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Old 08-18-2012, 03:10 PM
aljs aljs is offline
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Default The bomb explodes.....

Here goes.......

I love my wife first and foremost, she's my sun and stars (to refernce game of thrones) we have been married for 10 years, and together for 12. We have two children 6 and 17months. Like any relationship, we have had hard times, and we're still working on recovering from those together. Earlier this year she decided that monoagmy wasn't working for her, and that was a crushing blow to me.

I cried a lot, I questioned myself and my value and worth, I considered bailing totally. We did a few sessions of couple counseling, which she then decided she did not wish to continue, because I was crying a lot in there, and she couldn't take it. I started reading online and in books, both about open relationships, specifically, and relationships in general, trying to help myself and heal this wound.

I recall I said "If this is what you want, I can't stop you, but I don't know if I can handle it, and what the consequences to our relationship might be"

It seems she took that as a threat. Maybe I said it wrong. we've talked about it since, and I asked that we get our own heads and relationship into a good and solid place before this can of worms got opened completely. We are still trying to recover from both of having depression issues, and losing a big part of our emotional intimacy, and trying to get it back when you have children, work, school and all the things that take up time, getting that time for each other is hard.

So anyway, it appears that we were making progress, then last night it all exploded. She has been visiting family out of town for the summer, looking for job opportunities, etc. She got involved with a poly support group, which she said was really good for her, and I am glad for that.

At any rate she calls me last night after a blow-up with her family and said "I refuse to accept Monagamy, and if you can't accept that then we are done."

I was crushed. I've been trying to educate myself, to get there, to be as understanding as I can be while working through my own fear and insecurity about it. Now it's "you decide RIGHT NOW, because I'm going to do what I want, and you can either deal with it or go to hell" Not the exact words, but certainly what was implied. Well, I love her, I love my children, so here's what I am going to ask for in negotiation.

1. I want us to remain exclusive for 3-6 months (time frame to be discussed)

2. I want us to engage in counseling together during that time frame, as well as continuing the individual work we've been doing.

3. I do not wish to open the relationship until we BOTH agree that it can withstand the additional stresses that this will create.

I also want to make it clear that I acknowledge and respect her views, and that I do not expect her to hide them from me, only that we are honest, and that we will care for each other.

I sincerely hope we can make it work.


I have ideas for boundaries, but I think that is something we need to work through together.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2012, 04:36 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post

Well, I love her, I love my children, so here's what I am going to ask for in negotiation.

1. I want us to remain exclusive for 3-6 months (time frame to be discussed)

2. I want us to engage in counseling together during that time frame, as well as continuing the individual work we've been doing.

3. I do not wish to open the relationship until we BOTH agree that it can withstand the additional stresses that this will create.

I also want to make it clear that I acknowledge and respect her views, and that I do not expect her to hide them from me, only that we are honest, and that we will care for each other.

I sincerely hope we can make it work.
As the poly one in a poly/mono relationship all I see in your list above are YOUR WANTS... What about hers? You need to come to the table with some concessions.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:20 PM
aljs aljs is offline
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All of those wants are a starting point. I'm trying to get the discussion back to how we make this work together, and not have it blown away. She wants to be non-monagamous, no more specific than that. I'm trying to crystallize the vision. I'm also trying to get to a safe place where I can fully deliver the compassion and understanding she deserves.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:20 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
1. I want us to remain exclusive for 3-6 months (time frame to be discussed)
I think that sounds reasonable.

Quote:
2. I want us to engage in counseling together during that time frame, as well as continuing the individual work we've been doing.
You might use this as a place of compromise. Exclusive for 3 months IF she is willing to go to counseling with you to help speed up the work you can do together OR 6 months if she refuses to help with your need to process the change. Or exclusive for 4 1/2 months if she is only willing to go to three more sessions of counseling. Something like that. It sounds like you two really need to work on supporting each other, and while I understand where she's coming from (it is VERY difficult to watch your partner cry week after week about the same thing when it's something that you need that is causing it), she needs to be there for you. "Relationship broken, add more people" is generally a recipe for disaster so if you two can't get on the same page, then opening up probably isn't going to go well. At all. And there are 2 young children to consider during all of this.

Quote:
3. I do not wish to open the relationship until we BOTH agree that it can withstand the additional stresses that this will create.
Once again, fair but also kind of vague and could easily be used as an excuse to put it off indefinitely. Not opening up the relationship until 1 - you can talk about it without crying and 2 - you two have gotten on track to become more intimate (scheduled date nights, regular affection, etc going on) would be more specific goals. At that point, I would think both of you and your relationship should be able to handle the stress.

Quote:
I also want to make it clear that I acknowledge and respect her views, and that I do not expect her to hide them from me, only that we are honest, and that we will care for each other.

I sincerely hope we can make it work.
Honestly, I think what you're asking for is completely normal. You've been monogamous for 12 YEARS and all of the sudden she wants to change the rules. Of course you're going to need time to figure it out! The fact that you sought counseling, reading material, and advice are signs that you are truly trying to process this and get to a place where you can support her need to be poly. If she can't respect that, then she can't respect you or your relationship either.

Take care of yourself, take care of your kids, and take care of your relationship. THEN think about adding other possible relationships to the mix.


