Husband now doubts poly

Norwegianpoly

New member
Hi,

summary; my husband dobuts poly after four years of me dating my boyfriend. What am I going to do?

the full text; my husband says things have changed for him. He is not as comfortable with poly as he once was. He had a girlfriend for a short while a few years ago, and said after that he did not think he wanted another girlfriend for himself. The whole affair with the girlfriend was quite messy, and so I was happy at the time that he did not want another attempt. I have dated my husband many years and I also have a boyfriend I am serious with. My boyfriend is monogamous. Husband and I just finished writing our wills, in which we leave everything to each other, and, if we both die, his brother and my boyfriend inherits what we own (basically our flat). My boyfriend is younger and has no property, except for some family related ones which I have no interest in inheriting. Husband and I have contemplated legal divorce and remarriage to relocate my boyfriend, but not discussed this with him yet (that is obviously off the table now).

Our situation the past year has been stressful. My boyfriend was a work conflict with his boss and had a depressive reaction from it, luckily now he has a better job in a different place. My husband's job is going through a lot of structural change which he and his work mates doe not like, he tried for a while to apply for other jobs and I pushed him to not do that because he was getting stressed from it. I used to work only part time due to my health, the last eight months I have worked full time and now I am setting up my own company. My mum is sick, my dad takes it hard, and the whole family is grieving. Three months ago my younger brother moved out from my parents' house to sleep on the spare bed in our office, and we agree that he has to find a place of his own. Openness about poly is an issue; we are partly open.

I appreciate the honesty of my husband about his doubts about poly and the poly lifestyle, and I imagine that he thought about it for a while. At the same time, he is more impulsive than me, so what he says I dont believe as "facts" until he has stayed with the idea for a while (two months ago he said he wanted kids and legal divorce). I dont think he has fallen out of love with me. I understand that living poly can be very hard for some, even for many. I also understand that our version of poly it puts strains on my husband, financially and otherwise. I understand that getting children into a situation like this is challenging and have agreed to postphone having kids even if I took out my IUD TWO weeks ago on his request. I know my husband is fickle and has trouble staying with ideas and plans. I know this and I love him.

My boyfriend talked last year about the "impossability" of poly last year, but after he left his old job our relationship actually improved and he started having ideas of marrying me. With that in mind, I am not taking what my husband says too seriously and want to just focus on bettering our life, thinking that perhaps our relationship too will be better from it. My husband has been upset about my boyfriend not engaging so much directly with him the last year, it is hard because of the time difference and we are all working.

Both men have my heart, and my number one nightmare is to to loose one or both of them. Husband does not ask me to choose, but considers backing off. I risk that, if my boyfriend find out about the doubts of my husband, he will want to back off because he dont want to break up a marriage. So at the end of the day, I am asked to choose here. Loosing my husband feels unreal and loosing my boyfriend feels as as comfortable sawing off my own foot. My plan for now is just to continue to see both of them, with no further plans made for kids/marriage/relocation stuff. My husband is very loving towards me and we actually had sex after he told me about his doubts (he says he thought I would want to kick him out of bed, but I dont see why). I think that the time being is a bad one to make huge decitions for the future. The only reason we planned kids now, is that we already postphoned kids due to my health and I am not getting any younger.

I know noone can fix things, I am just hoping for some thoughts and ideas from people in here. Perhaps some of you have gone through similar things.
 

Wiccan87

New member
After four years of being poly he probably has one or two reasons he is starting to dislike about it. Knowing what those reasons are may give you a few options to make him feel better about the situation without having to lose anyone. I think you need to talk with him and see what the underlying issue is. Their are several people here who could give you some suggestions with a little more information.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
Do you think this has something to do with the fact that you and BF were in a LDR? It seems this turnabout comes at a time when things are starting to get "real". That is not to say the LDR isn't real, but the impact of your BF moving nearby, you two getting a divorce to help BF get there etc, is much greater than having a guy who is in another country and only around occasionally. Perhaps it was easier when your husband could compartmentalize things. Now it's reality.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
After four years of being poly he probably has one or two reasons he is starting to dislike about it. Knowing what those reasons are may give you a few options to make him feel better about the situation without having to lose anyone. I think you need to talk with him and see what the underlying issue is. Their are several people here who could give you some suggestions with a little more information.
I am trying to do that. I told him that I aqknowledge that our relationship have not exactly been a priority, and I cancelled all future plans. To be honest I was a little relieved, I guess I too was not a 100% ready to make big changes.

