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  #101  
Old 03-09-2013, 03:55 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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No problem. It had to happen. Whether it was a month ago, now, or six months down the line. Nothing was going to stop it from happening.

I'm the type of person who addresses whatever it is and leaps into action right then. I'm not for the talking game and let's find a happy-go-lucky resolution or pretend that there's a happy medium. That's not going to happen. I owned my feelings, released them, and decided what I had to do from that moment forward. Inner peace is a hell of a drug and what I've been missing.

I know it's driving a rift between us. I'm the odd guy out, so I've already decided to seek a divorce attorney and consult with someone versed in family law. I have to be prepared to leave if I know for sure that I cannot and will not live like this. My wife knows, and all I could do was tell her to do the same. I will fight her for custody with everything in me. I don't like surprise attacks, so she can't say I didn't tell her well in advance. I'm the one who doesn't want to be part of a poly ship/family or whatever this shit is. It stands to reason that I should be the one to leave, if it comes down to it. Then, she can continue living her life and practicing her lifestyle without me around or having me to contend with. I'm doing my damndest to keep it from heading down that path, but if it has to, she has been warned.

Cold blooded? No, I'm a realist. I realize the cards are stacked against me. I'm the only one who doesn't want to be part of this, so when this lands where does that leave me? On the outside looking in. I realize this might be hurting her. I realize she's torn. I realize my feelings. I realize her girlfriend isn't part of my future or my vision of nesting. I realize she's not my equal. I realize she's not in my marriage. I realize I can and will live without her being around. I realize that this is my wife's lifestyle, and if she wants to continue it, she has every right. If this doesn't come to a head, I will remove myself from the equation. Problem solved. If necessary, I realize that my wife and I may have to separate, divorce, and enter a custody dispute.

Nothing I'm saying here is a surprise to her. It may not be an easy pill to swallow. Do I want to move out? No, but our home is half hers, and once again, I am the only one who does not want to be part of a poly family. The kids love her. My wife loves her. I'm the one who doesn't. What do you do when something is not wanted? You get rid of it. If she just has to have her around and in our home, yes, I will move out. Then, she can be free to have her around, and her girlfriend can continue to bond with our children. They can be one big happy family without me being around.

It was one hell of an argument. I have no regrets. I wish it had happened sooner. Even if we had never slept together, it was still going to happen, still be heated, and still end with this result. Years worth of supposed hidden resentment amassed to something that spiraled out of control. The nesting impulse isn't that intense. I have a clear perception of what I view is nesting. That was clouded, but the picture is clear. It's us and her on the outside.

There is no middle ground. I have calmed down, and I feel like myself again. I have gotten everything off my chest. I'm saying everything that comes to mind and not holding back. The argument could have been handled better. I can't control how she reacted to what was being said. I said it in the nicest way possible without offending her. Don't ask me how I really feel about something if you can't handle the response. I'm still not apologizing. Any apology now would not be heartfelt and would be said in a forced way. I can't pretend to want her around when I know I don't.

It's not something from childhood. It's something that started later in life. I used to be pretty selfless and went along with quite a bit. It starts with one thing. Usually my wife's non-verbal insistence. A look or whatever it is she does to suggest things without saying them out loud. "No, I don't mind that you're poly. I guess I can live with it because I love you, and loving you means accepting or learning to live with certain things." You know what that turned into? This. I guess I really couldn't live it, and this was this moment for it to come out. "I guess I don't mind if she's part of doctor's appointments, if it's that important to you." This turned into being in the delivery room, being a co-parent, and the oldest calling her mom #2, so I can't severe that relationship. I could, but it would be traumatic for her. "I guess I don't mind if she joins us on this particular vacation, if it would make you happy." See the trend? A good old fashioned psychological ploy called emotional bulldozing. You want to say no, but due to pressure or duress, you say yes.

I'm not passive aggressive in everything. Just anything dealing with my wife and her other relationship. Trying to help keep her happy and respecting her relationship has lead to a lot of problems. I had to go back and think. Did I really want her in the delivery room? Did I really want her to be there when we saw the baby the first time? Did I really want her on family vacations? Did I really even want her to be part of "us" at all? Did I really ever want any of this and everything else I've thought about? Or did I just roll with it to keep the peace and to keep a smile on her face? Still working on those answers.

