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-   -   New to all of this... and struggling... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10369)

Terra 05-27-2011 03:55 PM

New to all of this... and struggling...
 
My husband and I are new to an "open marriage" (yes, still struggling to make the distinction and the decision between "open marriage" and polyamory), and I feel emotionally adrift. I thought that perhaps, those who have been practicing polyamory for some time might have some advice.

Some background- after years of, what was essentially a sexless marriage, I slipped and had an affair. I am a generally open person who tries to be transparent and authentic, and the guilt was killing me. I broke off the relationship and told my husband, and we proceeded to have marriage counseling. He discovered that he had been struggling for years with chronic depression, and the effects of this and the subsequent weight gain had basically destroyed his sex drive. After getting treated, we discovered something else- that, though we love each other very much, we were beginning to question the long term viability of a monogamous relationship. We felt drawn to exploring attractions to others. So, two months ago, we decide to try polyamory/open marriage.

He immediately fell in with an old high school girlfriend who lives out of state and who is also in an open marriage. They have a solid, deep friendship and relationship, and he's been very respectful of me as a primary. He cannot see her often, but he keeps in contact via phone almost every day.

My problem? I have had no shortage of folks who have expressed an interest in dating, but I can't seem to find the right formula for myself. I find that putting myself out there just means that, rather than getting my feelings all dinged up by one person, that I am getting my feelings hurt by multiple partners. I am realizing how insecure and sensitive I am, and how low my self-esteem is at times. I recently lost almost 100 pounds, but can't seem to view myself as I am now.

I had a lovely three-way experience with an old boyfriend and his girlfriend while at a conference (I am bi), and they would like to keep seeing me. However, they live halfway across the country. Additionally, she has been contacting me a lot individually and talked about seeing me individually, and that makes me feel guilty towards the old boyfriend, whom I suspect would be hurt to know how much she is in contact. I dated a man whom I later realized was merely looking for a sexual partner. I placed an ad on one of the big adult dating sites and had a lot of response, but almost all of the responses included pictures of private parts and, I could tell, I had nothing in common with anyone. Additionally, I have a close female friend who gave me signals that she was interested, but when I responded in kind, she backed away. It's an awkward situation, as she also dated the man with whom I had the affair, and he still flip-flops back and forth in terms of being friends with us. Right now, I feel left out of the triangle.

So, I'm left feeling that there's a lot of noise in my life, but not much signal. I have no idea how to find something more stable and affirming. And, my husband has indicated an interest in swinging together, and I just don't see that as being for me. It's not just about sex for me. It's about making connections, and I don't seem to be drawn towards watching him with someone else. I can handle him seeing other people, but I don't really want a visual reminder of it.

I'm feeling alone and adrift right now, and am experiencing feelings of depression. Is this perhaps a failed experiment for me, or am I just going about this all the wrong way?

Sorry to write a novel here, and thank you in advance for any advice you might have...

Tia27 05-27-2011 06:01 PM

Hello
 
I feel your pain. I think it is hard being poly because essitialy we are always like a single person, lonely and looking. Until we are poly saturated that is. You are alone in your search for a compainion. I can assure you of that. Let time play out, when it is time you will met the right person. Be confident in that. Take care of yourself and focus on who you are. So that when you do met someone great you have brought the best person you can be to them. I need to take my own advice!!! I am looking for a compainion. I have had and am currently in a sexless marriage. it is difficult. Chat me back. Id love to hear more from you.

MonoVCPHG 05-27-2011 06:15 PM

Sorry I don't have any advice really. Wlecome to the forum though. There is a lot of support to be found. Take care

Anneintherain 05-27-2011 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terra (Post 83488)
Additionally, she has been contacting me a lot individually and talked about seeing me individually, and that makes me feel guilty towards the old boyfriend, whom I suspect would be hurt to know how much she is in contact.

Are you sure he would be hurt? Do they have an agreement to only date people together? I would want to clear this up with them ASAP, but if you happen to like her enough to want to see her without him, there is certainly no reason to feel guilty about it, although of course if it would bother him, I wouldn't go there.

I don't have any other advice really, I've found OKcupid.com to be great for me for poly dating - when I had a profile on adult friend finder years ago looking to meet women, all I got were women who wanted me to have threesomes with them and their male partners, so for romantic relationships, I'd certainly recommend OKcupid if you haven't tried it, or to see if there are local poly meet ups in your area if you are more of a social beast.

redpepper 05-28-2011 05:18 AM

I would keep at it and realize that it took some time to find your husband, so this likely will too. Why would you want to rush into something that is meant to be fulfilling, beneficial and positive in your life. These things take time. A lot of time sometimes.

When I went through my "dating" phase I enjoyed every moment, even if it was sometimes difficult and even damaging to my "self." It was all important and all a learning experience. Going through it is important to find the right person... I wouldn't settle, but keep exploring and seeing what comes up.

It might help to find a local poly group where you are, or create on. There is nothing like finding like minded people to be around for something real to develop. At the very least there will be others of like mind around to feel connected to.

Terra 05-28-2011 10:15 AM

Thanks for the feedback! Anneintherain, you bring up an excellent point. I am just assuming that the old boyfriend and his girlfriend agreed to date as a couple only, but I have no way of knowing this. He might be just fine with her contacting me individually. I think I'll seek clarification, because I am happy to see them either as a couple, or each individually. We have a nice synergy in any combination. The distance is really the biggest factor. They are working on planning a vacation to my area, and I am signing up for a notification service to let me know when fares to their area are cheap.

redpepper, you are right. Patience is required here, and I can't expect everything to be sorted and settled after a mere two months of this. I guess I am gauging things by the immediate success of my husband. I will try to seek out a local polyamory group.

What I *have* found is that there are a lot of people in so-called "monogamous" relationships who think polyamorous folks are perfect cheating fodder. Yuck. No interest in cheating husbands, thank you very much!

redpepper 05-28-2011 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terra (Post 83560)
What I *have* found is that there are a lot of people in so-called "monogamous" relationships who think polyamorous folks are perfect cheating fodder. Yuck. No interest in cheating husbands, thank you very much!

yes, very unfortunate isn't it? Thanks to a few dating sites that use the poly name and a few articles on line that put poly across as something that is kept from a primary partner and underground, that kind of mentality is rampant in the dating site world. *sigh* I did a lot of educating while dating.

You might want to do a search in the tags for "dating" there are a few threads where we have talked about this phenomena, they might interest you. Please pitch in with your two cents if you like.


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