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Old 05-17-2010, 10:15 AM
Searching Searching is offline
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Default Trust and Truth....can I be Poly with him?

I feel so lost right now. I am trying to take the theory of poly and make it a part of my life with my husband, but everything seems to go so wrong and trust is a huge issue that never seems to go away. Every step forward I take, I feel something happens to send me 2 back.

I'll start by saying that I am fairly new to the practice of an open relationship. When I met the man I am with, I knew he was poly, and I was open to it. When I realized that I had fallen in love with him and we became life partners I panicked little as I was not sure how to live this lifestyle and it scared me more than a little. I did ask for one guideline regarding a few ex's that made me uncomfortable to which he agreed. Needless to say, there was betrayal of that about one year into our relationship when he broke that request and we ended up closing the relationship and seeking therapy in order to try and save our relationship. We stayed closed for a lot of years, even got married. Shortly after the marriage he brought up wanting to open the relationship again.

I will admit that I was not as open to the notion as I was the first time around. Trust is a tricky thing but I also knew that our relationship would end if I did not. He said that he would stay with me and remain mono but that in order to do so he had to "turn-off" his sexual desire so our sex life would be pretty non-existent. I'm not really into giving that up.

I read the books, we talked about it, then we talked some more....and then a little more. I asked him to read the books too (9 months later...he still hasn't) I asked to set out guidelines. He agreed. We wrote down what we were both wanting out of our relationships with others. He is into BDSM so his relationship would have that aspect. We talked about the guidelines, and we agreed to them. Then we agreed it was time to put this new lifestyle into action.

I really thought that he would have been incredibly supportive of me and help me deal with my emotions as he lived poly for 10 years before he and I ever got together. Truthfully though, I feel like most of the time he is just angry at me for not being completely ok with everything right from that moment. To make matters worse, to me it seems like he is breaking all our guidelines over and over, and my trust just keeps taking a beating. Whenever something happens and I get upset or feeling like he has been deceptive he gets mad and shuts me out. He is never reassuring or loving about it, just mad that I am holding him back. He says all of my emotions and upsets are just excuses because I don't want him to be intimate with anyone else. But that is not true, I just want him to be open and honest with me before things happen and that he follows the guidelines.

He has gone off with someone and played when we are in the middle of an argument, then lied about how far things went until he realized the other person would tell me if I asked. He said he didn't understand the guideline and thought it meant talking to others about our relationship issues...so we clarified.

He has been deceptive about inviting someone to a party. I was on the phone with him as I was away for the weekend and he said the people who were there and left out a girl he was interested in and whom he invited and knew would be arriving any minute. He said later when we were talking about it that she wasn't there at the time so he had not lied. He then took this girl home after the party and they played around up to the point where SHE stopped the interaction because she was aware that he was breaking the guidelines of his primary relationship.

I was having a really hard time with his first girlfriend which he was seeing regularly (the same from the example above) but really tried to cultivate a relationship. I invited her over for a movie and then he decided to drive her home after and decided to stay so he could play. It was suppose to be our night together and I ended up calling and telling him that I needed him to come home. It was a horrible night, very emotional but in the morning we were still together. I went to work for a few hours then came home, later that night he told me that they had sex for the first time that morning. Apparently right after I went to work he got dressed, went and got her and slept with her and rushed her out when he found out that I was off work early. Our relationship was in major crisis....and he decided to take things to the next level with the other person. Without ever discussing it with me, but as far as he was concerned there was no problem with that because our rule was no sex until after I had met the other person....and I had met her the night before.

The relationship didn't last long because we had a family emergency the next day which consumed our lives for 3 months and in the end I told him I couldn't deal with the emotions of what was happening and trying to accept poly all at the same time. I asked him to end it (as it was only 2 weeks in) and after much arguing and making me feel like a horrible person, he did.

He's told me that he had lunch with one of his ex's while I was away on a week vacation, no problem....then it comes out days later that he was trying to restart the relationship and when she was all for it, he realized that it may upset me since she was trying to move so fast he put the breaks on...my question is why not tell me all that at once and not a few days later when I saw a text message asking him to meet her at a hotel?

The latest incident....I am away again (seeing a pattern here lol) and he goes to a BDSM play party. I message him when it is over to ask how it went and he says....good, found someone to play with, gonna do that now. I was floored. It was 4 am, the party was over, and I ask where they are, he is at her house. I ask who he is with, a girl I met casually at a munch once...and not in the context of her and my husband doing anything together. I am not proud to say that I freaked out and he ended up going home because I was so upset. I just can't fathom how he could say that he didn't know until moments before I contacted him that anything was going to happen. She invited him to her house. How could there have not been a point before that when he could have called me and let me know that he thought the evening was heading that way and tell me he loves me and give me reassurance and then say he would talk to me in the morning? Did he technically break any rules?.....no. He told me before it happened, though I wonder what would have happened had I not texted (he said he was planning on doing it right when I did) and I have met her once before, though not in the context of her having a relationship with my hubby.

