Trying to get it right
I think I'm mostly looking for some comfort with this as there are very few people I am able to talk to about this.
I have been in a good relationship for several years and I know we are both very much in love with each other. Ever since we started in this relationship he has always said that he has to be in a relationship where poly is an option should he meet someone else that is special enough. I agreed to this because I absolutely agree with the ideas and concept of it, so of course I said that it was something I agreed with. As the relationship developed, I became less certain about this and at one point I said (I think we had been drinking and I don't remember making this comment) that he can have someone else, but that I wouldn't want to know about it as I know that I can also be quite jealous and insecure about myself. This wasn't entirely true, but he took it to heart.
So four months ago he found someone else that he loves. He didn't tell me, but that hurt him because it's not how he wants things to work. A month ago he decided that he wanted it out in the open and told me. I said that it is ok, but it would take me some time to adjust as it is something I want to be able to work and to happen, but I have to admit that I am still struggling a lot with it. I am getting better with it, but still regularly have confidence problems in myself. I am going out for coffee regularly with his new girlfriend, and she's an amazing girl that I get on with. She also has a complicated situation where she has a husband and baby that don't get it, so I know they get very little time together, especially as we live in a village like community where gossip spreads like wild fire.
To add to the complication of NRE, this being the first time we've tried and words being easier than actions, we also have a time pressure. We are moving very soon and it is not likely that he will get to see her much, or even at all, after the move. They are very much in love, and want to get all the time together that they can, and I know would really love to be able to have some physical time together. I'm still struggling with the idea of them kissing and thinking about each other in that way, but I really want to be able to give him that time. I don't really know how to move on from this and get used to it, and find that it consumes my thoughts so much that we don't have proper conversations together any more as he gets frustrated with it being there all the time (which I understand, but don't seem to be able to help talking about anything else).
Sorry this is such a long, complex post, but I'm not entirely sure where to move from here. If anyone has been in a similar situation it would be lovely to hear from you.
Take a few deep breaths, and let it all sink in.
Your boyfriend loves you. You've been together a long while, and you'e about to embark upon a move with him. Maybe what you need is fo him to verbalize his affections more? I know that sometimes I question someone's feelings for me unless they say they love me, and tell me how much I mean to them. If you think that something like this would help you to feel special and valued in your relationship, don't be afraid to ask for it.
Also, this business of not communicating about other relationships needs to stop. He was trying to be conscientious of your feelings, but really, it's a lot easier to start out by dealing with, "Oh, so I met this girl today and she seems cool," than it is to hear "By the way, I've had another girlfriend for the past few months." Communication is the bottom line to making things work, and it's not good for your heart or his to forget that.
It's always hard when you're starting off with poly. We all have pangs of jealousy at the beginning. However, you can get through that because you believe in the philosophy behind poly, and you seem to be self-aware enough to understand your feelings and figure out what all of this means to you. Just hang in there.
The "don't ask - don't tell" policy works for some but not many I don't think. It's not going to help people who are still in the process of creating their relationship and still building connection & trust.
I'd maybe suggest that you both agree that you would be better off telling AND asking (in that order).
You DO have an unlimited amount of love to give and the kewl thing is that it pays back 200% interest ! Give away :) You'll get it back.
Remember - this isn't the way we were raised, the way we were taught to think/live. So it's not painless. Think about it like going back to the gym after a long layoff. You know it's not going to be easy. There's going to be some pain involved. And especially if you try to push too hard too fast. Ouch !
Most of us had no mentors, no role models to follow, to live this way. But we believe in it and have committed to figuring it out because we believe it's a better way to live in the world.
Be patient, allow for some stubbed toes and be gentle with each other. Study & learn. And TALK - till your tongue is tired.
Thank you both for taking the time to read what I said and for the consideration in your answers. Both are very helpful and make me feel a more positive that I can do this. Feeling a lot better and able to progress with this crazy thing called love!
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