Boundary Dispute

opalescent

Active member
It's curious to me how quick people on this forum are to suggest pulling the plug on long-term relationships. This is the second such suggestion I received yesterday.

To be frank, it's one of the least admirable aspects of polyamory, and is the aspect of the would-be community here that makes me think monogamy might really be the better way to go.

Dude, stop blaming poly for your problems.

You are fucking miserable. You've been fucking miserable the entire time you've posted here.

When people post about why they are fucking miserable, other people tend to point to the thing that is making them fucking miserable. In this case, it's your marriage. Poly is NOT the reason people are suggesting - gently or not so gently - that hey, this is not working and maybe it is time to end it.

And you know what? You will still be fucking miserable as a monogamous person. Choosing monogamy (or polyamory) will not fix anything. You will still feel despondent, have little self-respect, and feel helpless. Your relationship stance of poly or mono is not the problem. The problem is that your marriage is broken. It is so broken, from an outsider's perspective based on what you've posted here, that maybe it is time to let it go.

If you haven't already, get yourself to a therapist. This level of despondency and helplessness is not healthy. It is not good for you or your children.
 

hyperskeptic

New member
You've been fucking miserable the entire time you've posted here.

Well, aren't you just a breath of fresh air?

Seriously, though, I haven't been miserable the whole time . . . only since August. I think I'm seeing that more clearly now.

I'm working on it.

I do still need to figure out what to do about polyamory. My wife seems committed to it, I'm on the fence about it.

Once the fog clears, once I haul myself up out of this hole I've managed to dig for myself - yes, with my very own shovel, and my own hard work, not anyone else's - I still have to decide what to do, what general guidelines I am going to live by.

So, if it's okay with you, I will still post things to this forum on occasion, and read and respond to people's replies, though not all of them will be especially helpful.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
It's curious to me how quick people on this forum are to suggest pulling the plug on long-term relationships. This is the second such suggestion I received yesterday.

To be frank, it's one of the least admirable aspects of polyamory, and is the aspect of the would-be community here that makes me think monogamy might really be the better way to go.

It's not pulling the plug when the bathtub is leaky and all the water has already drained out. It's just getting out and towelling yourself off.

It's not a poly/mono thing, it's a modern era thing. Back in the day, women needed to stay married in order to keep themselves and their children fed. Society dictated that even if your marriage was shit, you stayed married, because that's what you did.

I don't suggest people get divorced every time they hit a road bump, provided both members are willing to put in the hard work to restore the marriage. But my interpretation of what you've said is that your wife has checked out of the marriage and is just doing her own thing now. One person cannot fix a marriage all by himself.
 

hyperskeptic

New member
I don't suggest people get divorced every time they hit a road bump, provided both members are willing to put in the hard work to restore the marriage. But my interpretation of what you've said is that your wife has checked out of the marriage and is just doing her own thing now. One person cannot fix a marriage all by himself.

If that were really the case, yes, I could see the point of ending the marriage. But please understand that 1) I've only told the story from my own point of view and, as has become clear to me since yesterday, a lot of this is colored by my own despondency, verging on depression, and 2) what's really at stake here is one fairly defined matter of policy regarding the children.

To be entirely fair to Vix, she is still committed to keeping our household together, and maintaining our relationship as a vital and central focus of her life. She does need to be away, for sound reasons of her own, as well as for reasons that may come across as more . . . optional.

As I've tried to emphasize, she really does a lot of the work of the household when she is home, which is still most of the time. She also tries to do what she can to keep the household functioning when she is away. She is devoted to the girls; it's just that she is more willing than I am to leave them on their own for a short time . . .

I have to acknowledge that a lot of my struggles with this really are just my own struggles; I do, in some sense, just need to get over myself, find more appropriate expectations.

But it's also true that Vix and I have some work to do, shoring up our relationship to one another, negotiating some boundaries now that difference between us are coming out into the open.

The conversation I had with Vix this morning really did clarify a lot of this for me. Again, much of it comes down to my own despondency and withdrawal.

She said she'd fetch ladder, to help me climb up out of the hole I've dug.
 

hyperskeptic

New member
You are fucking miserable. You've been fucking miserable the entire time you've posted here.

Let me try a different response to this.

