My marriage is over (failed polyamory) (self.polyamory)

{polyamory}

118 ups - 20 downs = 98 votes

Let me give you a little background:

I'm 45, male, a little over weight but in good shape, diabetic but it's well controlled. I'm fairly good looking.

My wife is 44, thin, generally healthy but has some chronic health issues. She looks much younger than her age.

We are wealthy but not fabulously so. We live an upper middle class lifestyle. There are no yachts or anything, but we could continue this lifestyle for the rest of our lives without ever working another day.

About 9 months ago, my wife changed jobs by moving to a different company. About 2 years ago, I left a highly paid executive position to become a university professor. Both of us love our new jobs.

About 6 months ago, my wife suggested opening our marriage and embracing polyamory. My wife and I were both virgins when we met and were monogamous. She said she wanted to sow some of the wild oats she never sowed in her youth. I am philosophically aligned with polyamory, so I was not overly reluctant.

The first weekend of openness, my wife contacted a recently divorced colleague from her former job. They went out to dinner. She called me after dinner and said she was going to his house and wouldn't be back that night. She ended up not coming home for two full days. A few weeks later, she went on a date with a much younger former colleague. Ever since, she calls the younger colleague FWB and the divorced colleague her "lover". She sleeps with one or the other of them at least once a week.

In contrast, I have not had a single date with the exception of one glass of tea at Panera with a woman from OKCupid. We don't know any other polyamorous couples, and my searches in forums have not received any replies. We live in a city with a million people, so they must be out there, but I can't find them. I am naturally introverted but not shy. I meet people in non-romantic situations easily. Neither my wife no I has ever spent time in bars, and neither of use has ever picked up a stranger. I am not a loser or a douche (I don't think).

I slightly feared abandonment. I think everyone must. I feared being replaced. Every fear came true. I developed erectile disfunction a few weeks after the relationship opened. It might have been the very first night, because my wife declined sex from me for at least 6 weeks after opening. No medicine has helped. Both my urologist and psychologist think I have repressed anger and feel emasculated. If I have anger, it must be very repressed because I don't conciously feel it.

My wife is still friendly with me. We talk a lot, but she is tired of hearing me "complain". She hasn't exactly said it but intimates that her new sex life is much more satisfying than her old. She sleeps in our bed most nights. She allows me to massage, caress, and masturbate her. She occasionally condescends to give my limp penis a few pats. I have not had an orgasm in her presence in at least 4 months, and the ED makes masturbation almost impossible for me. I am extremely sexually frustrated - that may contribute to my lack of dating success. I've been told women can sense it.

As I said. We talk a lot. I mentioned that I feel like her friend without benefits. She said my complaining is unattractive and not helping the situation. I went from confidently straddling the world of corporate power to feeling like a wimpy nerd. OK, I have always been a nerd.

I see no path other than divorce, and I doubt I will be happy after divorce. We have 3 teenage children. Dividing assets will be a mess. I feel like I will never be loved again. I feel like I have no value to women and am a terrible lover. I even asked if I was a terrible lover, and she wouldn't say no. There was an occasion when we took a bath together, I massaged her for an hour after. She said she was horny. She got dressed and drove to her FWB leaving me naked on the bed with my jaw hanging open.

We don't fight. We don't yell. I do have some jealousy, but it is not the primary emotion. The jealousy I have is not even about the sex exactly. It's about affection and time allocation. When my wife is at home, we are always busy with kids, chores, de-stressing from the day, etc. Her entire sexual appetite is fulfilled by her lover and FWB. I am jealous, but much more importantly, I am abandoned. She says all my feelings of inadequacy are my own, that only I can work on them, and they are unattractive.

The moral of the story: If you are a man who does not routinely turn down sexual advances from women, you are making a HUGE mistake to attempt polyamory. Even a 20+ year loving and affectionate marriage can not survive when both partners are theoretically poly but only one actually is. I feel like she threw away our marriage.

I can't believe my experience is all that uncommon.

201 comments submitted at 17:32:41 on Mar 23, 2014 by poly_failure

  • [-]
  • Libertyhawk3
  • 72 Points
  • 18:58:47, 23 March

Let me say this as clear as day; you are being neglected. Your partner is not interested in your needs or desires despite you attending to hers. You need to make a very serious stand on this, and when she says you are being codependent, remind her that all of your needs were met before opening up. This radical change in the attention she gives you has drastically impacted your life and we'll being, and in affect sabotaged your ability to date others. You were not out to replace each other, and that is what has happened. You're not even second fiddle; your a paycheck and domestic servant.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 126 Points
  • 18:13:08, 23 March

I... I don't like your wife. She's self-centered and inconsiderate.

I think it would be a mistake to go straight to divorce, because to her this is all new and shiny and she probably feels like she can have it all, forever. Depending on what kind of relationship you two form, there's a decent chance that she would be willing to make more concessions if she felt like the relationship was at risk - maybe she doesn't feel the risk. (There's also a decent chance that your relationship is dead, just unburied. That sucks, I'm sorry.)

What you can do right now, if you're still ready to invest some effort in this, is to set your boundaries. Tell her that what she's doing isn't working out with you, tell her your "price of admission", the minimum you ask of her if you're not to get a divorce right here, right now.

As for the ED, you've been hurt, man. That woman is acting in ways that are toxic to your sexuality, regardless of whether she realizes it or not. If things get better, it may take a long time to mend.

In that situation, there's no shame in trying cialis/viagra/levitra. Not on a long-term basis, just to get your mojo back. That first solid fuck after a long period of ED is ridiculously empowering and might do great things to your mood.

I'm thinking hiring a sex worker might also be good for your healing, because in my understanding the good ones double as capable therapists. I don't have experience with that though.

Either way, you're going through some hard times. I sincerely hope you're going to find your groove again, ideally with the woman you love.

  • [-]
  • infinitum17
  • 26 Points
  • 22:41:20, 23 March

Dude, this comment is the one you need to hear. Your situation sounds very similar to what I just went through, except for the fact that I am younger than you and childless. My wife and got together when we were young, we were each other's first. After several years of marriage, we tried poly for a while (joint idea and decision), she got a lot more action than I did, and eventually she realized she was dissatisfied with our marriage, even though we never fought, never yelled, there was very little jealousy, etc. It all sounds very familiar.

Here's what I have to say about it, with the benefit of hindsight: The poly was not the cause of our marriage falling apart, it was just a catalyst that helped her to realized something that she had been realizing for a while. We got together too young, she had never gotten to try out anybody else, and she asked herself, if she could pick again today, would she pick me? And the answer was no. Being with a couple other guys just helped her see that. And it sucked, because I was a wonderful husband, I really was. But she just wasn't that into me anymore. I don't blame her. You can't help how you feel. I imagine if I had been in the same situation, didn't love my spouse anymore (don't mistake good communication and getting along for love), wasn't attracted to her anymore, could/would/should I have done differently? At the end of the day, the answer was no. She had doubts for years leading up to all this, and I know that she really really tried and gave it her best shot to make it work, and it just wasn't going to work for her. So she left me. I was a complete wreck for several months, grieving, suicidal, had a lot of resentment. It was super painful, but in the end I recognize that it was the right thing for both of us, because she wasn't right for me anymore, either. She had changed. There's a reason that the statistics for people that get married young are so bad. There's a reason she asked to be allowed to see other men. Poly is not what's destroying your marriage. It's just an easy scapegoat for much larger, longstanding problems.

What I've concluded is that yeah, sometimes poly is the catalyst for people's relationships falling apart, but it's not the cause. The hard part is knowing when it's going to be that way and when it's actually just two people making a healthy decision to open up. I used to think it was knowable, but now I'm not so sure, because I thought I completely knew my wife and where her mind was at, but I was wrong. She tried to shield me from her doubts until she could no longer, and by then it was too late. Not that it was ever not too late—it was probably inevitable all along. :(

  • [-]
  • StephenJR
  • 72 Points
  • 19:31:20, 23 March

Dude polyamory only works if everyone respect and cares for each other. My primary checks in with me for each date. 99% of the time is a simple " hey I going to plan a date for tomorrow, you alright with that?" And my answer is almost always yes. But sometimes it isn't and we talk about it. And she has cancelled dates for the sake of my feelings. It seems like your wife isn't respecting you.

  • [-]
  • batgirlisawesome
  • -51 Points
  • 22:13:05, 23 March

Couple privilege....why should she cancel dates for the sake of your feelings? Doesn't seem like she's respecting her other partners... Or maybe you are more open than poly, and don't consider the other dates to be "relationships."

  • [-]
  • MimsyGoblin
  • 33 Points
  • 22:41:36, 23 March

Whoa, I don't think it's fair to pull out the pitchfork on such little info. What if she was being genuinely neglectful? Relationships are like houseplants. You have to take care of them if you want them to grow. If the leaves start drooping on one, sometimes that means you give it a little extra tending and care. Also...people, like plants, have different things they need to grow and be happy. Not all relationships look the same because not everyone relates to one another in the same way.

  • [-]
  • Thingscannotgetworse
  • -2 Points
  • 08:47:31, 24 March

> Whoa, I don't think it's fair to pull out the pitchfork on such little info.

This would make sense if everyone hadn't already done so for the wife, on such little information. The guy has so much resentment and anger inside that he's unable to get an erection and you think he's telling the situation 100% like it is?

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 6 Points
  • 12:58:50, 24 March

>This would make sense if everyone hadn't already done so for the wife, on such little information. The guy has so much resentment and anger inside that he's unable to get an erection and you think he's telling the situation 100% like it is?

As someone with ED, I respectfully ask you to consider how hurtful and uneducated this comes off as. It doesn't come from resentment and anger, it comes from sexual insecurity. The kind of insecurity one may develop if, say, their significant other was constantly belittling or dismissing them.

  • [-]
  • bycurious
  • 8 Points
  • 13:15:12, 24 March

And also calling his every feeling and need "unattractive". :(

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 7 Points
  • 13:32:24, 24 March

Yeah, that's the part for me that takes this out of "obliviousness" territory and into manipulation and abuse.

  • [-]
  • bycurious
  • 5 Points
  • 14:04:37, 24 March

Based on OP's update, I would say you hit the nail on the head right there. It sounds to me like she's been abusive all along, but he's not recognized it and instead has focused on the outward projection of things being "perfect" up until the poly shit hit the fan.

  • [-]
  • Curiousitivity
  • -2 Points
  • 13:15:52, 24 March

Pat, pat there there :)

  • [-]
  • Thingscannotgetworse
  • -3 Points
  • 13:10:19, 24 March

Or the kind of sexual insecurity that comes from being all for polyamory until you don't get dates as fast as you might think you would, then you see your wife swanning off with her lovers and feel inadequate, perhaps? Feeling undesirable because you only get one date when you put yourself out there, maybe?

Both just as easily could be happening here, she could be right in that other comment, he could only be initiating sex as a way to keep her away from her partners. It's pretty obvious in that context that this resentment and anger came from insecurity (just like 99% of the problems in newly formed open relationships come from insecurity) you're just looking for a way to be a dick with that little uneducated swipe. ED comes from sexual insecurity, thanks for the "educated" heads up. Better tell all those smokers and people on antidepressants to be more confident sexually I guess.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 1 Points
  • 13:36:29, 24 March

I'm not sure how you read my comment, but I was trying my hardest to be as nice as possible over something that made me very angry. I feel like you've concluded the exact opposite.

I won't reply to the rest of your message because I don't like to get in a bad mood before the day even starts. Please try to be more considerate.

  • [-]
  • raziphel
  • 23 Points
  • 00:11:51, 24 March

It's called consideration. Have done fucking empathy.

  • [-]
  • StephenJR
  • 11 Points
  • 00:17:33, 24 March

I mean she asks me before even setting up the date. They see each multiple times a week. And the other partner does get an explanation of what is happening. And if they aren't feeling great, she goes and talks to them. I'm just saying she doesnt set up date regardless of my feelings.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 4 Points
  • 07:35:30, 24 March

You very much sound that you have 0 idea how polyamory works.

For starters, break down the word itself. Poly: multiple. Amory: love.

If you truly believe that people in a "multiple-love" relationship should not cancel dates for the sake of a partner's feelings, then you are ignorant.

  • [-]
  • searedscallops
  • 1 Points
  • 15:31:48, 24 March

This doesn't sound like couple privilege at all - it sounds like taking everyone's emotions into account.

  • [-]
  • batgirlisawesome
  • 71 Points
  • 17:54:28, 23 March

Getting massaged by you for an hour, then having her lover to satisfy her sexual needs? Stop letting yourself be pushed around.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 21 Points
  • 18:00:34, 23 March

What do you suggest? I'd didn't demand that she say home and let me impotently fuck her. What should I have done in that situation?

I have asked for more attention and affection. She says I need to be self contained and find ways to get my needs met that don't involve codependence (whatever that means).

I am starved for touch. Both of us always expressed affection primarily through touch. We have what I thought was a satisfying sex life with sex a couple times per week but sometimes twice in a day. My wife and I have many shared interests beyond the obvious like the kids. She remains my only real confidant.

I think she would be happy to preserve the status quo with our nice lifestyle, a safe and welcoming home base, and exciting outside lovers. She basically says that she has never been happier, and it is selfish for me to try and constrain her happiness. She says I need to go out and make myself happy.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 13 Points
  • 22:18:42, 23 March

Oh, and another note on Pickup:

There are misogynistic aspects of that community. It's somewhat understandable (though it is still inexcusable), as the community is (mostly) a boy's club and there are a lot of frustrated or emotionally injured guys in there.

Steer away from the negative aspects.

There are very pro-sex, pro-woman, pro-feminist, pro-queer, pro-awesome parts to that community as well. Owen Cook is a great leader in the community who has evolved over time as well.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • 9 Points
  • 18:25:48, 23 March

For your purposes, if you talk, think, or act like your happiness is dependent on your wife then that is "codependence" and is bad for both of you.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 29 Points
  • 18:41:39, 23 March

Well then, I am codependent.

Here's a sample conversation.

Me: "I'm going to take a shower. Would you like to join me?"

Wife: "No. I have to make sure daughter completed her homework."

