Please help my anxiety!

Leprecorn

New member
I fell for a girl who is amazing. She has feelings for me as well as my husband. However, I’ve been with my husband for 16 years and after finding out that they two are fooling around, it made me sick. I have such strong feelings for her but I can’t share her with my husband. I can’t watch them text back and forth and have a relationship right in front of me. I’ll always wonder if I’m not enough for either of them. I want something that my husband isn’t a part of since we share every other aspect of our life. How do I deal? I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I’m living on anxiety pills. If I let us all be in a relationship, I’d be miserable and insecure the whole time.
 

Tinwen

Active member
What's your agreement with your husband?
Have you been monogamous before, or open?
How long has it been since you found out?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle.

Are you saying that you had a crush on a lady... and just found out your husband and your crush were in a cheating affair behind your back?

And now they want to make it be a triad or V thing? To "whitewash" away the cheating start?

And although you are attracted to her, the whole cheating aspect turns you off? And for now... they continue the cheating affair out in the open and watching it continue is causing you pain?

If so, none of that sounds like loving behavior towards you -- from either one. :(

In your shoes? I would not want to be in a triad thing or V thing with these people.

It isn't like polyamory is magically "cheater-proof." It is possible to cheat on poly agreements. What stops people from cheating on agreements is their character and integrity. Not the relationship model they participate in.


How do I deal? I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I’m living on anxiety pills. If I let us all be in a relationship, I’d be miserable and insecure the whole time.

Then don't be in a relationship with those two. Because you already know you would be miserable.

And then decide if you want to continue to be in a marriage relationship with the cheating husband or not. I don't know if this might help you any in deciding if it is worth continuing with cheating husband:

http://felislunae.org/relationships-love/coming-clean/

http://www.polyamorousmisanthrope.com/2017/05/14/polyamory-cant-come-from-cheating/

Take it one thing at a time. You sound like you need some self-care, some soul searching, and then to make some firm decisions about how to move forward.

Is there family or friends where you could stay for a time? Have the funds for a hotel stay? So you don't have to be watching them? And so you could have time and space away from all this stress to sort out your thoughts and feelings?

Galagirl
 
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Leprecorn

New member
It wasn’t exactly cheating. I knew she had feelings for him too and I tried my hardest to be ok with it, especially since hubby didn’t have much interest in her. We spent the night talking (the chick and I) about being in a relationship and it was great. The next morning my husband said after I stopped talking to her that the two of them spent hours playing. I never said it wasn’t allowed because 1. I didn’t think anything would happen and 2. I didn’t want to put any restrictions on her because it’s not fair for her. I honestly didn’t know how much it upset me til it actually happened. She still doesn’t know that husband doesn’t feel the same way as I do and he won’t step in at all. I just don’t know what to do. She likes me,!8 like her, she’s got a ton of love to give but after being with my husband for so long, I want to feel that I’m worthy of love on my own, and have just one aspect of my life that he’s not involved in. I guess I want kinda a Z configuration but I’m sick at how all this happened and blame myself so hard for not being able to be open and ok with the situation.
 

Leprecorn

New member
Tinwen, we’ve discussed it though not this situation cause I didn’t know how I was going to feel. We’ve only been poly for a few years and both had a relationship that the other was in no way involved in. And all this stuff went down 2 nights ago.
 

Leprecorn

New member
Galagirl
I didn’t consider it cheating because I allow my husband to be with whoever as he sees fit. He didn’t know how much of a problem I’d have cause I didn’t know either. They were hoping for a triad thing but I just can’t. I’ll always be too insecure and constantly push away. She’s already said now that she knows how I feel that she won’t pursue either of us because to her it’s both or nothing. I’m at a loss though. I guess I have to let her go and either hope I find someone someday I have a connection to or accept the fact that I’ll never be enough and just be the mono in a poly relationship.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for clarifying that this was not cheating thing but a "caught us by surprise" thing. Could call it a learning experience and adjust expectations/boundaries.

