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polymusing 11-03-2009 05:59 PM

Why I'm here
 
Hi. I've poked around these forums a bit, but so far haven't come across anything that really relates to my situation. Am hoping for some help navigating this new territory. Plus, I don't know anyone in my life (other than those involved) to discuss any of this with. I know that talking with others helps me understand myself better. So that's why I'm here.

I've been married a long time (almost 30 years), have 3 kids (two are now adults, the other is in last years of high school), and my husband and I have a wonderful relationship. We have had some rocky times in the past. But the past few years have been really good. I'm familiar with the idea of polyamory from way back, but just as a concept. Now find myself facing it in fact.

A man that I've known longer than my husband (and loved) is now back in my life, and we love each other (we've figured out that much). My husband is aware of my feelings for this man. But he tends to be somewhat closed with expressing his feelings and thoughts and due to our history (way too long to go into here right now), it's hard for us to get to a place of ease talking to each other. The man (I'm going to have to think of something to call him) is just figuring all this out too.

We don't want to have an old-fashioned "affair." I have no desire to leave my husband for this man (one of my husband's fears). Right now he is allowing us to see each other (there has been no sex). But I'm having a very hard time bringing myself to talk to my husband about all this because I am very afraid that he'll realize he cannot share me. And then I would have to stop seeing my other love. I want to be open and honest, but the fear of losing what I already have (a wonderful marriage) in order to maybe realize something more - when that something more is not ... socially accepted (in most circles) - well, it's keeping me quiet.

I don't know how to navigate this. I don't want anyone to get hurt. I want my husband to understand that my love of this man does not mean I love him any less. I'm not proposing we all move in together as a big ole happy family (jobs preclude that). This man is also married but is separated from his wife as they navigate their own poly explorations. It's all very complicated and I'm sure I've not been very clear.

As I post more I hope to be able to form my thoughts better.

LovingRadiance 11-03-2009 07:54 PM

Invite your husband to read some of these threads. I did that and believe me it's worked miracles on my previously VERY VERY closed minded husband of 10years.

His log in is Maca. Check out his posts.

First and foremost-you need to be thoroughly honest with yourself and then with your husband and lastly with your friend. It is always the other persons right to choose to walk away if they can't deal with who you are, but they deserve the right to decide based on the truth of who you are, not on a piece of info.

Read lots-You might click my name, go to my profile and read through my posts. There is a LOT in there about the topic you are dealing with as I was/am in a similar situation. It was hard as hell to "drop the bomb" so to speak. We have four kids and all are still at home. Him leaving would destroy them as well as me. But I had to be honest if our marriage was going to be real. I didn't want a marriage based on a lie. I took my chances.

HappiestManAlive 11-03-2009 08:36 PM

There is a lot on these boards about situations similar to yours. It's a tough one. I won't pretend to have valuable input as I've been alive only a few years longer than you've been married - lol - but I think that you can find support here. And LR is right; have your husband read these threads and participate if he wants to. The "anonymity" factor of teh vB board can help even the tightest gripped folks let things out.

Okay I was wrong, I will throw in some input. I doubt it's new to you, but to reiterate what gets posted here 3,000 times a day and that we all already know - honesty and communication are what makes relationships work and fail (from lack thereof). It takes a LOT of work and a huge mental adjustment for most of us in todays society, but it's worth it.

sea 11-03-2009 10:16 PM

Hi and welcome to the forums!

LR is right about inviting your husband to browse through these forums as well!

Like you I have been married for 30 years, and we have been in a Poly-Fi 'V' for just over the last three years. It took lots of discussions and lots of talk of different scenarios to start this new phase of our lives.

If nothing else, this forum has loads of info, different dynamics, but it will make you talk and express opinions and concerns. What better place to begin than with some open honest commincation!

Best wishes!

Sea

polymusing 11-04-2009 01:39 PM

Thanks for the welcome. I think I'd like my husband to read more about polyamory in the realm of what it can be before I introduce him to all the problems (which I seem to find more of on these forums unfortunately - any tips on positive threads would be appreciated). I guess right now, what is going on with me and my new/old love is what is termed an "emotional affair" and I don't like that. I don't want it to be "an affair" - so I'm trying to find a way to continue this wonderful connection without having to go against my own ethics. It's all so complicated!

Rarechild 11-04-2009 05:30 PM

Glad you are reaching out
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by polymusing (Post 11163)
Thanks for the welcome. I think I'd like my husband to read more about polyamory in the realm of what it can be before I introduce him to all the problems (which I seem to find more of on these forums unfortunately - any tips on positive threads would be appreciated). I guess right now, what is going on with me and my new/old love is what is termed an "emotional affair" and I don't like that. I don't want it to be "an affair" - so I'm trying to find a way to continue this wonderful connection without having to go against my own ethics. It's all so complicated!

