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  #11  
Old 09-24-2013, 08:10 PM
Blueeyedbutch Blueeyedbutch is offline
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I have tried to soothe her feelings by telling her that we are just friends, despite my feelings for her, and reinforce my love for my wife, but it is still tormenting and hurting her, and I hate that it hurts her so.

I will check out the links that you have suggested GalaGirl! I truly appreciate all of your comments and advice. And yes, I do agree that I truly do need to figure out what it is that I want out of this mess for myself....I do know most of all I want my wife to become more accepting of my poly nature at the very least, whether we stay monogomous, or together or not. Ultimately, sure, I would love to be able to experience a poly lifestyle, whether it is with this friend or someone I may meet in the future, who knows what the future holds....but for the time being I need to focus on my wife, calming her fears and help her to understand that its a part of who I am and that I can't just "make it stop" for her, or for anyone.

Wow, thats alot for me to take in at the moment...but I know I need to be free to be me...whether or not I stay with her, or she stays with me....I suppose I have my work cut out for me at this point
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2013, 09:20 PM
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I can see how it might help to take a step back from talking with your wife about the poly subject for a spell. She knows about your friend and your feelings and whatnot, so it's not like it's a secret. On the other hand, waiting too long to bring it up again might enable wife to "put her head in the sand" and believe the poly desires have disappeared, thus making it more traumatic when she finds out they haven't disappeared. So you have a fine line to walk here. How much of a break does wife need? a week? a month? Make it long enough for her to calm down, but don't wait for long after that.

I don't know whether this would help or not, but something you could do is start a blog in the Life stories and blogs board. This would give you an opportunity to write out a stream of consciousness and give your mind some space to roam around in so you could put your thoughts in order. Write out how things are going, add some details that occur to you, and see if that helps *you* feel a bit calmer and figure out what you want and how you could go about pursuing that desire.

In any case, taking a little break from the discussions with the wife would give you some time to think, so I imagine it would help both of you. This of course will only work if your wife is willing to put it on the back burner for a spell too!

Good luck, and keep us posted.
Regards,
Kevin T.
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2013, 11:16 PM
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ColorsWolf ColorsWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyinPractice View Post
Funny, I agree with both ColorsWolf AND you

I do agree that there's no need to shove this in the wife's face at the very first, but I also can see where Colors is coming from when you encourage the OP to say things like,

"Hon, I told you I love her. But she's my friend, nothing is going to come of it and I want to let it go and just BE friends. Keeping bringing it up is not helping me to let it go. How can I help YOU let it go?"

Really, the OP thinks that something WILL happen, or this issue would never have come up. Encouraging the wife to live in self-denial, well, some people can handle that, but others truly start living in a fantasy world and it will only be more painful when the reality starts crashing down.

Perhaps the OP could say something along the lines of, "I don't know what will happen, but I do have feelings for this other woman (avoid saying "love" perhaps?) I will always love you, but this person is starting to be very important to me. But I do understand that maybe you just don't want to talk about her for now, so I won't bring it up unless you do." That way she's being gently, but she's also not lying.
This is exactly what I meant, thank you for clarifying that and I am sorry for not being clearer.~
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2013, 12:52 AM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Oh. Thanks for clarifying.


That part I meant as a wording suggestion if the OP firmly decides to keep it at "Closed Marriage, Just Friends" and intends to let the crush go. Not the friend go, but the crush go.

If she decides that she wants "Open the Marriage, Pursue the Friend" instead? Then no, that suggestion will not work.

I am not clear on what the OP wants at this time from the original post. I assumed "status quo" since she was so focused on not "losing anyone" and keeping things the same so she wouldn't lose anyone.

OP could take a time out to get thoughts in better order and decide for OP's own self -- what do I really want here?
  • Understanding from my wife about my poly self discovery?
  • To Open the Marriage?
  • To date this particular friend?
  • Something else?
  • All the above? Some other mix and match?

