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Old 02-14-2012, 06:39 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Default Anxiety and the "I'm F'd" Feeling

I haven't posted in awhile. I've been trying just to keep a lid on myself for awhile, and let other things settle (in-laws' visit over the holidays, wife's surgery in early January and subsequent recovery). For those who want to catch-up, my original thread is here:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...l+conversation

It's been three years since I fell hard for my crush, and I'm crushing on her as strong as ever. I still haven't told her, and I've been afraid to re-open talks with my wife out of fear that my marriage is going to fly apart. I have a handle on what that will look like financially if it happens, but emotionally, that's another matter. No longer being part of my son's daily life is what will hurt the worst, and I fear what he would think of me.

My wife has lost a considerable amount of weight (most of it during her recovery--she had her esophageal valve repaired to fix reflux, and it's taken awhile to build back up to a normal, even if significantly reduced, diet). She feels good about how she looks, and not being in constant pain is also a huge win. I'm hopeful that her improved self esteem will help when reopening talks about poly.

(And yes, I realize that even if I were to get a green light from my wife, or were to separate from her, there's no guarantee that my crush would be interested. She's hard for me to read--sometimes, I think she clearly likes me, but I don't trust myself to not merely be seeing what I want to see.)

There is a question here, after all of that: for those of you who have been in a similar situation (you loved your spouse, and you fell for someone else, but your spouse wasn't down with that), how long did it take to get past the "I'm fucked" feeling and take action? What were the consequences? If you ended up divorced--especially if there were children--how did it end up? Was it worth it?

I can't stuff the genie back in the bottle--now that I know I'm poly, and it makes so much sense to me, I feel like I'm either doomed to a life of anxiety, frustration, and sleepless nights, or I have to risk my marriage and live true to what I am.

Thanks,
MT
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
I can't stuff the genie back in the bottle--now that I know I'm poly, and it makes so much sense to me, I feel like I'm either doomed to a life of anxiety, frustration, and sleepless nights, or I have to risk my marriage and live true to what I am.
Yup, pretty much. It seems that really there is no alternative for some poly people that are born poly (identified), rather than choose it as a dating style or lifestyle that they could drop for monogamy. It seems you need to make a move. Good luck!

You might try a search for "poly/mono" in the tags and find threads on how others have worked out how to go about approaching a mono partner.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:38 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Oh MT, I hate that you are still so scared of her reaction. It is not good to live under that stress. You haven't brought it up again with her since the summer, correct? Now, I also recall you saying at some point that you were no longer pining for your crush. Has that longing renewed itself in you?

Do you think your wife would consider going to therapy again? I recall that she didn't like the therapist, but don't remember if she went back after the first time or not. I think you might want to find someone who understands alt. relationships but doesn't flaunt that as a specialty. You could broach the subject by saying that there are issues you want to address with a third party there to help you two sort through them. Have you been seeing the therapist by yourself at all?

I think you will have to bring it up again eventually, and I know you were very compassionate in the past, so she should be able to hear you better this time. I think, if I were you, I would focus on telling her you just want to TALK about possibilities and it's not about acting on them at this point, but that you want to just see if she will examine with you another depth to being in relationship with each other - and you don't want to be afraid to talk about deep issues going on with you. Let her have the sense that you want her to be a confidante in a way but that her past reactions didn't help you to trust that she will just listen and be open to new ideas. And that's what you really need right now instead of a brick wall.

I think some couples have to work on things like this for a very long time before making any movement in one direction or another. But she should know that she can't just say "no" and give you the cold shoulder when you just want to be able to talk about it with her.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-14-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:53 AM
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Man you have a good memory nycindie! Impressive. I just thought this was another poster with the same complaints as the last. lol Just teasing. It is a common issue after all.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:02 AM
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Oh, well, MorningTwilight included a link to his previous thread, but I did remember a lot without visiting it again. He had quite a long thread going for several months and it was very compelling to me. Many of us contributed to it, and I've never stopped rooting for him. I guess you went blank, RP.
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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/

