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  #11  
Old 11-18-2012, 06:12 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Thank you all for your comments. I had forgotten how good it feels to get the support of all of you.

Divorce is definitely not being ruled out, but we both are very fond of and attached to the life we have built together, especially the family we have created with our 6 and 10 year old daughters. I bring my problems here, but the fact is we do a lot of things well together. I can't imagine right now any life apart from him that would feel better than what we have together. I don't want to live alone, or elsewhere. I don't want to just be with someone else instead of him. I want to be with him, and I want to make the best of what we can be together. That at least is our goal for now -to try to make our marriage as good as it can be, given our differences.

I suppose I should let go of the dream of being married to him for the rest of my life. In fact, in counseling last week he said it was not something he thought he could do. (I was shocked and crushed.) I know I can't be happy acting monogamous forever, especially with someone who loves so differently from me. I think we owe it to the kids to at least see if we can make this work for now, though. I don't mean "stay together for the kids" but rather "attempt rediscovering happiness together, for the kids and for us".

On a brighter note, C (can I still call him my boyfriend?) came to town for a dance last night, so we first had several dances together in which we carefully refrained from bursting into tears, and then went to a pub where we had a good long talk. The way he sees it, we are just taking away this almost superficial aspect of our relationship, the physical intimacy, but he is as committed to loving me as ever. When I reminded him of the difficulty we had in the past trying to find time for each other (he lives 5 hours away) and that without overnights we would be back to this very random infrequent way of seeing each other in passing, he said he thought he could change his lifestyle in order to spend more time in my part of the state. I was surprised, given that I can't offer him a physically intimate relationship any more. He said I have become an extremely important part of his life, and intimacy or not he wants to keep me in his life. This comforts me. We haven't really broken up. We just have to express our love differently. It almost felt last night as if we were recommitting even more, to being in each other's lives.

Sometimes when I'm talking to my husband, I feel like our differences in the way we view/feel love, relationships, life, social interactions, etc are so completely different that we will never understand each other. It's overwhelming to try. I sometimes wish that we could live together as friends and partners in raising our children, and just let go of that part that is causing us so much difficulty, having a romantic partnership. But he desperately wants a conventional life. So I will give another try at becoming a conventional wife.
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2012, 10:47 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
I sometimes wish that we could live together as friends and partners in raising our children, and just let go of that part that is causing us so much difficulty, having a romantic partnership. But he desperately wants a conventional life. So I will give another try at becoming a conventional wife.
I still haven't heard a peep about what your husband has done to change a single thing. Once again, it's you making all the sacrifices for what your husband wants. What about what you want?

In other words, before you try to become the conventional wife, I think you should let it be enough effort on your part that you've made those changes to the relationship with your boyfriend. It's your husband's turn to show his commitment to you and the marriage by changing his behaviour.

Like GG said, give him a specific time frame to show he's making changes. Tell him that at the end of that time frame, if he has shown progress, you will continue having the less-than-you-want relationship with your boyfriend; but that if he does not meet you half way, then you have no obligation to make up the difference..
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:40 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Sure -- I'll try to clarify.

Quote:
What does "he did not speak to his willingness" mean? If he agreed to certain things, and then went back on his word and put up more restrictions, then what would "speaking to his willingness" have looked like, exactly? I find this phrase confusing.
It means when he made the agreement to Open, he made the agreement without really being willing to go there for his own self.

Say Person A agrees like...
  • "Ok, *I* don't really want to but I'll do it for your sake" (speaking to lack of assertion of own boundaries? People pleaser type?)
  • "I don't really want to but I will because I am afraid to lose you" (speaking to fear of breaking up?)
  • "I don't really want to but I'm going to because I am afraid to be alone" (speaking to fear of lonely?)

or whatever the reason might be. (And rarely is it stated that clearly either when it gets stated!)

None of those things is speaking to willingness. It is not making the decision from a place of speaking to willingness to go there of your own desire. It is not something that does speak to willingness like...
  • "That sounds great! I want to learn to do that with you because I would LOVE to do that with you and sounds like something that I would enjoy participating in for myself. With or without you that sounds awesome, and I'd totally do it for myself. With you it is just even better. Yay!"

When you do things you are not really willing to do? Then later if something happens that he does not like or is unhappy with... well... why didn't he just speak to his willingness from the get go?

