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-   -   New, scared, and isolated (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11318)

TRye 06-22-2011 08:45 PM

New, scared, and isolated
I am a happily married mother of two. There has never been any doubt in my mind that I love my husband and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I met him young and throughout out the chaos of adolescence that point remained the same for both of us. I always say that he taught me how to love myself by loving me so much. I really didn't know that I was worthy of the kind of love he gave me. I am not a perfect person. I have tested that love in the past but I have always been honest and very sorry for my past mistakes. In turn our relationship has grown ever stronger and I am pleased with that. ( I would like to blame the horrors of my childhood for the chaotic mess I can be sometimes but that seems trite so I will simply blame myself).

Moving on, last year I met a girl online. I am generally a very loving and highly empathetic person. We became friends quickly and I found it easy to love her despite having never actually met her in person (there are aspects to this strange relationship that I am not willing to divulge and this is one suffice to say I still haven't met her but she has seen me and I have done my homework on her so all that is on the up and up). So easy it was for me to love her and for her to love me early on in our relationship. I didn't think I was capable of being "in love" her though. I knew that she was falling in love with me. She was very respectful of my relationship but open and honest about her feelings as I was open and honest with my husband how my friendship was continuing to progress. I believe he knew I was falling in love with her before I did. Once I realized though all the love he taught me to have for myself fell apart. I felt a thousand different kinds of wrong that I could let myself fall in love with someone else. I felt wrong that I could maintain the love I had fro my husband and still feel this ever growing love for her. It was hard. It still is hard. He helped me through the worst of it by trying his damnedest to deal with jealousy and show me that I am not an abnormal fuck up. ( It is amazing the cognitive dissonance one has when they have faith. I long ago lost my faith in god but this was a loss of faith in the myth I had built around love. Polyamory was fine and good if that is what your partners wanted but it wasn't for us.)

Continuing on again (sorry about the tangents), I am learning to deal with the guilt and accept this is who I am. I don't know if I technically identify as poly because I have only ever been in love twice in my life. I probably am more a reciprocal lover than anything. F... I might be capable of falling in love with anyone who falls in love with me so I guess that might make me poly. Does it make it any less real if that is the case? I am learning not to think so. (damn these tangents) This hurts and is so f'n scary though. I live in the south and am looking for a teaching job, so it is hard enough coming out as an atheist much less tell everyone that I am in love with two people. It scares me too that my husband without a doubt is hard wired mono. His love for me s such that he doesn't eve find other girls attractive. I am absolutely everything to him. How do I show him how much he is to me? How does my love not feel cheaper when compared to his love? Most importantly how do we ever get past this elephant in the room. It used to be so much less complicated, this love thing. At least I perceived it that way. I wonder if it will ever be that way again.

I get so sacred all the time. I worry than any move I make with hurt someone I love. What happens if this happens to me again. I know I don't want it too but I can't avoid meeting new people. What happens if my gf and I find we are not actually that compatible in person. Will he think the love I had for her was a sham? So many questions and half of them don't make sense. So now I am here and trying to find a way to not let my life crumble before me. Sorry this was so long.

redpepper 06-22-2011 09:05 PM

Time will tell I guess. All you can do is take every moment for what it is and see where it all goes. Pace yourself, stay true to your heart, remain honest to yourself and your loves and communicate openly whenever possible.

It might help to read around here if you haven't already and see how others manage. Try doing a tag search for some interests. "Foiundations" and "lessons" might be a good start. Ither than that? Take a deep breath and realize you are not alone.

escapewheel 06-23-2011 02:45 AM

Your relationship sounds a lot like how ours started. We were fifteen when we met twenty years ago. One of the larger things that I let go when I finally got right with things (I was the dyed in the wool mono) was the co-dependence. She and I are more like the best friends we were years ago rather than bound together Married Couple. Our love has actually grown with the addition of her BF into our lives. Shes happier, more of her needs and interests are met, therefor everyone is happier around the house. I even got a new friend out of the deal!

RunBabyRun 06-23-2011 04:00 PM

Guilt and value judgements-doesn't sound like atheist thinking to me

You mention that your husband is ďhard wired monoĒ but what Iím unsure about is if he has decided for himself that he is mono and only wants you OR if you mean that he is not OK with the poly thing and believes that mono is the only way and that there is therefore a strain in your relationship.

Your post resonated with me on several levels. I let go of my faith several years ago and now consider myself an agnostic with no spiritual notions. That was a hard transition at first but the poly transition was much easier. Biology just doesnít support the strict mono myth. Some people are mono and some are poly and that is a personal choice.

Since you are an atheist Iím assuming that like me youíve set aside the religious notions of strict rules. But, you still seem to be influenced by them. If you are feeling guilt over something that is biologically defensible then youíre being ruled by someone elseís notion of right and wrong. Perhaps your husbands? Guilt, in my opinion, comes from two places...one is some outside source that lays down rules and if you buy into that system you feel guilt when you donít measure up to it. The other form of guilt comes from your internal set of values.

For example, I do not believe that ďmoralityĒ is universal. Some religions teach that sex with anyone outside of your spouse is a sin but other religions/cultures donít have the same prescriptions. So while I donít have a list of moral vs. amoral acts, I do have a personal code based on my preferences, experience, and decided the kind of human being I want to be.

