Update: They broke up

WonderWoman81

New member
Last November, I posted on here about some major pain and jealousy I was feeling about my friend and my husband and their relationship (original post below for reference). This past Monday, after months of neither of them checking in with me, even though as of our last discussion they agreed they would much more frequently, she asked how I was feeling about this dynamic, and I told her how much pain it causes me for them to be together. That my feelings I discussed last meeting are the same. I can't turn these feelings off, I've been trying and they have gotten worse, not better. The three of us talked, I told them if they want to stay together, I would respect that and have to move on to give myself a chance at happiness (I've learned that I'm definitely not poly). My husband said that he wanted to end it with her, so that he doesn't jeopardize our family. Of course, they are both very hurt and in a lot of pain, and not happy with me obviously. I feel terrible about all of this, I know that it is my fault and I am the cause of their pain. She wants nothing to do with me, understandable. He is very distant, also understandable. He processes things like this internally rather than talking it out.

My question is what do I do? I reached out to her and it is clear she does not want me to contact her, and I will respect her request of course. As for him, I want to be there for him, but I'm the cause of his unhappiness so I'm not sure if I should totally leave him alone or try to comfort him? I've asked him what he needs, he said it didn't matter, so not sure how to take that.

Anyone else been in this situation? What have you done? I know this is about giving them what they need to grieve, not about my feelings, I just want to be able to help, even if helping is staying out of the way.

ORIGINAL POST:

Hello. Last year, my best friend and my husband became lovers. At the time, I encouraged it and I was extremely supportive. I embraced polyamory and compersion was a big part of my life. They fell in love, which I also supported. It was suggested that I explore meeting someone too. I did and began talking to someone this past January to February. My husband's rules were that I were not to do anything physical until he could meet the guy I was talking too. Well, things moved too fast and I wound up having sex with this new guy, I then lied about it to my husband and friend. They caught me in the lie in February and were understandably angry at me for the betrayal of trust. My husband told me I was never allowed to date anyone else again, forever.

Immediately after this fracture in our relationships, my father, who was in the hospital, was so sick my family and I had to make the decision of letting him go. This happened days after finding out what I had done. Both my husband and friend were supportive during my difficult week of not only watching my father die, but the funeral. This happened the beginning of March. The next week, my husband and I had a long talk that became heated and he told me he wanted a divorce. He said he would be spending the entire weekend with my friend/his girlfriend and when he came back we would discuss how to move forward. I spent the weekend alone taking care of our children, knowing the marriage was over. When he came back, he said he didn't want to break our family up and he would give me a chance to earn his trust back.

Right after that, Covid shut our state down, I had to work from home, completely isolated for months. But the two of them continued to spend a night together (at her house) once a week. I began getting very resentful because they were getting an evening once a week with no children to do or go wherever they wanted, but he and I didn't have that at all. Things healed between him and I regarding the trust issue from February, but he was not making any effort to dedicate one night a week for the two of us to have quality time together, even after the children went to bed. I have since become increasingly resentful, angry, jealous, depressed and sad. I told them both how I felt, and he immediately broke up with her, saying he chose his family over that relationship, even though I didn't ask them to break up, I was just trying to keep communication open. Then a few days later got back together because she freaked out. Then, a few weeks ago, it happened again, and he said he was really done, we all talked together about it. Then, last week, he said he wasn't happy without her and that he was going to choose his happiness. He wants me to stay and try to get back to how happy I was last year with all of the relationships. I cannot, as much as I really want to, return my heart to that time. Last night they spent the night together for the first time since their most recent breakup. Today I feel 10x worse than before. He knows how I feel, he is trying very hard to let me know how much he loves me and our family, but I just don't know if I can continue like this, which he is also aware.

So, has anyone gone through this length (going on 8 months) of time feeling like this? If so, how did you get through it or did you walk away? I love him and don't want to leave or break up our family, but I once again feel like there is a clamp on my hear. I am in therapy so I have that at least. But I wanted to talk to you all and get your advice.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing some of that out. I think you are taking too much on that doesn't belong to you.


My question is what do I do? I reached out to her and it is clear she does not want me to contact her, and I will respect her request of course. As for him, I want to be there for him, but I'm the cause of his unhappiness so I'm not sure if I should totally leave him alone or try to comfort him? I've asked him what he needs, he said it didn't matter, so not sure how to take that.

Do nothing. Leave them both alone. They have a history of up and down breaking up and get back together. Leave them to it if this is another round of "same old song, different day."

Not your business.

Anyone else been in this situation? What have you done? I know this is about giving them what they need to grieve, not about my feelings, I just want to be able to help, even if helping is staying out of the way.

