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Old 09-21-2018, 11:56 AM #11
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

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Originally Posted by treevoice View Post

I am fully supportive of polyamory when it is healthy and consensual. However, I get the impression that you have been backed into a corner on this issue without your consent. You've already stated that you are monogamous and uncomfortable with the whole situation. For her to ask for your support while she grieves this other relationship is entirely unfair. I do not think it would be cruel of you to take a step back from the situation. It's entirely up to you whether you choose to continue the relationship or not, but please do not take the burden of healing her upon yourself. It was reckless at best and cruel at worst for her to put you in this situation, and it is not your responsibility to heal her broken heart. She made the choices she made, and it's important for you to take the steps you need to be okay.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This! 100% agree
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:26 PM #12
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

I think it speaks to a great strength of character in you that you're still worried about being kind and supportive to your wife after she cheated on you, pressured you, and insulted you. I would be furious in your shoes. You two must have a very strong relationship and you must be a very kind and loyal person.

I think it's massively unfair of her to expect you to listen sympathetically to the problems she's having with the woman she cheated on you with. I just... cannot fathom. You seem like you're handling things very well, but I hope you are taking care of yourself and allowing yourself space for your own feelings. Maybe your wife could stand to listen to you talk about how you felt about this whole thing.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:14 AM #13
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

Thank you again, everyone. You've all given me new angles of looking at the situation, instead of just repeating the same things over in my mind.

I have another update, because I don't know what else to do but vent into the internet. I don't expect replies, as I've received so many important words already, and I feel guilty for dragging this out. But I'm out of people to turn to, and feel like I need to speak. I can't talk to my friends about this. I'm alone at sea.

I've felt like a dog being yanked back and forth on a leash all month. First the secretive kissing, then maybe dating, then the co-worker not wanting to date, then suddenly they're back on again, and most recently, they're talking about going public.

I've been pushing many of my emotions down. I've had a difficult few years, and I've worked hard to develop better coping mechanisms. I'm still struggling with anxiety and depression, but I've learned to handle it myself, and can more easily rein in my emotions. So, I've been keeping everything close to the chest, not wanting to anger K with my tears, or seem like I'm being manipulative. Honestly, I've been numb for a lot of the month, unable to adequately explore my feelings between each hairpin turn of the situation.

But the prospect of them going public pushed me over the edge. This is not the promise we made in our marriage. I'm willing to learn and grow, but I'm terrified of the whiplash speed of all of this. I finally broke down last night, panicking and crying and still trying to explain to K that I'm not ready for this, and need some kind of outside support before this can go forward. I do not have the capacity to explain the state of my marriage to my friends and family, how this is still my marriage, except I get less time with my spouse, and have to watch her fall in love with someone else.

It shreds me to see K smiling and texting this girl. The constant need to be in touch, the giddy planning of dates and events, these all remind me of the early days of our relationship, and it's ripping me apart to have to watch my wife do this with some stranger.

I'm embarrassed and alone and I've worked so hard to find healthy ways of processing my emotions, but there's so much, and I'm crumbling, and K doesn't seem to care.

She was angry with me for crying. She immediately was on the defensive, saying she "knew this would happen" and that she was the one who would suffer the most from going public. She said that people were going to see her as evil, and would punish her and the co-worker. She said that I wouldn't have to deal with that.

I desperately needed her support, even a calming hand on my back, an apology, SOMETHING. She left to go hang out with co-worker and another friend, and I slept another night alone, in our bed that K and co-worker apparently had sex in. I feel disgusting.

I have no one to turn to. All of my friends are facing their own demons, I can't weigh them down with mine. I did that too much in the past, and I've been so much better lately, and I need them to know that they helped me before and so are off the hook and don't have to worry about me now. I called my health insurance and learned they don't cover therapy. I'm running out of resources to handle this, and the person with whom I intended to share my life isn't even around to comfort me, and barely seems aware of how badly she's hurting me.

I don't know who K is anymore. I don't know where this came from. I can no longer believe in life going back to the way it was. I can't escape this pain, and I know it will only get worse. It helps to write meandering essays on the internet, I guess. That might be all I have left.
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:52 PM #14
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

I just have to say, my heart goes out to you. Not many people would be as kind as you are being in this situation. K is a lot of words I can't say on here, but most of all she is the one manipulating you. On your first post, I believed she wanted some sort of sister wife situation, including you on this relationship. I now see she wants to have your blessings for her to cheat on you. Her actions are completely unacceptable and you should not put up with it for another second. You need to listen to your emotions and heed their warning that this is not ok in any way, shape, or form. She is playing a game with your heart and that is totally wrong.

I know it is easy for someone to say leave her, but is that a possibility? Can you reach out to a friend? It cant hurt to try. Also, if you need support, maybe there are free support groups for something like this. Check out meetup. A divorce and separation group or a cheaters group might be helpful to you.

