Lies and Divorce

Surferjenn

New member
I've calmed down alot since yesterday got some sleep and was able to schedule an emergency appointment with my IC. She had no experience with poly relationships but I showed her what I had posted here and the responses. I also talked to my husband for a couple minutes and we're meeting to talk tomorrow.

The number one thing is my marriage and it means more than anything to me, losing him would be the worst mistake I could ever make. I also know that could happen but I'm going to fight for us. My IC said like others here I would have to treat this like infidelity and that would make it harder.

I realized now that most of the ideas of helping him was actually pushing or forcing him into something he didn't want. I can say that wasn't what I was thinking at the time but I also can't discount the idea that it wasn't. Setting him up with someone would have made easier for me not just on the physical part but on any nagging guilt I had. Well he did it too, so he can't judge me. Which looking back makes me sick.

My IC knows also knows how insecure and resentful I am. These things existed before I tried this and she thinks I used it as a band-aid. Like I said I never really got to experience different people before my husband, while he on the other hand has had numerous partners. I know this shouldn't bother me but it does. I have brought this up to my husband before and while he understood he also said it didn't matter. That anything crazy I thought I missed he would do with me.

I also want to comment about my group of friends and the advice they game me. All of them warned me my marriage could blow up because of this and every suggestion they made came with the same warning. It was never along the lines of get a woman and he'll be fine with it. They just expressed that approach seemed to have worked but if my husband was dead set against poly it wouldn't matter.

I really want to thank everyone again for the hard truths and sympathy. I needed both and wish me luck tomorrow. I'm terrified but hopeful.
 

WhatHappened

Active member
You are jumping to the middle of the story. The bottom line is he was never okay with poly. Because of that it did not matter what she did. You are assuming everything was fine up until the dinner party. He could have been more honest about his feelings. Instead he just made assumptions.

I do agree that it was wrong to let the couple steer her in that direction. Had this been a real mono/poly relationship, that would be a problem. Still, he could have said no. He could have said no to the whole thing, but he didn't. He could have not lied and said he was dating other people.

Tell me how his actions could ever lead to a healthy relationship.

This seems to be a different conversation than what anmikanon actually said. I suspect there was absolutely no action on his part that could have led to a healthy relationship--because of the situation he was in. He didn't want poly and I'm guessing his past experiences told him the issue was going to be pushed and pushed and pushed until he either gave into it or left.

SurferJenn, best of luck with the counseling. I would suggest one thing to really dig into is why you feel resentment over not having sex with many men. It seems you feel you're entitled to that, that it's something everyone else gets or does, that you were somehow cheated by not having done that. And that belief and the decision to act on it has led to some serious consequences.

I think we live in a world where we see things on TV, in movies, hear about them in songs, read about them in social media, etc. and think everyone is getting or doing a certain thing but us. Take even a simple thing like Disneyland. It seems everyone has been there. I haven't. I could resent never having been or I could determine I'm going to go.

That becomes a problem if I decide I'm going to go no matter what it costs, no matter whose life it impacts, no matter how anyone else feels about it--even if it means pressuring my husband (if I had one) to take out a second mortgage, take two weeks off his job at a critical moment, which will also impact his co-workers and clients greatly...etc.

The real answer would have been to look at why I am so determined to get something that in fact is not a right, that in fact lots of people never do or experience. The real answer would be to stop being resentful and start being grateful for all the wonderful things in MY life instead of comparing to what I think everyone else is doing or getting or experiencing.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
Tonight I get home from work to an empty house, his wedding ring ,divorce papers and a letter from him on our kitchen table. To sum it up he lied about dating and he was never okay with any of this but went along with it because he said I'd do no matter what. I'm completely heart broken why would he lie? I gave him every opportunity to stop it even before it began. I just don't understand it. Has anyone gone through this or anything similar? I'm sorry if this doesn't belong here.
That sounds a bit similar story to me and my ex/husband. Except in our case, he had a mental breakdown of sorts in my arms, went with me to therapy and still goes there (without me). I too dont understand why he now says he did not want it, when I used so much time (years) to be sure he was ok with it.

And in our case, we were married longer, plus I have a serious relationship to another man. My reason for doing poly was not sexual experience, but love. I never looked for sexual experiences alone. I was curious to explore a plural romantic relationship and my husband was initially enthusiastic about my bf, and husband had a gf in the early days. Which I did not push him to get btw.... She pursued him. Women in our surroundings were always pursuing my husband and I guess his hyper-romanticism tricked me into believing that he would benefit from poly.

