kerry J. Renaissance
39 y/o female, married/bisexual/poly/pagan/disabled/fan

In a V with
- Liam, 52 y/o straight male (married, 14 years)
- Jai, 41 y/o bi male
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:54 PM
Lilysmile1 Lilysmile1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Default

Some great thoughts. Thank you.

Here is the thing, I have had similar thoughts and I really just want to get a gut check. Sometimes a person can be so blind to what seems obvious to new eyes. The fact that you are not saying WAKE UP makes me feel that giving it time, communicating and continuing to water it and see what grows isn't a mad-cap thing to do.

Cheers.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-03-2014, 07:05 PM
Magdlyn's Avatar
Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Metro West Massachusetts
Posts: 4,091
Default

That is a lot of changes.


I always see a red flag when people move in together, or plan to move in, before a year is up. Moving in, in the throes of NRE, is just the wrong time to do it. Sure, it works out sometimes, but usually, it doesn't.

How many months after meeting did you and your h move in bf? It's a shame he's using the "can't show affection around the husband" card... that's the kind of thing that should've been worked out before moving him in!

And if it's a lie anyway, and if he's being secretive with his phone, it's time for some hard talks.

Is it possible he's having an affair when the rest of you are out of the house? Is it possible he doesn't love being a SAHD? Does he need a job, even part time?

No one can answer these questions except him. You are new to polyamory and there are kinks to be worked out in the poly dynamic, as well as in one on one relating/communicating.

Many people have less sex once the NRE wears off. (Personally, I don't, and I seek partners with high insatiable libidos like my own.)

Recently I read here a word of wisdom concerning relationships: You spend the first year forming, second year storming, third year norming. Do not cave in to a so-so sexless relationship, for the sake of the kids, or whatever. Loss of intimacy, as in, deep talks and honesty, can lead to lackluster sex life.

I hope you find out what his lack of affection stems from!
__________________
Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. --Shaw

me: Mags, female, pansexual, 59, loving and living with
miss pixi, female, pansexual, 37
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-03-2014, 07:08 PM
Lilysmile1 Lilysmile1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Default

Great thoughts, thank you.

It is true, at the end of the day these are questions only he can answer. And at the VERY end of the day, I need to seek what truly works for me long-term and will not commit to child-rearing and commitment merely for the sake of the kids, regardless of how much I love them.

Much to think on. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-03-2014, 07:28 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,914
Default

Could be that dating a married woman had a certain appeal, but living with her and her husband is a reality he wasn't prepared for, even though the two men get along. Does he have his own room, enough privacy? If he is naturally introverted, that is important. I don't see anything wrong with him locking his phone now that lots more people are around.

That being said, feeling "down" just sounds like another word for depressed to me. Dysthemia is a low grade depression and very common. Perhaps he needs to see a doctor.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-03-2014, 09:17 PM
YouAreHere's Avatar
YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SoNH
Posts: 1,036
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Could be that dating a married woman had a certain appeal, but living with her and her husband is a reality he wasn't prepared for, even though the two men get along. Does he have his own room, enough privacy? If he is naturally introverted, that is important. I don't see anything wrong with him locking his phone now that lots more people are around.
This.

NYC said it before I could, but I agree here - with more people around, there are more stressors and perhaps more reason to try to retain some privacy, even in minimal ways.

This holds even if he's extraverted, BTW - I know I would have a hard time going from my own place to one that no longer feels like "mine"... it would make me want to keep a tighter grip on those things that are.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 14; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-03-2014, 07:43 PM
alibabe_muse's Avatar
alibabe_muse alibabe_muse is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 346
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmile1 View Post
I also want to mention that when I met him he left his phone laying around unlocked all the time. I never took a look, but I noticed that he did not guard it. To me it meant, nothing to hide. Guess what? Yeah, you guessed it... he is super guarded about his phone now. Who knows what that could mean? A need for privacy just because of all the new and shared things? Scheming to get back together with his X who is the mom of his kids? Financial or other troubles that he prefers I not know? Something else? I tend to see that sort of behavior change as meaning something... am I wrong?
You can't assume he's hiding anything. Why not just ask him rather than wonder since all that is doing is opening up Pandora's box in your mind and our minds, our minds create ways, too often, to wreak havoc that's not there. Always best to ask and then you may find out it's nothing more than him feeling a need for privacy after moving in with his lover and her husband.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmile1 View Post
My husband was concerned about supporting him merely because he thought that it would impact our new partners self esteem, and cause harm to the relationship. Could it be as simple as this??
Your husband has hit it on the nose, in my opinion. I have been the bread winner in my marriage for 90% of the time. To have a woman or another man support you, your boyfriend must be going through a huge chunk of self-esteem issues. Guilt, although there shouldn't be any since he's doing his share of helping with the home etc, can lay heavy on any one and it tends to make guy or girl behave in truly unexpected ways.

