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  #1  
Old 12-26-2011, 10:54 AM
polyexplorer polyexplorer is offline
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Default My wife's gone poly at last but now I need healing!

Hi All,

It's been a while since I've posted, so a quick update...

I have been married for 20 years to my wife and we have 3 daughters. 6 years ago I fell in love with another woman but was still madly in love with my wife at the same time. I had never heard of polyamory and was firmly entrenched in the monogomous culture. I did not want to be dishonest with my wife so I was open about my feelings all the way through.

My wife tried to be OK with it all, but was not. Eventually she called it off and we had to abandon the woman I had fallen in love with. I use the word abondon because we were both helping this woman overcome childhood abuse issues, and trust and abandonment were huge for her.

Needless to say, the pain of having to leave her, and the pain of knowing the enormous pain we had caused her were extreme for me.

All along I always felt that my relationship with this other woman was right and I held on to hope that maybe one day we may eventually be able to have a relationship again. In the meantime, because I maintained that the relationship was right, but that I also still loved my wife, we both started a journey of questioning everything. 2 years ago we stumbled across the idea of polyamory and this took our questioning journey in a new direction.

Eventually my wife started to come around to the whole concept. And 2 weeks ago she met a guy. She has fallen head over heels for him and tonight she is at his house for her first sleep over. I am delighted for her, and also going through my own grief of no longer being her "one-and-only". But I knew this grief was inevitable and it is just something I need to go through. (So this post is a little bit of therapy for me while she is out tonight..

Now here comes my question...

For 6 years my wife has battled with me over the whole issue with this other woman. She complained about all sorts of things and struggled to allow me freedom with her. Now the shoe is on the other foot! She is doing almost exactly all the things now with her new man that I was doing with this other woman. But this time I am giving her complete freedom and supporting her all the way, because this is how I would want to be treated.

But what this does for me is raise all the pain and hurt that I have felt from my lost relationship. I haven't even met the guy yet or even spoke to him (that will come...), but I am way more supportive than my wife ever was even though she had become really good friends with the other woman.

I really am glad for my wife and am supportive. But the pain that it is raising because now she is able to have the kind of relationship that I have wanted for the last 6 years but have been unable to have (and also now may not be possible because the other woman has been really hurt too and has found a new partner herself in this time...).

Any thoughts about how I heal from this kind of pain amidst the NRE that my wife is feeling and having with her new relationship?
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:17 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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I am so sorry for what you are going through revisiting the loss of your other love. I daresay that due to circumstances you probably did not have the opportunity to grieve the loss properly, and now you are finally free to do so.

As the "other love" who was recently booted out of the triad myself and for the same reasons you cite, I understood going in that the husband would have to stand by his wife if our attempt failed. I grieve the loss, but don't really blame anyone. Given your other love's more fragile state, I don't know if she was able to be as logical I am, but on some level she must realize the horrible position you were in and that your forced to choose.

Of course, you don't want to screw up her current life, and given the circumstances, she may be totally against the concept of polyamory now, but you may be able to induce a little healing if she is open to communication with you. Is it possible to explain what has happened in your life (your wife's move to polyamory), and express to her your feelings on her loss, something you probably were not able to do properly given that you had to be the strong one at that time. It probably won't bring her back to you, but perhaps it can help heal the old pain between you.

If she is doing well in her new life, you may feel some joy and relief that her new circumstances are okay. It won't keep you from missing her, but it may assuage the guilt.

Of course, it's possible she may want nothing to do with you. And then you know you have to put it to rest once and for all, and move forward.

(I have a post on the subject of being the "other love", that is still awaiting approval from the moderators unless it was lost in cyberspace yesterday).

Again, I am sorry.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2011, 09:26 PM
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The past relationship may have seemed right for you at the time, but perhaps it really wasn't meant to be. It did serve as a catalyst for you to be where you are now, so that is something to be thankful for even though it ended. And if it was as right as you say it was, maybe it can be rekindled. Or maybe not, but...

I think it will be important for you not to give in to looking back at the past and what you lost, but look forward at what you have gained. You have done the hard work that was necessary to reach this point and now you can have multiple relationships with your wife's blessing. That is huge! Be thankful. Don't let resentment get in your way. You have a world of opportunity and experiences ahead of you!
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:46 PM
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Very sorry to hear about what you're going through.

Unfortunately, only time and talking about it are the only real way to heal the emotional pain.

But, something else you can do is engage in constructive soothing activities to help distract yourself. Take up a new hobby or activity. Get out, meet new people. Volunteer. Do those things that make yourself feel good about yourself.

Who knows, perhaps you might meet a new love interest.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:27 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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So now after she's fallen head over heels in love she gets it....wouldn't that be perfect for you. Better late than never. Any reason not to check in with the old girlfriend you still have feelings for...share these new developments. Wasn't the goal to have a poly life....now you can have it ....stop looking back and start looking forward. Perhaps you had to sacrifice one relationship to have many in the future.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:44 PM
polyexplorer polyexplorer is offline
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Thanks for the comments so far!

