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-   -   Needing some input from experienced people please (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1413)

Alexandra 11-26-2009 01:33 AM

Needing some input from experienced people please
 
Hello :)

I'm unsettled by the situation that I'm in, and I'm hoping I might get some useful advice from experienced others please.

Briefly: I'm in my mid forties, happy and healthy. I've been in a relationship with my partner L for almost twenty years. We've had our ups and downs, of course, but we're happy and good for each other. I love him dearly, I don't want to be without him.

June this year, I found myself back in touch with my first love, T. To my surprise and delight, I found that I am still in love with him. He has never stopped loving me and hoping that we might one day be reconciled. (However, we've had almost no contact in the intervening years.) We texted and spoke on the phone and eventually we met up. The feelings were incredibly intense and beautiful.

After a couple of months I knew that I didn't want to be without T or L. I approached L and asked if he might consider opening our relationship. We discussed it over several weeks, and eventually he agreed. However, he said that he felt that he didn't really have a choice. He recognises that I am "madly" (his word) in love with T, he is fearful of losing me.

When T asks me "What do you want?" I say "I'm greedy, I want both of you. Why should I have to choose between these two amazing men? Why should I ration the love that is available and offered to me?" T is prepared to share me, to meet L if L wants it, and is generally being generous, open, loving, patient and kind.

L believes that T has an agenda, and is "dishonourable" for "messing with another man's lady". T pointed out (half joking) that since he knew me first and has never stopped loving me, it is in fact L that is the interloper

I feel no remorse or guilt at all, but I do feel the pain that L is experiencing, and I hate that I am causing him pain.

L either can't or won't talk about it. It's become the elephant in the room.

How can I negotiate this, how can I make it easier for L?

Obviously, this is a very brief synopsis and it's all far more interesting and complex than this post allows!

Alexandra 11-26-2009 01:36 AM

I should add that I am present, reassuring, loving, attentive, responsive and mindful towards L.

AutumnalTone 11-26-2009 02:08 AM

I don't know that there's anything you can do unless L decides to discuss the issues. It takes the two of you to negotiate issues, not just one of you. Without him taking an active role in negotiating things...well, there's no negotiating things.

He just may not be able to deal with a poly relationship, even if he's just poly to the extent that he's in a mono pairing with a poly partner. There are no magic words to engage somebody who's just not interested in discussing an issue. It may end up that you have to decide on one or the other.

Alexandra 11-26-2009 02:28 AM

By not discussing it with me, he creates an impasse, which is one way to assert control of some sort, I suppose.

It's funny... I always thought he was the more poly-minded of us, but it appears that I may have been wrong in this.

No, I can't seem to find the magic words to enable him to discuss this with me. He seems to think that if he doesn't think about it or talk about it it, it somehow isn't happening. But he is having bad dreams, very clearly about this situation.

One of the things that makes me uncomfortable is that his refusal to engage with the issue somehow forces me to be secretive. And that feels deceiptful. If T phones me, I feel that I have to hide it from L.

Having to choose between them is not something I want. I love L, I don't want to be without him, he makes me happy. But now that T is in my life, I can't imagine being without him either.

rolypoly 11-26-2009 05:21 AM

Maybe L needs time? Maybe a different approach? (Not sure what). I can see how it is difficult to be at a standstill when you're willing and wanting to discuss things, but it takes two to do that...

redpepper 11-26-2009 08:03 AM

Perhaps if you told L that you are beginning to find a need to go underground with your love and that is not going to work for the long haul then he will sit up and listen. It probably would help if you were to spend time all three of you together. Bottom line is that he needs time and you will have to wait, keep communicating and be patient.

There are many stories on here that are similar to yours... please read as much as you can on here and elsewhere, because you are not alone.

MonoVCPHG 11-26-2009 08:04 AM

Sometimes you just have to make a choice in life. Hopefully you will be able to work through it and all be happy. Happiness may or may not result in being together. Just accept that while loving two may seem natural to you it may be beyond the ability of others. Nothing wrong with that..just life.

Take care

Alexandra 11-26-2009 08:59 AM

Thanks for the replies :)



Quote:

Originally Posted by rolypoly (Post 13252)
Maybe L needs time? Maybe a different approach? (Not sure what). I can see how it is difficult to be at a standstill when you're willing and wanting to discuss things, but it takes two to do that...

Yes, of course he needs time, I can see that. I am patient by nature, and T is also prepared to be patient. But I suspect that L may use the waiting game as another way to keep things on his terms.

I don't like game laying. And I;m not even sure that L sees that it might be game playing. He's just trying to cope, reacting to a new and very difficult situation.


Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 13270)
Perhaps if you told L that you are beginning to find a need to go underground with your love and that is not going to work for the long haul then he will sit up and listen. It probably would help if you were to spend time all three of you together. Bottom line is that he needs time and you will have to wait, keep communicating and be patient.

There are many stories on here that are similar to yours... please read as much as you can on here and elsewhere, because you are not alone.

I wish it were possible to have a meeting with all three of us. L has said he cannot think of meeting T. Originally he said "In case I like him". Now I think he simply cannot contemplate such a thing. He seems very stuck.

I am open and looking for any and every opening for discussion, but L keeps shutting it down, avoiding it, and I don't want to force him to talk about it when it clearly is so painful for him. However, avoiding it is also very clearly causing him pain.

He even said that he wishes I'd just had an affair and left him in "blissful ignorance". I pulled him up on that and he admitted it was not the better option.

I don't want to use emotional leverage though: I hate ultimatums, they never work. By saying "I'm beginning to find a need to go underground with this love and that is not going to work for the long haul", am I not creating an ultimatum? Is that really my best option?


Quote:

Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 13271)
Sometimes you just have to make a choice in life. Hopefully you will be able to work through it and all be happy. Happiness may or may not result in being together. Just accept that while loving two may seem natural to you it may be beyond the ability of others. Nothing wrong with that..just life.

Take care


Yes, life... But the thought of losing either one of them is just horrible.

Ah me.... :(

Why is it that something that has the potential to be so beautiful, abundant and embracing can also be the source of pain and exclusion....



The irony is that in all the years we've been together, L has always had intimate emotional attachments to other women. I have always allowed and even encouraged these attachments. They have never become physical, but I know that he has been in love with some of them. Indeed, he is currently involved with one and has been for two years.

I too have had close emotional connections with other men over the years. The difference now is that I want to be sexual with T.

Why does L feel so much more threatened by this aspect of it? I know you guys can't answer this for me, I know it can only be resolved in discussion and by communication, but in the absence of such an opportunity, I have to use the keyboard and an internet forum to straighten out my thoughts....

MonoVCPHG 11-26-2009 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alexandra (Post 13281)

Why does L feel so much more threatened by this aspect of it? ....

If he is anything like me maybe this will help.

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1016

MonoVCPHG 11-26-2009 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alexandra (Post 13281)

Why is it that something that has the potential to be so beautiful, abundant and embracing can also be the source of pain and exclusion....


....

Try not to forget that what you are asking for is not recieved by most the way you describe it. Put the question to your friends and family and see if they use the same words.

It takes a lot of different wiring and thinking to even comprehend poly, let alone embrace it. Yes, it can be all the things you say; beautiful, abundant and embracing ....for the right people. For the wrong people it is pain and exclusion.

Each of us as individuals have to find our own path and decide who and how many we will walk it with.


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