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  #81  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:08 PM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
MT, you're coming across much stronger now. That is good. I always get the sense that you are walking on eggshells around your wife; you don't know how to broach any aspect of this with her because she is shutting you down. Have you ever even gotten a chance to talk about how much you've been constricting yourself to fit the mono ideal all these years, or does she simply stonewall you immediately?
I don't think such language would fly. She already thinks I'm being selfish (I guess all of the years of beating myself up for not being able to live up to some bullshit fairy tale ideal don't count for anything, and somehow, wanting me all to herself isn't selfish).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
You are such an eloquent and expressive writer. What about putting everything in a letter and giving it to her? Do you think she would read it?
She might read it, but I don't think it matters. There's no intimacy right now--we are living as roommates because "she needs to protect herself." She says she doesn't want me to break her heart again. Well, dear wife, I'm not the one doing the pushing away, and I have never stepped a toe out of line (though she says I did when I broached the subject of opening our marriage). I'm not the one who is steadfastly unwilling to even think about change, as if the forty-something me is still supposed to be the twenty-five-year-old me.

I asked her what am I supposed to do when, not if, I again have feelings for another woman. She answered that I should "decide to do the right thing," meaning, repress it, ignore it, not consummate it in any way (chaste or not). I've tried that for more than a decade, and it sucks--I could as well deny that I have a right arm.

If we did not have our son to think about, I'd just give up at this point.
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  #82  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:44 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Hugs!!

I really hope you guys can get into marriage counceling. It sounds like there are some serious issues here that go far beyond your need to be able to love others. Believe me when I say that these issues will effect how you guys work together in raising your boy, especially when the kids becomes a teenager. Looking back, I really wish we had been able to recognize some of our issues years ago, because it has impacted our ability to raise our children the way we intended.
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  #83  
Old 06-01-2011, 07:13 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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We talked this morning, and we talked again this evening. This morning did not go well, and, after a week of me getting the cold shoulder, I thought my wife was slipping away. I could have pulled the pin on the grenade by going out and buying a new motorcycle (that I really want, and that she's opposed to me getting, and rationally, she's right--I need to finish paying for some other stuff first), and despite spending the day angrily thinking that although my wife's opinion is something that carries weight, my roommate's opinion is merely interesting, better judgement prevailed--I didn't buy the bike.

This afternoon and evening, we talked in circles for awhile. She asked me to describe how, in my dream world, seeing someone else might work, so I described the ideal of she and an OSO meeting (the revulsion on her face said it all) and being friends, and she started to protest, but I reminded her that she asked what the ideal was, and I was just telling her. I told her that before anything would even ever get that far, I'd tell her at the first inkling that I was interested in someone, and she'd be fully informed the whole way.

She asked what she would get out of all of this. I tried to get into the notions that time becomes more precious when it becomes more scarce, so time spent with her would be more deliberate and focussed, and she responded rhetorically that it would take bringing someone else into our lives to get that? The notion that I'd be happier to be around because I wasn't frustrated and resentful didn't seem prudent to me to raise just now, so we moved on.

We discussed jealousy, and fears of abandonment or replacement, and child-rearing. I said that many people make it work, and many people don't. I said that a metamour (though I didn't use the jargon) would have to reassure her that the metamour wasn't going to try to steal me away, and my wife asked what kind of assurance she'd be able to have of that, and I said that the assurance I'd give is that if anyone tried to steal me away, I'd drop her like a hot iron, because to me, commitment in a mono/poly marriage means, in part, that the poly will take positive steps to protect the marriage from people who actively try to break it up.

I reiterated several times over the course of the conversation that I will never lie to her, will never sneak around, and will never do anything without mutual agreement. She kept seeking assurance that, if we stay together, it will just be the two of us. I kept responding that I can promise her that I'll be truthful and will never act without mutual agreement, and I understand that she doesn't ever see herself giving assent. I tried to make the point that, when I was younger, I could not have imagined thinking the things I think now, so I can't give her a blanket guarantee that I will never want anything more--merely that I will be truthful and never act without mutual agreement.

The baby step that I got out of all of this in return is that, although she insists that it's over if I ever sleep with anyone else, I can at least talk to her if I notice myself developing feelings for someone. She was hesitant about even that, but I pressed that if we cannot be honest with each other, then our marriage is truly broken (and I believe that--I spent over ten years hiding all of this in the mistaken belief that I was supposed to just suck it up and strive to be Prince Charming, and I'm not going back to that).

Yes, I am still (mostly) repressing myself at this point. No, she might not ever get where I want to be. It's at least half a big toe forward, and for now, I'll take it. Maybe someday, after having conversations about my feelings with her, all while quite visibly keeping my word to not do anything without mutual agreement, she'll unclench bit by bit and I can live more like what I'd want. If it comes to pass that she doesn't, and I can't deal with it any more, then at least we will have tried to understand each other, and it will end honestly. I think she'd still see that as a betrayal at this time, given her desire for a guarantee, but dammit, I am not going to make "forever" promises that I don't know that I can keep--I did that once already, back when we got married (though, then, monogamously acculturated as I was, I thought I could keep it).

