The Struggling Mono Thread

ladyintricate

New member
Panic and Insecurity

The panic and my insecurities are really getting to me. It was on 1/31/11 when I found out that he was cheating on me and I keep going from OK for a few days and then back to a blinding panic that fills my stomach with knots and makes me incapable of anything other than the barest of going through the motions of life.

I REALLY hope this gets better with time.

I worry about what kind of a mother I am being to our kids. We have a 12 and a 2-yr-old and I just can’t do much more than the basic mommy stuff with them right now. My head is not anywhere at times but on this issue.

For now, my husband and I have agreed that we are just working on US – individually and as a couple. We have also agreed to be completely honest. Most of the time this last part is what really scares me. I am still reeling from him lying to me for about 7 months. To my face. I asked him specifically a few different times if there was something romantic going on between him and A. and he always said no.

Now that I understand poly (a little) better I can definitely see how my asking him to be completely platonic with her was unrealistic. I am definitely still mad at him for telling me that he was ok with that though, and then never telling me that he was no longer ok with it…

But truly, the issue the last couple of nights is that I can’t let my mind just rest. I am constantly thinking. Having doubts that he loves me, that he wants me, that I am able to fulfill him as his primary, that I didn’t do something, or NOT do something and that is why he lied and cheated.
It hurts SO MUCH sometimes when I think about him and her together (because it was all behind my back). I want to beat the crap out of her (and him) in those moments.

But, I also hear my heart telling me that he does love me and that in a way he did the lying and cheating to protect me. I also hear HIM literally telling me this.

He is asleep right now and I am trying to have the strength inside myself not to go in there and wake him up to ask him to reassure me again. Just the day before yesterday I woke him up from a sound sleep because I was completely unglued. I see a counselor on Monday and I am hoping that this may help me with the constant buzzing in my head.
This is definitely not easy.
 

sage

New member
Hi
I'm glad you're seeing a counselor:)
We've communicated quite a bit so I'm not going over it all again here. I just wanted to share something that a Buddhist Nun said in an interview.
"Attachment is the opposite of love. When we are attached to someone we want them to make us happy. When we love someone we want to make them happy."

I know that's simplistic. I'm sure you do want your husband to be happy and much of what is happening for you at the moment is emotional turmoil which you have little control over. Still if you can keep that thought in the back of your mind it might help pull you through the hard times.

Hugs

Sage
 

sage

New member
AAAAArgh, feeling very frustrated, I'm feeling jealous again and I haven't felt jealous in years. Z spent 3 days with J over last weekend. Part of that time I was away at a wedding.

So what am I jealous of? The quality of his energy. Does this sound crazy? Z thinks it is. It's like he becomes the very best of himself when he's with her. He hasn't had this much time with her for quite a while and so for me the difference in him was/is quite discernible. Sure he doesn't see her that often so he is going to be swinging on cloud 9, I get that. What I've really struggled with this week is that I get the "come down" period. It's like she swoops in drains his energy and I get the remnants and have to work to put things back together between us. Not a happy camper. :confused:
 

nycindie

Active member
What I've really struggled with this week is that I get the "come down" period. It's like she swoops in drains his energy and I get the remnants and have to work to put things back together between us. Not a happy camper. :confused:

It makes perfect sense to me that you feel that way. He might think your reaction is crazy, but perhaps he could make an effort to give you some extra special attention right after coming back from being with her. After an adjustment period, if he needs it. Why should you do all the work to reconnect when he's the one that was focused elsewhere? I would think that is his "job" (so to speak). That's just my take on it.
 

sage

New member
Thanks NYCindie and yes in a perfect world that is how it would be but the reality is a little different. He's feeling "flat", probably because he knows he won't see her again for some time. He has quite a bit on his plate at the moment (normal real life stuff), that he could forget about while she was here. And he did put a huge amount of energy into their time together.

Love might not be diminished by more than one relationship but energy can be and energy is the part of love that we actually feel. He hasn't got any energy left to be his normal self let alone any extra to make me feel special. That's why I think I'm feeling so anti.
 

PenguinDreams

New member
Sage, I so know you feel and you aren't crazy at all. It's hard when your love is spending all their enengy elsewhere and you've got no outlet for yours. It's disappointing and can hurt when you do get to be together and you want to focus on them but they're drained from their other activities.

