Vetoed relationship but can't get over secondary

Natja

New member
I feel silly contributing to an argument about what exactly went down, when ostensibly the point of this thread is to help Egoscout, who was there, and who knows what went down, but.......

Than why bother? At the end of the day, it is your opinion, I (and a few other people) obviously have a different definition of cheating.

Natja
 
Than why bother? At the end of the day, it is your opinion, I (and a few other people) obviously have a different definition of cheating.

Natja

Egoscout did post here explicitly asking for help, whether or not the help he is seeking is genuine or not isn't something that people commenting will not (necessarily) be able to figure out. Some people ask because they seriously are looking for help but there are also those who attempt to use the forum as if it were a court that they can manipulate in their favor, as if that justifies or makes the decisions made in real life right as opposed to wrong.

And then their are some forums that are used by authors as a goldmine for creative and innovative source of insight. Not that it happens here, but other places on the web it seems perfectly clear that stories are completely fabricated and when some nobody writes in because they truly care and are trying to help, but if you read the fineprint of what you are agreeing to by clicking "post" you just contributed to some author's bank account.

But anyway, the bottom line is that even those who are genuinely looking for help (and most will take the OP at their word) they are doing themselves a great disservice if they do not try talking to the person in real life where the conflict exists.

Because your right, it is just an opinion and we only know as much as they divulge and to the extent that they are honest about what they divulge.

Even us readers/commentors with the best intentions misread the words that we take people at their word for. There is already a dispute brewing between people who are not involved as far as we know, and even those who chastise others for getting it wrong and added content and making assumptions didn't even get it right (sorry Boring Guy but he didn't say he was doing the math and kept getting the same answer, he got 5, 8 , and 43)

for the most part, people are trying to help or get help, justify their actions to prove they are right and the other is wrong, and in other forums swindle fresh intellectual ideas, at least until they get caught
 
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Natja

New member
Egoscout did post here explicitly asking for help, whether or not the help he is seeking is genuine or not isn't something that people commenting will not (necessarily) be able to figure out.

I don't think anyone at all is questioning whether Egoscout is being genuine or not, I just take issue with someone going off on a tangent and reading something into his post that was not there, if you read his post it seems HIS feelings are not being validated because his wife (Pol) expects him to see his ex in the way that 'she' sees the ex. For whatever reason, I know not. Either way, accusing him of having an affair seems ridiculously over the top and adding yet another emotional burden onto him that he doesn't appear to deserve.
But anyway, the bottom line is that even those who are genuinely looking for help (and most will take the OP at their word) they are doing themselves a great disservice if they do not try talking to the person in real life where the conflict exists.

I am not sure whether this is a problem in this case as the present conflict is not between Egoscout + GF it is with Egoscout + Pol, both of whom are members of this forum and can read each others threads. She knows how he feels, he knows how she feels, the problem is, he is grieving for a lost relationship and he feels that he is somehow hurting his wife by NOT seeing things the way she wants them to be seen. FWIW, I read her thread also and to be honest she (Pol) comes across as a bit self centred, insecure and lacking personal insight (fair enough, we all suffer from these things every once in a while, I don't mean that in a harsh way) and I personally think she should be encouraged more to stop trying to influence Ego to see things her way and instead accept that he had a genuine, loving connection that he is still grieving for.
Because your right, it is just an opinion and we only know as much as they divulge and to the extent that they are honest about what they divulge.

