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  #21  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:35 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
The downside to counseling is hearing things that might hurt your feeling. And people start feeling they can share thoughts and feeling.
I think this is an excellent point. A good therapist will help you realize that your feelings are valid and acceptable. He previously may have been willing to put his feelings in a bottle. The counselling process could be taking those feelings out of the bottle.

I think it's good to take those feelings out of the bottle, and dangerous to criticize him for doing so, assuming you want him to continue to grow and become emotional and expressive.

In other words, you wanted him to learn how to Feel. That means good feelings and bad. You can't just say "I want you to express your love more, but don't express your hurt."

My husband is not very emotive, due to his upbringing. I've been encouraging him to express himself more. He's starting to. We're at an awkward point where he's starting to tell me when things are bothering him before the pot boils over, but he's still really self-conscious about doing it. I'm glad he's able to express himself, but that doesn't make it painless for me to hear about how I've hurt him. Sometimes I'll sit there for a minute and process what he's said, and he'll get really apprehensive. He'll start giving explanations about how I wanted him to express himself so he's expressing himself. Maybe I need to precede my processing with "Thank you for sharing. I'm going to think about what you said for a minute. I'm not sure how to respond yet, but I'm grateful that you put yourself out there."
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 11-21-2012 at 02:40 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:32 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I think it's good to take those feelings out of the bottle, and dangerous to criticize him for doing so...
I very much agree with this, and BravoDelta and DingedHeart.

Here's a man who loved his wife enough to sacrifice his own comfort, to sacrifice what he expected and presumably was promised in marriage, out of concern for his wife's health.

Not surprisingly, given human nature, given what most people want out of marriage, given that most people want monogamy from their spouse...he's struggling.

And now he's being criticized for it.

I think most men never would have even tried.

I personally believe that having feelings for another person is fairly normal, but does not require us to act on them.

Best of luck to you. I'm sorry you're hurting.
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bravodelta View Post
Did you ever think that the way he was forced into it was for fear of losing her?
What makes you think he was forced into the arrangement they had? The OP has been nothing but communicative and considerate. They talked and talked and talked, and agreements were made so that everyone would be satisfied. He would voice more concerns, adjustments were made, he said he was okay with things as they moved forward. Then he'd freak out again after some perceived slight, and ask for more adjustments. And again, she accommodated him. And now he's saying he didn't really want any of it. It's not the OP's fault that he was dishonest when he very proactively told her what boundaries needed to be in place for him to be comfy with it, and she obliged him everything he asked for. He certainly wasn't forced, and I am sure if he had said NO to it straight from the get-go, she would have accepted that, albeit very sadly. It has been a huge challenge for both of them.
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-21-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:15 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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I had to take a few days away from discussing this. I appreciate everyone's comments.

I cringe when I read implications that my husband has not been willing to make changes, and I cringe when I read implications that I have pushed him to accept my polyamory against his will. If anyone here were able to get to know us personally I think you would find two kind hearted and generous souls who are struggling to treat each other right. The poly-mono situation does not appear to have a simple fix, so it's not surprising that we have run up against challenges no matter how we've tried to resolve our differences.

What I have come to understand in these past few days is that my husband's biggest struggle in the one-night-a-month agreement has been the feeling he gets that he is providing a service (child care, running the household, caring for the pets, etc.) in order for me to go on a vacation to sleep with another man. The relationship itself is something he has mostly been able to tolerate for my sake, but his position of providing actual time and energy of his own in order to support it has been a thorn in his side. His past efforts to express this had not made sense to me, as it seemed like he was just complaining that spending time with our children was unpleasant for him, but now I understand what he is trying to convey. Tolerating my other relationship is one thing, but aiding it is another.

The trouble with taking away the overnight option is that we are back to the difficult situation we had in the past where C, who lives 5 hours away, can't make the trip just to take me out to lunch. He ends up trying to schedule time with me when he is on the way to or from other things. We had intended an overnight trip tomorrow, and I suggested that having had to cancel it, he would at least come to town for those two days and spend time with me during the day, but he has already reduced that to a 3 hour visit in the morning, since he couldn't justify giving up an evening event at home if we weren't going to be together in the evening anyway. I am back to feeling low on his priority list, trying to cram our time together into rushed visits, and not knowing when he might have time for me next.

Now my husband says maybe he's ok with the overnights if we aren't sexually intimate, which I suppose is theoretically possible. C says if he had to choose spooning over sex, he'd choose spooning anyway. Honestly the sexual heights he takes me to (even without PIV or oral sex) have always felt far too good to be true, so giving that up (for now anyway) is probably going to be ok. I'm wondering how to get sexually interested in my husband though. His desire for exclusive rights to my body flat out kills my libido. I'm polyamorous and celibate now -how's that for irony?
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  #25  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:35 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Sigh.

