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  #61  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:09 PM
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It'll settle. Just give it some more time.

Re: Polyamory.com and other poly venues ... it's probably useful to keep in mind that quite a few poly people consider polyamory to be more evolved, universally healthier, etc., than monogamy. So it's not too big of a surprise when some poly person says, "You shouldn't interfere with Ry's polyamory, you should let her be free." In some cases, that sort of thing might be true, so it seems hard to argue with. Who can argue with the ideal of freedom?

Luckily, not all poly people are of that perspective. Some of us willingly recognize that monogamy is okay too, and that it really depends on the individuals involved. Based on what I've read in your threads, monogamy is a hard-wired requisite for you, and as it turns out, polyamory doesn't work well for Ry either when there are kids as well as a spouse (and job) to tend to. In that case, it has to do with the allocation of time. Love may be an infinite resource, but time remains finite (particularly for us mortals).

Finally, there is the fact that even though polyamory (as well as monogamy) may have its general virtues, it's not going to work in a "cowgirl situation" where Si wants to lasso Ry out of the herd and separate her from you. You had a gut instinct about the "cowgirling" that was going on, but couldn't get universal support from poly folks because of the widespread idea that "polyamory is superior to monogamy, so it's the monogamist who must prove their innocence."

It's not fun to find out that a certain group or class of people can't always be trusted, especially when you need to rely on them for good advice. All I can suggest is, forgive the bad apples for the sake of the good apples. Doesn't mean you have to trust the bad apples; you've learned on your own steam who can be trusted and who can't. Just means free yourself from any ill will or bitterness that remains.

It saddens me that "the monogamous guy" has to do the thinking for "the polyamorous camp." But it demonstrates what I was saying: Polyamory and monogamy both have their bad points and good points, their advanced souls and their primitive souls. Neither "romantic orientation" is superior to the other, and one class is not obligated to take the other class at their word. It suffices to hear what people have to say, and then decide for yourself which advice is right for your situation. If something seems hinky, your instincts are probably trying to give you fair warning.

I think the quality of anyone's advice hangs on the quality of their listening. If they really hear you and come to understand the unique dynamics of your situation, then they're in a better position to give you appropriate advice. If someone bases their advice on some one-size-fits-all ideal, then they're probably not listening very well.

I know you have been stung by the polyamorous world, but try to let that sting fade into the past as your present and future are much brighter. Not in the least because you have earned some additional wisdom along the way.

With a spirit of fellowship,
Kevin T.
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  #62  
Old 09-29-2013, 10:05 PM
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It may settle. I have my doubts.

I've kept my opinions about polyamory to myself, and it worries my wife and therapist. The therapist has this belief that I need to reconcile my feelings about polyamory. I'll never look down on something she believes in, and I'll continue to respectfully decline to say anything about it. Our therapist thinks I'm holding back, and I am. It's to protect my wife's feelings. She feels bad enough about everything else. Its been hard to watch her cry because of feeling empathy for me. We can't change the past. Why throw salt in an open wound? I'm good on that. I'll reconcile internally and avoid causing her any pain. For the record, I don't inherently have a problem with theory or logic of it. Practise? That's another story.

Fact is, I'm at a crossroads. I love my wife with all that I am, but if she tells me that she needs another relationship, I'm as good as done with the marriage. I've tried to refrain from coming right out and saying this because I didn't want her to do anything because of me. I plan on being upfront about what my re-commitment to this marriage entails. I'm still figuring that out. Can I live with that kind of marriage? I just don't think I can vibe with that kind of marriage again. I gave up the need for monogamy and have regretted it. This may be the lack of trust speaking, but at the crux of it all, I question her ability to give up wanting other relationships permanently, which is why I'm pushing myself to be open to tolerating something I don't believe in or understand. I'm not expecting this to last, and I'm not betting on Ryl sticking to monogamy. Sorry to say, but that's just another way to end up disappointed.

