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Old 04-23-2011, 08:16 PM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Default The Initial Conversation

Background in my introduction (important for context--I've never actually physically or electronically cheated, despite years of wanting to).

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9003

Today, I told my wife that I had been having feelings for other women. I told her of my guilt and shame over not being able to NOT feel these things. She said that she has never once had feelings for another man.

She said she's had suspicions when I've talked about various things that women I know did or said on some of the trips I've taken, or when I've worked exceptionally late in the office, but because she trusts me, she trusted that I'd never done anything with any of them.

I told her that it was especially hard when I was here in a new city in a new state by myself getting set up before she and the family moved down, but I still never did anything with anyone.

I told her about my fears, my not trusting myself to avoid getting emotionally involved with women as I develop friendships. I asked if it was OK to let that leash loose a little, and she said that as long as I don't cross the line, it would be OK. I said that it's been a very difficult line to walk, and it all came to a head: she asked if I was cut out to be a married man, and I responded, "Not in the traditional sense." She is most emphatically against the notion of polyamory, having said that she refuses to share me with anyone else--she won't be the stay-at-home wife that I come home to after being out with someone else, and she requires a divorce prior to me seeing anyone else, even though I told her that I do not want to end our marriage. I decided not to press the issue for now with any of the descriptions others have posted here of how they've made it work, in particular in how they've made their long-term mono partner not feel like a housekeeper while they go out and have fun. I don't think that browbeating will help.

I think she wants the idealized me that I pretended to be, rather than the person who I believe I really am. I don't want to hammer her with the statement that I've tried for a long time to be who I thought she wants me to be, and it actually hurts me--the one time I mentioned that, she mentioned divorce again. I'm feeling blackmailed, and rather than feeling closer to her, I now feel like an outsider in my family.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:52 PM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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I can't help feeling that I've just gone and ruined my marriage to a wonderful woman, with a wonderful kid, and that I'm a right idiot.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:08 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
I can't help feeling that I've just gone and ruined my marriage to a wonderful woman, with a wonderful kid, and that I'm a right idiot.
^^^ Tell her this also. If it comes up again. I think you're right in not pressing the issue right now. Think of how long it took you to consider polyamory as a possibility. She's not going to jump on the bandwagon overnight. Let her process what you told her, and remember, you've shaken her world to its core. I'm sure others in marriages that were mono before turning poly can offer some more relevant words to help you, but I think it's important to try to reign in any impatience you might be feeling, and have compassion for both her and yourself.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:02 AM
bkreader bkreader is offline
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I know the situation sucks, but talking with your wife is a good thing. Although it may be hard to know that she can't accept poly, you can talk to her about the difficulties you have. By keeping open communication going, she can start to trust you more since you couldn't be cheating if you tell her everything. You will feel frustrated at not being able to have a relationship with another woman sometimes, but at least you can share your feelings and work through them with your wife. Who knows maybe she'll one day change her mind, but a high pressure approach is just going to get you the divorce you don't want.

If you do stick with her, I'd suggest reassuring her that your decision is to stick with her and you won't pursue other women. I'd also suggest doing everything you can to be romantic and affectionate since she's probably feeling pretty vulnerable. Maybe try being more open about other things as well. If you discuss everything with your wife, good and bad, she won't view conversations about poly as a "You have to do this or else" conversation and more as a "I'm hurting now, please understand" conversation.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:35 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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My son, of course, knows that something is up, but does not know what. I don't know what to tell him.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:39 PM
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PolyHannah PolyHannah is offline
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Default Talking to your son

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
My son, of course, knows that something is up, but does not know what. I don't know what to tell him.
What your son is feeling right now is a lot of upheaval. With the impending move and the sense that something is going on with Mommy and Daddy, plus the new and strange hormones racing through his system... well, he's gonna be pretty confused.

