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Old 04-06-2011, 02:47 AM
FoCo FoCo is offline
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Default Help!!! I'm having some trouble and really need some advice adjusting

It's a bit long and complicated but I could really use some help. My wife and I were probably swingers for about a year, and for the most part enjoying it. We were having the typical super hot sex and increased closeness a lot of couples enjoy in this lifestyle.

My wife went away for a conference and I basically told her no sex, which she adhered to. But, she came back and essentially laid a bomb on me. She said she met a guy and wanted to be poly. We had never discussed this possibility before, and she is very sure she has a strong connection to this guy, Victor.

I was extremely upset. I did not handle it well at all. She would not back off of her demands and it put us in counseling immediately.

Anyways, after doing some soul searching, I decided to let her continue to have this man in her life. But, we tried to set boundaries and she could not adhere to them. After one of our counseling sessions, I asked her to not have contact with Victor for a week, and she broke that in 2 days. Then, she gave me some time, and I said go ahead and talk to him. My boundaries were essentially that I did not want that relationship to take away from us - no breaking plans with me to talk to him, for instance.

I have been having a myriad of problems adjusting to this. I am having some strong feelings of anger and jealously. I am having trouble getting over how Victor was brought into our lives, and I am not sure if I will ever be able to be okay with him because of how he entered.

I have been almost manic about it. I'll be fine for a day or two, and then I'll find out something new and I just freak out. We are beginning to get into a cycle where I tell her I am not comfortable with what is going on, and we are having trouble communicating. For instance, I am at a conference right now. I was looking at my phone bill and noticed she has been talking to him for 1 - 2 hours a day, every day since I've been gone. I completely freaked out. I called her and said some things I did not mean. Problem is, now she uses that as an excuse not to back off from this guy. I asked her to not have contact till I get home, which is 2 days from now, and she said she would not.

Her reasoning was because she did not want to.

Here are my questions: 1) Has this type of thing happened to anyone else and how did you deal with it? 2) What can I do to deal with my feelings of jealousy? And why I am I so up and down emotionally?

I am actually pushing her away more and it is the opposite of what I want to have happen.

Also, this all happened with in a matter of about 3 weeks. I want to make this work, but to be honest, I'm pretty sure she basically met some guy, let herself open up emotionally, and is falling in love with him. I'm scared to death and I am not sure what to do.

Please help!!!

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:14 AM
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Well, there are more than a few people in this group who are experiencing or have experienced the feelings that happen when your spouse decides they want to be polyamorous. I've been actively polyamorous for a little over a year and my primary partner and I are on the same page. We realize that it's just a simple shift in thinking. It's not easy per se, but simple. Once the mental shift happens, the emotions follow.

These are the points that we believe:
1- You can not possess anyone anyway. The illusion that there is security in a relationship due to the unconsious idea that you posess your primary partner is a lie.

2- Get over the idea that you can possess anyone.

3- The idea that monogamy gives you a better chance to posses someone is also a lie.....let that go also.

4- Focus on yourself. Fear of abandonment is bad enough, but debilitating fear is a waste of energy.

5- If you can get your shit together, she will probably not leave you, but just remember- worst case scenario- For the most part, people don't usually die from being abandoned.

6- If you can give your polyamorous partner space, the possiblilty that they will choose to remain in a relationship with you also will increase.

7- Get a life that is rewarding and fulfilling for yourself. Some fear of abandonment is normal, but an out of proportion fear could be an indication of codependency.

8- Codependency is not attractive, or cool.

Good luck!!!
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:35 AM
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Hmm. You talk about "letting her" do this or that, almost as if you own her. I also don't get the sense that the two of you were ever really negotiating about boundaries you were both willing to work with - it sounds like you "asked for" (demanded?) what you wanted and she acquiesced, but obviously, they didn't work for her. There need to be some concessions made on both sides. Funny that you refer to what she wants as "demands," but you're just "asking" for what you want? Really? There definitely seems to be some element of possessiveness or sense of ownership on your part, which I think you would do well to look at. It could be coming from a very old place inside you.


*As usual, I can never understand the swinger mindset about being okay with a spouse having sex, but not being okay with poly, which is seen as some kind of big explosive crisis-making development - what's that about? Wouldn't you want someone to care for and relate to her more than just sexually? Isn't she worth having that? But I digress...