I've already learned that I can't handle all that comes with this territory. I realise not every polyamorous person is like that vindictive ex-girlfriend of hers, but it's too much of a risk to ever expect anything different. This is a hard limit, and expecting time to change it? Nah. There are days where I'd rather be a bachelor than be part of a polyamorous marriage. This temporarily closed marriage doesn't feel like the right solution. I don't doubt that she's happy right now, but that could change at the drop of a hat. That's where I'm coming from. My opinions are no reflection on Ryl or her beliefs, but some days I wake up and think, I'd rather break her heart, free her, and walk away than even consider the polyamory thing again because I can't take any more blows. I'm still putting her before myself, and I don't get why. It's gotta be comfort and familiarity. I've done it for this long and anything different feels foreign. I have some shit to work out.

I don't think monogamy is superior to polyamory. It's not my view. I respect it from the stance of...cool, do you and do it well but it's not for me, and I don't want to be associated with it. I don't have positive experiences with it. Why would I want to be associated with something that made me question almost every day of the past five years with her and that scarred me for life?. I know what the polyamorous folks are going to say. I'm forcing her into a box [monogamy], threatening divorce if she doesn't do what I want [forsake all others], and I'm exhibiting controlling and manipulative behaviour [limiting her freedom and hanging a divorce and bitter custody dispute over her head]. In truth, I have limitations, and I don't want a repeat of history. Surely I won't get vilified for being honest with her, eh? My wife is an adult wife a brain of her own. I didn't force her to close the marriage. I asked for time to get my bearings.

Honest admission? I'm drowning in this polyamorous whirlpool and want out more than anything. I'm fighting against what feels natural because I don't have the right to tell her who or what she needs to be. That's why I'm still here. I don't know if I'll ever find a way to be able to live with it, but I'm exhausting all options before I tell her that I can't. Amazing how I'm "bitter" but I'm still trying to find a way to support her even though I got burned by this shit badly. Man. Can't win for losing.

I don't do feelings, but I'm hurting. I don't need her or anyone to fix me or feel sorry me, so I keep most of this to myself. Some days are harder than others. Its been a daily struggle. I'm ace today, but I may wake up tomorrow and a wave of disdain may hit. I'm broken and half of who I once was. My defences are still down, and I haven't regrouped completely. I'm not letting her or that ex-girlfriend of hers get the rest of me. I died inside. I don't know when I'll ever feel like myself or whole again. I can't let her be the slow death of me a second time around. I fear letting my guard down and letting her walk her way back into my heart. I do shut her out when I feel like she's getting too close. I still don't feel comfortable opening up to her much outside of therapy.

Folks are pushing for me to bounce back without taking time to heal. Let me do this the way I need to. Let me work out my feelings I have surrounding this. I have to learn how to love my wife and trust her with my heart again with no outside distractions, cowgirls, or any of it. I have to do this in my own time with no one breathing down my neck. It's not going to happen overnight. It might not happen at all.

Last edited by Matt; 09-30-2013 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:22 PM
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Welcome back, Matt. I don't find you bitter or vindictive at all. There's such a thing as righteous anger--anger that is in its right place and appropriate. To have ever have been in a place where you have to wonder if a third party is going to gain legal rights over your children without your consent or even knowledge deserves anger. The things that have happened deserve anger. That you and your children are still coping with the fallout deserves anger.

That said, anger fades in time, if things continue to improve, as trust is regained, as you and your children recover from the damage that was done. Bitterness is when these events are long over and a person can't stop bringing it up again and again. I don't think that's what's happening here.

Your story, to me, illustrates the inherent flaws in polyamory. Yes, it seems to work for a few people. But as much as it's convenient to make Si the bad guy here, as much as she has done underhanded and sneaky, rotten things...she was expected to be content being forever on the outside looking in. I am not blaming you for that at all. I view you as the most blameless one in this whole story. I am not impressed with Si's behavior. I find it objectionable as you yourself do. Yet I also see a person who was expected to accept that she would be there equally for Ry, yet never have the benefits of a full time relationship with someone she was in love with. That's a lousy position to be in. She should have walked away and said no thank you, but that's hard to do when you're in love with someone and used to that person in your life.
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  #64  
Old 09-30-2013, 03:10 PM
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Thanks.