He's fearing a loss of security. You, as his parent, need to continue to focus on reassuring him that you love him no matter what. That you're going to continue to be there for him. Send regular pictures. Get him used to the new city. Then to the new house/apartment. Have him send a few things ahead to set up in his room.

You also need to include reassurances similar to how parents speak to kids after a divorce. This is not to say that you're divorcing... just that the conversation is similar. "Mommy and Daddy love you very much. I know we're fighting a lot now. We live in different states and you don't see me very much. I'm still your Daddy. Mommy is still your Mommy. Our life looks different now than it did 6 months ago. Our life will look different 6 months from now too. I know these transitions are hard." Ask for his questions and keep asking - some early teens are not terribly forthcoming.

Even if he just grunts at you, you need to keep talking to him and reassuring his security.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:46 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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. . . I'd suggest reassuring her that your decision is to stick with her and you won't pursue other women. I'd also suggest doing everything you can to be romantic and affectionate since she's probably feeling pretty vulnerable.
^^Oh, definitely this!!!^^

And give her time.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:45 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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I'm having a great deal of difficulty with this right now. As part of our discussion, she said that if I were to pursue a poly lifestyle, she would leave me and take my son with her--halfway across the country.

This is blackmail, straight and simple, and where I felt love for her before, now I only feel a burning resentment.

My son (early teens) asked for none of this, and I don't know what to do.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:56 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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It's been awhile. I've been trying to live Real Life for awhile instead of its online version.

I had thought that my crush had subsided, but I work with her, and she walked into my office today, and (it may sound silly) but the way her hair moved as she walked through the door just floored me.

I am so helplessly, hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with this woman-who-is-not-my-wife, and have been for a long time. I've never told her, because:

I am also in love with my wife, and owing to her ultimatum (she said she would leave me if I ever had sex with another woman), I am terrified of losing her (and my son).

This is tearing me to pieces. Hello, sleepless night, my old friend and enemy.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:11 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Hey MT, you're still living with that same ultimatum now? Has she ever even agreed to counseling?

I am sorry to come into this thread late, but I just read it through today. I don't have any new advice to offer, but lots of compassion.

I was married for over 30 years. One thing that is very much a fact of life in long term relationships is, the partners grow and change. I was of course, also married young, and I was also a closet poly with no words for it... I just felt unfaithful and "sick" on some days, and self righteous on other days, knowing my propensity for crushes was a natural part of me, and therefore *right,* no matter what society tried to tell me.

I also tried to hide and suppress it for many many years. I think when one gets to be a certain age, one accepts oneself (if one is brave enough) and says, enough is enough, this is who I am, take it or leave it. Things I promised when I was 22 and got married no longer felt relevant or healthy. When I made the vow to be faithful, I did it with my fingers crossed... I never cheated, but I couldn't stop my feelings, and finally they became too strong to be able to hide.

My ex and I didn't break up over the poly issue, but we did break up partly because I just had to be me. I spent 10 more years than I should have, struggling to stay together, partly for our 3 kids (who were young teens), partly out of loyalty and inertia. We did a year of couples counseling, I did 3 years of individual counseling, and we talked hundred and hundreds of hours on our own, mostly going in circles. When we finally split, my oldest kid told me I should've done it 10 years earlier. My h and I had an amicable divorce and are decent co-parents now. I gradually fell out of love with him the last 10 years and our split came as a welcome relief from feeling judged and even gaslighted by his passive aggressive behaviors and suspicion.

3 months after we separated, I met my current gf, miss pixi; we've now been together almost 3 years. I've also had the freedom to engage in various other relationships, some casual and fun, others a bit more serious and bonding. It's a whole new world.

It really sucks to not feel accepted for who you authentically are by the person who is supposed to love you most. Your wife is in love with a facade, not the real you. How does she define "for better or for worse?" She is supposed to love you as you mature and learn more about your real self, and feel a need to express that! Not ask you to remain the same guy you were trying to present as at 25 or 30.
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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

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37

Last edited by Magdlyn; 11-05-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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