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  #1  
Old 02-13-2013, 02:09 AM
tryingforhim tryingforhim is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Default Help, please...

I have been so lost for a long time now. I need help to try and understand and see if I can make this work.

Last summer my husband and I decided to explore poly. We talked about it, and while we have been swinging for a while, I know swinging is nothing compared to being poly but we thought it could be the next step for us. I originally thought this would be something we would do together and explore together.

Now, my husband is much more outgoing than I am. He meets people easily and has an ease about him when it comes to dealing with groups of people. We originally thought adding a female and becoming a triad would be where we would start and I was ok with that being a bisexual female. We began meeting people and things were going well at first.

Then he met this girl. At first when he met her he didn't even mention he was attached. They talked for a couple of weeks and then he randomly sprung me on her, which was completely awkward for both of us. She is much younger than both of us. For the first little bit it was ok, not great, but ok. Then we had this night where we were all going out and she had this little freak out in front of me and it just completely turned me off. After that, things got bad.

I expressed to my husband my doubts, but he kept saying it will be ok and pushed the relationship on. Since then its been a constant source of fighting between us. I tell him I hate this on a regular basis but he says he won't give her up because they have feelings for each other. He keeps telling me he loves me and will never leave me, and while I want to believe him sometimes he just seems so unhappy with me and would rather be with her.

I have threatened multiple times to end it for him and he says if I do he will be miserable and I am honestly worried he will leave me. I don't know what to do anymore. The stress of all this is really getting to me. Originally we made a deal that he sees her 3 nights a week and I get 4 nights a week. But every minute he spends with her I resent it. Plus, anytime he has anything else on the go it always takes away from one of my nights, never hers because he claims he sees me more with the daytime hours we spend together.

I don't know what to do anymore. Please someone help me.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2013, 03:55 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,079
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First of all, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that that the situation that brought you here is causing you such turmoil, hopefully you can find advice and support here.

I'm going to address several points in your post that raise some flags for me as to where some of the troubles may lie. I realize that relationships are complex and it is hard to convey the whole picture in just a short post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
Last summer my husband and I decided to explore poly. We talked about it, and while we have been swinging for a while, I know swinging is nothing compared to being poly but we thought it could be the next step for us. I originally thought this would be something we would do together and explore together.
Many folks come to poly from a swinging background, so this, in and of itself, is not unusual. What I often read here is that a couple tried swinging but found that they were looking for "something more" and find poly.

From what I gather (I have never participated in the swinging community) one of the problems that people run into when making the shift from swinging to poly is that swinging tends to be a fairly "couple-centric" activity...it IS something that couples "do together and explore together" and the assumption is that they will "ease" into poly the same way. It sounds like this was YOUR expectation. (Was it also your husband's expectation? Or did he go along with that idea because it made you more comfortable with the whole poly concept? You don't have to answer, I am just asking.)

Problem is that when the focus shifts from an activity (sex) to a relationship (love) - things get a whole lot more complex and unique. People have individual relationships with individuals - and each one is different. (An example, I have a father-daughter relationship with my Dad. My husband has a FIL-SIL with my Dad. We both have a relationship with my Dad but they are not the SAME relationship. My husband and I can't meld ourselves into one "unit" and be a "daughter" to my Dad together.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
... We originally thought adding a female and becoming a triad would be where we would start and I was ok with that being a bisexual female...
This is very common...and intellectually makes a lot of sense to many people, especially when they are first starting out. The idea is that you find someone who is interested in both of you, you both date her, every one is "even" and you avoid jealously/hurt/anger/etc.

In practice this is very difficult to achieve (as you are experiencing). The most common experience that I see happen here is that if a couple DOES find such a girl it is uncommon that things progress "evenly" in all of the relationships. A Triad is a beautiful thing, when it happens, but it is NOT easy, and is fairly rare (at least in my poly reading). Most successful Triads seem to "just happen" organically, not because people are necessarily "looking for" them.

PS. If you read around here you will run across the term "Unicorn Hunter." This refers to a couple that is looking for a bisexual woman who is equally interested in both members of an established couple (the so-called "Unicorn" - because she is so rare and sought by so many). There is a fair amount of negativity surrounding this phrase so I just wanted to warn you so you don't take it personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
Then he met this girl. At first when he met her he didn't even mention he was attached. They talked for a couple of weeks and then he randomly sprung me on her, which was completely awkward for both of us.
There have been a number of posts/threads here talking about the "when to tell" decision - and there is no hard and fast rule. For me, if someone was not up front right out of the gate about being attached that would not fly. Others find it presumptuous to assume that someone is interested in you romantically right from the start and to dig into the poly/open nitty-gritty before an interest has been firmly established.

