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Old 08-01-2013, 01:55 AM
willowstar willowstar is offline
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Default Mono? Insecure? Something Else?

I could use some advice and perspective right now. Thank you in advance for reading.

My husband and I are still doing our best to navigate the poly world. He is very insecure. Very. To the point that I sometimes come home to a puddle. He cannot really pinpoint what his specific triggers are. I think he is mono. He is not sure, he considers it possible, but I think he just cant fathom that I get to "have someone else" and he doesnt...

He is convinced that getting a GF for himself will solve his insecurity issue, because then he has someone else also, someone to give him some time and attention. I have tried to (gently) explain to him that this is not a good solution and he needs to figure out what is really going on for him.

Add to all this, I have stepped back from our physical relationship for my own reasons, which include a history of being sexual to keep the peace or to make other people happy. (not just in this relationship, but for most of my life over many relationships). This is an issue for him, because our physical connection is one of the only things that has been soothing to his fears, and helps him to feel like we are still connected. For the reasons stated above, I realize this behavior is triggering for me, because I would come home from being on a date with BF and feel "obligated" to be sexual with husband so he didnt feel "left out". Now that sex has been taken off the table, we have been unable to find other ways for him to feel like we are still connected and in a good place. He constantly feels rejected and as though "He doesnt belong in my life"...

I, on the other hand, feel as though some pressure has been removed. I am feeling like things are more "normal" for us. We went from having sex a few times per month to a few times per week, lickety split. It is more than my libido can handle right now.

Needless to day, I am painfully aware that this is an unhealthy relationship dynamic. I have utilized all of my current poly resources to no avail, and we are still in the same place we were 7 months ago when I fell in love with BF.

We have an appointment with a counselor next week to begin therapy, which we probably should have done months ago. We will do what we can to try and save our marriage. I am hoping she will have some new tricks for us.

Support and ideas welcome. Thank You

Willow, who is feeling very much like an unsuccessful poly person these days...
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Willow ~ 44yo bi woman, married to Bear (formerly known as TB) for 18 years
Bear-Maybe poly/maybe mono straight man, still feeling it out
Armadillo (formerly known as BF) - currently out of the picture. Depression is evil...
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:44 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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While I would never say you should do something out of obligation, I can certainly see why hubby is feeling left out. True he may need to come to terms with his issues, but you are out getting attention from your bf while he is alone, AND he now feels he has no connection with you due to the lack of sex (from his perspective).

Actually, I do understand the logic that he might feel differently if he too had a gf. Reason? Because without having that experience, how does he know for sure you still love him the same? However, did he have a gf, he would have the experience of finding out that doing so did not change his feelings for you - or if it did that he is probably mono.

While there are those who are able to see themselves as individuals and conduct themselves from that perspective, it is rare and it takes practice. Many see themselves in terms of their relationships and in those cases can be very attuned to the concept of equity.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:01 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowstar View Post
Willow, who is feeling very much like an unsuccessful poly person these days...
Sounds like you are a very good poly person who is unfortunately struggling with how to deal with a partner who is not poly friendly.

You are living your life, giving reasonable advice, and trying to be flexible in finding a solution without compromising who you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willowstar View Post
He cannot really pinpoint what his specific triggers are...We have an appointment with a counselor next week to begin therapy
Couples therapy is good for a very specific range of issues and can address them in a "workshop" type format. Really all it can do is address communication issues in its various forms. As far as I have seen, however, couples therapy can do precisely dick to work with specific personality or worldview issues.

It is unlikely to be "therapy" in that you delve into issues to find the root problem motivations and outlooks and work to find new and positive outlets. That is what happens in intensive therapy which excludes family and other loved ones. That shit needs to be taken seriously and the presence of the subject matter at the therapy does nothing but clog the gears. I'm sure this is not the case with all couples therapy but for this to be incorrect you would be dealing with an extraordinary couples therapist.

I tell you this because anyone who regularly collapses into a "puddle" because someone else is on a date... be havin' issues. These issues need to be seriously looked at by an impartial therapist who is not going to take sides or figure out who to blame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willowstar View Post
He is convinced that getting a GF for himself will solve his insecurity issue, because then he has someone else also, someone to give him some time and attention. I have tried to (gently) explain to him that this is not a good solution and he needs to figure out what is really going on for him.
Yes, because he really sounds like he's ready to "date". I really hope he doesn't find any impressionable people who are desperate enough to date a person who is an emotional catastrophe like he is.

