To others- It think it is very hurtful to categorize poly relationships as crap. There are many couple who live this lifestyle who in no sense of the word tolerate this type of betrayal. There are bad people in every lifestyle and generalizing like this can really hurt people who may be reading.
I appreciate the sentiment.
That being said, AP and her husband were by all accounts major players in my (large) city's polyamory/BSDM/kink scene, and likely serve as a model couple for others who are thinking about the lifestyle. So in a very real sense, they do in fact "represent" polyamoury, at least where we live. Sad, but true. For what it's worth, I am sorry when innocent people are expected to answer for the bad behavior of people they happen to share a social identity with.
And THAT being said, I would really appreciate not having to discuss the "good parts of polyamoury" right now, just to make sure "some people" aren't offended that members of their group used polyamoury as an excuse to behave like terrible people. There is an entire internet out there full of people who would love to discuss how great, fair, enlightened, honest, fabulous, and so forth their own poly marriage is, but I am not one of them right now, and this is not one of those forum threads.
Perhaps someday I will be able to be more open-minded and generous about the whole thing, but today is not that day. This month is not that month. Right now I am pretty angry about polyamoury and how it has played a role in screwing up my marriage, and I feel that I have a right to that anger.
Sure the seductive lure of playing musical beds can put the "fun" in dysfunctional. Your "friends" adult choices by their nature are attention seeking. And if they are "major players" in the scene I'm sure they have no shortage of partners. I was under the impression the "Sexually Enlightened" have rules about not doing exactly what they did?
Treachery is in Dante's 9th circle because it is the worst of all sins.
Don't let them cast shadow on your time to shine.
[This message edited by rescuedog at 9:36 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]
So I understand completely how you feel. You WERE betrayed by your WS and your friends. Your head is spinning, you are wondering who you can trust anywhere around you. And sadly what messes with a BS the most is not trusting themselves. What they thought they totally knew 100% is now crumbled.
The friends? Label them any way you want but at the end of the day they cheated and stole and lied....thats what infidelity is, we focus on your WS because that is the part you yourself can have some kind of control with....the friends however chose to lie and cheat behind your back. You have a rite to be angry.
I really do hope you suck it up, even thru this horrible betrayal and only work on you. Control what you can control and that is your own life and your own career. Take your power back, don't let others take it from you.
Dip into that well of anger (the one you have every right to feel) and use it to get laser focused on finishing your PHD. Your anger could generate energy you need to cross finish line!
Be pissed as hell.
Those enlightened friends used your good nature against you. As for the sabotaging AP who finished her own studies with your loving support, she needs a lesson on character. I say, enlighten her on the virtues of your strength and character by pushing forward and pushing through. Do not waiver. Show those egotistical vampires how it's done.
I am rooting for you to finish your PHD, so you can move on with your academic/life plans, and heal from the wounds of their deception.
When you finish, give yourself permission to fall apart or take a rest. Whatever you need. Healing from this kind of betrayal is a long, tiring journey (with or without R on the table) and I think you would be wise to strike while the iron is still hot.
I love your name by the way.
I am so sorry that you are facing this horrible betrayal. It was bad enough that your WH did this, but also 2 friends is beyond cruel and painful. You would think that out of 3 grown adults, one of them would have said, we need to think about TheGarden and how she will view this. Sadly that did not happen.
As everyone else has said they were not really your friends and hopefully by you telling others what they did, they will be unable to prey on another couple as easily as they preyed on your WH. I am not in the least bit letting him off the hook for his involvement and you don't need to either. I have yet to see an open relationship work out for any couple, but if he had any desire to experiment that way he should have told you. He didn't because he knew you did not operate that way. He now needs to figure out why he would do something like that knowing it could destroy your marriage and career.
My XWH#1 was involved in those types of sexual escapades. Unfortunately I was unaware of it until during the D I found a membership card to a swinger's club under the drawer in his night stand. I also found swinger newspapers hidden in his closet. It made my decision to D him that much easier.
