Not on same page about bisexual wife exploring polyamory

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FallenAngelina

Well-known member
accustomed to putting others wants above their own.
This is an enormous red flapping flag for codependence. Hard for many people to see because this way of thinking gets so much applause from others. But if you really stop and reflect on this way of thinking, constantly putting the wants of others above your own, it does not lead to a peaceful, happy, calm and fulfilling home. It leads to guilt, resentment, drama - lots of wondering what went wrong. There are many giant red flags for codependent thinking, but this is one of the biggest.

My view and my experience is that there's the same ratio of codependent vs. healthy independent thinkers in monogamy and polyamory. Emotionally healthy relationships have zero to do with the relationship model. What makes a relationship harmonious is the health of the individuals involved. Any time a person knows their own individual values and stands by their own individuals values without apology, that person will attract another who is equally clear about what they want. Harmony happens when two self-aware, healthy thinking individuals come together for a shared experience based in shared core values, including a shared core value of the relationship model. The particular relationship model is completely irrelevant.
 
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icesong

Moderator
Staff member
For those who were in monogamous marriages that transitioned into polyamory, I'm trying to understand a) how the marital relationship is still special and b) why is it better to be married than not?

There are those that wouldn’t call the first half of my marriage monogamous - because of the swinging etc - but I would describe it as _extremely_ emotionally monogamous to the point that I wasn’t sure I was capable of falling in love with anyone else, so I think I can answer this one.

My relationship with Knight is special because it is _unique_ to us. No one else in the world was _there_ in the same way for all these years, no one else in the world _can_ ever be my first partner again, no one else in the world will I ever share a child with again. It’s impossible for anyone else to know me and relate to me in _quite_ our particular way. No one else’s arms will ever feel exactly the same around me, no one else will ever kiss me in the exact same way or be able to understand my thoughts and feelings from quite the same perspective. How could that not be special?

(But here is the thing that will perhaps lose you. My relationship with Artist is _also_ special because it is unique to the two of us - it has built and continues to add particular feelings and dynamics and understandings that could not exist between any two other people in the world.)

As to why it is better to be married than not... philosophically I consider marriage to be more of an formal expression of what a relationship already _is_ than an independent state, regardless of the legalities. Knight and I lived as married and thought of each other as that level of life-long partners long before we signed the paperwork; I watched my parents live in the legal state of marriage my entire life when their actual relationship had died before I was born. So when I say it is better to be married than not, I’m referring to the _relationship state_, not the formalities. (And, I believe it is possible to have the relationship state with more than one person, though I wouldn’t say I do at the moment. Haha, “say I do”...clearly I haven’t had coffee yet.)

Anyway, I think the thing that that _relationship_ of marriage gives me is _trust_. Knight has always talked about it as “who do you want there on your worst day?” I would say it’s not just who do I _want_ there, it’s who do I _know_ will be there, in the same way I _know_ the sky is blue and gravity makes things fall down. I _know_ that even if we hurt each other - and we do! we’re only human! - we will do whatever it takes to _fix_ that hurt. I mean, really it’s the essence of the better/worse/richer/poorer/sickness/health thing; just without the “forsaking all others” part.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I'm having a tough time seeing how we're co-dependent/entangled.

Am I missing something?
You've listed a bunch of behaviors - actions. Codependence is about thought patterns, emotional patterns. A person can perform those actions on your list as either a healthy independent or as an enmeshed codependent thinker.

I’m quoting @FallenAngelina here to second her comment - everything you list is a thing you do, not a way to think about life. And honestly, there’s something about the words you use to describe these actions that makes it sound like... they’re an exception to an assumption that life should be spent together? I _suspect_ that as you describe it your life _is_ far less entangled than anything you saw growing up or in your original church community, perhaps even less entangled than many people you know now - but that doesn’t mean it is _disentangled_. (This is not judgement, just description as I see it.)

It sounds to me like your wife is on the path to discovering who she is and what she wants. Individual therapy is probably helping with that.
This. And honestly having a kid can also accelerate that process - there’s something about the weight of all the social expectations of what motherhood should look like, and what marriage should look like when combined with parenting, that makes one intensely question things and somewhat desperately seek to guard one’s identity as a _separate person_.
 
