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  #41  
Old 11-08-2013, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
She's probably used to him "not talking" (being an introvert) but he has to start learning the skills of calm, considerate, effective communication. It can only be done through practice (including making many mistakes during the learning process).

She needed only him when she first married him, but now she needs him and you. This is the change that he was never ready for. I'm guessing he knows how to share sexually but not emotionally. Still think a poly-friendly counselor might be something to look into.
It's very hard for me to get used to the idea that I'm more than a fling or anything other than a diversion for a dissatisfied housewife. Initially, all I wanted was to have sex with someone I liked and I liked her from the get go. For one, she looks a lot like my first wife. They have the same name even. That made me fairly comfortable right away. Then we discovered that we have a lot to talk about. We've sent more than 10,000 messages in the past two months and shared hours of cuddling and talking. Somewhere along in there we admitted that we love each other. We say goodbye and then can't part. At first the sex was just good but now it is fantastically ecstatic every time. We're full with each other. She's always on my mind and I'm getting the idea that it's the same for her. Still, I want her to keep her family together. She is lucky to have him. She was a wild and chaotic young woman when they met and she would have self destructed without him.
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  #42  
Old 11-10-2013, 05:47 AM
monkeystyle monkeystyle is offline
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Love your writing so far, it seems objective (as much as romance can ever be), fair and considerate.

Funnily, I think you might be the best communicator among the 3 of you, with how you've described things so far. They might be in for a bumpy ride if they don't get better at it. Both of them seem like decent people, as do you, although I think that both of them are operating with different perceptions of how these relationships work.

I'm glad to see you're as considerate of all sides of the relationship. A little concerned she's not as concerned as you are. Whether its NRE, being married to someone who doesn't inspire passion (common after two decades I suppose), devaluing her old relationship due to the shiny happy new one - whatever the reason - you're in the driver's seat of her priorities emotionally. Not sure I'd want to be in your spot. Too much baggage if things go wrong.
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  #43  
Old 11-10-2013, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Love your writing so far, it seems objective (as much as romance can ever be), fair and considerate.
Thanks, I've tried to be objective, fair, and considerate but have left out a lot. I've written about what we have been going through but almost nothing about who we are. That's by design but I think some background would be helpful. Let me tell you about myself first.

As regards polyamory. I've always been comfortable with the idea that people love each other. I met two girls at the same time at the Disneyworld campground when I was 15 and spent the whole day kissing both of them and feeling the compersion from each as they shared me between themselves. I'd had girlfriends but never two and it felt fine. There was no jealousy and I had just as much love for both of them. Meanwhile, when I returned to the midwest, the cute blond waitress that I worked with started inviting me more into her life. We were just friends although I really wanted her. Eventually, one of the two gay men with whom she lived took a liking to me and they worked out a deal where I could sleep with her if he could sleep with me. The exploits of a 15 year old. Not to brag, it's just that I loved a lot of people that year and it was formative.

It wasn't long after that that I went out in the world and found hippies. This was the early eighties and there was still a lot of "free love" consciousness. I got laid a lot and didn't see it as at all unusual that people expressed their feelings for each other or that there were many different forms of relationships. During that time I witnessed a man with six wives court and marry his seventh. I met my first wife at that time too. She was with somebody and didn't leave him right away. That was my first experience with intense jealousy. He was hurt and extremely hateful about it while I couldn't understand that there was anything wrong with people loving each other. My girlfriends at that time would simply roll up their bedrolls and move on to the next brother. It always hurt a little bit but even then I could see it from their perspective and there are so many people to love.

