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  #131  
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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  #132  
Old 11-07-2011, 05:00 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Hey MT, you're still living with that same ultimatum now? Has she ever even agreed to counseling?
We've seen a counselor once, but she didn't want to go back. Maybe she'll go again.

Yes, it's still the same ultimatum. I'm getting to the point where I'm willing to challenge her on that--does she really want a marriage based upon ultimatums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn
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.
This sounds exactly like me. I was married at 25. For the last several years, I've been wanting to date again, and I've of course had attractions (some quite strong) to other women the whole time we've been married.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn
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.
Yes. She wants an ideal that, for most, simply does not exist. The Cleavers were fiction.

It's been a rough weekend for other reasons--we've been dealing with what's likely rotavirus this weekend, and it's clearly not a good time to have difficult discussions.

She's just finished Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, in which polyamory figures pretty heavily, so I'm hoping to be able to use that as a safe jumping off point to reopen dialog ("safe" because we'd be talking about the characters in the book, at least to start).
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  #133  
Old 11-07-2011, 05:18 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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We've seen a counselor once, but she didn't want to go back.
This is disturbing. I have issues with people stop counseling after 6 visits when the marriage is struggling, as that's not enough time to even touch on all the issues, much less figure out how to fix anything. Did she not like the counselor or just not want to deal with anything?

If she will go back, get a commitment from her that you guys will go weekly for a couple months at least. I see the refusal to continue with counseling (especially after only one session) as a big red flag for your marriage in general. Part of this is coming from my own personal experience, every time I have seen a couple where one party refuses to go/continue with marriage counceling, the marriage has ended within a few years. However, the partner who fought so hard against therapy almost always says, if they had only gone earlier they might have been able to save the marriage, but now it's too late as the partner who wanted to go in the first place is no longer willing to fight for the marriage.
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  #134  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:08 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I'm sorry there has not been much movement, MT. I was hoping that there had been. Have the two of you been able to discuss this in a way that does not involve ultimatums?
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  #135  
Old 11-07-2011, 07:59 PM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
This is disturbing. I have issues with people stop counseling after 6 visits when the marriage is struggling, as that's not enough time to even touch on all the issues, much less figure out how to fix anything. Did she not like the counselor or just not want to deal with anything?
She did not like that the counselor specialized in gay and alternative relationships.

She was also of the opinion that we could fix things ourselves. When we got home that night, she seemed to think that everything was mostly fixed already, but I feel very much like she misled me: her words, to me, said that we would work things out, when what she actually intended was status quo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail
If she will go back, get a commitment from her that you guys will go weekly for a couple months at least.

I see the refusal to continue with counseling (especially after only one session) as a big red flag for your marriage in general. Part of this is coming from my own personal experience, every time I have seen a couple where one party refuses to go/continue with marriage counceling, the marriage has ended within a few years. However, the partner who fought so hard against therapy almost always says, if they had only gone earlier they might have been able to save the marriage, but now it's too late as the partner who wanted to go in the first place is no longer willing to fight for the marriage.
I don't doubt you.

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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I'm sorry there has not been much movement, MT. I was hoping that there had been. Have the two of you been able to discuss this in a way that does not involve ultimatums?
We haven't discussed it at all since early July. Upthread, I mentioned that she was going out-of-state for a few weeks later that month, and I didn't want her to imagine that I would be out doing whatever with whomever, so I didn't bring it up, intending to reopen discussion when she got back mid-August. She seemed so happy when she got back that I couldn't bear to wreck that.

The rest is me being chickenshit. I see the stakes as being so very high that I'm stuck. (This may sound weird) I feel ambivalent about the fact that I feel like I could get by without her, but the thought of not being a regular part of my son's life (visitation isn't the same) is a lot to bear.

