Messed up and hurting

Tightropewalker

New member
I apologize in advance as this is pretty lengthy. New to polyamory and need some advice.

My husband and I have been married for 13 years. Together for 24. We had always discussed the possibility of opening our marriage ( from the beginning of our marriage). I just didn't feel that I could be with one person for the rest of my life. I even arranged a threesome for him even though I'm not bi.


In 2011 an ex boyfriend contacted me on fb. I told my hubby about it and he seemed to take it well. I told him that I just wanted to be friends with him, but things between me and the ex quickly escalated to the point that all of the old feelings came back. We live 3000 miles apart so all of our conversations were on the phone or via text.

My husband was ok with this until he saw how happy I was when I was talking to the ex. I told him that I can love him and the ex too but he said that he felt I loved and cared for the ex more. And he became very jealous. He said that I was so wrapped up in NRE that he was afraid I would leave him.

At this point it was a couple of months into the new relationship and I didn't want to not have this person in my life so I started lying to my husband. Keeping the ex a secret.

Hubby ended up finding about us still talking and did everything he could to break it up. Which it ended in 2012. During all of this I hurt not only my husband but also my ex. The ex won't even talk to me anymore.

I'm so broken hearted at the way that I handled everything. I'm still with my husband and we were able to work through everything. It took some time but we are a lot stronger now.

My husband is ready to open our relationship for a woman that he is in love with while I'm happy for him, I still can't help feeling sad over what happened between me and the ex.

I know that what happened was my fault for lying but my husband also lied because he said he was ok with it in the beginning. But I can't help feeling that I was robbed of a relationship, because he wasn't ready and now that he is he will get to have his relationship without all of the drama that I went through.

Somehow I just feel cheated!

How do I move on from this?

Thank you for taking the time to read my story :)
 
By realising that you were wrong for lying, being objective and assessing whether your did let NRE prevent you from maintaining your marriage and acknowledging that someone new would be best all round. When you've done that, you'll have no issue moving on.
 
Over-estimating your capacities to deal with things is not the same as 'lying'. I don't think it's fair for you to classify your husband's discomfort early on as being remotely similar to your omission that you were continuing your relationship with your ex behind his back. It sounds like he told you he couldn't handle things when he realised, and you made a poor choice anyway.

That said, what's done is now done. I can completely understand that sense of unfairness when you feel like you've been travelling at a snails pace in the early days, only to find that once your (previously only with you) partner has a love interest of their own, it's 'throw all those silly rules out the window and let's do this thing!'

I've been on both sides of this. In my first poly relationship, I was sort of in your position. Met a girl who had a live-in partner, and there were lots of rules and going-slow to ensure my metamour was comfortable, which was painful for all but him. The minute he got another gf (my other partner at the time, actually), all of a sudden he was pouting about 'no overnights'. The fact that we had been living with no overnights for a good 18 months was neither here nor there. However, since we *did* want those particular rules to change anyway, it was more amusing than annoying.

In my current relationship however, I have very much been in your husbands shoes. I had a lot of problems transitioning from mono-to-poly the second time around (different situations, different people - the fact I had been in an open relationship before really made very little difference to how hard it was). One of the key steps for me in getting my head around my gf's new relationship was, perhaps selfishly, figuring out all the ways *I* could benefit from us opening up. It's really not much fun when you are sat on the sidelines feeling a bit lonely and rubbish when your partner is going out on hot dates (as you are now discovering yourself). Once things started happening more for me on that front, I felt more secure and happier for her. It really was a case of me needing to experience that thing of getting close to someone else and realising my feelings for my gf were not diminished in any way, for me to truly believe her when she told me the same. I think now that I know that, I would be more content even if I were to suddenly find myself with just one partner. It's an important step in coming to terms with poly, and I think it's great your husband is figuring that out at last. It bodes well for the future.

In short, I think you should focus more on the fact that HE'S READY NOW, than what you missed out on before. It's possible that after that first negative experience you might have felt that you were never going to be able to connect with others in the way you wanted to without hurting your husband. I'm glad that you are happy for him, because this is a second chance for both of you to do things right this time. There's nothing stopping you from finding a new relationship yourself right now, so rather than dwelling on the past, look to all of those exciting possibilities.
 
