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  #1  
Old 08-14-2012, 01:10 PM
illflyaway illflyaway is offline
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Unhappy Jealousy and Neglect

Long, long ago, before mortgages and preschool drop-offs, my husband and I decided we both were open to the other having another relationship. We both had some relationships, but when I got pregnant with our first kid, neither of us had a serious outside relationship, and I really lost interest in having a relationship outside of our relationship. He continued to have brief relationships, but nothing that materialized into anything serious. Meanwhile, his interest in me waned. First, he didn't really want to spend time with me, telling me that he felt too tired. Then, he stopped wanting to have sex with me, claiming a low sex drive due to exhaustion. I have a hard time accepting his claim of exhaustion and low sex drive, since he will stay out extremely late to pursue other women. It seems like he always has a sex drive when he has a chance with someone else. He says that it's just because they are novel. I don't know what to do. I am so jealous. I didn't feel so jealous when we first started out, when I felt loved and wanted, but seeing him pursue these women when I so desperately want his attention but he denies me, it hurts so much. I've tried talking to him about it, but he says he doesn't enjoy spending time with me when I don't act happy, and I really really want him to want to spend time with me. I don't want to leave. I have young kids. I really love him. I wish I had never heard of polyamory. How do I fix this mess?
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2012, 01:28 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illflyaway View Post
Long, long ago, before mortgages and preschool drop-offs, my husband and I decided we both were open to the other having another relationship. We both had some relationships, but when I got pregnant with our first kid, neither of us had a serious outside relationship, and I really lost interest in having a relationship outside of our relationship. He continued to have brief relationships, but nothing that materialized into anything serious. Meanwhile, his interest in me waned. First, he didn't really want to spend time with me, telling me that he felt too tired. Then, he stopped wanting to have sex with me, claiming a low sex drive due to exhaustion. I have a hard time accepting his claim of exhaustion and low sex drive, since he will stay out extremely late to pursue other women. It seems like he always has a sex drive when he has a chance with someone else. He says that it's just because they are novel. I don't know what to do. I am so jealous. I didn't feel so jealous when we first started out, when I felt loved and wanted, but seeing him pursue these women when I so desperately want his attention but he denies me, it hurts so much. I've tried talking to him about it, but he says he doesn't enjoy spending time with me when I don't act happy, and I really really want him to want to spend time with me. I don't want to leave. I have young kids. I really love him. I wish I had never heard of polyamory. How do I fix this mess?
When "you don't act happy"? So, happiness is just some act where you pretend to be happy when you aren't? How does that solve anything? The fact is, you aren't happy, and as your husband, he needs to try to figure out why. It's not his responsibility to cheer you up, but if it's something he's doing that's making you sad, he needs to evaluate whether or not what he's doing is worth the pain it's causing you.

When you say, "I wish I had never heard of polyamory"... I've heard that before. It's not an easy thing to come to terms with but look at it this way. You can't know that your life would be different if he was monogamous with you. He could have gotten this far, realized he was unhappy, and started cheating. Don't wish for something you can't have, work to fix what you do have and build to what you want to have.

Seek out counseling. It's clear that what you're saying to him isn't getting through, and it's clear that you both still want to be in the relationship or one of you would have left. Go to a poly-aware counselor and work out your issues both between you and him and you and his other women. It really sounds like he doesn't want to stop and YOU need to figure out if you're okay with that or if that's a hard limit. If he is willing to stop until the kids are more grown up and then re-evaluate, great. But you're overwhelmed, and either you need him to help you support this weight on your shoulders or you need to find a way to deal with it on your own.
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Kyle: 27 year old male
Katie (rymmare): 25 year old female
Kids: girl: 5 years old, boy: 3 years old
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2012, 08:34 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I agree with KyleKat - you have a broken relationship - adding more people isn't going to make it any better.

If he wants to make things work with you then he needs to put what energy he has (which may well be less than he used to have - we're none of us getting any younger!) into your relationship, rather than using it to find others. If he really has given up on it, then you both need to recognise that and take the necessary steps.

