Please- need advice

Tamcat

New member
I've been in a poly situation for about 3 years now. It's had it's up and downs, but lately it's been extremely difficult for all three of us and I am at the point of admitting I am in over my head and need help. I've called about counseling for myself as well as I think I'm pretty depressed over things and having difficulty dealing with the situation or making a good decision.

Here's the situation. I've been married for 12 years. We have a son. I live with my husband and our son.

I've had a boyfriend for 3 years. He lives 7 hours away. The relationship has been mostly online, phone, text, videochat, but we've also been lucky enough to get to spend a week together a few times a year for the past couple of years. We're also in a D/s relationship with each other, he and I.

My boyfriend had a girlfriend when we got together 3 years ago. She and I got along great. They broke up about a year later and he hasn't dated anyone since then. After they broke up he and I got much closer, and our relationship got quite a bit more intense.

During the last couple of years, my husband dated 4 other women, and I encouraged it. My relationship with my husband had stagnated before my boyfriend ever came along, and there were other issues in our relationship that ended up pushing me away from him and closer to my boyfriend. My marriage had cooled to the 'roommate stage' but then conflict and hostilities escalated, despite him saying he was ok with the poly idea, and we ended up spending a year on the verge of divorce, avoiding each other and living completely separate lives while still living together (keeping all this carefully hidden from our son or families.)

Meanwhile, I had run into a roadblock with my boyfriend- I had decided I wanted to be with him instead of my husband and wanted to try to find a way for us to be together, or move closer to date more regularly and see if we'd work as a couple, not just long distance. He didn't want to. He wasn't comfortable with kids, and didn't want to settle down, and didn't want me to leave my husband. So we settled back into the triad, with me trying to accept this, and just be satisfied with what I could have of him.

There was an issue with jealousy over my boyfriend as well, as whenever his ex almost came back into his life briefly, I had such a hard time I tried to break up with him but he talked me out of it. Then again when an old friend of his, and a submissive that he admitted he might like to play sexually with was supposed to move in with him temporarily when she lost her job and was looking to move to another city, I was in agony. It didn't happen and I was ashamed of how relieved I was. I knew I was being unreasonable but I couldn't seem to control that feeling of insecurity and being scared of losing him.

And now, that same friend is back in my boyfriend's life and they are definitely starting something up, D/s and sexually, and though I know and like her, and she likes me, and he's doing his best to keep me informed and reassure me, I panicked, didn't think I could deal with it, thought it was the end of our relationship, despite his assertions to the contrary.

Meanwhile, after spending a year on the edge of a divorce, my husband and I backed down from it and tentatively tried to make another go of it. He was fine with sharing me with my boyfriend, and wanted to try to fix things. I was reserved and not so sure, and still hung up on the fact that I'd rather be with my boyfriend than him.

I tried to break things off with both of them, again- thinking that maybe I just wasn't really able to do poly, and that I knew my hang up with wanting to be with my boyfriend and not my husband was a reoccurring problem I couldn't seem to get past, along with the jealousy and insecurity where my boyfriend was concerned. But I was miserable, and they were both upset as well, and I didn't even make it a day before I was asking them both if we could please try to fix things and try again. They both wanted to. They were both happy with how things were, sharing me, with my boyfriend long distance. I was the one that wasn't happy, it seems, but the fear and pain of being alone seem far worse.

This was a couple of days ago. They're both happy to be back in status quo, hoping things will be stable again and we'll go on like we were before. But I'm still not happy, and afraid it will only happen again. But I don't think I have the courage and strength to leave, to be alone. I'm trying to tell myself to just try again. Try to let things settle, as the chaos and heartache has been stressful and damaging to all of us. I know they both love me. I know I love my boyfriend, but he doesn't want us to be together full time. I am not sure how I feel about my husband, if I even want things to work with him or not but I feel like the other options just involve misery.

I know this is a mess...and a lot of it my fault. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.
 

Anek

New member
I think you need to sort out the reasons why you are feeling insecure and jealous and afraid your relationship with your boyfriend is threatened if he has another girlfriend. Until you do that work on yourself, things are unlikely to get better. Things don't just settle on their own, people need to work on their issues actively.
 

