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  #11  
Old 08-19-2012, 01:57 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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As the poly one in my marriage, I find your concessions/suggestions very reasonable. In fact they mirror my thoughts.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:54 AM
aljs aljs is offline
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Originally Posted by Storm77 View Post
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.
My thoughts exactly. Our relationship is in repair mode right now. I personally do not feel that addidng more complication to it is going to be beneficial. The challenges we face really started to build after the birth of our first child (adding more people) and they only really came to a head in December of last year. She has felt dis-empowered by the role of the stay at home mom, not working, and I've been overwhelmed by the role of the provider, taking all that responsibility on. Just those things coupled with the logistical difficulties of having together time when you have two kids and all the stresses that come with that have impacted us a lot. Before kids, we did darn near everything together, shared almost everything, and still had independant activity and alone time available. We don't have that now, that feeling of sharing everything, almost every new experience together, and we suffer as a result. We haven't recovered our own relationship strength yet. My timeline thought of 3-6 months I feel like is a pretty fast paced schedule, as in my personal opinion we need substantially more time just to get ourselves in a solid place to be able to handle this.

Sometimes I feel like I am being tested, evaluated to see if my dedication is strong enough to her. I know at some point I am going to fall short, I'm not a superman, but I will always try my best, as she deserves no less.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:07 PM
aljs aljs is offline
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Originally Posted by snowmelt View Post
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.
I hear what you are saying. I have had those very same thoughts. They have caused me sleepless nights, and enormous physical and mental pain by even acknowledging that they have the potential to be true. I believe she is lashing out in pain and frustration from so many other things in addition to our relationship exclusivity, and right now I can only treat her with care and compassion as best I can, and then we can see where we are going.

My heart says that she doesn't want the end of us. I guess I'll find out if it's right.
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2012, 07:42 PM
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Hello aljs. My heart goes out to you and your wife in this difficult situation. I think your wife is being harsh and should be way more patient, comforting, and supportive towards you in dealing with this. It sounds like you're trying very hard, pushing through many painful emotions, and she is not appreciating that. I especially don't like that she can't take you crying. This seems very cold. I know from experience that crying in some cases cannot be helped... there have been times when I wanted SO MUCH to express myself without crying (because crying caused humiliation), but couldn't help it. It's not like being angry and yelling, you can always control your voice volume no matter how angry. People act like crying is always a choice.

I don't really have any particular advice but just wanted to reassure you that you're doing a good job and your wife should appreciate your efforts.

And remember that if she's poly you can be poly, too. Finding another partner can help you feel better about her having another partner.

Last edited by ultraviolet; 08-19-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2012, 07:55 AM
transcendental transcendental is offline
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Just to add another supporting message. I'm the poly one in a mono/poly marriage finding ways to open up.

I very much like your list of "I wants."

They are clear, well defined and reasonable. It took a while for hubby to be able to express himself like that and I believe you should feel proud of yourself for being able to do that already.

I cannot give you advice really, but I would say that she needs to learn patience and that she needs to work out what she wants from your relationship together before embarking on anything with anyone else. Underlying problems in a marriage have to be resolved before trying this path.

Good luck!
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:19 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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I agree with snowmelt sounds like a step to an exit or forcing you to do the dirty work and just leave.

Her explanation on not want to continue counseling, was it " I can't stand watching you in pain, pain that my decision caused. Or I'm not going to waste my time listening to your pathetic crying ?


Have you consider going by yourself to talk with someone get your thoughts and feelings clear. Separate the conflicting signals of heart and head. Maybe add her back into the process later.
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  #17  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:29 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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As a mother of 3 children, I well know how having kids can be so draining and make one lose track of who one is. Going from only being responsible for oneself, and having lots of free time with one's partner, to always having to look out for the needs of young children can really do a number on you!

I get the feeling she might have had more time to herself when she was with her family, with built in babysitters, and is looking back at the time of feeling younger, more care-free and sexier. This may have made her think what she needs is a lover, someone who sees her as HER, and not as the mother of their children. Maybe she even got a crush on someone, or... had a date of some kind.

