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  #21  
Old 06-28-2010, 04:20 PM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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lol...nice, rp. i totally love that kind of stuff! and actually, cue and L are pretty good at it. and i try to be good at it too...although i'm laid back, so my stuff is usually limited to super simple stuff or just a simple statement of my current mood/mode: "a hug/kiss/cuddle would be very helpful to me right now" or "i'm feeling overwhelmed, so could you take care of laundry today" or "i'm PMSing/tired/sick, so if i seem snarky/quiet/moody, please don't take it personally, i'm not upset with you".

when this all started and i first recognized that perm had this "stuffing" tendency, i suggested a code word or even some non verbal signals that we needed a check-in so he didn't feel like he needed to talk about exactly what he was feeling RIGHT THEN. i told him that i would be fine hearing "i need some extra time/energy/sex/space/whatever right now...i'm not sure why, but i'm working on it and we can talk about it as we go along". but...nada.

and what's frustrating is that he thinks his eventual meltdown/blowup IS the feedback...or should be enough feedback to get me what i need. but i feel like things are fine and fine and fine and fine (despite my efforts at checking-in) for weeks, and then BOOM, i get this huge, angry, tangled mess of shit i've been doing wrong...instead of giving me nice little breadcrumbs of things to do right on a daily basis.

it's almost like on a daily basis, he wants so much to value my freedom and ability to do what i want, that his default is to just clam up and say "go have fun" anytime i ask about plans...but my tendency to "go have fun" eventually builds up so much in his head and he starts thinking that going out and having fun is all i WANT to do and i don't WANT to spend time with him. when i DO (or at least did), but he has to make plans, he has to ask me, he has to want it too. and wow, i'm thinking about it now and i actually told him that in like, december of last year and his response was that he shouldn't have to "compete" against cue for my time, he shouldn't have to make plans just to have me around. omg...i totally forgot about that until now. i told him he didn't have to make plans, he just had to say "i want to be with you tonight", and it went back to the "i shouldn't have to ask for that" thing.

le SIGH.
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  #22  
Old 06-29-2010, 06:59 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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i am so freaked out by the idea of leaving. i love this house. it was totally my dream home and despite what perm has said, i feel like i have worked hard to make it feel like home. my family will freak. i mean like giant flaming abyss of catholic family drama freak...the thought makes me absolutely shudder. our mutual friends who (at perm's insistence) don't know about our arrangement will freak. and it will be really easy for him to make me out to be the bad guy: "well obviously she was cheating on me with that guy who was always around"...whereas he can easily write off his girlfriends because he was so careful to keep them at arm's length.
Funny that none of those reasons are "I really love him and I want to be with him and I want to make this work." Not saying those aren't true, just noting that your reasons for not wanting a divorce are either materialistic (even if you put emotional energy into your house, the house isn't the marriage), or else concern about what others will think of you. Neither of those can make you truly happy.

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In my relationships I tell my partners what I want to hear and what I am feeling and thinking at every turn as soon as I know for myself and it is appropriate. There is never an bit of info left out for long. If I need to hear something or I need them to do something in order to maintain my comfort I tell them. I'm talking down to ever detail.... they have learned so much about me from this. I also don't expect that they will. They know it's a request... quite often they are relieved that I have relieved them of the burden of guessing what is going on for me.
My husband is the quiet type and was unfortunately raised to believe his needs are insignificant and that he doesn't deserve to have them met, so don't even bother asking (gee, thanks mother-in-law).

What I've noticed about him, though, is that he'll do, or offer to do, things for me that he actually wants me to do for him. So instead of saying "no, thanks" if I didn't want it, I eventually figured out to do that for him. It's not 100%, but it works often enough to be a good starting place.

I've asked him to do various romantic things before, buy me a plant for no reason, just sweet little gestures like that. But he gets busy and forgets. So when he does think of it, I make sure to shower him with gratitude and praise. Again, back to the M-I-L, who always told him he did everything wrong, I've learned that criticism is a very ineffective way to make someone do what you want. Pavlov had it all figured out...
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  #23  
Old 06-29-2010, 01:30 PM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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Funny that none of those reasons are "I really love him and I want to be with him and I want to make this work." Not saying those aren't true, just noting that your reasons for not wanting a divorce are either materialistic (even if you put emotional energy into your house, the house isn't the marriage), or else concern about what others will think of you. Neither of those can make you truly happy.
that's fair...and honestly, i know those things won't make me happy. but the house (for me and obviously for him to) represents a common goal that we have (or had)...so the idea of leaving it is representative of losing that common goal and bond. i guess it probably sounds materialistic, but it's a bit of a metaphor for me too.