Tamcat

New member
You're absolutely right. That's something I'm working hard on. I know it's not fair to him, and it's a negative personality trait I really don't want to have either. I'm finding that talking to him, asking the right questions, getting more info about what's really going on, as well as talking to her helps (and I know, communication, communication, communication really is key to so much) because left to my own devices my brain makes things out to be so much worse than they really are.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
From where I'm sitting, it looks like part of the problem is that you added more relationships into your life at a point when your existing relationship needed tending. Now your marriage still needs tending.

Your husband says he is ok with you dating someone else and he's happy with the status quo. It sounds like the status quo has a lack of intimacy. I suspect that's part of the reason you're not "feeling it" with your husband.

Relationships take active work. Left to their own devices, they tend to cool off. It takes effort to keep the intimacy alive.

I read an interesting article about that. The gist of it is that small tokens of physical contact build intimacy. It's not that you lose intimacy first, and then those small tokens start to fall off as a result. If you can make an effort to do those small tokens, then intimacy will increase automatically. Small tokens being things like holding hands in the car, resting your hand on his leg when you watch TV, smearing icing on his nose at a birthday party... just those sweet little things that couples do naturally when they're starting out and then forget to keep up. In other words, all that stuff that makes 8 year olds gag ;)

That's just what I can see from here. You mention "other issues" in your marriage without going into detail, which is fine. But my suggestion is to deal with these issues, or at least try, before throwing in the towel. No relationship worth having comes without some effort. If you want to skip from relationship to relationship, you can, but it probably won't be very fulfilling. At least, if you put in the effort and it doesn't work out, you'll know you tried.

The jealousy is a separate issue completely and there's tons of info out there for dealing with it, so I won't go into that.
 

sparklepop

New member
Hi Tamcat,

Relationships are never easy and though it may look from the outside as if some poly relationships are simple, brilliant and sorted, I think that those relationships took a hell of a lot of soul searching and exploration before they reached that point.

I think the best way to tackle your predicament is to think of the two issues separately. A lot of people think about poly like... if you're not 100% happy with one partner, that's ok, because you have have multiple. You can't get everything from one person. I think of it like... would I choose to spend this amount of time and give this amount of myself if I were single? Or would I move on? I date secondaries who I wouldn't choose as girlfriends if I were single.... but I would choose them as casual partners, and so forth.

I say this because... in my opinion... being unhappy, especially with a primary partner, can cause a great deal of heartache and at the very least, make poly difficult. You find yourself craving the attention and new love of another, whilst wrapped in a fading-yet-familiar security blanket with your husband. But here's what I know.... if my girlfriend ever got to the point where we were mediocre and she was fully throwing herself into someone else... not only would I struggle more with poly; I wouldn't want to be there any more. It would break my heart.

So that makes me wonder about how your husband feels. And hey... relationship breakdowns are not usually one person's fault. Relationships break down because of a lack of compatibility and/or a lack of communication. If you've had other issues, they've obviously widen the cracks and in your heart, three years ago, you were looking for a safe way out.

Ok, so let's look at your husband first. I do not believe that marriages have to stay together. However, 12 years is a long time and family is important. Sometimes, the best way to understand what somebody means to you is to not have them around for a while. I don't know if that could work in your situation, due to having children. But if it was me, I'd be tempted to push myself to move out for a period of 6 months, if it was financially viable. Then see what life is like on your own (which is different from 'alone').

I know these measures are not always possible... and so, if you are to work out your feelings whilst remaining in the home... I say give it a shot. Start having weekly dates. See a marriage counsellor - a poly friendly one. As Schrodinger said; reignite the intimacy between you.

If reading that paragraph made you feel claustrophobic or resistant... listen to your gut. Is what you really want a platonic, close relationship with your husband, but romance with other people?

There are all kinds of different relationships and plenty of monogamous married couples live separate lives, even sleep in separate beds, whilst playing happy families in front of other people.

I actually live with my ex boyfriend in a studio apartment. I have a girlfriend, he is dating someone, yet we sleep in the same bed. Like you (perhaps?), I basically outgrew our relationship and needed to stretch my wings... but neither of us wanted to let our closeness go. This works for us... I say, make your own rules.

Onto your boyfriend...

Meanwhile, I had run into a roadblock with my boyfriend- I had decided I wanted to be with him instead of my husband and wanted to try to find a way for us to be together, or move closer to date more regularly and see if we'd work as a couple, not just long distance. He didn't want to. He wasn't comfortable with kids, and didn't want to settle down, and didn't want me to leave my husband. So we settled back into the triad, with me trying to accept this, and just be satisfied with what I could have of him.

