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-   -   Learning to be me (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23252)

AnotherConfused 04-25-2012 12:18 AM

Learning to be me
After many months of posting here in moments of confusion and frustration, and getting such wonderful advice and support, I'm now in a place where I would like to write about my life but I don't have pressing questions to ask. Time for a story.

Chapter One: As a single woman, I had a bad habit of falling in love when I was already involved with someone else. Or having a boyfriend and a close male friend, close enough to make the boyfriend uncomfortable. Once, two sexual partners, neither of whom was in love with me so they didn't mind. When I met my husband, at least one friend cautioned me to respect the relationship and not cheat or dump him for someone else.

Chapter Two: I married a virgin from India in 1999. Well, he wasn't a virgin once I got my hands on him, but he had no previous relationship experience; not even a kiss. He built me a dream life, complete with a luxurious house, two brilliant daughters, and just about anything I ever ask for.

Chapter Three: My long time friendship with L, a man parents' age who I have known since before I met my husband, took a sharp turn towards romantic love. We had been flirting for our whole friendship, but all of a sudden I wanted way way more. My earliest threads on this forum delve into my journey into honesty with my husband, and trying to find the right path. We settled on limiting the expression of our love to words and kisses, which sometimes have been achingly insufficient.

Chapter Four: I met C (a year ago now) and felt an immediate bond. We corresponded by email almost daily. I was confined to bed with a long term illness, he was traveling, and lives several hours away. He'd come by about once a month. We have gradually fallen in love. My husband has struggled with this a lot. Between this and my illness, all the weak points in our relationship came to light. I felt like L and C were filling gaps (affection, passion) and I knew that wasn't a good reason to be involved with them.

Chapter Five: My marriage was turned inside out and upside down while we talked this all through. We got weaker. We got stronger. He asked me to stop kissing them. Then he decided to draw the line only at oral and penetrative sex. (That much intimacy felt weird in my friendship with L, so I decided not to do it again.) Then he said anyone I am intimate with is forbidden from coming to our house or being around our kids, so I stopped with C too. Then he said just to not be intimate in our house or expect him to socialize with them. So C and I are intimate again.

Chapter Six: It all feels pretty good now. L and my husband are on good terms, with just a hint of awkwardness. C is head over heels for me right now, which sometimes makes me nervous and usually makes me extremely happy. We are trying to live in the moment, because his long term goal is a monogamous partner who can join him on his frequent travels, and of course have sex with him, so I know this won't go on indefinitely. My marriage feels good, but I know it needs continually feeding (expressions of love and affection) for my husband not to feel like I am short changing him.

Today's milestone is finally talking out loud about this to a friend. I was gradually piecing together that this friend is polyamorous, so I asked him about it today. He told me his story, and listened to mine, and I feel really good for having someone who knows me who can understand what is going on (besides those involved, of course). He said he and his wife haven't told very many people in their various social circles, so I suspect he enjoyed having someone to talk about it with too.

C is coming to town tonight, so I'll spend tomorrow with him while the kids are at school. We have noble intentions of spending less than half the time in his hotel room. Life is pretty fulfilling, and I also feeling like I am finally healing from my long illness (ironically, an inflammation of the lining of my heart). No complaints here! And lots and lots of gratitude for the good people here who helped me figure out who I am and gave me the courage to live honestly.

AnotherConfused 04-26-2012 02:16 AM

I had a nice date with C today, and he brought up the possibility of buying a house or condo in my city. He has a rural home 5 hours away, and also has a house in a town two hours away where he lived for many years, and I am on the path between. He travels around a whole lot. (He's retired and wealthy).

I told him I was concerned about him making a big decision like that while still feeling so head over heels in our relationship. He gave a pretty convincing argument that this is something he's been drawn to for a long time. I live in a sizable city with a lot of opportunities for several of his hobbies, and he has gotten to know many people here in our dance community. He has money to invest, and real estate here is a pretty good investment right now. He's sure he wouldn't be doing this for me. Maybe I have just hastened him on the path.

Admittedly I'm pretty excited by the idea. Most of our relationship has consisted of very condensed moments together with one eye constantly on the clock, either because I need to get back to my family or he needs to get back on the road to wherever his destination is. If he could come and spend several days at a time in my city, we could enjoy more leisurely times together and also cross paths more often at dances. On the other hand, I'd have to work harder at making sure our relationship didn't take away from my time with my kids and husband. I feel a little guilty for spending the day with him today, while my husband worked. It's a balancing act!

AnotherConfused 05-01-2012 02:29 AM

What a great weekend! Last New Year's Eve dance was a disaster, a catalyst for a whole bunch of drama between my husband and me, centering around my treatment of him vs. my treatment of C and other men. This weekend all three of us attended a local "camp" involving dancing all day and evening Friday through Sunday, and I was a little concerned about the potential for more drama.

