I've been reading this forum for a while, but finally registered and am ready to contribute!
I'm 33, bi, living in Seattle, and have been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years. We have been in an open relationship since the very beginning, with him interested more in one- or two-night-stands, while I've had some very delightful FWB's.
However, in the last 6 months or so, BF has been having an ongoing "thing" that has been difficult for me to adjust to. I'm very communicative and want everything in the open, whereas he is very private and subscribes to a DADT policy (we call it out-of-sight, out-of-mind, which actually isn't true in my case). I'm having a hard time getting a grip on what kind of relationship they are having, and his reluctance to define things vs. my need for transparency has been frustrating for both of us.
Additionally, I started seeing someone about 3 months ago who I am starting to have much stronger feelings for than I have for anyone other than my BF. He is in a poly marriage, and I've not only really enjoyed getting to know him, but also to view a well-functioning poly life at work.
Anyway, the gist of this long-windedness is that it seems BF and I are evolving out of a sexually open situation and into something that feels more like polyamory, and I anticipate the transition will be complex. I am determined to navigate the waters with honesty and grace, and am hoping to glean some great advice and support from all you lovely people.
This is an amazing resource, and I'm grateful to have found it :)
I agree with your anticipation that the transition will be complex, but then what in life isn't?
It's completely fair if you have a need to know more about your "metamour" and to tell your boyfriend you'd like to get to know her. Often, knowing the other person can do so much to relieve jealousy and insecurity.
Have you asked him why he's so reluctant to tell you about her? It's not like you're asking for every last detail, just that you need to have an idea of how their relationship is growing and what that will mean for your own relationship. That's perfectly reasonable.
Some polyfolk refuse to do poly when they aren't allowed to meet the other people. I myself am that way. I don't like secrets and I like to know why people are trying to hide things from me. For example, are you sure that she knows he's in a committed relationship?
Agree completely: Out of sight is not out of mind. If anything, out of sight gives a person all the more reason to worry and be anxious. There's nothing as scary as the unknown, and reality is never as bad as the horrors my imagination can come up with!
Thanks so much for replying! :)
I think a lot of BF's need for privacy comes from baggage he's still carrying. He has a somewhat strained relationship with his family from never feeling "good enough." Also, his last relationship before me, he cheated on her with a one-night-stand that resulted in the birth of his child. The whole reason we had/have an open relationship is because he didn't want to make promises (monogamy) that he felt he wasn't built to keep, due to the fall-out from the ending of that relationship.
Because of all that, I think he feels as though he should be ashamed of his life, and that it needs to be hidden away. As though anything but monogamy is deviant, or perceived as such. I don't think he actually *is* ashamed, but feels people won't understand and will judge him. He knows I won't judge, but it's almost a reflex now. I think also, in some sense, he feel as though he's "done me wrong" by not being monogamous, despite the fact that I'm very happy to not be.
We had a really good talk this weekend. Well, actually I talked, but he very graciously listened. He asked me to describe what my ideal of our relationship would look like, what I would need and want from him, how it would be different from what we have currently. He asked for some time to think about everything I said, and I'm really excited to at least have started a dialogue.
I want things to be open and honest, but I know that's going to be hard for him. However, I think we made some good baby steps in the last few days. I sent him a link to these forums, so hopefully it'll give him some answers/ideas/thought-provocations :)
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