Just spit it out:
"NO. I am not willing to do that because then I might have to deal with X and I don't want to deal with X. I am just not willing to participate in this."
Can't go there and complain about X if it turns up, and not liking it and feeling yucky about it when you went there against your own willingness. Who was holding gun to your head? Are you in control of yourself or not?

It is different than saying "I am not sure I am going to like it, but I AM willing to try it on and then decide how it fits for me after giving it a good effort. I know what I am getting me into. I am still willing to try."

Then when X happens, or when time is up you can say "Well, now that I am here and I see this is what it actually takes first hand, I am changing my mind about continuing to participate in this. But I came here of my own volition. It's nothing you did and I'm not blaming you for anything. Thanks for letting me play. But I have to bow out."

Everyone can change their mind on things, but Person B was speaking to their willingness and owning it.

The DH seems like he was speaking to his fear, not his willingness. And there came the mess... from bad to worse.

Quote:
I think you should explain what you mean by that. Not many people I know use the same lingo you do. As far as I know, a closed relationship of two people is called monogamy, or a monogamous dyad. And that is what AC's husband would prefer. IIRC, he has only ever been with AC.
A "closed polyship of 2?" To me it means the polyship is closed to adding on new people right now. It could be a closed polyship of 3, 4, 5. Whatever # that group of people is at right now. But the players are at saturation point right now, so they want no new people. The option is on the table but the players choose not to exercise it right now. The players might go to poly events, talk about poly books, do poly STUFF, but they aren't going to be dating and adding on to the group at this time.

It is different to me than a "monogamy" because it that closed to the 2 players only AND the expectation is that there will be no Opening ever. It is just not on the table at all. It is also not likely to be participating in any kind poly stuff anywhere in the picture -- including making space to allow the poly person expression of poly thoughts/feelings to the person they are married to. Which kills emotional intimacy and creates all kinds of problems in the marriage if it turns out to be a marriage between a monoamorous person and a polyamorous person and the poly person came into their "poly-awareness" AFTER the marriage. It can be hard to reconcile.

Hope that helps to clarify.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-19-2012 at 01:04 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:59 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I sometimes wish that we could live together as friends and partners in raising our children, and just let go of that part that is causing us so much difficulty, having a romantic partnership.
Have you asked him if this is a possibility for him?


Quote:
But he desperately wants a conventional life. So I will give another try at becoming a conventional wife.
Where is your upper limit number? How many times does the experiment need to be run before you arrive at the conclusion of "This does not work. We keep ending up with same unsatisfactory results?"

Something must change in this scenario. Could choose to move on to making changes. Or could choose to do more of same and expect what? More of same.

I am sorry you are going through this. I know it must feel terrrible. But repeating known things already -- does that add to the problems or take away? Does it move things forward or keep it stuck?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-19-2012 at 01:05 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-19-2012, 01:20 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
When you do things you are not really willing to do? Then later if something happens that he does not like or is unhappy with... well... why didn't he just speak to his willingness from the get go?

. . . The DH seems like he was speaking to his fear, not his willingness.
Well, it was the "speaking to" part that doesn't make sense to me. I don't speak to my feelings. I experience them, express them, avoid them, etc. So, I think what you mean by "speaking to" fear or willingness or whatever, is to express oneself from the perspective of whatever the feeling is. It would make more sense to me if you said "speak from" rather than "speak to."

- - - - -

Basically, he is saying now that he was never willing to agree to the arrangement they had but only did it out of fear. So, he is admitting to being dishonest and AC is now being asked to pay the price. The thing I wonder is, was he being dishonest then, in that he said he was on board when he really didn't want to be, or is he being dishonest now, in that he actually was willing then but changed his mind (like "buyer's remorse"), and is using teh idea that he never was willing as a way to guilt-trip, blame, and get what he wants from his wife.
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  #16  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:01 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
It would make more sense to me if you said "speak from" rather than "speak to."
Fair enough... I'll try take that on board. Let me sit with it a bit. Maybe use words like "I think he could be speaking from a place of fear, anger, joy, etc."

When I talk to myself in my head I go "What emotion of mine am I speaking to when I do that behavior? I do X, and then I feel Y. So when I do that, I end up speaking to my fear, sadness, etc. If I want to feel Z, what behavior must I change?"

