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  #21  
Old 01-12-2012, 07:25 PM
Atri Atri is offline
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I would say simply based on the fact that your husband has threatened to withhold your relationship is evidence that he is being emotionally abusive. Not that he's a bad person or that he can't be a loving, wonderful, kind man, but that he's learned the way to deal with his feelings are to dump and blame them on someone else.

I'm sure if R opened up to exploring the root of his anger, what triggers him, and ways to dissipate those feelings constructively, your relationship and your relationship with your couple would be right as rain.
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  #22  
Old 01-12-2012, 07:27 PM
awakeandready awakeandready is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
If you think it would hurt to lose T&S now, imagine how much worse it would be if you'd gotten to the point where you had all decided to let love blossom, they had become a vital party of your heart... and THEN R freaked and unilaterally pulled the plug. It's one thing to lose a relationship because it just doesn't work out, you can get some closure there, but there's no closure to be had when a healthy relationship is veto'ed.
Oh my gosh, that's true. I think you just got to the heart of what I've been so scared of. That L word is scary and not the way I would describe it. But the longer this goes on the deeper that emotional connection keeps getting and the harder it would be to have it suddenly severed. After just 7 months, these are already some of the closest friends I think I have ever had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
That is not to say you should dump T&S to protect yourself or "for their own good", far from it! I don't believe in dismissing a good thing out of fear when there's a chance to work things out. But I do think things should maybe cool off a little for now, maybe focus more on the friendship side. Be honest with them that you're having some relationship issues that you're working on, and that it's not their faults at all and you both care for them... hopefully if they're good friends they'll respect you for that and be patient!
I like reading that. It tells me there is hope and maybe a way to proceed and not lose everything.

This is all such horrible timing. We have a condo booked and a 2-day mini vacation planned with them next week, that we've all been looking forward to for a couple of months. I'm not quite sure how to deal with that yet.

Here is how I think I'm going to proceed. When R is done with work tonight I'll sit down with him and have him read this thread. I have tears streaming down my face every time I read a new comment and I imagine it will be equally hard for him to read--probably more so. But I still think he needs to see it. Hopefully he'll be able to at least listen to the advice you are all giving us even if he can't accept it yet. There are some counselors within driving distance on the lists you gave me. I'm going to call a few and find out more about them. I think I'll make an appointment that I'll keep with or without R. I'm pretty sure he'll agree to go with me, but even if he doesn't I think I need some outside help and support to get through this.

Last edited by awakeandready; 01-13-2012 at 03:52 AM. Reason: emphasis
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  #23  
Old 01-12-2012, 08:46 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Wish I could give you a hug! This will have to do: *hug*
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  #24  
Old 01-12-2012, 08:56 PM
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Wow.

Op, I have kinda been where you are. In a round-about-way.

My husband and I had some 'exclusive swinging' years ago. We had people we cared about greatly, and they, us. I had many problems in the beginning, dealing with that. I had a few meltdowns, and did some of the things your husband did. I gave the cold shoulder to him, nit-picked and argued when I saw something happen sexually, that I didn`t approve of.
I actually was so pissed off once, I went to set a glass down on a glass coffee table, and not realizing the force I did it with, my whole hand ended up in shattered glass. I still have those scars.
I had a LOT of baggage and shit to work through.

We also didn`t use the 'poly' word, and tippy-toed around it. We had vanilla times, family times, and sexy times.

I did figure 'my shit' out and we were then able to enjoy our friends, and really learn how to be new people.
Life is full of hard lessons, and we were not able to keep that relationship going. Though those lessons learned, have lasted for me. Part of figuring out 'my shit' was forgetting the situation, and learning first how to respond appropriately when I am caught off-guard. A skill that had never been taught to me. One I hadn`t learned, until those scenarios kept smacking me in the forehead.

With all that went on, at that time, I was the 'problem child' and my husband was the saint.

Skip ahead a bunch of years, and us venturing into poly.
Buttons ended up pushed in a different scenario, and the shoe was suddenly on the other foot. It was my husband having meltdowns, and questioning things.
He too, got past it, but my point is,.....we all have triggers. We can choose to shut down, and handle everything the same as we always have, there-by holding onto our fears.
Or, we can choose to forget the 'scenario' and first learn to handle things in an appropriate manner. When that is learned, we can then trust ourselves, and then others.