Either your boyfriend truly is a person that you really would be better suited to in real life, or the romance of it has taken your brain to a place of escape. Sometimes, especially when face-to-face meetings and time together are short and far apart, we don't really know our loves as well as we think we do. But, we do get the support, sweetness, excitement, sex, etc. from them.... and this is going to be packaged up in a little bow that says... "wow... I prefer this to routine, predictable marriage".

For a start... take a look at your boyfriend's response to your thoughts on leaving your husband. What got you to the stage where you suggested it? Had you two ever talked about that before?

I'm not saying your boyfriend is wrong for not wanting to be with you exclusively, because of your children and whatever else. But... what I'm saying is.... is he really the man you think he is? Or is your mind projecting a reality with him as an escape from the humdrum and difficulties of long term marriage?

There was an issue with jealousy over my boyfriend as well, as whenever his ex almost came back into his life briefly, I had such a hard time I tried to break up with him but he talked me out of it. Then again when an old friend of his, and a submissive that he admitted he might like to play sexually with was supposed to move in with him temporarily when she lost her job and was looking to move to another city, I was in agony.

So.. if I have this right... your jealousy issues spiked after you suggested leaving your husband? Or was it before? Either way, to me, it's obvious why you are struggling. Yes, jealousy comes from insecurity which comes from self esteem, etc etc. Anyone who's been poly for three years should and would obviously already know that.

But.... what about relationship security? How CAN you feel secure when you possibly want something more than your bf does? Perhaps the demons in the back of your brain are telling you that he will find someone without children, or the type of marriage 'baggage' you have, and will leave you for them?

Well... it could happen. Or, it could happen, but he'd still stay with you. I really struggle with the idea of "trust in your partner.. believe they won't leave you... it's all in your mind". I think anyone could leave anyone; mono or poly. What concerns me more is ... "trust that my partner is being honest about what they want... what their commitment level is towards me... and where I fit in their life"

On the slightly brighter side... I am hoping that this little piece of anecdotal advice might help you -

When I met my girlfriend two years ago, she was on the brink of divorce with her husband. She gave him an ultimatum of divorce or poly... and he took the poly route. She threw herself into other relationships, wrapped in the security (financial included) of their 11 year marriage. They also have a three year old.

A lot of things led up to their difficulties. My girlfriend had moved and moved and moved so that her husband could follow his dream career. He'd squandered a lot of their money. They lost their dream house and moved into a tiny apartment, with about 1/5 of their income. He was diagnosed with OCD after the birth of their daughter and she has had depression for most of her life.

For the first year or so, poly gave her the freedom she craved, but pushed them further apart, because she basically neglected their relationship, instead of dealing with their issues. She met me, they eventually both accepted me into their family and now, two years later, their marriage is growing stronger and stronger again. She still contemplates whether they are meant to be together... and in all honesty, what they have is a long-standing, familiar, sometimes fun, friendship-based marriage that suits them for the very most part. And they are happy with that.

I think that you could spend some time reflecting on what kind of qualities you want in a long term partner, what you get from your husband and don't get... and the same with your boyfriend. There is no need to make a decision.. but I would definitely try to work out your feelings and desires, before trying to tackle any jealousy issues about your boyfriend.
 

Tamcat

New member
@SchrodingersCat- We've been trying, exactly what you describe there...for months now. The little touches, being tentatively affectionate, doing nice little things for each other, little gifts, trying to set aside time to spend with each other. He seems to think things are fine, or should be fine now but I'm still feeling extremely wary and reserved. He seems to be baffled about why I'm not happy or fine, despite my attempts to tell him and now he seems to be getting impatient for us to be ok.

@Sparklepop-
I say this because... in my opinion... being unhappy, especially with a primary partner, can cause a great deal of heartache and at the very least, make poly difficult. You find yourself craving the attention and new love of another, whilst wrapped in a fading-yet-familiar security blanket with your husband. But here's what I know.... if my girlfriend ever got to the point where we were mediocre and she was fully throwing herself into someone else... not only would I struggle more with poly; I wouldn't want to be there any more. It would break my heart.

