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  #11  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:39 PM
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I don't think there's any easy answers here. You just have to figure out what you can/can't live with, and stick to that.

I don't know if this would be worth asking him, but you might say, "You told her that you wanted to leave me. Do you really want to leave me? Why do you want to leave me?" Perhaps there are deeper problems in the relationship between you and him that he hasn't talked about.

It's not okay for him to be dishonest -- to you or her. If you decide to stay with him, it should probably be on the condition that he's going to tell (both of you) the truth from now on.

I don't personally think "veto power" is evil per se, but I do think it should be used with utmost caution, and only under the most strenuous circumstances. However, the your circumstances here are pretty strenuous, so I don't blame you for considering this veto. Just make sure you know this is a hard boundary for you before you go through with it. There is always the notion of, your husband screwed up, can he be trusted to do better in the future?

Sorry things have gotten this bad.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:17 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Telling him to choose is not the same thing as a veto. Also, the OP seems prepared for the possibility that he might choose the other person. There is nothing in this that is at odds with the basic principles of polyamory. Nowhere in the One Poly Bible does it say relationships have to last forever, and nowhere does it say you can't have a relationship with conditions. Now I feel an editorial coming on so I better stop before I get full of myself.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:46 AM
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kdt26417 and Boring Guy, I'm glad that there are people who see it that way. I had been nervous about saying anything about it because when I first came on this forum a while ago, there was a thread from a woman who felt threatened by her husbands secondary relationship and wanted to veto it. Most of the comments were extremely negative, with a lot of "you're not really poly if you don't let your husband have this relationship" and "suck it up, you let him do it so now you have to live with it forever" kind of attitudes. I know not everyone is like that, but it did make me nervous.

Honestly, I think I know why he feels this way. When he's with her, it's like vacation romance. They don't have any responsibilities, it's just hanging out and sex all the time. Also, she is crazy attracted to him and all over him all the time, which I'm sure feeds his ego and makes him feel good. While, with me, it's real life and paying bills and stressing about money and cleaning the house, etc. Also, while I love him more than anything and our sex life has always been pretty good, neither of us has been "on fire" for the other in quite a while. And that's fine with me. It's part of the reason that we opened the relationship, so that we could have other sexual experiences and still have our steady and strong relationship. Now though, apparently, that makes her more attractive as a partner.

That said, I do understand that it is going to be painful either way. I'm also worried that if I do veto his relationship, he will want to make me stop seeing the guy I've been dating (who I like a lot and care for) or will want to close the relationship. I suppose if that were the only way to save my marriage, I could do it. Hell, we were monogamous for 5 years successfully so it's not like it can't be done - it's just not as much fun.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:09 AM
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Sounds like he is caught in an "NRE syndrome" (New Relationship Energy.) Perhaps you're on different pages as far as appreciating different kinds of relationships (e.g. both shiny/new and tried/true).

Just make sure you give it ample time/thought (which you seem to already be doing) before making a decision on this one. It's a huge decision.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:57 AM
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It doesn't seem right that you should have to dump your boyfriend when the boyfriend hasn't had anything to do with the problem. Sounds like it's this specific individual, the girlfriend, that is the problem for you, and doing this tit-for-tat "If I have to give up my toy, you have to give up yours" is a bit juvenile. But I did just say that relationships can be conditional, so if it must be then it must be, but i feel bad for the innocent people caught in someone else's tornado.
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:01 AM
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It doesn't seem right to me to wait til Christmas. Just talk to him, set aside a time to talk, and talk it out.

I mean, what does prolonging making appt to talk til the end of the month do? Is there a reason to wait THAT long? Just set the appt time.

GG
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:36 AM
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I think a veto is a bad thing. You have given in to change your boundaries and now that you feel threatened you want to pull the plug? You can only control you and not what he does, you can say how you feel about things. If he wants to leave you again that his choice. I am not saying he has done everything right, probably not, however you are here now.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:00 PM
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Seems to me that the two of you opened your marriage so that you could have more of the "fun stuff" (sex, excitement, hot dates) with other people, but neglected to deliberately set aside time and space for still having fun stuff with each other. No wonder your sex life cooled down - your marriage became all about bills and laundry. Where were the dates with each other?