I also tend to go with "that behavior speaks to" in the attempt to step away from the cloudy emotional plane. Emotion can cloud good judgement. I do feel my emotions, but when I'm thinking about my feelings and sorting my feelings out -- I rather focus on my actions done/not done and what behavior I need to change to allow new feelings to ensue.

--------------

Quote:
The thing I wonder is, was he being dishonest then, in that he said he was on board when he really didn't want to be, or is he being dishonest now, in that he actually was willing then but changed his mind (like "buyer's remorse"), and is using teh idea that he never was willing as a way to guilt-trip, blame, and get what he wants from his wife.
I wonder too. But the bottom line is still AC is being asked to pay the price.

AC expressed that at this time she's leaning toward trying again to becoming a conventional wife. (It doesn't appear to me she is really willing to do that, but maybe more like resigned to it while upset by it on the inside?)

If this is the proposed solution for the next (?) months, I'd get that defined in writing with him at the counselor's.
  • What is the wife supposed to execute in her behaviors? And bring to the marriage?
  • And what will husband execute in his behaviors and bring to the marriage?
  • When is the re-assess date? And what happens if when it is time to take into account and things are not being done -- what will be the natural consequence?

No more trying to hit a moving goalpost. Could each define and then execute their task lists in service to the marriage and be willing to be held accountable. BOTH players, not just one. Did they deliver? Or NOT? Are they actively tending to the health of the marriage and their partner? Or NOT?

Not willing to be present, participating, and accountable in your own marriage is not cool. That is not two people in partnership. That is a one sided relationship.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-19-2012 at 04:42 AM.
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  #17  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:34 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Basically, he is saying now that he was never willing to agree to the arrangement they had but only did it out of fear. So, he is admitting to being dishonest and AC is now being asked to pay the price. The thing I wonder is, was he being dishonest then, in that he said he was on board when he really didn't want to be, or is he being dishonest now, in that he actually was willing then but changed his mind (like "buyer's remorse"), and is using the idea that he never was willing as a way to guilt-trip, blame, and get what he wants from his wife.
I feel like it was more the former. He lied to himself, and to me, about being ok with a two day a month agreement. He now says he was at the time afraid if he didn't give in to some kind of relationship, I would be sick again. However, I distinctly remember a tone of relief in his voice when we worked out the compromise, because it meant an end to C being in/near our house, and visiting at a random frequency. I did check in with him periodically and he assured me it was still working better this way. After the first overnight trip in September, we had a big fight but when we talked it out in counseling the counselor said we should expect a period of adjustment and it wouldn't make sense to throw away the agreement after only trying it once. After the October trip things were better, because we took to heart what we learned in September. But in trying to plan a November trip, I ran up against accusations of disloyalty, and the whole thing fell apart.

Some people have suggested it has been all compromise on my part and no effort on his and that's really not how I see it. He has given me (willingly or not) the freedom to build a relationship outside what he had always expected to be a monogamous marriage. It has been tough for him. I don't think he has handled his difficulty well at all, but he did go through this. Also, he has made some effort to be more loving to me in the way I need it expressed, but only during times when he wasn't overcome with negative feelings about me because of my involvement with C. He has been going to counseling with me. His nature is to avoid confrontation and push everything under the rug, and he really would prefer an uneventful life, so from his perspective I keep setting things on fire. We have each contributed to each other's unhappiness.

I can't even think what happens next. I know that I want to be married while we raise our kids, so my focus right now is on trying to make it a happy marriage. I've told him I am no longer willing to take any blame if he doesn't find enough happiness in his life, and I think he finally heard me; he decided to go out dancing on his own tonight. I am thrilled, although he seemed to expect I would be hurt or inconvenienced or something. I'm enjoying a quiet night at home with the kids, and time to process things.

C has been texting me little hearts and smileys and brief notes all day long. I think he's still my boyfriend, even if we have to keep our clothes on. I can't believe he is still willing to hang on, in spite of the ride. I don't know if I have ever been so thoroughly loved before.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:07 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I understand why a person says one thing and does another, but I think it is wrong to blame another for your actions, and I am unhappy your husband has done so - you seem to be a good and patient partner, and I am sorry more progress hasn't been made since you were last posting, one way or the other, and I do wonder if you can come to a content equilibrium or if things will have to go somewhere more drastic eventually here so everybody can find their happiness.

