I'm pretty confused and looking for some viewpoints. To be honest, I'm not sure what specifically I need help with and I think writing it all out will help. So please feel free to comment away!
I'm 30 years old, and I've been happily married for 7 years in a monogamous relationship. My background is that I used to be an erotic writer since early in my marriage (quit when I had my son, now 2 1/2) and my characters were always having extramarital sex with the blessing of the spouse, so my husband knew that the latent desire was there for me. In January of this year, we opened our marriage to the point where he would allow me to seek other partners sexually because he knew it was something that I needed. We agreed that it was going to be purely to meet physical needs. He told me that he would remain monogamous because he is a one woman man.
Since then, I've had several new partners, and while I always like to have at least some kind of connection with them, there were no emotions involved beyond what you'd consider to be a very casual acquaintanceship. I always thought I would be emotionally monogamous, just having sex with other men. We found that our marriage got stronger as I had my needs met elsewhere. My husband and I found ourselves falling deeply in love again and we were happier than we've been in years. He told me that he thought it was so weird to say that our marriage got more better now that I fuck other men, but it's the truth!
Then, three months ago, I met a man online on a MBL dating site (married but looking, which is where I have been finding my partners since I did not want a relationship!). I was going to be travelling to his city (3 hours away) for a weekend visit with another friend and I was looking for a one night stand while I was there. So we arranged to meet for lunch and then hook up if we had chemistry. But the date was over a week away and we found ourselves video camming every night for hours. We didn't have cybersex, although we did flirt. The chemistry between us was so intense that I knew before we even met that I was going to want more than a one night stand.
We met for lunch, and it wasn't long before we left to go back to his house. He is married, but in a DADT relationship; so his wife is fine with him having other partners but she doesn't want to know about it. She was out of town for the weekend. We had incredible sex all day and night long. I had never known that things could be this good, especially with a new partner (I've always found that sex gets better as you get to know your partner). We agreed that we had to see each other again, despite the distance.
Since then, we've been seeing each other an average of every 3 weeks, always for overnights because of the distance. The sex has remained incredible, and perhaps has even gotten better. I don't have a car, so with the exception of that first weekend, he's come to see me every time. In between, we talk every single day. We usually text or email during the workday, and in the evenings we usually chat for a couple of hours unless someone has plans. The NRE has been extremely intense for me. I have strong feelings for him, but I know it's only been three months so I really don't know what those feelings are except that I want him in my life. My husband is supportive of my relationship with him now that he has his mind wrapped around it (when he first found out there was an emotional component to our relationship rather than pure sex, he had some concerns and I don't blame him, but he is fine with it now).
Obviously, neither of us was looking for anything exclusive. Given the distance, that just wouldn't be right, not to mention that we were both already seeing other people when we hooked up. Since then, for reasons unrelated to him (things with the other men weren't meeting my needs), I have ended things with my other partners. Of course, things were different with them anyway; it was far more casual and definitely no emotion involved. We just had a casual acquaintanceship and enjoyed sex.
He was and still is seeing some other women. He is involved in kink, so he does have a lot of sexual contact with women. He has a D/s relationship with one other woman that he's been seeing in January, and she's the one I have the hardest time handling. She's local to him, so they see each other about once a week. I can only wish I could see him that often. I know that they aren't together for as long as we are, since we always overnight and they are usually only together for a couple of hours, but it still bothers me. I also find myself frustrated knowing that she is giving him something that I can't, since I don't identify as a submissive. He doesn't expect that of me and we have a more than satisfying sexual relationship but I still worry despite his assurances that I'm not giving him what he needs. Then, he and I have been experimenting with a particular sexual activity, and taking it slowly. He told me a couple of weeks ago that not only did he do it all with her, but she loved it. That really hurt and made me wonder why he'd still want to do it with me since it is more difficult for me and apparently easy with her.
Then, I worry because of the distance, that he is just going to not want to go to all the hassle to see me anymore. I mean, it's not like he has a shortage of sex locally. Or maybe he'll find someone more attractive for whatever reason, or who can satisfy him sexually better. I have expressed my worries to him and he did tell me that he is not looking for any more partners. I still worry about him getting tired of the distance and deciding he's fine with his two local women and his wife.