You have learned from this that you do not want to be dating in a triad with your husband. Now he knows it more clearly. That's not a terrible thing, is it? That your husband understands you more?

They were hoping for a triad thing but I just can’t. I’ll always be too insecure and constantly push away.

Ok... no triads. You don't like them, not your thing.

She’s already said now that she knows how I feel that she won’t pursue either of us because to her it’s both or nothing.

She's breaking up and moving on. She's allowed to make her choices for what she will and will not participate in.

I’m at a loss though. I guess I have to let her go and either hope I find someone someday I have a connection to or accept the fact that I’ll never be enough and just be the mono in a poly relationship.

You'll never be enough WHAT to WHO?

Why all the down talk just because this person/potential wasn't a runner after all? Sometimes that happens in dating.

I want something that my husband isn’t a part of since we share every other aspect of our life.

There you sound like you prefer to practice a model where your husband dates those people THERE and you date these people HERE but not a common person. No triads. More like a V or N thing. There's nothing wrong with not wanting triad stuff.

Why beat yourself up over having some preferences? :confused:

I wonder if you think poly people have to be up for EVERYTHING or else they are "not really poly" or something similar? Do you? :confused:

If you hold some beliefs that are hurting you... you might have to do some work to let them go so the hurting can stop. :(

It's ok to be you. It's ok to take up the space you do in the world. It's ok to have your personal preferences. I don't think it is ok for you to be your own self bully though. Is that happening here? :(

Galagirl
 
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Tinwen

Active member
Galagirl
She’s already said now that she knows how I feel that she won’t pursue either of us because to her it’s both or nothing. I’m at a loss though.
So take her at her word. Sounds like a plan. In fact, thank her for taking your feeling into consideration and stepping back - I guess it's way better than if she was only interested in your husband and not you.
If you're really at a loss, take her at her word for now. Sounds like you urgently need a break. So take a break, work with your anxiety and decide what you can and cannot offer, then talk to her again in three months. Sort out new agreements with your husband (like, no triads). If you're still only up for parallel and she's only up for triad, well, that's not gonna work, but at least you've considered it with a calm head.

I guess I have to let her go and either hope I find someone someday I have a connection to or accept the fact that I’ll never be enough and just be the mono in a poly relationship.
I understand connection being rare to you. I've only been attracted to a handful of people in my whole life. Happens to some of us.
But, it has happened this time, and it can certainly happen again, it's just a matter of time (and working on oneself!).
Also, love doesn't override incompatibilities :( If she's only up for a triad, that's her choice and no amount of you wishing it otherwise changes it.
 

Leprecorn

New member
I cannot thank you both enough. I felt like such a failure for not being able to accept any situation and feel comfortable with it. But you both make me feel like it’s ok to feel how I feel. For assorted reasons, I’m down on myself because how I was raised and that’s something I’ve tried working on for years but then a setback like this happens and I lose all self worth again. I know that’s my own issue and I wasn’t planning on finding someone I felt such a connection with so it’s all just rearing its ugly head again.
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
I felt like such a failure for not being able to accept any situation and feel comfortable with it.
I also have felt this disappointment in myself and what I learned is this:

Poly doesn't mean that we must accept any situation and take on all comers. Poly requires more self examination than mono because there are so many variations, but poly does not mean that we need to be cool with whatever sexual or emotional attraction comes our way - or that comes the way of our partners. It's really important to have explicit agreements in poly and to stick to them, not to be open at all times for whatever comes along if that doesn't feel safe and positive. I admire your willingness to explore the bounds of your comfort. That's a really good thing, but equally as important is exploring and declaring what is and what is not appealing to you. It is essential in poly to know our own boundaries and to be able to communicate our limits to our loved ones.


I know that’s my own issue and I wasn’t planning on finding someone I felt such a connection with so it’s all just rearing its ugly head again.
Romantic attachments will search and find every little insecurity and hidden fear that we thought was long buried or forgotten. It's just the nature of this kind of connection. A crappy romantic relationship will illuminate and magnify these fears. A truly intimate and loving romantic relationship will give us a safe place to explore these fears and slowly get healthier. The difference between the two is also another very important thing to know about.
 
