How do I even start to explain??

No I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to hear anything about polyamory or my feelings for others or my bisexuality and attraction to women...
He doesn't want to hear anything about how I believe in a collective consciousness and the fact that we're all energy instead of how I used to think we needed a saviour. He told me he doesn't want me leaving books around that are about things I've been researching (energy mostly and how our thoughts create our reality) because he doesn't want the children seeing them.
He thinks I have an 'anything goes ' mentality now. Well, he thinks I have mental issues.

I just feel numb to be honest. How can you say you love someone and then just give an ultimatum without even considering their thoughts or needs?
 
And what does "work on the marriage" mean to him?

Good question.

When I read that question, I immeditaly wondered if the husband subscribed to biblical patriarchy -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_patriarchy. It could be impossible for a woman married to a man who subscribes to biblical patriarchy (BP) to even sustain an open inquiry / conversation on any of these topics. After all, if he does subscribe to BP, it is his duty to God to make all of the basic family decisions on such matters -- and then only as proscribed and prescribed by the pages of an ancient text (as he or his pastor interprets them).
 
I think that if the word "marriage" were replaced with "relationship", there would be more hope.

If its what happened to me, what he is likely to do, is shove the churches vows down your throat..

"but you promised to ... dot dot dot".

and I think it sums up what is wrong in our culture . the "marriage" is placed on a pedastal, whereas I think "the relationship" would be far better.

Would the christian counsellour be willing to perhaps accept a view that a relationship and its boundaries are not a box of rules, but boundaries that two people agree on (providing theres no abuse, of course?
 
If its what happened to me, what he is likely to do, is shove the churches vows down your throat..

"but you promised to ... dot dot dot".

and I think it sums up what is wrong in our culture . the "marriage" is placed on a pedastal, whereas I think "the relationship" would be far better.

Already happened. Several times. The fact of the matter is, I'm not the same person he married. I've changed a lot, in a short space of time really. And he's freaking out and refusing to be any kind of flexible.
 
"Work on the marriage" means to him, have a 'marriage MOT' (another car analogy, MOT is the tests they do here to make sure a car is roadworthy) to see how our marriage is doing and where we can improve. With a Christian counsellor who would have no idea what I'm going through spiritually or anything. It probably means to try and get me back to where I used to be.
 
Re:
"It probably means to try and get me back to where I used to be."

Yeah I don't think that's gonna happen. At the most you could go through the motions.

That's the trouble with marriage, it tries to predict what two people will be like for the rest of their lives.

@ River ... amen. I'm sure the husband believes he is doing exactly what God wants him to do.

@ JOA ... I know you're terrified about losing your kids, but what lesson do your kids learn if you stay and let your husband push you around? I'm with GalaGirl, don't rule divorce out, you should be able to get partial custody.

Re (from Journeyofawakening):
"I just feel numb to be honest. How can you say you love someone and then just give an ultimatum without even considering their thoughts or needs?"

I'm so sorry.
 
My freedom was not up for discussion and we did not get bogged down in the details of this or that other person. Stay focussed on where you're going (freedom of choice, freedom of thought) and don't get too wrapped up in the extent to which your husband understands or approves.

Of perhaps related interest:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74606

In this thread, I discuss what I call Open Inquiry ... and how it requires freedom.

Whether one does so in a theistic or non-theistic language is of far less concern to me than whether there is freedom to begin with -- and continue with.

I prefer not to use theistic language in my spiritual explorations, but I accept that some folks use the word "God" to refer to what I call "Mystery" -- and we don't necessarily disagree at all, exept on a word choice. ;)
 
I'm so glad I have this place to come to through all of this. Thank you to each of you. I'm going to go see the counsellor we were seeing by myself hopefully. Just so that I can talk all of this out. Make sure I'm not being completely ridiculous you know?
 
I dunno.


If there has been sexual immorality, you can get a divorce.

Otherwise, I usually counsel my friends to consider just living apart from the spouse, but not divorcing. I believe, with time and space, relationships can find some equilibrium. Then you've avoided all the death which ensues with divorce, which has unforeseen repercussions.

My experience shows that people only truly change when they have become born-again. And then it's in a good, fruitful way. People do not really change much otherwise, even though they might go through 'phases'.
 
I'm sorry JOA. I had hoped counseling might provide a way for you two to talk and be heard. I was fearful something like this might happen.

Perhaps it's time for some ultimatums from you. I urge you to refuse to go to a Christian counselor. They were just picked to browbeat you back into your old role. Refuse to go. Tell your husband you and he will go back to the counselor and work on your marriage, or you are done with the marriage. This might jar him out of some fantasy that he can punish you into being the old you. If there is some part of him that loves you, as a person and not a possession, it might reach him. It might not. That is just as likely, and given his behavior, is probably more likely. I'm sorry that you are at the point of having to decide to push the decision but it seems he's given you little real choice. Also, it's time to 'lawyer up' as we say in the States.