I dont see him not telling me the truth as lies, though. I dont think he ever meant to be dishonest with me. I see it as my ex/husband's inability to truely feel what he feels and to speak up about what he wants when he knows it. It has been a general problem in our relationship, and a general problem of his in his relations with others. I mean he is the kind of guy who cant tell his friends he is tired so he will lie to them instead of just telling them they will have to get a raincheck. Which is why I wanted to make sure he was absolutely ok with it, or I would not do it.

I sometimes thinks he wants to come back, but I have also told him that I feel it is dangerous for me to be with someone who will just lie when pushed in a corner. Because that means that I cant trust him to look after his own self interest. I have to do it for him. It is not just a poly issue. Given that I would consider giving up my bf to stay mono with my ex, I feel like I would always look over my shoulder to wonder what next thing hubby is giving into that he does not really want. Kids? House? Lifestyle choices?
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
This seems to be a different conversation than what anmikanon actually said. I suspect there was absolutely no action on his part that could have led to a healthy relationship--because of the situation he was in. He didn't want poly and I'm guessing his past experiences told him the issue was going to be pushed and pushed and pushed until he either gave into it or left.

Is it a different conversation because I am not agreeing?

The point I'm trying to make is he is not entirely blameless for the situation he was in. We see plenty of mono-oriented people who put their foot down when asked by their partner to be poly. He chose not to do that. In fact, he chose to be so non-confrontational that he basically snuck out of the relationship altogether.

I agree with Norwegianpoly, who said this:

I sometimes thinks he wants to come back, but I have also told him that I feel it is dangerous for me to be with someone who will just lie when pushed in a corner. Because that means that I cant trust him to look after his own self interest. I have to do it for him. It is not just a poly issue. Given that I would consider giving up my bf to stay mono with my ex, I feel like I would always look over my shoulder to wonder what next thing hubby is giving into that he does not really want. Kids? House? Lifestyle choices?

It's not a healthy relationship if one of the people refuse to convey their feelings about a given situation. How is the other partner to know if things are on the right track? By whether or not they come home to an empty house with a ring and divorce papers on the table?
 

sexyserb

Member
I've calmed down alot since yesterday got some sleep and was able to schedule an emergency appointment with my IC. She had no experience with poly relationships but I showed her what I had posted here and the responses. I also talked to my husband for a couple minutes and we're meeting to talk tomorrow.

The number one thing is my marriage and it means more than anything to me, losing him would be the worst mistake I could ever make. I also know that could happen but I'm going to fight for us. My IC said like others here I would have to treat this like infidelity and that would make it harder.

I realized now that most of the ideas of helping him was actually pushing or forcing him into something he didn't want. I can say that wasn't what I was thinking at the time but I also can't discount the idea that it wasn't. Setting him up with someone would have made easier for me not just on the physical part but on any nagging guilt I had. Well he did it too, so he can't judge me. Which looking back makes me sick.

My IC knows also knows how insecure and resentful I am. These things existed before I tried this and she thinks I used it as a band-aid. Like I said I never really got to experience different people before my husband, while he on the other hand has had numerous partners. I know this shouldn't bother me but it does. I have brought this up to my husband before and while he understood he also said it didn't matter. That anything crazy I thought I missed he would do with me.

I also want to comment about my group of friends and the advice they game me. All of them warned me my marriage could blow up because of this and every suggestion they made came with the same warning. It was never along the lines of get a woman and he'll be fine with it. They just expressed that approach seemed to have worked but if my husband was dead set against poly it wouldn't matter.

I really want to thank everyone again for the hard truths and sympathy. I needed both and wish me luck tomorrow. I'm terrified but hopeful.

SurferJenn

I wish you good luck, and I am going to also chime in because your situation has some, not all, similarities to mine.
One thing I think you better be thinking about that has not been mentioned is lets say hopefully your husband is willing to attempt to reconcile with you. I think you better figure out how you are going to deal with these new poly friends you have been hanging out with.

My guess is that despite them apparently telling you the dangers your choices might have, do you really think your husband is going to regard them as "friends" of your marriage. My guess is he looks at them as the stimulus for your sexual activity outside the marriage. And remember , regardless of what anyone on here that fully accepts poly tells you, it is what you husband feels that will determine any chances of reconciliation. So if I were you I would offer up on your own to end these associations.;

I would be surprised if your therapist will tell you that in this situation you should constantly be hanging out with people involved in the same marital model that caused all his pain and divorce papers for you. If this was infidelity, and it is not, would he want you to be hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends cheating on their husbands.