The hard line isn't really there anymore. I really don't want her around our kids, but who talked me out of that? The wife. I changed the pass code on the alarm panel. I took the key to the house back and they key card to the security panel at the start of our subdivision. I meant business. She's not welcome in our home or in my life, and it's clear now.

This thread isn't part of it. I can tune out the bullshit and form thoughts on my own. That's what I've been doing. I've had quite a bit of time to myself to think with cool head. I respect people's opinions and their thoughts. Sometimes it helps to have advice from someone who possibly feels the same way or has dealt with this. A therapist is trained to deal with issues, but how many have lived each and every situation?

Last edited by Matt; 03-09-2013 at 04:33 PM.
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  #102  
Old 03-09-2013, 04:58 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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I recognize something of myself in your last post here, Matt, though I have never gotten quite to the point you've reached.

For whatever reason, the venting of your raw feelings about your marriage and your household seem to have hardened into Policy, and the more people try to help you, try to give you some perspective, try to give you a chance to slow down and think critically about your reaction, the more you get your back up about the essential rightness of the Policy.

I've had my back up like that, before. Sometimes it's because of a conflict with my wife, sometimes because of an online forum thread gone horribly wrong. I reach a point at which I say, "I've made up my mind, and I cannot bend!"

Sometimes, then, I feel calm and sure of myself. But, really, it's not the calm that comes with genuine peace, with a true resolution of conflict. It's the calm of dogmatic insistence on the one true idea, the calm of detente, of mutually assured destruction.

Usually, in such circumstances, there's a kind of minority report in my head, a nagging doubt about the one true idea, or about the wisdom of my position.

I find myself on the barricades, and what one does when one finds oneself on barricades is to defend the barricades to the last breath. But, I wonder, how did I get on just these barricades? Did I choose them, or did I just stumble onto them by some odd circumstance? Are these barricades worth defending? Is defending these barricades worth sacrificing my marriage, my children's security and happiness, even my own happiness . . . or my own life?

If I listen to that voice, I sometimes experience something extraordinary: What seemed to be the most important battle of my life, the Last Stand, the Big One turns out to be a small pile of furniture I've thrown out onto some anonymous street somewhere.

I don't want to downplay the importance or the seriousness of your situation, or of your feelings about it. I only mean to suggest that the intransigent position you've taken, defending the Last Barricade, seems on its face unlikely to do you or anyone else any good, in the long term.

There is no shame in backing down from the barricade. Doing so does not mean you have to slink back and meekly accept the status quo ante. This is not an all-or-nothing situation; you are not faced by a simple either-or choice.

I only suggest, as one who has abandoned more than one barricade, that maybe you should listen to your doubts about the Policy, look carefully at the furniture you've piled up in the street, and consider that there might be a better way to get what you need without hurting people you care about or losing relationships that are important to you.
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  #103  
Old 03-09-2013, 05:31 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Hyperskeptic, wasn't it you who recently complained that people on this forum are so quick to suggest "pulling the plug" on long term relationships, or do i have you mixed up with someone else? Have you seen ANYONE do that in this thread yet (except for the original poster, Matt)? Does it look like anyone is ABOUT to suggest that they "pull the plug" in this situation? I hope you got your reality-check good on this, otherwise now is a good time for that.

I apologize for the small hijack, but it is relevant because sometimes you have to point things out to people when the opportunity presents itself and it isn't all focused on them.
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  #104  
Old 03-09-2013, 05:35 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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The problem is I have no doubts. Realistically, I know I'm not going to be fully satisfied unless she's completely out of the picture. That's reality. No matter how many ways I'm given to "live" with it. Ranging from not hearing anything about her, transition her out of making family decisions (no interruptions from my wife like, "Well, Snowflake said,"), demoting her to a secondary, being cordial, cutting her out of our kids' lives, and so on. That's the root of it. For so long, I've accepted her and hidden the fact that under any other circumstances, there's no way in hell I would still be around. Unfortunately, she is still going to be around, so why not face facts and realize that this has to come to a head? The problem is I have BEEN living with it, and my resentment of it is why we're going through all of this. Should I have just walked away after she told me she was poly? It wouldn't change anything now.

