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Hello all, I need some help. I have been on depression meds for about a year now due to my PTSD. Unfortunately these have not controlled some of my major mood swings. Last night I had a MAJOR MANIC EPISODE. I said a whole buch of things I truly did not mean. I was feeling very marginalized and phased out due to the fact she apends 90 % of her new bf of 3 months. I understand that the reason is because I live 5 hrs away. She gets to do all th8a aupwr fun stuff that I really want to do but am unable because I am stuck in the Army till they figure out thier crap. I keep pushing her away because I canot control my emotions. I LOVE her beyond reason. I have been with her for 13 years through thick and thin. The is and always will be my world. How can I stop pushing her away and show her how much I love hwr when I only get to see her maybe 2 times a month?
Hi DaJaye74,

Do you write letters in the old-fashioned snail mail way? If not, maybe consider sending her little love notes every so often. She's caught up in NRE, but it won't last for ever. Hang in there! She has been with (waited for?) you for 13 years. That suggests there is a depth to her feelings for you. You just need to do a few things to stoke the fire as it were. A flame won't burn forever without some care and attention.

Apologise and explain why you said what you said. Reassure her that you love her very much, and then just let her have some time to process it all in her own way. I have faith that things will improve for you in the future.

Kim xxx.
I am sorry you are hurting.

Could reading about poly hell help?

What about page 5 and 6 of jealousy? Or more jealousy?

Maybe those could help you figure out how to cope with the emotional management side of things? Could your partner be willing to read those with you?

If you are military, you prob have PTSD help to hand -- check in with your counseling resources. You don't necessarily have to talk about poly if you do not want to, but get the coping skills for PTSD flare ups. The triggers can be X, but the coping with coming down after getting cranked up -- that could be the same techniques regardless of trigger.

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I did all the things that you suggested this morning. She says she doesn't have a lot of forgiveness in her. This distance is tearing us apart. I love her so much and I put her on a pedestal. I hope I have not already list the best thing in my life, just when I need her the most. I amgoing through alot. Being medically separated from the Army due to injury after 14 yrs of service, being essentially a single parent(I have our 9 yr old son), dealing with rhe Med board process, which has taken over a , and being separated form the woman I love.
I did all the things that you suggested this morning. She says she doesn't have a lot of forgiveness in her. This distance is tearing us apart. I love her so much and I put her on a pedestal. I hope I have not already list the best thing in my life, just when I need her the most. I amgoing through alot. Being medically separated from the Army due to injury after 14 yrs of service, being essentially a single parent(I have our 9 yr old son), dealing with rhe Med board process, which has taken over a , and being separated form the woman I love.

Yes, you sure do have a lot going on! Lost your job due to injuries, you're now handicapped both physically and mentally, you've got a son to raise.

And somehow you and Lady made the decision for her to move 5 hours drive away for grad school.

Even if you two hadn't just opened your marriage and she got an ardent bf, you'd have a lot to deal with even so.

And so, you had a meltdown and she isn't into forgiveness yet? Sheesh.

Time for some rethinking on both your parts or your marriage is going to fall apart.

How long will she be living apart from you? Why did you two make the decision for her to move away? Was it some kind of tit for tat thing, as she was alone a lot while you were serving?

Write down a list of what you can change, and changes you wish she'd agree to make on her end, and restructure this arrangement. You could even ask she see her bf less, you know... spend 2 nights a week, say, Skyping/cybersexing you instead. Some people have Skype dates, with candlelit dinner and wine on either end, wear a special outfit. Or you could play an online game, if you're into that. You decide what would be fun.

It's always good to renegotiate when you hit these kinds of disconnects in LTR. But be clear, practical and reasonable. What do you really need to feel closer to her again? Does she want to be closer to you? NRE can hit some people hard, and she shouldn't be spending time with YOU out of obligation or duty, but just because she loves you, loves spending time with you.

I am sure your son misses Mom a lot, and it's hard that the times you visit her you need to share her with your son. How can you get alone, adult time?

Use your imagination and come up with ways to make this get better! It's not working out as well as you imagined when you agreed to do this. Maybe partly because you didn't find a gf right away, but in your state of depression and lonelieness, how can you woo a new girl?
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We made the decision for her to move away together. It was the best option for her to get her masters. This all started a year ago when she moved. We have only opened our relationship in the past 3 months. She was very lonely and I wanted her to be happy. These meds are seriously messing with my head. About 2 times a month or so I have a major depressive swing or manic swing. She says I verbally and emotionally abuse her. I believe her. I love her so much. I just want her to be happy. But I also don't want to lose her.
Are you seeing a therapist? How much support do you have from family and friends where you are?

