Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-05-2015, 01:53 AM
SplinteringVelvet SplinteringVelvet is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 19
Default Experimenting with an Openish Relationship

My husband and I have been together for 11 years come Dec.

Sept 26th I learned he had an online girl friend he met in a vid game he plays.

I think on some level I had suspected it but my policy on cheating had always been "I don't want to know" but when the cat is out of the bag... there is no going back then you just have to deal with knowing.

I knew jealousy was going to be the biggest thing I needed to watch for instantly so I only asked the questions I could stand to know the answers to and as I became more comfortable I asked more. Now I know her name and what she looks like and how far they have gone but also the relationship opened up enough for me to also have an "online relationship".

I have to say the first person I got involved with was quite impulsive and really ended badly. But now I have someone who has been in an open relationship before and I am quite happy. But it seems that the happier I am with said "other guy" the more jealous my husband becomes... he is seriously struggling here and this is where my foresight on the matter is lacking.

This is all new to us and I need to know from people who have lived it, if reestablishing and maintaining a strong marriage is going to work:
  • What should I expect?
  • What should I watch for?
  • What are the hurdles in the road ahead?
  • What methods work best to dealing with jealousy? (I did what I knew was going to work for me but he isn't helping himself in that regard)
  • And how do you establish balance between the two relationships?

I guess in the road ahead we have some issues we will need to work through. When we opened things up I expected things to stay as they had been for the past two years with him spending 90% of his free time in the vid game... the thing that I am finding irritating is, now that I have someone he wants me to spend all my free time with him (my husband)...

Also... in the days immediately following the news I really fell apart inside. I tried to hide the pain from him as best I could but I eventually decided he could no longer be the center of my universe. To that point my whole world revolved around him, I literally thought he was perfect. So it was quite the blow. And now I am trying to rebuild not only my marriage but also myself as a stronger person. Learning how to be my own rock.

It has been a little over a month now and I am not sure where all this is headed yet. But that is why I am here. More than ever I need some informed opinions and I just can't expect the pool of people I already know to be able to give me the answers I am looking for.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me make sense of this.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-05-2015, 02:26 AM
AutumnLeaves AutumnLeaves is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Midwest USA
Posts: 619
Default

Hi, I'm sorry that you're going through a rough time. It sounds like you're experiencing some pretty normal growing pains for opening up a relationship, especially one from a cheating base.

You don't mention asking your husband why he's struggling. That's a conversation you need to have with him. What does he need to feel more comfortable and secure? More time? Verbal reassurances? Touch-based reassurances? Scheduled time that is his alone? If he doesn't know those things yet, he needs to figure out what you can do to help him.

In the end, you can't help him with the jealousy unless he wants to be helped.

But about him needing more time, I did notice that Guitarist and I started spending more time together, especially sexual time, for a while after he started a new relationship. The intensity of that has abated somewhat, but we're still more sexual than we were before opening up. I think the increased energy might flow all along the relationships and cause people to amp up in response. The reason I bring that up is that his increased desire to spend time with you may not be entirely a jealousy/an attempt to control your other relationship thing. You can handle the jealousy aspect by being firm about the time you want to spend with others, and then also scheduling time to spend with him to help deal with his insecurities.

About the pain you had when he admitted he had an online girlfriend, you bring that up like there is some kind of quid pro quo situation going on in your head. I feel like you're saying, I got over his thing, he needs to get over mine. But also from your post, you seem to have moved past that into being accepting of being in an open relationship. I think you should figure out what you need him to do so that you can fully forgive him for the cheating and move on toward trying to establish a healthier relationship. Holding onto old resentments is just going to get in the way of that. And as much as he may have been the catalyst for this change, he's still going to have feelings himself. His feelings aren't less valid because the situation is, in a way, 'his fault.'

Anyway, I'd suggest doing some reading. The books More Than Two and Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships seem to be the two books mentioned a lot around here. I've read More Than Two, and it's excellent. Especially the discussion questions and the section on jealousy. I've never read Opening Up, but I've heard good things about it.

Good luck!
__________________
"I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar."

I have a blog over here, featuring:
Me (panromantic demisexual 30-something)
Guitarist (my husband, who very occasionally blogs here; boyfriend of Spice)
Raven (my girlfriend)
Flame (my long-term flirty friend thing)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-05-2015, 10:40 AM
SplinteringVelvet SplinteringVelvet is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnLeaves View Post
You don't mention asking your husband why he's struggling. That's a conversation you need to have with him. What does he need to feel more comfortable and secure? More time? Verbal reassurances? Touch-based reassurances? Scheduled time that is his alone? If he doesn't know those things yet, he needs to figure out what you can do to help him.

