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  #51  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:26 PM
PenguinDreams PenguinDreams is offline
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Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
And for that, as well, I'm trying to understand her, in that she said that she never once thought about being with another man. I thought everyone thought about being with someone else, and the difference between a good person and a dirtbag cheater was whether or not they resisted the temptation. It never occurred to me that the actual difference is whether or not someone actually cheats (meaning that honest polys aren't cheating, when it's all above board).
There are monogamous people who would never think of being with anyone else. There are also monogamous people who might think about it but only in abstract, fantasy, kind of way and who genuinely really not want the reality of it. Understanding where she is coming from may help you to find the reassurances she needs.

When I was with my ex I watched him run back and forth between me and his other relationships and it looked exhausting to me. I wondered how this could possibly be fun for him. While I missed him when he was gone, I was also very glad to not have to do the same juggling act with multiple people. I did try dating just a little to fill in some of the unwanted alone time I found myself with but it just felt like a lot of work I wasn't interested in doing.

Setting aside jealousies and insecurities, one of the things a mono person in a poly relationship has to deal with is the time factor. She may be used to relying on the predictability of you two being a social unit and may even schedule her plans around yours and have similar expectations that you do the same. It can be quite a shock when that routine is shaken up. If she doesn't already have this in place, you might want to encourage your wife to develop a strong support network of friends and cultivate interests and hobbies that are separate from you. She will need something to focus on and people to talk to while you are gone... once you get to that point.
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  #52  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:46 PM
bkreader bkreader is offline
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It's easy for emotions to go up and down pretty drastically when dealing with these kind of things. It doesn't make you an idiot, and ranting here first to give yourself time to cool off is a good way to get it off your chest without damaging your relationship with your wife.

It may help to just forget about the labels when talking with your wife. Don't be torn about wanting to be poly when your wife is monogamous, just remember that you're both in love and go from there. Ask her what she needs and wants from you. Build your relationship back up with no assumptions, and you may find that those boundaries are different than you think or may change over time. No sex is probably going to be one of those boundaries, but who knows about something more platonic like hand holding or hugging. Once you've established those theoretical comfort zones, give them a try and let your wife see how she really feels when they happen. She may find some that she thought would be ok that aren't, but she may also find some that she thought would be off-limits that now fall into a "maybe" zone.
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  #53  
Old 05-13-2011, 03:09 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Thanks, bkreader, that's some sane advice.

So, I spend entirely too much time thinking, I think, and I get myself all worked up. The thinking, and imagining her reaction, is actually worse than the talking, so I need to do it more often. It never seems like a decent time to talk happens, though. I get home from work, the boy is up and around the house, and by the time we get him put to bed and get some quiet time alone, it's near the time when my wife is ready to fall asleep. I've been keeping H.A.L.T. in mind, so I've not wanted to bring up the subject of my current thoughts and fears about what I think is her current state of denial and possessiveness right before bed (she's made a number of remarks lately, during casual conversation, about "it's OK as long as he doesn't seek it somewhere else!"--most recently at dinner to our son after I'd made crack about how our most recent restaurant meal was so good that it was like sex on a plate, and I was demonstrably enjoying it, a lá Adam Richman's "private moment" when he ate the smoked end of the brisket at the Salt Lick on Man vs. Food).

It feels like we are drifting back into our pre-first-discussion behavior patterns, and I really don't want that to happen. Not only due to where I'd like our relationship to go, but also because I hated where it was.

To top it off, I was in a meeting today, also attended by my crush, and she completely blew me away all over again, with her mastery of the details of some pretty technical subject matter. It's driving me insane to keep that from her (my crush), but I think it would be inappropriate and unfair to make any overtures while my wife and I work on our marriage. I just needed to vent before I exploded.
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  #54  
Old 05-13-2011, 03:32 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Well, dear heart, you do have scheduled time to discuss these things in your counseling sessions. Sometimes that is a better path to take than to be talking about it every chance you get, which could feel to her like you're belaboring the issue and pushing her when she is feeling particularly vulnerable.

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

In your next session, I would not hesitate to express your reservations and frustration at having been living with these feelings for so long and wanting some kind of progress, at least that your wife attempt to understand and not shut the possibility down completely just because there's a moratorium on the table. Be willing to go slowly, but be clear at the same time that you are asking for a change, not for it to just be expressed and dismissed. To be said, of course, with compassion.