First figure out what the desired outcome is. Then take steps toward achieving it.

Sorry I was not as clear as I could have been last night.

Galagirl
Not a problem Just wanted to be sure everyone was on same page
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2013, 06:01 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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This might sound like a silly question but have you and your friend discussed having a romantic relationship ?

And have you thought about how that new relationship would fit with your current life ....time...and attention. Do you have kids ?

The counseling issue would seem to cut both ways you don't want to be judged and she might not want to be indoctrinated or lectured on fear. I can see there's no easy answer ....just pointing out the other point of view. Personally if I'm asking for the big change I might bend on possibly being judged ...or asked uncomfortable questions I can always register a complaint or quit ...at least I tried.

The picture Im getting of your wife is she's jealous ...insecure ....doesn't like to share...closed minded ...maybe stubborn. The new possible gf is poly already big hurdle removed ...already mentally on board.
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2013, 06:02 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyedbutch
I do know most of all I want my wife to become more accepting of my poly nature at the very least, whether we stay monogomous, or together or not.
Sounds like you have determined what your desired outcome is then. At least for this initial chunk of time.

Could put your energies there and refine that statement.

She may or may not accept in the end. That is on her to determine.

But on your end? You can ask her what it takes from you for her to be more likely to be willing to engage in constructive conversation to try understand you in context.

She may or may not like it. She may or may not accept it. She may or may not understand it. Those are all possible conclusions after the talk.

But she could talk to you and try to understand you in context. That is a behavior she could do -- have a good talk with you, or a series of talks with the goal of trying to understand your POV.

So what's it take from you to arrange that conversation to happen?
  • Backing off for a month or so?
  • Then reading books/links to websites/other resources separate or together?
  • Counseling separate or together? A counselor helping to guide the conversation along?
  • What sorts of behavior from you would be welcome?
  • What sorts of behavior from you would NOT be welcome?

See if you can talk to each other and figure out what those things might be so she is willing to have that conversation with you.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-25-2013 at 06:17 AM.
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2013, 07:59 PM
Blueeyedbutch Blueeyedbutch is offline
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Dingedheart, yes my friend also has feelings for me and she knows of my feelings for her, but we have not acted on those feelings out of respect for my wife, and my marriage. My wife doesn't know she has feelings for me, and I thought it would be best if she didn't, because somehow I think she would take that news MUCH worse.

For the time being I am going to not bring up the subject and let her emotional frenzy die down a bit before I try discussing anything poly further, I think that may be best in both our interests at this point. Meanwhile, I am doing research and reading on it so that at least I can come to peace with it for myself, so that I don't feel so much like a jerk for having feelings for someone else, and for hurting her with that information when she confronted me about it.

Its very difficult having feelings for two people, kudos for everyone that makes it work!

BTW my wife has one adult daughter, and I have no children of my own...

Last edited by Blueeyedbutch; 09-25-2013 at 08:17 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-25-2013, 09:28 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Yeah, taking a break sounds like a good idea; you and your wife could both use the time to process all this new information.

A really good book about responsible non-monogamy is "Opening Up" by Tristan Taormino; something to consider. On this site, we have the Golden Nuggets board which covers a lot of good basic info, especially for folks new to poly, but also for "old-timers" as well. In general, I just suggest you keep reading and posting, while pondering your own feelings and figuring out what to do about them.

I am of the opinion that you can't "choose" who you do or don't fall in love with. The best you could do is separate yourself from your friend and *hope* the feelings go away. (And from what I understand, you do not want to separate yourself from your friend.) But emotions don't have buttons, dials, and on/off switches. The only thing you have any direct control over is your "emotional environment," which is made up of both your physical surroundings, and what "food you feed your brain." Different elements of your emotional environment have different degrees of controllability. But the feeling of falling in love seems to be one of the least controllable of all things. You can control what you *do* about it. You can't control when and where it *happens.*

I have people in my memory banks who I haven't seen for decades, and who I'm pretty darn sure I'll never see again, and I still remain in love with them, to this day. Some people come into your life and they are, as the one song goes, "unforgettable."