Me: "I'll do that after the shower. I'd really like to enjoy the feeling of you in my arms. I'd love to wash your hair the way you like."

Wife: "I'll have a shower at lover's house."

Me: "Oh? I didn't know you had plans tonight."

Wife: "That's why I have to get daughter sorted now - before I go"

Me: "I'm feeling neglected. I'd really appreciate it if you set aside some time for us."

Wife: "I'm with you all the time. I want to go enjoy fill in the non-sexual activity with lover. I've been looking forward to it all week."

Me: "Will you come home before midnight? I'd like to make love to you tonight."

Wife: "Not tonight. I'm not sure when I'll get home. It's been a long week and I'm not in the mood."


Next morning:

Me: "Good morning. What time did you get home?"

Wife: "I slipped into bed about 1:00. I'm dead tired."

Me: "Did you have a good time?"

Wife: "Absolutely. I planned to leave earlier, but he got hard again and we had another round before I left."

  • [-]
  • JaydeRaven
  • 4 Points
  • 15:04:07, 24 March

> Me: "Oh? I didn't know you had plans tonight." > Wife: "That's why I have to get daughter sorted now - before I go" > Me: "I'm feeling neglected. I'd really appreciate it if you set aside some time for us."

She is NOT communicating well with you. You should have been aware of her plans before she was basically heading out the door. You might need to talk to her about setting some ground rules - make certain nights YOUR date nights and a general 24 hour notice of her having other plans - obviously, there can be exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb, she should tell you 24 hours in advance that she has a date planned as basic respect. I highly recommend finding a poly or kink friendly relationship therapist.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • 6 Points
  • 18:44:43, 23 March

Are you happy for her?

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 35 Points
  • 18:53:08, 23 March

Honestly? No. After that conversation, I drove to work in a bad mood. I mostly forgot about everything as my mind focussed on work. At the end of the day, I suggested that wife and kids and I all go out for Thai food. She agreed. We had a nice meal, but the whole time I was thinking: "She wasn't in the mood for sex with me, but she had sex at least twice last night with her lover."

  • [-]
  • lulimay
  • 37 Points
  • 19:09:47, 23 March

You're scared of losing this relationship because you think you'll never find love again, but... I'm not convinced you have love now. At least if the marriage ends, you'll have a chance at happiness. The sexual component of this marriage is over. I'm very sorry.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 18 Points
  • 19:22:55, 23 March

I'm sad to say that I agree. I'm getting to the point where I no longer even want sex with her.

  • [-]
  • demiankz
  • 11 Points
  • 20:36:19, 23 March

First, talk to a sex-sympathetic lawyer. Not someone who will castigate your wife for her actions, but someone who will support you for yours.

And/or, as suggested by Password, start seeing a sex worker. A good one. Your libidos are at opposite ends of the planet and you need someone who actually wants to have sex with you. This isn't a small thing. It's a big deal and that is/was good advice.

Good luck, man.

  • [-]
  • ljuvlig
  • 8 Points
  • 06:01:58, 24 March

"See a sex worker" is terrible advice in a possible divorce situation. Sets him up to be at fault.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 1 Points
  • 13:03:25, 24 March

>And/or, as suggested by Password

blush

I am but a single young man, it's always nice to hear that I'm headed somewhere.

  • [-]
  • lulimay
  • 5 Points
  • 21:23:06, 23 March

You will find love again. I know it doesn't feel that way now.

  • [-]
  • TheOneDoc
  • 5 Points
  • 20:57:34, 23 March

Sorry to say it but that's what your little friend figured out way before you.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 6 Points
  • 07:29:55, 24 March

I don't agree with this attitude at all. It's arrogant and judgmental.

Successful poly relationships are literally what that word means - "poly: multiple". The love and affection is shared. All partners work out how to meet the needs of each other.

Just for starters, his wife is not meeting his needs. Only her own and worse, at the expense of his needs and even at the expense of her own health "I'm dead tired" (referring to poly_failure's reply below).

Further, there is no relationship being had between polyfailure and his wife's lovers. There should at least be a strong friendship between polyfailure and these other men (I'm just assuming they are men for simplicity). These other men should be wanting to meet the needs of everyone. Polyamory is not something for one person to get their rocks off at the expense of others.

tldr: polyfailure's situation is not polyamory. It is more along the lines of an open relationship between friends with benefits. SevenAugust, batgirlisawesome, and others with dismissive replies, I'll just be blunt here. You should be supportive of polyfailure in this thread and should feel ashamed at your lack of support. By your attitudes it does not sound like you guys know how to run a morally acceptable poly relationship of your own.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • -1 Points
  • 16:02:42, 24 March

He and his wife are married. It is incumbent upon them to discuss this. If they have not, it is a failure on both their parts, but not grounds for a divorce. Grounds for a break up with a lover, sure, but not a twenty year marriage.

I feel judged by your comment and so issue my own: you sound as if you don't know how to hold together a real life marriage.

  • [-]
  • DrLamLam
  • 2 Points
  • 16:20:51, 24 March

I dunno if anybody should be taking your advice since you can't follow your own:

You said the problem lies inside OP, he is responsible for his own feelings. In that case, so are you. If you feel judged by the comment, that is something you need to own, not dole out in return.

Regardless of what advice you're giving, and whether I agree with the advice itself, the fact that you can't actually follow your own advice or see the contradiction is enough to make me question the value of your advice.

OP sounds like he's tried talking. If, in fact, he has tried and tried to talk to his wife and she shuts him down by saying that his insecurities and negative feelings are "unattractive" and in the way, then no, he hasn't failed, she has. Marriages between two people require BOTH those people to make an effort and I daresay his wife has not made an effort at communication. Feelings happen, sometimes they feel really inconvenient, like damn I'd like to go see so and so but my husband is upset over things, we need to talk. But then the point is, WE TALK. And I give up my date or whatever to figure out why my husband is upset. I don't leave a massage by my husband and go get my junk serviced by my lover.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 1 Points
  • 16:27:36, 24 March

Wow, that's quite the judgment and you've really raised the ante.

In fact I've held together a real life marriage under many pressures all at once, and it's been getting better. Open relationship, swinging, health problems, money stress, problems with other family members, suicide attempts, you name it. All the while overall staying happy and feeling great that we support each other.

I've been through some problems. And I'm sure all of us have. I see that as a reason to be supportive of people like the OP.

Edit: Also, I'll apologize for interjecting that you may not be able to run a poly relationship of your own. Of course, everyone runs them their own way that works for themselves and their partners.

But that's my point here, we should listen to the OP because his relationship and problems are his own and defined by their individual needs. I really don't think codependency is a valid criticism and could only be confusing and unhelpful. Polyamory shouldn't be about trying to spread thin a finite amount of love, it should be about figuring out your own boundaries for how much you have to spread around in a way that's fulfilling for everyone involved. If one finds oneself spreading the love thin, then everyone is going to eventually be unhappy and a change should be made. However many partners it takes for things to start getting "thin" is to each his own. Maybe some can only manage one partner, others 2, other rare superhumans infinity. And it's not just about individual ability, it's about how everyone can support and increase everyone else's ability to spread the love. It's a N-way street between every pair, triple, ... Nth group of people in a poly life.

Complex and hard to to do. Everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt and sympathy for how difficult this is to manage especially when living in a monogamous society.

At least that's my idealistic viewpoint.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • 1 Points
  • 17:05:08, 24 March

I support OP, I also disagree with the majority opinion that divorce is the right approach to this struggle.

  • [-]
  • DrLamLam
  • 2 Points
  • 16:23:08, 24 March

I agree each person is responsible for their own happiness. That's why my marriage works, my husband is responsible for his, and I am responsible for mine.

That said, we are both capable of hurting the other since, you know, we're in a relationship and that makes us uniquely vulnerable to the actions of the other in a way we aren't to strangers. Because of that, we have to be aware of how our actions affect the other. Running off on a date may be about my "happiness" but it sure could hurt husband, say, if he's got a really bad flu with a super high fever.

I guess it's the difference between co-dependence and inter-dependence.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • 0 Points
  • 16:36:16, 24 March

It sounds like you and your husband deserve each other. It also sounds to me like OP and his wife deserve each other, even as they are together currently failing to communicate.

  • [-]
  • almostdriedup
  • 32 Points
  • 18:27:58, 23 March

Failure has nothing to do with poly, your wife just used that as an out. She was already frustrated with something in the marriage.

  • [-]
  • bycurious
  • 3 Points
  • 13:55:10, 24 March

She has a lot of soul-searching to do, at the least. She was afraid she was missing out on something by being monogamous with the only lover she'd ever had (which I can totally sympathize with), but instead of exploring those feelings safely and responsibly, she's been completely reckless and will lose the best thing she's ever had because of it.

OP is completely justified in his feelings, but there is a lot he can do to take responsibility for his own happiness (as she suggested, in a careless and callous way, but also true for the fact that she can't be trusted with his love). I am in the same boat as both of them, in many ways. OP, get out there and start taking care of yourself. She has stomped on your heart and you need to pick up the pieces. Hugs to you.

  • [-]
  • treehugginggranola
  • 27 Points
  • 18:46:00, 23 March

I have been in a poly relationship for about six months (we are ten years together) and I also had a very similar feeling when we started. We do seasonal work and were in a very small town over the Summer, greatly overpopulated by fit raft guides, mountain climbers, and the like, while the choice of ladies was pretty slim. Due to the small town we were also trying to keep it under wraps somewhat which made it even more difficult and awkward to approach any possible lovers.

So of course she goes out and finds three different guys in the first couple months, while my attempts at the two girls in town I was attracted to were not met with open arms, by any means. So I also started to feel like I had lost my touch and was really not enjoying it as it felt like it was turning into a competition and she had a huge head start. It was really hard to deal with, and to rationalize my defensive emotions.

The only thing that got me through all of this was the openness and understanding of my SO, and her support and feedback when I expressed my frustrations to her. If your partner doesn't want to to give you the time or emotional support to make your relationship last, then I fear you may be right in the assumption that it may lead to divorce.

The only possibility of redemption I see is that you ask her to go back to a monogamous relationship for as long as you need to work out what is causing your ED and underlying sexual frustration. If she is not willing to do that then she is no longer the supportive wife you once knew. The fact that she left you in the middle of an intimate moment to go see one of her secondary partners is a pretty good indication that she may be too far gone, but hopefully she can bring herself back to consciousness long enough to see how much she truly values you and wants to make sure that you are also happy.

  • [-]
  • Vanbone
  • 17 Points
  • 00:18:16, 24 March

If she has feelings for her other lover, I think this is a terrible thing to ask. My SOs ex did that to her, and I really don't think she's gotten past the anguish of trying to leave someone she was in love with. It destroyed her marriage, among other things.

It seems to me like the true issue is that she's refusing to make time for OP and being openly derisive at his requests for it, as if seeking time for your marriage were a weakness. Hopefully she may come around to the threat staring her in the face.

The thrill of a new relationship is one of the most enrapturing experiences in life, and I imagine from her end - only one relationship or sexual partner before now - it must be very difficult not to fall into that rush, even at the cost of her marriage and home life. I can only hope she manages to see that she needs to, if she wants to keep that life.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 9 Points
  • 12:54:11, 24 March

>The thrill of a new relationship is one of the most enrapturing experiences in life, and I imagine from her end - only one relationship or sexual partner before now - it must be very difficult not to fall into that rush, even at the cost of her marriage and home life. I can only hope she manages to see that she needs to, if she wants to keep that life.

It sounds like she didn't do her research, now she's caught in NRE and it's exacerbating all sorts of abusive behaviors.

  • [-]
  • JaydeRaven
  • 1 Points
  • 14:59:52, 24 March

Wow. I understand the desire to support the OP, but really? So any feelings that the other partners may have developed for OP's wife and visa versa mean nothing? What if these partners more than just "sex toys" as your post basically relegates them to?

To the OP - this is the best way to GUARANTEE a divorce. If you give your wife an ultimatum, you are very clearly telling her that her feelings, her partners' feelings, basically, everyone else involved at all are less important than you and your feelings. While I do agree that your wife is not being very mature about her actions (based on your side of the story and we all know there are three sides to every story - yours, her's, and the unvarnished truth!), by flipping the coin and making it all about you to the utter disregard of everyone else involved is the best way to lose it all, including your own self-regard.

I do think that you and your wife should see about meeting with a poly-friendly therapist and try to work through your feelings as well as her lack of compassion for you (which may just be her being blinded by NRE). There is a lot of work to be done here, but I do not think that your relationship is dead… I just think she needs to remember it also needs attention and you need to figure out how to make it through your dry spell. Have you joined any of the poly groups on Facebook? Great place to meet other poly folks (maybe nearby) and perhaps, get your engine revving again. ;)

Good luck.

  • [-]
  • treehugginggranola
  • 2 Points
  • 15:18:19, 24 March

I never said anything about an ultimatum nor blatant disregard for anyone's feelings. I specifically said ask her to be monogamous for a bit so they can focus better on their relationship. I did not say tell her to or leave, that is an ultimatum.

If she and her lovers can't respect the fact that this is seriously negatively affecting him, being in the primary relationship, then they are the ones being selfish. I really care for my poly partners, love them dearly. But they and I know that my relationship with my live-in SO comes first, and that if something were to happen where either of us became uncomfortable being polyamorous, we will step back to monogamy and figure out what isn't going well between us so that we can then open back up in a mindful, healthy manner. That isn't to say I would stop communicating with them altogether, we just wouldn't have the sexual aspect for awhile. I couldn't just suddenly exclude them from my life, and I don't think she should have to either.

If anything, demanding to keep these other lovers as that, as you suggest, knowing how it is negatively affecting him makes them just sex toys. If they can't maintain some sort of relationship without the sexual aspect, that is all they are.

  • [-]
  • wildly_curious_1
  • 48 Points
  • 19:27:43, 23 March

This isn't failed poly, this is an incredibly selfish partner, poor communication, and you with a SERIOUS self esteem issue.