Look, you have a terrible decision to make. You need to decide if you want to be a shell, a facade and present a facsimile of 'old' you to your husband for the rest of your life. More importantly, you will need to present that 'you' to your children. Children *know* when someone is not themselves, not authentic. They don't always understand why or get the context but they know. You will be teaching your children this is what adults do.

Or you can decide that you are who you are and you cannot be in a marriage that was predicated on being a certain role. The cost is your marriage and a husband you love. Your children will be impacted by this of course and they will not understand for decades, if ever, what you are attempting to model for them. I think it would be utterly understandable if you feel that cost is too high.
 
I dunno.


If there has been sexual immorality, you can get a divorce.

Otherwise, I usually counsel my friends to consider just living apart from the spouse, but not divorcing. I believe, with time and space, relationships can find some equilibrium. Then you've avoided all the death which ensues with divorce, which has unforeseen repercussions.

My experience shows that people only truly change when they have become born-again. And then it's in a good, fruitful way. People do not really change much otherwise, even though they might go through 'phases'.

Uh, AA, the husband is already 'born-again' or at least a fundamental version of Christianity. I realize that you may mean something different but the usual evangelical or fundamental version of that has already happened and is part of the problem.
 
I'm going to go see the counsellor we were seeing by myself hopefully. Just so that I can talk all of this out. Make sure I'm not being completely ridiculous you know?

Do continue to see the counselor you picked for just yourself. I think that is a good thing to do for yourself.

"Work on the marriage" means to him, have a 'marriage MOT' (another car analogy, MOT is the tests they do here to make sure a car is roadworthy) to see how our marriage is doing and where we can improve. With a Christian counsellor who would have no idea what I'm going through spiritually or anything. It probably means to try and get me back to where I used to be.

Would he be willing for each one of you to see your own counselors individually a few times? Then all 4 meet to do a joint session to take assessments?

What if you both take him and his counselor's religious MOT and you both take you and your counselor's non-religious marriage satisfaction assessment tool?

Here's an American survey for example. (pg 9) I don't know what the English non-religious counselors would be using but I imagine they have something.

That could be some behavior from him that indicates a willingness to work WITH you. Rather than you just change back because he doesn't like you changing.

He thinks I have an 'anything goes ' mentality now. Well, he thinks I have mental issues.

You are not BEING ridiculous for having different beliefs or opinions than him. You simply have other thoughts than him.

I could be wrong, but my impression? I think...

1) You simply have updated your beliefs to a new set of beliefs. People do that all their lives. You aren't doing anything horrible TO him.

2) It is important for your spiritual health that you be authentic you. The marriage shape he is offering you right now does not allow you authentic expression of yourself. The example MOT I saw didn't even ask about that -- "Does this marriage allow me to grow both as an individual person and together in the marriage?"

3) He seems to wants you to fit HIS ideas, HIS mold. Shrinking yourself to continue to fit his mold? That's not spiritually healthy for you if it is not also your mold. If it is not a shared vision.

I just feel numb to be honest. How can you say you love someone and then just give an ultimatum without even considering their thoughts or needs?

He just did. :(

I don't think he loves authentic you right now. Maybe he loves and prefers his old picture of you in his mind. That's familiar. He seems loathe to update that picture. That's a hard one for you to come to terms with. Loving someone and realizing that they don't actually love the today you in the way you need to be loved today. :(

Feeling numb is not fun, but it is normal under the circumstances. Do see your counselor for support as you work toward final acceptance that you guys might no longer be compatible. You are grieving a lot of things right now. :(

Most of his arguments seem to stem from "You change back. Then I don't have to deal with this scary-ness."

I have yet to read anything like "I want to help you in this transitional space you are in. I don't agree with it or understand it, but I see that it matters to you. So... how can I give you a hand?" He's not being much of a helpmate type husband to you. :(

he has told me I need to decide between him or polyamory as he will never have an 'open marriage' with me.

He frames it like "pick be with me or pick poly" but really it is

  • Pick stifling your authentic self and not expressing it in any way. Pick continuing in a marriage with him that you now find stifling. (He tells you his stuff, but you don't tell him yours because he doesn't want to hear it.)
  • Or pick being able to express your authentic self. Pick being free from a stifling marriage with him. Whether you stay single, date, mono or poly later on.