I also agree that this has nothing to do with polyamory - the relationship isn't on the rocks because of poly, it's because of your relationship.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:16 PM
illflyaway illflyaway is offline
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I believe acting happy encourages him to want to spend time with me. No, it hasn't made him want to spend time with me, but I think of it like this: Would he rather spend time with the wife who greets him every day with a smile and a beer or the one who greets him with complaints if at all?

How do I find poly-friendly counselors? At one point, I looked for one by asking on the local poly group, but no one could think of a male poly-aware counselor, and my husband refuses to see a woman.

I wouldn't describe myself as okay with non-monogamy, given how our marriage is right now, but it's not a hard limit, either. I'd leave if he beat our kids or gambled us into poverty, but as long as we parent and run a household effectively, I'll stay, even knowing that he will probably not change. When I think of "fixing this," I would love it if fixing it was finding a way to make him love me, but more realistically, I think it's "How do I find acceptance? How do I find happiness? How do I get past the jealousy?" while I feel starving for his love, attention, and affection and he pursues others? I definitely think the advice of working on fixing what I do have is dead-on: I spend a lot of time wondering if he'd have these lovers if I hadn't agreed to this in the first place; if it would be easier for me if he was cheating (and maybe I wouldn't know about the partners); etc...
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:52 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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How long ago did you have your baby? Is postpartum depression an issue?

Definitely get into counceling. If your having trouble finding a poly friendly counselor, try to interview a few prior to making an appointment. It doesn't sound like your problem is poly, your problem is that you guys are not working and not communicating (whining and complaining is not communicating). So many things change after having a baby, it can be and extreme struggle to find a balance again, especially between the two parents.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:57 PM
LovingLove LovingLove is offline
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"greets him with a smile and a beer"?
-refuses to see a woman councelor?
-other women are novel?
-doesn't want to hang with you if you don't act happy?

Maybe I'm getting this wrong, but I would take a good look at how your husband values you in particular and all women in general. If he doesn't place value on women as individuals he is never going to care about your needs as his love and partner and just place expectations on you as his wife
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:57 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I have found that the best source of fulfilment for me is to be loved and accepted for who I am.
I also struggle with finding that with my husband (different reasons).

I suggest scheduling activities outside of the home at least 2 times a week and once on the weekend that YOU DO NOT TAKE THE CHILDREN.

Put it on the calendar and remind him that those are HIS times to watch the kids.

I say this because-often, the one who works has NO CLUE how much WORK it really is to REGULARLY care for the child(ren).

(The best thing I ever did was leave my kids for 6 weeks with my husband without arranging daycare for him.)

HE is a parent (just as you are) and if he puts more time and attention into parenting while you are out (even if what you end up doing is going somewhere and bawling your eyes out for 3 hours at first)-it will help him to be more aware and understanding of the difficulty you struggle with when HE is going out all of the time but "too exhausted" to do anything with you.

Find a social activity-somewhere you can start to make friends-and make yourself a promise those 3 times a week-that you won't talk about the issues at home. Your focus is ON YOU, what YOU enjoy, etc.

I know it doesn't DIRECTLY address the issue you are having with him-but it will indirectly-because it will help you start building a piece of life that isn't revolving around him (even caring for the kids is part of him).
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:00 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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My friends gave me excellent advice recently. Most counselors don't advertise their poly-friendliness, but if you find a counselor that supports LBGT, they may be willing to help. I found someone that was a male and helped LGBT, so I asked him and he said yes he had worked with polyamory before.

What's this bullshit about not seeing a female counselor? Our first counselor was a woman. The only reason we aren't going back to her is because she isn't poly-friendly, but she saved our marriage (we just didn't discuss poly there).

The Ethical Slut was written by two women. What's wrong with women giving counseling?!

Sorry. Sexism pisses me off.
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"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is the regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable." - Sydney Smith

Kyle: 27 year old male
Katie (rymmare): 25 year old female
Kids: girl: 5 years old, boy: 3 years old
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2012, 10:05 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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Not sure where you're located, but there are a few sites that have poly-friendly professionals listed.

Polychromatic being one. The National Coalition for Sex Awareness also has a list of kink-friendly professionals, and usually polyamory is included.

Our local poly group on fetlife also has quite a few counselors who have thrown their information up in the forum area, so you might check that out if fetlife is used much by the poly community in your area.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:20 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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What LovingRadiance said!!!
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