First, I got very clear with my husband about expectations: how much we would dance together, which dances we were promising each other, etc. I then erred on the side of caution and sought him out for some dances we hadn't promised.

Then, of course C knew that we needed to keep things discreet between us (we have lots of mutual friends in the dance community, and we know if anything was suspected between us anyone would assume it was an affair). He was so discreet I had to point out that since we hug a whole lot of our dance friends, it's probably ok to hug each other.

The kind of dancing we do is very interactive -not just with your partner but with the other partners in the room. (My husband says it's a kind of dance for poly people; he prefers the waltz!) Consequently there were a couple of moments of the weekend I especially savor -one in which I had my husband holding one hand and C holding my other, and another in which I was in the arms of one of them while the other was with another woman, and then they broke away to take hands and whirl around each other, trading partners. This is all choreographed so they weren't seeking each other out at all, but I still loved seeing that interaction as they traded off being with me. In real life my husband doesn't like to encounter C any more than necessary.

I was giddy all weekend. My husband benefited from that each night, and this morning I got a little time alone with C to express all the affection we were holding back all weekend. Oh my I am in love!

In the back of my mind is this nagging thought that I am partly just in love with this lifestyle, of having both a husband and a boyfriend. I do of course love each of them for their minds, their hearts, their personalities, and mmm their bodies, but I think part of what makes me feel so wonderful is just this getting to have two loves. I think I've always wanted it, but only realized I wanted it a couple of years ago, and have only really had it in a (relatively) comfortable, settled way for the past couple of months.

I am so, so happy. I just can't even believe how happy I am.

nycindie 05-01-2012 02:32 AM

I think it sounds wonderful! Being in love with two people and in love with love!

AnnabelMore 05-01-2012 07:12 PM

Hey, as long as you genuinely love the people you're with, which you clearly do, loving your lifestyle too is a beautiful thing!! I'm so happy at how far things have come for you all. :)

AnotherConfused 05-03-2012 06:16 AM

L came into town tonight, and he, my husband and I all went dancing together. I walked up the street linking arms between the two of them, feeling smug as a bug. It makes me happy to see the way the two of them respect and admire each other.

L and I have always enjoyed talking about sex, so when he first arrived today and no one else was home, our conversation heated up pretty fast. We're very careful to limit our actions (just hugs and kisses) but we can get carried away with our words. He knows I have long had a fantasy of being in bed with two men, and I talked about how even just having two clothed men giving me a massage would be fantastic, if no one felt comfortable getting naked and sexy together. And I said I'd have no problem letting that massage go as far as they wanted it to. Well, we've just said our good nights after a nice clean chat around the dining room table. I guess my fantasies will remain fantasies. Oh well.

AnotherConfused 05-03-2012 07:02 PM

The conversation L and I had yesterday afternoon keeps distracting me. Specifically, he talked about the way some women enjoy aggressive sex. I've told my husband before about a couple of my favorite moments in my sex life before meeting him. There's something I love about bringing a man to the point where his desire overpowers any thought of being "nice", and I completely give myself up to it, the hard masculine overtaking the soft feminine. The closest we get is him thinking I like it rough, and trying to please me that way, but it's just not the same. He says a man being forceful is a kind of rape-like fantasy I have, and it's absolutely not that. It's pretty much the opposite, with rape being a man taking what a woman doesn't want to give, but aggressive sex being a woman giving herself totally, and willingly. I think maybe just like some humor isn't funny to some people, there are some sexual dynamics that aren't possible for some people. So when L talked about aggressive sex, I was on fire for him. He laughed when he saw the look in my eyes. But we don't touch each other sexually, because by my husband's rules if we have that kind of relationship, he won't be able to be my husband's friend any more, and come stay with us, and I love his role in our whole family.

My husband and I also talked a little bit last night about my fantasy for being with two men, and I asked if he'd ever consider indulging me in a tamer version of that, with just a fully clothed massage, but he won't. He asked me to try not to mold him into something he's not. I'm not sure really how to handle this disparity. I am a very sexual person with a lot of curiosity about some of the more adventurous aspects of sex, and he is almost puritanical. It totally killed my libido last night, because I think he really doesn't like my sexual personality, so to speak. I don't think I will honestly be able to spend the rest of my life having only proper decent friendly marital lovemaking.

It has helped a lot that he has been allowing me time with C. C practically worships my body (and the rest of me) so that feels wonderful, and he does all manner of delicious things to me that don't cross the boundaries my husband set. This is probably my first life experience with a "breast man" (never knew there were breast men into small breasts before!) and I'm loving it. I am thrilled to be able to experience a new dynamic, and it has been indescribably delightful going back and forth between them.

