Help with extreme jealousy

WonderWoman81

New member
Hello. Last year, my best friend and my husband became lovers. At the time, I encouraged it and I was extremely supportive. I embraced polyamory and compersion was a big part of my life. They fell in love, which I also supported. It was suggested that I explore meeting someone too. I did and began talking to someone this past January to February. My husband's rules were that I were not to do anything physical until he could meet the guy I was talking too. Well, things moved too fast and I wound up having sex with this new guy, I then lied about it to my husband and friend. They caught me in the lie in February and were understandably angry at me for the betrayal of trust. My husband told me I was never allowed to date anyone else again, forever.

Immediately after this fracture in our relationships, my father, who was in the hospital, was so sick my family and I had to make the decision of letting him go. This happened days after finding out what I had done. Both my husband and friend were supportive during my difficult week of not only watching my father die, but the funeral. This happened the beginning of March. The next week, my husband and I had a long talk that became heated and he told me he wanted a divorce. He said he would be spending the entire weekend with my friend/his girlfriend and when he came back we would discuss how to move forward. I spent the weekend alone taking care of our children, knowing the marriage was over. When he came back, he said he didn't want to break our family up and he would give me a chance to earn his trust back.

Right after that, Covid shut our state down, I had to work from home, completely isolated for months. But the two of them continued to spend a night together (at her house) once a week. I began getting very resentful because they were getting an evening once a week with no children to do or go wherever they wanted, but he and I didn't have that at all. Things healed between him and I regarding the trust issue from February, but he was not making any effort to dedicate one night a week for the two of us to have quality time together, even after the children went to bed. I have since become increasingly resentful, angry, jealous, depressed and sad. I told them both how I felt, and he immediately broke up with her, saying he chose his family over that relationship, even though I didn't ask them to break up, I was just trying to keep communication open. Then a few days later got back together because she freaked out. Then, a few weeks ago, it happened again, and he said he was really done, we all talked together about it. Then, last week, he said he wasn't happy without her and that he was going to choose his happiness. He wants me to stay and try to get back to how happy I was last year with all of the relationships. I cannot, as much as I really want to, return my heart to that time. Last night they spent the night together for the first time since their most recent breakup. Today I feel 10x worse than before. He knows how I feel, he is trying very hard to let me know how much he loves me and our family, but I just don't know if I can continue like this, which he is also aware.

So, has anyone gone through this length (going on 8 months) of time feeling like this? If so, how did you get through it or did you walk away? I love him and don't want to leave or break up our family, but I once again feel like there is a clamp on my hear. I am in therapy so I have that at least. But I wanted to talk to you all and get your advice.
Thanks.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing that out. I am sorry to hear of your father's passing during all this. :(

I guess what pops out to me the most is your husband's mood swings. What's going on with him?


My husband's rules were that I were not to do anything physical until he could meet the guy I was talking too. Well, things moved too fast and I wound up having sex with this new guy, I then lied about it to my husband and friend. They caught me in the lie in February and were understandably angry at me for the betrayal of trust. My husband told me I was never allowed to date anyone else again, forever.
Why does he make the "rules" rather than you both coming to agreements? Did you agree to this? And the expectation is that in your first poly relationship you would be perfect? No space for newbie learning mistakes? And then he tells you you are "not allowed?" Why is spouse treated like a child rather than a partner?

The next week, my husband and I had a long talk that became heated and he told me he wanted a divorce. He said he would be spending the entire weekend with my friend/his girlfriend and when he came back we would discuss how to move forward. I spent the weekend alone taking care of our children, knowing the marriage was over. When he came back, he said he didn't want to break our family up and he would give me a chance to earn his trust back.


And what would he be doing to earn YOUR trust back? Because at this point it has been up and downy with him. Healing the marriage is supposed to be something you BOTH work on, right?


I began getting very resentful because they were getting an evening once a week with no children to do or go wherever they wanted, but he and I didn't have that at all. Things healed between him and I regarding the trust issue from February, but he was not making any effort to dedicate one night a week for the two of us to have quality time together, even after the children went to bed. I have since become increasingly resentful, angry, jealous, depressed and sad. I told them both how I felt, and he immediately broke up with her, saying he chose his family over that relationship, even though I didn't ask them to break up, I was just trying to keep communication open. Then a few days later got back together because she freaked out. Then, a few weeks ago, it happened again, and he said he was really done, we all talked together about it. Then, last week, he said he wasn't happy without her and that he was going to choose his happiness.

More up and downy. And... still doesn't sound like he address the problem between (you + him). It's all about (him + her) being together or not.

Whatever is happening on THAT side of the V, is their issue.

Back toTHIS issue. Is he making more effort to spent quality time with you? Even in house dates once the kids are in bed during pandemic times?