I'm angry. No denying that. I don't care how she feels about me. What did me in was when I found out how she really felt and what she thought about my kids. She never loved them, and every time she spent time with them it was contrived and another way to grate my gears. She wanted me out at any cost. Instead of being real about it, she chose to be a cowgirl. Just as I suspected, she taught my kid to call her mummy. That wasn't my kid's choice. My kid got attached to her and got hurt in the crossfire. This best thing that came of this is my kid turned her back on her and hasn't looked back. She used my kids as a way to piss me off. They were road blocks in her path. She was a cowgirl, and she was going to knock anybody out of the way including two innocent kids. It's going to take time before my anger calms down.

I don't feel bad for her. She knew what it was when she got involved. My wife was honest about everything from one day wanting kids to what her profession was going to be and how much time it was going to take to get there. She just completed the fellowship in June and has attained the certification to work in her field this year. We've been married 11 years. Her ex-girlfriend was polyamorous until the late 2000s. She had other partners before, during, and after she met my wife. I couldn't tell you how many. She and I weren't cool like that.

I've been a permanent fixture since 1999. I was there before her, so she didn't walk blindly in to this. She had years of experience with polyamory under her belt. She knew what she was doing was wrong. She didn't care who she hurt. As a result, she lost my kids and my wife. Sucks to be her, but if she couldn't handle it, she could've left. My wife tried to treat her like a co-primary and viewed her as one. She gave her access to the kids and spent as much time as the kids and her career allowed. It wasn't much, but that's the nature of the beast with professions like ours. She had plenty of opportunities. She handled her envy or jealous wrong, and she has to live with that. Her problem. Not mine or my kids.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:13 PM
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Since the stone age, men have been taught to stuff their feelings. Feelings are not convenient on the hunt, in battle, or even when weilding a scalpel in the operating room.

Men are allowed 2 feelings, anger and joy. Joy is usually reserved for sports or sex. Anger fills in for every "negative emotion:" fear, hurt, insecurity, etc.

And you don't want anyone to "fix you!" Needing to be fixed shows weakness and men are not allowed to be weak. You'd rather fix others, you're a doctor for heaven's sake.

Have you and Ry made an agreement not to read each other's blogs here?

She has said you 2 have made a binding legal agreement to be monogamous, to not ever even flirt with others, on pain of severe financial loss. However, you seem to fear her needing another lover quite a bit still.
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  #66  
Old 09-30-2013, 03:17 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I've been a permanent fixture since 1999. I was there before her, so she didn't walk blindly in to this. She had years of experience with polyamory under her belt. She knew what she was doing was wrong. She didn't care who she hurt. As a result, she lost my kids and my wife. Sucks to be her, but if she couldn't handle it, she could've left. My wife tried to treat her like a co-primary and viewed her as one. She gave her access to the kids and spent as much time as the kids and her career allowed. It wasn't much, but that's the nature of the beast with professions like ours. She had plenty of opportunities. She handled her envy or jealous wrong, and she has to live with that. Her problem. Not mine or my kids.
I agree. I don't see her as an innocent victim, definitely. And as I said, a flaw of the system, trying to treat two people as primaries, when clearly only one really is. And obviously highly unfair to you.

She never had any other 'primary' partner of her own during all this? Just curious.

I do see great hope for your family, and for what it's worth from a stranger on the internet, I'm glad to see it going as it has with you and Ry re-building your marriage and family.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:24 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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Since the stone age, men have been taught to stuff their feelings. Feelings are not convenient on the hunt, in battle, or even when weilding a scalpel in the operating room.

Men are allowed 2 feelings, anger and joy. Joy is usually reserved for sports or sex. Anger fills in for every "negative emotion:" fear, hurt, insecurity, etc.

And you don't want anyone to "fix you!" Needing to be fixed shows weakness and men are not allowed to be weak. You'd rather fix others, you're a doctor for heaven's sake.

Have you and Ry made an agreement not to read each other's blogs here?

She has said you 2 have made a binding legal agreement to be monogamous, to not ever even flirt with others, on pain of severe financial loss. However, you seem to fear her needing another lover quite a bit still.
I don't want to be fixed because it implies that I'm incapable of fixing myself. What can a shrink really do for me? This is something I have to do on my own.

