Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:46 AM
charlesgarnier charlesgarnier is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5
Default Questions about a long lasting poly relationship

I am married for 20 years with Anna. I had in the past two relations with other women, mainly for sex, but they didnít last. Three years ago, I met another woman, Chris, and fell in love with her. She is married and has one child. After a few months, she told the truth to her husband. So do I a few months later, after my wife had discovered messages on my phone. Both our husband and wife didnít accept the situation. Anna threatened me about divorce, but also tried to understand the situation. So did Chrisí husband. He decided to meet other women and get involved in a relationship with a woman, without love. Anna decided also to meet other men and has several relationships, also without love. So it seems that everybody has become poly, but thatís not that simple.
- Anna is deeply hurt by having lost her exclusiveness on me. She says she could accept me having other sexual relationships, but canít accept me being in love with somebody else. She considers her own relationships as a way of enduring the situation without too much suffering.
- Chrisí husband considers that his own relationship is only a temporary solution. He wants Chris back in a ďnormalĒ situation, which means a mono relationship. He says he bears the situation only because he is convinced it wonít last.
- We have a passionate relationship with Chris. As we work together, we can meet several times a week. We send each other a lot of sms. Our marriages are happy, we love our spouse and husband, so we both decided to find another path than both divorcing to get together. We have somehow succeeded, but it has been difficult for us to give up the idea of living together, and it is still difficult to give it up.
I have a few questions.
- Do you think that, with time, Anna and Chrisí husband could accept the situation and become happy with it ?
- Chris and I consider our relationship as very strong, with attachment and a notion of engagement. Do you think it is possible to have a long-time lasting relation with another person, with that high frequency ?
- Chris and I are both hesitating. Do we have find a very intelligent way of dealing with our love, allowing us to make it compatible with our weddings, or are we lying to ourselves, because our main couples can only weaken ? Or are we missing the main love of both our lives by not being courageous enough, by compromising ?
- Anna and I are wondering. Are we going to have an open marriage ? Are we going to lost each other ? Is it going to make us stronger ?

I know there is not only one solution, but I would appreciate your advices.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:06 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 531
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesgarnier View Post
Our marriages are happy, we love our spouse and husband, so we both decided to find another path than both divorcing to get together. We have somehow succeeded...
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesgarnier View Post
Both our husband and wife didnít accept the situation.

Quote:
Anna threatened me about divorce,
Quote:
Chrisí husband.... decided to meet other women and get involved in a relationship with a woman, without love.
Quote:
Anna decided also to meet other men and has several relationships, also without love.
Quote:
- Anna is deeply hurt by having lost her exclusiveness on me. She says she could accept me having other sexual relationships, but canít accept me being in love with somebody else. She considers her own relationships as a way of enduring the situation without too much suffering.
Quote:
Chrisí husband considers that his own relationship is only a temporary solution. He wants Chris back in a ďnormalĒ situation, which means a mono relationship. He says he bears the situation only because he is convinced it wonít last.
No advice. Just saying, these do not sound like happy marriages to me. Anna and Chris's husband are clearly not happy.

You have indeed succeeded at being together, but not at being together in a happy poly situation.

With all due respect, I personally wouldn't call this a poly situation at all. I'd call it a We got caught cheating and our spouses have decided to have payback affairs, to have sex without love, which is not really in their nature, to try to make themselves okay with this and make it hurt less so they don't have to face the scary prospect of divorce situation.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:54 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 166
Default

I agree with everything WhatHappened said. I have a more blunt way to say it. You have a mess. The most courageous and loving thing you can do is go back to your wife exclusively, and work things out as best you can through honesty and open communication with her. Once you know what kind of relationship that gives you WITH HER, decide WITH HER what BOTH of you want from there. Dishonesty is a foundation for nothing.

Last edited by snowmelt; 08-19-2012 at 03:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:32 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,022
Default

I third. I apologize if this is Hard to Hear. But you asked, so...

You are putting spouses through hell from your own selfish-osity! If you really love them, why aren't you setting them free? Rather than making then endure this? Like emotional hostages. Ugh.

I don't know what your mistress will do about her husband. I do not know why you are content to be in relationship with a known cheater. That's a whole OTHER can of worms you have to come to terms with in your Soul. I do not envy you this.

But I will assume positive intent here -- that in posting about your situation you are seeking advice for what to do about YOUR WIFE and how to do right by her and get back into right relationship to her.

I would talk to her and apologize for the crap. You made a vow to your wife FIRST. So finish that contract with her first. Tie up loose ends and stop letting them dangle!