Get to counseling before you do anything. You need to figure out what it is in you that is allowing yourself to be treated like this. I speak as someone who spent ten years in an abusive relationship where I desperately tried to please my partner instead of refusing to allow myself to be treated like that.

What you allow is what will continue. Get yourself to therapy. Now.

Also, being able to maintain your lifestyle without ever working another day? That's upper class. Not upper middle class. Upper middle class is "we have to keep working, but at least we can pay for all of our kids' college educations so that they won't have to work for more than spending money or take out loans."

  • [-]
  • jaeger_meister
  • 5 Points
  • 02:49:01, 24 March

I'm sorry. Even though I agree with you, I fail to see how making distinctions between what is upper- and upper middle class is really constructive in this instance. It strikes me as a little insensitive that you would nit-pick such a non-essential detail. I may be over-empathizing with his situation and projecting my own relationship issues onto his story, and thus am finding your comment about class a little too personally disrespectful than I should be (even though I think you're totally right). I'm guessing the OP came here for relationship advice, not scrutiny of his self-identification. By doing so I think you've failed to add to the conversation and detracted from your otherwise legitimate advice about seeking professional help. tl;dr: I wish you hadn't mentioned the class thing. It may be true but I don't think it's relevant.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 26 Points
  • 19:41:54, 23 March

Wife just read my post and this thread.

Her first words were "You never gave polyamory a chance."

I asked, "Should we get divorced?" Her response was to say I let her down. She asked me to find somewhere else to sleep tonight.

She also said the dialog sample I provided was one sided, and she had plans with her lover for a whole week. She says she told me and I should have remembered. She says my asking for sex that night was just a ploy to get her to break her planned evening with her lover. She says it was selfish of me.

She says she doesn't remember leaving me to meet FWB after the massage.

I'll look into divorce on Monday.

  • [-]
  • Weirdsauce
  • 34 Points
  • 23:46:12, 23 March

Don't you DARE let her bully you into sleeping elsewhere. If you do, it's as good as an admission of wrongdoing on your part. It will hurt and you will grieve like never before but stand your ground. You are not wrong in this and there is no "her side is valid." And do not let her gaslight you. She remembers and my gut says she's been manipulating you for her own ends for quite some time- and now that it's out, she needs to put the blame on you so that she doesn't have to be accountable.

  • [-]
  • chelly56
  • 22 Points
  • 20:20:08, 23 March

She is not practicing ETHICAL Polyamory. You both should be having discussions about your and her comfort level . You both should be discussing boundaries and agreements. It sounds like she wants to slut around or be a swinger. Which is fine but she needs to stop calling what she is practicing polyamory, it isn't. I have been with my poly lover for almost 16 years. Her behavior is not ok. I would also check out the book Ethical Slut lots of great information .

  • [-]
  • chaos_bolt
  • 19 Points
  • 19:55:45, 23 March

> I'll look into divorce on Monday.

Sounds like the right decision. Best of luck.

  • [-]
  • bitbucket87
  • 19 Points
  • 00:36:14, 24 March

YOU do not find somewhere else to sleep tonight, or ever. SHE can sleep on the couch or the spare bedroom or move out or whatever. The biggest mistake men make in divorces is falling in to the thinking that they should be the ones to leave.

  • [-]
  • bycurious
  • 2 Points
  • 14:01:16, 24 March

> The biggest mistake victims of abuse make in divorces is falling in to the thinking that they are the ones being abusive, and abusing themselves in the process.

FTFY

  • [-]
  • DrLamLam
  • 27 Points
  • 21:33:11, 23 March

YOU let HER down? Talk about projection.

Dude, wander over to /r/NarcissisticAbuse and check it out, she may be a narcissist, and this sounds like gaslighting and projecting on her part.

Trust your gut: if she says she told you and you should've remembered, but you don't feel that, she very well may be lying. And when she says she "doesn't remember" leaving, trust your gut when you remember she did.

  • [-]
  • bycurious
  • 1 Points
  • 13:59:14, 24 March

Ha, I posted before reading this. Great minds think alike! The whole "remembering" thing sounds just like my N ex - accusing me of not telling him things, whilst he "forgot" everything I did tell him.

  • [-]
  • AnswerDog
  • 13 Points
  • 22:11:29, 23 March

I'm sorry about what you're going through. There is no way to fix a relationship when you're the only one trying to make an effort. No matter what she says, it sounds like you did your best to make everyone happy, but it was her who didn't want to compromise, or even discuss the issues to begin with, and calling them "complains" was not fair to you. Remember in polyamory, everyone has the right to feel what they do, and they shouldn't be looked down upon for feeling them.

  • [-]
  • dreddit_reddit
  • 13 Points
  • 00:58:04, 24 March

Do you see a pattern? It is always your fault, not hers....

  • [-]
  • EvilTOJ
  • 11 Points
  • 21:36:14, 23 March

So her reaction to her selfish behaviour was to blame you for it? Lovely.

  • [-]
  • addctd2badideas
  • 9 Points
  • 01:18:05, 24 March

Your marriage should end, not because of poly or "failure" but because you've got a partner who doesn't respect you or have empathy. Drop her, get some self-respect and self-esteem and find someone who is caring and loving.

As Dan Savage would say, "Dump the Motherfucker Already." That way, you're the one showing her that you won't tolerate her emotional tomfoolery.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 8 Points
  • 22:54:40, 23 March

Also, it doesn't sound to me that you've given up on polyamory necessarily, but rather that you are very frustrated with how it's going down in your relationship, and that many people on reddit who do polyamory are agreeing with your frustration.

Note that perhaps you are offering a biased view, but that's to be expected because you are yourself and see things through your eyes. But that doesn't mean your feelings are invalid by any means.

I think these are important points to bring up to your SO. =\

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 7 Points
  • 22:00:55, 23 March

What the fuck man

What the fuck

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 4 Points
  • 07:48:32, 24 March

You let her down??? What in the world - she basically abandoned you and she was having fun, and you let her down? And then she had the gall to ask you to sleep somewhere else that night?

You sound like a nice and good person and she sounds selfish at your expense. There is nothing inherently wrong with selfishness, but if her response to seeing your inner feelings was this...then she is overly selfish.

  • [-]
  • manginamonologues
  • 14 Points
  • 19:46:44, 23 March

Divorce this manipulative twat. She is also a moron. Tell her to find somewhere else to sleep permanently.

  • [-]
  • JaydeRaven
  • 2 Points
  • 15:15:09, 24 March

I don't think you should leave the house. Sorry. No. She is also at fault in this if even half of what you said was accurate. She is not being considerate of your feelings nor being respectful of your relationship. She needs to work WITH you on this instead of trying to kick you out of the house.

(BTW, the best tactic in a divorce is to get the other spouse out of the house - it sets up the line for getting the spouse who remained to get primary custody and retain the house. DO NOT LEAVE the house. If she does not wish to be in the same household as you, then she can find somewhere else to sleep.)

  • [-]
  • GrynetMolvin
  • 4 Points
  • 22:14:53, 23 March

With the risk of being an arm chair psychologist [I might have gone a bit overboard; my apologies if so]:

You two are stuck in a communication pattern where you are talking past each other, both carrying feelings of hurt and anger, and failing to listen to each other.

Both your dialog sample and what you posted here screams of being stuck in uncomfortable emotional situations, which you (both of you) are not able to step out of.

If you still believe that there is a part of you that loves her, and believes in that there is a part of her that loves you, do not divorce yet. Get help: a third party that can facilitate communication and listening. Even if you end up getting a divorce, that divorce will be far less messy if there is a mutual understanding and acceptance of why it is needed. And it just might not be needed.

Your post is filled with a lot of assumptions of what your wife thinks, and what her motivations for having her new lovers are. As a starting point, and if you believe you have the strength, I would suggest to take an evening and ask her about what she thinks, feels, and carries around. Do so without talking about yourself, without responding, and with as much focus as possibly to just listen and take in her point of view, and empathize with her. While what she is doing is clearly hurting you, and I am not saying that she is in the right, understanding her better is necessary if you want to resolve this as amiably as possible.

(oh, and as a ps: look up a sex therapeut for your ED. There are established treatment/behavioural therapy protocols for getting over the negative spiral/triggers that can cause psychological ED - I had it for half a year before things started working again).

  • [-]
  • bycurious
  • 2 Points
  • 13:58:24, 24 March

> Her response was to say I let her down.

That is an extremely narcissistic statement to make. She cannot see how she let you down?

> She asked me to find somewhere else to sleep tonight.

No! That is total bullshit! She has plenty of other places to sleep. How dare she tell you to "find" somewhere else. You never left the marriage - she did!

She sounds terribly abusive to me, and you sound abused in so many ways. Please stop by /r/narcissisticabuse, and please take care of yourself. Therapy sounds a good place to start. She absolutely cannot kick you out of your own home!! Don't let her!!!

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 20 Points
  • 18:16:24, 23 March

There's a lot of things in your post that imply a sketchy power dynamic. Ask yourself if you feel like your wife is manipulating you, or engaging in abusive behaviours to make you insecure.

  • [-]
  • Weirdsauce
  • 17 Points
  • 20:55:05, 23 March

I cannot express how deeply i empathize with you. My situation, while different, has some significant overlap with yours.

My ex, after being with her other lover (and forcing me to accept them becoming roommates when i lived 2.5 hours away), ended our relationship because she wanted to become a swinger, she became his submissive (and made it clear to me that dynamic meant more to her than her relationship to me- and she'd known him for less than half the time that we'd been together) and decided her "femininity" and "self actualization" (her words) meant she had the right to fuck anyone she wanted and that all i was entitled to from her was honesty, "vanilla sex" and nothing else.

And that's the condensed version. I've left the most fucked up parts out of it.

Here's why i empathize with you- She is dismissive of your emotional needs. She has also changed the role you have in her life to that of a FWB (i really hate buzzwords and buzzword phrases) and worst of all, and where she appears to be exactly like my ex, she seems to believe "ethics" means, "I get to do what i want with who i want and you have no right to have a say in anything," and as long as she's honest, then she's ethical. If she believes that's what freedom is and doesn't understand ethics, responsibility or consequence as related to freedom, then she is not an adult- period.

And if she can't distinguish between love and being fucked, then she's profoundly broken.

I spent months feeling increasingly isolated and abandoned because my ex didn't have the integrity or ethics that decency demanded of her. Just because she or your wife calls their behavior, "polyamory" doesn't make it so- that's just a rationalization they use to justify their unethical and cruel selfishness.

Here are some of the things i have learned since and if they apply to you, i hope you'll make use of them.

  • Her behavior is unethical and wrong. Do not let her lack of ethics and maturity question yours.

  • You have the right to discuss and establish boundaries. Every relation, no matter the nature, has boundaries and expectations. If she doesn't want to discuss or honor agreements, it's because she refuses to acknowledge your emotional needs- and as with the above statement, that's a reflection of the content of HER character, not yours.

  • As with my situation, it sounds like your wife believes polyamory is about quantity and not quality. Simultaneous to this, she appears to be using you as her stability- and it seems she believes that THAT will be your role and you are not to question that. I hope you will call her out on that.

  • If you end up with a divorce, do not balk at letting her, your friends, her friends, your family, her family, etc... know why. Shame thrives in silence, so refuse to be silent.

You do what you need to do to preserve yourself, mate. If you have to harden yourself for a while, do it. She may not like it but your self preservation has nothing to do with her. Talk to someone (a professional, preferably) that will be honest with you and help you maintain some objectivity. If they're judgmental about non-monogamy, find someone else.

  • [-]
  • Chladaigh
  • 15 Points
  • 20:44:36, 23 March

This is not "failed poly"... this is your wife having issues that are far deeper than the poly lifestyle. No communication, her not attending to your needs and only thinking about herself is what is leading you to divorce.Poly is all about being open, honest, communicating and LOVE. I am not saying she doesnt care for these other people, but it sounds to me like she is using poly as a coverup for her actions and behaviors.

That being said, I think you sound like a wonderful guy, and you don;t deserve to be pushed around. You should come first and foremost being( what I assume is primary). I am not saying she should disregard everyone else becasue you come first but as a woman in a poly marriage my husband comes first, in all tings. His sexual satisfaction, his affcetions, his intimacy, whatever he needs from me, comes first. Also, we communicate and have schedules. I always laughed about poeple who had schedules until I realized how beneficial they are. My husband would kick my ass if I ever came home and told him I was horny and then left him there.He would also kick my ass if I did not come home for 2 nights( not literally but still). I could never fathom treating my husband like that.

  • [-]
  • Loolyn
  • 0 Points
  • 13:45:13, 24 March

> You should come first and foremost

This would depend on the relationship dynamic, but as a principle, I very much disagree. I don't think anyone should be guaranteed to be put first every time (that seems to me more like swinger arrangements than poly). Feelings for people change over time and you just can't guarantee "I'm always going to love you the most and you'll always be the most important person to me."

What she SHOULD be doing is treating him like a partner, listening to and reassuring him (not calling him unattractive for problems she helped cause.) She should be giving him consideration and affection if she actually does love him. Her actions, however, prove that she doesn't.

Putting him first every time wouldn't solve this -- treating him like a person she actually cared about and wanted to spend time with would've gone a hell of a lot farther, I think.

  • [-]
  • jonk0731
  • 13 Points
  • 17:44:04, 23 March

I'm sorry man

  • [-]
  • HotDanggg
  • 7 Points
  • 19:28:44, 23 March

This sounds like such a loaded question, likely over the head of pepole youll find help. I think speaking to a professional would benefit you more (I think you said you already are).

My first reaction to your thread would be that your wife is kind of a bitch and is emotinionally abondoning you. Without knowing either of you, its too hard of a situation to asses.

Edit: I know this might be a crazy thought, but have you thought of hiring a escort? Get some ED medication from your doctor and get a nice girl. YOu dont even have to go in with the intention of having sex. Maybe the simulation of affection will arouse you and the actual act of sex, if that comes up, can help get you past your mental barriers.

YOu sound like a nice gentleman, I feel bad for the situation youve found yourself in.