Last edited by nycindie; 02-14-2012 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:12 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Oh MT, I hate that you are still so scared of her reaction. It is not good to live under that stress. You haven't brought it up again with her since the summer, correct?
Correct. It has partly been fear, and partly been not being willing to bring that hurt to her, either. I keep telling myself that it does no good to live my life for her; I have to live my life for me; however, it would appear that old habits and cultural conditioning are hard to break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
Now, I also recall you saying at some point that you were no longer pining for your crush. Has that longing renewed itself in you?
In a big way. All she has to do is smile at me, and it's like I'm spellbound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
Do you think your wife would consider going to therapy again? I recall that she didn't like the therapist, but don't remember if she went back after the first time or not.
She only went once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
I think you might want to find someone who understands alt. relationships but doesn't flaunt that as a specialty. You could broach the subject by saying that there are issues you want to address with a third party there to help you two sort through them. Have you been seeing the therapist by yourself at all?
I have not, for the same reasons that I haven't brought up poly again: fear, and not wanting to upset my wife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
I think you will have to bring it up again eventually, and I know you were very compassionate in the past, so she should be able to hear you better this time. I think, if I were you, I would focus on telling her you just want to TALK about possibilities and it's not about acting on them at this point, but that you want to just see if she will examine with you another depth to being in relationship with each other - and you don't want to be afraid to talk about deep issues going on with you. Let her have the sense that you want her to be a confidante in a way but that her past reactions didn't help you to trust that she will just listen and be open to new ideas. And that's what you really need right now instead of a brick wall.
Indeed, I do need that. I'm hopeful that with her improved health and improved self-image, that she won't be so quick to see the subject as a threat.

MT
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:21 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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It might just be me but I think the longer you wait to bring the subject up again, the more likely she will feel your not acting on your desires has you in a resentful relationship with her. And to try to find comfort in you exploring a new relationship with someone who only needs to smile to brighten your day while you're on the resentful tip with your monogamous wife might be too scary a risk to her. It could make her feel like you're setting her up to be cast aside for something lighter and less difficult.

This has come up for lots of people I'm betting. If the new person and you are all caught up in the 'Wow you're like my soul mate' feeling, it can make your other partner who went though the good and the bad with you feel like all the time and work they put in is being devalued for how much easier someone new got into your heart and mind. My husband immediately felt this when he learned my BF had expressed love for me. "He has faced absolutely nothing in the way of a struggle with you and has never had to prove anything to you; of course he thinks he loves you!" was his reaction. And we are both poly; me coming to it because I knew he idealized it. If that is how he reacted, I can only imagine what it would seem like to a mono partner of someone wanting to become poly.
Do you have a clear path in your mind for how to prevent your wife (and you!) from feeling that especially when she currently and potentially will always struggle to identify with why you want/need it so much?
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:54 PM
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trescool trescool is offline
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Default for what its worth...

Hi MT
You asked to hear from poly/mono partners who ended up getting a divorce. I am the girlfriend of a man who got a divorce. We were in a m-f-f tryad with me, his wife, and him for a while, until it fell apart. Well, hindsight is 20/20 so here is my two cents (keeping in mind 2 cents doesn't buy you much nowadays...).

He felt he was always poly, has wanted it since he was 15. She had been in somethign poly before but then denied that aspect of her past and became very strongly Christian, as she had experienced much pain and heart break in her former life.

They had plenty of deep conversations about it. Tip: this was a good thing. They had managed to go beyond the obvious emotions of betrayal, surprise, insecurity.

What they didn't do was go to therapy. Tip: Try therapy with someone else who your wife actually feels comfortable with. Tip 2: Sometimes getting beyond feelings of insecurity and JUST CONVERSATION is what is most important. I so agree that it's NOT about sayhing "this is what we're doing right now"... it's about being able to support, understand, and HEAR each other's deepest emotions and beliefs. (more on that later...)

Their marriage was on the rocks super bad when they met me, for reasons that had nothign to do with polyamory and everything to do with extensive personal problems between the two of them. Tip: Yeah... if there are other things going on in your marriage beyond poly that make you question your marriage, poly will only make things crazier. (this one is so obvious in restrospect, it's painful.)

When my boyfriend met me, he felt like he couldn't hold it in any longer. He went back to his wife and the two of them talked again. By then, he was desperate for changing the situation of his marriage. Things got rushed. Tip: Yeah, that's just a bad idea. Introducing the idea of poly is something that takes small baby steps, gentle ones.

Well, it should be obvious by now what our mistakes were and why our attempt at poly failed. We went way too fast, and their marriage was already on the brink of collapse. They had extraordinarily serious issues from the beginning of their marriage that had nothing to do with me, and that I could do nothing to help, but only emphasized to both of them that they weren't happy.

