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  #1  
Old 05-06-2013, 05:04 AM
Librarian Librarian is offline
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Default Helping wife go through a "break up"

Well, as I mentioned in my introduction a few days ago, despite all my fear and hesitation as my wife and I move into this new territory, her first attempt at starting a relationship with another guy did not go well at all.

In a nutshell, she put all her feelings for him on the table, he reciprocated, they agreed that they would start something, and then he pulled the rug out from under it at the last minute.

To be honest, yet selfish, this worked out well for me, as I was really having a hard time with how quickly things were moving, even though sex was apparently out of the question. However, being there with my wife while she wallowed and cried about it for several days was tough. We talk about how we are best friends, but I've never really had to be there for her as she was ending a relationship with another man.

She's actually meeting him for coffee right now. From what she tells me, it is for closure, but I'm still convinced he is going to try and back peddle and see if he can't figure out a way to make it work for him. He seems fickle and indecisive like that.

For what it's worth, she and I have really found this site helpful. She's pretty convinced that she is a polyamorous person after reading about NRE and getting a handle on her feelings. I'm also getting to be more and more OK with it. This whole thing started out because of my fantasies of her being with another man, cuckolding and whatnot. However, those things seem to be really taking a back seat to the even crazier, better, albeit it harder emotions to deal with that polyamory has stirred up.

I don't know why, but Nancy encouraged me to write about my feelings, and it seems to help, so here they are. Sorry to bore anyone.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:16 AM
Oly1 Oly1 is offline
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Default dealing with the same situation

Hi,

You didn't bore me at all, and I've found writing here helps too, so I think your wife may have a point...

I just wanna share that I am going through a similar experience. My wife had an affair, which I am calling by that name because although I knew about her emotions (and actions) from the start, it was in fact cheating on the other side.

After a few hookups my R decided to break it off, partly out of fear for our relationship (I was not handling it very well. I've always seen myself as poly, but this is the first time it'd actually happened after 8 years together, and, well, easier said than done), and partly because of the total mess and lies on the other side (cheater's wife texted while they were together and R freaked).

I must say, in many ways it's worst now than it was when they were "together". Your right, helping your wife trough a break up is not something you are equipped for by society, and it's very weird. Also, I find that when she is with me (heading to a party, say), and I can sense she is actually thinking about her and wishing she could see her, that hurts more than when I knew she was out having sex with her. At least then she was really with me when she was with me.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:41 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry you are both dealing with "break up" stinkage.

When you are both ready to process... what have you both learned from this experience? How does she want you to treat her if she dates and breaks up again? How do you want to be treated?

It's part of the reality of dating -- not every dating partner is going to be a runner. So weathering it out (break ups) is something to discuss. You guys could talk about it.

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-06-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:58 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
I'm still convinced he is going to try and back peddle and see if he can't figure out a way to make it work for him. He seems fickle and indecisive like that.
As I understand from the other thread, she only recently told him how she feels. They had their first date/lunch/coffee on May 1--5 days ago. They flirted via text before that for two weeks, but at work, he gave her the cold shoulder. Do I have this right?

And for these things, he is called fickle and indecisive, and a coward, in your other thread.

I find relationships go better, whether they end up as a romance or a friendship, if we strive for understanding. Didn't you yourself spend a few years telling her you wanted this, and then get very uncomfortable when it happened? Might that not be seen as fickle?

Is it possible he didn't think he was being 'cold' at work, but rather, 'professional?' Bringing flirting and sexual innuendo into a work situation could result in some pretty big problems. And in general, it isn't appropriate.

Has he ever been in a poly relationship before? Based on what you do and what you don't, say, my guess is he hasn't been, and in that situation, I think it's normal for him to have an internal struggle: to be attracted to someone and want to pursue a relationship, yet realize there are some inherent problems with this situation, to think carefully about the wisdom of getting involved with a married woman, to not want an unconventional situation--and yet she's offering what he wants.

I think it's unfair, and too much to ask, for poly people, or a couple just starting but who have considered this for years, have done their own research and given it plenty of thought, people who are clear in what they want and how they expect things to unfold, people who, I might add, already have the lifetime partner and the spouse to go home to that most people want out of a romance--to invite a new person into this, a person who has never even thought about poly, a person who has absolutely zero basis or knowledge to work with--and expect that person to be right there, fully in, in the space of 2 weeks, no back and forth, no changing the mind, no being drawn to her and then thinking, Wait, this is a married woman, there are some problems here, and pulling back again.

Just curious, would you have called him close-minded or 'not open' if he'd just rejected it out of hand from the start? I don't mean this as an accusation, but as a genuine question, because one of the things my BF said to me on the first date was that he came out to me because he thinks I'm 'intelligent enough to handle it.' I still take objection to that statement--as if an intelligent person would naturally accept this and perhaps to say no thank you would make you stupid and incapable of 'handling it?' I have seen poly people around the web call others narrow or close minded for being clear upfront that they have no interest in poly--maybe not here, and not often, but it is a response that some people have.

Sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't. You're close-minded if you don't try it, you're fickle if you dip a toe in and have some back and forth as you see it up close and try to sort through things that we already spent years sorting through.