The list of questions keeps being brought up--critically--to let's address that one head-on.

First of all, I've already written at-length about how "Wonda" is fantastic at analyzing but is pretty terrible at brainstorming. She cannot just sit down and start creatively imagining possibilities. Not her forte.

Second, we've both agreed that we've had so many conversations and so many agreements that we've losing track of what's current. It's almost like how older European cities are built on top of previous layers, but at this point architects have trouble knowing what's under there. The layers are building up and we're both feeling like it's getting opaque.

Third, she's the one who asked for simple "Yes" or "No" binary answers. My own preference is free-wheeling, open-ended... let the conversation go where it's going to go... type questions. When I asked her what the present expectations are, she didn't know where to start. I came up with about 10 rapid-fire Yes or No questions off the top of my head. She replied, "Perfect. Write all of those down and whatever else you need to know. Let's get all of the expectations clearly laid out so there's not confusion." So, that's what I did. I asked her, "Do you have a limit on the length of this list?" She laughed and knowingly replied, "You do you." That's what I'm doing.

Fourth, I'm going to be honest with you guys that you don't seem to have a lot of sympathy/empathy for the person who's not leading but is supporting. For five long years, I've felt like I'm on the receiving end--just having to passively wait while she slowly... dare I say "leisurely"?... goes on her journey of self-discovery and figures out her wants, needs, beliefs, values, etc. And ya know what? I've been patient as hell, but feeling like I'm in limbo is my kryptonite. Now, with all the additional responsibilities that comes with being not only a dad but a stay-at-home dad, I need clear expectations, direct answers, and final decisions that I can hang my hat on for at least 5-10 years. No more subtle massaging and vague answers.

So, no, I don't think my list of questions is even remotely unreasonable, inappropriate, overbearing, or anything of the sort.
 
This. And honestly having a kid can also accelerate that process - there’s something about the weight of all the social expectations of what motherhood should look like, and what marriage should look like when combined with parenting, that makes one intensely question things and somewhat desperately seek to guard one’s identity as a _separate person_.
Dads go through that, too. Especially a parent who is a stay-at-home dad.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I mean this kindly ok? Some of it you may not like hearing. I'm hoping it doesn't even apply here, but just something to think about in case it offers you different perspective. You can ignore it if it does not apply.

Your original topic was about not being on the same page as wife on poly. Well, you pretty much answered the poly thing. You have done your due diligence and promised to think hard on it in therapy and have come to the conclusion that poly is fine for other people, but not for you.

You also see Wonda trying to get you to just "jump in and try anyway" but you don't work that way. So you have to tell her "Wonda, I don't work that way. So the answer is still "No, I do not consent to do poly."

Latest installment? Now Wonda talked to you about codependency.

If I were in your shoes married to Wonda and I felt frustrated with all this in general and now this new confused? I would have asked her to clarify. I would have asked the blue things out loud and thought about the grey thing to myself.

"Could you please be willing to clarify? Do you mean...

1) You think you might be codependent? Why? What examples are bothering you?
2) You think I might be codependent? Why? What examples are bothering you?
3) Something else?

4) I would also privately wonder about hidden agenda, or something not articulated.

I'm willing to discuss it. How about we each make a list and take it to the therapists? Each one to their individual counselor, and then together at the couples counselor to see if this is something impacting the marriage and what to do about it.

I also want to talk about this question in therapy. "What are my/your current beliefs about the nature of marriage? Have they changed any since we took our wedding vows? Since we started therapy?" So let's make lists for that too so the therapy sessions can be productive."


Then I'd wait until therapy. I need to rest, deal with the baby, deal with life etc. Pace myself. Because every moment of the day can't be THIS stuff. "Regular life" has to happen too. Dishes, laundry, bills, time with friends, etc.

As for the hidden agenda or things not articulated? I'd think about that on my own and then bring it up with my individual therapist to figure out my emergency preparedness because I don't like being blindsided. In my present circumstances? With the therapy money running out because tight budget because we're on her salary only now since my minister job is up in the air? I've now become a dependent spouse doing the SAHD thing? I would recognize this is a vulnerable position. I would make the most of my individual therapy time I have left.