I'm sorry for posting so many things that have been whiny and annoying, and for occasionally responding with snark.

I am grateful for this forum, and for all the replies to my various posts - those replies that have been patient and understanding as well as those that have been, um, less than patient - for helping me, sometimes in spite of myself, to achieve a small measure of clarity.

I don't know, at this point, what my own choices will be regarding polyamory, but I think I do have some basis for a more constructive approach to my wife's current engagement with poly.
 

WhatHappened

Active member
To be entirely fair to Vix, she is still committed to keeping our household together, and maintaining our relationship as a vital and central focus of her life.
In what ways? Maybe people here could help you more if you spelled out these things.

She does need to be away, for sound reasons of her own...
Need is a very strong word. Why does she 'need' to be away?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
My doubts about my own capacity to be polyamorous are deepening by the day. Whether that's just despondency, or my own inability to connect with people, or just an accident of my circumstances, I don't know. That's a matter for another thread, though - "Theory, Practice."

I just have to figure out how not to be depressed and anxious about all of it.

Could also be hitting a personal limitation. That is the limit. Right here.

The way to "un-depress" then once a personal limitationis found is not to engage in behavior that taxes your limits.

Some things one can learn to deal with over time from regular exposure and "grow skills/get used to it." Some things one can learn to deal with by avoiding the trigger.

It is up to you to discern what kind of flavor this is here for you and what type solution to apply. Hang in there -- and do sort.

Galagirl
 

hyperskeptic

New member
In what ways? Maybe people here could help you more if you spelled out these things.

She thinks of our household as home base, and our relationship as a lifelong partnership. The vision we shared in the past is that we would grow old together, whatever other, um, adventures we had in the mean time. We would be able to rely on one another in a pinch, share a common history . . . you know, the works. It's not exactly story-book, I guess, since she's not at all monogamous and I'm not sure whether I am; but she wants me to be the one she comes home to, and she wants to be the one I come home to.

Does that make any sense?

Also, if it came to a choice, she confirmed this morning that this is the relationship she to which she would give priority. If all other relationships failed, this is the one she would want to save.

Need is a very strong word. Why does she 'need' to be away?

1. The air in the city we live in is quite toxic; she has chronic asthma, and has to take increasing doses of maintenance drugs to keep ahead of it, drugs that are having cumulative, long-term side-effects. She needs to be in a places with cleaner air, as often as she can manage it; until we can move our household - which depends on me advancing my career, rather than writing to online forums! - that means periodic travel.

2. She is developing her skill as a teacher in a particular domain - again, being coy, to protect identity; we're part of a small community of people who tend to know one another, even across vast distances! - and travel serves that purpose. She has some travel coming up this spring related to professional development, and the events she attends in Europe are also relevant to that. She's quite good at what she does, and I'm proud of what she has accomplished.

3. She really is into the idea of being poly, and the one other relationship most worth cultivating happens to be an LTR . . . with an American ex-pat in Europe. Whether that's a need may be a matter for debate, but it does contribute to her happiness.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Also, if it came to a choice, she confirmed this morning that this is the relationship she to which she would give priority. If all other relationships failed, this is the one she would want to save.

And this will be demonstrated by what behaviors done by her/you? The keeping and care of the relationship you share with each other?

Is this standard, this code of conduct acceptable to you?

Are they written down somewhere? So both can be held accountable to each other?

Cuz... talk is talk. Action is action.

When one's talk does not match their walk? There's problems. :(

GG
 

bella123456

New member
I've not really read the while thread, sorry bout that.
I would like to cover the original topic though, the level of support a parent decides to give their children is so very individual.

There's a festival I've wanted to go to for the last ten years. All of my mates go, but it's always on the weekend before my son starts his new school year, my preference is always to be with him on that weekend. I've still not been to that festival... So be it. Perhaps I'll go in the future.
I know starting school is a big deal for him, I choose to be with him. It's my pleasure and honour to support him during times that are significant to him.

Other people I know don't make choices like that, and so be it.
His father (my ex) oftens goes away during times that are significant to my son.

Part of the reason we split up was because I didn't agree on any moral or ethical stance with the idea of leaving your kid/s when they really need you.

I sort of liked the idea that my chosen partner may be there for me if I really needed him, and he would continually prove via his abandonment of our son that he was not that type of person.

