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Old 01-28-2014, 07:52 AM
NewNTex NewNTex is offline
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Default Wife wants to convert relationship to poly

All,
New to the forum and thanks in advance for reading. It’s a long post so sorry but writing it was somewhat cathartic.
I am at a crossroads in my relationship. We have been married 10 year and have dabbled in some soft swing but our boundaries were always:

1. We play together
2. No penetration
3. Safe sex practices
4. No feelings beyond friendship

Wife and I started hanging out with a couple at a nightclub on a regular basis and the two females hit it off and expressed interest so we let things build over a couple of months. The other couple stated up front that there could be no involvement from the female half with me and we were OK with that (I fall toward the mono end of the spectrum anyway). The male in the other couple asked me if it was OK to dance with and kiss my wife and I uttered the words I now regret “so long as she’s happy, I’m OK”. Long story short, they start texting and exchanging emails over the next few weeks. I ask my wife if I have anything to worry about and she says “No, I’m just having fun but would never fall for him”. Two weeks later she announces to me that she’s “in love” with him. She was surprised and it scared her because she didn't even know what Polyamory was. I did (thanks Heinlein) and gave her a label for it and explained what it was. She was so happy and I loved her being so happy that I made a major mistake – I thought that I was enlightened and that I should suppress the feelings of mistrust caused by the crossing of the boundary because I didn't want to ruin the experience for her. She was ecstatic that I wasn't going to make her stop the relationship and plunged in deep with NRE everywhere. She wanted us four to be like “family” and thought it was great.

The problems started soon after. The guy keep sending her stories of her being in a threesome with him and his wife. He didn't include me in any of his stories. The other female kept throwing up various roadblocks (I think she was uncomfortable) so nothing sexual was ever consummated. After a few weeks, he and I met together to discuss what was going on and he told me that I can never be involved or present with his wife around and she had to be present if he was going to do things with my wife so I essentially could never be around. I expressed that I thought it wasn't “cool” that he pursed my wife for an emotional relationship without checking with me first. He also stated in that same meeting “I could never do what you’re doing. I’d have to kill someone first”.

Well this throws up red flags for me and brings back my feeling of mistrust that I now feel for him and my wife. When I went back to my wife and told her this, she originally didn't believe me because he told her that he respects me and I can be present for all events and that he would never try to cut me out. She finally accepted that he did say these words and then her “family” bubble burst. The pain of it not being what she wanted was so intense that night she came to me after intentionally cutting herself. I then tried to end the relationship then but that caused more histrionics. Eventually things calmed down.

The next day or so I tried to then bring up my misgivings about the relationship and that the boundary crossing did place a strain on my trust and hurt. She immediately went into denial mode and said that I had known all along what was happening and that I didn't’ say anything when she confessed to me so that meant I had to have approved of it. The more I insisted that the boundary violation created real feelings of mistrust with her and him the harder she denied that she had done anything wrong or made any mistakes and that my feeling were false and I was just jealous.

Fast forward a month and our relationship is in shambles. I no longer feel safe and have a hard time being around the other couple. I ask for a timeout with that relationship so we could get back our equilibrium and she says no. I finally insist that either she stops that relationship or I was going to have to move on. She does end it but it is messy.

We are now three months later and our relationship is holding on by a thread. She has just announced that she is now poly and is essentially demanding I let her start back up with him. I say that while I'm able to be open to her starting back up with him I really need us to stabilize our relationship first so that I have a safe place to feel good about that relationship and not be consumed by jealousy, etc. I also ask that we define reasonable boundaries so that I won't be surprised again. She basically says no because she thinks it is a delaying tactic and her desire for him is even stronger now that I forced them to be apart. In fact she is now insisting I NOT be involved in any way because it will be easier for her that way. In my most honest introspection I know it’s not a delaying tactic. It’s something I need to feel safe.

What can I do or say to get though the NRE turned obsession that is driving her decision making apparatus so that she can hear me and see what I’m asking is reasonable and is probably necessary for any success? Has anyone experienced something similar before? How can I get her to see that I need to trust him as well at least somewhat?