You are right, your relationship with her will never be the same. So whatever you decide to do just know that you deserve better than this!!!
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:14 AM #15
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

metalchick, thank you. I'm not ready to leave her over something sudden (however traumatic) that developed over the course of a month, but I'll take up your advice to look for a meetup or some kind of outside support. I'm also having dinner with a friend soon with the intention of discussing this with him. We've helped each other through previous periods of trouble, and I think he's capable of hearing me out and keeping everything private. I can't keep complaining about being lonely and then not reaching out.

I've explained thoroughly to K that I'm not happy with any of this, and that her continuing will cause me considerable pain, but that I trust her to make the right decision for her own development and for our marriage. The co-worker is also stressed and guilty about this, and is relapsing into disordered eating, and I hate that she's suffering through this too. I'm trusting K to come to an equitable solution. If she doesn't, I have to brace myself to deliver an ultimatum.

Because dang it, you're right. I love the heck out of K, but I deserve better. Thank you.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:59 PM #16
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

I may have a backwards view on this but sometimes you just need to put your foot down instead of waiting and hoping that she'll have the decency to respect you and stop her behavior. Right now she is getting her cake and eating it too (so why worry about the consequences of her behavior if there are none?).

She gets to run back to you when she wants and she has the safety net of a "marriage" (and I use air quotes because at this moment it doesn't sound like one really... imo that is) that will still be there when this thing looses it's excitement or the chick leaves her, and she gets the excitement and thrill of having a new toy on the side (since we don't really know how she feels about the other woman - or at least I don't remember reading you describe anything more than lust atm... sorry if I'm assuming).

In my relationship with my wife (we've been together for 12 years and married for 2) we've had to put our foot down with each other more than once. Earlier in our relationship her anxiety got so bad that she wouldn't even leave the house... like NEVER! Not for doc appts, not for school which she eventually dropped out mid semester, not for family/friends events, grocery shopping, nothing! I was fine with her not working as long as she kept up the house but even then her fear/anxiety was soooo bad that she wouldn't leave the bedroom all day. At first I was fine with this but in the end it got to me and as much as I hated to do it, I told her she had to get help or I was leaving her because I couldn't live like that. I told her I loved her and I'd stand by her every step of the way but I couldn't live like that anymore. I felt like an *** for putting her in that situation but she did it. She got herself to the doctor and we got through it together. Now we go everywhere and have so much fun together... she's done a 180 and she's so much happier, thus our life/marriage is better for it.

Another time, about 6 years ago before I was diagnosed with bipolar I was in the middle of a really bad manic episode and she had to do the same thing to me. She said I see a doctor for my erratic behavior or she was going to leave me. I had to decide what was more important, my relationship or the manic high. I agreed to see a doctor but god did I resent and hate her. I almost thought about leaving her. But if it wasn't for that slap in the face and the fear of the consequences (ie her leaving) I honestly wouldn't have changed.

During our time together I have brought up the idea of polygamy and multiple lovers (I have a high sex drive and she doesn't) and we have talked about it in length. But I think (and this is only my opinion) that this all should have been worked out and talked about before she cheated, and straight up, that's what she did... she cheated. She did not have your blessing or permission to start seeing other women at the time, thus she was unfaithful to you and your marriage. I believe that, and like I said I may be old fashion in this regards, but in a marriage you BOTH should be happy and you BOTH should be able to trust the other. If you BOTH can accept the other going out with other people but returning home at night, then go for it! But if it's hurting you this much then it's not a good marriage and she has no right to treat you the way she is. You should feel loved, safe, and respected in a marriage and atm you sound like you're experiencing none of that. She's only caring about her pleasure and her excitement and she honestly doesn't care about you or your feelings, and that's why she is forcing you to accept her decision by making you cry and not giving a **** about your feelings because she knows what she's doing is wrong but if she get's your "Permission" (however she can get it) it makes everything all right in her mind.

But anyways, just my two cents. I'm sorry it got so long... I just feel for you so much and if you need someone to talk to please feel free to hit me up in a private message and we can talk about it some more... if nothing else I can listen. Best of luck to you both.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:34 AM #17
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

Thank you, LacunaCoiler.

In a surprising twist, the co-worker (G, for the sake of ease) sought me out last night to talk things out. Turns out I didn't need to deliver an ultimatum. Not that I probably could have, despite the advice you've provided.

G was worried about me, and has been suffering due to this heavily K-driven situation as well. We discussed for a long time. Then G privately ended things with K.

I comforted a profoundly upset K. It hurt. She said some hurtful, spiteful, selfish things, but I know this is painful for her, so I showed her the compassion I wish she had the capacity to show me.

She wasn't entirely oblivious to the hurt this caused me, and did apologize, though the apology came off a little mean, sort of a "I'm sorry you can't tolerate my needs" deal.

She repeated immediately that she still believes she's polyamorous, and I confirmed that I'd support her, but that we both should talk to other poly/mono people before trying another relationship again, because as of now, I can't emotionally handle it.

But that's OK, because K said she couldn't imagine meeting someone as special as G again, so why bother?

So... was I not special to her? When she proposed to me? When she married me? I'm just a villain to her now, holding her back from what she needs due to my selfish, possessive whims.

