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  #1  
Old 05-24-2012, 04:09 AM
TraciJO TraciJO is offline
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Default Will I ever be happy again?

I am a 39 year old wife and mother of 2 young children (4 & 6). I have been with my husband for almost 17 years. In the early years of our relationship, our sex life was great, but starting about 10 years ago, it began to wither, eventually to the point where we only had sex once every other month. As this was gradually happening, I could not find the cause for my complete lack of libido. I never thought about sex, didn't want it and didn't know why. The lack of sex was a huge problem for my husband, but he eventually came to accept that I'd never have a desire for sex again, and filled in the gaps with porn. I started taking anti-depressants, which numbed my unhappiness, and I thought I was fine until.....

About 3 months ago, I was out with a friend when a few guys flirted with me - hit on me - made it clear that they'd be happy to take me home with them (not all together, just a 1 on 1 situation). All I can say is that this "flipped a switch" in me - I felt like I got hit by a lightening bolt. The feeling was overwhelming. I didn't act on the offers from these men, but I wanted to. That night, I came home and actually WANTED to have sex with my husband - for the first time in 10 years. This lead to a discussion about what had changed in me - what caused this sudden spark in libido? I really couldn't answer that question. Was it the attention? The idea of sex with a stranger? From these discussions, we agreed to start swinging as a couple.

Our first encounter was a few months ago. My experience with the man was mind-blowing. My husband and the woman were not so successful, and their sexual chemistry didn't seem to mesh. Despite the difficulties, my husband agreed to continue to see this couple. Several more evenings together, amazing sex for me - not so much for my husband. Feelings of joy carried over into me and my husband's sex life and we were like teenagers again. I have never felt so in love with him - so attracted to him - so completely happy. The sexual energy that came from my experiences with the other man just carried over to my relationship with my husband. It was like starting over.

This man made me feel things that I have not experienced before. I felt sexy, desirable, interesting. We connected on an emotional level - not love, but definately something more than fuck-buddies. He started texting me - flirting -I loved it! The happiest I have been in more than 10 years. The texts were pretty pretty harmless, but my husband had a huge issue with this. He became extremely jealous and eneded up demanding that we stop seeing this couple. I felt my heart break.

Through this, I finally came to realize what was missing all of these last 10 years - I was miserable in a monogomous relationship. I love my husband dearly, and he makes it clear that he loves me - adores me, in fact. He is a fantastic huband and father - couldn't ask for better. Our family life is about as good as you can get - I have no reason to be unhappy......I should be happy.....

After reading through this forum, I finally recognize that I have always been poly - or at least have always wanted to be. Everything I have read here makes total sense to me - you CAN love more than one person at a time - opening your relationship will most likely bring you closer together. These revelations made me so happy!!!! Happier than I have been - ever. I had a long talk with husband - and finally came clean about my feelings. At first, he said he would try to understand this - try to work with me on this. But as the days have worn on, things are getting worse and worse. It finally exploded today in an email from my husband who told me that I am selfish, and a horrible mother and wife if I am putting MY needs before those of my husband and children. How could I do this to him? To my family? How could I destroy their lives and be ok with that? The idea of divorce was thrown around.

So I finally gave up. I am tired of fighting. I don't want to lose my family. I am tired of hurting him. So, tonight, I told him I'd give this up - put it away - no more swinging, no more talks about other relationships - no more. I told him I would go back to the way it was, go on antidepressants again and go to counseling to work on my issues and learn how to stop feeling this way.

I can't stop crying. I feel like my soul has died. I feel like I had a chance at true happiness and now it's gone. I am in total despair.

If you are "poly" in your heart, can you ever be happy if you don't act on it?
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:59 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Deep breath! AGAIN!

Ok, now time to thing rationally about how to REALISICALLY make some changes within your life. Poly won't fix a broken marriage and from the sound of your fight, there is 10 years worth of resentments built up, likely on both sides. Unfortunately, the things said in a moment of anger, hurt and frustration will eat away at you for a long time to come if you both dont get things resolved. I would seriously start with repairing your marriage with the help of a marriage counselor.

