HELP!!!

Etienne

New member
Hi!
I am a 36 years old man who gave a go to polyamory and got into serious trouble...
My wife (34) and I have been together for 10 years. Our relationship has not been easy but we have remained committed to each other. We have done the work and we are willing to do so, even though our relationship is not very fulfilling. I have learned to be satisfied with it, which has been quite a process, as our intimacy is very limited, close to existent.
My wife wanted us to open our relationship. I was not keen. I want to start a family and I was afraid that it would take us apart. I told her that I would fall in love and do something stupid... to no avail. She had to insist for years for me to finally give up when she told me that she had never been that depressed in her life because she had a big crush on someone and could not stand not being able to act on it... All I wanted was her to be happy so I told her to go for it. They had a relationship for a few months which eventually fell apart as it was not satisfying for her lover.
6 months ago, I started dating a woman (38). We have been spending a night together every fortnight and meeting for lunch every now and then and our relationship has been very lovely. Since the beginning, it was very clear that we were doing polyamory with a primary/secondary relationship model. My wife and I have worked out agreements that I have presented to her. My lover has tried to be friendly to my wife but with no success, as my wife was not interested at all. So there has been no communication between them. I have been trying to do my best but some of the agreements have been broken by my lover and I, and I could not help a few lies, not many but of certain importance... for which I am very sorry and I have asked forgiveness.
A couple of weeks ago, my lover told me that she is pregnant and is keeping the child. I remained calm, thinking that we would make this work and it will be beautiful.
When I went home, I told my wife straight away and she totally freaked out. She says that she cannot trust us anymore and she wants me to break up with my pregnant lover. She do not want to compromise in any way. My lover is willing to discuss and find a compromise to make this situation work, she is okay to remain the secondary partner and do not want to take me away from my wife, but she wants to be involved in the decision making process, from which she has always been excluded: my wife and I discuss, agree on something, and present her with what we have decided.
My wife is willing to allow me family time with this person and our child as long as we are not lovers anymore, but instead just friends and parents of the same child, but my lover cannot give up out intimacy. She has been in a 10 years long marriage with a man who would not touch her, and she knows how bad it affects her.
I have considered leaving my wife to start a new journey with my lover, but I am now sure that I do not want to leave my wife. What I want the most is to have a family with my wife. I am willing to give up the intimacy between my lover and I, hoping we can still keep loving each other, but I am unsure of the reality of this... Anyway, my lover can not accept this.
I am also extremely worried about the well being of my lover and our child, as she lives on her own in the bush in a gutted caravan with her cats and dogs, with very limited power, water and comfort. It is very rough. She is very capable but she has no savings...

Last week I organized a counseling session with a professional, during which my wife blew off at my lover and said a whole lot of horrible things... It did not go well.

So here I am in this very intricate situation, not knowing what to do, and I am afraid that whatever I do I will regret it for the rest of my life.
All suggestions welcome!!!
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Hi!
I am a 36 years old man who gave a go to polyamory and got into serious trouble...
My wife (34) and I have been together for 10 years. Our relationship has not been easy, but we have remained committed to each other. We have done the work and we are willing to do so, even though our relationship is not very fulfilling. I have learned to be satisfied with it, which has been quite a process, as our intimacy is very limited, close to non-existent.
So you very rarely have sex. But you love each other as friends.
My wife wanted us to open our relationship. I was not keen. I want to start a family and I was afraid that it would take us apart. I told her that I would fall in love and do something stupid... to no avail. She had to insist for years.
She pressured you into polyamory, but you felt very wary and afraid something would go wrong, and now it has.
I finally gave up [and gave in] when she told me that she had never been so depressed in her life, because she had a big crush on someone and could not stand not being able to act on it... All I wanted was her to be happy so I told her to go for it. They had a relationship for a few months which eventually fell apart as it was not satisfying for her lover.
So she wanted poly when it was working for HER, but now that you have another committed relationship, she wants to pull the plug. This is called hypocrisy.
6 months ago, I started dating a woman (38). We have been spending a night together every fortnight and meeting for lunch every now and then and our relationship has been very lovely. Since the beginning, it was very clear that we were doing polyamory with a primary/secondary relationship model.