I think part of the problem is that I don't consider my husband to be my primary partner. I think up until a few months ago, for a good 2 years there we didn't have any relationship, and my boyfriend was my primary partner. I'm struggling to hang in there and see if there's any chance of having any sort of relationship with my husband at this point. And I am aware that he wants more, he wants us to be primary again and I don't want to hurt him, but I am really not sure I can do that now.

If it were feasible for me to take 6 months away, I would try it. Just to see how it felt. That may still be something on the table though he wouldn't like it.

I'm definitely going to see a counselor. I need some help working through all this, I know that for sure.

If reading that paragraph made you feel claustrophobic or resistant... listen to your gut. Is what you really want a platonic, close relationship with your husband, but romance with other people?

I have to admit, I do feel a bit of claustrophobia and resistance at the thought of giving in and settling back in with my husband. If I thought he'd be open to the idea of a platonic, close relationship I would suggest that- but given his assertions lately to the contrary...I don't know. I know I should possibly broach the subject, but I think he will take that as a rejection and just get angry and demand that I get out.

At least things seem to be getting better with my boyfriend. We've been trying to reconnect, he's been trying to reassure me about my place with him. We've been discussing what's been happening with his other girl (not much, so far but I told him I know I need to be ok with whatever happens with her so I've been trying to talk to him about the possibility of them having sex, even starting a relationship, trying to be ok with either and be secure and have faith that it won't wreck our relationship.) I'm starting to feel like things will be ok there.

I honestly don't have a lot of hope that my marriage will last much longer. The thought makes me sad. I know I'd miss him, I'd miss the closeness, the stability, the security I've had with him. I'd miss raising our child together. I'd miss leaning on each other, helping each other out. I'd miss the comfortable, the familiar. I'll admit I'm pretty terrified of the unknown right now, of the thought of being alone, and even if my boyfriend and I manage to stay together through everything, it'll still be long distance, so for all practical purposes, I realize I'll be alone, and that's a scary thought.

---Just had a talk with my husband and we are finding that a problem we're running into is that each of us seems to be making assumptions about the other that turn out to be incorrect. I said we don't seem to know each other very well anymore and that we need to try to work more on communication and that maybe if we were able to communicate better we could get to know each other again and re-establish some sort of connection or level of intimacy again. I also used some of what I'd read here- about how we might want to try to set a time period for us to achieve this, to come up with some specific, measurable, attainable goals for our relationship to improve and revisit what, if any, progress we've made at the end of this time period. He doesn't seem all that enthusiastic, but it gives me hope that one way or another, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel and not endless limbo.

Thank you for the replies, I appreciate them very much.
 

Tamcat

New member
Aigh, I had typed out this long response, and it got eaten. >.<

Suffice it to say- I really appreciate the replies and suggestions and they have all been helpful, thank you very much.

I think Sparklepop hit on something- I am feeling claustrophobic and resistant to the thought of giving in and settling back into a romantic relationship with my husband. I honestly wish having a platonic relationship with him were possible but I don't think he'd be satisfied with that at all and would be upset and hurt at the suggestion.

I wish leaving for 6 months as a trial period were possible. I may still explore that option in the future, but given my husband's current mindset, I believe he'd be so hurt and angered by that move that the relationship would likely be over at that point, and I also hate the thought of creating such an upheaval in my son's life for a trial period...but the idea does sound a little tempting, just to see what it felt like.

My husband and I talked today, and what I'm getting from him is that he's hurt and upset because of the fact that I don't seem to want physical intimacy with him. I feel like he's being too impatient and pushing when I'm not sure I'm ready to re-establish that with him just yet. He's been reading so much into our interactions, and reading them incorrectly, that it's been painfully obvious that despite my ongoing attempts to communicate with him and re-establish some sort of connection again, he really doesn't know me or understand me at all right now and that feeling doesn't really make me want to rush back into intimacy.

I suggested that maybe we try to come up with a time period to make some progress towards some specific, measurable, attainable goals for the relationship (been reading about that on other threads and think it's a great idea)- and for him to please take a little time today to think about what those goals could be and we'll discuss them later tonight. Maybe with a time period, I won't feel so hopeless and claustrophobic about being stuck back in limbo. And maybe with the thought that we're going to work towards some specific goals, he'll feel like we'll be able to see if we're making any progress or not. He seemed really unhappy and upset about the fact that I wasn't ready to jump back into intimacy with him and didn't have any interest in physical relations with him but I told him that at least we were talking and trying and I was still wanting to try to work with him to see if we could make things better instead of just giving up- which seemed at least a little hopeful to me.

