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  #11  
Old 11-25-2012, 05:39 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi again Tamcat

It sounds like you have worked through some issues in your head a little; but I understand what it is like to be so confused about what you want. I've been there.

It also sounds like you do love your husband; but not in the same way that you used to, or not in the way that you want to love a partner.

I discovered Sternberg's theory of love a few days ago and I've been slapping it all over the forums... haha... because it really seemed to hit home for me.

It's a simple enough concept, but for me, it make absolute sense and helped me to put certain things in boxes and gain some clarity.

The idea is that there are 7 types, or stages, of love - the 7th type being 'consumate love', which involves the three prerequisites of passion, commitment and intimacy (in the less trivial sense of all three terms). Often, the kind of love we feel for many of our partners is something other than this ideal consumate love.

I had a feeling that it might help you to look at your relationship with your husband and compare it to that of your boyfriend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love

You might also find Tennov's theory of Limerence interesting - it talks about that NRE 'love' effect... when we put people on a pedestal, or project our ideals onto them. Limerence takes things one step further; but the general idea of infatuation is there. I found this helpful, as I recognised some of the points in my girlfriend and it's helped me to calm down when I think she's 'falling in love' with someone. It's also kept me level headed when I've though I've been falling in love; but really have been experiencing something a bit less than Limerence:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence


Anyway... you know something? Nothing that is worth having cannot be reversed or changed. Love can be rediscovered. It is very possible that with a few years of freedom, experience and self-discovery, you and your husband settle into something new that fits... friendship, or something else. Passion can also be rediscovered with time and distance. I was terrified when I left my boyfriend... he was supposed to be my future... I can absolutely understand how you feel... but I wouldn't change a thing. I think that you are heading in the right direction and should follow what your gut instincts are telling you.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2012, 07:49 PM
Tamcat Tamcat is offline
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I'm going to wait for some counseling before making any hard choices, trying to keep to the idea of a holding pattern for this month...but it's growing harder.

Virtually every interaction with my husband seems to add to that feeling that, while I do care about him, there is no attraction, no passion there at all. I've told myself I could try to push myself, to "fake it till you make it", but that thought isn't terribly appealing, either.

My boyfriend and I are stable only when I don't bring up any questions or concerns about his new potential GF. I tried to talk to him today about it, based on some new info from a mutual friend- about how it seemed to have already moved into the infatuation stage, much to my surprise, and trying to deal with some concerns I had about that. He got upset, frustrated with me, feeling guilty and I am now fearing that he associates me with those negative feelings, while he's bathing in the NRE for this other girl. Not a very stable basis for a poly setting (not that it ever has been, but I was really hoping that he and I might get through it) and it doesn't bode well to me about the prospect of us weathering his new relationship.

I'm feeling pretty sad right now, as it seems my gut keeps telling me that both relationships are beyond salvaging.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:08 PM
Tamcat Tamcat is offline
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Just an update-

I've been working so hard on this...I think, despite the difficulty, it's been good for me as a person because it's forced me to really do some internal emotional work on myself, some bad habits, destructive habits that truly didn't like about myself and I'm actually pleased with how far I've managed to come in the last few weeks.

I believe that my relationship with my husband probably needs to end. It's going to be very difficult and I am dreading causing him or my son any pain or upheaval in their lives, but I think that I've been hiding in limbo for far too long now, mistaking 'safe' for 'happy'. I think that my husband and I haven't really been compatible as a romantic couple for several years now, and that we will both end up happier finding someone better suited to us as our primary partner.

I am not sure if my relationship with my boyfriend will last or not but if it doesn't, I don't think it will be from jealousy or from the relationship being open. The more we've discussed his potential new relationship, the more ok I have gotten with it, till I'm no longer worried or threatened by it at this point. If we do end up ending our relationship, I think it will be from he and I being at different stages in our lives where I want to find a primary partner I am happy with and feel a deep connection to, and he is at a more fluid stage in his life where he doesn't want to settle down.

So I think we will all three take this next month of Dec. to rest as we'd planned before making the changes we need to make. I think my shrink will be a good sounding board and will help me figure out the best way to navigate the changes to come. But I'm starting to see that despite the pain of leaving a long term marriage and/or relationship, things will get better afterward. And I'm starting to feel like I might be strong enough to do it. It's nice to have a little hope back after all this time of being confused, sad, and lost in what seemed like an untenable situation. It's hard to see straight when you're drowning in reactive emotions.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:39 PM
Tamcat Tamcat is offline
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Things seem to have crashed and burned again.

