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Old 07-22-2015, 06:43 PM
CTF CTF is offline
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Default I just can't seem to accept it.

No disrespect to the poly folks out there, but try as I might, I just don't understand it. Let me be clear, I don't pass judgement on it as being "wrong", provided that everyone involved is fully aware, consenting, and has their feelings taken into concern. But in my case, this is not something that I will ever be willing to accept in my household, and marriage.

I've posted about a month ago regarding my wife and her reveal to me that she considers herself to be poly, yet insists that the others involved are platonic, but does not have a problem with the possibility of things going further if her feelings change, and of course, I were to be on board.While I appreciate her consideration, I can say with absolute certainty, that I will NEVER be on board with her getting physical with another. We have a "closed" marriage, and it must continue to be so for me to be a part of it.

I know that poly people tend to view love as infinite. Personally, I don't. I think that love involves actions, just as much as feelings. And when one chooses to spend more time with another, leaving less time for someone else, it's impossible to accurately claim that they can love the two equally. Now, in my case, she says that she loves me far more than any of the others, yet, I've had to find myself practically begging for her attention. This has sent me into a tailspin, resulting in the worst 5 week stretch of my life. I've suffered sever anxiety, insomnia, have been in therapy, lost interest in work, loss of appetite, lost 19lbs, and have climbed to almost 2 packs/day. This has destroyed me both mentally and physically.

Upon discussing this matter daily, where she keeps insisting that I'm making mountains out of molehills, the fact that she kept continuing this, despite knowing the damage done, had left me actually considering leaving her. I came home one day & walked in the door in the midst of a severe panic attack, which was exacerbated by seeing her on a Skype call with the one she has been closest with. She took me in her arms & attempted to calm me down from hyperventilating. Once I sort of regained my composure, I just repeated "I can't do this anymore, I can't do this anymore". She began to grow frustrated & was disturbed that I felt that the ONLY way our marriage could move forward, was that she had to completely sever any & all contact with them, especially the one she had been closest with.

Now, understand that I've never had problems with her having friends online,or anywhere else. I also don't have a problem with her having male friends. I'm not jealous of her ability to have friendships with people. The fact is, that with this guy in particular, she was talking to him far more than most rational people would consider normal. Morning, noon & night, playing games, watching movies together via webcam on Skype - often 2 or 3 back to back, while I found myself doing everything I could to keep busy while waiting for her to throw me a bone every now & then. A few weeks ago, I came home early from work due to the upcoming holiday weekend (July 4), hoping to have a day with just her & I. Well, after we went to have a bite to eat, and came home, she went online to "watch a couple of movies" at 3pm. She didn't get offline until 2:30 am. Nearly 12 hours, and she didn't seem to see anything wrong with that. This was my breaking point, and the moment where I knew that this could not continue if our marriage is to survive. We discussed compromise, and she began to see my point a little more. Unfortunately, the damage has been done so greatly, that there never really was going to be a chance for us as long as they were in the picture.

I also had discovered, that this guy in particular, has made a habit out of getting involved in online relationships with married women. According to a mutual friend, my wife is #6 on his list. I had had a gut feeling about him that I didn't trust. But did everything I could to stuff it down for months. Once she revealed this side of her, my distrust of him only grew. And even though she claims that he has never given her the impression that he's after more than just a platonic friendship, I still didn't trust him. And I've heard the same BS over & over where people claim that by saying I don't trust him, is just like saying that I don't trust her. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, that my job is to keep my family safe. And I could NEVER condone with wife telling another man that she "loves" him, knowing that he'd be all over her like a cheap suit the second the opportunity could present itself. Even if she were to reject him.

She revealed that there were 5 others. Although, she had not told 3 of them as of yet. And admits that she will likely never will based on my reaction to the other two. I have a huge problem with the fact that she discussed this with those two before telling me. If our marriage is first & foremost, then it should be us discussing it first. And as of now, she has promised to completely cut off contact with them.

Please understand, I'm not puffing my chest as though I "won" something. She's been noticeably upset over doing this. But as I told her, this is both of our marriage. And if one feels that they cannot be part of it based on certain conditions, then the other has a choice to make. I've always been raised under the philosophy that no one has the right to actively engage in activities that hurt those they love. If you're making your spouse uncomfortable, stop it.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:41 PM
breathemusic breathemusic is offline
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While you can't stop your wife from being poly, she needs to decide if she wants to be poly and not in a relationship with you, or if she's willing to be mono to stay in a relationship with you.

She broke your trust by engaging in an emotional relationship with other people and not discussing it with you, so I can completely understand why you wouldn't be ok with continued involvement with those people. And while yes, she can be friends with anyone she wants, I also agree with you that staying online and skyping with someone for 12 hours a day isn't acceptable when it means she's neglecting her marriage with you.

