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-   -   Upset and Scared (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2577)

demanda 04-19-2010 02:30 AM

Upset and Scared
 
No idea where to even start but I am 40 yrs old and dated someone on and off for 10 yrs and cheated on him the entire time. We had one or two instances where we had threesomes with our friends (male and female) but that was short lived.
Fast forward to now and I met someone about 8 months ago that I am completely in love with. He is a few years older, same religious background, a wonderful person and we have talked about kids and marriage and the whole deal. He knows I am bi curious ( it has been over 7 yrs since anything with another woman) and initially I teased him with the entire 3 some notion, but honestly I am just way too sensitive and insecure to start with that at this point in life.
One piece I am leaving out is that he is bi-polar. It is controlled with medication and therapy, but he does have a tendency to act out in regard to going on about ex's and leer at other women and it is upsetting to me. We have been able to work through that and we have both been very sexually and emotionally open with each other. Last week he mentioned in a joking manner about us being a primary in a poly relationship. I was hurt and devastated and almost called the whole relationship off. He assured me that he had not been seeking anyone out but that he was curious about it all. I expressed dissapointment and that I didnt want to be shared or share him with anyone else. I am honestly afraid that my jealousy and insecurity are going to be the downfall of this relationship. I half agreed to do some more voyeuristic/ exhibitionist type of things with him but dont think I am ready for poly yet. I honestly want to marry this man and would do almost anything for him. Any advice please.
Thanks :)

MonoVCPHG 04-19-2010 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by demanda (Post 26931)
Any advice please.
Thanks :)

Hi demanda,

This is not meant to be sarcastic or defeatist. My only advice is having a very long engagement. Is there a reason you would need to get married?
That way you can see where you both end up without the worry of getting entangled with huge legalities and children for a while. I'm not saying wait forever...just have patience :)

demanda 04-19-2010 03:04 AM

See this is what I don't understand about polyamory. Isnt it supposed to be about having it all? I dont want to be owned by someone, but want to be so special and connected to someone that they take that risk with me. It seems like there are plenty of married couples that engage in it and are happy. Can I hear from some of them?
The whole notion of "having entanglements" is a consideration, but seriously, someone throwing that out there just lends itself to the perception most have about polyamory that I know of- that it is immature and irresponsible and the core comes from being brought up around a dysfunctional family. I would like to believe that there are many different ways to define a healthy relationship. Honestly that type of insight to this lifestyle seems narrow and juvenille.

MonoVCPHG 04-19-2010 03:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by demanda (Post 26939)
Isnt it supposed to be about having it all? .

I don't think anyone considers it quite that....but it is about having more than you thought possible I believe.

Poly is so many things to so many people. It's better to determine what you want and not what you think a concept can give you...do you want it all? What would that look like?

Irena 04-19-2010 03:59 AM

Hi demanda,

I'm really new to this myself, so I'm sure some more experienced people will have their own insights to offer, but I'm pretty sure that polyamory is not supposed to be about "having it all." With any lifestyle choice (singleness, absolute monogamy, serial monogamy, polyamory, and everything else), there are things you gain and things you sacrifice. What we need to do, each of us, is understand ourselves and our own needs and desires -- what's essential, what's negotiable, and what's unacceptable -- and then be honest with ourselves and our partners about those things.

I'm dating a poly guy myself, and from that perspective I will absolutely echo MonoVCPHG's advice: take things s l o w l y. As someone who hadn't considered the poly lifestyle before meeting this particular guy, I know that I need to give myself a lot of time to process and pay attention to my feelings. Any kind of commitment or expectation for the future has to come only after I've had a lot of time to explore the territory and know how I feel about different aspects of it. I know it's tempting to go along with whatever you think will enable you to stay connected with this man, but you really need to be real about your needs and his needs, and whether you can actually come together in a lifestyle that works for both of you. This will take time, but better to wait and build a solid, real connection, than jump into something only to have all your hidden desires and unmet needs tear the relationship apart from the inside.

saudade 04-19-2010 07:59 AM

Weighing in
 
Hey, demanda, and welcome! In all my attempts at advice, please tell me if I'm off-base-- I'm replying late at night and it's hard to feel people out from a few short posts anyway.