When I feel guilt I ask myself if itís influenced by an outside source or if itís because I have violated one of my own personal values. If itís the former, brush it off. If itís the latter, figure out whatís really important to you.

As far as your statement about feeling that your love is in some way ďcheaperĒ than your husbands because you are poly and he is mono, well, this strikes me as mono thinking. There is a quote in Cormack McCarthyís book The Road that says, ďEach the otherís world entireĒ. Itís a beautiful quote (the context is not romantic) but it demonstrates our romanticized notion of love. Our culture (outside source of values) tells us that all-consuming passion for one person is what true love is.

One of the most valuable things Iím learning about the poly lifestyle is that you donít have to choose....itís not either/or.....you do not have to rate your love against his love....they are both different and valuable and have special meaning to both giver and receiver.

Let yourself off the hook. If your husband says he loves you, says he wants to be mono with you but that he wants you to have the freedom to be poly then for Peteís sake, kiss the man, have passionate sex with him, and then go enjoy your other relationship.

TRye 06-29-2011 02:10 PM

Still here
I am still reading. Last couple of days have been really rough. Knives and all things dangerous have been at the forefront of my head. I was torn between trying to go back to the happy uncomplicated life I had before I fell head over heels for my gf. My husband keeps me alive through this. It is so fucking hard. I asked him to help me love myself again. I forgot how. It is strange to be bathed in the love I am bathed in and still have so much contempt for yourself. It is strange to know what love is in the brain and how it came to be and still ache for that time where you believed in soul mates. I miss feeling like my world was right side up.

TRye 06-30-2011 03:19 PM

@runbabyrun. I am using my phone to reply and it makes it difficult to quote text. I have been an atheist for a number of years and I know my thinking in this matter isn't very skeptical. I haven't believed in souls for a long time but it was hard not to view my relationship untouchable. I still view it that way. My husband wont leave me for this. He will support me through it. I am the weak one. I can see how it hurts sometimes and I break. My empathy for him makes me panic and I try and tear myself in two to try and fix this. The past week has been so hard for me dealing with it all that I am considering seeing a shrink soon. It will take money I don't have but I can't keep hurting myself this way since I have children. I haven't been filled with so much self hatred since I was a teen and the volitlity is very similar between both. So very hard to love yourself sometimes even when you are surrounded by people who do.

TRye 07-05-2011 03:18 PM

The other day things broke for me. I broke up with my gf. I deleted my email. Through away everything that reminded me of her. I felt like I was dying inside. Like I had cut out my vital organs. I tried to be strong for my husband. I tried. He told me it hurt too much to love me and watch me suffer like that. He emailed my gf and told her I didn't mean it. I did though. I was ready to give it all up. To try and cut this love out of me for him.

RunBabyRun 07-07-2011 08:56 PM

I'm not sure what to say here but I want to respond to your pain. Read people's blogs and threads on this site. They are so deep and I'm sure you will find comfort, encouragement and friendship here. Lean on your husband and just breathe....you'll get through this and you'll grow because of it. Keep your chin up and stay away from sharp objects. [hug]

TRye 07-08-2011 04:15 PM


Originally Posted by RunBabyRun (Post 90524)
I'm not sure what to say here but I want to respond to your pain. Read people's blogs and threads on this site. They are so deep and I'm sure you will find comfort, encouragement and friendship here. Lean on your husband and just breathe....you'll get through this and you'll grow because of it. Keep your chin up and stay away from sharp objects. [hug]

Thanks for your kind words. I have been reading and reading and reading some more. It helps but it gets hard from time to time. This week has been a ton better. Feeling some of the comfort of pre life turned upside down days. The conversation has felt relaxed and comfortable. He doesn't seem so internal. I am trying to remain hopeful and keep myself open to his anxiety toward this. I have decided that they both might benefit from talking to each other before we all actually meet for the first time. I think it might help him feel empathy for her position more. I could be wrong so I won't push it but I will suggest it. These forums are a good friend to someone like me.

jasminegld 07-08-2011 10:30 PM


Originally Posted by TRye (Post 88007)
I felt a thousand different kinds of wrong ...( It is amazing the cognitive dissonance one has when they have faith. I long ago lost my faith in god but this was a loss of faith in the myth I had built around love. ...) ...I am learning to deal with the guilt and accept this is who I am. ...it is hard enough coming out as an atheist ...I get so sacred all the time.

I'm going to make a radical recommendation, and send you to church. An atheist-friendly, Unitarian Universalist congregation. All the guilt and fear and loss of faith you are talking about -- these are things people deal with at church all the time. Find a UU church and talk with the minister. Or visit the online Church of the Larger Fellowship, if you don't have one close to you. Listen to the church's messages about treating each other with respect and encouraging each other, and take it to heart.

Most UU ministers know about polyamory. All of them know about guilt, fear, and loss of faith. It's their calling to minister to people who are hurting. Give one of them a chance to do so.

If you talk with a UU minister, you can tell her or him that Jasmine from UUs for Polyamory Awareness referred you. The minister might have heard of me.


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