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-   -   Struggling to Find Happiness (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13894)

Monogamish 08-25-2011 03:36 PM

Struggling to Find Happiness
As a brief introduction, I've been a lurker on the forums for quite some time, but decided that you all were so helpful that I'd love to have your input and join in your dialogues myself.

Me: 23, female, heteroflexible, in a consensual M/s relationship within BDSM, about to open my relationship with my live-in primary partner (also the "M" in the M/s). The poly is going to be negotiated as though we were both equals, so that the power dynamic doesn't muck things up with a One-Penis-Policy or somesuch.

My Primary: Also 23, my Master (sorry if that term makes some uncomfortable, just think of him as my dominant if that helps), male, with some experience doing live-in poly as part of a BDSM dynamic (always with one male, two females, both females as submissives to him, and neither female in a sexual relationship with the other).

I've been around the poly block a few times, once as a married couple's unicorn (which was lovely while it lasted, but that ended when the wife got scared that the husband was falling for me and wanted to come out to his family as poly, and she then pulled the "I am the mother of your child and don't want her as more than a dirty little secret with good sex" card, ending both the relationships), once in a veritable stable of girls under a sociopath's control (that's a story for another post, I think, but safe to say it was imposed, and disastrous), and once with my current primary as one of his two slaves (which ended when she felt threatened and tried to be "like me" while being dishonest, with bad results).

I'm trying to do right by myself and my partner this time round, and we're opening up our relationship in October, but I can't help but feel nervous, insecure, jealous of phantoms, scared of what-ifs...all those things that monos typically feel when confronted or presented with poly for the first time, even though I've done this before. If my partner ever decided he wanted to be with me and only me, I wouldn't feel like I was missing out on a core part of myself by letting the possibility of other partnerships go. On the other hand, I recognize what value they can bring to my life, and that they take the pressure off him to be everything to me and vice versa. I know that I may have just had a run of bad luck, communication is everything, ect.

All in all, we've talked about every likely scenario and what our rules, limits and desires are. He has someone sort of lined up for October, and so, I guess, do I (at least, someone has expressed an interest in me)--I'm just muddled and scared, even if it's unreasonable. My mono side feels hurt by the fact that he has to go exploring in other romantic/sexual pastures, when isn't "having other people to do things with" what friends are for? But I don't want to sit home moping and crying because he still wants what he always wanted, and I know that thinking this way is unproductive and selfish, not to mention hurtful and destructive. And before anyone asks, I would never ask him to change himself for me. I just need to figure out a way to be happy with something that has been hurtful to me in the past.

In conclusion, I will also give the poly-go-round another try for myself. I think it deserves another shot with more mature people who won't demand everything from me without giving much in return.

Thanks for listening, sorry if this is in the wrong location, and any and all input or advice would be greatly appreciated, from monos and polys alike.

redpepper 08-26-2011 02:04 PM

My suggestion would be to respect that you have had some experiences in the past that have left you wounded and ask that he take it slow and go at your pace. Ask him to respect that also.

If he knows you have good intentions to work on being comfortable then he should be okay with that, or at least respect that. Realize that there is plenty of time and building a solid foundations. He will be uncomfortable sometimes as he will have to slow right down and possibly miss chances to be intimately close to others. To me THAT is maturity.

Really, this has nothing to do with his being your master. Dominant people have a responsibility to be considerate and respectful. Those that aren't are just ass holes I think.

Have a look at the "foundations" and "lessons" threads when you do a tag in the search engine. You might find some ideas on where to start out in order to have a successful relationship dynamic.

Monogamish 08-27-2011 05:04 PM

He actually has decided he is going to slow down so much that, until I have had a few poly experience I'm comfortable in and am enjoying, that he won't be pursuing anyone (and although I have never asked him to do this, he still feels like he's doing it 'for my benefit', which I'm a bit afraid will make resentment happen down the line). I guess I'm just confused and scared. Confused because some days he says that what he might want is live-in 24/7 D/s like he used to have, and he knows I don't have any desires for that again, so he'd have to release me in order to pursue that, and some days he says he might try poly and it not work out and him be content with one relationship (incidentally, he does say he's happy with just me, he just knows he could be happier with other people involved, so that's what he wants)...but then he tells me that I'm hearing him wrong, and that the only thing he really wants has never changed since his second slave left, which is to have me as a live-in primary relationship leading to marriage, and to then have tertiary or secondary relationships with other female submissives in a non-d/s context. He likes variety. He wants to be sexual with other people. He wants to care about other people, but have the flexibility to see them twice a week or twice a month without hurt feelings because him and his other partner are secure and happy in their lives already.

Me? I don't know what I want anymore. Monogamy seems simple and happy. Poly seems complex and full of woe. But I don't want to close myself off to the possibility that someone wonderful could walk into my life and enrich it in ways I don't even know about yet. So I think I'm just scared of being replaced (even though he assures me I won't be), scared of being dismissed because I'm occasionally miserable (I have clinical depression. It often causes me to see the worst in situations instead of the best), and scared because I feel like I can't talk to him about it anymore--he just gets frustrated and hurt, and so do I. So I don't really have anyone TO talk to about it.

