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  #1  
Old 08-16-2017, 05:30 PM
Maenad Maenad is offline
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Unhappy Advice please - becoming poly out of boredom/depression?

Hello everyone, sorry that this is so long. I need a second (and maybe 3rd or 4th) opinion on the situation.

We've been together with my parner for 7 years, we married last year. In past 6 months or so he's been developing some very unhealthy coping skills, he started drinkink a lot, gambling a bit. He's been very stressed out because of work so I kinda overlooked it all as something he may indulge for a little while and sure he'll get better soon when the work stuff becomes better. I see now that me dismissing it was a huge error because spelled out like that, the situation clearly screams DEPRESSION and he's in urgent need of therapy.

Last week he came to me with confession that he's been developing feelings for his co-worker (for last 2-3 months) and asked if I'd allow him to take things further, presumably him starting to date her/have sex with her. We did discuss the option of becoming poly if either of us met someone interesting, so it wasn't totally out of the blue. However, I freaked out.

It stinks because for past 2 months he kept dropping hints that if I want to, I should find a girl to date (a desire I expressed a few years ago). It seems like he's been manipulating me, so that he could come in with his new GF with no guilt because I am allowed to do the same. It doesn't seem like an entirely honest approach.
Also, it stinks because he's been self-destructive for a while, doing all the wrong things to not deal with his depression and general boredom with shittiness of everyday life. It seems very much like mid-life crisis to me (although he's 27) and new GF looks like just another bad coping mechanism, rather than genuine love interest.
He told me that I have to decide how we proceed. That I can say no to the whole thing and he'll never talk to her again, that it's just a suggestion. It's nice to have a say in this since poly was a thing we just discussed in theory and nothing we had any clear "deal" about. I don't feel comfortable making this decision. Either I will make him miserable by forbidding him to take things further with her, or I will make myself miserable by allowing him to do something that doesn't look like a great idea, considering his current mental state.

On the other hand, I am afraid that I may be skewing the situation a little bit so that I could say no to his request. Because despite being open minded and having previous experience with poly relationship (he has none and knows very little about it even in theory), I am also somewhat insecure. So I have a general "not now" attitude towards his request because it doesn't seem like a healthy thing to do, since it looks like just another way to escape reality. But at the same time I'm not sure how much of that attitude stems from my fears of abandonment.

I feel like there is no right way to resolve this situation.

I'd appreciate any feedback and opinions, please, and feel free to call me out.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2017, 07:11 PM
Tinwen Tinwen is online now
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I think you will have to be much more open about your concerns with him.

I understand that you are uncomfortable making the decision and I think you should not. Do not take on his responsibility. He seems to be ditching it a bit here.

However, you can state your "not now" preference, and lay out the reasons clearly. Tell him you've noticed he's done a lot of reality escaping lately. Speak about therapy. Speak about how you are not sure she's more of a distraction than a genuine love interest. Then let him do his introspection.

You can also ask for what you need in order to be comfortable and reassured.

These will likely be multiple conversations, so your first request could be focused time for talking.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:12 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
He told me that I have to decide how we proceed. That I can say no to the whole thing and he'll never talk to her again, that it's just a suggestion.
Ok. Say no.

Quote:
I don't feel comfortable making this decision
Why not? When he's too sick to drive, don't you? If you are too sick to drive, doesn't he?

Why are you not comfortable taking charge in a health situation? Doing shared leadership in your marriage most of the time and then just taking charge in emergencies when the other is down for the count?

Quote:
Either I will make him miserable by forbidding him to take things further with her;
If he offers stuff he does not really mean and people take him up on it? And he feels miserable after doing that behavior? He could learn not to offer in the first place.

He offered you a no. You take it. He sad? Tough. No real change anyway. He's already depressed.

I think you are letting your worries run away with you rather than focusing on the task at hand. It is not poly-shipping. It is health care for hubby.

Quote:
or I will make myself miserable by allowing him to do something that doesn't look like a great idea, considering his current mental state.
You see clearly enough. Hubby head wonky. Shitstorm on the horizon if proceed into poly like this. Jumping into poo is stupid. Why you want to make you miserable playing with poo? You don't like yourself? Not like hubby?

Quote:
So I have a general "not now" attitude towards his request because it doesn't seem like a healthy thing to do, since it looks like just another way to escape reality. But at the same time I'm not sure how much of that attitude stems from my fears of abandonment.
Overthinking it. Again... do you LOVE to play in poo? No. Be poo free then. Issue solved.

What next issue? Hubby's all depressed. Solution? Make doc appt. Just work it down the line and solve the stuff.

When is the BEST time to open marriage and do poly? When all participants are healthy and in their right minds? Or when one is way addled in the head from depression and the other one is stressed out cranking up own anxiety? You seem to know Opening Up when addled is NOT the time.

Quote:
I feel like there is no right way to resolve this situation.
Him: Let's play in poo! You can decline if you want.

You: No poo. We are not starting new poly while impaired. You have depression. What is needed here is not poly. What is needed is a doc. I'm calling. What time/day you want? 3 PM Wed? 5 PM Thurs?
Seems like the right path to take to me.

Make the call for hubs now. Later? Work on how you think problems out/talk in your head. I think it maybe added to you feeling afraid like "Ah! I cannot cope!" when really you could change it to "Alright. I have to cope. How do I solve this?" One thinking approach paints you into a corner. The other helps you sort out solutions.

Quote:
I feel like there is no right way to resolve this situation.
Stop confusing your own self. Use "think" for thoughts and "feel" for feelings. Not use them interchangeably.

