New mono/poly questions

Kjl3694

New member
I’m not sure what I am looking for…I am mono, married for 22 years to my “surprise” I’m poly husband. He brought up poly 7 years ago and I shut it down- If he wanted that I was out. We did therapy and were good for a number of years, but slowly things turned and this winter he brought it up again. I am in a different place, and we are doing it. He has two other partners and I am not jealous or worried about him leaving me or finding someone better. I am though struggling with the loss of things I formerly took for granted. Like this weekend he went out of town for work and one of the girls gave him a ride to the airport (I don’t drive due to vision) When he told me he was arranging this I thought it was a great idea. Then the morning of came and I realized he was going to kiss her good bye after me. I sat with it in my head for hours trying to work through it and he could tell. I finally just told him. This sort of thing happens maybe once a week for me. We’ve only been open for a few months and for me it all feels like normal new paradigm stuff, but it throws him and causes me even more anxiety. I want to to scream at him I am doing all of the hard heart wrenching work so you can get your needs met suck it up and be there for me. I don’t see any part of this arrangement that is a struggle for him, he has lost nothing only gained. I don’t have anyone but him to talk to about any of this because my friends are not supportive. I just need someone to help me figure out how to deal, if I am crazy for feeling this way. How do I talk to him about how my feelings feel out of control, how every new thing sounds one way when we talk about it and another when we do it? Ultimatel, I don't feel like he understands and good or bad I need him to.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Kjl3694,

I think you've lost some of your specialness, due to your husband being poly and having two other partners. Really, you have lost the marriage you used to have. This is a new marriage. A poly marriage. And you are having a grieving process for the marriage you used to have. For the specialness you used to have. You were his one and only, for any needs he had, he turned to you. Now he has two other people he can turn to. This is not going to sit well with you for a long time. Grief seldom whooshes by as fast as we wish it would. It takes as long as it takes.

There's an article that may be of some help to you ... click on https://www.kathylabriola.com/articles/are-you-in-poly-hell

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing out.

You aren't crazy.

We’ve only been open for a few months and for me it all feels like normal new paradigm stuff.

Transition time takes TIME. It's normal for things to feel weird. The old normal is gone. The new normal isn't quite here yet.

At this point in time...

Do you identify as monoamorous? Want to love 1 sweetie?

What about relationship shape?
  • Do you identify as monogamous? Where you prefer your romances to be 1:1 shape and just those to people? And you decided to do this for him? Or to avoid a break up?
  • Do you now identify "relationship shape flexible" where you can do either monogamous shape or be an end point person in a poly network and are ok with both?
  • Or something between the two... like you are trying to get from one to the other?
but it throws him and causes me even more anxiety.

How does he behave when "it throws him?"

What does this behavior make you think?

Does he expect you to be a person in transition? Does he expect you to be "already there" or something?

Maybe a visual aid helps. Scroll to middle of page. It's going to feel different for each of you.
Esp if he's on Track A and you are on Track B for stages of emotional change.


I want to to scream at him I am doing all of the hard heart wrenching work so you can get your needs met suck it up and be there for me.

Why scream at him? Are you not being heard?

Do you expect him to do same as you? Is this what you are doing? Trying to "be there" for him by "sucking it up?"

What are you needs in all this? How are they being met by you? By him? Are you able to articulate it?

What would you like him to do different in term of behavior? Are you able to articulate it?

I don’t see any part of this arrangement that is a struggle for him, he has lost nothing only gained.

Would it help you to hear what he struggles with in this transition?

Or if he validated that you have been doing a lot of work here and that he appreciates the effort?

Are you finding you do a lot more work to get less than you used to?

How do I talk to him about how my feelings feel out of control, how every new thing sounds one way when we talk about it and another when we do it?

He might not be the right person to talk to first because he's inside the system in transition. Like talk to him eventually.

But you might want to initially air out with people OUTSIDE the system first.

Who might those people be for you?

Ultimatel, I don't feel like he understands and good or bad I need him to.

He doesn't understand that this change is hard for you, a mono partner in a mono-poly situation?

