Poly Fallout, advice needed

JRPCandle

New member
An unhappy mom is worse than a separation. You got married before you experienced true love. Hubby is just being possessive and selfish. I will just reiterate what I said before. "Polyamory" was fine with him until he lost his side piece... his Secondary. Now all of a sudden your love for your Secondary is a mistake, made before YOU had healed from HUBBY's affair. He is putting his own desires first and foremost-- in cheating back then and in demanding you give up YOUR LOVER because he lost his, the woman who is breaking agreements and also being selfish by wanting him to herself because SHE broke up with HER HUBBY.

I think Hubby is treating you badly. It's possible you two settled for each other, thinking it was just what you do at a certain age, get married to someone who is available, loyal, a good provider or whatever, get a house, have kids. You truly naively thought true love didn't exist. As they say, you just hadn't met the right guy yet. Now that you have (or so it seems), you're being asked to give him up-- for what? Reconciliation and "love" with a man who is right now acting badly towards you and also cheated on you in the past? What kind of deal is that?

Now, there is no guarantee that you will have a long-term (decades long) deeply loving and exciting relationship if you made Secondary your primary. But it sounds like there's a darn good chance. I wouldn't tell you to move out of your marital home and into a shared place with Secondary any time soon. The first step would be to become independent. Get your own place. Get in touch with yourself. Grieve the end of your marriage. Then maybe in a year or three you might want to see how things are going with Secondary and if you want to take the step of living together.
We definitely settled. We acknowledge that. But there was still beauty and comfort in the relationship. Then I met secondary and he showed me what attraction, intimacy, a partner making you feel loved was REALLY like. Primary loves me and is ok with what we have…a loving friendship with occasional physical benefits (no real passion though) and compatibility to last. I provide a lot in the home…I work so I add to the financial stability but I also work in education so daycare is never an issue for breaks and summers. I do all the groceries, dinner and weekend breakfast cooking, trip planning, school registering, etc. I think he is overwhelmed by the extra stress my absence will create.

I feel less emotional and stressed with time passing. I’m glad we are taking a moment to process.
 

JRPCandle

New member
In rereading this, I have had more thoughts.

You said Sam (let's give him a real nickname) is good at making you feel loved and beautiful and valuable. Look inside. Do you believe you are these things, independently of a man's affirmation? Self love comes from within. If you truly believe you are beautiful, etc., you will understand it is worth it to show up for yourself, take care of yourself, treat yourself right. Only then will you be able to do what is also best for others, especially for your children, in this time of turmoil. Your daughter was brought into this world on the heels of your trauma, with your thoughts of suicide. (I wonder if you had post-partum depression after that!)

That isn't to say surrounding yourself with supportive motivating friends in general in not important! It is! I just recommend not depending on one man for this kind of affirmation. The more positive friends you have, the better.

I imagine you are full of self doubt. One thing that helped me when I was having my worst issues with my ex husband, and we were doing couples therapy, was to also do weekly individual therapy for a year or so. There were things inside me I needed to work on that I didn't need him to hear. They didn't really have anything to do with him, directly. I needed that focus on myself.

Eventually I began to detangle myself from him. I moved to the guest room (sound familiar? wink). I took a couple of airplane trips to see my sister, to see friends from the internet, and my dearest oldest friends. I went hiking in the mountains, took long walks on beaches, I went to museums and shows with those women. I was so used to being connected at the hip with my h, because that's what you're supposed to do! Even though we were no longer connecting properly. There was too much resentment, too many barriers. We tried to melt the resentments and take down the barriers, but I just realized I'd outgrown him and needed to go in an entirely different direction. I needed to be me. I didn't need his judgment. It was stifling.
I’ve been working with a therapist for two years on that big topic, my self worth. I look in the mirror and think I’m attractive but I worry (because of the infidelity I suppose) that I’m not enough, especially for primary. If we are both truly in love with other people and I stay with primary, who is going to fill that hole? It isn’t me, may never be.

I agree you need to love yourself. But it feels lovely now having someone who validates and makes me feel beautiful. Primary would chuckle when I would put on lingerie because he knew what I wanted. Secondary immediately grabs me and holds me for a moment, taking it all in and smiling. He wants me to dress sexy to “show me off.” Primary once told ne (right after giving birth the first time) that he didn’t need to tell me I look good if I make an effort for a date night, I should know I’m beautiful.
 

