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-   -   I'm Not Stupid--So Why Can't I Be Smart? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15727)

PassionFlower 10-12-2011 09:50 PM

I'm Not Stupid--So Why Can't I Be Smart?
I've been monogamously, heterosexually married for 10 years. A few years ago I identified and accepted that I am bi-sexual, and that a polyamorous lifestyle would work for me. I am interested in staying married and having both men and women as lovers.

My husband has consistently rejected polyamory, first with disgust and contempt, and now, 2 1/2 years later, with just the statement that it's impossible for him.

The past 6 months he has allowed a few threesomes, feels that even this is violating who he is, but that he is okay with it because 1) if we are with a woman together it is still in the context of the 'sacred union' of marriage and 2) he gets a benefit and still has some control.

I knew I was bi-sexual, but since having a threesome with a woman who is a good friend, I have realized how strongly I can feel sexually with a woman, and I want to have a lover, in particular her, but that's quite complicated because she lives with us (as a roommate).

My husband keeps repeating that it is impossible for him to be married to me if I have outside relationships. He has read "Opening Up". We have 3 children together, all under the age of 6 years old, and the thought of separating is awful. I love him, I want to be with him. I have been monogamous even while thinking about polyamory, except that six months ago I got drunk and cheated on him, which is not part of my value system and I do not want to happen again. I value honesty and not keeping secrets. I told him about what happened 2 days after it happened, and I have not seen or talked to the guys since (I did not know them before that night).

I just don't know if I can keep being monogamous. Right now, I want to be with my friend who lives in our house, and I know she wants to be with me, and the agony of not being able to fulfill that is tremendous for me. Beyond that, I don't want to betray myself by being with someone else when I have told my husband I won't, but I am so afraid that I will do it anyway, someday, somehow, even if it is not in this context. She will be living with us for the next few months--her leaving is not an option for at least 5 weeks, so even if she leaves I have to deal with this situation for a month.

So, advice welcomed on
1) How to deal with the current situation, for the next 5 weeks
2) I am pretty convinced that polyamory is for me, and scared that by trying to be monogamous so my husband and I will stay together that I will end up betraying myself and my husband (i.e. cheating). BUT I have not lived a polyamorous lifestyle, so I might be wrong, it might be too hard and not worth the trade-off of not being with my husband. Any insights?
3) Anyone have any experience with identifying as polyamorous but choosing monogamy because you love someone and want to be with them? Long-term?


SoCalExile 10-13-2011 03:27 AM

1. I think you know the correct answer is to not act on those impulses, even though it's going to suck and you're probably just going to smolder. Have you talked to her and maybe worked out a situation/schedule where you can avoid each other as much as is practical, if you really think you are going to need help giving in to your desires?

2. Have you tried couples counseling yet? Are there any poly-aware professionals in your area?

3. No. (I've only figured myself out and identified as poly in the last five months and haven't worked up the courage to come out yet.) :(

PassionFlower 10-13-2011 04:48 AM

We have been to couples counselling to talk about polyamory and other relational issues, but stopped last January, before I cheated. We haven't been back. The counselor was not against polyamory, which was good, and helped my husband work through some of his feelings and thoughts about it. So my husband now accepts that I am bi-sexual and polyamorous, although he cannot accept behaviours or me living a lifestyle that is bi-sexual and polyamorous. We may have to re-visit counselling at some point, but I think we will need to see someone new, and our town is very small. We are moving in a few months, which will open up counselling options.

Thanks for your reply :)

redpepper 10-13-2011 06:57 AM

Mono/poly dynamics are a hot topic on this forum... try doing a tag search and see. There are a lot of people that come here to get some insight on how to make it work. It isn't easy but it is doable.

First of all there is no reason why you can't have other lovers and your husband not. It will take huge responsibility to manage your time. Especially with kids involved. It would take a huge amount of his ability and desire to let go of you being around all the time and he starting in on some of his own projects and life goals by himself. That could be a good thing for him... I know it has been for my husband since I started dating Mono, Derby and Leo. He has taken his life into his own hands and made some significant life changing alterations as a result. He is far happier for doing so.

There is not going to be a way to convince your husband that you should be poly. Someone will always draw the shorter stick on this one. That is just how it is. There will always be compromises, and you likely will find it hard to find any way to reach and agreement on boundaries, but you can keep at it and keep trying. I have for almost three years. I have found a way that is good for me right now. Maybe you might also...

If I were you I would keep being patient. I can tell you one thing that I have noted for sure... rushing and letting your desire get ahead of you will set you back big time... maybe you already know that since you have cheated once already. I would keep breathing, think of your kids first and note that life changes in its own sweet time.

nycindie 10-13-2011 07:32 AM


Originally Posted by PassionFlower (Post 106216)
The past 6 months he has allowed a few threesomes, feels that even this is violating who he is, but that he is okay with it because 1) if we are with a woman together it is still in the context of the 'sacred union' of marriage and 2) he gets a benefit and still has some control.