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Leprecorn

New member
Im sorry, I can’t figure that quote thing out.

So now I know I have no interest in a triad but she does, so that’s gonna be the end of that which breaks my heart or whatever. Thank you for making me not feel like a failure for not handling it. I wish I went about it without shutting down and pushing everyone away but that’s my punishment. I think I’ve smoothed things over with her so she knows it’s not her fault. The husband is royally pissed that I didn’t even talk to him about it first but in my head, stepping out of their way quickly seemed like the noble thing to do. I want a relationship so badly but I fear I’ll never get my brain to work properly enough to make it happen. If this is too whiny, I apologize. I just have absolutely nowhere to go to talk about this.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
It is ok to have your own preferences. It is ok to take up the space you do and be your own person. We are all not cookie cutter people copies of each other!

I’ve tried working on for years but then a setback like this happens and I lose all self worth again.

When setbacks happen, you are going to have to find a way to take them SITUATIONALLY.

Like "Well, I feel disappointed. This situation did not work out like I hoped."

Rather than PERSONALLY like "This situation did not work out because I suck, I always ruin things, etc."

It is hard to feel proud of your behavior or hold yourself in high regard or high esteem if your habitual behavior is to be your own self bully.

When you treat yourself with self respect and honor your preferences and yourself? That is behavior you can feel good about, something you can be proud of. That is you are taking good care of you. Rather than you beating your own self up.

The husband is royally pissed that I didn’t even talk to him about it first but in my head, stepping out of their way quickly seemed like the noble thing to do.

Why's he pissed you do not talk to him first about what you are/are not up for? You can tell her you are not up for triad without consulting him.
Your consent to participate in things belongs to YOU, not him.

He could have kept dating her if she was up for a V thing. It's not your fault she's not into that. Her consent to participate in things belongs to HER.

Did he expect you to fake interest in a triad and snow her, just so he gets to date her? And now he's mad because you didn't? :confused:

I want a relationship so badly but I fear I’ll never get my brain to work properly enough to make it happen.

Well, maybe you could start by healing the relationship you have with yourself. How can you have good relationships with other people and feel secure in them, when you are not even comfortable in your own skin and don't feel secure within yourself? If part of you is always being a bully to the other part of you... it's hard to feel safe in there. Kinda waiting for the new wave of bullying to happen. Always on edge.

Who are these Inner Critic voices hanging around in there? Ghost voices from the past? Like... Parents? Teachers? Someone else from the past that needs to be evicted?

Galagirl
 
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Tinwen

Active member
The husband is royally pissed that I didn’t even talk to him about it first but in my head, stepping out of their way quickly seemed like the noble thing to do.
I understand your husband feel be upset that you didn't have
a) the self-awareness to ask him beforehand not to date your romantic interests
b) that you didn't have the honesty with him to say a no right when the yucky feelings set in.
He's disappointed for losing a relationship too, after all.
Just like you, though, he needs to realize that's just the situation, it was a first time for you, and you handled it as best you could. So let him be angry and calm down on his own.

There was no error, but perhaps there's room for improvement. Next time, you can try to speak up sooner. He could ask first before he starts a relationship with someone you know. He could help make safe space for you to express feelings safely. You could make the effort to tell him what you need in that regard. You also both could make a point to stay more in touch with each other's feelings on a daily basis, so that there are less surprises and less 'I didn't know you were feeling like this' situations in the future.
 

lunabunny

New member
From my own experience, I maintain that poly is a tough gig for people who suffer badly from anxiety.

Still, that doesn't mean it's impossible to manage, and from what you say, Leprecorn, you and your husband have managed to engage in worthwhile and enjoyable relationships with other partners in the past - with the caveat, spoken or otherwise, that you keep the relationships completely separate.