My wife and I have worked out agreements that I have presented to her.
This is unfair to the secondary. Please Google the secondary's bill of rights.
My lover has tried to be friendly to my wife but with no success, as my wife was not interested at all. So there has been no communication between them.
That's OK. This is quite common. Metamours do not have to meet or get along.
I have been trying to do my best, but some of the agreements have been broken by my lover and I, and I could not help a few lies, not many but of certain importance... for which I am very sorry and I have asked forgiveness.
You and wife set up rules, but you broke them. When you're about to break a rule, it is better to renegotiate ahead of time, rather than cheat and hope for forgiveness.
A couple of weeks ago, my lover told me that she is pregnant and is keeping the child. I remained calm, thinking that we would make this work and it will be beautiful.
When I went home, I told my wife straight away and she totally freaked out.
So when discussing your "rules," you did not plan for what if your wife or your lover got pregnant by someone else. Obviously, if you and wife rarely have sex, you will not be getting her pregnant. You want a child though, and so you're happy your lover is pregnant.
She says that she cannot trust us anymore and she wants me to break up with my pregnant lover. She do not want to compromise in any way. My lover is willing to discuss and find a compromise to make this situation work, she is okay to remain the secondary partner and do not want to take me away from my wife, but she wants to be involved in the decision making process, from which she has always been excluded: my wife and I discuss, agree on something, and present her with what we have decided.
My wife is willing to allow me family time with this person and our child as long as we are not lovers anymore, but instead just friends and parents of the same child, but my lover cannot give up out intimacy. She has been in a 10 years long marriage with a man who would not touch her, and she knows how bad it affects her.
It is not fair that wife is not interested in sex or a child with you, but wants to make rules for you to follow, about sex with your lover, which you already know you would not be able to follow.
I have considered leaving my wife to start a new journey with my lover, but I am now sure that I do not want to leave my wife. What I want the most is to have a family with my wife.
But does she even want a child, or just to find another guy on the side to become infatuated with? She's already shown you what her priorities are once. You could believe her.
I am willing to give up the intimacy between my lover and I, hoping we can still keep loving each other, but I am unsure of the reality of this...
You may be willing, but it seems you are not able.
Anyway, my lover can not accept this.
I am also extremely worried about the well being of my lover and our child, as she lives on her own in the bush in a gutted caravan with her cats and dogs, with very limited power, water and comfort. It is very rough. She is very capable but she has no savings...
She wants to raise a child in a "gutted caravan"? Or does she expect you to set her up in better accommodations? Are you fine with that?
Last week I organized a counseling session with a professional, during which my wife blew off at my lover and said a whole lot of horrible things... It did not go well.

So here I am in this very intricate situation, not knowing what to do, and I am afraid that whatever I do I will regret it for the rest of my life.
All suggestions welcome!!!
I suggest continuing with therapy, and meanwhile set up a regular allowance for your pregnant lover, so she will have a good diet, safety and a healthy pregnancy.

It's time to be much more brutally honest with yourself and wife.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry this is happening.

I'm glad you have a therapist.

I'm not sure what happened with birth control with your lover. Or what happend to talking about handling accidental pregnancy should birth control fail. That's stuff that could have been sorted out ahead of time.

But you are now here. Maybe it is a good time to step back and reflect.

Is THIS the kind of marriage you always dreamed about participating in? Or are you just making do or going on from habit of 10 years?

FWIW? (And I could be wrong.)

To me you sound attached to your wife (or the idea of being married) from habit more than anything else. Because you yourself say it's not all that great in this marriage.

Our relationship has not been easy but we have remained committed to each other. We have done the work and we are willing to do so, even though our relationship is not very fulfilling. I have learned to be satisfied with it, which has been quite a process, as our intimacy is very limited, close to existent.

I really don't get why wife wants to tell you who you can and cannot share sex with when you and wife yourselves rarely share sex yourselves.

It's like you are doing open marriage to have other lovers and not do that part with each other. Like a platonic marriage? Domestic partnership?

My wife wanted us to open our relationship. I was not keen. I want to start a family and I was afraid that it would take us apart. I told her that I would fall in love and do something stupid... to no avail. She had to insist for years for me to finally give up when she told me that she had never been that depressed in her life because she had a big crush on someone and could not stand not being able to act on it...

Wife wanted to open the marriage. She'd been depressed for years doing a relationship model she really didn't want to be doing.

You didn't want to change models. You wanted to start a family.

