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-   -   This forever thing (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26137)

WhatHappened 08-01-2012 03:04 PM

This forever thing
 
I've been seeing BF for 9 months now. Keep in mind that, although I've heard of open marriages, the whole concept of polyamory was brand new to me. Moreover, he was more of a swinger, and up until now, his actual relationships have always been online. This is a first for him in a number of ways, too.

Right now, I like things exactly as they are. But, I struggle with the idea that relationships should 'go somewhere,' grow toward something bigger, and this really won't. I'm happy with it now...but I realize in a year or five, I may want a whole lot more...more time, sharing a house, knowing if one of us moves, we'd move together, planning for retirement, supporting each other financially, the things a normal couple eventually does.

He has long been talking about how he wants it to go on forever. He started the relationship saying he knows it has to end someday, that I'll find someone who can give me all of the above. He hasn't said that in a long time.

A month ago, he said if, god forbid, anything happened to his wife, he'd give up his many years of swinging 'for the right person.' More recently, this 'forever' thing came up again, and he said: Once two people get married, how does their relationship continue to grow and change?

I said children being born, growing, milestones, careers changes, moving together, expecting to grow old together, knowing someone is going to be there if you're in the hospital. His answer was that he and I can go through career changes and milestones together. He asked, "Don't you know I'd be there with you if you were in the hospital?"

But the fact is, he can't be there for major events with my children and barring, as he said, something happening to his wife, we're not going to have a home together or support one another financially. And at the same time he's talking about forever with me, he's talking about making changes that would move him across the country.

So what does any of this mean to those in the polyamory lifestyle? Is there ever really any forever and what does it look like? Is he just living in a fantasy world without really thinking this through--for instance telling me he wants forever with me while he's talking about trying to move away?

I don't really have a specific question; I just find it bewildering and would like input from others' experiences on 'forever.'

nycindie 08-01-2012 03:18 PM

It sounds like he's sad about moving away from you.

mv1976 08-01-2012 03:28 PM

I'd say that it seems like at least part of him has grown attached to the idea of something longer term with you. It might be worth talking about to figure out where his feelings lie in that regard, and where yours do. What about his wife? Is she involved in any conversations of this nature? What is their agreement (if they have an explicit agreement) about relationships outside their own? Is there any possibility that you might be able to have something more permanent with him without him ending his marriage?

Having been on the other side of something like this (as the wife of a man with a girlfriend, until recently...) I can say that it may be threatening to her if these feelings / ideas of something more long term between her husband and you are in contradiction to agreements or expectations they might have. After you talk about it with him, assuming you're interested in exploring something longer term, or just getting on the same page about this, I'd talk with her, also.

WhatHappened 08-01-2012 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mv1976 (Post 146195)
I'd say that it seems like at least part of him has grown attached to the idea of something longer term with you. It might be worth talking about to figure out where his feelings lie in that regard, and where yours do.

I'm overwhelmed by the depth of his feelings. He's said outright he wants it to last forever as it is now. My feelings are not so clear. I enjoy every minute with him. I don't want my time with him to be over at the end of the evening. But he's married. I refuse to let myself fall in love with him. Right now, I'm VERY content with the situation--with having plenty of free time for a job I love and my children who need me, I LIKE having my own home and my own bed and don't have a desire to change that right now. If I knew I'd feel this way forever, I think I'd feel the same way he does. But realistically, I know I'm not likely to feel this way forever. I'm less than a year out of a divorce and never went looking for a boyfriend or to date. Five years from now, I expect I'll feel differently.


Quote:

What about his wife? Is she involved in any conversations of this nature? What is their agreement (if they have an explicit agreement) about relationships outside their own? Is there any possibility that you might be able to have something more permanent with him without him ending his marriage?
She is more polyamory than he is. She has a boyfriend of 4 years and I believe all of them (she, the boyfriend, her husband) are very happy with the situation and hope it's a lifetime thing. I think more permanent for he and I would really only mean continuing as we are. Our lifestyles are far too different to ever consider a thing like moving in together.

Quote:

Having been on the other side of something like this (as the wife of a man with a girlfriend, until recently...) I can say that it may be threatening to her if these feelings / ideas of something more long term between her husband and you are in contradiction to agreements or expectations they might have. After you talk about it with him, assuming you're interested in exploring something longer term, or just getting on the same page about this, I'd talk with her, also.
I don't think it's an contradiction of their agreements. They've had an open marriage for nearly two decades.

mv1976 08-01-2012 04:44 PM

Quote:

I'm overwhelmed by the depth of his feelings. He's said outright he wants it to last forever as it is now. My feelings are not so clear. I enjoy every minute with him. I don't want my time with him to be over at the end of the evening. But he's married. I refuse to let myself fall in love with him.
From this it seems like you're not sure what you want from him beyond the present. It's okay not to know that yet, as long as you let him know that's how you're feeling. Maybe you don't need to make any decisions about this. As long as he's not moving away tomorrow, you can perhaps keep things as they are, since you are both enjoying it? If he does move, then you should discuss whether you're going to end the relationship or perhaps do an LDR? Not sure how feasible that would be.

I'm not sure what you mean about the last part about him being married and your refusing to let yourself fall in love with him. Is this because you're not comfortable with his situation? Would you prefer a monogamous relationship with someone you're in love with?

