I am having a rough time... Thoughts and help appreciated
Hi, My husband and I both agreed before marriage that when the time was right, we would become polyamorous or otherwise non-monogamous. I'm bisexual and have yet to be with a woman (not for lack of trying), so I thought naively that maybe this would initially take the form of a great threesome with a woman we were both attracted to. He's bisexual too, so part of me also hoped for perhaps a nice threesome with another sweet bi-boy. NOPE. So, unfortunately due to my preconceived notions, now that it's happening I feel let down by it all. He would just like to sleep with another girl, more attractive than me.
Let me preface this by saying that I have personally worked through miles and miles of content having to do with being emotionally and physically abused as a child. I may have a long ways to go, though. My reaction to my husband asking to open our relationship was unexpected.
The way it all went down is, he saw my (much younger, very beautiful, unfortunately not my type) coworker one night when he was picking me up from work and immediately expressed his interest in having sex with her. He kept mentioning how beautiful she is and how she's his "type" (I on the other hand, am not his "type") and he would love to practice sex magic with her, his energy and sex drive "came back" etc etc. I reacted badly. He'd been convinced that I would be totally OK and not have any negative emotions because we agreed to this ahead of time, and also (this is true) I intellectually believe that polyamory is a moral and correct way of being. However, at the time, all I could think was that he just wanted to be with someone else prettier than me and "better" than me. I know this is wrong-headed, but it's how I felt. I felt a huge sense of depression and grief and felt sexually and personally inadequate.
Our own sex life has been awesome, but infrequent (2-3x per week) due to the fact that I work full-time plus. We've always had phenomenal sex. However, lately we've not been connecting sexually as much (for example he's a "morning" person whereas I'm more "afternoon delight" and we've both been tired) and he's started having trouble reaching orgasm. That in itself has made me kinda sexually insecure.
We've been (back) together almost five years and married almost two years, but have known each other going on 20 years, and have a 17 year old daughter. There was a separation of 14 years, but we were pulled back together by what seems like some cosmic force, enough that we both agree we are some form of "soulmates", if that particular concept exists. We realized after that that we probably should have been together all that time. We are like the same person in so many ways, and really understand each other like no one else has ever been able to. We are very close and know more about one another and are closer to one another than any previous partner, by the admission of both. These are things he's used to reassure me that we are together no matter what, and pursuing sex with other people won't break our relationship down.
However, I can't stop feeling bad. Part of what this has done for me is to kick-start me out of the "funk" I've been in and get me back to exercising and caring for myself in other ways. But, part of me is like "no matter how much I work out, I will never look like her, so what's the point?" Also, my husband has been getting Tantra and Sex Magick books from the library, I suppose in preparation for future sex magick with her or another younger woman. Why not me? I know that my "issues" have been triggered by this and I need to work things out. And I am working things out in my head, or trying to, however this is all going to go.
I'm not entirely convinced that I'm "MONO" because I really believe in polyamory, it's just putting it in to practice that's hurting so much. My husband says that I shouldn't put limits on whom he's with or activities etc otherwise I am not allowing him freedom. I would really like to practice pure love like that with him, how can I do it without feeling bereft? I was hoping that we could start with a threesome but he would really like to have separate lover/s. That hurts me. I could take another lover and have some possible prospects, but I would only do so in order to get my needs met when my husband is preoccupied with someone else. Not because I really "want" to right now, it's not where I'm at.
I know this is somewhat disjointed. Any thoughts are welcome, and ask questions please if needed. Thanks in advance.
Um, I hate to point this out, but sex "2-3x per week" times a week is like "fucking continuously", especially if you've been together as long as you say you have, never mind the conflicting schedules and whatnot.
I realize that people have varying sex drives, but two or three times per week is a fair healthy amount of sex, I wouldn't worry about that particular issue if I were you.
I can't help laughing to myself because if my husband and I get around to having sex two or three times per MONTH, I consider that a busy month! And I have a pretty good sex drive, I masturbate almost every day!
LOL thanks for putting that particular aspect of our lives into perspective Ygirl! How bout I call it "slightly less frequent than Krazykitty would prefer it to be in my ideal fantasy world, but still mind-bendingly awesome!" I guess that's a more realistic description. :o
Ahhhh sex :)
Ahhhhh, sex always complicates relationships eh ?
Just a point or two I'd toss in here.
1> Although sex is an important part of a relationship is not the "all". And often it gets placed on a higher pedestal than it deserves I think. (and I'm a VERY sexual person by nature) I just think it's important to keep focus on the fact that sex is (often) part of a "relationship" and not the other way around. When issues about sex arise they should be addressed on their own and not given more weight than any other "issue" (difference?) that may exist in any relationship.
This I think is one of the ways polyamory can help relationships grow, by, if necessary, giving the opportunity to explore meeting those needs in a wider variety of ways. Let's just take a (over) simplified example and you can expand on it accordingly. Suppose you are a person who just simply cannot engage in oral sex. It literally makes you puke ! If your partner is one who really has a passion for it then you have a conflict. Potentially. It's not right for them to force you into something that could affect your whole outlook on sex, but neither is it fair that your partner live out their life missing something they find pleasurable and special.
Now keep in mind that the raw sex may seem to have little to do with the "amour" of polyamory, but your reaction does ! If you truly love your partner - what are the options here ? What will it mean to the "relationship" by which way you react ?
So I think you can expand on this accordingly.
2> The insecurity part.
That's an ego thing, a natural reaction of all of us and something we can benefit tremendously from getting the practice putting it out with the trash whenever it surfaces.
