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-   -   in mono marriage, realizing I'm poly (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1913)

surfer 01-06-2010 08:37 PM

in mono marriage, realizing I'm poly
 
Hi everyone, my dilemma seems common but I couldn't find any similar threads: I go back and forth between thinking I should stay committed to my monogamous marriage (no children involved), to thinking it's time to take the plunge into being poly.

My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, which breaks my heart, but so does the thought of leaving her, as we've been together several years and still very much love each other. Yet having to be mono the rest of my life (I'm in my mid 30's) seems difficult and lonely, I really crave more intimate and deep connections that I can get with my friends. So I'm feeling kind of stuck.

I know this is a poly forum, so I guess if any of you were in a similar situation you made the choice to follow the poly path, but I'm wondering how you reached a decision and if you ever have any regrets. Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice!

MonoVCPHG 01-06-2010 08:42 PM

Hi Surfer. I'm not coming from a similar perspective but just wanted to say that it is very important to be true to yourself. To me it is a health thing...will you be healthy if you continue to live monogamously? Will you're wife be truly healthy if she knows you are unfulfilled in your life? If I was in her shoes I wouldn't be.

Just my 2 cents

Take care
Mono

CielDuMatin 01-06-2010 09:03 PM

Surfer, it's a tough one.

I have known a few poly/mono couples that have been in the situation of the poly person waiting for the mono to come to their sense and be poly, and the mono person waiting for the poly person to come to their senses and "settle down" with them. What I have seen in the past has not led to a terribly healthy dynamic, with each side pushing, sometimes subtle, sometimes trying to "force the issue".

But I think the commitment you have to not just walk away and try to make something work is admirable.

I think that initially education is the key. There are lots of misconceptions and assumptions about polyamory out there - make sure that these have been fully researched before any decision is made.

Eventually, the process comes down to comparing your "bottom lines". Could you be happy in a monogamous relationship? Could she feel comfortable with one of the very varied forms of polyamory that there are out there?

If not, then the tough thing to realise is that you have "grown apart" and that there are some fundamental differences that are going to get in the way of your relationship together.

This is far from an easy process for both of you, and I send positive thoughts your way.

JessieNY 01-06-2010 09:35 PM

"My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, "

I am sort of in your wife's shoes. My husband wants to open the relationship to add another woman. It is hard for me due to my insecurities - I am trying to work through them to be a more loving caring person who is able to share not only her husband but myself.

Let me know how things go...it is a tough situation. I have mixed feelings and it would be nice to chat with you as you seem to be like my husband and I like your wife...maybe we can talk together and neutral parties to a similar situation.

StitchwitchD 01-07-2010 01:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JessieNY (Post 18900)
"My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, "

I am sort of in your wife's shoes. My husband wants to open the relationship to add another woman. It is hard for me due to my insecurities - I am trying to work through them to be a more loving caring person who is able to share not only her husband but myself.

Let me know how things go...it is a tough situation. I have mixed feelings and it would be nice to chat with you as you seem to be like my husband and I like your wife...maybe we can talk together and neutral parties to a similar situation.

I'm really curious about what the problem is, why it's difficult for you, because I'm trying to understand the other point of view. (I got involved with a man in an open marriage, and his wife couldn't deal with it, she'd never even considered poly, and I would really like to have some insight into what she could be afraid of, or what she hopes to accomplish by being functionally monogamous, other than having him be all horny and grumpy, me being all wangstful, and neither of us being as motivated to do housework as we were when she was okay with things.)

So, I keep trying to imagine situations that would bother me if the situation was reversed, and I keep failing to see how allowing us to have whatever kind of relationship would work would have a negative impart on her life.

MonoVCPHG 01-07-2010 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StitchwitchD (Post 18922)

So, I keep trying to imagine situations that would bother me if the situation was reversed, and I keep failing to see how allowing us to have whatever kind of relationship would work would have a negative impart on her life.

Read some of my stuff and it will give you a little insight to what the other side could feel like. It is based on my personal feelings but I understand your frustration in not understanding. I can't truly understand why anyone in a happy connected relationship would open up their relationship BUT I accept that it is healthy and possible though....it's just beyond my ability to comprehend LOL!