I started seeing a therapist, but one week after our first appointment, my dad died. I was very close to him and was taking care of him and now my life is completely upside down and I am back to struggling with both relationships.

I had a question about one of my relationships- I need to get some objective opinions on this. My boyfriend and his potential new girlfriend were supposed to meet for the first time this Friday, Dec. 17th, and spend the weekend together. They'd met online, just as he and I did 3 and a half years ago. I have been struggling with this since it started a couple of months ago. But losing my dad last week made it all worse. I'm not ok with him starting a new relationship, and I've tried to tell him that. I'm especially not ok right now with losing my dad and facing a divorce.

Is it wrong for me to think that this is not a good time for him to start a new relationship? Is it wrong for me to wish he'd at very least put off meeting her a month or so till he could help me work through my grief or is that too much to ask of him? I feel like, if he loved me like he says he does, that he'd be more concerned about me and how hard a time I'm having right now than in starting a new relationship, but I'm afraid they're already in NRE mode and I'm...already being pushed aside and it hurts terribly.
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:53 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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How will starting a new relationship keep him from being there for you? And is it fair to ask this other woman to wait a month, when she's probably been anticipating this for some time? Will their budding relationship really survive that, or will she take it as a sign that he's not really serious about her?

I'm very sorry about your father, what a hard thing to be going through. You can and should expect him to support you, as much as a long distance partner can. But I have to say, he's allowed to have his own life in the meantime, and I don't think it's ok for you, his married gf, to try, essentially, to keep him monogamous to you... and that's what it seems like this, like you're just intimidated by the idea of him being with someone else.
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  #16  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:36 AM
Tamcat Tamcat is offline
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AnnabelMore- as much as it hurts to think about, I think you're probably right. I don't think I'm dealing with things very well and I am very intimidated by the idea of him being with someone else. As much as I like and believe in polyamory as a valid and healthy relationship configuration, I seem to be stuck in a monogamous mindset emotionally where he's concerned.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2012, 07:32 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamcat View Post
Is it wrong for me to think that this is not a good time for him to start a new relationship? Is it wrong for me to wish he'd at very least put off meeting her a month or so till he could help me work through my grief or is that too much to ask of him? I feel like, if he loved me like he says he does, that he'd be more concerned about me and how hard a time I'm having right now than in starting a new relationship, but I'm afraid they're already in NRE mode and I'm...already being pushed aside and it hurts terribly.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

I think it's important to recognize that he isn't really "starting" a new relationship. He's already started a new relationship. Now he's meeting her in person.

Is he being prince charming by being insensitive to your needs? No. But has he made any commitment to fill that kind of role in your life? From what you've shared here, it doesn't sound like it.

Is it "wrong" for you to want more from him? No, not at all. But... You wanting more, and him being emotionally capable of providing more are two different things.

People express love differently. People have different capacities to provide support and care in times of need. From your previous descriptions, emotions aren't his strong suit.

Meanwhile, what about your husband? Despite the fact that you're leaving the marriage, I wouldn't discount the possibility of putting that off for a little while, as you cope with your grief. Ask him for support as a friend. Despite the loss of romance, it sounds like you're still relatively close and that he might be able to help you out.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2012, 02:11 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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I am so sorry for your loss.

Navigating the stages of grief is a challenge.

Quote:
Is it wrong for me to think that this is not a good time for him to start a new relationship? Is it wrong for me to wish he'd at very least put off meeting her a month or so till he could help me work through my grief or is that too much to ask of him? I feel like, if he loved me like he says he does, that he'd be more concerned about me and how hard a time I'm having right now than in starting a new relationship, but I'm afraid they're already in NRE mode and I'm...already being pushed aside and it hurts terribly.
I'm not hearing what you want boyfriend to DO. I just hear this:

I want BF to stop seeing his other GF. (Nothing to do with you, actually. And if he stopped seeing her then what? What's he supposed to do to you/for you after that to aid you? Can't we just skip forward to that part? )
  • I want BF to help me work through my grief. I want him to do this by _____?
  • I want BF to express concern for me in my mourning time. I want him to do this by ______?
  • I am afraid of being replaced. I want boyfriend to reassure me. I want him to do this by ________?

What are the things you need to be comforted? A long heart to heart talk? Listening? A warm blanket? Distraction from your grief by taking you out?

