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Newest Member: InkHulk

Just Found Out :
After 9 years of R, I just got the 'oh I think I'm polyamorous afterall!' talk. At marriage counselling. Out of nowhere.

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:23 PM on Friday, June 10th, 2022

Hurthalo,

If you follow Bigger's advice, you'll both see whether or not you want to be together, and the choice between D & R will become clear - you'll both see that either you want enough of the same life or you don't.

I urge you to lay out your requirements, the deal breakers. Lay out your desires. Find out if they match your W's.

It isn't valid to try to renegotiate a contact that has already been agreed to.

I have great difficulty accepting that. W2b and I talked a lot about our lives after our wedding, and those talks were part of our contract as far as I'm concerned.

And within 7 years, our lives were very different from what we had promised each other. We renegotiated throughout the years as old options disappeared and new ones came into our lives. Certain desires became stronger Other desires, strong at the beginning of our relationship, became far weaker.

I don't mean to quibble about words, but I have great difficulty discerning between what actually happens in M and renegotiating the M. If what actually happens isn't renegotiation, the effect is pretty much the same.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27292   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8739639
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 10:55 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

It isn't valid to try to renegotiate a contact that has already been agreed to. You hire a contractor to do a certain job for x amount of money, and he decides that he isn't going to do the work but still takes the money. That's grounds for a lawsuit and/or termination of contract, which is analogous to divorce.

The standard marriage vows don't describe a specific lifestyle beyond remaining faithful, sharing possessions, and staying together until death. That allows for all of the normal changes of life (kids/no kids/more travel/less travel, etc.)

This WS has broken her vows and now wants to invalidate one of the vows: fidelity. That is not okay mid-marriage. Especially since in reality marriage vows are not merely legally contractual, but also honor vows made in the presence of God, family and community.

Saying you don't want to abide by one of the vows is akin to requesting divorce. Which is where this mess does seem headed.

I don't think this is reasonable, honestly. People change, and want different things. If both spouses want to renegotiate the boundaries of their marriage, why is that such a terrible thing? Frankly, I suspect most people would rather have their spouse lay their cards on the table that they want to be nonmonogamous rather than cheat. Wouldn't you? Then you have the choice to accept or reject the change, or discuss it further.

Marriages are not one size fits all. The beauty of relationships is setting agreements that work for the people involved.

HurtHalo, I was sorry to see your last update. I would absolutely tell the coworker's wife. People can and do cheat in poly relationships, too. The difference there is that cheating is violating an agreement rather than being specifically about sex or romance or intimacy. And an ethical polyamorous person would not have been making all these suggestions to your wife, quite frankly.

You deserve so much better than this.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 4 years) & DBF (dating 3 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 819   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8739787
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 11:22 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Frankly, I suspect most people would rather have their spouse lay their cards on the table that they want to be nonmonogamous rather than cheat. Wouldn't you?

No, monogamy is a pillar of marriage. When people marry and vow to one another and to God to be faithful, they are expected to follow through with their vows.

posts: 358   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739791
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 3:00 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Of course you can renegotiate what your marriage should be. It’s called "negotiating" not dictating. The word implies you have a conversation and come to an agreement on what you both want or can accept. In this thread it sounds like the wife is dictating the terms – or at the very least there is a great gap between what she says and what she does.

Very few (if any) enter a marriage totally clear on all the terms. This isn’t a formal contract that beforehand dictates how life will develop, but rather a collection of expectations and assumptions. Monogamy is one of them and to many a key factor. I think it’s fair to say that someone entering a marriage that wants to omit monogamy could do that IF the partner is in agreement and it’s clear from the get-go.

To me – the way the WW went about broaching the subject of polyamory at MC isn’t the issue. In many ways that was the correct place to do so. However, seeing the OP reluctance to open the marriage the WW has two honest options IMHO: She can accept that the marriage is both sexually and emotionally monogamous or she can divorce. If she wants to spend time discussing the issue then she should stick to the original monogamous marriage while they get to the bottom of that issue.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10741   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8739806
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:37 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Let's not assume that what applies to us applies to everybody. Let's minimize our reliance on dogma. Let's remember there are vast knowledge gaps in ALL of us.

There really are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophies.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:39 PM, Sunday, June 12th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27292   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8739854
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ThisIsSoLonely ( member #64418) posted at 11:12 PM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

I’m a much more simplistic person than I used to be so my advice is also simple. Be grateful that she said something out loud and because you know it’s not what you want, you know you have no reason to stay.

Not to downplay all of the advice here but you can be incensed about the timing. You can feel blindsided by what she said. You can be angry and feel like you’ve wasted more of your time. You are right to feel all those things. But all that being said she has now told you what she wants and you don’t want it. The fact that apparently she has acted on it again just reiterates my point. Period. Game over. No need to try to figure out any more details or “negotiate” the terms of your marriage unless you are willing to concede this aspect of what she wants to do. it’s what she wants to do and you now know it. Move forward accordingly with you life. Time is of the essence because you only have one life as far as I know. Don’t waste another minute.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:16 PM, Thursday, June 23rd]

"Sometimes you're going to have to let one person go a thousand different times, a thousand different ways, and there’s nothing pathetic or abnormal about that. You are human." - Heidi Priebe

posts: 1832   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8741583
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 11:51 PM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Not to downplay all of the advice here but you can be incensed about the timing. You can feel blindsided by what she said. You can be angry and feel like you’ve wasted more of your time. You are right to feel all those things. But all that being said she has now told you what she wants and you don’t want it. The fact that apparently she has acted on it again just reiterates my point. Period. Game over. No need to try to figure out any more details or "negotiate" the terms of your marriage unless you are willing to concede this aspect of what she wants to do. it’s what she wants to do and you now know it. Move forward accordingly with your life. Time is of the essence because you only have one life as far as I know. Don’t waste another minute.