The "springing her on you" bit is also rude and hopefully something that can be avoided in the future. When we first got together Dude sprung one of his "fuckbuddies" on me - invited her to my house! His reasoning was that two bisexual women who were both interested in him would, OF COURSE, be interested in each other....NOT so. Awkward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
She is much younger than both of us. For the first little bit it was ok, not great, but ok. Then we had this night where we were all going out and she had this little freak out in front of me and it just completely turned me off.
Without knowing more about her and the situation it is hard to gauge how this could have been avoided. She is "much younger" than you...does she have any poly experience? (or much relationship experience at all for that matter?) What were her expectations going into this? What was she freaking out about? For instance, some women in this situation might assume that the reason that they are being sought by the guy is that his relationship with his wife is rocky and she is going to "win him over" and steal him from her for her own (in poly terminology this would be a "cowgirl") - Did she suddenly realize that this was not the case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
... I expressed to my husband my doubts, but he kept saying it will be ok and pushed the relationship on. Since then its been a constant source of fighting between us. I tell him I hate this on a regular basis but he says he won't give her up because they have feelings for each other. He keeps telling me he loves me and will never leave me, and while I want to believe him sometimes he just seems so unhappy with me and would rather be with her.
This, to me, sounds like a man caught up in the throes of NRE (New Relationship Energy). This is a time when people can't seem to see straight - they view the world through rose-colored glasses. They are so caught up in the excitement of the "new shiney" possibilities that they can lose sight of what they already have. Especially if they have no experience dealing with this. They can be rude, neglectful, distant...This then, of course, triggers your own insecurities, etc.

I don't have any great wisdom but I can tell you that NRE wears off eventually (6-18 months depending on the person). He will see that this woman has her own foibles and flaws. The rose-colored glasses will come off. (This happens in mono dating as well - this isn't a poly thing - there is a reason that many people end up dating several people before they form long-term relationships.)

If he chooses to come here for advise there is plenty on dealing with NRE without neglecting existing partners. But for you, should you choose to stick it out, I can only advise patience and actually believing him when he says he loves you and will never leave you (as hard as that may be). You are in a hard place, there are no promises as to outcome, only intentions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
I have threatened multiple times to end it for him and he says if I do he will be miserable and I am honestly worried he will leave me.
Hmmm...OK, I don't actually know what you mean by "end it for him" - he is an adult human, he determines his own actions, he can be in a relationship with her without your permission or consent. You only have control over your own actions, i.e. whether you choose to stay in a relationship with him under the current circumstances.

Perhaps you mean that you have threatened to offer him an "ultimatum" of "her or me". In which case, yes, he could, in fact, leave you. If you are not prepared for that possibility you should think long and hard about issuing that ultimatum.

On the other hand, you are certainly within your rights to set your own personal boundaries. If your boundary is "I can't be in a relationship with you under these circumstances - either the circumstances change or I exit the relationship." Then that is the line for you. You get to choose what relationships you engage in under what circumstances, as does he. If those don't match...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingforhim View Post
I don't know what to do anymore. The stress of all this is really getting to me. Originally we made a deal that he sees her 3 nights a week and I get 4 nights a week. But every minute he spends with her I resent it. Plus, anytime he has anything else on the go it always takes away from one of my nights, never hers because he claims he sees me more with the daytime hours we spend together.

I don't know what to do anymore. Please someone help me.
Ouch. I can tell how much pain you are in. This last bit deals with time management - I would guess that you are focusing on this because it is something concrete that you can point to, but it is some place to start.

3 nights to your 4 SEEMS like an awful lot - but in the NRE stages people are often driven to spend AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE with their new paramour (so they can't see this as excessive is my point). (PS. I am not one to talk, my Dude has been living with us since before Day 1 - this is not generally recommended but has worked well for us).

