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  #11  
Old 07-12-2011, 02:59 PM
RobertCourage RobertCourage is offline
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Default One more piece of data

The one thing I think is important that I didnt mention is that as this started, we all had a 'deal' that if anyone started to fall in love, we would talk about it immediately. This didn't happen. They kept their love a secret from me and, worse, she started pulling away from me. This resulted in her being cold, distant, and unapproachable. As a result of some of my actions (speaking to a female friend about this), we got into a big fight and thats when the truth came out.

So I do have a trust issue because of the fact that they lied to me.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2011, 07:24 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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Hi RC! Welcome

My husband, Sundance has shared some of your concerns. It has gotten easier over time, as the NRE settled into something that is now in perspective for me. I have been able to explore my feelings for my BF, and over time it has changed quite a bit. The love I have for him is more comfortable now, with the element of "forbidden fruit" taken out. One thing for me has been the realization that what I really needed was to get to know my BF better, because there were things I needed to learn from him. He has helped me fill in some of the void I had from having an absent father. I have always craved male intimacy (especially emotional) but I couldn't rely on my husband for that solely -- or it would become more of a father-daughter relationship. Having two men to play out some of my issues has taken the pressure off of both relationships and I feel like I am really, finally growing up -- at age 43, it's about time, right?!

Starting this whole thing last October, I had no idea where it would lead but I trusted that with the honesty it required, whatever came of it would be something good.

Love has lots of dimensions. I've found that exploring them isn't as dangerous as I used to think.

I hope you find poly to be as rewarding as I have -- even with its challenges, it's better than giving up on love. Glad you're here.
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2011, 09:07 PM
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sagency sagency is offline
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RC, thanks for the added details.

In general terms, it sounds like you have three people who get along and are interested in maintaining stable and healthy relationships. That's a pretty good start.

Right now, IMHO, you have two things going on: NRE and what I call PAS (Poly-Adjustment Syndrome). The NRE will eventually level out, and dealing with that is usually just a matter of time. You may even find that the total relationship energy is higher after equilibrium. Right now it'll feel skewed, but relax and float over the ripples, and you'll ride it out fine.

PAS is something that I see when people transition from mono to poly, and it sounds like your situation fits that bill. Often the more mono person in that scenario feels abandoned by the poly person and fears a loss of the original relationship. Even when reassured that the original relationship is safe, there is a lingering fear that the original relationship will be changed in a way that in unacceptable.

In all reality, sometimes this does happen. However, your reactions and other details in your particular story lead me to believe that you will be ok. She isn't the only one going through change. She's wrestling with how this new man fits in your life, but so are you. That means growing pains for everyone. The fact that you respect this other guy, the fact you've mutually reaffirmed your marriage, and the fact the guy has expressed respect for your marriage are good signs. The thing about PAS is that the fear of what could happen is almost always worse in our minds.

I'm actually not surprised they didn't talk about falling in love even after they knew it was happening. How long has it been since your wife fell in love with someone new? It may have been something they weren't expecting or they weren't sure what the feelings were. Sometimes people realize it's love long after it's obvious to others. And really, your wife as someone who a guy could totally fall in love with? You of all people should know that she's someone who lovable. If I were you, I'd try not to think of their delay as "they lied to me" but think of it instead as "they were struggling with categorizing their feelings and when and how to tell me." It had to be pretty intimidating for a wife of almost 20 years to come to her husband and say she loves another man, right? Wouldn't that be something you'd wrestle with if the table were turned?

One of the basic tenets I belive in as a poly person is that the heart grows larger as you learn to love. Your wife falling in love means her total capacity for love has increased, not that she is taking love from you for him. Think of when you had kids. Did she not love them? Ridiculous. She loves them, and she loves you as much or more after them, yes? (This children and the growth of love theory is actually how I started down the road to poly myself.) Loving the kids, loving the other guy, these don't diminsh the 20 years of love she has for you.

What doesn't grow is the number of hours in the day. Time management is very important in poly situations. In your case, there are large periods of time where the wife wanted a companion, but you were providing for the family. There's a simple spot for new guy to fit in that fills that need but doesn't impact the time you have available. As for overlapping time, let the NRE dissipate, and then work on that.

My suggestion: encourage her to make the connection between you and other guy. Let her do that because she has expressed the desire and because she's trying to set it up so it'll be ok for her men. (She's caring about how you see each other.) Sooner would be better than later because the sooner you each become tangible people, the sooner the boogeymen go away.