Quote:
I think there is no right way to resolve this situation.
Stop dooming things before you even get started or really look. Remove this negativity stuff. What is left?

Quote:
I think there is ________ to resolve this situation.
What do you think fill-in-the-blank answer could be? Yup. You know it. Say no to poo. Call depressed hubby a doctor. And don't try to reason with him when he's addled or get his opinion or input. You cannot logic with an impaired person.

Just get to a doc.

Talk more later about health and WAY later about opening up when no longer depressed/stressed.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-16-2017 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:41 PM
Rockit49 Rockit49 is offline
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Default Welcome!

To the Forum!
Your SO needs assistance.... And if he turns it down.. You may have to turn him out the door!
... Take your time here... Ready up by reading/sharing here.
And see what you want and need for you
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:31 PM
Val76 Val76 is offline
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Default I feel for you/:

I am sorry you are dealing with this. I come from a family of addicts and was myself an enabler---which after loads of counseling realized can be just as bad as the addict.
I don't have much experience with polyamory, I have only been in a triad for 8 months and it's still pretty healthy & happy.
However I DO have a lot of experience with people I love being addicts and/or depressed. They are in a state of denial and seeking happiness elsewhere and they are NEVER the problem, it's always someone/something else.
The advice that has already been given in the replies is spot on. Don't do something that a sick person thinks will make them better if you don't want to. Addicts can be very destructive to themselves and to the people who love them most. You should work on making yourself healthy & staying strong.
I hope you manage to navigate through this chapter in your life. I will be cheching on you❤️
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:04 AM
ChillySupport ChillySupport is offline
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I feel stuck too. I want to make my gf happy by letting her be involved with a guy she has feelings for but it makes me super uncomfortable. I'm new to all of this and still confused so I guess I really don't have any other advice other than be super honest and upfront with your partner. The one thing I'll say is that I have experience being the addict. And yes I have looked for that emotional hole that was left when I quit drinking/drugging to be filled by literally anything. Attention from someone new/different can definitely fill that for a bit. I thrived on getting my self worth from other people while I was using and it has carried over into sobriety. I'm struggling with what to do in my own situation but please just be honest with your partner (something I struggle with sometimes) and you should come to the conclusion if your situation is going to work or not. Sorry for talking about myself in this but it feels therapeutic to discuss this stuff ya know.
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Old 08-17-2017, 10:46 PM
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Hi Maenad,

If I were in your shoes, I think I would say to my husband something like, "Before I say yes to you taking things further with your co-worker, I need you to stop drinking and gambling, and start seeing a therapist. We can discuss this again in 2-3 months when we review your progress." This way you are not saying no to him, you are just saying, "Not now," and addressing his unhealthy coping tendencies as well. You could add that you are worried about him, it's the truth.

Hopefully that helps some.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:24 AM
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WildColonial WildColonial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Hi Maenad,

If I were in your shoes, I think I would say to my husband something like, "Before I say yes to you taking things further with your co-worker, I need you to stop drinking and gambling, and start seeing a therapist. We can discuss this again in 2-3 months when we review your progress." This way you are not saying no to him, you are just saying, "Not now," and addressing his unhealthy coping tendencies as well. You could add that you are worried about him, it's the truth.

Hopefully that helps some.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
This is absolutely brilliant.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:00 AM
Maenad Maenad is offline
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Thank you everyone for your valuable feedback! It helped me to sort things out in my head, to set my boundaries and figure out things we needed to talk about/solve before anything near being poly happens.

We've talked with my partner about it for hours, several times during this week. I made my goal to state my view of the situation and to express all of my concerns with honesty and to suggest how we should proceed. We've arrived to these conclusions:

- he is getting therapy for his depression and addictive behaviour - his first session will be next week
- he is looking for a new job because as we talked about the reasons behind his recent habits, the biggest problem is the fact that he is very much dissatisfied with his workplace (new upper management, pointless tasks, contant starting over with projects, nothing they do makes any sense anymore). I talked to some of his colleagues this week, and many are in fact jumping the ship, so there is legitimate trouble there and I believe that if he says that this majorly contributes to his depression, he must get out, no matter if the new place pays him half the money he has now. No sum in the world can pay for severely damaged mental health. During those 7 years together he's never had problem with overdoing it with alochol on such regular basis (a wild party once or twice a year seems normal, doing it every week doesn't), so I'm inclined to think now that the job is the culprit here
- we can talk about opening up after several months when he's more stable and gains some of his mental health back. As the situation cooled off a bit, I know that I am still open to being poly, it's just that he needs to get well first so that I know he's doing it for the right reasons
- we are considering getting a couple therapy, or at least we will make a point of uncovering unhealthy dynamics in our relationship and work on them (me being a possible enabler, his manipulative tendencies)
- I am considering getting back to therapy on my own as well because it takes two engage in unhealthy dynamics, it's possible that my attachment issues are contributing to our victim/abuser model
- honesty above all. I'd like to believe that we've always been (even brutally) honest with each other. Yet he felt so guilty about the co-worker that he resorted to some dishonest stuff like the subtle "preparing" me for his "big reveal". Being somewhat on the manipulative side myself, I know that this can often happen quite subconsciously. No matter if he did it intentionally or not, this type of behaviour needs to go, so we need to re-assert that honest approach that always worked the best for us in the long run, no matter what unpleasant thing gets brought to the table be either or us

We're spending this weekend together in countryside, away from our usual habits. I hope that this will give us an opportunity to rest and get back on track a little bit because this has shaken us both, plus we definitely need to talk some more.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:32 PM
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