I also think your therapist in a situation where you have already been served, will tell you the last thing you want to do is assign blame to your husband in any way. Yes he could ha be come to you, and poly folks are good at open communication, but your husband never was or had any inclination to be poly, so his feelings were probably more of emasculation which made him want to avoid another session of you convincing him it will be OK. Look your self in the mirror and ask yourself ,not us, if in the first few weeks of leaving the house with him there to have have sex outside the marriage he would have said enough, that's it. You really would have just said OK, fine, I;lol stop. Or would you have kept at it. He probably wanted to avoid that because it was painful. I am not trying to be mean, but ask yourself is the reason you are sayin g all he had to do was tell you he was not happy and you would have ended your poly experience is because he has taken action, then you need to be truthful with yourself and own it.

Three or four months into my husband agreeing to opening our marriage I was in such NRE or whatever you call it that I would have fought like hell to not stop. I admit that to myself .

I sincerely hope you get the right advice in therapy and that you get a chance to repair your marriage.
 

Surferjenn

New member
We spoke and I've never seen him so broken. I asked him if I could speak first and took full responsibility for everything, that I would commit fully to fixing us, my screwed up thinking and asked him to take some time before filing the divorce. However long he needed, marriage counseling, separation or anything. But he was adamant that divorce was the only thing that could get him his self respect back. Though he did agree to hold off for two months, to get things straightened out with finances and clearing his head. I hope that might be a small window to try and work things out but I know I'm desperate too.

Alot of people here called out exactly what he was feeling. Hearing him say them crushed me.

In his opinion people ask for open marriages or poly because they already have someone picked out. That was why he didn't say anything, at least he knew so he wouldn't catch anything from me instead of me hiding it. That was one of the reasons he stopped having sex with me. He did apologize for not being honest but he was protecting himself.

When I brought up the idea he said he never felt so self consicious before and like a failure as both a husband and man. That my issues about lack of experience were almost just as bad, that because I didn't slut it up that he should be okay with me sleeping with other people. He also reminded me that when we had the talk about our pasts he didn't care whether I slept with 1 or 100 people before we dated.

When it came to the party he felt like stud being evaluated and it was insulting. That as I pointed about the differences in past partners that he couldn't go out and get laid. He also told me that one of the couples there that I only knew through people propositioned him that night. They wanted a threesome with him after the party. He never told me this.

This is where it gets rough. He told me he's still in love with me and probably always will be. But he's scared he might wake one day years from now and hate himself or me. And he doesn't want that especially with kids involved which we both want. He wants us both to be happy and now where he saw a happy future it's a nightmare.

I know this isn't a divorce board but any advice or thoughts. I'm thinking about giving him his space, working on myself and showing him much I want this to work.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Surferjenn,

I'm really sorry things went so badly with your husband; it seems like a complicated situation to me; I hope your counselor is able to help you repair the damage to your marriage. You'll have to figure out what to do about your own resentments, and be sure that you are okay with a 100% monogamous life. Otherwise it won't work.

With sympathy,
Kevin T.
 

anamikanon

New member
It is very hard to know you are in the wrong and may be losing someone precious as a result of it. For what it is worth, if you are serious about monogamy, you should probably read the advice for affair recovery anyway. Whether you like it or not, or use it or not, the information and insight remains there in your mind and available if you need it.

For what it is worth, I think you are doing the right thing by approaching him, apologizing and asking for an opportunity to repair your relationship. I don't want to sound too encouraging, but the fact that he still loves you, was willing to meet you, described his feelings openly.... is positive. He agreed to the delay you want, if only for another reason than the one you stated.

In your place, I'd do my best to remember every specific incident he brings up as an example of how he felt hurt and then, specifically bring it as a wrong done to him and apologize. "I was wrong to not respect your refusal." "As a woman I know what it feels like to have an uninvited sexual gaze assess my body. It is very violating. I deeply regret that I was inadvertently the cause of you having to go through that." "I was wrong to ask you to date. I knew it was completely against your beliefs. My thinking had become warped." "While I am terrified of losing you, I am glad you did what it took to protect yourself from me. I admit I was too blind to have stopped without this wake up call. If I ever win your trust again, we are going to have a safe word that you can use if you think I am violating your boundaries" and so on."