I also think there is a way to save it without either of you ending your other relationships. You both have apologies to make, and need to rebuild your trust in each other. It will take a huge amount of inner work, soul-searching, and deeply honest communication - but most of all, I think it demands that each of you examine your beliefs about what love is, what marriage is supposed to be, and what kinds of commitments you can make and would be happy with. There are so many shades of love, and so many ways to love someone. Love alone is not enough to make a relationship succeed and bring joy and satisfaction - there are so many other factors, like respect, caring, consideration, honesty, trust, and affection. But I also think that very successful relationships can happen even if the love shared between two people is not the storybook kind of passionate romance. I tend to think that the ideas society has taught us about the importance of being "in love" is nonsensical mumbo-jumbo. More and more in my own life, I am realizing that the questions shouldn't be "Do I love him, and does he love me?" but "Do we care about each other?" And then demonstrating that caring, which is really how lovingness gets manifested anyhow, in the long run.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:25 PM
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polyq4 - Yes I do think I have the right to veto her. He is MY husband. Not hers. Boundaries changed once before, they can change again. There was never anything in our agreement that said that this was permanent and I resent this idea in the poly community that once you open up, you no longer have any say in what happens in your relationship. Marriage is not something that you just throw away or trivialize, to me. We made vows to each other and that is not something that I can just walk away from just because he is caught up in NRE. You're right, I can't control his behavior. But I can say that if he wants to remain married to me, he can no longer be with her. That's my boundary and he can react as he sees fit.

nycindie - we do have dates and we do set time aside for just us. Perhaps not as often as we should, due to money concerns, but it does happen. But because we also live in reality, our lives also include a lot of paying bills and day to day crap. My point is that he doesn't have to do any of that with her, it's all vacation and having fun and lots of sex.

Look, I would prefer to allow him to keep this relationship because them breaking up is going to cause a lot of drama (we are all part of a larger group so there is little chance of them having a clean break, we would have to see her again at group get togethers), but if having it is going to make him seriously consider leaving me for her then it's gotta go. I am 100% more important in this equation than she is. I know that's not the "poly" way of seeing things, but as I've stated several times in this thread, I have never considered us poly, just open. I'm the one he married, not her. I'm the one he promised to spend the rest of his life with, not her. I'm the one that has supported him nearly our entire relationship, not her.

GalaGirl - I understand what you are saying. I'm just nervous about making Christmas severely awkward. Also, as I mentioned, the 1 year anniversary of his dad's death is coming up at the end of January and I worry that this, plus that will send him into a tailspin of depression. He hasn't really dealt with it yet and had a really hard time on Thanksgiving and his dad's birthday. That, and a part of me is a little scared that he will choose her so I'm being a chicken.
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:39 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
GalaGirl - I understand what you are saying. I'm just nervous about making Christmas severely awkward. Also, as I mentioned, the 1 year anniversary of his dad's death is coming up at the end of January and I worry that this, plus that will send him into a tailspin of depression. He hasn't really dealt with it yet and had a really hard time on Thanksgiving and his dad's birthday. That, and a part of me is a little scared that he will choose her so I'm being a chicken.
I can appreciate all that. But you are suffering here. Christmas is ALREADY awkward for you. Don't set him up to be blindsided later if you pop! From holding it in.

Just ask him "Hon, I want to set an appointment time to have serious conversation with you. I don't want to make Christmas awkward. I know Thanksgiving was already rough, and Dad's passing away anniversary is in Janaury. I want to respect all that and pace ourselves over busy holidays. But for my own needs, I need to have an appointment date so I know somewhere in there I will get attention too. So... my top 3 dates are somewhere in ___, ____, and ____. What's good for you for having serious relationship talk time? "

Then you have it on the calendar and there! You can relax a tiny bit. And he was included so he's not getting a blindsided moment. He knows (just like you!) that it is on the caledar.

The other reason is to address that last sentence. The chicken thing. Make appt and then you can show your chicken that YES! You can handle things anyway! "So shut up chicken! Pecking at me in my head!"

Sometimes taking action, even a tiny one like appt setting, can soothe ruffled feathers and stop what ifffing crazy from taking over. Alleviate a tiny bit of the suffering so you can start to feel a tiny bit better.

*hug*

Hang in there.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-08-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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