On the upside, she just finished (and really enjoyed) Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, in which poly features rather prominently, so I want to ask her what she thought about that as soon as I finish the third book (in about two days, I think).
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  #136  
Old 11-07-2011, 08:42 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
She did not like that the counselor specialized in gay and alternative relationships.
Find a new counselor, that you both can be comfortable with.

Quote:
On the upside, she just finished (and really enjoyed) Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, in which poly features rather prominently, so I want to ask her what she thought about that as soon as I finish the third book (in about two days, I think).
Loved these books!
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  #137  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:04 PM
bassman bassman is offline
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
This is disturbing. I have issues with people stop counseling after 6 visits when the marriage is struggling, as that's not enough time to even touch on all the issues, much less figure out how to fix anything. Did she not like the counselor or just not want to deal with anything?

If she will go back, get a commitment from her that you guys will go weekly for a couple months at least. I see the refusal to continue with counseling (especially after only one session) as a big red flag for your marriage in general. Part of this is coming from my own personal experience, every time I have seen a couple where one party refuses to go/continue with marriage counceling, the marriage has ended within a few years. However, the partner who fought so hard against therapy almost always says, if they had only gone earlier they might have been able to save the marriage, but now it's too late as the partner who wanted to go in the first place is no longer willing to fight for the marriage.
Well, I hope I dont hi-jack this thread. But I am the one who wont go to counselling right now. It was my idea to go in the first place. After about 3 meetings I got the feeling the counsellor wasnt interested in me much. Then I got a red flag when her and my wife thought I was crazy when I said the following - "I want to share my sexual desires and fantasies with my wife".
The counsellor couldnt be bothered to turn up to the next meeting ! She stood us up . errm, excuse me, but I took a risk to reveal myself to this person, I was dumb enough to trust her. How much did she care if she cant be bothered to turn up? I'll tell you how much - sweet fa, thats how much. I might think again in a few years time, but right now I am not taking that risk again, thank you!
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  #138  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:26 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Originally Posted by bassman View Post
Well, I hope I dont hi-jack this thread. But I am the one who wont go to counselling right now. It was my idea to go in the first place. After about 3 meetings I got the feeling the counsellor wasnt interested in me much. Then I got a red flag when her and my wife thought I was crazy when I said the following - "I want to share my sexual desires and fantasies with my wife".
The counsellor couldnt be bothered to turn up to the next meeting ! She stood us up . errm, excuse me, but I took a risk to reveal myself to this person, I was dumb enough to trust her. How much did she care if she cant be bothered to turn up? I'll tell you how much - sweet fa, thats how much. I might think again in a few years time, but right now I am not taking that risk again, thank you!
Finding a counselor is very personal. If you are getting red flags from the counselor, try and search for another one. I wasn't comfortable bringing up nitty gritty specifics with our counselor for at least 3-5 meetings. It took me a while to really determine if she was someone that would be fair to both of us before I started in on some of the messier issues. I didn't want someone that would just take my side or his side.
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  #139  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:31 PM
bassman bassman is offline
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This was my first attempt at using receiving counselling. I am utterly disgusted that she couldnt be bothered to turn up ! In my wifes words "she shipwrecked us". The issue we have is a huge disagreement on religion. Theres been a teeny weeny bit of progress without counselling - at this point Ive resolved to let time do the work I thought the counsellor might do.
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  #140  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:42 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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This was my first attempt at using receiving counselling. I am utterly disgusted that she couldnt be bothered to turn up ! In my wifes words "she shipwrecked us". The issue we have is a huge disagreement on religion. Theres been a teeny weeny bit of progress without counselling - at this point Ive resolved to let time do the work I thought the counsellor might do.
I see a big difference is not having a good fit/bad experience vs just refusal to even try. Glad to hear your wife agrees with you about the counselor. Next time, you both can be on the look out to see if the counselor is the right fit, before getting into the super personal. Differences in religious views can get sticky, especially when one partner's views change. I'm the one who's views are morphing, but we haven't had many conversations on that yet - too many messier issues to work through first.
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