Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 06-16-2011, 05:18 AM
sinew's Avatar
sinew sinew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
Default

The idea of limiting the frequency and length of our heavy conversations is probably a good idea. I'm pretty familiar with the better ways to talk out conflict from my professional life, but I've found it pretty hit or miss in this situation. Charlie wants me to get better, but feels helpless and I feel frustrated because my practical suggestions aren't in the spirit of what he wants. I suggest things like schedules and boundaries, and he says it's too complicated (which is probably true). What I really need to do is to "come around" to poly, and while he wants to give me time, he also doesn't want to hear that it could be a long, long time.

I have to agree with Minxxa's comments on Polyexplorer's situation. It would behoove poly folks who are trying to bring their mono partners around that this is no easier for the mono to want the relationship you envision than for you to want the relationship they envision. It seems like an impasse. I know that's how it has felt to me.

Polyexplorer, if your wife is like me, if she is trying, I implore you to celebrate that. If she is finding that she can open just a little bit to the idea, be grateful. Let her know you realize and are proud of how brave she is trying to be for you. If you can find a way to let this struggle bring you closer, you may find that she is able to adjust more easily than if she is feeling pressured. I virtually guarantee you that she can sense your impatience, and that is contributing to her discomfort. Here she is dipping a toe in what (for her) is water that's quite possibly infested with sharks, and you are making her feel bad for not being able to jump in.

Regarding the idea of a decisive point, I have some experience with that. I'm used to being able to put my mind to something and make it happen. I decide, and it stays decided. I've written pages and pages of instructions to myself, copied poems and passages, created flash cards (yes, geeky), and listened to tapes about letting go of negative emotion every day for months. I have tried like hell to decide to want poly for my husband, and it just doesn't work that way. It makes my heart ache in ways I've never felt before, and I am not an emotional person. I've even tried to just say to hell with all the problems I've still got with it, and I'll just be "in", for better and for worse. I don't recommend that approach.
__________________
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 06-16-2011, 11:43 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,235
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinew View Post
the idea of setting boundaries still fills me with dread. How do I select which things I'm supposed to be accepting and which I'm not when I can't promise not to be upset by any of them? . . .

I'm working to overcome bitterness about the affair, a lifelong problem with jealousy . . . And I know they don't want to wait that long, so we're all going to have to learn to live with pain somehow...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinew View Post
. . . while hiding it isn't right, becoming too attached to my pain is also something I need to watch for.

. . . I have a lot of fear wrapped up in the idea that I won't be able to truly get on board with poly before his patience runs out
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinew View Post
Charlie wants me to get better . . . I suggest things like schedules and boundaries, and he says it's too complicated (which is probably true). What I really need to do is to "come around" to poly, and while he wants to give me time, he also doesn't want to hear that it could be a long, long time.

. . . I have tried like hell to decide to want poly for my husband, and it just doesn't work that way. It makes my heart ache in ways I've never felt before . . .
The thing that strikes me most about your posts, and especially the passages I've quoted above, is how much you keep seeing your process as a problem, as if you're not getting it right or good enough, and how bad you feel that you aren't able to give Charlie what he wants as quickly as he wants it. I think more compassion for yourself is in order.

The fact is that Charlie took what he wanted already, had his cake and ate it too, dishonestly, and just because you are agreeing to consider poly doesn't give him license to have a tantrum because he wants you to move more quickly. This is a trauma you are recovering from. I feel that Charlie should be doing everything he can to earn your trust again. He needs to really see the beauty of your forgiveness and how much you have given him already just in that. If he and Juliet have something so great, it can wait for you and Charlie to repair what broke between you -- but HE has major work to do on the relationship he has with you. It shouldn't all be up to you.

That being said, I really like your comment about being watchful for those moments you become attached to your pain. This is such an important awareness. It's like how a kid learns to get attention (bear with my analogy): kid falls down, scrapes his knee, it stings a little. He whimpers a bit, then starts to get up, only to realize that none of the adults around him noticed. Wants to be fussed over, so gets back down and starts to cry until someone comes over. With all the attention he receives, kid starts focusing on his boo-boo and now it really hurts! This establishes a pattern of making some noise/creating drama and developing an attachment to pain to get attention. The kid, now an adult, still does it automatically, in some fashion, in all his relationships -- until he becomes aware. Then he has a choice.

The fact is that pain ebbs and flows, and real organic emotions rise of their own accord. When we dwell on certain thoughts over and over, we can manufacture emotions and hang on to them -- and doing that is a manifestation of attachment. It's good to look at our motives. The trick is to honor our process and know that sometimes it will feel like you've moved on, and then other times there will be sadness or what-have-you, but you need to find a balance between having patience for yourself and not giving into self-indulgence. This is a big challenge for myself, personally, as well.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 06-16-2011 at 11:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 06-16-2011, 11:48 AM
polyexplorer polyexplorer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 62
Default

Thanks for the comments from different people...

I am very aware that it is a huge shift to move from a mono upbringing to a poly one. I certainly don't expect that to shift overnight. We have been working through this for six years now, so I also don't think it's a patience thing either.

I think that what I can do better is to let go of any sense of pressure or expectation. That's what I want to do for my wife.

The place that we are stuck is about deciding what we want. I have decided. I now know that to be true to myself that I am poly. If my wife decided that she definitely wanted to be in a mono marriage and have someone love her and only her at an intimate level, (and this is a perfectly legitimate thing to want) then I would have to say to her that I am not the person who can provide that for her.

