How would I know?
For anyone who may have read how I was introduced to Polyamory, I was hoping someone could possibly share some perspective...
I really miss the partner me and my wife had, I miss the intimacy, the closeness we all shared. It ended because I was not brave enough to embrace the lifestyle, therefore it was not possible for me to exist happily living it just partially. Keeping her a secret always felt so wrong, having such limited time for intimacy and true closeness was hard for her and in the end not fair.
By not considering myself brave enough to be honest with everyone in my life about our lifestyle does that mean it does not mean enough?
Seems like I should be able to answer this myself, but it has been an emotional roller coaster for these past 6 years... I think my perspective is broken..
Keeping the most important things in your life a secret is psychologically harmful. So is believing that your feelings are wrong. That's why being forced to be in the closet is so bad for people, whether it's about being gay, being trans, being poly, whatever. From reading your other post, I would venture to say that it DID mean a lot to you, and that's why it's affected you so deeply. The question is, is the freedom to openly love more than one person something you need in order to be happy?
I would suggest talking to your wife and working towards the point where it's very clear about what you both want out of the future. If you're going to do monogamy, then focus in and heal your connection. If you're going to do poly, then do the exact same thing, and once you're in a better place, then you can think about dating others but without the secrecy and the feeling like your feelings are wrong. Lots of good resources for how to start with this at www.morethantwo.com.
Everyone has personal limits.
I have one. I am not willing to parent children and be in a polyship at the same time. I just do not want to. No, I do not want to "learn how to polyship with children." I would rather raise my kid and be content in the Closed Polyship of 2 with DH until kid is grown. Then we can talk about our next phase of life and how we want to live it.
To me it sounds like you have a personal limit in conflict with a want.
(You wrote it in one sentence, I broke it into two. Because it is two separate things.)
You have stumbled on some personal limits. You could think about ways to address them.
You feel you are not brave enough yet to live Poly "out" to people. What can you do to get braver? Who can you share this news safely with? Do you have any poly friendly community around you?
Whatever you have pressing on your time right now (work? other rships? Commitments) leaves you X time available to devote to the tending of another person. This was not enough for your ex. How much time IS it? What kind of relationship can you have with X time available? Can anything else in your life be changed to increase your Time Budget?
Filtered through my own personal perspective, being someone in a poly relationship who is not completely "out", it seems to me that there are two separate issues...
I can't say that this particularly bothers me - there are many areas of my life that I keep "private" from the world at large. But then again, I am a generally private person - I do not develop social friendships with coworkers, for instance. I tend to divide people into three spheres - professional/public, family/acquaintances, chosen family/close friends.
How I present/interact with Dude (or my female FWB) depends on which "sphere" I am in. In a professional/public context - he is my husband's best friend who I am also close to. I might tell a story about a meal he cooked for us, we might be seen eating or shopping together (with no PDA), I will introduce him as "our friend" if I run into people while we are out.
In a family/acquaintance context - people know that he lives with us but not that we are "together", I might tell a story about how he answered the door in his underwear, I will refer to him as "our roommate".
In a chosen family/close friends context - people know he is my "boyfriend", I might tell a story about a funny thing that happened during sex, or talk about how our feelings have evolved over time.
These levels feel natural to me. I don't think "everyone in my life" - from my boss to the maillady - has a right to know my personal business. My family is great - but they are related to me by accident of birth, not by choice. Acquaintances may be nice people - I interact with them around certain activities or talk with them on limited topics. Just because family/acquaintances share some aspects of my life, doesn't mean that they have to share ALL of them. Chosen family and close friends are the only people who, I think, are entitled to the "real me" - otherwise they aren't chosen family/close friends - these people love ME. They might not agree with me but they get the whole ME.
This, I think, is a separate issue...
I can understand that having kids would further complicate the picture but I don't see this as an insurmountable problem (for the record - we don't have any). Just because you are a parent doesn't mean that you aren't entitled to a private life. There are plenty of (non-poly-related) activities that are for "adults only" - it's okay to set boundaries.
Reading your posts it seems like the problems stemmed from communication issues amongst the three of you regarding getting each person's needs met within the context of the relationship(s). The secrecy/privacy issue seems to be a complicating factor that you focused on rather than the underlying issues. Just one person's perspective.
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