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Old 04-16-2010, 07:42 PM
noob noob is offline
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Default can i trust him to tell me if he is upset?

My husband is taking the news of my burgeoning relationship with M pretty well...or seemed to be. Lately he is quieter. I talk about M, just basic things he's telling me about his life, not about "us" or anything, and husband has very little to say. Part of it, I think, is M is going through some emotional/relationship things that my husband cannot relate to (he's a little mind blind, in general)...but part of me wonders if he is tiring of the whole V dynamic here.

However, when I ask, he claims that he is fine "for now," that he is not upset with me or the situation...the most negative thing he has said is that "opening up" could lead to us finding other people we are better fits with and ending the marriage. And I have tried to say, yes, it could, but that could happen, open or not. And I have no more intention of our marriage ending now than I ever did before (which is true).

I just don't know, though...could he be really upset about this and just not speaking up? I worry he will go along acting like everything is is fine until one day BLAM!--He's just done with me, no warning. But if he did that, I think it would be terribly unfair to me, and I would be uber-pissed--since I have tried my very best to give him opportunities to express fear, reservations, discomfort. I can't be responsible for addressing issues I don't know are issues, you know?

He is not good at talking about emotional things. He would be the first to tell you that. So that makes it tricky to know if maybe he is upset, just not telling me; and it also makes it tricky to know how to approach him to find out how he's feeling...because asking him how he's feeling/talking/constantly rehashing is not going to make him more comfortable. Far from it.

I wonder if maybe he wants a DADT kind of situation? But I, on my end, do not want that from him. If he were interested in someone else, I would want to know.

Can anyone provide any insight?
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:06 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Well while communication works for everyone, some people have different levels of communication. Keep trying to open the communication but you may find he is being very introspective. I know when I hit that type of wall I close down externally. I didn't even know I was doing this until one day our ex told me she knew I was "thinking" because of how closed I was. Damn I need to be careful sometimes.

When I was closed, I decided to write. A journal. This helped me clear my head and in turn, I could let my wife read what I thought she needed to.

Assuming he wants a DADT situation could be worse than continuing with the status quot. If he hasn't responded poorly to hearing the day to day life with the bf, then keep going. He may just need time to stew in his own thoughts.

Your statement about being able to find someone better suited and that causing a breakup is an odd one. I don't think I have ever read anyone that is poly say this (I have only been reading on this for 6 months). You love you SO, finding someone as a better fit would simply expand not destroy, in theory. I find it interesting that you mention that.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:18 PM
noob noob is offline
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Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
Your statement about being able to find someone better suited and that causing a breakup is an odd one. I don't think I have ever read anyone that is poly say this (I have only been reading on this for 6 months). You love you SO, finding someone as a better fit would simply expand not destroy, in theory. I find it interesting that you mention that.
I actually agree with you. I don't think that's going to happen with me because I have no interest in "trading" one partner for another. But I felt like I had to acknowledge that it is theoretically possible that one of us might end up with someone else, or someones else, and not with each other, i.e. we could break up. But as I said, that could happen with or without poly.

I think maybe he is just more serial monogamy minded, and in his mind it makes sense that if you find someone you like, you want to "go off and be with them," as he puts it. That really isn't what I want, but at the same time, if my seeing someone else makes him shut completely down and become an un-partner to me because he assumes the end is nigh, then the end would probably happen...even though I am not interested in "trading him in." The end of the marriage would become a self-fulfilling prophecy, simply because he is not participating in the marriage. And as hard as I try, I cannot sustain a relationship with someone who has decided I am inevitably leaving.

Does that make sense?

Last edited by noob; 04-16-2010 at 08:24 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:21 PM
mittin mittin is offline
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EDIT: sorry, this is really long. I didn't mean for this to be so long!

Your post reminds me very much of my own situation, except that I am in the place of your husband! I think I can offer a bit of insight, but from the other side.

Firstly you mentioned that he's quieter and that he's finding it hard to be in a conversation about your new partner. I am in that position with my partner now as well... she will tell me little things about her and her new GF and I just don't trust myself to react positively, so I say nothing. For instance she told me that she and her new partner send just a little SMS message to each other before bed to say "hey goodnight, you!" or something equally innocuous. When I heard that I just felt hurt and jealous. I wanted to be the person she sent little text messages to like that. So instead of reacting positively about something as small as this, I just shut up and said nothing... sort of nodded or made some little sound of acknowledgment I guess. I know that I should be okay with it, so I'm just trying to work it out in my own mind.

Quote:
I just don't know, though...could he be really upset about this and just not speaking up? I worry he will go along acting like everything is is fine until one day BLAM!--He's just done with me, no warning. But if he did that, I think it would be terribly unfair to me, and I would be uber-pissed--since I have tried my very best to give him opportunities to express fear, reservations, discomfort. I can't be responsible for addressing issues I don't know are issues, you know?
I can understand how you feel, but you need to give your husband a little bit of room. When my partner found another person I had some pretty profound personal realizations. Firstly some of my childish beliefs about romance were shattered pretty violently. I went from a feeling of being belonging to a real feeling of loneliness. Since we are still pretty new to being poly I still feel profound, profound moments of utter solitude. It is hard for somebody like me who felt that they had found the perfect safety net, and then realized that the person they have come to rely on is not (or, realistically, cannot be) everything they need.