Tell Wife you are sorry you broke the contract. Tell her you have stopped contact with the Mistress for the next 30 days to create Safe Emotional Space for just you and the Wife to determine what is next. (Tell Mistress you what you are trying to do.)

If you find you love your wife and want to make it work there, accept it may come at the price of your Mistress.
If you find you do not want to live without the Mistress, state this to the Wife. Accept that it may come at the price of your Wife.
If you find neither wants anything to do with you any more -- accept that your unethical behavior has earned you this and it came at a price of both gone.

Sit and think what you WANT to have and say it. NOW. Up front! Like you should have from the start -- HONEST! Get in right relationship to YOURSELF first, then get in right relationship to the Wife. If you cannot live with mistress, don't put wife in that position again -- where you will be tempted to cheat on her again. Just set her free and be HONEST. Do not make new promises you cannot keep.

Wife might decide to try honest poly with you, but NOT with the Mistress in the picture. Then what?
Wife might decide she wants NOTHING poly. Then what?
Wife might decide she's over you. And wants no part of you? Then what?

Face your realities for once. Get a counselor on the horn if you need one to navigate this hard conversation. But it must be had. Stop putting it off.

Then ask the Hard Questions:

Quote:
Do you even want to be with me after I was so awful to you breaking our contract?
Can you ever see this working out so I can be with you both?

If not, I accept I was a downright fool and a cheater, and the price is losing you. I set you free.

If you want a divorce, I will not contest and we can call a mediator so we can split up as amicably as possible so I can help you start your new life on solid footing. I do want to help. If you let me I still want to be your friend.

If you still want to be together and could see yourself in a place where you could accept an HONEST polyamorous situation, please tell me your wants, needs, and limits. We can get a counselor to help us. I will do my best to regain and uphold your trust this time and not fuck up again. If I do, what would your consequences be? Let's make a new contract that considers BOTH of us and try to begin with a clean slate.

I beg you for forgiveness and the opportunity to make amends in some way -- either in a clean divorce where we can part as friends. Or a clean new contract where we can be in harmonious polyship. But I understand if you do not want to grant either. You do not have to. I have earned this through my foolish behavior. I will own it. I do not deserve a clean anything when I was so dirty to you.

But if the only ethical answer is now facing a messy divorce, then I own I have brought this down on us. I am so sorry. I've been a bad husband to you. I feel sorrow and regret. It will haunt me forever.

But we must move it forward. After doing this to you and us with my thoughtlessness? I cannot ask you to give up your future life and future happiness on my foolishness. I must set you free to decide what it is to be.

Will you think over 30 days and then give me an answer?
And if she goes ballistic -- suck it up. For 30 days. Then do the right thing at last. Whatever it is you and she decide to do TOGETHER that is best -- even if the best is dissolve the marriage.

You don't have to suck up abuse -- but dude. This is your wife and you caused her great pain. Sucking it up and letting her have space emotional space to rant and rave and process for a mere 30 days? And waiting patiently for her to clear out any emotional flooding and make a huge life decision? Her final answer on this double jeopardy question?

You get off light. If you were married to me you would have been out the door at the onset. That's a 1 strike lie of omission in my universe! She's probably kinder than me. Sigh.

I hope you all find peace and reach a better place. This is just shit. Get a shovel, start moving it out. None of you deserves to live in shit. But only you all can clean it up.

I feel sorry for you and your wife. I hope you all have learned something in this disaster and can move it forward toward becoming your better, ethical selves. Get back in right relationship with your wife -- be it trying to rebuild the marriage (as an ETHICAL monoship or ETHICAL polyship) or trying to move through a clean divorce.

But move it forward for god's sake. Enough with the caca!

Good Luck.
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-19-2012 at 08:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-19-2012, 10:47 PM
charlesgarnier charlesgarnier is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5
Default Not that simple

Thank you for your advices. Here are some more details and some remarks.

First of all, I have not decided one day to become poly. I was (and so was my mistress) mono. I didnít exclude sexual relationship with other women (it occurred once), but, as my marriage was happy and I loved my wife, I didnít even think I could fall in love with a third person.

There have been two scratches in my marriage contract. Fist of all, because it was not clear that I could have an affair (we never had a true discussion about this). By having an affair, I was misdoing. Second scratch : I waited several month to tell the truth and I was ďhelpedĒ by an event, even if could have continue to hide the situation. To be sincere, I donít think that when there is cheating, the cheater is solely guilty. And if I concealed the truth, it was partly to preserve Anna from being taken in the tornado when I didnít know where I was myself. I am still not convinced I should have dump the problem I have created on her, without trying to treat it myself. When she learnt the truth, I was able to say I wanted to stay with her, and I think thatís more easy to hear than somebody dealing with a growing passion and not knowing where it will go.

