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  #21  
Old 10-06-2012, 02:01 PM
BraverySeeker BraverySeeker is offline
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You're right, DH, his fight is a futile one. She's even pointed this out, I'm told. And regardless, he's going down still swinging. I can't say I blame him or wouldn't do the same in his shoes. It's only been a few days since she laid it all out there for him, but she can cite many much older instances when she tried to get through to him and he either didn't hear her or chose not to. Now time's up, from her standpoint, and he's still trying to turn back the clock.

Meanwhile, I'm flush, literally, off a breakthrough I can't precisely articulate. If it has to have a label, "ecstatic compersion" might fit. In the throes of an (insert your assumption here) with my wife this morning, I was overcome by the state of mind I've reached over the past few weeks: I'm more in love with my wife and best friend than ever, and I'm floored by the realization that she has so much love to give and deserves all the love she receives. I'm not only not threatened, I want her to pursue this other relationship because it has opened her up to loving me more and prompted us to communicate like we never have. I may be jacked up on her NRE for her GF, but if not for that we wouldn't have so much NRE of our own, connecting more profoundly than at any point in our nearly 25+ years together.

That she can fall in love with someone else and consequently feel more, not less, love for me is nothing short of earth shattering.

At this point she's not even able to truly "be" with her GF in any way other than as a supportive friend. But I no loner fear the point at which they can freely be together, to whatever extent they wish. I don't even feel like it would be "sharing" my wife so much as a chance to bask in the glow of her heart's full potential. Gawd, that sounds corny and naive and ridiculous. Call me on it if you must, but I'm at a plateau right now that has me feeling secure, content, in love and loved.

My wife, nevertheless, feels in some way responsible for what may be her GF's inevitable divorce. I don't think she is. But if she is, then shouldn't she also take responsibility for making my heart grow three sizes larger, too?

My intention here is not to paint myself as the mirror image of the other husband and claim that I am the better man. I was him once, and my heart was shattered. But if not for that heartbreak, I wouldn't have had to piece myself back together and learn to embrace the fluidity of love found and lost.

Yes, a part of me fears a dissolution of my marriage, in some distant dystopian future, no less devastating than his. My wife and I may be on an unprecedented high right now, but I don't think we'll crash and burn. Afterall, I've learned not to take her and her needs for granted, nor will she assume I'm OK with everything unless she asks. That's essential in any healthy relationship, let alone one that involves more than two people.

Last edited by BraverySeeker; 10-06-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Polyamory is edge play of the heart, dude.

It's the horrible-wonderful-horrible-wonderful thing.

The am I crazy? I must be crazy. I am NOT crazy. But I am crazy! thing.
Love this GG. I wanna put it on my bedroom wall!
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  #23  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:57 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Yes, she's known about her feelings a long time.

But I meant him. He just learned of her feelings in a way he cannot deny or ignore. So him making a rash decision about his marriage while he could be emotionally flooded would not be wise if he ultimately wishes to engage with her and actually do repairs.
It doesn't sound like he's being given the chance to make any decision about his marriage. It sounds like she tried to get through to him, and he didn't listen until it was too late. She's delivered the death blow: I want out. Ship has sailed, better luck next time.

Frankly, I don't disagree with her. If he won't even go to counselling when she says "Come to counselling or I'm leaving" then he's never going to do what he needs to do. To me, that demonstrates his lack of commitment to the relationship. If you won't even step up to the plate when she has one foot out the door, what hope does she have that he'll ever improve if she turns around and walks back in?

And then, she sees what kind of husband BS is. She can see with her own eyes that there are guys out there who WILL do what they have to in order to hold on to what they love. BS could have just as easily blown a gasket, tried to put the kibosh on it, and made a big mess of things. He even said he relates to the other husband. But though he denies it, he IS being the "model husband" as far as his wife's GF is concerned: not only has he been a loving and supportive partner these 25 years, but now that he has to deal with something he never expected, he's handling it like a pro. So can you blame the gf for looking at her useless lump of a man, and saying to herself that she deserves better?
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 10-07-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-07-2012, 04:06 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So can you blame the gf for looking at her useless lump of a man, and saying to herself that she deserves better?
Of course she deserves better! I totally agree. I think in general we're at the same conclusion even if I express myself differently than you. Your focus to me appears to be on the metamour wife. My focus was there initially but has since shifted to the behavior of other husband.

