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  #1  
Old 05-19-2014, 05:00 PM
ChickenandGravy ChickenandGravy is offline
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Hello all,

I am 35 and live in Baltimore MD. I've been with my wife for 15 yrs, married 5. We have a beautiful 3 yr old girl that is everything to us. We started messing around with other girls about 10 yrs ago and "graduated' to couples about 6 yrs ago, well one couple in particular, we will call them David and Lisa. Things as of late have not gone well, after years of being together on a physical level and being incredibly close friend (Dave is my best friends) things have progressed to "love" between my wife and David. Unfortunately I don't have the same connection with Lisa. It has gotten so out of control that David and Lisa are now getting a divorce and my wife and I are on the rocks. Wait it gets worse.....recently my wife told me that she loves me but she isn't "in love with me". We have very open dialogue about how we feel, and we communicate very effectively. She assures me that there is no risk of her leaving and that she wants to work it out. I am feeling incredibly confused and conflicted, I don't really know where I am going with this but I could use some help, thanks for listening.

Last edited by ChickenandGravy; 05-19-2014 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:12 PM
london london is offline
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Well, firstly, did you think that unless you could share his wife, he couldn't share yours? If you did think that, was it because of an agreement that you made with your wife and/or David and his wife?

You see, regardless of whether it's just something you thought or whether it was something you all agreed, it is unrealistic. We can't predict how we will feel about someone, how they will feel about us, or how a relationship will develop with any real accuracy. Emotions and feelings and stuff simply don't work like that.

David and his wife may simply be at the end of their road. The poly stuff might have been the last straw rather than the only straw. Maybe you know the ins and outs, but their relationship breakdown doesn't have to affect you and your wife repairing yours if none of you want it to.

What I suggest is that you and your wife work out how you're going to get the things you need to repair your relationship. Make sure you have uninterrupted quality time scheduled and provide her the same opportunity with David. Don't try and set rules that control their relationship but set guidelines that help you maintain yours.

Your wife has to be truly up for ensuring the survival of both relationships though. She has to acknowledge that her marriage needs some extra resources right now, and also that it's probably best David has the space to focus on making the divorce as drama free as possible. For him, his wife, and any other people who might be involved.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:24 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Sounds like some seriously choppy waters you are in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
Things as of late have not gone well, after years of being together on a physical level and being incredibly close friend (Dave is my best friends) things have progressed to "love" between my wife and David.
The expectation that people can be close friends and sexually intimate and will never develop "love" or "romantic" feelings for each other is unrealistic. Some people do it apparently, but counting on that being the case is a bad bet.

It makes perfect sense that they might develop a romantic relationship given the circumstances.

The unfortunate part seems to be that the expectations don't match up with the reality of the situation and you need to kind of re-center. Given the reality of the situation, what are your expectations? Given the reality of the situation, what are your wifes expectations? These things should be explicitly discussed so that you can make clear decisions regarding what your actions will be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
Unfortunately I don't have the same connection with Lisa.
Honestly, considering how ill prepared the four of you seem to be in dealing with one budding romance, I'm guessing the presence of another would just sink the ship faster.

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Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
Wait it gets worse.....recently my wife told me that she loves me but she isn't "in love with me". We have very open dialogue about how we feel, and we communicate very effectively. She assures me that there is no risk of her leaving and that she wants to work it out. I am feeling incredibly confused and conflicted, I don't really know where I am going with this but I could use some help, thanks for listening.
I personally would want to discuss the distinction she is making between "love" and "in love". People can lump all manner of ideas into the irritatingly vague description of love so I suggest using some of your effective communication to get a better understanding of what is really ahead of you.

I also would like you to consider that your communication might be great in some aspects, but if you guys were really on the same page it seems highly unlikely that you would be so broadsided by these changes. Regarding your expectations of how the open relationship might work and "where you are at" it sounds like you still have quite a bit of room for improvement on the communication front.

My suggestion when working on said communication is to be specific. "I love you but am not in love with you", for example, means exactly nothing to me. That is the title of a book, not clear communication. Move away from these sweeping generalizations and get down to actionable expressions "I care for you but I want to move out" or "I don't want to have sex with you but I want to share other aspects of my life with you" are concise and actionable. Talking about what we feel is good, but talking about what we need to *do* will be a bit more constructive.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:25 PM
ChickenandGravy ChickenandGravy is offline
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First off, thank you for the advice. My wife was the one who suggested/insisted that we work it out. What we have talked about is that after 15 yrs of being together, the "newness" of the love she is feels for david is what she is attracted to. As far as David and Lisa's marriage goes, they had several other problems not just this. I want to give my wife space and time with David but I can't help but feel jealous. I have never really felt this way before, thats what is really messing with me. Also because hes my best friend I want to be there for him during his divorce. I really sucks because I don't know how to feel. Its just really hard to hear that your wife isn't AS in love with you anymore.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:30 PM
ChickenandGravy ChickenandGravy is offline
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I personally would want to discuss the distinction she is making between "love" and "in love". People can lump all manner of ideas into the irritatingly vague description of love so I suggest using some of your effective communication to get a better understanding of what is really ahead of you.

I couldn't agree more, I have a real hard time wrapping my brain around that one. I think we all went into this thing blind and not really thinking any of it through. Now we are paying the price.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
I couldn't agree more, I have a real hard time wrapping my brain around that one.
That's because the statement is too vague to be of any use. People change, their level of interest can ebb and flow over time, so I get that a change has occurred, what you guys need to figure out is how to adjust to the change (do we need to adjust how we interact, what expectations should be adjusted, how do each of you see this playing out in best case scenario terms).

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I think we all went into this thing blind and not really thinking any of it through. Now we are paying the price.
That seems clear enough, but I would avoid beating yourself up over it at this point. We're all experts at what we do right up until the point where we try something new... then we're noobs.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:57 PM
ChickenandGravy ChickenandGravy is offline
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So true, and thanks!
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:03 PM
london london is offline
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I wrote this about being "in love" some time ago.
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:16 PM
ChickenandGravy ChickenandGravy is offline
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Very insightful London, this helps. This is a tough time for everybody right now. I just need to vent, so thanks for listening.
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:30 PM
Nadya Nadya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
My wife was the one who suggested/insisted that we work it out.
This sounds positive, to me. She wants to stay together with you, and you seem to want to stay together with her. In your many years together, this can not be the first problem you have encountered. A different one, a new one but not the first one... you made it through the earlier ones, you can make it through this one, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
What we have talked about is that after 15 yrs of being together, the "newness" of the love she is feels for david is what she is attracted to.
That is called NRE or New Relationship Energy. Make a search or a tag search with the term and you will find a lot of information about it. In the long run, the "newness" will inevitably wear out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenandGravy View Post
Its just really hard to hear that your wife isn't AS in love with you anymore.
That seems to be what NRE does to some people. It can get better with time - let's hope this is the case.

Edit: Someone posted this thought on these forums: as human beings, our actions preceed our emotions. If you act lovingly towards someone, you will eventually feel the love, too. You can change your feelings by changing your behavior. This is a piece of advice I have "tested out" myself, and it works, for me at least. Thus it is important for you and your wife to discuss your future *actions*, and most likely the emotions will follow them.
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Last edited by Nadya; 05-19-2014 at 06:48 PM.
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