Looking for a little advise
Hi all, I know from reading the forum guidlines I most probably don't belong here but not sure where else to turn for advice.
My partner of 4 years (father of my child) has suggested to me that he may be better suited to a poly life. In the 4 years we have been together he has cheated on me a number of times, which hurt me over and over but yet I stayed because I loved him and felt that we could overcome anything.
During one of our discussions about him possibly being poly we realised that in the last 15 years, neither of his relationships have been truly mono as someone has always cheated, initially his partners cheating on him moving to him cheating on his partners.
I've told him that I'm not interested in living a poly life as I have no interest in being with esp loving other men. Call me silly but he is the one and only man that I want to be with. For him though he can't be faithfull, and he thinks this is because he may be poly. He says for him initially it is just about the sex as there are things he needs that I just can't give him one being he doesn't feel like he can be rough because he doesn't want to hurt me. So he would rather find someone else to be rough with. He is saying that in no way shape or form with his secondary relationship interfere with our relationship, that he will have strict rules in place that the other person is not to contact him at certain times, he will only see them if I am at work and he has found child care. To me though that doesn't sound like a poly relationship if their are rescrictions on contact and other things, it honestly does just sound like a having a mistress that your partner knows of.
My problem is that I don't want to lose him, we have worked hard for our life together, been through a lot but I worry that if consent to a polly life, I will resent him and if I dont he will resent me and then just cheat.
ATM I have agreed to allowing him to chat online to other women on the condition that I do it to but I know that I'm not doing it because I want to but because I don't want to be the muppet left sitting at home with the baby.
Part of me is thinking that if I truley love him I should be open to him exploring himself like this. But I know it will hurt me and i will grow to resent him. Neither of us want to split up but the saying that if you truley love someone you have to let them go keeps ringing in my head.
You might want to do a "tag search" on Mono/Poly and other related searches. You may also want to look at boundaries and such. Browse this board and read, read, read, there are a lot of stories here both of successes and failures. COMMUNICATION will be key!
Hi lostinlove. Thanks for coming and sharing your experience. I think the first thing people wrestle with with Poly lifestyles is the complications. Whether we intend it to be complicated or not, it can easily become so. A mono, man-woman relationship has it's share of complications, but they are complications our society trains us from a young age to deal with. (No, don't cheat on me. Yes, we agree to raise the kids with the same values. You need to come and celebrate Christmas with my mom regardless of how you feel. etc). When you add in rules, partners, it can add to that real fast.
I'm far from a relationship expert, so please take all of this with a grain of salt. One of the things I'd deal with first is... what you both want out of a relationship. Let's say you want chicken for dinner, and he wants steak. Those two are different, and you can only afford to make one or the other for dinner. You have to choose between two non-compatible choices.
You can extend that to say Bill is a hardcore christian and Jill is a hardcore atheist. They both want kids (you and your husband want to stay together) but they disagree on how to raise them. Bill wants them in church every sunday and saying prayers before bed every night (your husband wants an open sex life). Jill wants them to grow with no religious affiliation until they are old enough to decide themselves (you prefer a closed sex life).
Bill and Jill want such different things, regardless of their love for one another, a long-term, with children relationship would be difficult (as most relationships can be). Maybe it's best that Bill and Jill shake hands, and go their separate ways. Maybe through negotiation, compromise, counseling, love and care, they can convince the other or come to an agreement they agree to. Usually it means one side caves.
I think you are in the right place, however. Poly can be many things. Open sex life, open romantic connection, the ability to chat and talk intimately with the opposite sex. And exploring that for your partner involves you taking huge steps toward making the marriage work.
(One might then ask, if he is doing the same and *not* cheating on you even though he could to show that if you're unwilling to have this lifestyle, he is too)
Here are some additional thoughts:
(It makes me wonder about the "life choice." Homosexuality isn't a choice, but is poly? That's a topic for another debate).
The idea of compersion might help you a lot, then again... I personally don't feel "I'm a cheater, I need to be a polyamourer." is a good line of thought. Poly lifestyle usually involves a high degree of trust, perhaps a higher degree of trust than a mono relationship. If he can't keep to a simple rule, can he keep to complex rules?
If you're going to pursue a poly lifestyle, I think compersion (taking joy in your partner's joy) is necessary. This means, if he's out getting laid, does that thought make you happy? Can you take ANY pleasure in that? If not, if you can't overcome jealousy and see good in it, then it likely isn't a lifestyle for you (from my experiences).
If you only want to be with one individual, you may need to find someone with the similar feeling. Poly people and Mono people have a hard time being romantically compatible (my opinion).
"Initially" means that he may grow to be romantically attached to some of these flings, whether they are men or women. His lack of faithfulness could come from a lack of self control and maybe you should both go to counseling so he can learn some techniques for this.
And yeah, he may be far better off in a poly relationship, doesn't mean you have to be!
How would you feel hanging out with his sex-buddy as a friend? How would you feel about dating this person as well?
As I said, poly comes in many variations and this could be one, but I don't really see the value. I feel like he's trying to have cake and eat it too at your expense.
Where's your backrub?
My friend has told his life partner no children, to never ever ask for children, the moment she does, relationship is over. They had on-off again relationship but have been stable for 5-6 years. He's been crushed in two previous marriages and much prefers being poly, but she has been strictly straight mono.
She brought up kids.
He told her to leave.
She refused. They talked about it.
They're now a swinging couple (or something) in the stages of exploration. It was the compromise. She was determined to have a child. To sacrifice the freedoms in his life and face the fears of having a kid, she had to face her fears and explore aspects of his life he needed. They worked out a compromise.
He got a backrub. She got her dancing lessons.
However, I find this to be the big kicker in these relationships. If you do whatever you can for your lover, shouldn't they do the same? So he should give it all up for you. And you should embrace it all for him. Not compatible on the surface level.
I know this is very long, and if you read it and have any questions or thoughts further, please feel free to respond or PM me. I'm not a relationship therapist, I've just been through a thing or two and these are my thoughts/feelings/opinions grown out of my beliefs/experiences. I could be wrong about all of it!
I think that people should be poly because it makes them happy. I don't think people should be poly because they're afraid to lose what sounds like a douchebag.
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