This current situation took you by (unpleasant) surprise, as you weren't expecting anything to develop between your husband and this woman you have feelings for - at least, not without them giving you a heads up FIRST, or without any prior discussion taking place - for a number of reasons:

a.) Despite knowing this woman had feelings for your husband as well as for you, HE (husband) had made it clear (to you) that he didn't have much interest in her.

b.) As far as YOU were aware, you and the woman in question had been in the negotiation phase of a relationship between YOU TWO ALONE on the night those two got intimate.

Now that you've discovered something intimate DID happen between them, you still don't consider it "cheating", because:

a.) you and your husband are both polyamorous
b.) you're not in the habit of placing restrictions on each other


I get that that is the way you view it... however, in my opinion, there are a few red flags here, and questions you need to consider:

- Their behaviour was at best only borderline ethical. You say that after a night of deep discussion with this woman about a relationship between you and her, you "found out" that those two had fooled around/been intimate when your husband confessed the truth later. I'm not entirely sure how or where this happened, but it sounds like they were sneaking around behind your back, or else why did someone not say something about it at the time?

- Prior to their hours-long sexual encounter, hubby had informed YOU (but not HER) that he had very little interest in your love interest. To this date, SHE isn't aware that he felt, or still feels, this way about her.

- IF he has little interest in her, WHY is so angry that she no longer wishes to pursue either of you (him included) if she can't have the "package deal"? Is it because he's changed his mind and developed true feelings for her (which you find threatening)? Or because he feels like you've "ruined" some great casual sexy times he could be having on the side?

- Sure, this woman has a right to decide who, how, why and when she will date or be intimate with any other person or persons. But WHY do you think she is refuses to date only ONE of you, separately, rather than both together ONLY?
a.) Was she in the market for a triad ONLY, and now that's not on the cards, she doesn't want any part of this?
b.) Does she think, probably correctly, that it'll get too "messy" considering your anxiety and displeasure about the encounter that already happened between her and hubby?
c.) Or do you think she may have been using you as "bait" to get closer to your husband...? (perhaps she had stronger feelings for HIM all along?)


- Perhaps the biggest issue however is your high anxiety and low self esteem.

I might be wrong, but I feel this is THE driver behind you not being able to even contemplate yours and your husband's dating life "crossing over" as it threatened to in the situation described in the OP.

It is of course your choice who and how you choose to date. However, try to honestly examine your motivators for putting the kybosh on the above situation.

Dating the same person "organically" is quite possible IF such a situation arises in which all three people concerned develop feelings for, and are sexually attracted to each other (as may well be the case here) without it being forced or having a pre-existing agreement that the couple "must" date the same person. The fact that you appear to HAVE such a "naturally occurring" potential triad, yet are adamantly against pursuing it because of latent feelings of insecurity and inadequacy (you'll "always wonder" if they love each other more than you) is a strong signal that you need to work on these issues, regardless of who any of you end up dating.

I'm not judging you for having these feelings. In fact, quite the opposite - I can relate all too well to your situation, as I'm in a very similar position myself. But I also know that jealousy, insecurity and extreme anxiety are not necessarily static, fixed traits. You CAN work on overcoming these powerful negative emotions. How you feel right now need not ALWAYS be the way you feel or choose to operate. But it will be if you led fear lead your decision making.
 

Leprecorn

New member
I don’t know that I can answer most questions but what it comes down to is that yes, I am my own worst enemy and that’s something I need more therapy for. Hubby knew I liked her but didn’t know I wouldn’t be ok with the two of them because honestly I didn’t know either until it happened. I know where I messed up but I feel the fault isn’t all mine as my husband wasn’t and still isn’t clear with his intentions. The girl took herself out of the situation because she doesn’t wanna cause issues between me and hubby. I just wish I could go back in time, figure out what type of relationship I want sooner, and stick to it without letting my insecurity get in the way. I’m still upset with hubby for not telling her he doesn’t have those feelings but it’s too late. I really just needed you guys to tell me that I’m ok and hopefully fairly normal in knowing what I want and not giving in and making myself miserable.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
You are ok.