I don't know what she's thinking. So I'd want to talk to Wonda in therapy and get some reassurance she and I are still on the same page for repairing and strengthening the marriage. Or I'd like to be informed if this has changed, so we can change to the conversations we need to be having next and not just wasting my time and energy in therapy tilting at windmills.

IME, I've seen too many people do the avoidy dance rather than facing things head on. That kind of thing drives me crazy because in my personality? I tend to be firm of purpose.

There's a reason Gottman lists those 4 horseman things inside the 6 things that predict divorce.



So... I would want reassurance in therapy that she is NOT heading down that road in her mind. She's still committed to me and the marriage. And not just flinging whatever at me to throw me off balance or distract me because she knows I do "deep dive thinking."

Like first it is this, then it is that, then it is the other thing... when really all along it was ______.

This whole thing of me being jealous, controlling etc and then the couples therapist telling her what a gem I are? Changing the parenting agreement without consulting me? Me noticing her being brusque with me after hanging out with friends?

Maybe the codependent thing is true and part of why she's feeling a restrained or suffocated in the marriage. As the codependent, maybe I don't see it for the same reason a fish doesn't really notice water. Cuz I am IN it, and just don't know how else to be or what living on land is like. Like... maybe my marriage is better than what I saw growing up... but is it the healthiest marriage it could be?

Or... maybe the codependent thing is not true and just the latest thing to fling at me. So I would want to talk to my individual therapist first.

Because maybe she coming to realize she doesn't want to be married any more but isn't ready to say it out loud. She's still trying it on in her head. And in order for her to mentally leave she wants to paint me in her mind as "the bad guy" and she's throwing whatever at the wall to see what sticks rather than owning it and saying a more definite "I know I promised, but I changed my mind. Things have changed for me since I realized I'm bisexual AND poly." Nobody bad, or horrible. But just... things have changed.

Or maybe there's a hidden agenda like she wants to leave. But she likes the support services I provide. So she's torn. And while making up her mind, I'm doing what? Just hanging in the wind? (Seen this happen with one couple I know IRL.)

Or she wants to end it, but she wants ME to be the one to do it. Because she wants to be the dumpee rather than the dumper. And to achieve this aim she's just gonna make me bonkers with side issues and red herrings til I pop? (It sounds nuts, but I really do know other people IRL who went down that path too.)

So if me and Wonda were in therapy trying to fix things in our marriage? I want to know that's still the shared goal. Fixing the marriage. That's why we are here right?

I would be be very clear with her in therapy if poly is a hard limit for me like "No, never ever" or a soft limit like "No. Not during the years of active parenting. I'd be willing to reconsider later on in life when children are grown, we're retired, and some of these pressures are not on us any more. The best I can do in the parenting time is discreet swinging a few times a year. If that is not enough for you, I need to know plain."

I would want her to be very clear with me about the marriage. Is she still "all in" with it? Is strengthening and repairing the marriage still the shared goal for couple thearpy? Or has it changed and do we need to be talking about something else?

Cuz I'd be tired by now, and I don't like not knowing what's REALLY going on. It provokes my anxiety condition. I'd rather just deal with the real issues head on. All cards on the table PLAIN.

If it turns out that my individual therapist confirms that I have some codependent things to work on, I'd start working on them to improve myself and the quality of interaction in my marriage. I'd thank Wonda in couples therapy for bringing it to my attention and ask her to bear with me as I work on that with the individual therapist and try to uphold my share of the marriage better.

But if this is just one of those "red herring" things to play avoidy dance and not tell me things up front? I'd be very annoyed. I think as a spouse, I deserve better.

I would not like having to make yes/no questions. Wonda has an individual therapist. If I'm fielding 80/20 or 90/10 of the stuff at home at feeling overloaded? I don't want to do her homework for her. Especially when most of the contemplation questions are going to be the same types of things covered anyway by the same questions people get in "marriage prep" or "marriage tune up" class.

I would save time. Give her the worksheets.