You might try the MOT/assessment thing... but I hope if that's a bust that you decide to disband quickly and peacefully. Rather than trying another thing and another thing and another thing... Sometimes the only thing to do is accept that you have to stop trying to fly a thing that just won't fly any more.

I honestly think that you guys are no longer compatible. You have grown apart. Don't need a MOT to see that. :(

If he will not offer (Let's change the marriage so BOTH of us can express our authentic selves. I might not understand, but I will listen without judging. Both can grow individually as well as together)? You just don't get that option here.

From the two options he DOES offer you of

  • Stay in the unchanged marriage and stifle your authentic self
  • Disband the marriage and keep your authentic self

I suggest you go with disband the marriage and be authentic you.

He is unwilling to get to know the new you. You could become willing to let marriage to him go. You guys don't fit with each other any more.

Seems better to free BOTH from an ill fitting marriage. :eek:

Galagirl
 
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Uh, AA, the husband is already 'born-again' or at least a fundamental version of Christianity. I realize that you may mean something different but the usual evangelical or fundamental version of that has already happened and is part of the problem.

That is not the thrust of my post.
 
Re (from Journeyofawakening):
"I'm going to go see the counselor we were seeing by myself hopefully. Just so that I can talk all of this out."

Good idea.

Re:
"Make sure I'm not being completely ridiculous you know?"

No I understand. (And from where I'm sitting, you're being quite reasonable.)

I would also consider getting (at least) one consultation with a divorce lawyer. So that you know what your odds and options are.
 
Your husband is under no obligation to restructure the marriage and family life that he has built up. You're under no obligation to continue a marriage that does not make you happy. Your husband has not done anything wrong, and nor have you in wanting polyamory.

It isn't as if he has pulled the rug from under you, it's you who wants the massive change. That isn't wrong but you have to acknowledge the enormity of what you're asking, when you do, it will be easier to accept him saying "no" and also easier to accept him being somewhat annoyed at you changing everything.

It's as if people are saying that a "good husband" would just roll over.
 
I don't think he should roll over.

I think he does not have to agree with her new beliefs. I think he could know and articulate his position without lashing out. I rather he simply say "I cannot do this. I want a divorce." I rather he exercise better self control rather than act out trying to exert control over her.

Outing her to her parents when she asked him to refrain? Threatening to take the kids away? Calling her mentally ill when she is not?

I think that behavior is not leading them toward understanding each other's point of view and working something out. I think that behavior is not leading them toward being free of each other and dissolving the union because they are no longer compatible.

I think that behavior is acting out trying to hurt her deliberately so she does what he wants. I think that is "bullying" rather than "agree to disagree." I do not see how it is loving behavior toward a spouse. I think it is wrong to bully people.

I think a husband could refrain from behavior is bullying, behavior that lacks dignity, and behavior that lacks respect.

Galagirl
 
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I think it is wrong to bully people.

I think a husband could refrain from behavior is bullying, behavior that lacks dignity, and behavior that lacks respect.

Galagirl

Wow, I love this..... you dont to ask how ive been bullied!
 
One thing this thread has taught me is that the US is not the only country with a bunch of right wing, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, patriarchal intolerant "Christian" evangelical nutjobs. They are just much more vocal and in your face in this country than in the UK.

The US is like a cranky teenager. We do all kinds of crazy things over here, people are all over the place. And belligerent. Not much better than Muslim terrorists, in fact, quite similar.

But here we have a case of this repression, and insistence on antique beliefs, going on in the UK. Who knew? I am disappointed!

sigh... Keep going to your counselor, Journey. I feel you want to keep getting to know your authentic self, as you bust your way out of the shell you were raised in, and married in.

I feel you have a better chance of custody of your kids than your husband does, frankly. He is coming across rather badly.

Ever read the book or see the movie, Stepford Wives? Female appearing robots in full skirts and makeup and curled hair, living to serve their men. And the men love it. I don't think you want to be a clone of a 1950s housewife, saying, "Yes, dear," to your husband while harboring mutinous thoughts for the rest of your life. It would probably kill you young. Even if it didn't physically kill you, you'd be dead inside, if you managed to repress your true self.

Courage!
 
I think that if the word "marriage" were replaced with "relationship", there would be more hope.
...
and I think it sums up what is wrong in our culture . the "marriage" is placed on a pedastal, whereas I think "the relationship" would be far better.
This is a tangent... but can't resist to write it here. The church (cult) I was raised in attacked the word "relationship". Everyone should only talk about "marriage". "Relationship" was considered worldly and sinful, people living in sin without the holy marriage. It was kind of interesting... they got in all kinds of trouble avoiding the word "relationship". Like, what to call a young couple who were not married yet, not even engaged yet, when they could not have "a relationship"? :D :confused:
 
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