Good luck and just talk to him. You'll never know without getting him to really open up and communicate to you as well as you communicating to him how this new change in living arrangements and how his behavior is making you question the relationship. How can he "fix" what ever it is to satisfy your needs if you are not telling him as much?

Last edited by alibabe_muse; 04-03-2014 at 07:46 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-05-2014, 05:02 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,340
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
This is hardly mocking. It's telling it like it is. Sorry if you disagree, but this is a public board, where people are asked for opinions. Mine is that, where there is real love, we don't just toss our hands up because we're not getting enough sex.

I have watched an older couple at church for the last seven or eight years as this woman of about 5'4" helps her 6'3" husband with Alzheimer's into the pew, helps him through Mass, and helps him out again, takes him to soup suppers, helps him sit, gets his soup for him. THIS is what actual love is about--being there for someone even when something goes wrong and they can no longer service you.
One persons "real love" is another persons nightmare. I'm glad the OP is getting the extremes of the spectrum to be able to help arrive at what is reasonable for her. I personally think that there is a happy medium to be had in that a relationship of value should include a bit of "tough out this rough patch, hopefully it will pass". It should also be tempered with the knowledge that living a genuine life is priority number one, so I should not confuse "giving it a real shot" with "I'm going to stick with this no matter how miserable I am". One is a reasonable display of dedication, the other is just going down with the ship. This is my opinion about "real love".

As an aside, while I don't 100% agree with your point, WhatHappened, I don't see anything rude about what you said. Please don't let the haters discourage you from making your points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmile1 View Post
I also want to mention that when I met him he left his phone laying around unlocked all the time. I never took a look, but I noticed that he did not guard it. To me it meant, nothing to hide. Guess what? Yeah, you guessed it... he is super guarded about his phone now. Who knows what that could mean? A need for privacy just because of all the new and shared things? Scheming to get back together with his X who is the mom of his kids? Financial or other troubles that he prefers I not know? Something else? I tend to see that sort of behavior change as meaning something... am I wrong?
The paranoia about the phone, the potential conspiracy to hook up with his ex, and that he's just using you for financial support strikes me as an issue. The fact that your mind naturally went there either means something about your mental state or the it means that perhaps you don't know this fellow very well (which sounds like the culprit).

I'm not sure how long this relationship has gone on (you did a fast forward in your story but I didn't see a time stamp) but it is entirely possible that you are still getting to know him. A friend of mine told me that she thinks people are still getting acquainted a couple of years into most relationships; for me, this has proven true. As a personal example, my most recent gf and I were together for a year, we moved in together (with her other bf), she had a family crisis, and our relationship was completely redefined over the next few months. Turned out that we were not going to be able to relate romantically (or personally) after all so we parted ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmile1 View Post
I feel so grateful to have the ability to know this kind of family structure. To be able to be there for each other and grow together. To find out what works and the best way to be together, to grow together, and to love.

It is a good thing.
People do a lot of self talk. If we have an unknown mixed with the ability to let our mind wander we can convince ourselves of all kinds of crazy shit. Personally I really like this statement and encourage you to make it your mantra. There is no way for you to know how this is going to play out, is he going to come around and be an affectionate lover again? is this the way it is and everyone just needs to adjust? who knows. The only thing you can control is your behavior and your mental state, so keep an eye on your self-talk, be kind to your loved ones, be genuine, and take a deep breath.

Then, have the good sense to know when a relationship is bringing you pain instead of pleasure and make what ever adjustments are needed
__________________
Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-05-2014, 05:16 PM
Lilysmile1 Lilysmile1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Default

Marcus, yep. Yep. Yep.

I know him pretty well. And I find that the biggest thing I have learned on this journey is that knowing, or thinking that you know OTHERS isn't real and isn't the point anyway. It's knowing YOURSELF. All relationships come back to this. It is about that inner journey and growth.

If I had understood how deeply spiritual and growth-promoting poly really was, I would have opened my life to it many years ago. It will show you where you need to grow. It will show you where you are lying to yourself, insecure in yourself, lacking in true love of self or others. It will help you grow toward being fit for any kind of relationship - poly or otherwise... LOL! But it all starts with your own head and the noise inside of it.

And I agree about being genuine and true to myself, too. We can love others and live genuine lives and grow... and just be open to what happens next. I cannot wait to find out...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:37 PM.