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  #1  
Old 09-03-2013, 04:35 AM
poobah123 poobah123 is offline
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Default Two couples, Intro/Exro-verted...serious concerns

Can a poly relationship succeed when it involves two couples who are inherently very different?

Quick summary. Myself and my wife are involved with another married couple for sometime. It started with me (39M) falling in love with my OSO due to my own marriage problems. Both relationships involve an extrovert who married an introvert.

After a few years now, instead of the secondary relationship helping to improve the primary, it seems rather it's serving to highlight the incompatibilities that exist in the primary relationship. Thus bringing along a constant feeling of frustration and disappointment. Yes changes have been made on both sides but only to a certain point. I have realized that you can only change so much. You cannot make an introvert an extrovert for example.

Now I have reached a point of complete frustration/anger/resentment in my primary relationship. I will never say I regret my choice in my wife but we are so different from each other I certainly could have chosen a more compatible person. I understand everyone is different in their own way but after years (20) of ignoring my own frustrations due to this incompatibility I am finally paying attention to what I want out of my life. I'm just tired of living with an introvert!

The current most outstanding problem is that my wife really doesn't like my OSO.

My wife views her as annoying and constantly in her life. Why? Well it's not on purpose. It's simply because my OSO is an extrovert and my wife a total introvert so naturally there is a friction there. Case in point is my mother feels closer with my OSO than my wife of 20 years! My friends trying to plan my 40th birthday party call my OSO and not my wife! My brother communicates with my OSO and not my wife. The list goes on and on.

I think to myself sometimes life would be much easier just swapping and ending this but I know everyone has their flaws and it wouldn't be peaches and roses either if we did. So can this succeed or is this headed for failure?
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:40 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Why are these issues?
My bf of 20 yrs is extroverted. So am I. My dh of 15 yrs is introverted. Works fine. Quiet homey stuff and fishing/hunting with dh. Group social events with bf. every need filled.
Dh often leaves soon after family gatherings start so he doesnt get anxiety attacks. Everyone knows it is just who he is. No biggy. Bf doeesnt have that issue. He will cook and clean and hang out all night.
Shrug.

I guess to me it seems like the issue is ur lack of acceptance.
Go be extroverted. Have fun. Let her be introverted and have her own fun.

Loving someone doesnt mean changing for them. It means accepting them for who they are.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:43 AM
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Introverts don't need to be "fixed". Extroversion isn't the default setting that everyone should aim for and you shouldn't treat your wife as if she is broken.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:32 AM
london london is offline
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Quote:
It started with me (39M) falling in love with my OSO due to my own marriage problems.
So you fell in love with one person because you were having problems with another?

Quote:
instead of the secondary relationship helping to improve the primary
Are the purpose of secondary relationships to help the broken, primary relationship then?

Quote:
You cannot make an introvert an extrovert for example.
Why would anyone want to change anyone else to begin with?

Quote:
will never say I regret my choice in my wife but we are so different from each other I certainly could have chosen a more compatible person.
There isn't anything wrong with regretting making a long term legal, moral and religious (if you dig that) commitment to someone who is incompatible with you because it means you pretty much have to sacrifice some of your needs or be a complete bastard to them in order to get your needs met.

Quote:
It's simply because my OSO is an extrovert and my wife a total introvert so naturally there is a friction there.
There doesn't have to be fricition at all. They could stay out of one another's lives and simply learn to work with one another when they have to, such as on your birthday. They could view it like an employee in their team that they don't like. Keep it professional. Your wife needs to realise that she doesn't have to like your partner(s). You do. She just needs to like you.

Quote:
Case in point is my mother feels closer with my OSO than my wife of 20 years! My friends trying to plan my 40th birthday party call my OSO and not my wife! My brother communicates with my OSO and not my wife. The list goes on and on.
Well actually, whilst it's great that your family accept your polyness, they need to accept you have two partners and they both need to be in the line of communication etc if they are going to accept it properly. Leaving your wife out is quite a shitty thing to do, especially if it is merely based on this introvert/extrovert stuff.

Is the problem just not that your wife has insecurities about you being non monogamous, some of which are completely justified given that you want her to change the essence of who she is and seemingly, so do your family?
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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That seems like a vent to me. I am sorry you are frustrated/angry.