How have things gone since their separation?
He is in the middle of arranging 50/50 custody on paper; in practice, he already has 50% care for his child.
My family is NOT impressed with me, and doesn't support the relationship
His family has accepted his decisions, because his relationship with his wife was so rocky for so many years, every one understands
I love him dearly and he loves me
We are in much more careful conversations and practice of polyamory now having gained some wisdom and experience the hard way. We are much more careful, slow, and discuss EVERYTHING with each other before jumping in. It helps!

So... those are my reflections. I hope they help!!!
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:59 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
I have not, for the same reasons that I haven't brought up poly again: fear, and not wanting to upset my wife.
My husband uses this excuse to sweep things aside and harbor resentment toward me.

Him: "Well the one time I approached _____ (a difficult topic) you reacted badly. I don't tell you things to avoid making you feel bad."

Me: "Yeah, you caught me off guard and that was 15 F'n years ago. You never tried to bring it up again or discuss it once I have had time to process and have based all other situations on that one instance."

So many times he waits until he has so much resentment and back issues that it all just explodes. Other times he will say "I need to talk to you later", so for hours I'm thinking the worst (building up lots of anxiety) and it's something really simple and I'm left thinking, "it took you hours/days to tell me that?" WTF? The truth is sometimes the approach makes all the difference. She may still not be receptive or change her mind, but you may be able to avoid the volatile knee jerk reaction.

I strongly suggest therapy, even if it's just to learn how to communicate with each other. That she threatens to pack up the kid and move away is down right WRONG! It will have a negative impact on the two of you for years to come, no matter where you go from here. At one point, when I was ready to divorce my husband, he said "I will do whatever it takes to make sure you never get custody of the kids", implying that he would lie and make false allegations against me, which put me into a suicidal state. He claims that he was just grasping at straws, and would never do such a thing, but I still have issues trusting him after that. It's always in the back of my mind and it makes me question if I really do still love him or I'm just there because he will try and take my kids away from me.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:00 PM
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trescool trescool is offline
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Default for what its worth...

Hi MT
You asked to hear from poly/mono partners who ended up getting a divorce. I am the girlfriend of a man who got a divorce. We were in a m-f-f tryad with me, his wife, and him for a while, until it fell apart. Well, hindsight is 20/20 so here is my two cents (keeping in mind 2 cents doesn't buy you much nowadays...).

He felt he was always poly, has wanted it since he was 15. She had been in somethign poly before but then denied that aspect of her past and became very strongly Christian, as she had experienced much pain and heart break in her former life.

They had plenty of deep conversations about it. Tip: this was a good thing. They had managed to go beyond the obvious emotions of betrayal, surprise, insecurity.

What they didn't do was go to therapy. Tip: Try therapy with someone else who your wife actually feels comfortable with. Tip 2: Sometimes getting beyond feelings of insecurity and JUST CONVERSATION is what is most important. I so agree that it's NOT about sayhing "this is what we're doing right now"... it's about being able to support, understand, and HEAR each other's deepest emotions and beliefs. (more on that later...)

Their marriage was on the rocks super bad when they met me, for reasons that had nothign to do with polyamory and everything to do with extensive personal problems between the two of them. Tip: Yeah... if there are other things going on in your marriage beyond poly that make you question your marriage, poly will only make things crazier. (this one is so obvious in restrospect, it's painful.)

When my boyfriend met me, he felt like he couldn't hold it in any longer. He went back to his wife and the two of them talked again. By then, he was desperate for changing the situation of his marriage. Things got rushed. Tip: Yeah, that's just a bad idea. Introducing the idea of poly is something that takes small baby steps, gentle ones.

Well, it should be obvious by now what our mistakes were and why our attempt at poly failed. We went way too fast, and their marriage was already on the brink of collapse. They had extraordinarily serious issues from the beginning of their marriage that had nothing to do with me, and that I could do nothing to help, but only emphasized to both of them that they weren't happy.

How have things gone since their separation?
He is in the middle of arranging 50/50 custody on paper; in practice, he already has 50% care for his child.
My family is NOT impressed with me, and doesn't support the relationship
His family has accepted his decisions, because his relationship with his wife was so rocky for so many years, every one understands
I love him dearly and he loves me
We are in much more careful conversations and practice of polyamory now having gained some wisdom and experience the hard way. We are much more careful, slow, and discuss EVERYTHING with each other before jumping in. It helps!

So... those are my reflections. I hope they help!!!
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