Sorry I perhaps projected too much about the relationship with his wife. Since you didn't specify, I wasn't sure what the barrier might be to your having a longer-term relationship with him. Seems like your lifestyle differences are the barrier, so there's not much to be done about that, except enjoy the relationship as it is for now, and keep looking for someone better suited to you in the long term if that's what you want. Your boyfriend will need to understand that he can't be that for you because of these differences.

WhatHappened 08-01-2012 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mv1976 (Post 146199)
From this it seems like you're not sure what you want from him beyond the present. It's okay not to know that yet, as long as you let him know that's how you're feeling. Maybe you don't need to make any decisions about this. As long as he's not moving away tomorrow, you can perhaps keep things as they are, since you are both enjoying it? If he does move, then you should discuss whether you're going to end the relationship or perhaps do an LDR? Not sure how feasible that would be.

I guess I know that I would feel bad if I knew it were suddenly over right now, today. I guess part of my question revolves around the fact that I can't even visualize what such a future would look like. I could always 'see' what my future looked like in other instances--I could imagine going to college, earning a degree, having a job, having children, owning a home. This is like looking into a thick fog, not even sure what 'forever' looks like or means in such a situation.

Quote:

I'm not sure what you mean about the last part about him being married and your refusing to let yourself fall in love with him. Is this because you're not comfortable with his situation? Would you prefer a monogamous relationship with someone you're in love with?
It's because I don't want to be sitting around home desperately wanting to be with someone I love, wanting the standard-issue things, and being unhappy because I can't have them. I don't want to become clingy and needy (which I think would really be unfair terms in this situation, since it would only be wanting the normal things that people normally get out of a relationship--yet compared to what he is able to give, I would feel clingy.) I think I would begin to resent him for it.

Yes, it probably is partly that I'm just not comfortable with the whole situation. I'm seeing a married man and this goes against everything I've ever considered or believed in. I'm well aware that his wife knowing and approving changes everything. She's happy, he's happy, she's happy for him, I'm happy, her boyfriend is happy, as he's also good friends with BF, all his friends are happy.

...yet my intellectual and my deeply-ingrained emotional responses are at war.

I think maybe I refuse to fall in love because to me, he's 'available' for dating, but he's not available for the kind of relationship I would presumably one day want.

Quote:

Sorry I perhaps projected too much about the relationship with his wife. Since you didn't specify, I wasn't sure what the barrier might be to your having a longer-term relationship with him. Seems like your lifestyle differences are the barrier, so there's not much to be done about that, except enjoy the relationship as it is for now, and keep looking for someone better suited to you in the long term if that's what you want. Your boyfriend will need to understand that he can't be that for you because of these differences.
I guess I'm not sure if there's a barrier. I just can't envision what it even looks like or means to have a long-term relationship in a poly situation.

The more I think about it, I think a lot of it, for me, is the question of whether I'll continue to feel as I do now, LIKING my own space, or whether I'll one day want marriage again. And I guess there's really no way of knowing that.

SNeacail 08-01-2012 05:26 PM

I'm not understanding why he couldn't eventually be apart of your kids lives and be there for monumental events, etc. Why can't you have Saturday afternoon "family" BBQs with everyone around, including his wife on occasion? Why can't he be there for your kids baseball games, graduation, etc?

WhatHappened 08-01-2012 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SNeacail (Post 146204)
I'm not understanding why he couldn't eventually be apart of your kids lives and be there for monumental events, etc. Why can't you have Saturday afternoon "family" BBQs with everyone around, including his wife on occasion? Why can't he be there for your kids baseball games, graduation, etc?

My kids would have a very hard time coping with the idea that I'm seeing a married man. This is so brand new to me, in many ways I'm having a hard time coping with the idea I'm seeing a married man.

My kids have actually met him several times at 'company picnic' type events. And they know I'm seeing someone, but they don't know it's him.

LovingRadiance 08-01-2012 06:09 PM

Like sneacail-I cant see why there cAN NOT be a future together. I do see why there isn't RIGHT NOW-but right now is always temporary and things change.

If you had asked me (or my husband) when we married if we'd ever be in a poly dynamic-(once we knew what it was) we would have thought you were nuts.

But, here we are, living with my boyfriend who is completely integrated into our family and can't imagine it any other way NOW.

Last night, we were talking about "what if" he finds another woman who joins the family, how will little details change, how will our boundaries change etc.

He was a bit surprised to find out how liberally I feel about sharing him with another "co-wife", compared to how annoying I find it to share him with a fuck buddy.

The idea that I would willingly create an "ALL OF OUR" bed and room (whilst keeping a personal space for everyone as well) and accept another woman (not my lover) sleeping in the same bed with me in it as well was surprising to him.
Especially since at this point I've made it clear that I no longer want to meet his lovers (because they come and go too rapidly for me to waste my time on). He just figured he would never have that opportunity because CUrRENTLY I'm not interested in meeting any of the women he's interested in.

But, he didn't understand WHY I'm uninterested and that if there was a different set of circumstance, I'd have a different feeling on it.


There's no reason why you can't look towards a future different than the one you have-together. If you both want to.

(FYI-kids grow up too.)

WhatHappened 08-01-2012 07:03 PM

LR--are you saying wait and see what develops?

I guess that's sort of what I've been telling myself this morning.


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