When things between your husband and yourself are in a more stable place and possible with the help of the concilor, you can discuss poly again and how that will effect your lives. This is not an uncommon first response when a spouse feels like they've been blindsided. It likely brought forth all of your husband's insecurities and resentments. Most people don't deal well when that happens.

I've been married 21 years and have spent the last 2-3 years trying NOT to get divorced. Wen we started counseling, I truly did not see any way out, but we found it, but it did take a LOT of work on both our parts.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:28 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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I agree that marriage counseling is needed, but I worry about the idea of medicating oneself into being something you aren't.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:02 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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First, I'm so, so, sorry that you're in the situation you're in.

Second, I echo the previous posters: YES, go to counseling. But it just may be that the counseling makes you more aware of and stronger in yourself. It may not "stop" your feelings of being poly (I don't even know if that's possible) and it may not fix your marriage either. You can't fix it alone.

Third, I find these two statements at odds:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TraciJO View Post
he makes it clear that he loves me - adores me, in fact. He is a fantastic huband and father - couldn't ask for better. Our family life is about as good as you can get - I have no reason to be unhappy......I should be happy.....
and
Quote:
It finally exploded today in an email from my husband who told me that I am selfish, and a horrible mother and wife if I am putting MY needs before those of my husband and children. How could I do this to him? To my family? How could I destroy their lives and be ok with that?
That sure doesn't sound like someone who adores you and is a fantastic husband. You might as well say HE'S selfish and a horrible husband for putting HIS needs ahead of yours. And for writing all of that in an email. How very mature. (I don't know what on earth your children's needs have to do with this, or how he thinks it would destroy their lives. I think he needs to follow through with his statement that'd he try to understand and work with you and do some serious reading about successful poly parenting.)

I wish you the best of luck. I think you already know the answer to your question- you had 10 years of experience in not getting everything you needed from your marriage. Were you happy?
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:59 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraciJO View Post
If you are "poly" in your heart, can you ever be happy if you don't act on it?
No.

I would like to modify that, though - If I am poly in my heart (I use the term "wired for poly") then I need to feel free to act on it. I don't need to actually act on it, just to know that I am not limited. It may seem a fine distinction to you, but for me it's an important one.

It was the feeling of being "caged in" to monogamy that caused me all the problems. The analogy I like to use is that of a dog and its cage. If you put the dog in its cage and shut the door, they can get very unhappy, barking and whining. However, if you leave the door open, the dog will often just go and lie in there, quite content. It isn't that the cage is inherently uncomfortable that bothers the dog, it's the idea of that door being closed that causes the problem.

My relationship can be absolutely great, but if I feel that the door is closed, then I am not going to be happy.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:34 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Your family life is as good as it can get ... you are married to a fantastic husband and father yet you only have sex 6 times a year. Was this lack of desire and or loss libido the cause of the depression which was treated with anti-depressants. Don't anti-depressant just naturally kill or dampen libido?

What was your husbands complaint? Did he think the NRE got out hand? Did he have a solution in mind?

This bridge form swinging to poly is hard to cross mentally for some. Many have suggested here that there is a disconnect when a loving husband is fine with a guy or guys using their with wife as a human sex toy to cum into but if feelings and relationships develop... no way that's a rule violation ...here comes the melt down. Did you have such a rule.?

Maybe you both have known its over for many years...he just agreed to the swinging thing in hopes of saving the marriage .

Maybe the spillover effect was just that spillover.

Seems I little unfair to judge a guy from 1 quote from an email rant or melt down. Where's the open mindedness. What about the past 10yrs...all that history ... the first 7 yrs .... I hope that was factored in. I don't know but 10 yrs of jerking off should buy him something a little less harsh and maybe some understanding.

