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-   -   Not mono, not poly - somewhere in the middle? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11887)

LikeYouImagined 07-07-2011 12:41 AM

Not mono, not poly - somewhere in the middle?
Hi guys.
This is my first time posting anywhere about this stuff and I don't really know where to start.
I'll try for the short version, but it might get a little rambly, bear with me.

I am not mono, but not exactly poly either.
I am a bisexual woman, in a relationship with a straight man.
I have always longed for a relationship with a man where I could sleep with other women. I've never been in love with another woman, and as such, I was hoping to work out a situation where my partner and I could experiment having sex with other ladies, but not like- dating them.

My live-in partner and I had our first threesome about a year ago with someone who lives about as far away from us as is physically possible.
While the sex was great, over the next week while she was around, it became super obvious to me that they were falling for each other.
I was surprised by how little it bothered me to watch them having sex (in fact I quite enjoyed it), but how much it bothered me to see them so clearly developing serious feelings.

I tried to voice my concerns that this was not what we had agreed upon, and how it was not a boundary I was comfortable crossing- but they were both in denial about it even though they were all NRE all over the place.
I quickly became a total mess and started counting the days until she would leave, believing that I'd only have to deal with it until she left- as secondary relationships were specifically against the boundaries we had discussed beforehand.

After she left, they continued to develop their feelings at a distance.

After a couple weeks I asked him to put down the relationship, and he refused. I was incredibly hurt, and we very nearly broke up.
He was very much taken aback by his feelings for her and had the poly identity crisis that many of you people coming out in the new to poly section of this forum have described.

Shortly thereafter, we started counseling, and we've been working on it since.
It's clear that we both made mistakes on the first go around and that we have a lot of trust issues as a result.

I still do not believe my ideal situation is to be in an emotionally poly relationship, but I am giving it a shot because I love my partner very much, and clearly I also do not want monogamy.

My partner has agreed to limit his emotional relationships to just her and I, which is a lot easier on me since the geographical situation means they will be limited to only seeing each other a couple times a year.

I have found myself grieving for the relationship we used to have, over the past year. I do not feel the specialness or sense of partnership that I had before my partner started dating this other girl- even they they haven't seen each other physically since.

To make things even more complicated, I really like the other girl. She really is an awesome person, and I clearly have a lot of sexual chemistry with her.
It makes me feel a little like a crazy person, wanting her physically but also being incredibly sad about the bond between her and my partner.

At this point, I've been working very hard on trying to figure out what things I might be able to get out of this relationship that I wouldn't in a more traditional structure.
I think about how I might be able to feel special in new ways, that will allow me to accept my partner as poly, and find space in our relationship for his feelings for this other person.

It's my intention to explore anything I might be curious about, to see if I might surprise myself.

The most obvious thing I'm trying, is to further develop my relationship with this girl. We obviously have *some* kind of connection- I just don't have any idea what it is, and it's super hard feeling the way I do about her and my partner.

We've been flirting and also talking about our feelings pretty openly for a few months, and I know she has my feelings in mind, and wants to be a positive force in both of our lives.

We are now a couple months out from an impending visit with her.
I am very anxious about having to witness their love again- but also excited about maybe connecting more with her.

I have hope that maybe I can have all the things that the poly books talk about- that maybe if I can feel loved by both of them, I can get over feeling excluded and un-special. Maybe we can make this into a triad, and all walk out happy?

We have therapy sessions planned (before, during, and after her visit) in which to talk about desires and to make agreements, but I still have a lot of fear that I won't be able to handle it, or explore any of the stuff that I want to.

Do any of you guys have experiences that might help me in this situation?

I'm happy to hear about dealing with poly/mono issues, or about Vee-into-triad experience, or LDR stuff, or really anything applicable.

thanks in advance.

redpepper 07-07-2011 02:46 PM

It doesn't look to me like you will get a triad out of this. She didn't fall in love with you. That doesn't mean it isn't possible that she might care about you and be a great metamour. Metamour relationships are very important and just as strong some times and partner relationships... you would do well to work on that with her when she comes. After all, she is going to be in your life now.

I can understand mourning the loss of your relationship. It will be changed with her in it. Its hard, but important to allow those feelings to surface and be respected by talking about them and making sure he knows that you need to go at the pace that is most comfortable as a result.

Its sounds really responsible to have therapy arranged as you do... good for you!

Have you done a tag search for anything you might find useful? There are some great threads that have a lot to offer if you go looking.

kamala 07-08-2011 06:02 PM

Hm, you sound exactly like the other girl from our "first go". It's uncanny :)

Something that jumps out - you say that you agreed with him beforehand that emotional relationships were out of bounds and he did it anyway? And then you asked him to end it with her and he refused? I'm not a fan of setting rules that rigid, nor do I believe it's possible to help who you fall in love with - but that seems a little harsh. To enter into something with the idea that it will be sexual and then have it develop into an emotional thing must be hard... perhaps it didn't come over in your post but I hope he is at least attempting to try and make this easier for you (you mentioned therapy...)

As someone whose been in this situation before (although, from the other side) I would say that befriending her is a good move. But be careful - if you steam ahead without taking the time to make sure you are really on board and happy with everything, it just gets worse. The girl who I say you sound like felt overcompromised after a while, and that her "giving it a shot" was more damage than it was worth... but I guess we have to make these mistakes sometimes...:rolleyes:

River 07-08-2011 08:04 PM


Originally Posted by LikeYouImagined (Post 90377)
I have found myself grieving for the relationship we used to have, over the past year. I do not feel the specialness or sense of partnership that I had before my partner started dating this other girl- even they they haven't seen each other physically since.

Our cultural monogamy training told us, and tells us, that specialness equals exclusivity. So when the exclusivity goes we can feel like the specialness of a relationship is gone. But that certainly need not be the case! I can have two (maybe more, but two is plenty!) intensely special loverly relationships going at the same time. (I sorta do, but it's complicated because one of my dear ones lives more than a thousand miles away and we haven't yet gotten together in physical space.) Neither of my loves is less special to me than either would be if it were just the two of us.

Think of it in terms of friends, or family. Does a healthy, happy mother treat one of her children as more special than the other/s? No. Each child is unique and equally special. And friends..., and I mean the kind that you really love, aren't they all very special? Do they need to be ranked in specialness to be precious?

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