Partner Came Out as Poly
My long term partner came out to me recently as believing that she might be poly. We moved from a small conservative town about a year ago and have been introduced to people of different cultures and world views. A large number (almost all) of the lesbian couples she has met in her line of work are poly. She had never thought of this before but has since taken an interest in that lifestyle. I have been very confused since this revelation. It also came out that she currently has a crush on another woman who is poly. I have no problem with crushes, I think they are very healthy to have. There is nothing wrong with admiring someone else and finding them attractive while in a relationship with someone else. I am however completely mono. I know this about myself. After she told me I was very hurt at first but remained rational and researched the poly lifestyle. I thought about it a lot and know that this lifestyle would not work for me personally.
We have had many conversations about how we both feel about poly relationships and I have expressed my concerns. It is very important to me that my partner be happy but I cannot concede my own happiness for hers. I have done this too many times in the past.
The main problem is that I think of sex in a different way then her. I was a virgin until I met her. We dated for a year before being intimate ( I was 25). I do not have any desire to be intimate with others. I explained that I love the fact that all my sexual experiences have been with her and only her. So she would be the only one exploring connections outside of our relationship and after talking we have both decided that neither of us like that idea.
She has stated that she will of course not breach my trust and explore the idea of the poly lifestyle. However my concern is that this will drive a wedge between us. I am confused as to if she is truly poly or if she just wants to try something new. She told me I cannot understand because of my very limited sexual experiences in comparison to hers. This is the longest relationship she has ever had and prior to me she was very free with her body and her sexual partners. She has stated that she regrets the majority of her previous sexual encounters as she has been in some very uncomfortable situations and been hurt.
Since we were being open I expressed to her that I feel the sexual aspect of our relationship is lacking. I told her that I desired and needed more from her. I expressed concern that since we currently have sex once a week and sometimes only once a month that if she was exploring sex with others then I would be even more sexually unfulfilled.
Since talking we have begun to stretch our sexual boundaries together and do things that she has done with other partners but not me. I am very open to trying new things sexually and she has taught me how to please her in different ways. This has made a big difference in how we connect with one another. She has also since stated that she is confused about what she wants in regards to the poly lifestyle.
I have posted this to other forums but all my responses have been very derogatory towards my partner. I love her very much and do not think any less of her since her revelation. I think honesty and openness is the key to healthy relationships. I've come here to talk to people who do enjoy the poly lifestyle in the hopes of receiving real advice and not just the advice to dump my partner.
Based off on your own experiences how did you know that you were truly poly? Does monogamy work if one partner does desire a poly relationship? She is very concerned that I will leave her now that I know this and her friends and family have all told her that I will leave her within three months and that she has destroyed our relationship. I do not feel this way. I intend to spend my life with this woman and she feels the same. She has stated that she would rather be with me than explore this new side to her. Do you think this will work?
Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Hello :) the good news is that your story is not unsimilar to many here. There is a large selection of threads on mono/poly relationships if you do a tag search for "mono/poly."
It is completely possible to have everything you desire if you are both willing to embrace each others differences and stand back from each other enough to allow the other to be who they are. Stand back with love and admiration for each others awesomeness that is. :D
I don't believe anyone has to be just like their partner in order to have a relationship with them. Commitment for me comes from a love of the relationship as a separate entity rather than devotion to being what my partner is or wants. I am what I am and so are they. I love my mono partner because he is different than me and has shown himself to be committed to what we have together. I don't at all want him to be poly unless he desires it.
Your gf sounds like she is a woman with a huge heart who has the capacity to love many and express that in anyway that feels right for her. Including sexually. I wonder if her regret in her past sexual experiences is to do with feeling like her having sex with someone was not appreciated as a loving giving act. Did she feel used and that the sex she had was not taken as a serious act of love for who she was with? If so, I can relate... It wasn't until a few years ago I realised how much I had given away sexually out of love when what I gave was seen as just a sporting good time. It was an adjustment to realize and come to terms with.
Maybe this is her chance to give and receive from others in order to increase love? That doesn't mean less for you. In my experience it actually makes me love my partners more! They get the best from me in every way because I am free to be myself. Such a gift.
It is really hard to get to a place of understanding how poly works.more than ever there are places to go to find support. I'm glad you found this place. :)
I can accept this aspect of her but I know that I will not and cannot have a poly relationship. I know myself and I know and have expressed to her that I cannot kiss her goodnight or make love to her knowing that she has just been with someone else. I do not take issue with her having friendships with others and caring for others but I do not want her to be intimate with them. I have explained to her if that this is the kind of relationship she desires and must have then we cannot be together. I told her I would always love her and I would understand (but of course be hurt) if that is the decision that she makes. She has expressed that she does not want that at all.
She is the most caring and compassionate person I have ever known and that is why I love her so much. Perhaps her big heart is why she wants to be intimate with others but because of my heart I do not want that.
Yes, at first my self esteem was wounded by the idea of my partner being attracted to other women and desiring them. It made me feel like there was something I was lacking, that I wasn't attractive to her. However she has expressed this isn't the case and I believe her.
I don't know. I just know that I want our relationship to work, last and be healthy. And at the same time I know that I am unwilling to give when it comes to outside sexual relations.
Healthy means she has to, at some point, follow her heart. My partner said the same things. I compromised for three years. I went at his pace. He said also he would never be able to be with me if I had other men come into my life. I honoured that because I loved him. Eventually he saw that I really do love him and am committed to him yet love others. We negotiated that he would be fine with me having emotional connections with others so I had a non-sexual boyfriend. It wasn't until that boyfriend dumped me and he saw my pain that he realised that I loved him as much as I do him. For some reason that changed everything for him. You can read my blog (Dec 2010 until Jan 2012) and his stuff here. He wrote a lot about our journey together.
Its really hard, I don't envy where you are at. Sometimes it all just has to play out, take a risk, see what happens, baby steps.
I do recommend you both stop sharing those particular bits with your friends and family. She doesn't need people bringing her down, I'm sure she's confused enough without the input of people who know nothing about it. Your intimate life is none of their business, whether you're mono OR poly.
I can't say if it will 'work', but I do see that you and she care for each other deeply, and I have high hopes that care can see you through.
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