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  #11  
Old 03-24-2012, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinew;130025And now that he works again, his desire to have plenty of time to connect with Juliet leaves me with little idea of how I even fit into his schedule.

[...

So if I wanted to live poly for his sake, but be a primary for my sake, I have to ask - what do healthy primary relationships look like for others?
[...] Am I just being selfish to say I want most of his free time, not the least of it? Is it common to feel uncomfortable with the level of investment one's poly partner is making in your metamour? How do we negotiate between asking one to meet the other's needs and avoiding denying one's own?
Hey there, sorry that things are still so dire. As you have asked for the experience of others, I decided to talk about our solution as you seem to be quite similar to my husband in many ways. For a short orientation on our situation: I am the poly one, my husband is mono, my male spouse as well; we are living together.

First of all: Starting into an arrangement after such a long history of betrayal and cheating makes my heart flinch. And I am not confident in my independence or whatever you want the coping skill to call to be ok with this situation. I have experienced what being betrayed means, but I was told kind of immediately when the deception had happened and I needed some years to overcome it completely (meaning thinking of it without hurting). I can't imagine coming to terms with this situation when living with the people who hurt me that much and see them celebrate the relationship that has come into being by their deception without giving me time to adjust to it and work through it. No way.

You asked what a healthy primary relationship looks like for others. For me/us it is about caring for each other in a way that no one has to feel unwanted or disrespected, considering the needs and desires everyone has and certainly not worrying how one fits into the tight schedule of the so called primary partner. As soon as I imagine this situation being present at our home, I wonder how your husband can possible face your suffering without desperately trying to ease your pain. I couldn't watch my husband suffer like that every day. We choose to live together, as my husband couldn't imagine being away from me for that long when I spend whole days with my bf at a different place. By moving him in, all three of us have the utmost of the possible time everyone has to give. And we decided to try to do poly with full investment, as everyone wanted to be part of every other's life to feel the deepest level of connection towards everyone.

The part that wouldn't work for us (dh, bf, I) is the part about MOST of the free time. We try to handle things equally, as I have some kind of a co-primary or double-primary arrangement. But we aren't trying to go by stop watch, as long as everyone is feeling satisfied with the situation, there are some hours spend 'unequally' (husband is working all day, bf and I are mostly at home right now). But I always try to make up for that by spending some extra quality time with my husband.

Therefore I would say: Yes, it is common to feel uncomfortable if the investment your partner is making in your metamour comes across as being 'too high'. It's the nature of every relationship to shape its own needs and structures. If your need to spend time with your husband is too high for the current arrangement, you need to renegotiate how to handle things differently.

You are right to ask how to avoid denying the other his needs as well. This is a difficult one. If there are clear discrepancies between you two, both have to compromise a little. Like meeting on middle ground. In your case I don't really know how big the difference is between the time he spends with her or with you, but wouldn't it be a starting point to request some equal time management?

Lastly, and I consider this as most important: This has been going on about a year... consider NYCindie's suggestion. Some people aren't cut out for this kind of relationship style. You worked your way through it, at least you tried to. And you are still hurting. This may be because they didn't give you time to process things slowly and kept on disrespecting the things you needed to come to terms with it. But this may just be due to the fact that you aren't able to feel comfortable in this kind of relationship as well. Think about if you actually WANT to be ok with it, deep down in your heart. If not, you should start caring for yourself and walk away from this.
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2012, 12:42 AM
Icewraithonyx Icewraithonyx is offline
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I was introduced to non-monogamy when Wife starting having a cyber-affair. When it was discovered, polyamory was proposed as a way of continuing the relationship. In hindsight, we both realize this was a huge mistake. (The affair ended shortly after that, and then we were able to START healing.) Polyamory requires a SOLID foundation of trust and (like many others have said), that would be VERY difficult considering all of them were willing and able to lie to you about the affair for quite a while before.

I'm on a Yahoo list for mono partners in a poly relationship and most of the introduction posts (including mine) read like your situation: Partner cheated, wanted to call it poly and continue the affair, and now I'm twisting my self in knots trying to cope. It's terribly sad.

