View Full Version : We are new to polyamory, guidance please
05-31-2009, 11:56 PM
Hello Everyone, I have a story to tell and have been longing to tell it. And I welcome oh so very welcome anyone who can guide me and my husband on our new journey.
We are new to polyamory. I am a Social Worker and a MSW/counseling student. My story begins about two years ago when in a marriage and family counseling class I was being taught about marriage, couples, divorce, step families, extended famiies, and bare just barely the gay and leabian lifestyles. I realized no text book nor any professor can teach/taught about the alternate love/lifestyles. For example open marriages, swinging lifestyle, Polyamory etc... So began to do my own research. I fell in love with Polyamory, the concept, the premise. I began to write my papers and focus towards poly. My husband at the time completely monogamous thought I was nuts. I love the belief. and any where along my way any one please correct me if i'm wrong along my way here. Poly seems to be broad from loving friendships to loving committed intimate relationships. And what, there are something like 6 billion people on the planet and I don't think any one has a right to dictate who someone can and cannot love, weather multiple or one love. So after two years of my husband hearing me talk about Poly, asks if I like to open up our marriage, of course I said yes. However, Open seems too recreational for us. we are looking for long lasting, friendships, relationships, and eventually once we establish these friendships intimacy, depends on what particular relationship but yes i'm sure intimacy. and I have several questions I have been so so longingly have answered please oh please I need guidance.Ok some questions. Such as if your married or a primary couple, how do you keep you marriage and primary relationship strong? How do you still remain the center i should say? How do you keep the secondary (or more) relatonship strong? Married or primary couples do you have rules for your partner like when they are getting to know someone new like if your not in a relationship with a couple, such as taking the time to get to know someone before you are intimate with them, or sharing details about when you were alone with your secondary with your primary? and especually at first what about jealousey? how do you combat that, coming from a monogamous relationship into a Poly one especually at first i'm thinking jealousey wuld play a factor it is after a natural human emotion? And how do you meet other people weather us being married and wanting to meet a one to shar ourselves with seperately, or us meeting a couple together. how do we meet realpeople. We under no circumstances are looking for recreational sex, we want to bond, friendships, lasting relationships, yes intimacy. Not one one night stands. Anyone open to the challenge of guiding Newbees Please Help your always welcome
06-01-2009, 12:45 AM
Welcome to the forum. I can try to take a stab at a few of your questions. But they are just personal opinions and your milage may vary. :)
Such as if your married or a primary couple, how do you keep you marriage and primary relationship strong?
I think you do the same things that you would do as if you were monogamous. The only thing different is you may have tougher constraints on your time when you are with other people you love. Otherwise, just make sure you two are communicating and are happy with each other.
How do you keep the secondary (or more) relatonship strong?
Most answers in poly boil down to "communication" and "being open with your feelings and desires." Each situation is different, but just make sure the lines of communication stay open and everyone can get their feelings known.
Married or primary couples do you have rules for your partner like when they are getting to know someone new like if your not in a relationship with a couple, such as taking the time to get to know someone before you are intimate with them, or sharing details about when you were alone with your secondary with your primary?
I think this varies a lot with comfort level and what works for everyone. This is something that should be negotiated, but with thoughts of revising agreements as time goes on and you learn new things. A lot of dealing with being poly is learning a lot about what you and others can be comfortable with.
and especually at first what about jealousey? how do you combat that, coming from a monogamous relationship into a Poly one especually at first i'm thinking jealousey wuld play a factor it is after a natural human emotion?
Accept that people do feel jealous. I think it is a useful way to understand what you are feeling deep inside. Jealousy tends to manifest from either envy or insecurity for most issues. If you can figure out which it is, you can then begin to work through the problem instead of treating the sympton of jealousy. For example, one couple I knew, the husband was feeling jealous because his wife could get a date in a hot minute and it would take him months. So he should focus on dealing with the envy.
And how do you meet other people weather us being married and wanting to meet a one to shar ourselves with seperately, or us meeting a couple together. how do we meet realpeople.
That is a tougher one. You could try poly conventions or poly friendly conventions like BDSM, comic-cons or sci-fi cons. You can try social networking sites like okcupid or facebook. You could just be open and you may stumble across a relationship.
I wish you well in this.
06-01-2009, 09:49 AM
Thank you so much for your quick response. I valued your information. And as you have said everyones situation is different and I'm sure I will be hearing from people with many variations, views, situations along my way. I really liked what you had to tell me about jealousey you brought a very very good point of view to my attention is it envy or insecurity? And yes work on that problem.