Everything listed has a downside. If I don't hear anything about her, that means I'll be excluded from anything that involves them both and won't understand something that's important to my wife. Not involving her in family decisions? Well, that's like saying her opinion doesn't mean anything. It means something to my wife. Demoting her? That's like divorcing and going back to dating or going from working 40 hours a week to 15 or on a PRN basis." Being cordial? For what? Cutting her out of our kids lives? It would be "traumatic" to the oldest and painful for her because she's so attached and involved.

How long can we really live like this? She's not allowed in our home. Our kids haven't seen her over the past few days. She doesn't exist to me. My wife's caught in the middle and likely being hurt by our actions. Where's the positive in any of that?

My wife loves her, and she wants her in her world and part of her life. Cool. Do you. I have to decide if I want to stay in this situation. No one else can decide that but me. I deserve to be happy, and if it's not making me happy, I have the right to leave. I'm not willing to run the risk of my wife resenting me for having to end her relationship with her. If she must resent me, let it be because of our marriage ending or because I'm fighting for custody. She doesn't have to do anything to appease the likes of me or change her lifestyle. Her right to live how she sees fit. Aside from that, there's negative things that could come from that relationship ending. 1) She will resent me and be in mourning over the loss of love. 2) She knows I'm here for her now, but it's likely that she won't feel comfortable expressing certain feelings are thoughts as they are a trigger for me. Who wants to be shut out and left in the dark? 3) Before we get closer, we'll probably drift even further apart. Before you know it, three relationships are in shambles and kids are in the middle.

I have already listed the pro's and con's of each side. I didn't get to this point with no thought being put into it. That's not to say I'm not trying in therapy or willing to fight to save my marriage. At some point, the fighting has to end because it reaches a point where it's toxic for everybody involved.

Last edited by Matt; 03-09-2013 at 05:51 PM.
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  #105  
Old 03-09-2013, 05:55 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
The problem is I have no doubts.
Pardon me for asking - and I hope this question doesn't do more harm than good - but, if you really have no doubts, what are you still doing here?

Are you waiting for something? Hoping someone will say something either to affirm or refute your position? Testing the defenses of your barricade?

It seems to me that, if you've already made up your mind, you shouldn't be wasting any more time on this forum. You've laid out quite an intense plan for yourself, what with lawyers to consult, and all.

On the other hand, the fact that you're still here might be taken as an indication that you have more doubts than you're willing to admit, even to yourself.

So, let me ask this more constructively: What are you hoping for, from this forum? How can we help?
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  #106  
Old 03-09-2013, 06:14 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
Pardon me for asking - and I hope this question doesn't do more harm than good - but, if you really have no doubts, what are you still doing here?

Are you waiting for something? Hoping someone will say something either to affirm or refute your position? Testing the defenses of your barricade?

It seems to me that, if you've already made up your mind, you shouldn't be wasting any more time on this forum. You've laid out quite an intense plan for yourself, what with lawyers to consult, and all.

On the other hand, the fact that you're still here might be taken as an indication that you have more doubts than you're willing to admit, even to yourself.

So, let me ask this more constructively: What are you hoping for, from this forum? How can we help?
I had one doubt, and it's null and void. I owe it to my wife and kids to at least try to save this. Everything else is set in stone.

I'm here responding now. That's all. The forum has been a great help, but I'm not sure there's anything more that can be said on this issue. I don't consider it a waste of time. I appreciate everyone's help opinions. I took most of it in. It's hard to understand where I'm coming from if you've never been there.

Last edited by Matt; 03-09-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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  #107  
Old 03-09-2013, 06:43 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
I owe it to my wife and kids to at least try to save this. Everything else is set in stone.
One final comment, before I withdraw from the field: it's hard to see how you'll be able to save anything if you're set in stone - which is what this comes to, really.

On the terms you've set out, the only way for your marriage to be saved is your wife's unconditional surrender.