At the beginning, the metamour wife's behavior was questionable to me. She's since straightened up to fly right in polyship with good ethics. Good on her!

I come from the perspective that if she's been ringing his courtesy clue phone all along about her needs not being met and she's at her LIMIT? And it's at the place of "counseling or we are done?" Good for her -- she was tempted to cheat because her needs were unmet, but pulled back from that to sort it out and move ahead with honesty and INTENTION. Again -- good on her!

So 3 players in this polyship are now flying with some ethics in place even though they had a wobbly beginning. Good on them as a trio!

Now I'm looking at the dark horse 4th player -- the other husband.

He's been presented with information and a final limit. Now he has to make a move and choose his next behavior. I do not think he ought to make a rash decision about it. That would be a REACT behavior. Pushing away the yucky feelings (and her with it!) because he does not want to feel yucky. But my impression so far is that's been his pattern all along. Do not want to deal -- stiff arm it away. Poor conduct on him. Boo.

The thing that may help him is doing something different than his usual pattern of behavior: go to marriage counseling! That would be him choosing ACT WITH INTENTION. It's not guaranteed to save the marriage, but I don't see how being rash about his emotional management is gonna help him.

We cannot help how we feel -- yummy feelings or yucky feelings. We can only help how we choose to behave in response to those feelings. We can choose to "react" or choose "act with intention." Could even have a "react" initially to startling news and then get it together to "act with intention" next -- in the end that is still choosing "act with intention." But just a REACT here? That's no good.

If he goes with a rash REACT --all "Waaah! no! I don't want to deal!" and shuts down and pushes the whole thing away and her with it as the "source" of the yucky? That attitude will cost him his marriage. And rightly so because he's been ignoring tending to it all this time. She cannot be expected to be happy with chronic lack of responsiveness to her wants and needs. That's not any kind of relating back and forth in a marriage.

The "source" of the problem is not "we have problems because SHE is making me feel yucky!" as much as "we have problems because of my unwillingness to engage appropriately and problem solve with my partner."

It's sad. But hardly uncommon -- a non-responsive partner not wanting to OWN their poor behavior. Sigh.

OP -- I do not know if your metamour reads over your shoulder to your posts here but I hope that she gives herself the pat on the back for trying to be honest and forthright here. She's trying to fly right even if he's not willing to give her the right to responsiveness.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-07-2012 at 04:28 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10-07-2012, 05:57 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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I am going to offer another side of this. You see, I have been in the position of the woman who's struggling with her marriage. I had thought that the years of trying to 'get through' to my husband how unhappy I was had been enough. I got to the point I just could not take it anymore. I called the divorce card into play. Like this husband, mine freaked out. He suddenly realized it was serious. He was willing to do 'what it takes' to save the marriage.

I wish I could say that it all went swimmingly from there, but it didn't. You see, it was all about communication. Yes, I was unhappy for a very long time, yes I had thought I made that clear. However, I hadn't. See we didn't have the communication skills we have since gained. Oh I was frustrated beyond the telling of it that once we started working on communication a light bulb went off for him (and for me). Why didn't this happen earlier? Why didn't he understand before? It wasn't ONLY that he didn't get it, it was that I wasn't expressing it well.

So even if she has been expressing how unhappy she is, we don't know how she's been expressing it. Let's be honest, until you learn communication skills, what seems 'so obvious' to you, is not to others. So I just don't feel comfortable painting this other couple in the light of: She's done all she could and been open and honest and he just doesn't get it and it's too late now! Oh well move on!

There is NOW a sense of urgency with her, because there is another relationship involved. A sense of urgency for her, not for him. Sure now he understands that there are issues in their relationship, and maybe they won't work it out. However, it's not as easy as she told him and he ignored her. Communication skills are hard to learn. Believe me I wish I'd had them sooner! Maybe then my husband would have understood sooner, we would have worked on things sooner, and it wouldn't have been so hard. But, I have to take some responsibility for the fact that me telling him my issues was not communicated well and so he didn't understand.