I hear you saying that you're very open with your partner in a relationship that you value highly, and that the mere suggestion of him thinking about poly scared you enough that you considered ending it. I'm happy to share what poly is for me, but I find myself wondering more about what you're afraid of. In my experience, saying fears aloud tends to rob them of their power, and clears the air to hear what is actually on the table. What's worrying you so?

Quote:

See this is what I don't understand about polyamory. Isnt it supposed to be about having it all? I dont want to be owned by someone, but want to be so special and connected to someone that they take that risk with me. It seems like there are plenty of married couples that engage in it and are happy. Can I hear from some of them?
For me (about to be in a married couple), and I can't speak for anyone else on this, being poly is about having the relationship that makes the most sense with each person in my life. Right now, this means that I have two life partners, an "it's complicated" girlfriend, a bunch of friends with benefits, and a close friend on the horizon who's about to fall in all somewhere... If I were monogamous, there would be rules about how I could relate to each of them: this pairing has to be sexual on a regular basis with the goal of purchasing a house, this one has to be about book-swapping without any flirtation whatsoever, etc. I much prefer being able to let each relationship develop in the way that fits the people involved.

Quote:

The whole notion of "having entanglements" is a consideration, but seriously, someone throwing that out there just lends itself to the perception most have about polyamory that I know of- that it is immature and irresponsible and the core comes from being brought up around a dysfunctional family. I would like to believe that there are many different ways to define a healthy relationship. Honestly that type of insight to this lifestyle seems narrow and juvenille.
I think what Mono meant (correct me, Mon, if I need it!) is that marriage and bearing children are both huge responsibilities, legally and financially and socially and more. It's better to go slowly, no matter your lovestyle, when heading toward a big decision, so you can make sure you're doing what's best for the people involved. In poly, that can lead to slower decisions, because there are more people involved. You might not like the word "entangled" (for me it conjures up images of the vines around Sleeping Beauty's castle), but it certainly describes the way a bunch of people caught up in each other's lives can be. In my case, most of the people who are seriously involved in our constellation (sexual or romantic feelings expressed on a regular basis) are co-housing together, along with some platonic friends. We actually have to buy groceries and do dishes and pay rent together, so we truly are entangled, and I certainly wouldn't call it immature, dysfunctional, or juvenile. ;)

It might help us help you if you described what you imagine polyamory to be like. We'll probably just tell you if we've been in similar situations, and what sounds healthy or unhealthy about what you're describing, but it'd give us all more solid footing.

Thanks for sharing, in any case, and good luck with your partner. Keep posting-- we're here for you. :)

redpepper 04-19-2010 08:07 PM

I'm sorry this has been hard for you. It is tough and will push you farther in relationships than you think possible. I can almost guarantee that.

I wonder if perhaps its time to think about what you want in your love relationships. He will always be the sort that talks about other women and ex's and need more than one it sounds like. Especially if he is bioplar. Being sexually open is part of the diagnosis I believe. Nothing wrong with all of that, but if you struggle with it to the point of it influencing your good mental health then I think its time to do some serious soul searching as to whether or not this is a positive relationship for you.

If you haven't already done so, and I am going to assume you haven't, just by how you come across so far, I would suggest reading a lot on here. It will help you get a feel for how people live and find a positive lifestyle through polyamory. I suggest that you read together so that you can be on the same page and then slowly put a foot in before jumping ahead to imagining all out sex parties with your man being the centre of attention. Not that that is how we all live :O but as an example.

It just doesn't work to go from 0 to 100 in my opinion. Its just not sustainable and falls on its rickety foundation. At least that is what I have noticed anyway.

LovingRadiance 04-19-2010 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by demanda (Post 26939)
See this is what I don't understand about polyamory. Isnt it supposed to be about having it all? I dont want to be owned by someone, but want to be so special and connected to someone that they take that risk with me. It seems like there are plenty of married couples that engage in it and are happy. Can I hear from some of them?
The whole notion of "having entanglements" is a consideration, but seriously, someone throwing that out there just lends itself to the perception most have about polyamory that I know of- that it is immature and irresponsible and the core comes from being brought up around a dysfunctional family. I would like to believe that there are many different ways to define a healthy relationship. Honestly that type of insight to this lifestyle seems narrow and juvenille.

:eek: EEK.

Um, polyamory in and of itself isn't more or less immature. What IS more or less immature are people.

There are mature people who are polyamorous.
There are mature people who are monogomous.
There are immature people who are polyamorous.
There are immature people who are monogomous.