Having been somewhere in the vicinity of where you are now, I can only say that's awfully convenient for you.

There you stand, alone on the barricades, defending the Policy. If you fail, if the barricade falls, if you lose what you care about, it won't be your fault, because you were defending the Policy, which was set in stone, which set you in stone, in that it rendered you unable to act, or change, or do anything but stand there on the barricades, looking noble and tragic.

I'm sorry to be blunt. But, really, you don't get any extra points for being a martyr.

(Please understand, you aren't the only one who has passed through moments like this. As I say, I agree that I've never been just exactly where you are, but I've been close enough, often enough, to recognize the pattern. My own experience this past week has been at least a remote echo of your current experience.)

Let me come at this another way. You have framed your stance as a Policy, as a Position: "Here I stand, I can do no other." (And "Let justice be done, thought he world burn."). But you have also articulated some underlying interests and values: your relationship with your wife, your children's happiness and security.

Maybe you'd get farther, maybe you could find a more genuine and lasting peace, if you shift your attention away from the Policy and toward those values. Then, the field is more open, because there may be many ways to secure those values while avoiding situations that are problematic for you.

Then, you're not on the barricade, with your wife and her (supposed) policy on the other side, each of you girding for battle. Instead, you'd be at a drafting table, side by side, trying to work out some solution to your problem, perhaps some new way of sorting out your relationship to one another that saves what needs to be saved, while changing what needs to be changed.

That approach, at least, won't leave you set in stone. It will give you the possibility and the responsibility for acting to save what you value.

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 03-09-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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  #108  
Old 03-09-2013, 06:56 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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I hear everything you're saying. I swear I do.

I don't view myself as being a martyr or in control of anything but my decisions and what I do. If I know I can't stay in an unhappy situation, what am I supposed to do? Stay and wait until I start hating my wife?

I have to be proactive and have a plan and a course of action. We're working together right now, but what happens if we can't come to an agreement? She doesn't have to bow down to my requests, but I have to have an out if I decide I can't do this anymore. My kids happiness does matter, but guess what? This isn't going to be healthy for them. Kids of divorce can grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults and have healthy, loving and lasting relationships.

My question to you: what values do I need to shift my attention to? Maintaining my wife's happiness? Hell, I've been doing that, and look at what it's gotten me. Maintaining the happiness of the kids? Staying in an unhappy situation for the kids is the definition of bad. Kids sense those things. Where does my happiness fit into that? We're back at square one, where my needs are last and I'm miserable. Great, but the "family" is still together. Who would that benefit? On a serious note, it's better to be alone and treat yourself well than to settle and put up with BS because of love.

What did you do in your situation, or what is currently being done?

Problematic? That's her girlfriend and her lifestyle. Those ARE the problems.

Last edited by Matt; 03-09-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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  #109  
Old 03-10-2013, 12:58 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Why is his position of what he wants out his marriage or relationship intransigent. Couldn't this be characterized as a reverse awakening. Shouldn't he be suggesting mono books, mono pod cast to try to convince the " unenlightened " partner.....kidding of course but you get the idea.


Decisive moments do happen ....moments of reflection do point the way knowing you want x or you want y. He wants 100% back from the 100% given ...he doesnt want to live by committee ....or whatever ....its not defending a barricade.

Good luck Matt and FOL

Last edited by dingedheart; 03-10-2013 at 01:03 AM.
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  #110  
Old 03-10-2013, 03:49 AM
Matt Matt is offline
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Thanks.

I know the options on the table are accept her for who she is and her relationship and continue living like this, force her to choose between us and run the risk of her resenting me for making her have to change her lifestyle, or for me to leave. Since I'm the one who doesn't want to be a in a poly family, it stands to reason that I should part ways and let her do what she wants. Maybe I missed a few options? I don't want to change her. If she can't give me what I need at this stage in life and we can't reach an agreement that doesn't involve one or both of us being miserable, then divorce is a reality. Along with that divorce involves a custody dispute.

I'm trying in therapy. I don't like therapists. I'm trying to be open minded. I can't say that it's going to help this situation, but I'm giving effort. That's all I can do.
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