Try to create at least some time together that is free of blame/guilt/anger/apologies, when he can see that you LIKE him. If there can be a laugh or two, great. Quiet conversation could work. Failing that, anything that lets the two of you be together, sharing an experience. Including time spent together getting bored in the waiting room of the counselor. Please do court him without being pushy. You disrespect a "no" again, it probably won't work in your favor even if you get what you pushed for temporarily. Be attentive and respectful while making your interest clear. Yes, you would be vulnerable if you were honest about your interest in him and saving your marriage while he was angry. Yes, it may suck that respecting him may end up meaning giving him his space if he says no to spending time with you. Just be sure you put him first before the marriage even. Remember that lost self-respect?

If after spending time with him, you genuinely come to believe that he would not be able to come to terms with what happened? You should also consider whether you are willing to bear the heartbreak if that is indeed what he needs.

I have no idea if any of this will work.
 

Shaya

New member
Hey Jenn,

Anamikanon has some wise words. I feel that the suggestion to really hear his "no" is spot on. Having a safe word may also help if he feels he cannot communicate in the usual way. A safe word, a new word other than no, may work in your case.

If you're heading back to monogamy for the time being, I would recommend "not just friends" by Shirley Glass. It's a book that explains our attraction to others and how to manage this monogamously - it explains the blurriness of the slippery slope to acting on our desires for others. The book makes the blurry line less blurry, giving concrete examples of actions that many would consider as crossing the line into non monogamy, ways to monitor yourself and to control these impulses in a healthy manner. I find the writing intelligent and the philosophy to be healthy. Hope it helps.

Best of luck to you and your husband in this difficult time,
Shaya.
 

sexyserb

Member
We spoke and I've never seen him so broken. I asked him if I could speak first and took full responsibility for everything, that I would commit fully to fixing us, my screwed up thinking and asked him to take some time before filing the divorce. However long he needed, marriage counseling, separation or anything. But he was adamant that divorce was the only thing that could get him his self respect back. Though he did agree to hold off for two months, to get things straightened out with finances and clearing his head. I hope that might be a small window to try and work things out but I know I'm desperate too.

Alot of people here called out exactly what he was feeling. Hearing him say them crushed me.

In his opinion people ask for open marriages or poly because they already have someone picked out. That was why he didn't say anything, at least he knew so he wouldn't catch anything from me instead of me hiding it. That was one of the reasons he stopped having sex with me. He did apologize for not being honest but he was protecting himself.

When I brought up the idea he said he never felt so self consicious before and like a failure as both a husband and man. That my issues about lack of experience were almost just as bad, that because I didn't slut it up that he should be okay with me sleeping with other people. He also reminded me that when we had the talk about our pasts he didn't care whether I slept with 1 or 100 people before we dated.

When it came to the party he felt like stud being evaluated and it was insulting. That as I pointed about the differences in past partners that he couldn't go out and get laid. He also told me that one of the couples there that I only knew through people propositioned him that night. They wanted a threesome with him after the party. He never told me this.

This is where it gets rough. He told me he's still in love with me and probably always will be. But he's scared he might wake one day years from now and hate himself or me. And he doesn't want that especially with kids involved which we both want. He wants us both to be happy and now where he saw a happy future it's a nightmare.

I know this isn't a divorce board but any advice or thoughts. I'm thinking about giving him his space, working on myself and showing him much I want this to work.

Surferjenn

We spoke and I've never seen him so broken. I asked him if I could speak first and took full responsibility for everything, that I would commit fully to fixing us, my screwed up thinking and asked him to take some time before filing the divorce.


He's broken because exactly what he felt was exactly what happened. You went to meet ups, got to know these people, and basically DID have someone or some group picked out so what he says he felt makes sense.

Taking responsibility for everything?? What does that mean?? You cannot fix us alone and you cannot fix him. What did you offer him??? my guess is you offered to stop sleeping with other people but you plan on fixing things and still remaining in contact with this group./???

As far as his feeling about the party, my guess is he was more hurt standing in a room full of people not knowing who in the room his wife was having sex with. my guess is you did not introduce your lovers as such. i find it hard to believe a man would get that worked up about someone propositioning him,

When I brought up the idea he said he never felt so self consicious before and like a failure as both a husband and man.


Because he never bought in to poly for one minute he is feeling the same as a man whose wife cheats on him, emasculate to the core. You did not cheat but he feels he got steamrolled into it. And again, you asked him.You would have made the same statement you are making now back then??