Don't have a lot to say, just wanted to say there is another person rooting for you, and that to not let yourself take the blame for things you did not do, you can't make somebody feel or do anything, except yourself. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. I know this road is hard and C's acceptance of the situation must be even more heartwrenching considering what is going on.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:46 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Having arrived here from a similar circumstance and knowing the history I'm confused why his comment has struck such a nerve.

Well known fact he never wanted this.

Well know fact he's tolerating this.

He's the frog thrown in warm water and gradually turned up the heat...he's pushed back on his limits, house visits, last dance on New Years eve, PIV, etc, when the water gets too hot or starts to boil he pushes back .... all in the mindset of tolerating.

Tolerating is the key word. NOT HAPPY ....NOT COMPERSION

It could be that within the "tolerating" frame work to him it's simple pain management. What's more painful more uncomfortable...whats less painful or less emasculating. Agreeing to this or offering that.

The downside to counseling is hearing things that might hurt your feeling. And people start feeling they can share thoughts and feeling.
If he's telling the truth ...I see him saying the pain and work of you being sick was well worth the pain and discomfort that he might feel in the unknown weekend date's. A calculation on what he knew from history and what he thought he could handle....and the assessment of the fragility of your health.

All of his thinking might have been crazy but not necessarily dishonest. And what difference does it make what reasons are used to tolerate his marriage. The kids, splitting 1/2 your combined assets, love ...or not having to see his spouse so sick .... or not having to be nurse Betty . A reason is a reason. His reasons. People feel pressure to do things all the time that they regret after the fact that doesn't make them dishonest.


As I said going through this myself I would agree the feeling of betrayal was the number one problem for me. I'm not sure that goes away in a tolerating mindset.


here where I see this headed if you stay together for the kids ... http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18760

Last edited by dingedheart; 11-20-2012 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:14 PM
bravodelta bravodelta is offline
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Ah, AC, it is bittersweet to hear form you. I am glad to see a post from you again because your participation here has been missed - but I am so very sorry to hear that it has gotten to this point... again. You have had so many bumps in the road, and your husband has made you spitting mad sometimes, but it seemed to be taking baby steps forward after each time you and he would talk and get clear on things.

I know that his Indian culture, and his huge pride about what a proper wife and mother should be, has influenced his choices in the past, but -- I can't quite believe him when he says he went along with poly against his wishes, and because of your heart condition. That sounds too much like blaming you for his remorse over choices he made. He is regretful and not accepting responsibility for the agreements he made and then went back on so many times before.

I would be upset, too, if I were you. You had told us before that there were many times he expressed being satisfied with the arrangement. After misunderstandings, you strove to accommodate his requests, and always respected his wishes. And he acknowledged that - until the next time he had remorseful thoughts and started picking on you again. So, to me, he either lied then or is lying now. I think that, besides his refusal to try and learn more about poly, one of your biggest issues is communication. He has gone back on his word so many times, or misconstrued small things as huge transgressions against him. I also think that your therapy needs to focus on how he sees the roles of husband and wife and what marriage means to him - I feel like a broken record saying that, but every time you and he have an issue, I get the sense that most of his struggle is with the IMAGE of marriage and what your being polyamorous would MEAN, in relation to his position and knowing his place in the world. I am afraid I may not be expressing it well, but I think his issues are less about you two as the individuals you are, with whatever needs you have, and more about what a husband and wife should be to each other, according to what he thinks is the right way to be.

Another thing I noticed is that, every time he expresses his displeasure, you immediately go to remedy it by putting the breaks on your other relationship. You never really let your husband stew and feel the depth of his discomfort. He protests and you jump. I'm not saying that you should rub his nose in anything or make him suffer, but you are always so accommodating that I don't think he ever really works through any of the stuff he feels. Nor does he ever seem proactive; he waits for you to do something, expresses how he feels and then waits for you to fix it. There's something to look at there; I'm not sure what, though.


I'm glad you came back here to let us know what's going on. I hope you find a satisfying way out of the pain, something that all of you can live with.
I know I am new here, am not a poly, and otherwise unsuited but I felt that I had to respond to this from a guys perspective. Did you ever think that the way he was forced into it was for fear of losing her?
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