This part I find somewhat alarming. What is it he wishes to control? You? What you do? This smacks of a sense of ownership over you and a complete disregard or disrespect for you as an individual.

This will be a tough road, no doubt. I think there is more going on here than being at odds with your husband because you feel you identify as poly while he is steadfastly mono. That you got drunk and cheated indicates a deeper problem in your relationship, something you are avoiding looking at, so you used alcohol and a fling to submerge whatever it is. There seems to be some discontent or unhappiness lurking there.

I think you have to bring your focus away from sex. The threesomes, the lure of being with the woman who is living with you, and cheating are all easy escapes. But it would behoove you to really do the work needed to feel enriched by and stable in your primary relationship before going elsewhere for physical intimacy. If I were you, I wouldn't wait until you move to go to counseling again. And if he won't go with you, go alone. You already know you will be leaving and will have to find a new counselor, so you are prepared. Just know that the time you have is finite and cover what you can. The foundation has to be strong in your relationship before you can expect any movement toward polyamory to be fruitful in any way. If I were you, I would start by examining how his attitude about marriage and his need to be controlling affect you. Start digging.

dingedheart 10-13-2011 02:41 PM

I think you getting drunk and getting tag teamed by a couple of strange guy might of set you back with your husband. The control that cindie found troubling ....replace that word with ...dick ...penis....the number of dicks is what he's trying to control ....or being apart of this a sexual outlet with you ....without any other dicks involved.....not excluded from it.

After the tag team incident does he have trust issues ??

IrisAwakened 10-18-2011 12:53 PM

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to live with someone you want but can't have. I know how you feel about mono partners as well, mine is trying to see the poly side of things, but I end up feeling like he is my keeper, something that really irks me. I hate having to ask permission about things, but I am doing it to make it easier on him. He knows that I could stray whenever I choose. Does your husband get this? You are taking it easy on him, trying to help him deal. You could always just sleep with your friend and tell him to deal. I know it is hard for him too and that I don't know his side as well, but you are already making a huge sacrifice here. I would just ask that he try to understand your feelings as well as his own.

Counseling is a great idea, keep with it. Communication is paramount. Unfortunately, that is all of the insights I posses at this point. Hang in there!

Minxxa 10-18-2011 04:46 PM

While I certainly can see your frustration, I think there's a point that tends to get lost on this board a lot (since most people coming here are poly). And that is that there is nothing wrong with your partner choosing monogamy, being monogamous and NOT wanting to have polyamory involved in their relationship.

While I agree with NYCINDIE that nobody gets to tell you what you can do or try to control your actions... the flip side of that is that since you ARE involved in a couple you don't necessarily just get to do whatever you want whenever you want and expect your partner to be okay with that.

The gist is... you need to define who you are and what you really want, and of course, stand up for that. But you also need to accept that if your partner's wants and needs are the polar opposite, you will need to accept that you are not compatible relationship-wise.

I see tons of people coming here to try to "convince" their partner that poly is the way to go and how to "show them that it's doable". Well, for some people it really isn't doable. And to me not accepting that is just as disrespectful of the other person as if your partner were to go to a "mono" board asking for advice to "convince" you that monogamy was the best way to go and try to get you to agree to that even though it wasn't who you are.

If bisexuality and polyamory really are necessary parts of you that you need to have integrated into your life to be truly happy, then you need to express that to your partner and expect that they will either choose to live in a way that is most likely NOT rewarding for them, or choose to leave. The "I want to do it my way and have my partner be okay with it" is what everybody wants, I know... but that's not reality. And it's not really taking the OTHER person into consideration.

Basically, it's tons of selfish.

I think often people come here thinking if the other person just "reads the right stuff and tries it" that they'll agree it's fabulous. And that's just not the case for a lot of people. And that's all right. There is nothing wrong with being monogamous if that's who you are. And nobody should try to "convince" someone to act differently than who they are.

AnnabelMore 10-18-2011 05:02 PM

I second Minxxa on this. And just going ahead and sleeping with her anyway as Iris suggests is a sure way to end your marriage in the worst way possible.

redpepper 10-20-2011 06:50 AM

Wah? Minxxa I don't know of any threads where people have come here to ask about ways to convince their mono partners to be poly. People come here distraught about their situations and wish their partners were into what they are, but I haven't seen any blatantly obvious threads about frustration on not being able to convince them or asking how to go about doing that.... Did I miss something? Have I beenm reading stuff wrong? *confused*

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