Being polyamorous or monogomous has NOTHING to do with the maturity of the relationship. The level of maturity in the PEOPLE who are having the relationship defines the maturity of the relationship.

Personally-my advice as a poly woman is very much the same as Mono's.

My REASON for that (having only read the first THREE posts so far) is:

Quote:

honestly I am just way too sensitive and insecure
and

Quote:

he does have a tendency to act out in regard to going on about ex's and leer at other women and it is upsetting to me.
(which by the way hasn't a damn thing to do with being bipolar and if either of you thinks so, you ought to research bipolar a little more...

and

Quote:

Last week he mentioned in a joking manner about us being a primary in a poly relationship. I was hurt and devastated and almost called the whole relationship off.
and

Quote:

I am honestly afraid that my jealousy and insecurity are going to be the downfall of this relationship.
NONE of these above quotes suggests that you are ready for the level of commitment, responsibility and work marriage requires, much less the HIGHER level of commitment, responsibility and work that a POLY-marriage requires.
That doesn't mean foreboding for the relationship. It does mean that taking a long time to fix the issues permanently that already exist (like jealousy and insecurity) before embarking on either of those two types of relationships would be a GREAT idea.

So-thumbs up to Mon for giving you concrete, stable, sensible and sound advice, even if it was a bit painful for you read.

SchrodingersCat 04-20-2010 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by demanda (Post 26931)
Last week he mentioned in a joking manner about us being a primary in a poly relationship. I was hurt and devastated and almost called the whole relationship off.)

In my opinion, if you're ready to call off a relationship over one incident, idea, comment, etc., then neither you nor your relationship is ready for marriage. I 100% promise that if you get married, you will face hardships a thousand times worse than a joking comment about being in a poly relationship. If you're ready to throw in the towel now, I promise marriage will only make it worse.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 27026)
:eek: EEK.

Um, polyamory in and of itself isn't more or less immature. What IS more or less immature are people.

There are mature people who are polyamorous.
There are mature people who are monogomous.
There are immature people who are polyamorous.
There are immature people who are monogomous.
[.....]
NONE of these above quotes suggests that you are ready for the level of commitment, responsibility and work marriage requires, much less the HIGHER level of commitment, responsibility and work that a POLY-marriage requires.
That doesn't mean foreboding for the relationship. It does mean that taking a long time to fix the issues permanently that already exist (like jealousy and insecurity) before embarking on either of those two types of relationships would be a GREAT idea.

So-thumbs up to Mon for giving you concrete, stable, sensible and sound advice, even if it was a bit painful for you read.

**applause** **applause**

This is dead-on!

I don't think enough people look at the commitment and responsibility involved in marriage. They just see, "People who love each other should get married and live happily ever after."

I read a really good article in Women's Health last month about "Starter wives" ... how so many young couples get married and then are disillusioned by marriage, finding out that it's a crapload of WORK! Hey, where's my Prince Charming and fairy tale ending? .... it's in the Fairy Tales, that's where!!


My husband gawks at women and loves to point out great looking butts. And you know what? I love it! I'm so glad that he's comfortable enough with me and our relationship to feel safe doing that. He's not bipolar. My mom is Type I bipolar, and she identifies as asexual. She doesn't gawk at anyone. That's my two-person sample of counter-evidence...

I SO don't understand these women who get mad at their guys for checking out hot girls, when we sit around the water cooler discussing whether Brad Pitt or George Clooney is sexier. What's the difference?


Poly isn't for everyone, and not every person or relationship is ready for marriage. There's nothing wrong, weak, or bad about that. It's just life. Rushing into something before you're ready is a recipe for hardship. Why not go at a pace you're comfortable with?

maca 04-20-2010 04:00 AM

I will have to add to this thread.

I had already been married for 10 years when LR told me about her being Poly. I thought I was going to die a horrible death by being burned from the inside out. We were married we have kids and I love her. Even with all those things going for us learning to " BE " poly is the hardest thing that Ive had to do in all of my life so far.

To be honest I dont know if I would have got married to her had I known back then. But I did marry her I do love her and I began the long hard journey of self loving.

My biggest piece of advice for you is , dont confuse things by gettign married and having kids. Deal with your inner demons ( insecurities, jealousy ) first.



Peace and Love
Maca


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