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  #41  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:19 PM
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Phy Phy is offline
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Hey there

In regard to the counseling, we knew a therapist when we started out who was a friend of ours and we told her about our 'problem' and what we may do about it. After two weeks and some updates on our part, she told us that she would be out of clients if everyone would be like us. Meaning: we simply talked about everything among the three of us and it worked for us in such a way, that we were able to feel understood by the other(s), solved the problems at hand and were satisfied with the outcome.

I was worrying about the same things your wife seems to have in mind right now and the reassurence of my partners made me forget about it. It is terrifying to love this much and suddenly worry about the well being of not one but two people that are dear to you. I know the problem she has with guilt and insecurity in this sitaution. Everything is so new and one needs to get a grip on the things going on. This doesn't happen over night.

Most problems simply disappeared with time and good communication in our case. But if you feel the need to talk to a third, uninvolved party, go for the therapist sessions. I don't think it will hurt if you pick someone who is able to look at your situation from an unbiased point of view.
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  #42  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:36 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Originally Posted by BraverySeeker View Post
As much as my wife keeps saying she feels so lucky to have two sexy, mature and passionate partners, her good fortune inevitably leaves her feeling guilty and fearful that she could wind up hurting one or both of us. I don't see how, so long as she continues to be open and honest and trusts me with being able to handle her having this other relationship.
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Maybe I should worry about what a therapist could draw out of me. Hell, I didn't know I could deal with my wife having another lover until confronted with that actually happening. There have been lesser confessions that have followed, but with the doors blown open to the previously unimaginable, I'm a little fearful what I may say and whether it's anything my wife needs to hear or can handle.
I just want you to really see that you're using double standards. You want her to trust you with handling who she really is, but you're doubting her ability to handle the authentic you? Stop that!
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  #43  
Old 10-18-2012, 04:39 PM
BraverySeeker BraverySeeker is offline
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Good point, Anne. You got me there.
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  #44  
Old 10-19-2012, 12:53 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Which brings to mind a new question: What would you and other Senior Members think about my wife and I seeking a poly-minded therapist proactively? We talked about this last night.
I think it's a great idea. I love therapy. If I could afford it, I'd go every week just to always stay on top of things. But my counsellor charges $90 an hour, and I can't justify $400 a month just for maintenance. That, and my counsellor isn't interested in long-term clients. She likes to address what's going on right now, and then do "life coaching" afterwards (which amounts to an occasional phone call to touch base). That reminds me, I was supposed to set up an appointment...
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  #45  
Old 10-19-2012, 05:39 AM
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I think it's a good idea.

Think of it as relationship maintenance. You don't buy a car and drive it until the wheels fall off, you take it in every now and then to have the filters changed and the brake fluid topped up. Even if you know how to change the oil yourself it doesn't hurt to have a professional look it over once in a while - particularly when you've just had the gearbox replaced.
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  #46  
Old 10-19-2012, 06:27 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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I think it's a great idea.

Would suggest the gf layout the situation for her lawyer and separation agreement before getting too hot and heavy. You wouldn't want that coming back to bite her on some technicality. You think he's being a dick now...things can always get worse. Has he / she told the kids yet? They might need the name of the poly friendly counselor.

Last edited by dingedheart; 10-19-2012 at 06:31 AM.
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  #47  
Old 10-19-2012, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Emm View Post
I think it's a good idea.

Think of it as relationship maintenance. You don't buy a car and drive it until the wheels fall off, you take it in every now and then to have the filters changed and the brake fluid topped up.
LoL sometimes I do... For a while, I found it was cheaper to buy old junkers on their last legs and drive them until they were good for nothing but scrap. Oil changes are only necessary if you plan to drive the car long term. You can go quite a ways by just throwing in a litre of oil here and there.

However, I do not recommend that approach for relationships
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Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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  #48  
Old 10-19-2012, 10:23 AM
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Allow me to rephrase then.

You don't buy a car you want to keep and drive it until the wheels fall off.
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  #49  
Old 10-19-2012, 04:25 PM
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Allow me to rephrase then.

You don't buy a car you want to keep and drive it until the wheels fall off.
hehe sorry, I didn't mean that in a disagreeing kind of way. Your analogy, either version, is very apt. If you buy any car and don't do regular maintenance, you will drive it into the ground and then you won't have your car any more.

I'm sure most of us have met people that are fun to date and hang out with, but we can't imagine setting up a life together. With "fluff" relationships, you don't have to worry about dealing with your deep issues together, because it will never be serious enough to matter. For 20 years, my husband was quite content to work that way. He'd meet women, date them for a bit, and hit the road the moment it started getting serious. In other words, first time the car needed an oil change to keep running, he'd scrap it.

My current car is still 15 years old (literal car). But I love that car. The transmission just went on my last road trip. Crossroads: Do we dump $1200 into an old car, or scrap it? Well, he'd already spent $1000 last Christmas putting in a new stereo and remote starter. We knew the car's history better than a new car. So we asked the mechanic to find everything that could go wrong in the next 3 years. For $2700, I got my car to where it will run for years. A new car would have cost about that much, and it wouldn't have a kickin' stereo or remote starter, and most of all, I wouldn't know about the new car's mechanical issues until they flared up.