  • [-]
  • Vindalfr
  • 12 Points
  • 18:34:33, 23 March

I'll be honest, OK Cupid seems terrible for Poly men. I would highly suggest looking for your local version of some kind of sex positive group, whether it be through your friendly neighborhood sex shop or some fetish club or another. I'm a decade younger, in a larger city... and I just got a very promising message from a younger married woman.

That said, I can still empathize, because, while I've had varying success in meeting people, I know how desolate the dating pool can be for attached men. There's no structure, no rulebook, no safe answers and you have to take each person as they come.

I don't necessarily think that its going to become magically easier once you become unattached, but in terms of numbers, your potential dating partners should increase.

However, I will say that your partners withdrawn posture with regards to your sex life is... less than ideal. Even though my fiancee has an established boyfriend/lover, she does try to keep up to date on what is happening on my end and is extremely mindful of my feelings, when things are a bit dry or uneventful. I'm also mindful of her insecurities in our relationship and with her boyfriend.

That said, we only got to this place by taking our time. It doesn't hurt that her boyfriend has become a good friend of mine, but he also knew from the word go that there was an existing relationship that he was integrating into and that we were going to push at one boundary at a time, starting with dating with pre-set, immovable parameters. Now, on their end, their physical and emotional relationship has no negative impact on my physical and emotional relationships and it is something for which I am happy for them.

Not to say that your marriage has a reset button, but it is possible that you tried to move to many boundaries of your relationship at once and it has blown back mostly on you... and frankly, its hard for her to empathize with you because things are going so well for her... she's become untethered from your reality.

I'm sorry its turned out this way for you and wish there was more that could be done to help.

  • [-]
  • girl1984
  • 7 Points
  • 19:00:15, 23 March

My husband and boyfriend have both done well on okcupid.

  • [-]
  • addctd2badideas
  • 4 Points
  • 01:14:38, 24 March

OKCupid is okay if you know how to make it work for you. It takes a lot of effort frankly.

  • [-]
  • beezdix
  • 8 Points
  • 19:17:50, 23 March

> OK Cupid seems terrible for Poly men.

I always see this here and, relatedly, see on /r/OkCupid how terrble OKC is for black guys. This is going to sound bad but I just have to say: As a black, poly guy I will say the rules apply even more, perhaps. In my case, I'm conventionally attractive, muscular, and highly educated. I do very, very well on OKC. Would I do better if I weren't poly and attached? Yes. Do I do as well as a similarly attractive poly woman? Surely not. Do I do far better than most of the single, non-poly guys on /r/OkCupid ? Yes I do. Poly guys (seeking women) have a higher hurdle to get over, it's true. But it's not "terrible" for poly men. It's not terrible for men either. But it's harder to be 'average' (or, lets face it, below 'average') on that site, and IRL, if you're a guy. Instead of telling poly men not to use the site, I would advise them to work on their profiles and to try to appear more attractive.

  • [-]
  • Vindalfr
  • 8 Points
  • 20:48:11, 23 March

Yes, dating "attractive" people is far easier if you are "attractive"

  • [-]
  • glittalogik
  • 4 Points
  • 22:52:49, 23 March

Horses for courses and all that - at a guess I'd say most guys have about the same luck on OkC as they do IRL. I wouldn't call myself conventionally attractive but I do appeal to a certain demographic, and while I don't ever approach on OkC, I updated my profile (well, my life) from single to poly/available a few months back and the number of women approaching me has doubled or tripled. Half of my self-summary is a rant about tea, so make of it what you will.

  • [-]
  • myiuki
  • -1 Points
  • 00:35:23, 24 March

Poly woman seeking only a poly man here. I meet a new guy every week I think to see if there is chemistry (if our percent is 90% or higher, I usually have a second date)

If someone doesn't make a move to kiss or plan a fun activity, they are no longer candidates for romance/sex or friends.

Oh, and kino works on me. Touch me, hold me, rub my shoulders and I'll go for the kiss.

Age: current partner is 49, made out with a 64 year old dude this weekend, and a 31 year old last night.

Soooo thats my perspective, I'd just say keep trying.

  • [-]
  • beezdix
  • 5 Points
  • 00:49:44, 24 March

I'm not completely sure how this is a reply to what I wrote.

  • [-]
  • myiuki
  • 1 Points
  • 00:56:47, 24 March

Derp. It was supposed to be main thread response

  • [-]
  • Vindalfr
  • 2 Points
  • 07:47:41, 24 March

Oh, I'm still rolling with it, but I'm not going to ignore other avenues or approaches in favor of something that has yielded only limited results.

  • [-]
  • BenjaminJacobGrimm
  • 26 Points
  • 18:01:43, 23 March

>Even a 20+ year loving and affectionate marriage can not survive when both partners are theoretically poly but only one actually is.

No offense intended and I do feel for your situation, but my wife and I opened up our 15 year marriage 5 years ago, for 4 of those years I was technically monogamous and we still had a good sex life. I did wind up having a year-long relationship that recently ended, but at no time did I feel "emasculated."

You are making a blanket judgement with a sample size of one.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 17 Points
  • 18:04:10, 23 March

How did you feel for the 4 years you were monogamous?

Did your wife do anything to help you not feel emasculated? Did she do anything special to preserve a good sex life for/with you?

Did your wife do anything I can suggest to my wife?

Did you ever "complain" asking for more attention? Did she say your "complaints" were unattractive and not helping the situation?

The worst part for me is that we were always a very affectionate couple. I felt like the king of the world when we went out to dinner, held hands on walks, and made love. We had a slightly wild sex life. A few years ago, I masturbated her to orgasm on a crowded beach on the 4th of July. We placed a towel over her lap, and I slid my hand inside her bikini bottom. We went skinny-dipping in a nature preserve two summers ago. She always seemed to desire me.

  • [-]
  • Loolyn
  • 24 Points
  • 20:52:21, 23 March

My husband didn't have any additional partners for many many months after we opened. He felt bad about it. It was hard for him to be happy for me, because he felt like he'd basically always be monogamous to me even though he didn't want to be.

I tried to reassure him the best I could. We actually started having sex more because attention from others fed my libido. If he'd said any of the things you've said to your wife, I'd make sure not to invalidate his fears and make sure his needs from me were met.

Poly is not a race or about each person having the same amount of partners all the time. Sometimes one person will have only one partner. This is not why your relationship is failing, nor why you are having so many problems. Your wife is being selfish and heartless. She's probably making your worst fears of opening up come true. She's being a huge fucking bitch.

If you think your relationship is worth being saved, try finding a poly-friendly marriage counselor. She's fucking this all up big time with her super shitty attitude. Maybe show her this thread.

I'm so pissed off for you. Best wishes.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 3 Points
  • 07:41:30, 24 March

Yay, someone who is sympathetic to his plight! I was seriously disappointed and surprised in the lack of sympathetic people in this thread.

  • [-]
  • BenjaminJacobGrimm
  • 21 Points
  • 18:17:44, 23 March

See, poly is a two-way street and the single most important thing is communication, and a key part of that is not dismissing what your partner is concerned about.

From the start we laid down some loose ground rules including the right for either of us to talk to the other if they were concerned about our relationship or another one we were involved in.

I believe the biggest disconnect in your situation is communication. I'm not sure how you're approaching your wife with your concerns. It could be that the way you're presenting them could be off-putting. Or it could be simply that your wife for whatever reason doesn't want to deal with the situation.

  • [-]
  • Vanbone
  • 7 Points
  • 01:13:58, 24 March

I have a lot of sympathy for you. You seem like a caring person, trying hard to cope with a difficult situation.

One thing I hope you keep in mind is how it felt when the two of you first fell in love. It's as intoxicating an experience as any drug. We often refer to it as NRE (new relationship energy) and it can be a very difficult stage for any poly couple to navigate. The person engaged in a new romance can easily be swept up by it, and that NRE shine can make everything else seem dull by comparison. Your wife, having never experienced other romantic or sexual relationships, may be particularly susceptible to this.

I wish I had better advice to offer you. Best of luck.

  • [-]
  • Loolyn
  • 7 Points
  • 04:43:27, 24 March

Her behavior is far from getting swept up in NRE. He went from having sex with her a couple times a week, to not having sex with her in months and every time he tries to talk about his feelings she evades them, tells him they're wrong, tells him he's imagining things. I mean, WTF!? And then she reads this thread and tells him he just hasn't been trying hard enough when she won't even acknowledge his needs as her PARTNER.

She's disgusting.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 4 Points
  • 07:39:35, 24 March

Hm, the only one making a blanket judgment with a sample size of one is you.

If poly_failure feels emasculated, then he feels emasculated. It is not your place or business to say otherwise.

The only business you have a right to in this thread is to work towards an understanding of poly_failure's situation. Ask questions, consider what he is saying, take things step-by-step until you really understand. At no point should you launch harsh judgments, especially when your target is someone who has been hurt.

That process of working towards understanding another person is one of the basic polyamory skills. Being a poster in this subreddit you hopefully get what I mean.

  • [-]
  • Loolyn
  • 1 Points
  • 14:00:52, 24 March

Er, no. The OP stated that an inequality in partners is what caused his marriage to fail and basically cautioned that if you don't both find new partners at the very same time after you open up, the relationship is doomed to failure. He is very simply wrong in that assumption. His wife's behavior is what is causing him so many problems, and it's possible he would've been built up and satisfied if his wife had shown him any sort of consideration. It might be nit-picking, but the problem here isn't poly as he stated -- it's HER.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 4 Points
  • 14:50:36, 24 March

Exactly, I'm with you on all that. His wife's behavior is that she's not actually doing poly. She's just behaving badly and disrespectfully and calling it poly for her convenience.

I agree that poly itself isn't the problem. No one in their right mind could expect any poly relationship to work if they expect both partners to always find a new partner simultaneously. That just isn't physically, logically, probabilistically, or otherwise feasible to always expect.

Really, I agree with you here. Not sure exactly where you're getting it that I think poly itself is what doomed things.

Maybe you're pointing out this that I said? "That process of working towards understanding another person is one of the basic polyamory skills. Being a poster in this subreddit you hopefully get what I mean."

I was literally directing that all at BenjaminJacobGrimm in a facetious way. The point being communication and understanding of another is a necessary skill in poly, and he isn't being communicative by just saying "NUH UH! I wasn't emasculated so you aren't either!!!"

  • [-]
  • Loolyn
  • 1 Points
  • 14:58:28, 24 March

My disagreement was that you stated the OP wasn't making a blanket statement about what will and will not work in a poly relationship, but BenjaminJacobGrimm was by pointing out his counter-example. I don't get how Benjamin was making a blanket statement at all; it seems anecdotal to me.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 1 Points
  • 15:31:53, 24 March

It's a blanket statement to take a personal experience and decide that since there are superficial similarities "Your problem that is superficially similar to mine wasn't a problem, therefore yours isn't a problem!"

There's nothing to be gained by being dismissive to the OP like that. Any healthy relationship needs to have some degree of constructive and open communication. Poly relationship even more so because the numbers of interactions grows faster than the number of partners added; 2 partners = 1+1 = 2, 3 partners = 2+1 = 3, 4 = 3+2+1 = 6, 6 = 5+4+3+2+1 = 15. Interactions become very complex in a short time.

Likewise, any supportive and healthy discussion on a poly board about someone's problems needs to have open communication. Dismissiveness based on anecdote is the opposite of open communication. It's just naive and maybe even a little bit arrogant.

  • [-]
  • Loolyn
  • 1 Points
  • 16:05:50, 24 March

I guess I'm being nit-picky. Telling someone your thoughts and providing an anecdote doesn't translate to a blanket statement the same way as saying, "If you don't do poly this way, there's zero chance it'll work." There's an implied "I think" in Benjamin's statement, and he's not applying it across the board to all poly relationships, but rather to this one specific instance based on the information provided.

Again, nit-picky me. I don't really disagree with anything you've written except your use of that phrase.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 1 Points
  • 16:53:57, 24 March

Cool beans high five

You are the rare internet person who can have pleasant exchanges.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 4 Points
  • 11:45:31, 24 March

BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP AND A RELATIONSHIP THAT IS JUST STARTING OUT!!!!

She is making HUGE MISTAKES. I won't argue against that. However, the OP has included a picture of a good, long term relationship before opening up to poly. There is a huge difference between a good, long term relationship and one that is just starting out and right off the bat she's being a dick. If you just started the relationship.... yeah. Dump her. But this is different.

My story: Very similar. High school sweethearts. Best friends then... and still are today. She is my confidant and I am hers. Virgins when we got together and stayed monogamous for twelve years. This was partly due to religious beliefs... which had been ditched along the way. Both of us felt the need to experience something else. We had a good life together... we didn't fight or argue... and still don't.

However, when we first opened up to poly, we discussed it. We set down rules... and we dove in. Then.... my wife lost her mind for a while... up to and including completely breaking the rules and flat out cheating on me. Making many of the same comments that the OP's wife did... and quite frankly... the same statements that I have heard repeated here as ADVICE and I get downvoted for saying "Careful. That advice can be taken to an extreme."

"You are responsible for your own happiness."

"You can't control her life. She can make her own choices."

The truth is... this is all new to her. Its been years since she experienced NRE and she is completely out of what her frame of reference has been for... I am assuming is at least over a decade, maybe two, since they have teenage children. Yes... she has TEMPORARILY LOST HER MIND. But this will pass. She will regain perspective... sooner hopefully than later.

Thankfully my wife did gain perspective and slowed down enough to realize the mess that she had created in our own relationship. I too had been emasculated and was suffering from E.D. and the desperation made it so I could not meet anyone. (Dang it girls... your sensitivity to this is really fascinating and scary at the same time.)

Yes. She did damage to me and our relationship... and it took some time to recover from. But years of being together were not something we were just going to toss.... we worked through it. We opened lines of communication. When we came through the other side... we were better than we were before. We are now the couple that everyone else wants to be.

All this advice to "just divorce her for being a selfish bitch" seems to lack any sort of maturity or experience in a long term relationship that has had many good years behind it. A friend and a confidant is a hard thing to find in this world. You don't toss that because they got lost in something new and were emotionally unprepared for. It can be fixed. Yes... its going to take work. But that's what the best relationships require. Its not all about fun and fucking. Sometimes it means sticking with it through the bad.

