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  #11  
Old 05-24-2012, 12:40 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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We talked some more. Now he's not going to come because he says it's clear he's not wanted. (I told him it's true, but that he would have been wanted if we'd planned to spend the weekend together to begin with.)

Now we're in a huge fight.

There's this recurring theme, where I tell him he has just as much freedom to go and do the things he wants to do and I am always in complete support of that, and he tells me he would rather stay home and spend time with our children being a good parent... and then wonders how I come away thinking he's telling me I'm not as good a parent as he is. He's says no, I am 95% a good mother. That's supposed to reassure me? I really have no idea what he wants from me at this point. He says I'm making him out to be a villain so I feel can better about myself. Villain that I am.

I can't even think straight I'm so upset right now.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:18 AM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Please go see a marriage councilor! I'm not sure there's anything left for YOU to say. He is twisting things around to make himself look like a victim. You have said before that he is very concerned about outward "appearances", it sounds like what your mom said triggered something that sent him into self pity mode. I've had this happen, where I'm perfectly fine with a situation until a family member said "doesn't ______ bother you?". So now I'm thinking it should bother me and I start feeling sorry for myself. Not a good plan, and now that I recognize it, I take steps to avoid that little pity party trigger.

I gave up long time ago repeating some of the stupid bs my mom spouts, it just rarely turns out well.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:41 AM
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My mom doesn't even know the situation with C. She knows he is driving me and staying in the same hotel, and that he's a friend. She knows that my daughter and I plan to spend a lot of time with my daughter's friend and her mother, another friend of mine, along with loads of other people I know who attend this event. It really doesn't look inappropriate from the outside, except that my mom thinks anything I do without my husband is somehow inappropriate.

It seems more to be about his thinking he is "making it possible" for me to have this trip and I haven't shown him enough gratitude for that. I feel like the trip would have been just as possible if he'd decided to take it too. I would have gotten a house sitter. But he didn't say he wanted to go, back when we first made the plans. All of a sudden I'm supposed to recognize the sacrifice he is making here.

We saw a marriage counselor in January, but she wasn't on our insurance. The 5 Love Languages book got us through that rough patch to a really good place. Somehow that's not working right now. We could try for another counselor I guess. I think the next one on our list is likely to be at the same event this weekend, actually.

I don't see how I can measure up. I feel like I'm aiming for standards that are being kept secret.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2012, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
I don't see how I can measure up. I feel like I'm aiming for standards that are being kept secret.
I agree! Definitely an issue you guys need to address. Sorry your having to deal with this hope you can get it straightened out.

Marriage councilor covered by insurance? Didn't know such a thing existed, then again I have crappy insurance coverage. I was able to deduct them on my taxes as medical expenses.
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:02 AM
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Things are improved here, again. The weekend was a little rough. I was happily enjoying my time with C, dancing away the second evening and looking forward to his plans for me back at the hotel, involving the clawfoot tub, a foot massage, and a bottle of very good wine, and suddenly my husband and daughter appeared, and day earlier than I expected. Ouch. Poor C headed back to the hotel early and alone, once he caught sight of me sitting with my daughter in my lap. I made a quick visit to his room and there were some tears, and later I tried to explain to my husband. It wasn't that I wasn't happy to spend time with him, just that I was cancelling my other plans on no notice. We agreed I would spend the next morning with C and catch up with my husband mid-day, and that seemed to be the best compromise.

One thing I found amusing in all this was that I checked into the hotel Friday night with C and my older daughter, who then went off to spend most of her time with a local friend. I checked out of the hotel Monday with my husband and my other daughter. Must have been perplexing for the hotel staff!

I've had lots more conversations with my husband and I think I am starting to understand his needs and where I've fallen short. We have looked ahead for fall and planned one family dance weekend in November, and one dance weekend for C and me in October. My husband's stipulation is that I clean the attic to "earn" this time with C, which starts to rub me wrong because it makes me feel like a prisoner earning parole, but I know what it really comes down to is my husband wanting me to show him my love through acts of service, as a reassurance that I am still putting him first. I can do that.

Meanwhile L got all upset when I told him I was going to a dance weekend with C this fall. He feels like he has been loving me so carefully these past 20 years, always respectful of his (ex-)spouse and then mine, and all of a sudden I have a boyfriend who just appeared on the scene last year. I can understand him feeling that way, but at the same time, I don't think he'd want to be a boyfriend to me. He wouldn't be getting what he needs in a girlfriend, and he would be giving up his place as friend to my whole family in exchange for what? Not even sex. He agrees, but he's still jealous. Silly really, because we have our week each year, where we first met and always meet, coming up next month. We always dance until the wee hours and then talk until the sun comes up, night after night. It's one of my favorite weeks of the year.

I'm coming around to agreeing to that sentiment I see so often expressed here, that scheduling is the most difficult part of polyamory. Just having enough time and attention to go around so no one feels shortchanged. Someone was flirting with me at a dance last night and I thought, "You're mighty cute all right, but I just don't have any time left for you!"
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:55 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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C just got back from a few days hiking and camping with a female friend. While he was gone I had a dream that there was a gap in email communication (he writes to me most days) and I was sure he was sleeping with this woman, and I really struggled with it. When I woke up I thought about my feelings, and realized that while I sincerely do want him to find a true "partner," who can be what I just can't be for him, I am afraid of the changes that will cause in my relationship with him. Afraid that he will have less time for me, less attention for me, and if she requires him to be monogamous, that our relationship will be less compelling for him without the physical intimacy we've been able to enjoy. (He recently made some comment about hoping for miracles, like a partner who would accept his relationship with me, but until then had never indicated any desire to be poly himself.)

