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-   -   I need advice (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1095)

Riunin 10-30-2009 08:12 PM

I need advice
I'm not polyamorous, my girlfriend is.
She wants a girlfriend along with me, and I want her to be happy, but I'm afraid and hurt.
She doesn't seem to understand how her wanting another partner, or lover, or whatever the right term is would make me few like less then I should be to her. I don't want her to take a new partner, its more than just the fear of losing her to this new girl or my jealousy or my views on what a relationship should be. She makes me feel special, for the first time in my life there's someone who cares about me, craves me, wants to be me, but now she wants to be with someone else too. It hurts. I've tried reading about the subject to better understand, but after a paragraph or two I just can't read anymore, my eyes start to water and I have to stop. I'm not the kinda guy to just start crying, the last time I cried was when my friend killed himself. I don't know what to do, I want her to have the girl and be happy, but I also don't. It makes me feel like I'm not enough for her to be happy when she means the world to me. To imagine her with someone else hurts me more than I can describe, it's just not how things work in my little world. But I want her to be happy, I need her to, I'd gladly go along with it, through the pain and jealousy if it weren't for my fear that I'll push us apart. Push her onto her new girl and eventually ruin our relationship. I don't know what to do. I wish I could make her understand the way I see things, or that she were monoamorous like me, or that I were polyamorous like her. But then she wouldn't be her or I wouldn't be me.

I just wanted some advice, I figured this would be the place to look.
I can't tell the people around me, they wouldn't understand. Hell I barely understand. I just don't want to lose her, she makes me feel like a real person, just looking at her makes me smile, makes everything better for a while. And I want her to be happy, I'd hate myself if I keep her from being happy. Please help me, I don't know what too do.

LovingRadiance 10-30-2009 10:11 PM

First my dear you need to pause.

Emotions are healthy-they help us define our own limitations.
However-how we act upon them is sadly often not healthy.

NO person should be in a relationship that leaves them feeling good BECAUSE the other person wants/needs them. We all need to be completed and happy within ourselves before we can have a healthy relationship.

That doesn't mean all people can handle their significant other having another.
BUT-it means you are already dealing with unhealthy behaviors in yourself-and you can't possibly address issues with her until you get a handle on those.

The bottom line is if she is Bi-which is my guess if she has you and wants a woman to (unless you are a woman and I missed that in my reading) you CAN NOT fulfil all of her needs nor can a woman. NEITHER of you can. Period.
Doesn't matter HOW wonderful either of you is.

As a married bi-woman I know this first hand. I ADORE my husband. Love of my life, great guy and wouldn't ever want to lose him. But he can NEVER be my everything. It's impossible.

Good luck. I have to run. I'll write more if it comes to me later!

Fidelia 10-30-2009 11:00 PM

BrotherMan, I am so sorry for the pain and confusion you are going through.


AutumnalTone 10-31-2009 12:09 AM

Ah, man, your pain is oozing out of the screen. That's a rough place to be in.

I'll second LovingRadiance in saying that it's best to first take care of one's own issues before trying to work out relationship issues. As an ex-wife once said to me--"I figured out that it had nothing to do with you; I wasn't dealing well with my personal issues and took it out on you." Personal issues are the cause of as many (or more) divorces than relationship issues, it appears, as the personal issues create relationship issues where there otherwise wouldn't be any.

One of the first steps is to actually identify those issues. From what you've posted, I can see some.

"...would make me few like less then I should be to her." Um, what, exactly, do you think you should be to her? Why do you think you should be that? Where did you get that expectation?

I'm guessing that you think your relationship should be all she needs (or something similar) and if she needs another, then you're deficient in some fashion. Why would you think that? Do you think she should abandon her family and friends because she's with you? I mean, if you're supposed to be everything she needs, why would she need family or friends? Can you grasp the notion that people have all sorts of needs and that it takes a bunch of other people to meet them all?

If she wants a girlfriend, then she's bi--and there's no way you can substitute for a woman. Sorry. She's going to have to have a woman to fulfill that need.

"She makes me feel special...but now she wants to be with someone else too. It hurts."

Would you not still feel special because you're dating her? Does it hurt that she has friends and family with whom she spends time? Are you not special because she spends time with and cares for those people? Are you afraid she won't spend time with you?

