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Old 05-19-2013, 11:06 AM
Arinbjorn Arinbjorn is offline
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Default Trouble in the V

I'm having some difficulty in our V - and I may decide to stop being polyamorous. I wanted to put the situation out there, and see if perhaps there is something I can do to help make the situation better. Any advice is much appreciated.

My back story:

My wife and I have been married for over five years. We have been in a monogomous relationship since we were 14 and 15 years old - she is now 24, and I'm 25. We got married young since I was in the military and going overseas, and figured it was about time anyhow, given how long we had been in a dedicated and loving relationship.

About a year and a half ago, when we were still monogomous, I caught my wife having a sexual affair with a former best friend. I took it very hard. She apologized, and I did forgive her - and I tried to genuinely forgive her to the depth of the pain I felt at the time. It wasn't easy. I was actually very prepared to go pay a visit to this guy, and likely wind up in prison as a result. My brother managed to talk me out of it.

A few months elapsed (6 months?), and then I find out that she began phone sex behind my back with another good friend of mine. She abruptly declared herself polyamorous.

So, out of love and respect for my wife, I figured I would try to give it a go.

I've been friends with her lover for a couple of years, and we understand each other very well. He is currently transitioning from male to female with estrogen therapy - this doesn't bother me at all. I remember him living as a male and going through a lot of ground breaking stuff, and I'm glad to have been supportive the whole way.

What *does* bother me, is that my wife seems very focused on her other lover. I'm horrible with time, but I would hazard a guess that it's been six months or longer now. She moved into our house, but is preparing to begin school in another state and come back each month to visit.

During all of this time, it seems like her other lover has kept her preoccupied a good deal. My wife tries to pay attention to me on purpose to attempt to keep it fair. It feels like less than 50% of her attention though, and it feels very measured out as a matter of due course. I do think she still loves me, but I feel neglected at times, and that I continually sacrifice for a situation that doesn't always behoove me.

To complicate things further, I guess I have to get a little stereotypical - I'm a 25 year old male, with a very high sex drive. My wife used to be able to keep pace with me, for the most part. Before her first affair, her sex drive ceased altogether. Currently with her new lover, she keeps pace with me at about 5% to 10% of what is consistantly normal for me. She seems to enjoy sex with her other lover more than me - like she is able to connect with "her" in some feminine way that I'm simply not able to do because I am inherently male, regardless of how much I try to make her feel emotionally loved, the lengths I'll happily go to to make sure she is physically satisfied, etc.

I did have a brief secondary female relationship of my own that helped, but it pretty rapidly imploded as she tried to soak up all of my time and displace my wife altogether.

I'm running out of ideas to make this V successful. I really wish it could be successful - because I love my wife, and I have a unique and great relationship with her other lover (which isn't the same kind of love I have for my wife.)

Am I still maybe tinged with the bitter sense of betrayal from her first affair? Am I simply being stupidly jealous still? Maybe I can't adapt to having "half a wife", or at least much less of her attention and love.

I'm halfway considering cutting my loses in this whole thing. It's a love/hate situation, and the stress alone is really horrible. My wife refuses to be monogomous, and I can't fault her for her own choices. So, I'm considering divorce, and moving to a new state for a clean start - maybe where my brother is, or where some good friends are.

Cutting ties would be incredibly painful, and I still wish I could just figure out how to make this work.

Any help is much appreciated, and I can answer additional questions if it is helpful.

Last edited by Arinbjorn; 05-19-2013 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:52 AM
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Malfunktions Malfunktions is offline
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Seems to me your wife may be caught up in her NRE with her lover. Sometimes it lasts for and indiscriminate a amount of time depending on the person. She may not even realize what's she's doin.
Have you told her how you have been feeling?
The most important thing I have found when goin the non-monogamy route is: (drumroll please)
Communication!
Maybe you are a little hesitant due to the past and IMHO its a lot harder to move past things like affairs than people think.

Try having a group talk. Involve your metamour and discuss ways of separating your time equally. And maybe even spending time together as a group sometimes. Like hanging out at coffee shops for the hell of it kinda thin.

Hope this was helpful.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:14 PM
Arinbjorn Arinbjorn is offline
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We do try to communicate a lot. I think it's definetly critical. Figuring out how to make communication better and actually productive is difficult. It seems like it always turns into open season on people's emotions and isn't that productive.

