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Old 02-16-2011, 05:02 PM
angeleyes angeleyes is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 18

I almost feel as though greeneyes last comment was directed at me as much as it was at EpsilonLyr :: raised eyebrow, then wink ::

That is no to say that I don't agree with what you, greeneyes, are saying. Of course, as you know, I've gotten more picky lately about people's use of "should." It comes off to me as authoritarian, oftentimes, or else I just don't know what people mean by it. "You shall do such and such" "you should do such and such" -- it sounds like a commandment to me.

"Honesty is the best policy" as they say, but "discretion is the better part of valor," if I may pit one cliche against another. I also agree that EpsilonLyr, you will find more happiness the more truth you can share, but greeneyes, there have been times when you have told me you felt I was "pushing things" and left me with the impression that there is such a thing as ramming the truth down someone else's proverbial throat. There's also the question of how much of EpsilonLyr's personal truth he himself understands. There is such a thing as self-discovery, and it hasn't ended for me at 38, nor do I anticipate it will at some future date.

It's sad that we live in a culture that so thoroughly indoctrinates us to hide who we are behind a facade of who we believe others think we ought to be. It's really an inefficient way to try to experience social relationships! What I find works best for me is to "get over myself" and to be willing to say or do something foolish, just being prepared in advance to apologize when the people around me end up with hurt feelings. I mean, what am I, Jesus? LOLZ! I don't believe in anybody being any more "perfect" than anyone else (including you, Jesus, sorry). I cut people slack (starting with myself), I take a risk, I prepare myself to fuck things up, then I roll with the punches. Shit is never as big a deal as I make it.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:52 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pacific Northwest, U.S.A.
Posts: 27
Default And it doesnít get any easier, does it?

Wow what a week. Lots of info here. As I was gonna post the first half, another big thing happened that I couldn't leave out. Bear with me. So my wife and I had our talk last monday. Greeneyes, I had to laugh when I read your post, as I had already broached the subject with her just about the day before you posted. We had our little chat on st. valentines of all days. Not under the best circumstances, but what can ya do? She knew Iíd been depressed for over a month, and that I was walling up my thoughts and feelings again, locking them away in that oh-so-healthy way I do. A hard habit to break. Told her I wanted to trust her enough to open up and I reassured her we would have our big talk as soon as we had time.

SO monday rolled on by and sheíd had the day from hell. Long, unrelated story. She came home at 1 am from work and Iíd already been up for 22 hours. What a time to have a heart to heart! But it was bugging her to know I had a secret that was hurting me so much. We agreed it was unhealthy for us both. So I bit the bullet and told her about the feelings Iíd had for other women in the past, how it had caused me great amounts of guilt for keeping it secret from her for so long. I emphasized that it wasnít about sex and that I had never done anything with these women to break our trust (if you can exclude lying by omission). I needed to explain to her how much my feelings had confused and frustrated me, how I forced my feelings down until they died out, believing it was what people with my ďproblemĒ should do. I didnít want to burden her with it, so I didnít. I also stressed that my love for her had never been in danger during these timesÖ that instead I felt like I had two loves in my heart, coexisting rather than vying for some arbitrary, finite amount of space. She seemed to accept this part remarkably well after a bit of shock. I asked her, ďHave you ever felt this way too?Ē She said no. Thatís where my candor faltered. I struggled to describe my polyamorous feelings and what, if anything that meant for us. I didn't go so far as to discuss the finer points of poly relationships at this point. Not only out of fear but also because, hell, I donít even know if itís right for me yet. And then her inevitable question: ďIs there someone you have feelings for now?Ē And my reply? A total lie. I am not proud of it. I was simply afraid to tell her. Too much is at stake in my mind. I donít feel right dragging the girl at work into this. Honestly I agree with Red Pepper that she was more of a catalyst for change than love interest. Thatís the part where things get a bit muddled and I donít know if Iím doing the right thing. Do I care about her? Sure. Should I throw things even more out of whack by adding her to this equation? Unclear. I harbor no illusions that I will ever become close to her. We might as well be staring at each other from opposite sides of bulletproof glass. What worried that night was how my wife approached the whole thing, as if my polyamorous feelings are some problem that could be cured with counseling. That it would just go away if she did her makeup more often, or...? It broke my heart. That's not what this is about. I donít blame her for misunderstanding. And sheís half right that counseling would be helpful.

Itís taken me all week to get my thoughts in order to post, and it still sounds cluttered as I read over it. Sorry. This week flew by like a whirlwind. And we hadnít so much as mentioned the discussion all week. Weíd been very intimate, joking and carrying on as ever, but that in itself shoulda been a red flag, eh? I fear that I was too vague.

