Lots Of Mistakes Made

Donny

New member
Sorry, long read.

I am a 60 year old cis male married to a 42 year old, now, bi female, lol. We have been together for 18 years, married for 9.

She had made comments over our relationship about attractions to other women and being curious in her youth but never acted on them. About 5-6 years ago she took a new job and met a wonderful women who was her boss at the time. Over the next couple of years they ended up not working together but turning in to BFF's. Due to her new friend finding a job near us and all of us being very compatible she ended up coming to live with us.

Around the time they met our marriage was struggling because of some serious communication, health and other issues we were having. It was all on me and I basically shut her out for a very long time. No sex was happening for a while. This coupled with her emotional needs never being fully met by me over the years because learning to be a communicator, being open was a difficult process for me due to basically raising myself, building defensive walls, etc. All this aside we have become very close and really each others rock, but frankly neither of our ideal mates. Her being liberal, a teacher, somewhat of a social justice warrior and raised in a very different, what I call spoiled environment, and me raised as a lower middle class, barely having enough, self raised conservative. It has been tough throughout but we have been solid until the last few years when I turned stupid.

After BFF was living with us a couple of years they both came to me and expressed interest in each other. BFF had previous bi and straight relationships in the past but my wife was dealing with an increasing wanting to explore her repressed sexuality with women.

This is where the biggest mistake was made

I agreed to be ok with them exploring the relationship further despite problems in our marriage. In that discussion BFF had said that at some point I might be considered a third partner in whatever came about. Not a situation I had every imagined but it definitely sparked my curiosity as I had been looking at BFF sexually but never acting out of respect for my wife. A lot of time went by with no mention of when, where, how, if it happened, was it a curious thing, an ongoing relationship, etc. I could not take the silence and made them have a sit down and talk. We have all agreed to be honest above all else from the beginning. Although not forthcoming they did admit to not only a sexual relationship but much more. In some ways I was feeling a relief because the emotional issues I had been avoiding were suddenly taken on by someone else. They spend a lot of time together and this freed me up. No longer was my wife not pushing me to open up she also was not coming to me in times of crisis either. Good at first but it increasingly wore on me.

I had a long talk with each of them and laid everything on the table. Being fully honest with my wife and basically having an epiphany about life overall. Explaining I can't sustain this and I want to collapse all walls and repair everything. Finding out BFF did have feelings for me, which my wife was a bit surprised by, we started a new, "family", as we were calling it. My wife said she was ok with BFF and I having a relationship and we had sex a few times. It was clear my wife was having some jealousy issues, having to know when, details, etc. Now she is more comfortable with it. BFF however is pulling away from me because the wife and I are not fully resolving our issues. We are civil, talking a lot, spending time together again and getting closer again but things are not resolved. Sex is not off the table but she is still having trust issues with me, feeling I will fall back in to old patters, etc.

So now I'm being rejected physically by both.

The biggest problem is that I have had something with BFF that I have been missing for decades. Physical chemistry is amazing, talking is easy, everything is easy. I not only love her, but have fallen deeply in love with her. We do things together that my wife is not interested in, etc. I know about NRE but this is insane and I can't stop thinking about us being together. I still love my wife very much. The prospect of all this is amazing but now I'm in hell because I can't see this going forward without both of them. If BFF says we can't continue I can't see staying in the same house together. They have a secure relationship that has surpassed the solidity of our marriage. Being here, wanting BFF and seeing them have a fulfilled, loving relationship is something I don't think I can do. But putting that pressure on all of us seems unfair.

Some part of me just wants to leave, wants this to end, because it is so painful to be in fear of it all collapsing. Neither one of them want that. Wife says she still loves me very much and doesn't want me out of her life. BFF says she wants nothing more than a "family" with all of us. I am stuck in hell right now because I am not a person who deals with things being unresolved. I want it fixed, today! That in itself is selfish after being a total, disconnected idiot for so long. I realize I can't have that and the insecurity is causing huge problems. I just got to a point where I couldn't carry all of it, being closed off, putting up walls, done with all of it. Letting all that go, coupled with this complicated menagerie feels like just too much. How do I relax and just let things happen as they will when it's just so not me? Feeling scared and helpless, but also realizing I'm the cause.

Also now in therapy for ADD at 60, lol. Trying to be this work in progress but there is so much going on and it all hinges (not the hinge, that is BFF) on me.

Thanks for reading if you got this far! All help and advise is greatly appreciated.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It's great to see you are still evolving at age 60. You are trying to be more open, better able to identify and deal with emotions, etc. Men of our generation (I am 67) were usually taught to bottle everything up, a holdover from the wartime requirements of soldiers in WW2 that carried over in some areas, especially conservative ones, for years. And you had childhood trauma to deal with as well. You probably held onto your childhood coping skills, which now seem inadequate.