and i guess part of what i'm bemoaning about the house and the social stuff is that if it weren't for those things, i think perm and i could take some time off from each other, live apart for a while, regroup a little bit and figure out something that works for us. but as it stands, it's kind of an all or nothing thing, since we're totally integrated at this point.

and i'm sad that we aren't really out to his friends or anyone else in his life. i feel like the poly (and to some extent, me being bi and other various things about my past) is something he went to great pains to hide from everyone he introduced me to. so even if we manage to pull out of this with a functioning marriage, none of those people will ever be able to understand what is really going on with us.

at one point he said to me "i hope you find what you were looking for"...and i was just totally flabbergasted...because i HAD it for a while there. i had (or thought i had) a good marriage with him and a good relationship with cue too. but telling him that just made him more upset. =/

anyway, guilty as charged on focusing on the non-emotional stuff. but part of that is because i was focused solely on the emotional stuff for 3 weeks and we gained NO ground. so i think i'm just tired of insisting that i love him and don't want to lose him, etc., because it hasn't worked.
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  #24  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:32 AM
dancingalone dancingalone is offline
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Someone who loves you does not treat you like trash. Nor does someone who loves you treat the people you love like trash. From what you wrote, you've followed the rules the both of you set up, whereas he hasn't. Counseling is a good idea, even if it's just you, because you don't want this to mess with your head. Counseling for both of you is good too, but if he doesn't want to change to make himself happier, he's going to keep picking at you and cue, as well as anyone else that comes along, and there will be no saving your marriage. Part of me wants to ask why you'd want to but, i get it. I took my ex-husband back the first time he walked out on me, because I'd taken vows. I get needing to be able to be sure you did everything reasonably possible, and maybe a few unreasonably possible things, to keep you marriage intact. I hope things get better for you.
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  #25  
Old 07-02-2010, 04:11 PM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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you are right about me continuing to go to therapy. my last session was a good one. she accurately pointed out that my marriage has turned out to be much more constricting than what i signed up for. she asked what specific things i gained from being married that i wouldn't gain from a committed long term, living together relationship. i totally stalled. i had nothing. she pointed out that it seemed like one of the big factors for me was that it gave my family (and my parents in particular) the illusion that i was doing things the "right" way, which appears to be something i value.

so then we talked about my desire to not upset my parents and that it doesn't stem from fear of rejection or ridicule from them (since i'm pretty independent and such), but from a desire to not hurt or burden them when they feel like i've made a "mistake". my dad was divorced twice before my mom and it's still the source of a lot of tension and sadness for both of them, so even the idea of leaving my marriage makes me feel like i'd be reopening a big wound for them. but she said i can't live my life to keep my parents from feeling certain things...which is a big "duh", but i've been doing it for so long that it's hard to wrap my head around.

so my next step is to name to perm what's happening: that i'm spending time at home and not with cue right now to try and get him back to a balanced state, but i refuse to accept the false choices presented by the ultimatum and plan on continuing my relationship with cue. and assuming that's the route i go, i should start moving back towards where i want to be in terms of spending time with cue. she said it may take perm several months to process all this, so it could be messy and drawn out.

and yeah, DA, a big part of me sticking around is that i HAVE to know that i tried. i can't move forward effectively if i feel like i haven't explored every option to save something i have made a commitment to. if we were dating, i would have had a long conversation with him when he issued the ultimatum, and then i would have left.

perm has been a lot better over the last few days, but i am so wary. i feel like i see the writing on the wall now and no matter how much better things get for now, there will always be this cloud of doubt over my head. it seems pretty well established now that there is a cycle to this, and unfortunately it was/is trending towards worse, not better. so how much longer will things be "good" (ie: him stuffing things down while telling me everything is just peachy) before he suddenly pulls this emotional blackmail with me again and pulls the proverbial rug out from under me and whoever i'm dating? is it fair to me to live in that state? how long can i continue to try and drag emotional information out of him before i have to step away for my own mental health? and so on...that's the kind of stuff that is going to stick in my head as long as i'm with him, especially if he's not in counseling and not making concerted efforts to improve his communication. yuck.
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  #26  
Old 07-03-2010, 08:27 PM
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Or, and this one comes up often for me and nerdist, "please stop asking me if I am okay. I am fine, I will tell you when I am not fine. I need for you to stop asking me that because it is making me frustrated and you seem to be reading my frustration as my not being fine.


