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  #41  
Old 11-30-2013, 08:41 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by london View Post
If it were highly contagious, wouldn't LR's partners have it?
Wow, yeah. So those sites and organizations full of experts who believe it's highly contagious--I guess we better write them and tell them we heard on the internet that someone with herpes hasn't passed it on, so they must be wrong.

It still comes down to, Scarlet's husband had a right to know.
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  #42  
Old 11-30-2013, 09:21 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I am going to ignore the posts about STIs and judging risk and whatnot. The OP has repeatedly requested that we focus on her actual issue, not the side circumstance of how to handle STI risks. I don't find it useful to keep harping on that.

OP, it seems to me that your main concern is that you don't - perhaps can't - trust your partner's judgment. I was unsure from your posts if this is a pattern for him and you. You see a metamour behaving badly, perhaps trying to damage your relationship and he does not see that at all. Is that accurate?

Ask yourself if your partner is fundamentally trustworthy. If he is widely untrustworthy, you have bigger problems than his inability to see ill intent in a metamour. If he has acted as a trusted partner to you in all other ways, does he have this one odd blind spot of being unable to believe or even see when someone is destructive?

Also ask yourself if your perceptions are the entirety of the situation. It is totally possible for you to see her as a conniving bitch and for him to see her as a misguided friend. Both may be 'true'. His perceptions may not be 'wrong'. Yours may not be always 'right'. I'm not saying you are crazy or inaccurate in what this particular woman was doing. I'm convinced. But it is really helpful to get out of your head and think about other ways of seeing the same thing.

It is unlikely that he will ever perceive the same people the same way you do. Especially if this is a fundamental part of his personality. Someone who is generous and always give the benefit of a doubt is unlikely to become someone more suspicious. And as others have pointed out, you don't want to change this behavior completely.

And you also do not want to get into the winless game of who is right. Being right and him being 'wrong' goes either of you no good. Telling him he is naive, misguided and such - even if this feels totally true to you - will not help. Trying to change him is an strategy unlikely to work long term. (If he wants to develop better bullshit detectors and does so on his own, that's a different thing.) You and he will likely NEVER be on the same wavelength in perceptions of potential or current metamours.

But what you can do is agree to make each other feel safe and respected. He can acknowledge your concerns about another's possible ill intent and bad behavior. He can not dismiss that out of hand. But he does not have to agree with you. You can acknowledge that he sees people very differently than you do and that way is not necessary wrong or incorrect. But you do not have to agree with him either. You two can then work together on ways to make each other feel reasonably secure and safe, while being respected and heard. (I say reasonably because perfect safety and security is not possible on this plane of existence. Even the most loving and trustworthy of spouses may get hit by a bus.) Galagirl had a bunch of concrete suggestions on this.

Disagreeing with you should not make you feel unsafe. Not seeing the same things you do should not make you feel unsafe. Actions or lack of action cause insecurity and lack of safety. However, he might be doing something that contributes to your feelings of not being safe. Beyond not seeing the same things you do, what is he doing? This is the place to check your perceptions and feelings again. Just because he is talking to someone untrustworthy does that really impact your relationship? I understand your fears of why this might be true. But feelings are poor indicators of fact. He can talk to that conniving bitch and never have the slightest need to leave you or change your relationship in some way. The same problem of him not seeing the same issues with her that you do may actually help insulate him. He does not see the conniving activities and words and so does not respond to it. He's just talking with a friend in need who is having a hard time! Sometimes thinking the best of someone, and maybe some naivete, is its own protection.

Perhaps there are steps both of you can take to 1) respect and consider the other's perceptions and viewpoints, and 2) reassure each other. If he still talked to this person, and you saw that it had no effect on your relationship, that you were not thrilled but realized that your feelings about this person were not the same as the reality of your healthy relationship with him, then your perception of his inability to see what you see may shift. It would become a thing about your partner - like his inability to dust that one spot or your inability to understand English Premier League soccer (to use stereotypical examples!) - that you take in to account, accept and deal with as life goes on.

It's hard when a loved one appears to live in a totally different universe than the one we inhabit. It can make one question one's own validity. I struggled with this somewhat in my marriage. My ex and I were very different people and sometimes did not see things in a similar way at all. It's a special kind of maddening. But the very thing that makes them so different from you is often at the heart of why you love them. Try not to lose sight of that while you and he work through this.
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  #43  
Old 12-01-2013, 08:08 AM
london london is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Wow, yeah. So those sites and organizations full of experts who believe it's highly contagious--I guess we better write them and tell them we heard on the internet that someone with herpes hasn't passed it on, so they must be wrong.

It still comes down to, Scarlet's husband had a right to know.
I worked in an STD clinic, and I am a midwife. There are lots of people in that position. I was just pointing out that you actually know one of them. As far as I know, LR does have outbreaks too, and still, none of
Quote:
her partner's have HSV2.

