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  #21  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:26 PM
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nycindie - we do have dates and we do set time aside for just us. Perhaps not as often as we should, due to money concerns, but it does happen.
Oh, that is good. We so often see married couples forgetting to romance each other and then the "new and shiny" other relationships always seem much more fun because there is no day-to-day responsibilities, like paying bills, housecleaning, etc. Date nights for the two of you don't have to cost money, either.

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But because we also live in reality, our lives also include a lot of paying bills and day to day crap. My point is that he doesn't have to do any of that with her, it's all vacation and having fun and lots of sex.
Oh, I hear ya, and this is very common. I always say to people that they should make dates to romance each other and invite the boyfriends and girlfriends over to fold laundry. If it's all about fun & sex, it becomes an escape.

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Look, I would prefer to allow him to keep this relationship because them breaking up is going to cause a lot of drama . . . but if having it is going to make him seriously consider leaving me for her then it's gotta go. I am 100% more important in this equation than she is. I know that's not the "poly" way of seeing things, but as I've stated several times in this thread, I have never considered us poly, just open. I'm the one he married, not her. I'm the one he promised to spend the rest of his life with, not her. I'm the one that has supported him nearly our entire relationship, not her . . . a part of me is a little scared that he will choose her so I'm being a chicken.
You really need to talk to him sooner rather than later. This is like a sword hanging over your head. The longer you wait, the more angry you will get, and the more your imagination will run wild.
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  #22  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:48 PM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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And nearly identical situations are responsible for breaking many relationships. After reading what he said, and the words used seeming to indicate he isn't someone who can live poly, you need to talk with right away. Like others have mentioned, you don't know the details of what led up to that text. Waiting to talk is only going to make you more prone to lashing out and blowing other seemingly small things into the bigger issue that can eat you up inside if you let it.

When you blow something out of proportion, or just snap at him for something trivial without coming forward later to say, the reason I snapped at you had nothing to do with whatever it was you snapped at him, it can be very damaging to relationships between people who genuinely care about each other. It causes a lot of confusion that doesn't get cleared up until the truth comes out.

Like others have said, don't worry about what anybody else will think if it doesn't work out. But an important thing to realize while you and your husband are trying to sort everything out is the path and pitfalls you two have found yourself in are common mistakes that people who genuinely love each other, yet still tend to fall in as you are learning how to love with more freedom that society typical allows themselves to.

You've learned that it's impossible to have just the fun parts of relationships without training yourself to have more casual, more like sex through booths with holes in the wall relationships. Some people can do it, but feelings can't always be completely refrained. Hopefully he has learned, or is in the process of learning how easy it is to have unrealistic beliefs about other lovers when the two of them do not have to deal with reality. Because if he doesn't realize that, he will turn into a serial monogamist and be disappointed and the relationship will fail because no relationship is like a vacation.

But once you learn those things you can allow each other to have "vacation Loves" but you will be wise enough to know how and why it isn't real. It can be experienced and enjoyed, but thinking it would be better off with this primary without realizing it is not an "in reality viewpoint" will likely do damage when reality comes crashing in.

Yes, it was unrealistic to restrict emotions with other sex partners, but yes he should have fully disclosed his feelings to his wife. Yes you shouldn't have snooped but if the two of you can create an environment that doesn't set you up for a tendency to omit details from your talks (like feeling feelings that are not allowed) he would probably fully disclose and then you wouldn't be suspicious and snoop behave there wouldn't be any peculiar behaviors that didn't jive with his talk.

Humans are much more intuitive then we are capable of fully understanding. The two of you are in some emotionally hard to deal with times, but they are lessons that if dealt with by doing the next right thing, you can be the perfect poly couple everyone thought you'd be, just don't worry about doing that though. If it's meant to be it will be, just realize if you both want it and can be humble and forgiving while learning these lessons (which is NOT easy as you well know) You Can Do It

If you want it, do it.

If you don't then don't, just realize that most people have run into the same problems, and at this point they seem to be such honest mistakes that you can still be the wise and successful poly couple that became that way without destroying the relationships while you learned your wisdom.

Good Luck and I am sorry you two had to experience this, but the pain will pass
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2012, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by naturalblue View Post
kdt26417 and Boring Guy, I'm glad that there are people who see it that way. I had been nervous about saying anything about it because when I first came on this forum a while ago, there was a thread from a woman who felt threatened by her husbands secondary relationship and wanted to veto it. Most of the comments were extremely negative, with a lot of "you're not really poly if you don't let your husband have this relationship" and "suck it up, you let him do it so now you have to live with it forever" kind of attitudes. I know not everyone is like that, but it did make me nervous.
Just as a side note, I think people in general really don't mess with the concept because it makes it seem like the other relationships are disposable, and seeing as how there are a few here who are OSOs, that their feelings are disposable as well.

