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  #31  
Old 03-24-2013, 11:12 PM
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Bottom line, what she needs is acceptance from her husband. So answer me this: how does forgetting about Liam help her husband accept polyamory?

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Originally Posted by Natja View Post
You left out the point where I said I agree with you that he (the husband) married a Poly woman and will have to deal with that, what I wrote was specifically about Liam and the fact that she will not be able to have both Liam and her marriage.
To change my mind about forgetting Liam, I would need to hear this from the husband: "I accept that my wife is polyamorous and I admit that I've been ignoring that since our son was born. Now that she's met this Liam character, it's become clear to me that she cannot pretend to be monogamous, nor do I have the right to ask her to. I'm willing to work at becoming comfortable with that fact, but I can't do that with this guy being shoved in my face. If she agrees not to be involved with anyone for 6 months, then I promise to use that time to educate myself about polyamory and what it means to her. I will deal with my insecurities and take ownership of my emotions, without pressuring her to curtail her behaviour to appease my insecurities."

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Yes Liam is a symbol right now, wrong timing I suppose, however the husband has spoken out now and if she wants to remain married, Liam can't be around right now.
There's nothing special about timing. Liam was just a catalyst for the inevitable, given that she was trying to act mono when she isn't. The husband spoke out after their son was born, saying he'd never really liked her dating Ben. That was long before Liam came on the scene.

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And yes, people can risk their marriage for their principles, but, I got the feelings that Dryad was trying to find a way to reassure her husband, my point was that she would have to put Liam (who does not actually WANT a relationship with her remember?) aside to do it, it is not just that she has feelings for him but he is a distraction also.
Basically, you don't remove anyone's insecurities by giving in to their fears.

I find that the best way to reassure someone that something is harmless is to just go ahead and do it, and demonstrate that no harm follows. It's exactly the way psychologists use exposure therapy to curtail anxiety, and it's extremely effective.

I could even argue that Liam is the perfect way to begin exposure therapy. Liam doesn't want a relationship, so that can assuage the husband's fears that Liam is going to steal her away. But it can show him that loving another man doesn't mean she loves her husband any less.

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I may sound harsh, but it sounds like a teenage crush gone mad, we don't get everything and everyone we want, Dryad needs to start acting like an adult and stop weeping over a man she can't actually have whilst simultaneously losing one she does have.
Can you explain that judgement? All she's said is that she loves Liam and Liam loves her, but he does not want to label it as a relationship. He is willing to have a loving friendship in which they express themselves. She is agreeable to that. How exactly is that "weeping?"

She's not asking for "everything she wants." She's asking for her husband to accept that she's polyamorous, as he claimed to do when they got together but was actually bullshitting her.
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  #32  
Old 03-24-2013, 11:23 PM
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Her husband may never accept it, and that is his right. He may ultimately decide to leave to let her do her thing. That is a very real possibility that has to be considered.
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  #33  
Old 03-25-2013, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Bottom line, what she needs is acceptance from her husband. So answer me this: how does forgetting about Liam help her husband accept polyamory?
The Liam factor will effect how she communicates her Polyamorous nature just as much as her husband sees him as a threat. Whichever way you look at it, she has to get across that this is not about Liam, it is about who she is and the best way of doing that is to remove Liam from the picture and instead concentrate on educating her husband...

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To change my mind about forgetting Liam, I would need to hear this from the husband: "I accept that my wife is polyamorous and I admit that I've been ignoring that since our son was born. Now that she's met this Liam character, it's become clear to me that she cannot pretend to be monogamous, nor do I have the right to ask her to. I'm willing to work at becoming comfortable with that fact, but I can't do that with this guy being shoved in my face. If she agrees not to be involved with anyone for 6 months, then I promise to use that time to educate myself about polyamory and what it means to her. I will deal with my insecurities and take ownership of my emotions, without pressuring her to curtail her behaviour to appease my insecurities."
I see no problem with this, however this has to be put to the husband as a possibility instead of the opinion you seem to be espousing which is to do it anyway....No. Just no.

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The husband spoke out after their son was born, saying he'd never really liked her dating Ben. That was long before Liam came on the scene.
Exactly! She had then a perfect opportunity to educate her husband then, instead she chose to modify her behaviour and then wait until she is getting desperately silly over some crush that now she wants him to deal and accept then? For real? The best time for that was when he said he had issues, her seeming compliance with that gave him false hope.