It's funny how much that mirrors relationships. A lot of people are willing to throw out 15 years of investment just because there's some big problem that will be really hard to deal with. They think that just getting a new partner will be some kind of solution. But that new partner isn't going to be perfect, she'll have her own set of issues and you won't know about them all at the beginning.
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Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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  #50  
Old 10-19-2012, 04:51 PM
playswellwithothers playswellwithothers is offline
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BraverySeeker, GalaGirl, you both write so beautifully and from the heart--I am straight, but I think I could fall for either of you in a heartbeat. I love your authenticity and how well you express it.

Bravery, I was where your wife's gf was. In a rocky marriage for 25 years, to a basically decent guy who was challenged by an abusive childhood, adult ADD, and being bipolar. It all left him moody, a loner, not big on being touched outside the bedroom, a high-functioning alcoholic, and intensely high-strung.

I was no picnic, either. Contracted a chronic, relapsing-remitting illness early in our marriage. Completely wrecked our plans for me being Type A go-getter corporate girl while hubby stayed home and wrote novels. We never really recovered our balance or made new intentional life plans. We just put our heads down and got through each day. Some days--many days--were really great and really fun and really rewarding. Many others were awful.

I had been telling my husband for several years that I--a touchy-feely extrovert--really needed physical, non-sexual connection with him, and also just plain TIME with him (he spent most of his spare time when not working drinking and either shooting pool or playing guitar in a studio on our property). I told him over and over, sometimes earnestly and slowly and with love, that it did not feel to me that he loved and valued me. (He not only never told me he loved me, he also did things like averting his face when I tried to hug him, and, when I gained some weight, refusing to look at me when I was naked.)

And then I met a guy online--and my world shattered. Perhaps it's more accurate to say it was broken open. I fell, and fell hard. We had three weeks of intense email communications and phone calls before I knew I had to tell my husband--I didn't know what was happening with this poly guy I'd met (I'd never even heard of polyamory), but I knew it was serious and significant and was blowing my mind. So that's pretty much what I told him: I've met someone, and I have no idea what this is, but it's significant and you need to know about it.

He was shocked. Either he hadn't heard me all those years, or he hadn't taken me seriously, I guess. I asked him to please not make me choose between him and my new guy, because I honestly didn't know what my answer would be.

At first he was mildly interested in a quad (but my new guy's wife had no interest in that---and I don't know that I did, either). Three months in, he agreed that new guy and I should meet (we lived in different states). We did, and it was an indescribable experience, as if everything I had been missing for 25 years had been laid before me by a benevolent universe. But I came home to a crushed husband; he truly thought I would "get it out of my system" and be done with it.

I had started seeing a therapist to sort out my feelings. Why was I falling for a virtual stranger? Was it bad? Was it good? Was there something horribly wrong with me? BTW, the first therapist I saw claimed for the first three sessions to be open to the idea of polyamory, but on the fourth visit suddenly lunged at me and said, "Who do you actually know that does this? I don't know anybody that does this! People don't DO this!"

Needless to say, I found another therapist, through a referral from a local poly group in the area I was living then. He was gay and open to all kinds of different lifestyles. He never counseled me to break up with my by-then boyfriend, but he did want me to give my marriage a chance, if only so I could proceed forward with no regrets (especially since my son was still quite young at the time).

I tried and tried to get my husband to come to therapy with me. He did, once. But told me he would only come to therapy if I would "give up" my bf. (Not set aside temporarily, not put on hold, but give up.) At that point, my bf felt like the only oxygen mask in a plane that was going down, my only point of sanity. I refused. My husband refused to go to therapy. And although it took another year for things to grind to an end, that was basically that. He started drinking even more, took to sleeping in the studio, emerging in the middle of the night to appear in my bedroom, drunk, to verbally berate me. I got sicker from the stress.

My husband started looking worse and worse to me compared to my bf, who is a lovely, evolved, open-hearted, wise, conscious human being. I did not leave my husband for my bf--who is married and not available for a primary relationship. But I left because having met him, having seen his marriage and how it works, I knew for the first time in a couple of decades that not only did I deserve more, but that more was POSSIBLE.

So I tell you all this--ALL this, sorry to go on so long!--to tell you I think I get where your wife's gf is. Once my eyes had been opened to what the possibilities for intentional, conscious, mutually supportive, and healthy relationships with actual grown-ups who talked about their feelings and their concerns and co-created their lives, I couldn't go back, any more than I could unring a bell. And my husband proved incapable of moving forward.

No real advice here, just an overly long sharing. My bf, BTW, tried hard to reach out to my husband (he still hasn't given up, after six years!), but has been largely rebuffed and blamed for the end of our marriage. We still remain hopeful, after all this time, that my now-ex will see the advantage of getting on the same page, if not becoming friends. Especially now that my bf has a significant role in my son's life.
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