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-   -   Baby Steppin' (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10814)

RunBabyRun 06-10-2011 10:39 PM

Baby Steppin'
I started keeping a blog prior to becoming a member of this site because I want to record the journey and remember it as it was, not worse or better. I also need and want advice and chastening when I spin off into left field. It is my hope that my husband, IDRider47, will read this blog and that it will help with our journey, bringing comfort and security when things get rough. Talking through things together is really helpful but to be able to go back and see things in writing will, I hope, add value to our face to face communication.

Iíll post these dated ones in one post and then add to it later.

Day 10

First some background. Iím an almost 40 year old heterosexual female who has been doing some extensive research on the origin of human sexuality. A few of my favorite books are ďSex at DawnĒ and ďThe Myth of MonogamyĒ. Ethnographic research shows that monogamy is not a universal human trait and that culture is a powerful influencer of the expression of our sexuality. Autonomy and gender egalitarianism are both values of mine.

I am convinced that humans are not biologically designed as a monogamous species and that we have the capacity to love and sexually experience more than one person at a time. Polyamory makes perfect sense to me.

My husband, IDrider47 (Rider, henceforth), and I have been married for 20 years and have 2 teenagers. Weíve had our ups and downs but we are in a really good place. Heís an amazing human being and an extraordinary lover. We are well matched in most areas but I am more outdoorsy and physically active and I have interests that gross him out (forensic/biology stuff). I met someone at college who is active and is also shares my gross interests. I am attracted to him and I think he is attracted to me but I have not given him any indication of my attraction.

A little over a week ago I opened up a conversation with my husband about an open marriage. Weíve talked for hours and hours and hours and he was open to it and we even had conversations about logistics, his curiosities and my needs. He says he doesnít need an open marriage but it would give him the opportunity for variety that monogamy doesnít provide. The benefit for me would be that Iíd get to express lust for someone who is physically active and that Iíd have someone to run, hike, etc. with and who I could tell all the dissection and death stories I wanted to without feeling like a weirdo.

So far, so good. (And let me say that the sex has been amazing this past week!) I canít remember the last time I felt so close to him. The problem is that every day that we get closer to actually talking to other people and trying to find someone, the more the excitement and rational thoughts fade and the more the scary negative thoughts take over.

I have someone in mind but he doesnít so itíll take longer for him to find someone but we want to try to sync the timing up so that one of us isnít left alone thinking about the other person getting fucked by someone else.

A few days ago my husband told me he created a profile on a poly dating site and sent a message to a local woman. The message was no big deal, really just a statement about how scary this is and how her picture was a nice one. He didnít even expect a response. Nevertheless, I felt like throwing up because it made me so uneasy. I did look at her picture. It was a very challenging day for me but I processed and we talked it through. I rely a lot on my research and logical thinking and was able to rationalize it. There was no drama, tears or anything, it was just that I had to choose not to react in fear. We had a great day together.

As the days go on though I just feel sadness. Iím insecure and scared and last night I had a total meltdown. My rational mind says that this is perfectly natural and legitimate and that we are in a stable relationship. I hate jealousy because it indicates a sense of ownership. I do not own him and if he truly loves me, he will stay. Blah, blah, blah.... I know all this but now I am so afraid to lose him. I no longer think about the guy I was originally attracted to in an exciting way. Iím just not interested anymore.

But now, Iíve given my husband the idea of an open marriage and the possibilities and I feel like a total selfish monster for pulling back. He and I had come to the same thoughts that this isnít right for us now but I feel like maybe he feels a bit cheated. He says he doesnít but that novelty can only come with others (true).

I want autonomy. I want to be able to let go of him too and be secure but all I can do is cry. This sucks! But I want to grow as a person and I truly want him to be able to experience things he canít with me. Please help with any advice you may have. I read Freetimeís thread today and itís helpful to know that other newbies are feeling powerful emotions and have fears that this could ruin their marriages.

I asked my husband to take down the dating profile he had set up and, god love him, he pulled his computer out right there and deleted it. I didnít mean right that exact minute but it demonstrates how committed he is to my comfort. Iím crying again as I write this because I am a bit ashamed, I wish I had let that desire simmer a bit because as insecure as Iím feeling I really do not want to be ruled by fear and I really do trust him. Arg!!! Today I am emotional but willing to just sit in it and try to go through it and not around it. Have I mentioned that this sucks?

Bottom line: talking about it in the abstract is exciting but as faces and names become attached I feel worse and worse. Abstract- good; specifics/actual- bad.