I guess what I'm feeling today is that I have this sexual side of myself that is getting impatient. My husband hopes to satisfy me by just thrusting harder, but it's not about that. I want two men, I'm curious about women, I'm intrigued by domination, and I want to explore whatever else happens to light me up. My husband thought I had gotten this out of my system before we married, because I'd been with quite a few men, so I don't feel like I am being fair to him. But I just can't imagine living out the rest of my life without experiencing some of these things.

So here's L, currently single and craving sex. He loves me, I love him, with years and years of respect and trust between us. He's 26 years older than me and in no way a threat to my marriage, having already raised two sets of kids from two marriages of his own. He can do some of these things I hunger for. (Just his dirty talk alone... no one can match that.) But we can't. This is maddening.

I recognize that my husband has already compromised a lot, around my relationship with C. (And even L, knowing that we feel the way we do about each other and still spend time together.) It feels pretty selfish of me to want more than this, when my life is so amazing and happy. I'm just not sure what to do with these desires, when satisfaction just hangs right there in reach in front of me.

AnotherConfused 05-09-2012 12:08 AM

C shaved off his mustache on my account. He's had it pretty much his whole adulthood. I don't enjoy mustaches. We made a joking deal last year that I could have his naked lip if he ever got to play with my naked body, which didn't seem at all likely at the time. He decided to go through with it, just now when he is leaving on vacation on the other side of the planet. No one he knows will see the new look until the end of the month.

In some odd and pleasant way this feels like he is committing to me. Obviously, he can grow it back and I also told him I thought it would make him more attractive to other women as well, but the fact that he was willing to make the change at my suggestion... I feel kind of important. (I feel guilty a little too but I don't think I pressured him at all.)

My husband said, "Good. Maybe someone else will fall for him now and he'll leave my wife alone." I said, "Yes, that would make me happy," and he said he was only kidding. We don't really discuss this whole poly situation much now. I get the impression he just tries not to think about it.

AnotherConfused 05-23-2012 11:34 PM

I've been looking forward to this weekend for a while now. I'm headed to a 4 day event where C and I first started falling for each other last year. I talked to my husband about it several weeks ago and asked how much, if any, of the time he wanted to be there, and what to do with the kids, etc. He said he would just come for the last night, and keep our youngest home with him, and I should go with our oldest, who can spend time and overnights with a favorite friend in that city. I asked about sharing a hotel room with C, and he hesitated, so I said it wasn't necessary and I booked separate rooms. C is driving me there with my oldest.

I just talked to my mother, who expressed concern that my husband wasn't going to be with me all weekend. (Even though her last marriage ended miserably, she still seems to think I'd be better off doing what she did which is to forgo all social and recreational activities that don't include my husband.) I told her my husband wanted to hang out at home most of the weekend, and was only interested in coming for a short time. Later I repeated the conversation to him, and he got all upset. He said I should be showing more gratitude for his willingness to stay home and take care of the house and pets while I am off having fun.


I really resent it when we have these conversations about what I want and what he wants, and I think we are coming to agreeable decisions, only later to be told that he is always giving up what he wants so I can have what I want.

Now I'm scrambling to arrange pet care so he can come for more of the weekend, after spending all this time envisioning some quality time with C. He'll have to back right out of the picture now, because my husband isn't willing to socialize with him, so it's not just that we won't get time alone, but we won't get time together at all once my husband shows up. It's going to be very hard creating a mindset where I am actually glad my husband is with me. This change of plans is only stemming from me not wanting to feel guilty for "making" him stay home and walk the dog.

Springing poly on my husband a decade into our marriage was tough. I am trying to make it as easy as possible. I don't feel like I have the "right" to ask for a certain amount of time with C, and I've tried to make sure my times with him don't take away from the family. I mostly see him when he passes through town while the kids are at school, or at dance events where I would have gone anyway. I try to always put my husband first, when it comes to who I am spending my time with. But in this case, I feel like I am getting short changed with this late change in plans. I was really looking forward to this time with C. I thought I had arranged it all to everyone's satisfaction, and now it is getting taken away.

How can I keep from resenting my husband over this?

nycindie 05-23-2012 11:50 PM

Why are you changing your plans just because he got pissy? Did he ask you to change everything? It sounds like he just wants to be acknowledged more for his "sacrifice." Sure, it doesn't seem fair that he stated that this was what he wanted, and basically volunteered to stay at home, only to then make it seem like he's a victim. But maybe he is having second thoughts and can't express that, out of pride. Also, I recall that he is very concerned about how others view him, so perhaps his reaction was borne of embarrassment that you and your mother discussed this. I would stop scrambling right now, if I were you. I think it is true that making these changes and having him there for more days will only fan the flames of resentment in you and it will be probably be a sucky time for all of you. Can you find a way to set aside your resentment/anger and talk to him again? Or just let him be, and talk about it afterward. He needs to come to terms with the choices he makes, I think, and you doing cartwheels to accommodate him out of guilt won't help.

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