It's not good for your son to be with a single parent who has depressive issues going on. What other kinds of "parenting" does he have in his life while you heal and adjust? How much Skype time does his mom give him? Or is she constantly either studying or playing with the bf?

As far as the poly bit, did either of you research how to actually handle polyamory, or just jumped in blind? It's time to play catch up, read about "opening up" on the morefortwo website, read the book Opening Up, etc.

Also, your wife mentions you feel romantic feelings for her bf now too? How does that fit in?

You didn't address my other questions or suggestions, you just sort of complained some more.

Think about what you can DO. This relationship aint gonna fix itself, buddy.
Ok, I used to see a therapist for like 4 years, but stopped seeinghim as he coukd not handel the poly th I b g. I currently gave an appt on the 20th with a new therapist. I really have no support here. I work with peopke who are so far below my intellectual level that I dont waste the time. It is just me. She gives him Skype time whenever he likes. We had tried poly before but we were much too young.and yes we kniw what it takes to make it work. Yes I have feelings for him. We are both bi and he is a REALLY great guy but his primary relationship is with her due to the distance. I want it to be known that she is doing nothing wrong and these are issues I am having. She is a wonderful person and the light if my life. I just wish to find a way to be a better husband and lover.
Well, ok. I sense co dependency. She's everything to you, you don't even have any friends? Just because you "work" with people stupider than you, doesnt mean you shouldn't have friends in line with your own mental capacities.

To be a better husband, get a life? She's got one, why don't you? You're trying to glom onto her bf (sorry, but it sounds that way)... What can you do to get more friendship and support at HOME?

When will she be done with grad school? If you want her to come back t.o you when she's got her degree, time to shape up. As you know.

Good luck with the new therapist. I hope they are more poly friendly. You're on very shaky emotional ground. Being poly takes lots of self esteem and trust and you seem low on both
The problem with finding friends on my intellectual level is that once I leave work I am always in the business of my son. He is a great kid. As for finding more support here I have no idea how long I am going to have to be here. The plan was for me to get out and move to where she is now. Unfortunately that cou l d be 2 weeks or 6 months. I have no clue. Maybe you have a point about me gloming onto her bf. Maybe I should distance myself from him and thier relationship. Let her live her own life. I detest that I cannot reign my freaking emotion. They are ruining my life.
Oh stop being such a guy. Emotions happen, everyone has them. You can't control or rein in your emotions. You can only change what you DO once you've identified and worked through your emotions.

So, your son has needs. Your wife has needs. You do everything for them. What about self care? MAKE time for friends. Ever heard of babysitters? Trading sitting with the parents of one of his friends? You get their kid overnight, then they take yours? Are you working full time or what? Don't you get any personal time for your own hobbies?

This is your life. Live it. Don't put yourself on the back burner. YOUR needs and desires are just as important as the wife and kid's.
different meds?

Hi DeJaye,

You're situation sucks! So sorry you're having to live through all that.

First off: what does your doctor say about you episodes even though you're on meds to help that? Have they suggested other med options? I used to listen to the Pedestrian Polyamory podcast and one of the hosts was taking Zoloft and it not only made him manic, made him severely angry in some of those episodes. Then he tried Wellbutrin (sp?) and found that balanced him out sooooooo much better as in no more manic episodes, and the real "him" was back.

Not trying to be a doctor, just make sure yours is!

Second: You say your wife is doing nothing wrong however she's not helping/supporting you recover from doing what a spouse vows to do in marriage: help your spouse through illness! (sickness & health, anyone?) You want her to be happy; does she want that for you? Is she willing to do some things to help you be happy like you did opening up the marriage so she could be happy?

Seems she's in the really selfish phase of NRE and letting you take on the guilt of "pushing her away" due to your illness and med complications instead of helping you with your struggles, finding ways to help you feel more secure in the relationship is not not doing anything wrong. She says she doesn't have a lot of forgiveness? Excuse me?

In the podcast I referenced above the illness did take a huge toll on their relationship. They still could not come to terms with how much time and energy spent on each other vs other relationships. Under the not compatible meds with him; he kept telling her he wasn't getting enough, she wasn't doing enough (& she felt she was putting in the time and the commitment) so she finally felt that if he didn't like everything she was doing that he ultimately must not like her.

Hopefully your seeking therapeutic help and getting the meds balanced out sooner will keep your marriage on track. Keep being diligent, follow Magdlyn's sage suggestions, get you healthy.

Btw: How long is the separation expected to last? How's your son handling all this? Gotta be tough with ill dad trying his best & essentially absent mother with no "mommy" day to day responsibilities.

Sounds dreamy: She's got a new guy, NRE and lives alone? Yeah, she's got some classes & gets to study on her own time table and whim--while your home struggling to keep healthy and being a single FULL time dad? Ummm yeah; seems very unequal.
Another thing to consider . . .