8:35 AM
Day 11

Itís amazing what a few hours can bring. Iím back to considering this thing but going really slow. Talked to Rider and although heís suffering from a bit of whiplash I think we will probably both put a profile on the poly dating site so we can chat with other polys and go from there. I just donít want to be the person I was last night. I want to be secure and fearless and live with open arms.

Day 12

We talked some more last night and I told Rider all the things I mentioned above. He said he was surprised by my strong flip. We decided that for now we are not looking for new relationships. We are just learning and looking for some poly friends who we can chat with and ask questions of. We both agree that mono friends may have strong negative reactions to this inquiry and possible lifestyle so for now we want to keep it to ourselves.

We are going to both create profiles on a poly dating site but we are only looking for friends. We mainly want to be able to live chat with people. We have agreed that the conversations cannot be of a dating nature and no sex talk (other than informational), i.e. no sex talk meant to arouse the receiver. We will be in the chat room together many times. No secrets. We are taking baby steps.

If we ever do this I want it to be done because we are as ready as we can be, not because we got sucked into something we canít handle in the heat of all the excitement. This is especially a danger for me and I donít want to have any regrets (well, thatís not possible so let me restate that, I want to have as few regrets as possible). We also agreed that we would sit on any decision for at least 24 hours to make sure itís what we really want before making a change. This whole thing is a roller coaster and my meltdown the other night shows that my emotions can scream one thing while my rational brain whispers another. I donít want to make and unmake decisions in a reactionary fashion.

I did ask Rider to stop wearing his wedding ring because for me it is a symbol of ownership and I want to see him as autonomous. It will also give him the opportunity to be approached by women and flirted with more than if he had it on. My ring doesnít look like a wedding ring and people often donít know Iím married until I mention my husband. We have children so we donít want them to be alarmed. I am still wearing my ring (and probably always will since I am a jewelry person and my husband isnít). Itís logical and doesnít raise too many eyebrows. Today was his first day of not wearing it. Iíve got to say, Iím a little turned on by that (donít know why-silly really).

Day 13

I am so relieved that Rider suggested we slow down and take baby steps. I donít feel any pressure and Iím able to just enjoy the good vibes my husband is throwing my way. Itís bliss and I can really appreciate him for who he is and how much he loves me. So, feeling great today.

I realize that Iím going to have to stretch myself and allow discomfort so Iím wondering what the next step is. I think itís doing the dating profiles and having conversations with others that Rider and I arenít necessarily privy to. We will each have to trust the other to abide by the rules, which I am truly not concerned about. Rider is the most solid person I know. I absolutely trust that he will abide by our agreement; nevertheless, he will be establishing friendships with women other than me and vice versa. Thatís more than thinking someone looks nice from their picture! Iím ready for the new challenge though (haha, famous last words as Iím learning from all the other newbie posters). :)

Morningglory629 06-11-2011 04:20 AM

Great posts! interesting blog with kind of a different twist than most I have read so far. I will be reading your story.

great tagline too!

transitapparent 06-11-2011 05:19 AM

I'm a newbie to this too and I will agree it's a roller coaster ride of emotions. my wife approached me and I agreed, we talked, but afterwards, I had second thought after second thought. fear, anger, jealousy, shame. I've felt them all and still do sometimes. she now has a bf, I'm still on the fence on whether to stay mono or not. the options are intriguing but, after being married and monogamous for almost 8 years, its a little daunting. I look forward to hearing your story. I would consider starting a blog myself, but I wouldn't keep up with it, I never do.

RunBabyRun 06-11-2011 10:17 PM

From Halting Baby Steps to Letting Things Flow
Thank you for your kind words, Morningglory629 and transitapparent.

Transitapparent, I can't image what it would be like to be in your shoes but I will tell you that your story and stories like it are extremely helpful because it highlights how this poly thing can be hurtful, even when not intended. Your perspective is an extremely important one and can't be overlooked. I wish you well.

Day 15

Rider and I have posted several questions to the forum and have gotten some great feedback and different perspectives. Thank you, nycindie, GroundedSpirit, MonoVCPHG, and Magdlyn for your responses.

We had another great talk last night (between all the talking and the sex we canít get more than 4 hours of sleep a night:)) and several short conversations today. We feel ready to let things happen organically. Rider told me that he is further along today than yesterday and he said he thinks if I have the opportunity to engage with someone else I should take it. I told him I felt the same. It was awesome. I didnít even have a twinge of bad feelings. I think itís because Iíve peeled another layer of the onion away (to borrow an analogy from one of the posts I read last week-sorry I canít give credit to the original; I canít remember where I saw it).

Iíve been working on owning my own emotional and spiritual stuff for the past few years and figuring out who I am and who I want to be. Itís been a great journey and Iím still maturing. Iíve added another list as it relates to this poly thing.

