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Old 11-13-2013, 08:14 PM
naturalblue's Avatar
naturalblue naturalblue is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
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Default Divorce and secondary relationships

I posted a year ago that I thought my husband wanted to leave me because I found a message between him and his girlfriend that said he wanted to be her husband.

A lot has happened since then. I was totally a chicken and never said anything to him about what I found (I know, rookie move). In the meantime, the chasm between us grew ever wider and add that to our other non-poly problems (financial strain, lack of communication on both sides (mostly mine, admittedly), sexual issues, etc) and the fact that it appears my suspicions were well founded, the result is that we are now divorcing. It's been really difficult, but we've had some good talks and I think that we will be able to do it as friends.

My problem now is that I have a boyfriend who wants to be my primary partner now that I am divorcing my husband. And, while I love my BF tremendously and would want him as my primary partner, I feel a little weird about jumping from one relationship to another. Part of me feels like I want to be single for a little while, even though I'm crazy in love with him and miss him terribly when we're apart for even a day.

I know that he'll give me some space while I figure all this out, but I want to make sure I'm being fair to him. How do I grieve my marriage and move on from that when I'm already in another serious relationship?

Another issue that I'm worried about is that now that my husband and I are announcing our split, people are understandably upset/sad for us. They all know that we were open and I have brought my boyfriend to many social events, making him part of the group. Now that we're divorcing, I can't help but feel that showing up to parties and things with my boyfriend might be tacky? I know I would definitely feel it was tacky if we hadn't been open, we announced the divorce and I immediately started bringing a new guy around - but is it the same when they all know that I'm with him and have been bringing him around for a while? I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.

Has anyone dealt with this kind of situation before?
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:31 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SoNH
Posts: 1,359

In a way, yes.
P and I started dating when I was separated from my ex. I lived with my ex through the divorce process, and finally bought a house and moved out 3 months after the divorce. I had never lived alone.

I think many of my initial codependency issues in my early relationship with P were "I don't know how to be alone" issues, and it was very tough to gain that independence while still trying to rely on him. We're still working that out (my wood stove posts in my blog are some pretty good recent meltdown moments - ugh), and we've been together two years now.

I do think that it would have been better for me, personally, if I had been single for some amount of time. It would have been HARDER, certainly (especially when the bathroom fell apart), but better for my own personal growth.

However, it can be done.
As long as you keep in mind your goal (that you want that independence), then you can work toward it, even if having another primary relationship makes it a bit more difficult. Key mindset I had to take away from it was that I need to learn to be me and fold my relationship into that, not allow my relationship to consume me.

As for bringing your BF around friends, I don't know what a good rule of thumb is. Before my divorce was final, I brought P to a brew-tasting event at my alma mater, so I may not be the best one to ask.

I don't do it perfectly, but I'm getting there.
If you have any specific questions, just let me know.
Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Monogamish? Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 7 years.
Spinner: 53/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 48/F, Chops' partner of 7 years
Curls: 51/F, Chops' partner of 2 years

Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:51 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,103

I am sorry you are splitting up. That's hard. But I hope you can have the amicable divorce you both seem to be shooting for.

I know that he'll give me some space while I figure all this out, but I want to make sure I'm being fair to him. How do I grieve my marriage and move on from that when I'm already in another serious relationship?
The same way you grieve for any loss while still having serious relationships with other people. Be it friendships, familyships, romanceships, whatever: You express your feelings in appropriate ways to the appropriate people, ask for comfort, and wait for time to pass so you can start to feel better. If you need extra support, you get a grief counselor.

If you do not want to make him primary at this time? Just say so.
"I am not willing to talk about you becoming my primary or changing our relationship structure at this time. I am grieving a divorce. It is NOT the best time to be addressing MORE new changes for me. I would prefer to have that conversation on _______. Could you be willing to postpone that convo a bit so my stress load can be lower?"
Then take the time out. Worry about "primary convo" later down. If later comes and you find that you want to break up with him and be single? Deal with that then.

Could decide to deal with one thing at a time here. "Divorce" is on your plate right now -- so could deal in just that if possible. You do not have to be Super Woman and deal in everything at once.

I can't help but feel that showing up to parties and things with my boyfriend might be tacky? I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.
If it was appropriate before, it is appropriate afterward. Your friends already know he is your BF. You aren't doing anything new there by bringing him around. I think in this area YOU could be feeling uncomfortable and could be projecting it on to others.

Simplest path there if you are uncomfortable because you don't want to make anyone uncomfortable inadvertantly is to actually ASK them how they might feel about it.

a) Ask the BF is HE is uncomfortable?
b) Ask the hosts if THEY are uncomfortable?
c) Ask your STBX if you are in the same social circles how he feels about it?

Then go from there with how you want to handle it from a place of information. But now you can relax you won't accidentally make anyone uncomfortable.

Or maybe you just don't want to be at parties while fresh in divorce mode. That's ok too -- there will be other parties. It's totally ok to miss some.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-13-2013 at 08:57 PM.
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