That hippie girl and I... those were the days. It was several years later when we reconnected and eventually we moved up in the mountains. Within a short time we were married in a symbolic wedding (not legal) but soon after separated for good. Then I started meeting girls again and turned out to be the perfect guy for all the single moms. There were three regulars who were all best friends. I would help them with their kids, give them massages, and date. They all knew about each other and I never saw any signs of jealousy between them. I loved them all just as much and still do but haven't seen any of them since the nineties. We were friends who loved each other with no strings or attachment. I still looked for new people during that time and met many. One of those new girls decided I was the perfect man though and moved in. We were pregnant within the year. She was great. She accepted me along with all my girlfriends. Sometimes they would sleep with us and other times... I was free to be myself.

As many of you parents know, there is a before children and after children stage to a relationship. After kids the extras fall away. Within a couple years it was just me and her and more than ten years of monogamy. There was simply no time and we'd also moved away from my beloved mountains and strong local community to the lonely and isolated Midwest. It was years later when we found one of the yahoo polyamory groups and discovered a small polyamorous community in a nearby town. Although we didn't get romantically involved with anyone there at that time, we developed long lasting social relationships with most of the members.

That community eventually broke up but I currently live in one of the houses. Now we're up to the modern day and the pertinent detail here is that my gf and her partner used to participate in the community too. So there was a connection before we even met. Both of them have more than a passing familiarity with polyamory although they were never polyamorous, just swingers as I've mentioned.

Quote:
Funnily, I think you might be the best communicator among the 3 of you, with how you've described things so far. They might be in for a bumpy ride if they don't get better at it. Both of them seem like decent people, as do you, although I think that both of them are operating with different perceptions of how these relationships work.
The feeling I get here is that it is too early to tell and I don't have enough information to really know what the dynamic is like in their relationship. I have an idea, a concept but they have their life and she and I have ours. When we all three met, it was obvious that she hadn't told him much about me. Not nearly as much as she has told me about him. So maybe they don't talk much. I just don't know. She'll tell me if I ask the right questions. I sense a greater level of inclusiveness from her lately and she describes an acceptance of the relationship from him.

Still, he has a list of things he wants to talk about with her and she says that she just wants to live. I suggested that she let him know just how much talking about things she can handle. I don't think anyone has an infinite capacity for it. She thought about it and said that she could only handle about 1/8 of it. (at any one time I assume) It's not the subject matter that bothers her but rather the volume of issues and the concurrent emotionally insecure intensity.

Quote:
I'm glad to see you're as considerate of all sides of the relationship. A little concerned she's not as concerned as you are. Whether its NRE, being married to someone who doesn't inspire passion (common after two decades I suppose), devaluing her old relationship due to the shiny happy new one - whatever the reason - you're in the driver's seat of her priorities emotionally. Not sure I'd want to be in your spot. Too much baggage if things go wrong.
Tons of baggage, three teenage and one preteen girl between us plus I take care of a disabled relative in my home. As I said, I was resigned to being single and have been taken by surprise throughout this. I value my gf so highly. I feel rewarded, that the kindness I've cultivated has come back to me and it blisses me out that she values me enough to become a regular presence in my life. Still, I never have wanted to be an escape for her in her relationship with him. I'm not looking for her to move in with me but the thought crosses my mind. Likewise, I don't want to see a dynamic where I lift her up and he brings her down. That's kind of what's happening now.

Last edited by pcflvly; 11-10-2013 at 09:53 PM.
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  #44  
Old 11-14-2013, 11:57 PM
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Wow! Compersion exists! She asked me to introduce myself to one of her former lovers. I did and he almost giggled. He was so happy that she had found someone like me. I was a little nervous but went for it and so glad I did.
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  #45  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:35 AM
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Re: 11-10-2013 ... well that was quite a post, pcflvly. It really laid out in candid and sincere terms the road you've traveled to get to where you are today. I feel like I can almost visualize the whole thing, almost physically, your description was that real.

As so often happens in poly, I don't see any quick or easy answers to the problems here but, I do see little hopeful steps that can be taken one at a time. Listening to (and discussing with him) just a little of her partner's concerns about various things will probably be a "big/little" step in the right direction. Crap I can't remember, have the two of them tried much of any (preferably poly-friendly) counseling together? It seems that the intensity (not to be confused with newness and excitingness) of their feelings for each other has faded like a fire that's burned down to a few faintly-glowing coals. Maybe they don't need "their old NRE" back, but there's something they used to have that seems to need restoration.