I think you got the wrong end of the stick, I wasn't questioning the honesty of the OP, I take him and his wife at their word, I admit (as is sensible to do so) that there are three sides to every story (and in this case, probably four) but if they are being honest about how they see things all I can do is accept that. However, LR has put forth an opinion, she accused the OP of being a cheater and trying to push his cheating under the carpet, it is that which I feel is an opinion and I personally do not accept that as a definition of cheating. Pushing boundaries? Yes, maybe, being insensitive, yes probably, cheating? No. I think that is reading WAAAAY more into the text than is there (in either thread).
(sorry Boring Guy but he didn't say he was doing the math and kept getting the same answer, he got 5, 8 , and 43)

Whichever way you look at it, it is quite easy to see who in the relationship is trying to see it from the others POV and who is totally obsessed with feeling victimised (with some lip service being paid towards 'personal growth' and what not). Of course it could just be the way they write but I can't help but feel that very often on this boards and boards in general, that some people find it easier and tolerable to A) Favour a woman's experience over a man's regardless of what she admits to and B) Favour a couplecentric experience over that of the Secondary. See how quickly people are willing to cast this secondary as manipulative and those who have experienced an ex that they saw as manipulative are even MORE willing to see another ex in the same light, even thought as far as we know the only thing the woman did was (i) struggle with converting her relationship from a mono to a poly one (ii) cry (iii) flirt with a man she cared about at work and (iv) be younger and more attractive than the wife (according to said wife).

As a single woman I perhaps see things from a less couple-centric position?

Natja
 
It was nothing you said Natja

I am foul mood and really shouldn't be commenting, if it isn't obvious, there were other thoughts on my mind when I commented, which isn't helping anything
 

BoringGuy

Banned
Oh yeah yeah dirtclustit, i didn't repeat the silly math analogy word-for-word because i'm writing on the ipod, so i got it all wrong. You sure got me there. Shot down my whole argument. Obviously, nothing gets past you. It's a good thing you are here to point these things out, otherwise i'd be getting away with crap left and right. Keep up the good work. We can't allow me to keep doing this.

You just scored one point and i just lost two points. Whatever. It doesn't make me any less right than i was before you came along and posted.
 

BoringGuy

Banned
As a single woman I perhaps see things from a less couple-centric position?

Perhaps, but i am not a single woman and i'm on the same page with you, pretty much. I don't think it has to do with being single, or being one gender or another. I think it has to do with reading a person's entire post before forming an opinion, and reading what they actually say (notwithstanding repeating analogies in quotes, as if that has anything to do with what actual events took place in real time - do we really think Egoscout actually sat there adding 2+2 and coming up with different answers? Puhleeez peepull...) instead of projecting things we may regret doing ourselves onto someone else's stuff. "i cheated so you must have cheated too, but at least i am honest with myself and serving the consequences. You're NOT. Badbadbadbadbad."

Pfeh.
 

AnnabelMore

New member
Than why bother? At the end of the day, it is your opinion, I (and a few other people) obviously have a different definition of cheating.

Natja

Why bother? Because I thought it might be helpful, in case people hadn't looked at the original thread in a while, and because I thought that, even if people already have opinions, those opinions might always be capable of being changed by a new voice (isn't that the purpose of discussion?). Or that, if nothing else, Pol (or even Egoscout) might appreciate a more even-handed take on things. I wasn't trying to define cheating, just who screwed up and how, and it seems clear to me that they both did.

*shrug*
 

Pol

New member
Well, thank you all for contributing to this conversation. It is interesting, helpful, irritating, and hurtful all at the same time. I’m not sure if my husband plans to respond, but I will state where things are at now, which will hopefully not provide fodder for my fighting, but closure for those curious:

I spoke with the gf yesterday, after our therapy appointment when my husband asked me to please let him be with her because she makes him a better person. She reported that her husband did know everything as it happened with Egoscout, but that their agreement was that she could not tell him that. So, she instead told him things like this: “Yes, he knows… He knows some, but doesn’t want to know the details… Don’t worry about what he knows, I’ll handle him. I can be persuasive…” She reported that her husband is not really OK with opening their marriage, but doesn’t want to see her cry all the time, so he said it would be OK. He said that he did not want my husband to know that he agreed to that, however, because he didn’t want him to believe that he was giving “another man permission to have my wife.”