JRPCandle

New member
Thank you all for your continued thoughts. More updates: I feel as though I’m leaning towards leaving. I feel like a terrible person either way, really. If I stay, it will partly be for financial security and for other peoples’ benefits. And then what would happen? Can I truly stay away from this amazing man I long for? If I leave, I hurt so many people and feel selfish. But my mind seems to be imagining it more and more…the house we will share, how we will make it work. Nothing is definite. My therapist suggested we try two months of a couples counselor to see if enough is there in primary relationship. I am also reading a book called “too good to leave, too bad to stay.” It’s supposed to help you determine if it’s right to stay and I am trying to analyze my primary relationship without the outside forces, but that’s tricky. I’m trying to stay open to both paths. But I feel like my heart is showing me what I want for myself.

Primary is doing everything he can think of to get me to stay. He is willing to move away and book expensive family vacations. And secondary is doing his best to be patient, waiting and hoping I will choose him. And here I am with the weight of the world on my shoulders. There are professional and health concerns as well. I secretly want someone to tell me the best path and I would love a crystal ball right now!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi JRPCandle,

I feel that in going down the poly path, you have opened a can of worms and it can't be closed again. Yes you can break up with your secondary. But what are the consequences of that decision? You want to save your marriage. Can you save it if your secondary is out of the picture? Can you improve it if your secondary is out of the picture? or will it be worse? These are the questions I have when I think about closing that can of worms.

So maybe the marriage can't be saved?
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you all for your continued thoughts. More updates: I feel as though I’m leaning towards leaving. I feel like a terrible person either way, really.

You cannot be living your live to please other people. Life isn't a dress rehearsal. You only get the one. And they have their own lives to be living. So do your soul searching and then pick the path that leads to you feeling happy.

If I leave, I hurt so many people and feel selfish.

So it is ok to hurt you? And teach your kids this? That they should just be ok hurting themselves and be people pleasers?

Do you confuse ANY self care and caring about your own well being with selfishness?

My therapist suggested we try two months of a couples counselor to see if enough is there in primary relationship. I am also reading a book called “too good to leave, too bad to stay.” It’s supposed to help you determine if it’s right to stay and I am trying to analyze my primary relationship without the outside forces, but that’s tricky. I’m trying to stay open to both paths. But I feel like my heart is showing me what I want for myself.

Take your time. Read and do counseling.

One doesn't make a decision like this lightly.

But if you are starting to realize you want MORE out of life than just settling for status quo? That's ok too. Sit with those thoughts. Talk to counselor about them.

Primary is doing everything he can think of to get me to stay. He is willing to move away and book expensive family vacations.

And are these things feeling like "too little too late?" He's doing them now because he doesn't want to deal with running his own household with split custody? Where before he took you and your work for granted? He's scared of changes?

I secretly want someone to tell me the best path and I would love a crystal ball right now!

Again... take your time. One doesn't decide this on a whim. In case this assessment tool helps you ask yourself those soul searching questions...


The third set of questions in particular for your case.

  • Is this the right relationship for you in your life now, or was it only right in the past?
  • Are you staying in because this feels good, or because this feels familiar?
  • Are you afraid of change in your life or of being alone or single? Is this relationship keeping you from needed change or growth?
  • Do you feel like letting go means you failed? Are you staying to try and prove something to yourself or someone else?
  • Are you staying because you feel guilty about having been sexual in something other than a lifelong relationship?
  • Are you choosing to stay because you've become a partner's caretaker or counselor rather than their partner?
  • Are you staying because any relationship seems better than no relationship, or because you're afraid this is the only chance you'll have for this kind of relationship?
  • Are you staying because it's what the other person wants or says they need, even if it's not what you want and need?
  • Are you staying because you made some kind of promise that you know you can't keep or don't want to, but feel guilty about breaking?
  • Are you staying in figuring you'll just wait and see if something better comes along, and stay if it doesn't?
 
Last edited:

JRPCandle

New member
I really worry about being in the same city as secondary, the proximity adding to the pain. I think it’s telling also that I worry about this city being sad for me with secondary out of my life (we met them within a year of moving here) but I don’t seem to have the same outlook if I am with secondary. And when I have daydreamed of my future for years now, it’s with secondary in it…the places we will go. How do I switch that off and rebuild with someone for whom I don’t have the same intensity of feelings?

