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-   -   Their first night (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14009)

ispolyforme 08-30-2011 05:34 AM

Their first night
Hello All,

I'm a mono male married to a poly female. We have been together for six years and married for almost five years. We have two boys, ages 3 and 1. My wife (she will be on the board shortly) was non-monogamous before she met me, but decided to try monogamy out for me. About a year ago, it became apparent that she wasn't fulfilled, and needed to be non-monogamous again. Her coming out to me has made the last six months really stressful. She was fighting to assert herself, and I was fighting to keep her to myself. Neither of us were really fulfilled because of the struggle and it created a rift between us. We weren't communicating about what we really needed, only butting heads.

About three months ago we invited our friend W to spend a couple months at our place because he was reassigned to a temporary job that was minutes from our home, but two hours commute from his. About a month ago, As W was packing up to move out, my wife was crying and admitted to me that she had fallen in love with him. Thus began my poly journey.

I struggled (am still struggling) with feelings of being replaced, jealousy, loss, changed expectations, ..., the whole gamut. I even gave my wife an ultimatum at one point, him or me. It was shortly after that time that she was able to show me how she had the ability to love more than one person at the same time. How I was irreplaceable, and how her love for W didn't diminish her love for me. And I believed her (can you believe that!?!)

I felt alone, like monogamous relationships shouldn't change into anything else, and then I found this forum. I discovered lots of people who had various experiences, some similar and some different, but all willing to work through the craziness for the sake of loving people they care about. For simply existing, I want to say thank you (or I hate you all, depending on how things turn out :p ), because without these stories, without feeling the existence of kindred spirits, I would not have allowed my wife to explore her poly side. I would have closeted her and kept her unhappy.

Well, tonight is their first scheduled night together and I'm dealing with it OK. W came over and brought ropes. It was really cute seeing them both excited to have a night to themselves. They are downstairs now. I went on a run to get out of the house for a while, and I had a conversation with my boss about some projects. But those things only took a couple hours, it's going to be like this all night. I guess I have to get used to having some time alone.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks for reading.

JuliaGay 08-30-2011 05:49 AM

Welcome. I think you're doing quite well handling all this. You've figured out some strategies to occupy your time and I'm sure you'll find some more.

Remember that it's a journey and not a destination. As you've already found, poly is not easy, but it's definitely worth it, in my opinion.

Have you thought about dating someone yourself? :)


ispolyforme 08-30-2011 06:07 AM

JG, thanks for the vote of confidence. Things will definitely get easier as time goes on. I haven't really considered dating, but the possibility is exciting. I don't want my wife to feel that I'm doing something in retribution though. And I definitely don't want to bring in another source for emotional stress when I'm not fully secure with the emotional stress I have. Time will tell if I'm really mono or poly-in-waiting.

dingedheart 08-30-2011 06:40 AM

How exactly did she show you she could love two at once? Was that before or after your ultimatum? I to suggest finding your own new partner....at least start thinking in those terms. Many of the poly partners encourage it to easy the guilt .... take the pressure off.....loss of libido for spouse...etc.

Having the guy in your house with you there is definitely jumping in the deep end of the pool. You are miles ahead of most first timers.

Good luck. D

ispolyforme 08-30-2011 07:11 AM

After W moved out, we took a few steps together to try things out. The pattern was basically: try something new out, feel ok while it was happening, get caught up in my head feeling weird about it the next day, flip out a bit, be reassured by my wife, try something else out, repeat. The new experiences were driven by me and things were at my pace. I was always the one to suggest that things move along when I felt ready. However the fact that I always required reassurance put my wife off to my capability of accepting her for who she is, and support our lifestyle together.

When I gave her the ultimatum, I felt like I was giving to her by taking steps to further her expression of herself, but I didn't really feel like I was receiving from her in accordance with what I needed. From reading posts here, I know that this was due to her NRE with W. The ultimatum actually caused her to see that something serious was happening and she worked to understand what I was feeling.

It was after this that she finally realized that I was already walking down a path with her towards a goal that really made her happy and gave back to me. The amount of love and attention that she is giving to me now is what I need. This is how I know that she can love two at once.

dingedheart 08-30-2011 07:28 AM

What are you talking about?

ispolyforme 08-30-2011 07:37 AM

I'm talking about time and attention to my feelings; mostly about walking down a pathway toward a polyamorous lifestyle with her. I needed to know that if I was going to do this with her, that she was going to provide me with support and understanding, not just whipping me with her NRE with W. Since then, she has become much more attentive.

ladyhavingfun 08-30-2011 11:09 AM


Originally Posted by ispolyforme (Post 99793)
I'm talking about time and attention to my feelings; mostly about walking down a pathway toward a polyamorous lifestyle with her. I needed to know that if I was going to do this with her, that she was going to provide me with support and understanding, not just whipping me with her NRE with W. Since then, she has become much more attentive.