Won't argue with that. Feelings aren't convenient. Wife, kids, some fam, sad events? Yeah, okay. I'm capable of feeling. Do I need to express that all the time? I have moments, but just sitting in front of her, looking into her eyes, and crying or telling her what I'm feeling? Nah. I can think of other ways to put my time to better use than or sitting in a shrink's office talking about how something made or makes me feel. "How do you feel about ___?" "I feel like we need to move on to something of more relevance. Next question."

Unofficial agreement in place to not read them.

Legally binding or not, that "iron clad" agreement probably has loopholes. Yeah, the stakes are high, but I don't believe an agreement is enough to overpower the need, want, or desire she once had. I don't believe she can just go from every relationship in her life being like that to committing to monogamy forever. It's not fear that she needs another relationship. It's acknowledging that since she was a teenager, that's how she did things

Changes of this magnitude take time. I realise the past several months have been hard on her and anybody would want something different. Polyamory was no doubt familiar and comfortable. It's all she has ever known. Our marriage has changed. We're still in the adjustment stage and waiting for the dust to settle. Yeah, she likes it now because it's new and unfamiliar. She doesn't know what to expect. She can no longer cast our marriage to the side or do the things she did before. I'm wondering how she's going to adapt to this. What we have going now is like the honeymoon phase. Even with the rough days and therapy, it's new, exciting, and reminiscent of falling in love all over again. Calling it what it is...a fresh start. I'm coming from the perspective of...what happens once that novelty wears off and the hard work sets in?

The financial loss? Doesn't intimidate her. She's a financial wiz. She'll make it back in no time. It's a formality to avoid the civil proceedings. I don't want her money.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:13 PM
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I agree. I don't see her as an innocent victim, definitely. And as I said, a flaw of the system, trying to treat two people as primaries, when clearly only one really is. And obviously highly unfair to you.

She never had any other 'primary' partner of her own during all this? Just curious.

I do see great hope for your family, and for what it's worth from a stranger on the internet, I'm glad to see it going as it has with you and Ry re-building your marriage and family.
She could've had a primary partner. She chose not to. I can't fault my wife because she encouraged her to find a primary. She knew her limit was two and that as much as she wanted her to be a co-primary, time constraints meant it wasn't possible. In name? Yeah. She integrated her as much as she could. Holidays, birthdays, family functions, antenatal appointments, and the like. She encouraged it more so after she was set her in career and the kids came along.

Where it went down was when Ryl was presented with the proposition to close, she then had to meet the needs of the marriage, her job, our expanding family, and contend with being not only her ex-girlfriend's only relationship but primary. Going from one of however many to being the only one put her at a disadvantage because she pushed herself to be available for me and her. I'm not mad at her for doing that. I respect that she loved her ex-girlfriend, and she was happy with her. Pushing herself that hard to be a mother, wife, girlfriend, and have a full-time career meant something and eventually everything was going to suffer. When she was describing this in therapy, it sounded overwhelming. I guess because she loved her, she didn't want to let the relationship go. I can respect that.

The communication went down at an accelerated speed. I don't think most of what my lady did was intentional. Of all the things, I'm mad at her for not listening to me and letting certain things go on. She could've stopped it. She made me feel like I was losing it when I'd mention my suspicions. I was told I was overreacting or that she wasn't that involved. When it came to the kids, I was told that she loved them as much as I did and was a co-parent, so she had the right to have a say in how they were raised, schools they attended, and all that parental stuff. The issue with this co-parent idea? I wasn't included in that decision to make her one. I found at after the fact, and by then, I just had to sit back and watch it unfold.

Her relationship's demands kept growing, and she felt like she had to keep up with them. What her career wasn't taking out of her, being a mum and girlfriend did. We all know when you have kids, say bye to the sex life, sleep, hanging with mates, and anything you did before them for awhile. What did that leave me with? The minimum. A wife in name only, being neglected, and seeing her on some days for as little as 10 minutes. All the while, she was maintaining weekly date nights, an overnight, and spending half of Sunday with her. Additionally, she had lunch with her on certain days. She was at our home for dinner. She had overnight stays at our home from Friday to Saturday. I have no doubt she was seeing her no less than 5/7 days. Some weeks it was 7 for 7. I worked with her from 2011 to this year, so I was always always around her. Never had a break. We didn't have a two-person marriage. Snowflake was the third party in our marriage. Towards the end, her ex-girlfriend was at our home so much that she might as well had moved in. There was no balance or fairness. Equality? Nah. None of that. She was so secure in the fact that we were married, that she let the marriage shoot to hell to maintain the relationship. Is it hard to see why I'm questioning her commitment to monogamy?

