View Full Version : The road(s) less traveled
11-18-2011, 11:30 PM
I've always been a closet blogger...well, using a private blog as a journal. Putting it out there has been another story.
I came to the forum and did my introduction post, then did the obligatory "I'm a mess" post to New to Poly, and the next logical progression is to move here.
There's the woe is me post. Sure, its upbeat and positive like I am most of the time, but read between the lines and you see that I am very early into this, still unsure, definately insecure, and seeing where it leads us.
Since my positive introduction, I've had several rough patches, and I'm seeing that as a common thread in many of your stories. Everyone, monogomous, poly or questioning, has rough patches, and any attempts at being more open to communication or introspection is fraught with things that will trigger rough patches
I talked with T last night and told her how I was thinking things through, that I was journalling, that I was looking at my feelings and trying to look past them to figure out why those feelings occurred. This was new to her, and I hope I can help guide her into her own journey of introspection and selfawareness. I'm pretty sure we are both going to need that skill, and others, as we move through what's already on our plates and what we hope to move on to.
Comments, critiques and even honest criticism welcome, thats why I'm doing this!
11-20-2011, 03:14 PM
Slow going, but thats ok, and its what I'm learning is the right thing.
Lots of everyday life to experience and enjoy; family, work, etc.
While there has always been a lack of time to have one on one adult conversation, we have tried to make it happen. Now we KNOW it has to happen; as often as we can find the time, or make the time. Little talks will get us through for now and allows the other time in between to process. I am still so curious about where this will take us, but at least, for today, for now, I am not as scared as I have been. I'll take that!
Sorry for the boring lack of details, I'm working towards that. Also, I'm not really playing/writing for an audience; I love the feedback I've received in other threads, but this, for now, is for me. Greedy selfish bastard that I am! LOL
11-21-2011, 06:38 PM
Are you both still seeing other partners? Is she having similar rough patches? What are the rough patches related to ...poly and all the emotions surrounding that or is it the cheating and dishonesty?
11-29-2011, 05:45 PM
We are not pushing the boundaries right now. Because of our situations, we each see our friends here and there; and agree that they deserve to be kept in the loop while we re-establish ourselves and our expectations. Her friend is also my friend and I don't want that cut off.....just perhaps held to friendship status for a little bit during this time. My female friend is pretty self-absorbed in her own life, still a friend, but not integral to the relationship between me and my wife.
We continue to have good conversations about non-monogomy and poly. We have to shoehorn these conversations around life, work, family and schedule and I am occasionally impatient to continue the conversations, but I respect the other needs in our lives as well! She grabbed me, randomly, a couple of days ago, and took me to our favorite watering spot for a beer and an hour long talk. It was awesome. We are sharing lots of thoughts and knowledge and both of us are curious as to the shape our lives and our relationship will take as we agree on it in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
There is still anger and betrayal on both sides about how we came to this point. I feel very rejected in that I had made many, many efforts to open the door to conversation and that she did not trust me or the relationship enough to pursue being open. I did the same thing, perhaps with some differences. I am grieving the loss of what I thought was our marriage. I acknowledge that it was always strong, always full of love and happiness, but I am very sad that parts of it were based on mistrust and hurtful behavior on both our parts. Thats why I am looking forward to what is to come.
There are times when we are alone (differing work schedules) that the rough patches come. Thoughts are overwhelming for both of us as we examine some of the things that have happened, why they happened and how that reality differs from the illusions that we were under.
It is sad, shocking and frustrating to realize things weren't quite what you thought, but when you examine the new shifted paradigm, you realize that even though it wasn't what you thought it was, it STILL was an awesome loving marriage and partnership. Thats why, despite the rough patches for us both, I think we are both optimistic as we can be......still going to go to therapy, though, not leaving anything up to chance here, she and I are worth too much to NOT bring in whatever resources will maximize our chances of moving into this new hase successfully!!!!