And then last night happened, a situation that ripped that wound open something fierce. We were at a double b-day party at this bar for two friends turning 30. My wife and I rock-paper-scissored who would be the sober one and I won. I ended up getting fairly drunk which would prove to be a bad move... I was being pretty chatty with some people, men and women both. Something I said got under her skin. Iím usually pretty under control and wouldnít flirt or anything like that, for what itís worth. But with our seemingly stable relationship now tenuous, something about my demeanor tipped the scales even further. On the way home she brought up last weekís conversation. I told her we really shouldnít be having that talk when Iím drunk. And yet thatís exactly what happened. I guess I have no one to blame but myself. She told me how she felt: That she used to think she could trust me around other women but now she doesn't know anymore. She's thinking, "What if the 'next good thing' to come into my life will mean the end of us?" I donít blame her for feeling vulnerable. I told her again that having feelings for someone else in no way should be a threat to her, though I understand why she would doubt that. Told her I was frustrated because I feel as if I have to say everything just right or risk disaster. She said she wanted me to trust her. Damn it, Iím having trouble remembering everything else that was said. But at the end I suggested we get counseling together. We both cried and I told her I loved her and she told me it was nice to see me show some emotion about this. Everything feels so unresolved. I have to talk to her again soonÖ sober would be nice this time!! I donít want to be the one in power here, dominating the situation by withholding information. And yet thatís whatís happening. In fact itís pretty much ruined what joy our little breakthrough initially brought last week. My half-truths are just as dangerous as silence now. More dangerous than the whole story? Well that depends on how willing she is to accept my shifting views.

Greeneyes & Angeleyes, youíre absolutely right that I should have told her about this long ago. Man, would it have changed things. Hereís a lie Iíve maintained for six years! It's knocked her trust levels down a serious notch and she's specifically told me so. But in my defense, Iím still figuring this shit out myself. Anyoneís thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:01 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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You're talking about it. That's the good thing. Of course, I'm sure you know that you cannot expect one conversation to resolve it all. Think of it like an egg that's been cracked open slightly -- each talk will open you both up more.

For your next conversation, you may want to focus on the issue that she thinks this is a problem or sickness to be cured with therapy. Get down to the nitty gritty and ask what her concepts of monogamy are. Make sure she knows that infidelity and cheating are not what you want. You might want to talk about how we can love more than one friend, why not more than one intimate friend? Maybe find a book about poly that you're drawn to and share it with her to read.

I would, if I were you, attempt to have at least several more conversations about this with her before you two go to therapy, because that will seem like you agree that this is some kind of flaw in you. It's not! However, if you do decide to seek counseling, see if you can find a poly-friendly professional, or at least someone who is familiar with and not against alternative lifestyle choices. Maybe you can enlist the help of that good friend you mentioned in your first post to find someone for you. You don't want to wind up in a counseling session with your wife and therapist both wagging their fingers at you, so to speak, and making you feel wrong.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:18 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Take a breath. It's not as tragic as it seems. You have not cheated and are doing the best you can to ease her into what is going on for you it seems. It will take time, and you have time. This is all new to her. You have been living with this for a long time and she is just hearing of it now. Keep strong and committed to the course. You are being honest and vulnerable and respectful to her. That is all you can do... you are doing great. Just love her with all you've got right now.

Tell her that the woman at your office has caught your eye, but that was merely an avenue to talking about it, not something to necessarily pursue. It's okay to be unsure what the future holds in that department. Just as you said here. That is what I would do anyway. Better to get it all out than keep some for later. Besides she asked, and you then lied.

Confessing and apologizing would be good at this point I think, while you can fall back on being confused and not wanting to hurt her. Leave it longer and she WILL think she can't trust you. Either that or I would really vow to not see this other woman again in terms of how you have been. And stick to it!!! If you decide this latter route, it needs to be done with her I think. You need to believe that. No attempts to add her later. If you pursue her later, its likely your wife will find out that the two of your were in that attraction energy before she knew about it. She will definitely struggle to trust you then!.. if you want something to come of it later, then don't lie and fess up now..that's my thoughts anyway.

I totally get that she would think its her and start doing things to make you love her more. That is her self esteem being tested. It's totally natural and totally acceptable. You know that she is loved by you no matter what, so keep telling her and creating plans to make sure she knows that. Keep reminding her that your love for her is unmoved by this new information to her. You have loved her all this time and have known for a long time that you have it in you to love others... why would it make a difference now to alter herself so you will love her more.

A therapist might be helpful at some point, but really, you are talking, being open, honest (as much as you can and in baby steps), working towards a future... that is all a therapist would have you do. This work is HARD. Relationships of any kind are HARD. A therapist will not necessarily make it easier or make it go away... if you need focus at some point they can help with that, but you still have to do the work.

I would suggest giving her the whole can of worms and getting her on line here and elsewhere. Start learning and education yourself together. I agree with the book idea. I wouldn't suggest "the ethical slut" just yet, maybe "opening up," or "love without limits?" There is a whole thread in the stickies on books... you could look there.

At the very least you might want to do a search here for people that are in her position... The new to poly section is filled with similar stories of partners coming out as poly.

Keep at it. Things are hard it seems, but you are doing great so far.
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