When my husband and I were in therapy, if there was ever something I wanted to say that was difficult for me to express to him, I would either close my eyes, keep my gaze focused on the therapist, or look somewhere else in the room. It helped for me not to be looking directly at my husband when first speaking about stuff that I knew he would shut down on me. I couldn't bear to see the look on his face and speak my mind at the same time. Once it was out in the open, then it became easier, but that initial speaking up - hoo boy! That's the only way I could do it.
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  #55  
Old 05-13-2011, 02:21 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
I'm having a great deal of difficulty with this right now. As part of our discussion, she said that if I were to pursue a poly lifestyle, she would leave me and take my son with her--halfway across the country.

This is blackmail, straight and simple, and where I felt love for her before, now I only feel a burning resentment.

My son (early teens) asked for none of this, and I don't know what to do.
You were able to realize that you've tried to be something you are not claiming to not be (the man you thought she wanted you to be). You sold yourself as one product and are now trying to sell her on a product she did not choose AFTER marriage. We would call this fraud if it really was some purchase/sale situation and she might just feel quite blackmailed as well. Please take sometime to cool down rather than get indignant. You could both decide to get real indignant over this and be pretty justified but where will it get you?

Let me see other people or I will divorce you = see only me or I will divorce you.

I feel for you but can't really get around the fact that many people don't get what they want in life and survive just fine continuing as they have. Be patient and open to communication; maybe she will come to acceptance on her own if she doesn't feel pushed.
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  #56  
Old 05-13-2011, 04:36 PM
Freetime Freetime is offline
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Well my friend, I'm monogamous T isn't. After 20 yrs of marriage T came out and told me how she felt and what she wanted. You've read my story and it's a pretty good look at what the other side experiences when a partner says 'I'm poly" I'm 3 months into this, I still have no idea if I'll still be married next week never mind next month but I refuse to wallow in the fear and uncertainty. I love T, awesome woman, but if this isn't for me I'll have to look at what I want to do about that.

I'm in this with her because I refuse to quit on our marriage and because I see here on this board and other places people talking about and creating great relationships in Poly. it is possible, but she probably doesn't know that. I didn't.

Your wife have any idea that there are others she can talk to about this? Is she talking to anyone else? See here's the deal, if she's on her own trying to make sense of what's going on without any other voice or help besides the her own, she's probably catastophising the outcome of your actions and feelings. I did, many others to. T is a member here by the way she sees everything i write here, good bad or indifferent I keep no secrets from her about how I feel or see this journey.

T told me flat out that if I wanted her to stop, she would. End of discussion.And she would. She keeps her word. But I know that if I did that to her I'd be taking away or stopping her from living her life in the way she most wants to live. I just cannot...will not do that to her. Even if we don't stay together at least we'll know the truth of it.

Love your wife, know that she loves you. Understand that a lifetime of monogamy isn't just thrown off like an old shirt.

The best thing T did for me and continues to do, is to express her love for me and to make it clear I'm still her number one guy.

Give your wife a chance to catch her breath, finding out your spouse wants to have a sexual/emotional relationship with others takes a while to get used to. Ya know?

be well my friend

Freetime
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  #57  
Old 05-13-2011, 05:16 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by Freetime View Post
Even if we don't stay together at least we'll know the truth of it.
The thing with poly, in my experience, is that the intention is to add other relationships while maintaining existing ones in a loving and healthy way. When all people involved are poly, such as RP and PN, this is much easier to achieve then if you have one person poly and another not; such as RP and me.

This is the big stumbling block to mono/poly relationships in my opinion. One person is always going to not have exactly what they want. It is a constant state of compromise. As long as all people are healthy and happy in that, it is sustainable. When the balance tips and someone is simply surviving the relationship then it is time to make change.

Change creates change. There is no escaping this. When we ask for something to change we cannot expect other things to remain the same.
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  #58  
Old 05-13-2011, 10:04 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Let me see other people or I will divorce you = see only me or I will divorce you.
As I understand, the burning point wasn't the "or I'll leave you", it was the or "I'll take our son and prevent him from seeing you" which isn't something MornightTwilight ever threatened to do (or thought of, probably). While anyone always has the right to leave the relationship for any reason, in my opinion (the simple fact that they want to means it would be worse if they stayed) they don't get to decide alone what happens to the kid(s) as a result, and to use that as blackmail material is definitely something to be upset about.
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  #59  
Old 05-14-2011, 06:37 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Originally Posted by Freetime View Post
[...]