Sounds like you've made yourself abundantly clear with what your expectations are in the marriage and what you can and can't accept. Unfortunately, it's now up to your wife to figure out what she wants in her relationship(s). You'll want to be careful that if she backs off an continues to be mono, that it doesn't turn into her resenting you years down the road. But that all just depends on whether she needs to be poly with other people, or just wants to be poly with other people but is happy to live without it.
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2015, 07:47 PM
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JessicaBurde JessicaBurde is offline
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If the situation is upsetting you to the point you are having panic attacks, then you definitely need to address it. Attempting to accept your wife's feelings/desires does not and should not require making yourself ill.

You approach to your marriage is far more possessive than I would be comfortable with, but I'm neither you nor your wife. What matters is what works and is comfortable for both of you.

Quote:
And if one feels that they cannot be part of it based on certain conditions, then the other has a choice to make.
You completely right. If you cannot be a part of a marriage that involves poly your wife has a choice to make.

Have you considered what you will do if your wife is unable to be part of a relationship that defines monogamy in such a way it dictates how to she related to people in platonic relationships? Or if she decides she is unable to be part of monogamy at all?

This is the really heartbreaking part of mono/poly relationships. If your wife is "wired" for poly (some of us are, some of us aren't), then your making this demand of her will, in the long run, be just as hurtful to her as the past time has been for you.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't make this demand--as I said before, if the situation is literally making you ill, you damn well need to do something about it. But just because she's accepted doesn't mean she might not be suffering. And if she is, eventually you'll be right back here, just on opposite sides of the same issue. You need to be aware of that possibility.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:55 PM
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Thank you for your understanding. She keeps saying that, while she's not going to be "all shiny happy" for a while, she'll get over it. She seems to think that I'm being unreasonable in taking it this far, since she says that I've never had anything to worry about from the beginning. And while that may be true when it comes to anything sexual, I feel that it had to come to this point for her to understand that that was not my only concern. While I love her dearly, and would be devastated to see her go, she is a grown woman and I cannot "force" her to make any decision. I explained to her that, while I don't find it impossible to accept who she is (although, in 16 years of marriage, she's never once shown a single sign of it, making it a total shock), I don't feel that it's right for me to accept what she did. I also explained that who I am should also be accepted if that's what's expected of me. And I've been very adamant about my monogamy for as long as we've known each other.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:07 PM
CTF CTF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaBurde View Post
If the situation is upsetting you to the point you are having panic attacks, then you definitely need to address it. Attempting to accept your wife's feelings/desires does not and should not require making yourself ill.

You approach to your marriage is far more possessive than I would be comfortable with, but I'm neither you nor your wife. What matters is what works and is comfortable for both of you.



You completely right. If you cannot be a part of a marriage that involves poly your wife has a choice to make.

Have you considered what you will do if your wife is unable to be part of a relationship that defines monogamy in such a way it dictates how to she related to people in platonic relationships? Or if she decides she is unable to be part of monogamy at all?

This is the really heartbreaking part of mono/poly relationships. If your wife is "wired" for poly (some of us are, some of us aren't), then your making this demand of her will, in the long run, be just as hurtful to her as the past time has been for you.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't make this demand--as I said before, if the situation is literally making you ill, you damn well need to do something about it. But just because she's accepted doesn't mean she might not be suffering. And if she is, eventually you'll be right back here, just on opposite sides of the same issue. You need to be aware of that possibility.


Trust me, I've been called "possessive" more times, by more people than I can count. I really don't see myself in that way. Rather, I state clearly what I'm after in a relationship, and others can choose whether or not to accept it. This communication with the one guy in particular, has been going on for 9 months. I began to suspect something 6 months ago (the day after my Dad died), and still said nothing to try & stop it, until she brought up the poly conversation. That actually made it worse, because I was no longer able to dismiss my suspicions as irrational, now there was a distinct possibility that something more could have been, or eventually could be going on.

We've been together for 20 years, including our dating & engagement. What I want has not been a secret. I don't even have the "bring another girl into the bedroom just for fun" fantasies that a lot of guys do. My intentions are her & I and no one else. And up until recently, she's explained that those were hers as well. So yeah, I'm not just going to roll over & accept something that turns everything on its head.