Maybe I really am not poly....though so much of it resonates with me. I just wonder if I can't be poly with him because of the trust issues and honesty problems. He says it would be worse if he is upfront all the time, but he has never tried....he always seems to think it is better to hold back until he is sure it is headed somewhere (the bedroom), but that is what makes me feel he is hiding something. It really isn't about the sex part, it about knowing what is going on with my life and my partner. I know this is all rambley and convoluted but there it is. Any words of wisdom?
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:40 AM
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Well, all of this, as I see it (though of course I can only tell from what you're sharing here), has nothing to do with being poly, but with seeking for an excuse to do whatever he likes. Yes, you are right: this is a major crisis, but the problem is not polyamory (since I can't see something like that), but trust and honesty. In any relationship it is not enough not to "technically break any rules", because it should not be a formal act like when you try to bend a law into such a shape that you will benefit from it - everyone knows that this law wasn't designed with this specific intention, but the wording allows you to apply it in that specific way. But though no one can say anything against it, it's still cheating.

I am sorry, but this is everything I can tell you: the way you describe it, it sounds like a really unhealthy relationship. And it has nothing to do with polyamory - maybe in a weird formal way, but ask yourself if it makes sense to formally love someone...
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:43 AM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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This sounds like an incredibly painful situation.

I'm a newbie but to me it sounds like perhaps he's not so much into caring relationships as he is into fooling around. I hope I'm not being unfair. I don't think you are reacting mostly to polyamory, I think you are reacting to your husband's impulsive and covert sexual behavior. It appears that way to me, I guess.

My intuition seems to say that you two need to find help with issues of marital trust and supportive relationship-building. I would recommend getting some counseling. I tend to think that without some perspective and self-monitoring he may manipulate any rules and bend any boundaries to suit his sexual whims.

I may be very wrong. Unfortunately I have only feeble male intuition to go on...

So I guess you have to carefully evaluate what I've written -- and what other people write to you -- because you are the one who truly knows what the situation really is.

But I do NOT think you are in any way wrong to feel hurt. Your feelings are valid. The first person you need to care about is yourself. That's always true in relationships, I suppose, but it's something to remember especially in your situation.

Good luck, and write more when and if you want.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:40 PM
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I'm VERY sorry that you have to deal with this. I, unfortunately, have to agree with the other posters. I don't think this is a case of being poly as it is he wants to do what he wants and is going to use being poly as his excuse. Anyone that's in a successful relationship of any kind will tell you that TRUST is one of the most important foundations. From what I've read, you don't have that. Worse yet, he's not willing to do what he has to to regain that trust. Telling you that your sex life would have to suffer?? It doesn't have to and shouldn't.

You have every right to feel the way that you do and he shouldn't undermine those feelings. Being in a poly relationship is extremely tough work and requires EVERYONE involved to do their part. I'm sorry you have to go through this, but remember that every life experience teaches us something. *hug*
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:58 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Originally Posted by Searching View Post
Maybe I really am not poly....though so much of it resonates with me. I just wonder if I can't be poly with him because of the trust issues and honesty problems. He says it would be worse if he is upfront all the time, but he has never tried....he always seems to think it is better to hold back until he is sure it is headed somewhere (the bedroom), but that is what makes me feel he is hiding something. It really isn't about the sex part, it about knowing what is going on with my life and my partner. I know this is all rambley and convoluted but there it is. Any words of wisdom?
Sounds like you are trying. However, if you feel you can't trust him you will also go through this. Over and over again.

Why does he believe it would be worse if he was up front all the time. I don't understand this, as it would remove your doubts etc. Has he tried to be up front with you and it didn't work? Maybe this is poly baggage from a previous poly relationship that had this problem?

Also...maybe I like to talk, but I tell my wife everyone I interact with. We enjoy our social lives and talk about our friends and people we interact with. I would, personally, find it very odd to suddenly come out of left field and say, "hey remember that person we met for 30 minutes 3 months ago, I have been chatting with her for the last month and we got together last night." Personally that would feel like I was cheating a bit. Thats my own person feeling though. Especially if I had ANY inkling towards possible sexual contact.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:00 PM
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Also...maybe I like to talk, but I tell my wife everyone I interact with. We enjoy our social lives and talk about our friends and people we interact with. I would, personally, find it very odd to suddenly come out of left field and say, "hey remember that person we met for 30 minutes 3 months ago, I have been chatting with her for the last month and we got together last night." Personally that would feel like I was cheating a bit. Thats my own person feeling though. Especially if I had ANY inkling towards possible sexual contact.
Couldn't agree more!
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:53 PM
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I sounds like you are doing a very good job at attempting a poly lifestyle. HE is the one that is not. The continual breaking of agreements and guidelines, the lying by omission (we have an entire thread about whether omission is lying), the sneaking around behind your back... it sounds like he wants a cheaters lifestyle in the clothing of a poly. He doesn't want to give you the chance to say "no".