Yes you should give him space and during that time you need to decide what you are going to do or want. If you want to save your marriage you better come to grips to putting your poly life behind you. I know its easy to say yes now, but you are going to have to be all in 100% and not just for a couple of months. I am not in quite the same boat as you as far as my husbands reaction but I have the same choice to make and tomorrow morning i have to start cutting a bunch of people out of my life. And i am going to do it because I want to not because I have to, as hard as it might be.

Given what he has told you you are not going to attend parties with these people and tell him its "just friends'. i hope you do not even go there.

You are going to get to talk to him some more so that is good. I suggest you do NOT push him, but that you show him through your actions that you are remorseful for what has happened and not just sad that your fantasy world has blown up.

you can do it but you need to do the heavy lifting.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
i find it hard to believe a man would get that worked up about someone propositioning him

No, but these things snowball. He's less of a man because another man used his woman. My god! they even tried to suck him into it...blah blah blah.

It's all about him so things do not bode well for this marriage. It's a shame she couldn't talk him into counselling. Perhaps he will seek therapy on his own, but it is much easier to wallow in self pity.
 

Polysnow

Member
God this situation makes me sick. I am super sorry you are going through this. I truly hope you can fix this and he remains in your life.

"
I sometimes thinks he wants to come back, but I have also told him that I feel it is dangerous for me to be with someone who will just lie when pushed in a corner. Because that means that I cant trust him to look after his own self interest. I have to do it for him. It is not just a poly issue. Given that I would consider giving up my bf to stay mono with my ex, I feel like I would always look over my shoulder to wonder what next thing hubby is giving into that he does not really want. Kids? House? Lifestyle choices?"

BUT there are serious wisdom in these words. Granted he ultimately did do something in the end, but not until it had gotten to the point where there was serious damage. That would scare me.

I honestly don't know or understand why he didnt put his foot down sooner. Jumping to the divorce extreme after not owning up to his feelings seems...well wrong too. But again, I just hope it can be salvaged.
 

anamikanon

New member
Only other suggestion I can think of is a "trick" one, actually to protect your interest. When you ask him to spend time with you, ALWAYS keep it specific. "Are you free to meet me for lunch today?" Don't give in to your need for assurances and go "Do you want to meet me at all?" etc, because if he goes "no" to the first, you can always respectfully try again at another time. If he goes "no" to the second, you're faced with the choice of disrespecting his refusal or giving up a key part of your efforts to reconcile.
 

anamikanon

New member
Is it a different conversation because I am not agreeing?

You didn't ask me, but I got that sense too when you disagreed. I think it may be the difference in PoV. You are reading the situation from your standards, ethics, goals and so on. But you don't seem to have any ambition for a mono relationship to begin with (nothing wrong with that. I don't either). I think on another thread you mention you don't even have lovers staying over.

It is a vastly different perspective from someone who WANTS to return to a mono marriage, who regrets the poly if the cost to her is losing the man. My perception is that you are unable to put yourself in the shoes of someone with different goals. Not just monogamy necessarily, but a more entwined relationship where imperfections or compromises are not about who did what correctly or not alone. How her husband reacted to poly is largely irrelevant here because he's out and she wants him back and she doesn't want to continue poly either. Whether the man is right or wrong in how he responded while upset and still not caging *her*, is irrelevant to the problem at hand scaring her, because there is a bigger mess that has happened that is more urgent from the perspective of HER goals.

She was in a two year marriage. Not only were they living with each other, overnight and all, they wanted to continue to do it and they were planning kids when things went WRONG. I think your conversation is different because it is a different world, a different perspective. So the advice is upright and very clearly thought out for it does not give her what she wants.
 

anamikanon

New member
i find it hard to believe a man would get that worked up about someone propositioning him

No, but these things snowball. He's less of a man because another man used his woman. My god! they even tried to suck him into it...blah blah blah.

It's all about him so things do not bode well for this marriage. It's a shame she couldn't talk him into counselling. Perhaps he will seek therapy on his own, but it is much easier to wallow in self pity.

For example this. The ability to accept your partner being close to others is not as crucial to the success of a monogamous marriage. "do not bode well" is being determined by poly standards and that too particularly emotionless ones - even poly people understand that a hurt partner will act irrationally on occasion and breaking their trust will mean doing the heavy lifting of reconciliation. There seems to be absolutely no space for anything except a perfect response - no matter the emotional condition of the husband or pressure on him - 'put your foot down' etc.

If OP is decided that she wants to reconcile, the only actions she can control are her own - even if she were completely in the right and her husband were completely in the wrong. Is your advice even geared toward considering the reconciliation that she is decided she wants?

