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-   -   Stumbling around (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13995)

MichelleZed 08-29-2011 03:26 PM

Stumbling around
Hi all--I started a thread in the Introductions section, but thought that if I was going to discuss things with you guys, I'd start a thread here. Here's my back story: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...9603#post99603

I suppose I should name my cast of characters. I will choose ridiculous names for everyone!

Thaddeus, my loving husband and soon-to-be father of our son (due in December)
Sven, a good friend, and currently, a casual fuck buddy

Annabel pointed out that I should talk to Sven about my feelings and suggest that we could continue seeing each other indefinitely (if he wants). I know I should, but it's really really scary. I don't want to spook him. But, at the same time... I feel like perhaps we've had conversations that have sort of almost gone there, but neither of us have actually brought it up, because it's scary territory.

I guess we'll see how things go with this girl. He won't be back in town for a few weeks, and he doesn't seem to want to talk about it over text or email. I did talk to him a bit yesterday. I wanted to give him space over his trip and told him I wouldn't send him filthy texts like I often do--in case that got him in trouble with the girl. :) After a few days of radio silence, though, I sent him a text, telling him I was at a funny play, but thinking of him and hoping he was having lots of fun. He didn't reply, but he did message me on the computer the next day and talked for a few minutes. I felt some coldness there, because we have been talking and texting nearly every day for months, even as both of us travelled everywhere. We exchanged pleasantries, and I asked him how things were with the girl. He said it was a long story best told later. But that she was great.

Sven is a social guy who maintains a lot of close friendships with other women and his many lovely ex-girlfriends. He seems never to be able to make relationships work with these women, but then has no problem blurring the boundaries of friendship and love and keeping in close contact with all of them. In some ways, I feel like just another one of "Sven's girls", like I'm a rather boring colour in his box of crayons. At other times, I feel special, and Sven has hinted that he has held back with me because he knows this has to be casual.

So yes, a talk is needed, but greatly feared. I'll keep you guys updated, I guess? I'd appreciate any encouragement if you have it.

Actually, two talks, because I'll have to talk to my husband about this, too. Currently, we are not poly, we are "open", so this would be a shift in our relationship. Except he's been fine with me continuing to see Sven, and has been fine with our texting and going on little "dates", and has even listened to me as I told him how sad I was at the idea of Sven "leaving", and that there were some feelings involved. He already knows I have feelings for Sven, and has been really understanding. I do, however, think he might balk at the word "poly", so I might not use the word for awhile. Does that make sense?

I don't want to hurt my husband, so I want to tread carefully and make sure he feels special. Although he's had fun with an open relationship, and thinks I'm a cool wife because I let him sleep with other chicks, he only does it occasionally and would very happily go back to being mono without it bothering him in the least. We really opened up our relationship because I wanted it, not him, though he was happy to go along with because he knew it wasn't a threat to our relationship (thanks, Dan Savage!).

MichelleZed 08-29-2011 06:21 PM

Talked to Sven online today! We chatted about casual things, but it was still nice to feel like things haven't broken down between us.

It's a lot of stress to see if I can maintain something with him; often, I just think I should take a deep breath and accept things the way they are. I'm married to a wonderful man, I had casual sex with a great guy, and if that's over, well, it's been fun, and soon I'll have a baby. Why am I trying to make it into something else?

Other times, I look into Sven's smiling face and I just don't want it to end, ever. The way he kisses me, oh god. Every time, I wonder if that'll be the last time. It would be nice if I could kiss him just once not thinking, "This is the last time we'll do this."

OOOOH and I forgot to include a fun detail to freak you guys all out: the three of us are all co-workers. True story.

Carma 08-29-2011 08:47 PM

I feel a lot of the feelings you have, when I'm with Butch. I am a temporary "transition woman" for him. Our relationship will most likely end in one of 2 ways: he will either find a full-time girl, or he will die. (He has a heart condition :( ). I always know that I have to make the most of the present moment, with him, because it will inevitably end in loss. But going into the future in my head, I will feel the pain twice! I can't afford it, emotionally. It robs me of the time I DO have with him. No way am I giving up that, to fears of the future. That is only terrorizing and torturing myself. Today is so precious, I try to hang onto it and suck it all up while I can (in other areas of my life as well, but especially in poly).

I am so grateful to my husband, knowing that he will be there to help me through the grief someday. I ask him every now and then, "You'll help me get through it, right??" He is awesome. Sounds like you've got a gem, too!

The love you have for Sven is never lost. He may move on, but he takes that part of you with him always. How cool is that? How gracious and loving to let someone move on when they feel it is the right thing for them to do. Someday, you may feel extremely proud of yourself for this. (If you must go into the future, try going here, it always helps me. ;))

MichelleZed 08-29-2011 09:09 PM

I'm sorry about Butch's heart condition.