Things with my boyfriend seem to be going better. He and I haven't had much time to talk or connect with me spending most of my time with my husband trying to talk and work with him, but we got to spend a little time last night (which ended early as it got interrupted by my husband even after I asked him if it was ok if I spent some time with my boyfriend). My bf and I got to talk a little about his other potential girlfriend, and I was able to broach the subject without that shaky, sick feeling and actually have a decent conversation about it, which seemed to help a lot. He and I seemed to be able to reconnect, and I felt a lot better about things with him and we even made a date night for Sunday, when my husband will be gone to work.

Hoping to get in to see a counselor next week. I am feeling a little stronger, a little more capable of dealing with things after falling apart Monday. I'm trying to stay hopeful and open about things and just do my best to try to be honest and considerate to both my partners and communicate as effectively as I can, while also thinking through what changes I may need to make and what I am really capable of doing and what I'm not. I want them to be happy, but I know I need to be happy too.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
---Just had a talk with my husband and we are finding that a problem we're running into is that each of us seems to be making assumptions about the other that turn out to be incorrect. I said we don't seem to know each other very well anymore and that we need to try to work more on communication and that maybe if we were able to communicate better we could get to know each other again and re-establish some sort of connection or level of intimacy again.

hehe, that's pretty much EXACTLY what my counsellor said last time I saw her. Must be some truth to it :) We make up stories using facts that happen in our lives. Those stories contain assumptions. Then we react to the stories we tell, and not the actual reality of what happened. By stating your assumptions and telling yourself your story, you begin to see it for what it really is, which allows you to parse it and throw out the crap.

After you've analysed it, you can return to your partner and say "When you said/did ___, I assumed that it was because you felt/thought ___. Is that accurate?" And then most of the time, it won't be, and they'll tell you so. Then you can respond to their true motivations and not the ones you made up and painted on them.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Have you flat out told him you'd rather be with your bf....as it stands right now? That's something I'd want to know if I was being asked to work on things in a troubled marriage.

Your relationship stagnated, was on the verge of divorse you both had partners as a fix.....you don't want disrupt your child's life. Both guys love you....but you never said you love your husband. I think that relationship as a marriage was over 3 yrs ago and nobody wants to admit it.
 

Tamcat

New member
Have you flat out told him you'd rather be with your bf....as it stands right now? That's something I'd want to know if I was being asked to work on things in a troubled marriage.

Your relationship stagnated, was on the verge of divorse you both had partners as a fix.....you don't want disrupt your child's life. Both guys love you....but you never said you love your husband. I think that relationship as a marriage was over 3 yrs ago and nobody wants to admit it.

I have. It was hard to say, because I really don't want to hurt him, but I think that whole 'avoiding saying difficult things because we don't want to hurt the people we care about' is a large part of how we got into this mess, so I am trying to work on both being more open and honest, even when I know it's not something the other person wants to hear, and also trying to be stronger and more encouraging to my partners to try to give them the basis they need to be able to do the same to me.

I honestly don't know if I love my husband anymore or not. I know I don't feel any romantic feelings for him, or any intimacy or passion, and haven't for a long time. I care about him. I like doing things for him. I like helping him. I want him happy and I hate doing anything to hurt or upset him. Is that love? I don't even know anymore.

I'm trying to leave the door open for those feelings to come back, if there's any chance of it. We're trying to take a month, to get through the holidays, and see if there's any way we can move towards intimacy again. My boyfriend and I, meanwhile are trying to stabilize our out relationship, get through him going to spend a week with his potential new gf Dec. 17, and seeing what, if any changes need to be made all around.

My husband has said, if we haven't made noticeable improvement by the end of the year, he wants to end the relationship, that he wants and deserves someone who wants him, loves him more than anyone. I agreed, that he does indeed deserve that. That we all did. As it stands though, the main problems in our triad appear to be that my husband wants more from me than I think I can give him, and I want more from my boyfriend than he can give me. I don't know if there's any healthy, happy way to resolve that. I just know we're all three trying to be considerate, caring, and supportive of each other. That none of us wants to hurt the other. But I don't know if there's any way to fix this unless people can change what they want, and this seems to be such a longstanding, deep-seated desire for more on my part and my husband's part that I am really unsure it can be changed. Or should be.
 

sparklepop

New member
Hi again Tamcat :)

It sounds like you have worked through some issues in your head a little; but I understand what it is like to be so confused about what you want. I've been there.