I'm in this with her because I refuse to quit on our marriage and because I see here on this board and other places people talking about and creating great relationships in Poly. it is possible, but she probably doesn't know that. I didn't.

Your wife have any idea that there are others she can talk to about this? Is she talking to anyone else? See here's the deal, if she's on her own trying to make sense of what's going on without any other voice or help besides the her own, she's probably catastophising the outcome of your actions and feelings. I did, many others to. T is a member here by the way she sees everything i write here, good bad or indifferent I keep no secrets from her about how I feel or see this journey.
I would like for her to sign on here, or on the mono/poly Yahoo! group. Right now, I've thought it best to let it cool off a bit. I don't want to be in her face with this all the time. Finding the balance between keeping things moving forward, even if only an inch at a time, versus laying back and enjoying our time together, is still something I'm trying to find, and I find myself being exceedingly cautious, perhaps to a fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freetime View Post
[...]

Love your wife, know that she loves you. Understand that a lifetime of monogamy isn't just thrown off like an old shirt.

The best thing T did for me and continues to do, is to express her love for me and to make it clear I'm still her number one guy.

Give your wife a chance to catch her breath, finding out your spouse wants to have a sexual/emotional relationship with others takes a while to get used to. Ya know?

be well my friend

Freetime
Yes, I know, and thanks.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
As I understand, the burning point wasn't the "or I'll leave you", it was the or "I'll take our son and prevent him from seeing you" which isn't something MornightTwilight ever threatened to do (or thought of, probably). While anyone always has the right to leave the relationship for any reason, in my opinion (the simple fact that they want to means it would be worse if they stayed) they don't get to decide alone what happens to the kid(s) as a result, and to use that as blackmail material is definitely something to be upset about.
Vinccenzo, alas, was responding to a now-three-week-old post. I've long since recognized that threat for what it was--a raw, emotional reaction to the shock I'd given her that day. She gets a free pass for that. Even by the next day, she had modified her reaction to living together as roommates, so that at least our boy would be with both of his parents (though that would still be a sad situation), and a few days later, she tearfully told me that she didn't want to give up on our marriage. What shape "I want to try to make this work" will take remains to be seen. You all see my frustrations here, but believe me when I tell you that I'm trying to take the long view--I've been with this wonderful woman for nearly twenty years now, and I do realize that she's going to have difficulty with the whole thing, and thus, I must be patient, and I must be willing to forgive the odd outburst, as she learns to come to grips with her feelings and analyze them.

And, for myself, I still have a lot to learn on that score.
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  #60  
Old 05-23-2011, 01:33 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Well, crap.

We've been coasting along for a couple of weeks, and I thought it would be good to talk. She hasn't thought about poly at all--has completely put it out of her mind and was living as if nothing had happened.

I mentioned that I was still thinking the things that I had been thinking, and that I feared that if I didn't turn out to be the person she wanted, that she was going to pull the plug on our marriage. Fear CONFIRMED.

I asked her what she meant when she said she "wanted us to try to make us work." She meant the two of us--without anyone else in the picture. IOW, nothing changes.

She does not think--and does not want to think--that marriage can be anything other than one man, one woman, and no others. She said that if seeing others is what I needed to make me happy, she'd get out of the way. I told her that losing her would not make me happy.

She's adamant. I really don't know what to do now. Pointing out that most people do not get happy marriages for life, and instead turn to serial monogamy or to cheating was not persuasive. Telling her that I didn't want to lie to her or to cheat was not persuasive. She believes that my interest in possibly seeing others (even though I made a point that I had never sought anyone out, and didn't intend to, but if lightning struck, I didn't want to fear that we would end) indicates that I am dissatisfied with her. She doesn't get (and I guess I didn't expect her to get) that it's not about her.

She keeps going back to the original vows--"forsaking all others." Pointing out that we were both 25, and that neither of us ever knew that there was any other option, was not persuasive. Asking her if our marriage could change got a blunt "NO."

I don't want us to break up--I love her, and it would also be rotten for our son. I don't want him having guilt heaped on him, and I don't want him to be put in the middle of this.

I can't turn off the way I am--I've tried. Dammit.
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