You are obviously correct; getting a date is just about the farthest from what he or his poor date could need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willowstar View Post
He constantly feels rejected and as though "He doesnt belong in my life"...
Not to put too fine a point on it but... does he?
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:02 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowstar View Post
He constantly feels rejected and as though "He doesnt belong in my life"...
Not to put too fine a point on it but... does he?
I thought the same thing plus - does he belong in HIS OWN life, too?
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:14 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Whats the incentive to being in your life ? Feeling left out ....you are rejecting him sexually. You've made a choice not to have sex with him and made a choice to have sex with the bf. Your needs are being met.

Do you want a roomate husband. A sexless marriage? Who wants to save the marriage you or him ?...and why ?

Last edited by dingedheart; 08-01-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:35 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Have you read the "5 Love Languages" book? I've found it extremely helpful when communicating with my partner about the reasons behind some of my needs. I'm a "Quality Time / Physical Touch" person, and some of what you've written about your husband seems to indicate that maybe he leans heavily in those directions as well (even if they aren't his primary languages).

My point is, if he defines love through those languages, look at what you're "telling" him - he has less time with you, and no physical intimacy. If those activities are what help him feel loved, then yes, he's going to feel like love is being withheld if those activities are "taken away".

It might be good (if you still want to remain non-physical for now) to read the book and learn what EACH OTHER'S languages are, so you can start to understand not only what each other wants, but how you both EXPRESS love.

I do have to agree with DingedHeart above - your needs WITHIN YOUR MARRIAGE may not be met at the moment, but you have other outlets for your intimacy. Your husband does not. He's CRAVING it right now, hence the desire for another GF. If he wants time and intimacy and you can't give it to him, how can this be resolved without him feeling that another GF can help? That might be a question worth exploring with him.
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Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:57 PM
willowstar willowstar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
Whats the incentive to being in your life ? Feeling left out ....you are rejecting him sexually. You've made a choice not to have sex with him and made a choice to have sex with the bf. Your needs are being met.

Do you want a roomate husband. A sexless marriage? Who wants to save the marriage you or him ?...and why ?
Actually, I am not having sex with anyone, husband or boyfriend. The only one meeting my needs these days is me.

BF and I have not had intercourse. We have had a few dates where things got closer, but his wife is not ok with that and I am not going to subject my husband to that while he is having so much trouble dealing with just what he already has on his plate. BF and I do a little bit of sexting with each other, but that is it.

Have you read the "5 Love Languages" book? I've found it extremely helpful when communicating with my partner about the reasons behind some of my needs. I'm a "Quality Time / Physical Touch" person, and some of what you've written about your husband seems to indicate that maybe he leans heavily in those directions as well (even if they aren't his primary languages).

My point is, if he defines love through those languages, look at what you're "telling" him - he has less time with you, and no physical intimacy. If those activities are what help him feel loved, then yes, he's going to feel like love is being withheld if those activities are "taken away".


YouAreHere, yes I have gone to the website but have not read the whole book. He is very much a Gift person with strong leanings for Physical Touch as well. I am aware that not giving him this right now is hard for him. I am also having a problem with the amount of touch he wants. We had entered a pattern where I was his pacifier, and sex with me making things okay, for a day or two. But I have some real issues with this. It's not like its a fetish where one or both of us gets off on it. If it was, that would be better, and more manageable.

Truth is it was over the top for me. He was always trying to french kiss me in front of our kids, in the grocery store, always ogling me when I was getting dressed, that sort of thing. Which are not really big deals, but I am not big on PDA, and those are things he should know about me. His boundaries were becoming inappropriate, and so I felt as though it was important, for our relationship to survive, for me to set the boundaries more clearly, and ask him to just STOP. Even after telling him that sex was off the table for a little while, he continued to try and touch my breasts, put his hands on my ass, and basically just disregard entirely everything I was asking him to do. I told him clearly that I was not doing this as punishment, that I needed to get some perspective on what was going on for me, but I really feel as though he did not take me seriously. That if he just played enough, I would get a little turned on and just give in. I finally had to make it abundantly clear that he was NOT allowed to give me any kind of sexual touch whatsoever unless I had specifically invited him. Which to many people may seem over the top. But he WAS NOT respecting my limits. And even people for whom Touch is their primary love language have to respect the limits of their partners.

