Losing Faith in Mongamy?
Hellow, all! I have never been in a polyamorous relationship. I have been reading and thinking a lot about it. I am posting here because I need advice. My story follows.
I am married. Recently, I realized that I have romantic feelings for another girl (we'll call her R). I try to push them away when I talk to this other girl, and sometimes I am successful, but sometimes they come back with a vengeance! My wife knows about these feelings. How can I say that the way I feel about this girl is wrong and that I should push it away? Why is it wrong? It wasn't wrong to feel this way when I met my wife and I felt the same way about her! Is it only wrong to be attracted to this girl because I'm currently attached? If so, where does the rule come from that a person should not have romantic feelings for more than one person at a time, and that if one does, then one must kill the feelings one has for either of those people? I feel like I'm not good at being monogamous.
I have not told R how I feel and I have no reason to believe that she feels the same way. My wife and I have been married for 1 year, but we have been together for 9 years. I honestly don't know R well IRL, but I do talk to her OL quite a bit and I know that she and I really have a lot in common. Honestly we have more in common than my wife and I do - although my wife loves me and likes a lot of the same things I like. I still love my wife. I never want to hurt her!! And I desperately want to be a good man and make monogamy work. I'm just not sure about anything. I'm not sure about how I feel about R, whether or not my feelings for her are real or simply generated by the appeal of mystery/newness, and whether or not how I feel about her is wrong. I could never leave my wife. I think I might want both of them. But do I? I don't know! I'm clinically depressed. Is that causing this? Is my attraction to R an illusion? Is it a genuine feeling that I should take seriously - either by suffocating it or by indulging it - or is it just 'puppy love', so to speak? I am unsure. That's what is the hardest for me.
I am a man in need of support and understanding. I don't know what to do with the feelings I am having. I have wondered whether or not I might be 'addicted to affection' - so to speak.
Thank you much for reading this and for offering me support.
I think you should sit your wife down and have a talk with her.
People are wired monogomously and they're taught that thinking of someone else and/or developing feelings for someone outside your relationship should be pushed away, etc. The unfortunate thing is, if that happens for a prolonged period of time it is more likely that the person will cheat.
What you do with those feelings are up to you but IMO the first step is to talk to your wife and see how she feels and maybe discuss polyamory with her. Her reaction might be hurt and confused and she might be totally against the idea. If that is so, for the sake of your marriage, you'll have to avoid R before something happens or it ruins your relationship with your wife.
There is no way that a polyamorous relationship can work if the one partner is up for it and the other one isn't.
Thank you for your insightful reply!
I did mention polyamory to my wife, and I did tell her that I want to be with both she and R. That is definitely an idea she is uncomfortable with. I shall attempt to sit down with her and have a full discussion dedicated to the issue of polyamory. I most certainly don't want to ruin my marriage. If I had to avoid R, strangling our friendship and trying to forget the way the way that I feel about her, I would be very deeply hurt. I honestly hope it doesn't come to that, but I fear that it will.
I'm not entirely sure that people are wired to be monogamous. Monogamy seems unnatural to me, despite its ubiquity. I'm not certain why that is.
Pushing R - and my feelings for her - away entirely to save my marriage... It might be difficult not to begin to feel a measure of resentment. I would wonder what I was giving in to exactly. It feels almost as though I have always seen that 2 and 2 make 4, while everyone around me believes not only that 2 and 2 make 5 but that I must continue to crush any doubts that 2 and 2 make 5 for the rest of my life. If you have found a thing that makes you happy in one way, you must push away anything else that may make you happy in the same way. This seems to be what the majority of us are taught, and it simply doesn't sit right with me.
Topics for discussion with my wife.
I can totally related to your situation. I was married for 30 yrs to a man. I would get these intense crushes tho, like you describe. I always tried to hide it, but he always sensed it. It was pretty fucking horrible. I never cheated, but he always thought I did.
We did tons of marriage counseling.
We had 3 kids, had a lot of great stuff in common, but we grew apart. This poly/mono thing was def a factor. He and I tried poly together eventually but it didnt work for various reasons. (see my post in personal summaries)
I wish you luck! I know exactly how you feel about not wanting to give R up. *hugs* Mags
I think getting to the heart of why your wife is not receptive to the idea of polyamory will be the key. Try to avoid words like "insecurity" and "possessiveness" when you question her concerns. Focus on the positives of what she can gain through embracing poly. If she isn't hard wired mono she may actually like the idea of having this freedom for herself as well. In this case it is the breaking down of social programming that can be focussed on and not trying to alter someone's nature. If she is wired mono, your challenge will probably be much greater.