You can probably help by at least offering little suggestions here or there when and as long as she solicits them. Unsought advice rarely goes down as well as when a person has directly decided to make themselves vulnerable and hear what you have to say. So you have to wait and watch for those opportunities. And right now, my instinctive thought is, try to especially guide her towards having more closeness (and communication) with her partner again. Paradoxically, her closeness with him is probably the key to the door separating her from you (such as those times when you two long to sleep together but can't very much yet because of his fears/insecurities). So "everybody wins," I guess is what I'm saying, if she can go and/or be guided in this direction.

I now feel that it's somewhat of a mystery as to how much he (her partner) may indeed have a soft spot for polyamory hidden/guarded somewhere safely in the vaults of his heart despite his swinging history with her. Kind of like my own brother-husband. I think he loves the "feel and ideals" that poly represents; yet "living the dream" rather scares him sometimes (and used to scare him a lot).

In any case, I can see that you've got much experience to work from with all kinds of responsible non-monogamy (from swinging to free love to poly and more). This is probably why you find yourself in a bit of "the leader role" with respect to your current situation. Your girlfriend and her partner (through her) almost "look to you for the wisdom to figure all this out." Sure they know a lot about polyamory but they probably see you as a guiding source given that you've shared romance so freely for most of your life. They figure you "know how to do it."

Sounds like you've got a pretty full plate, with many responsibilities to juggle. Take time out for yourself sometimes. Your mind (and body) probably needs the rest more than you realize. You carry many burdens on your shoulders (though I see that it's all probably a, "He ain't heavy; he's my brother," type of labor of love for you).

This romance that has come into your life has been a very unexpected blessing, and a very unexpected load to bear at the same time, something you weren't planning on with all the other services you were already engaged in. So you love the work, but it must make you weary from time to time. If you're anything like me you may even sometimes think, "How will I ever get caught up with it all? I hadn't planned on engaging myself this much." Your cup runneth over, as they say ...

You're in a three-person poly situation now. All three persons have to be treated with the same outpouring of love and valuation (this is true of hetero V sitches like mine and yours just as much as it is of full-fledged poly triangle-triads). Try to reach out as much as possible, to both him and her. They may not even realize this, but they both now need you, as in turn you now need both of them in your life.

Good luck, and I am certainly pulling for you here.

Regards,
Kevin T.

P.S. Glad to hear of your compersive delight today. Sometimes polyamory's rewards are slow in coming, but they sure feel awesome once they get there.
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  #46  
Old 11-16-2013, 09:34 PM
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Several things lately:
1. She spent another night and I asked her how she arranged that. She said it was his idea.
2. He mentioned to her that I was up by 5:1 So he's obviously keeping score as if it was some kind of competition.
3. I visited them at her house. He was nice and I thought it was a pleasant visit but later she texted me that he went out drinking and appeared upset.
4. They all are out of town on a ten day vacation and I miss her a lot but looking forward to the breathing room and hoping that the time together reinvigorates their relationship.
5. Wanting to tell her to focus on him when with him and not spend so much time texting me but also not wanting to tell her that because I'm a big part of her support network and what if she really needs me.
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  #47  
Old 11-17-2013, 02:49 AM
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Hi pcflvly,

Sounds like some things are in limbo right now but you are all three trying to take baby steps toward the eventual objective.

Re:
Quote:
"He mentioned to her that I was up by 5:1 ..."
Up by 5:1? I'm confused; what does he mean by that ratio expression? 5:1 in what sense? Sleepovers perhaps?

In any case, I hope he won't get too obsessed with this scorekeeping thing.