Also, he was a puddle long before I took sex off the table., He has been a puddle since day 1. I have held back from being poly for our entire relationship because I knew he couldnt handle it. That was really my big mistake... But now we have kids and responsibilities to them, and we would really like to keep our family intact if we can. He says he wants to embrace it, and there are times when he feels true compersion for us, he gives my BF gifts from time to time (he often will give people things he had found at Salvation Army or the like to let them know he is thinking of them), they talk on Facebook a few times a week. He LIKES him, as a person. He just struggles so much with his personal stuff.

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate all of the perspectives. For me, the reality is learning how different we really are, and realizing that if we cannot work things out we are affecting a lot of people including children.

Willow
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Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming... ~ Dori


Willow ~ 44yo bi woman, married to Bear (formerly known as TB) for 18 years
Bear-Maybe poly/maybe mono straight man, still feeling it out
Armadillo (formerly known as BF) - currently out of the picture. Depression is evil...
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:34 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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My advice-tell him to come on here and talk.
Written from your perspective-my advice would be the same as above. Read the love languages book.
Couples therapy will go nowhere until individual issues are addressed.

Sex-Maca is a physical touch person. Without it he can't function in a relationship.
GG is a quality time. Without it he can't function.
I am a quality time person.
But-that doesnt make it reasonable for me to tell Maca to "deal" with the fact that I dont need physical touch as much as he does to feel love.
Loving him means making the effort to show him love as he needs it.
Likewise-he needs to show his love for me as I need it etc.

Maca too felt he would be more ok with poly if he found a gf. After 2 yrs of drama-infused explosions he accepted that he isnt ready for another relationship. He started focusing on self improvement and making our relationship great. Which, has led to him being more attractive and desirable to healthy, whole women instead of other dysfunctional women trying to fill a gap in their pain filled lives.

But-part of what allowed him to make those steps, was my willingness to support, love and reassure him ad nauseum as he took those steps.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:24 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Could it be he thinks he stepping up his game and showing you " extra love " showing you now attracted he is in you with the new PDA and sexual advances. He might be hoping that energy or attraction would be returned or at the very least acknowledged.

Unconscious competition with himself...or maybe not so unconscious.

So your feeling have shifted .......keeping the family intact because of responsibilities.....obligation dates or sex. He's having trouble excepting the fact you've changed and are moving on.

I start there layout the roommate plan.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:16 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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I agree with LR's love language breakdown, with the additional caveats:

- it also goes both ways. If you make an effort to show him love in the way he understands it, then he should learn your love languages as well and try to understand how you perceive love.

- Physical Touch (or any love language) can be a tricky beast...

I was surprised as hell that Touch was one of my love languages. My ex rarely touched me, except as a prelude to sex. We rarely held hands (uncomfortable for him), no "hand on the shoulder" thing when we were out, no cuddling in bed (I remember telling my partner "I'm not a cuddler"... HA! WRONGO!), no casual, loving touch unless he wanted some, and it got to the point where I equated his touch with the pressure to perform. The book actually touches (hehehe) on this. If it feels like your partner is only touching you to "get some", then it can feel more manipulative than loving, and actually turn you OFF. With my ex, when the sex was over, the touching stopped until he wanted it again. With my partner now, he is constantly touching - holding hands, hugging, holding a knee, rubbing his thumb along mine, etc. And even the more "private" touching doesn't necessarily have to lead to sex. No pressure, just enjoyment. I was surprised at how damned *wonderful* touch could be when there's no pressure to perform (and rejection when I didn't).

Turn it around: If you were giving your husband gifts in order to angle for him to do something, and you expressed your displeasure every time he accepted a gift and didn't do this whatever-it-is in return, would he begin to be reluctant to accept the gifts? Maybe if it got turned around into HIS love language, he could understand how this feels more like pressure than love.

That said, caveat #3:
- Sometimes sex just IS that important. And maybe that's a disconnect between the two of you. It's not WRONG. It's a mismatch, though. And one that will either take a lot of work to get past, or may require a relationship change.

Still, I'm hoping that maybe working on taking the pressure to perform out of the touching can help. Just a thought over a bowl of chowda (mmm... chicken and corn chowda over sourdough). Good luck.
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Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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