The reality is there will always be other people in the world that seem to have characteristics that are superior to our own. Bigger, smaller, prettier, smarter, sexier etc etc. The list is endless. But if we have a relationship with someone then we must have redeeming qualities that connect us to them. Focus on those ! I'm not saying don't try to always improve ourselves in ways that we can, but neither are we expected to turn ourselves into something we simply aren't ! If we have to do that for the sake of a relationship - we're not in the right relationship. Call a spade a spade.
People have an amazing range of sexual tastes and desires - no different than we have a wide range of tastes in food etc. Don't make more of those differences than they should be. Keep things in perspective.
In the examples you gave - i.e. your husbands interest in Tantric sex etc, maybe he feels that that is just "not" your thing ? There may be things about you, your relationship, any number of things that fuels that belief. First, I'd simply ask him (in a non-confrontational way) why he believes that ? His beliefs may have some substance, or they may not. But they are HIS beliefs and we all need to respect that. On the other hand, there's absolutely nothing to be personally deflated about - as natural as that is. What if the tables were turned ? Let's say for example that your husband was just "average" in the size dept. And let's say that you occasionally need something on a (much) larger scale to really take you to special places. If you explained that to him he would be in a position to feel personally inadequate. But THAT is HIS choice ! He can bow to his ego and risk harming the relationship you have together....OR...he could say..."Well, ya know, I happen to have a buddy that is hung like a horse. How about if I talk to him ?"
And then he can slide comfortably into what's commonly called "compersion" and watch your relationship blossom like a spring flower.
It's all about choices and thinking things through rather than reacting on first "emotion".
Hope this helps....
Wow thanks for the replies all. Very insightful. In fact I do realize a lot of this is my "stuff" and insecurity is a huge waste of time. Allowing for the idea of sex with other people is a risk, but it's brought benefits already without having been acted on yet. In the week or so since this came out into our relationship, I've actually gotten more confident, and our sex has been more frequent and mind blowing quality, I should add. I've become more responsible for my life and issues, and our relationship has seemed to only grow closer.
About the tantra stuff, I don't know, I def am into the same kinda spiritual road he is in. (That's a looong, other story! :)) I think at the time he said the stuff about doing it with her, we'd let the "spark" or whatever lapse from our relationship. We had gotten lazy, especially me, I confess. His being honest about his attraction instead of hiding or lying has done more for our relationship than a lot of other efforts. It's brought out things that went unspoken because we'd gotten too busy, other excuses, etc. Needs which were unmet and thoughts that hadn't been formulated much less expressed. Things have gotten better in many ways.
Again thanks, and any other thoughts or advice are gratefully welcomed!! :)
I think you hit on an important basic of relationships - long term in particular.
I think it's easy with all the pressures of day-to-day life to let the focus slip off the relationship. We call it "getting in a rut". And we've learned over the years that the best way to deal with it is just push the "Rut Alarm" button. Either of us ! Then we step back, take a deep breath and refocus on "us" and not so much all the other crap that's coming at us. It's good practice because it WILL happen again ! Mount that alarm button right in the kitchen ! Unless we can go back deep into a cave in the mountains where there's nobody but us to focus on.
And yes - isn't that great when you do refocus and become even closer ! One of the majik things :)
To respond to ImaginaryIllusion... yes at the time, his attitude was very much "kid in a candy store" and that's probably a big part of why it felt so bad at first... I felt ignored, left behind, and I guess already was feeling that way but was not mentioning it.
That's a HUGE part of all this...my own part... I'd gotten lazy and quit communicating my feelings and needs to him. I'd figured any love (or lovin') was better than none, and had put away my own wants and desires etc. I felt so tired from working so much, and just wanted to let things "go" for a while. Although this stuff all went unmentioned, I know he felt this from me, and it was the wrong way to go about things.
Ultimately, if I am not present in our relationship, there is no relationship. So no matter who eventually winds up sleeping with/dating/etc whom, the point has not been lost... if one of us quits "working" (I hate that word, for obvious reasons) or holding up our end of the relationship, things start to flake out. Although my tendency is to assume I'm the one being rejected, I know now that he felt left out and unloved for the past few months because of how depressed/complacent I'd become. I'll not put us into that position again!
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Nothing like putting this all into perspective...
Another thought that I would like you to consider...
When an existing couple enters the realm of polyamory, it is very important to do it together (and I don't mean with the same partner, necessarily!) These are fundamental big-picture changes to all the established patterns that are in your relationships, and changes like that can be traumatic. So it is absolutely vital than one person doesn't just "run on ahead" and leave the other emotionally in the dust.
If you are not comfortable yet with him doing something, then you need to express that to him and he needs to respect that and take that into consideration. Otherwise he isn't respecting the relationship that you have. If you have issues with a particular aspect, then the two of you should be working on talking this through together.
There is a fine balance of too many rules in place, and a free-for-all - and the right amount is dependent on those involved.
Part of what he needs to reassure you about (and prove to you) is that he is not doing this to replace you in any way. You have said that there is a strong bond between the two of you - I doubt that any would be able to replace that. However, it's not me that needs to be saying that and proving that to you - he does. :)
Hope this makes a bit of sense...
Oh Yeah it makes a lot of sense... He and I only want each other to be happy, after all. I already agreed to this lifestyle, at some point in the undefined future. It's definitely a big adjustment to what we'd had.. but in some sense, really not. I raised our daughter by myself for 13 years while he was with others (and alone too) so there were a lot of years where we had space from one another, for lack of better twems!!
He for sure respects the relationship we have... he has put the brakes on the "outside" interest for now, since I reacted so negatively to the whole thing, but now in some ways, I'm coming around...there are potential benefits for both/all of us (and as-of-yet unnamed future others, possibly) in this situation.
Thanks so much for your thoughts. :)
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