Can a poly relationship succeed when it involves two couples who are inherently very different? Yes. Can YOURS? I do not know. You do not list what each of the problems are and what the desired outcomes for each are so people can help you figure out how to GET there.

You seem to list your feelings, and some unclear...stuff. Since it reads unclear to me... I'm just going to ask some questions to try to help you think it out and clarify. You don't have to answer here if you don't want to -- it's just for yourself, ok?

Quote:
It started with me (39M) falling in love with my OSO due to my own marriage problems.
What were the original problems? Have they been resolved and let go of by all involved parties?

Quote:
After a few years now, instead of the secondary relationship helping to improve the primary, it seems rather it's serving to highlight the incompatibilities that exist in the primary relationship.
Whose expectation is this? Yours? Your wife's? Does holding on to this expectation add to today's problems or take away?

Quote:
Now I have reached a point of complete frustration/anger/resentment in my primary relationship.
What is causing your frustration/anger/resentment? What need is not being met by you? By your wife? By your OSO? Your meta, the other husband?

What behavior could you do so you could feel respected and that continuing the polyship is worthwhile? What behavior could wife do? The OSO? The other husband?

What about living with an introvert is hard for you?

As the hinge, are you being put "in the middle" by the other people? For instance... Does your wife expect you to talk to the metamour (your OSO) for her rather than talk to her directly?

What are you expectations of your relationship with your wife? Does she meet your expectations? Are the expectations realistic and rational?

How does your current behaviors add or take away from the old or new problems?
How does you wife's current behaviors?
Your OSO's behaviors?
The other husband's behaviors?

What are these behaviors?

Quote:
The current most outstanding problem is that my wife really doesn't like my OSO.
This is a problem for WHO? Your wife? Or you? Or your OSO?

Are any of the issues of "poly hell" at play here for any of the people in your polyship? Which ones are affecting who?
Quote:
Case in point is my mother feels closer with my OSO than my wife of 20 years! My friends trying to plan my 40th birthday party call my OSO and not my wife! My brother communicates with my OSO and not my wife. The list goes on and on.
What list goes on and on? Is this a laundry list of perceived reality that your wife is telling to YOU?

Or is this actuality? Your MOTHER actually is telling you she likes your GF better than your wife? And your BROTHER actually is calling your GF rather than your wife to organize your birthday? If so, have you asked your family of origin to not exclude your wife from family things? And not put you in this position between your loved ones?

Quote:
I certainly could have chosen a more compatible person. I understand everyone is different in their own way but after years (20) of ignoring my own frustrations due to this incompatibility I am finally paying attention to what I want out of my life.
Quote:
I think to myself sometimes life would be much easier just swapping and ending this but I know everyone has their flaws and it wouldn't be peaches and roses either if we did. So can this succeed or is this headed for failure?
So... why do you stay in your marriage? Habit? Or a desire to be together as life companions? What joys does it bring you? I'm not sure where you temperature is here. You seem kind of... meh on your marriage.

What is "success" to you for the marriage? How is it measured?

Is the goal to be together and thrive as life companions? Or be together and merely survive? Is it something else?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-03-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:56 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I know some couples in 'mixed' marriages, one partner being quite introverted and the other very extroverted. They make it work by accepting each other as they are. They don't always understand each other instinctively or intuitively because they are so different. They have to work at it. They don't ignore the friction of living with someone so different and let annoyances and frustrations build up. They've done research on what introversion and extroversion actually are, instead of the more conventional ideas, which tend to be more judgmental unfortunately.

Have you looked at what introversion and extroversion are? If not, you would probably find it very useful and open up whole ways to understand your wife, and her, you.

They just mean where people find their 'charge'. Extroverts get energy from being around people. For many extroverts, being alone for too long is really draining and uncomfortable. Introverts need alone time to recharge. They find being around people too much to be exhausting.

Extroverts are often outgoing and introverts tend to be more quiet. But that is not always true. Some introverts are outgoing but still need time alone after being social. It is also not true that introverts are not social or don't like people. Being introverted is not the same as being shy or withdrawn.