I know he has similar worries about me at times. He knows I am actively looking for some local partners since I have none right now, but that I want to keep things mostly sex based with them. He has told me he's afraid I will find someone who will rock my world and be local and that he can't compete with that since we're LD. I try to assure him that he means more to me than just the sex (although that is freaking incredible anyway!) and that he has nothing to worry about, but it doesn't seem to help.
There's also been a bit of a change lately in the way he's reacted to me. He has known all along that I've been meeting other men, although I hadn't found one that met my standards as a friend-with-benefits yet. He asked that I keep him up to date on my search because he found it to be a turn on to hear about my sex with other men. There have been a few times where he told me that he worried about someone else being local, but it was rare. Then this time I had a lunch date with a local man that I liked, and I told my lover that I was going to have sex with him next time I saw him. My lover got a little withdrawn (even via text message) in a way that he hadn't before and told me that he was worried that I would find someone to replace him. I tried to reassure him that he was special to me but he said it was easier said than done for him to stop worrying, which is how I feel, too.
I'm just not good at relationships in general. I have been with my husband since I was 18 years old, so I'm far from experienced. I'm used to being completely open and honest with no secrets. I'm not used to the rollercoaster and general uncertainty of being with a new partner. I'm not comfortable enough in our relationship yet to ask for reassurance when I need it, because I don't want to be needy and insecure, although I am happy to give it to him when he needs it. Also, we express our emotions differently and I know that is difficult for me. My husband and I tend to be verbally demonstrative, and my new lover seems to show me more with actions that he cares. At least, I assume he does, because I can't imagine many men would drive 3+ hours one way to see a woman every few weeks and spend hours every night talking to her if they didn't actually like her. But I don't feel secure enough; what if I ask him for what I want, and it makes him uncomfortable?
And I just don't know how to deal with my feelings of jealousy and fear of being dumped. Those are very negative emotions and I don't want them in my life. I had such a wonderful weekend with him just now, and the night he left I was full of worry and insecurities. It spoiled the time we shared a little bit because I just felt so miserable.
It's just bizarre. I've never been happier or more fulfilled in my life. I have my wonderful husband who is so supportive of me, and I have my new lover who takes me places sexually that I've never been. I'm worried that I will do something to screw it up. And by worrying about it, I make it more likely that I will do so!
So I don't really know where to go from here. I never saw myself as poly, and never even imagined I had room for two men in my heart. That has never happened before; every time I became interested in someone new, I lost interest in my current partner. I am still madly in love with my husband, so that hasn't happened now. I still am not even sure I can identify myself this way because the label just feels so serious to me, if that makes any sense. I don't even know if my situation really counts or not. But I certainly don't want to leave my husband for my lover, and I don't want my lover to leave his wife for me. Oddly enough, I am not jealous of his wife; just his other girlfriends.
So where does this leave me? Thanks for any comments.
Read your post. I found the answer in there and I'm pretty sure you will too.
Regarding the submissive, you need to worry less about what you can't or won't give and just focus on what you can give. It's not about better or worse. It's about different. That's why we choose this lifestyle. It's hard for one person to give us all we want. So we seek it from multiple sources. That doesn't mean we aren't in love with one or the other. Love is additive, not subtractive. You build on it. You don't split it up and share it.
Read the ethical slut. It talks about all of this and it's a good educational read.
I've read the Ethical Slut. It helped me feel more normal about fucking other guys in the first place. Keep in mind I am coming at this from a monogamous background and have been heavily resisting the idea that I could be something else. Extramarital sex has made sense to me, but these feelings are brand new and I don't know how to handle them.
If it was just as easy as reading my own post, I wouldn't be having all this angst. But thanks anyway.
By telling you to read your own post I was trying to point out that you said things that only poly people would say. You love two people. You don't want to leave or lose either of them. You are poly and you're handling something new fairly well. Good job. :) Keep at it.
I guess I chose my subject poorly... I'm not really sure what I was hoping for, but maybe some general advice?