It is ok for you to want a relationship that your husband is not in. He can date those people THERE, and you can date those people HERE. You do not have to date the same person in a triad thing.

It's ok not to want triads.

If your husband is pressuring you to triad even though you do not want any of that? It is ok not to give in. You do not have to be miserable doing that.

Galagirl
 

Leprecorn

New member
You are ok.

It is ok for you to want a relationship that your husband is not in. He can date those people THERE, and you can date those people HERE. You do not have to date the same person in a triad thing.

It's ok not to want triads.
Galagirl

Thank you so so so much. I was told I was being selfish for putting my needs over theirs. It’s not selfishness, it’s just not what I’m comfortable with. Also, it wasn’t either of them calling me selfish, it was a third party.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Why's a third party butting into your personal business? :confused:

It's ok to tell that person "Thank you for your concern. I will take it on board" and then walk away. You do not have to keep the conversation going. You do not have to JADE with them -- justify, argue, defend, or explain your position. They also don't have to know that when you take their suggestion on board you think "Man, what a load of hooey!" and you discard and disregard it!

YOU make the choices for you. Not other people making them for you.

A triad has to be a 3 person "yes." Not 2 people yes and then one person being dragged along with it because the other two said so.

It is YOUR JOB to state where you stand. And it is ok to vote "No, thank you. I don't want to do triads. Not my thing."

That is not the triad not happening because YOU shot it down. That is the triad not happening because THE TRIAD POTENTIALS do not have a 3 person yes for it to become an actual triad. They approached a person who is not a good fit for that. The triad potentials hopefully take it with grace and handle the disappointment appropriately.

If they start pressuring you or blaming you or whatever? You can think "Whew! Dodged a bullet by saying no. Look at them behaving like that to me now! Imagine how worse it would be in actual triad with people like that?!"

Thank you so so so much. I was told I was being selfish for putting my needs over theirs. It’s not selfishness, it’s just not what I’m comfortable with. Also, it wasn’t either of them calling me selfish, it was a third party.

You are correct. It is not selfishness. There is a continuum of

selfish ------ self full ---- selfless.

  • Selfish = memememe! I screw everyone else! Because all is for me!

  • Selfless = themthemthem! I screw me! Because all is for them!

  • Self full = The balanced place in the middle. Self full is "I meet my own self care needs first. So I can have a full tank of gas and I'm not burning out. THEN I can gift my help to others from a place of joy if I am willing/able to help them."

You do your own basic self care before helping others. If everyone did that all would be seen to more effectively.

Just like on a plane -- you put your OWN oxygen mask on first before trying to help other people put on theirs. Because if you don't? You don't help your own self and run out of air. And how many others can you really help not breathing? You could help MORE people if you took care of you first so you could breathe.

It is not "selfish" to operate from "self full." It is NECESSARY.

It’s not selfishness, it’s just not what I’m comfortable with.

You seem to know it is necessary and that you are not being selfish.

So.... keep doing it. Keep putting your basic self care needs FIRST.

You don't have to be doing things that you don't want to be doing or that you heart is in.

Galagirl
 
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FallenAngelina

Active member
Thank you so so so much. I was told I was being selfish for putting my needs over theirs.

It's my experience that accusations of "selfish" usually come when you're not doing what someone else wants you to do - or what someone else thinks you should be doing. Friends who truly know you and love you usually offer support of your choices and understand the reasons for them. "You're being selfish" often means "You're not doing what I want you to be doing."

Going forward, please know that most emotionally stable poly couples date separately, not together. Triad situations are extremely rare and when they do happen, are usually quite short lived since it's usually an unstable relationship configuration. Long term triads certainly can happen, but they are the rare exception. There is absolutely nothing "selfish" about your aversion to getting involved in a triad. Contrary to popular poly stereotypes, most poly couples don't go down that road at all.
 
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