For us... that was all 8 years ago and we are about to have our 20th anniversary. It took time... and now things are great between us. And yes... the E.D. is most definitely gone... no need for pills. It sucked going through that rough patch... but the state of our relationship now as to what it was before poly (which was good... and now so much better), but it was worth going through to have what we have now.

  • [-]
  • manginamonologues
  • 21 Points
  • 17:42:54, 23 March

I think you should crank out this divorce as quickly as possible. You'll be fine. Take a vacation. Hang out with friends. Try and relax a bit. Your wife sounds like an ass hole.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 16 Points
  • 18:14:00, 23 March

That doesn't sound right to me. He won't be fine if he breaks up with his high school sweetheart more than halfway through his life. Not anytime soon.

  • [-]
  • polarbz
  • 13 Points
  • 19:02:06, 23 March

He's not happy now. I don't think being divorced is going to make him any LESS happy. Might as well give life a shot.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • 5 Points
  • 02:00:26, 24 March

Yes, as a matter of fact divorce does tend to make you less happy.

  • [-]
  • manginamonologues
  • 6 Points
  • 18:30:36, 23 March

He will be fine. Leaving an ass hole is always good.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 10 Points
  • 18:33:33, 23 March

That's pretty black and white m8, relationship matters rarely are that clear-cut.

  • [-]
  • jacobman
  • 17 Points
  • 18:46:53, 23 March

He's being abused. Finding someone who appreciates him will be infinitely better, and that's much much more likely to happen if he's single. Unless you know a way to cure his polyamory dating woes, I don't see any way this could come close to a relationship that he benefits from. His wife doesn't care about his needs and she has already checked out of the relationship.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 7 Points
  • 21:53:27, 23 March

I agree, but I do think that in this case, his wife is being abusive and selfish. He is trying his best to be communicative and even went as far as to show her this thread. He is really opening up to her.

What does he get for it? She shuts him down and blames him. She tells him he hasn't given polyamory a chance.

Sorry, but divorce does sound like the best option in my opinion.

That's not a black and white judgment. That's a judgment based on measuring what I've heard with what I think the possible outcomes might be for staying married vs getting divorced.

Staying married vs getting divorced are necessarily binary options. You can argue that there are various ways to stay together and work on the relationship and various ways to get divorced. Okay, I agree. However, the decision is still a binary choice---does he stick to the relationship or bail out?

  • [-]
  • manginamonologues
  • 8 Points
  • 18:37:54, 23 March

Seems pretty clear. Relationship is toxic. Wife is ass hole. Doesn't respect him. Treats him worse than dog shit.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • 1 Points
  • 02:00:50, 24 March

You forget this is reddit.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 1 Points
  • 12:05:50, 24 March

I like to think that /r/polyamory is above the flock.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • 0 Points
  • 12:40:51, 24 March

Normally it is. I have only seen this a handful of times here rather than daily like other subs. But this post was chock full of this shit shortly after it started, I'm glad more people with sense chimed in.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 9 Points
  • 18:10:42, 23 March

The killer of it is that she isn't an asshole. She says she loves me, but my interpretation is that she loves me as a friend and loves the stability of our life together.

She says loves me, but her actions don't match her words, in my opinion. I'm sure she would disagree.

  • [-]
  • almostdriedup
  • 36 Points
  • 18:27:00, 23 March

Stop defending her.

  • [-]
  • Weirdsauce
  • 9 Points
  • 23:41:48, 23 March

>Stop defending her.

I heard this so many times. I wanted to believe (and i did) that my ex was a good person. So even when i told my story about what she did, i always defended her. After people read what she wrote me and knew what she did and held to be more important to our relationship, the quote "Stop defending her," became a phrase others said to me EVERY day.

  • [-]
  • almostdriedup
  • 4 Points
  • 00:10:01, 24 March

It's hard. I dated a woman who was terrible for me and the only reason I escaped was because she dumped me. You live, you learn, you improve sometimes. That's all you can do.

Feel free to PM me if you need someone to chat with.

  • [-]
  • polarbz
  • 26 Points
  • 19:03:23, 23 March

You hit the nail on the head with 'she loves the stability'. You are easy. You are comfortable. You will always be there for her. She isn't reciprocating that and is using you.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 16 Points
  • 00:46:19, 24 March

Sorry to disagree with so many here... too many poly's are "good time poly"... if its fun and we're fucking... we're good. One problem... I'm out of here. As a long time married man who faced a similar situation.... I think you may have something worth fighting for.

Yes. Your wife is making a mistake. That happens when its new. And she needs to correct this.

As someone who was married (high school sweethearts... virgins when we married... each other's best friends to this day) who were married for 12 years as a monogamous couple then went poly... hit some rough patches similar to yours... learned to communicate... fixed my E.D. problems and are about to have our 20th anniversary... PLEASE LISTEN...

YOU KNOW HER BETTER THAN ANYONE HERE!!!! You know if she's a genuine asshole or is simply making a huge mess of something that is out of her frame of reference. These people telling you to "end it" so casually treat much of their relationships the same way. (NOTE: Not saying that is wrong.... its just a different set of values and a way of living life. Not wrong... just different.)

I would say you guys need to COMMUNICATE better. If at all possible, find a poly friendly counselor or at least a local friend that is well versed and experienced in poly. She needs to slow down... period. But I think you may have something worth fighting for.

Where do you live? PM me if you don't feel comfortable putting that "out there." I will be happy to put you in touch with some help.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • 1 Points
  • 06:45:07, 24 March

I just wanted to say thank you for being a voice of reason. I am nowhere near as nice as you. I think everyone screaming divorce is just fucked in the head. This is what i want to say but i cant see past my rage. OP needs to hear this. Thanks for being a bigger person than me.

  • [-]
  • Tujin
  • 0 Points
  • 01:31:46, 24 March

Best advice I've read yet in this thread.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 2 Points
  • 01:59:33, 24 March

Thank you. I'm really hurting for this guy. My wife made some bad mistakes starting out that could be looked upon very badly. But I knew she was a good person.... just making really bad mistakes due to being in a world outside her frame of reference.

  • [-]
  • vy4m3n
  • 3 Points
  • 03:10:06, 24 March

Would you mind elaborating on her mistakes? It seems like op's wife is making a lot of mistakes that will be tough to recover from. It may be helpful if you presented your story, since you came out alright in the end.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 4 Points
  • 11:32:22, 24 March

She is making HUGE MISTAKES. I won't argue against that. However, the OP has included a picture of a good, long term relationship before opening up to poly. There is a huge difference between a good, long term relationship and one that is just starting out and right off the bat she's being a dick. If you just started the relationship.... yeah. Dump her. But this is different.

My story: Very similar. High school sweethearts. Best friends then... and still are today. She is my confidant and I am hers. Virgins when we got together and stayed monogamous for twelve years. This was partly due to religious beliefs... which had been ditched along the way. Both of us felt the need to experience something else. We had a good life together... we didn't fight or argue... and still don't.

However, when we first opened up to poly, we discussed it. We set down rules... and we dove in. Then.... my wife lost her mind for a while... up to and including completely breaking the rules and flat out cheating on me. Making many of the same comments that the OP's wife did... and quite frankly... the same statements that I have heard repeated here as ADVICE and I get downvoted for saying "Careful. That advice can be taken to an extreme."

"You are responsible for your own happiness."

"You can't control her life. She can make her own choices."

The truth is... this is all new to her. Its been years since she experienced NRE and she is completely out of what her frame of reference has been for... I am assuming is at least over a decade, maybe two, since they have teenage children. Yes... she has TEMPORARILY LOST HER MIND. But this will pass. She will regain perspective... sooner hopefully than later.

Thankfully my wife did gain perspective and slowed down enough to realize the mess that she had created in our own relationship. I too had been emasculated and was suffering from E.D. and the desperation made it so I could not meet anyone. (Dang it girls... your sensitivity to this is really fascinating and scary at the same time.) Yes. She did damage to me and our relationship... and it took some time to recover from. But years of being together were not something we were just going to toss.... we worked through it. We opened lines of communication. When we came through the other side... we were better than we were before. We are now the couple that everyone else wants to be.

All this advice to "just divorce her for being a selfish bitch" seems to lack any sort of maturity or experience in a long term relationship that has had many good years behind it. A friend and a confidant is a hard thing to find in this world. You don't toss that because they got lost in something new and were emotionally unprepared for. It can be fixed. Yes... its going to take work. But that's what the best relationships require. Its not all about fun and fucking. Sometimes it means sticking with it through the bad.

EDIT: For us... that was all 8 years ago and we are about to have our 20th anniversary. It took time... but things are great between us. And yes... the E.D. is most definitely gone... no need for pills.

  • [-]
  • manginamonologues
  • 1 Points
  • 02:45:05, 24 March

>But I think you may have something worth fighting for.

Where do you seem something worth fighting for in OP's story? He, literally, wrote nothing good.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 5 Points
  • 03:14:24, 24 March

"My wife and I were both virgins when we met..."

A history together... powerful.


"We have what I thought was a satisfying sex life with sex a couple times per week but sometimes twice in a day. My wife and I have many shared interests beyond the obvious like the kids. She remains my only real confidant."

This too is some pretty good things...


"...we were always a very affectionate couple. I felt like the king of the world when we went out to dinner, held hands on walks, and made love. We had a slightly wild sex life. A few years ago, I masturbated her to orgasm on a crowded beach on the 4th of July. We placed a towel over her lap, and I slid my hand inside her bikini bottom. We went skinny-dipping in a nature preserve two summers ago. She always seemed to desire me."

Sounds like some good times to me!!!


He insists... "...she isn't an asshole." He knows her better than anyone on this page.


These are all quotes from the OP. This seems like something worth fighting for... but that with only recent events she has been making some bad mistakes and seems a bit lost herself.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 1 Points
  • 03:00:39, 24 March

There are certain words that I recognize that carry a lot of meaning for some that others don't ever seem to grasp the enormity of what was being said. Hard to explain. You get it or you don't. Additionally... his history with her. There are years of good there. This is only her making a recent mistake in an unfamiliar situation, a huge mistake granted, but a mistake that can be corrected, and a great life had by both of them. I know. I lived it.

  • [-]
  • manginamonologues
  • -2 Points
  • 03:13:52, 24 March

Thanks for the vague and useless explanation.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • 3 Points
  • 06:46:04, 24 March

Thanks for being a jackass.

  • [-]
  • jacobman
  • 15 Points
  • 18:42:56, 23 March

No, she's a selfish bitch. See her for what she is. It's weird to say because you guys were married for so long, but you're putting her on a pedestal. You're blinded by your feelings for her, and you're not seeing her for who she is.

  • [-]
  • dreddit_reddit
  • 4 Points
  • 00:56:25, 24 March

She loves you as a provider, you bring in the cash and are disposable for the rest.

It is time you get some self respect. Try counseling.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 6 Points
  • 22:04:47, 23 March

Have you considered that she loves the stability that your life together provides her, but doesn't actually love you?

When she needs a massage, you're there. When she needs a bed to sleep in, your bed is there.

But when you want to discuss how you feel, she blames you. When you need intimacy, it sounds like even if she's busy, she's unwilling to make future plans for intimacy with you.

P.S. I noticed my comment about pickup got down-voted. That's understandable as it is a subculture that has a lot of negativity in it. But there is also a lot of positivity there as well.

Pick up is about developing choice when it comes to a lover or mate, and we all know how important that choice can be. Many men feel they don't have choice, and honestly, it is hard to have choice.

Go into any social setting/social group and try to begin a relationship with precisely the gal you want. It is not easy. Yet a woman has an easier time with this, and at the very least can get attention from the opposite sex regularly. That has a major effect on a woman's world-view: She feels desired and wanted. Now, that may feel like negative attention depending on her opinion, but it's still there.

Compare that to how a guy feels. Many guys hardly get any kind of attention from women. It's tough.

Pickup can help you learn to navigate the current gender climate of our society. It is far from a perfect community, which should be expected because the type of men who wish they could date more or less who they choose crosses every demographic---14 year olds to 80 year olds, poor to rich, poly to mono, queer to straight, and so on.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck. I'm glad you are seeking help instead of dealing with this by yourself. Much love.

  • [-]
  • XENclam
  • 4 Points
  • 20:22:47, 23 March

This seems like a case of actions vs words. She is ignoring the issues in your current relationship and doing it with a smile. That isn't right in any type of relationship.

  • [-]
  • jamasiel
  • 2 Points
  • 04:26:50, 24 March

Actions make assholes more than words. They're worse.

I am so, so very sorry. Also, change your username (or go back to your other one). You're not a failure, you were neglected.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 0 Points
  • 07:42:19, 24 March

What in the fuck?

Yeah ok, this will be as simple as throwing out an old t-shirt with holes!

I agree that his wife is handling this like an asshole. But really, you have got to be joking that just "relaxing a bit" is all that is needed.

  • [-]
  • Lady_Bug_Love
  • 9 Points
  • 18:13:51, 23 March

I reccomend you read a book called "Intimacy and Desire" it's very good for figureing out what is really wrong in your relationship...

Also, your wife didn't want poly... she wanted to be a swinger. Swingers are in it for the sex, poly is in it for the connection. Honestly, divorce seems like the best option. She seems to not care about you at all (judging from your wall of text not from any real observation). Don't stay in a toxic relationship.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 3 Points
  • 07:59:20, 24 March

That wouldn't even be swinging. I think you're mistakenly thinking of a relationship between two swingers who aren't each other's primary partner.

Swingers are in fact in it for casual sex with other people, but they're not in it "just for sex". Swingers still respect their primary partner and strive meet the emotional needs of their primary partner above all else. Most swingers are married, and in a healthy relationship there is just as much love and respect between each other as any other relationship, if not more due to the challenges of swinging. As a mental shortcut to keep the concepts clear in my head, I tend to generalize swinging as polyamory minus the relationship-with-others aspect.

I just wanted to point this out to be clear that swingers aren't unethical jerks that don't care for other people's feelings.