Our practical and financial situation is not great, and I know that it wears him down. He had to take a lot of financial and practical responsability in the past when I was sick, and maybe he feels that it is all a bit too much. I think that if we are going to make further changes in our lives, we should do so with a little more security and savings. I am already doing a lot to prove myself as a responsible person, and I plan to take more initiative to make our relationship more romantic and less of a practical situation. I told him that I also have felt pain and missed him while I was taking care of other things in our life. I feel very close to him because he shared this, and I think we both think the other person is very brave. I think that we need a full year of "nothing new happening" and just growing closer as a couple.

There is also the demanding situation of me being in an LDR with my boyfriend. My husband has said a lot that things would be easier for him if boyfriend and I were not long distance.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
Do you think this has something to do with the fact that you and BF were in a LDR? It seems this turnabout comes at a time when things are starting to get "real". That is not to say the LDR isn't real, but the impact of your BF moving nearby, you two getting a divorce to help BF get there etc, is much greater than having a guy who is in another country and only around occasionally. Perhaps it was easier when your husband could compartmentalize things. Now it's reality.
Yes, I think so. I mean we would never have contemplated legal divorce if it was not for the LDR, then we would just make due with legal councelling to take care of wills and money. The LDR is also very draining financially and logistically. It is also hard for my boyfriend and my husband to get really close, because my boyfriend is always working on visits. When he visited my country, they went on great for the most part

I think a little bit of the other side of LDR, too. We are not open about poly with my parents, I mean my whole family knows about my boyfriend and my frequent trips abroad, but they think we are close friends, not lovers. One of my sisters knows the real situation. My husband is radical of sorts but also more concervative than me, and more afraid of what others might think.

Then there is the situation of kids. We were planning to have kids (husband and I, with my boyfriend's blessing). I think for the time being things seem too chaotic for my husband to imagine having kids on top of it. I can see that and it makes sense. First we have to be absolutely sure what our future is going to be like, before we bring kids into it.

I feel weird, but it is not all bad. The thing is, both my husband and my boyfriend have a hard time "saying it like it is", and when they do, it is always about something real that is a pressing issue for them, and they tend to get very grateful when I am not hostile towards what they share. I think my husband really needs for me to be able to contain all of his emotions and not blame him for feeling resentful and confused.

Soon I am going to visit my boyfriend again (after a long break) and I think I am not going to share these doubts with him (I usually share whenever husband and I are fighting, and I have also shared with my husband the one time boyfriend and I had a fight). I just want to focus on remembering why I love the both of them. Hopefully we will all make good decitions.

I am in the board of the national NGO and we are just starting the legal process of fighting for plural marriage, our leader was in the national media today. It makes me feel less alone in experiencing this pain where society puts up road blocks.
 

anamikanon

New member
There seem to be many issues jumbled up in your post.

Hi,

summary; my husband dobuts poly after four years of me dating my boyfriend. What am I going to do?

You are going to do what you want - which seems to be doing your best to keep both in your life.

the full text; my husband says things have changed for him. He is not as comfortable with poly as he once was. He had a girlfriend for a short while a few years ago, and said after that he did not think he wanted another girlfriend for himself. The whole affair with the girlfriend was quite messy, and so I was happy at the time that he did not want another attempt.

This is your husband's issue. Poly didn't work for him and he is no longer interested.
Which bgings me to...

Husband does not ask me to choose, but considers backing off.

Backing off from his relationship to you or poly for himself? The first is a bigger issue. Wildly fluctuating desires from the relationship - kids, divorce, divorce to marry your boyfriend, writing will giving all to each other/each others boyfriend/partner - to me indicate that he doesn't know what he wants, but he is not happy and is looking for drastic changes.