I don't know what to do. I feel so stupid. I'm just as brokenhearted as before, and the future looks bleak for me, the deadweight wife who took someone special away from my spouse. I don't want to leave, but I don't want to stay. I mostly don't want to exist.

I'll find a way to cope. I'll shut up about it here. I feel guilty for taking up people's time only to ignore good advice. Thank you again, everyone. I think the saga has concluded.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:08 PM #18
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuixiHubris View Post
Thank you, LacunaCoiler.

In a surprising twist, the co-worker (G, for the sake of ease) sought me out last night to talk things out. Turns out I didn't need to deliver an ultimatum. Not that I probably could have, despite the advice you've provided.

G was worried about me, and has been suffering due to this heavily K-driven situation as well. We discussed for a long time. Then G privately ended things with K.

I comforted a profoundly upset K. It hurt. She said some hurtful, spiteful, selfish things, but I know this is painful for her, so I showed her the compassion I wish she had the capacity to show me.

She wasn't entirely oblivious to the hurt this caused me, and did apologize, though the apology came off a little mean, sort of a "I'm sorry you can't tolerate my needs" deal.

She repeated immediately that she still believes she's polyamorous, and I confirmed that I'd support her, but that we both should talk to other poly/mono people before trying another relationship again, because as of now, I can't emotionally handle it.

But that's OK, because K said she couldn't imagine meeting someone as special as G again, so why bother?

So... was I not special to her? When she proposed to me? When she married me? I'm just a villain to her now, holding her back from what she needs due to my selfish, possessive whims.

I don't know what to do. I feel so stupid. I'm just as brokenhearted as before, and the future looks bleak for me, the deadweight wife who took someone special away from my spouse. I don't want to leave, but I don't want to stay. I mostly don't want to exist.

I'll find a way to cope. I'll shut up about it here. I feel guilty for taking up people's time only to ignore good advice. Thank you again, everyone. I think the saga has concluded.
Your situation made me feel hurt and angry just by hearing about it. I'm glad G was at least mature enough to break it off if K wasn't. It isn't over, because now you know a side to K that you didn't before. I really hope you will stand up for yourself and not let her needs overshadow your health and well-being.

Have you seen the Alfred Hitchcock film "Rich and Strange"? I'd recommend it (if anything, it is a excellent and powerful movie). The couple in that movie have a dynamic that sounds similar to what you seem to have with your wife based on what you've written of this experience. The ending is very interesting - I don't want to give it away but I'll say that it is subtle, but brutually honest about the way people are.

Good luck, I hope you and K can find happiness.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:29 PM #19
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

Coming from someone else in a partially poly relationship, the biggest part of any relationship is honest and open communication and trust. The fact that 'K' didn't inform you of her entire feelings or intents and then expected you to deal with the issues after she went behind your back is really worrisome. I agree with 'treevoice' entirely when she said that 'K' was 'reckless at best'. Maybe you should take a few days off, if you can afford them, and spend some time doing self care? Then, after you have regained some energy, maybe you can confront 'K' with some healthy boundaries. I, for one, wouldn't agree to help her with her breakup feelings if she was starting to make me feel taken for granted and treating me dishonestly.

Also, judging from K's words of 'she knew 'this' would happen', it sounds like K already knew that she was polyamorous and chose not to tell you, rather than to have a fair and open conversation when you both were in a healthy and safe place. Springing sudden feelings for another girl and then being dishonest about them and then blaming you for not being fully accepting is frankly ridiculous. You are being very mature and it is important to be able to express your feelings to your partner, especially if they have been dishonest and you are trying to recover from that.

If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message me. I hope things get better.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:21 PM #20
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Default Re: Threatened by wife's polyamory

Quote:
Originally Posted by treevoice View Post
Hi there,

I'm very sorry to hear about the experience you're having. I've been in a polyamorous relationship for about 7 years, and I feel it's important to speak up for you in this case: *polyamorous people can still cheat*. It seems that you've been handling this very maturely, trying to see things from your wife's perspective, and wanting her to be happy. But there are some facts here that can't be ignored:

1. Your wife pursued this relationship without your knowledge or consent
2. She is expecting you to work through these issues after the trust has already been violated. The time for those discussions was *before* she kissed this other person.
3. "Everyone agreed that if this turned out to be too painful for me, then they could shut it down" - this feels gaslight-y to me. This conversation should have been had before the relationship ever began. It should never fall to the monogamous person to "be okay", this puts you in a position of being responsible for their happiness, which is entirely unfair. You should have had an opportunity to voice your needs before being put into this situation.

I am fully supportive of polyamory when it is healthy and consensual. However, I get the impression that you have been backed into a corner on this issue without your consent. You've already stated that you are monogamous and uncomfortable with the whole situation. For her to ask for your support while she grieves this other relationship is entirely unfair. I do not think it would be cruel of you to take a step back from the situation. It's entirely up to you whether you choose to continue the relationship or not, but please do not take the burden of healing her upon yourself. It was reckless at best and cruel at worst for her to put you in this situation, and it is not your responsibility to heal her broken heart. She made the choices she made, and it's important for you to take the steps you need to be okay.
I love this response. Awesome advice.
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