I know it's probably not helpful to hear right now but it will pass and things will normalize again. I second the idea of getting some extra attention or some special pampering when he gets a chance.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I'm reading a book (Polyamory by Anthony Ravenscroft). Something he addresses in it, is how easy it is to "set aside" the primary relationship when a time is availble for the second relationship and yet
HOW IMPORTANT IT IS to set aside TIME for romancing the primary relationship no matter what.

He talks about how we get into "living life" and forget the MAINTENANCE part of maintaining our "dependable", "tried and true", long term relationship...

He suggested that creating a "date night" once a week or every other week that is "never broken" but is always DIFFERENT and romantic and "special" for those "older", "already past the NRE stage", "day in day out", living together relationships.

I think it's a good point. We "excuse" each other in live-in relationships for being unavailable because work or health issues.
But, when those issues are slowing down OR when there's a sudden opportunity to see our "new", "long distance", "secondary" or "not live-in" lovers... we're scheduling time for romance like flies on shit.

As well we should be, BUT we should be doing this for ALL of our relationships, not just the one whom we see the least often.

My gut reaction is that THIS is what's triggering the jealousy. It's not that he spent time with her and it was "awesome" or "amazing". It's that you need some "awesome" or "amazing" time with him and you aren't getting it.
;)
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Ok, just in case that came off cocky-which it was totally not intended to be...

I think that, because I'm feeling it too. ;)

Hugs.
 

redpepper

New member
Sage, I feel for you. I used to come home from weekends with Mono like that. Doesn't happen now we all live together, but I remember PN talking about the same thing. I didn't want to be touched, was testy, needed space and time alone and he and LB would be clammering for my attention and love. I struggled to give it too them until we decided that it would be better if I had time to come down and transition from one life to another...

It was about the transition. Kids usually have this when they are picked up from school and are grumpy until they get home and get into home stuff. It's the same with adults. For adults its that feeling we get when we have been on a vacation and now it's monday morning and we are back to work (might help to look at it that way).

Is there a way that he can have some transition time afterwards where you could be patient with him, loving and caring and do stuff for him until the feeling passes? I know that is hard, but is it possible to realize he isn't "home" yet some how and think of him as still gone away? Maybe noticing a time that it ends so that you can agree that for the first two hours, or whatever, of being at home he can do whatever he needs to do to adjust back and be on his game again.

For PN, LB and I we made it so that they would limit talking to me for the first hour. I would wander around the house in a daze and in some grief that my "holiday" was over and then slowly notice in my body that I would come out of it in that time. I would look at things with that wierd feeling of having been away, look at them with the wierd feeling and just wait, not force it, but just take it in and walk through it... it got to the point where we would actually laugh about it... PN made comments that I was still at Mono's house (my OH we called it, other home) and I began to see it differently in terms of knowing that I would see Mono soon, spend time with him soon and now was my time to love being with my family... I eventually was back at loving what I love about my family and could carry on being a fully functioning member again in no time.

Still suck at transitions at the best of times though, but that whole phase of our dyanmic really taught me about myself and what I need to get through it more comfortably for everyone. It was then that I actually pointed out that I have struggles with transitions in general... I am grateful to of learned that, because I have been able to work on that within myself since.
 

sage

New member
Thanks guys for your very sweet kindness. You're all right and next time it happens I think we will make a plan in advance to deal with it.

Sometimes I get so tired of always being the one to organize this kind of thing though. In my experience men just don't seem to "get it" in the same way. Can you believe I did suggest a date night afterwards for us to reconnect (I didn't call it that I have to admit). He suggested we invite J's sister to come along with us!

That probably sounds much worse than it really was and she respectfully declined the invitation, but really, some times I just shake my head in disbelief.

Even though he didn't agree with my "theory" as he called it (which was exactly the same as your theory LR), I think he has taken it on board because he is now back to his normal loving (and generally romantic self). But a few hours RP? This has taken him nearly a week!
 

redpepper

New member
Nearly a week?! Okay, ya, I think he needs to take more responsibility for this. It shouldn't fall on your shoulders so much. How much have you talked about this with him?
 

ladyintricate

New member
Even though he didn't agree with my "theory" as he called it (which was exactly the same as your theory LR), I think he has taken it on board because he is now back to his normal loving (and generally romantic self). But a few hours RP? This has taken him nearly a week!

A week sounds like a LONG time to me. Everyone is different of course, but I can definetely feel for you. A couple of hours and even 1 or 2 days I think I could be ok with, but waiting more than that for some special attention from him when he has been gone would be excrutiating for me.

