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  #1  
Old 12-14-2011, 03:07 PM
KindaPOd KindaPOd is offline
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Default Wife thinks that I am neglecting her in favour of my secondary. She's right.

Been married for twelve years now. We opened up our relationship eleven years ago. Been in a relationship for nineteen years.

Here's the thing, ever since she started seeing another man, somebody that she works with, I haven't felt the same.

I think that she was having an affair with him before bringing up the whole poly thing with me. She says that she didn't. Stopped caring, it's all water under the bridge now and I don't hold onto this sort of stuff.

Hard to say why I felt differently. Maybe there's a bit of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, or pure pettiness to it. Hell, maybe there's an evolutionary reason for it. Damned if I know. Whatever it is, everytime she goes on a date with him, I emotionally distance myself from her. Initially, it was a subconscious thing. Didn't even notice it.

When it started getting noticable, she stopped seeing the coworker. I stopped emotionally distancing myself from her but I didn't become any closer to her either. We spent about a year trying to close that distance. Better than it was, but it didn't compare to our mono relationship. There was no point in her not seeing the coworker, since the doors were already opened. Back she went.

About three years ago, I figured "well, fuck it", and got out of my pity party. I started dating an ex-gf of mine. We broke up years ago mostly because of my stupidity. The relationship was getting serious so I freaked and got the hell out of Dodge. One of my biggest regrets was breaking her heart.

My wife doesn't like all the attention that I'm giving my gf. My moniker refers to her. As the title says, she thinks that I am neglecting her in favour of my secondary. She's right.

What I find ridiculous, is that we had a number of huge talks about how things could go down when she rekindled her relationship with this other guy. I told her how I felt, where I stood, what I thought about our relationship, and where things were likely to go. She's still surprised by this outcome.

What I want to know is, with the information that I've given out, am I really the bad guy for neglecting my wife for my secondary?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2011, 03:12 PM
Sonic Sonic is offline
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I think that first of all you should stop looking for the bad guy...

It sounds from the information that you've given that you haven't stopped caring about your wife's supposed affair in the past and therefore are acting in a passive aggressive manner towards her.

I can be totally off but this is what I get from this story you wrote.

If you want to make things ok with your wife, then you have to focus on that relationship. If not, then you will probably end up divorcing in the long run.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2011, 03:13 PM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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Yes.

Two wrongs don`t make it right,..you learn that in grade school.

Also,..your own words say that your wife made a choice to back off her secondary relationship when you had problems with it.

Your own words say your wife has problems with how you are handling your secondary relationship, but you don't offer her the same courtesy. Instead, you seem stuck with the chip on your shoulder.

Time to put on your big-boy pants, and stop punishing her.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:26 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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What you don't tell us is what neglect means. Do you go on lots of dates with the gf and never the wife? If the gf and the wife both are having an emotional problem, do you ignore the wife and focus ob helping the gf? These are behaviors you can choose to change if you want a strong marriage. If you don't, maybe it's time to start letting go of your wife.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2011, 04:15 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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The way it appears to me is that through the transition of opening your marriage up to poly, your wife may have become more of a secondary to you instead of a primary. Whether it be because you genuinely don't feel the same way about her as you did before or because you are holding yourself back to stop any negative feelings that her other relationship may cause you to feel.

I have to agree that you aren't showing her as much courtesy as she showed you. She backed off when you were uncomfortable, and while it's not clear to me whether or not you told her it was okay to go back, she at least waited until things settled. Did she think you were going to react better the second time around? To me, it sounds like you two need to get some counseling/therapy to see if a professional can help you with the distancing issue and see what the two of you can do to reconnect.
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2011, 08:23 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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So after your first yr of marriage you decide to open up the relationship...and you think she had an affair and used the poly or opening as cover for this new relationship. You dislike the situation and every time she goes on dates you withdraw... after a period she puts calls a break form Bf and the 2 of you spend about a yr trying to recapture the old connection ....never quite getting things back ...so she decides to resumes her old relationship. All this time ( 8yrs) you've remained mono... correct. Then 3yrs ago you say fuck it ...its my time ...I'm going to find someone too. And then new troubles started.

The Affair/opening up conversation .... I think that wound if it is an actual wound or just an imaginary on has never healed properly. It might be water under the bridge but you just made mention of it 11yrs after the fact.

Did your wife notice this attention disparity in the beginning of your relationship or only recently? How long has she felt this way.

What you're saying is that upon restarting her relationship you told her that your connection to her would most surely diminish and now she is unhappy with that outcome and you don't really get it.

Do you feel inclined to negotiate at all on this topic? Will you negotiate on other topics?

You may need to inform her on what type of relationship you'd like to have with her now ....that primary thing is not all that it cracked up to be....some people need it other don't. I actually told my wife I didn't want to be the primary but thats another story.