Is that what you mean?

Or is there something else you want him to understand?

Galagirl
 
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Kjl3694

New member
What about on relationship shape?
I honestly don’t know. I am open to the idea of seeing someone else but not interested in doing so

If you weren't with him... would you do mono-poly with other people?
I think it has been so long since I’ve been with someone else I don’t even know how to speculate. I think adding multiple partners complicates things in ways I don’t enjoy

but it throws him and causes me even more anxiety.

How does he behave when "it throws him?"
I can feel the underlying frustration before it even surfaces, and I swear to god if he tells me one more time how much better we are for this I am going to explode! Yes, we are better because we are communicating, working actively on meeting each others needs, all of the stuff we were supposed to have anyway. It is not my reward, it’s my right to be in a healthy relationship. Yes, 80% of the time he is there and supportive and holding it’s when he feels like something comes out of nowhere that he gets upset and I get it, but at the same time these are the times I need him the most because it surprises me too. I think I’m ok, and then the other reality shoe comes along and kicks me in the ass.

What does this behavior make you think? I worry that he’ll give up on me. Like I’m not worth this, supporting and holding me is too much to ask.

I want to to scream at him I am doing all of the hard heart wrenching work so you can get your needs met suck it up and be there for me.

Is this what you are doing? Trying to be there for him by sucking it up?
I am sucking it up to an extent, this would not be my choice right now. I don’t enjoy the loss. I am not bothered by the idea of him being with someone else until it impacts me directly.

What are you needs in all this? How are they being met by you? By him?
I need compassion, and reassurance, understanding that I am grieving and that it has only been a few months.

What would you like him to do different in term of behavior? Are you able to articulate it?

I don’t see any part of this arrangement that is a struggle for him, he has lost nothing only gained.

Would it help you to hear what he struggles with in this transition? Or validate that you have been doing a lot of work here and that he appreciates the effort? YES! Where is his struggle? What part of this causes him pain? What I am getting for all this work is a healthy relationship which I should I should have regardless. What he is getting, a wife and family, and two extra girlfriends. I don’t want to feel like this, but I do. I don’t want him to struggle and hurt but I don’t know how to get past the fact that I am and he is not.

Are you finding you do a lot more work to get less than you used to?
Honestly, I am getting more than I was because prior to this I was getting the bare minimu.

How do I talk to him about how my feelings feel out of control, how every new thing sounds one way when we talk about it and another when we do it?

He might not be the right person to talk to first because he's inside the system. Like talk to him eventually.

But you might want to initially air out with people OUTSIDE the system first.

Who might those people be for you?
I have no one. My family is all dead, my children are clearly not an option and my friends are not open to any of this

Ultimatel, I don't feel like he understands and good or bad I need him to.

He doesn't understand that this change is hard for you, a mono partner in a mono-poly situation?

Is that what you mean?
I don’t think he does. I think he sees how much better our relationship is and says why isn’t that enough to make you just be happy, aren’t you grateful?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for more info.

I am sucking it up to an extent, this would not be my choice right now. I don’t enjoy the loss. I am not bothered by the idea of him being with someone else until it impacts me directly.

If you did have a choice, what would you be doing instead?

When you say you are sucking it up, what is the "it" you refer to? What is the loss?

What is an example of direct impact?

I don’t think he does. I think he sees how much better our relationship is and says why isn’t that enough to make you just be happy, aren’t you grateful?

I wonder if you have said the above to him when calm? Blue just to visually block it off.

"I'd like to eventually be consistently happy. Right now? I am experiencing mixed feelings that are up and down.

I need you to see me in context and tell me sometimes that you appreciate the hard work I'm doing and effort I put in. I need compassion, and reassurance, understanding that I am grieving and that it has only been a few months.

Yes, we are better because now we are communicating, working actively on meeting each others needs. That part is nice.

I'm also sad because to me that is all stuff we were supposed to have had all along. I wasn't getting it before. I don't understand why not. Communication, working actively on each other's needs is not my reward for doing mono-poly. It's my right to be in a healthy relationship. That part is grief/loss/upset.