One thing I am not sure about,..is labelling. When we point fingers at someone and say : 'YOU`RE AN EMOTIONAL ABUSER.'
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn`t. I`m not sure it works when :
A) they are someone we love, and love us back.
B) the whole reason someone is reacting poorly, is because they have never learned the tools, to handle fear and hurt properly. If they don`t have the tools, they aren`t going to suddenly say; 'Hey, yeah you`re right, I`ll stop that crap.' They will get defensive, and more of the same will come about.

As human beings, I don`t think I have ever got close to someone, and not seen a darker side. None of us are perfect. All of us have triggers, where we can react poorly to situations. Most of us, are not proud of that. I think those we love, need to know, it`s ok for them to admit their problem, and that they haven`t a clue how to fix it.

The tricky line to walk, is not to take someone`s shit, while they are doing it.
When your husband was glaring at you, he was ( I think ) begging you to show some initiative, so he isn`t always the bad guy 'ending' things. For you, you don`t want to step on his toes.....yet what he sees, is the fact you leave it up to him. So,..the vicious circle continues.

So,..stop 'the dance'. Both of you. Say what you want, and mean what you say. The non-verbal games are maddening.

R,....forget the scenarios, and figure out how to respond to triggers, in a better way.
Awakeandready : While he is dealing with triggers right now, I`m thinking you could also benefit from learning how to deal with triggers. Your description, of handling the broken boundaries, sounds like you are so fearful of losing T&S, that you are willing to say 'whatever' so that things still materialize. That is not good. How will anyone know to take your word for the truth ?
For the record, what I learned years ago, was to give myself time to think. To not respond to a trigger until I was in a calm place. Once I was, THEN talk it out. Basically, replacing a bad habit, with a better one.
This was work, but became habitual over time. And no matter how hard someone tries to push my trigger button, then don`t get it anymore. I do what I need to to, so I can be fair to all.

I also think you need to sit your friends down, and explain your arguments that you have, when they aren't around. Explain your fears, and just give them a general heads up. They deserve that, rather then being shocked by a huge-ass argument happening unexpectedly.

Good Luck !
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  #25  
Old 01-12-2012, 10:26 PM
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Good points, SG. I think it's very important to make the distinction that you can call out behaviors as "abusive behaviors" without labeling a person an "abusive person". But the word itself may be inflammatory, and making someone feel insulted/defensive is rarely a good way to generate productive dialogue, except inasmuch as it gets attention.
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  #26  
Old 01-13-2012, 03:36 PM
awakeandready awakeandready is offline
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Just a quick update to this thread. When R came home last night he seemed to be feeling a lot better about things and we were talking reasonably for a while, but then things blew up again and we started arguing.

From my perspective, nothing has changed in our relationship with T&S since last week when R was telling me how much he trusted me and trusted T, and that he was okay with things now and realized it (the sex) wasn't the big deal he'd previously thought it was, that the sex was just a lot of fun and he knew it was that for me too, and that he was enjoying the friendship with T&S and had grown to care for S himself...blah, blah, blah.

But suddenly, and without warning or any cause that I can see (all he'll tell me is that hearing me with T that night was really hard for him and was especially so since things weren't coming together for him and S that night), R now feels the complete opposite and seems to see the relationship with T&S as a threat to our marriage. It doesn't seem to matter how much I reassure him, how much I try and remind him of the long talks we've had about this and the agreements that had come out of them, how much I remind him that I've never been anything but 100% open and honest with him and will continue, or how much I promise him that nobody could ever take his place in my heart and that this relationship with T&S is fulfilling in a completely different way and if anything is only making my love for R stronger. Now, the perspective he seems to be sticking to is that he has been pulled somewhat unwillingly into this relationship that he never wanted in the first place , suddenly realizes that he's been lying to himself all along, and can't tolerate his wife with another man.