I'm also not sure if I'm in love with my lover (despite the term). After all, it has only been three months. I know I care about him very much but no idea how to sort out if I'm in love with someone new, frankly! Being LD, I think NRE is going to take a while to dissipate. I don't think that part is all that relevant though. I'm more worried about dealing with my other feelings.
I just feel so alone. I mean, it's not like there are loads of people I can talk to about my situation! And I'm the kind of person who really needs connections to sort things out.
I struggled before even when I just started having casual extramarital sex, because again that was something I couldn't share with anyone. This is even harder. People might understand me having a desire for multiple sex partners... but having a man that I call my lover? I feel lost.
Seems to me like you're talking about it now, and that can only be a good thing!
It is, indeed, difficult to find other poly people to talk directly to, sometimes, especially if you prefer real-time chats either f2f or online -- but they are out there!
There may be poly meet groups in your area, too, which may be worth connecting with. Also, if you're in the UK or able to travel here, there's OpenCon 2012 which is a really great way to meet other poly folk and participate in a wide range of workshops discussing all manner of poly issues.
I agree that it helps to talk about it here but I guess I was kind of hoping to get some comments and feedback from people here on how to deal with things.
I'm in Canada, and I don't have a lot of time for going out to things because I don't drive. I didn't need realtime chats, but I thought I might get a few comments at least.
Consider flipping this around in this order. It is not "because I don't want to be needy and insecure." You ARE feeling that. You are that right now. Put that FIRST.
1 "I AM feeling needy and insecure."
We cannot help what we feel when we feel it. We don't even get to choose when to feel it. It just is. Emotional weather. Rain is rain, wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. We DO get to choose how to behave in response. You can choose to REACT to emotion or ACT WITH INTENT. What did you pick?
2) So far you have chosen to stay silent. How's that working for relieving your insecure emotions? Nope. Not good solution. Conclusion? "To feel better, I need reassurance from my new partner." So what is problem in getting reassurance then?
3) "I do not feel comfortable enough in our relationship yet" to do that. Why not?
Spit it out. You GET comfortable by DOING. Speak up. Can you do that? Sure you can. Why? Because you are used to being completely open and honest with no secrets. That isn't a bad way to be. It's a good way. And I think you feel extra weird because you aren't doing it here. Get on with doing it.
In my world? It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to the relationship to know and state your wants, needs, limits. Your partner has the RIGHT to clear communication. Own your end of the sticks, please. He cannot mind reader you. Speak up.
4) "I don't feel secure enough; what if I ask him for what I want, and it makes him uncomfortable?"
So he has some emotional weather. So what? Rain is rain. Wind is wind. Emotion is emotion. Let it blow on through. We're all grown ups. Felt many kinds of things before. You hold your own bag, he holds his.
His responsibility to YOU is to report his internal weather because YOU have the right to clear communication. So you tell him you expect him to know and state his wants, needs and limits so you can learn about him. But you are not a mind reader. Speak up, dude!
That's why this is dating. With older partners you can usually get it in the ballpark by taking a stab in the dark because they are older partners and you know the whole arena. With new partners, you have to be given the tour of the floorplan. Get on with the tour. :)
It will help you BOTH grow more comfortable and feel better too.
What are these fears speaking to then? Where you think "OMG! What if I get dumped!" and you go on a chain reaction of what-iffing yourself to a tizz? Is it just new rship jitters? That he's into kink and you are not? So? Do you have to be joined at the hip?
That you don't know how things work here yet with him and emotional things or conflict resolution? Is your new partner shirking on his reporting? Are you having to mindreader?
Is it that you might feel yucky someday? Have you never in your life felt yucky? It's can be hard to feel, but a broken heart still keeps on beating. World still turns. Why miss on out on savoring the yummy today for uncertainty in future that is not here? What if you have yummy in future and missed today's yummy for nothing!?
Is it something else this fear is speaking to? What?
Some partners are for life, some for a reason, some for a season. I was very heartbroken when my OSO faded from my life, even if it WAS a great way to fade and really gracefully and I could not have asked for a better ending. That man taught me grace, class. He had style, and he had the ability for compersion in spades.