Last edited by NewNTex; 01-28-2014 at 04:47 PM. Reason: readability
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:25 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am so sorry you are going through this.

What have you and wife done about the cutting?

Your wife is going through the grief process.

Here is shock and denial:
  • When I went back to my wife and told her this, she originally didn't believe me because he told her that he respects me and I can be present for all events and that he would never try to cut me out.

Here is pain and guilt:
  • She finally accepted that he did say these words and then her “family” bubble burst. The pain of it not being what she wanted was so intense that night she came to me after intentionally cutting herself.

Here is anger and bargaining:
  • She immediately went into denial mode and said that I had known all along what was happening and that I didn't’ say anything when she confessed to me so that meant I had to have approved of it.

Here is depression/lonely and her wanting for that yucky feeling to stop. (She doesn't want to do the work to restart with him in a way that all can feel safe. She just wants her hit like a junkie -- she wants him NOW, so she doesn't have to feel sad/depressed/lonely. )
  • We are now three months later and our relationship is holding on by a thread. She has just announced that she is now poly and is essentially demanding I let her start back up with him. I say that I’m able open to her starting back up with him but that we have to stabilize our relationship first so that I have a safe place to feel good about that relationship and not be consumed by jealousy, etc. I also ask that we define reasonable boundaries so that I won't be surprised again. She basically says no because she thinks it is a delaying tactic and her desire for him is even stronger now that I forced them to be apart.

Quote:
What can I do or say to get though the NRE turned obsession that is driving her decision making apparatus so that she can hear me and see what I’m asking is reasonable and is probably necessary for any success?
You may have to come to accept that at this time you cannot expect her to see you/the situation well. The woman was CUTTING. How is this a reasonable/rational time for her?

You were correct to ask her to stop seeing the man and take a time out, but I do not hear from your post that in that time you sought her medical attention.

Healthy people don't respond to disappointment some dating relationship isn't going to work out by cutting on themselves. They are disappointed, upset yes. But cutting is not normal. Your wife is not healthy right now. Do not expect her to behave like a healthy person. Stop expecting her to. SHE WAS CUTTING! I do not know if in these 3 mos, you have seen your wife's body intimately in the shower, or sex share or if she's been sleeping on the couch or what... but has the cutting STOPPED? Or is she still doing it?

Grieving people are not always reasonable, rational people. Knowing the steps of the grief process helps you out some. To see where she is at. Time apart will help her detach/see things more calmly/assess this man's character better. She may not welcome hearing it from YOU though, because you are IN it and it may be easier for her to blame shift it on you than for her to accept and own the possibility this man told her whatever she wanted to hear to get into her pants.

My suggestion to you is to get you and wife to counseling. She may be more willing to hear it from an outside party and process with them than with you.

I don't know what will become of your marriage, but I would suggest you get her a counselor, medical attention. This is beyond internet people help. And even after professional care if obtained for her mental health's well being?

If she's hell bent on chasing this man? Get YOU out then. Ask her to wait long enough to disband the marraige then. Follow through on what you said and get you out.

Best is 0 people going down, but if she's hell bent crazy on it? Get you out. 1 person going down is better than 2. Stand aside, let her go, hope for the best. Sigh.

Again... I am so sorry you are going through this.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-28-2014 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:41 PM
NewNTex NewNTex is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I've been begging to go to therapy either together or individually. She refuses. I think at some level she believes that a therapist will tell her to stop pursuing her BF until she is in a better place and can then evaluate things not being in the middle of crazy. She doesn't want to hear that because it would get between her and her desire to go back after her BF so she refuses to go.

The cutting only happened that one time and we don't talk about it now. She's embarrassed that she did it and doesn't want to be reminded of it.

She does not want to hear anything from me regarding this - if I send her a link or information that I think might be helpful, she just responds with anger.