So, in telling your wife that you're in love with your friend, you're not saddling her with an idea that doesn't have to exist; instead, you are telling her the simple truth about what *is,* and what *has to be.* To do any less would be to put your wife in a world where she does not have an accurate map of the territory, and thus, she could not make properly informed decisions about how she wants to respond to things as they are.

The usual thinking in polyamory is that it's not a good idea to hide in-loveness from your primary partner. That would constitute a kind of "emotional cheating," even if you hadn't acted on your feelings for the other person you were in love with. It's very important that all people involved know what they're consenting to. Honesty is probably the most crucial part of polyamory.

So eventually, you should probably inform your wife that your friend has feelings for you too. Now, when to tell her has some leeway, but the need to eventually tell her will remain.

My point, though, is that you definitely shouldn't feel guilty for telling your wife about your feelings for your friend. That type of honesty needs to happen, sooner or later. So, you and your wife take a break for now (from all this overwhelming emotional information), and then sometime in the future, you try to go further down that rabbit hole together.

Again, you cannot guarantee that your wife will stay with you. All you can do is be as considerate as possible (without being dishonest), and try to reassure her about your love for her even if she doesn't seem to be very receptive. In the end, the decision is up to her how much poly she can abide, and some people are wired to not abide it at all. If that's the case here, then there is sadly going to be a need for you and your wife to go your separate ways. But we won't cross that bridge unless we get to it. For now, let's assume/hope that we can work it out so you can keep your wife and your friend as well.
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  #19  
Old 09-25-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueeyedbutch View Post
Dingedheart, yes my friend also has feelings for me and she knows of my feelings for her, but we have not acted on those feelings out of respect for my wife, and my marriage. My wife doesn't know she has feelings for me, and I thought it would be best if she didn't, because somehow I think she would take that news MUCH worse.

For the time being I am going to not bring up the subject and let her emotional frenzy die down a bit before I try discussing anything poly further, I think that may be best in both our interests at this point. Meanwhile, I am doing research and reading on it so that at least I can come to peace with it for myself, so that I don't feel so much like a jerk for having feelings for someone else, and for hurting her with that information when she confronted me about it.

Its very difficult having feelings for two people, kudos for everyone that makes it work!

BTW my wife has one adult daughter, and I have no children of my own...
I'm sorry if this sounds a little insensitive but:

You are not at fault in any way for having any kind of feelings at all for any one.~

The issues of fear, doubt, and jealousy are all coming from your wife's insecurity and low self-esteem.~

Most if not all of the problems being caused are coming from your wife.~

There is nothing wrong with you, if any thing there is some serious issue going on inside of your wife.~

You are focusing on helping her with her issues.~

If you do sacrifice your own personal feelings for some one no matter how strongly you love them you will end up being miserable eventually.~

On the other hand you don't want to your wife to turn away from you, that is understandably heart-wrenching just to think about, but some where you need to find to not lie to yourself, be honest, and do what you feel is best for you and your wife.~

I just wanted to make sure you knew all that.~

Last edited by ColorsWolf; 09-25-2013 at 09:42 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2013, 10:07 PM
Blueeyedbutch Blueeyedbutch is offline
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Thank you ColorsWolf. Part of me knows that it is her issues causing the pain to her, and it is very heart-wrenching to watch, to say the very least. I just hope I can help her get through the pain and come to a place where we can talk about it without it being so painful to her.

And yes Kevin, I agree I need to be honest with her about my friends feelings for me at some point, I just don't think it is something she is quite ready to hear about right now....so that is a conversation for another day for sure.

I want to thank you all so much for taking the time to talk to me about this! Its very comforting to know that other people have been through this as well, and that I am not the bad person I had been thinking I was.

Thank you so much!
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