Again--I am not saying you feel this way. I have no idea if you do or not. But just an idea of the position he's in, and the idea that her relationship with him will go better, and have more possibility of returning to what she really wants with him, if he's cut some slack, given the same understanding we'd all like from others, and not called cowardly, fickle, and indecisive.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:59 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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And to be clear, I know it wasn't YOU who called him a coward. I'm just saying, dismissing people with pejoratives, regarding him in the negative light others slap on him, is the surest possible way to ruin a relationship.
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:38 PM
Librarian Librarian is offline
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WhatHappened,

Thanks for your reply. You bring up some very valid points. I know I'm being hard on him, but after seeing what a wreck my wife has been for four days, I guess it's hard not to be judgmental. In all honesty, I've actually been trying very hard to see his side of it. He is going through a divorce and has a semi-steady girlfriend. The more I learn the details of his life, the more I actually feel that this would not be a good thing for him to get involved in.

For an update, they met last night and spoke for about three hours. My wife came home and told me everything. Indeed, he does want to try again. My wife is still unsure how she feels about it, considering the pain she felt and the now very clear complications involved. Then he kissed her...

I'm still trying to process my own feelings. After much talking with my wife last night, I'll admit that I felt upset. What was supposed to be an hour long conversation that resulted in closure to this relationship ended up with a kiss and the idea of it being continued. I want to feel that compersion for her, but right now it's just so damn hard.

Also, I've been telling my wife that if things are going to continue with them, I want to speak with him. Talk things out. He is apparently terrified of me, or doesn't think I could possibly be ok with any of this happening, and that is really not what I want. I actually think it would be easier if him and I were friendly with each other and could talk openly about this all. My wife fears that he won't be up for such a conversation, and that bugs me.

WhatHappened, I'm going to reread your message several times today. I don't think my update/reply really covers most of what I'm feeling, but I have even more to think about and talk with my wife about. Thank you.

Last edited by Librarian; 05-06-2013 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:56 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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He thinks you could not possibly be ok because he can't possibly be ok. Well, maybe not "can not possibly" because i just liked the play on words, but basically he seems to be projecting his feelings about it onto you. It could be that he is having trouble coming to terms with "sharing women", since he seems to be ok with women sharing the same man, and perhaps women sharing each other, maybe? You don't mention anything like that, but it certainly looks like this could be a case of a one-penis-policy type of guy who simply has not discovered the vocabulary to articulate it.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:44 PM
Librarian Librarian is offline
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BoringGuy. I've thought of this a lot as well, and I think you might be right. Another reason why I want to talk to him. I'm worried though that a conversation about the reality of me having sex with my wife after they have maybe been on a date will affect him. It's something I think he needs to hear, although I know my wife think it will scare him off. But, shouldn't these be things he needs to be forced to think about? Is him deluding himself and thinking he is in a "normal" (for him) relationship healthy for him or my wife? I assume he needs to be equally as poly as my wife and I are contemplating becoming if it is going to not end in total ruin and disaster. To WhatHappened's point, I want to give him some credit and assume that this is equally new to him, but I just get the sense he is wanting to walk into it eyes wide shut.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:48 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
He is apparently terrified of me, or doesn't think I could possibly be ok with any of this happening, and that is really not what I want. I actually think it would be easier if him and I were friendly with each other and could talk openly about this all. My wife fears that he won't be up for such a conversation, and that bugs me.
He could imagine all kinds of things. But he cannot KNOW where you stand until opportunity is created for your to TELL HIM where you stand. If he thinks he wants to start something with her and grow love there with her? But he cannot hack a simple conversation with her other Sweetie (you) to get boundaries in place so it can all go well? Wife could consider what kind of start she's giving her potential polyship. A solid start or a flaky one.

Why does she fear he won't be up for a conversation like that? Because she can already tell from limited experience of him that he's behaving all flaky?

Could not let eagerness to being polyshipping cloud judgement. She's already been hurt. Why would she want to take up with more flaky man action? I am confused. What about him and his situation makes him a good polypartner for her? Has she articulated that? What makes him yummy cookies for her?

Quote:
In your shoes, I don't blame you for being concerned about shenanigans yet to come.

I just get the sense he is wanting to walk into it eyes wide shut.
Are they really "eyes wide shut?" Or could it be you being around in conversation wrecks his smoothie talkin' at your wife? She's all starry-eyed with her crush on him and maybe not seeing clear. You aren't crushing on him and looking at him with a different view. Could that be why he doesn't want to play on the level and does not want you around to wreck his game?

I'd suggest proceeding with caution. Both you and wife.

If wife (and you) are seeking one kind of polyship model and polyship standard he's after another kind -- could call it "not compatible" and let it go.

Your wife deserves someone who really wants to be with her. Not lukewarm. Certainly not lukewarm with a side helping of UGH factor to boot.

My 2 cents,

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-06-2013 at 05:43 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2013, 05:40 PM
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Scissors Scissors is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
And to be clear, I know it wasn't YOU who called him a coward.
No one did. Assuming this post is the one you're referring to, the poster said the boyfriend behaved "in a cowardly way". The two are not the same: there's actually a big difference.

Not that I don't agree with the general sentiment of your message, WhatHappened, nor am I picking on you. But it's just as bad to put words in other people's mouths then claim them as not being "understanding" as being quick to judge in the first place. On a board like this that stresses good communication skills, we need to be accurate in our own.
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Last edited by Scissors; 05-07-2013 at 01:45 AM. Reason: spelling
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