It also sounds like you do love your husband; but not in the same way that you used to, or not in the way that you want to love a partner.

I discovered Sternberg's theory of love a few days ago and I've been slapping it all over the forums... haha... because it really seemed to hit home for me.

It's a simple enough concept, but for me, it make absolute sense and helped me to put certain things in boxes and gain some clarity.

The idea is that there are 7 types, or stages, of love - the 7th type being 'consumate love', which involves the three prerequisites of passion, commitment and intimacy (in the less trivial sense of all three terms). Often, the kind of love we feel for many of our partners is something other than this ideal consumate love.

I had a feeling that it might help you to look at your relationship with your husband and compare it to that of your boyfriend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love

You might also find Tennov's theory of Limerence interesting - it talks about that NRE 'love' effect... when we put people on a pedestal, or project our ideals onto them. Limerence takes things one step further; but the general idea of infatuation is there. I found this helpful, as I recognised some of the points in my girlfriend and it's helped me to calm down when I think she's 'falling in love' with someone. It's also kept me level headed when I've though I've been falling in love; but really have been experiencing something a bit less than Limerence:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence


Anyway... you know something? Nothing that is worth having cannot be reversed or changed. Love can be rediscovered. It is very possible that with a few years of freedom, experience and self-discovery, you and your husband settle into something new that fits... friendship, or something else. Passion can also be rediscovered with time and distance. I was terrified when I left my boyfriend... he was supposed to be my future... I can absolutely understand how you feel... but I wouldn't change a thing. I think that you are heading in the right direction and should follow what your gut instincts are telling you.
 

Tamcat

New member
I'm going to wait for some counseling before making any hard choices, trying to keep to the idea of a holding pattern for this month...but it's growing harder.

Virtually every interaction with my husband seems to add to that feeling that, while I do care about him, there is no attraction, no passion there at all. I've told myself I could try to push myself, to "fake it till you make it", but that thought isn't terribly appealing, either.

My boyfriend and I are stable only when I don't bring up any questions or concerns about his new potential GF. I tried to talk to him today about it, based on some new info from a mutual friend- about how it seemed to have already moved into the infatuation stage, much to my surprise, and trying to deal with some concerns I had about that. He got upset, frustrated with me, feeling guilty and I am now fearing that he associates me with those negative feelings, while he's bathing in the NRE for this other girl. Not a very stable basis for a poly setting (not that it ever has been, but I was really hoping that he and I might get through it) and it doesn't bode well to me about the prospect of us weathering his new relationship.

I'm feeling pretty sad right now, as it seems my gut keeps telling me that both relationships are beyond salvaging.
 

Tamcat

New member
Just an update-

I've been working so hard on this...I think, despite the difficulty, it's been good for me as a person because it's forced me to really do some internal emotional work on myself, some bad habits, destructive habits that truly didn't like about myself and I'm actually pleased with how far I've managed to come in the last few weeks.

I believe that my relationship with my husband probably needs to end. It's going to be very difficult and I am dreading causing him or my son any pain or upheaval in their lives, but I think that I've been hiding in limbo for far too long now, mistaking 'safe' for 'happy'. I think that my husband and I haven't really been compatible as a romantic couple for several years now, and that we will both end up happier finding someone better suited to us as our primary partner.

I am not sure if my relationship with my boyfriend will last or not but if it doesn't, I don't think it will be from jealousy or from the relationship being open. The more we've discussed his potential new relationship, the more ok I have gotten with it, till I'm no longer worried or threatened by it at this point. If we do end up ending our relationship, I think it will be from he and I being at different stages in our lives where I want to find a primary partner I am happy with and feel a deep connection to, and he is at a more fluid stage in his life where he doesn't want to settle down.

So I think we will all three take this next month of Dec. to rest as we'd planned before making the changes we need to make. I think my shrink will be a good sounding board and will help me figure out the best way to navigate the changes to come. But I'm starting to see that despite the pain of leaving a long term marriage and/or relationship, things will get better afterward. And I'm starting to feel like I might be strong enough to do it. It's nice to have a little hope back after all this time of being confused, sad, and lost in what seemed like an untenable situation. It's hard to see straight when you're drowning in reactive emotions.
 

