Forced into Poly Hell

KellyAnn65

New member
Ok here is my story sorry beforehand if I ramble.......
:mad::(:confused:
Let me start by saying I didn't know the word poly until about A month ago

My husband and I have been married for 15 years been together 16
In Sept of 2012 I had corrective surgery done from the effects of stage 3 bladder cancer I had in 2006. Well after this surgery sex was too painful to even consider I chalked it up too scar tissue ..My husband has ALWAYS been very sexual person..So I felt bad for him and said he could seek a friend outside the marriage we only had 3 rules

1. He wouldn't fall in love

2. I could look anytime I wanted at text or email's that he sent to other woman

3. If I said stop it stopped

Well thing were going fine I knew he had friends here n there and that didn't bother me. And A couple of times I said stop and he did. So everything was going fine. Well this past January they finally figured out why sex was painful and I had surgery to correct it. We tried to have sex in February and it still hurt...I was upset and thought the surgery didn't work.Now as anyone knows if something is painful YOU DON"T WANT IT ....And I told my husband that my sex drive was gone which it was you don't like things that hurt you.
So anyway he started going to the bars and I guess hooking up there with woman.Until June when he told me he had met a woman that he was compatible with and it was gonna be so much better being with just 1 woman then the bar s which I agreed.
We even had this woman over to dinner where I could meet her. She seemed nice and even asked me if I was ok with this and that she would never be the "other" woman to A married an if the wife wasn't ok with it.Then they BOTH told me if I said stop it would stop ...So a week or so went buy and I look at the email's they are sending and they are planning trips together out west and how there lives are gonna be so wonderful and that they loved each other......I was pissed to say the least...I confronted Joe and he said oh it was just talk and the whole new relationship thing so I let it go..Then I see an email were they were together when he told me he was working
So I said that it had to stop it was going way too fast I mean I knew what they were doing but come there planning these trips and I am just suppose to sit here alone WTH.
Well Joe told me ok he would break it off with her this was weekend before last...So that Monday I think thing are fine she is gone ( Oh and in the meantime we tried sex again and it didn't hurt) so that was back. Well he didn't break it off like he said he would and she is not gonna break it off either....I am just at a total loss here I want to scream cry and just crawl in A hole and die...He tells me he still loves me and is IN love with me but that I am not gonna take away his fun...He also says every time I want to talk about it I am pushing him out the door so I can't even share my feelings with him about this the slightest little question sends him off. I even asked him about marriage counseling and he said no no reason just flat out no... I still have problems from the cancer and because of them I can not work And I haven't worked long enough as an adult to get disability busy raising his 2 kids and my 2 kids...
So when I said to him I have no say or choice about this he said yes you do we can sell the house and get A divorce WHAT I DO NOT WANT a divorce ...I have to give up my life of 16 years because he can't give up this woman??
Now he says how funny it is that my sex drive has come back right when he meets her I can not help that I got scared when we tried it and it was still sore maybe we tried too soon I don't know.

Now here is the kicker As long as I do not mention anything about this affair (It became an affair when they went back on there word in my book) and as long as I don't show any emotion over all of it everything is wonderful he leaves me love notes in the morning and has coffee set up for me ..He has brought me flowers if you were in my house you would swear we don't have a problem in the world he is al lovey dovey...And yet she is still in the picture and he is still planning trips with her and saying he loves her ...I still check his email's even though I have been forbidden to look at them anymore or his text either. Hell he tod me he was working late tomorrow is he no he is going to see her..

And not 10 min ago he sent me a text saying how I was the best wife A man could ever want....I am A complete wreck here.I can't eat can't sleep and I go around all day either crying with a knot in my stomach. I feel like I am walking on eggshells and can't express anything to him. I am lost and scared and hurt and mad and feel like the rug has been ripped from under me. I only did this to begin with because I love him so much and felt it was unfair for him not to be able to have sex it wasn't his fault I got sick.

I just want her gone but it doesn't look like that is gonna happen anytime soon. So here I sit miserable and upset

Is there anything I can do to feel A little normal againI don't know...



KellyAnn
 

Inyourendo

New member
Your 3 rules don't really work. I was 19 with my ex and realized that very quickly. You can't stop your husband from loving his gf. I would just accept his gf and try to establish time boundaries if being with him is important. Sounds like Pandora's box is already opened and you just have to figure out ways to deal with it. Make sure your needs are met that's important
 

HelloSweety

New member
I am so sorry for all that you have been through. And for what you are going through. While I don't have any personal experience with what your going through. I will give my .02 to try to help. From what you posted you were fine with your hubby having random hookups, as long as he wasn't emotionally connected to the other woman. And while I understand the original reasoning for that arrangement. It is no longer working for your husband for whatever reason. I don't know how your relationship is on the other levels.