To future me for when I lose my way and forget why Iím doing this or when Iím tempted to back away from a challenge instead of grow through it. This is who you want to be.
1. I want to send Rider off on his dates with a kiss, a smile, and a ďhave a great time!Ē (and really mean it)
2. I want to welcome Rider home from a date with a kiss, a smile, and a ďdid you have a good time?Ē (and really hope he did)
3. I want to rest in the knowledge that Rider stays with me because he loves me and wants to be my partner in life, not because he is bound to me.
4. I want to live with open arms and an open heart.

So, thatís where we are today and I feel so at peace.

Iím leaving in a few days for a 10 day trip into the boonies and Iíll be completely out of communication, no phone, no computer, nothing. I wonder what I will come home to. Will it be to a happy husband who announces that he did _________ with another woman or will he have changed his mind or something else perhaps? Either way, itís all good. Iím not afraid and itís a powerful feeling. Iím so happy today and my heart is so full.


RunBabyRun 06-12-2011 04:08 PM

Day 16

Well, we did it. We officially opened up our marriage. We figure weíre as ready as weíll ever be so weíre just going to let things happen as naturally as possible.

We have only 3 rules.

This is really cool. Rider and I both agree that a long list of rules kind of goes against the whole open/poly ideal. That is, if this is about autonomy, trust, and not owning or controlling the primaryís choices, etc. then donít a bunch of rules put you right back into that closed, controlling thought process? (Just our thoughts at this point)

Itís funny but I donít really feel any different. I guess thatís because we had gotten to the same point in thinking in the past few days. The only thing we hadnít done was to make it official.

Iím not excited, scared, or numb. Iím neutral. Thatís good; itís like itís become a normal mode of thought. Iím not rushing into anything or looking to fill a hole. Iím 100% satisfied with Rider and if and when someone else comes along that could add to my life then Iíll add them.

Iím heading off for 10 days and itíll be weird to not be able to talk to Rider at all while Iím gone, especially after all of these great marathon conversations. I canít wait to come back home to him.

RunBabyRun 06-21-2011 02:12 AM

Let it begin....
Day 8 of being in an open marriage

Last week before I left on my trip I e-mailed the man I am interested in developing a deeper relationship with. He e-mailed me back and told me to call him to set up a time to get together when I got back. I called him today and we set up a hiking ďdateĒ for Wednesday. Heís supposed to get back to me with the details.

Iím nervous. Iím excited, but Iím very nervous. He doesnít know how I feel or that Iím in an open marriage. I want to tell him so he can move forward with a deeper relationship if he is interested (we had chemistry when we met and when we talked before and after classes last semester).

Iím nervous about the potential rejection and Iím nervous that itís going to put Rider in a weird position and I donít want to hurt him. Itís just the newness and the fear of the unknown.

Well, here we go.....

RunBabyRun 06-23-2011 03:15 PM

First "date"
Thanks to Autumnal Tone, Meringue, Redpepper, NeonKaos, and River for you comments regarding my ďnervousĒ post in the New to Polyamory section. It really helped. I have to also thank Rider (husband) for his wisdom and understanding. He gets me and soothed some of my nerves and concurred with Redpepper that I was/am way over-thinking.

So, yesterday we went on our hike. I wove the comment about having an open marriage into our conversation. Mr. Xís only response was, ďWhat exactly does open marriage mean?Ē. I told him that it means that Rider and I both have the freedom to develop relationships with whomever we want and that we each choose what kinds of relationships they are, whether friendship or something more. Then we just continued with our conversation and it was not a big deal.

We hiked for nearly 4 hours and when I took him back to his apartment he invited me to take a dip in the pool. Since I didnít bring a suit we sat on the edge and talked for another hour or so. It was really relaxed and fun.

I do feel a sexual attraction to Mr. X (itís a slow burn, not a ďI must take you now!Ē thing) and he did a few things that made me wonder if he was sort of flirting. I told Rider about it and he said yes, that Mr. X was making a step in my direction.

I hope that he is open to some kind of a friendship. I really like him as a human being and Iíd really love to have a hiking, backpacking and mountain bike riding buddy. For some reason I want that person to be a guy. If he only wants to be friends Iím absolutely OK with that. Having said that, I would like to explore a physical relationship with him. I want to take it slow so that I make sure heís serious about being a friend in the long run but I did find myself wondering what it would be like if he kissed me.

Rider was awesome about it. He called it a ďdateĒ but Iím not sure about calling it that. It was 2 friends getting together and talking where one of the friends has other things on her mind. Anyway, itís really cool to be able to come home and tell my best friend how things went and to ask him for advice. So weird!