This has put you in an unusual polyamorous situation. You and wife have used BFF as a Band-Aid for your marital distance and dissatisfaction. You are all aware of this. Now that both women have drawn away from you, you're upset, and want to heal yourself and your marriage NOW, if not YESTERDAY! But you know you still need to do a lot of work to get to that new realm of self-understanding and healing and rapport with either/both women.

This is a poly problem, but of course, it's also a "you" problem. Have you sought counseling? I would recommend individual therapy to begin, maybe (couple/triad) counseling down the road.

I assume you don't have any friends who would be willing to listen to your story, in real life? You can come here and vent and ask for advice. You could also start a blog just to put your history in writing instead of continuing to bottle it up inside.
 

Donny

New member
It's great to see you are still evolving at age 60. You are trying to be more open, better able to identify and deal with emotions, etc. Men of our generation (I am 67) were usually taught to bottle everything up, a holdover from the wartime requirements of soldiers in WW2 that carried over in some areas, especially conservative ones, for years. And you had childhood trauma to deal with as well. You probably held onto your childhood coping skills, which now seem inadequate.

This has put you in an unusual polyamorous situation. You and wife have used BFF as a Band-Aid for your marital distance and dissatisfaction. You are all aware of this. Now that both women have drawn away from you, you're upset, and want to heal yourself and your marriage NOW, if not YESTERDAY! But you know you still need to do a lot of work to get to that new realm of self-understanding and healing and rapport with either/both women.

This is a poly problem, but of course, it's also a "you" problem. Have you sought counseling? I would recommend individual therapy to begin, maybe (couple/triad) counseling down the road.

I assume you don't have any friends who would be willing to listen to your story, in real life? You can come here and vent and ask for advice. You could also start a blog just to put your history in writing instead of continuing to bottle it up inside.
Thank you.

Yes I am in therapy for the first time at the request of both of them.

Although ADD and OCD, and poor coping skills are part of the focus, communication is my key issue as the other parts are not as severe a problem for me. Opening up to the whole idea of not being monogamous is foreign as almost every relationship I have had has been 10 years or longer. But feeling love from more than one person, and that being ok is something I never thought was ok before, and something I never thought I would be deserving of. The short glimpse I've had of how great it can be feels like a tease right now.

The worst part of all this is that I don't have these skills and have to learn as I go, also learn to accept that these concepts are ok, letting go of outdated old patterns that have not served me well, although I didn't know that, all at the same time I am discovering that the success, for me at least is all on my shoulders. Although I do know not having me in my wife's life would be crushing to her, it feels like I'm the cast out, the third wheel, and things would just be easier for them if I was out of the picture. Dark thoughts that are likely not true, but I can't stop them.

Mostly I'm scared I will mess it up, for everyone. I think if I could learn to just calm down and not look at this non stop scenario of it failing it will work out, but I don't know how to do that.
 

Donny

New member
I assume you don't have any friends who would be willing to listen to your story, in real life?
Willing to listen, sure, but I'm scared to do that.

On the other hand, BFF and wife have told others, friends, family about us. This gave me a sense of permanence, which in turn was more confusing when she pulled back.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you.

Yes I am in therapy for the first time at the request of both of them.

Although ADD and OCD, and poor coping skills are part of the focus, communication is my key issue as the other parts are not as severe a problem for me. Opening up to the whole idea of not being monogamous is foreign as almost every relationship I have had has been 10 years or longer. But feeling love from more than one person, and that being ok is something I never thought was ok before, and something I never thought I would be deserving of. The short glimpse I've had of how great it can be feels like a tease right now.
That's understandable. But it's good to have goals and be motivated to do the work to meet them!
The worst part of all this is that I don't have these skills and have to learn as I go, also learn to accept that these concepts are ok, letting go of outdated old patterns that have not served me well, although I didn't know that, all at the same time I am discovering that the success, for me at least is all on my shoulders. Although I do know not having me in my wife's life would be crushing to her, it feels like I'm the cast out, the third wheel, and things would just be easier for them if I was out of the picture. Dark thoughts that are likely not true, but I can't stop them.

Mostly I'm scared I will mess it up, for everyone. I think if I could learn to just calm down and not look at this non stop scenario of it failing it will work out, but I don't know how to do that.
I'm not doctor, but maybe the OCD causes you to have those repetitive thoughts of failure.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Donny,

So I take it you are still having serious communication, health, and other issues with your wife? What needs to be done to resolve these issues? I know I am being awfully short-winded here, but I feel that these are the questions that it all boils down to. I hope I can help.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Donny

New member
Hello Donny,

So I take it you are still having serious communication, health, and other issues with your wife? What needs to be done to resolve these issues? I know I am being awfully short-winded here, but I feel that these are the questions that it all boils down to. I hope I can help.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Nothing in the way now, just trying to repair the relationship(s)

Therapy is helping my communication skills and other issues are a work in progress.