This kind of extreme life change, going from childless to being in full on madonna mode, can be very hard to deal with. Kudos to her, at least, for not just going out and cheating. (Unless she already has, and is hiding it from you while demanding immediate polyamory.)

Polyamory has its root in the word "love," though. This means love for your primary partner as well as love for your other(s). Love means caring, compassion, patience. You are asking for her patience, time for you to wrap your mind around this new concept. You are asking for her compassion, to be able to watch you cry and put herself in your shoes for a while.

I truly hope she can be made aware of your confusion and hurt, in the midst of her feeling overwhelmed by her changing role, going from married, no kids, to married, 2 toddlers.

Perhaps you could go to individual counseling for a while, so you can talk, and cry if need be, without feeling judged for it.

I think your requests are quite reasonable. I just wonder why she is in such a hurry. There is a puzzle piece missing here. Invite her to the board so we can hear her side?
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  #18  
Old 08-20-2012, 01:14 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Sometimes I feel like I am being tested, evaluated to see if my dedication is strong enough to her. I know at some point I am going to fall short, I'm not a superman, but I will always try my best, as she deserves no less.
That is a kind thought.

But remember if you are being tested? Or feel like you are? It could be to see if you are strong in YOURSELF.

Nobody is superman.

Everyone could try their best.

But what do YOU deserve? The right to clear communication. The right to support and nurture.

Now if she is too broken to give you full partner support and nurture, that is one thing. But let's move it along on the clear communication!

I hope today finds you closer to that.

GL!
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2012, 03:25 PM
aljs aljs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
As a mother of 3 children, I well know how having kids can be so draining and make one lose track of who one is. Going from only being responsible for oneself, and having lots of free time with one's partner, to always having to look out for the needs of young children can really do a number on you!

I get the feeling she might have had more time to herself when she was with her family, with built in babysitters, and is looking back at the time of feeling younger, more care-free and sexier. This may have made her think what she needs is a lover, someone who sees her as HER, and not as the mother of their children. Maybe she even got a crush on someone, or... had a date of some kind.

This kind of extreme life change, going from childless to being in full on madonna mode, can be very hard to deal with. Kudos to her, at least, for not just going out and cheating. (Unless she already has, and is hiding it from you while demanding immediate polyamory.)

Polyamory has its root in the word "love," though. This means love for your primary partner as well as love for your other(s). Love means caring, compassion, patience. You are asking for her patience, time for you to wrap your mind around this new concept. You are asking for her compassion, to be able to watch you cry and put herself in your shoes for a while.

I truly hope she can be made aware of your confusion and hurt, in the midst of her feeling overwhelmed by her changing role, going from married, no kids, to married, 2 toddlers.

Perhaps you could go to individual counseling for a while, so you can talk, and cry if need be, without feeling judged for it.

I think your requests are quite reasonable. I just wonder why she is in such a hurry. There is a puzzle piece missing here. Invite her to the board so we can hear her side?
I am going to individual counseling, and so is she. It has been enormously helpful for me at least to improve my skills in communication, and handle some of my own issues in context of me, not us.

You definately hit the nail on the head of the overwhelming role of primary caregiver. She's not only feeling overwhelmed, and isolated she is ANGRY about it.

I'm on the other side of the coin of stress, feeling like everything rides on me and my employment at a job that no longer gives me any satisfaction, which sucks almost everything out of me everyday (Like staying home with two kids does) So we are kind of in the same boat, but we both react in different ways.
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  #20  
Old 08-21-2012, 12:16 PM
Becca Becca is offline
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I'm going to go out on a limb and hypothesize that she means exactly what she has said-- that she has concluded that she cannot live in a monogamous relationship for the rest of her life.

Based on the way you described your initial reaction, and the way you describe yourself during the ensuing conversations and therapy, she may have also concluded that you are not capable of a non-monogamous or poly relationship.

It's up to you to look at yourself and decide if she's right about this, or if she's wrong. If you don't know, and if you want to maintain a monogamous relationship while you think about it and process, she is probably going to presume that she's right.

I don't mean to say that rushing into things is a good idea-- nothing about your situation is good. I just wanted to give my perspective as to why your request to delay things might not sound reasonable to her. It might just be strengthening her belief that this is an insurmountable incompatibility.
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