As to the jealousy, I agree that it sound s like you are very much wrapped up in thinking of your wife as someone you own and don't want to share (but you have shared when swinging, so... huh?). Perhaps examining similar feelings from your past might help you in identifying where that comes from, so you can let go of it. Your fears don't need to rule you and run your life. Look at them but don't hang on to them. And keep talking but don't let yourself lash out when you feel that rise in you. When it does, talk about that -- as in "Right now I just want to say something mean to hurt you. I don't know why I want o do that..." etc. Open up the dialogue. I hope that all makes sense, I'm tired.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-06-2011 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:58 AM
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Hullo and welcome!

I think you'd do well to check out tags around 'NRE', because talking one to two hours per day is just that. It might help you to realize that NRE or New Relationship Energy or falling in love is a state of emotional turmoil and hormone overflow which doesn't last forever.

You describe Victor 'being brought into your lives' almost as if your wife was cheating on you. Was she? I sort of understand that while you felt swinging brought the two of you closer, now you feel poly is taking you apart. There is an inkling of truth in that, but like idealist pointed out, it's more a change in mindset than anything else. Many couples have experienced increased closeness with poly. Intimate relationship are a play of feelings of closeness and distance.

I don't think there is anything necessarily possessive about wanting you SO to stick to plans made with you and not derail them in order to spend impromptu time with new squeeze. To me, holding on to your time commitments is a sign of respect. People justify a lot of shit to themselves while in NRE. It doesn't make them bad people but doesn't make cheating or lying okay, either.

Do a tag search on 'jealousy', too. There is help available for dealing with these emotions. You are not jealous, you are feeling jealousy at certain points in time, and like all possessions, jealousy can be released, too.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:49 PM
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Hi there, what is the story with Victor? Where did she meet him, what has she done so far with him? Have you met him? Do you know him?

All of these questions would help me formulate a suggestion for you, but because I don't know much I will write a few things anyway... first of all, I totally agree to do a tag search for "NRE" and "jelousy," great idea! There is lots here to help you realize you are not alone and that there are solutions.

I think it is very important to meet this man as soon as you can. If you haven't already. The more you know of him the better off you will be. The more grounded you will feel. He is not what you think he is most likely and the stuff that goes on in your head is most likely not what is going on.

I would also suggest dropping some of your rules. They are not boundaries by what you have described. They are rules and they hark of ownership. You can and should not attempt to own your wife.

That being said, it sounds like you are concerned for your relationship and struggling to keep up with what is going on for her. That is fine, but there are other ways to deal with that without locking her up (metaphorically )

Boundaries work better it seems if they are mutually agreed upon and are specific when you start out. You also need to understand that they should be movable and if something comes up then freaking out is not the answer, adjusting is. If you have an agreement that your time with her is not jeopardized then what does that mean specifically. You are away, why should she not call this guy and chat? If she buys her own calling card with her own money then why not? provided its not a time you and her set aside for you and her to talk. These are the specifics you can lay out about what you need when you talk about boundaries.

A week for a woman in NRE to not talk to a love that is available in a phone call is just too much I think. That was a total set up by my thoughts... maybe she thought she could do it, I know I couldn't. She has to start being realistic also... stop agreeing to things she can't keep her promise about. This is negotiation... she gets to express her needs and you get to express yours and then you keep giving a little until you reach the line where to cross over it is absolutely not okay right now... maybe later. Things don't stay the same and there should always be fluidity... the good thing with that is that there is always room for change when things get easier.

Perhaps the biggest suggestion I have is to ask her to slow down. It sounds like you need to catch a breath. Maybe just talking on the phone everyday at a time when you are not around for a couple of weeks is all you can handle. Then maybe you could be okay with her going into another room when you are around.... then saying hi to him yourself, then she can go on a date until 11... then you meet him... plotting it out with time frames seems to help because then you can go at your pace and she can feel like there is progress and that you are working on your stuff. All of the times and events can be adjustable if at the end of a time period you feel you need more time, or before it comes to an end you are ready to move to the next thing...

I hope this all makes sense. Please ask if you have a question about it... for now though, take a deep breath and realize that the more you give, the more you get. There is nothing like a woman in NRE to give back a whole lot of loving when she feels like her life is her own and that her decisions and desires are respected. You could greatly benefit by letting the strings go a bit and getting your own life sorted out right now... (by that I don't mean going out and getting your own girlfriend btw!).
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default thanks for the help

Hey everyone, thanks so much for the help. I think what you all have said is true, I am being possessive. I am really trying to let go. Let me give you all a few more details.

She met Viktor at a conference in Maryland, and he lives on the east coast. We live in Colorado. I have only seen a picture of him. I have thought about asking if I could talk to him, but I have no idea what is appropriate and what is not. We've talked about it and one of the hardest things about non monogamy is that there are really no resources. We were figuring it out alone, and now that she wants to go poly, I do feel like I am being abandoned a bit.

