From polyamory to monogamy and back again.. insight appreciated!
Hi there! I am new to this webforum and appreciate any feedback!
I previously had a successful 4 year polyamorous relationship with both a primary and a secondary partner and for the most part it was a wonderful experience. My primary relationship ultimately ended because of a relationship my primary partner had with another person but I do not blame this incompatibility on polyamory itself but rather on the people whom I was involved with.
I was single for awhile after that and had never imagined myself in a monogamous relationship. I started dating a new person, who identified as monogamous but who didn't mind if I had relationships or sex with other people. I only actually had sex with one other person during the first year of our relationship and it was during one of my partner's extended absences (months). As soon as he was readily available again I actually decided that I was happier pursuing monogamy in this instance. It's worth nothing that in my mind nonmonogamy would be an option at any time that it became appealing and convenient to me. Even though I didn't want to be doing that now I believe that I would want to have both male and female partners in order to have a successful long term relationship. One person can't meet all of another person's needs, right?
About a month ago my monogamous partner came to me, having found, read and enjoyed a book called "Opening Up" and having met a person involved with the UU church whom he believes is non monogamous because they are in the church and have joked about having threesomes with another couple that they know. He very sweetly asked my permission to consider whether he was attracted to her and if he wanted to pursue a relationship until she goes away to grad school in July. I cried a lot and my head spun around but of course I consented as it is a possibility I would like available for myself and also because I have the kindness and compersion in my heart and I think I have a wonderful partner the world could benefit from. Also it's a nice feeling that he is secure enough in our relationship to want to personally explore polyamory for the first time.
In my previous polyamorous life we had a huge poly family and I was a part of our local poly community, attending the bi-weekly meetings and assisting in all the events. In short, I considered myself a very experienced authority on the matter but I have been stunned to find myself having some very uncomfortable feelings I don't understand. I don't know if it's that I've been away from it for almost four years or if my confusion is stemming directly from the parameters of my current relationship.
I am feeling a lot of anger and a lot of hurt at random intervals or any time the woman my partner is interested in's name is brought up. She appears to clearly be a crazy person full of insane antics only four dates into their relationship and I do not like the way he is handling his relationship (he has not told her he's in a serious relationship, is only assuming she's ok with polyamory, and has not been as forthcoming as I'd wanted in being kept informed about when their dates are and what's going on in their relationship), but I am trying to be cool and let him make his own mistakes and learn from them.
I feel very confused right now about what I want to have happen and also about what I'm feeling. Why am I experiencing so much blind rage when I was such a non jealous person before? Am I just out of practice? Have I forgotten how to be in touch with my feelings? Something that I thought made a lot of sense to me is not making any sense to me right now.
Has anyone else had this kind of experience? Does anyone have any insight to offer? I think one of the difficulties I am experiencing right now is that I no longer have a supportive poly community (or even poly friends) to talk to or seek advice from. Any insight is appreciated!
I suspect the feelings stem from the world changing around you without warning. You were in a mono relationship and then your partner shows up with an interest in poly AND somebody else in whom he's interested at the same time. There was no ramping up to a change in the relationship. Toss in the stress from the way he's conducting himself regarding this other relationship and you've got a whole lot going on.
AS far as how he's handling himself goes, I'd recommend NOT taking a hands off approach. An essential part of polyamory involves everybody knowing what is happening--and he's hiding that from her. Another essential part of poly life is doing right by existing relationships when adding new ones--and if he's not forthcoming with you, he's not doing right by your relationship.
As for letting him learn from his mistakes? The consequences for bad behavior are broken relationships. Do you really want to let him learn in that fashion, particularly since one of the relationships he can break is yours?
I have to say that I find his interest in poly to be insincere, based on what you've said. If he has read "Opening Up," he'd be aware that one has to be open and honest in poly relationships. He's obviously not doing that. That suggests to me that he's just wanting permission to "cheat" and isn't serious about building open, honest relationships.
I reckon your anger is justified. I suspect you're picking up on subconscious clues that he's not serious about poly relationships and is exploring the world of cheating or trying to find out if he wants to leave you for someone else.
Now, take what I just said with a grain or two of salt. All I have to go on is what you've posted, so I'm missing out on far too much information to claim any great insight.
If he is not telling her about you, then I can see trouble brewing. It may be you are keying into the problems his relationship with her can bring. Part of jealousy is fear of loss. So maybe you are worried this will hurt your relationship with him.
It is very hard for someone in NRE to see the crazy flaws of someone you are with. It may be a lesson he has to learn, but hopefully not something that will damage your relationship with him.
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