My counselor told me that the existentialist views loneliness as the essence of the human condition. We are born alone, we travel through life alone, we die alone. It is a fact, but it need not be a source of despair. Coming to terms with your isolation can free you in ways that are not possible when bound by the delusion of interconnectedness.

A semi-opposing school of thought comes to us from Buddhism. Here the thinking is that the ego is an illusion created by the mind, and the essence of enlightenment is to deconstruct the ego. Once this is done, one appreciates that everything is connected, the mind, the body, nature, our fellows, our ideas, everything.

I think I have gotten a bit off topic now. The reason I brought it up was that something that has helped me tremendously to come to terms with polyamory is exploring these schools of thought and pondering my own place in the universe. I don't know if your husband is anything like me, so it's hard to say if he's be interested in these things or find appreciation for these schools of thought.

My advice for communicating with your partner is to be consistent but also patient. If talking about your new partner visibly upsets him then don't mention it as frequently, but do talk about it. There is no way you will be able to survive this by bottling up all emotion. Let your husband adjust to the idea of polyamory before really letting the tidal wave wash over him.

Good luck! Take strength from the fact that you're challenging years of dogma and societal programming! It takes real courage to be poly, be proud and supportive of your husband.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:30 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Does that make sense?
Perfectly...thanks
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:46 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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Coming from someone who doesn't like to hear details you might want to ask him what makes him uncomfortable about it. For me it's that I make myself crazy comparing every little thing. She is different from me, they have a different relationship. Not everything has to be exactly the same. I know that in my head and I'm working on feeling it in my heart too. I happen to be a very competitive person and I'm trying to reframe relationships in my head into something other than something you "win".

-Derby
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:47 PM
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I have a male lover and I am his secondary. He loves me just as much as his primary but in a different way. I would not be willing to be as involved with him on a daily basis as she is, so we only see each other occassionlly. I'm sure there are times when he is gushing about me to her and I know there are times when he is gushing to me about her. Fortunately she and I get along good, but that doesn't mean that when she's with him that she wants to hear all about me. And sometimes, I don't see the need for us to have to talk about her. One rule of thumb I would suggest and it's something I try to practice. Be with the one you are with. In my opinion, it is far more valuable to occasionally spend time with both of your partners (together) so that they can get to know one another and come to terms with the relationship dynamics you have with each of them.....they can observe......this is so much more valuable than all the talking you could do about your other lover. It's so much easier to accept something you can observe and see. On the other hand, the visions a person creates in their mind can be quite elaborate and way out of reality.
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:06 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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wow mittin, great post!!!!!

noob, my husband sounds a lot like yours. He never tells me when something is bothering him until he's completely thought it out and come to some kind of conclusion. It almost reminds me of that saying, "Don't come to your boss with a problem unless you have a solution" ... not that I'm the boss or anything, but he seems to have that kind of attitude. Like ariakas claims to be, though, he's painfully transparent during this time. I can always tell when something is bugging him. And because he always comes to me eventually, I just give him his time to deal with it. Sometimes, if he seems particularly grumbly and I'm feeling impatient, I'll coax it out of him a little sooner and ask him to let me help him find a solution. This has about a 50% success rate.

Only you know your husband best and can decide what will work for you guys. If he seems overly quiet when you talk about your boyfriend, ask him if he would rather not hear the details. Assume that he's telling you the truth, what else can you do?

I think there's a difference between DADT and just not wanting details. As I understand DADT relationships, they extend to not even wanting to know whether and whom your partner is dating, which is different from having been told who they're dating and just not wanting any details.
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittin View Post
My counselor told me that the existentialist views loneliness as the essence of the human condition. We are born alone, we travel through life alone, we die alone. It is a fact, but it need not be a source of despair. Coming to terms with your isolation can free you in ways that are not possible when bound by the delusion of interconnectedness
I find this to be a very valid and important awareness. As an extrovert, I seek and enjoy interconnectedness, but within me there is an inner knowing which tells me that I came into this world alone and I will leave this world alone. Being able to embrace this awareness on a daily basis eradicates the fear of losing a lover- which seems to be at the core of many difficult relationship struggles.
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:27 PM
noob noob is offline
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One rule of thumb I would suggest and it's something I try to practice. Be with the one you are with. In my opinion, it is far more valuable to occasionally spend time with both of your partners (together) so that they can get to know one another and come to terms with the relationship dynamics you have with each of them.....they can observe......this is so much more valuable than all the talking you could do about your other lover. It's so much easier to accept something you can observe and see. On the other hand, the visions a person creates in their mind can be quite elaborate and way out of reality.
Yeah, I completely agree that this would be the way to go...but my relationship with M is a long distance one (very long distance). He and my husband are not meeting for another 2 months (which is the next time I will see him as well). The relationship at this point is a completely phone/chat/text thing...so it would be totally possible for my husband not to be confronted with it much at all. But I don't think that would be healthy, because it would basically allow us all to pretend like it isn't happening.
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