Yes, it's difficult being the "temporary transition" woman, isn't it? Thanks for the insight. I am now reading your blog because I find some similarities in my situation...

I'm sorting through all my clothes, making up a box of sweaters I'll be too fat to wear this winter. It's a bit depressing. I put in the box a purple sweater that looked so hot I was able to hook Sven while wearing it no matter how he was feeling. If he started getting ambivalent about what he wanted and he felt like maybe fucking me was just a distraction from finding a real girl, I'd wear the sweater, all tight on my tiny tiny waist, and low cut, no bra, my nipples poking out the material... he could never resist me in that sweater. Now it won't remotely fit of the baby tummy, and I probably won't want it clinging to my post-partum rolls in Jan/Feb, either. It'll just remind him of how I used to look in it, and that I don't look the same now.

I just tried on a grey sweater that still fits, as a sweater, but I used to wear it as a dress with knee-high boots. My god, I can't believe how tiny I was. It's sickening, really.

We have some new hot young things coming to work in our office, and I used to be that. Prancing around Sven in tiny outfits isn't going to work anymore. I feel powerless in that way, too, like I've lost what I think he found worthy in me, if I've lost my maidenly body. I find it hard to believe that he likes me because I'm interesting. I'm really not.

He's still having sex with me now, but in some ways, there's something novel in it for him--he's never had sex with a pregnant lady before. It's a bit kinky. But when I'm just a mom, all tired and leaky and stretched out? Even if he's still single, what will he think of me then?

This is just such a period of upheaval for me.

My husband says I'll always be beautiful. Thanks, my love.

Carma 08-30-2011 12:12 AM


You are PREGNANT, not fat!

And it's not the end of your "maidenly body." No matter how hard it is to believe right now, your body will snap back. I've had 6 kids, and I'm still smokin hot! ;)
(If you nurse the baby, that will help, too -- although the boobs may sag a bit later, but it's a wonderful trade-off, soooo worth it). (Oh, AND -- lactating can be really sexy too, believe it or not. They are BIG, and the milk all over the place can make for some hott sessions if you put your mind to it. We sure made the best of it!)

You are more than just a sexy body. You say you're not interesting -- ??? How can that be??? There is only one you. You have a story that no one else can possibly have. You have little quirks in your face, a certain sparkle in your eye, that no one else on earth can have. Your husband says you're beautiful -- you have a job to do. You need to learn to believe that. All the sweet words anyone can say to you, they will only bounce off and those who love you will get frustrated, if you don't learn to let that love in.

Also -- motherhood will bring out a beauty in you that you can't even imagine! Just wait till those adoring eyes look into yours, you have never felt so perfect in your life. :) GOOD things lie ahead for you.

MichelleZed 08-30-2011 12:26 AM

Thanks, Carma! 6 children--wow, that's a good number! Congrats!

You're right. I can't wait to meet the baby and have us get to know each other. I have to focus on how important it'll be to me. Probably this other stuff won't be important anymore.

Looking forward to the lactating too, actually... wonder if either man'll be interested in playing with the possibilities...

MichelleZed 08-30-2011 05:47 PM

Pictures on Facebook of them having fun on their trip ooooooooooooh god

Anneintherain 08-30-2011 09:23 PM


Originally Posted by MichelleZed (Post 99668)
I feel powerless in that way, too, like I've lost what I think he found worthy in me, if I've lost my maidenly body. I find it hard to believe that he likes me because I'm interesting. I'm really not.

Now we all know if that's what he found worthy in you, he isn't worthy of caring about. Time to spend some time working on your self esteem ;)

I probably would've suggested talking to your husband about having feelings more before feeling out Sven's feelings about if he might want more, but I know both options are scary. I prefer my husband to talk to me about if he has feelings that are growing before he talks to a partner - ie if he's falling in love with somebody, I'd like to know at least a day before they know to process my feelings about it. Then again we are poly and not open.

I will say that if you speak with your husband and find out where he stands on more emotional relationships, then it's easier to be open with Sven about what the two of you might be able to have. This ambiguity and not knowing can be a killer. I imagine seeing pictures of him on FB with another woman would be much less stressful if you knew how he was really feeling about continuing a relationship with you. If you knew whether or not you two were over if he found somebody to date he really liked, etc etc.

This said, there are a couple conversations I should be brave enough to have myself soon here, so I know it's easier to give advice than follow it!

MichelleZed 08-30-2011 11:09 PM

Yes, well, it's definitely easier to talk to my husband than to talk to Sven. The communication lines with Thaddeus (that's my husband's fake name. I should try using it) have been open and well-used, so I'm less afraid about that conversation.

Anyway, Thaddeus sort of knows already, because I'm usually pretty forthcoming and not the kind of person who can keep secrets very well. He's been watching me develop feelings for Sven and listening to me agonize about them. I have told him that "there are feelings there" and that if I had my druthers, I'd keep up the arrangement I had with Sven "indefinitely". He's been fine with that so far and sympathetic.

