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  #21  
Old 01-25-2013, 05:24 PM
Meghan Meghan is offline
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Default Just my quick 2cents

I'm new here, but if I were you, I would password protect my (your) phone. Either that or delete the texts out of memory after the conversation is finished.
Just a thought to protect yourself. BTW, I do think she is being unreasonable.
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2013, 08:04 PM
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Perhaps the conversation needs to go to a new level; e.g., "When I talk to you about my concerns, I feel like they get dismissed or excused away. It seems to me like my feelings aren't important." Also, some kind of agreement needs to be made regarding how many nights W spends each week with the other guy, and how many nights she spends each week with you. In addition, some kind of agreement needs to be made as far as a set time you and W will have a date night, be it once a week, once a month, or whatever.

Hopefully some of this will come out in counseling (with a mediator present). Hang in there.

Regards,
Kevin T.
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2013, 05:11 AM
beyondblueeyes beyondblueeyes is offline
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good evening, TN...
I am new to this site and have just read your complete thread. For the last two years my husband was you. I have had a bf for the last two years, and I can say none of this is easy..my husband was feeling things that you are feeling, and was on dating sites as well.
The one thing I can tell you for sure is the key to all of this is communication. My husband and I talk it out, sometimes until 6am..we both decided on this journey together, however it is not always easy. My bf and husband are friends, good friends now. It took time..and now my husband has entered into a relationship with a woman. AND now this is new to me lol. I am not used to being the one at home alone. I as well am facing new challenges, my bf and I have a 2 hour distance between us, my husband new gf wants more time with him, sometimes when he is sees her I am home alone day or night. As well my bf has a wife (they are in a open marriage). So there will always be some little hiccup, it is how you deal with it that matters. I go to work, go the gym keep busy so I am not feeling insecure..it is hard...I think this site is great, reading everyone posts, feeling like we are not alone...keep your head held high..and keep going..and keep writing..
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  #24  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:49 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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Thanks for the encouragement and the words of wisdom. I am grateful.

Our first counselling session is Tuesday night, and because it's a 30-minute Skype session I want to be well prepared so as to get as much out of it as I can. I figure I'll cover our history leading up to the decision to open our marriage, such as our early swapping, W's affair, our brief foray into formal swinging, then our decision to open. And then I'll get into W's refusal to be intimate with me, and maybe talk about some practical ways to deal with the scheduling, expectations, etc.

Or do you guys think there are some different things we should cover during this first session?
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  #25  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:08 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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I need to ask a very sensitive question. I hope it won't come to this, but I have thought about it. Suppose the counsellor suggests ending the poly relationship until we have worked out our own issues. I know this wouldn't go over well, with W. Her guy would probably agree, though, because he has committed to not doing anything to mess up our family or our relationship, because he himself has been on the bad side of an open marriage, and he knows how much it hurt him.

But suppose that is what the counsellor recommends. I'm trying to decide how I should respond, and how I should react to what would surely be antagonism from W. Any thoughts? Has anyone been in this position before where they decided to step away from poly for a while?
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  #26  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:10 PM
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Taking a step backwards in a new relationship is much, much harder than taking a step forward. So if the counsellor suggests *ending* the poly relationship for a time, I would tread around that carefully and let W and the counsellor talk it out.

I personally consider the biggest problem to be that W is not at all intimate with you at this time. So that's the issue I personally would try most to emphasize to the counsellor. However, you have to make your own decision what's most important during this first session.

A half-an-hour Skype session isn't long, and I tend to think it will take a number of sessions to make headway. You'll have to cover as much ground as you can per session, plus this first session will be a time to figure out whether you and this counsellor are compatible.

It seems like it would be so much easier to just put the poly relationship on hold for awhile. But sometimes the most obvious path doesn't turn out to be the best path.

Best of luck to you,
Kevin T.
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  #27  
Old 01-28-2013, 01:26 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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We had a long talk about scheduling and how last week she spent 4 nights with guy (every other night) and all were overnights. She assured me that because guy has his teenage son every other week, and it's very difficult to meet during that week he has his son, this coming week they would only meet up at most twice, and probably not overnights. I considered and decided I could live with that compromise.