I am getting a suspicion you are projecting a lot of your own frustrations with partners who don't respond well to poly onto this relationship.

It is a different conversation and a man not being well suited to a good poly relationship is irrelevant to the success of a mono marriage.

I am not saying I believe mono is a very secure idea to begin with. But then I am not OP or her husband and this isn't about what I want either.
 

WhatHappened

Active member
Is it a different conversation because I am not agreeing?

It's a different conversation because it didn't really address what she actually said. Which is why I said 'different' and not 'disagree.' ;)

Clearly some here feel that he should have spoken up immediately.

I do wonder, had he repeatedly said no...no...and still no...would some of those people then call him close-minded for refusing to even discuss it, or call him controlling for saying he 'wouldn't allow' her to do what she wants?

I think it's all too easy for our biases to get in the way, such that we will find fault in the person who doesn't agree with our position no matter what they do, no matter which direction they went, or how they handled it.
 

Surferjenn

New member
I feel like the what happened between my husband and I is being twisted. He apologized and took responsibility for not saying no when I first brought it up. At the same time he explained his reasons why. While I don't agree with them because I would never had started, I understand why. One Google search will bring up so many results of one partner bringing up poly or opening up after they've already cheated. So while that wasn't our situation he didn't know that.

I don't even know if I identity as poly or not. My IC told me she thinks I used it as an excuse because of my own issues. I find myself agreeing with her, because of a two questions she asked. How would I have reacted if the situation was reversed. And with my issues could I have handled my husband running his scorecard up even more. The answer to both of them is pretty hypocritical, because I would have been angry , jealous etc.

I've also seen some comments that somehow it's all about my husband and that's not true. I dropped a bomb on our marriage and I'm the one who brought issues into the marriage even before this. He's not perfect but I'm the one who needs to fix her shit. As for marriage counseling my IC said to wait until I figure out my problems.

And for him being upset about being propositioned. Had that happened to me the first time I went to a meet up I would have ran for the hills. That's like throwing someone who doesnt know how to swim in the deep end of the pool. Throw in the fact that is was a husband and wife who both wanted him, I understand why my straight husband might have a problem. Before anybody makes a comment no he's not homophobic but being told he could be turned or just try it once is tactless IMO.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle.

I'm also sorry it takes being at this place... on the brink of divorce... before either of you start being fully honest with yourselves and each other. :(

I wonder why that is? :confused:


What I was worried about was how many people we knew who's relationships were falling apart due to infidelity. Prior to marriage I had only two relationships and sexual partners while my husband who was older has had many more. This wasn't a problem for me from a jealously pov but I worried that I had missed out on some things and it could cause me to stray later on.

You were not honest with yourself there.

My IC knows also knows how insecure and resentful I am. These things existed before I tried this and she thinks I used it as a band-aid. Like I said I never really got to experience different people before my husband, while he on the other hand has had numerous partners. I know this shouldn't bother me but it does.

You are more honest here. You ARE envious/resentful that your husband had more past partners/experiences than you.

You were also a bit naive. "Poly" is not cheat proof. There are people who cheat on their poly agreements just like there are people who cheat on their mono agreements. It's the integrity and character of the people that makes them keep/change their agreements rather than cheat on them.

It's not the relationship "shape" -- mono or poly -- that keeps people from cheating on their agreements.

My IC told me she thinks I used it as an excuse because of my own issues. I find myself agreeing with her, because of a two questions she asked. How would I have reacted if the situation was reversed. And with my issues could I have handled my husband running his scorecard up even more. The answer to both of them is pretty hypocritical, because I would have been angry , jealous etc.

You guys were Closed and married. Why's there still a "score card?" I thought past dating life was set aside in favor of married life.

Are you in competition with his "score card?" That might be stuff to work out with your counselor.

In his opinion people ask for open marriages or poly because they already have someone picked out. That was why he didn't say anything, at least he knew so he wouldn't catch anything from me instead of me hiding it. That was one of the reasons he stopped having sex with me. He did apologize for not being honest but he was protecting himself.

When I brought up the idea he said he never felt so self consicious before and like a failure as both a husband and man. That my issues about lack of experience were almost just as bad, that because I didn't slut it up that he should be okay with me sleeping with other people. He also reminded me that when we had the talk about our pasts he didn't care whether I slept with 1 or 100 people before we dated.

When it came to the party he felt like stud being evaluated and it was insulting. That as I pointed about the differences in past partners that he couldn't go out and get laid. He also told me that one of the couples there that I only knew through people propositioned him that night. They wanted a threesome with him after the party. He never told me this.

