My Intro and Questions
I'm a single mother, self employed, bi, and have attempted being poly in the past. I haven't had a lot of success, in that both partners I tried polyamory with weren't honest with me during the process, and both eventually left the relationship to pursue monogamy (and marriage) with the women that they weren't honest with me about.
Fast forward several years to now. I've been dating a man for the past year and half after an extended period of being single. We've swung together on several occasions - each time it was excellent and we both have nothing but positive feelings about the experiences. Recently he's asked if he can start seeing other people on his own; we've discussed it fairly regularly over the time we've been dating. Up until now, I haven't been open to the idea because of my past experiences, and was concerned about his prior history of not being able to be fully open and honest with the multiple women he was dating (prior to having known me).
After a lengthy discussion last night, he made his case and I've decided to try polyamory with him on a trial basis. We are in the midst of creating a written agreement and have already made some surprising headway. Surprising in that I'm finding this process already a lot easier than my prior experiences, and I am enjoying having a written agreement (something I haven't done before).
I have several questions.
(1) I realize that I have trust issues. I've done a lot of work (therapy, soul searching, journaling, reading) and will continue to work on it throughout this process. To me its a lifelong journey, and one that I'm happy to work on. I also realize that my trust issues aren't my partners issues, and I don't want to punish him for someone else's mistakes. Does anyone have any suggestions for anything else I can do, read, etc. along these lines?
(2) I'd also love suggestions for our agreement; I feel like we're missing a few crucial bits and pieces. Anything to assist with the brainstorming?
(3) With my prior partners, when they would go out on a date, I found I usually needed to stay busy during said date - probably because I didn't know a lot about their partner(s) and felt very threatened by them. That likely won't be the case here (we have a completely different agreement so far that takes into account this issue), but I know that I'll still have days/nights where I need that distraction, even for a little bit. I don't have the freedom I used to to pursue things outside of the home - before when I tried being poly I was single and without a lot of responsibility other than for myself, but now I am a single parent and living alone in a somewhat remote location. I do have a sitter twice a week - one night to attend sport practices, and one for date night. I don't live with my partner, as he has primary care of an ailing family member, but he has a lot more free time to pursue things than I ever will. Any suggestions? It may be a silly request, but I'd rather have a bevy of ideas on hand before the time comes.
Gotta be short-can come back and elaborate later:
1. read the following,
Living Happily Ever After (book)
The Seven Levels of Intimacy (book)
The New Love Without Limits (book)
www.xeromag.com (click polyamory and read the articles)
2. Get the book Opening Up. It has a LOT of great suggestions for things to consider when creating a contract like this-we got it just for that and found it VERY VERY helpful. There were things that we didn't find pertinent to us-but there were also things which were that we didn't think of too.
Thanks! I'll get a hold of copies in the next few days. Thanks for the quick reply.
Hi Ms B,
Well - there's "trust" - and then there's "blind trust".
Blind trust is risky, dangerous and seldom "trustworthy" :)
Blind trust is really little more than a "hope" !
But "trust" also involves ourselves. In order to have trust in someone else we have to trust ourselves. Trust that we've done our due diligence in preventing and/or preparing for a less than favorable outcome to the best of our ability! Once we feel we've done that, it's out of our hands. What will be - will be. But we're prepared because we know it's outside our control.
We do it every day, if for example we drive. We have a certain amount of trust that everyone else on the road is trying the best they can to be a good driver. But we don't blindly assume that. We focus, pay attention, be on the lookout. Buckle the seat belt. It's all we can do.
Sounds like you are doing what you can to make the "drive" safe and pleasurable. The more you work on it yourself, the more trust you will have in yourself - AND - the situation.
Just don't pull down the blindfold, step on the accelerator and afterward cry "victim" :)
these terms stand out to me because it sounds like your are choosing to be poly like you can choose to be gay or straight. Poly isnt something you jump in and out of. It's ture that some who are poly are confused and need guidance the same as the 16 yr old girl finding herself turned on in the gym lockeroom. I think you are poly or you are not. These issues that you are dealing with "trust" "fear" and so on are all natural and would with any type of relationship. Ask yourself if you are poly then try and seek guidance don't get yourself involved in something out of obligation you will never be happy that way.
I really agree with polytriad here and I will add, this feels forced to me. Poly is not a contract. Yes, we do have agreements, but honestly, your post sounded and felt like a business contract and one you were scared of at that.
You have the energy of someone overwhelmed and thinking they have to do such and such inner work to make this work. Yes, it's gonna take inner work, and outer work just as any do any relationships. Yet what I feel from your post is a self pressure of a time frame.
Poly or not, we all have to work on our own schedules, especially when it comes to such life altering decisions. And it sounds like you have to make some peace with yourself, where you are now and where you wanna be.
Yes, you made indeed have a lot of issues. They may be issues you would have to work thru poly or not tho.
Be gentle with yourself. Trust your own inner guidance, not someone else's. I tell people that a lot regardless of the topic.
Making peace with where we are never ever means we are gonna just stay there. That oxygen mask goes on ourselves first.
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