First: thank you for your service.

Next: you're already getting good counsel on the relationship front, soI'm going to offer some advice from my experience as the spouse of a disabled veteran and PTSD patient.

Collect as many as your medical records as you can. Many doctors will not provide copies, citing privacy concerns which I think are really mostly "cover my own ass" concerns. HOWEVER, many will provide you them if you ask for a copy "for educational purposes only."

When you are discharged, apply immediately with the VA for disability pension. If you're experience is like most veterans I know, you will be turned down. Get in contact with the PATIENTS' REPRESENTATIVE in your local VA facility. They all have one; smaller facilities share them. Work with the PatRep to file an appeal. If the appeal is denied, appeal again, and consider applying for Unemployability, if your injuries are severe enough (and don't forget to factor in the PTSD). I know many veterans whose claims were denied right up to the point that a Board of Appeals would have to be convened to hear the case. So YOU KEEP COMING until you receive the benefits the people of our nation set aside for you.

On the PTSD front: there are many MANY more treatment options available now than there ever have been before. Look into them! Find what works for you and GET THAT TREATMENT! PTSD doesn't ever completely go away, but can get much better with treatment. And it can get WORSE if ignored, and nobody wants that. Also, there are programs for spouses and families of PTSD patients, to help them learn about the disorder and learn how to help you.

I also want to say this, loud and clear, in case no one's said it before: the PTSD is not your fault, even though it is your problem. PTSD occurs when sane people go through insane trauma. It is your mind's attempt to bear the unbearable.

I have to go now, but best of luck to you and yours, and thank you, again, for your service.
Everyone has emotions. Do you mean emotional flooding as a result of PTSD? Do you know NOT to engage for that 20 min window of WHOOOSH stuff? Is your spouse educated enough about PTSD and emotional flooding related to PTSD? Do you both know it isn't just you who has the PTSD but your spouse and kid are affected too?

What are your triggers?

How's your communication with wife?

Is wife meeting her responsibilities/obligations to you/the marriage/son? Or neglecting you because she's distracted with the new sweetie?

If this new med is making you feel worse, could you ask doc for a different one?

Your social wellness sounds poor -- could you work to make new friends? You seem you have a need for CONNECTION -- with wife or friends. You sound lonely over there. (COuld you have other needs?)

If you are lonely... You could accept that others around you aren't brainiacs like you. But making some friends with kids so you can toss a football around on family playdates is not rocket science. Making friends so you have babysitters so you get get OUT and have "dad breaks" isn't a bad thing either. Improves social wellness for both you and son perhaps.

Whether you are there 2 weeks or 6 mos... could work on it so that if it DOES turn out to be 6 mos you get some short term relief on some fronts even if not EVERYTHING is super stellar in all your areas that need attention. Could go for "less ugh" to start maybe?

Hang in there.

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Hello everyone,

I would like to thank everyone for the great advice you are giving my husband. I am very glad that he decided to participate here with people who are experienced with poly.

I do support him as much as possible from a distance. I try to handle as many appointments as possible and make sure that all the accounts are up to date, investments are made and that things are taken care of as much as possible from my distance.

Although I admit I am in the midst of NRE, I offer to give him all the time I have when he is here for the weekend. He has chosen to have my bf around a bit more than I expected he would. I actually was sure to tell my bf what my schedule was this weekend and made it clear that I would be having family time.

I love my husband and this has been difficult for all of us. I hate the idea of him being alone and am doing what I can to assist him in finding a close friend and a hobby.

I agree with the co-dependency. I have been trying for years to get him to develop relationships outside of me. I was afraid this may happen to him when I left for graduate school.

Also, grad school is far from dreamy. I know that in his head I get to do what I want, when I want. However, essentially I am a slave to my advisers and do what they tell me, when they tell me. I travel a lot and work VERY long days. I know that in his head, I spend all of my time with my new bf. This is simply not true. I do get the advantage of being able to stop for lunch because he is close and see him in the late evening for the same reasons. However, for example, we spent time together today and quite a bit of it was working on presentations for an upcoming trip that I have.

I want my husband to be what makes him happy. I support him as much as possible, but we have been having issues LONG before we opened our relationship. There are things that we have been working on for years that are popping up constantly since we have been separated by distance.

It makes me sound bad that I just can't take it anymore, but this isn't something new going on in our relationship. At what point does someone stop walking on eggshells? Its been this way for a long time. We are together because I love him, but I will not tolerate repeated explosive episodes that in the past have actually occurred in front of my colleagues.

I want to help him, I want to be there, but he has to be willing to help himself before I can do anything for him. If I didn't want to be with him, I wouldn't have put up with all the other things not mentioned here that have occurred due to his PTSD and other military issues etc.