Stand up

I'm sorry, but this won't be what you want to hear. I can say ALL of it because I'm in a world of hurt right now that I too contributed to the making of through my choices for pleasure over responsibility.

You have no right to feel cheated. You lied. You chose your own self gratification over being responsible for your primary relationship AND being responsible for your secondary relationship. You chose YOURSELF. The feelings you are left with hurt the most because you did it to yourself. THAT'S why you hurt and that's why I hurt right now.

You and I made choices in the moment for our own pleasure and the pleasure of the person we were relating to at the expense of the health of the whole dynamic. That dynamic crumbled and now both you and I were forced to rebuild what we destroyed.

We have no right to feel ANYTHING but responsible for our own actions.

The ONLY thing to do is learn from it and make better choices.
 
WHO cheated you? HOW?

I wonder if when you say "I feel cheated" you might mean "I feel envious" mixed with "I feel disappointed in myself." Is my guess wrong?

Have you both talked about poly hell and how to navigate it again now that he is the one dating? So it does not blow up?

http://www.kathylabriola.com/articles/are-you-in-poly-hell

If the 2012 break up is still too fresh for you, you still have some grieving to finish processing, emotional management skills to grow, and you simply are not ready to polyship again at this time? Could tell him so.

Why ARE you agreeing to re-open the marriage at this time when there's stuff sill unresolved? You and husband may be "stronger" but it doesn't sound like you are "done" processing to me.

I know that what happened was my fault for lying but my husband also lied because he said he was ok with it in the beginning.

To me this seems like trying to minimize or disown your behavior by saying "well he did it too!"

So nothing happened in between for him to start out being ok and willing to try and then later for him to become NOT ok and not willing to continue?

But I can't help feeling that I was robbed of a relationship, because he wasn't ready and now that he is he will get to have his relationship without all of the drama that I went through.

To me in that statement? You connect things that do not need to be connected. You use "feel" where I think you mean "think."

"I think I was robbed" not "I feel I was robbed." "Robbed" is not a feeling word.

If you sit around thinking to yourself things like "It's not fair! He gets to have, I don't! I was robbed!" that could be why you feel yucky now. To me feelings ensue after behavior. Your thinking behavior is not exactly contributing to your feeling well.

You were not "robbed." Nothing was stolen. You failed to maintain 2 relationships at once and meet the needs of both partners. You told lies. How does this behavior inspire confidence in you from both partners? We are free to choose. We are not free from the consequences of our choices.

At this point in time you sound like you want to fob it off on husband as "the big meanie" that "prevented" you from having what you wanted back then rather than taking a look at your behavior and owning it. Blame shifting is faulty thinking. Could not do this.

he wasn't ready then and now that he is he will get to have his relationship without all of the drama that I went through.

Predicting the future. That's another form of faulty thinking. Could not do this.

He might have his relationship unfold well, or it might unfold well. The reality is at this point in time nobody can actually know how his relationship will unfold with the person he's dating.

I also think it is jumping the gun too because it may be best to NOT open at this time til you and DH get all your baggage sorted out. It doesn't sound like you guys are done to me. :(

Putting you, him and the woman through possible poly hell again because (you + DH) have unresolved baggage doesn't sound like starting off from the best foundation to me.

I am sorry you hurt and struggle. I encourage you to finish sorting this old stuff out with husband and really be done before starting anything new.


Galagirl
 
Last edited:
So now that your husband has found a female partner he wants to be with can you try to make amends with your ex? I can understand why he'd be apprehensive at this point having been dumped at the demands of your husband but that shouldn't be the case now. I can understand being upset. You were essentially forced into stop talking to you ex who lives thousands of miles away and now your husband meets someone local he wants to have sex with and that's okay somehow, while you are left with nothing.

Is your husband going to be fine with you having a relationship with someone local as well? Or will he find a way to sabotage this relationship like he did the last one?
 
My husband was ok with this until he saw how happy I was when I was talking to the ex. I told him that I can love him and the ex too but he said that he felt I loved and cared for the ex more. And he became very jealous. He said that I was so wrapped up in NRE that he was afraid I would leave him.

At this point it was a couple of months into the new relationship and I didn't want to not have this person in my life so I started lying to my husband. Keeping the ex a secret.

I see two distinct choices you made which have caused you some grief. The first is when you decided that your husband was entitled to VETO rights over your relationship with your ex, the second was your decision to lie about it and have the relationship behind your husbands back.

