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  #41  
Old 02-11-2013, 12:59 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Another update about my mono/poly marriage.

Things are pretty stable right now, for a change. I haven't had a trip with C since mid-December, but we have one planned for next weekend. Between times we have had two or three short visits when he has passed through town, and we are texting, chatting and phoning very frequently, but I try to be discreet about it. I miss him quite a lot. The frequent contact makes me feel very connected to him, and I revel in having someone who wants to know what I am doing, thinking and feeling. He's ever more madly in love with me. It's painful not being together.

It's also painful not being able to find this kind of closeness with my husband. I recognize that NRE is not something to expect at this stage in our marriage, but I am struggling just to connect. I try to come up with things to say when I'm in his presence, but can't seem to hold his interest, and half the time when he says something in my presence, I can't make sense of it and find out that he was just talking to himself.

He's been waiting patiently for me to come around to wanting sex with him again, but I don't know how to get there. Once in a while I just offer it anyway in hopes it will help the situation, but I can't relax and feel anything. The only satisfaction I get is from knowing I've made him feel good. I have, at many times in my life, been a highly sexual person with an insatiable appetite for it, and in fact all my times with C (when we have the chance) involve lots of sexual adventure and multiple orgasms for me, but I can't seem to access that side of myself with my husband any more. Either I'm afraid he doesn't really approve of my sexual self, or I resent that he doesn't want me having PIV sex with C, or we just don't have a sexual dynamic to our interactions... I don't know what. He is waiting for me to fix the problem by myself, but he also let me know that he's ok if we leave the sex out for as long as it takes. I think that could spell the end of our marriage over time.

What we have now is a friendly marriage, in which he works very hard for me, treats me with kindness and devotion, and wants to do what he can to make things work. As roommates we do quite well. The rest of the word sees us as a very happy couple. Honestly I think my husband is pretty content. For me, there is an enormous loneliness to it. The marriage counselor has urged me not to take it personally that my husband is not the kind of person who feels compelled to talk about his thoughts or share about his day, but without that I don't feel close to him.

This is where we are now. I guess it could go on like this indefinitely, but I wish there was more. More connection with my husband, and more time with C.
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  #42  
Old 02-11-2013, 01:26 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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He is waiting for me to fix the problem by myself, but he also let me know that he's ok if we leave the sex out for as long as it takes. I think that could spell the end of our marriage over time.

What we have now is a friendly marriage, in which he works very hard for me, treats me with kindness and devotion, and wants to do what he can to make things work.
Mutually exclusive... .or really super honest? He is willing to do what he can, but what he CAN do... falls short of what is needed?

It's hard to feel desire for someone who is not present. Not just in body but in heart.

It's hard to feel desire for someone who tends to you... but like a thing and not a person. You are a not a car to wash, wax, spend money on to maintain. Caring for your physical needs of house and home matters is not caring for your heart and your emotional needs.

Could he list what he IS willing to do to create emotional closeness?

Galagirl
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  #43  
Old 02-11-2013, 01:48 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Mutually exclusive... .or really super honest? He is willing to do what he can, but what he CAN do... falls short of what is needed?

It's hard to feel desire for someone who is not present. Not just in body but in heart.

It's hard to feel desire for someone who tends to you... but like a thing and not a person. You are a not a car to wash, wax, spend money on to maintain. Caring for your physical needs of house and home matters is not caring for your heart and your emotional needs.

Could he list what he IS willing to do to create emotional closeness?

Galagirl
It's not as if he doesn't try, but we're just very different kinds of people, and he isn't a very social being. Sometimes he'll come to bed with the intention to talk to me, because he knows I want to be talked to, and then he'll launch into a story about something technological or otherwise outside my realm of knowledge, and when I've tried to respond with the occasional comment or question I discover that he really has no interest in hearing what I think -he's just talking because I've requested it. We both just don't know what to say to each other, I guess. He tries, but he doesn't get it.

One thing I especially enjoy when I am with C is that I can make comments or crack jokes almost even under my breath, and he will respond with a hearty laugh, but my husband says he can't process two things at once so he doesn't respond if I crack a joke while he is driving, or washing the dishes, or just about any of the things we would be doing side by side. I feel that at least half the time when I talk to him, I have to repeat myself because he hasn't processed it the first time, so cracking jokes becomes too tiresome to bother. At the same time, he says he isn't good at coming up with witty things to say, so he stays pretty quiet. He likes it when we watch movies together.

Someone in this forum once asked if he had Asperger's syndrome, and while I doubt he would ever qualify for a diagnosis, he himself has suggested that he tends towards that end of the normal range of the spectrum. He's a total genius in many things, but human emotions are not his forte. He wants to please everyone and avoid drama, so I think for him, a deeply emotional relationship is too risky.
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  #44  
Old 02-11-2013, 02:13 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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It's hard to feel desire for someone who is not present. Not just in body but in heart.
I'm pretty sure GG is referring to your husband (that's how I took it at least), but this statement also applies 100% to you. It doesn't sound like you are being present for him anymore, and I understand there's not a burning motivation to do so for a myriad of reasons, but it's kind of a catch 22 when both of you are having so much trouble connecting.