I have been with him for 13 years through highs and lows. I will continue to be with him, but cannot help him as much as I want to. I feel disabled myself in this situation. He pushes me away because of low self esteem. How other than telling him I love him and how sexy and smart and what a great husband he is can I do to assist him in making him realize how great he is?

For goodness sakes, I love him so much that I helped him set up profiles to meet someone so that he wouldn't be so lonely. He asked me last night to quit college and come home. Consider me horrible, but there is NO WAY this is going to happen. We have all sacrificed so much, I am not quitting now a year away from the finish line. If I come home without my graduate degree, we would be swamped with student loans and the whole family would suffer.

It has been unbelievably hard for me to be away from my family. I finally get to keep my son for a week (even though he has to join me when I teach this week) so that we can get some us time. I tried to set up fun things for him to do while he does not have a child to worry about. I even offered him my apartment at the beach so he can have a vacation with his girlfriend this summer!

What else can I do? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I am at the point I will do anything to make him happy. Even if that means not being with me (although I suspect that will not do it either). I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I could break it off with my bf right now and it wouldn't make a difference as these problems started LONG before D came around.
He pushes me away because of low self esteem. How other than telling him I love him and how sexy and smart and what a great husband he is can I do to assist him in making him realize how great he is?

You can encourage, you can support but in the end HE has to be the one to change his core beliefs. You cannot do it for him.

Could encourage him to do self-respecting behavior. Could encourage him not to make self esteem do the work of self respecting behavior. I'm not sure what he needs from himself and what he needs from you for him to become willing to work on his self esteem and start doing self respecting behavior to himself. Help him decide that he could not be his own inner bully in how he talks to himself in his head.

But you could ask him what needs those might be. See what he says.

Maybe this article puts it in a way he can understand?


Maybe it's his habitual thinking patterns and self talk than need changing. Could something like this help?


If you yourself are at your own personal limit and cannot take any more like this? Consider letting go of the rope. Have you tried that yet to get him to see the severity of how this affects all of you?

Def talk to each other. This sounds serious.

What do YOU need to be happy?

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Thank you for the advice Galagirl. I really do love him and hate to see him in pain. I read your links some time ago, and realized that I had to let go of the rope. I feel like such a failure. After years of fighting for this relationship, I had to loosen my grip.

I can't say I have completely let go yet. I am desperately trying to salvage a friendship (there is so much long term damage, it can't be more right now). I am hoping that one day we find each other again. I haven't let that thought completely go (I didn't put in all that fight for nothing).

However, I feel at this point, until J figures out what he needs, I can do nothing but be a punching bag for his emotions. I am all for supporting the one you love, and have done so for years, but his need for control has crossed a line.

I want him to be able to focus on himself and realize what an amazing person he is. I want him to find self worth without tying every bit of it to me. When I met him, he was a strong, independent man. I want him to find that again, I was facilitating the co-dependency. Although, you need to be able to rely on those you love to help support you while you swim to shore, if the one you are helping is sitting on your shoulders, no one is getting very far.

We have booked him a two week trip to Washington state to see his best friend. He needs this. He needs a guy trip and some time away. I hope he starts coming around so that we can work on us again eventually.
LadySFI - you struck a chord with me with the term "emotional punching bag." I was in a closed triad that ended badly, due to that very type of behavior. The wife used her husband as an emotional punching bag and had long before I entered the picture. Bad mood? Verbally abuse the husband. Something didn't go just right? Attack the husband. Raining when she wanted sunshine? Well that was his fault too.

Funny thing though, she could control her behavior and usually didn't do it openly in front of others. It was only when I joined the family that I began to see how bad it was. No one should have to live like that. I don't blame you for taking a huge step back.

That said, at least your husband recognizes his issues. No, recognition doesn't fix them, but this woman couldn't understand why it was wrong to treat her husband like that. Her stance was: if you love me you shouldn't try to change me. It broke his heart to leave her, but he did for his own sanity.

(And if you are wondering, leaving her did not mean moving in with me. I left the picture for a year while they went through two marriage counselors. Now he and I have resumed our friendship, but our lives are separate. He is trying to recover from the ordeal and has two kids to keep him pretty occupied.)

As for your husband, it is so painful to have the emotional issues that he does. My dad, like your husband, was very smart, but also had emotional swings. It took him a long time, but eventually, he was able to gain control of his behavior. I think he came to view them much as a schizophrenic would a hallucination. He knew that his emotions often had no basis in reality. I remember asking him about it once - his behavior was so improved that I had assumed he wasn't subject to the mood swings he once was. He replied that he still felt everything he always had, he just ignored it.

I am hoping that your husband will read this and perhaps my dad's experience will give him something he can work with.