I am also aware that there may be a time when she feels that it suffocates her too. She may feel the need to explore it to the point where she cannot contain herself. And if that happens, I'm sorry to say, but our marriage will be over in order for that to be possible. I don't want her to be unhappy, quite the opposite in fact. And if we cannot both be happy under the same parameters, then it wouldn't have ever been meant to be.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:35 PM
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PinkPig PinkPig is offline
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Honestly? It sounds like you're at an impasse. You want a closed marriage and will accept nothing less. She wants open (and has betrayed trust with her emotional relationships.) She says she'll close...but her actions speak differently. It doesn't matter if you saw signs previously. It doesn't matter if there were signs previously. This is where you are now. The choices I see are (simplistically put):

(1) Stay closed - you're happy, she's not
(2) Open - she's happy, you're not
(3) Divorce and each pursue the relationship style that you want with other people.

It's sad, but people do change and grow. And, frequently, in that process of change, they grow apart. Sometimes the most loving thing that we can do for ourselves and our partner is to let them go. (I was married for over 20 years so I do understand the pain that's involved in realizing that a relationship is no longer working in it's current form.) Just because we love someone does not mean we should be in a romantic relationship with them.

The only other thing I'd add is that if you've been called possessive many times, it may be in your best interest to really look at that. People are not possessions. Treating them as such is not loving behavior. Ultimately, it's destructive to the relationship and counterproductive to our own happiness.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:11 PM
CTF CTF is offline
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I'm not discounting the possibility that we might be at an impasse. Honestly, the ball is in her court at the moment. She says that she's willing to remain in a closed marriage, and that she would have never wanted me to engage in a parameter that I wouldn't be comfortable or happy with. She says that ultimately, not having me would make her more unhappy than anything else. So what can I do, other than take her at her word on that?

Maybe those are the 3 choices, and maybe there's a fourth, assuming that she meant what she said. But either way, I would be perfectly willing to "set her free" (for lack of a better phrase) if she really needed that to be happy. I just know, that I could never be happy by opening up our marriage.

And yes, I know that people are not possessions. I've also never done anything to warrant making her, or anyone else feel that way. I've been called "possessive", but in reality, I don't think that it's been quite so justified. Is it "possessive" to not want your wife to neglect you in favor of someone online who lives on the opposite coast? Is it "possessive" to say that one shouldn't be spending 8-12 hours chatting with someone online? Is it "possessive" to get upset about waiting around for an extra hour and a half to leave, because her time with him took longer than she anticipated? Like I said, I've gone 8+ months of this happening almost daily without saying a word.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:24 PM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTF View Post
. I've always been raised under the philosophy that no one has the right to actively engage in activities that hurt those they love. If you're making your spouse uncomfortable, stop it.
While agree with that sentiment, you still have to deal with her feelings and emotions. Even if she chooses to stay in the relationship with you and not pursue other men, you still have to deal with the attraction. Are you up for that?

My husband used about two years to become comfortable with me even kissing someone else. There were lots of tears and scared feelings on each side. But I pretty much never did something's unless he was ok with it, and I did promise that unless he felt comfortablein the future I would never do it. I know in other relationships someone had said sorry, I have to do this, which can also work I guess, and relationships where one person just said sorry I need us mono and that was it, and they are still together. Different ways for different people.

Last edited by Norwegianpoly; 07-22-2015 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:30 PM
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PinkPig PinkPig is offline
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Sure, there are other options. Off the top of my head, the one I'd choose in your situation is to not make a decision. Table the discussion on closed/open relationship while working on myself and our marriage (and seriously looking at why I want what I want.) Then, readdress the issue at a later date, when we've addressed our own issues and the issues in our marriage. I didn't list that as an option for you because, by your own admission, you aren't open to anything but a monogamous relationship (it is your right to choose that.)

And, no, I do not think the things you've listed are possessive behaviors. They're reasonable expectations. However, if you've been called possessive many times, then it's reasonable to think that some of your behavior may possibly be possessive or rigid.

As for whether to believe your wife, I'd look at her actions over her words.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norwegianpoly View Post
While agree with that sentiment, you still have to deal with her feelings and emotions. Even if she chooses to stay in the relationship with you and not pursue other men, you still have to deal with the attraction. Are you up for that?

My husband used about two years to become comfortable with me even kissing someone else. There were lots of tears and scared feelings on each side. But I pretty much never did something's unless he was ok with it, and I did promise that unless he felt comfortablein the future I would never do it. I know in other relationships someone had said sorry, I have to do this, which can also work I guess, and relationships where one person just said sorry I need us mono and that was it, and they are still together. Different ways for different people.


It's not the attraction that I can't handle. We're human being, and even I can be physically attracted to someone. It's the pursuit of anything beyond the recognition. I'm fully aware of how I'm coming across, but the truth is, that polyamory is completely unacceptable for me in our marriage. And I don't just draw the line at sexual contact. In my opinion, kissing, cuddling, and even hand holding is just as heart wrenching of an image as sex. Part of what has made our marriage so spectacular over the years, has been the ability to blend the emotional connection with the physical.
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