What I would suggest is that you try to ask him what changed, and why? I think you also need to ask yourself why exactly his relationship with this woman specifically bothers you. And not breaking it off isn't the root reason. Becouse while that might be your rule, that rule never works out well. It just doesn't. I also think that you need to work on comunicating with your partner. Becouse right now your not comunicating. And he is far from innocent in that. But communication is a key issue I see right now.

Over all I just wish you luck and hope that the two of you can work through your problems.
 

SlowPoly

Active member
There is so much going on here. You seem to have a decent grasp of what's in your control and what isn't. You don't like the way you feel about promises broken and their increased independence and establishment as a couple. You don't like that you are unable to talk to your husband about the situation. You might be able to find more satisfaction in the way things have shaken out if you could communicate with him and feel more involved in the shaping of the overall picture. You may find that you two no longer share compatible visions of what it is to be married, and you may then have to choose between adjusting your vision and accepting a different idea of marriage.

It sounds like you could use help in accomplishing these things:

- determining which of your fundamental needs is not being met
- finding a safe way of communicating with Joe about your relationship
- accepting what you already know about your lack of control in their relationship
- deciding whether remaining married or divorcing would best serve your and your children's needs in the short, intermediate, and long term.

You could find a poly-friendly counselor for you. That person could help you separate the feelings and issues about trust, jealousy, change, and whatever else may be eating at you, from the oversimplification of "he's having an affair, so what do I do?" That person could help you talk through the feelings to the needs and strategies, and give you ideas about getting around the barriers to communication that have developed.

I'm sorry you're in such a tough situation. The choice isn't between you giving up sixteen years of your life and him giving up a woman (who may, after all, represent 50 years of his life to come, in his mind). You don't have that choice, so those sacrifices will never be weighed. Your choice is whether (and under what conditions) to continue a relationship of sixteen years that has already changed, and will never again be what you expected in the beginning.

I hope you find a counselor to talk to, and that you find some peace and sense of power in your situation.
 

KerryRen

New member
So I felt bad for him and said he could seek a friend outside the marriage we only had 3 rules

1. He wouldn't fall in love

Have you tried not falling in love with someone? Or stopping any feeling from happening? I'm not sure it can be done.

This is a very common rule for people starting to open their relationship to others. It also seems to most commonly fail.

2. I could look anytime I wanted at text or email's that he sent to other woman

Which reduces/eliminates his private boundaries.

3. If I said stop it stopped

Veto rule. Also frequently fails in practical application.

So I said that it had to stop it was going way too fast I mean I knew what they were doing but come there planning these trips and I am just suppose to sit here alone WTH.

Did you want to be invited along and make it a threesome? Did you want to make arrangements for a babysitter and go have fun doing something yourself?

Knowing they were making plans, what did you want to do while he was out with her?

So when I said to him I have no say or choice about this he said yes you do we can sell the house and get A divorce WHAT I DO NOT WANT a divorce ...I have to give up my life of 16 years because he can't give up this woman??

It's one option. It may not be the one you want. But it is a choice available to you. Keep that in mind. You do not have to divorce. You may choose to do so. You do not have to stay married under the circumstances. You may choose to do so.

He also has these choices.

I just want her gone but it doesn't look like that is gonna happen anytime soon. So here I sit miserable and upset

Is there anything I can do to feel A little normal againI don't know...

You seem most upset that he has fallen in love with someone else. Do you feel that this takes away from his love for you? And if so, in which ways? It sounds like he's making sincere efforts to express his feelings for you.

You made simple but eminently breakable rules -- and they got broken. This is going to erode your trust. You don't want your husband to have this other relationship, and so despite having started openly, they're now hiding it. This is, I think, going to cause resentment, hurt, and hostility for all three of you. It is probably part of why your husband doesn't want to talk about it with you anymore.

If you want to talk to him about it, he's going to need to feel safe to discuss it with you. He won't want to do it if he feels attacked, or if you're going to want to dictate more rules for what is his relationship.

If you want your marriage as it was... well, that train has left the station. Even if he cuts everything off and never communicates with her again, you know he can develop feelings for someone else. He may now be aware that he can feel love for two people, and may want to continue that; not being able to do so may cause further resentment and hostility.