I would suggest that she look up the British Marriage MOT things online and other "marriage prep" or "marriage tune up" material.

We both ask the couples therapist to dig out their marriage prep / marriage tune up questions/materials for us to do together.

I'd be willing to participate, but I'm not going to design and then participate. Cuz if we could do it by ourselves, we would have already.

Why are we paying this couple therapist for again? Isn't it their job to guide us? Why am I having to do their job too?

And if true that I am codependent... how will me doing Wonda's personal work for her helping me improve this area of myself? So what if she has a hard time thinking or articulating what she wants from marriage? *I* have to be the one to drag it out of her? Wonda could do her own personal work with her individual therapist.

I'd be like "C'mon Wonda! Play ball here!"

But that is me, you are you.

You have to figure out what is going in in your particular situation. And then how you want to deal with it. You are the one actually in these shoes.

I'm not suggesting divorce since I know that is not what you want. I'm just saying... go find out in therapy about where Wonda actually is at in her thinking. Let her shoulder some of jobs in this process. If you are both doing marriage strengthening/repair work now? Then both get on with that.

You cannot be doing all the thinking and all the work in what is supposed to be a shared marriage.

Or left hanging in the wind. That's not right either.

Galagirl
 
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There are those that wouldn’t call the first half of my marriage monogamous - because of the swinging etc - but I would describe it as _extremely_ emotionally monogamous to the point that I wasn’t sure I was capable of falling in love with anyone else, so I think I can answer this one.
Cool. Thanks.

My relationship with Knight is special because it is _unique_ to us. No one else in the world was _there_ in the same way for all these years, no one else in the world _can_ ever be my first partner again, no one else in the world will I ever share a child with again. It’s impossible for anyone else to know me and relate to me in _quite_ our particular way. No one else’s arms will ever feel exactly the same around me, no one else will ever kiss me in the exact same way or be able to understand my thoughts and feelings from quite the same perspective. How could that not be special?
So it's chiefly a historical thing? It's about what was first and what was unique?

(But here is the thing that will perhaps lose you. My relationship with Artist is _also_ special because it is unique to the two of us - it has built and continues to add particular feelings and dynamics and understandings that could not exist between any two other people in the world.)
I knew I'd have trouble with the word choice of "special." That's why I considered alternatives like "distinctive", "unique", or "set apart." I even thought of using "sacred." None of these words quite seems to capture the essence of what I'm trying to get at, though.

Way back near the beginning of this thread, I clarified that my view is that marriage is not primarily an intimate relationship, legal contract, social construct, symbolic gesture, or the like. It it, for me, a mystical union of becoming connected and of being spiritually becoming one. This is what I'm trying to understand. From this vantage point, how is a marriage... again, the thesaurus is failing me... "distinctive" if virtually everything that is available to your life partner within the marriage is available to other partners outside the marriage?

As to why it is better to be married than not... philosophically I consider marriage to be more of an formal expression of what a relationship already _is_ than an independent state, regardless of the legalities. Knight and I lived as married and thought of each other as that level of life-long partners long before we signed the paperwork; I watched my parents live in the legal state of marriage my entire life when their actual relationship had died before I was born. So when I say it is better to be married than not, I’m referring to the _relationship state_, not the formalities. (And, I believe it is possible to have the relationship state with more than one person, though I wouldn’t say I do at the moment. Haha, “say I do”...clearly I haven’t had coffee yet.)
OK.

Anyway, I think the thing that that _relationship_ of marriage gives me is _trust_. Knight has always talked about it as “who do you want there on your worst day?” I would say it’s not just who do I _want_ there, it’s who do I _know_ will be there, in the same way I _know_ the sky is blue and gravity makes things fall down. I _know_ that even if we hurt each other - and we do! we’re only human! - we will do whatever it takes to _fix_ that hurt. I mean, really it’s the essence of the better/worse/richer/poorer/sickness/health thing; just without the “forsaking all others” part.
I think you just nailed it. "Forsaking all others" was, for me, an integral part of our wedding vows that I take incredibly seriously.
 