My other point is that you, apparently, agreed to the 3/4 split ("we made a deal") and are now finding that you are not OK with it. The fact that "time away" is taken from your time and not hers is almost a moot point (regardless of his arguments) since "every minute he spends with her I resent it". Would this be true if he saw her once a week? once a month? twice a year? Is there ANY amount of time with her that you could (now) see yourself being comfortable with - or is his very involvement with her AT ALL the issue?

(Sorry this got so long, I do that. I wanted to give you some "points to ponder" since I don't have solutions to offer.)

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2013, 04:42 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Quote:
I have threatened multiple times to end it for him.
Could stop threatening your partner. Let him deal with his relationship management and time management with her.

Could refocus him on meeting his obligations in his relationship with YOU instead.

Quote:
He says if I do he will be miserable.
Well, you could not threaten him. That's one thing.

Second? Whether he feels yummy things or yucky things with her? Could let him deal with his emotional management with her.

If he requests a moment of your time and wants nurture/support airing out his other relationship problems? You could choose to say

"Yes I am willing right now" or "No, I am not willing right now to listen to things about your other relationship."

Everyone could hold their own bag.

Quote:
I am honestly worried he will leave me.
Well, him leaving is on him. That could happen polyship oir not. He controls his behavior.

Are you able to be on your own independent of him? (finances secure, home secure, food secure, etc?) Could make sure you are safe in these areas if he does take off. Then you don't have to worry about it from that angle, and then you don't have to worry.

Could this...

Quote:
Originally we made a deal that he sees her 3 nights a week and I get 4 nights a week. But every minute he spends with her I resent it. Plus, anytime he has anything else on the go it always takes away from one of my nights, never hers because he claims he sees me more with the daytime hours we spend together.
...be reframed like this?

Quote:
I am unhappy with my partner. Originally we made a deal that he sees her 3 nights a week and I get 4 nights a week.
Anytime he has anything else come up, it takes away from one of my nights. It is never her nights because he claims he sees me more with the daytime hours we spend together.

I do not consider "daytime mundane times" as "quality date times" so I do not agree this is fair. I am also not being given a voice in the things that concern me. I am not being asked to consider so it could be MY generosity giving up the time, or MY collaborating to help find a happy medium solution... rather than HIS dictating to me making unilateral decisions for the couple. So I grow resentful of him for treating me this way.

I also grow resentful of every minute he spends with her because she gets the "fun date time" I crave with him.

I grow resentful of her because she seems to get more consideration and wooing from him than me.
Is that the right ball park? If so, could request that he date/woo you. Could request that he stick to the schedule. Could request that if something else comes up -- he could say NO to that other thing because his time is already compromised elsewhere with wife and GF. There's only 24 hours in a day.

Do not threaten or demand. Request. "Could you be willing to _____?"

Then observe. Behavior done/not done. Note it. And if he continues to not hold up to his end of the agreements present him not with your feelings. But with HIS behavior done/not done and ask him what his plan is to change his behavior, if any.

"We have an agreement of 4 days for me and 3 days for her. In the last 4 weeks it has been X nights with me. This is not in keeping with our agreement. What changes in your behavior do you plan to make in the next 4 weeks to reconcile this and make good on our agreement?"
Then you can make your next move in YOUR behavior.

Which is either to
  • change the agreements to better reflect current wants, needs, and limits of all parties
  • accept him how he is (horrible at time management) and learn to expect less of him so you are not disappointed
  • expect same but remove him from the "partner slot" he currently occupies so you are not disappointed
  • do nothing, let time pass and see if new info arises to change the situation (certainly with babies coming things will change soon enough!)
  • do something else I can't think of right now
  • do some kind of mix and match thing of all the above

I know you hurt, and I am sorry. It's hard to keep a clear head when facing a lot of strong emotion within (inside yourself) and without. (from his corner)

Sun is sun. Rain is rain. Emotion is emotions. Feelings can fly sky high sometimes! Do your best to let it blow on through, and land it back to Earth here. Where you can choose YOUR behavior.
  • Focus on what you want more of rather than what you do not want.
  • Note what are the behaviors done/not done? Forget about the talk. Talk is cheap. DEEDS, not creeds.
  • Request changes be made and collaborate on a new possible solution.
  • Try a new way of going and set a time to re-evaluate to see if that helped the couple fly better.

Could see if that attitude/approach of "take action!" serves you any better and gets this thing moving forward again to a healthier space for you.

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-17-2013 at 04:57 AM.
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