Let me give a short timeline as well. She met him almost a month ago. When she first told me she said she would not have contact for with him for a amount of time (I forgot if we agreed on 5 days, 7 days?) and then she contacted him in less than 48 hours. When we first started talking to a counselor, she told the counselor she was afraid to tell him that we are married, i.e. she would not acknowledge our marriage to him, and that our marriage was not ending. To her credit she eventually did, and that helped me tremendously.

Last night we talked about it and now she wants to go see him in two weeks. I think all of you are correct that I am trying to own her, and it really makes me feel like an ass. I do not want to be like this and I am trying to come up with ways to stop doing it.

At the same time, I feel like a lot of you are basically saying, anything goes. In four weeks we've gone to never even talking about poly to now we are poly and she wants to go hop on a plane (mind you we are both grad students and have no money) and she told me she thinks she is falling in love with him. Do I not have any reason to be concerned? Is that how most of you do this? If a partner wants something, the other one has to do it at the same pace?

I really appreciate the constructive suggestions. We truly have a deep love and respect for each other. I want to do all I can to make her happy, and let her be herself. I do not want to take away her happiness. To see someone with NRE and having to adjust to a new paradigm at the same time is very difficult. We talked about swinging for almost a year before we did it. There was no discussion about this.

I really appreciate all the constructive criticism. What I learned from swinging was when I was able to let her go in that context it was great for everyone and I know I need to do the same here. It sounds like for some of you that's easy but for me it's kind of hard
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoCo View Post
She met him almost a month ago. When she first told me she said she would not have contact for with him for a amount of time (I forgot if we agreed on 5 days, 7 days?) and then she contacted him in less than 48 hours. When we first started talking to a counselor, she told the counselor she was afraid to tell him that we are married, i.e. she would not acknowledge our marriage to him, and that our marriage was not ending. To her credit she eventually did, and that helped me tremendously.
These two points are common for a woman who is afraid of what her feelings are. She has no frame of reference also and doesn't want to hurt you, so when she saw you were hurt she felt like she could promise anything as long as you got that pained look off of your face.

What she found, like so many of us do, is that it isn't realistic to do something that someone else wants just because THEY want it and to keep yourself from feeling guilty... she needed to be true to herself also. This takes practice and it will take some time before she is used to expressing what she would like to see happen, regardless of the pained look you have or the pain you are it... Its important to get there because its better to make a promise that can keep over one that will be broken and made in the moment so as to appease someone's anger.
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At the same time, I feel like a lot of you are basically saying, anything goes. In four weeks we've gone to never even talking about poly to now we are poly and she wants to go hop on a plane (mind you we are both grad students and have no money) and she told me she thinks she is falling in love with him. Do I not have any reason to be concerned? Is that how most of you do this? If a partner wants something, the other one has to do it at the same pace?
I didn't say that. I said that you should ask her to slow down. Yes you have a reason to be concerned. No, this is not how most of us "do this." The pace should be of the one that is struggling the most. That would be you. Why? Because it is respectful, it shows you care and love your partner enough to put your immediate need to be with someone aside until they are comfortable. It shows that you can rise above your NRE (new relationship energy) in order to show that you are sitting up and taking note of how you effect those around you.

I suggest doing a tag search for "NRE" "lessons" and "foundations" to read more about what works in poly from the good readers and writers of this forum. They have learned much and have educated themselves much... See what you get from it and maybe invite your partner to do the same. It sounds like she might need some guidance before booking her flight.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:30 AM
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I have thought about asking if I could talk to him, but I have no idea what is appropriate and what is not.
Absolutely you are within your rights to ask for getting to talk to him. Please do that before she gets on that plane. How else can you be 100% sure he even knows you exist (yes, this is very unlikely, and I'm not implying this is your case). You need to hear things like 'is he poly?', 'how much does he expect to see your wife?' etc. from him, not relayed through her.

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At the same time, I feel like a lot of you are basically saying, anything goes. Is that how most of you do this? If a partner wants something, the other one has to do it at the same pace?
Poly requires a heightened sense of consideration for others, and is pretty much the opposite of everything goes, to my mind. There is a difference, though, as RP pointed out, between 'reasonable' and 'fair' demands on the one hand, and 'unreasonable' and 'unfair' demands on the other.

A reasonable demand;
1) You schedule one date night per week with your wife, and she agrees to turn her mobile off and not text to him while you go to the toilet so the two of you can talk, reconnect and have fun. The date has a specific time-frame, say four hours, after which she can call or text her beau.
An unreasonable demand;
2) You agree to not having her talk to Victor or contact him in any way for an unspecified amount of time while you 'process'.