"It makes me feel like I'm not enough for her to be happy." Why would you think her happiness resides in you? Why would you think she's not happy because there are other people in her life? Do you think she's not happy with you because she has friends and family in her life?

And you're not enough what? Have you asked her if you're enough of what she wants from a boyfriend? Are you expecting to be more than a boyfriend? Trying to be her father, too?

Have you asked her what she expects of you? If you're providing what she expects of a boyfriend, what's the problem? Why are you trying to take over other peoples' spaces in her life?

I suspect that you're providing her with what she expects from you. Any fretting over anything other than that is your issue--and you're correct in assuming that it could cause problems for the relationship.

River 10-31-2009 12:23 AM

I can tell you from my own experience that -- sometimes, often -- when we open to those we love most in such a way as to take joy in their loving of others, however expressed, expands the love we share with our dear one. Try to imagine what that might be like. Try to see if you can't give that kind of love. Fear not.

maca 10-31-2009 12:46 AM

First let me start with I feel your pain. Not but a few months ago I was in your shoes.I felt like there was no way LR could love me and love someone else at the same time. It made me feel like I must not be enough for her.Boy was I wrong!!!

We are so much fuller in love with each other and love ourselves so much more.Life is short my friend do you really want to cut short the amount of love and openness that is possible in your life and the lives of the ones that you say you love? Take a step back look at life and really ask yourself what is it you want? Then be true to yourself and be honest.

Talk to your G/F. Communication is the key to any relationship.Not sure how old you are but the sooner you learn some usefull technics for honest open communication the happier you will be.

I wish you luck friend.

Peace and Love

Rarechild 10-31-2009 06:17 PM

Sorry to hear about your trouble

You've been given some solid advice and hard questions to ask yourself by the other members here.. I just have a couple of things to add that may or may not help.

First thing is- I think it's hard for anyone to wrap their minds around polyamory when first exposed to it- whether you come to the decision mutually or separately or not at all, as may turn out to be the case for you. It's not for everyone, and that's okay.

The following thoughts are applicable only if you want to try and understand, try to stay in the relationship and allow your girlfriend to be who she is- but if this is not who you are, then that's that- it's not a question of you making her understand how you feel, it's a question of you getting clear on how you feel and communicating it to her, and vice versa.

As in any relationship, all parties have to be comfortable with the terms and be able to communicate boundaries and feelings from a place of knowing their own minds. If the two of you want different things, you may have to let her go. I'm sure you know it would do no good for one or both of you to pretend to be someone else in order to cling to the relationship.


Originally Posted by Riunin (Post 10594)
She makes me feel special, for the first time in my life there's someone who cares about me, craves me, wants to be me, but now she wants to be with someone else too.

I'm going to assume you meant "wants to be with me". From what you said it seems as if you've not had a lot of experience with healthy, mutually beneficial relationships. I can see how trying to grapple with something as complicated as polyamory, which requires some pretty sophisticated communication and negotiation, would seem out of your range. I am not saying you can't do it, but if you don't want to/aren't there yet, forcing it because you want to hold on to this first good experience with another will be disastrous.


Originally Posted by Riunin (Post 10594)
To imagine her with someone else hurts me more than I can describe, it's just not how things work in my little world. But I want her to be happy, I need her to, I'd gladly go along with it, through the pain and jealousy if it weren't for my fear that I'll push us apart. Push her onto her new girl and eventually ruin our relationship.

You are imagining outcomes. This statement says to me that you are looking for an excuse instead of facing the issue at hand. Remember, you have the choice to ask for what you need, and if your partner does not have it to give to you, then you need to be brave and move on, for your own benefit, because you want to love yourself, have to love yourself first. If you do, in fact, feel strong enough to tackle your jealousy, then you will need to do that one step at a time, and yes, it will be painful. You are the only one who can decide what is best for you. The relationship between your gf and her gf is a separate relationship. You are only responsible for your own relationship with her. You only have the power to control your own behavior and choices.


Originally Posted by Riunin (Post 10594)
I don't know what to do. I wish I could make her understand the way I see things, or that she were monoamorous like me, or that I were polyamorous like her. But then she wouldn't be her or I wouldn't be me.

I like your using "monoamourous" ! :) I've never seen that word before, but I like it better than monogamous.

If you have already drawn this line in the sand, my friend, than I don't know what you're asking her or us to understand.

