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Old 07-12-2016, 05:39 AM
Hannahfluke Hannahfluke is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 355
Default My polyamorous journey

I've been meaning to start a blog here for a few days, so I have somewhere to process what's going on right now with me besides with my OSO, who I've been calling Sam on this board when I've talked about him. I'm a bit worried that if I don't have another place to process that I'll overwhelm Sam. The processing mostly revolves around my husband, John, and how I'm finally accepting the fact that no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try to repair our relationship, I am no longer the person who he wants to have a primary relationship with. I thought that if we repaired the damage that we had both done over the course of a few years, that maybe I could at least be a co-primary with his girlfriend. It's been getting more and more obvious that no matter what I try to do, I'm not getting back to that place in his life and his heart.

I was talking to our sons, who are 20 and 22 about it tonight after John left to spend the night at his girlfriend's house. My older son commented that their dad's choices have shown that he thinks of us as secondary in his life, if not tertiary, and has for a few years but that the really big change lately has been that his girlfriend and her family moved into a larger house, where my husband now has his own room. That's just shown a spotlight on what's been happening for the last few years. My younger son, when I told him that I had told his dad that I don't expect anything from him, that I'll just enjoy the time that we do spend together without expectations of being treated like I'm a primary partner, talked about how the only downside to all this would be if his dad took board games of ours to the other house that my son would want to play with his friends on their Saturday night gaming group. It's sad to me that they both are so used to their dad putting us in last place in his life that the only objections they have are about if it interferes with their board gaming with their friends.

It's so hard to explain why I am more emotional than normal to coworkers when I am not out as poly to any of them. I've been telling them we're doing a trial separation, which is sort of true, since he spends 80 to 90 percent of the time with either his girlfriend, Ann, that just bought the bigger house, or his other girlfriend, Mary.

John and I started dating 27 years ago. Our 25th anniversary is this September. It hurts to acknowledge that while he may still love me, it's not the same type of love it was before we opened our relationship or even the same love that we had the first year or two after we opened. I'm grieving that what I thought we were building together isn't what the reality of the situation is anymore. I'm grieving because now he's building that with Ann. I'm not sure if we'll still have a relationship at the end of this process. If we do, it won't look like it used to.

I started seeing my therapist again last week after a year break. I went because I was dealing with emotions surrounding an injury I got a few months ago at work that is triggering feelings close to what I felt after the accident that triggered my fibromyalgia and wanted help with coping mechanisms. I also went for support on this whole thing with John, that I basically have given up on expecting to be able to fix anything. At least John and I have repaired things to the point we're friends again, which is huge. I told my therapist I was there for a reason that was more acute and short term and because of John and telling him that I wasn't going to expect things from him anymore. I paused between after saying "and" before saying John's name and my therapist said it at the same time I did, so obviously he knew that John was at least part of the reason i was there. We've worked on this issue before, that I feel like I'm not even on the same playing field as Ann is when it comes to John's love and attention, so he knows the history. I think he was surprised that I was actually taking this step, because I had said before that I wouldn't make any changes to our relationship structure until we were done paying for my younger son's associates degree. But I just couldn't live without acknowledging and accepting things have changed any longer. I'm hopeful that John will keep his word about not changing finances but if he does, we'll figure out how to make sure my son can finish his degree.

I know that this is fairly scattered and probably not really coherent, but I wanted to at least start somewhere. I'll come back and hopefully give a history of how we've gotten to this point soon.

Thank you all for being here and being a listening ear to so many people. I have been coming here for years and have always been impressed with the people and help offered here.

Last edited by Hannahfluke; 07-12-2016 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Clarity and correcting word choices
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:42 PM
Hannahfluke Hannahfluke is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 355

So much for coming back to this later. Oh well.

I only saw my therapist one more time after the first time this summer, for several reasons. I love my therapist and have built a lot of trust and history with him over the years, but I think with this particular issue, I need someone who understands polyamory, not just someone who doesn't judge me for it. I felt, after the second visit, that he was frustrated I hadn't done anything concrete to start separating my life from John's life. The situation is not as straight forward as it would be if we were monogamous and I think my therapist just doesn't understand poly enough to help me navigate the situation in a way other than just nuking everything like you would in monogamy.