Yes, by the way, I think they should seek counseling. I don't, however, think that after four days him not jumping on that bandwagon means he isn't acting with intent. My husband hated the idea of therapy. Never liked it. Still didn't when we decided to try it. But, we did try it. It did help. Both with some of our issues and with communication. It took time to get there, more than four days.

Do I believe that the husband has not been meeting her needs? Yes. I just don't believe she has been calmly and effectively communicating that to him for YEARS, and he is only now getting it because she wants a divorce. More likely he has had no idea how bad things were and assumed the issues she has raised were smaller issues he was trying to 'fix' as they came up. (Many men are fixers, not so much listen and comfort kind of guys) He had no idea until divorce came up that it was an ongoing thing that had been bringing her down for so long.

Long story short, I don't think either is in the wholly in the wrong or right. I think it's ineffective communication and if both want to work on the marriage, keep that relationship, it's something they will have to work on. Hell, for any relationship, hers with him, hers with the other wife, they will need to work on it. No matter how eloquently or how much you communicate if you aren't getting the message received by the other person, it is ineffectual.
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  #26  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:17 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
ONow I'm looking at the dark horse 4th player -- the other husband.

He's been presented with information and a final limit. Now he has to make a move and choose his next behavior. I do not think he ought to make a rash decision about it. That would be a REACT behavior.
I see what you're getting at now, thank you for the clarification.

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Originally Posted by Vixtoria View Post
There is NOW a sense of urgency with her, because there is another relationship involved. A sense of urgency for her, not for him. Sure now he understands that there are issues in their relationship, and maybe they won't work it out. However, it's not as easy as she told him and he ignored her. Communication skills are hard to learn.
Also a very good point. She has every reason to walk away, because she won't be left high and dry. But you're right that she's not giving him a chance to change, now that he knows he needs to if he wants to save the marriage.
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  #27  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:33 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Originally Posted by Schrodingerscat
I see what you're getting at now, thank you for the clarification.
You are welcome -- happy to clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria
So even if she has been expressing how unhappy she is, we don't know how she's been expressing it. Let's be honest, until you learn communication skills, what seems 'so obvious' to you, is not to others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria
I don't, however, think that after four days him not jumping on that bandwagon means he isn't acting with intent
Yup. I agree. That's why my commenting position right now is at

a) She deserves to have reasonable wants and needs met in relationship. She has told him he is not meeting wants/needs. I don't know how graceful the delivery was but my impression is that the volume seemed loud enough to penetrate this time.

b) He's got the ball. I hope he doesn't act rash -- all REACT-y. It's ok to feel "aaaah!" initially and it's only been this week that he's learned the seriousness volume. I don't know if his initial "Aaaah!" reaction is from being emotionally flooded. If so, I hope she understands that emotional flooding can happen, and while she wants things to move toward resolution, you can't do good conflict resolution with a flooding person. They are too "aaaaaah!" to work with well. He needs time to digest.

I'm hoping he asks for a time out to get himself together and that he will choose to work on this. (That's the initial REACT but ultimately ACT WITH INTENT. Some things are startling news, and the person receiving info needs time to digest.)

I hope he come to agreement with her on the fair/acceptable length of a time out she is willing to give for him to collect himself before moving it forward to negotiation/find compromise talks.

I hope that if she offered a counseling option she's willing to actually give it her best if he picks that option. (Not offering something she herself does not intend to honor well. That's giving a false choice.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria
So I just don't feel comfortable painting this other couple in the light of: She's done all she could and been open and honest and he just doesn't get it and it's too late now! Oh well move on!
I'm not saying "oh, well move on!"

I am saying "She made her move. Ball is in his court now to make his next move. Let's see what he picks next. They are in a Time of Discernment for themselves. "

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixtoria
I don't think either is in the wholly in the wrong or right. I think it's ineffective communication and if both want to work on the marriage, keep that relationship, it's something they will have to work on.
I agree. Ultimately it's on the metamour wife and the other husband to decide if they are still in it together or not and after they make the decision, take the appropriate next steps.

I am not judging "in the wrong" or "in the right" -- just commenting on where I think the ball moved to next. It's been moving all over since the OP first posted that he was struggling with being made an accessory before the fact. The ball's not on him any more -- but still. There are still people facing struggle as they grapple with the ball of "What NOW?! What behavior do I pick next?"