We try to spend time together too. If we are doing any random thing, collectively as a group, I still feel like a second class citizen. Sometimes I literally won't even go with them now, which is unhealthy. I can only take so much though.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:22 PM
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Malfunktions Malfunktions is offline
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I have a REALLY hard time putting my emotions to words so my SO suggested we play what he calls emotion bingo.
He says an emotion. I say yay or nay on if I feel it and he starts to dig. Kinda like the game hot or cold. When he gets close to a feeling I say warmer and vice verse.
Our pillow talk usually is of this ilk. Did you ever think that environment can influence how a conversation goes? I'm much more comfortable talking about my feelings in my bed. That's my safe place. And it gives the talkers a chance to hold each other while discussing which I think tends to smooth hard talks out.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:00 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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So your wife has been with you since you were just kids. You got married and were in the military... and she stuck by you through your service? Moving around a lot? Going overseas?

She's cheated twice, and now she's got a transwoman lover. (BTW, it's OK to call her she without quotations, come on!) This woman has moved in with you? How long has she been with you? How did that come about? Was it thoroughly discussed?

I do not understand what "open season on emotions" means. Does she belittle your emotions, your sexual needs? I'd hate if my lover got a new lover and neglected my sexual needs. The hinge in a V has the responsibility to take care of both her partners' needs. To listen to their feelings and make them feel heard, and do all she can to keep the romance going with the primary, even if it take scheduling a weekly romantic date.

If she is neglecting you in favor of her gf and no end in sight, maybe she's not really poly. Maybe she is a NRE junky, what with the cheating and all, and after being partnered so long from such a young age, is finding she needs to experience being with others emotionally and sexually.

If your wife's gf is your so-called friend, doesn't she care you feel left out of the good stuff, romance, sex?

In a personal note, my gf is also transgender and they are needy partners... transition is extremely hard, personally, socially and politically.

Oh, I missed where you said your metamour is moving out soon and will only visit once a month! Make sure to make your boundaries around texting,
IMing, Skyping known once wife and gf go into LDR mode.
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Last edited by Magdlyn; 05-19-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:32 PM
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I would have a serious discussion about sexual needs.

I cheated, hubby forgave (long story).
BF moved in.

One of dh biggest fears was that I wouldn't be able to keep his sexual appetite satisfied if I was having sex with someone else too.
One of the big saving graces has been that, no matter what else is going on, I don't decrease the frequency of sex with dh.
It's important for the current partner to continue to be treated as important & since physical touch is Maca's love language, it's important I continue to give that in ample amounts.

I think your wife would benefit from considering what she can do to maintain the standard of affection expected before finding a new lover.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:49 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
One of dh biggest fears was that I wouldn't be able to keep his sexual appetite satisfied if I was having sex with someone else too.
One of the big saving graces has been that, no matter what else is going on, I don't decrease the frequency of sex with dh.
It's important for the current partner to continue to be treated as important & since physical touch is Maca's love language, it's important I continue to give that in ample amounts.

I think your wife would benefit from considering what she can do to maintain the standard of affection expected before finding a new lover.
I often wonder why people need this spelled out to them. I can't IMAGINE how this could not be ridiculously obvious to anyone except the most insensitive, self-centered, unaware individuals. I realize that I'm not adding any new ideas or suggestions at this time, but this is the kind of thing that gets brought up here over and over, and it continues to boggle my mind that people can't seem to put themselves in their already-partner's place and say, "Gee, how would *I* feel if MY partner stepped out to fuck someone else and didn't fuck me anymore? Maybe I should check with Partner/Spouse and find out if there is anything I can do differently or more of. Since I'm off having so much fun with Someone Else, that would seem to be the right thing. After all, I still love/am attracted to Spouse/Partner, and appreciate that they are "sharing" me, so the LEAST I could do is make sure I'm doing whatever I can to SHOW it."

Sometimes it seems like NO ONE gets this, even when it's told to them straight-up.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:21 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I think-it's because so many people really are self-centered.....
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:51 AM
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In all you (OP) said, nothing was ever said about the issue that was at the root of all the cheating.. Something was wrong and all that ever happened was an addition to the family. Did you seek a therapy session or two? Did just the two of you work on what the original problem was?
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:03 AM
Arinbjorn Arinbjorn is offline
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So many responses! I thank each of you for your help. I'll try to answer some things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
So your wife has been with you since you were just kids. You got married and were in the military... and she stuck by you through your service? Moving around a lot? Going overseas?

She's cheated twice, and now she's got a transwoman lover. (BTW, it's OK to call her she without quotations, come on!) This woman has moved in with you? How long has she been with you? How did that come about? Was it thoroughly discussed?