Again Thank You Very Much I really appreciate your taking the time to help a newbe out.
06-01-2009, 12:46 PM
Heyla and Welcome! :)
As Quath said, communication, lots and lots of communication, honestly, theres no such thing as talking too much, err not that I've found.
Jealousy may or may not be an issue, if it is, be honest and let your partner/s know, and just try to figure out how to not let it overshadow everythign else.
as to where to find folks? okcupid is good sometimes, theres also alot on there looking for a quick hookup, so tread lightly if your wanting more. I'd also suggest any local festivals, for instance there is a Highland fest about an hour from us here, and we have a Renessaince Festival in the end of summer here. You'll find alot of open minded people at such gatherings, at least thats been my finding. Be open, be yourselves, a new love may find you before you know it.
Good luck to you both, may you find all your looking for :)
06-01-2009, 08:26 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate you sharing your view with me. So far sounds like there can never be enough communication, communicate, and honesty. If you or others read my reply now this brings to my attention if i mayask, do you (or anyone) see the men in poly relationships to be more communicative,or attentive, or responsive to their mate/s than in the traditional monogamous relationships. And another question am I right to think there is a difference between an open marriage or relationship and the poly relationships? Open seems very ecreational to me, whereas poly seems to be on a much higher deeper commitment, what is your (or anyones) view between the two?
06-02-2009, 03:32 AM
Before entering a polyamorous relationship I was married monogamously for sixteen years. Although I am not personaly polyamorous, the communication between my girlfriend, her husband and me is second to none!
More attentive? I would say definitely yes because the need to communicate requires more attention which promotes deep closeness. The likes of which I have never felt. There is also struggle there for sure.LOL! But all relationships have that.
I will agree with you about "open relationships". To me it is the depth of polyamorous connections that set them apart. I would not want to be in an open relationship but will work to flourish within a poly one. I respect the caring and have little appreciation for recreactional sex..although I thought that would be my nature...strange how you learn things about yourself.
06-02-2009, 05:36 AM
Welcome Paula, all the advice you're received so far is dead bang on. My personal definition of poly is like Mono's, one of depth. My wife of 27 years and her best friend of 20 only 6 months ago entered into this "V" relationship. They are each monogomous with me. They are not bi. Boy has it been a learning experience for all of us. Let me say that I personally wouldn't have entered into a poly relationship with a total stranger, nor felt comfortable enough to suggest this to my very monogomous wife. For me and now us, it was the 20+ year friendship and close feelings that brought this about. If you're not comfortable approaching total strangers with the idea, is there anyone special in your life that you or your husband have thought of or had deep personal feelings for over the last few years that you might consider a relationship with?
06-02-2009, 12:33 PM
poly men - yes, so far it has been my finding most poly men seem to be much more open, up front, communicative, attentive and oh definitely more responsive
difference between open relationship and poly - well this will differ more from person/couple to person/couple, but of those I've met personally and myself, yes, we would all say there is a huge difference, but to each there own, there is no one concrete right way to be, there is simply yours and your partners/'s way to be, do what you feel most comfortable and happy with
to me an open relationship would be mostly friends with benefits in sharing sex or bodies as well, and poly is sharing your heart/mind/soul as well as bodies if all involved are accepting of such, so yes in that respect there is something much more deeper happening as far as I'm concerned
again, each persons poly is different, decide what works best for you, don't let anyone decide for you or make you feel your way is wrong :)
06-02-2009, 01:34 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. Yes the advice I am receiving so far seems to coincide with one another. If I may ask as I cannot quite tell from your reply, in your situaltion who's idea was it to become or try a poly relationship? A 20+ year friendship is definately impressive andt that their closeness has grown over the years enough to lead to a relationshiop between the three of you. You said your wife and her friend are not bi, if I may ask was it hard for your wife at first anyhow knowing her husband was being intimate with another woman, best friend of 20 years or not one is still sharing a part of themselves your being 27 years. I guess I mean that forst plunge, first step? the jealousey, it ia a natural human emotion. she may not have had any due to the existing strong relatioships she had with her friend. I have actually met someone who I am just in the getting to know you stage, he's from out of state I'm PA he is MD and about 7hrs between us, we are both willing to meet half way, meet the whole way, or anywhere in between. we have not been sexualy active yet. yes there is that attraction, but I want to take it slow, I am new here, I wan't to make sure, some poly individuals i see depending on their situation have several partners. At this begining of my journey and my husbands too right now at first we are just looking for