Likelihood of HSV transmission Let's say you have an infected male and an uninfected female. If they avoid sex during outbreaks, don't use condoms regularly, and don't take antiviral therapy every day, the risk of transmission is about 10% per year. But if you add condoms, it reduces transmission by about 50%, if he takes Valtrex 500 mg once a day, he can reduce transmission also by about 50%. So you can see that the numbers get very low! If it is a woman infected with HSV 2 having sex with an uninfected male, given the circumstances listed above again, then the transmission rate is about 4% prior to the interventions of condoms and Valtrex.
Quote:
The rate of asymptomatic shedding from the genital area for HSV-1 is approximately 5% of the time when the person has no symptoms. Typically in the first year of infection with genital HSV-2, one will shed about 6-10% of those days when there are no symptoms. Thisof coursewill decrease over time as well.
Even if you do have someone immuno compromised in your network, you should be more worried about giving them flu, which could complicate and kill them of a respiratory infection like pneumonia than worrying about an inconvenient skin disease. If they are equally concerned about cold and flu viruses, fair play, but I sincerely doubt they are. And that's what makes it discriminatory stigma. A cold could kill them and absolutely anyone could give it to them without even touching them, herpes often hurts and itches. What one would you be more paranoid about?
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  #44  
Old 12-01-2013, 08:14 AM
london london is offline
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Originally Posted by london View Post
Back to your husband and his partner selection. Set boundaries where you do not share the same space or hear about his other toxic relationships and leave it to him. If he absolutely cannot manage to stop his relationships negatively affecting each other because he chooses toxic partners, that is something you might want to take up with him.

If I was poly and married, felt splitting absolutely wasn't an option but my husband continued to let my toxic metamours affect us, or he couldn't stick to agreements about how we prevent harm to our relationship, the only viable option would be to close the relationship. If I feel the only way to stop it was to actively manage his other relationships by imposing restrictions and setting the pace, I would opt for closing the relationship to work on us.
Just to reiterate that I've spoken about the trust and control issues.
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  #45  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:27 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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It must be scary to believe that another person has the capacity to end your marriage. It sounds like you need security and would like reassurance from your husband that your marriage is safe.

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Originally Posted by scarletzinnia View Post
I am wondering, though, based on what I have written, would you say that my hubby's friend was trying to break us up?

I certainly feel she was trying to cause trouble between us, at minimum. I don't think she was a classic "cowgirl" in that she wanted to break us up so she could have a monogamous relationship with him. But do you think someone might ever try to break up a marriage out of sheer spite?
Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't. For the sake of argument, let's assume that these women were attempting to sabotage your relationship.

Under that assumption, let's shift focus from their behaviour to your husband's. When he had these whispers in his ear, did his interactions with you change? Did he become more distant? Did he treat you differently? Did he make accusations that were out of character?

If yes, then it's those behavioural changes that you may want to address. You can give concrete examples of how your relationship is being affected by the changes in his behaviour, and you can make requests for actions he could take to better meet your needs. That way, you're not putting him in a tug-of-war between two women, but rather focusing on your own needs and feelings, and how his behaviours affect those.

But if his behaviours aren't changing because of what these women are saying, then maybe their sabotage attempts aren't as harmful as you perceive them to be. In that case, maybe you can learn to focus on the positives in your relationship and empathize with what the other women might be feeling and what their needs are, that causes them to behave the way they are. Maybe there are some actions you can take to sooth the situation. If you approach the other women on friendly terms, with the goal of finding solutions that work for everyone, rather than crossing enemy lines and trying to win the battle, you'll be more likely to find success.
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  #46  
Old 12-01-2013, 03:51 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I worked in an STD clinic, and I am a midwife. There are lots of people in that position. I was just pointing out that you actually know one of them.
No reflection on the person in question, but my point was, it would be foolish to base our health choices and the risks we take off of 'I know someone on the internet who said...." (Ever gone to a big foot forum or a UFO alien? )

The main issue I have with your statements is taking it to the level of calling others names for a) not seeing things as you do and b) making different choices than you would about whom to have sex with. There are lots of people out there who know STDs quite well, who are certainly not ignorant, as you like to call people, who call herpes 'highly contagious' or 'moderately contagious.' I have worked for 35 years in a field in which the experts argue endlessly about various issues. I know which side I come down on, but there is no need to call anyone 'ignorant.' They're not. They're also well-educated and respected in their field and they have come to different conclusions.

It is obnoxious and arrogant to call someone names over it, never mind to accuse someone of 'discrimination' and 'ostracizing' for....drum roll...not having sex with another person. It doesn't matter if it's only a 2.5% risk--no one is obligated to take that risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
It sounds like you need security and would like reassurance from your husband that your marriage is safe.
...
Under that assumption, let's shift focus from their behaviour to your husband's. When he had these whispers in his ear, did his interactions with you change? Did he become more distant? Did he treat you differently? Did he make accusations that were out of character?

If yes, then it's those behavioural changes that you may want to address. You can give concrete examples of how your relationship is being affected by the changes in his behaviour, and you can make requests for actions he could take to better meet your needs.
Very good questions.

