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  #31  
Old 04-17-2013, 01:54 PM
egoscout egoscout is offline
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Default Responding to some of your comments

Both my wife and I recognize that everyone involved (primary, secondary, me) has a distinct viewpoint, emotional response, and culpability on this situation. My wife is a remarkable person and has shown so much patience for me during this time. An early response to my post speculated that my wife was merely acting out of selfishness to keep me and her secondary all to herself. That is just not true. We originally thought that her secondary would have a big role in our lives, while mine would be more casual. I have rebuilt my relationship with her secondary (he was a friend of my prior to their affair). Since my wife dislikes and distrusts the person I met, that makes such a goal impossible. Also, before diving into this relationship with my secondary, I thought I would just have a casual relationships so we could make her the primary focus of a V relationship. I even talked about not approaching ethical non-monogamy, but instead would take time to start a band, or do something fun on my own. I never expected to be in this place. I never expected to meet someone, or have deep feelings for them. I tell you this just to show my (and our) naivetť as rookies in this adventure.

My character is damaged through this, and the image my wife has of me as her partner is shattered. I have always been a supportive husband and have worked my entire marriage to be as selfless as possible. During my first emotionally connected secondary relationship, I acted not only selfishly, but thoughtlessly toward my wife and her feelings. I suck, but I am working on it.

Yes, we did stumble into poly after her affair, but it was the best thing that happened to us. We both felt like we communicated and loved each other a great deal, but after the affair and during our exploration of poly we attained a level of closeness that neither of us felt possible. I worked on my jealousy and trust issues with her, and she did a great job of allaying any fears for me. Also, I am generally not a jealous person. In contrast, I failed to comfort her during this whole mess that I created. We are still communicating but it is not the same on any level. I remain hopeful that we will come out of this stronger too, but my wife is doubtful.

Someone asked if we have been researching and learning about polyamory. I jumped into reading everything about polyamory to help me cope with the affair and this new endeavor. She has spent hours combing all of the blogs and websites, too. I read The Ethical Slut, Sex at Dawn, and have just started NVC. I am only two chapters into NVC, and I can certainly see that my communication style has contributed to our struggles. I listen to the Pedestrian Polyamory podcast and Tristan Taraminoís as well. I am learning a great deal, and realizing that this feels right. My hang-ups have always been dealing with culturally ingrained ideas, and I have grown a ton as person through our first steps into polyamory. The problem has been that my practice during this first emotional relationship with a secondary has been terrible. I canít change my past mistakes, but I seem to keep making them. This is not a problem with polyamory, but me.

Whether what I did constitutes an affair or not is irrelevant in the context of my marriage. My wife feels a lack of trust and betrayal--the same way I did after her affair-- so we are dealing with it like that.

During this process I didnít put her emotions first and that made her feel disrespected and hurt. I even regret writing this original post as I do not want my wife to be vilified, especially from a place where she has found so much great support and comfort.

I appreciate learning that some of you have had similar struggles. I donít feel so alone in navigating this time, yet I donít know what to say or do anymore. All of my words and actions have made things worse, therefore I regret having asked for help. My wife says we will probably not make it through this, that she is ending it with her secondary too and will not open her heart anymore. I had written most of this response two days ago, but didnít post it. My wife asked last night why I havenít responded to your negative comments about her. Why didnít I defend her? I figured my post would quickly die away and nobody would pay much attention. Of course many details are missing (you canít encapsulate a relationship in a few paragraphs), but the conclusions people made based on assumptions, I could easily discount. I thought my wife did too, but I didnít consider the damage to her emotions regardless. I told her I didnít want to reinvigorate a debate; I didnít want to add fuel to our problems. Ironically, not saying anything was just as bad. Why didnít I defend her? Why have I hurt her through this? What is wrong with me? If communicating leads to the same place as silence, what is left?
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  #32  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:13 PM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Egoscout, I SO feel for you, you are obviously a good person, no one is perfect you made a mistake and I feel you are working very hard to make yourself a better person.
I also think you seem to be bearing the brunt of a lot of emotional blackmail, there, I said it! I think in all of this you really need help and support and I hope you are getting it but please stop beating yourself up so much.

Good luck,

Natja
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  #33  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:33 PM
egoscout egoscout is offline
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I appreciate your concern, but I am not being emotionally blackmailed. My wife is an amazing person. We have a great life together. I firmly believe that this terrible situation will one day be looked on as a moment that brought us closer.

We have talked a lot in the past week about her role in this, as well as mine and the secondary's. My wife is a highly reflective person who has stated that she feels her control issues have been a factor. We have different personalities: I like to avoid conflict, and she likes to address it decisively. In our time together we have found a great common ground to become incredibly close and successful. However, during this stressful time, the less than helpful parts of our character traits have come into the light. We are working on it.

My wife is terribly hurt. I did that. That sucks. You say I am a good person, but so is my wife. We are both very human: good and bad. Normally, we support each other when one of us is struggling. This time, my wife is overcome with her own sadness, grief, etc. while I am simultaneously suffering in my own emotional crap. It will get better, and there are glimmers of hope.
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  #34  
Old 04-17-2013, 06:56 PM
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NutBusterX NutBusterX is offline
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Ego,
Nance and I are in your's and pol's corner as a couple. Each of you taking ownership of your actions and feelings is important and promising. It's clear that you both love each other and it's clear you both feel your marriage is important.