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Basically, you don't remove anyone's insecurities by giving in to their fears.
Neither do you remove them by ignoring them, errrm have you so easily forgotten Purpleboots thread? I am sure that is the attitude G&H believe also, but that does not make it right or is this somehow some sort of sexist attitude? If it is a woman being browbeaten that is wrong, but in this case it is a man so he just needs to accept it by Dryad going ahead and doing it anyway??

Exposure therapy is not helping Purpleboots, this seems terribly hypocritical, She went into that relationship also, she allowed H to move in and started a triad with her, now things are going tits up and you are telling her she is being ignored and abused and needs to leave, but you are advocating that Dryad ignores the needs of her partner....what the heck?


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Can you explain that judgement? All she's said is that she loves Liam and Liam loves her, but he does not want to label it as a relationship. He is willing to have a loving friendship in which they express themselves. She is agreeable to that. How exactly is that "weeping?"
I am taking her slightly emotive and melodramatic expressions as a great risk to falling into strong NRE, this will mean that a great deal of her attention will be diverted towards Liam and away from her husband, she won't be reassuring him, unless she decides to take your exposure thing seriously.

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She's not asking for "everything she wants." She's asking for her husband to accept that she's polyamorous, as he claimed to do when they got together but was actually bullshitting her.
No, there is no evidence he was giving her BS, there is just a big difference between something being theoretical and something being actual, he thought he could handle it and then after Ben realised he couldn't and admitted that. He gave it a go, good for him! However, now they are at cross purposes, I am assuming Dryad is unsure what to do and that is why she asked for help, if she eventually wants to live authentically to herself AND keep her husband I advised to put Liam aside for a while, like I said, you are free to disagree with that but I don't think force, whether it is forcing someone to ACCEPT poly or forcing them to act Mono, is a smart idea, both of them have a lot of work to do and it is my belief that this work would be hindered by having Liam about like some sort of threatening spectre.


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Her husband may never accept it, and that is his right
True, my fear is that her need to have Liam will overtake her patience regarding working with her husband, she may end up not putting the effort in at all and expecting husband to deal, husband eventually leaves and there she is, no husband, no Liam (because he is just a friend anyway and he may back off when he sees the s*it storm their 'friendship' has caused).

Is it worth it that risk? Only Dryad can answer that.

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  #34  
Old 03-25-2013, 12:49 AM
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I feel for you dryad. I'm trying to work another love into my life as well.
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  #35  
Old 03-25-2013, 02:17 AM
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You probably feel a lot of guilt for your husband being as distraught as he is. I unfortunately can emphathize with that feeling quite a bit too. He definitely is having some reactions of, "why am I not enough by myself?" Even though you may not see it that way, it's a form of rejection to him. I'm not sure of the types of conversations you two have had, but explaining to him that your love is not diminished by the presence of a new love might be a good place to start. It bears repeating even if he's already heard it, as it sounds like he is feeling pretty insecure.

It also sounds like both of you have some work to do on being honest with yourselves and your communication. He wasn't honest about the Ben character until later and probably did some damage there. You responded by trying to be monogamous. The intentions were good, but I'm not sure if you were being honest with yourself, as your current situation demonstrates. You and your husband definitely care about each other and want to adjust to each other, but you both are struggling to do so. This makes for a pretty sticky situation, and I don't know honestly if there is going to be a very simple answer.

I think there is a possibility, if you both commit to working really hard on your communication, that you guys can find an acceptable medium. The resolution may not be that great for either of you, but you two will have to decide if the resolution's acceptable enough to continue with the marriage. If meeting in the middle is not enough, then maybe things will come to a head. Still, I would try to work on it a bit more by communicating a lot. You only told your husband recently, so I would allow some time for the idea to sink in before trying anything with Liam. I learned the hard way I should have allowed my husband more time to absorb the situation before jumping in with a new relationship, so I implore you to hold off for now. Work on making a stronger base to launch off on; I guarantee the ride will be all the better for it.
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  #36  
Old 03-25-2013, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natja View Post
Exactly! She had then a perfect opportunity to educate her husband then, instead she chose to modify her behaviour and then wait until she is getting desperately silly over some crush that now she wants him to deal and accept then? For real? The best time for that was when he said he had issues, her seeming compliance with that gave him false hope.
Fair enough. I can see that side of it. She probably believed she'd be able to do it until someone was actually in her life that made her realize otherwise, but you do make a good point. She has a equal share of the blame for getting to this point.