The sorts of answers she provided led me to believe that she not being truthful. BTW at the time, my husband often thought she wasn't being truthful, but was willing to go forward anyway. However, after yesterday, I believe that she and her husband were figuring it out. Unfortunately, the way they did so made the relationship move with roller coaster motions for all of us. Egoscout, too, experienced those roller coaster emotions; he just enjoyed it more than I did.

I gave approval yesterday for their relationship to move forward, and today it has.

Thank you for pointing out my selfishness, my manipulation, my dishonesty. These are things that I will grapple with, but do not plan to do so publicly.
 

Natja

New member
I am foul mood and really shouldn't be commenting, if it isn't obvious, there were other thoughts on my mind when I commented, which isn't helping anything

Oh ok, it was just that you quoted me in your response so I thought it was in response to me.

I am sorry you are in a foul mood though. :(
 

Natja

New member
Thank you for pointing out my selfishness, my manipulation, my dishonesty. These are things that I will grapple with, but do not plan to do so publicly.

I don't blame you, it is hard sometimes to take criticism from people who only know one facet of your personality. When we have problems and are emotional about something, we don't always put our best foot forward, I made many mistakes in my past poly relationships and I have no doubt I behaved badly, I hope I have also learnt from those experiences and will therefore be a better partner in the future.

I am glad you are getting counselling and wish you all the best in the future.

Natja
 

egoscout

New member
Responding to some of your comments

Both my wife and I recognize that everyone involved (primary, secondary, me) has a distinct viewpoint, emotional response, and culpability on this situation. My wife is a remarkable person and has shown so much patience for me during this time. An early response to my post speculated that my wife was merely acting out of selfishness to keep me and her secondary all to herself. That is just not true. We originally thought that her secondary would have a big role in our lives, while mine would be more casual. I have rebuilt my relationship with her secondary (he was a friend of my prior to their affair). Since my wife dislikes and distrusts the person I met, that makes such a goal impossible. Also, before diving into this relationship with my secondary, I thought I would just have a casual relationships so we could make her the primary focus of a V relationship. I even talked about not approaching ethical non-monogamy, but instead would take time to start a band, or do something fun on my own. I never expected to be in this place. I never expected to meet someone, or have deep feelings for them. I tell you this just to show my (and our) naiveté as rookies in this adventure.

My character is damaged through this, and the image my wife has of me as her partner is shattered. I have always been a supportive husband and have worked my entire marriage to be as selfless as possible. During my first emotionally connected secondary relationship, I acted not only selfishly, but thoughtlessly toward my wife and her feelings. I suck, but I am working on it.

Yes, we did stumble into poly after her affair, but it was the best thing that happened to us. We both felt like we communicated and loved each other a great deal, but after the affair and during our exploration of poly we attained a level of closeness that neither of us felt possible. I worked on my jealousy and trust issues with her, and she did a great job of allaying any fears for me. Also, I am generally not a jealous person. In contrast, I failed to comfort her during this whole mess that I created. We are still communicating but it is not the same on any level. I remain hopeful that we will come out of this stronger too, but my wife is doubtful.

Someone asked if we have been researching and learning about polyamory. I jumped into reading everything about polyamory to help me cope with the affair and this new endeavor. She has spent hours combing all of the blogs and websites, too. I read The Ethical Slut, Sex at Dawn, and have just started NVC. I am only two chapters into NVC, and I can certainly see that my communication style has contributed to our struggles. I listen to the Pedestrian Polyamory podcast and Tristan Taramino’s as well. I am learning a great deal, and realizing that this feels right. My hang-ups have always been dealing with culturally ingrained ideas, and I have grown a ton as person through our first steps into polyamory. The problem has been that my practice during this first emotional relationship with a secondary has been terrible. I can’t change my past mistakes, but I seem to keep making them. This is not a problem with polyamory, but me.

Whether what I did constitutes an affair or not is irrelevant in the context of my marriage. My wife feels a lack of trust and betrayal--the same way I did after her affair-- so we are dealing with it like that.