I don't believe either of you beating yourselves up is productive. You both have made mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are painful. Learning from them and not repeating them is crucial.

I do hope the two of you will continue to grow toward one another as this all plays out.
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  #35  
Old 04-17-2013, 07:25 PM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Ok Egoscout I will take your word for it you know your situation far better than I can glean from what you write here, I was just terribly concerned with the 'Why did you not defend me?' accusation, it seems a bit emotionally manipulative to me and what on earth can you say to that? Is it ever enough? I can understand you are both wallowing in hurt at the moment, but accusations don't help. I hope you can work through this though.
x
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  #36  
Old 04-17-2013, 08:59 PM
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nancyfore nancyfore is offline
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The "why did you not defend me" is a question.. a normal question from a wife to a husband who is feeling attacked and watching her husband create a response then not post it..

I would have asked the same question..

Egoscout, I hope you both and I think you can work through all of this and come out stronger in the end...
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  #37  
Old 04-18-2013, 12:13 AM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyfore View Post
The "why did you not defend me" is a question.. a normal question from a wife to a husband who is feeling attacked and watching her husband create a response then not post it..

I would have asked the same question..
.
This is not her thread, it is his thread and he is looking for support on here. She has her own thread where she has been receiving support too. I question what is considered 'normal' for myself at least, it doesn't come across as questioning it comes off as accusatory especially under the circumstances. He clearly loves her, they are clearly working on their issues but it does no one any good to just assume that their dynamic is entirely healthy, questioning things that sound 'iffy' is important, though I also admitted to Egoscout that he knows far more about the situation than I could possibly.

And the fact that you would ask the same thing, is hardly reassuring.

Natja
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  #38  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:42 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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"Why did you not defend me?" may not be the best way of expressing it but I don't see it as a demand or accusation. I see it as a hurt wobbly person asking a wondering wobbly question.

Since you are reading NVC materials -- perhaps could ask her to share in that reading? Because right now the answer is "Because I did not know that was your expectation/want/need."

If she wants to reframe the question in NVC style, maybe it could go something like...


"I read the responses to your thread online. I did not see a response back from you in your thread that defends me.

I feel hurt that you do not defend me online because I need to feel safe with my spouse when I am prickly and vulnerable and not so exposed.

Could you be willing to write a response online / stop adding to the thread/talk to me about the TMI line for online things/ ( <---- or something else she wants you to do that would demonstrate "defending me" behaviors to her... I am guessing here)

So I can feel that even though you are going through your own grief process right now and need support from other people, you understand that I am going through one too and need support from you in the way I wish to receive it?"
Or something like that where she lays out what her need it up front?

Then you can say "Yes, I am willing to do it like that" or "No, I am not willing to do it like that."

Move it forward rather than keeping it stuck in the hamster wheel. Nobody can mind reader anyone else.

Quote:
If communicating leads to the same place as silence, what is left?
When staying silent and being communicative leads to the same space? I'd suggest going communicative. State willing to try. Then YOU at least are being present and accountable at the negotiation table. Not showing up at all stinks worse.

Showing up = being willing, intent of trying to connect.
Not showing up = not connecting at all, maybe distancing.

The other people have to attend the meeting and be present to for it to fly of course. But could not let it bomb because YOU were missing and not present. This matters to you? SHOW UP to the table. Keep going -- esp with the NVC skills learning.

If both are at the table? That's good. Then maybe the next baby step could be investigating your conflict resolution method? Perhaps experimenting with different ones until you get a method that serves you both better?

HOW you communicate things is as important and WHEN and WHAT you communicate.

I think it's hopeful that while struggling, both are still willing to keep trying and are still showing up to the table.

Could tell your wife that you are sorry she is hurting and feeling undefended. You were not aware at the time because of the shadow of your own grief/struggle. Could say if you are willing to talk about that now that you ARE aware to see what specific behaviors in the realm of online disclosure she's comfortable/not comfortable with. It's the online TMI line thing that you could sort out between you so you could get what you need (outside POV, support, etc) AND she gets what she needs (free of her feeling overexposed.)

Again... moving it forward.

Hang in there, both of you!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-18-2013 at 04:38 AM.
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  #39  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:02 AM
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nancyfore nancyfore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natja View Post
This is not her thread, it is his thread and he is looking for support on here. She has her own thread where she has been receiving support too. I question what is considered 'normal' for myself at least, it doesn't come across as questioning it comes off as accusatory especially under the circumstances. He clearly loves her, they are clearly working on their issues but it does no one any good to just assume that their dynamic is entirely healthy, questioning things that sound 'iffy' is important, though I also admitted to Egoscout that he knows far more about the situation than I could possibly.

And the fact that you would ask the same thing, is hardly reassuring.

Natja
You don't know me so attacking me by saying what you said is hardly an appropriate thing to do..

Also what I meant by what I said is that I think that the question would be something that would have been common to say without being manipulative.
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  #40  
Old 04-18-2013, 05:45 AM
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Natja Natja is offline
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It wasn't an attack, but I hope you can appreciate that by reading my words as an attack that it is clear when we are reading text that we can see things in different ways. You don't see Pol's question as emotionally manipulative, after I already admitted to Egoscout that I will take his word for it but the line made me uncomfortable, you stuck your oar in about interpretation, you can't then turn around and accuse me of making inappropriate attacks based upon your sensibilities without asking me for clarification. Can't you see that may come across as a little bit...hypocritical?
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