I certainly hope they get it together and resolve the problems to satisfactory conclusion for themselves -- either breaking apart in a healthy way or remaining together but changing to a healthy polyship shape. But resolved, so both can move to a happier place and find peace.

This is all so sad.

It's Hang Time at the Forge for them -- and how they come out of the experience is up to them. Nobody else. Will it be for the better? Or not? Time will tell.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-08-2012 at 12:57 AM.
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  #28  
Old 10-07-2012, 11:06 PM
BraverySeeker BraverySeeker is offline
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I really did not set out to serialize this situation or create an ongoing soap opera for anyone else's edification. I've really just been using this forum to sort out my feelings and thoughts about my role, limited though it may be, and seek input from a few experienced poly outsiders.

Let me just clarify that the metamour, to use yet another word that's new to me, has told her husband that they need to separate. He fears that prospect, but he did offer to go to a counselor with her if there's any chance they can salvage their relationship. She's agreed to the counseling, but is not leading him to believe their marriage can be saved. At the very least, the counselling may help or convince him they need to part ways and can do so relatively amicably.

He's apparently confided in one mutual friend and she has a few friends she's told - that their marriage is troubled, NOT that there's another love, same-sex or otherwise, waiting in the wings. He has promised not to disclose that to anyone. The finer point is she has a support network that he lacks. Even joint counseling is counseling for him, something he sorely needs but is not seeking himself or for his own sake.

But I wonder, as does my wife, if the marriage counselor won't conclude that she should not pursue a relationship with my wife, at least as long as it takes to sort out their marriage/breakup. Isn't that more likely than the counselor proving sympathetic to polyamory and nudging the husband toward accepting his wife's love for mine?

So that's one question. Another question we've had is whether the women's relationship should progress during the separation? Sure, he now knows about them, but they don't have his consent. Frankly, he sees that relationship as an obstacle to repairing the marriage. Maybe it is, but maybe it isn't.

My wife says she can wait for all this to be sorted, even knowing it could take a very long time. Her higher priority now is helping her good friend through a very difficult period. My wife's been good about telling her and myself when she thinks her advice may be self serving. I don't know that that admission makes her support for a separation/end to the marriage any less problematic, but at least she checks herself and encourages me to call her on that.

Incidentally, I asked my wife if she thinks her GF is in a hurry to end her marriage so she can be with my wife. My wife promptly put that question to the GF and she said no, that the timing of my wife's recent arrival on the scene is unfortunate but not a cause for the marriage's long simmering problems. She, too, knows my wife is in no hurry or going anywhere, so there's no added urgency.

I may be the only one who is impatient for a time in the not too distant future when the two of them, my wife and her GF, can be free to pursue happiness together. Right now they're dealing almost exclusively with her unhappiness, frustration and exhaustion with him and his anger, confusion and feelings of impending abandonment.

Everyone just needs to get through this in as few broken pieces as possible.

Thank you for listening and not judging too harshly.

Last edited by BraverySeeker; 10-07-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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  #29  
Old 10-07-2012, 11:32 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Thank you for listening and not judging too harshly.

I forget whether I've posted in this thread, but I have been reading it all along.

I only judge people "harshly" when it's obvious to me that they are being selfish, self-centered, and childish and refuse to acknowledge that the world does not exist to cater to their whims. Unfortunately, I perceive that all too frequently. Here is not an example of that. As I've said elsewhere on this forum - you can find lots of examples here (on this forum and on the internet) of how NOT to treat one's partner. Things don't always end up the way we would like, but i hate watching people torture themselves by fighting to preserve a situation that is defective or dysfunctional.

You seem to want to do the right thing, and according to your posts, your actions appear to match your intentions.
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  #30  
Old 10-08-2012, 05:28 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I really did not set out to serialize this situation or create an ongoing soap opera for anyone else's edification. I've really just been using this forum to sort out my feelings and thoughts about my role, limited though it may be, and seek input from a few experienced poly outsiders.
Sorry about that... we're an opinionated bunch, and we really can't help ourselves. Also, much of what we say can be applied to other situations. Although you started this thread, someone else might come along and be in a similar positions as you, or as your wife, or as her friend. We try to cover all the bases so that others reading the thread in the future can learn from your experience as well as our own.
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