What did me in were things like her ex-girlfriend being allowed to pull the plug on year long plans to relocate because she didn't want to move. It was later revealed that she did that to spite me, but that wasn't discovered until months later. My wife and I had already purchased and started extensive renovations on our home, landed jobs, and taken all the steps towards moving, and in the eleventh hour, she said she didn't want to move. My lady being my lady didn't want to leave her. She asked me to reconsider, and I told her I wasn't doing it and she was welcome to stay but the kids were going. Where she went wrong? She and her ex-girlfriend started making a second set of plans behind my back. That's where the being undermined as a parent argument came from. They were planning their futures like I didn't matter, and I'm their dad. I found out after the plans were in place. That's when I stopped trusting my wife and questioning her every move regarding them.

Throw in the demanding girlfriend, who secretly had it out for me, the lack of respecting boundaries, lack of balance, lack of fairness/equality, the lack of communication and listening on my wife's part, and her push for an interdependent model to further the angle of equal co-primaries and co-parents? The only way for it to go was down.

Last edited by Matt; 09-30-2013 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:14 PM
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I think one of the things you're driving at in your last few posts is, Ryl might not be able to stick with monogamy forever, and you in turn might not be able to tolerate one more bit of polyamory. This combination of opposing forces would, logically speaking, spell the end of your marriage. Or to condense that idea, you're wondering if you and Ryl are really compatible as a married couple after all. Sort of like saying what happens if you take one person who's 100% polyamorous (by orientation), another person who's 100% monogamous (by orientation), and pool the two people into a marriage. Isn't the marriage guaranteed to fail? It seems more like a question of when than if, and the how is just details.

I can see your reasons for not wanting to lead Ryl down that rabbit hole when she's already chafing with regrets, but in part of my mind I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to somehow at least let her know that all is perhaps not as well in paradise as she perceives, believes, and thinks. If for no other reason, so that she wasn't blindsided when this "inevitable divorce" materialized. For instance, you might consider pointing out to her that you and she are enjoying something of a "second honeymoon," and you're worried about what happens when the honeymoon's over. I don't think that statement would aggravate her guilt feelings too much, it's just something she could hear as a statement of your (understandable) feelings and perspective.

Perhaps the hitch is if she feels "guilty for being polyamorous." Such guilt feelings could be skewing her naturally inclined thoughts and actions. But in a way you're both in the same boat if you, in turn, have been made to feel "guilty for being monogamous." If the marriage is eventually going to be tested anyhow, would it be wrong to test it somewhat now with admissions of the doubts and fears that currently exist? I don't have the answer to that question, but I reckoned it might be worth mulling over. The potential benefit might be that you and she could both put some of those old guilt trips behind you, even if it meant you had to admit you might not be meant to stay together forever.

I think it's okay to not know whether you're "really compatible" until the passing of time makes that known. Sometimes it's enough to be "in the now," appreciate whatever blessings you have while you have them, and "give them a try;" find out if they'll stick by putting whatever heart and work you can into them. Given Ryl's considerable smarts, I wonder if she wouldn't be able to understand and assimilate all of that. Maybe she needs the chance to hear "the rest of the story" and cope with it in her own time and way. After all, you and she both seem to me to be strong people who can confront the hard truths with objectivity and courage. Some things are hard to hear, but you can still learn to make peace with them over time.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember, no matter how this all plays out in the end, is that you do love each other. If in time you find that you have to part ways, try to do so amicably if at all possible. Try not to let the kids become a wedge that drives you apart. Instead, I'd like to see the kids become a kind of glue that helps you and Ryl stick together at least as friends. Don't blame yourselves or each other for things that "weren't meant to be;" retain the respect and regard you have for each other. Let the kids continue to be involved with both of their parents, and make their own decisions in life as to whether they choose a monogamous or polyamorous path. I state this as if it were meant as advice, but I feel that it is more an expression of my own hopes for you, Ryl, and the kids.