To me there is a contradiction in your post- you respect the fact that she is polyamorous, don't want to change her, and don't want to lose her, and yet it seems like you are focusing on the things that separate you rather than the things that bond you.

My suggestion to you is that you read as much as you can on this forum about how other people deal with these issues, talk and talk and talk with your gf, and ultimately, you have to decide whether this relationship is healthy for you or not. You have to be willing to be open to the hurt that you are feeling and examine it to determine how you can grow in this situation.

You have to think about yourself and your own emotional health first. If you are staying in this situation out of fear of losing her, then you are doing yourself dirty.

I wish you all the best.

HappiestManAlive 10-31-2009 09:31 PM

Echoing the above statements regarding her being bi and you being a man. Personally, well before I identified as Poly, I have dated MANY bisexual women, and have never taken issue with them having girls on the side, even serious relationships. Not criticizing you, just hoping my POV will rub off a little and help you. I will explain it the same waay I explain it to my friends for years now whenever they ask why I let my girls date girls.

All things Poly aside, you're a man. You look like a male, smell like a male, have male habits and traits and body parts. You're straight (I assume, which is bad, but if you were bi you might not feel quite as confuddled as you do). How do you know you are straight? Well, because you don't like all those things I just listed bout men. You like all the things that are different about girls. You like female looks, smells, habits and traits and body parts when seeking a partner. You can't get that from a man - that's why you're straight.

Your girl likes what she gets from you. That's why she's with you, one would hope! She also like the same stuff that you do about girls. You cannot offer her that. It;s no threat to you in any way - relationships between two women are VERY different emotionally, physically, mentally - all the way around, this other girl would in no way be a replacement for you - she can't be, any more than you can be one for her.

In every relationship I've had where y girls dated girls, it's been nothing but positive. Either she has a seperate thing with the other gal and you get a little more you time to do anly things, or the relationship with her includes or involves you - use your imagination, it's everything you can imagine andmore, lol. Either way, it's a win.

A few points to follow if you can handle her dating women:

1. The only "demand" I ever make is that if the other girl tries to interfere with our relationship, she's history. If I can share so can she.

2. Don't psh her or bug her about her girlfriend. No asking for threesomes if you think she's hot or whatever - if they want you to play they'll ask, believe me, and if it's your idea and not theirs they'll either resent you for it and it'll NEVER happen, or it'll happen and be awkward and no fun and cause issues down the road. Same for things non-sexual. Don't qustion or pester her about her relationship in any way - if your input is wanted - and sometimes it will be - it will be asked for.

3. Understand that there will be NRE between the two of them for the first little while, and don't be bothered by it. They will spend a lot of time together and do annoying girl things like whisper and laugh a lot if you're in the room. Don't take it wrong, it's almost always a good thing in the end. Don't feel ignored or unwaanted during this phase when you get a little less attention. The better you handle the first few weeks, the more understanding you are in their eyes and that appreciation will come back in wonderful ways you cannot imagine. Not even sexually necessarily, just in the form of a vary greatful girlfriend who thinks even more of you than she did before becuase you "get her" so well and "let her be herslf", etc. It's a good thing.

Spend some time and wrap your head around it. You can do it, I promise. It could be worse - whe your GF tells you she's poly and loves another MAN but doesn't want to lose you... Well, talk to a few of the guys on here about what it can take to wrap your primitive and posessive man-brain around THAT one, lol. ;)

Catfish 11-01-2009 11:26 PM

Riunin ,
You sound like a good man, and just by virtue of the fact that you posted here, I can tell that you're trying to resolve the feelings of potential loss your experiencing. That's a great first step .

A couple words of advice...

- read River's post several times. use it as a mantra
- if something makes you cry, keep reading.
- get a piece of paper and write down what is imperative to you in a relationship. look it over and explain to yourself very clearly WHY these things are imperative.
- share this information with her and talk about it at length.
- this forum is filled to the brim with wonderful, insightful people. use it as a resource.

Best of luck,

redpepper 11-02-2009 08:22 AM

Oh the pain from your thread hurts my heart...
Everyone has added some good stuff. I know Mono would identify with you on this one, other than he has no problem with me wanting a woman in my life. He feels that way about more men coming into my life.

Have a good read elsewhere and take solace in the fact that you are not alone my friend. You came to the right place to get some respite from your pain in the form of support from those of us who have some history of similar feelings.

*hugs* good luck and keep talking about those very real and valid feelings to your love.

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