FYI - From this point forward, I'm ignoring any posts that mention divorce. I've made clear numerous times that's not on the table for either of us and we're both explicitly, 1,000% committed to this marriage but that keeps being ignored. So, I'm now ignoring the comments of those who are ignoring my comments.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
For five long years, I've felt like I'm on the receiving end--just having to passively wait while she slowly... dare I say "leisurely"?... goes on her journey of self-discovery and figures out her wants, needs, beliefs, values, etc. And ya know what? I've been patient as hell, but feeling like I'm in limbo is my kryptonite.
I'll highlight again that constantly putting others' wants and needs above one's own is a huge flapping red flag for codependent thinking. Of course it hurts.
 
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FallenAngelina

Well-known member
FYI - From this point forward, I'm ignoring any posts hat mention divorce.
And if I may, if you're as clear about "no divorce" as you keep telling us you are, then you would have ignored those comments all along. Stating it once is enough when you're clear of mind. Blaming others for not getting it is a sign that our inner landscape is muddy.

As always - not meaning to be unsympathetic, just being direct. Everything I know is because I learned from my own experience and struggle.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
The thing one must realize about /r/polyamory is that it's full of blindfolded 20-somethings leading each other around a foreign city, and about half a dozen loudmouths who do nothing but sit there all day and tell everyone how things oughta be because they have bEeN pOly FoR dEcAdEs (two of them even decreed that "you can't be sapiosexual" and that the word "sapiosexual" is "classist", but I digress).

I'm glad someone cleared this up because when he first started talking about finding valid opinions on reddit I thought "on reddit of all places?!?". The last time I went on reddit I was very quickly educated on the reality that I have no business associating with those types of people. It's troll villa down there.

So it sounds like it hasn't changed, and it's still troll villa.

Instead of bombarding your wife with hundreds of questions and your arguments against what she wants, maybe you should just stop and really listen to what she's trying to tell you.

Maybe you should stop, just stop, and listen to what she is trying to tell you. This is a critical piece of advice. I know we tend to think that we are all excellent at critical thinking and listening.. even when all evidence points to the contrary.

If I've been working my fingers to the bone on understanding a concept for 5 years and I *still* come up completely lost in the woods, an adjustment needs to be made to my approach. Either the concept is just beyond me and I'm never going to get it, I need to stop using the resources that I'm using, I need to do some self reflecting to figure out what's going on with me, or maybe I just need to clear the wax out of my ears and actually start listening (instead of impressing myself with how smart I am).

Second, we've both agreed that we've had so many conversations and so many agreements that we've losing track of what's current. It's almost like how older European cities are built on top of previous layers, but at this point architects have trouble knowing what's under there. The layers are building up and we're both feeling like it's getting opaque.

This is a perfect description for what happens when you try to jam a square peg into a round hole. It might look like you're making progress as you're pounding away on the thing, but all that's really happening is both the peg and the hole are being destroyed as you continually squish both of them out of shape. It becomes a muddled mess and everyone gets fundamentally misshapen in the process.
 
And if I may, if you're as clear about "no divorce" as you keep telling us you are, then you would have ignored those comments all along. Stating it once is enough when you're clear of mind. Blaming others for not getting it is a sign that our inner landscape is muddy.

As always - not meaning to be unsympathetic, just being direct. Everything I know is because I learned from my own experience and struggle.
One of my life philosophies is to not leave important things left unsaid. So, no, I don't just ignore things when I disagree with people.

You keep projecting what you think is going on in my inner-world rather than asking questions, and it's rather annoying.
 
It's become clear this morning that this conversation has run its course and any further discussion will be less than productive. So, let me sincerely thank everyone for the gracious investment of their time and energy, then bid you adieu.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
You can set any person to "Ignore" and then you don't have to see the post.

Click on their name in blue on the left side with the circle icons, and then click on "Ignore" button.