That's the biggest reason I haven't been back. However, there are other reasons that contributed to me putting the whole therapy thing and searching for a new therapist on hold. The first one is the fact that my husband got laid off in the middle of August. Since he makes a lot more money than I do and unemployment tops out at about a third of what he was making, money was a consideration. The other reason was that at the beginning of September, my orthopedic hand specialist determined that I would need surgery for the injury I got at work in April. There's only so much I can handle at once and between the impending wrist surgery and my husband's unemployment, I didn't feel like I had enough emotional energy left to start with a new therapist.

So I had wrist surgery on October 4 and was in a cast for six weeks and then started physical therapy after the cast came off. I've only been released to light duty and since my position doesn't have light-duty work, I haven't gone back to work yet. So I am getting worker's comp payments, which are only 2/3 of my usual income. I'm grateful that I'm getting any money at all and it's tax exempt, which should help, but for the month my husband was getting unemployment and I was getting workman's comp payments, I was even more stressed about money. Thankfully he started a new job on Halloween that was fairly close in salary to his last job, so I'm not as stressed about money anymore.

I think being overwhelmed emotionally with other things helped on the relationship front with John. I have been able to approach the changed relationship way more calmly than I had been doing, since I just didn't have the spoons to handle it any other way. Plus, once I accepted the change had actually happened and once John stopped trying to tell me that I was over-reacting, the two relationships were different, that's all, he didnít feel more strongly about either one, a lot of the angst about the whole thing resolved itself. No longer feeling like John was either belittling how I felt or thinking that I was just crazy and obsessive and jealous about things that weren't true helped immensely. It didn't change what is happening, but having my viewpoint acknowledged and accepted instead of denied and ignored has helped immensely with my mental health.

I came back to comment on this statement Claire made on her blog here, instead of bogging down her blog with my personal processing.

Originally Posted by GirlFromTexlahoma View Post

I guess where we (her and Andy) differ from the poly mindset is that we don't look at potential conflicts and say, we'll figure it out, or, we'll all compromise... We say, our marriage is priority one. I love you, your happiness is important, so I'll do my best to be accommodating and supportive of the other people and things in your life. But if the shit hits the fan, and you can't put my needs first, we shouldn't be married.
For years, John hasn't chosen to put my needs first when the shit hit the fan in multiple situations. When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me, John choose to keep his dates with Ann on two of the three days right after it happened, instead of being willing to be there for me. He was angry, he admitted at a later time, that it felt like I couldn't care less about him while I was dating but then expected him to be available for me once that relationship was over (I don't feel like I did this as much as he thought it happened, but acknowledge that he has the right to his own view of things).

Two winters ago, I spent a large part of the winter passively suicidal. John told me that he wasn't comfortable being my main support person. In addition, he and Ann opened a checking account together, so that it'd be easier to both contribute equally to their dates and so that he felt more entwined with her in practical ways. It didnít really influence our budget, since it was already money that was earmarked for his personal spending money, but it very much felt like a kick while I was down, given my mental state and the fact he didn't want to have to be my main support person. He was moving towards a more entwined relationship with Ann while telling me, in both actions and words, that he wanted to be less entangled with me, though continuing to deny that our relationship was becoming less important to him and saying that they were just two different types of relationships with one being no more important than the other one.

I stayed because I thought that if I could get my mental health worked out, that maybe it really was true that he felt that the two relationships were on the same plane of importance, just different ways of relating. I stayed because I couldn't afford to live on my own and continue to pay for our sons' associate degrees, which was important to me. I stayed because despite everything, I still love him and I had hope that if I just found the right way to approach the situation, we'd go back to being what I felt like we were before we opened up our marriage, good friends, good lovers, and good partners. I stayed because it's hard to give up on the person you've been with all of your adult life without trying to work out a solution that didn't just nuke everything.

But, as life has shown over and over again, my husband isn't willing to put me first when any shit happens in my life, so I'm working on changing our relationship to more accurately reflect what it actually is, secondary partners with entwined finances and older children.
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