Backing off from poly is relatively less an issue that will resolve on its own if needed and doesn't need to resolve if not needed. There sounds like a touch of "giving up in defeat and giving up rather than failing" somewhere. This would need you to understand him better and support him in his time of insecurity. What does he really want? What specifically is making him unhappy? What could be better?

My boyfriend is younger and has no property, except for some family related ones which I have no interest in inheriting.

Noting this as a point of inequality. Whether you want it or not is less the issue. It is simply a situation where you and your husband are both more in a place to and willing to give all your belongings to him than he is. If, as you recognize, the relationship places a disproportionate financial burden on your husband (who is already psychologically in a bad place), it is one place where a token gesture by your boyfriend could express seriousness/value in the here and now.

Right now, it seems that your husband has been through a bad poly relationship himself AND is giving more to you and even your boyfriend than he can expect back with the plans to divorce you in order to relocate your boyfriend, even when he is done with poly, wants kids... These are emotional costs - in addition to anything financial. I don't see the point in you excusing your boyfriend from reciprocating the commitment invested in him and as a result not even enabling the smallest gesture of him giving back.

Husband and I have contemplated legal divorce and remarriage to relocate my boyfriend, but not discussed this with him yet (that is obviously off the table now).

Agree. Would be disastrous to your relationship with your husband to go the divorce route for any reason at this point.

Our situation the past year has been stressful. My boyfriend was a work conflict with his boss and had a depressive reaction from it, luckily now he has a better job in a different place. My husband's job is going through a lot of structural change which he and his work mates doe not like, he tried for a while to apply for other jobs and I pushed him to not do that because he was getting stressed from it. I used to work only part time due to my health, the last eight months I have worked full time and now I am setting up my own company. My mum is sick, my dad takes it hard, and the whole family is grieving.

Sounds like a bad time/ frame of mind to make life altering decisions for all.

Three months ago my younger brother moved out from my parents' house to sleep on the spare bed in our office, and we agree that he has to find a place of his own.

If money is a source of friction between your husband and you, perhaps he could offer some rent instead of finding a place of his own. Could possibly cost him less and reduce your problems.

Openness about poly is an issue; we are partly open.

Ignore for now. You've got bigger problems than what people know.

I appreciate the honesty of my husband about his doubts about poly and the poly lifestyle, and I imagine that he thought about it for a while.

He sounds like he cares for you deeply.

....and...

At the same time, he is more impulsive than me, so what he says I dont believe as "facts" until he has stayed with the idea for a while (two months ago he said he wanted kids and legal divorce).

He is unhappy and is looking for any/all solutions to reach a better place. Kids usually imply a new phase in the life of a couple. So does divorce, for that matter. Everything changes - is the common factor.

I dont think he has fallen out of love with me. I understand that living poly can be very hard for some, even for many. I also understand that our version of poly it puts strains on my husband, financially and otherwise.

I wonder what would happen if you put aside all the juggling problems and simply made his unhappiness the first problem that needs resolving on priority basis. What would happen if you did all you could to mitigate the "hits" he is getting from all directions. Ask the boyfriend to reciprocate the trust he has placed in his will. See if you can rope in the brother to pay something towards the home in return for accommodations, or do something special for the husband in appreciation. See how the financial burden can be shared or costs cut. Ask him for ideas. My guess is that even if you fail, he'll see you trying and it will help him see that he matters - as opposed to being the provider for people with choices.

Perhaps addressing that would make everything else easier too.

I understand that getting children into a situation like this is challenging and have agreed to postphone having kids even if I took out my IUD TWO weeks ago on his request. I know my husband is fickle and has trouble staying with ideas and plans. I know this and I love him.

Use contraception. Pregnancy (like polyamory) never solves existing problems and will only magnify them if initiated in an already shaky situation. Not to mention the minor issue of kids being people, and not band aids.

My boyfriend talked last year about the "impossability" of poly last year, but after he left his old job our relationship actually improved and he started having ideas of marrying me.