Here's another thought who cares what any of us thinks...if you got scars and thus your feelings and connection have changed for your wife it seems natural that your time and attention would shift in the same direction. How bad do you want to be married?
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:38 PM
OpenandCountry OpenandCountry is offline
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When I started seeing my boyfriend too much (stupid NRE!) My husband asked me if I was trying to get "payback" for all the years that he spent time with his friends and stayed out all night while I was working/in school. I honestly don't think I'm doing that, but I did have to take an honest look at my actions to determine that. If you're doing this passive-aggressively, it isn't good for you or your relationship(s).
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2011, 04:53 PM
KindaPOd KindaPOd is offline
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Don't know if I'm being passive-aggressive. I mean, if I'm going to be aggressive than I prefer to skip the passive bit and get it out into the open. It's just simpler for everyone.

Hell, I'll try to keep an open mind. There's a good chance that I'm just acting like an infantile prick. Not something that I'm proud of but I'll own it if that's the case.

You're right. I haven't given her the same courtesy that she gave me and I don't plan on giving it. No excuses there. Not my most shining display of humanity. Guess I'm just tired of being the doormat.

Quote:
What you don't tell us is what neglect means.
Emotional neglect. My gf is higher up on my mental priority list than to my wife. The stuff that you've suggested is close enough.

Quote:
It might be water under the bridge but you just made mention of it 11yrs after the fact.
Got a point there. It's info that's relevant to our relationship history.

I just don't see the point in obsessing over it. I'll never know either way. You get to a point where you just have to accept that what happened, happened. What may not have happened, may not have happened.

Quote:
Did your wife notice this attention disparity in the beginning of your relationship or only recently? How long has she felt this way.

What you're saying is that upon restarting her relationship you told her that your connection to her would most surely diminish and now she is unhappy with that outcome and you don't really get it.

Do you feel inclined to negotiate at all on this topic? Will you negotiate on other topics?

You may need to inform her on what type of relationship you'd like to have with her now ....that primary thing is not all that it cracked up to be....some people need it other don't. I actually told my wife I didn't want to be the primary but thats another story.
Yeah, she noticed the disparity ever since the relationship began. If she hadn't noticed, I'd take it as a sign that she'd already checked out.

The way I see it, I want my gf to be my primary and wife to be my secondary. From what I've read, it's considered poor form amongst the poly community to pull the old switcheroo. Don't know what your situation is like but maybe you can relate.

I understand why my wife wouldn't be happy with that, but I did tell her that this could happen years in advance. Guess I'm just surprised that she is surprised.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2011, 05:19 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Ya, kindPOd, cut the wife loose. You're treating her badly and she could use someone better than you. She deserves that. Everyone deserves that. Let her go. You'd be doing her a favour. If you can't pull it together to treat her as an equal to your girlfriend I would guess you're done. Your attitude sucks on this. You're right, not your best moment. Make it your best and break up with her telling her that you don't love her any more. That to me would at least make you out to be some what decent in all this.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2011, 05:26 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KindaPOd View Post
Don't know if I'm being passive-aggressive. I mean, if I'm going to be aggressive than I prefer to skip the passive bit and get it out into the open. It's just simpler for everyone.
This sounds so like my husband. Everyone around him would call him passive aggressive (not to his face, I'm the only one stupid enough to do that ), but he would deny it to the hilt. His logical mind saw no point to it and therefore he didn't think he behaved this way, until the therapist pointed it out in specifics. It was a big stepping stone for him to realize this and we were able to make some progress in our relationship.

Quote:
Hell, I'll try to keep an open mind. There's a good chance that I'm just acting like an infantile prick. Not something that I'm proud of but I'll own it if that's the case.
Sounds passive aggressive to me.

Quote:
The way I see it, I want my gf to be my primary and wife to be my secondary. From what I've read, it's considered poor form amongst the poly community to pull the old switcheroo.
Likely, because the whole premiss to poly is adding more love to your life, not replacing one person with the other. It doesn't sound like you can do this, be it from being hurt so badly or it's just part of your nature. If I had to guess, based on much of what has been said, the hurt you feel from the past did a lot more damage and went deeper than either of you realized.

Quote:
I understand why my wife wouldn't be happy with that, but I did tell her that this could happen years in advance. Guess I'm just surprised that she is surprised.
Because to her that concept doesn't even compute. I know a few people that tried for years to fix their marriage after some severe hurts took place and they just couldn't because at least one partner could not get that connection back. Sometimes, once that connections is lost, no matter how hard you work, it just can't be repaired. When you break a bone, once set and immobilized for a few months, it will eventually repair its self, but stretch certain muscles too far and the damage can be permanent (even though they are still attached). This permanent loss of connection is hard for many of us to understand, but it is just as real as being able fully love more than one person.
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