He kept demanding the hard drive for my computer during the D. I couldn't figure out why until after I found the card. When investigating the computer he had used my log in to set up accounts on sex sites to have sex with other couples. It was discusting and I destroyed the hard drive and bought a new computer. He was going to use what HE DID against me in court. He was that sick that he would try and distroy me, his wife for 20+ yrs and the mother of his two kids because I had the guts to D him over an EA with an 18yr old girl. Imagine that.
Also the fact that he physically assaulted you after the fact is of worse concern to me. I have worked with domestic violence patients before and those that phsically abuse someone needs serious help. Just because he said call the police after the fact is no indication that it won't happen again. They are often remorseful for it after it happens, but he needs to dig deeply within himself to get to the reason he did it after all these years. I am not a big believer in the "fog" excuse. He has some serious problems that he needs to address and sweeping it under the rug is a bad idea.
Although moving is probably a good thing, just make sure that it isn't to run from the problems he has created. I know after my XWH#1's 1st A less than a year after we married, we moved. It solved nothing other than getting us out of the town with OW#1. It did not solve our problems. I look back now all these years later and wonder, what if I had made him seek IC would it have made a difference. Who knows???
The one thing I can tell you is to get your PhD. Never depend on someone else to heal you. That you have to do for yourself. The one thing I did do in my first marriage was put myself through college. It took awhile, but I was able to break away finally from a toxic relationship with XWH#1.
Luckily, by the grace of God, he never gave me an STD. Hopefully you have already been tested, if not please do it. Yes, its embarrassing for a BS to have to do that, but your health is #1.
One last thing and I will shut up. WS's lie. When you think you have gotten the whole story, there is often more to it than what they admit to. They will often only admit to what you know and may give you a little more for show, but most of the time it's really only the tip of the iceberg. The fact that your WH did come home and admit some of it right away at least shows he had some guilt over what he did. Just know that what you know may not be the complete truth.
You will get through this!!! You are a strong person with good morals and have a brain to go with it. Do not sell yourself short and demand that he now stand up and face his brokeness like a man. (((HUGS)))
Hold on to your hat and just repeat in your head as you read this, "Focus on the target. Do not focus on what is NOT the target."
The ex is a former Navy SEAL. Part of the training they go through is that when they're diving, the instructors chum the waters above where the recruits are diving. Why, you ask? Because the SEAL trainees have to learn to ignore EVERYTHING other than what their intended mission is. And I do mean everything. At some point they have to swim back up through the chummed waters. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it? Bloody, chum saturated, and shark-infested water and they have to swim right through it to get up to the boat. The boat is their new target. They focus on the boat and not on the chum OR the sharks.
All of the other bullshit going on is just chum, honey. Your target is that PhD. Do it. You can swim through the chum and the sharks. Do it.Focus on the target. Do not focus on what is NOT the target.
[This message edited by EasyDoesIt at 3:03 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]
what these people did was not polyamory. They are liars and betrayers
However, that being said, for all the posters making generalizations about the polyamorous lifestyle, it is just that. A generalization. As we wouldn't like a generalization made about the monogamous lifestyle, we need to respect those that chose differently.
(((TheGarden))) I am so sorry that you needed to find us, but glad that you did. You have gotten wonderful advice here. Please keep posting (when you aren't working on your dissertation ) we will be here to support you in anyway we can.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
The Garden, I'm so sorry if my comments hurt you. I would never intentionally hurt another, especially not a BS who has been through what you have been through. I wish you nothing but the brightest blessings.
And, I hope any polyamorous folks on SI who have been betrayed are taking a closer look at this lifestyle choice. i think it is often chosen as a supposed antidote to betrayal, and as we have seen from other polyamorous folks on SI, it is not free from the scourge of cheating.
I edit, therefore I am.
Two other things:
1) Just wanted to say that I am trying to take the "ignore the chummed waters" (and similar) advice to heart and have written myself a detailed plan for finishing the Ph.D., which I will be implementing tomorrow.
2) Regarding polyamoury - as I said before, I am in no emotional condition to have a comprehensive discussion about the pros and cons of polyamoury, and in any case am extremely negatively biased towards it because of my own issues so I couldn't even give the question a just treatment.