That's ok, that's who he still is today. Not the person I want as a partner in this often difficult world. I do want someone I can rely on, yes I do.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Ive been busy the last few days and surprised in the direction the thread has taken since I last posted here.

In regards to the boundary dispute issue. The reason I asked the questions ...
Have your daughters been informed of the plan ....who they will be staying with, split up or together, etc,etc,.. and why ( meaning the event ) ? And how do they feel about it. Do they feel blown off by their mother in this specific case and or in the last 2 yrs.?

It seems to me that knowing how the actual participants feel about this would be a good barometer. I imagine it could be split between kids and could range from indifference to excitement and happiness staying with friends to absolute dread and depression....and or rejection. If they were both on the front end of the spectrum they may think your being over the top too. Now ...personally I don't care about being the over protective dad so that type of input might get weighted 80/20 :D

Also you've told the girls all about you and your wife's open marriage...they know Doc is one of mommy's BF and Nix was your gF right ?

I was thinking of safety and piece of mind and boundaries vs neurotic bullshit and then I thought doe she/ you have homeowners insurance, car insurance ??? how often do you make claims either ?? It's been 10- 15 yrs for me but yet I would go with out.



Lastly how is coming to the conclusion that poly might not be for him appreciably different then the thread by Matt ( not wanting to share his wife ). The poly part is making him unhappy, time share, etc.

Also I actually remember you writing threads or comments in which you were happy and enjoying your new GF Nix ....many non miserable posts.
 

hyperskeptic

New member
Also I actually remember you writing threads or comments in which you were happy and enjoying your new GF Nix ....many non miserable posts.

Nyx broke up with me back in August, just as Vix was starting to travel more and for longer stretches. My posts since then have been intermittent, but consistently pretty miserable . . .

Vix points out, as patiently as she can, that it is hardly a coincidence that my misery started just then.

When I face up to it, I realize how hard it was to lose my relationship with Nyx, for all that I think she had very good reasons for breaking up with me.

Something clicked, though, two days ago, in response to what turns out to be a minor disagreement over travel plans and children. I went through what Vix calls a "thought dump," a process as painful, as disgusting and ultimately as beneficial as lancing a boil.

I'd like to apologize again for inflicting that particular thought dump on this forum.

The fallout has been that the issue with Vix has been more than resolved, I've regained my equilibrium regarding her practicing polyamory, and I've started a new blog thread to explore more carefully and constructively and creatively my own possible practice of polyamory.

In that new blog thread, I have resolved to adhere to the highest standards of non-miserableness.

The point is that something has, very suddenly, turned around in my brain, and I can see possibilities where before I only saw problems and limitations. I can see the strength of my partnership with Vix where before I only saw the (actually very small) disagreements, points of divergence, and unavoidable irritations of living with someone who will continue to insist on being not me.

(That last bit was a joke, in case it didn't come across in text.)

As it happens, Vix and I took the time to spend a marvelous early afternoon in bed together while the girls were off in school. The effect of that is mainly that it will be difficult to focus on those essays that still need to be graded . . .
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
So it went from a boundary dispute to a minor disagreement on travel plans ...so are you saying you were being neurotic and she was right :D


Glad to here it was resolved and you got laid out of it :D. Conflict resolution 101.
 

hyperskeptic

New member
So it went from a boundary dispute to a minor disagreement on travel plans ...so are you saying you were being neurotic and she was right :D


Glad to here it was resolved and you got laid out of it :D. Conflict resolution 101.

It was still a boundary dispute, really and truly. We renegotiated the boundary. Okay, she basically ceded the point early on - within the first two pages of this thread, I think - and changed her plans for her August trip, which was the one in contention.

There were a lot of other issues brought up in the thread, and other things going on in my head, that served to inflate the importance of the conflict beyond all bounds of sense.

I think the next post on my new blog is going to be about online forums and the escalation of conflict . . . but I'll try not to get carried away.

And, yes, make-up sex can be awfully sweet.
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
Her ceding to you doesn't stop her from thinking your boundaries are neurotic bullshit ...or the disrespect implied by that remark ...it could just mean a case of picking ones battles. Or the cooler 3rd party ( doc ) seeing a break point and storm cloud coming and suggesting a workable alternative.