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Neither do you remove them by ignoring them, errrm have you so easily forgotten Purpleboots thread? I am sure that is the attitude G&H believe also, but that does not make it right or is this somehow some sort of sexist attitude? If it is a woman being browbeaten that is wrong, but in this case it is a man so he just needs to accept it by Dryad going ahead and doing it anyway??
That is a completely different situation. For one thing, purple isn't saying "no polyamory," she's saying "respect me." Actually, her primary issue has nothing at all to do with polyamory, it's having a partner who doesn't support her emotionally, who gaslights her and manipulates her, and who blames her spoiling his fun.

Now of course, we don't have the husband's side of the story and for all we know, dryad is doing all of that too. But I'm choosing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she's trying to be supportive of her husband's difficulties, but that she's reached her limit in pretending to be someone she's not.

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Exposure therapy is not helping Purpleboots, this seems terribly hypocritical, She went into that relationship also, she allowed H to move in and started a triad with her, now things are going tits up and you are telling her she is being ignored and abused and needs to leave, but you are advocating that Dryad ignores the needs of her partner....what the heck?
purpleboots' main problem is not insecurity, so there's no analogy. Being ignored and taken for granted aren't problems you deal with by exposure. Again, totally different circumstances. I don't understand how you can even attempt to draw a parallel.

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I am taking her slightly emotive and melodramatic expressions as a great risk to falling into strong NRE, this will mean that a great deal of her attention will be diverted towards Liam and away from her husband, she won't be reassuring him, unless she decides to take your exposure thing seriously.
Assumptions, assumptions. You know nothing about how she treats her husband, whether she is reassuring and loving or apathetic and uncaring.

She did say she wants to try and make it work. That will require her to be compassionate and supportive of her husband while he learns to cope with this aspect of her life. She will need to help her husband feel like a priority. He will need constant reassurance, both with words and actions, that he is cherished and valued, that this is not about his inadequacy as a husband, but about her own personal journey.

I'm not saying she's a saint and this is all the husband's fault. I'm not even saying that I think Liam is going to help their marriage in any way. Help husband's insecurities perhaps, but that's his personal issue, not the marriage.

What I am saying is that I don't see how cutting Liam off is going to help anything, unless the husband uses the time to learn about his wife, and makes some real effort to understand and accept her. But merely saying "you need to forget Liam in order to fix this" only appeases the husband's desire to play monogamy and fixes nothing.

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No, there is no evidence he was giving her BS, there is just a big difference between something being theoretical and something being actual, he thought he could handle it and then after Ben realised he couldn't and admitted that.
He'd already been involved in actual polyamory, with his previous wife. If my interpretation is correct, it actually ended his previous marriage. For whatever reason, he believed this would somehow be different. Then when he was struggling through her relationship with Ben, he said nothing until it was over, at which point he made her feel guilty for hurting him and was more than happy to have her to put polyamory away in a box so that he would never have to deal with it.

Quite possibly, he's just not cut out for a mono-poly relationship, and all of this is moot. Last time he had a wife with another partner, he got himself another partner, and then left his wife for that other partner. Obviously he doesn't "get" polyamory. Whether he can learn to is anybody's guess. But he sure won't unless he tries.
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  #37  
Old 03-25-2013, 03:28 AM
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I guess where I'm really coming from with this is that she's already held off on polyamory since the birth of her son. But I acknowledge that that was a mistake, a failed attempt at monogamy. Go forward with the paradigm of "dryad is poly, not mono" so he can start learning to accept that. In that context, the experience of others does tell me that letting Liam go for now will help your husband feel that he is still loved and cherished.

However, it must be emphasized that this is a temporary situation, not a permanent solution. He needs to know that you are not letting Liam go and trying to be mono again. You are letting Liam go so that your husband has space to work on himself and get ok with this. Set a time limit so he knows he has to actively work on that.
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  #38  
Old 03-25-2013, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
However, it must be emphasized that this is a temporary situation, not a permanent solution. He needs to know that you are not letting Liam go and trying to be mono again. You are letting Liam go so that your husband has space to work on himself and get ok with this. Set a time limit so he knows he has to actively work on that.