This part took me aback after reading that you and your husband considered divorcing in order to relocate him. Occurs to me that:

  • You may not have mentioned anything to him directly, but implied enough to lead him to expect it.
  • He gave you the idea in some direct or indirect manner.
  • That your husband is fed up of poly and is planning to back off and your boyfriend sees the impossibility of poly is too much of a coincidence. My gut says your boyfriend is manipulating you away from your husband and your husband is lost how to fight his waning influence - perhaps not intentionally - many attention/power struggles are unconscious. It is too detailed a coincidence and it is unlikely to originate from you or your husband in the manner it played out (going by your post). Perhaps you should make it clear to your boyfriend that you are in love with your husband (for that matter, tell your husband too) and that you have no intentions of leaving him, and that it would devastate you to lose him.

Both men have my heart, and my number one nightmare is to to loose one or both of them.

You alone should have your mind though. Think clearly about whether you want both of them and whether you have been acting in a manner that makes it clear.

I risk that, if my boyfriend find out about the doubts of my husband, he will want to back off because he dont want to break up a marriage.

I may be very cynical, but if you cannot speak the truth to a partner without courting an uncontrollable adverse reaction, you are being controlled. Tiptoeing around someone is the first symptom of manipulation. I think you need a clear talk with your boyfriend about poly and resolve any concerns he has about it. Reach a place where he will be a partner to you where you can share your concerns, instead of being a child you protect from adverse news or worse, a hormonal teenager who will have a tantrum on hearing something he doesn't want to hear.

Frankly, I'd lay good money on him being relieved that the husband resolves the issue without him having to do a thing to address his belief of "impossibility" of poly and remain right there in your life.

So at the end of the day, I am asked to choose here.

Being the bitch I'm famous for being, I don't see anyone asking you to choose. You haven't described anyone giving you an ultimatum. Your husband has issues, he may back off. Your boyfriend thinks it is impossible. It is time to let them handle their own headaches. You want both. You choose both - even if asked. If they can't handle it, you can ASSIST them, make their lives easy, help them feel loved and secure, but it is THEIR issue, not yours. If you start tiptoeing around people, making huge changes to life based on perceptions of what they want (not even stated), you're applying to be a doormat. That way guarantees unhappiness for you.

Loosing my husband feels unreal and loosing my boyfriend feels as as comfortable sawing off my own foot.

Right now you have both.

My plan for now is just to continue to see both of them, with no further plans made for kids/marriage/relocation stuff.

Best line of your whole post.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
I am unsure what is the best way to go about these things.

But I have a timeline. Husband says the we need to sort things out by summer. It is not strictly an ultimatum, but more so than our earlier talks.

He seems a little envious that "boyfriend and I make each other so happy", even if at least in theory he sees that other issues have weighed heavily on mine/his daily life. I cant help feeling this is kind of unfair, even if I know my husband's feelings are just that.

He says he needs to leave our relationship, or we live more mono. He says we have had other issues, but that they are unrelated. It is nice to have that sorted out, but at the same time it gives me fewer options. I still need to fix those other things to give life with him (or indeed myself) a shot. He says he knows I am trying.

As for my boyfriend, I would not want to inherit what is basically his mum's house where lots of other people live. That is all he owns, and only a small share, and we never plan to live there. Anyway I dont think my husband is looking for token gestures from him. I dont know if my boyfriend has been manipulating med with the marriage stuff, he has been talking about it the whole time (except for when he was feeling down). When I visited his family, they were making marriage jokes, which seem absurd now. I will share these things with my boyfriend, it is just that I needed time to even tell myself about them.

Husband admits that he has been leading me on in many ways, not only with poly, but with other things (pretending to be ok with my brother staying here etc). I have a hard time wrapping my head around why he has not been sharing, even when I urged him to. And why he was the lead initiator in stating up things he clearly did not want (a child now; he booked the appointment at the fertility clinic; a fake-divorce/remarriage situation; he was the one pressing the issue).

My husband says he thinks he might be a little depressed. I understand that he does not neccesarily want to talk to people about his dilemmas (apart from his friend who left a poly relationship some years ago and who is clearly prepping him for a life without me), but I wish he would agree to talking to a doctor about getting anti-depressants for a few months.
 
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