Why ISN'T this about your feelings and you helping YOU when you carry so much pain?

I don't get why you want to hang on to a marriage that isn't working. Or participate in a polyship that you don't really want to be in because you are not poly.

How come you don't value your own wellbeing much? You worry way more about other people's wellbeing but not much about your own. Maybe something to talk to therapist about?

The three of us talked, I told them if they want to stay together, I would respect that and have to move on to give myself a chance at happiness (I've learned that I'm definitely not poly).

l think if you discovered you are not poly? Then being in an open/poly marriage is NOT for you. Could stop. Seek your own happiness.

Otherwise you are just there doing stuff you don't really want to be doing. The three don't have to talk about this. YOU could just decide to bow out. And let the chips fall where they may. Your family is still going to be family even if it changes to "divorced family shape."

I'm not sure why after leaving her abusive ex she's putting up with your husband's moody... but whatever. That part is her problem. If he dumps her over and over and she keeps on taking him back? That's her behavior. That's not your responsibility.

Why are YOU putting up with his moody still? That part of it is YOUR problem. It sounds like he's still punishing you for making that mistake of sharing sex with dude. And what was the mistake really? Bad agreement making. Instead of agreeing to let husband vet your potentials so he can feel safe if you have sex with them? You could have said "No thanks. I don't want you to vet my potentials. I will vet them myself. I can promise to use condoms and safer sex practices so you can feel safe when you share sex with me. "

Now there's new things.

They agree to check in more in November. Neither one does. What kind of business is this? Like you have to honor agreements and bend over backwards to earn back trust with these people... but they don't have to be trustworthy back when they make agreements with you?

This past Monday she asks how you feel. You are HONEST that you aren't thrilled with this. You basically have a lot of pain participating in a polyship you really don't want to be in. You also say you willing to bow out and they can stay together. Fair enough.

Could get on with it then and GET OUT. Move on with a trial separation or filing for divorce. You don't have to "discuss" or get their permission to take charge of your own life. You don't have to let your life and your happiness "depend" on what the other people do first.

You could put YOUR well being first and just decide you don't want to do yucky feeling stuff any more.

Why do you try to solve your pain in this situation by tending to them? Are you hoping in doing so someone will eventually and finally get around to attending to you? Rather than you attending to you in the first place? Why are you so timid about doing that?

If you really believe you are the source of all pain? You could leave this marriage and bow out. Then they never have to have pain from you again. And you can have relief that you aren't causing them pain any more. Cuz you just are not there any more to cause any. Win for all!

Really though? I think you are being scapegoated.

If being here watching his mood swings sucks? He blames you for all? You discovered you are not poly after all and doing poly against your own grain causes you pain? Could stop participating. Bow out. Choose YOUR happiness.

You can still love him and care about him as an ex and father of the kids.

You don't have to be married to him doing wonky marriage or wonky poly though. For what?

You can love yourself and extricate yourself from the yucky. And you can be free from all their future break up dramas!

Galagirl
 
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Magdlyn

Well-known member
You say that they said they would "check in" with you. But for months on end, they did not "check in," whatever check-in means. Can't you take the reins and "check in" with them? Or at least with your own husband? I guess not. He goes silent when he's got emotions to deal with.

You live with him still? He's never emotionally available to you, despite occupying the same physical house? Bleh! What kind of a life partner is that? You take care of his kids, you probably cook and clean and do laundry and taxi the kids around, put them to bed, shop for food and clothing and household necessities, etc., etc.

If so, you're an unpaid house slave. Gf gets all the fun and sex and you get nothing but to call yourself Mrs.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you were raised in a dysfunctional home where you had to keep your head down and please your parents, or suffer harsh consequences. You did what you had to do to survive. But now you are a grown-ass woman. And you have children for whom you need to set an example of healthy adult relationship skills. You have every reason to leave this man and start living a healthier saner life.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi WonderWoman81,

I would suggest one of two courses of action. One of which is, do nothing. Yes, they broke up because of something you said (or maybe that was just their excuse), but it was still their choice, you didn't force them to do it. Let them take the responsibility for the consequences of that decision. If one or both of them wants to vent/talk to you about their feelings, you can be there to listen sympathetically (although one could argue that they should save that for professional therapy), but otherwise just take a step back, and give them whatever space they need to grieve.

The other of which is, divorce/break up with your husband. Don't make that decision depend on whether he continues to date your friend. Heck if he sticks to his historical pattern, he'll soon be getting back together with her anyway. And even if he doesn't, he first of all hasn't been treating you well as a husband should, and all the signs say that that will continue, and second of all, he is polyamorously inclined, while you are not polyamorously inclined and in that way, the two of you are not compatible. You'd be doing both (all three) of you a favor.