I think it's better stated that it is a temporary situation as the TWO OF THEM work out what being poly means for her and what he needs to feel secure in their relationship as they move forward. Coming from a background of a poly/mono relationship that was mono at one point, it did more harm than good to be told, "Hey she's poly, you need to figure out how to be okay with it!" to my hubby. It's not something that the husband must just 'learn to deal with'. It's a change in their relationship and they BOTH need to define what it means to them. There's major communication to do there.

It's scary and a change, boundaries need to be made. Not to hem anyone in, or give anyone veto power or priority. Boundaries as in, "Does this mean you are going to actively go looking for partners? Or wait for a relationship to come along? Is there a set number of people you want to be in a relationship with? Is it possible that the idea of cohabitating would come up? Sooner, later?" Just saying, my wife is poly and I accept it is scary and empty as he has no idea what that MEANS, maybe she doesn't either, so they need to figure that out together. Regardless of Liam.

Though to be honest, isn't it a safe bet that Liam might be saying he's not interested in a relationship for the same reasons? Not knowing what that means for him, for the marriage, for long term, for short term?

The situation means a lot of people figuring things out, not just hubby. All three need to figure out for themselves what it is they really want, not just what they DON'T want, and then at the very least, the married couple needs to come together and discuss it and all the icky details. (Yeah, suddenly discussing sex outside of the marriage and testing and fluid bonding can be pretty icky the first dozen times! Hence being told not to communicate, but to communicate, communicate, communicate.)

Just wanted to add, she was poly before, in a relationship with another man but she and hubby agreed no sex. Sex was JUST FOR THEM. Does this change now? Is that off the table no matter what or was before but not know? SO MUCH TO DISCUSS! More than just, accept me. How do you accept something when you don't know what it is?
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Last edited by Vixtoria; 03-25-2013 at 04:26 AM.
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  #39  
Old 03-25-2013, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post

purpleboots' main problem is not insecurity, so there's no analogy. Being ignored and taken for granted aren't problems you deal with by exposure. Again, totally different circumstances. I don't understand how you can even attempt to draw a parallel.
Because can't you see that there is the possibility that given a few steps, Dryad could end up being G (the hb of Purpleboots) if she ever gets to the NRE stage, it is good to give someone the benefit of the doubt of course, but I think considering what she is saying at 'this' point, there is a risk that she (especially if she follows your exposure therapy) will end up behaving in the same way, she has a lot of work to do.
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But merely saying "you need to forget Liam in order to fix this" only appeases the husband's desire to play monogamy and fixes nothing
.

At no point did I ever say that, I have emphasised more than once that this time should be used for working on getting her husband to understand her as a Poly woman, not even to work on their marriage being stronger as if it was a purely monogamous setting.

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at which point he made her feel guilty for hurting him and was more than happy to have her to put polyamory away in a box so that he would never have to deal with it.
She felt guilty, that much we know, she decided to put Polyamory away, that much we know, we can't lay all the blame for her behaviours and feelings on him, she is an adult, she made adult choices. They were wrong for her, she had a responsibility to herself and her marriage to be authentic to it, now she wants to spring a new love on him?
I can understand exactly why he is destabilised.

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Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
It's not something that the husband must just 'learn to deal with'. It's a change in their relationship and they BOTH need to define what it means to them. There's major communication to do there.
up? Sooner, later?" Just saying, my wife is poly and I accept it is scary and empty as he has no idea what that MEANS, maybe she doesn't either, so they need to figure that out together. Regardless of Liam.
.....................
SO MUCH TO DISCUSS! More than just, accept me. How do you accept something when you don't know what it is?
This!!! ^^ Thank you Vixtoria, this is just the kind of thing that is going through my mind, except you said it so much better and more concisely.


Natja
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  #40  
Old 03-25-2013, 11:19 AM
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Wow, so many comments to read through. Thank you. I will post again properly later when I get some time to myself. To update you all though, over the weekend my husband and I have talked a lot and agreed to take things one ay at a time. He doesn't want me to stop seeing Liam, and has said he's comfortable with me seeing him as slightly more than friends (close friends who are intimate, no sex, just kissing and lots of cuddling, affection). I am going to be very careful and not jump into anything, I want to take time to reassure my husband and give him time to get used to the fact (again) that I am poly. I want him to know that this isn't about Liam, it is about my orientation as a pansexual poly woman.
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