I have been in a situation similar to Scarlet's with a SIL. I do feel that taking a stand, and letting another person know that you object to hearing your loved one badmouthed and accused of negative character traits is a reasonable ACTION request.

Did he defend you in any way? Did he tell her he doesn't want to hear those things about you?
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  #47  
Old 12-01-2013, 03:58 PM
london london is offline
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ignorant /ˈɪgn(ə)r(ə)nt/

adjective lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
If someone feels that them sleeping with someone with herpes, using recommended precautions, is more of a risk to an immunocompromised partner than the risk of you passing on a potentially fatal upper respiratory infection to them, then yes, you are ignorant.
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  #48  
Old 12-01-2013, 07:06 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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Thanks to everyone who had constructive things to offer here.

Opalescent, I think the reason I don't feel safe is I believed his judgment of people had improved since he defended the woman who threatened me physically and refused to take what she threatened seriously. This situation showed me that perhaps not much had changed.

Schrodinger's Cat, I never thought for a second that hubby would leave me for this other woman, for any other woman. What I feared was that I could no longer handle being married to someone who didn't seem to be in my corner, even though I love him deeply and he is the father of my three children.

One thing I didn't mention in my first few posts, in an effort to be brief, was that his "friend" had trashed my character to him more than once. The first time was when she dumped him as a friend after he told her their relationship was never going to be sexual. But despite that, he persistently sought out a connection with her again via email. She told him she didn't want to talk to him again at first. When she did eventually tell him that she was willing to communicate again, he didn't even tell me that they had resumed contact, nor had he told me that he had been trying to reconnect with her (and we have had a longstanding agreement to be transparent with each other about everything). I found out when I borrowed his computer and one of her messages was open there. He admitted that they had been emailing for close to a month at that point, and he claimed he did intend to tell me about it, just hadn't yet. I was somewhat skeptical since we had had a lot of problems in the past with him "forgetting" to tell me things he had agreed to disclose.

Anyway, I told him at that point that his friendships were his own business and if he wanted to have her as an in-person friend again that was fine, but I wasn't going to socialize with her myself. But I also said that I couldn't understand why he seemed so desperate to have contact with someone who had already essentially called me a controlling bitch. When his friend revisited what she had said about me, shortly after that, more forcefully and added "abusive" to her list of my character flaws, I wanted him to just block her and be done with it. Instead, he wrote to her. He didn't exactly defend me, but he did ask her to back up what she was saying with facts, things she had observed, or even things he might have told her that she misconstrued. She then sent him some ridiculous love poem she claimed to have written for him, which he showed me. I immediately googled the first line of the poem and found it almost verbatim on the web page of some cheesy New Age philosopher.

Once he realized that she was not going to even try to back up her allegations about me with anything concrete, he asked her to apologize to me and she refused. Eventually, when he told her that what was going on was causing stress in our marriage, she did send me an apology via email that felt so insincere that I didn't even respond. I just asked him again to cut off contact with her, and then he finally did.

I think we still might have been fine if he had only admitted that she behaved badly, and not spent the better part of this past year on "she didn't mean you, or our marriage, any harm, she was just upset." I heard the same stuff when someone he dated briefly threatened me with violence, years ago. And he has gotten furiously angry at me when I questioned his judgment and told him her behavior was spiteful and malicious, at minimum, and she clearly didn't care if I suffered or he did. And I have gotten so, so angry about all this too. So it's been tense, to say the least.

I am not good at dropping things, and I know that, no one needs to tell me that here. I never wanted this ridiculous woman and her tantrums to have any power over us, but she has. A few good things came out of it, we have both learned a lot about ourselves with the help of an amazing couples therapist. But I still wish I could have some faith in his judgment of people. I wish I could feel that he would really have my back if something like this ever happened again. We did make a written agreement that if any of our friends or partners in the future attack either of one of personally, without anything that looks like a legitimate cause, we will cut them off. But it bothers me that we even had to write that down, I guess. It seems like a committed couple shouldn't have to do that?
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  #49  
Old 12-01-2013, 09:08 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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We did make a written agreement that if any of our friends or partners in the future attack either of one of personally, without anything that looks like a legitimate cause, we will cut them off. But it bothers me that we even had to write that down, I guess. It seems like a committed couple shouldn't have to do that?
Not every committed couple comes with the skills "right out of the box." Sometimes part of that commitment is to sit down to assess and intentionally grow the skills that need growing so the couple can continue in their commitment.

Could consider letting go of "should" language and go with "could" so you can not be bothered.
"A committed couple could write things down as a learning tool when growing discernment skills."
Hang in there with it. I'm glad you guys are trying and couples therapy is helping in the process.

GL!
Galagirl
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  #50  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:08 AM
london london is offline
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Maybe the reason why he hangs with people that say these bad things about you is because he thinks they've got a point. I still don't understand why he tells you what they say. I don't understand why you arw so erm heavily involved in his other relationships. That is the problem. If you backed off, you wouldn't even know about them and their issues.
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