No easy answers.
With sympathy,
Kevin T.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
My husband said that he wanted to end it with her, so that he doesn't jeopardize our family.

I get that this is what people are supposed to say in traditional relationships, but really it is just building a relationship on societal obligation and resentment.

Do you feel like you are getting what you want?

She wants nothing to do with me, understandable.

I think just leaving her alone is going to be your most merciful course of action. It makes sense that she wouldn't want to visit with you about this, though really her issue should be with him dumping her because someone else gave him an ultimatum.

I've asked him what he needs, he said it didn't matter, so not sure how to take that.

I expect he will be a better source for determining what he wants from you than we will. We can speculate wildly but in the end, the two of you will thrive or crumble based on the foundation you've built in your association. Being honest with him and respecting whatever answer he gives you would be my recommendation.
 

Evie

Moderator
Ultimatum? That's a bit harsh. OP said she was going to move on and leave them to it. Hubby then says he wants to stay married for the family.
Hubby, I suspect, has concerns over the financial implications of a divorce.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Ultimatum? That's a bit harsh. OP said she was going to move on and leave them to it. Hubby then says he wants to stay married for the family.

I think she gave him exactly an ultimatum, to which he caved.

We can get into a semantic discussion about the word "ultimatum" if that's really what you are concerned about, but in the end she: set terms, clearly defined the consequences of not meeting those terms, and presumably would have followed through with those consequences should her terms not be met. He was left with a choice of "get rid of the girlfriend, or lose your family", and he made his call. You can refer to that scenario however you want, but for me that is neatly summed up as an ultimatum.

Hubby, I suspect, has concerns over the financial implications of a divorce.

What makes you say this? I am not familiar with the OPs circumstances.
 

Evie

Moderator
Because it's a really common concern.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I'd bet $100 the hubs will be back with the gf in pretty short order. A lot of this mess is based on possessiveness. Hubs got mad when the OP had sex with her bf before hubby had a chance to meet and approve of the guy who wanted to date and bang "his woman." That right there is sexist and hypocritical. He goes on to have a good old time with the gf for all these years, but breaking up and getting back together now and then to do damage control. He doesn't sound like great relationship material for either woman, imo.

I would never agree to having a potential partner having to be approved of by my nesting partner before I could date them and do whatever dating behaviors adults do. I don't need my partner's approval or "protection" when I pick a new partner.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
My husband said that he wanted to end it with her, so that he doesn't jeopardize our family. Of course, they are both very hurt and in a lot of pain, and not happy with me obviously. I feel terrible about all of this, I know that it is my fault and I am the cause of their pain. She wants nothing to do with me, understandable. He is very distant, also understandable.
I agree with Mags - this isn't over.

Why in the world would you want to be in a monogamous relationship with a man who is sacrificing the woman he loves just to be the figurehead in your home? I never understand this about wives - whether in poly situations or affairs. What is possibly gained by demanding that he give up "the other woman" in order to preserve the imagined social status of being married and monogamous? Is Evie correct that this is a financial concern? Why would you want to give up your own desire for a harmonious and happy monogamous relationship?
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
I agree with Mags - this isn't over.

Why in the world would you want to be in a monogamous relationship with a man who is sacrificing the woman he loves just to be the figurehead in your home? I never understand this about wives - whether in poly situations or affairs. What is possibly gained by demanding that he give up "the other woman" in order to preserve the imagined social status of being married and monogamous? Is Evie correct that this is a financial concern? Why would you want to give up your own desire for a harmonious and happy monogamous relationship?

I have a slightly different take on holding up your hand and saying I’m out and then that slaps someone with the cruel reality of life and then calling that an ultimatum. BUT I do very much agree on the false idea the OP “ won “ so to speak but won what. A “ husband “ with a mismatched sex drive who was at least once talking about divorcing her and from what it sounds might be NOT picker her out of love or commitment but for the kids and financial reasons.
I think we see the exact same thing were the struggling mono spouse agrees to open the marriage and allow his or her spouse to date for these same reasons ...same question do people really consider this a win?

PLUS by the sound of it you still have the residual effects of the so called ” cheating “ dog house thing. You really get the sense of how full a person is with themselves when the say “ you can never have this or that EVERY again”

Id flip the tables on him. I said I was out because I can’t deal with this anymore ....I’m not so sure I want angry resentful, moody pain in the ass YOU back. Fuck that. PROVE IT brother. Not you win because I don’t want to lose half my stuff and see my kids on the weekends.
 
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