I'm not saying that's how you feel or what you think. I get what you mean about the thread though. It is true most of us (from what I've read anyway) are not interested or down for a veto as an option.
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2012, 06:59 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Just as a side note, I think people in general really don't mess with the concept because it makes it seem like the other relationships are disposable, and seeing as how there are a few here who are OSOs, that their feelings are disposable as well.

I'm not saying that's how you feel or what you think. I get what you mean about the thread though. It is true most of us (from what I've read anyway) are not interested or down for a veto as an option.

And doubly so when it's not just having people feel disposable, but to wrongly do so as a way to deal with jealousy is why people may in general frown upon it. But there are also times when people sabotage the other relationships that their BF/GF may have and when they do so it's almost never done in obvious ways. It's subtle, often times nothing more than a lack of respect can prevent things from working.

What may be most important is the whole concern for what people will think. Which is why it is always a good idea for groups, families, communities, and even countries to be very careful about the types of behaviors they as a society do not tolerate. Sometimes it is done without making a conscious group decision. But I don't want to highjack the thread, which I have a bad habit of doing elsewhere. However I hope that the OP can get good ideas and it is refreshing to hear people say 'talk to him', but with decisions as big as dissolving a marriage there can be a fine line between good advice and influencing a person that has not yet made the decision. I am not accusing anybody here of doing that, but I think there is a difference between advice after a person has made a decision and asking how best to accomplish their goals and advice to someone who is not yet decided. These are the types are situations where good intentions can have negative influences without even realizing what has happened.

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 12-09-2012 at 07:06 AM. Reason: typo, and added thoughts
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2012, 01:26 PM
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I don't know if ultimatum/veto is the way to go. I am in general pretty anti-veto, but I also think you will have to make decisions that are right for you.

I just wonder if it is going to bring what you seek. In the best case scenario, you issue an ultimatum and he chooses you. What does that prove... That you were, indeed, his priority? That you were more important to him than this girl? Is that what you want?

I think for me the ultimate goal would be to know whether he can be trusted and not so much to know I am more important than the other person. I don't think veto can give evidence about his trustworthiness. For that, you need to talk to him and listen to him. He needs to take responsibility, he needs to explain why he has made the decisions he has made, he has to have the willingness to act differently in the future. And then he has to show you that by acting differently.

In the end, I don't think the worst thing for you about veto is the possibility of him choosing her (because that may happen anyway if it's what he wants) or the consequences to her (which may be bad but if he dumps her he wasn't really a keeper from her point of view, anyway...). I think the worst thing is that the best possible outcome is the illusion of security. If, instead, you communicate with him and if both of you want to continue, you may have a longer period of more tangible insecurity, but the best possible outcome is actual security.

Does that make sense? Obviously, nothing is even 100% certain, but in the latter case, you can have some evidence that he has leart from his mistakes. In the former, you remove the symptom (her) and hope that destroys the problem (his actions).
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  #26  
Old 12-09-2012, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by naturalblue View Post
polyq4 - Yes I do think I have the right to veto her. He is MY husband. Not hers. Boundaries changed once before, they can change again. There was never anything in our agreement that said that this was permanent and I resent this idea in the poly community that once you open up, you no longer have any say in what happens in your relationship. Marriage is not something that you just throw away or trivialize, to me. We made vows to each other and that is not something that I can just walk away from just because he is caught up in NRE. You're right, I can't control his behavior. But I can say that if he wants to remain married to me, he can no longer be with her. That's my boundary and he can react as he sees fit.

Look, I would prefer to allow him to keep this relationship because them breaking up is going to cause a lot of drama (we are all part of a larger group so there is little chance of them having a clean break, we would have to see her again at group get togethers), but if having it is going to make him seriously consider leaving me for her then it's gotta go. I am 100% more important in this equation than she is. I know that's not the "poly" way of seeing things, but as I've stated several times in this thread, I have never considered us poly, just open. I'm the one he married, not her. I'm the one he promised to spend the rest of his life with, not her. I'm the one that has supported him nearly our entire relationship, not her.

GalaGirl - I understand what you are saying. I'm just nervous about making Christmas severely awkward. Also, as I mentioned, the 1 year anniversary of his dad's death is coming up at the end of January and I worry that this, plus that will send him into a tailspin of depression. He hasn't really dealt with it yet and had a really hard time on Thanksgiving and his dad's birthday. That, and a part of me is a little scared that he will choose her so I'm being a chicken.
what i am trying to say here is in my view an i agree with GG on her posts one of 2 things happen, 1) you get your ultimatum and he decides to be with her, and all goes to hell and a handbasket real quick. 2) He decides to stay with you and now he has a resentment towards you and that eats at the marriage.