But I will say this about my own situation: yes, monogamous people cheat too. Polyamoury is no defense against betrayal of trust, and obviously neither is monogamy (my own self-professed monogamous husband, who wrote our very mono wedding vows all on his own, is the prime example). HOWEVER...the difference between the mono and poly people in my own personal situation right now is that my mono husband knew that what he had done was wrong and has been 100% remorseful since he stepped out of the affair fog. The poly people, on the other hand, used the poly norms they believe in to not only justify their own shitty behavior but deliberately and with malice to wound me more deeply by telling me I had psychological problems because the behavior I expected from my husband was not in line with their own personal beliefs about relationships. They are not only not remorseful, but firmly believe that I am the villain of the piece for being angry with them and my husband, and for enforcing marital and friendship boundaries consistent with monogamy. I realize that there are many single OWs and OM who feel no remorse either, and who attack and blame the BS in various ways, but in this case the primary (possibly even only) reason for that behavior is my OW's and OWH's subscription to polyamoury and their attachment to poly-related social norms.
This dynamic is especially painful for me as I thought I was being a good friend to them by being supportive of their lifestyle. In general I am pretty liberal and open-minded sexually, am supportive of other people's sexual choices in life, etc., and was totally ok with how they wanted to live their life. I sincerely believed that they were also supportive of our monogamous lifestyle and our marriage, but the email correspondence between OW and my husband, as well as OWH's behavior towards me in the aftermath of the affair makes it painfully clear that they were in fact secretly contemptous about our monogamy and the OW at least made a sincere effort to "convert" my husband during a time period she knew would be particularly vulnerable for us and when I would be distracted (not excusing his behavior in any way, he owns his own penis and could have said NO at any time, just saying she had her own agenda that was partially motivated and/or justified by her subscription to polyamoury).
My reading about polyamoury and poly beliefs subsequent to the affair has also convinced me that there are quite a few other poly people out there in the world who hold monogamy and monogamous relationships in secret or open contempt. I'm not saying that every poly person is like that (and I did read things suggesting that there are many poly people who would find what OW and OWH did utterly reprehensible). But there are enough of the secretly contemptous kind, and this experience has been so painful, that one of my deal-breaker conditions for reconciliation is "no more poly friends, period". It will be one of the primary conversations we have early on in relationships with other people from here on out. And like the poster above, I expect that some people will accuse me/us of being "closed-minded" or offensive or whatever, but like that poster also said, Meh. I would rather live with being closed-minded than expose my marriage to people who may be lying about respecting monogamy or actively trying to undermine other people's monogamous relationships behind the scenes. It's only 'friends of the marriage' from here on out, and I no longer consider people who live a poly lifestyle to be friends of the marriage, just by virtue of their beliefs about the value or importance of monogamy in general. I am sorry if this hurts feelings or offends, but it is now a necessary condition of my life.
[This message edited by TheGarden at 10:51 AM, September 29th (Sunday)]
While it's not the same as finishing a PhD, I had to "hold it together" for my kids after D-Day. It's hard, painful, and completely unfair. Really wish we could give you more than just words of encouragement.
It has been kind of fun to play a closed-minded person on this thread, because there is no one in real life that would remotely view me that way. But, we do live and learn, and in my case I learned that there is not really much "fun" in dysfunctional.
After that, it's time to rid the waters of the chum or find another place to swim.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:42 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]
“I'm losing my mind in a bedroom with a ghost
and I'm losing my mind in a bottle while I choke
I stayed years with you, no one knows (but I want them to).”
– Thought Industry
There are plenty of people who aren't uncomfortable with the boundaries in poly relationships. I am sure there maybe some "groups" of people you might not be comfortable around. Fundamentalist Christians, for instance.
Did I say I would ostracize, be mean, be cruel? No, if you were my neighbour I would be neighbourly, if I worked with you I would treat you as any other co-worker. If you posted on an infidelity board I would treat you as any other member posting on an infidelity board. I just don't see me and my FWH hanging out and doing stuff with poly couples. Doesn't mean I don't respect you and your choices. Doesn't mean I think polyamory should be outlawed and the people who live it are somehow evil or depraved.
I am truly sorry I hurt your feelings, Decade. I have read your posts. I even posted this:
A hug to the little boy that was abused and abandoned and to the wonderful man he grew up to be. ((((Decade))))