I totally agree that not all people are wired to be monogamous. The trouble lies in when we fail to recognize that some people are.
Good luck :)
The way I understand it is that if you are poly then you are able, as you have experienced 30, to have romantic feelings for someone and it only make you feel more love for your partner. Sometimes it feels so exciting that you want to share them with your partner. Not necessarily sexually or romantically but in a friendly, loving, community, family way. If you are mono, from what I get from Mono, you are in love with someone, committed to that and when feelings arise for others it means that those same feelings have died out for your partner. There is nothing wrong or different in either. They just are and need to be figured out for all of us.
As far as talking to your wife goes? Its her journey and you will need to respect that. Make it a project of yours to take on together. Research (lots on here!), talk about people you pass in the street in terms of attraction, talk about what you would do with someone else if that turns you on. Whether your partner would want to hear about your experiences or not. Out of these talks boundaries form. The world is your oyster and the rules are for the two of you to make and are unique to the two of you.
I would avoid the woman you are crushing on for now as you need to be strong in your relationship and go at your wifes pace. Chances are, once you get going on talking and experiencing this new way of thinking you will find that your crush lessons or is turned to someone else who may be more available.
You may find your local poly group, join a dating site... So much to do first. Baby steps with your wife first, she deserves time, space, patience and respectful boundaries. This is a process that should be enjoyed, not rushed if you want to stay healthy.
As for your concern about needing more affection? This can be a big benefit in poly. More lovin, more touchin, and more sex. All of which some people need. Don't jump on all that yet though, but plod slowly closer you your goal. You won't get that feel good feeling if you don't take all the steps patiently.
I had another brief talk with my wife about polyamory. We didn't stay on the subject long, because it's very stressful to talk about. I will try and broach the subject again and to get to the reason for her discomfort with poly.
If, in the end, she accept polyamory, what is there for me to do? Is it not just as unfair for her to ask me to make myself be satisfied with monogamy as it is for me to try and force her into polyamory? Where is the compromise?
Being hardwired and being programmed are literally different things, but these terms are often used as if they are synonymous in a figurative sense. This is misleading, I feel. I am not entirely sure that humans are naturally monogamous animals. While I'm anthropologist, I feel it far more likely that early humans lived like other apes - in harems, in which a dominant male mated with all of the group's sexually mature females. That is conjecture and should be tossed aside, I presume. My point is that monogamy doesn't feel right to me, and I am in doubt as to whether or not I am genuinely not good at being monogamous. Maybe I'm just abnormal or messed up in the head.
Thank you all for your kind words!
It could very well be that as she learns more and gets used to the idea, she may be ok with it. But it won't be unfair to you if she isn't. To think so is rather selfish from my point of view. Redpepper put it best: It's her journey and you should honor that.
Read all the articles on polyamory about both. Then ask your wife to read them.
Pick up the book Love Without Limits and read it as well.
Then ask your wife to read it.
Those of us who are "making it work" have had to truly educate ourselves AND patiently allow our "unsure" partners educate themselves as well.
THEN you can have a successful conversation.
At this point what you've written here is a bunch of "I don't know...'s"
You can't productively ask her to change from "this is hte type of marriage we've agreed to" into "I don't know what it is but it's better then that." type of relationship. That's not smart for either of you.
FURTHER MORE-you have no reason to believe the OTHER woman has any desire to be in a relationship with a married man ANYWAY-so pressuring your wife right now is totally pointless. You could end up completely losing it all.
Better to really take some time to educate yourself (I've spent hours reading myself) on what YOU are and what YOU need.
Then give her the resources you found and let her figure out who SHE is and what SHE needs.
Then and only then can you two make a productive decision about where to go from here.
I really think this "monkey" line of reasoning will not go over too well with your wife. I suggest you drop the science and talk about human emotions and the here and now. Its a bit too cerebral and intellectual.
You sound a bit too much of an expert on poly (considering you said you are new to it) with the monkey thing. I would certainly not be in the hareum of an alpha male monkeys. Don't forget the Bonobos. This would be more my style.
Ya, please do some reading and research before assuming no one is mono wired. Start with all Mono's posts first. We are lucky to have him as a mono voice or we would of digressed into mono hating long ago. We understand far more from his participation.
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