This is where it gets rough. He told me he's still in love with me and probably always will be. But he's scared he might wake one day years from now and hate himself or me. And he doesn't want that especially with kids involved which we both want. He wants us both to be happy and now where he saw a happy future it's a nightmare.

I'm glad he opened up. I'm glad he apologized for not speaking up sooner. I'm sad that he didn't see emotional honesty as an important part of holding a marriage together. I wonder why that is? I suppose you could ask him.

What's he protecting himself FROM? I get the vibe it isn't only STD fears. Is it feeling vulnerable? His wife understanding him better? Asking for DADT to stave off you dumping HIM? I suppose you could ask that too. Not to blame or anything but to seek greater understanding in the hopes of going forward better.

Though he did agree to hold off for two months, to get things straightened out with finances and clearing his head. I hope that might be a small window to try and work things out but I know I'm desperate too.

I hope you two are able to work things out. You seem to want to try. You could ask if he's willing to try with marriage counseling.

If you do try? I suggest you both accept the past marriage is over. Move forward thinking about how the NEW marriage will be. Because you cannot continue like before. There were hidden issues before things came to light. They need solving. Postpone having children for a few years. Really make sure this new marriage has strong foundations. This experience has shown you both places where you were not strong and places where you each have things to work on.

I dropped a bomb on our marriage and I'm the one who brought issues into the marriage even before this. He's not perfect but I'm the one who needs to fix her shit.

I would say there is "my stuff, your stuff, and our stuff."

  • Some of the stuff? That's all your stuff. You have to sort that part out yourself.
  • Some of the stuff? That's all his stuff. He has to sort that part out himself.
  • Some of the stuff? That's shared stuff. Some of that stuff you have to sort out together.

If you do decide to try to work things out, perhaps thinking of things that way helps be more realistic. Taking it like it is ALL your stuff... that's not right. You didn't bring issues into the marriage. They were already there. What you did was suggest Open/Poly stuff. He said ok, even though he really didn't want to. And all this shone a light on all the cracks you guys didn't notice or acknowledge honestly before:

  • Your insecurity/resentments -- the ones that the counselor thinks are there all along that you were trying to "bandaid" with poly.
    • Your regretting (?) that you chose to get serious rather than play the field.
    • You feeling resentful/envious of his past before he knew you because he did play the field more.
    • You fearing husband would think you are boring in bed due to lack of experience
    • You fearing you will find him/marriage boring and cheat like your friends cheated
  • Him jumping to conclusions that you were already cheating or had someone in the wings rather than asking for clarification or more data as to why you wanted to try Open.
  • Him not being totally honest because he felt the need to "protect himself" from what? His own jumping to conclusions?
    • In his worldview -- is thinking about something the same as doing it? So you thinking about Open is the same as you doing it?
  • You both takes things personally rather than situationally.
    • You seem to take his past as a ding on you like you want to even the scorecard. Or his past as the measure of how he values/appreciates you. (Like... how can I measure up when he's had all these other partners?) Rather than letting his past be the PAST instead of letting it color your present/future.
    • He takes you talking about opening as a ding on him like he's a failure as a man and husband because he cannot keep his wife interested. Rather than letting it be about you needing to resolve some personal issues with resentment/envy. He could have declined to Open, seen that it is (you wresting with inner problems) rather than it being (about him being a failure as a man/husband). Instead he agreed to Open when he didn't really want that because... he thought you were cheating on him already? What's that do? Make it NOT be cheating if he agrees?

I don't know what other things there may be.

If he's not willing to try again and repair foundations? Then he's simply not. You will have to find a way to make peace with that. And still sort out your part of the stuff in the interest of becoming a healthier, stronger person in general.

If he is willing? This is opportunity for both of you to finally get around to REALLY getting to know each other and what you each value, your worldviews, and a chance to change your way of going in favor of total honesty with yourselves and each other. Talk about what place "emotional honesty" and "emotional resilience" and "healthy problem solving" have in your future marriage if you guys decide to try again.

It sounds like for a time, he tried to "ostrich" rather than face problems head on.

You guys are 4 years in. That's the make it or break it point. People talk about it like 7 year itch, but from what I read it is 4 year itch.

I'm sorry honesty and other things were lacking before. See what can be rebuilt.

It's best you sort all that stuff above out before having children, though.

You have my sympathies though. I can imagine things are rough right now.

Hang in there.