I am in the same position as you, being the "poly virgin". I have spent the last couple of years learning, opening my mind, taking things at my pace. I think you are doing a great job trying to learn the best ways to deal with the jealousy, while learning to be supportive and undertanding of your partners ability to love more than one.

Allstar 08-30-2011 11:46 AM

Welcome. It will be rough the first couple of times, I can't promise you will be 100% ok with it, I know I don't think I ever will. But I am at 85%. It is amazing to see that love return to you. Take a look at xeromag.com. They have some good stuff on there about jealousy. It has helped me a lot. Also the book the Ethical Slut has some good insight to jealousy, actually stories about the authors. It wasn't all the just be ok with it. It was real with crying and arguing. It happens. The feelings are real and can be explored. You will learn that most of them come from your insecurities like being replaced or not being enough. You will learn in time that you can replace these just by remembering the feeling of when she is back and how the surge of jealous emotions going flying out the window and your feelings of love start to rush through you. I hope to hear more of your story, even the start of it is inspiring. I wish you the best on your journey.

Carma 08-30-2011 03:15 PM

We were in a poly V for about 4 months before I went on a date alone with my bf. At first my husband was ok with it. Then... he WASN'T. It was awful for him. For us, it just didn't work out. Now we are back to an arrangement where I meet my bf during the day when my husband is at work, and the only time we go out on a date is if all 3 of us go. (Which hasn't happened too often, but the few times it has, we have had an absolute blast).

My husband just started up a relationship of his own, about a month ago. Their first date.... at first I was ok with it. Then... I wasn't. Then.... I was. UGH!!!

Poly is a roller coaster for us, but it was the best alternative. We didn't want to divorce, and I couldn't stop loving my bf. Then a woman started flirting with Sundance, whose ego has taken a major hit with me falling in love with another man, so for the first time in our 12-year marriage, he opened himself up to another woman.

It has been crazy tough. I did not anticipate going through all the emotional upheaval on this end of it. Now I really understand the "other side" of poly -- BUT, not completely. I have never been in the secondary's position! Having this new girl out there adds a whole new dimension to it. For about 8 months I was the goddess, having 2 men who I loved dearly, who were willing to put aside their male pride in order for me to be happy. I was in awe of this, totally. Now not only do I have to deal with my own jealousy (what is THAT? I didn't think I had a jealous bone in my body!), I also have to consider HER feelings. Sundance is not going to just use her for his own selfish ego needs -- he is more of a caring soul than that. So he is kind to her, tells her sweet things, and frankly, has lied to her about the state of our marriage so she won't run. That is a whole new dimension that I never even gave much consideration at the beginning. I thought, oh, him having a girlfriend, that will help US. What will it do to HER? Never thought of that one, did we? It has gotten A LOT more complicated. I'm not sure if that is bad or good, but it's sure been intense!

I'm not one for giving advice. I try to just share my own experiences, as I feel they relate to others'. But I can give some encouragement. Hang in there! It sounds like you are in a loving marriage. And you do have 2 young children, so that marriage is not something to quit on too easily. We have 6 kids -- 4 still at home -- and it has made us all the more determined to stick together and find creative ways to make this work for us and for our family. We may be struggling, and maybe if we didn't have kids to think about, we'd decide to go the easier route. But we love each other enough to stay together, at the very least for the sake of the kids we both love, the family we have built together that means the world to us both. It is a bond that we care enough about not to sever. I love my husband so much, and I know it would kill him not to live with his children, the same way it would kill me. I'm not saying we are only in it for the sake of the kids, though -- we are a terrific match, we adore one another, and there is way too much good between us to give up on. But thank goodness for the kids, they certainly strengthen the glue that binds us.

Oh yeah, back to the "first night" -- from my own experience, I can just say, it's not going to be easy. Lots of emotions will probably wash through you. I remember my husband being so sweet about it. He even helped me pick my outfit! It was cool. Then a day or two later, he fell apart. We couldn't have predicted the path it was going to take. But we were determined to work it through no matter what. October 10 will be our one year poly anniversary :rolleyes: so I guess, so far, we're managing! Good luck to you, too!

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