You might even sit her down and ask her straight out the things that you could do that would make things easier on her so she can explore stuff with him. I'm thinking stuff like watch the kids or take care of things around the house to free her time up. You might find that actively promoting her endeavor helps you feel more included and reminds her just how awesome a husband you are.

Let me finish by reiterating these words from Carma:
"Love has lots of dimensions. I've found that exploring them isn't as dangerous as I used to think."
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2011, 02:23 AM
RobertCourage RobertCourage is offline
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Smile Very helpful

I have to say that this place is amazing. All of your advice and kind thoughts are so very appreciated. Because of your help I don't feel like I am compeletely lost. I was feeling very hurt and scared. I would like to share my current feelings so that anyone who reads this and is struggling like me may benefit from experiences.

Carma,your post gives me hope. And hope is a powerful emotion. For me, hope can be as powerful as jealousy. So it feels good that I can displace some of my negative thoughts by realizing there is a good chance that this will work out just fine. Thank you for that.

Sagency, you provide a perspective on reality that insightful and helpful. I think you are correct in saying that it would be better for me to not think of them lying to me and instead understand that they were afraid of hurting me. Which means they do care about me.

As this progresses I am learning some things about myself. First, I really need to stop defining myself entirely through my marriage. I have all myna eggs in the one basket of 'being the perfect husband' and somewhere along the way I lost me. I lost what happiness means to me other than making everyone else happy. So I am going to try and spread my wings a little so I am more independent and less reliant on my marriage as the be all and end all for my life.

I also have learned that i need to build a little self esteem. I always worry about being strong enough, good enough, smart enough, etc. The fact is that I am strong, good and smart and I should take a moment to realize this . I am not becoming cocky or arrogant. I am just realizing that I offer a lot to my wife in our relationship and I should have faith that what I offer is meaningful to her. Hell, she stuck around this long through some tough times. So I can't be all that bad, right.

Today she told me she was going to meet T for a little while. My immediate reaction was like I was being punched in my stomach. But then I thought about all the things i have read here about jealousy, about the human capacity for love, about viewing my wife holistically, and about the typical cycles of emotion associated with these circumstances, and the pain receded. And she came home to me and she was happy, loving and caring. And I felt great at that points. What a great lesson about patience and about not thinking the worst.

I know i have a rough road ahead as we transition into whatever this will become. But I am starting to see that I have the tools, the strength, and a solid relationship with my wife - and this will get me through this. And if it doesn't, I will survive and live to see a day when I will love again.

Crazy that I am so optimistic today. Hopefully this will continue. But I reserve the right to completely freak out tomorrow.

Again, thank you to all who posted replies. I have read them all. More than once. And each of you has provided me a tool to put in my emotional toolbox and use as needed as this progresses.
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2011, 02:51 AM
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sagency sagency is offline
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RC, glad to help.

You can still be a perfect husband. Having a poly wife doesn't change whether you can be a good husband (it just makes it mor interesting ).

I'm happy for you to hear that you felt the jealousy coming on but managed to keep it controlled. That's real progress. And when your wife got home and had all this energy from her exciting time, you were able to enjoy her joy rather than worry about your fear. As time goes on, you have that to look back on as you begin to build a new sense of stability so it becomes easier over time.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2011, 04:08 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I know that wives with kids, who have partners who are frequently absent, can get really really burnt out. Some women indulge in secret affairs just to have something "just for me." It's rather common.

I used to resent my ex-h, who got up in the morning, had his coffee, breakfast and shower unmolested, while i breastfed the youngest, got the other 2 dressed, broke up fights, tried to get them fed, all while my coffee sat on the counter getting cold. Later, if I was lucky, I got to take a shower with a kid or 2 in there with me... I got used to not even getting a daily shower.

Then he'd go off to work with other adults, even having lunches out, sometimes with a cocktail in the middle of the day! While I was home with the screaming meemies, eating mac and cheese, doing the endless laundry, etc. When he got home, he'd never help with the housework either. I tell you, it's no wonder I had no energy for sex back then.