Glad he is back to his normal self now and hopefully with some prior planning it will really minimize the difficult "coming down" time for you next time, Sage.

BIG HUGS! :)
 

sage

New member
Hi Lady I (thanks RP)

Hope things are going well for you? I seem to have hit something of a speed bump myself. Yes yesterday I thought things were back to normal but unfortunately it was something of a false recovery.

I think part of the problem is that Z is very fragile under a seemingly resilient exterior. Where as I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to forget how different he is to me.

last night things seemed really good again and I made the mistake of bringing it up again from the position of acknowledging what had happened so that next time we can do it differently. I obviously didn't do a very good job of it because it seems to have shunted us back to square 1.

I think LR is close with the lolly analogy she wrote a whole post on in her blog , except that the layers we suck through aren't necessarily even as you expect when you suck a big lolly. I feel like for the last several months I've been sucking along merrily and now I've hit a layer that is particularly hard. I'm sure that's all it is, but it's brought up all these feelings questioning the very core of our poly/mono relationship.
 

sage

New member
I really have to do some work now but I have progressed a way though this already with all your help.

I believe that the common wisdom of transitioning etc. won't work for us because I think that Z and J's relationship has distinct elements of addiction in it. He's been going through withdrawal from her for the last week and so of course he hasn't got anything left for me, let alone anything special. Their exposure this time was longer than normal and having recently given up alcohol myself I think I've only really noticed this for the first time (although I have suspected it before).

This is a very interesting new turn and thanks to LR for igniting the spark of recognition. It will be especially interesting in that Z has always said he would never run to J when things between us aren't strong. There is also an element of co-dependence with us because I think I am also addicted to his beautiful loving energy and to work through this I'm going to have to be prepared not to have that for possibly quite some time. This is new territory for us.

I feel a lot better, at least I can see the issues now instead of this big scary haze covering everything :)
 

redpepper

New member
I feel a lot better, at least I can see the issues now instead of this big scary haze covering everything :)
seeing issues is far better than that big blanket of gooey, haze.... totally get that. I know you're on it :) just a matter of wading through it. *hugs* :)
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I had a really shitty day (and night). I got on facebook and there were 3 quotes that were just amazingly reassuring. One by Marianne Williamson, one by Polynerdist, one by my daughter.
THEN I get on here and all over the place are "thanks to LR" comments about yesterdays posts. I'm so glad that the things I said in various places yesterday were helpful to the variety of people here who read them.

Sometimes I get so tired of always being the one to organize this kind of thing though.
Here is where I need an emoticon with tears running down its face. This would the trigger of the last two weeks of silence between Maca and I, which ended last night in a volatile stand off (got violent, starting with me) that resulted in the decision for him to move out (again). :(

It IS frustrating and disheartening to be the only one who makes the plans. I don't have any constructive words on that right now-I'm sure I SHOULD, but right now, I just feel so frustrated and upset about it. It FEELS like it shouldn't be so hard to remember that relationships are TEAMWORK and that means both parties need to participate in planning the important things. But.... feelings aren't always realistic or based in fact and people are individuals..... with different strengths and weaknesses.

I think part of the problem is that Z is very fragile under a seemingly resilient exterior. Where as I wear my heart on my sleeve and tend to forget how different he is to me......

I feel like for the last several months I've been sucking along merrily and now I've hit a layer that is particularly hard. I'm sure that's all it is, but it's brought up all these feelings questioning the very core of our poly/mono relationship.

I'm there with you. I feel so emotionally defeated. I keep reminding myself, it's a process... but damn it if the process doesn't feel like a clock ticking backwards at times. :(


Addiction... addiction to people is NOT uncommon. Addiction to sex, NRE, very very common.

I can't say for sure of course, cause I don't know any of you. But, if you are dealing with addictive personalities-it is quite easy to move from one "drug" to another and a person can certainly be a drug. :(
That's a hard thing to fix... I would suggest starting with reading Ari's personal blog. You can PM me if you need the link.. I don't have it memorized off hand.
 

sage

New member
Thanks LR (again):)
I don't know what stage you're at in terms of days and nights but I hope it is getting easier.
Has Maca always been this way? Surely for such a long term relationship something must have changed for him to be behaving differently? Maybe somethings changed with you?

Now that I've worked out what our problem is I feel so much better because I know what I'm dealing with. I suppose I need to learn about dealing with another person's addiction. I don't suppose I can go to AA and alanon at the same time? ;)
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
To a large degree, yes he's always been this way.