3) you let things progress naturally , do a lot lot lot of talking and see where it goes, the NRE will wear off and hope that decisions are not made with the effect of all of the chemicals from NRE.
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  #27  
Old 12-15-2012, 05:10 AM
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Am I out of line on this? I understand that veto-ing a partner's partner is frowned upon in the poly community, but as I said, we have always been more "open" than "poly". I'm really struggling with how to handle this.
Few comments.

1. Poly isn't a community, it's a relationship style. Anyone who says differently is selling something. In my experience, the only thing all polys agree on is open and honest communication. Everything else is up for grabs.

2. Veto means prohibit or forbid; i.e., stop it before it happens. It is, by definition, impossible to veto something that has already happened.

3. Vetoes can work, but they require an a priori agreement between both partners. My girlfriend and her husband have a veto agreement. He has exercised it before and while it resulted in much discussion and some disappointment, it did not have a lasting effect on their relationship. Whether or not a veto agreement is appropriate for a given relationship depends on the relationship style. Vetoes are perfectly reasonable in a hierarchy, where your top priority is to avoid anything that will harm the primary relationship. In that case, your partner's feelings and your partnership are much more important than a potential relationship with someone else. And because veto means prohibit, not end, you're not disposing of anything, you're just not starting it. Again, this requires that both partners fully agree and support the idea of the veto. It will not work if one partner tries to force it on the other.

Now...

re #2: What you're proposing is not a veto. First, you and your husband did not agree to it before you went down this road. Second, you're trying to stop a runaway train. You are not trying to protect the status-quo, you're trying to change an existing situation. It's too late for veto. Situations like these are why many poly folks abhorrently despise vetoes. Some people abuse the notion of veto by trying to end something that's already started, and then saying "But we agreed to veto!"

But...

All of that is just terminology. You don't really care whether it's called a veto. That doesn't affect your current situation one bit. You just want your husband to stop seeing this woman. That's understandable. He lied about her and misled you about the nature of their relationship. It's natural that you should want her out of the picture so that you don't have to compete with her.

Except...

The problem with ultimata is they piss people off. Ever since I started dating, I had a policy that anyone who gives me an ultimatum automatically loses. It doesn't matter what I would have chosen otherwise. The fact that you're forcing me to choose tells me you don't respect my feelings. Instead, explain your feelings to me, appeal to my compassion and good nature. I don't like to hurt the people I love. Allow me to make a decision that's right for me, and it's far more likely that I won't throw you away out of spite.

So...

Are you honestly prepared for the possibility that by forcing him to choose, you'll lose? Wife or not... Based on the text you found, it doesn't sound like you're in a position to be making demands. "Her or me" might be just the excuse he needs to walk away. In a nutshell, the decision to throw away your marriage is not yours alone, but there are things you can do to force him into that choice. Tread carefully.
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  #28  
Old 12-15-2012, 06:35 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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To not let her thoughts run away from her, so I hope you are hanging in there Naturalblue. It sounded like you needed to wait til after the holidays and hopefully he will ease your mind and give you the full story, so just remember his mono-sounding talk may have been taken out of context. He is obviously having trouble communicating his feelings as they happen. It sounds completely normal to me to feel like you are being left out, and not respected.

And that is something that can change, it is something that will have to change when there are unavoidable emotional ties. It is sort of the main difference between "open" and "poly" and it can be hard for some people to fully comprehend what their partners need to feel secure, so it will take you approaching it gently and figuring out a way that you can communicate what kind of behavior it will take to get past these really freaking tough spots.

Again, you are not the only couple to have begun a successful non-monogamy marriage, and without realizing it find the road you are actually on is Polyamory. And there are many ways to get through it without a complete breakdown and scrapping of your family vehicle (your marriage) So just know you don't have to give up, just because a tire blew out and you don't have a spare. You can limp along on the shoulder until you reach a metaphorical service station.

Many relationship trips started out where you did and ended up on the rough patch of road that is start to Loving with total freedom. Hindsight is easy, so just know that it's the "looks" and "feel" of dispair that has caused many people to abandon ship, but it is NOT always so dispairing that it cannot be fixed. People just don't realize til they are through it and its too late sometimes.

Until you both feel comfortable enough to not be afraid to tell each other everything as it happens (or whatever you as individuals will require to feel safe and secure) I believe everything can definitely be repaired. So long as you don't feel hurt beyond repair, which typically happens when for whatever reason one of you doesn't feel safe to fully disclose what your are thinking. You aren't playing a hand of poker, but it turns into such a game if you aren't showing each other your cards. If that happens, it is hard not to notice winners and losers in every hand. So don't do it like that.

I don't know, that's all the ways I can think of to say it. So hopefully you are hanging in there for the Holidays, hope all is well
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