But I do get what you're saying with having other things in your head giving any particular situation the feel of compounding or boundary creep.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
This is a sign-on-the-dotted line kind of contractual obligation. It's an academic program that ends on date certain, and I have active responsibilities up through the day before I leave.

I suppose, if there were a crisis, I could break the obligation. But what, in all honesty, could I tell the program director about this situation?

"I need to go home early so my wife can go travelling with her boyfriend in Germany . . ."

I'm sure that would go over well.

I understand what you are saying-very well.

But-honestly, I would say,
"I have to leave early because my wife has abandoned my two children alone in the US."

Interestingly I was talking to my husband about this thread today-and he asked what someone else had, "how old are they" and pointed out that he didn't think it was too big of a deal if we left our kids with someone we trusted while we were in Washington (we live in Alaska).
I then pointed out to him-yes but even that is only a 3 hour plane trip away.

This is another country and frankly-no way. I wouldn't do it.
Now I've read the ages, and I still wouldn't do it.

I would be highly ticked off with my spouse for putting me in that position-and I can't say it wouldn't result in some serious consequences to our relationship.

But-at the bottom line-I would go home to my kids.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I've told her that, since it's my own understanding of my responsibilities that are at stake, I'll just try to be careful to avoid any further conflicts like that raised by going to the UK. If I think it's important for one of us to be available to the kids at all times, I'll just be sure I'm available whenever Vix is not.

This is along the lines of where I was going to begin with-I know I have more stringent parenting expectations than my husband. So I adhere to them, sometimes he does too-but I always do and I always ensure I can. Sometimes, that's a PITA. But-it keeps me from feeling like I have neglected my kids in any manner.

I don't think it's neurotic.
My kids have a GREAT deal of freedom and independence. To the point where I am often accused of not being protective enough of them.
But across the ocean-the list of potential issues that could arise-and the consequences of one of you not being present...
are they worth it?
To me, no.

It's not a matter of thinking "omg they will happen".
It's accepting that reality is shit happens and we can't always predict it and some things aren't worth risking.

Neurotic would be freaking out because you "just know" something terrible will happen if you aren't there.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
It's curious to me how quick people on this forum are to suggest pulling the plug on long-term relationships. This is the second such suggestion I received yesterday.

To be frank, it's one of the least admirable aspects of polyamory, and is the aspect of the would-be community here that makes me think monogamy might really be the better way to go.

To be honest-and I am very much a natural poly-I completely agree.
It's one of my frustrations.

I don't think that terminating the relationship is the best or only answer at all.
I admire your effort to not put all of the blame on her, try to find a solution that doesn't leave you feeling neglecting of your own expectations as a parent and finally-your willingness to contemplate imaginative solutions.

As someone who really needs to move-because where we live is deteriorating my health-I can empathize with that issue on your wife's part.
I spend as much time as possible away from Alaska in the cold. It's somewhat easier in that my kids are home schooled, so I can take them with me and educate them from any location (hauling books can be a nightmare though).
However, it seems that it might be a good idea to find a family priority on moving so that you can remain a cohesive family unit while also preserving her health?
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
but when someone's at the point you're at, when their partnership isn't what they thought it was, maybe never was, when they're feeling hurt, belittled, unhappy all the time, and not just for a brief bumpy period or around something that can be resolved with some hard conversations and compromise, but in an ongoing sustained way and around fundamental core values... well, I think splitting up is a very valid option to consider.

I agree it's important to be willing to step away when it's clearly not viable.
But, at what point is that?
Because frankly, it took 3 years of HELL before we found our stability in our poly dynamic and that was after a number of years of ridiculous drama brought on by ex's, custody battles and me trying to be mono when I'm not.

Now-we've finally found that place we knew all along could exist.

So, I find it a struggle when people suggest that something is clearly impossible-because it's been difficult for a couple of years.

It's more useful to me to consider-
what steps have been considered?
what efforts made on each person's part?
Are both people still working towards something more sustainable?
Are you on the right road-but just not "there" yet or are you on a completely different road?
What has helped?
What is hindering progress?
What is the next step?
Whose going to take it?
When does it start?
What is the 1 month goal?
3 month?
6 month?
1 year?
3 year?
5 year?
10 year?

Then you can at least begin to identify if it is pointless or no.
 
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