Tamcat

New member
Things seem to have crashed and burned again.

I started seeing a therapist, but one week after our first appointment, my dad died. I was very close to him and was taking care of him and now my life is completely upside down and I am back to struggling with both relationships.

I had a question about one of my relationships- I need to get some objective opinions on this. My boyfriend and his potential new girlfriend were supposed to meet for the first time this Friday, Dec. 17th, and spend the weekend together. They'd met online, just as he and I did 3 and a half years ago. I have been struggling with this since it started a couple of months ago. But losing my dad last week made it all worse. I'm not ok with him starting a new relationship, and I've tried to tell him that. I'm especially not ok right now with losing my dad and facing a divorce.

Is it wrong for me to think that this is not a good time for him to start a new relationship? Is it wrong for me to wish he'd at very least put off meeting her a month or so till he could help me work through my grief or is that too much to ask of him? I feel like, if he loved me like he says he does, that he'd be more concerned about me and how hard a time I'm having right now than in starting a new relationship, but I'm afraid they're already in NRE mode and I'm...already being pushed aside and it hurts terribly.
 

AnnabelMore

New member
How will starting a new relationship keep him from being there for you? And is it fair to ask this other woman to wait a month, when she's probably been anticipating this for some time? Will their budding relationship really survive that, or will she take it as a sign that he's not really serious about her?

I'm very sorry about your father, what a hard thing to be going through. You can and should expect him to support you, as much as a long distance partner can. But I have to say, he's allowed to have his own life in the meantime, and I don't think it's ok for you, his married gf, to try, essentially, to keep him monogamous to you... and that's what it seems like this, like you're just intimidated by the idea of him being with someone else.
 

Tamcat

New member
AnnabelMore- as much as it hurts to think about, I think you're probably right. I don't think I'm dealing with things very well and I am very intimidated by the idea of him being with someone else. As much as I like and believe in polyamory as a valid and healthy relationship configuration, I seem to be stuck in a monogamous mindset emotionally where he's concerned.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
Is it wrong for me to think that this is not a good time for him to start a new relationship? Is it wrong for me to wish he'd at very least put off meeting her a month or so till he could help me work through my grief or is that too much to ask of him? I feel like, if he loved me like he says he does, that he'd be more concerned about me and how hard a time I'm having right now than in starting a new relationship, but I'm afraid they're already in NRE mode and I'm...already being pushed aside and it hurts terribly.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I think it's important to recognize that he isn't really "starting" a new relationship. He's already started a new relationship. Now he's meeting her in person.

Is he being prince charming by being insensitive to your needs? No. But has he made any commitment to fill that kind of role in your life? From what you've shared here, it doesn't sound like it.

Is it "wrong" for you to want more from him? No, not at all. But... You wanting more, and him being emotionally capable of providing more are two different things.

People express love differently. People have different capacities to provide support and care in times of need. From your previous descriptions, emotions aren't his strong suit.

Meanwhile, what about your husband? Despite the fact that you're leaving the marriage, I wouldn't discount the possibility of putting that off for a little while, as you cope with your grief. Ask him for support as a friend. Despite the loss of romance, it sounds like you're still relatively close and that he might be able to help you out.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am so sorry for your loss. :(

Navigating the stages of grief is a challenge.

Is it wrong for me to think that this is not a good time for him to start a new relationship? Is it wrong for me to wish he'd at very least put off meeting her a month or so till he could help me work through my grief or is that too much to ask of him? I feel like, if he loved me like he says he does, that he'd be more concerned about me and how hard a time I'm having right now than in starting a new relationship, but I'm afraid they're already in NRE mode and I'm...already being pushed aside and it hurts terribly.

I'm not hearing what you want boyfriend to DO. I just hear this:

I want BF to stop seeing his other GF. (Nothing to do with you, actually. And if he stopped seeing her then what? What's he supposed to do to you/for you after that to aid you? Can't we just skip forward to that part? )

  • I want BF to help me work through my grief. I want him to do this by _____?
  • I want BF to express concern for me in my mourning time. I want him to do this by ______?
  • I am afraid of being replaced. I want boyfriend to reassure me. I want him to do this by ________?

What are the things you need to be comforted? A long heart to heart talk? Listening? A warm blanket? Distraction from your grief by taking you out?