Thank goodness we have polyamory, where tired burnt out mothers/wives can have that cake (something special "for me") as well as keeping their original loved partnership intact.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

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miss pixi, 37
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2011, 08:50 PM
RobertCourage RobertCourage is offline
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Default roller coaster

so much for yesterday's optimism. Today she is frustrated with my wanting to talk about how we are going to make this work. She is overwhelmed by everything. The kids. This relationship issue. My job. My constant need for information about where this is going.

I am going to start my research now on separations. I think this is the most likely outcome. As open as I am to the poly relationship, I think her issues are deeper rooted. I dont think the poly is even the issue. The issue is her resentment of the fact that she has to take care of the kids and never gets a break. So in her mind, being divorced is actually not a bad idea since it means I get the kids on the weekends and she is free.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with that kind of thinking?

Am I supposed to sit back quietly while she figures out my future? I am taking some big risks here and I think I deserve some continuous communication about this. Fuck it. I think this is a case where love will die becuase of her unwilliningness to work through what she wants. I thank you all for your support and thoughts. It was worth a shot, but this one is a lost cause.

On a positive note, I will get the chance to eventually love again and hopefully it will be someone who understands my life situation and is willing to work at the relationship.

Life sucks ass today.
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2011, 09:46 PM
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sagency sagency is offline
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*comfort*
Guy to guy here:
One thing I've learned as a dude is that we are programmed to fix things. When there's a problem, we want to find and apply a solution as quickly as possible. If we get hurt, we want to punch a wall, say bad things about someone's lineage and personal habits, and move on.

It turns out that those impulses don't always help.

The "fix it" impulse...
You write that she's overwhelmed and that you have a constant need for information. This is likely making things rough on everyone, and it adds a lot of pressure. She may not be able to give you the updates you want because she doesn't know what they are, she hasn't processed them herself, or she's too tired to articulate them in a way that makes sense.

The "punch it" impulse...
Naturally, if things are uncertain and upsetting, the simplest thing to do is just burn the whole thing down and start over, right? Whoa there. I hear an awful lot of fear in your words. I don't think you want fear to take over when you're talking about "a great sex life, emotional connections, family, a future together."


Just yesterday you were optimistic, considering couseling, and recognizing some jealousy issues. (Jealousy, IMHO, is a fear that someone has what you should have.) You did reserve the right to freak out today. It seems that was a good call. But do you think that maybe you wrote that because you knew you were struggling? So today's freak out isn't that big a shock. (I find things I can predict are less scary than things that surprise me.)

It seems to me that you're adjusting to your new situation. Thinking about radical changes is just adding more change when you haven't settle one change. I worry that your impulse may cause more harm than good and that it's more impulse than what you really want.

Sitting back might help. I'm not saying sit for long. But if the wife is feeling a lot of pressure, giving her some space right now might be helpful. Consider doing something that you find relaxing that helps you keep your mind busy. Consider suggesting she do something relaxing, too. You've been together 19 years, so it's ok if you sleep on things for a little while.

Let us know if you need anything. *hug* or *punch* (whichever helps you feel better)
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  #19  
Old 07-13-2011, 09:48 PM
RobertCourage RobertCourage is offline
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Default I no longer want to make this work.

And I think I need to change the title of this thread because I don't think I want it to work. I was under the assumption that she was ok with the relationship between her and me. That meant it was ok to have the other relationship between her and T. But if our 'primary' relationship is flawed and she can't get past the fact that life is sometimes very fucking hard and you dont run away from hard, you work through it, then this just wont work. Lesson learned for all wanna be poly's. If one relationshio is fucked up, there's no way 2 will work.
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2011, 11:02 PM
RobertCourage RobertCourage is offline
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Thanks sagency. You are right on many fronts. I do plan on seeing a counselor tomorrow. But my goal is to have her help me figure out how to best execute a separation not to find out how to make me a better poly husband. I am fucking done with this shit. She wants room she can have it. She wants T, she can have him too. I am tired too. I travel all over the country and get my ass kicked every day so that I can provide for my family. Do I take that out on her and say I need a woman. A break, anything? No. I do a job I fucking hate so that everyone I am reaponsible for is taken care of. Fuck all this 'we all deserve all the love we can get bullshit'. We all are adults that have rePonsibiliry to those we brought into this world. She wanted the kids too. Sorry they are hard to care for. But thTs fucking life. But now I have to pay for it cuz it's hard. Face up to your responsibilities. Then u can talk to me about polyamorous relationships. This is simply selfish behavior, running from responsibility and being a coward.
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