  • [-]
  • E-o_o-3
  • 9 Points
  • 22:30:58, 23 March

Monogamy is safe and comfortable. People just sort of settle into a routine. The rule against seeing other people creates a sort of activation barrier against dropping relationships, since most people dislike the intervening time of being Alone.

In polyamory, there is no "activation barrier". If your wife would be happier with someone else, she can just go see the other person and gradually spend less and less time with you until it is over. She doesn't even have to say "we're done". There are no walls to break down.

On top of all that, on the sexual plane at least, women have more power. The genders are equal when it comes to relationships, but when it comes to casual sex women tend to call the shots on when it happens or not, though not necessarily with whom it happens. Monogamy kind of firmly ties together sex and relationships, shifting the power balance back over to men by giving them more say in when sex occurs.

...but, do you really want to hold onto a relationship via power balance?

When it comes to the harsh realities of the relationship marketplace which we like to pretend doesn't exist, if my girl thinks she has "better options" than me, I'd tell her go get 'em. Don't stay with me because I'm safe and comfortable, while slowly building up resentment for the life you could have had... you better actually be attracted to me and actually love me if you're gonna be here. If she ditches me just because some more attractive and confident guy comes along, then that was probably a better life choice for all three people involved.


>The moral of the story: If you are a man who does not routinely turn down sexual advances from women, you are making a HUGE mistake to attempt polyamory.

Ha. No, "Polyamory is only for alpha males" is totally the wrong lesson here. A lot of poly guys are not conventionally attractive, not particularly confident, etc...and seem to be doing fine.

In the counter-factual life where you had not chosen polyamory and had wanted to be monogamous, what do you think would have happened?

1) Your wife might have left you for wanting to be monogamous.

2) Your wife would have stayed with you, and would have felt a vague sense of dis-satisfaction and loss for what could have been.

Which one of those would you have liked? Seems like a no-win game, doesn't it?

When you choose not to have "rules" in a relationship, you choose brutal honesty over comforting truth. If the only thing tying your wife to you is the rules of monogamy, you have an empty relationship. If the bond is made of something more authentic than the flimsy rules of society, then you wouldn't having this problem.

Just as there are good and bad reasons to choose polyamory, there are good and bad reasons to choose monogamy. Good reason to choose monogamy is if jealousy is a problem for both of you and you don't desire any other partners. Bad reason to choose monogamy is to artificially binds together a relationship that would fall apart without it by eliminating alternative options.

Good reason to choose polyamory would be if you're not a jealous person, and you would like to have relationships with multiple people. From your description, you still seem to be someone who could do well with polyamory... the actual problem here is that your wife isn't attracted to you.


Suggestions? I'd say continue being an effective platonic team with your wife and raise those three kids. Accept that your wife is only really a "wife" on paper right now, and think of her more as an ex-girlfriend and teammate. Maybe you'll get back together later.

...Or split up, if that seems more appealing to you. I'm primarily thinking about the kids and the inconvenience of legally splitting up, but it might be easier to get into a new relationship if you aren't legally married. You can weigh the cost-benefit yourself.

Hit the gym, might help with the erectile dysfunction and make you more attractive and confident (It seems like the ED is a huge issue here). Consider yourself single, emotionally speaking. Work on furthering the rest of your life. Most things you would have done after the divorce, you can do without a divorce, so don't make this decision all about "yes or no divorce".

(And yes, the situation is mostly your wife's fault, not yours. She should have been honest with you from the beginning about not being attracted to you - "give my limp penis a few pats", that's not how someone who is attracted to you behaves. I'm just tailoring criticism to you because you're the one posting.)

>I meet people in non-romantic situations easily.

This is a huge point in your favor. Just work at turning those non-romantic interactions into romantic interactions. Find a person who is actually attracted to you and also genuinely loves and respects you and is motivated to care for your needs.

  • [-]
  • theycallmenubs
  • 4 Points
  • 19:34:30, 23 March

I really want to hear how this plays out as I have considered opening our marriage but the wife doesn't want to. I know she could instantly have sex with endless men and I have some prospects, but would most likely be struggling like yourself. I'm also curious what health problems she has.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 3 Points
  • 19:38:53, 23 March

She has a chronic thyroid disease.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 1 Points
  • 08:09:34, 24 March

Oh wow. Is it treated?

I have chronic low-thyroid disease and life was hell while I was untreated before the doctor caught it by lab tests. I was a raging asshole and felt like a train wreck during that untreated period. Lack of sleep, constant fatigue, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, and more. Also, high-thyroid disease can cause asshole behavior, too.

Sounds like her behavior has moved far beyond being blamable on just thyroid disease. If her condition is untreated, you may want to hold your horses on any action and really work on getting her treated. Keep in mind that thyroid treatment with hormone replacement takes a few months and up to even a year for some people before the body gets back to normal. Even if she has been treated, some sneaky things can mess it up. For example, if she drinks milk for breakfast after taking the daily thyroid pill, the hormones may not actually be absorbed into her body. Calcium binds to thyroid hormones and disables it before the body can use it.

If she has been treated, well then it sounds from your post that she is being extremely unethical and selfish, apparently just using polyamory as an excuse. It would be braver of her to acknowledge any dissatisfaction with your relationship than to hide behind a fake polyamory screen. Hiding behind the screen is just cowardly and immature.

  • [-]
  • djymm
  • 3 Points
  • 20:03:04, 23 March

You sound like you're feeling literally and figuratively emasculated. I think you should address those matters directly and get your head in a good place before making life-altering decisions. You said "I went from confidently straddling the world of corporate power to feeling like a wimpy nerd." Have you considered returning to the corporate world? Could you add a leadership role in some other function to your life? Even mastery of a new skill can revive self-confidence, if there's a hobby or work-related skill set you'd like to approach.

As to the ED, you have to realize you're more than a penis. Explore techniques that don't rely on the D! If there are BDSM events locally, they can be an eye-opener about the variety of approaches, even if you're ultimately not interested.

  • [-]
  • Joykat92
  • 3 Points
  • 21:47:23, 23 March

It sounds like she's not treating your feelings in a mature and appropriate manner, borderline abuse toward you. In addition to either ending or working on your relationship, have you considered finding an outside recreational activity to keep you happy and mentally and emotionally alive, so to speak? Partner dancing, such as salsa or bachata, are excellent ways to interact with women, to feel the affection and playfulness, you crave, and to get out of the house in the evenings. Oh, and big secret-the truly great social dancers are the ones who just paid for private lessons, they don't have superpowers or anything :)Or you could work on yourself, such as training for a marathon or taking your fitness to a new level. Finding ways to enjoy and love yourself will help you through this situation immensely.

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 2 Points
  • 08:19:33, 24 March

Just want to reiterate the idea of partner dancing for feeling interaction and playfulness with women.

Men need affection and tenderness just like women do. It's not right at all for poly_failure's wife to say these needs of his are "unattractive". Such an attitude just harkens back to destructive stereotypes that men are unemotional and any display of emotion is a weakness.

  • [-]
  • Buymeagoat
  • 3 Points
  • 23:36:10, 23 March

I agree with pretty much everyone else here. This is not polyamory. This is your wife abusing you emotionally. Her desire for openness is likely just a ploy to cope with negative emotions in your own relationship she wishes to avoid. I feel very sorry for you. This is not fair.

  • [-]
  • m0nkeyh0use
  • 3 Points
  • 02:10:21, 24 March

Ugh... So sorry, OP. I did read your followup comment, and the only thing I can think of if you're going to work through this would maybe be finding a poly-friendly (so she doesn't feel beat up) counselor - stat.

However, I will say this: > She says all my feelings of inadequacy are my own, that only I can work on them, and they are unattractive.

Uuuuuugh. Look, I know there's validity in owning our own feelings and working through them, but honestly? If her actions are triggering these emotions? And she continues to do them while you continue to struggle? She's being an asshole. The fact that these are your feelings doesn't absolve her from the fact that she's just being a jerk if she continues behavior that she KNOWS upsets you.

My ex pulled that more often than I could count. Just... no. You do not get full rein to be an asshole just because they're my feelings and I own them. :p

Anyway... My ex and I divorced a couple years back. Married 17 years, together 22. And I feel free to be myself (without being cut down or given crap for it) for the first time in years. If counseling can't help the both of you, it may be best to find your own happiness.

Good luck...

  • [-]
  • Narayume
  • 6 Points
  • 22:35:26, 23 March

I'm really sorry. This sucks. Let me give you a little but more perspective though: (For the sake of the story, let me add that I have two partners G and T. By the time T and I got together G and myself had been in a relationship for 6 years).

When you first enter a relationship your hormones go CRAZY. We call it new relationship energy in poly circles (NRE for short) and it can be different every time. I thought I knew what to expect when I fell in love with T, but lord was I wrong. I was having sex twice a day all of a sudden and the first time I was 24 hours away from him I could barely formulate a thought from the sheer intensity of longing. As you can imagine the sex felt like the best I ever had. I was very glad that G didn't ask me for a comparison, because it felt like he could barely hold a candle to the fireworks that were were happening between T and me.

Several years later I can only look back and scratch my head. Don't get me wrong - T and I have an excellent sex life, but so do G and I. There is a good chance your wife is currently seeing your (and her "lovers'") performance through very hormonal glasses. I know that doesn't help your marriage, but I am willing to bet that in a year or two's time your performance between the sheets will measure up just fine. If you are still giving your wife hot baths and massages you would likely even come out ahead.

If your wife is actually willing to engage sexually with you there are always the options of pegging, strap on (yes, even for a guy, strap on when faced with ED is a fairly common method and can be incredibly mentally satisfying or so I have been told) and good old blue pill. However she doesn't seem to be willing to do so which I find really difficult to comprehend. What I am really trying to say that the problem isn't you and that even with ED you have an awful lot to offer.

Sadly your wife seems to be unwilling to see that right now. May be the threat of divorce will snap her out of her bizarre NRE dream state. The basis of polyamory is that love is infinite and thus you can share it among many without running out. However you are currently receiving none and that is not okay at all. I really hope you will find love and lots of excellent sex with or without your wife. Take care of yourself and remember that you deserve to be happy in your relationships.

On the rest of your situation I have to agree with the others

  • [-]
  • raziphel
  • 3 Points
  • 00:09:44, 24 March

You both need some fucking therapy. Individually and together.

  • [-]
  • sunlit_shadows
  • 2 Points
  • 03:29:20, 24 March

So it sounds like your wife is making one of the cardinal mistakes of poly: "relationship broken? Add more people!" Like others have been saying, she's not being fair to you by neglecting you relationship in favor of her new partners. The poly community has a term called New Relationship Energy or NRE- it's the feeling of being swept off your feet in a new relationship/ butterflies/ the honeymoon period/ whatever you wanna call it. It's a common poly noob mistake for people to lose their heads because of the powerful way that NRE messes with their pheromones and brain chemistry, and end up neglecting their primary partners.

She also seems to be misappropriating the idea that's widespread in poly discourse of "owning your shit," or taking responsibility for your own emotions. It is a tactic that's meant to help people deal with jealousy (no one can "make" you jealous, you have to figure out why you feel that way and ask for what you need because partners aren't psychic). However it sound like she is using the verbiage of healthy communication and emotional responsibility to act in a very unhealthy and irresponsible way.

  • [-]
  • ljuvlig
  • 1 Points
  • 06:10:01, 24 March

Exactly. A naive notion of "not codependent" is "I can do whatever I want and you can't say anything."

  • [-]
  • PolyFiChain
  • 5 Points
  • 22:05:19, 23 March

I don't even know how to respond.

All I can say is, this isn't polyamory, or she'd be caring for you and loving you, too. This is...I don't have a better word than its an affair she got you to consent to.

I don't know. But wait it out, man. Divorce is shitty, and she won't live her dream forever. Those lovers and fuck buddies will get tired of her when she isn't the shiniest, newest toy in their drawer. Then she'll get a hard dose of the suck, and pull her head out of her ass.

  • [-]
  • Googleproof
  • 1 Points
  • 23:08:35, 23 March

You're dependent on her for your happiness, and she resents that pressure, and is going to kill the marriage before you do. ED - sex worker. Lack of social interaction - you're at a university, join a bunch of clubs and hobbies, there are bound to be interesting people near you, so put some effort into becoming attractive to yourself.

Also, she's an asshole and more than a bit emotionally abusive. But Maxxters might be able to give you some insight as to what she's thinking - http://www.reddit.com/r/sex/comments/v3xwx/incrediblyinterestingjournalarticleabout/ See if you can get the whole article

  • [-]
  • systembreaker
  • 1 Points
  • 07:22:04, 24 March

Oh my god, I am very sorry to hear about your situation.

For the sake of straight forwardness I'll just say - your situation is not polyamoury or poly-dating. None of what she's doing is at all how poly relationships work.

  • [-]
  • PosterGirlWNoPoster
  • 1 Points
  • 12:20:56, 24 March

As kind of a middle ground, might you consider a trial separation during which time you both agree to actively work on your marriage?

I'd definitely consult a lawyer before doing so, because how you go about a separation might have implications for your divorce if you ultimately go that route, but I wonder if (hopefully temporarily) inserting some space in your relationship might help both of you work through your own issues, make for a less fraught atmosphere around the house, and lend itself more easily to having designated time and space to work on your issues together. It won't be easy logistically or on the kids, but it will be easier than going straight to divorce.

Perhaps consider getting a separate apartment that could house one of you, or that you could take turns staying in so that it's not like one person moved out (and therefore gets less time with kids). Continue to attend events with the kids together and make an effort to still have quality family time. On the days when you're on your own, throw yourself into making yourself the best version of yourself, enjoying yourself, and building your confidence. Hang out with old buddies from the corporate world, or new ones from academia; get into shape; take up a new hobby, etc. Work on building yourself back into a fun, interesting, confident person- if you can work things out with your wife, she'll appreciate this, and if you can't, other people will appreciate it- and if you build more external factors that contribute to your well-being and self-esteem, that may give your wife more breathing room to relax and interact with you without feeling like you're giving more weight to her every action and comment than she intends. Continue to work on your own with your therapist.