I've read several resources about recovering from infidelity and nearly all of them strongly advocate that the affair has to end in order for any healing to occur. Using the "ballet" analogy, since you weren't allowed time or space to heal, the injury is still there. Worse, the "accidental drop" has been incorporated into the routine so it continues to re-occur, aggravating the injury. You CAN NOT heal this way, any more than you can heal a broken leg by jogging.

Ask your husband to google for a webpage called "Transitioning from cheating to polyamory". If he wants to save the marriage, that pages would be very useful for him. If he refuses, you should strongly consider the advice about moving on from a dead marriage.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:02 AM
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If there is not true consent and total honesty its not polyamory in my opinion. Its merely lust, manipulation, and the corruption of a relationship. Amd its just mean.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinew View Post
venting to her about me,
....
He says he wants a home, pets, someday kids with me. But he has all those things already with Juliet as well.
....
Not long ago, Charlie proposed that we start a fund for Juliet's daughter so that we could help pay for her upcoming surgeries, and Juliet and Kilo have made Charlie (but not me) their daughter's legal guardian in their will. Kilo is keen to have Charlie in Juliet's life in a big way again, as it would ease the pressure of being man-of-the-house on him, and Juliet is understandably keen to have the full support and affection of two men in her life again.
....
A lot of you just plain sound much more independent than I am. Am I just being selfish to say I want most of his free time, not the least of it? Is it common to feel uncomfortable with the level of investment one's poly partner is making in your metamour? How do we negotiate between asking one to meet the other's needs and avoiding denying one's own?
venting to you was likely not helping him feel connected to him. How unfair that he did that! Behind your back too?! Gah!

You aren't seriously raising money for her kids are you? He has decided this without consulting you? He is the girls guardian, also without consulting you? He's a dictator! Seriously, are these people so uncaring and so inconsiderate that they think all this is okay? Its like you don't exist at all and he keeps you around because he feels sorry for you.
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2012, 03:47 PM
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I've read the recent responses several times now, and I have a lot to think about. Thank you all for being so genuine, supportive, and challenging. It really is the strength of communities like this, when strangers can speak right to the heart.

I'm still not exactly sure what to write. I feel I should explain that I know it sounds like Charlie is a huge source of pain for me, but he's also the man I love. I want him in my life, even though I know it's the hard road. And I spent a long time with one foot out the door. In the end, I didn't want to fight reality anymore, and I didn't want to wake up every day undecided. I chose him, and therefore I chose poly. It's not my desire, but my choice.

And I still struggle with it, absolutely. But I had to make a choice, and believe that I could make it work, in time. And that's why I come here with a mix of bitterness and a plea for help in how to work with it. I might have made a different choice, and been on a different forum, with different bitterness. I did the best I could, and I've challenged myself to keep trying to make this work till I've truly reached the end of my rope.

We are each flawed, and there was a time in my life that I didn't tolerate this kind of thing. Now, I'm trying to have more empathy for Charlie and Juliet's flaws and be more aware of my own. Jealousy and self-importance are big issues for me, and if I want to work on them, really, I need to keep gently pushing myself into uncomfortable territory. Not dragged there, I recognize, and I think that Charlie and Juliet realize that much more now.

There's a lot more I want to discuss, but life doesn't give me a lot of spare time at the moment. I'm still thinking about the advice people have written here, and will try to write back soon.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2012, 04:01 PM
SoCalDoc SoCalDoc is offline
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Of course you can choose to stay w the man you love, but thus far you've shared w us only his flaws, his selfishness and I would say even his mean spiritedness. For the sake of balance, can you truthfully describe any recent acts of loving kindness (from Charlie toward you)? Does he consistently make you feel loved/valued? Does he consistently make you feel desirable?

Last edited by SoCalDoc; 03-28-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2012, 05:15 AM
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Please remember that everyone is different. Where I would not be able to stay in a relationship where the man I believe has committed to me would make decisions and choices without consulting me and considering how I would fit into a situation or scenario he wishes to have, you might. Really, all of what you have read here is for pondering (which you sound like you are doing). Take what you will. Even if its the chance to see things from a different perspective. We don't know everything because we only know what you have told us and your point of view. That can be very useful. Bottom line is there are many ways to go about creating what you want and need for your future.

Good luck
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