Obviously your decision to have the affair with your ex didn't work out well for you; these things rarely do. You are well aware of this mistake so there's no need to harp on it further.

Before that decision, however, you made what I think was the big mistake. You were open about your new relationship but hubby eventually got cold feet and tried to shut it down. It is at this point that you were at a crossroads. You could 1) shut it down, 2) say you were shutting it down and cheat, 3) acknowledge that your husband was having jealousy issues but refuse to hand over control of who you date.

Somehow I just feel cheated!

How do I move on from this?

I think the way you get past this feeling of missing out on something possibly great with your ex is to realize the fact that you were in control of your actions the whole time. No one cheated you, you cheated yourself.

Allow yourself to feel disappointed, if that's what you feel, but take responsibility for the fact that your actions were always in your control. Further, let it be a learning experience for the decisions you make going forward.
 
I can understand being upset. You were essentially forced into stop talking to you ex who lives thousands of miles away and now your husband meets someone local he wants to have sex with and that's okay somehow, while you are left with nothing.

Is your husband going to be fine with you having a relationship with someone local as well? Or will he find a way to sabotage this relationship like he did the last one?

Tightropewalker, I strongly suggest not letting this kind of language find its way into your thought process. It's not reality and it's counter productive.

Your husband had an emotional response and asked you to take action so that he could avoid feeling those feelings - that's the extent of his involvement in what happened with you and your ex. Everything else was up to you.

He didn't force you to do anything, nor did he sabotage anything. That is very blaming language and it won't do anything but hinder your ability to deal with your situation as an adult.
 
Tightropewalker, I strongly suggest not letting this kind of language find its way into your thought process. It's not reality and it's counter productive.

Your husband had an emotional response and asked you to take action so that he could avoid feeling those feelings - that's the extent of his involvement in what happened with you and your ex. Everything else was up to you.

He didn't force you to do anything, nor did he sabotage anything. That is very blaming language and it won't do anything but hinder your ability to deal with your situation as an adult.

Seconded.
 
Tightropewalker,

Firstly, what do you mean when you say your husband did everything he could to break you up? Secondly, what you you mean you suffered from his drama?

If you just mean that your husband wasn't ready and was insecure and upset, do you think it's kind or fair to refer to those struggles as 'drama'?

Moving on, it sounds like you are stuck blaming your husband instead of accepting responsibility for your own decisions:

- Could have dealt with NRE better?
- Could have helped hubby more with issues, listened more?
- Could have refused to end it with ex?
- Could have chosen not to lie about ex?


Double-standards is an issue that comes up in a lot of poly relationships, as far as I can tell. It has come up in mine numerous times.

The thing is, it's not always double-standards. It can also signify a learning curve. Sometimes, we don't know how something feels until we experience it for ourselves, so when we do experience it, we change our former opinion. Doesn't a good partnership allow both people to have opinions, but also to change those opinions over time?

Example:

Double-standard:
- I want overnights with new partner. GF tells me this is a hard limit for her. I choose not to have overnights.
- Later in life, GF tells me that she wants an overnight and is going to have one. No discussion.

Learning curve:
- Later in life, GF communicates that she's been wanting overnights, but doesn't want to be hypocritical. GF communicates that she now understands that overnights are not a threat, and understands why I wanted to have them. GF communicates that her feelings have changed and asks how I feel about it.

Do you see what I mean? In your situation, you don't have a double standard, you weren't robbed of a relationship, and your husband didn't lie to you. Mistakes were made, and it's time to learn from them.

If you want to be productive, accept these mistakes and let them go. Keep working together on honesty and communication. Look at resources together and make sure you're being a team. Look up poly hell and common poly pitalls. Read the MoreThanTwo.com website.

You could even communicate to your husband that you are afraid resentment is creeping in, and try to clear that up with him. I would have hoped you'd have already discussed his new/potential relationship and both agreed that it's ok to move forward? Or, in fact, asked yourselves whether you are really both ready to move forward?
 
Last edited:
My husband was ok with this until he saw how happy I was when I was talking to the ex. I told him that I can love him and the ex too but he said that he felt I loved and cared for the ex more. And he became very jealous. He said that I was so wrapped up in NRE that he was afraid I would leave him.
. . .
I'm still with my husband and we were able to work through everything.
. . .
My husband is ready to open our relationship for a woman that he is in love with...

