Sudden situation, same old problems
Hello all, this is my story, and I wish to find some help in my situation.
Me and my spouse discovered polyamory some months ago in November. We had just come back from a trip, during which we had met again a friend to whom I had a crush on previously. I thought I had overcome the crush, but it came back as soon as I saw him again. We came back from the trip, and I started seriously wondering what is wrong with me, why can't I just love one person at a time and stick with that. So I found polyamory on internet, and thought that this is the answer to who I am, and why I'm keep feeling this way over and over again in all my relationships. I told my husband about it, and he understood very well. He said he himself is probably the same, and that if I want to, we can also live polyamorously. I was very surprised, but very happy. I thought this is the answer to all my love problems: that I was never able to keep loving just one person.
So when about a month had passed, I decided to tell the guy I had a crush on about polyamory, and about that I have a crush on him. It went surprisingly well: he decided to think about it, and we ended up talking for hours online almost every other evening. After some weeks, we decided I should come over and stay with him for a week, so we'd see how it goes. I did, in February, after about 2 months (he lives in another country). That week was fantastic. We laughed together, made love together and basicly just were very close to each other for the entire week. It made me fall in love with him, and it seemed he also felt much closer to me than ever before. Later on he has said it was the best week of his life.
When I came back home, things seemed to get only better and better. He wanted to send me messages every day, and seemed very much in love whenever I talked to him. On one sunday night he then sent me a message, that he loves me. He had been to a party, saw a girl who was interested in him, and had realized that I'm so much better than anyone else. Nothing seemed to be wrong.
And then, one week later, he sent me a message: "We need to talk." Something was wrong. In the previous night, he had met this same girl again in a party. They had kissed all night. I said that's ok, as he knew, I'd be ok with that. But he wasn't ok with that. He said meeting this girl, no matter if he likes her better or not, had made him realize he doesn't want polyamory. He's not ok with the setting of me having another man, and he never will be. He said he always had this feeling from the start, it was just that he had been suppressing it. And done it very well so, since I had no idea there was something wrong. Every time I had asked what he thought about polyamory, he had said he's ok with it and not jealous, and that if he first had some jealousy it was going less all the time. So I thought things had been going towards the better, not the worse. He said he needed to think whether he wants to continue with me or not. And hinted with some words, that he actually has done his decision already. I was shocked and cried all day. The next day we talked on phone, and he broke up with me saying he can't do it. I tried to find out why he now all the sudden thinks the polyamoric setting isn't ok for him, but he couldn't explain it, and hasn't been able to do it later either in the few days that have passed after that. He can't explain his feelings. Also he believes in "the right one", and suddenly now knows that he wants to be the only one for me and myself to be the only one for him.
I just don't know what to think, or how to live without him in my life now. We had made some plans together: plans that he would come visit us here soon, plans that me and him would do a long trip together next autumn, plans that me and my husband would perhaps move into the country he lives in after a year or so, since we had been planning on moving away from here anyway. They were plans that made me really happy, and filled my ideas of future. Now they are gone and my future and life anyways looks empty.
I do realize I can't change his feelings, but I'm just disappointed he did this the way he did it. Like a lightning from the sky. I do understand that he's not very good at dealing with these things, since he hadn't had a real long term relationship (only a few one night stands) in ten years, and only one a bit longer relationship ever (4 months). He's 31. So he's not very experienced with relationships. Myself, although I'm 28, have had 3 longer relationships (4 years, 2 years and 5 years), so I did have a lot more experience on relationships than he does. I can't make him see what I've seen about relationships. And maybe his ideas about relationships would have developed different than mine anyway.
But also, this has made me think, is polyamory the answer anyways. Probably not, may be it's just a new name to my problem, namely that I fall in love with several people? And it's not just that either, I think it's also that my love gets smaller over time. I fall in love too easily: whoever I have ever had sex with, I've also always very soon fallen in love with. And I loose my love too easily too. After some years, it gets milder, and then I don't know what to do, how to make it stay. And every time it ends up with me hurting someone or someone hurting me. I don't know how to cure that, or is it even possible to cure that ever. I have lost faith into it being somehow better with some other, new person - why would it be, if it's about my love being so imperfect. I'm just wondering how you others do it, how do you ever stay happy with atleast one person.