I'm not sure why you both didn't break up at that point. You two don't really sound compatible.
  • Then she could have stopped doing the relationship model that doesn't fit her. (monogamous marriage)
  • And you could have continued to keep model you really want and sought someone who wants the same thing (monogamous marriage)
  • Both could have changed to being good exes and friends. A new model that maybe does fit you both better, rather than hanging on to the marriage model like some uncomfortable, outgrown coat.
Nobody mean to each other... just accepting that each wants different things that don't go together.

Now?

Wife wants you to break up with lover and only be friends and coparents with her. For what? To carry on with the marriage model that isn't all that great? Ego?

Lover is willing to continue doing poly, but wants to stop the primary-secondary model where you and wife make all the decisions and she has no voice at the table. She's willing to continue as a secondary, so long as she gets a voice.

I think you best make child support arrangements. Because no matter what? Child and mother needs seeing to. Nothing wrong with living in the country. But prob in something better than living in a gutted caravan! Make provisions for mother and child to have better quality of life. Not just "surviving" out in the bush but a chance at "thriving." Take care of those kind of basics.

Then sit back and reflect on your personal relationships with your therapist. You never really wanted open, and you did want a family. What you were struggling with was letting go of wife. You ended up doing stuff (open marriage) you really didn't want to be doing just to avoid breaking up.

I wonder if you were also letting wife run the show to avoid breaking up? So what Lover experienced as "you and wife make all the decisions" was actually more like "wife makes all the decisions, I go deliver the news?"

I encourage you to really think about these things with your therapist. Somewhere along the way you sound like you lost sense of your own self. What YOU want. Rather than "just doing whatever to keep wife around."

Maybe it is ok to start making your OWN decisions about how you want to be living your life. Life isn't a dress rehearsal. You only get the one.

I have considered leaving my wife to start a new journey with my lover, but I am now sure that I do not want to leave my wife. What I want the most is to have a family with my wife.

Contemplating a big change like that is.... well, big. Talk to your therapist about it.

And what is family anyway? A nuclear family is just one model. There can be other family models.

Could be all three of you single. And you and Lover coparent. And ex-wife is around like an auntie or something to child. Or not.

Could be you and wife finally end the marriage that isn't really working anyway. You become good exes and friends. You and Lover stay together. And ex wife is around like an auntie or something to child. Or not.

Could be something else entirely.

Each person has to figure out for themselves how they want to be. Then figure out what lines up or not. See what is actually compatible and what isn't.

I think you could make your peace inside about your wife. You love her and care about, but you aren't really compatible for marriage to each other. Using open marraige/poly like a bandaid so that you can continue in a wonky marriage.... that usually doesn't pan out great.

So maybe time to let that part go rather than keeping on bending into pretzels and hitting new walls?

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Etienne,

Can I ask ... You want a family. Can't you have that with your lover instead of with your wife? Why does it have to be with your wife? Why do you have to stay with your wife at all? Can't you get divorced? Can't your lover get divorced too? Then you and your lover could get married, and start a family together. Your lover is already pregnant, so really that part of starting a family is already under way.

I take it you love your wife too much to break up with her. Your wife is pretty much calling the shots. She says you can only be involved in the life of your child if you stop being intimate with your lover. Since you refuse to divorce your wife, I reckon you'll have to do what your wife says, no matter how awful and hurtful. I don't advise that, but I think that's what's going to happen.

I'm very sorry you're going through this.
Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Inaniel

Active member
This situation sucks a bit, I can imagine this is a bit stressful for you.

Do you love your pregnant partner? Given that none of us are provided a crystal ball that will tell us about our future regrets before they happen, I try to approach decision making as stacking decisions with the highest probabilities of success. Basically the same way I approach my investments; and with the hope that on average I make more non-regrettable decisions than otherwise...

If you love your pregnant partner, and you are a family-oriented person, chances are high you are going to love that kid eventually too... How do you see your wife handling this in the future? Could you see her demanding that you spend less time with a child whom you love and want to spend a lot of time with?

People make clean breaks from relationships all the time and usually (after some time to heal) do not regret it in the end... Parenting is a bit different because I don't imagine a family guy like you could make a clean break from parenting, so the decisions you make as a dad might be more likely to have an impact on the things you regret vs. do not regret at the end of your life... Add to that, parenting decisions tend to follow you around more so than "some old relationship that didn't work out"...