But after my confession, I didnít even try to find excuses. I apologized to my wife. Of course, I would not have opposed a divorce. From this point, there is no more cheating. Everybody tell the truth to everybody.

I told Anna once that I would quit Chris, as she was too much suffering. She told me not to do so, which was demonstrating true love. She donít ask me to quit Chris, neither Chrisís husband ask her to quit him. They understand that would not be a good solution.

Chrisís husband and Anna are not happy, but they are not unhappy. If they were really unhappy, they would divorce, wouldnít they?

I canít quit neither Anna nor Chris. They are as my two arms, I canít imagine cutting one.

Of course it is clear for Anna and I that we have to build a new contract. It would be simple if I could quit Chris, because they would be a clear basis. But I canít.

Neither Chris nor I have decided to be passionately in love with each other. We try to deal with it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:19 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,022
Default

Sigh. How is your spiritual health in all this? Seek counseling please. A doctor, minister -- whatever and whoever it is that can help you get back in right relationship with YOURSELF and then your WIFE. You sound all kinds of messed up, dude.

Take a stand on the side of DOING RIGHT. Stop being so... nambypamby. It does not suit you. It does not flatter you.

You may not want to Hear what I write below. It is hard and straight up. Do with it what you will.

Quote:
To be sincere, I don’t think that when there is cheating, the cheater is solely guilty.
No. Your cheating partner has aided you to cheat. It takes two to tango.
Quote:
And if I concealed the truth, it was partly to preserve Anna from being taken in the tornado when I didn’t know where I was myself.
No. It was to not have to deal with being honest to your wife from the get go. Let's call it what it is. Too late now for more BS.

If you wanted to preserve your wife from pain, you would not cheat. You would tell her you wanted another lover before you opened your pants. And get her blessing first. But that was too hard for you. And you wanted your jollies. So off you went for the third time into extramarital affairs.

Quote:
I am still not convinced I should have dump the problem I have created on her, without trying to treat it myself.
You are doing lies of omission by holding back information that affects Anna. Is this a good way to treat a person you "love" in your ethical code? You are messed up. You wanted to solve it on your own so you could alleviate your guilt in having done it to begin with and/or to avoid feeling yucky if Anna should find out.

Quote:
When she learnt the truth, I was able to say I wanted to stay with her, and I think that’s more easy to hear than somebody dealing with a growing passion and not knowing where it will go.
And you continue to lie. After she learns the truth, months later, after enduring TWO OTHER AFFAIRS OF YOURS IN THE PAST... you take the easy platitude? "Oh, I still want to stay with you, honey! I love you!"

You could have said "I do not know where this is going. I am confused. We probably need a marriage counselor." That is more honest. Even "I want to sleep around and I want you around to do my laundry" is more honest.

Saying "I love you, I want to stay with you!" when you go off into affairs and do not stay and exhibit less than loving behavior by cheating and lying? What is THAT?

Quote:
Second scratch : I waited several month to tell the truth and I was “helped” by an event, even if could have continue to hide the situation.
Quote:
But after my confession, I didn’t even try to find excuses. I apologized to my wife. Of course, I would not have opposed a divorce. From this point, there is no more cheating. Everybody tell the truth to everybody.
You do not sound like you confessed. Sounds like you were caught.

I would not be inclined to believe you, given your affairs record that there would not be more cheating and it would be truth from here on out. You have not been a person of your word.

And you did not mention HOW Anna is to get a divorce from you. Do you share equal finances? You do not mention this. Saying you would not oppose a divorce is not seeking a lawyer to draw up papers that puts all common property half and half equally. Deeds, not creeds. Because your word, sir, is not worth much right now.

I hope you are at least doing your share of chores around the house, making your own meals, and doing your own laundry and being a GOOD ROOMMATE. Because you have not been a good husband.

Quote:
I told Anna once that I would quit Chris, as she was too much suffering. She told me not to do so, which was demonstrating true love. She don’t ask me to quit Chris, neither Chris’s husband ask her to quit him. They understand that would not be a good solution.
Or they are in shock still. Emotional flooding making them numb and/or depressed/not care about anything. Or figure once a cheater, always a cheater. Why bother to hope?