But because it was fresh wound, I hurt. That is not unreasonable to expect in such a time even if it was the RIGHT THING to happen then. That I learned from my DH. "I am upset. I do not find this unreasonable to feel at this time. I love you. I do not love THIS. And we will deal." He has a capacity for clear emotional management that I admire and continue to learn from.
In time, I healed. OSO has become a lovely experience and memory, which I'm glad I took the risk for and look back on fondly. My heart grew then, and remains full from having enjoyed that. He was a good man. I am grateful our paths in Life crossed for a few years.
But I believe all relationships come with a clock attached just as John Cleese puts it. My DH? We're counting on decades here and one day that too will end. I hope when one of us dies, and hopefully dies in peace in elder years, and we're prepared. Nobody can ask for a smoother end of a marriage than that. An older friend just lost her DH in older years and they were a fantastic couple. She's handling it well, and he passed peacefully. I envy this, I hope our own story plays out similar.
So... what's the freakout over breaking up or things coming to an end? If you are worried that it could end UGLY -- well, make an agreement for how you prefer it to end when it ends. Talk to your partner to assuage your worries. Take the bull by the horns.
Worrying when you could be talking and sorting it out and moving on to the feeling better place instead makes no sense. Why stay at the worry place?
And worrying excessively is like praying for what you do NOT want.
Takes a toll on mental health/stess levels.
Hang in there! But the choice to stay silent is not working for ya, so just try another tack and be OK with yourself being a learner of this new person. It is a new relationship and agree to assume good intent with each other as you learn the ride. Everyone falls off a bike several times before they get the hang of it, right? BREATHE.
You ARE good at relationships. See that husband person? You just haven't played ball in a new arena for a while. No big. You DO know how to play ball.
So... play ball! :)
^^ I loved GalaG's post!
Something struck me when reading your thread.
You say there were other reasons for ending things with your other lovers... but sometimes, we meet someone we connect with and the old monogamy wiring kicks in and we just get rid of everything else to form some sort of pseudo-monogamous relationship with this new person. Especially if we fear them leaving us... we can subconsciously hope that us getting rid of others will encourage them to do the same. Then when they don't, we start dating again. And we look for their reaction.
Because your marriage is wonderful and full of love, your NRE with your lover is going to be even stronger... because your mind is exploding with freshly poked insecurities and internal drama. Just try to be aware of that and don't lose sight of your husband whilst you are going through all this.
I know that you want to deal with your insecurities. It's great that you've pinpointed that. Maybe I can tell you the ones I picked up on and this might help you focus on them?
I do agree with GalaGirl that you should be able to communicate your fears and insecurities to your lover. However, you have to be careful not to push them onto him - you have to own them yourself. You have to try to find that balance between being too 'needy' and communicating. For me, being too needy is needing constant (daily) reassurance on the same issue, over and over. Communicating is saying "I'm new to this and it's bringing up some personal issues I have to deal with. Can we please have a conversation about where we stand so that I know where your thoughts are?"
Throughout my post, I'll use my experiences to relate to you, if this helps you to feel less alone. :)
Last week, my girlfriend slept with someone else for the first time in our 1.5 year relationship.
I was just starting to deal with the pangs, when she told me that he wasn't great in bed.
What do you know? Immediately my pangs went away. I was actually frustrated - I know that if my feelings go away because something is poor in comparison to something I give her, I'm not really dealing with my feelings. It's a cop out.
What you have to do is imagine they are together for as long as you are. Then what? What difference would that make to you? Really force your mind to consider that.
Now I don't think like that.
I'm giving her something that other people can't give her.
I'm a Mistress and I can tell you with 100% certainty that whilst I love D/s sex and need to get that somewhere, my favourite sex is with my girlfriend. Passionate, wild, fun, intense, Domme vs Domme sex. ~grins~ Just because I need D/s, doesn't mean it's actually my preference in the bigger picture. I just wouldn't want to live without it.