Saturday was the first time she and guy had gone out of town. They went to that burlesque show in another town. They left at about 4:00pm Saturday and came back Sunday at around 4:00pm, so they were gone 24 hours. I had to care for both girls during that 24 hours by myself, which is kind of tough for me, because they are a handful. I had a few meltdowns, and a few anger episodes which spilled over onto the children and resulted in me yelling at them for simple things like not picking up their toys, not listening to me, etc. So I've got some work to do on that front, and it may just be that I ask her not to do out-of-town or 24 hour blocks with him anymore. Or maybe that's an unreasonable expectation. Maybe we'll talk to the counsellor about that, too.

A positive sign, though, was that when she got back home yesterday she was reading a copy of "Love and Respect", which is a book about working on marriage problems.
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  #28  
Old 01-29-2013, 05:00 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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Last night was one of those nights that start early, end late (2 am), involve much sharing, crying, and soul searching, that was gut-wrenching and painful, and somehow ended on a positive note. Maybe this whole “emotional honesty and communication” thing is the right way after all.

It started badly. I had password protected the discussions with our friend and W’s guy, since she does the same. As soon as W gets home she gets my phone, resets my password somehow, and looks at the messages (all benign, boring stuff). She goes ballistic again:

“I don’t want you hiding these conversations with guy from me. I can’t control what you say and want to know what you’re saying to him.”
“I feel the same way. Yet you flat out refuse to let me read your texts with him.”
“Those are personal! I’m in a relationship with him. “
“But your guy and I agreed we should keep up the ommunications. The reason he met me alone was he felt I’d be more open and honest with him without you there.”
“And I was a nervous wreck over that. “
“Well let’s just open all communications and be totally transparent. There shouldn’t be anything you can say to him you wouldn’t say to your husband of 15 years.”
“I’m NOT showing you those messages!”

And so it went, round and round until we couldn’t talk about it anymore, not having reached a consensus. I feel that either we’re totally open and honest (my preferred solution), or we decide that we’re going allow one another to have private conversations. She wants to control my actions and conversations so badly it's maddening. One of the reasons I'm sensitive about this issue was the fact that she used texting so much during her affair, and took pains to keep them from me.

I’ll cover the rest of the night in a separate post. I don’t want this one to become a novel.
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  #29  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:05 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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The rest of the night was spent lying in bed and talking, crying, listening, and baring our souls. The kind of thing that is HARD for most men, including myself. But I did it because I have been committed to making this relationship work. W said she waffles back and forth between a) doing the “easy” thing and divorcing and not having to deal with the kids and me, just providing financial support, something she’s excellent at (she makes lots of money!), and b) deciding to work with me and get some counseling. I didn’t even get into the argument about how divorce is seldom easy on anyone, especially children, who are often heartbroken. Most divorces are slow, painful processes that make life more difficult for almost everyone. But I digress.

W thinks she is the worst mother ever, and has terrible buyer’s remorse for having the girls. I asked her point blank “If you could have it exactly the way you wanted, how much time would you spend with the girls?” She paused for just a second and replied “None”. Then we both got quiet and cried for a little while.

We talked about why she feels the way she feels, and it was tough getting to the answers. I talked about how I feel her NRE with her guy right now is coloring her judgment, but of course she denies this. Even though I know from all my studying it is true. Then she claims she has, for 15 years, put everyone’s happiness ahead of her own, and she wants to start making her own self happy. I refrained from pointing out all the things she has done for herself in those 15 years, because I knew it would be sheer folly. But I’ll list some of them here, for my own catharsis:

1) Went to grad school for two years while I worked and supported our household.
2) Got bariatric surgery and lost a lot of weight
3) Got a boob job (which turned out fantastic, BTW)
4) Spent us almost into bankruptcy to overcome infertility to bear two children (the same ones she now can hardly spend an hour around without becoming an angry shrew).
5) Moved us to Las Vegas for a year because she likes the excitement of the city
6) Has never agreed to go to my folks for Thanksgiving, because she always insists on going to her folks.
7) Bought a hot tub, a minivan, an expensive bedroom suite, etc.
8) Bailed a guy out of prison by loaning him $12,000, which I doubt we’ll see again, because she thinks this guy is a great guy who just made some mistakes.