I don't know what else to add other than I'm sorry you continue to struggle. I don't think either of you is horrible people, but I don't understand why you both continue to try to make something go that just...won't.

His feeling annoyed that he has to watch children to free you up to see your BF -- well, that's reality. There are children. They need watching. Because you can only see BF on overnights once a month. Could DH organize a babysitter so he has that time off too? Or could you organize a babysitter? That's a side track thing to me.

Because I just think even with a separate babysitter he still would not feel good because he's just not poly or poly-friendly. He's mono. That doesn't make him a horrible person. Being mono is totally fine. Buy why does he stay in something that is not feeding him the way he needs to be fed?

Why do you?

Why continue in this manner? You both are suffering. It's so sad and tragic.

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  #26  
Old 11-26-2012, 05:27 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Why continue in this manner? You both are suffering. It's so sad and tragic.

Galagirl
I guess I don't really see any option that isn't going to be sad. Our lives are intertwined, after almost 15 years together. We support each other. We are a family, with our daughters. We have worked hard to remodel, landscape, and create a home that reflects our joint desires. There is so much that we would lose if we parted ways, the grief would be enormous. The impact on our daughters would be devastating. We really do love most things about the life we have created with each other.

I think the least painful path is to keep looking for the best compromise between his mono dreams and my poly ones. I was hoping we had found something that could work, but now it isn't working, and we have to try again.
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:00 PM
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I think you can make it work. I am glad that he agreed to go to counseling together with you. And I hope you didn't think I was saying he wasn't willing to make any changes in my previous posts - I know he compromised a great deal and tried, but there were problems he had with communicating, and so many misunderstandings. Going with you to counseling is a huge step for him, I think, because I get the sense that he would rather these issues between you all remain private and not have to be discussed even with a professional.

It just makes me sad whenever it has come to the point (and it's happened numerous times) where you concede and give up what you want to make him happy, but then are angry and lose interest in being intimate with him because of the sense you have that one of his main needs is to be possessive over you. I would resent feeling like a possession owned by another, too, no matter how much love there is.

Sending you hugs and positive energy.
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  #28  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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I think the least painful path is to keep looking for the best compromise between his mono dreams and my poly ones. I was hoping we had found something that could work, but now it isn't working, and we have to try again.
Then I hope the counseling will help you guys find the happy medium compromise place so your can both start to feel a bit better.

hugs
GG
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  #29  
Old 11-27-2012, 01:58 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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I think we have a new agreement to try out.

Before we had the 2-day-a-month relationship we had this awkward arrangement where C would try to fit in visits here on his way to and from other things. He is overly optimistic in the way he plans his time, so all too often what would start out as a plan to spend a few hours together would get squished down into an hour or sometimes nothing at all. If we did end up with time, we found ourselves frequently stumbling into something that upset my husband.

C was going to spend today with me since we had set aside this time for the overnight trip that got cancelled. Then he decided he should get home for a music rehearsal, since he travels so much he misses quite a few. So we were going to have the morning, but he was delayed getting himself out of town from where he spent last night (2 hours away) so we only ended up with a lunch date. Meanwhile my husband and I were negotiating whether he was allowed in our house (yes, but only parts), how my husband would work his schedule to avoid crossing paths, etc. All these old problems and issues. No good. Not for any of us.

Now my husband says he will be fine with me going on overnight trips, so long as there is no sexual intimacy. C and I have picked a date at the end of next week. I told my husband I need to be sure this is really our agreement -not his ideal situation, nor mine, but a compromise we are both agreeing to, and that I will not be accused of doing anything wrong if I stick to it. He says yes. I hope it works.

I find it a little ridiculous to think that I have a boyfriend who is not allowed to undress me, and we are not 15 years old but 41 and 57. However, we thought we could give each other foot rubs and write lines of poetry back and forth, and dance, and perhaps end up with a deeper bond than if our time spent together mostly entailed me saying, "Mmm, oooh, aaah!" (Come to think of it, my 15 year old boyfriend was one of the sweetest, with all the innocent romantic gestures.) Of course we both hold out hope that someday down the line we'll get more than this, but for now, this is better than nothing. (Come to think of it, my 15 year old boyfriend several years later provided some mighty hot sex, off and on over the years.)
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  #30  
Old 11-27-2012, 05:20 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
Now my husband says he will be fine with me going on overnight trips, so long as there is no sexual intimacy. C and I have picked a date at the end of next week. I told my husband I need to be sure this is really our agreement -not his ideal situation, nor mine, but a compromise we are both agreeing to, and that I will not be accused of doing anything wrong if I stick to it. He says yes. I hope it works.
May I suggest you both putting the agreement in writing and signing it? Especially the bit about not accusing you of wrongdoing as long as you've stuck to the agreement. I understand there might be feelings of "We don't need this, we're grown ups" but looking at the history...you might.
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