I feel like a stop-gap for him. He finds our relationship better than being alone, but not fulfilling enough to stop him from looking for someone who will end up basically replacing me. He has been very reassuring with his words, claiming that I am helping him grow and learn and that he will always love me no matter what direction our relationship takes, but when it comes down to it, he is shopping for my replacement. As he should be; he deserves a girlfriend who can join him in his travels, spend time at his house, have sex with him. I think that I am unselfishly wanting that for him, but the panic I felt in my dream made me realize I am not so noble. I want to keep him. I would be happier if he just found a half dozen friends for travel and sex, and saved his love for me. Also now that he tossed that comment out there about having a girlfriend and me... that's a bit of heaven I'd like to hope for.

I don't think it's fair to feel this selfish. I already have a wonderful husband who has eyes only for me. Monogamy starts to feel like a waste to me though. Why shouldn't two women get to enjoy C, one he can travel with, and me for what I do for him? Why should I keep my handsome husband all to myself? I would share these men, if they could both love me freely and I could freely love both of them. Unrealistic dreams, I know.
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  #17  
Old 06-13-2012, 05:23 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Today I feel like I am being asked to tear myself in two. Summer vacation starts today, which means I'll have my kids with me pretty constantly. C is passing through town Friday and we thought it would be fun to check out a houseboat, since he's still thinking he might like to buy one near here to be able to spend more time in the city. My kids and I have never been on a houseboat, so it would be fun for them to come along.

I mentioned this to my husband, and he opposed it, saying C doesn't have the right. After some conversation he decided it would be ok this time, as long as they don't go again if he actually buys one. He doesn't want them in any home of his. He doesn't want them doing fun activities with C and me at all, it seems. I don't know what to do about this. I had given up intimacy with C in January when my husband said he didn't want the kids to be around him at all if we were intimate. I couldn't stand the thought of someone I love not being allowed to know my kids, who are central to my life. He revised that to deciding they could be around him, but I shouldn't ask the two men to socialize together. We have had that arrangement for 3 or 4 months now and I thought it was working fine.

Now I feel again like I have to have the kids treat C like some different category of friend, someone they aren't allowed to get close to. This doesn't sit well with me at all. At 5 and 9, my kids are a huge part of my life, and I want C to know them. He's also someone I want them to know. He's intelligent, one of the kindest people I know, and he has some hobbies that I think the kids would find interesting -bird-watching, photography, hiking, painting. My husband says no, he doesn't want C taking them out in a boat or canoe, for example, because that's something he wants to do with them. He has never done this with them. I'm worried that I'll spend the whole summer keeping the kids at home to protect them from having fun with people other than their dad, who has to work full time. I might only get to see C two or three times this summer, but when he's here I'd love to think we could do something really fun with the kids. Instead, my husband would rather work from home and have the kids laze around the house while he "lets" me go spend the time with C without them. I'll go off on a bird-watching hike and come home with a camera full of photos and a bucket of huckleberries for the kids, and they can tell me what TV shows they watched while they were being carefully shielded from the harm of spending time with C. And I can thank my husband for babysitting.

I'm sad and angry. I don't see how the kids are harmed by having fun with C. It's not as if they were taking that time away from their dad. I can't keep living my life in these separate pieces, though. Fine if my husband won't befriend C, but can't the kids choose for themselves if they enjoy his company or not? How important is it to their well being that they feel a wall between themselves and C that isn't there for anyone else? How much suspicion and distrust and taboo do we need to build around him for the children's sake?
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  #18  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:12 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Please get some marriage counceling. Your husband is showing some serious control issues and he is definitely NOT okay with your outside relationships.
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  #19  
Old 06-14-2012, 03:40 AM
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I know you realize this, but...

"My husband says no, he doesn't want C taking them out in a boat or canoe, for example, because that's something he wants to do with them."

C doing those things with your kids in no way precludes your husband doing them with your kids too. It's not either or, and the experiences will mean more to them when they're with their dad so it's not like the specialness would erode. Still, I guess he feels like it would be less special if he wasn't first/only in their memories. And yet I imagine he wouldn't mind you taking them out with another relative or platonic friends or a teacher. So it's not really about that.
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  #20  
Old 06-14-2012, 03:42 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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We have rewound the clock to January. My husband doesn't want the kids spending time with C so long as we are intimate. Only "incidental contact," never quality time. This feel so horribly unhealthy to me, I am calling of the intimacy. Again. In order to allow this man I love to be able to interact with my family and be in my life in a normal, healthy way, we are going to refrain from expressing our love physically. We'll just amp up in words, looks, and dances, I guess.

On the plus side, C has never felt right about not knowing my husband, and now he'll have that chance. He can come to our parties and things when he is in town, and there shouldn't be any reason now why he couldn't take the kids and me bird watching on a summer weekday and things like that. He can do all the things our other friends do, and that will likely bring us closer together in many ways.

On the minus side, I'm back to feeling like my marriage is a cage. This can't be good.

Marriage counseling is definitely going on our summer to-do list.
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