Obviously no one here can understand the intricacies at work here, but if I were in your shoes and had to choose between a woman whom I did not have intimacy with, who was controlling and made demands about how I spend time with other people I cared about. And a woman whom I did have intimacy with, and who was "seemingly" by all accounts more reasonable, AND on top of that was carrying my child in her body... This would be a relatively straightforward decision.

That is assuming of course that counseling and attempts to negotiate failed...

I wish you the best of luck in these challenging times. And I just want to say, as a man who never even wanted to be a father. Watching my 8-year old grow up, and being apart of that journey every single day, is one of the greatest delights of my life.. Eight years ago, I literally had no idea..
 

Etienne

New member
Hi!
Thank you all for your prompt responses and good advices!

I do love my wife, and although our relationship is not very fulfilling in itself, we make good life partners and we are very committed to each other. We have a pretty good life and lifestyle together, although it is not quite the dream I had, it is not too far off either... I got used to not have much intimacy. It's been a difficult process but there is much more to life than sex, although I have been enjoying this with my lover, it is not what I live for at all anymore, which was kind of the case when I met my wife. The consequences of this have been very interesting: I feel like I destroyed my ego and lost a lot of passion that was animating me on the way, but I am now much more serine and at peace with myself and the world I leave in, kind of like a Buddhist monk. I enjoy what I get without getting attached to it and I accept what I don't get without anger or resentment.
In the past, my wife has been afraid about having children but she now knows for sure that it is what she wants.
We have been building a house on a community for the last few years in a gorgeous place and amongst many friends. We are now getting close to move in and start a family. Our common dream that we have been working on for the last 10 years is about to come true! I do not want to give this away.

Also I have not known my lover for long, and although I do love her too, I have never wanted to leave full time with her.
I wanted this relationship to remain casual...
When my wife and I made our list of agreements, one of them was to use condoms at all time with lovers. We thought that this was enough and did not even think about the risk of pregnancy...
My lover had told me many times that she did want to have children in the future, but not now, as she first needs to build her house and start her own businesses. We had a first condom break and she took the morning after pill. She told me that she had 9 miscarriages in her twenties and she was not sure if she would abort if she fell pregnant... I was naive enough to think that if a woman does not want to get pregnant she can make sure that it does not happen, my bad... We then had an other condom break, my lover took the morning after pill again and douched but still became pregnant and was now certain she would not abort.
So now my wife wants me to break up with my lover and if I do, she will let my lover and I spend family time together, like having dinner and put the child to bed, as long as we do not share any intimacy. My wife has also decided that she gives up on polyamory and she will deal with her envies whenever she gets a crush on someone.

I tried to fill in the missing information and answer your questions. I hope it helps to get a better picture of the situation and I am looking forward to read anything that you could add.

Thanks a lot!!!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
It sounds like you were trying to keep with the condom agreements. And had them break twice and did the morning after pill both times. Like what more could you be doing that wife wanted you to do?

Neither you nor wife gets to tell the other lady to go get an abortion. It's her body.

So now my wife wants me to break up with my lover and if I do, she will let my lover and I spend family time together, like having dinner and put the child to bed, as long as we do not share any intimacy. My wife has also decided that she gives up on polyamory and she will deal with her envies whenever she gets a crush on someone.

Is that what you really want to do? Break up with Lover?

Could the agreement be something else if wife wants to stop doing polyamory? Like...
  • Ok, no more dating NEW people. But the people that are already here get to stay unless they break up on their own choice.
  • No more new children with Lover. The one already coming is it.
    • You talk to lover about doubling up. Condoms AND withdrawal for you. And then some other method that is appropriate for her -- IUD, BCP, charting to avoid, whatever it is.
  • You have the kids you are going to have with your wife after moving to the new dream house.
    • Then you get a vasectomy.
  • You split your time across the two families according to whatever shared custody agreement you make with Lover. And whatever shared custody agreements you have with Wife.

Whatever happens between you and Lover romantically (stay together or break up) that's a decision between you and Lover. Not your wife's decision to make.

Whatever happens between you and Lover romantically (stay together or break up), that doesn't change the shared custody agreements, or provisions you are making for that child. The kid didn't ask to be born. Both parents are responsible for the kid's care and well being.

I think you could talk to a family lawyer to draw up the paperwork. And if you need extra support at this time, maybe a counselor.

Get a little more centered and grounded. So you can approach all this from this place:

I am now much more serine and at peace with myself and the world I leave in, kind of like a Buddhist monk. I enjoy what I get without getting attached to it and I accept what I don't get without anger or resentment.

