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-   -   Balancing time and nurturing all (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22536)

AJoy 03-23-2012 03:36 AM

Balancing time and nurturing all
I came into the idea of a poly relationship by surprise around a year ago when my sister shared her interest in pursuing a relationship with a woman in addition to her marriage. I had a new friend at the time who I was extremely attracted to physically and emotionally.

Our friendship became closer over the course of the last year, and I expressed my attraction and affection toward her gently/casually on several occasions. During this time, I also spoke openly with my fiance about my feelings regarding her, and he and I started reading a book about these kinds of relationships together and discussion what we could live with. He and I have a relationship with very open communication.

Just about a month ago now, she and I had an evening get together with drinks, and ended up sleeping together. We both came out of it, very excited and nervous, but have since both acknowledged and participated in a physical and loving relationship, that has become very close very quickly. We spent a week together when our men were out of state visiting family (with their knowledge), and it was absolutely amazing... every part of it.. especially the going to bed and waking up together.

My fiance and she are friends. She and I are friends, and now I guess more. She is my matron of honor. I am trying to learn to be friends with her husband (who is a really great guy), but I'm a bit shy and he's got a quiet personality. The four of us hang out regularly. My fiance and her husband both have a slight expressed interest in watching she and I have sex, though she and I have no interest in sharing that really and the guys seem okay with it. my feelings for her have very rapidly become just as strong as my feelings for my fiance, though different.

So my point... All of this is very wonderful and amazing. I never knew that a life like this could exist for me, but I'm also very confused. I don't know if I'm straight or not (or if that even matters). I know I'm not inclined toward others in general... since I've met my fiance, I have zero interest in other men, and until this point, I've had zero interest in women other than some experimenting that really just made me feel bad about myself when I was younger. I feel that my fiance and her are individuals that I have connected with very deeply, and it has much more to do with them specifically than any inclination toward a particular sex that I may have. Again, I'm very confused, scared something will go wrong (because everything honestly seems too good to be true), and full of questions.

How do I balance the time for two relationships that I care equally about?

How do I make sure my fiance doesn't feel insecure (which he has had moments of)?

Will the new relationship excitement calm down (which I think plays a role in making my fiance feel insecure)?

I miss her terribly when I don't get to see her every day...how do I work with this?

I resent not being able to act affectionately toward her in public (we have public roles and live in a fairly small town). Is there a way for me to deal with this?

I honestly wish we could live all together, or at least extremely close, which is a sentiment she shares, but not one shared by the men in our lives at this point. Is there a way to work toward this over time?

I know I have so many more questions, but I struggle so much at this point with keeping it all straight, that I'll leave it for now...I am so thankful this forum exists and I appreciate any wisdom that you can share with me. I have spoken openly to my mom and sister about this, but my mom can't relate and my sister is living out of the country and very hard to get in touch with at this point.

Thanks! :)

AJoy 03-23-2012 06:01 PM

More thoughts after having the night to process...

I stated that I resent not being able to show affection in public. I think this is hard because she and I have many more opportunities to do things together in public, as friends, than in private. We have discussed finding a level of affection that we could show each other, at home, when around our significant others, but are still feeling that one out. I also feel like, since our alone time is so limited, it gets physical every time, which is great, but also takes away from the things we used to do together with our alone time.

I also feel guilt, because I think about her all the time and right now my level of infatuation with her is so high. I feel like my fiance is not the priority of my thoughts, and I am very worried about letting this cause a problem. I assume, and hope that this level of infatuation will level off in time.

Also, I have very different likes physically with her than I do with him... which I guess is expected. :) But again, I feel like he worries about this and me liking things better with her. I tell him that really it is just different and that I like different things with each of them. Again, I'm just worried about hurt feelings here.

Finally, I don't even know what she is to me... what to call her... or if it matters.

I really do appreciate any advice or wisdom from those experienced in this sort of thing... I am feeling very happy but very lost and confused.

redpepper 03-24-2012 09:50 PM

Wellll, welcome newbie :D Nothing that you said in your two posts is a surprise to just about anyone here. Your comments and questions are just about right on track to anyone starting out in poly. Most of us have been there with the same questions and concerns.

I suggest that you do a lot of reading on this forum and elsewhere and get an idea of how others have managed and created their lives. I would suggest starting with a search in the tags to see what interests you. You might want to start with "foundations" and "lessons" and as you seem to be concerned about what to call your self and what is going on then perhaps the tag "descriptions" will help. There is a sticky too on glossary and definitions and book and website recommendations.

It sounds like you have a great start... now its just about educating yourself and keeping on top of what is happening.

AJoy 03-25-2012 02:45 AM

Thanks so much!