Hello, welcome to the boards.

I am feeling your situation, as just a year ago I was in a similar situation- lack of open communication between my husband and I, and me emotionally involved with another man and completely at a loss as to how to be fulfilled and not hurt anyone in the process.

I'll tell you this- you mention your communication issues- poly will not be possible for you and your husband if you are to endeavor to grow this way without building your foundation by opening up those avenues of communication.

You say the distance is a long-standing thing- all the more reason to finally deal with it.

I was at the point in my marriage where it felt like it wasn't worth it to keep asking for understanding and intimacy and continually be dissapointed- so I had to make a choice- as much out of love for him as out of respect for myself and my own needs- that I would just not accept the status quo any more and it was time to take a risk. I thought I would lose everything and end up alone. Finally, it took both of us letting each other go to find each other again, and our relationship is now once again a living thing- growing, changing, very exciting, and very fulfilling in so many new ways.

I also felt protective of my husband, as you seem to, but in retrospect I recognize that as disrespectful of his capacity to grow as a human being and to really love me for who I am. He has really surprised me with his ability to love without condition, and desire my happiness from a deep place in himself. It took me giving him the respect of sharing ALL of my feelings, especially when it felt like what I was about to say would be the end of us. We are equals now.

I can't imagine loving someone (as you do your other love) for so long without being able to be free within that love. My heart hurts for you to think of it. I wonder why this denial of your own feelings for so long, this hurt against yourself (and him, and your husband) is acceptable according to your "ethics" for you to carry on for so many years, yet bringing it to light and fruition makes you feel like you're doing something wrong. You deserve to be liberated from this- you have suffered a long time. However you can get there, when you are a happy and fulfilled person, that's the only way that you can fully love either of your men.

As to you finding lots of "problems" being dealt with on this site- you're right- we all struggle with the dynamics, it's really strenuous at times to deal with our relationships, as it always is for anyone, regardless of relationship style. I'd like to point out that you yourself came here with a "problem", but hopefully you reached out in order to gain the insight that you need to conquer it and move forward. If you look closer on the boards you will see the sharing of some really beautiful, shining victories by members here. It's a lot of reading when you first join, because we talk about so many issues, but keep delving in, and I hope you can find some insight that hits home with you.

I wish you the best and hope you will not give up because it's scary and hard. The reward for yourself and your loves far outweigh the difficulty of continuing to live with secrets, with your heart split in half for any more precious time.

polymusing 11-04-2009 06:19 PM

Thank you Rarechild. I'm almost crying at what you wrote. I will probably write more later - I found a thread where people tell their stories, sorta, and I guess in order for people to be able to offer their thoughts, they need to know what is what. As for my other love, we have been separated by time, distance, circumstance, and mainly our own respective issues. I'm only in a place to consider this relationship because I've put in the hard work of examining myself and where I came from and how I've lived. My husband stuck with me through that and it was not easy. As a result, he's skittish whenever I say "I need to talk" or something like that. My lover (okay, we may not be having sex, but we're lovers in every other sense of the word) has similar issues of his own and he's just begun to deal with them. It's not like we're all happy, whole people going into this.

And what I mean by "ethics" is that I believe in my heart that honesty and openness is the best (and really only way) to deal with this, but it's scary and hard. I am very afraid of losing everything I have. Because what I have is very good. But I'm wanting more and there's the small voice (sometimes very loud) saying that I'm being selfish. But how to reconcile these loves that have lived within me for decades without hurting anyone...

Anyhow, I don't have time to tell my tale. I'll write more later.

LovingRadiance 11-04-2009 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by polymusing (Post 11163)
Thanks for the welcome. I think I'd like my husband to read more about polyamory in the realm of what it can be before I introduce him to all the problems (which I seem to find more of on these forums unfortunately - any tips on positive threads would be appreciated). I guess right now, what is going on with me and my new/old love is what is termed an "emotional affair" and I don't like that. I don't want it to be "an affair" - so I'm trying to find a way to continue this wonderful connection without having to go against my own ethics. It's all so complicated!

Check out www.lovemore.com

Lots of positive info there. No drama! :)

polymusing 11-04-2009 11:13 PM

Thanks. I'll check it out. I'm feeling very vulnerable right now. Wondering if it's worth the risk, especially considering my new/old love seems confused at times about how he feels about me. Oh my.

Rarechild 11-05-2009 04:16 AM

**hug**


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