I don't understand. Is your husband ready to open the relationship generally, or just wide enough for this particular person? Have you two discussed NRE and jealousy and honesty and veto power? Because neither of you is ready if you haven't discussed and completely understood each other (and yourselves) on these issues.

The ex won't even talk to me anymore.
. . .
I still can't help feeling sad over what happened between me and the ex.

The ex is a person, and he responded in a very understandable way to how you treated him. You made choices. He made choices. It's over. Feel your feelings, but don't imagine that being sad means someone done you wrong.

I can't help feeling that I was robbed of a relationship, because he wasn't ready and now that he is he will get to have his relationship without all of the drama that I went through.

Somehow I just feel cheated!

Why wouldn't you want your husband to have a chance at a happy relationship without all that painful drama? Do you think that there needs to be some kind of parity - that you suffered through your first extra-marital relationship, so he should have to as well?

It sounds like you can make that happen. You could pretend to be okay with it, and say you're ready for him to date her. Let them get very close, and feel the heat of the NRE sparks he's throwing off. Then say you've changed your mind and you're jealous, and they have to break it off. I'm sure that would create drama. Maybe, after being played so hard by you, he will even lie and cheat and you will feel vindicated in your earlier behavior. Would that make you feel good?


You sound so not ready. You need to be at peace with the idea of opening up, to not see it as loaded with historical wrongs against you that aren't balanced by equal hurt on his side. You need to forgive yourself for your earlier missteps and stop projecting the poor choices that hurt all three of you so badly onto everyone else. You need to be honest with yourself and your husband about how ready for him to be in love you aren't.

Cultivate a concern for everyone's comfort and happiness going forward. Try to be authentic in that. Accept, learn from, and let go of the painful things you've done, and of the people who have moved on from you.
 
Tightropewalker, I strongly suggest not letting this kind of language find its way into your thought process. It's not reality and it's counter productive.

Your husband had an emomistake response and asked you to take action so that he could avoid feeling those feelings - that's the extent of his involvement in what happened with you and your ex. Evhave erything else was up to you.

He didn't force you to do anything, nor did he sabotage anything. That is very blaming language and it won't do anything but hinder your ability ttheo deal with your situation as an adult.

Oh gosh certainly don't say "you sabotaged my relationship" but stand up for your future relationships. Just because your husband gets jealous doesn't mean you have to dump your partners. you made the mistake choosing to keep your relationship secret after your husband got jealous once, it didn't work out for you. If he's going to be jealous then that's something he'll have to deal with. Help him as much as you can within reason was all I was saying. I've just seen way too many time where one partner gets what they want but makes it impossible for the other two pursue relationships by "being jealous" and putting tons of limitations for their comfort level.
 
Hi Tightropewalker,

Re (from OP):
"My husband was okay with this until he saw how happy I was when I was talking to the ex. I told him that I can love him and the ex too but he said that he felt I loved and cared for the ex more. And he became very jealous. He said that I was so wrapped up in NRE that he was afraid I would leave him."

NRE is not a course of action, it is just an emotional state. What actual actions did you do that led to your husband being so upset? You mentioned that he observed your happiness and didn't like it. I am supposing that he wondered why you didn't express as much happiness and excitement when you talked to him as you did when you talked to your ex?

Re:
"The ex won't even talk to me anymore."

It sounds, then, like that ship has sailed. You have no further opportunity to try to re-start things with your ex. Can't be fixed. You'll have to move on.

So now the shoe is on the other foot and your husband is interested in someone. Suddenly an open relationship sounds like a great idea to him. A little hypocritical on his part perhaps, but there it is. You have to decide whether to forgive him for giving you and your ex a bad time, and whether to set the example of supporting him even if he did not set the example of supporting you. Think of it as an opportunity to take the higher road.

And the next time you start up a new relationship with someone, don't let your husband push you out of it. Handle your NRE fairly and responsibly, but allow yourself to experience it and let your husband learn how to cope with his own insecurities.

I'm sorry you feel messed up and are hurting. Take the time you need to take care of yourself, and let the past go if you can. We can only live in the here and now.

Willing to help however I can,
Kevin T.
 
Back
Top