So what do you want from your marriage? What do you want from your relationship with your husband? Focus on that. You can't control his relationship with his GF. You can't control him. You can control yourself, and you can ask for what you need/want.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Our situation began with some common themes (I fell in love with another man and my husband was NOT ok with it, random hook ups he could handle, falling in love not so much).
That was 5 years ago. We live poly with the man I fell in love with now. A LOT has changed about my attitude and his in the meantime.
I won't elaborate here.
If you want suggestions/info about our story you can look at one of my blogs. There's one on the blog page here. The other is aafteota.wordpress.com .

Or you can send me a pm.


My bottomline thoughts are -

at this precise moment you are in emotional crisis and no major life altering decisions should be made while in crisis.

It's impossible to choose not to fall in love. You can avoid the possible interactions or you can choose not to act on how you feel. But emotions come as they will.

It's going to be destructive for YOUR relationship if you try to make him avoid someone he already loves.


None of those gives you an ANSWER or a SOLUTION. Only some serious creativity and deep introspection is going to help you with that. But hopefully you can find enough information to work towards something that works for both of you.
 

PolyinPractice

New member
Looks like another one who just wanted to be given sympathy. Well, she's not as crazy as my ex-metamour, though the story is similar....Sorry, the other woman isn't obligated to leave, just because you're uncomfortable. This IS what you signed up for when you opened your marriage. Once you open that Pandora's Box, there's no going back. It doesn't matter that you didn't know what was in it, that was the whole point of the Pandora's Box story.
 

graviton

New member
I feel for your situation and commend you for looking out for your husbands needs during a difficult time. I believe the best thing you can do right now is try to feel empathy for both your husband and his girlfriend. Its a terrible thing to have something taken away after you have incorporated it into your life. Imagine taking your child into the toy store promising him you were going to buy something special for him and then right when he has picked it out you force him to put it back on the shelf and you pick him up and haul him kicking and screaming out of the store for no other reason then you were afraid the toy might take some time away from you. I know it's not exactly the same and that his girlfriend is not a toy but in that situation most people would admit that the parent was being cruel and selfish. You may be surprised if you start exhibiting actions that are opposite to what you feel you SHOULD be doing. Part of your yucky feelings are preprogrammed from a lifetime of living in our society and so they come natural to you and lull you into the feeling that you are right. If you start showing empathy for their situation. Namely someone outside of their relationship is trying to tear them apart, how would you feel? Imagine if she wanted to tear your marriage apart but you and your husband want nothing to do with that. That would make her the enemy. Do you see how you might be viewed if you were to try and destroy their relationship? You may feel that you have every right to because you have more time in marriage with your husband so you have some kind of privilege that she does not. But I can tell you that that is not how they feel.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle with this. :(

You have many layers. In case it helps you better articulate how you feel... poly hell.

Are you getting enough support with the cancer surgery recovery? Being in physical pain can hinder your ability to process other things well.

Are you able to sort out the trust issues? They said they would end it, and have not. He says he's working late but really he's going to see her.

The first may be a case of "Thought I could, but come to find I cannot" so it isn't outright dishonest. Something to be renegotiated perhaps.

But the business of saying he is going to be at work rather than just saying he's going to see his GF -- that's a lie.

I suggest that you do not to focus too much on what's going on with them on their side of the V at this time. Let that be whatever it is, but ask for clear schedule. He sees her X days of the week so you know how to plan your own schedule. YOU get X days of the week with him watching the kids so YOU can either chill at home not being parent person or go out on your own to the bookstore, take a class, patient support group, whatever it is you like best.

Relationship wise? Focus more on THIS side of the V -- what you need in your relationship with him. Rebuild trust for one. I would start there.

He tells me he still loves me and is IN love with me but that I am not gonna take away his fun...He also says every time I want to talk about it I am pushing him out the door so I can't even share my feelings with him about this the slightest little question sends him off. I even asked him about marriage counseling and he said no no reason just flat out no...

He only states what he IS NOT willing to do. He does not state what he IS willing to do to help solve the problems. Have you asked what he is willing to do at this time?

Are you getting feedback you can use? What about your communication style is off putting to him? An aggressive style can block clear communication and hinder your ability to sort things out together. Do the meta communicate -- where you discuss not the thing, but how you agree to communicate about the thing first. Better conflict resolution.


If every time you guys try to talk about it it devolves into a fight, I could see why he might not even want to go there with you if both end up triggering each other. What is is about going to marriage counseling puts him off? Is he able to explain? Because if you guys cannot have this conversation on your own without a blow up you both might benefit from having a neutral third party there to help keep the convo on track.

I still have problems from the cancer and because of them I can not work And I haven't worked long enough as an adult to get disability busy raising his 2 kids and my 2 kids...