Quote:
Chris’s husband and Anna are not happy, but they are not unhappy. If they were really unhappy, they would divorce, wouldn’t they?
Sounds like shock/gone numb to me. That can be depression. Have you taken your wife to the doctor? Are you actually looking out for her or just expecting her to lump it here?

You just state they are NOT HAPPY. Being able to leave and divorce well is DIFFERENT than being happy.

There's finances, child custody -- a lot to disband. Sometimes people stay in unhappy marriages for a while because they are just stuck there for now. I do not know what Anna does for a living or if she's a stay-at-home mom. But if she makes less than you or makes NO income at all because she always worked in the home in this partnership? Her career skills aren't super sharp so she can get a new job asap? That pays well enough to set her up in her new post divorce life?

Ah. Well. Her choices then are put up with YOU the cheating spouse and have familiar roof over her head at the standard of living she's used to. Or move to a hinky apartment struggling to get a job and all that. Or some strange women's shelter if you are a dick about the divorce and play "starve the wife" and draw out the process to drain her meager funding. Welcome to reality. Sure -- stay with the mistress and get sex over there. Cuz wife don't want none from you! Ew.

Given that you cheated before -- do you ever wonder WHY she stays? Is it easier to tell yourself she truly loves you than to tell yourself you are not playing fair?

I don't want to know the details of your marriage or personal life. But consider -- IS your shared wealth half in Anna's name already? If it isn't then it isn't actually a level playing field financially is it? There is no denying that that plays into how a person would respond to all this crap. It matters. People want to know where their next meal is coming from.

Make it so. See a lawyer, banker, whatever. Transfer the funds so it is half and half. Make it so she is truly free to speak without hardship and free to walk if she wants to walk away.

Then ask her if she wants to still stick around to make it work. Still be in this marriage. HONESTLY. From equal footing.

If you playground that in your head and come to realize she might actually choose to LEAVE? That is the price you pay for having been dishonest.

If she wants to stay ANYWAY? When she is truly free to go? That's a whole lot different than staying because she isn't free to go.

Mere staying does not mean she is happy staying. And her mere staying does not mean she's not unhappy.

Set the woman truly free and THEN ask her to stay. You and your mistress are being emotionally and mentally cruel to these spouses.

If Anna is having a payback affair? Or seeking to leave you through the support of another man so she doesn't have to linger in Divorcee Poverty? Good on her. You have given her very little to work with that is CLEAN.

Quote:
Neither Chris nor I have decided to be passionately in love with each other. We try to deal with it.
Damn. After all THAT? Sheesh! How insulting to the wife. Make wife's life hell over a lukewarm affair? And you still won't break it off with the Mistress?

I think you all sound shirky. Nobody wants to own anything here. I don't blame the victim spouses who have been thrust into numbness by wayward spouses. But you and Chris are behaving very, very poorly.

What a mess. Sigh. I hope you can man up and find your way and get back into right relationship with all your people as you should be and become a man of his word one day.

best wishes,

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-20-2012 at 12:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:43 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 166
Default

charles,

I just read what GalaGirl wrote. I couldn't have said it any better, even if I spent the next hour trying to. I will add my own short, blunt 2 cents. You lied, cheated and betrayed your wife. By doing that you created a mess. Now, you're complaining about that mess, and trying really hard to find a way to make yourself look like the victim of that mess.

Yes it is that simple to fix. You just don't want to do it. You're trying to say the cheating you did is not as bad as it sounds because your wife now says go ahead and be with Chris. That sounds much better to you than fixing this the right way. It sounds to me like you are not interested at all in doing the right thing. I hope you change your mind.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:33 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,235
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesgarnier View Post
Neither Chris nor I have decided to be passionately in love with each other. We try to deal with it.
Damn. After all THAT? Sheesh! How insulting to the wife. Make wife's life hell over a lukewarm affair? And you still won't break it off with the Mistress?
Gala, I took his comment to mean that he and his mistress didn't ask to or just decide to fall in love; it just happened, and now they are very passionately in love [he did say they dream of living together]. So now they deal with the consequences.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:34 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 531
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesgarnier View Post
First of all, I have not decided one day to become poly. I was (and so was my mistress) mono. I didnít exclude sexual relationship with other women (it occurred once), but, as my marriage was happy and I loved my wife, I didnít even think I could fall in love with a third person.
What are you saying here, that you've had sex outside of your marriage prior to Anna?

Quote:
To be sincere, I donít think that when there is cheating, the cheater is solely guilty. And if I concealed the truth, it was partly to preserve Anna from being taken in the tornado when I didnít know where I was myself.
Most people are not going to buy the "I cheated and then lied to her about it to protect her, what a great guy am I," routine.