I have ideas for boundaries, but I think that is something we need to work through together.[/QUOTE]
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:20 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by km34 View Post
Honestly, I think what you're asking for is completely normal. You've been monogamous for 12 YEARS and all of the sudden she wants to change the rules. Of course you're going to need time to figure it out! The fact that you sought counseling, reading material, and advice are signs that you are truly trying to process this and get to a place where you can support her need to be poly. If she can't respect that, then she can't respect you or your relationship either.
I agree. I think talking about opening up a marriage at all...and discussing how and when to do it...is the concession. It's saying, "I want to give you what you want...here's how we can accomplish that."
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:44 PM
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Turning a relationship from mono to poly cannot be done at the flick of a switch. It takes time and work. Hopefully if you are willing to put some sort of plan in place that you can both agree to in order to work towards poly, then hopefully she will be content. What she may be feeling is frustration that things just aren't going anywhere.

You may be able to accept that she is poly (hard to do anything else, since that's what she says she is), but that doesn't mean that she has to act on it right now, even if she does have someone already in mind (and you haven't said one way or the other whether this is the case - it might be worth asking, if you don't know).

A while ago I wrote a piece on my blog about the negotiations - how to structure things in terms of the prep work and then a structured way to discuss things - it's here: http://cieldumatin.livejournal.com/4437.html Several folks have used this and say it helped. It does involve some work on both of your parts. If you like it, maybe you could run it by her and see if this would work.

This is a tough time for you. I just hope it turns out to be valuable.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:48 PM
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All of your requests seem completely reasonable to me. It would be interesting to get her perspective here. Great resources at www.morethantwo.com, if you haven't been there already. Best of luck!!
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:07 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Your requests sound reasonable to me. You aren't saying "No!" you are saying "Go slow. Be easy on my heart here. And let's work out the plan that allows for slow, be easy with my heart (my want/need) and gets you the open marriage (what you want/need) so we can both be at a happy medium. "

The only thing I might add is

Quote:
4) Let's work together on a framework for rights and responsibilities for this new configuration so we can stay in right relationship to each other while Open and you are dating. We can tweak if your relationship(s) move to something steady/committed.
There is ours.

And then an agreement for conflict resolution.

I know you are talking about "Opening a Marriage" and not "Getting Married" but sometimes a lot of those questions can help you crystalize things too. How will this change Money, Time Management, Parenting, Chores, etc.

http://marriage.about.com/od/engagem...agedissues.htm

Hopefully she's willing to still be in it here (Marriage to You) and once she calms down from the rush of "Flight or Fight" adrenalin rush of doing something scary... Revealing/outing herself to you and her family. Going all on the defense mode because she anticipates being attacked? Or because she's being attacked from some she's lashing out at all? Where's her head at?

Is she still in it? Committed to the marriage?

HTH!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-19-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:57 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
...which she then decided she did not wish to continue, because I was crying a lot in there, and she couldn't take it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
It seems she took that as a threat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
She has been visiting family out of town for the summer, looking for job opportunities, etc. She got involved with a poly support group, which she said was really good for her
Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
"I refuse to accept Monagamy, and if you can't accept that then we are done."
Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
Now it's "you decide RIGHT NOW, because I'm going to do what I want, and you can either deal with it or go to hell"
Quote:
Originally Posted by aljs View Post
exploded

I'm going to give you my opinion. Please understand this is only my opinion. These are the words of someone who wants out of your marriage. Her stubbornness, pushiness and plain lack of interest in the pace of moving to poly that your marriage can handle indicate this.

My guess is she has wanted out for a while. This feeling has been building up for a while. She has felt too scared or guilty to do anything about it until now. Something happened. She either met someone she became attracted to, or met someone who gave her the idea of poly. Using the built up pressure of wanting out as a foundation, she decided to use poly as an escape hatch from the marriage. The idea is to use the pent up pressure to push it on you so fast that you resist it. She can then use that resistance to turn "I feel guilty for hurting you by wanting out" into "I don't feel guilty because I can now say I want out because you can't accept me for who I am". By pushing this on you too fast, she can go from "It's my fault" to "It's your fault". She may not even be poly. People can be very dedicated to the strategies they use to help them avoid looking at things they don't want to see.

If she does want out (emphasis on if), there is nothing you can do to save your marriage. Her strategy will be to respond to your reasonable requests with unreasonable behavior. She wants this to be enough to fuel her ability to say "It's his fault our marriage ended". What if the therapist made a lot of sense by telling her to slow down? That makes it that much harder for her to say "It's your fault". If everything I'm saying is true, no wonder she didn't want to stay in therapy.

True poly wants to nurture all relationships. She is not nurturing your marriage at all. She's treating it like it's in the way of something else she wants, which leads me to believe she is not interested in your marriage at all. It's important for you to take a realistic look at her behavior and decide for yourself if she really wants in or out. If she wants out, the only thing you will accomplish by continuing to be reasonable while also continuing to accept her unreasonable behavior is hurting yourself more than a divorce would.

Last edited by snowmelt; 08-19-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2012, 01:21 AM
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Storm77 Storm77 is offline
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Being new I don't feel I'm in a position to add any good advice but just wish it works out in the best way to lessen the amount of hurt you have to deal with

My wife and I are only about 3 months into being Poly and aside from about a week of bliss it's been a pretty rotten experience for me as a male and hoping our marriage does not end because of it. I guess my advice to anyone would be you need a DAMN SOLID relationship before trying being poly if you do not want to risk your relationship.
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