But at the root of it, I think, is that I am more emotionally invested in this friendship with T&S than he is (that is true) and he is having a hard time understanding that and accepting that. But since this isn't exactly a new revelation, I'm not sure why it suddenly became such a problem for him out of the blue like this. And it doesn't mean that he isn't emotionally invested too. It just means that he is less so. I'm just so confused by his flip flopping opinions and I don't know which reflects his true feelings...this week or last week. Obviously I want to believe it was last week. Or at least somewhere near the middle so that we can maybe find a compromise.

So, it was with those differences that we went to bed last night. Big sigh...

But this morning, before he even got out of bed he asked me to read this thread. So I brought the PC and a cup of coffee to him and he read. I think it was hard for him to read (he thinks you all think he is a monster now though he sees the truth in much of what you wrote and recognizes we have a problem we have to fix), although he really appreciated SourGirl's comments...he said "finally, at the very end somebody understands me and the trouble I've been having with this."

Anyway, we didn't have much time before work, but it does seem that after a night of sleep his perspective is softening again. There was no more fighting this morning. I told him about one of the counselors I was interested in and that I was going to call him today, and he didn't object. So, I've left a message for that person and am just waiting for a call back now.

I am still feeling really bad about T&S. The last they knew everything was awesome, we'd just dropped some more boundaries and brought our relationship to another level of trust, and were looking forward to next week. Of course, all the flirty texts and email we are getting from them reflect that...and I'm not sure what if anything we should tell them and how we're going to deal with two nights alone with them in just a few days. I so don't want to dump all of this on them and I know the idea that this could all come to an end like this will hurt them too. Ugh.

Last edited by awakeandready; 01-13-2012 at 04:31 PM. Reason: added clarification
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  #27  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:18 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Can you cancel the trip and still get a refund? If I were them I would prefer the honesty and bravery up front and delayed gratification on the trip versus being blindsided by tension or maybe even an explosion while I was already there. It's not dumping on them to just let them know you guys are going through a rough patch right now. Poly doesn't work without loads of comunication and honesty, so if you think it's a path you might want to go down at some point, why not get a head start on the tough but necessary components now? Again, if they're good friends they'll respect you more for honesty, not less.
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  #28  
Old 01-13-2012, 06:42 PM
awakeandready awakeandready is offline
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No. Too late for a refund. Plus we all already arranged for the extra days off from work. But they are good friends and even though I know they'll be disappointed, I know they'll try their best to understand if we tell them we need to remain in our original couples for these couple of days and just have some friends time with them. That will be tough on the remaining three of us (there is still a lot of NRE flowing between the rest of us, even if it came to a crashing halt on R the other night) but would probably be very good for R. Just some non-stressful time for him to remember all the reasons why we like them so much beyond just the sex.
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  #29  
Old 01-13-2012, 07:00 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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That sounds like a healthy way to handle it. If one member of a couple that's just opening up is experiencing anxiety, it can be very affirming to have it demonstrated that their partner is willing to slow down, pass up opportunities for fun things like sex, and otherwise prioritize them and show them that they don't take second place just because they're no longer the "one and only" when it comes to certain things.

And good on you, R, for reading and taking in what was said even though it was rough, that takes some courage.
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  #30  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:51 PM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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I was telling my hubby about this thread. He reminded me of something else, that might be helpful to you both.

When a partner is feeling insecure, (heavy with emotion) probably one of the worst things we can do, is try to talk them out of how they feel.

We can be well-meaning, trying to give examples of how things 'really are' but all it does, is come across to the hurting person like : ' Your feelings are wrong, and unjustified.'

We learned, to let that person feel the way they feel. To not minimize their feelings, even if it seems that the green-eyed monster has taken over. Many times jealousy tries to get in bed with 'intuition', and the emotional party, probably does make valid points, in addition to some invalid points.



So, let the person talk, and have their say. Let them get it all out.
As long as, it isn`t harmful to those willing to listen.

Usually if it is chaneled in a healthy way, the person feeling all the emotion and fear, will calm down, think on it, and come back to the discussion knowing the things they truly felt, and what was just the fear talking. Reassurance only works if the person on the receiving end is looking for it.

Good luck !
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