Of course we all hope that things will turn out just fine, that you and Ryl will somehow find your compatibility when the "real work of the relationship begins." Don't undercut yourselves though, I think you've both already been working quite hard on your relationship, even if the "honeymoon aspect" has made the work relatively joyful so far. It's not like the two of you haven't also waded through your fair share of sorrow in the past six months or so.

Maybe the best direction for therapy to take is figuring out whether you and Ryl need to be on the same or separate paths, and to research how to navigate which of the two futures is best without hurting each other (or the kids). I don't say rush into any of these decisions or "expressions of advice," but I offer them up as food for thought for now. Is there any way your therapist might see the benefit in such a shift in direction? Can you share with Ryl some of the deeper fears you've shared here? You do stand to gain some potential closeness, even if it ironically be on those two different paths.

I am sorry about the permanent wounds the past has branded you with. I guess that is one of the mysteries of life, that we all seem to end up with damage we never "really" recover from. Even after all the forgiveness and acceptance we can muster, the past still leaves us with a "twitch." What you can't erase, I guess you just try to learn to live with as best you can. Thus and so are my wistful musings about it all, at any rate.

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Old 09-30-2013, 10:37 PM
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I think one of the things you're driving at in your last few posts is, Ryl might not be able to stick with monogamy forever, and you in turn might not be able to tolerate one more bit of polyamory. This combination of opposing forces would, logically speaking, spell the end of your marriage. Or to condense that idea, you're wondering if you and Ryl are really compatible as a married couple after all. Sort of like saying what happens if you take one person who's 100% polyamorous (by orientation), another person who's 100% monogamous (by orientation), and pool the two people into a marriage. Isn't the marriage guaranteed to fail? It seems more like a question of when than if, and the how is just details.
Yeah. I started thinking about this over the weekend. It's that argument of what was signed up for. I didn't sign up with the hopes of it ever being a monogamous marriage. It has been a polyamorous marriage for 11 1/2 years. It just makes me wonder if we're compatible in a monogamous marriage. Yeah, the chemistry is there. The passion is there. The love is there. The structure? Completely different. Can I really get used to having a wife around all the time? Will I even like having her around all the time? For years, it wasn't anything like this.

Quote:
I can see your reasons for not wanting to lead Ryl down that rabbit hole when she's already chafing with regrets, but in part of my mind I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to somehow at least let her know that all is perhaps not as well in paradise as she perceives, believes, and thinks. If for no other reason, so that she wasn't blindsided when this "inevitable divorce" materialized. For instance, you might consider pointing out to her that you and she are enjoying something of a "second honeymoon," and you're worried about what happens when the honeymoon's over. I don't think that statement would aggravate her guilt feelings too much, it's just something she could hear as a statement of your (understandable) feelings and perspective.
I know she feels or felt guilty. I just don't want the root of her desire for monogamy to be guilt based or because of something I said in therapy or privately.

It's worth bringing up. What happens after this? Every high has a crash. This has been a high. It's not that things aren't going well. I mean, they are. Really well. Its been cool to feel something other than anger towards her. I'm happy. I enjoy being around her and having her around. It never gets old walking in and seeing her in the kitchen or hearing her voice. A few weeks ago, we went to a charity event in Sydney, and she was looking at me from across the room. With the tilt of her head, a smile that lit up the room, and that look, I knew what she was thinking. I miss her as opposed to intentionally distancing myself from her. I enjoy seeing her smile and laugh as opposed to crying and stressing to the point of losing weight. I enjoy having her around. I love her sense of humour and that smile that had me from the first time I met her. I love the way her perfume lingers even after she has long left a room. I love when she borrows my clothes. I love that sparkle in her eye when she talks about the causes she's passionate about. It's all those things. Its been nice knowing that she's working just as hard as I have been and that I'm not in this marriage alone. I remember why I love her and what made me fall in love. I'd hate to give this up. Look at that. I do have feelings outside of anger and joy.