He seems to want more than you are willing to give. He wants free reign and you want agreements and guidelines. He is not willing to wait and give you time to adjust or to reassure you in any way. The fact that he basically threatened you with no sex if he doesn't get his way shows that he does not really care if you are happy, as long as he gets what he wants.

Plain and simple, this is not going to work, especially with the way it is going. You cannot have a poly or really any relationship without trust and communication and the two of you have completely different views of what they should be. Either get help with the core relationship, be unhappy, or (I hate saying it) end it now and save yourself the pain from continual breaking of trust.

I wish you luck, and hope that you won't give up on poly as, as you say, it resonates with you and you are doing everything you can to be poly.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:40 PM
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Thank-you everyone for your words and encouragement. I was starting to wonder if I was being completely unreasonable asking to know things up front. I know if it hard to give advice when things are one sided, and this is my perception of how things are. Some of our friends have talked to my spouse and he sees it all very differently.
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Why does he believe it would be worse if he was up front all the time. I don't understand this, as it would remove your doubts etc. Has he tried to be up front with you and it didn't work?
To be honest, there have been 2 times when I have said no. When poly was brought back up after we were married and I was given the ultimatum of poly lifestyle or mono with little to no sex life we separated for several months. I felt pushed in the poly direction and like he had trapped me in some way. At that time I still didn't really understand the thoughts behind it and had issues with the thought of "loving" someone else and that it could take away from my relationship. It was at this point that I did a lot of reflection and realized that I already loved a lot of people in my life (my friends, my ex's, I have stayed friends with almost everyone that I have had a significant relationship with)....and that didn't take away from my current situation. Would adding a more physical intimate element to that really change anything? I decided that it wouldn't. I knew there would be emotional issues and jealousy to deal with, but I wanted to try, I thought that the benefits would certainly outweigh the work needed.

So I approached M (hubby) about it, as we had remained in contact trying to work on a friendship. He was cautious but willing to try but he had someone waiting in the wings at the time. I told him that I wanted to work on things but could not do so with someone waiting on the sidelines for me to be ready as it added to much pressure. He felt that I just wanted him to prove he would chose me over someone else. I stand by myself still though and really feel that I knew myself well enough to know that I needed just he and I to focus on the adjustments and trust that needed to form.

The second "no" came with his next attempt at a relationship, (The woman he met online and was secretive about) and it wasn't even a "no" but a slow down request. There relationship ended after a few weeks because of the family emergency (i won't really go into this, but to say it was life or death and lead to me being away from home for 3 months at the hospital) It shocked me that he still wanted to go back to be with this person (who he had met 2 weeks prior) instead of being at the hospital with his family. He was very upfront about why he was going home for the weekend, and though I was upset and had to process that I did not freak out about it or feel the need to talk it to death. In the end though, I was very overloaded with everything that was going on. As this was not really an established relationship yet I asked him to tell her that he was still interested but that he had to focus on the situation at hand and while he could call or message he would be unable to come for visits. He got all morose and depressed, argued why he didn't see why it should be a problem and that he didn't want to hurt her. I said that she was aware or the situation and was more concerned for us then anything else and she would understand. But instead of just slowing things down and explaining why, he broke up with her saying that I was having issues and couldn't deal with it.

I am so tired of everything being my fault. I am afraid that the experience I am now having with taint my epiphany from earlier this year about already having multiple loves and wanting to share more and deeper with them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:04 PM
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Wow, that's kind of childish of him to put it too her like that. He sounds like a boy who has been told he can't play with a toy until he cleans his room. It sounds like there is still some communicating that needs to be done.

In my relationships I tell my partners what I need to hear or have conveyed as a way of being sure there is no assuming going on and that they understand what will make me feel more comfortable, loved and respected. It sounds like you did this and he twisted it to suit himself. Rather selfish it sounds like and he missed he point.

Perhaps some more discussion on what it was that made him say it like that is in order. Was he doing the whole, "fine! I will just break up with her then!" whining thing because he felt your relationship and your comfort didn't take precedent and his needs did instead? Or was there something else behind it?
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:38 AM
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Was he doing the whole, "fine! I will just break up with her then!" whining thing because he felt your relationship and your comfort didn't take precedent and his needs did instead? Or was there something else behind it?
Truthfully I can not answer this question. I thought he had misunderstood me as to my request and tried to clarify and was greeted with very negative energy and a response which basically was: obviously you will never be enlightened enough or ok with this so why bother....it was exactly as you stated now that I think of it....a child who was pouting.

I have talked to him the last 2 night about my feeling about the most recent incident, and even so tonight he went out and pretty much did the exact same thing as last time. He apparently had something of this girls and was going to drop it of to her at a public gathering. When I messaged later to ask how it went he advised me they were having coffee at her house....but nothing was happening. They were just talking. I wanted to say to him...how hard would it have been to pick up the damn phone and call me before you went over there but I really just don't have the energy to do it anymore. I don't know how to be any clearer as I have explained what I need to feel comfortable and respected over and over again. I feel he is just hoping I will give up on my needs and let him do whatever he wants whenever he wants. Really at this point the only thing I am thinking of giving up is the relationship.
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