During this process I didn’t put her emotions first and that made her feel disrespected and hurt. I even regret writing this original post as I do not want my wife to be vilified, especially from a place where she has found so much great support and comfort.

I appreciate learning that some of you have had similar struggles. I don’t feel so alone in navigating this time, yet I don’t know what to say or do anymore. All of my words and actions have made things worse, therefore I regret having asked for help. My wife says we will probably not make it through this, that she is ending it with her secondary too and will not open her heart anymore. I had written most of this response two days ago, but didn’t post it. My wife asked last night why I haven’t responded to your negative comments about her. Why didn’t I defend her? I figured my post would quickly die away and nobody would pay much attention. Of course many details are missing (you can’t encapsulate a relationship in a few paragraphs), but the conclusions people made based on assumptions, I could easily discount. I thought my wife did too, but I didn’t consider the damage to her emotions regardless. I told her I didn’t want to reinvigorate a debate; I didn’t want to add fuel to our problems. Ironically, not saying anything was just as bad. Why didn’t I defend her? Why have I hurt her through this? What is wrong with me? If communicating leads to the same place as silence, what is left?
 

Natja

New member
Egoscout, I SO feel for you, you are obviously a good person, no one is perfect you made a mistake and I feel you are working very hard to make yourself a better person.
I also think you seem to be bearing the brunt of a lot of emotional blackmail, there, I said it! I think in all of this you really need help and support and I hope you are getting it but please stop beating yourself up so much.

Good luck,

Natja
 

egoscout

New member
I appreciate your concern, but I am not being emotionally blackmailed. My wife is an amazing person. We have a great life together. I firmly believe that this terrible situation will one day be looked on as a moment that brought us closer.

We have talked a lot in the past week about her role in this, as well as mine and the secondary's. My wife is a highly reflective person who has stated that she feels her control issues have been a factor. We have different personalities: I like to avoid conflict, and she likes to address it decisively. In our time together we have found a great common ground to become incredibly close and successful. However, during this stressful time, the less than helpful parts of our character traits have come into the light. We are working on it.

My wife is terribly hurt. I did that. That sucks. You say I am a good person, but so is my wife. We are both very human: good and bad. Normally, we support each other when one of us is struggling. This time, my wife is overcome with her own sadness, grief, etc. while I am simultaneously suffering in my own emotional crap. It will get better, and there are glimmers of hope.
 

NutBusterX

New member
Ego,
Nance and I are in your's and pol's corner as a couple. Each of you taking ownership of your actions and feelings is important and promising. It's clear that you both love each other and it's clear you both feel your marriage is important.

I don't believe either of you beating yourselves up is productive. You both have made mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are painful. Learning from them and not repeating them is crucial.

I do hope the two of you will continue to grow toward one another as this all plays out.
 

Natja

New member
Ok Egoscout I will take your word for it you know your situation far better than I can glean from what you write here, I was just terribly concerned with the 'Why did you not defend me?' accusation, it seems a bit emotionally manipulative to me and what on earth can you say to that? Is it ever enough? I can understand you are both wallowing in hurt at the moment, but accusations don't help. I hope you can work through this though.
x
 

nancyfore

Member
The "why did you not defend me" is a question.. a normal question from a wife to a husband who is feeling attacked and watching her husband create a response then not post it..

I would have asked the same question..

Egoscout, I hope you both and I think you can work through all of this and come out stronger in the end...
 

Natja

New member
The "why did you not defend me" is a question.. a normal question from a wife to a husband who is feeling attacked and watching her husband create a response then not post it..

I would have asked the same question..
.

This is not her thread, it is his thread and he is looking for support on here. She has her own thread where she has been receiving support too. I question what is considered 'normal' for myself at least, it doesn't come across as questioning it comes off as accusatory especially under the circumstances. He clearly loves her, they are clearly working on their issues but it does no one any good to just assume that their dynamic is entirely healthy, questioning things that sound 'iffy' is important, though I also admitted to Egoscout that he knows far more about the situation than I could possibly.