Thank you for the response. He really is being understanding, but I feel like a horrible person every time I get jealous or scared or insecure. I don't want to ruin this relationship based on insecurities, fears, or my being uncomfortable with feeling like I'm not "enough" (a fallacy in thinking, I know. Love is infinite, not a resource that disappears; just because we may both have jobs now that dictate totally separate schedules and thus not much time for each other doesn't mean we love each other any less, for example). I want to love him and be generous in the way he deserves, and open my heart to new experiences, and not feel like I misrepresented myself or lied to him when I started this relationship (he says I've changed and become more mono in my thinking, and that I don't think poly is worth the trouble). I guess I just got content and happy with the way things were when we weren't seeing anyone and working on our own relationship, and maybe I'm just afraid of change.

dingedheart 08-27-2011 06:16 PM

How do you have relationships with 2 or 3 female submissives in a non d/s context?

He's told you what he had ....and he's told you he may want that again in the future ......if that's not something you want to do why develop coping skills and put yourself through that. People here love to talk about feelings and words ...and the words centered around the feelings What's your gut telling you? Are his word matching what your gut is telling you?

Monogamish 08-27-2011 07:19 PM

I think you have relationships with people the same way you would with anyone else. Just because they identify as submissives doesn't mean they will be submissive to HIM. And even if they wanted to, I doubt he would let them just because they asked nicely. "You are not entitled to a relationship with the person of your choosing" and all that.

As far as him wanting that again someday, I'll cross that bridge when and if I come to it. Until then, I trust that what he wants right now isn't that, and I can work with what he does want, and what I want, to make a good, working set of relationships. (Including the ones I might want with other people. Because our play partner is cute. :) )

I guess you could say that I trust him more than I trust my gut, because I'm in the middle of a depressive spiral right now, and my gut is telling me all sorts of things that aren't true (like the fact that the bathroom razor looks attractive, which is obviously a fallacy, case in point). Whereas he tells me things that are true, and has proven himself worthy of my trust in the past.

dingedheart 08-27-2011 10:51 PM

So then what's the need to have " a submissive or 2". What would be the point......why narrow the pool.
I think under the best conditions this is difficult...suffering from clinical depression seems nearly impossible to me. Good luck to you both.

Monogamish 08-27-2011 11:55 PM

Well, within the BDSM community, female submissives are prevalent, and he's straight, so he expects to be in more relationships with them vs, say, dommes, purely from a numbers perspective.

As far as the depression, I will be getting it treated very shortly (doctor is currently on vacation), and then we'll be leveling the playing field back out to merely "very very difficult" rather than "almost impossible".

At any rate, neither of us give up easily, and we will be working very hard to make sure crashing and burning doesn't occur to a disastrous degree.

Thanks for the well-wishes, though.

nycindie 08-28-2011 12:44 AM

What stands out for me is how much you are focused on what he wants. Even when you start to talk about trying to figure out what you want, you make your way back to how you can give him what he wants, and how you can make him happy. It seems you are hyperfocused on him, rather than your own personal need to make choices and create a life that makes YOU happy and satisfied.

I know people your age don't want to hear this from an old fart like me, but I'll say it anyway: you're young yet. Why limit yourself, when there is so much you haven't experienced? You sound pretty mature and quite intelligent, but this situation seems really fucked up to me. It just seems like you are in this rather insular world, closed off to seeing more possibilities for yourself. I would be concerned, since you are so very young and into the submissive thing, that you will allow yourself to get wrapped up in his desires, putting your own last. And your 20s are supposed to be all about self-discovery, so why not enjoy being young and single, and forget about poly, BDSM, and (romantic) relationships altogether for a while? Go take a road trip, make new friends, get to know yourself better, see the big wide world out there. Give yourself room to breathe, stretch your wings, and find out all the things you can be, besides someone's slave. I think that would help your depression immensely as well.

Monogamish 08-28-2011 02:59 AM

Thank you, everyone, for your responses. They have been insightful, even when your value judgments and mine may differ.

I will say this: taking time to be gentle with myself, allow myself to go slowly and heal is an excellent idea, and one I will be trying to implement. I will also be paying attention to enriching my own life, separate from my partners, so that I have more to offer myself and them in the future. Allowing myself to remember what is right for me, and why, is important, and I will be trying to take care of myself, so that I don't get quite so caught up in trying to be what my partners want to the possible exclusion of what ~I~ want. I think that's a good start, if a bit of a tall order. :)

dingedheart 08-28-2011 10:55 AM

I really, really agree with what Cindie has said and having no frame of reference would only suggest you fully discuss the poly and Bdsm with your Dr upon their return. If you can't trust your gut right now maybe trust the Dr who's treating you...

Again reread cindies post .....good luck

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