Last edited by NewNTex; 01-28-2014 at 05:08 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:56 PM
london london is offline
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I think you have to consider how realistic the boundary you set was to begin with. I have got quite controversial views about cutting that I doubt anyone here well share or even understand. Anyway, trying to control or restrict an emotion rarely works.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:03 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So is her intent to check out of the marriage? No longer participate in what the marriage needs to be healthy?

Galagirl
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:15 PM
NewNTex NewNTex is offline
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I don't know what her plans are with the marriage. I was essentially told that's she's going to restart with him and I can either support her or not. However, when I told her I feel like I have an emotional gun to my head, she backed off somewhat.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:35 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Well... It is true. You either support her at this time or not. You do not, and rightly so...going too fast, mixed messages, the cutting, etc.

You said you were willing to try in time. Stabilize first, build trust, then go ahead. You are not saying "no. " You are saying "slower."

So really it is her willingness to go slower blocking her from having both. Not your willingness to participate at all.

Does she want to pursue this while doing her part to keep marriage and relationship with you healthy so she can have both relationships or does she want to proceed at the expense of the relationship with you? How is her behavior of running right over you her helping to maintain your goodwill so she can help create the close family bubble she hopes for?

She has backed off so she is not entirely unreasonable.

Did you both ever ask the guy why he is telling you one thing and her another?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-28-2014 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:14 PM
NewNTex NewNTex is offline
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I'm trying to communicate with her and trying to find out where she stands vis-a-vis our marriage but I get conflicting statements. When she's more calm and rational, she does say maintaining our marriage is important but when she is spun up and wanting to restart with him NOW, our marriage is about her 8th concern.

She also paints this rainbows and unicorns vision of what she thought it was like the first time to which she is wanting to return ASAP. I haven't been able to get across that the "rainbows and unicorns" was NRE talking and probably is not sustainable or maybe even achievable again given all the things that have happened.

I have not spoken to the BF since the ending. During the ending, he sent some inflammatory stuff to me (which she defended rather than seeing it for what it was) and I basically told him to stay away from my wife and stop communicating with her. There is definitely bad blood between us and it would have to be resolved almost immediately for this to continue in my mind. My wife blames the bad blood on me and refuses to think the BF had anything other than noble intentions so this is a big sticking point given that I think he was being somewhat predatory with my wife and that he played a part in the escalation at the end.

I think you are correct and that she is going through a grieving process and the pain/depression seems intolerable right now. Rather than working through it, she just want to go back because then the pain will stop (in her mind at least). It is a lot like an addicted person facing withdrawal pains escalating things and doing things they wouldn't normally do just to get another fix and stop the pain rather than seeing that if they can just get through these moments, the pain could be gone for good and they can be normal again.

Last edited by NewNTex; 01-29-2014 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:53 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I think you are correct and that she is going through a grieving process and the pain/depression seems intolerable right now. Rather than working through it, she just want to go back because then the pain will stop (in her mind at least). It is a lot like an addicted person facing withdrawal pains escalating things and doing things they wouldn't normally do just to get another fix and stop the pain rather than seeing that if they can just get through these moments, the pain could be gone for good and they can be normal again.
Yup. It certainly sounds like it to me.

Maybe it could be easier to endure and tolerate her rollercoaster time if you view her in that context? Just don't expect her to be rational and reasonable all the time, but instead expect her to behave like a roller coaster grieving person for a while longer?

Maybe you could get YOU counseling to help support YOU in this even if she's not willing/able to attend at this time To give your continued support while you keep maintaining your own healthy boundaries. Keep pointing out that you are not saying "no." You are pointing out how you are willing to approach this so you can feel safe.

Up to her to decide to play ball in the polymath in a good way or not.

Ditto BF.

You are allowed to say "No, thank you. I withdraw my participation. I'm no longer up for this." at any time. Esp if the other players are making a mess.

She may want a polyship here, but hers is not the only willingness that counts for it to be so. ALL the players must want the same thing for it to be so.

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-29-2014 at 08:03 PM.
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