Quote:
I am still not convinced I should have dump the problem I have created on her, without trying to treat it myself.
You didn't dump it on her. You got caught.


Quote:
I told Anna once that I would quit Chris, as she was too much suffering. She told me not to do so, which was demonstrating true love. She donít ask me to quit Chris, neither Chrisís husband ask her to quit him. They understand that would not be a good solution.
Going by the other things you've said, I'd guess that if she really told you to continue seeing your mistress, that there's more to the story. I, for example, got to the point with my ex-husband's lies, that I would have told him to go right ahead and continue what he was doing, because at least that way I knew, because I could guarantee he'd continue doing something behind my back anyway. I can see myself saying such a thing in those days, but not because it was perfectly okay.

Quote:
Chrisís husband and Anna are not happy, but they are not unhappy. If they were really unhappy, they would divorce, wouldnít they?
As GalaGirl said, there are lots of reasons people remain married, other than that they're deliriously happy living with a cheater who lies to them. (Hard to believe, but true--I can assure you I stayed a long time with a lying cheater for exactly the reasons GG mentioned.

Quote:
I canít quit neither Anna nor Chris. They are as my two arms, I canít imagine cutting one.
Aww, that's really beautiful and poetic. That's so sweet.

It's also a load of bullcrap.

Yes, you can quit one of them.

Quote:
It would be simple if I could quit Chris, because they would be a clear basis. But I canít.
Excuse me repeating myself, but yes you can. We are in control of our actions.

Quote:
Neither Chris nor I have decided to be passionately in love with each other. We try to deal with it.
I think I misread this the first time. You don't mean it's lukewarm you're pulling the old, "We can't help ourselves, we never decided to be in lurve, we're victims of an unstoppable tide of passion," aren't you?

You know, we all make choices in life. I'm quite capable of being very much in love with someone and yet choosing not to call him, not to get in the car and drive somewhere to meet him, not to take off my clothes with him, not to have sex with him. I can choose to go to a movie with a female friend, to clean my kitchen, to remind myself that sending special texts and trading kisses and having sex with a married man behind his wife's back is very, very hurtful to another woman, to another human being, to his children if he has any, to his marriage. I can choose to walk by his desk at work and ignore him.

Need I go on?

We have control. We choose our actions.

Please...re-read GalaGirl's post, maybe a dozen or three dozen times a day. It can only help.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:57 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,022
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
Gala, I took his comment to mean that he and his mistress didn't ask to or just decide to fall in love; it just happened, and now they are very passionately in love [he did say they dream of living together]. So now they deal with the consequences.
Maybe I misunderstood that part. I'm not sure.

It keeps boiling down to this though -- now that all is said and done? Choose to behave more ethically to the persons involved, please!

If they could not help falling in love? Fine. I'll buy that. Feelings just happen. You feel what you feel when you feel it. Rain is rain. Sun is sun. Emotion is emotion. We cannot choose how we feel. We can only choose how we behave in response to those feelings. REACT in the heat of the moment or ACT WITH INTENTION.

If he fell in love with Chris without looking for it? Fair enough. Then he chose to do what about it? Tell the wife he's fallen in love with some lady named Chris out of the blue? I do that all the time. I tell my DH that. And he laughs and yanks my chain about my latest crush. So? No big all around. I am still coloring inside the lines of my agreement with my spouse.

Charles did not inform his wife. He chose to have an affair behind his wife's back. Not ethical. Not cool. They have another kind of agreement in place -- a monogamous marriage. He colored outside the lines in sleeping with Chris.

In response to THAT? Chose to not own it til he got caught months later. Shirky.

In response to THAT? Chose to not set wife truly free. If loves Chris and wants to live with her -- not moving that forward honorably either in not setting wife free. Both ladies left in limbo. More shirky. Because he doesn't want to have to choose between them because that's easier on him. Never mind what may be easier on THEM. Or hell, Chris's Husband.

There are real people involved here with real feelings, and Charles is shooshing things under the rug some more. To choose not to decide is still making a choice. Sometimes to wait and see what new information may be revealed so you can make a better informed decision. Sometimes to play Mr Avoidy. I call this Avoidy. Very weak on ethics. Still treating the loved ones with less than loving behavior.

Charles, if you are still reading I really do hope you CHOOSE to behave more ethically than this. It won't be fun, but at least it will be more ethical than you have been.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-20-2012 at 01:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:30 PM.