someone we each can spend time with alone, enjoys anothers company, and enjoys anothers intimacy if it leads that way. The fellow I met kinda just fell into my lap, I was looking, but not actively looking , I had met him online. Heres the thing other than knowing someone, close friend,having deep personal feelings with we don't, I'm ok with approaching total strangers, lol, my husbans not so much. In your opinion do you see a trend where it's easier for women to attract a mate/s than men, just like when a monogmous individual would i guess date? I get spoken to all the time, the person I am getting to know he found me on MY Space and really took off from their as I said i was looking but never imagining finding a partner on my space of all places, I mean the man is real and not an asshole, I get so many pervs sending email on my space it's beginning to bother me, because I not that kind of girl. Anyhow that what I ws just saying about rather long winded (i'm sorry), but my husband is finding it difficult to find a partner, neither of us know anyone in our own network of friends to approach. Everyone so far has given me good ideas of where to meet people so far. He says it's easier for women to find a partner because their women. I really feel bad I of course love and am committed to my husband, but hearing the forlorn in his voice, I want him to experience the well at the moment exhiliration and newness of learning someone else and enjoy that person. Any ideas for him? are there any match making websites? Neitherof us want to have many partners. I see some people do. Oh well, thank you for listening, again. If you (or anyone else) have any more suggestions or advice for me please write back. And again thank you very much for your advice I really appreciate it.
06-02-2009, 01:59 PM
You asked about "primary" vs "secondary" partners. So this is as good a place to begin to respond to your post, overall. I've been living with my partner, Kevin, for 12 years. Pretty much the whole time our relationship was basically open and polyamorous in spirit. On a very few occasions, Kevin & I have explored other relationships, but none were lasting--though we were open to that possibility, and neither of us are interested in casual sex. Anyway, to get to my initial point, I've decided not to consider Kevin my "primary" partner, despite the fact that we have a very solid, long term loving relationship, and we live together. I have decided this because, last summer, I fell in love with another man ("R")--who at the time was pretty much my best friend--, and didn't want him to think that he was somehow "second" or "secondary" in relation to Kevin. I wanted him to know that I could and would love him equally. I did this because, were the shoe on the other foot, or the tables turned, I'd not want to be anybody's "secondary" lover. (I ended up somehow losing both my friendship with "R" and the loverly explorations with him in the bargain, but that's another story!)
Of course, there are those who would be delighted to be #2 or #3..., and that's fine for those who want that. But I wouldn't. I want to be loved in whole by my lovers, whether I am with one or two or three -- and beyond that is just too many! I haven't got time enough to have more than two or three! Love needs nurturing, like a garden, and I have other loves in my life, as well, like my work and my learning to make music, etc. And all of this needs proper attention and love. And time.
So, since you're looking for advice, I suggest that you find out what you want and need which is also considerate of what all of the others involved want and need. This is a never-ending process, I think, because, if we're lucky, we're growing and changing all the while. But we get better and better at knowing ourselves and how to be sensitive and kind to the others in our lives. This begins with being sensitive and kind with ourselves -- but not to the exclusion of others. Never to the exclusion of others.
06-04-2009, 05:04 AM
Paula, I was the one to initiate the threesome ......our friend of 20 years had become much closer to me while going thru tough times in her own marriage. I came to find out that she had deep feelings for me for many years but refused to act on them because of her friendship with my wife. Since our marriage had grown stale, to the point of us taking eachother for granted, bickering, etc, I decided to propose we change something without getting divorced ourselves. Hence the poly. It seemd like a natural extension for me given the fact that I have always had many "girl" friends since my teen years. I have only been married the one time and never strayed. In researching the poly lifestyle it seemd that the communal living, the shared responsibilities, the deep friendship we all three shared was, the perfect storm so to speak.
My wife needless to say was shocked at the suggestion but I guess grasping at the opportunity to save our marriage also, agreed to give it a try. We do still deeply love eachother and want to grow old together, as it turns out with our best friend. Yes the jealousy has been a problem. She is now at 6 months coming to grips with it and realizing how happy we all three are has gone a long way to ease her fears, worries, etc. Feeling secure in this poly life has a lot to do with letting go of the jealousy, I believe. It's still a learning process for us all, and they both know I love them dearly. As other here have said, communication is the key. Talk everything out.
As for meeting others, I wouldn't know what to tell you. Been 30 years since I was out looking. Sorry I can't be more help there, but I have heard from others that you must be careful with who you meet online for all the usual reasons. Hope this helps.