While you're with the kids, give your wife the space to go wild with her new pursuits- if she is only seeing each of them once a week or so right now, that might lengthen the amount of time during which they're still the "new shiny" to her and NRE is strong... giving her the space to throw herself into it more fully might help her ultimately gain more clarity on all of her relationships.

Set up specific date nights for your and your wife, with no expectation of physical intimacy. Focus on the things that make you good friends and confidantes- talk about work, the kids, other interests. Without the tension of "will we or won't we" regarding sex, maybe you can both relax and focus on what works about your relationship- again, this will be helpful whether you can work things out and stay married, or whether you divorce but are still going to be co-parenting three kids who are really going to need you and would really benefit from parents who can get along. Designate additional time, ideally with a therapist, to focus on talking through your relationship issues.

If there's tension in a relationship but you still end up spending a lot of time together- like in a marriage- it's easy for all of that time to turn into a "walking on eggshells" kind of situation. If she feels like you're constantly sad and resentful and looking to her for intimacy or reassurance, she may feel defensive or be loathe to engage in small acts of intimacy because she doesn't want you to then think they're going to lead to more intimacy. And if you're constantly around her- or hoping that you'll be around her and she'll choose to spend time with you- and being around her makes you feel bad (or you're constantly worried that she'll up and leave for another partner), you don't really have the space to let go of your expectations and relax. Being apart but setting aside time together with clear expectations of what will happen during those times might ultimately be a relief for both of you.

There's no question that she's handling this incredibly poorly- I don't mean to excuse her behavior. She doesn't owe you sex, or love for that matter, but she does owe you some kindness and compassion; if she is willing to bring those to the table and work on this with you, I think you can absolutely come out of this with a relationship intact, even if it might look different than what you'd have hoped or expected. Good luck.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • -3 Points
  • 02:25:52, 24 March

You guys have reached a new low. I cant even adequately express just how fucked up this entire thread is. These people have been married for decades. By his own admission they have had a wonderful relationship for the vast majority of that. They hit a bump and everyone took that chance to swoop in and destroy what little hope he still had. And you did that based on a few paragraphs written when he was down and with no word whatsoever from the other side. You convinced him to divorce the love of his life, the mother of his children. You are probably the most destructive thing that has ever happened to this family. You guys are sick. You need help.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 8 Points
  • 04:49:04, 24 March

In a few, short weeks, the gentleman has been psychologically and physiologically damaged by his wife. Any attempt he makes to discuss his feelings with her are met with a dismissive attitude.

The advice is, in my opinion, justified.

Rather than blaming us, blame his wife, who is hurting him so carelessly. When a married couple decides to open up their relationship, jumping headlong into bed with new partners with zero regard for your husband's feelings is . . . a very shitty thing to do.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • -7 Points
  • 05:37:53, 24 March

Never said it wasn't shitty. But if you think this is justified then you are fucking sick. Get help.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 6 Points
  • 05:55:20, 24 March

That's a really strange and surprisingly aggressive response . . . =\

If my SO treated me with such disregard, it would be the dog house for her. I wouldn't want my kids to grow up with that kind of person either. That's just poison.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • -6 Points
  • 06:13:00, 24 March

Bullshit. If your wife treated you like that, after 30 years of a great marriage, you would NOT immediately say "oh well fuck it". You would get help. You would do everything reasonable you could to save it. Anyone still in love would. And the kids? They're already fucking grown up. They're teenagers! And I assume they grew up just fine and dandy, OP never mentioned anything and seems to think his wife is a great person besides this. So where is this poison?

Do you not even see what you are doing? You are completely trashing someone you don't even know. You are literally making shit up to make her seem worse. You are doing this to justify convincing an emotionally weak man to divorce his wife of 30 years when they hit a serious bump in the road. A bump you even admit is very new. All because you read a post and a few comments from him. Because you got an incredibly small glimpse of a small section of their life.

Thats fucking sick.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 5 Points
  • 06:17:10, 24 March

If your SO of thirty years suddenly stops sleeping with you so she can have sex with two other men, then when you confront her about it, she guilt trips you about having emotional issues that YOU need to deal with by YOURSELF and that it's not her fault, I would NOT fault you for considering divorce or for others recommending divorce.

And he makes it clear that he's tried to communicate his feelings to her multiple times, and he's even gone as far as to show her this thread, and her response was "You've not even given polyamory a chance"? You've got to be kidding me.

I'm sorry, but divorce and no divorce are both valid options here, but I side with divorce as I would not want to spend one more month with someone that emotionally abusive, someone who takes their shit and blames their SO for it. "Bump in the road" indeed.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • -4 Points
  • 06:38:50, 24 March

And where are you getting all of this? From the words of an extremely emotionally hurt man. Yea i am sure it all went down exactly like that. But that's beside the point. His wife is not some rabid dog acting out of instincts. There are reasons for the things she has done. There always is. And they very well could be horrible reasons and divorce very well could be the only answer. But none of us here on this website are even remotely in a position to call that. You most definitely do not know enough of the situation to try and convince him of it. But you and half the people here seem to think you do.

The bottom line is you are emotionally manipulating a fragile man to take actions that will drastically affect an entire family based on some words (not even a short story worth) about a single aspect (that has been going on for less than a year) of a marriage that probably started before you were even born. And you think you are justified in doing it. Man i am starting to get tired of repeating myself but....that's fucking sick.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 2 Points
  • 06:49:17, 24 March

I haven't tried to convince him of anything. To quote myself:

>Here's my advice:

>0. Divorce her. Or don't divorce her. >0. Learn pickup. (Look it up . . . it's a whole community.)

>Divorce:

>First, talk to your wife. Tell her that there is a strange dynamic between the sexes. Many women can easily get attention and affection from men. For example, if you were to open an OKC account with her pictures, her account would likely +10 messages per day from guys trying to date her. The fake female account I made received +20 messages per day.

>However, my profile (I'm in my early twenties and decently good looking) gets precisely 0 messages per day. (As a side note, I have been quite successful on OKC, so don't misunderstand this comment to be bitterness.)

>Men have a much more difficult time finding lovers, so she needs to realize that this move to polyamory can be extremely difficult for some, or even most, men.

>Pickup:

>- Go out and approach thousands of women. Build your confidence. Learn to accept rejection. That sounds strange, but as you learn more about Pickup, you will begin to understand that it is a liberating concept. >- It will be tiring, but that is what many guys need to do to learn to have sex more easily with women. >- Know that marriage may be a broken institution for many individuals. It is easier to get comfortable and not push yourself. That electric attraction you had earlier in your marriage can wane, and some individuals miss that very sorely. >- Your wife treated you poorly. It's her fault for being a selfish jerk to you, but in another sense, as I said above, it is hard to maintain excitement for that long, so in a sense, it is the fault of marriage in general---which, again, may work for some, but may indeed be a faulty institution itself.

>Good luck. =\ I'm so sorry this happened to you.

I don't see myself making a strong case that he divorce her, except that I do mention it and that I mention that marriage itself might not be the best social institution for everyone. Rather, I seem to be encouraging more discussion about the topic that will let his wife know what he is going through.

And what an emotionally broken man doesn't need either is to be told that he needs to just stick with it. Finally, the decision is his, but I do agree with you that it shouldn't be a hasty decision. I think spending time with a few therapists would be a useful first measure to take, and I should have mentioned it.

  • [-]
  • hoodis
  • -1 Points
  • 06:57:51, 24 March

I did read your thread and i find no issue with it. I have no problem with people saying divorce is an option. I have a huge problem when people say divorce is the only or best option. I have an even bigger problem when its not just said but hammered home as much as possible. So if you didnt do that then my OP was not directed at you. But you decided to try and defend those that do. You may not have said it but you did say that it was right for the other posters to. Unless i misunderstood you, that makes you every bit as bad as them.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 1 Points
  • 06:51:15, 24 March

Anyway, I'm not going to argue this point any further. If I am indeed "fucking sick", I hope I come to realize it in the future so I can stop this behavior.

Otherwise, toodles.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 0 Points
  • 22:44:33, 23 March

I withdraw my comment about divorce being a necessary option. Narayume and E-o_o-3 make good points.

But definitely think about Pickup, counseling, and so on.

  • [-]
  • bitchisakarma
  • 0 Points
  • 01:00:42, 24 March

Yeah, you got screwed my man. Pure and simple. You should be first and if she is putting these others guys before you then she is cheating. That's not poly.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • -7 Points
  • 20:15:48, 23 March

Here's my advice:

  1. Divorce her. Or don't divorce her.
  2. Learn pickup. (Look it up . . . it's a whole community.)

Divorce:

First, talk to your wife. Tell her that there is a strange dynamic between the sexes. Many women can easily get attention and affection from men. For example, if you were to open an OKC account with her pictures, her account would likely +10 messages per day from guys trying to date her. The fake female account I made received +20 messages per day.

However, my profile (I'm in my early twenties and decently good looking) gets precisely 0 messages per day. (As a side note, I have been quite successful on OKC, so don't misunderstand this comment to be bitterness.)

Men have a much more difficult time finding lovers, so she needs to realize that this move to polyamory can be extremely difficult for some, or even most, men.

Pickup:

  • Go out and approach thousands of women. Build your confidence. Learn to accept rejection. That sounds strange, but as you learn more about Pickup, you will begin to understand that it is a liberating concept.
  • It will be tiring, but that is what many guys need to do to learn to have sex more easily with women.
  • Know that marriage may be a broken institution for many individuals. It is easier to get comfortable and not push yourself. That electric attraction you had earlier in your marriage can wane, and some individuals miss that very sorely.
  • Your wife treated you poorly. It's her fault for being a selfish jerk to you, but in another sense, as I said above, it is hard to maintain excitement for that long, so in a sense, it is the fault of marriage in general---which, again, may work for some, but may indeed be a faulty institution itself.

Good luck. =\ I'm so sorry this happened to you.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 3 Points
  • 00:53:11, 24 March

This was decent advice... why did it get downvoted to oblivion with no comments as to what was objectionable?

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 4 Points
  • 01:24:08, 24 March

Personally, I think it's because Pickup is viewed extremely negatively by many people. I'm not too bothered, though, because a good amount of that sentiment is justified, though somewhat misdirected. :)

Thanks, though, for the comment. I was also hoping some of the detractors would comment as to why my response is so objectionable.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 6 Points
  • 01:31:21, 24 March

I think pick up is only viewed in terms of "tricking someone to have sex with you." I know some schools of pick up are that way (Mystery Method), but so many more are about self improvement. Making yourself a better person, and thus someone others would want to be with. Learning pickup actually helped my marriage more than it ever helped me meet new girls.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 5 Points
  • 01:42:32, 24 March

Agreed. For me, Pickup is about honesty and openness rather than tricking people or lying. Juggler as well as Tyler Durden (Owen Cook) talk a lot about honesty on various levels.

I am really happy to hear that pickup helped your marriage. It has strengthened past relationships for me as well.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 1 Points
  • 12:30:13, 24 March

I agree with you in theory, however when it comes to pick-up I haven't seen any of the nice and cuddly parts. Would be nice to get a link.

  • [-]
  • theladyjessica
  • 2 Points
  • 00:15:11, 24 March

nooooooooooooo to pickup artist stuff. run awayyyyyy from "PUAs"

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 3 Points
  • 00:38:01, 24 March

Please be more specific as to why.

I see nothing inherently wrong with realizing that socializing, and, in particular, flirting, is a skill that benefits from practice. At its very core, that is what Pickup is about.

Having a support group to practice that with is not a bad idea either.

Not to mention that because of Pickup, I started going to the gym, eating better, studying harder, found long-lasting relationships (with men and women), and so on.

  • [-]
  • zluruc
  • 2 Points
  • 06:59:20, 24 March

Because women aren't "targets" or "HBs" or sex-dispensing vending machines; we're people. And PUA forgets that all too often.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 2 Points
  • 07:39:03, 24 March

I disagree. I have never heard someone refer to a girl as a target, nor have I met guys who only view girls as sex dispensors. I have heard of sociopaths in Pickup, but I haven't met any personally, and I've met plenty of guys who study Pickup.

I admit the HB stuff is quite trite, but again, I don't see it that often. Most people just say "girl" or whatever descriptor they're using to distinguish a particular girl from the rest. :P

Some people will say HB8 or whatever if they're talking about how pretty they think a particular girl is, but I don't really see a difference between that and a gal saying, "I was talking with this really gorgeous guy at the party the other day."

And don't forget to give credit to people outside of Pickup for making their share of asshole remarks either: "Creeper" is a term I've heard thrown around by girls more than once, and that one word alone can destroy a guy's reputation in a community. And I've heard non-Pickup guys call women "bitches" or "hos" and what have you. While I certainly see that kind of misogyny in Pickup, I just as often see guys come down on people who use those kinds of words.

As far as I can tell, the things you mentioned are false stereotypes. =\

What I'm trying to get at is that I see a lot of crappy stuff said by non-Pickup people as well, and I don't see a higher level of it in Pickup guys.

  • [-]
  • therufs
  • 0 Points
  • 03:35:45, 24 March

Because if you're not naturally good at getting ladies, improving your skills is cheating, obvi.

ETA: wait, maybe it's because people who don't study pickup are never manipulative, and always care about their partner's feelings because they're never just out to get laid

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 1 Points
  • 04:31:07, 24 March

hehehe, totally not dripping with sarcasm. Not even a little . . .

  • [-]
  • E-o_o-3
  • 0 Points
  • 06:50:23, 24 March

There's nothing wrong with learning how to socialize and flirt. It is, specifically, the culture of pick up artists that is disliked.

Just in the past six years, I've had three outright propositions for sex from extremely emotionally desperate people. I've had two opportunities to be the guy a woman cheated with. I've had one case of consent with too much alcohol, that was not remembered the next morning.

So if I imagine what someone who didn't give a shit about people and wanted to get laid would have done in my situation, I see a terrible trail of vulnerable people hurt, relationships destroyed, and consent violated.

The idea that there is a group of people actively learning how to maximize sex with no corresponding dialogue on moral responsibility is kind of alarming. They've practically got instruction manuals on how to pressure reluctant people (overcome "last minute resistance"), facilitate cheating ("boyfriend destroyers"), circumvent consent (create "plausible deniability"), create insecurity ("dread game")... it's almost like they don't even care how obviously wrong this is. They're really good at rationalizing it.