Last edited by dingedheart; 05-25-2012 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:14 PM
Chaos Chaos is offline
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I'm new to all this, so I can't answer any of the questions about your happiness about being mono vs. poly. I'm just wondering what antidepressant you're taking? I'm on Wellbutrin now (for pain induced depression), which works great for me. I've taken Effexor in the past, and that seriously killed my libido as well as some other stupid crap. I know there are many others that will do the same.
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  #8  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:39 PM
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MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
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My advice is to not view the issues as one in the same. Your happiness is not the same as your libido is not the same as the health of your relationship is not the same as being poly. They are intertwined to be sure, but you'll need to find more space to deal with the causes of each. Some may have common cause, other's may be independent. Until you can sort through this swirl of emotions, don't make any rash decisions or judgments.

You may well be poly. On the other hand, you may not have been getting the kind of attention that you wanted/needed from your husband to feel sexy. I'd say slow down and don't rush to the conclusion that you must be poly because your libido is back. A cheating spouse could have the same response and it doesn't necessarily mean that they're poly.

Your husband will need some time. He'll have strong emotions. There's no way around that. You've just turned his life upside down. View his predicament with the compassion it deserves. Give him time. And give yourself time.

Don't forget to do the hard work of working through the roots of your depression and what's going on in your marriage. Be as sure as you can that poly is the right path before you force him to make the choice. It's entirely too easy to jump at the excitement and sexiness of poly, new relationship energy, and the whole flirtatious mess and forget to do the hard work that's required to rebuild a sustainable, healthy emotional, sexual and relational life.

In the end, you may determine and be convinced that you're polyamorous. And, your husband may never be able to get his head and heart around that notion. How you respond to that basic conflict of needs then becomes very important. Don't blame him because you've changed the rules and he can't figure out how to accommodate the change.
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Last edited by MindfulAgony; 05-25-2012 at 04:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:21 PM
TraciJO TraciJO is offline
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Default Thank you all for your thoughts

To answer some questions:

I was taking Paxil (for anxiety) and Wellbutrin (for depression). The Paxil is what killed what little libido was left. I went off the Paxil, stayed on Wellbutrin, though a very low dose. Sex drive came back, but so did the anxiety.

I do sympathize with my husband and the fact that I have turned his world upside down. I feel terribly guilty about that. Yes, we did start swinging to attain that "sexual charge" so we could bring the energy back into our own bedroom. It worked fantastically, until I developed feelings for a guy that I played with. That's where the wheels came off the cart, so to speak. We had not discussed the possibility of emotional envolvement much, as we were just approaching swinging for recreational sex. However, what I didn't expect is that I'd "connect" with another person on an emotional level so quickly. My husband and I both understand now, that swinging to put a "patch" on our sex life was a terrible idea. We jumped in too quickly, and are now paying the price.

As far as whether or not I think I'm poly........at this point I'm pretty sure. I have been encouraging my husband to find a girlfriend for more than 5 years, as I knew I wasn't fufilling his sexual needs and it wasn't fair for him to "go without". He had no interest in doing this. He is sweet, caring and very attractive, but I don't think he believes this about himself and he does have a severe lack of confidence. Maybe that's why he never went through with it.

After doing a LOT of reading and soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that I need a poly relationship in order to be emotionally and sexually fufilled. My husband may choose to stay mono (which I understand complicates matters and makes jealousy more difficult to manage), but I need him to "open the door to the cage" and let me be free to love another person. If he can do that, I think we have hope. But I know that's asking a lot of him too.

He has joined this site and has posted on a few threads, looking for support and encouragement. I am sure he will find lots of thoughtful, caring people here who have been in his shoes.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2012, 06:11 PM
noob noob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
No.

I would like to modify that, though - If I am poly in my heart (I use the term "wired for poly") then I need to feel free to act on it. I don't need to actually act on it, just to know that I am not limited. It may seem a fine distinction to you, but for me it's an important one.
I agree with this; it really resonates with me, too. I would never again agree to an indefinitely closed relationship, but might be able to be de facto exclusive for a long while.

OP, it might be possible for you and your husband to work on your marriage while remaining closed/exclusive with the idea/understanding that you will need it re-opened later. For me (I'm also having marriage issues), this is not so much an option, because I am already involved in another relationship that I am not willing to end. But if I am reading your post right, you are not involved with anyone at the moment; you just want to be able to be later. That seems like a natural place for compromise with your husband.
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