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Old 03-06-2014, 08:45 PM
polybynature polybynature is offline
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Default partners marriage trouble

Hi all! So I've been poly for just over a year, and have two great partners, one being my spouse. Since my other partners and I started a relationship, his marriage has gone slowly down hill. Not solely because they became poly but for a number of reasons over their 20 plus year relationship along with her finding a new partner she became monogamous with.

Its been months, the've taken of separate places in the house and barely spend time together. They have no children, yet both don't seem to want to get divorced. I have trouble grasping why they still do marginal activities, awkwardly attend family functions, and say they want to stay together despite having no real relationship. I want a little perspective because I want to be supportive...but its been a long hard struggle providing him all his relationship needs while she was continually rejecting and upsetting him. Honestly, I wonder why one of them doesn't just leave.

Any experience, perspective on a long term couple like this splitting up...but not splitting up? I get sharing finances and a home...but I don't understand how he still is interested in multiple aspects of her life when she doesn't want him, and he admits she will never be fulfilling as a primary. I sincerely hope this didn't sound judgemental and would be happy to explain more.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:11 PM
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If they're going to stay together, I'm surprised they're not getting marriage counseling. They should be doing something to improve the situation. Maybe this dysfunctional dynamic has become their new comfort zone? It's what they're used to, change is scary and it seems safer to leave things as they are. Could also be a Mexican standoff: Neither wants to be "the bad guy" who spearheads a divorce.

What are some of the effects all this has had on your relationship with your partner (the one who's in this bad marriage)? Does he get upset a lot?
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:31 AM
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My grandparents are like that. My grandfather wants to have at least some kind of emotional relationship with her, but she can't stand him. She needs him to help care for her, he likes the respectability of being her husband, and both would lose social standing. They are weirdly dependant on each other. To me, it's horrible, but they do it for their reasons. This has been going on for the last 20 years, and I doubt it will ever change.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:48 AM
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My father is like that. He has divorced his wife, we can call K. He has his girlfriend A. He still lives at "home" with K. But they fight all the time. K is an alcoholic, and has no means of financially caring for herself. She does not work and is not in good health because of her disease. My father feels responsible for her, like a child. He loves her, but is not in love with her. As a result, he can't find a way to let go, but he is madly in love with A. So he lives a poly life, committed to living and caring for his ex, but maintaining a loving relationship with A.

It is unusually for sure, but I have learned to NEVER judge.

Last edited by Mahogany; 03-07-2014 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:35 AM
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Wow, I'm surprised, somehow, by how common this is.....but, I guess this is what many people think marriage is supposed to be. It's kind of why I shy away from it....
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:37 AM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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For everyone in this post, it would be very comforting to me to hear how you deal with this. I know you're not supposed to feel involved, but I can't help hurting when I see two people who don't love each other, still staying around each other, and it's just so painful and awkward....do you not think so....?
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:21 PM
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I managed to dodge the bullet... At the end of my marriage, my husband initiated our separation, saying he couldn't do this anymore, yadda yadda. Except, he didn't want us to get divorced... thought we could still live together, just in separate rooms. That it'd be better for the kids and all.

I was in no hurry - financially, I needed to sort stuff out anyway, but it got WEIRD. I felt like a teenager in my parents' house again, going up to my room after the kids went to bed, like my house wasn't my home anymore. Yuck.

Anyway...
I remember heading up to my room one night, probably only a couple days after the divorce was final, and he asked me why I wasn't watching TV with him any more... what he did to "piss me off"? And I was just baffled. Had to explain that this was our home, our life together, and it was broken and gone. It didn't feel right anymore. And then I looked at his confused face and realized he just wasn't getting it. I asked him as much, and he admitted it - he had no idea why it was difficult for me. I figured I couldn't explain the elephant to the blind man, and stopped trying.

Some people just don't get it. He'd have been happy to have stayed under the same roof together forever, watching the same TV shows, going to the same restaurants, just without the marriage. Not I. I left.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:31 PM
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OP, the truth is, this situation is just "normal" to me. I remember questioning why my grandfather didn't leave, but that was mybe 10 years ago the last time. They are old, they need each other, and I don't haveto live there. That said, I don't tolerate listening to them snipe at each other. When it gets started, I just leave. I love them both and won't listen to them tear each other down. So, I guess I set my own boundaries with them then took a posture of nuetrality. I don't know if that would be at all helpful for you though.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:52 PM
polybynature polybynature is offline
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Thanks for all the replies. I am surprised to see this is so common...I understand it a little more when kids are involved, but I really relate to your story YouAreHere. That's how she seems...surprised he doesn't want to keep just tiny bits of their life and why that would bother him.

He cares for her too, reasons I don't want to get into personal to them. I think that's part of the reason he stays, to watch over her.

In answer to an earlier question, hes doing ok. I think in large part because ive kind of become his "primary" (this involved a lot of convo with my own spouse). He would get so upset for a while, but now seems to accepting it. I still hate to see him stay...struggle with it every day. but that's his choice.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polybynature View Post
Hi all! So I've been poly for just over a year, and have two great partners, one being my spouse. Since my other partners and I started a relationship, his marriage has gone slowly down hill. Not solely because they became poly but for a number of reasons over their 20 plus year relationship along with her finding a new partner she became monogamous with.

Its been months, the've taken of separate places in the house and barely spend time together. They have no children, yet both don't seem to want to get divorced. I have trouble grasping why they still do marginal activities, awkwardly attend family functions, and say they want to stay together despite having no real relationship. I want a little perspective because I want to be supportive...but its been a long hard struggle providing him all his relationship needs while she was continually rejecting and upsetting him. Honestly, I wonder why one of them doesn't just leave.

Any experience, perspective on a long term couple like this splitting up...but not splitting up? I get sharing finances and a home...but I don't understand how he still is interested in multiple aspects of her life when she doesn't want him, and he admits she will never be fulfilling as a primary. I sincerely hope this didn't sound judgemental and would be happy to explain more.


My wife is without a doubt my best friend...I enjoy my time with her and the time we spend as a family. Most people who know us tells us we seem to have a great marriage. From their perspective, we do...After 10 years of being SAHM, she is going back to work. There is no way she can function on her own financially. Neither one of us want to lose our friendship or spend time away from our daughter..

In 20 plus years, my wife has only said I Love You a hand full of times..She just doesn't feel it. Nor do l. We get along on so many other levels. I know she feels a certain obligation to have sex with me, even though she enjoys it and climaxes, she is just fine to go without it...O don't want her to feel that way...It doesn't make me feel all that great either..

It that a reason to D? I don't think so...not yet.



Her fear with an open marriage would be I would fall in love with somebody. Then a D would soon follow... I refuse to do the blended family thing, I dont want a step-mom for my daughter or a step dad, and I don't want my wife to be hurt in any way...I wouldn't hurt a friend that way, so I wouldn't hurt my wife either. We are life partners, best friends, for better or for worse...

I don't want my marriage, even a friendship marriage to end or go downhill because we opened it up...That is always a possibility...

Just one more thing to think about...
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