I zeroed in on the idea that I haven’t been happy these seven years since my daughter was born. And one thing is certain, my primary relationship’s status quo isn’t going to cut. Something needs to change. Perhaps a new city and fresh start would help if I stayed but the problems and sadness could follow me. I feel like being held by the man I love every night would make me happy…I just hope the cost isn’t too high
 

JRPCandle

New member
I really worry about being in the same city as secondary, the proximity adding to the pain. I think it’s telling also that I worry about this city being sad for me with secondary out of my life (we met them within a year of moving here) but I don’t seem to have the same outlook if I am with secondary. And when I have daydreamed of my future for years now, it’s with secondary in it…the places we will go. How do I switch that off and rebuild with someone for whom I don’t have the same intensity of feelings?

I zeroed in on the idea that I haven’t been happy these seven years since my daughter was born. And one thing is certain, my primary relationship’s status quo isn’t going to cut. Something needs to change. Perhaps a new city and fresh start would help if I stayed but the problems and sadness could follow me. I feel like being held by the man I love every night would make me happy…I just hope the cost isn’t too high
This was in reply to kdt26417
 

JRPCandle

New member
You cannot be living your live to please other people. Life isn't a dress rehearsal. You only get the one. And they have their own lives to be living. So do your soul searching and then pick the path that leads to you feeling happy.



So it is ok to hurt you? And teach your kids this? That they should just be ok hurting themselves and be people pleasers?

Do you confuse ANY self care and caring about your own well being with selfishness?



Take your time. One doesn't make a decision like this lightly. But if you are starting to realize you want MORE out of life than just settling for status quo? That's ok too.


And are these things feeling like "too little too late?" Mostly being done now because he doesn't want to deal with running his own household with split custody? Took you and your work for granted? Scared of change?



Again... take your time. One doesn't decide this on a whim. In case this assessment tool helps you ask yourself those soul searching questions...


The third set of questions in particular for your case.

  • Is this the right relationship for you in your life now, or was it only right in the past?
  • Are you staying in because this feels good, or because this feels familiar?
  • Are you afraid of change in your life or of being alone or single? Is this relationship keeping you from needed change or growth?
  • Do you feel like letting go means you failed? Are you staying to try and prove something to yourself or someone else?
  • Are you staying because you feel guilty about having been sexual in something other than a lifelong relationship?
  • Are you choosing to stay because you've become a partner's caretaker or counselor rather than their partner?
  • Are you staying because any relationship seems better than no relationship, or because you're afraid this is the only chance you'll have for this kind of relationship?
  • Are you staying because it's what the other person wants or says they need, even if it's not what you want and need?
  • Are you staying because you made some kind of promise that you know you can't keep or don't want to, but feel guilty about breaking?
  • Are you staying in figuring you'll just wait and see if something better comes along, and stay if it doesn't?
I definitely feel you on the dress rehearsal. And yes, someone gets hurt no matter what, and one of those options is me. It all feels like too little, too late.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi JRPCandle,

My vote is for you to leave your primary, and stay with your secondary. To me, it is the choice that makes the more sense under the circumstances. I realize that there are drawbacks no matter what you decide. I am trying to think of what would be the least painful decision -- for all concerned.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I get that you are processing a lot of things right now. But you seem really stuck on "who gets hurt" here. So much so you put your authentic self or your needs on hold maybe? Talk to counselor about this.

Who we are in the 20s is not who we are in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and so on. Sometimes we outgrow previous relationships/partners. It's ok to have learned new things and outgrown your primary.

I think it's ok to leave primary and stick with secondary if that is what you land on in the end of all this deep reflection.

And yes, breaking up and ending a marriage comes with some hurt. That is NORMAL in a break up. You also wouldn't be the first people ever to get a divorce. Family, friends, yourselves -- you all will adjust to the changes.
 

JRPCandle

New member
Thank you, kdt26417 and GalaGirl. I really value your perspectives. I will update you as the journey progresses. One small update…I was terrified to talk to my eldest sister about it, worried she would judge/resent me and be unwilling to accept the potential breakup. She was loving and compassionate and is sort of thinking along your lines. She doesn’t want me to be in pain, wants me to be happy. It is a huge relief.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad sister told you she doesn't want you to be in pain, and wants you to be happy.