Sounds like you are concerned about being on your own and/or thinking exit strategy. That's another layer to solve.

I don't think you can solve all these things at once... take it one thing at a time. Decide what you want, then organize yourself around that. Cannot sit on the fence here.

Hang in there!
Galagirl
 
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I'm really sorry you're going through this. I can relate, only I agreed to polyamory from the beginning. We just didn't really put it into practice until recently when my wife started dating someone. I had a really hard time with it. I've been anxious, stressed, and just feel horrible about myself, so I had to finally admit that I loathe polyamory and it's not for me.

You've got to be honest with yourself and what YOU want. If you keep trying to tell yourself that you'll get used to it, you're only setting yourself up for delayed heartache. If this is what your husband wants, he's going to do it.

Btw-I don't think your rules were unreasonable; what's unreasonable is how he wasn't willing to negotiate as you became uncomfortable with the arrangement. But it might be time to admit that you two want different lifestyles and it's time to move on.
 

aleneil

New member
I think it's rather harsh for you guys that you would tell her she should just learn to be okay with his girlfriend. Their relationship didn't start poly, it started monogamous, and it seems pretty clear that this was something that was meant to be temporary and the OP had no interest in ever being in this type of relationship. Whether or not her rules were realistic, her husband broke them. Then he lied, repeatedly, about his intentions with his new love and their plans. Then he cut off all communications.

Her husband gave her an ultimatum, one that would send me running for the hills. Accept my new relationship, on my terms, without any discussion or compromise, or get a divorce. I know you can't work and you are scared, but if you brought your case to a lawyer you would be eligiable for alimony, and childcare costs if your children are still underage, so please don't feel trapped! If this relationship can't work for you, there IS a way for you to get out.

That being said, once you know you aren't trapped, it is better to try and figure things out. I agree that if you can get him to sit down, use non-confrontational language, and set some new, more realistic boundaries for their relationship it could be that you can work things out. A serious illness like cancer can be very hard on other family members as well as you, and generally those family members don't get the help and support they need in dealing with it because they are to busy supporting you. That could easily be where this new romance is coming from.

Set some clear date nights for both of you, and also days where you can go out. Make some new friends, and consider looking for your own outside relationship to help get all your needs met. Accept that this woman is in his life now and he can't just stop caring for her anymore than he can just stop caring for you. Make it clear to your husband that you have the same rights as him to go out and have other relationships if you want to, too.

No matter what happens, I hope you find a way to be happy again!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am saying to ignore her for now and heal from the cancer surgery first. Ignore him too if she has to. It is ok to take time to heal and be in a better position to think out life changing choices.

Next research and think out what it is to stay in a closed marriage, stay in an open marriage, or leave this marriage. To leave she only needs her "willing and able." To stay, other people have to hold up their end of the sticks. Not just her. If they do not then no amount of her wanting to stay will make it a healthy thing to stay in.

Research options and what each will take and then determine what is doable and what serves her best.

KellyAnn65 -- i am very sorry you are dealing in this as well as cancer. This situation is not a fun one. But between expressing and bottling it up? I think it is better expressed. I hope you are able to express how you feel somewhere in real life and not just here. Hang in there!

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi KellyAnn,

I see three main problems here (though considerably more than three lesser problems):

  • the rules. I know you both agreed to them, and thought they were doable, but in many unforseeable situations they become difficult or impossible to obey. Particularly the first and third rules. "I won't fall in love" is almost like saying "I won't come down with a cold." Very hard to keep a promise like that. As for the third rule, it establishes veto power which is notorious for causing more problems than it solves.
  • his state of denial. He knows bloody well that you are hurting and upset, yet he orders you to pretend like everything is fine and he himself engages in the game of pretend. No matter what the merit of the rules, he did promise to obey them and then failed to keep his promise. For that he owes you an apology. He wants everyone to sweep the problem under the rug, and he's all sweet and pleasant until you show any signs of there being any problem.
  • his refusal to see a counselor. I guess this is an extension of his general state of denial; going to a shrink would be like an admission that something has gone terribly wrong and he is completely unwilling to admit that. His refusal to communicate about the problem further exacerbates his new rule which is, "Silence!"
Since he's now saying, "My way or the highway," you have to decide how long you can/want to keep playing this game of pretend with him. It looks like he has every intention of making you play it for the rest of your life. Is that what you want? If it isn't, then you need to speak up and let him know you won't keep quiet about the problem. If divorce isn't an option for you, at least retain the right to speak your mind (courteously but firmly). If the two of you could at least talk about the problem, then maybe you could negotiate a new set of rules -- rules that are much easier for everyone to follow.