GG
 
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icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Way back near the beginning of this thread, I clarified that my view is that marriage is not primarily an intimate relationship, legal contract, social construct, symbolic gesture, or the like. It it, for me, a mystical union of becoming connected and of being spiritually becoming one. This is what I'm trying to understand. From this vantage point, how is a marriage... again, the thesaurus is failing me... "distinctive" if virtually everything that is available to your life partner within the marriage is available to other partners outside the marriage?
I mean, I can't tell you that there's a mystical aspect to relating, for me, and if anything I find the idea of there *being* a mystical aspect to it a really good way to end up in a relationship that's not actually good for anyone, in a "But this person is my soulmate" / "I made a sacred vow" / etc leading to excessive compromise sort of way. ___I am not saying that is where you are or that it's always true___ just that it seems an idea that leads to bad outcomes.

So it's chiefly a historical thing? It's about what was first and what was unique?

<snip>

From this vantage point, how is a marriage... again, the thesaurus is failing me... "distinctive" if virtually everything that is available to your life partner within the marriage is available to other partners outside the marriage?

You're looking for a pedestal here that doesn't exist, for me, so I guess the only answer here is that by your logic/beliefs it isn't. Luckily I think it's special without having to have that. Really, the idea of "becoming one" with someone makes me shudder at this point, so I'm going to respond to THAT by Kimchi Cuddles comics.

1618847854762.png and tumblr_1d5f2f5e579a061f81d0eee3c1649004_897925ab_1280.jpg

I think you just nailed it. "Forsaking all others" was, for me, an integral part of our wedding vows that I take incredibly seriously.
Well, I wish you joy in that, if you even read this given your later comment about leaving the board.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
So, no, I don't think my list of questions is even remotely unreasonable, inappropriate, overbearing, or anything of the sort.

I asked if they were necessary. Like is it necessary for YOU to do this many for her? Could 10 from you be enough to get her started til her appointment and then she finishes thinking the rest out with her individual therapist be a "middle enough" place?

When I asked her what the present expectations are, she didn't know where to start. I came up with about 10 rapid-fire Yes or No questions off the top of my head. She replied, "Perfect. Write all of those down and whatever else you need to know. Let's get all of the expectations clearly laid out so there's not confusion." So, that's what I did. I asked her, "Do you have a limit on the length of this list?" She laughed and knowingly replied, "You do you." That's what I'm doing.

If she wants to clarify expectations between you both?

You could make your list. You seem pretty clear on what you want and expect from a marriage.

Wonda can make her list. What she wants and expects from a marriage. If she doesn't know how to say "I expect these things in a marriage..." and then list them? She could sort out articulating all her thoughts with her individual therapist prompting her along, right?

Why is it necessary for you to be doing this much work in addition to your other jobs? Esp when you said earlier that you are overloaded with home and parenting duties?

Wonda can't have it both ways. Saying she thinks you might be codependent and too emotionally/mentally caught up with her stuff... and then asking you to make lots of thinking prompts for her to help her put her thoughts in order. That sounds like emotional/mental labor to me.

If you are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed... Advocate for self. Find a middle place in this -- where each of you give and do some, but not all lopsided with you doing most of the work again.

Esp when there's her individual therapist right there to assist her.

It's become clear this morning that this conversation has run its course and any further discussion will be less than productive. So, let me sincerely thank everyone for the gracious investment of their time and energy, then bid you adieu.

Well, not sure you will catch this then.

Hoping things sort out for you and Wonda in a more balanced way.

GL!
Galagirl
 
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YouAreHere

Well-known member
Welp, I seem to have entered this thread (and finally finished reading it) after OP has left the chat, so I have no idea if he's still reading. If so, you have my best wishes in this situation.

One thing that really stands out to me is the following:
  • Wonda doesn't brainstorm well; she wants to jump in and see what happens.
  • Wonda wants lists of questions from you since she's not good at coming up with what-if's or fleshing out possible issues
  • Wonda wants these questions from you, but also seems to latch on to questions/points your couples' counselor makes.
Notice that in all these, Wonda is passive - a recipient of all the hard work being done around her.

I'm wondering if she's still struggling with her background and having issues advocating for herself. Growing up being told how things should be... well, you get used to that, and it gets difficult to learn the thought processes to start doing it for yourself. It sounds like she's leaning on *both* you and the counselor to help guide where things are going, when really, she needs to learn these skills for herself now.