Placing a small child with a box of candy in a room and telling them that if they touch the candy, they will be punished, then leaving the room for four hours, is setting unreasonable demands for a child. It leads to resentment and feelings of insecurity on part of the child. I don't have children but I've had dogs and the first lesson in building trust with your dog is giving them challenges they can succeed at and then rewarding them for success. Not to imply that being married is anything like bringing up a puppy but the basics of trust-building work from one species to the next, methinks .

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To see someone with NRE and having to adjust to a new paradigm at the same time is very difficult. We talked about swinging for almost a year before we did it. There was no discussion about this.
Getting into poly is very hard in the way you just described, and I'd love to say it's easier for someone who first talks about it and goes through a long dating period, but check out posts by Freetime and you see that's not necessarily the case. Victor happened and now is the time to slow down, self-educate, connect as a couple and make the most of the situation.

Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:00 PM
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I have thought about asking if I could talk to him, but I have no idea what is appropriate and what is not.
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Absolutely you are within your rights to ask for getting to talk to him. Please do that before she gets on that plane. How else can you be 100% sure he even knows you exist (yes, this is very unlikely, and I'm not implying this is your case). You need to hear things like 'is he poly?', 'how much does he expect to see your wife?' etc. from him, not relayed through her.
I'm so glad you brought this up. It seems that quite often secondaries see things a differently after they have met with a primary.

In my experience it is essential to meet other partners. I have been lied to before about them knowing I exist and found out that my partner was actually cheating and lying to both of us.

I think if I were you, I would want to talk to him to express my struggle with him being in her life and rushing to make this something that takes time to occur. I would want to know about his situation first hand, not from her. People speak differently to primaries of their partners about stuff. Creating some boundaries with him is a good idea. After all he wants to share your wife.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoCo View Post
She met Viktor at a conference in Maryland, and he lives on the east coast. We live in Colorado. I have only seen a picture of him. I have thought about asking if I could talk to him, but I have no idea what is appropriate and what is not. We've talked about it and one of the hardest things about non monogamy is that there are really no resources. We were figuring it out alone, and now that she wants to go poly, I do feel like I am being abandoned a bit.
Online Poly Resources for a start.

And, yes, you should talk to him, and maybe even run a background check as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoCo View Post
She met him almost a month ago. . . . Last night we talked about it and now she wants to go see him in two weeks. I think all of you are correct that I am trying to own her, and it really makes me feel like an ass. I do not want to be like this and I am trying to come up with ways to stop doing it.
No need to feel like an ass. Don't should on yourself - you feel what you feel, plain and simple, and you also have the opportunity to examine your feelings and see what you can let go of, how to take care of yourself in all this, and how to express what is comfortable for you.

Quote:
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At the same time, I feel like a lot of you are basically saying, anything goes.
No one who responded here said "anything goes!" It's funny and perhaps quite telling that you interpreted our posts that way. You seem to operate with a very black-and-white way of looking at things. Either you're possessive or anything goes - interesting, eh?!! No, no, no -- what all of us said was to see if you can let go of possessiveness and codependency, communicate better, and negotiate. How is that "anything goes," LOL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoCo View Post
In four weeks we've gone to never even talking about poly to now we are poly and she wants to go hop on a plane (mind you we are both grad students and have no money) and she told me she thinks she is falling in love with him. Do I not have any reason to be concerned? Is that how most of you do this? If a partner wants something, the other one has to do it at the same pace?
Oy. So, she met him a month ago and has only seen him that one time when they met, is that correct? So, they've been talking/texting since then? And she says she's falling in love... I find that a bit hard to believe (and I'm someone who always considered myself as someone who falls in love easily). I think she's simply caught up in the heady euphoria of a new attraction. Furthermore, asserting that she wants to make this trip without any sort of discussion about whether it would be alright with you or not, indicates to me that indeed she has been dipped in the chemical bath of sexual attraction and isn't thinking clearly. See: Cupid has Something to Learn and other articles on that site. I also think, if making the trip is going to severely hamper your finances, it is rather inconsiderate of your wife to go and visit him now, especially at this point when everything is so new and you are struggling -- and you don't even know who he is! The need to look out for her safety is a huge factor. She needs to get her feet back on the ground, IMHO. You both would do well to slow down and talk more.

Does your wife read this forum? If not, perhaps you should suggest she register, introduce herself, and share her side of the story. It would help in how we all respond, to get a full picture of what's going on from both of your perspectives.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-08-2011 at 02:52 PM.
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