Re:
Quote:
"Wanting to tell her to focus on him when with him and not spend so much time texting me but also not wanting to tell her that because I'm a big part of her support network and what if she really needs me."
I guess I'd just tell her to go easy on the texts unless/until she feels especially needful of hearing from you? That's the best I can think of.

Good luck,
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #48  
Old 11-19-2013, 04:47 AM
monkeystyle monkeystyle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcflvly View Post
Several things lately:
1. She spent another night and I asked her how she arranged that. She said it was his idea.
2. He mentioned to her that I was up by 5:1 So he's obviously keeping score as if it was some kind of competition.
3. I visited them at her house. He was nice and I thought it was a pleasant visit but later she texted me that he went out drinking and appeared upset.
4. They all are out of town on a ten day vacation and I miss her a lot but looking forward to the breathing room and hoping that the time together reinvigorates their relationship.
5. Wanting to tell her to focus on him when with him and not spend so much time texting me but also not wanting to tell her that because I'm a big part of her support network and what if she really needs me.
Sounds like they're on their way to a complete falling out if things don't change. While its easy to blame him, and convenient, try to stay neutral if it happens. Your presence isn't causing it, and obviously those two aren't ready for polyamory. They're not even really communicating with one another.

My guess, he's been lazy in the relationship and she's now latched on to the idea that you're her knight in shining armor romantically. And she's willing to jettison him, or is starting to form the feelings to think it. And of course, he's still acting like things ought to go back to the way they were in some ways. Which goes to show, they were either sort of clueless to begin with - or she was ready to make a change and you're providing fuel for the fire. Again, not your fault.

It's a really bad sign that she's going to you with his personal comments to her. A really bad sign. Support network? No. I think to her, you're becoming the replacement for him. Whatever it is, it's been known to happen before. Even in this little life story blog, there's quite a few tales of folks replacing husbands and wives with new girlfriends and boyfriends, phasing out the spouse either entirely, or keeping them around for the paycheck and nothing else. With children involved, complications can be difficult.

Last edited by monkeystyle; 11-19-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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  #49  
Old 11-19-2013, 06:07 AM
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Yep, that's kind of how I'm seeing it too. Did I mention that I didn't want to be a replacement? Does it help that I build him up to her? That I tell her how good they look together? That I sympathize while reminding her that the annoyances she describes are very typical for people who've been together that long?

I am romantic and always have been. She comments on it sometimes. I wonder if she's noticed that she now waits for me to open doors? She didn't do that when we met. I'd take that over what she has too but remember that I didn't want anyone to move in on me and I didn't want to be the pivot for her to leave the relationship she was in. Of course, I don't have much control over the second part of that but I wouldn't kick her out of bed either.

Yeah, she was already making changes when I met her. She said she was being good and not looking for anybody and instead had taken up yoga and meditation. Claims meeting me took her by surprise.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:13 AM
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Alas, polyamory is a great thing that can lead to even greater things, but usually starts out by inserting pure chaos into one's life. People frequently don't plan to "become poly" ahead of time, they just find themselves "falling in love with the wrong person" and trying to figure out how to navigate that without hurting those other persons in the equation who signed up for monogamy and monogamy only.

Everyone's going to have to make some major paradigm changes in how they see things and how they deal with things. It's going to be a rough, steep, surprise learning curve.

Earthquakes and upheavals will follow. Relationships will change. Relationships may end. All bets are off this early in the game. You don't want to be a replacement but she might have her own ideas about that. You might end up having to decide how you're going to cope with that, whether you're going to accept her plans for your life, and whether you're going to welcome her into your life (and home?) with open arms.

It's even possible she could swing the other way and conclude that to save her marriage she must jettison her relationship with you. So, pretty much, brace yourself for whatever you won't expect.

The only good news is that if the three of you survive this storm together, you could come out of it with something really beautiful on your hands. Just the dream is worth fighting for, I think.

Baby steps. Hang in there.
Regards,
Kevin T.
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