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  #1  
Old 10-14-2013, 12:32 AM
d0r0thea d0r0thea is offline
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Location: Shanghai, China
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Default Not sure I should be here....yet

Hi,
I have a very long backstory. I have been married in what I thought was a monogamous relationship for 17 yrs. this past year I have learned of my husbands physical affairs. But there is a past history of a couple of emotional affairs. I have struggled all our marriage of feeling in adequate. He has struggled with me not being able to meet all his needs...thus all the affairs. I found out about the last affair back in March 2013. We agreed to stay together and work on our marriage. We finally started marriage counseling in August 2013. In the meantime we had been doing our own independent counseling to work on our own individual issues.

So Marriage counseling began and it came to light that my husband loves me, but not in that passionate, physical and intimate way. It hurt to hear this, but I knew it to be true, and honestly I haven't felt that kind o passion with him in a long time too. He admitted he felt there was a sliver of a chance of us staying together. Eventually by our fourth session we said we would separate and discontinue marriage counseling. My husband admitted that he felt he could never be faithful in the monogamous sense. So we both thought briefly of an open marriage- but our therapist said he hasn't seen statistically where that actually works and advised against it. I just don't want to let my husband go. I love him too much.

I researched open marriage for the past 2 was and have been reading Opening Up by Tristan Taormino and became fully aware of polyamory and started to see that throughout our whole marriage this is my husband. It was a relief to know that this is who he is and has always been. It was never really about me. I lightly suggested polyamory to my husband, he just responded with we'll take it one day at a time. Last week he read a article from the NY post online about polyamory- and he said that yes, he sees it now and feels that this who he is.

We went on a one week family vacation that we had planned awhile back. As my husband suggested we are taking it one day at a time. We have been so much more open and honest with each other since the affair, than our whole marriage.

So what brings me here, is that the 2nd to last night of our vacation I resorted to my old habit of untrust, insecure, suspicion...whatever. And looked at my husbands phone and saw texts of an intimate nature from another woman. Granted we have been talking polyamory and opening our relationship...but I was under the impression that this would happen down the road- particularly after we dealt with our own relationship issues and I was in a better place emotionally. Also I will mention here, that when we decided to separate several weeks ago, I asked husband if there was anyone else, because I couldn't conceive why he was so willing to let our relationship and all that we have together completely go. He assured me there was no one else.

So he finally confessed that there were actually 2 women interested in him. One is his employee- so he will not pursue her, plus he is just not attracted to her. The other is a woman he knows from another department in his company, and says they have been communicating since July! So basically he was throwing in the towel before we even started counseling. I was really hurt and angry about this. I told him that to be truly polyamory there has to be complete and open honesty with all parties involved, not matter how painful it maybe be. I told him he can't keep hiding- keeping things from me. Me not knowing and being suspicious is driving me insane. He opened up about their relationship. He has committed to me that he will not pursue anything more than friendship with her while we continue with our marriage counseling. This other woman is having her own marital woes. So my husband has been a comfort to her. My husband is really attracted to her. I gave my blessing yesterday so he could be with her. Her husband has never bought her anything for her birthday, so she wanted to go treat herself. Funny I am jealous of the attention she is getting from my husband, but at the same time I really feel sad that she is in that kind of marriage. He said they just talked and hugged goodbye. He told me again last night that he will keep that as separate from our relationship at this moment- while we work things out between us.

So I feel I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
I believe I am probably hard wired monogamous- but I am open to the possibility of other relationships.
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2013, 06:52 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Greetings d0r0thea,
Welcome to our forum.

You did well to get "Opening Up," and you have done a wonderful job of guiding yourself through some scary territory and arriving at a place of peace where you can accept monogamy in you and polyamory in your husband. I just hope your husband will be honest from now on, and keep his word to you. I sympathize with the lady in the other marriage but things still have to be taken at a pace that you can live with.

By the way, this other woman's husband, does he know about this polyamorous affair? Does he consent to it? It is very important that all four of you (both couples) know what's going on and agree to it. If her husband is left in the dark about it, then you still have a situation where she is conducting a secret affair with your husband and as they often say, "It ain't real poly if it ain't honest poly."

Have a look around on our various threads and boards, and see if you have any questions. There's a lot of collective wisdom here, from many points of view and many backgrounds. Seek out the wisdom that works best for you.

It's good to have you onboard.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:17 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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There are two completely different issues here. One is that your husband doesn't feel comfortable in a monogamous marriage. The other is that your husband is a liar.

Whether or not he agrees that non-monogamy could work to allow him to feel better in the marriage, it won't change his current natural tendency to lie and hide his activities.

There's an expression, once a cheater always a cheater. I don't necessarily think it's true, though it's really hard to change and it requires the person to really see it as a problem and really want to change. It doesn't sound like your husband is there.

He's used to sneaking around and hiding his other women. Also, just because you've been discussing the possibility of maybe opening up at some time in the future, that may not satisfy his immediate need for instant gratification. If your discussions gave the impression that this might be ok later, but not right now, then I can see why he would still feel trapped. I'm not trying to justify his behaviour, but I can see where his mindset is and why this possibility might not be enough to change his behaviour right now, especially when his behaviours are such a habit.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:51 AM
d0r0thea d0r0thea is offline
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Yes, it is true he says he can not be faithful. Which is why I have been exploring polyamory. Again you are right- he has been a liar. He even admitted that he had TT to his therapist about just continuing to sneak around, but knew it was wrong.

I really don't know why he lied to me about this last person. He says because he doesn't want to hurt me...but again the fact that he didn't tell me the truth and actually lied to my face when I asked about another person was like a slap in the face.

Like you said he really doesn't want to put a cabash on this new relationship. And I am not asking him to. All I want is for him to take it slow while we deal with our own issues.

As to the other partner being married... I have asked about this. And again it's a bit complicated. We currently live in China. We are not Chinese but the other person and her husband are. And I am slowly learning how the "average" marriage works here. Let's just say it is not uncommon for Chinese to have lovers outside their marriage, as long as it is discreet and no shame is brought to the family. As to her husband knowing, I really don't think my husband's relationship has gone past "a caring friend" yet to make it an issue with her husband. Plus my husband thinks that she would not be willing to do anything that might jeopardize her standing in her family. She says they are separated. But co-habitating. Mainly for their son and because of housing costs in this city.

I have made it clear to my husband he has to be completely honest with me regarding his other relationships. I told him "ethical non monogamy" has to be practiced on his side of things.

But yes, I have been scouring the threads. Just trying to make sense of it all only end.

I am so glad I have found this forum.
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