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Perhaps the hitch is if she feels "guilty for being polyamorous." Such guilt feelings could be skewing her naturally inclined thoughts and actions. But in a way you're both in the same boat if you, in turn, have been made to feel "guilty for being monogamous." If the marriage is eventually going to be tested anyhow, would it be wrong to test it somewhat now with admissions of the doubts and fears that currently exist? I don't have the answer to that question, but I reckoned it might be worth mulling over. The potential benefit might be that you and she could both put some of those old guilt trips behind you, even if it meant you had to admit you might not be meant to stay together forever.
I don't think it's wrong to test it. We've survived worse. Most of this year? Yeah, we can handle this. It's cool that she's all committed and an equal in the marriage now. I don't doubt her sincerity, but I question her driving forces. It could be the missing trust producing these fears. It's no discredit to her. She's worked hard to earn my trust back. Sometimes it's just easier to stick with what's known and not trusting her came with ease. I have to learn to trust her.

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I think it's okay to not know whether you're "really compatible" until the passing of time makes that known. Sometimes it's enough to be "in the now," appreciate whatever blessings you have while you have them, and "give them a try;" find out if they'll stick by putting whatever heart and work you can into them. Given Ryl's considerable smarts, I wonder if she wouldn't be able to understand and assimilate all of that. Maybe she needs the chance to hear "the rest of the story" and cope with it in her own time and way. After all, you and she both seem to me to be strong people who can confront the hard truths with objectivity and courage. Some things are hard to hear, but you can still learn to make peace with them over time.
Agreed. I've made peace with everything involving my wife. I've dealt with it in time, and I don't have any negative feelings towards her. She can have all the time she needs to process what she needs to. I've been here this long. Not planning on going anywhere.

Seeing as how our marriage has never been monogamous, I'm not sure if we're compatible or not. That's why I'm treading with caution. It's foreign. I think I've forgotten what it feels like to be in a monogamous marriage.

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Perhaps the most important thing to remember, no matter how this all plays out in the end, is that you do love each other. If in time you find that you have to part ways, try to do so amicably if at all possible. Try not to let the kids become a wedge that drives you apart. Instead, I'd like to see the kids become a kind of glue that helps you and Ryl stick together at least as friends. Don't blame yourselves or each other for things that "weren't meant to be;" retain the respect and regard you have for each other. Let the kids continue to be involved with both of their parents, and make their own decisions in life as to whether they choose a monogamous or polyamorous path. I state this as if it were meant as advice, but I feel that it is more an expression of my own hopes for you, Ryl, and the kids.
I do love her. I'm not sure I could ever hate her or cause her pain intentionally.

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Of course we all hope that things will turn out just fine, that you and Ryl will somehow find your compatibility when the "real work of the relationship begins." Don't undercut yourselves though, I think you've both already been working quite hard on your relationship, even if the "honeymoon aspect" has made the work relatively joyful so far. It's not like the two of you haven't also waded through your fair share of sorrow in the past six months or so.
This is the most unusual marriage. We've been married for over a decade and starting like it's new. This formerly open marriage is looking more and more normal than this from where I'm sitting.

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Maybe the best direction for therapy to take is figuring out whether you and Ryl need to be on the same or separate paths, and to research how to navigate which of the two futures is best without hurting each other (or the kids). I don't say rush into any of these decisions or "expressions of advice," but I offer them up as food for thought for now. Is there any way your therapist might see the benefit in such a shift in direction? Can you share with Ryl some of the deeper fears you've shared here? You do stand to gain some potential closeness, even if it ironically be on those two different paths.
That's some of what we've started working on recently. She thinks we need to be on the same path. She's been working with us since June, and she's confident in our ability to be a healthy and strong couple.

I could share my fears with her. Telling her might be beneficial. I'm not ruling it out. She'll be home Friday, and I'd rather tell her in person. We have therapy Friday afternoon.

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I am sorry about the permanent wounds the past has branded you with. I guess that is one of the mysteries of life, that we all seem to end up with damage we never "really" recover from. Even after all the forgiveness and acceptance we can muster, the past still leaves us with a "twitch." What you can't erase, I guess you just try to learn to live with as best you can. Thus and so are my wistful musings about it all, at any rate.

Regards,
Kevin T.
No need to apologise. If nothing else, we'll be stronger and closer. I'm learning to live with it. Some days are harder than others but not unbearable like before. The good beats the bad any day.

Last edited by Matt; 10-01-2013 at 04:35 AM.
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