Galagirl
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
You didn't ask me, but I got that sense too when you disagreed. I think it may be the difference in PoV. You are reading the situation from your standards, ethics, goals and so on. But you don't seem to have any ambition for a mono relationship to begin with (nothing wrong with that. I don't either). I think on another thread you mention you don't even have lovers staying over.

I never had lovers stay over in the house I shared with my wife. It was an agreement we had. She and I did live monogamously for about 18 years.

It is a vastly different perspective from someone who WANTS to return to a mono marriage, who regrets the poly if the cost to her is losing the man. My perception is that you are unable to put yourself in the shoes of someone with different goals. Not just monogamy necessarily, but a more entwined relationship where imperfections or compromises are not about who did what correctly or not alone. How her husband reacted to poly is largely irrelevant here because he's out and she wants him back and she doesn't want to continue poly either. Whether the man is right or wrong in how he responded while upset and still not caging *her*, is irrelevant to the problem at hand scaring her, because there is a bigger mess that has happened that is more urgent from the perspective of HER goals.

She was in a two year marriage. Not only were they living with each other, overnight and all, they wanted to continue to do it and they were planning kids when things went WRONG. I think your conversation is different because it is a different world, a different perspective. So the advice is upright and very clearly thought out for it does not give her what she wants.

I'm looking at the bigger picture. How does he handle things? He didn't speak up for himself. He simply left. I don't think that lack of communication is conducive to a good marriage. Several people have stated that they would have some difficulty trusting him to be honest about his feelings.


For example this. The ability to accept your partner being close to others is not as crucial to the success of a monogamous marriage. "do not bode well" is being determined by poly standards and that too particularly emotionless ones - even poly people understand that a hurt partner will act irrationally on occasion and breaking their trust will mean doing the heavy lifting of reconciliation. There seems to be absolutely no space for anything except a perfect response - no matter the emotional condition of the husband or pressure on him - 'put your foot down' etc.

No, I am looking at this from the perspective of monogamy. I actually agree with what you said earlier about treating this situation as if it was an affair.

If OP is decided that she wants to reconcile, the only actions she can control are her own - even if she were completely in the right and her husband were completely in the wrong. Is your advice even geared toward considering the reconciliation that she is decided she wants?

Yes. But it takes two to reconcile. So far he is not on board. He struggles communicating his feelings. He does not appear to consider her perspective at all. My fear for her is that no matter what hoops she jumps through, it will always come back to how he was wronged.

I am getting a suspicion you are projecting a lot of your own frustrations with partners who don't respond well to poly onto this relationship.

It is a different conversation and a man not being well suited to a good poly relationship is irrelevant to the success of a mono marriage.

I am not saying I believe mono is a very secure idea to begin with. But then I am not OP or her husband and this isn't about what I want either.

I'm not sure why we are still talking about poly at this point. Clearly that is off the table completely.

Yes, I have had some partners who have tried to steer me towards being mono with them. That is an entirely different situation. I am looking at this from what I've seen of mono men who feel their wife has wronged them by going poly. The whole "I feel like less of a man because my wife slept with someone else thing." That is something I struggled with a little...and I was pre-disposed to non-monogamy.

I'm also looking at this from my experience with Mary. She too had an affair that wasn't really an affair...with me. That caused her husband to want to reconcile. She agreed. He put her through pure hell for six months. That has tapered off some. The issue there is he refuses to acknowledge his part in the initial failing of their marriage. To him it is (in my opinion) an issue of ownership. He now feels like less of a man and must make her pay for her transgression. She chooses to stay and take the abuse because to leave would be a failure. She defines herself as a wife, not an individual.

Finally, my first wife cheated on me. I didn't want to reconcile because I saw it as an out from a marriage I wasn't all that happy with anyway. I wasn't crushed by the infidelity. I was more pissed that I had turned down lots of women in order to make the monogamy work and she went out and screwed someone anyway...lol.

So I see OP's husband as a guy with ownership issues who is insecure and lacks the self-esteem to stand up for himself or face problems head on. That makes for a difficult partner, poly or mono. Some contemplation may allow him to resolve those issues. He may choose to simply remain fixated on the "affair" and how his wife "made" him feel like less of a man. In a perfect situation he would realize that his wife wanting to explore poly was not about him. Faced with a life of monogamy, after not having much experience, she needed to sow some wild oats. I suspect she is not really poly at all. In order to forgive her, he will have to realize all this. You say the onus is all on her. I say he must be willing to put aside his ego and forgive her. That's not an easy thing to do.
 
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