I feel like an 8th grader. I want to just blurt it out and say, ďDo you like me?Ē, ďAre you tempted to touch me?Ē, ďWhat is going through your head because mine is spinning the whole time Iím around you wondering what youíre thinking?!Ē Geez this is nerve wracking and fun in that off-kilter kind of way. :)

Carma 06-23-2011 05:54 PM

Hi RunBaby,
Your blog is a really interesting read.

My husband and I opened our marriage about 8 months ago. We've shared many of the fears and excitement and questions and concerns that you have mentioned. We were sort of "forced" into poly when I fell in love with our neighbor, who was also my husband's friend. (After all we've been through, with the brutal honesty that poly has required, now my husband calls him his best friend.)

What especially interests me about your blog is your feelings about your husband's journey into non-monogamy. My husband has been 100% devoted to me since the day he met me (we've been married 12 1/2 years). I point out other girls to him, he always replies, "She's cute, but not as cute as you." I've always been so secure in his love for me (which is lovely, since my father moved away when I was 5 and security with men has always been a big issue for me).

Since opening our marriage, he has stopped wearing his wedding ring. He joined some dating/match sites, and started going out with a single guy friend of his on Friday nights, to meet women. It's weird! I want him to be happy -- I have NEVER been jealous, ever. But I worry now, what have I sent him into??? He didn't have much luck meeting women who interest him. He feels no one really compares to me. I know he's just trying out the whole poly thing, but I think he is sad that he's "out there," when he thought marriage meant the end of the dating crap.

Well, he has started texting a girl he met through business, and they are getting rather intense. I am thrilled for him! He reads me the texts and they are so sexy and clever with each other. Now I am seeing him through her eyes -- and it is making me hotter than ever for him! Even though sometimes I do get those little fears -- uh oh, will he grow to love her more than me? Will he leave me for her? I am not jealous, just a little scared of the unknown. It is definitely an adventure. But so far, we've really made the best of it, and grown so much closer.

Life is good. I see my bf about twice a week, while my husband is at work. We've settled into a nice routine, and we have gotten past a lot of the initial jealousy and fears.We are still happily married, my family is intact and I am feeling more authentic than ever. It's been worth it. I am glad to read your story, too. :)

nycindie 06-23-2011 08:12 PM


Originally Posted by RunBabyRun (Post 88102)
So, yesterday we went on our hike. I wove the comment about having an open marriage into our conversation. Mr. Xís only response was, ďWhat exactly does open marriage mean?Ē. I told him that it means that Rider and I both have the freedom to develop relationships with whomever we want and that we each choose what kinds of relationships they are, whether friendship or something more. Then we just continued with our conversation and it was not a big deal.

Ooooh!! I love how you spoke about it with him! "The freedom to develop relationships with whomever we want and . . . we each choose what kinds of relationships they are, whether friendship or something more." That's just a wonderful way of putting it -- your wording doesn't place an emphasis on sex and yet leaves things open to possibility. I likey! A very mature expression of what being "open" is, btw.


Originally Posted by RunBabyRun (Post 88102)
It was 2 friends getting together and talking where one of the friends has other things on her mind.

Oh, I bet there were two people with something else on their minds! ;)

RunBabyRun 06-23-2011 10:51 PM

Thank you
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I liked how you said, ďwhat have I sent him into???Ē. Very funny and I totally understand. Itís going to be interesting to see how I react to Riderís first real interaction with a real, live woman. Iím excited for him but I also expect to have to process some things. Rider processed my ďdateĒ yesterday really well and I am so overcome by his ability to do so. It inspires me. He was a model of understanding and I want to emulate his behavior when the time comes for me to do so. Iím with ya, girl....it is an adventure!

nycindie, Thank you!

Let me say that you were in fact the inspiration for the formulation of that verbiage. You gave Rider some excellent advice on his ďpoly breaking up a strong marriageĒ thread (in the General section). You bluntly said that he was thinking mono about some things and that he (and I) had some thing ďbass ackwardsĒ. I have to admit, at first I was a little defensive when I saw your comment, BUT he took it just the way you meant it and when he talked it through with me, a light went on. It was so great!!! This is all about autonomy for me and your wisdom has been instrumental in reforming my/our thought processes. I chose my words very carefully, ďfreedomĒ not ďallowed toĒ, and as per Redpepperís advice I left the other stuff open without focusing on a physical relationship. Iím pleased that you approve of my verbiage.

Haha, I sure hope youíre right about 2 friends having something on their minds. Heís killing me; heís playing it really cool right now. I have NO clue where he stands. I wish I could read minds. :)

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