Glad you talked to sister and she was supportive and you feel some relief. That NO. Other people's thoughts and feelings are not all on you to maintain. You don't have to "keep everyone happy" or something like it is your responsibility to hold up the whole world on your shoulders.

No break up is FUN. No divorce is FUN. But sometimes they are necessary things in life. People get through them if that's what it needs to be.

Keep doing your soul searching and keep seeking out help with that thinking process.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi JRPCandle,

I appreciate your updates, I am glad about any help I can be, I hope things will work out for you. That is a relief that your oldest sister was so understanding about it.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I definitely feel you on the dress rehearsal. And yes, someone gets hurt no matter what, and one of those options is me. It all feels like too little, too late.
I hear you on that. When my ex-h felt me pulling away, all of a sudden he became Sir Galahad, taking me away for hotel weekends, dinners out, buying me flowers. I had other men interested in me (on my online hobby groups) and he got all competitive when he realized the woman he'd taken for granted for so long was extremely attractive and desirable to a number of men. I had tried to keep my marital vow of monogamy for too long, for too little benefit and I was just done. He began to regret having treated me in the way he had.

I also related to what you said about not getting complimented. After my first child was born and was a couple months old, hubby and I were invited to a party with his coworkers. We were bringing the baby with us so I had to work to find an outfit that was festive but appropriate for nursing breaks. I got myself together and asked hubs how I looked. "You look ready to go," he said. (He was being passive aggressive since I'd been mostly off sex for 8 weeks! How dare I take a break from sex after a 48 hour labor and a c-section? He should've been kissing the ground I walked on for having gone through that to bring his child into the world. Lol, I'm over it. She's 36 years old.) Obviously I wanted more appreciation than "ready to go."
 

JRPCandle

New member
I hear you on that. When my ex-h felt me pulling away, all of a sudden he became Sir Galahad, taking me away for hotel weekends, dinners out, buying me flowers. I had other men interested in me (on my online hobby groups) and he got all competitive when he realized the woman he'd taken for granted for so long was extremely attractive and desirable to a number of men. I had tried to keep my marital vow of monogamy for too long, for too little benefit and I was just done. He began to regret having treated me in the way he had.

I also related to what you said about not getting complimented. After my first child was born and was a couple months old, hubby and I were invited to a party with his coworkers. We were bringing the baby with us so I had to work to find an outfit that was festive but appropriate for nursing breaks. I got myself together and asked hubs how I looked. "You look ready to go," he said. (He was being passive aggressive since I'd been mostly off sex for 8 weeks! How dare I take a break from sex after a 48 hour labor and a c-section? He should've been kissing the ground I walked on for having gone through that to bring his child into the world. Lol, I'm over it. She's 36 years old.) Obviously I wanted more appreciation than "ready to go."
I am so sorry you too have had to deal with thoughtless men. Grrr!
 

JRPCandle

New member
My whole world has been turned upside down. I just found out my secondary has been cheating on me. More than once. I was so sure of his love and our connection. I am so completely lost.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
My whole world has been turned upside down. I just found out my secondary has been cheating on me. More than once. I was so sure of his love and our connection. I am so completely lost.
I am extremely sorry for your shock.

It sounds to me like the other couple in question was unstable from the start and that they have outgrown their... usefulness, their benefit, for you and your husband.

After you heal, you can start from scratch and date individuals as individuals, not attempting to date as a couple (if you do remain coupled with your husband). Big changes are ahead of you! But this is definitely a rough patch and a tough time for you.
 

ref2018

Maid of All Work
Staff member
My whole world has been turned upside down. I just found out my secondary has been cheating on me. More than once. I was so sure of his love and our connection. I am so completely lost.
I'm sorry that your second partner turned out to be a cheater. Aren't you glad you didn't dump your husband for him now?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi JRPCandle,

I'm very sorry that your secondary has been cheating on you. Ironically, I guess it makes more sense now to do as your husband wanted, to break up with your secondary and work on your marriage. That is if you even want to be with your husband anymore, after the way he treated you about this.

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 
Top