12-01-2011, 02:12 PM
More talking, here and there. She wants to have more time so that we can have longer talks and not be interrupted. But she's coming around to the idea that these things just cant wait to be scheduled a week or two down the road. And that she cant use scheduling to avoid it. Its really a combination of the two; she does want to have longer talks, they are better for us both when we have uninterrupted time, but it is easy to avoid talking if its scheduled out.
So, today is therapy day! Looking forward to sharing some of my story with a neutral third party. Scared to death that there will be judgement involved or that I will be given advice that is "traditional" or "whats expected" in these situations.
If we were traditional, or did what was expected, we wouldnt be where we are!
I am really good at wrapping my mind around the intellectual issues surrounding new relationships (or not so new, if you've read before), and I do have a good understanding of why we both explored and feel its ok to continue to explore our feelings and needs. It would be easier if she could engage in the dialog of emotional reactions. The strangest thing will take me from a perfect day, happy with all we have done, straight to a pissed off dinosaur! I figure out, later, what triggered that, and why. Good for me! I just wonder why I never see that process with her! She is so good at keeping it ALL in, and that is unhealthy. Hence, individual therapy for each, and couples therapy together.
How come there are no poly counselors out there? Sigh.
12-05-2011, 01:30 PM
Hard to believe that its been this many weeks since we had to move from the wondering part of our marriage to the, slap, time to make some decisions and actually talk part! :)
It really is like the roller coaster so many people mention! There are some seriously high ups to talking, and learning and communicating better than ever before! I hope this is only the beginning of our improved communication.
There are still downs. When communication is going well, the little things that ARE missed become important. Opening up means being open to being hurt, and some of the misunderstandings hurt; at least until we are able to talk and better understand what the other said.
There are no big events to speak about; I've emailed and checked in with my friend. She has been moving into a more normal, probably mono, relationship that she truly deserves. My wife has been doing some reading, some writing and making the appointments she needs to make. She's still chatting and maybe flirting with him, but the three of us met for a beer or two the other night and I still consider him a good friend. He and I need to talk so we're on the same page with the past, but that will come when he's comfortable.
I've started my counseling and that went well the first time. I can't wait to blow the counselors mind with the poly/nm discussions.
I say poly/nm because we still aren't quite sure where on the spectrum we are going to finally rest. If the spectrum ranges from swinging through open marriage to poly (and it may not), then we will probably come in somewhere in the middle.
Based on what we've talked about and read, we don't want casual sex, but we don't want the kind of relationship that we have with each other. Friendships and chemistry that may or may not include sex seem like the path we are going. Is this still poly? I think it is. After watching Sister Wives last night, it makes me wonder.
But, more reading, more writing, more Pedestrian Polyamory Podcasts (those are great), and more talking with my wife seems to be the immediate future for me.
Enough for now.
03-12-2013, 01:11 PM
Fourteen, fifteen months later. Wow, how time has flied. Sometimes like an eagle, sometimes like a wounded duck!
Another day, perhaps, for the details of the story, but today is time for a summary. There is a common theme of "being OK" in this post, and it is repeated a lot....it's intentional and you have been duly warned :)
I've been doing a lot of introspection, and a lot less looking around at what the world has to offer. Basically, what have these experiences given to us, and were they worth it? Short answer is a lot, and I think so.
We have learned a lot, about ourselves and each other, and how we interact as a married couple. We learned at different paces, using different methods and communicating in different styles. The differences caused great frustations and sometimes forced emotional problem solving, and sometimes forced outright conflict. But we learned.
What did I learn?
I learned how to breakdown my fears, to see what things actually were worthy of fear, concern, thought and time. It was facscinating to learn that those things not worthy of fear, concern, thought and time.....well, they disappeared. I learned why I felt those components of jealousy, and was amazed to learn that sex was very far down the list of activity that triggered jealousy. (I also learned it was very high on the list the created arousal, but again, thats a different story).
So....as these triggers kept dwindling, what was the common theme of what's left?