There's a lot I'm leaving out. It's late, and I really don't want to type the whole conversation verbatim. It took a lot of talking in circles (as in, her insisting upon her belief as to what marriage is, and then citing that belief as justification for not accepting the idea of anything different) to get to this point. She still doesn't really understand that I did not choose to have feelings for others, or to imagine what it would be like with someone else after a crush developed, as she says she's never had that experience while we've been together, though she seems to be starting to at least grudgingly give me credit for not acting on those feelings behind her back. It's truly a case of a hardwired mono and a hardwired poly who tried to be mono because he thought that's what he was supposed to be, and I am pissed--not at her, but at the fact that, by and large, none of us are raised even being aware that polys exist by nature, rather than just as sleazy pricks who are looking for an excuse to cheat. I feel like we've all been conned, big time, the fallout is severe and painful, and the one life we get goes screaming by in the meantime, while we try to live the monogamous lies we've been taught.
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  #84  
Old 06-01-2011, 04:13 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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This is how it tends to happen. Things develop very slowly a lot of the time. It could take years of baby steps for you to get to where you want to be and for her to be comfortable with it.

By what you've said here she is making some movement. As long as things are still moving forward, however slowly, and are not standing still or moving backwards I think the 2 of you are doing great.

How many years did it take for you to realize that you are poly and to be comfortable with it for yourself? This is still all very new to your wife and she has a lot to process and it's likely to go very slowly, especially since she doesn't have the same internal experiences to fall back on.
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  #85  
Old 06-01-2011, 04:40 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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I'd say that this was more than half a toe forward. Some people, myself included do not accept change very well. I find that my first instinct for anything last minute is to say NO, even something as simple as going out to eat. I need time to process change and it sounds like your wife does also. Like Derby said, it may take years of small baby steps. Big changes, like changing certain beliefs in what marriage is will take a very long time, if at all.
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  #86  
Old 06-04-2011, 02:23 AM
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Gecko Gecko is offline
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Thank you for posting your story, your situation and how you are dealing with it has been very helpful for me. Cheers!

I also have to commend you on suppressing yourself for 10 years without stepping out of line! I have also had to suppress myself, it doesn't work...
For me though I ended up cheating and I can tell you, you have saved your self a lot of trouble and are in a far better position to bargain your need to be yourself than you otherwise would be.
If your a cheater, its very hard to save your marriage AND express that it may well need to be poly, when you have already caused so much pain to the one you love.

{A rock} Me {A hard place}

But hey, I'm learning and its better late than never!

Take care and good luck! Your on the right path! (The honest, communicative one).

Gecko
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  #87  
Old 06-17-2011, 12:49 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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How are things with you these days, MT?
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  #88  
Old 06-17-2011, 12:04 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hi MT,

Are you still around - following this thread ?
I have a thought or two that may be helpful in some way if you are still around.

Let us know ?

GS
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  #89  
Old 06-25-2011, 04:53 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Yes, I'm still around. Was out of town for a week, but I'm back now.

How's it going? Back to the rut, I'm afraid. Everything's OK with my wife as long as I don't act poly. The most recent crush that I carried seems to have died down, and that makes it temporarily easier for me in some ways, but I still find myself lying awake at night, imagining myself with someone else, and feeling conflicted about that because it would tear up my wife.

It's funny what goes on day-to-day. She remarked that it was neat to see our son have friends with different, non-overlapping interests, so that he could find different common interests with each of them. I wanted to mention that poly relationships are often just like that, as no one person overlaps completely with another, but I bit my tongue. I just wasn't up for the pain that would bring her, in a moment that she was happy for our son. I may bring it up sometime, but I'm not sure when. The conversations about poly are very painful, and inevitably, I end up getting the cold shoulder until I make some sort of capitulation, with her offering the excuse that she doesn't want to get hurt, so she has to pull back her feelings. I think that's bullshit, as pulling back her feelings has to be causing her hurt, so she's claiming to be hurting herself (and me) to avoid getting hurt? Huh?

Life is short. I love my wife and do not want to lose her, but I'm getting tired of the hot/cold game, and I still feel held captive in a way. I can have my wife if I agree to only have my wife ("but you took a vow!" gets thrown back at me every time, as if I'm the same person I was in my twenties), but I'm the one being selfish.

All of that said, in day-to-day life, I am mostly happy, but there is still that feeling inside like I'm living a lie to do it, while she gets to pretend that I'm the same mono type of person that she is, despite really knowing (because I told her) that I'm not. It dilutes the happiness, and I don't think she gets that. To be who I am, I'm afraid, I have to lose what I have, and that's a very high price to pay.

GS, I'm very interested in your thoughts.
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  #90  
Old 06-25-2011, 03:18 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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Ah MT, I am so sorry to hear this.

Are you two still going to therapy?
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