Thanks again
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Donny,

It actually sounds like things are looking up a little bit. Therapy is helping, and I take it you are working on repairing the relationship (with your wife). Can you go into more detail on what steps you are taking to repair the relationship? What roadblocks are there?

I hope things will continue to improve.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Donny

New member
Hi Donny,

It actually sounds like things are looking up a little bit. Therapy is helping, and I take it you are working on repairing the relationship (with your wife). Can you go into more detail on what steps you are taking to repair the relationship? What roadblocks are there?

I hope things will continue to improve.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
All is actually pretty good but the troubling part is she is not "ready" for intimate contact (sex) with me but has no problem with BFF, which is now girlfriend I guess? This is why I'm struggling. Girlfriend had pulled back from me because the wife and I were having some pretty serious discussions, which actually were very positive in the end and have allowed us to get to a better place.

One problem is the two of them work full time and I work at home now. They both go to bed early, get up early and go to work. It really doesn't leave a lot of time during the week for pairing up with either even to talk much. On top of that they go out shopping, run errands, etc. without me. I do get invites but it's never been my favorite thing to spend time at the Mall or Joanne's, or whatever mindless walking around and window shopping, lol. And I'm actually very happy for the wife that she has someone to do that with that enjoys it as well. Weekends are busy and girlfriend is having some work stresses that are not letting her focus on our relationship. I understand that job stability and mental well being is first priority for her right now so I'm trying to to put any pressure on her to deal with me right now. There are so many positives to their relationship that I don't want to disrupt that. Being "out", feeling like she can be herself, has always been something she's needed and I want her to have that.

Bottom line is weeks are going by with "real life" getting in the way of working on this. From the beginning it has always been the three of us, or the two of them spending almost all free time together. Girlfriend and I have had to schedule time, which is an afternoon or evening here and there with wife demanding to know when, and for how long she needs to give us time alone. I understand she has some issue with the actuality of us being together and in the beginning wanting details. Now she has relaxed that a bit and is saying she doesn't want to know. She talks about equity but I don't feel three "dates" in three months is equitable when they have whatever time they want together. Like I said before, feeling like the "third wheel".

None of us have ever been in a Poly situation before so it's all a work in progress. On top of that throw in that the wife is new to being in a relationship with another women. All in all I think I need to just relax and let things play out, but that is so not me. Work in progress.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Donny,

It sounds like you are having some jealous feelings because your wife is enjoying an intimacy with your (mutual) girlfriend you aren't currently allowed to have (with either woman). You also are not able to talk much (with either woman) because of your work schedules. This may leave you feeling even more jealous -- if the two woman are able to talk a lot with each other. You just aren't enjoying as much of a relationship with them as they are with each other. This is probably a temporary situation, but while it lasts it is tough to go through.

To some extent, I think you should "go shopping" and "run errands" with them, if they are willing to have you along. It's not your thing, but who knows, going with them may result in some rare opportunities here and there to chat with them, and enjoy just a little bit of that relationship of which you are currently being deprived. It might be worth the endless browsing at the various clothing stores or whatnot. Or you could wait in the car while they shop, read a book or something. Consider it at least.

It sounds like your girlfriend's pulling away from you isn't just because she wants you to fix things with your wife first. She is also having work stresses that are not letting her focus on her relationship with you. I am assuming that those stresses are a temporary situation, so again there is reason to hope that in time, you will regain the intimacy with her that you used to have. You are concerned that weeks are going by without that intimacy, but at least it isn't months or years -- at least not yet.

I agree with you that three so-called dates in as many months is not equitable when they have whatever time they want together. I wonder if you have talked to them about this inequity? and about how you feel about it? Is it possible your girlfriend has stronger feelings for your wife than for you? Not saying she has no feelings for you, just saying maybe they're not as strong, and maybe three dates in three months is enough for her. I mean she has time for your wife, but she doesn't have time for you. Couldn't she "make time?"

Just some thoughts,
Kevin T.
 

Donny

New member
To some extent, I think you should "go shopping" and "run errands" with them, if they are willing to have you along.
We do things together but this is actually a running joke with us because they both know it tortures me. I don't mind actual errands and shopping but they can kill a day just looking at stuff and we all agree they don't want me there if I'm not in to it, lol.
I am assuming that those stresses are a temporary situation, so again there is reason to hope that in time, you will regain the intimacy with her that you used to have.
Yes, a temporary situation but she will likely be changing jobs.
Is it possible your girlfriend has stronger feelings for your wife than for you? Not saying she has no feelings for you, just saying maybe they're not as strong, and maybe three dates in three months is enough for her. I mean she has time for your wife, but she doesn't have time for you. Couldn't she "make time?"
All good points. She has had abusive relationships with men that were traumatic. With ongoing therapy she has dealt with it very well and is able to openly talk of it without distress. But there are definite trust issues with men, having something normal with me is weird for her and we talk that as well. In some ways she is a little scared of getting too close so quickly and I need to try to understand that more. It's hard because I've really fallen for her and I see everything in her that My wife does. We both agree she's awesome.