It condenses into one simple question: "Is she ok?"
Before I explain, I want to clarify that this is not all about her. I have needs, wants, desires, kinks, experiences to explore and activities to which to give my time and interest. I am willing and able to express these, and to negotiate for the things I want. Yet, I have this overriding concern for that simple question: "Is she ok?"
I am not asking for her exuberant giddiness about everything I do, nor am I asking for her to constantly feed my need for her reaction. I am merely seeking the feeling, within myself, that she is ok, happy, content, and not hurt, wounded, concerned, and unable to express those things to me.
What the fuck am I talking about? Fair question, and she asks me that when I start getting to wordy. I never answer it right the first time, and if I repeat it a different way, it causes a great deal of unease with her. So, let's make it short and simple, and maybe I won't have to repeat myself! :)
Is she ok?
Is she ok emotionally?
--With her own relationships, and with how I am living MY life.
Is she ok physically?
--Is she conducting her dates safely, exploring in a way that won't leave her vulnerable to unintended consquences of exploring sexual and emotional relationships? Is she physically stressed about how I am living MY life, yet unable to communicate that to me?
Is she ok with how she plays?
Is she ok with how I play?
Is she ok with how we play?
Is she ok with what we have done in the past?
Is she ok with me being wordy?
Is she ok with me researching, reading, blogging and learning?
Is she ok with US?
Is she ok with herself?
Is she ok?
Polyamory provides lots of opportunity to feel not ok about lots of these things, but we learn from them, and I feel that I continue to learn about what makes me feel not OK about experiences she has, interest she may show, and even not OK about the differences in attractions and interest levels themselves.
I've learned that I'm OK when she goes out, dates, chats, and talks about her relationships. I enjoy talking about how she feels and what she thinks is right for her. I miss her when she isn't with me, and once again, I always wonder.....is she ok? It's a great feeling to know, after, that she is ok.
I've learned that I have a hard time enjoying going out, dating, chatting, and even talking about this stuff because I don't get the feeling that she is ok. I try to get her to share with me how she is feeling because I need to know that she is ok with it. That usually backfires.
Maybe she is ok......she has a hard time communicating it. Our communication styles are different, and her processing time is measured in days, sometimes weeks depending on the subject. That's an awfully long time for me to wonder if she is ok.
Yes, she is with me, yes, she loves me and tells me often, yes, we are happy. I rarely fear for the foundation of our love and marriage. But I wonder, very often, is she ok? She is seldom negative, and almost all of her critiquing comments are accurate and constructive. But in the absence of any positives, the negatives are all I see.
I spend most of my polyamory processing time wondering what negatives she will find, and how to avoid them. I wonder what positives she has found. I asked.... She took a little time (ok, a week) and was able to list a number of positive experiences and learning points that she had found from HER own and our shared experiences. That was wonderful and welcome. I feel that she is ok with her own journey and sexuality. That is a recent and huge weight taken off my back.....although I wonder why I was carrying that weight?
Probably because I need to know she is ok.
Now, I just carry the weight of wondering if she is ok with me; the things I have done; the way I have done this. I look at all the things I have learned to be OK with, and wonder if she has learned to be OK, or is she simply tolerating the pain and there is nothing good, no learning, no progress. She would probably tell me; "Hey, I'm still here, I love you and that's enough because I wouldn't feel like this if I wasn't ok" And that may be as far as she is capable of going.
I feel like I have to settle for that, as I can't force her to say more. I constantly search for ways that I can feel that she is ok.....with me and who I am.
It's nice to realize that her being OK is probably THE root cause of my concerns about everything poly and beyond. My feeling that she is OK with herself, with me and with us is the driving force behind my own happiness. If that feeling doesn't exist, I question why I do the things I do.
So, it's nice to realize, but harder to solve.....but I am solving pieces and parts and working on those things under my control; and trying to decide how to live with not knowing that she is ok with what I've done, what I'm doing, and the things I want to do. The work continues.........