How Polyamory Has Ruined My Marriage

It fucking hasn’t.  There’s my punchline.

I have. Hubby has.  But not polyamory.  We failed to prioritize each other.  We took each other for granted.  We hit a couple rough patches and instead of running towards each other and holding on, we hid in our other relationships.  That’s not polyamory, that’s bad choices.

What did that get us?  A broken foundation and a fuck ton of work to do to rebuild it.  Or even build it from scratch.  Either way, we are a broken version of the formerly strong, formidable force that we once were.  

Hubby has done a ton of things that have hurt me.  I didn’t forgive well and I escalated the arguments.  I held on to the anger and hid from our problems in my other, very fun, very easy, very passionate, very intense relationships.  You know, the ones where the underwear is only on the floor for the very fun naked time, then it gets put on and goes home to be washed elsewhere?  

He did the same.  In some ways, he was worse, as I didn’t schedule anything until I knew he was away.  I had to fight for time with him, in situations where it should have been obvious to him that he should be home with me or our family.  

I travelled abroad for a family funeral a few weeks ago. The night before I left, our fighting reached a point it never had before.  I crossed a line I never should have crossed.  It was like getting punched in the head with a giant fucking wake up call.  For the next 12 days, hubby refused to talk to me, other than to let me talk on Skype to our kids.  It was the longest we have ever gone without talking.  It was heartbreaking to me, but reminded me what I love and what I have to lose.  I came back rested, relaxed, feeling loved by all the amazing people who moved heaven and earth to just spend time with me, with a new perspective on what I needed to do.  This was good, as hubby was still ragefully angry. So much so that he wasn’t home when I returned, and when I saw him the next day, it was for 1.5 hours with the kids, and then he stormed out when I asked if he would read to our eldest before bed.  I saw him again five days later, when the entire polycule went out with all our kids. (Hubby, his girlfriend, her ex-husband, A, D, me and all our children).  It was the first time he met A, and he didn’t put in much effort. In fact, he didn’t put in much effort at parenting either.  He refused to hug me at the end of the night and it was very difficult for me to see him being affectionate with his girlfriend as they walked away from me and our children.

Add to this the fact that my eldest two children are not doing well with all the fighting.  Our eldest broke down after hubby stormed out the night after I returned from vacation and admitted to having heard hubby threaten divorce when she was listening at the door about a month ago.  A month.  She worried and obsessed about our issues for a month before talking to me.  She also told me that she talked to a babysitter about how “mommy and daddy have been fighting a lot because they both spend so much time with other friends and not each other.”  “But don’t worry mommy, I didn’t tell her that you have boyfriends and daddy has a girlfriend, just that you were friends.”  My little girl felt she needed to lie for me.  Felt she may get in trouble for talking to a trusted adult.  What kind of message have I sent my child if she feels she has to moderate herself when asking for support from a trusted adult? Talk about feeling like a colossal parenting failure.  Then, when we were on our way home from our night with the polycule, my second broke down when she realized daddy wasn’t coming home with us.  This is my second who is strong and fiercely independent and never stops joking and never talks about her feelings.  I cried my heart out the whole way home.  

There you have it.  The two major eye opening events of the past three weeks.  What do they mean?

Well, a fuck of a lot.

First, I need to step back.  I need to be kinder and more compassionate and more accepting of hubby and his feelings.  I need to apologize more and complain less.  I need to give him time and space and the ability to run away if he needs, until he’s processed his anger and healed the hurt and comes back to the table.  As he won’t even hug me unless all the stars align, it means I have to be patient and nurture the little bit of hope I have that we can fix things like you would incubate a fertilized egg under a heat lamp.  It’s hard.  I’m not perfect.  Choosing the right words is hard.  Not reacting and defending and rationalizing is hard.  But I’m learning.  Learning to just say sorry.  Learning to just listen.  Learning to let go of my very real concerns until he can actually hear them. It’s hard for me to not be able to feel my feelings and have the person responsible for them acknowledge his role.  It’s hard making myself available to him and having him choose to be elsewhere.  But it’s the right thing to do for us.

Secondly, in the meantime, I have beautiful children who are suffering and I didn’t even notice.  They need me. They need me to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight.  They need me there so they can talk about their concerns and their fears and their successes and failures. They need me to be their safe place to cry and to talk and to laugh and to love and to cuddle.  They, those beautiful children, are bearing the brunt of our inability to cope with our own choices.  We are failing at adulting and we are failing them.  So, while my hubby heals and hopefully works his way back to me, I’m going to be what my kids need.  I’m going to provide them the stability and love they have been missing.  I will never let them feel the way they have been feeling these last months again.

Why isn’t polyamory responsible?  Because it fucking isn’t.  Hubby and I fucked up communicating.  We fucked up prioritizing each other.  We lost sight of our love for each other and focused on being right.  None of those things have anything to do with polyamory. They all have to do with us being giant fucking morons.  Well, this moron is growing a brain and focusing on her family.  My family is my priority, specifically my kids.  What this means is that there will be less time for A and D in advance.  I’ll make more space in my life for hubby, even if he doesn’t want it.  I’ll spontaneously invite A and D over when I know hubby is going to be away when the kids are in bed.  But there will be far less going out and a lot more staying in.  And I’m so very happy with my choice. I just wish I could go back and smack me about three months ago, so I could have saved all of us this pain.  

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Author: Polyagony or Polyamory

In August 2016, after 10 years of being "happily" married, my husband and I decided to embark on a life embracing polyamory. This blog is about that adventure. It's a place for me to let out my thoughts and emotions, as we discover the good and the bad of the life we have chosen. Several months later, the path we have chosen has led us down different paths, farther and farther away from each other, but no less of an adventure. If anything interests you, I'd love your comments and feedback. Discussion and differing opinions are always welcome.

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