Tell your BF the HOW. Then perhaps he can execute it to meet your want/need at this time.

Don't forget you have a son and husband. They have suffered loss as well -- the loss of a grandparent and FIL. Perhaps helping to comfort THEM would in turn help comfort YOU? Stories shared about him, memories revisited, etc.

Galagirl
 
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Tamcat

New member
Updates, I guess, on my respective relationship situations.

After months of soul searching, talking to a therapist, my mom, and friends, as well as reading a lot on various related subjects, I've realized that at this point, I think my husband and I would be better off separating and I broached the subject with him about a week ago, painful as it was. I'm going to have to wait a month or two, but plan to get my own place, here in town so he and I can share custody of our son. I'm inheriting some money from my father, and have told my husband that I'll help him go back to school so he can get out of the job that he hates and get his teaching certificate, something he's wanted to do for years but we've never been able to afford it. I told him even if we split, I care about him and want him to be happy. I know this is still going to be extremely hard on all of us, but I am going to try to do my best to make it as easy as possible on me, my husband, and our son.

Things with my boyfriend have reached a tentative and uncertain truce. He decided he had to move, unable to find a job in his town and about to lose his apartment, and his new girlfriend (who he still hasn't met face to face yet- their visit fell through due to problems on her end) has offered him a place to stay with her and her roommates, and says she has a job offer she knows he can just walk into so he's planning to move in with her temporarily, supposed to move within the next few weeks.

I was pretty unhappy about this, for a number of reasons, mostly irrationally emotional, but also due to the fact that this girl has been extremely unreliable in the past (they've been friends for longer than I've known him, 3+ years and in the 3 times she was supposed to go meet him, something always went wrong on her end- she got lost and ended up in the wrong state 2 states away; she ended up changing her mind about moving to stay with him for a while back when she needed a place to live to get away from her abusive boyfriend and lied to him and didn't tell him she'd changed her mind for over a month; the latest, she got called in to work on of her days off, and then her car got stolen on the next day) and he seems to be putting a lot of faith and trust in her to move 4 hours away to her town, in with someone he's never met face to face and other complete strangers, and pin his hopes on a job he may or may not be able to get. I've held back on pointing a lot of this out, aware of the fact that this may very well be NRE at work and I think he would think I was just being jealous and I also think that this may very well be a case of him having to find things out on his own.

I tried walking away from that relationship twice in the last couple of weeks, and we spent days fighting or crying, and a couple of days avoiding each other before missing each other so badly drove us back to talking, trying to figure things out, trying to talk things out and meet in the middle and get past the overwhelming emotional responses that seemed to wreck us where this is all concerned and get back to a place where we're just- trying to put things on hold, trying not to push at things too hard right now or worry things to death and just be there for each other through the next few months when things are going to be so hard, with all the changes and upheavals in each others' lives.

So it's hard right now, for all of us. And I don't think any of us are very happy with how things are at the moment, but I'm hoping it will get better once we get through this awful, sad, painful part here. I do think my husband and I will be better off and happier eventually with us apart. I think it will be a more positive and more stable atmosphere for our son once we get past the grief and get our respective lives back together again. And I think that whatever happens with my boyfriend, me stepping back to focus on putting my own life back together while he works on his own is a good thing. I'd love to think he and I would end up together at some point, but that's not a possibility right now, and I need to move on and get my life settled and out of limbo.

And yes- doing my best to comfort my husband and especially my son about the loss of my dad. There are a lot of good memories there to pull from. He was a very good man, and an important part of our lives and I'm trying to take comfort in those good memories.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
So it's hard right now, for all of us. And I don't think any of us are very happy with how things are at the moment, but I'm hoping it will get better once we get through this awful, sad, painful part here. I do think my husband and I will be better off and happier eventually with us apart. I think it will be a more positive and more stable atmosphere for our son once we get past the grief and get our respective lives back together again. And I think that whatever happens with my boyfriend, me stepping back to focus on putting my own life back together while he works on his own is a good thing. I'd love to think he and I would end up together at some point, but that's not a possibility right now, and I need to move on and get my life settled and out of limbo.


Sounds like you are trying your hardest to keep it together in a challenging time and be realistic for what these changes could mean for each person at this time.

Kudos to you! And hang in there. I know it isn't easy to feel or get yourself through as you weather this patch.

GG
 
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