We love each other deeply, so this makes things really difficult for my wife. On the one hand she does want a mono marriage, on the other hand she recognises my capacity and desire to love more than one, and also sees that this is good for me and deep down realises that I cannot keep going in a relationship that does not allow me to express this love to others. So in her mind the only choices are to get on board with poly or let me go. Not an easy choice! The difficulty is she is yet to fully make that choice. The difficulty for me is to give her the space and freedom she needs to come to that choice, when the longer this stalemate keeps going on the more pain I feel...

Time and space will reveal all...
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 06-16-2011, 01:37 PM
just3's Avatar
just3 just3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 71
Default

Ok I have typed, deleted, typed again, deleted again. And well without writing a novel to spit out my POV...lol its like this.
TRUST- Once broken its very hard to mend. Like a pretty glass bowl glued back together you will always see the cracks.

My husband is my life.(well throw our rugrats in there too) I was sitting here reading this and well..I guess I was a lil shocked lol. A few points here..
1- If my hubs cheated on me or I him.. it would be over in a flat second. That is a huge no no in our house. Being dishonest and breaking trust is something we dont stand for with each other. I dont tolerate lying from my kids wouldnt want to wonder if the adult was being honest everyday.
2- My husband is my protector- That being said. He would NEVER force me into a situation I was not comfortable with. Whether that be poly or otherwise. I wouldnt ask him to change just as he wouldnt ask me. We discussed becoming poly. And I didnt agree for a year. And this was for me to have a partner not him.
3- I wouldnt hide my pain. If something hurts I get it out rather than let it fester. If you are not comfortable in this lifestyle you shouldnt do it. Simple as that.
4. Dont change just to make someone else happy- The SO that want to be poly with mono partners.. well.. In the end why force a square peg in a round hole just to make you happy. I spent many years when I was younger(Im talking kid and teen tol old for that BS now) being someone I wasnt to please parents, and so called friends..etc. No way I could do that as a adult. Its hard enough to go through the emotions of feeling your not wanted anymore or you dont please your partner anymore without saying relationship will be over if you dont do what I want in this... Thus reaffirming those horrible feelings the partner was feeling because there you pretty much say. Your not good enough you dont please me.

Ok off my soapbox... Just some insight from a insecure female who felt every ounce of this.
Chris
__________________
She is C He is S
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 06-16-2011, 04:38 PM
sinew's Avatar
sinew sinew is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
Default

You're right, nycindie, self-compassion is something I need to spend more effort on. It gets buried very quickly when I feel under pressure. And forgetting to show compassion for myself sets me up to make stupid decisions that I will regret.

Polyexplorer, I definitely respect that you've had the patience to work on this for 6 years. I have to say that if I try to get myself to accept my husband's poly life for that long and still can't to cope without suffering, I'd be gone. It would be terribly, terribly hard, but it would be the most compassionate thing for both of us. I don't disagree with his decision or yours. But after 6 years struggling, it may be time to accept that we aren't compatible, and that if we truly want happiness for each other, we should let go.

Just3, I love your conviction. I miss feeling so sure. I suppose everyone thinks they know what they'd do if they discovered their partner having an affair. But I would point out that as much as you hate lying from your children, you don't actually disown them when they do it. You might wish you could, especially when it's something very bad, but in the end love compels you to try and forgive. I think it's a lot like that, and that may be why more women forgive their cheating partners than men forgive their cheating partners.

Ironically, one of the first people I told about the affair, a long time friend whose convictions about fidelity are very strong, told me a couple of weeks ago that his wife had just admitted cheating. I felt terrible for him, but wondered if the same desire to repair the relationship would kick in for him they way it did for me. I know he loved his wife deeply. Alas, he looks at her now like a completely different person, and the divorce papers have been filed. It's just interesting how differently people respond to this kind of emotional event.
__________________
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 06-16-2011, 05:12 PM
just3's Avatar
just3 just3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 71
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinew View Post

Just3, I love your conviction. I miss feeling so sure. I suppose everyone thinks they know what they'd do if they discovered their partner having an affair. But I would point out that as much as you hate lying from your children, you don't actually disown them when they do it. You might wish you could, especially when it's something very bad, but in the end love compels you to try and forgive. I think it's a lot like that, and that may be why more women forgive their cheating partners than men forgive their cheating partners.

LOL I wish I was sure all the time. But many days Im flying by the seat of my pants and hoping the day turns out well.
No I cant disown the kids. (tempting when I have a preteen right now.....) I think your right that forgiveness is possible. Its not forgotten. I have been cheated on before and it hurt and yeah.. I tried to forgive. I tried to move on. And honestly.. I would have.. If it werent for all the other lies mixed in. My kids know its a lot of work to make up for the lie no matter how small. Same goes for a adult. I give allowances to kids because their motivation is a childish one and children are impulsive. Adults...well its a lot harder to give allowances because they are..well adults. Most kids dont have a conscience so when they lie its just a self serving thing that most the time they dont realize its going to affect someone else. And thats what we teach the kids. Adults have already out grown this. Or should lol. I have known many people my age who I swear were never taught anything about that lol.
I say good luck! You seem to be a very strong person and your heart seems to be very caring. Its very brave to come ask for help and insight. And the advice here is wonderful. I have used it many times
Chris
__________________
She is C He is S
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
affairs, cheating, forgiveness

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:51 AM.