So... basically all that I have to do is kind of formalize what I've already been saying to him. I should just tell him... what? That I'm the kind of person that seems to express myself through affection, and that the kind of other relationships I want to have outside our marriage are just that--relationships. That I'll be unlikely to just have one-night stands like he does and that I'm much more likely to keep up ongoing arrangements like the kind I have with Sven, where we see each other on a more regular basis, and it'll be like we're dating when we're on. That I hope this is okay with him and I want him to know that our marriage won't be threatened by this, and that I'm happy to hear all his thoughts about it.

Or... something. Again, I don't know if I want to use the word "poly" with him yet. He has associations with that word and thinks it's a bit hippy-dippy. I think he'd much rather hear, a few months into it, "Oh, honey, I read about poly online and that's pretty much what we're doing!"

What to say to Sven is much less clear. We don't have good communication. I have no idea what he's thinking or how he'll react. I'm much more blunt than he is and had to initiate some difficult conversations early on in our dallyance... he was always afraid to bring things up. I wonder why he's still single at 37? :p

I kind of want to hear what he has to say when he gets back from this trip on Sept. 8. The girl is gone now; she was just there for the first leg of the trip. She lives in another city and he's said before that he doesn't want a long-distance relationship and he doesn't know how it will work with this girl. Well, it is possible that they have decided they like each other, but want to sort of be casual and still see other people and see how it goes. If so, I fit right into that plan very well. In fact, I would be one of the best people for him to see because I'm not actually a threat to her. I'm not trying to steal him.

On the other hand, perhaps they have decided to date and be exclusive. At which point I am cut off, abruptly. Am I cut off right now? I don't even know! We've had a few chats and I've tried to keep them light and not bring up anything sexual, because I don't know if I'm "allowed". I told him before the trip to tell me if I was allowed to sent him filthy texts like I used to, and he said he'd see what happened with this girl. I haven't heard anything either way, and I expect I won't until I force the issue again. I think anything like this is difficult for him to bring up, and I understand that.

Or maybe they decided it was fun, but are not together at all. This still doesn't mean I'm in the clear. He may have decided that I am "distracting" him from finding a real girlfriend. He's decided that before, but has always come back, and I have decided never to look a gift horse in the mouth and ask him why he changed his mind. But, if we're making this more official, we'll have to talk about stuff like that.

And you're right... it would be very easy to deal with pictures of him and another girl on Facebook if I knew where he stood with me. I have no jealousy issues with my husband because I know he isn't going anywhere... or if he was, I'd have some warning at least!

Anneintherain 08-30-2011 11:36 PM

*Hug* You are as much of an overthinker as I am, you must be exhausted from all that wondering!

I'm guessing other people have much better ideas about how to talk to Sven and your husband. Ordinarily I wouldn't recommend not bringing up "poly" to a SO, but as Thaddeus already knows you have feelings for Sven, and you're not in a rush to be "IN" a formal poly relationship, and you know your husband best, that sounds like a reasonable way to go, as long as you don't think he'll feel misled.

Sept. 8 seems a long way away. Phew, it is heavy work when you are the partner that initiates all the difficult conversations. In your shoes what I might do is write down what I want to know/clarify/talk about to Sven. Pick the top one or two in importance to me, and focus on only worrying about how I feel about those things too until I can talk to him in person. Especially if you're finding your mind drift to all these questions whenever you have a free moment for idle thought.

If all those things you just wrote about possible scenarios are circling in your head day after day though, I would probably write to Sven in a few days and ask for clarification on whatever is keeping you distracted.

I try to operate by being myself as much as possible. It is not easy, but if you are being tortured by what's happening and you say "Hey Sven, am I cut off?" well either you get to find out and can relax, or he'll hedge or be dishonest but you'll figure out that sooner or later. It doesn't sound from the tone of your posts that you are unhappy with these thoughts, just curious about all the damn possibilities.

Me personally I don't think I'd want that gift horse, if you think he's out of there as soon as he finds a full time relationship of his own, that's going to be painful, but at least it seems to be a risk you're willing to take. I'd probably say "Sven, I'd like to have you in my life long term, and think a relationship like this would look like _______ " What do you think? But that's true that it's scary to say, maybe scary to hear, and I suppose if you would like it to last as long as possible and you think it's going to have to end sooner or later, maybe it's safer not to say it. Then again, if you say it and he's open to it, that can open up the chance for greater rewards, if he wants to be with you long term too maybe, and doesn't know it's possible, it could change his view on what else he is looking for in life, and give you the chance to build something really nice.

Good luck!
p.s. my example of bravery I'd exhibit in telling Sven that I wanted him in my life long term are over-exaggerated ;) Also thanks for making up fun full names instead of using initials!

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