I need space to feel my full emotions. Sometimes I think I’m ok, and then the other reality shoe comes along and kicks me in the ass. 80% of the time you are there for me. But when it comes out of the blue? I see you get upset. I get it. At the same time these are the times I need you the most because it surprises me too. When that happens, I need to know you aren't going to give up on me when I struggle. I need to know you aren't going to pull away emotionally like I’m not worth this, and supporting and holding me is too much to ask.

I don’t want you to struggle and hurt but I don’t know how to get past the fact that I sometimes struggle and hurt and you don't seem to struggle at all."


Or something similar?

You might have to work on expanding your support systems to be more than just spouse.

You can post here, and you can trying to find other mono-poly support groups. You might consider a poly counselor.


Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to the group. We are a kind supportive bunch here and I hope our outside perspectives can give you some insight and relief.

Feel free to keep venting. Sometimes just getting the words onto the "page" helps bring clarity.

I see that you and your h had therapy 7 years ago, and you said you put the kibosh on polyamory, and he agreed, and you two were "good" for quite a while. But on the other hand, you say you didn't really have a great relationship. Maybe he shut down about his true poly nature and that caused a wall to go up. It made things seem OK but there was an elephant under the carpet all along.

I agree with GG that besides posting here, you might want to find a therapist who is clued into alternative sexualities and love styles, to help you express your grief and insecurities. Many if not most therapists, just like your friends, are not able to discuss the idea of how to have a healthy polyamorous relationship, so I wish you good luck finding one. If there isn't one in your area, there are many online therapist services these days. Look for those who are specialists in BDSM, kink, LGBTQ+ and open relationships.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Kjl3694,
It sounds like the following things are what bothers you the most about this situation:
  • You are making great sacrifices to make this work, while he is losing nothing.
  • He doesn't appreciate the sacrifices you are making.
  • He gets upset with you when something unexpectedly bothers you.
  • He doesn't get that you are grieving, and that it has only been a few months.
  • He expects you to feel grateful when you are feeling tormented inside.
  • He expects you to feel grateful for the kinds of relationship improvements that should have been there all along.
  • You have no one you can talk to about this.
  • You are afraid that he is going to leave you.
Am I on the right track?
With sympathy,
Kevin T.
 

Kjl3694

New member
Hi Kjl3694,
It sounds like the following things are what bothers you the most about this situation:
  • You are making great sacrifices to make this work, while he is losing nothing.
  • He doesn't appreciate the sacrifices you are making.
  • He gets upset with you when something unexpectedly bothers you.
  • He doesn't get that you are grieving, and that it has only been a few months.
  • He expects you to feel grateful when you are feeling tormented inside.
  • He expects you to feel grateful for the kinds of relationship improvements that should have been there all along.
  • You have no one you can talk to about this.
  • You are afraid that he is going to leave you.
Am I on the right track?
With sympathy,
Kevin T.
Yes, but I’m not worried he will leave. I know that it sounds that way but really it’s that if I can’t get on board faster he’ll stop working on our relationship.
I am really struggling with the fact that he is getting so much with no hurt or sacrifice while I am giving up what I had and stuck constantly thinking about this, feeling sad and hurt and angry in waves that wash over me.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It sounds like the relationship improvements -- the stuff that should have been there all along -- the communication, the active work on meeting each other's needs -- is dependent on you "straightening up and flying right," like unless you stop getting upset, and start being happy with, and grateful for, the way things are right now, he is going to stop trying to do his share in the relationship. He will not leave per se, but he will stop trying. Am I understanding that right?

It sounds like what bothers you the most is that while you are giving up a lot, he isn't giving up anything. You are giving; he is getting. In that kind of dynamic, it is very natural and normal for you to feel sad, hurt, and angry. He doesn't seem to get that.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
For the past 7 years, when you "shut down" all talk of polyamory and your husband stayed mono with you--maybe THAT was when HE was doing the hard work on his part. Compromising on what he wanted for you.

And now, you both are in a different place and he is asking you to do the hard work of accepting an open relationship. Maybe it will help to think of it that way?
 
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