Sorry you have ended up in such a painful situation.
 

WhatHappened

Active member
The rules agreed to were blatantly cruel and unfair to the party being brought in. They were an agreement to use another person--another human being with feelings and needs and humanity of her own--as a sex toy.

When sex happens, feelings often get involved, which is why it was a cruel agreement between the two of you to begin with.
 

Candiedlove

New member
Please tell me this isn't common in poly...
 

Inyourendo

New member
Please tell me this isn't common in poly...

Couple privilege? Yes all the time. I often see where a couple agrees to make tons of rules essentially treating the person coming in like nothing more than an object.

I also see situations where someone breaks the rules by becoming emotionally invested in the person they are having sex with, leaving the other partner upset that new person is being treated like a human when they were only there for sex. Then getting upset that they are no longer calling the shots
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
KellyAnn, welcome to the board. I just want to hug you. You're going through some very rough emotional times.

Congrats on being in remission. Also, I am so glad your corrective surgery has finally made sex less painful for you. It's cruel of your h to send a barb your way, "Oh, so NOW sex isn't painful for you, now that I've fallen in love with another." But we do say hurtful things in the heat of the moment. I'm sure your feelings of insecurity drove you to say some hurtful things too, which didn't help de-escalate the issue.

I will agree with the other experienced polyamorists here that your former rules for what your h was allowed to do, have sex only, no falling in love, your right to a veto, were unworkable. But they were very very common rules for people who have newly opened a long term relationship.

It's unfortunate your h won't go to couples' counseling with you. But you can go get counseling yourself! Try to find a counselor experienced in "alternative" lifestyles. When I needed one, I found a counselor who was experienced working with polyamorous, queer, kinky people. And my ex and I were also homeschooling, practicing attachment parenting, long term breastfeeding, natural herbal and homeopathic health care, etc. Our counselor was fine with all that, and worked with us in the context of that kind of lifestyle very well.

I can totally relate to feeling insecure when a long term love falls head over heels for another, and goes kind of crazy with NRE (new relationship energy). NRE is a flood of sexy hormones that compel one to bond with the new partner, have lots of sex, want to chat and be with them as much as possible. It does fade after 6-24 months tho. 12 months being a common time frame.

It does suck that now they are making plans for trips and meeting each other behind your back, and lying about it. Better communication and a new set of boundaries can help. Others here have given great information about that.

More hugs, and good luck! I wish for more balance and less pain for you.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from Candiedlove):
"Please tell me this isn't common in poly ..."

Poly is a lot like monogamy in this respect. Sometimes it goes great; sometimes it goes terrible. And there are usually specific reasons for which way it goes. This case is just one of the examples of polyamory going badly. It's important to be aware that it can go either way.

The good news is that poly often goes well too, especially after the people involved get their comfortable routines and agreements figured out. Poly Vignettes: Sharing Success & Happiness shows many examples of the good side of poly.

Don't despair, just be careful! and do lots of reading.
 

Carma

New member
Poly may have had its times that were "hell" for us -- but I don't regret any of it. My husband and I ended up divorcing but it was amicable, and we are now very close friends and co-parents. We were on a journey and we were very brave to try some unconventional paths towards happiness. It was a very painful time but it was also the most honest I have ever been.

My experiences aren't all the same as yours, and I want to say how sorry I am that you have had to endure the horrors of cancer. That sounds like the true "hell" -- but you made it! You are a fighter and a survivor. I hope you find true peace and happiness, whatever it takes!!!
 

Candiedlove

New member
Re (from Candiedlove):


Poly is a lot like monogamy in this respect. Sometimes it goes great; sometimes it goes terrible. And there are usually specific reasons for which way it goes. This case is just one of the examples of polyamory going badly. It's important to be aware that it can go either way.

The good news is that poly often goes well too, especially after the people involved get their comfortable routines and agreements figured out. Poly Vignettes: Sharing Success & Happiness shows many examples of the good side of poly.

Don't despair, just be careful! and do lots of reading.

True, and I won't despair. It's just I've lost count of how many times I've seen this story; Couple opens up their marriage thinking it'll be simple and easy. Then the one develops feelings for someone else, and everything falls apart.

What's worse is often Partner A will get everything THEY want out of the deal, but when their partner does the same thing, they get jealous and upset. Like, the wife will have a boyfriend and it's cool, but her HUSBAND gets a girlfriend? And suddenly poly is SO painful for her. Ugh.
 
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