Bookbug, perhaps you are right. Perhaps I am going through some grief yet to be expressed. Having said that though, I feel like I've gone through 6 years of grief! Part of the difficulty is that I still have hope that the relationship may be rekindled. The downside of hope is that it makes it hard (impossible??) to let go and move on. Hope means that I am still holding on, which means the grief is inevitable. But without hope... hmmm I hate to think what the world would be without hope. So I keep hoping and suffer the inevitable pain that goes with it. Like it says in the movie Shawshank Redemption, "hope is a dangerous thing - it can very nearly kill a man...". Funny though, without hope, the main character in the movie would never have reached true freedom.

On a positive note, the hope I have held on to has also had the effect of causing my wife and I to grapple with the situation of me loving another person and has led us to where we are now. My wife has turned around from someone staunchly monogomous to now poly! So there is hope for those couples who are mono-poly for things to change! Mind you, it took us 6 years of intense struggle, but it is possible!!

As to the other woman being open to communication, I tried a couple of months ago to arrange a meeting to talk, but it is too painful for her to see me. It is even too risky for her to open herself up to see me. It makes it tough for me because I still have unresolved questions and things to talk through, but that's just the way it is. However, our 12 year old daughter is going through kidney failure and has just started dialysis, and she heard about it and contacted my wife to send her good wishes and my wife and her have been communicating a little through text messages. Perhaps all is not completely lost???

So maybe the pain is just an ongoing inevitability of holding on to hope and as you say bigguy, I just need to keep talking about it and keep giving it time... It helps to even talk here...
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:08 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polyexplorer View Post
Thanks for the comments so far!

Bookbug, perhaps you are right. Perhaps I am going through some grief yet to be expressed. Having said that though, I feel like I've gone through 6 years of grief! Part of the difficulty is that I still have hope that the relationship may be rekindled. The downside of hope is that it makes it hard (impossible??) to let go and move on.
Polyexplorer, you're preaching to the choir about hope. LOL! If you read "Need some perspective" you'll get my story. Hope keeps trying to rear its ugly head, and I keep trying to kill it, so far unsuccessfully.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polyexplorer View Post
As to the other woman being open to communication, I tried a couple of months ago to arrange a meeting to talk, but it is too painful for her to see me. It is even too risky for her to open herself up to see me. It makes it tough for me because I still have unresolved questions and things to talk through, but that's just the way it is. However, our 12 year old daughter is going through kidney failure and has just started dialysis, and she heard about it and contacted my wife to send her good wishes and my wife and her have been communicating a little through text messages. Perhaps all is not completely lost???
Good sign. It shows she still cares.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:12 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polyexplorer View Post
Thanks for the comments so far!
However, our 12 year old daughter is going through kidney failure and has just started dialysis, .
I am very sorry about your daughter. That's got to be tough.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:18 AM
polyexplorer polyexplorer is offline
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Thanks again for everyone's comments! It is great to have a forum like this and to feel understood and cared for...

It's amazing the difference a few days makes!

The other night I was so sick and tired of feeling the pain, and knowing that unless something changed, the pain wasn't going to go away because I knew the situation with my wife and her new man wasn't going to stop, nor did I want it to stop, that I stayed up for hours (cause I couldn't sleep anyway) and wrestled with the pain.

I read stuff about the pain-body in Eckart Tolle's book "The New Earth" (amazing book!). Then I looked hard and deep as to what the pain was really all about. I realised that yes, my wife had hurt me because for 6 years she has not been in a place to accept where I was at and to accept another deep relationship in my life. But that is the past. My me continuing the script in my head that my wife has hurt me, means that I cause her by my own thought processes to continue to keep hurting me - even though she is now in a completely different space. How can you heal when the wound is continually allowed to be open and salt is continually added to it!

When I wrestled with this, I realised that the real me could handle the fact that my wife had not been in a place to accept things for the past 6 years. I could totally understand why she struggled so much. The real me was ready to put the past behind and continue into the present and find the joy in this new place where we are at.

The pain-body (as Tolle describes it), was a false me trying to take my identity and make me own the pain. The pain was who I am. "I have been hurt". "I am hurt". With this kind of identity and these scripts running through my head, I continually look for evidence of how my wife is hurting me. With this kind of perspective, and given our new situation, it is not hard to find things that happen that I can turn into evidence that my wife is continuing to hurt me.

But the pain-body is not the real me. When I sit back and observe what the pain-body is doing and how it is trying to create evidence of pain so that it can feed on that pain, I can dissassociate from it. Then it looses it power. It is no longer me. The real me understands the pain of the past, accepts it, and moves on to a brighter and more joyful present!

I don't know if this is helpful at all to others, but I wanted to give an update of the last few days.... I am meeting my wife's new man today too! I'm actually looking forward to it!

Thanks for all your support...
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