If wife doesn't like what you suggest and wants to end it? She prefers to break up, not have kids with you, sell the dream house, etc? Well, that would be a bummer.

But sometime the last loving thing one does is to let go.

Life is also long. There's time to have other dreams.

Galagirl
 
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Etienne

New member
Thanks Galagirl!
I will meditate on this.

Just to summarize this conundrum:
- My lover and I both wish to remain lovers within a secondary relationship where my lover is involved in the decision making process.
- My wife and I want to remain together and have a family. My wife will not accept that my lover and I have any intimacy because she cannot trust us anymore.
- I am ready to give up on the intimacy with my lover but my lover will not accept this.

Thanks for all feedbacks!
🙏
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
What if your lover got a more reliable birth control?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
If you and lover share sex, your wife can't trust you to do what?

You were using condoms and keeping to the agreement. Condoms breaking is not either your fault or lover's fault. And when they broke, you did the next step -- morning after pill to try to prevent. I've had them break on me and yeah, it's not fun or great to have happen. But at the same time, it does happen.

Right now, Lover can't get more pregnant than she already is. But after birth she could talk over the appropriate options with her doctor. Mini pill for instance.

What if you and lover promised not to have any more children together and promised not to rely on condoms alone any more? You buy and wear condoms and pull out. And lover buys and uses whatever other BC works for her? And you both start charting to TTA? Not share intercourse type sex during her fertile window? No sex or outercourse only?

If lover is done having children, she gets her tubes tied? When you are done having children with wife, you get a vasectomy?

Just to summarize this conundrum:
- My lover and I both wish to remain lovers within a secondary relationship where my lover is involved in the decision making process.
- My wife and I want to remain together and have a family. My wife will not accept that my lover and I have any intimacy because she cannot trust us anymore.
- I am ready to give up on the intimacy with my lover but my lover will not accept this.

I'm starting to wonder if what wife actually struggles with is loss of primacy. Was that was the whole point of a primary-secondary model to begin with -- to try to retain that? And wife can't deal with the requested changes?
  • If Lover gets a voice in decisions that affect her? Lover is on equal footing to wife now.
  • Wife didn't want kids, but now that she changed her mind? Well, Lover got pregnant first by accident.

So is wife trying to assert herself by telling you to break up with Lover so wife can be your only lover then? And regain a sense of primacy that way? And to coax you to agree she says she will "allow" you and lover to spend time together as a family with the new baby?

Is something like that going on here?

Galagirl
 
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FallenAngelina

Well-known member
You've told us multiple times that your marriage is not fulfilling and not sexual, but insist that's OK because you have a Buddhist outlook on life now. Really?? Behavior often belies what we claim to be true and behavior often reveals what words cannot. Your behavior was to seek a sexual lover and your behavior (no matter what or whose "fault") was to start a lifelong family connection with this lover. There is no path to peace with others until there is individual peace of mind in ourselves and it sounds to me as though you are extraordinarily conflicted. Hence, the conflict in your outer world. Your words say one thing but your actions say quite another. You're kinda blaming this lover for all the mess. If only she hadn't fallen pregnant, if only she would have kept this casual, if only she were more financially secure, if only she.....then what? You wife and you could fulfill your dream of commitment to a marriage that is not fulfilling?

Be honest with yourself about what you want. Running around trying to please and pacify and accommodate others is toxic. It seems selfless, but it leads to drama and mess and anxiety. What do you want? And from where I'm sitting, if you say again that sex doesn't matter, I would call your attention back to your actions. Putting aside the mental circus monkeys of what these other people want, what do you want in life?
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It sounds like he wanted a nice wife and a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Unfortunately there's no sex there, so he also wanted a nice side piece who would stay in her lane and do as she was told, being grateful for crumbs since she was poor. Sigh...
 

Inaniel

Active member
It sounds like he wanted a nice wife and a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Unfortunately there's no sex there, so he also wanted a nice side piece who would stay in her lane and do as she was told, being grateful for crumbs since she was poor. Sigh...

That’s my take away from this as well…. Hopefully the side piece gets the support her and the child need and deserve.
 

Dagferi

Well-known member
I worry about a woman who things that bringing a child into the world while living in a gutted caravan with a bunch of dogs in cats is a healthy decision.

This poor kid is going to watch it's father go back to his nice house and comfy life with his wife while they are living in the rough.
 
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