Read this. Then read it again. Then again.

My xwh did the "I'm poly I'm gonna sleep with other people" thing too. Whether he is or not I still couldn't tell you. What I CAN tell you is that I AM NOT. I'm not poly. I don't want an open marriage. I don't want to date and sleep with a lot of people. I don't want a spouse/partner who DOES want those things. I tried to 'negotiate' it for 6 months after the initial bombshell before I snapped out of it and told him flatly and firmly that he was welcome to date and sleep with anyone he liked... but he couldn't do that AND stay married to me. Period. I am passing no judgment on polyamorous people - if that's your thing then do it honestly and openly and I wish you well. But I am not that and never will be and will not negotiate on that point for myself.

Remove the sex thing from the equation. If your wife said that she wanted to live in Finland period end of sentence, and you wanted to live in Australia period end of sentence and neither of you was willing to even think about living somewhere else... how would that marriage work? I did my homework after dday. I really did take a serious look at poly as a lifestyle. But ultimately he wanted that and I did not, and ne'er the two shall meet. There's just no healthy workaround for that scenario.

If you're not into being in an open marriage - SAY SO. Say it loud say it proud my friend. Because vows or not, you are under no obligation to entertain this if it isn't what YOU want. You aren't the one attempting to change the contract.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3463   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8741588
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:00 PM on Friday, June 24th, 2022

Reminder: she did not ask to renegotiate the terms of their marriage in good faith. She was already talking to men on dating apps when she announced that she was polyamorous. This also happened right as she was about to live separately from OP for a couple years.

I find it disingenuous and completely tiresome when people try to use the language of sexual identity as justification for wanting to screw around behind their partners’ backs. I also think it’s fair to assume, based on the fact that she has never been completely forthright with hurthalo about the last affair he knew about, that she probably hasn’t been faithful all these years.

Hurthalo, I suggest you cut your losses. Even if she backs down this time, it’s going to periodically rear his head. I’m also fairly certain, based on the Cheater’s Handbook, that she will eventually use your unwillingness to open the marriage as resentment fodder after your next Dday.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 2:01 PM, Friday, June 24th]

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 781   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8741650
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Buffer ( member #71664) posted at 2:14 PM on Friday, June 24th, 2022

Brother how are you?
Take solace, as in my last post. She was egged on in this EA by her polygamy friend.
Just a manipulative cheater trying to get her thrills met by her polygamy suggestive partner.
Also tell the other wife regardless what your WW has said. Why believe anything she says. Remember cheaters lie to support their actions.
Let her pay you child support!
One day at a time.

Buffer

posts: 1223   ·   registered: Sep. 24th, 2019   ·   location: Australia
id 8741656
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 2:23 PM on Friday, June 24th, 2022

I did my homework after dday. I really did take a serious look at poly as a lifestyle. But ultimately he wanted that and I did not, and ne'er the two shall meet. There's just no healthy workaround for that scenario.

This is the crux of the matter and IMHO precisely what we have been suggesting for OP. Evaluate what she wants, evaluate what you want, evaluate what is offered and attainable and then act on that. A very likely outcome is a thanks, but no thanks, let’s accept reality and divorce.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10741   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8741662
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 2:55 PM on Friday, June 24th, 2022

This is the crux of the matter and IMHO precisely what we have been suggesting for OP. Evaluate what she wants, evaluate what you want, evaluate what is offered and attainable and then act on that. A very likely outcome is a thanks, but no thanks, let’s accept reality and divorce.

Oh I get that Bigger. But in my case it took me time and sorting through the BS to get to a point where I could lay down my boundary, even when doing so ended with my divorce. I know 100% that poly ain't for me and even so I still entertained the notion for several months.

Hurthalo, I get not wanting to divorce even with all this shit goin on. I was right where you are. Take your time to figure out what YOU want - not what's best for the marriage or your kids etc, but what is best for YOU. Really look into yourself and decide what you want here. And ultimately if what you want is a monogamous marriage, then stick to that and tell her so. I'm not going to blow smoke at you - if she is set on living a poly life and you're not, you likely will end up divorced. But as scary and sad and horrible as that is, I promise you it is not the worst thing. The worst thing IMHO is staying married to someone who kills your soul every day. I lived in that reality for 9 looooong months after dday and it was awful. I never wanted to get divorced, but in the words of the philosopher Jagger "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime you'll find you get what you need." Divorce wasn't what I wanted, but it was absolutely what I needed to get me out of a relationship that was hurting me and not enhancing my life anymore. Hang in there my friend. I promise you'll get through this.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3463   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8741699
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 1:26 AM on Saturday, June 25th, 2022

Just wanted to drop in another aside that one of the tenets of polyamory is ethics. If someone's cheating, it ain't polyamory, no matter what they try to dress it up as.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 4 years) & DBF (dating 3 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 819   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8741867
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