And the fact that you would ask the same thing, is hardly reassuring.

Natja
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
"Why did you not defend me?" may not be the best way of expressing it but I don't see it as a demand or accusation. I see it as a hurt wobbly person asking a wondering wobbly question.

Since you are reading NVC materials -- perhaps could ask her to share in that reading? Because right now the answer is "Because I did not know that was your expectation/want/need." :(

If she wants to reframe the question in NVC style, maybe it could go something like...



"I read the responses to your thread online. I did not see a response back from you in your thread that defends me.

I feel hurt that you do not defend me online because I need to feel safe with my spouse when I am prickly and vulnerable and not so exposed.

Could you be willing to write a response online / stop adding to the thread/talk to me about the TMI line for online things/ ( <---- or something else she wants you to do that would demonstrate "defending me" behaviors to her... I am guessing here)

So I can feel that even though you are going through your own grief process right now and need support from other people, you understand that I am going through one too and need support from you in the way I wish to receive it?"

Or something like that where she lays out what her need it up front?

Then you can say "Yes, I am willing to do it like that" or "No, I am not willing to do it like that."

Move it forward rather than keeping it stuck in the hamster wheel. Nobody can mind reader anyone else.

If communicating leads to the same place as silence, what is left?

When staying silent and being communicative leads to the same space? I'd suggest going communicative. State willing to try. Then YOU at least are being present and accountable at the negotiation table. Not showing up at all stinks worse.

Showing up = being willing, intent of trying to connect.
Not showing up = not connecting at all, maybe distancing.

The other people have to attend the meeting and be present to for it to fly of course. But could not let it bomb because YOU were missing and not present. This matters to you? SHOW UP to the table. Keep going -- esp with the NVC skills learning.

If both are at the table? That's good. Then maybe the next baby step could be investigating your conflict resolution method? Perhaps experimenting with different ones until you get a method that serves you both better?

HOW you communicate things is as important and WHEN and WHAT you communicate.

I think it's hopeful that while struggling, both are still willing to keep trying and are still showing up to the table.

Could tell your wife that you are sorry she is hurting and feeling undefended. You were not aware at the time because of the shadow of your own grief/struggle. Could say if you are willing to talk about that now that you ARE aware to see what specific behaviors in the realm of online disclosure she's comfortable/not comfortable with. It's the online TMI line thing that you could sort out between you so you could get what you need (outside POV, support, etc) AND she gets what she needs (free of her feeling overexposed.)

Again... moving it forward.

Hang in there, both of you!

Galagirl
 
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nancyfore

Member
This is not her thread, it is his thread and he is looking for support on here. She has her own thread where she has been receiving support too. I question what is considered 'normal' for myself at least, it doesn't come across as questioning it comes off as accusatory especially under the circumstances. He clearly loves her, they are clearly working on their issues but it does no one any good to just assume that their dynamic is entirely healthy, questioning things that sound 'iffy' is important, though I also admitted to Egoscout that he knows far more about the situation than I could possibly.

And the fact that you would ask the same thing, is hardly reassuring.

Natja

You don't know me so attacking me by saying what you said is hardly an appropriate thing to do..

Also what I meant by what I said is that I think that the question would be something that would have been common to say without being manipulative.
 

Natja

New member
It wasn't an attack, but I hope you can appreciate that by reading my words as an attack that it is clear when we are reading text that we can see things in different ways. You don't see Pol's question as emotionally manipulative, after I already admitted to Egoscout that I will take his word for it but the line made me uncomfortable, you stuck your oar in about interpretation, you can't then turn around and accuse me of making inappropriate attacks based upon your sensibilities without asking me for clarification. Can't you see that may come across as a little bit...hypocritical?
 
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