He wants me to stay and try to get back to how happy I was last year with all of the relationships. I cannot, as much as I really want to, return my heart to that time. Last night they spent the night together for the first time since their most recent breakup. Today I feel 10x worse than before. He knows how I feel, he is trying very hard to let me know how much he loves me and our family, but I just don't know if I can continue like this, which he is also aware.


Let you know how? Just talking or talk backed up with action?

And what do YOU want? What do YOU need to be happy to continue participating in this V? Or to be happy on your own after divorce?

I love him and don't want to leave or break up our family, but I once again feel like there is a clamp on my hear. I am in therapy so I have that at least. But I wanted to talk to you all and get your advice.


Glad you are in therapy. It is possible to keep loving him but not want to be around as spouse if he's just phoning it in on the marriage. Is he?

There are all kinds of families. Even if you divorce, it's still gonna be a family. Just a divorced one. You will still have to coparent, and you will still see him at kid milestone things like graduations, weddings, etc.

Children have to see what "healthy" looks like -- and sometimes "staying together for the children" is not actually healthy. It wold be better for all (in my opinion) fo the children to see "this is healthy divorce" so in case it happens to them as adults too, they know how to be.

What you end with a divorce is a marriage. So if you are no longer happy participating in the marriage part? You can stop. Your consent to participate in things belongs to you.

From the sound of it, for you to be happier staying?

  • No more husband dictating "rules." You have to come to agreements together instead. The agreements have to be more realistic too.

  • Why wold husband have to meet the guy first? A more "keepable" agreement could be to use condoms, and let spouse know something is looking to go lover or has gone lover. You are a grown up who can make your own choices.

  • You poly date who you want to. He poly dates who he wants to. Maybe there is agreement about "messy people" ahead of time. Like you both agree not to date each other's siblings or boss at work. There's enough people in the world without going for those.

  • There has to be space for newbie mistakes because you are both learning. It is not fair to expect "perfect."

  • Even if you and husband have other partners? Both have to make time for THIS dyad, and have your own dates with each other with and without the children. The children cannot be the only thing. Otherwise go ahead and divorce and only have the children in common then as coparents.

You might have other things to add. What would that be?

You can also do the same thing for staying married with no poly, and a list for breaking up.

Is husband also in therapy for his up and downy moods? It's not like you are therapy to help you cope with his moody, and he's not doing anything himself, right?

I hope things get better for you.

Galagirl
 

WonderWoman81

New member
I hope you feel better for airing that out. I am sorry to hear of your father's passing during all this. :(

I guess what pops out to me the most is your husband's mood swings. What's going on with him?



Why does he make the "rules" rather than you both coming to agreements? Did you agree to this? And the expectation is that in your first poly relationship you would be perfect? No space for newbie learning mistakes? And then he tells you you are "not allowed?" Why is spouse treated like a child rather than a partner?




And what would he be doing to earn YOUR trust back? Because at this point it has been up and downy with him. Healing the marriage is supposed to be something you BOTH work on, right?




More up and downy. And... still doesn't sound like he address the problem between (you + him). It's all about (him + her) being together or not.

Whatever is happening on THAT side of the V, is their issue.

Back toTHIS issue. Is he making more effort to spent quality time with you? Even in house dates once the kids are in bed during pandemic times?




Let you know how? Just talking or talk backed up with action?

And what do YOU want? What do YOU need to be happy to continue participating in this V? Or to be happy on your own after divorce?




Glad you are in therapy. It is possible to keep loving him but not want to be around as spouse if he's just phoning it in on the marriage. Is he?

There are all kinds of families. Even if you divorce, it's still gonna be a family. Just a divorced one. You will still have to coparent, and you will still see him at kid milestone things like graduations, weddings, etc.

Children have to see what "healthy" looks like -- and sometimes "staying together for the children" is not actually healthy. It wold be better for all (in my opinion) fo the children to see "this is healthy divorce" so in case it happens to them as adults too, they know how to be.

What you end with a divorce is a marriage. So if you are no longer happy participating in the marriage part? You can stop. Your consent to participate in things belongs to you.

From the sound of it, for you to be happier staying?

  • No more husband dictating "rules." You have to come to agreements together instead. The agreements have to be more realistic too.

  • Why wold husband have to meet the guy first? A more "keepable" agreement could be to use condoms, and let spouse know something is looking to go lover or has gone lover. You are a grown up who can make your own choices.

  • You poly date who you want to. He poly dates who he wants to. Maybe there is agreement about "messy people" ahead of time. Like you both agree not to date each other's siblings or boss at work. There's enough people in the world without going for those.

  • There has to be space for newbie mistakes because you are both learning. It is not fair to expect "perfect."

  • Even if you and husband have other partners? Both have to make time for THIS dyad, and have your own dates with each other with and without the children. The children cannot be the only thing. Otherwise go ahead and divorce and only have the children in common then as coparents.