Tell your BF the HOW. Then perhaps he can execute it to meet your want/need at this time.

Don't forget you have a son and husband. They have suffered loss as well -- the loss of a grandparent and FIL. Perhaps helping to comfort THEM would in turn help comfort YOU? Stories shared about him, memories revisited, etc.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-19-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:48 PM
Tamcat Tamcat is offline
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Updates, I guess, on my respective relationship situations.

After months of soul searching, talking to a therapist, my mom, and friends, as well as reading a lot on various related subjects, I've realized that at this point, I think my husband and I would be better off separating and I broached the subject with him about a week ago, painful as it was. I'm going to have to wait a month or two, but plan to get my own place, here in town so he and I can share custody of our son. I'm inheriting some money from my father, and have told my husband that I'll help him go back to school so he can get out of the job that he hates and get his teaching certificate, something he's wanted to do for years but we've never been able to afford it. I told him even if we split, I care about him and want him to be happy. I know this is still going to be extremely hard on all of us, but I am going to try to do my best to make it as easy as possible on me, my husband, and our son.

Things with my boyfriend have reached a tentative and uncertain truce. He decided he had to move, unable to find a job in his town and about to lose his apartment, and his new girlfriend (who he still hasn't met face to face yet- their visit fell through due to problems on her end) has offered him a place to stay with her and her roommates, and says she has a job offer she knows he can just walk into so he's planning to move in with her temporarily, supposed to move within the next few weeks.

I was pretty unhappy about this, for a number of reasons, mostly irrationally emotional, but also due to the fact that this girl has been extremely unreliable in the past (they've been friends for longer than I've known him, 3+ years and in the 3 times she was supposed to go meet him, something always went wrong on her end- she got lost and ended up in the wrong state 2 states away; she ended up changing her mind about moving to stay with him for a while back when she needed a place to live to get away from her abusive boyfriend and lied to him and didn't tell him she'd changed her mind for over a month; the latest, she got called in to work on of her days off, and then her car got stolen on the next day) and he seems to be putting a lot of faith and trust in her to move 4 hours away to her town, in with someone he's never met face to face and other complete strangers, and pin his hopes on a job he may or may not be able to get. I've held back on pointing a lot of this out, aware of the fact that this may very well be NRE at work and I think he would think I was just being jealous and I also think that this may very well be a case of him having to find things out on his own.

I tried walking away from that relationship twice in the last couple of weeks, and we spent days fighting or crying, and a couple of days avoiding each other before missing each other so badly drove us back to talking, trying to figure things out, trying to talk things out and meet in the middle and get past the overwhelming emotional responses that seemed to wreck us where this is all concerned and get back to a place where we're just- trying to put things on hold, trying not to push at things too hard right now or worry things to death and just be there for each other through the next few months when things are going to be so hard, with all the changes and upheavals in each others' lives.

So it's hard right now, for all of us. And I don't think any of us are very happy with how things are at the moment, but I'm hoping it will get better once we get through this awful, sad, painful part here. I do think my husband and I will be better off and happier eventually with us apart. I think it will be a more positive and more stable atmosphere for our son once we get past the grief and get our respective lives back together again. And I think that whatever happens with my boyfriend, me stepping back to focus on putting my own life back together while he works on his own is a good thing. I'd love to think he and I would end up together at some point, but that's not a possibility right now, and I need to move on and get my life settled and out of limbo.

And yes- doing my best to comfort my husband and especially my son about the loss of my dad. There are a lot of good memories there to pull from. He was a very good man, and an important part of our lives and I'm trying to take comfort in those good memories.

Last edited by Tamcat; 12-23-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-25-2012, 09:39 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Quote:
So it's hard right now, for all of us. And I don't think any of us are very happy with how things are at the moment, but I'm hoping it will get better once we get through this awful, sad, painful part here. I do think my husband and I will be better off and happier eventually with us apart. I think it will be a more positive and more stable atmosphere for our son once we get past the grief and get our respective lives back together again. And I think that whatever happens with my boyfriend, me stepping back to focus on putting my own life back together while he works on his own is a good thing. I'd love to think he and I would end up together at some point, but that's not a possibility right now, and I need to move on and get my life settled and out of limbo.

Sounds like you are trying your hardest to keep it together in a challenging time and be realistic for what these changes could mean for each person at this time.

Kudos to you! And hang in there. I know it isn't easy to feel or get yourself through as you weather this patch.

GG
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