Recipe for disaster


New member
Let me introduce myself and situation. Im totally new to Polyamory and am in Augusta GA area.
First myself: I have always considered my self monogamous and never really looked into other options. Come August it will be my 2 year wedding ann and it has always been about mono. I was cheated on by my previous wife and have never been able to get over my insecurities, immaturely possessive of my wife.

My wife: cheated on by her previous relationships so understood and returned the same possessiveness. Many insecurities of her own that we have been working through sense we started seeing each other. Always had issues with happiness in general. I always thought it was depression and have been trying to work through treatment.

Our Situation: I love my wife dearly, probably to an unhealthy point. I hate being this way but it is where I have found myself. Our relationship started like most others hot and heavy and loving all the moments together. Thought that we just werre able to spend every waking hour together and everyone else was wrong. In the past I have always been the reassuring one to her. always taking time to make sure that she knew that I wasnt cheating on her(her constant fear)
A couple months ago a past BF(the one that didnt cheat, he moved away) from 5 years ago found her on the internet to catch up and say hey. I think he was just saying hi. He is engaged and by all ideas seems to have moved on. But his contact awoke feeling that she has hidden away. Scared to admit it to me and herself things started changing. Suddenly she wants time to herself to talk to anyone about anything she wants without my feelings getting in the way. I am the talker of the 2 of us and tried to work through this as the supportive husband. Then 3 weeks ago she hits me with a bad timed suggestion of us being poly. I flipped, yelling who you wanting to fuck? I was and still am very hurt. She claims it not like that. Final bit of that arguement I told here I want her to be happy but not by sacrificing my trust and love. a couple days later after cooling down and talking I was more open to the idea as long as honest communication was there. we talked more and more, going through rules and clearing bad thoughts. Felt like she was being honest again and I could make it. She had her first girls night out sense we started our relationship. (magic mike, funny because she was always against strip clubs and nudity in movies) But that didnt bother me just made me question how honest she has been. Then the next day she unloaded a big one telling me that her ex BF still has her heart, and she read the emails that she sent him. Saying she needed him to treat her badly so she could get over these feelings, and that she has never loved anyone like him(killed me when she told me that). She tried to say sorry over and over, and that she loved me and that she wants to be with me. Then the next day she said she needed to do some soul searching and that we should take a break so that she could get her head straight. I stayed at a friends house(not a healthy supporter) for 2 days. and she barely talked to me over text saying sorry and she wasnt trying to hurt me. But this does hurt. I came home yesterday and finally got to hear her voice. She has taken a defensive stance on this. If she is pushed she is going to make a decision that will screw up both our lives is what she tells me.

So she has found a group of guys(military) to go out with that she used to know. She wants me to go out as well on my own and have fun, without fear of punishment. To me this is punishment already because I wasnt ready for this to move so fast. I dont even have friends that go out so I feel trapped and sick all the time. My brother thinks she has an agenda and I need to start preparing for divorce again. Im not sure I can go through that again.

I need help


Active member
Wow - so sorry you are going through this. I'm sorry, but it really does seem that this is a "recipe for disaster" go from what sounds like a co-dependent type of relationship to "I need to sort out how I feel about my ex" to going out with a group of macho military guys - Whew.

You mentioned going out to a movie she generally would not approve of (strip clubs and nudity)...have there been any other personality changes that you have noticed? Is it possible that your wife has bipolar disorder? Have there been other times in her life (prior to you - may have been years ago) when she has experienced weeks or months of behavior that was out of character for her?

Bipolar people in manic phase can exhibit poor decision making, hypersexuality, disregard for consequences, increased energy/decreased need for sleep, hypersocializing, irritability, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, melodramatic statements, distractibility, etc. (although not necessarily all of these). Often bipolar people have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives (because depression phases tend to be more common as well as more distressing to the person than their manic phases). Just a thought.



New member
I actually dont think that sounds right but I don't know how to look into anything without causing a split. Loosing battle. It was a thought of the previous doctor though
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New member
I am sorry that you are going through this. It sounds like she is indecisive about things and, forgive me for assuming this, but from the sounds of your entry ... she is using 'poly' to go out and have her cake and eat it, too.

If there was no indication of being polyamorous since you've known each other (possesiveness, being hurt when cheated on... loving more than one person at a time) I'd call red flag here. She has stated that her heart belongs to her ex boyfriend. How about you? What's she done to assure you of your feelings and her love for you? It doesn't sound like poly to me...

I would continue reading posts here and possibly talking to her more. Bottom line is, if you are not happy and your needs are not being met at some level, you are probably better off picking yourself up and moving on. Better two years than 20 years, right? I wish we could give you a huge collective hug here, for I think you really need support.

YOU have to do what makes you happy. Do not change for anyone but yourself.


Active member
I actually that sounds right but I really don't know how to get her to treatment without cause a split. Loosing battle. It was a thought of the previous doctor

Very difficult. Most bipolar patients somewhat-to-greatly enjoy their manic phases while they are happening - it is afterwards, when they see the wreckage, that they fall apart. During the mania they are convinced that their actions are appropriate and you are being overly worried or a "stick-in-the-mud".

Even if she is not willing to admit that she might have a problem/diagnosis, could you possibly get her to counseling along the lines of "I'm having trouble getting my head around this whole 'poly' concept but I love you and don't want to lose you - come to counseling with me so I can help myself understand"?

You have every right to ask for what you need in your relationship. Watching someone you love self-destruct is devastating.
You have options.

1.) You can agree to her "wide open" request. Let this run it's course and watch from the side-lines. (Warning - if this is bipolar mania it can actually last weeks/months/years). I suggest you get yourself into counseling even if she doesn't agree to go with you - this is a rough road.

2.) You can try to negotiate for a "hard-line" boundary. For instance - "Do what you want, I can't stop you but if you have sex with someone else we are done." But then you run into honesty issues - what if she does and then lies? You are at risk for catching something nasty. Is that a risk you are willing to take? Are you prepared to actually walk away if she crosses the line? (Aside - never issue ultimatums that you aren't willing to enforce)

3.) You can "take a break" (i.e. separate). Lay it on the line - "You are currently not the woman I married. I love you and I want to be with you but I can't be with you if this is how you are going to be. Either you agree to counseling/treatment or I have to leave until this is over." Then you walk away and tell her to contact you once she is over this or in treatment - if that happens then you can see if there is anything left of your marriage to salvage.

4.) etc.

What usually happens? The partner stays until too much has been said/done/broken that can never be forgiven - then a split that could have been amicable had it happened at the beginning drags into a nightmare.

Disclosure: I could be completely wrong. I seriously hope that I am. But this doesn't feel like a "poly" problem to me. This doesn't sound like years of "I don't understand why I can't just be happy with my primary partner" followed by a rush of "finding the polyamory option."

Jane ("please-let-me-be-wrong")Q


Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello DrThoms,
I just wanted to welcome you to our forum.

Sorry things have gone so badly so far. It sounds like your wife is really rushing into this, and not considering your feelings. You both have damage from being cheated on in the past; you need to take this poly thing very slowly.

"Saying she needed him to treat her badly so she could get over these feelings, and that she has never loved anyone like him (killed me when she told me that)."

Ow; I think it would hurt anyone to hear something like that.

Things are really strange with your wife right now; you could use some couple's counseling if she'd agree to it.

Try to take care of you during this difficult time.

With sympathy,
Kevin T.