You get the picture.

She says she’s terrified of what people will think if she walks away from this marriage. She said she’ll lose most of her friends, most of her money, and maybe even her job. Because she thinks the way the public (and perhaps the court) would view it as her being repeatedly unfaithful, a terrible mother, an angry, belittling wife, and other horrible things. And I think she may be right, actually. If she walked away, I could basically spell out whatever I want in terms of money, assets, and child custody. And I’d probably get everything I ask for.

Then I did a lot of talking about how I’ve often considered giving her what she wants, which she has made apparent to me time and again, which is nothing to do with me and very little time with the girls. I said I could probably make that happen. It would break my heart and heart of the girls, and our parents, and a lot of the people pulling for us. But I would do it if it turned out to be the only way.

But I don’t want that to happen. I want a family. One where the mother and father love and respect each other, live together, and work together in harmony to raise healthy, emotionally mature girls. One where we live out our retirement that we have saved so much for. One where there is emotional and physical intimacy.

She finally got sleepy and ended up saying things like “I can’t be responsible for two kids AND you”, which is not the first time that she basically called me a child. Then finally we’re asleep.

This morning she sends me a SLEW of texts saying she was re-energized by our discussions last night, and she’s decided to try to make things work. She’s going to try therapy and see if we can fix our issues. She says I bared by heart and soul so much she is convinced I can change and has hope for our future. She said she was amazed by my ability to be so candid with her.
Go figure. I’m getting very weary of this roller coaster. I hope the therapy helps, because I may decide the coaster is way too bumpy for me and decide to hop off.
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  #30  
Old 01-29-2013, 11:26 PM
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It seems clear to me that you and your wife both have some resentments stored up against each other, perhaps justly. It's easier said than done, but I recommend that both of you make a resolution to do some heavy forgiving. She feels she has given up a bunch of stuff over the last 15 years. You disagree (and can back up your reasons), but she has her own feelings and point of view, and that's where the problem lies. For her own peace of mind, she should let go of the bad things in the past. I recommend the same for both of you. It's not worth it to try to "balance the scales." It's more helpful to just forgive, forget, and move forward.

It is good that she is willing to participate in therapy with you. Try to make as much progress as possible during each therapy session, and if the therapist isn't a good match for you, it's okay to search for another therapist.

Re (from Post #27):
Quote:
"I had a few meltdowns, and a few anger episodes which spilled over onto the children and resulted in me yelling at them for simple things like not picking up their toys, not listening to me, etc. So I've got some work to do on that front, and it may just be that I ask her not to do out-of-town or 24 hour blocks with him anymore. Or maybe that's an unreasonable expectation. Maybe we'll talk to the counsellor about that, too."
Is getting a babysitter an option that could be considered? Something so you both get a break. Certainly it would be a good thing to bring up with the counsellor.

The key thing, here, I think, is that you and your wife need a new mindset where you are working together as a team, rather than squared off at two corners of a ring as if you were boxing opponents. You both have resentments against each other, and many disagreements about those resentments. This makes communication difficult, but communication is still necessary. A husband and wife can grow to be enemies over time without realizing it. It can't be fixed overnight, but at some point you'll want to declare a truce.

It might be helpful to schedule a fixed day of the week when you and your wife will just communicate. Perhaps away from home, while a babysitter looks after the kids. This way your wife's "communication bucket" might be kept full without having to build up to a "2:00 a.m. marathon."

It does seem like you are making some progress, and I expect things to get easier a little at a time. Some new dynamics have entered your relationship, opened the lids on some "sealed cans," and put you in a position where you'll have to do some learning by trial and error. As hard as it is, you need to reassure each other as often as you can.

Good luck in the next steps on your journey.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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