The reading I have been doing on here and elsewhere has been very helpful, but thanks for the specific advice on what to check out. :)

I read through the glossary, and came across the term compersion... and then discovered that I experienced it last week when hanging out with my 'lady' (or whatever she should be referred to as) and her husband. Watching them interact and show affection toward each other made me feel so wonderful. I didn't connect it until later.

I will be hanging out with her husband tomorrow because both she and my fiance are out of town and I am trying to make an effort to become closer friends with him.. but I'm nervous...

I don't know that it particularly matters that I know exactly how to label myself, but I do feel sort of unsettled in general with what I saw as my identity for my entire life prior to this... I guess I just figure that the more I know, the more settled I will be able to feel again.

I look forward to all the reading.

Thanks again redpepper. :)

rory 03-25-2012 05:24 PM

Hi there. It seems to me that you're off to a good start. :) I love the open communication that seems to be happening, and the processing you're doing. Keep at it and there'll be less as time goes on. I'll try to write some thoughts regarding to your questions. (Sorry, I won't quote properly cause you had so many questions it'll take me forever.)

How do I balance the time for two relationships that I care equally about?

This is definitely one of the most complicated ones, since nobody can really tell you how your life will eventually look, and you'll have to see what is satisfying to everybody in time. The good news is you have time, there's no hurry. I'd start off from something that isn't an enormous change from how things have been, but still gives the new relationship space to grow. It is likely that you'll need more time together now that you are involved (also since you mentioned that the new intimacy is taking time from things you used to do together; ideally you'd have both). Things to think about:
- How much time do you feel you'd like to spend with your more-than-a-friend? If more than now, talk to the people involved. :)
- Where do you feel like you'd like to go in your relationship? You can have something you're moving towards, and then make gradual changes (if that feels good).
- It's good to think about balancing time, but don't forget to take time for yourself, too.

How do I make sure my fiance doesn't feel insecure (which he has had moments of)?

You can't. It is okay to sometimes feel insecure. That will likely decrease with time as you get used to it. You can be there for him and talk about it and be understanding, and that is enough. It sounds like it isn't too bad, but if he feels like he'd like help with it, there are some poly resources around.

About the NRE, there's a tag for that as well, you might want to read about it for a bit. It'll calm down after some time, usually in 6 to 18 months. It can also make you a bit obsessed about a person so that you miss them a lot more than you otherwise would and are all infatuated. It is okay, and it doesn't mean anything about your relationship with your fiance. You're just in different places in the relationships.

Also, the other differences, you can relax about them, and don't compare too much. This goes for your fiance as well, the advice about not comparing that is. All you can do is reassure him about the fact that just because you like different things with each doesn't mean either is better than the other (as you have been doing). He will need to work through those feelings. What you need to work on is rejecting the guilt (which is a product of mono-programming) and being patient while letting his emotions be what they are and not try to fix it. (I don't know if that is a tendency you have, but that's my gut reaction to guilt so that's why I wrote it. :)) You aren't responsible for how he feels, all you need to do is be considerate much in the same way that you would in other situations.

I honestly wish we could live all together, or at least extremely close, which is a sentiment she shares, but not one shared by the men in our lives at this point. Is there a way to work toward this over time?

In time you'll see how everybody feels. Poly is an adjustment in itself, so it is usually good to take time for that before considering moving in together. There are some good threads around here about co-habitating and its options:

Multi-partner co-habitation.

Poly living: "shared custody model".

Finally, I wanted to write, because many of the things you asked about are topics I have needed to think about a lot. Also, I am in a pretty similar situation since both me and my girlfriend Mya have longer-term male partners. We have been in a poly arrangement for almost a year now, and we have a journal here in the blogs section if you wish to read more. :) I hope I've offered some help. However, I do think you'll figure out what works for you as you go along. :) Good luck and keep us posted!

AJoy 03-25-2012 06:23 PM

Wow! Thank you Rory, for the in depth responses to my questions!

I will check more into the NRE threads and the cohabitation threads.

I have been reading on here a lot lately and have come across a wide variety of relationship types, but you're the first one who I've seen so far with a structure very similar to mine. With so many possible relationship dynamics... it's nice to connect with someone with such similarities.

Thanks again!

AJoy 03-25-2012 06:49 PM

Thanks for the links to cohabitation threads. That one was a great discussion with a great article!

I looked around unsuccessfully (including the glossary)... What is LDR?

Also OSO and FWB (oh.. found this one :) )?

I'm sure they are listed somewhere; I'm just missing it.

Thanks again :)

JaneQSmythe 03-25-2012 06:54 PM

LDR = long distance relationship

OSO = other significant other

FWB = friends with benefits

nycindie 03-26-2012 04:33 PM

Do you know how to do a tag search? If you feel like doing a little more reading around here, there are many threads tagged with "time management" that might have good info for you:


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