This also plays into the "codependency" talk somewhat. You and the counselor are now doing the job that is extremely uncomfortable for her to do. But it seems like she's coming (or has already come to) a point where *she* needs to step in and do it, as hard as it may be.

I wonder if it's worth bringing this up to your couples' counselor. You've communicated and analyzed yourself to death, and there's only so far you can carry this. Your counselor is also trying to keep moving things forward, potentially "for the health of the couple" (although it sounds like she's gotten to the point where she's pushing at you to keep it healthy... maybe because you keep acting, where Wonda doesn't/can't?).

I'm not sure if I'm ready to lay blame on the counselor yet; it seems like she's in a position where one party is ACTIVELY doing a lot of work, while the other is passive about receiving suggestions rather than making them herself. She's probably (and maybe without realizing it) taking the path of least resistance. Wonda's individual counselor probably needs to work more on these skills. It's not clear whether or not this is a topic of conversation between Wonda and her individual counselor. Edit: Maybe it's worth pausing couples' counseling and any decision on a poly relationship right now in favor of working through these issues with her individual counselor? It may help reduce the stress a bit right now and help her feel like she's moving closer toward figuring herself out.

One other observation, from my experience: jumping in to see what happens can lead to "what happens" being a catastrophe because neither of you have thought about what happens if things go pear shaped (or if things go well, but emotions go pear shaped). If everyone ends up having an emotional catastrophe, it bleeds in to every aspect of your life, including your job and your parenting.

Best wishes to you... It's a LOT to dig through and the emotional roller coaster doesn't come with a sweet souvenir shop and photo wall.

Oh, and if you get to the point where she does want to look into the board / your posts / etc., I'm a STEMmy person myself (have been likened to Spock maaaaaybe a couple times, lol). I'm open to chat.
 
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AlwaysGrowing

Well-known member
I've been quietly reading this thread from the get go but not had anything meaningful to add.

To me, though, it seems @straighthusbandbiwife is seeking a poly group that will agree with him then gets mad/leaves the conversation when poly folks don't completely agree that he's right for his ideas.

I just want to say I really appreciate and admire all of you who can engage in these conversations. The only thing I could think this entire time is...

He wants monogamy. Period. Religiously and spiritually, monogamy is it. Compromise = swinging but no feelings. It's not ideal, but it's comfortable enough a few times a year.

She wants open. Polyamory, close/intimate/sexual/no limits friendships or relationships as she chooses. Compromise = keeping marriage/family primary.

They are mutually exclusive. The options are - "compromise" leading one or both to be miserable for an extended amount of time with no known end, separate and move forward which will lead to both being miserable while grieving but with an end in sight, or one person gets their way while the other is miserable (and likely resentful) forever.

I don't enjoy making the ones i love miserable so I would go for the path of least suffering. That is apparently unacceptable here so... I stayed out of it.

Again, you all rock for putting so much mental labor in for others.
 

Magdlyn

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It's been an interesting thread because our new friend loves to write and is not a stupid guy.

As to the "two become one" in marriage idea-- that's nice. It sounds fancy, spiritual, mystical, almost magical. But I would add, from my own philosophy or even theology, that we are all one already. Humans are one with each other, with our planet and with everything on it, with our universe and with any other other multiverses out there. (Wonda reference for those that are familiar...! She's made her own world within the Matrix in the current TV show.) We are all just atoms swirling around together, yeah?

When we are "in love," when we are in a sexual furor, because of our hormonal and emotional state, we can quite actively experience this oneness. When we are feeling sexual bliss, oxytocin is running hard in our veins, and that is the bonding hormone, causing our boundaries to melt. To a lesser extent, oxytocin is also released and causes bonding while breastfeeding and by sharing sleep and just sharing meals with each other. It's also there when we are in groups of any size, singing, praying, dancing (be it in church or in our coven, or at a secular musical event). It's not an accident that us older people used to say that Jerry Garcia or Clapton were god.

So, the focus on the oneness of that feeling is stressed when uniting in holy matrimony. The couple unit is what our culture/economy is based on, after all. It is (and was from Biblical times) in the interest of the state for this MF unit to remain stable. It's harsh, but the state will use our love and our hormones to retain its power.
 
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