I do not understand what "open season on emotions" means. Does she belittle your emotions, your sexual needs? I'd hate if my lover got a new lover and neglected my sexual needs. The hinge in a V has the responsibility to take care of both her partners' needs. To listen to their feelings and make them feel heard, and do all she can to keep the romance going with the primary, even if it take scheduling a weekly romantic date.

If she is neglecting you in favor of her gf and no end in sight, maybe she's not really poly. Maybe she is a NRE junky, what with the cheating and all, and after being partnered so long from such a young age, is finding she needs to experience being with others emotionally and sexually.

If your wife's gf is your so-called friend, doesn't she care you feel left out of the good stuff, romance, sex?

In a personal note, my gf is also transgender and they are needy partners... transition is extremely hard, personally, socially and politically.

Oh, I missed where you said your metamour is moving out soon and will only visit once a month! Make sure to make your boundaries around texting,
IMing, Skyping known once wife and gf go into LDR mode.
Yes, she stayed with me when I was in the Army - we have some long distance relationship time under our belts. It's rough - I didn't mind risking my life, but it's not easy for a spouse to be on board with that, particularly given the kind of special ops work I was doing. Our relationship survived and grew stronger as a result, I think.

My wife has had her gf for about a year, starting off as a long distance relationship. My knowlege of it was initiated by finding out about their phone sex behind my back. So, there was no discussion - it was a surprise, and one that I didn't relish after her first affair (though the first one was physical, and worse for me to handle than the phone sex and accompanying emotional connection.) My wife also came out as being poly at this time. So, I forgave her, again.

I asked the gf to move in with us because her family was very volatile about her wanting to begin to become transgender. This was back when she was just coming to figure out she was transgender. It was important to get her out of that environment until her family could come to grips with it and start supporting her, instead of ripping her down. She's been my friend for years, and I could see that happening.

My wife does, essentially, belittle my emotional needs. She feels very emotionally disconnected, too. She says that she is there for me and that she tries - but why would I still feel this way, then?

Sexually, she basicly cut me off. We used to have this rare, occasional sort of sex - but it often felt empty. I have a huge sexual appetite, but it's more than physical lust - if it feels empty or the emotion isn't there, then that's a major problem for me. We've been in a dry spell for a while now.

For sex to happen and be right, she tells me that she needs to feel loved. I've done about everything I can to make her feel loved. I'm kind of running out of ideas, and energy to even try any more. I'm nearly resigned to just not having sex.

There was a time when she tried to initiate sex, and I actually shut it down. Told her these things as best as I could at the time. Also, even though I am sexually high strung and prefer a lot of sex - I am not her male lackey to sit around and be ready at moment's notice whenever she decides that she wants a change of pace from her gf. If I feel emotionally neglected, it aint happenin' - it's a two way street, even if that hurts me more than it hurts her.

On the future LDR with her and her gf - it'll be important to scheduel times for things. I have come to really, really, intensely hate her bloody cell phone. The last time her gf left for a visit back to her home, they were in constant communication. I couldn't get a moment to just have her attention. Try to talk about something important - she's texting, or arbitrarily looking online at her phone. My wife tells me she is a multi tasker. I don't understand - if she knows I feel neglected, even if that is my own twisted convoluted perception - it would be an easy fix to just put the cell phone down when we are trying to have a talk, or have a moment together in any way.

We tried to have sex once when her gf was on a vacation to go home to her parents - and my wife just randomly bursted into tears in the middle of it. I try to be really comforting at times like that, and I think she appreciates it - but it also leaves me with a total emotional wreck of a wife. I can't ever just have a short span of time between my wife and I without my wife being focused on her gf in some way.

I can only give so much... I'm kind of left scraping the bottom of the empathy barrel, wondering how I got here, and if this is the right place for me to even be.

I feel like I have been very accomodating with my wife. I care about her, and I care about her gf too - it's tough to put all of this into text via the internet accurately, but I do know they care about me on some level. I can't figure out how to make things healthier.

I'm ambivilant about seeing a therapist. I would try it - but it is disconcerting that I would have to go pay $75/hour to someone who will listen to my wife, her gf, and me - and then facilitate a discussion that we ought to be able to properly conduct ourselves. If we can't communicate properly, then we should work together until we figure out how to do so if this V is to survive and prosper. Yet, I am running out of energy to really keep slamming my head into the same brick wall.

Last edited by Arinbjorn; 05-26-2013 at 01:49 AM.
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