As far as equity, we are working on that.

Thanks again for your input.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
No problem, I hope you are able to work things out with both of these fine women, it does seem like you are making progress.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
We do things together but this is actually a running joke with us because they both know it tortures me. I don't mind actual errands and shopping but they can kill a day just looking at stuff and we all agree they don't want me there if I'm not in to it, lol.

Yes, a temporary situation but she will likely be changing jobs.

All good points. She has had abusive relationships with men that were traumatic. With ongoing therapy she has dealt with it very well and is able to openly talk of it without distress. But there are definite trust issues with men, having something normal with me is weird for her and we talk that as well. In some ways she is a little scared of getting too close so quickly and I need to try to understand that more. It's hard because I've really fallen for her and I see everything in her that My wife does. We both agree she's awesome.

As far as equity, we are working on that.

Thanks again for your input.
You might find that forming a completely equal triad is an impossible dream. It is a very rare configuration. Sometimes 2 legs of the triangle just vibe better with each other. In a triad there are 3 dyads:

You+wife
You+gf
Gf+wife

Then there is the threeway relationship.

Each dyad is its own separate unit. Each dyad, if a triad is truly desired by all, must be nurtured and given time to grow into its own shape, like a plant. You need one-on-one time with wife, one-on-one time with gf. Otherwise both of these relationships will wither and dry up and blow away. Never mind finding equity, you won't get a chance for any kind of shape at all.

There may never be true equity, even if the members of the triad give lip service to it. You are never going to feel the same exact way about wife as you do about gf, with whom you do not have the same kind of history. You would like to have some kind of intimate relationship with her. But you are in the dating stage. And she is in the dating stage with wife too. She is feeling NRE for wife. She is not feeling it for you. You are feeling NRE for gf. It's like this whole structure. It takes work to make all the gears connect and turn.

You were initially thrilled at the few sexual experiences you had with gf. But that fizzled and she's seemingly moved on. Or at least she's too distracted by her NRE with wife to see you, much less focus on you. This can hurt-- A LOT!! It feels like rejection. That can cause depression. Envy (not jealousy, per se). Frustration.

If you want to see any progress you need to make your wishes known and make some requests for one-on-one time with each woman. To talk and just to enjoy each other's company.
 

Donny

New member
You were initially thrilled at the few sexual experiences you had with gf. But that fizzled and she's seemingly moved on. Or at least she's too distracted by her NRE with wife to see you, much less focus on you. This can hurt-- A LOT!! It feels like rejection. That can cause depression. Envy (not jealousy, per se). Frustration.
She has openly said she is still interested but want's to see my wife and I get things settled and does not want to feel a replacement, and I fully understand that. That didn't stop here in the beginning though when things were worse between wife and I, lol. There is a very strong physical attraction which is part of my problem because sex has never been just sex for me as it seems it can be for either of them. As far as NRE with wife it's been a couple of years in total and there are more settled now. I'm trying to find a balance and it's difficult. Not only have I fallen hard for GF, she is many things that wife is not and never has been for me, which is ok and I still love wife very much. But GF and I are scarily alike, and opposite of wife in personality, sexual chemistry. I understand that the same things wife see's in me she see's in GF, but for for me it's a nice change to be an the same page often with a partner. If I can make it work with both it will be the best of both worlds scenario but now I'm having trouble imagining not have a relationship with GF, more so not having that while they are and I'm scared I will resent GF if it doesn't work out.

A lot of what I'm feeling seems selfish, immature and pathetic looking from the outside in, so I'm trying more to look at it in whole and taking a step back myself to process. But this is why I was reluctant in the first place, thinking of how many ways it can go wrong and ruin a near twenty year relationship.

I have to say this is all so weird for me. In my past relationships it was always just two of us, totally monogamous. If anything disrupted that, ie interest in another for either of us I would be done. I won't tolerate cheating not would I ever do that to someone. It was strange knowing they were having sex and not being jealous, then I was with GF and wife was somewhat jealous and couldn't figure out why because all along she has said she doesn't have a problem with it. Now GR has pulled away I'm feeling jealousy for the first time, for both.

Complicated.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It certainly is complicated ... it sounds like both of the women have favorable aspects in their respective ways. In some ways the girlfriend offers you more, but regardless your wife is the gateway to your girlfriend -- or so your girlfriend believes. It will be interesting to see what happens when the rubber meets the road. Once you have fully repaired things with your wife, will girlfriend resume intimate relations with you? I'm not completely sure. Girlfriend may have other things blocking you, things girlfriend does not see or does not want to see. Like I said, time will tell.
 
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