You are doing everybody a disservice by comparing him against C if your goal is to make your marriage strong. I imagine he was mostly like this when you married him, but you come across, at least in these last couple of posts, as more dissatisfied than you used to. It seems like you are reserving all your fun and happy for C (which makes sense too, you feel he enjoys those aspects of you so find it easier to give) and have one foot out the door. I know deciding to leave a marriage or not isn't an easy decision but I just hope you're not distracting yourself with lots of contact with C in order to avoid really thinking about what is best for everybody - especially because I'm guessing the frequent calls and messages with him highlight on a daily basis just what you want and are not having with your husband. I just want to say if you do have a foot out the door, its probably better to stop the distractions and figure that out sooner than later. If you have interest in maintaining a friendship with your husband - from his reactions in the past, I'll guess the longer he lives with the pain of you being poly while you maintain you want to stay married, the more upset he will be the longer it takes for you to figure out that you don't.

Maybe you are just having a low period, but I just wanted to say what I was taking from the last few months of your posts.
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  #45  
Old 02-11-2013, 04:13 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I'm pretty sure GG is referring to your husband (that's how I took it at least), but this statement also applies 100% to you. It doesn't sound like you are being present for him anymore...

You are doing everybody a disservice by comparing him against C if your goal is to make your marriage strong.
Point well taken, and I have been asking myself quite often if I'm really being everything I know how to be for him, or giving him everything I long for him to give to me. Part of my struggle all along has been not knowing how. Not knowing what he wants. I've begged and begged for specifics, on what he needs from me in order to feel loved, but even with the therapist assigning it as homework for him to list some things, he hasn't. I try to guess. I've tried watching movies with him (even though I don't really like watching movies), and I've gone out to eat with him (even though I have so many food sensitivities I almost always feel sick for the next 24 hours) because those are things he really likes to do with me. I try to think of things to talk about that might interest him. I've tried sex even though I've had to fake my interest. (I have an honest interest in connecting, so I am only half faking.) I've tried being present for him in every way I can think of.

I know I shouldn't compare him to C, and in general I don't. I'm just frustrated that what comes so easily in one relationship is so perplexingly difficult in the other. It has not always been this way for us. For 4 years he was playful, lighthearted, emotional, warm, and affectionate. Then we hit a period in which his dad died, our first child was born, he was promoted into management, and his mother came to stay for three months, and everything between us shifted drastically. The tenderness and affection were replaced with a kind of hard work ethic that he applied to himself and to me. I know people change, and I've been trying to love who he is and not just who he used to be. I do want us to stay married, and for our marriage to be strong.

In some ways my relationship with C lets me "escape" my frustration and loneliness at home, but it also makes me more aware of what my marriage could be, and what it used to be, and makes me want to work hard to make it the best it can be. It also takes some of the pressure off, so my husband doesn't have to be everything for me. Maybe these are just justifications, but trying to let go of C has never been helpful to my marriage. I tried in July and again in December, and it just made me feel resentful and sad, not present and loving. I don't think C is causing the distance in our marriage.
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  #46  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:02 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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It's lovely to hear from you again but you sound so sad.

I very much hope that you and your husband are able to find a way to connect again. It always seems to me like both of you try very hard to be there for each other, that you care about each other and want to stay married. It must be frustrating for both of you to find you are unable to connect.

I wondered if maybe your relationship with C causes some of the distance from your husband? I think I'd find it very difficult to cope with being the 'room mate' while my partner was having lots of fun and good sex with somebody else. I suspect I'd feel resentful, hurt and angry and that those feelings would result in distance.

I know that ending things with C is no solution because then you feel the anger and resentment.

It makes me so sad that you both want to be together so much and yet being together seems to mean that one or both of you are dissatisfied and/or resentful.

I hope that in time you can regain the closeness that you have lost.

IP
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  #47  
Old 02-11-2013, 04:18 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I am going to take the opposite stance from the above posters.

My ex husband, also, was unable to feel my love, once we had 3 kids. He did, however, list ways he'd like to be shown love: special packed lunches, more "respect," more sex.

I did all these things. I made him cooked lunches (while being swarmed by our 3 homeschooled kids in the mornings, myself unshowered and coffee-less and unfed while husband had his own leisurely breakfast, coffee, and a private shit, shower and shave). I even got romantic stickers to put on the Tupperware.

It didn't work in making him feel loved.

I gave him more sex. It assuaged his horniness but he wouldn't kiss me or say I love you to me. He wouldnt hold hands when we walked out. He wouldnt cuddle me to watch TV.