You might have other things to add. What would that be?

You can also do the same thing for staying married with no poly, and a list for breaking up.

Is husband also in therapy for his up and downy moods? It's not like you are therapy to help you cope with his moody, and he's not doing anything himself, right?

I hope things get better for you.

Galagirl
Thank you so much for all of this wonderful detailed advice and comments. I'm going to process this, there were a few things you said I really never thought about, like how to show my children what a healthy divorce looks like in case they go through it one day.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I'm not sure what research or prep work you and husband did before Opening your marriage. Somehow he fell for your friend and they became lovers. How did this happen? Did they fall for each other before you and h discussed polyamory at all?

He made rules for YOU? Like Galagirl, I ask how it is that he gets to act like your father, your superior. It's not a great idea for Partner B to impose rules on Partner A and her lover. You have sex when you're ready for sex!

And then hubs tells you from a place of authority that you can't date anyone else ever again, but he can? Sheesh. This is 2020. Women are not men's slaves anymore. You do you.

As equal adults, you can negotiate and come to terms about certain things, about practicing polyamory or about anything else.

I recommend reading the book Opening Up. And check out the website morethantwo.com as you wait for that book to come.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm going to process this, there were a few things you said I really never thought about, like how to show my children what a healthy divorce looks like in case they go through it one day.

Glad it helped you some.

I am married to an adult child of divorce. Him and his siblings went through horrible. Not having learned what "healthy marriage" or "healthy divorce" or "healthy coparenting" looks like? Some of them have gone on to have even wonkier relationships than the parents had. They have no good "thermometer" for "healthy." So they struggle/struggled with personal boundaries.

If you and spouse can work it out and stay married? Great.

If it has to be you choosing to let the marriage and romantic part of the relationship go because you are both going through the motions? Just phoning it in? Best to recognize that and choose to carry on as healthy divorced coparents instead maybe.

Again... ending a marriage doesn't "break up the family." It's just a different kind of family. And there's all kinds -- adoption families, married families, divorced families, poly families, LGBTQ+ families, multiracial families, etc.

I encourage you to set "the family" shape aside for minute, knowing family comes in all shapes and is always changing anyway. I'm gearing up for "empty nest" chapter over here. It's not the same family as in my late 20s or early 30s any more with babies.

Focus on what YOU need to be happy now in THIS chapter of your life.

What does "healthy marriage" looks like to you? Consider whether or not what you have meets the bar. If you and spouse can make needed repairs, or if it is best to disband.

It's a highly personal decision. Take your time thinking it out, maybe talk to your therapist about it.

"Opening Up" that Mag mentioned has some free downloads here. Maybe it helps you think about some things.


Sometimes long term couples have started taking each other for granted and poly shines a light on all the cracks.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
PS: Because I don't see it articulated clearly and maybe you need help with that. Is this it?
  • You feel mad/sad/bored because he doesn't spend any time on this side of the V dating you. Wassup with that? You would like ___ instead.

  • You feel envy when you see he makes effort with his GF. You wish you had what she gets -- he made effort with you. You would like ___ instead.

  • You feel mad because he doesn't do his share of the parenting work and he dumps it on you. Like him just announcing he's going to his GF's for the weekend. Ok... and the kid care will be what? Just assume you pick up the slack? You would like ___ instead.

  • You feel mad/frustrated because he doesn't LISTEN to what you are saying. You don't want him to break up with his GF. You want him to actually attend to his responsibilities on this side of the V -- as a coparent and as your romantic partner. You would like ___ instead.
Is this about right?

You don't have to answer here. Just trying to help you think stuff. Maybe other forum people have other ideas for you.

Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Re (from WonderWoman81),
"My husband told me I was never allowed to date anyone else again, forever."

That was totally unfair for your husband to do, and a dick move on his part. What, you're not allowed to make a mistake? a mistake, no less, on a rule in which you got no say before he imposed it on you. Bleah! and what's with this back-and-forth, breaking up with his girlfriend and then getting back together with her, over and over? That's not fair to you or her. To me, your husband is trying to saddle you with all the blame, when he's just as much at fault as you are (if not more!). I'm sorry I'm harping on him like that, I'm sure you do not want to hear him talked about that way. It just makes me mad when he treats you that way, you deserve better. And he definitely needs to start dating you. Not just dating his girlfriend.

I hope the two (three) of you can work this out.
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

3908

New member
lots of good advise here, I'm still new to poly, my wife wont consent to me getting to know other women non sexually, but I am completely ok with her having a guy friend the same, but she's not interested.

my wife says I'm selfish to want another woman, and i say she can have a guy....but she still thinks its selfish even tho' I see it as a balanced environment

in your case, I totally disagree that your husband said you couldn't date anymore after the encounter. you all worked out the issue and if he is continuing to engage in his side of poly, then you should be able to as well.
 
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