What's changed is that I'm not pretending anymore.

I'm not staying home and pretending it's ok with me to not have a social life (talking to you guys , going out with friends-generally while he's at work so as not to infringe on our time, but still going).

I'm not pretending that it's ok with me to be a stay at home mom forever (going back to college).

I'm not pretending that I can be the monogamous wife he wanted and needed and I promised to be..... because, I can't.


Don't get me wrong. In no way am I trying to shove any of this down his throat or tell him "he owes me" or anything. It wasn't his fault that I tried to be what I wasn't. It's my fault for not being real with myself and therefore, not being real about myself with him or anyone else.

BUT-when I figured out what it meant to be real with myself, to be honest and to be true... I quit having the privilege to lie to myself and pretend to be that which I'm not.

He does intellectually understand AND appreciate that.
But, emotionally each and every one of the things I'm standing up for in myself, triggers deep seeded fears and insecurities in him.

It's easier to hide from and avoid actually resolving fears and insecurities in the "monogamous" model, because the expectations of a monogamous relationship "protect" you from facing the situations that trigger those fears.

With my coming out as poly-even though I'm being honest and upfront and real with him AND HE CAN TELL.... it's not protecting him anymore from those unresolved fears and insecurities, some of which go back all of the way to early childhood.

THEN as if that weren't enough-our communication skills with one another...

SUCK ASS.

So, even when we're trying our asses off to be respectful and understanding, it doesn't work. :(

It's not that either of us isn't aware of the issues or that we aren't trying to work on them... But, there's just SO MUCH that it seems like no matter how hard we try-it's never enough.
 

ladyintricate

New member
I believe that the common wisdom of transitioning etc. won't work for us because I think that Z and J's relationship has distinct elements of addiction in it.

...There is also an element of co-dependence with us because I think I am also addicted to his beautiful loving energy and to work through this I'm going to have to be prepared not to have that for possibly quite some time. This is new territory for us.

I feel a lot better, at least I can see the issues now instead of this big scary haze covering everything :)

I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better! I am sure from what I have read in the past about you and Z that you will get through this bump in the road and be stronger for it!

Being so new to polyamory and on my own journey with my husband, I am finding some very similar things in my relationship with him. As I have said before we are going to counseling and mostly working on the cheating/betrayal of trust that happened (more than poly stuff) at the moment, but the codependency stuff has just recently come up for us.

We are working on where our personal boundaries are right now because too often they seem welded together between me and my husband. Is that something that is coming into play for you and Z as well?

Hugs!
 

ladyintricate

New member
What's changed is that I'm not pretending anymore.

....BUT-when I figured out what it meant to be real with myself, to be honest and to be true... I quit having the privilege to lie to myself and pretend to be that which I'm not.
THEN as if that weren't enough-our communication skills with one another...

SUCK ASS.

So, even when we're trying our asses off to be respectful and understanding, it doesn't work. :(

It's not that either of us isn't aware of the issues or that we aren't trying to work on them... But, there's just SO MUCH that it seems like no matter how hard we try-it's never enough.

Hugs LR! I can relate and I feel for you!

In our relationship the roles are reversed, but because of that I feel fairly confident in saying that I am sure Macha loves you very much and in loving you he wants you to be yourself. However, as you have said, loving you and wanting things to be how he thought they were or how he thought they would be when you were in an earlier stage of your relationship, are not necessarily the same thing or working in the relationship now. I am sure you wouldn’t anyway, but don’t ever think about going back to the non-genuine you. You have to be yourself. I think that if you were pretending again that he would be unhappy then also, because he would see and know that you were not being yourself and were unhappy.

My husband and I have been together for 12 years (2 kids) and we communicate BADLY as well. We have had our share (and still are) of big fights where we are screaming at each other and it is so clear that he is completely misunderstanding the words that are coming out of my mouth (and probably vice versa). You have likely already tried this byt we are trying these tools: staying calm (Ha! Not always easy, of course), taking a break from the fight if it starts to get heated, and repeating back what the other one said (meaning: what you actually heard them say). This is a big issue for us still, but doing these things has helped a little, at least.

Not that this is a cure-all at all, but has Macha ever been to counseling? Do you think he might be willing to go? It is helping our communication skills to talk to someone who has seen other people with similar communication issues to ours. She is able to somewhat untangle our communications in front of us and applying that has helped when we are alone as well.
 
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