It didn't work in making him feel loved.

I respected him by going to counseling with him and by taking a submissive stance, letting him lead the way in household and dating decisions. We dated a lot more, including weekends away from the kids (now teenagers) at cute hotels in interesting settings.

Even our therapist said I was doing all the the right things, showing love, and yet, it didn't work in making him feel loved.

Finally I was so frustrated I started an online emotional affair with a man 1000 miles away. I fell in love with him and he with me. NRE like CRAZY. It felt soooo good after so many years of depression, frustration and tears with my h. I got advice from online girlfriends not to leave my h for this guy, and indeed he was too far away. I left my h for myself! But having this online bf really boosted my self esteem and showed me what I deserved to have from a partner, and it was a hell of a lot more than my h was able to give.
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  #48  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:42 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
I wondered if maybe your relationship with C causes some of the distance from your husband? I think I'd find it very difficult to cope with being the 'room mate' while my partner was having lots of fun and good sex with somebody else. I suspect I'd feel resentful, hurt and angry and that those feelings would result in distance.
While I get what you're saying, we have to remember that her husband started being distant long before C came into the picture.

Whatever's broken in a marriage is broken inside the marriage, not because of something outside.

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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Even our therapist said I was doing all the the right things, showing love, and yet, it didn't work in making him feel loved.
I slipped into your husband's shoes briefly, though not to that extent, a few months back. My husband works out of town and I was feeling us growing distant due to the lack of time together. I told him I wanted to reconnect. He asked how I wanted to do that, so I came up with a short list of little things he could do to make me feel more connected. Like with your husband, they didn't work.

Love isn't about the things you do. Sure, loving someone will make you more likely to do nice things for them. But doing nice things for someone doesn't mean you love them.

Eventually, I had to admit that part of what was required was for me to change my attitude and perception. I had to acknowledge that he wouldn't be working on the road, putting me through school, if he didn't love me. All of this came to a head during one really tear-filled conversation. We both admitted that we'd been getting spiteful. I'd been threatening that the distance was eventually going to break up our marriage if we couldn't connect. His internal reaction to that was to pull away, so that when this so-called-inevitability happened, it wouldn't rip him apart. I felt him pull away, so I pulled away, and so began a downward spiral.

Fortunately, we caught it in time. That conversation pretty much saved our marriage. We both admitted what we'd been doing and how it unconsciously was damaging our marriage, and we both made a pact to stop being so petty and to give one another the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not going to say it's always perfect now. That would be silly. But things have been so much better since that day. When we have "off" days, we acknowledge them as such. We both make an effort to listen to what the other has to say. In essence, we both re-committed to our marriage, and it's made a huge difference.

Note: the crux is "both." Neither one of us could have fixed it alone. It takes two to tango. We had to work together as a team, and before that we both had to acknowledge our individual roles in the problem.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 02-11-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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  #49  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:43 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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It's lovely to hear from you again but you sound so sad.
I should probably mention that I've been a little isolated lately with a relapse of a chronic health problem, so I'm not as cheery as I could be.

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
I wondered if maybe your relationship with C causes some of the distance from your husband? I think I'd find it very difficult to cope with being the 'room mate' while my partner was having lots of fun and good sex with somebody else.
Of course my feelings for C are hard on my husband, but as SchrodingersCat points out, the distance has been a problem for a whole lot longer than I've known C. I try to keep that relationship under the radar for the most part; we get together at most once a month, and of course I never talk to my husband about the "sex" (other than to reassure him once in a while that we are still sticking to the no-PIV-no-oral rule). And in fact the last time I went overnight with C, in December, I pointed out to my husband that between PMS and an injured foot I could barely walk on, it was probably for the good of the family to get me out of the way for a couple of days.

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
I hope that in time you can regain the closeness that you have lost.
Thanks. I feel like it must be possible.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:54 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Even our therapist said I was doing all the the right things, showing love, and yet, it didn't work in making him feel loved.

... But having this online bf really boosted my self esteem and showed me what I deserved to have from a partner, and it was a hell of a lot more than my h was able to give.
Magdlyn, I think your situation must have been a lot more painful than mine, and I'm so sorry you went through it (and glad to hear you are in a happier situation now). If your ex wouldn't hold your hand or cuddle, it sounds like he wasn't putting in the necessary effort to make YOU feel loved, so the failure wasn't yours. I think my husband is putting in a lot of effort, but much of it is misdirected because he doesn't understand what I need. We read The Five Love Languages and it was a huge eye opener both of us, but following through has been harder than we expected.

My self esteem has been getting a HUGE boost from C, and also from many people I dance with regularly (at least two act like they have crushes on me), and even walking in to work today, my employees looked delighted to see me and I felt like I must be running my business well. I don't feel like my life in general is lacking in positive attention, connection and affection. I just wish more of it happened at home.
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