In the end, you can't help him with the jealousy unless he wants to be helped.
Thank you for that. This one little piece of advice triggered a great convo between us.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnLeaves View Post
But about him needing more time, I did notice that Guitarist and I started spending more time together, especially sexual time, for a while after he started a new relationship. The intensity of that has abated somewhat, but we're still more sexual than we were before opening up. I think the increased energy might flow all along the relationships and cause people to amp up in response. The reason I bring that up is that his increased desire to spend time with you may not be entirely a jealousy/an attempt to control your other relationship thing. You can handle the jealousy aspect by being firm about the time you want to spend with others, and then also scheduling time to spend with him to help deal with his insecurities.
With us... we have always been very into each other that way. But the way he wants to spend time is just hanging out in our room talking. So... it is a little different and when I prefer something more inclusive like watching a movie as a family it can be a pain. But probably he just needs it right now because everything is in flux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnLeaves View Post
About the pain you had when he admitted he had an online girlfriend, you bring that up like there is some kind of quid pro quo situation going on in your head. I feel like you're saying, I got over his thing, he needs to get over mine. But also from your post, you seem to have moved past that into being accepting of being in an open relationship. I think you should figure out what you need him to do so that you can fully forgive him for the cheating and move on toward trying to establish a healthier relationship. Holding onto old resentments is just going to get in the way of that. And as much as he may have been the catalyst for this change, he's still going to have feelings himself. His feelings aren't less valid because the situation is, in a way, 'his fault.'

Anyway, I'd suggest doing some reading. The books More Than Two and Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships seem to be the two books mentioned a lot around here. I've read More Than Two, and it's excellent. Especially the discussion questions and the section on jealousy. I've never read Opening Up, but I've heard good things about it.

Good luck!

Great advice. You are absolutely right. Will have to look into the book as well.

Def appreciate the feedback.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-09-2015, 01:54 AM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 13,970
Default

Hi SplinteringVelvet,

It sounds like your husband pulled a double standard on you; not saying that was his plan or anything, but it does make things harder for you.

It's hard to say what you should expect or watch for, everyone is different and every situation is different. I don't have all the answers about jealousy but here are some links:

Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity, etc.
How do you achieve compersion?

Jealousy and Insecurity
The Theory of Jealousy Management
The Practice of Jealousy Management

Jealousy and the Poly Family
Kathy Labriola: Unmasking the Green-Eyed Monster
Brené Brown: the Power of Vulnerability

There's also a book, "The Jealousy Workbook: exercises and insights for managing open relationships," by Kathy Labriola.

As for balancing two relationships, that is hard to do. Everything can't be equal. I think it's more productive to focus on the various people's wants and needs and talking about possible ways to meet those needs.

I hope that helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-09-2015, 11:35 PM
CTF CTF is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: California
Posts: 403
Default

My wife got involved with someone online too. Video games turned into Skype movie watching, etc... I know how you feel.

I guess the first think I would ask is, have either you, or your husband met the other people in person? If not, are there any reasonable/serious plans to do so? Is it even logistically possible for either of you to meet them? The reason I ask, is because the one thing that helped me keep my sanity, is the knowledge that it's often discovered that the people online are drastically different than in real life. So feelings of "maybe she'll like him better than me" drop way down. And knowing that no one is going to unexpectedly show up at your door helps too. I don't care what type of relationship model, no one wants a psychotic stranger ringing their bell.

Set boundaries. Set time limits. For some, it's very easy to lose track of time when tooling around on the computer. I've seen my wife spend 12 hours online, and when pointed out to her, she doesn't believe it at first, until she looks at the clock.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-11-2015, 08:20 PM
SplinteringVelvet SplinteringVelvet is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 19
Default

kdt - Thanks for the info on jealousy. At this point everything is still fresh enough that it is evolving every day as we learn where our boundaries are at this point.

Just one hurdle over another.

The biggest issue I see down the road is, I see the online dating as a stepping stone to actually having an open relationship. Where as he is perfectly happy keeping it online. But then again our relationship circumstances are very different which you may have seen in another thread. Where in my relationship it would make sense for it to evolve to that place, it is extremely unrealistic for him to want more given the circumstances with his gf.

I feel bad when I push those boundaries. But I always make sure I am open with him about it and if it is too much for him I let it go. Like the talking on the phone... for some reason he is okay with skype but not okay with us phoning one another. It baffles me... but it is a solid boundary for him at this point so we are abiding by it.

With him he will def not be comfortable with me doing anything he doesn't feel is reasonable for him to want for himself.

As far as balancing things... it is definitely helping that my guy is willing to work with what ever boundaries are set. Having that level of respect and commitment is very nice. It is actually some what difficult for me to wrap my head around. I didn't think people like that actually existed but apparently I was wrong.

For now I am letting my husband decide how this is going to work. We are touching base every time we know there could potentially be a timing conflict and figuring out in advance if it will be "together" time or "apart" time so we can plan accordingly.


CTF - Thanks for sharing. As for myself and my hubs, we actually met online and dated online for about 6 months before we met in person. It is definitely different to meet them in person.

I try not to stress about those things too much... it seems rather out of my control at this point. Will he like her more than me? He is already starting to notice things he is not fond of. So I doubt it. If they ever meet in person that day is a long ways off. Under current circumstances I am not willing to allow that. If at some point things change I will be willing to reconsider.

Boundaries and limits are something we are working on at present.

Still so new to all this, such a process.

But his gaming time has gone way down now that he doesn't have to try to use it to cover up the time they are spending together.
__________________
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

― Bob Marley

Me - Married, Poly"?", age 34
Hubs - Husband, Polyish, age 33
H.R. Hopeless Romantic - My ex-boyfriend,
L.B.D. Little Black Dress - Hubs girlfriend, Married, age 34

We are just barely opening up our relationship to online partners.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-13-2015, 02:04 AM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 13,970
Default

Sounds like a work in progress.
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:06 PM.