Had to laugh at that one. It sounds pretty similar to what Mohegan and I tend to do...

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I'm fine"

"Well, you don't seem fine."

"No, really, I'm good."

"Umm... OK. When you're ready to talk about it, I'll be here."

"WHAT PART OF 'I'M OK' ARE YOU NOT GETTING?"


I tend to do it to her more than she does to me, but after everything I've put her through the past few months, I guess I'm just being hyper-sensitive to her moods. It generally ends in laughter or sex, so I'm not complaining.

Anyway, I got off topic here...

Joyful, I'm having a really hard time with Perm's attitude towards both you and Cue. Frankly, that's not how you treat someone you love. Now, I'm no saint - Mohegan and I got into this lifestyle because of me cheating on her - but I can't imagine telling her that she can't see someone she loves. My gf's ex is a man that I can't stand, but I don't tell her that she can't see him, because I know she still cares about him.

That's all that matters. You still love this person, so I'm not taking them away from you, because I don't want to hurt you. Period.

It sounds to me like he's more interested in owning you that being in a relationship with you, like in his mind you're "his", you "belong" to him. That's really unhealthy for you both, because it objectifies you in his mind, but also ties his self-worth to 'having' you. Not to mention how it plays hell with your emotions, and I'm sure the emotions of Cue and L as well.

Think this through. I'm not living your life, but it seems like, on one hand, you have a very healthy, loving relationship with two people who care about you. Even if L is just a friend, She's still involved, and right now she and Cue are patiently waiting for this mess to resolve, in spite of the fact that I'm sure Cue's going through some pain as well at the possibility of losing you. Which means that you have two people who seem to think you're worth dealing with all of this for. That's love, dear.

On the other hand, you have a house, your parents' feelings, and a man who, in my opinion, sees you more as some sort of self-validation than anything else. Are those things really worth sacrificing the kind of love Cue and L are showing here?

Like I said, this isn't my life. But I know what decision I'd make in this situation.
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  #27  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:09 AM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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well, we had it out today. we sorted everything out and the magic words passed his lips "ok, so everything related to cue, L and my ex is sorted out. the rest is just you and me."

perfect! so we get a game plan to get back to where we need to be and we're both on board. and as an afterthought, i say "so to be clear, my focus will be on you and getting us back to where we need to be, but i am not ending my relationship with cue completely."

"HOW IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MAKE ME FEEL!?? (um, that phrase is a pet peeve of mine) he's the one that caused all the problems! how are we supposed to go back to that??!"

wow...i was thinking like maybe 1 date a week with cue starting sometime this month...not TOTAL IMMEDIATE IMMERSION! but i tried all kinds of different scenarios and they all ended with me being selfish and crazy...it essentially came down to the ultimatum again and again and again. and honestly, i can't take anymore. cue and L have both been exceedingly patient...they've listened to all my belly-aching while encouraging me to stay calm and open...and more importantly, without any judgement of perm. the counselor helped me work through my concerns about what my parents think and although i love the house, it is not worth being miserable and manipulated.

so...uh...that's where we're at. i think it's time to fold. thanks again to everyone for the love and support. it was good that i found this forum when i did.
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  #28  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:13 AM
joyfulgirl26 joyfulgirl26 is offline
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p.s. my three wonderful siblings have, predictably, rallied around me, even though none of them are poly and they all care greatly for perm. they are taking me out for dinner and drinks tonight. that's fucking love, people.
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  #29  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:27 AM
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that's fucking love, people.
You're absolutely right. Sorry things turned out the way they did for you, but I honestly think you'll be better off in the long run. Even if it does hurt right now.

Good Luck, dear.
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  #30  
Old 07-04-2010, 01:37 AM
dancingalone dancingalone is offline
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You're right, it's time to fold, but don't let him take the house away from you. You both bought it so sell it and split it. It's your hard work too. Don't leave it behind. it's not worth being manipulated over but you deserve to enjoy your investment. At least now you know who loves you and who just wants to own you. Hopefully you're not hurting for too long and let Cue and L baby you a little if they want. Maybe baby them a little. Good luck.
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