I've even pointed out the moral issues in these sorts of forums...they just get mad at you for moralizing. At the cornerstone of the whole ideology, they reject "being nice" in favor of "getting laid" ... and in doing so, they have effectively said that personal sexual interests are more important than moral considerations.

(You did ask why people dislike them, so i focused on that. I could say some good things, too...though right now, the balance does seem to hang on "bad".)

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 3 Points
  • 07:33:13, 24 March

>The idea that there is a group of people actively learning how to maximize sex with no corresponding dialogue on moral responsibility is kind of alarming.

This statement highlights that you don't quite know what goes on in the Pickup Community. Moral discussions have been part of the discussion all the way back to the inception of Pickup. Discussions about how avoiding sleeping people who are in committed relationships, about gaining consent, and so on have all been part of the discussion ever since I was first discovered the community.

>For someone with a moderate amount of social intelligence

Okay, now I see where you're coming from. Condescending, patronizing, self-righteous? I don't think you mean to come off that way, but realize that there are many mature, well-adjusted, intelligent, and otherwise successful men who have found something very helpful in Pickup. They are intelligent enough to sort out the good from the bad and exercise a little caution.

Assholes will be assholes regardless, but at least good people will feel empowered to have choice in their life.

>Because the Pickup culture cares about getting laid more than they care about being good people.

Yeah, I see your point with some people, but I don't see it with a lot of people. I honestly don't think that has anything to do with the Pickup Community as much as it has to do with "people".

Most of the people I've gone out with seem pretty moral to me, seem quite caring, and don't treat women like crap. While they are trying to get laid, a good number are not trying to do it even at the woman's expense. Some are, surely, but that's because they're assholes.

To give an example from one of the most widely read books in the PU Community, the mantra of the book The Game was, "Leave her better off than you found her." And I often see that in the community.

As for the terms you mentioned: "Last Minute Resistance" and "boyfriend destroyer".

Last Minute Resistance or LMR (when a girl declines to sleep with you even when she is naked on your bed and you would otherwise think sex would happen) is a complicated topic that should not be immediately dismissed as manipulation because it's not a technique in itself. It's a description of something that happens often when a girl is first about to sleep with you.

The reason that it is has a special name is because it is a confusing and incredibly common phenomenon---I mean, the lady came all the way back to your place, is on your bed, and it feels like she wants to have sex with you. She might still be dressed, or she might be completely naked and she might have even already put a condom on you. Then she says no. It's confusing, and so the Pickup Community identified the phenomenon and tried to figure out why it happens.

The general view on LMR is that if your "game was solid enough", it shouldn't even happen to you. I have never reached that point---I almost always encounter LMR.

The manipulation comes in with "how does a guy deal with LMR"?

There are immoral options for dealing with it as well as moral options.

For example, many of the guys I have met in the community just stop when LMR happens because if they actually have chemistry with the girl and they've built enough of a connection, then they can always see that girl another time. It's not a big deal.

A big part of the community these days focuses on "not being desperate for sex", being outcome "independent", and so on. The point is to live your life according to YOUR moral standards and being emotionally content with yourself regardless of whether a stranger decides to sleep with you or not.

Personally, every time I'm getting to the point where I might have sex, I ask the girl, "Do you want to have sex?" If the answer is no, then I'm fine with it, and I don't know any guys who aren't fine with it---even the guys I'd describe as "assholes" describe that kind of "pushing past LMR" as a good way to land yourself in "rape city". Me, and most guys I know, I just don't want to sleep with a girl if she'll regret it later. :P

And then there are other guys who are fine with ramping a girl up sexually until she'll say, "Fuck it, let's have sex."

As for the "boyfriend destroyer", many view that as immoral and shitty.

And I'll also point this out: If you think you need "PUAs" to tell you that making a girl horny with a lot of kissing and rolling around in bed is a more sure fire way to sleep with the person, then you've got another thing coming. Guys and gals have been well aware of that fact and have used it to manipulate a potential partner for millennia.

In short, a lot of the asshole stuff in Pickup doesn't come from Pickup---it comes from assholes who would be committing assholery either way.

Also, there is definitely talk about developing a standard in Pickup, not just fucking people with low self-esteem, and not manipulating people. The most successful companies in the Pickup Community---RSD---does talk about these and similar topics quite often.

  • [-]
  • E-o_o-3
  • 2 Points
  • 07:57:30, 24 March

Like I said, you did ask why people disliked them.

In any philosophy created by human beings, there are always going to be nuggets of good and kernals of truth. You identify with them, so you're focusing on the good parts.

If you want to understand the reason for the poor public relations between PUA and feminism and society at large, focus on the bad, on the prickly exterior. I think you know that everything "bad" that I said is also true, in addition to everything good that you said. Go look at the seedy underbelly of the movement, /r/mensrights and /r/theredpill. It's not all /r/seduction fun and games. (and even in mensrights and theredpill, there are kernels of things that are good and true...but look at all the bad!)

If you send an angry, bitter dude over to the PUA community, which message do you suppose they're going to internalize? The good one, or the bad one?

> Condescending, patronizing, self-righteous?

I didn't realize you'd be reading so late, I think I was still editing my post when you read it. I had removed that part for that reason (tone, etc).

What I was trying to get at, is that it's really easy to do bad things once you understand basic of social skills, so the teaching of social skills must come paired with discussions of consequences.

Dunno. I frequently get accusations of arrogance and self righteousness. I never really understood how that's a criticism. Everyone, everywhere, believes they are right about everything (otherwise, they'd change their minds). I'm just blunt about it.

True humility to me means listening to others and changing my mind when I see new evidence, not superficially self depreciating tone and watering down of opinions. I mean, I'll still do the latter in real life because you have to display that pseudo-humility to survive socially, but I don't do it to people I respect.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • 1 Points
  • 08:46:15, 24 March

Indeed, I've heard that mensrights and theredpill aren't the healthiest of places, but I haven't taken a look at them. However, one could always say, "Go look at the seedy underbelly" of any movement and you'll find something unpleasant.

I think it also says something that being involved in the pickup community, I hadn't even heard about the red pill until the past few months.

But why should we be surprised at the fact that angry, disgruntled, or unsavory people congregate somewhere? That isn't very surprising to me.

>If you send an angry, bitter dude over to the PUA community, which message do you suppose they're going to internalize? The good one, or the bad one?

I agree with you on this. I tried to point out that there is an underbelly to the PUA community that should be avoided. An angry and bitter person who has a decent moral compass should be able to figure out, as many guys do, what aspects of the Pickup community aren't good.

I know you don't mean it like this, but I don't presume to "know" when a person is "ready" to hear Pickup advice out of fear that the person will "fall to the dark side" of Pickup. The individual is an adult. He will make good or bad decisions according to his compass, and furthermore, I have faith in the Pickup community to call out bad behavior.

It may seem strange to people outside of the community because of the stereotypes, but when people come asking for advice, I often see advice given that takes into account how to most morally deal with the situation.

>Dunno. I frequently get accusations of arrogance and self righteousness. I never really understood how that's a criticism. Everyone, everywhere, believes they are right about everything (otherwise, they'd change their minds). I'm just blunt about it.

A lot of people think they're absolutely right. But there are many people who are willing to believe they are wrong.

Also (and I think you're aware of this), that the tone of a person's words can be subtley insulting and demeaning. It's a kind of ad hominem that many people practice (including myself, I admit) that is not very nice. Most of the time, I think it's entirely unintentional.

  • [-]
  • scorpious
  • -3 Points
  • 01:10:59, 24 March

ESCORTS.

Escorts.

Spend enough to get someone patient, smart, and easy going. Have fun. Complain. Be pampered. Get her off. Let her try making you feel good and laugh.

Mojo: you need to get at least a little back before changing everything.

  • [-]
  • neq
  • -10 Points
  • 01:38:34, 24 March

man... she is obviously feeling much more in control over you than you are over her, to women this is one of the most terrible things for sexual desire, there is virtually no way she will be attracted you to this way, not even if she wanted to, which she obviously doesn't.

i think you need to swallow /r/TheRedPill if you want to save your marriage, and yes, you can still do it, not all is lost.

  • [-]
  • throwaway00120012
  • -3 Points
  • 04:50:51, 24 March

I agree with this. Your wife is much less likely to be attracted to you if you are feeling so down on yourself.

I don't know enough about The Red Pill subreddit, but there is a seduction subreddit.

  • [-]
  • PasswordIsntHAMSTER
  • 5 Points
  • 12:34:53, 24 March

TRP is about having a mental model of women as an inferior race of people. Not really savory.

I hang out with some people at school, we agree on basically everything in life, yet they call themselves red pill and I call myself blue pill... Guess what, I get laid and they don't. :|

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • -26 Points
  • 18:24:01, 23 March

Your problem is inside you, not inside your wife. Do not divorce her, she is a great value in your life, as you recognize.

Consider building your confidence with sex workers. Fuck them with dildos, leave your junk in your pants. Also try escort services for actual dates (dinner, dancing, etc). You have been out of the game and could benefit from some practical experience being romantic with a new person.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 7 Points
  • 18:44:45, 23 March

No doubt the problem is inside me. I'm seeing a psychologist. I don't know how to fix myself. I won't be happier divorced, but I feel lonely. I can't help thinking that if I am lonely, I might as well be alone.

I also suspect my inability to date stems in part from being married. I hope that after a divorce, I will have more luck meeting someone who will meet some of my needs for affection.

  • [-]
  • jim42
  • 13 Points
  • 19:04:44, 23 March

Wtf, don't listen to this guy. You're not broken, you are not wrong for the way that you feel. Wether she means it or not, your wife is acting in a way that is upsetting you. You're not responsible for your involuntary reactions. It sounds like communication has broken down between the two of you because she is invalidating your feelings and telling you that you can't express them. That's the thing that's wrong. If she cares about you and your relationship, she should take your feelings seriously. If she can't or doesn't want to, then it might mean divorce, but that is certainly not a definite. I'm afraid I don't have any magic words or solutions for you pal, but I really do feel for you and I hope you and her can have the serious, open and honest conversation you need.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • -3 Points
  • 19:12:58, 23 March

I certainly didn't mean to imply that the fellow is broken; no one can take his feelings more seriously than he himself can, though. He needs to work on himself, not be jealous of his wife. He has the space and freedom to grow, and he should do that. There is an element of misogyny in this thread, the easy thinking that these marital problems can be fixed by an even better wife. He has a great wife. They have a fine rapport. What he does not have is confidence.

  • [-]
  • PriestKing74
  • 1 Points
  • 01:01:04, 24 March

God! I wish I could sit down with you and your wife. Yes. I'm sure there are issues you need to work on... learning a bit of "pick up" wouldn't be a bad thing. ESPECIALLY the stuff on "inner game." I highly recommend "The Blueprint Decoded" from RSD. Its more about self improvement than pulling tricks to get a girl to bed. It helped my marriage more than it helped me pick up girls. (First hour is boring... it does pick up, and really gets to some good stuff.)

Hope is not lost my friend. Its called a rough start into poly.... in your case a really rough start. After a rough start for us.... I wouldn't go back... and I wouldn't trade the rough patch to have stayed monogamous. Life can get better... and be better with your friend, confidant and wife still in it.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • -10 Points
  • 18:56:18, 23 March

How do the steps I described (to begin fixing yourself) sound to you? Scary? Skeezy?

Based on what I have seen in this thread I believe a divorce would be a mistake. You just need to grow.

  • [-]
  • poly_failure
  • 6 Points
  • 19:13:46, 23 March

I briefly considered an escort if only for some one-on-one adult conversation over a nice meal.

I don't have a burning desire to plunge a dildo into a prostitute. I want to feel wanted. I want genuine affection, and I don't think I can buy that. This isn't all about sex, but I have come to the conclusion that sex helped me feel affection/nurturing/care/bonding/reliability/trust.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • 0 Points
  • 19:23:10, 23 March

Yeah, it's not about sex. It's about getting you to a place where you can look in a mirror and remember why you are wantable. You are a smart and sensitive guy who can probably make many women happy. To do that, you need to develop your confidence.

Your wife has opened a brave new world in your shared life, you must do likewise.

  • [-]
  • DrLamLam
  • 6 Points
  • 21:36:45, 23 March

I think the issue /u/jim42 has is that you said the problem is inside him.

To a degree, it's true, his feelings are his own and it's OP's responsibility to figure them out and address them.

However, his wife is a problem: she's behaving poorly and has created a toxic home environment. Part of the problem is her, and leaving her is definitely a step in the right direction, but won't fix everything.

I was very jealous with my ex. Turns out, he was creating a super toxic situation in which I felt extremely belittled, used, invalidated and unimportant. Of course I'd feel jealous. I never felt jealousy before him. More tellingly, I've not felt it since, and with my current partner (with whom I am poly), I still haven't felt it. Did I have my own shit to deal with? Sure. Was the problem solely in me? No.

  • [-]
  • SevenAugust
  • -3 Points
  • 21:44:42, 23 March

His wife isn't evil. She is caught up in her new experiences and that is what is creating problems. There is no evidence of hostility on her part. Divorcing her in a pique of jealousy and self-pity would be tossing away years of emotional investment as well as foundation for a happy (poly) life.

  • [-]
  • DrLamLam
  • 6 Points
  • 22:19:24, 23 March

Didn't say she was evil. She doesn't have to be evil to be creating a downright toxic environment.

I can't speculate as to her motivations, and we are only getting OP's version so who's to say anything about anything. We only have OP's word to go by, and based on OP's words, she sure doesn't sound like she's handling this NRE stuff well, but additionally, she's also being disrespectful. There's being wrapped up in NRE, and then there's being in NRE + jerkiness.

But based on OP's reaction, I'd say he already wants the divorce, and was hoping for validation. So, it doesn't matter in the end why he wants it, whether it's this, something else, or whatever. He wants a divorce, that was the mindset he came with when he wrote this. And that's what he's likely going to walk away with.