Another thing is that, to be honest, Domming people can be tiring. Sometimes there's nothing better than cutting all the D/s crap and just having sex. Sex that doesn't require my complete orchestration of control. Non-D/s sex can be a respite from D/s sex!
Furthermore, you hit the nail on the head - "she's giving him something I can't".
You have to remind yourself that this is what poly is all about. You can only tick certain boxes for a person; you cannot tick every box.
Yes, it is a possibility that he prefers the D/s sex and ultimately, given the choice, would give up your sex for that. But given that the sex between you is amazing, I'm doubting that is that case. And given that you are poly - he doesn't have to choose - he can have both and be happy. Keep reminding yourself - that's the point of poly.
Again, my personal experience - there is one thing that only I can do for my girlfriend. She's had about 60 lovers before me and I was the first person to give her this experience that she loved. Then she taught her new sub boy my technique. So now he can do it to her too.
I had a five minute stomach twisting AGHGHGHG moment.... and then said... no... you should enjoy sex and if you love that thing, I am happy to have shared my (very talented) gift with you ;) (haha)
As for your lover wanting to do it with this other girl more because it's easy...
Let me tell you something... I have a massive thing for straight women. Do they turn me on because it's easy? Nope! They turn me on because they are slow-moving, cautious, timid, naive, new, scared. I love that. I also love corrupting people ;) It is very possible that your new lover feels the same way about you in terms of this thing you were shy about doing.
Ultimately, if he doesn't, it means he'll be happier elsewhere. And that is the point of poly - finding happiness.
As much as it would hurt me, I'd rather my partner leave me and find what she needs/wants, than stay with me for the sake of it. That's the best way to look at this.
(Also, you might want to have a talk about how much info you reveal to each other - that level of info might be too much for even the most experienced poly players in here).
But... would I travel from England to France to have sex with Audrey Tautou regularly? Definitely. Hahaha. Seriously. And I don't have a shortage of sex locally ;)
In fact, my girlfriend lives in the US. I pay a lot of money and make a lot of sacrifices to travel around the world to see her, because our connection is worth it.
A connection is a connection - if it's there, nothing stands in the way easily.
If things easily get in way, the connection is not as strong as you thought and there is no point living a lie. You'd be selling yourself short.
He could find someone physically hotter, but still feel an intense attraction to you.
He could find someone better in bed, but still feel this amazing connection during sex with you.
He could find someone hotter and better and it could eradicate his feelings for you. You cannot change that. The same thing could also happen to you one day - you could prefer someone else to him.
I do think that closed poly is absolutely fine when people decide they want that. I will probably want that in about 10 years.
But if you force closed poly as a way to hide from your insecurities and fears, you will be selling yourself short.
Far better that you face those fears head on and grow strong.
If this helps at all, I was very jealous and insecure before I was poly. For various reasons which I won't go into. I did all those ridiculous crazy mono woman things like reading my boyfriend's texts and getting jealous when he had female friends.
It wasn't until I met my girlfriend 1.5 years ago and became poly that I realised how fearful I was.
The first 6 months of our poly relationship were very hard. We were very jealous, very accusatory with each other and didn't deal with our emotions well.
But... I'm really not exaggerating when I say this... every single argument and upset and scary event we've ever had over the past 1.5 years has taught us something.
Today, I still get a little insecure and a little jealous, but I feel a million times more stable than I did back then. I genuinely believe that is greatly down to poly and greatly down to confronting my fears... letting go of them... letting go of my desire to restrict my partner through fear... and just accepting that she loves and wants me, in this moment.
We have always had an analogy about poly and our arguments surrounding it. We have a house. Every time we hit an issue, we're hitting a rotting brick. We confront that issue (our fear), pick it apart, deal with it and replace it with a good brick. We knocked a hell of a lot of bricks out of that house last year. And now, our relationship and our personal security has many, many more good bricks - it's a much more solid house. We are much more solid people.
I used to think that the worst thing in the world would be abandoned by someone I love. Now I think that the worst thing in the world is kidding myself. if someone prefers someone else and would be happier, far better that they chase that rainbow than waste your time and energy.
I hope that this answer helped a little bit. :) Sorry I waffled!
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