Note - I understand it can be healthy and possible...just that it is not something I understand.....weird hunh..considering:rolleyes:

Hope things work out though, regardless. Health first my friends.

GroundedSpirit 01-07-2010 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by surfer (Post 18892)
My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, which breaks my heart, but so does the thought of leaving her, as we've been together several years and still very much love each other. Yet having to be mono the rest of my life (I'm in my mid 30's) seems difficult and lonely, I really crave more intimate and deep connections that I can get with my friends. So I'm feeling kind of stuck.

Hi Surfur - and welcome !
It would be interesting to know what level of conversations you and your wife have had so far and what education she may have been exposed to about the theories behind polyamory.
It's really important for both (all) parties to understand what the various attractions/desires of a poly lovestyle are. When you use terms like "intimate & deep", they are terms that are too broad and are likely to raise more questions in each other's minds than they do answers.
I'd suggest you start by trying to find a couple very explicit examples to talk through and try to discover where a desire of yours could be met without presenting a threat to her on that same subject.
In our culture and it's current "default" of monogamous marriages, there's a certain theory & mindset that comes with it that implies that in order to have some ideal - or even successful - relationship, that two people should find within each other ALL the things that are important to us - or that failing that - the people should be able to remold themselves into something their partner desires.
To me, both those concepts are total fallacies ! By saying this I mean that they have been largely unsuccessful over history and are so because they are unrealistic & unnatural - go against reality & human nature.
This seems to often be the first barrier that has to fall. If you think that you are not satisfying your partner in some area of their life - and the expectations are that you SHOULD be able to - then this comes as a direct threat to your ego and self definition. That thinking has to GO !
I'd suggest addressing that first. If you can see through that to a deeper understanding of what being human entails the rest will be easier sledding.

GS

JessieNY 01-07-2010 04:08 PM

For me I have insecurities about opening up my marriage because I feel that our marriage has a lot of issues in it that need to be worked on first. And I am insecure about him possible trading me up? If that sounds logical? I want to be able to be open minded and poly because I know that it would be a wonderful way to live always being surrounded by love! But I need to get over my personal issues with it. Plus I have been married for 10 years and now all of the sudden he decides he wants another woman. it is hard not to think negatively after all those years.

GroundedSpirit 01-07-2010 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JessieNY (Post 18988)
For me I have insecurities about opening up my marriage because I feel that our marriage has a lot of issues in it that need to be worked on first. And I am insecure about him possible trading me up? If that sounds logical? I want to be able to be open minded and poly because I know that it would be a wonderful way to live always being surrounded by love! But I need to get over my personal issues with it. Plus I have been married for 10 years and now all of the sudden he decides he wants another woman. it is hard not to think negatively after all those years.

Hi Jessie,
Not to hijack the thread but it seems your post is worthy of addressing.
So that I don't repeat some material I already posted in this thread 2-3 posts ago, I'd refer you to that first.
That fact that you allude to issues already in the marriage could mean opening this ground could be either good or bad. If nothing else, starting to learn about it will make you both better communicators with each other and in more than a few relationships that in itself is at the root of many problems.
As to your mention of insecurities - please keep in mind that we ALL have them. There's always people who we may judge to be more or less than we are in some way. It's self defeating. All we can ever do is be the best "us" we're capable of being, and keep trying to keep working on that. But that's not to imply that we should change who we are to meet someone else's desires UNLESS it's in sync with our own desires.
So the exploration into poly is not rigidly tied to the outcome of your current marriage. Or your self perception. I think it could help both in the long run but that will be for you to decide.
Best wishes !

GS

DrunkenPorcupine 01-07-2010 05:54 PM

Polyamory, at least in terms of sex, is part of my sexual orientation. I don't know if that's because I own and revel in the term/concept or if others feel that way.

So if you're poly and not sure how to approach it, I'd ask you a related question. Would you decision be any more or less difficult if you realized you were gay? Would a lifetime of hiding your true sexuality from others be fulfilling to you? And more so... would you consider your relationships as loving as they are now if in order to keep them, you need to hide something as big to you as your own sexuality?


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