Sorry for the too long story, but I hope someone has some comments or helpful advice. Life & love both seem so very pointless & hopeless right now, like there's no solution to anything. Thanks.
So you were dating this guy for just a few months and now you can't figure out how to go on without him? I get that him calling it off was a shock but that's a risk you take with any new relationship. You have to figure out how to keep yourself from going so deep so fast, it's a recipe for heartbreak. Save the life-changing plans for a little later on. As for why he did it, it sounds like he was confused and a little immature.
It's worrying that you say your life seems empty when in fact you still have your spouse. Does he not fill up your life at all? If not, it doesn't sound like a very good marriage. It's also worrying that you say things seems hopeless and pointless now, when this guy was in your life for such a short time. Maybe it would help to go to therapy, to figure out how to be happy and purposeful because of yourself and your own goals in life, rather than having those things come from relationships.
Staying happy with a mate is a subject that many, many books have been written on. It's not uncommon to find it waning over time, and if you want love all you can do is try to be very very choosy in relationships, build them slowly, then invest in making them work. But first you have to be happy with yourself, and it doesn't sound like you are.
My initial impression reading your story is that this is about what happens to relationships that aren't sustainable long-term when NRE fades. Which happens at different times for different people. In the initial rush of new romance everything seems perfect...then reality steps in.
He experiences this (i.e. realizes what he is really searching for/looking for/wants) and realizes that he doesn't want to share (even though he knew at the onset that this was a condition of the relationship). For you this takes the form of feeling like you fall in love too easily and then your love seems to fade over time.
If you take poly out of the picture the same thing may have happened but it would have taken a different form (i.e. you would have been with him for a few years and then moved on in a "serial monogamy" type of fashion as you gradually lost interest). If you learn to recognize your pattern for what it is you may be able to soften the blow for yourself and others in the future.
Now, I may be completely off-base! Personally my tendencies run in the other direction - my brain "refuses" to acknowledge my feelings for someone until well after my NRE has run its course and I realize how much I turn to someone for support in a "daily grind" scenario - until then, apparently, I tell myself that it is all about sexual compatability with a good friend and the excitement of MrNewBrightShiney.
Another point to consider (again I may be completely off-base for you personally) - just because a relationship is not "long-term" does not mean it was not worthwhile. Not every relationship has to evolve into a "marriage-or-its-equivalent" to be successful - this is a goal-oriented approach in my opinion, sometimes they journey itself is more important. Some relationships just run their course and both people are better off having been in them even if they are no longer together.
My two cents (which in these inflationary times, is practically nothing).
Thanks for your very friendly replies!
Yeah, I really think I should take things slower next time and try not to fall in love quite so soon, or atleast be more careful with it. And take it slow with making future plans as well. In this case, I guess what made me a bit less careful with making plans was the fact that he does live in a different country. In the beginning, we were wondering whether the whole thing would work out because of that, so we made some plans how we could see each other and possibly live closer to each other in the future. That was the bottom to start the whole relationship at all. Maybe such long distance relationships should be avoided in the first place then, I don't know.
For what it comes to my husband, so yes, he does make me happy too. If he left my life, I think I'd be much much more lost than I'm right now because of this break up. He's the perfect match for me in many ways, especially mentally, and he's a great partner to have in life for me. He's like my best friend or so, at the same time as I do love him. Some things such as sex in between us have become milder over years, although I don't think sex was the thing that made us get together really, not even in the beginning. Not that it was ever bad, it's very loving, and it has been there from the beginning and never stopped, it just has quite rarely been so intense as I've experienced with some others. It does bother me, but what can one do about it, I don't know.
I have also been thinking I should be able to be happy without the help of a love relationship. It is so true. But I find it extremely difficult, knowing what sort of really large happiness the feeling of being in love gives. Everything else seems sort of small compared to that! I feel like love is the meaning of life, and when someone I love suddenly goes away, it feels like part of the meaning of my life just went away. The other ones I love are still there, but I feel they really can't fill the hole since, well, they are not the same person.
Another way to look at it is we are not Green Glass bottles Beautiful but boring in their simplicity, we are Stained Glass. Made beautiful by the very act of breaking bottles and piecing together the shards.
I love the quilt thought, thank you! Made me feel a bit better and less hopeless.
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