How should I approach my husband?
I recently discovered that I am poly. I realize in my heart that the signs have been there for a long time. It's a really great thing to finally admit it to myself.
There is a problem, however, and I know I'm not the only one with this problem. I am married to a man whom I love deeply. We have been together for over 9 years. Even though I haven't discussed it with him, I know he's not poly. I'm too afraid to even bring it up. I'm afraid that he would be too hurt by it. He's open minded toward a lot of things - however, I have noticed jealousy in him in the slightest situations.
Our relationship is very good. We work and live very closely together. I feel affection and attraction to other people, and no less affection and attraction for my husband.
I have made a lot of false starts on bringing the whole poly thing up to him. All of them have turned out HORRIBLY. He thinks I'm angry, then I GET angry. A few times I've become flustered and can't find words.
I have been working hard to be open and honest about everything in our relationship, but this is one major thing I still feel uncomfortable with. We were both raised in very conservative homes. Anything like this will come as a huge shock.
The fact is that I don't know if I will be able to tell him. I also don't think that I can continue this relationship the way it is.
If I were to approach him with this, how would you recommend doing it?
This is a very hard position to be in.
Recommendations from a mono:
First off, BE BRUTALLY HONEST.
Secondly, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you feel polyamorous? Are you already interested in some one?
What will you want out of additional relationships? What is missing from your current one? (maybe nothing at all..but he will ask so be prepared)
What benefit will come out of you having other partners for him? Really, what are they? The easiest way to figure this out is to reverse the situation and ask what benefit it would be to you if he had other partners and you did not?
Be prepared to discuss why you need to have sex with other people....poly isn't all about sex, but it does involve it..otherwise you would basically be opening up to him about having other friends.
Will you be ok with him exploring realtionships with other women the same way..picture it in detail..the sweating, moaning, and pillow talk. He's going to picture that as well..there is no glossing over this so be ready for him to go there.
Sorry to be blunt but this requires honesty with yourself first.
Take care and do what keeps you healthy first and for most.
Peace and Love
Mono - thanks for your reply! Your bluntness is much appreciated.
The questions you present here are fantastic! I already feel more confident after asking myself some of them.
Read lots if you need too but make sure all your answers are from your heart and mind..not the canned responses you may find on line although many are excellent starting points to get orientated. Getting books for him after you discuss it can help. The one thing I do not recommend is handing him a copy of "The Ethical Slut"....if he is anything like me the book will essentially turn him off violently and give him the impression that poly is all about sex.
I second Mono's question..............
How is it you believe you ARE poly ? What's brought you to this conclusion ?
I think it's natural regardless of what situation you are in to be 'attracted' to other people. However - 'attraction' does not in and of itself make 'poly' !
'Poly' is deep work and deep understanding of your true inner nature. That stuff takes time.
I think it's a wonderful thing to explore. It's something one should know about one's self. But I'd suggest you DO that exploration before assuming and generating all sorts of complications and drama.
As for breaking the ice once you DO finally get there (assuming you do), it's pretty easy to point to an almost endless list of magazines, books, documentaries etc. Poly is coming more and more to the forefront daily as a legitimate option for many people. There are many references on this forum if you do a search.
Check it out, think it through FULLY as to what it means to you both (remember it could swing both ways - he might fit poly too !) and don't rush things.
Lots of great folks here happy to help with any questions you come across.
good luck, not sure if this will help but sounds similar... i recently came out to my husband. my mistake was that it took finding i had feelings for someone else, and not wanting to just let the chance to explore those feelings slip away, and that i talked a little with my friend first before my husband (at the time i was afraid to tell him as he got violently upset over little things, so how was this going to turn out??? but i can't keep things in so told him within a week, luckily the day planned was a day after he switched from violence to letting go...)
he was open at first, i had read a lot and presented it to him in a way he would listen to, but felt we needed to work on us first, which i agreed with, and the friendship with the other guy was kept at just friendship (long distance so just texts and a few online messages). however, my husband became increasingly jealous - when i told him what was texted he (later told me) thought i was just cleaning it up for him, and didn't ask for more because he 'didn't want to know the gory details'; even though there were none there, he was picturing them there and not asking. at the beginning my friend said (and regretted saying later) that he would drop off the face of the earth so to speak, and my hubby just asked him to do just that, and was surprised my friend had the honor to do just that. so now i have had a supporting friendship cut off in a way that felt controlling. we have worked on our relationship a lot, some with counseling but a lot outside of it, and he has issues of his own to work through... i am only "okay" with this because the jealousy was getting in the way of fixing the other issues, and i hope when things are stronger between us i can resume the long time friendship... just feel lonely now, had grown accustomed to good mornings and support with both my hubby's anger issues and my medical issues...
on the plus side our communication has vastly approved, which is one of the things i used in coming out, because good communication is the most important thing not just in any relationship but if you are bringing more people in
One way to bring it up is to find some polyamory news in the media. (One good spot is Polyamory in the News.) You could use this as a launching point to see what his views on polyamory are. That may can lead into a "what if" type of situation. Like you could ask him if thinks it is possible to lobe more than a person at a time. It may show you what objections he may have to polyamory.
If it doesn't lead into a good poly discussion, you can think or research on what he has said and apporach him again. But you should be very honest about what you want and what you like. Be reassuring that it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with him. Try to explain that love is not a finite resource. Give him time to get use to the idea. I think it is good to have this take before you have a partner in mind.
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