'Quiet: The Power of Introverts' by Susan Cain is both fascinating and deeply illuminating. I know my quite extroverted friend found it extremely helpful in better understanding her introverted husband.

'A Simple Explanation' is the shortest, sweetest explanation of introversion I've ever seen. Plus it's funny: http://twentytwowords.com/2012/08/29...th-introverts/
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2013, 02:07 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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This is also good http://eslmarriage.com/dear-introver...-an-extrovert/ as is this http://timandolive.com/dear-extroverts/.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poobah123 View Post
It's simply because my OSO is an extrovert and my wife a total introvert so naturally there is a friction there. Case in point is my mother feels closer with my OSO than my wife of 20 years! My friends trying to plan my 40th birthday party call my OSO and not my wife! My brother communicates with my OSO and not my wife. The list goes on and on.
Why is it a problem for your friends and family to involve someone who isn't your wife? Does your wife have issues with this? Has she communicated that she feels like she's being left out? How is this affecting *you* negatively?

It is important to recognize that people have different personality types and communication styles. When appreciated constructively, this can be a boon in positive communication. *However*, it is also good to realize that there isn't a problem with someone being more introverted than someone else, nor someone being more extroverted than someone else. Different isn't necessarily bad, sometimes it's just different.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:06 PM
Squashking Squashking is offline
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Default You have it good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by poobah123 View Post
Can a poly relationship succeed when it involves two couples who are inherently very different?
Hey Poobah. This is an interesting post because I have exactly the same situation you describe. However, I think that your situation is pretty good. Let me explain:

My wife and I are in a quad with another married couple.

Me: Extroverted
My GF: Extroverted
My Wife: Introverted
Her BF: Introverted

My wife and I have been married for 17 years. Our marriage is awesome, exceptionally strong and loving. The other couple also has a very strong marriage. We are all very similar in our morals, beliefs, etc...

Being married to an opposite works perfectly IMHO. My wife is a calming presence which is what I need. We do have to work a bit harder to communicate sometimes but I am pretty used to that. She has a different perspective on virtually any topic so that's something we both benefit from. On the other hand, I am lucky to have an amazing relationship with my GF who is almost exactly like me. There are lots of additional benefits that I never knew existed before. Communication is a bit easier, we tend to "understand" each other. My wife reports the same benefits with her boyfriend.

Now, the relationships between same sex individuals are also interesting. The intro-extro dynamic make those friendships very strong as well.

The unique difference in relationship between my wife and my GF is something I cherish. We all enjoy the differences and embrace them because it is always fun and exciting. To be perfectly honest, it has also made me a better husband as well, I have changed certain things that in the past my wife used to simply tolerate. She has done the same for me.

Our quad works so well because of the unique differences in personality types.

But what I did have to learn was that the way I communicated with each person is completely different.

Lastly, in our situation, our success so far begins/ends with a strong marriage. I think we would have been done a while ago if we never had that. That would be my foremost concern with your situation.

~S

Last edited by Squashking; 09-03-2013 at 05:10 PM. Reason: darn typos
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:56 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poobah123 View Post
Can a poly relationship succeed when it involves two couples who are inherently very different?
I'm not sure why introversion/extroversion has to be a problem. What, exactly, is her introversion causing you to lack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by poobah123 View Post
My wife views her as annoying and constantly in her life. Why? Well it's not on purpose. It's simply because my OSO is an extrovert and my wife a total introvert so naturally there is a friction there. Case in point is my mother feels closer with my OSO than my wife of 20 years! My friends trying to plan my 40th birthday party call my OSO and not my wife! My brother communicates with my OSO and not my wife. The list goes on and on.
I can certainly understand that your wife might be feeling very displaced and replaced. I can imagine that's very painful to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poobah123 View Post
After a few years now, instead of the secondary relationship helping to improve the primary...
Ouch. As a secondary, I could barely get past this sentence. Was that the purpose of your new toy...er, I mean, sorry your new human being? To be a marital aid? Maybe if you replace its...I mean her...batteries, she'll perform better and do her job, and your marriage will improve. Or are there lemon laws in your state? Maybe you just got a faulty secondary. Maybe you should write a letter of complaint to the Secondary Manufacturer. Good luck.
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