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-   -   Starting my poly life (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3298)

Tonberry 07-25-2010 02:35 AM

Starting my poly life
Hi there,

I have identified as poly for the past few years, more if you include the time when I didn't realise it had a name. I joined the forums a few months ago because I had developed feelings for another man than my husband and wasn't sure how to proceed.
Now, things have just taken a life on their own and I feel the need to share.

Little background: I am 25, female and straight, married to a straight 33 year old man. We've been married two years and together five years.

For these five years, I had felt some attraction to other males but no deep feelings, and I wanted to go slowly. My husband was insecure about my being poly, and for the past two years we had been discussing regularly about rules, how we'd proceed, things like that.
In March, I started to develop feelings for a 27 year old male (orientation unknown, but has had female exes). They grew stronger and stronger and I felt wonderful and terrible about it at the same time. I told my husband, who took the news in a "I knew that would happen someday" way that didn't reassure me.

On top of that, I had no idea how to go asking someone out when I'm already married. It is hard enough asking a guy out, but now I had the incertitude of whether he liked me + the incertitude of how accepting he would be of the situation. And of course I wanted to make sure my husband didn't feel bad or left out.

It was a hard time for me, between ecstasy and despair ("he doesn't like me" "it won't work out" "what if he asks me to leave my husband?" and so on).
Note that I wouldn't have left my husband, I just would have felt terrible if he either thought I was cheating of him or wanted me to choose.
At this point I should probably give them name for the sake of simplicity. I'll refer to my husband as Ian (because that's his name :P), and the man I like as T.

It kept going (by the way, I should mention that it was all online, as T lives in the US and I live in Canada. We were communicating on forums, emails, etc) and I wasn't really getting closer to T, I kept feeling like I was screwing up, etc. Ian was supportive but lost.

In the end of May met S, a coworker of T's. That's when it gets complicated :p So, I met S on IRC, with a few other coworker of T's. We talked and I soon found out he was poly. I told him I was, too, but didn't know how to proceed, and that I had fallen hard for one of his coworkers (but didn't tell him who). Since he had much more experience in poly relationships, although he was currently single, I asked if I could go to him for advice and he happily obliged.
For about a month I kept going to him every time I thought I had "screwed up" (sent an email to T I thought I shouldn't have, or if I hadn't seen T online in a while and was missing him, etc).

And something incredibly weird - to me - happened. I feel in love with S. Or I should say Sean. I was extremely confused. After so long not having feelings for anyone but my husband, in such a short amount of time I had developed them for not one, but two other men? And they worked together, too! that was weird.
Sean really liked me and knew I was poly, and I knew he was, so it was extremely simple and straightforward. There isn't really a point at which one of use asked the other out. We just slid slowly into being girlfriend and boyfriend.

I told Ian, embarrassed that he would think I was falling for everyone all the time at this point, but he took it extremely well. He said he had guessed that I was falling for Sean (incidentally, another friend told me so too. I guess I was the only one not to notice!) and that I was so happy it made him happy too.

Since then, I got much closer with Ian, who is living the whole situation wonderfully. I was always afraid he'd accept it because he had to, as he is mono, but it turns out he seems much happier too! I got the two of them to chat (online still) and they hit it off well, talking about... role-playing games >.> Apparently I wasn't even mentioned in their first conversation haha.
Then the three of us talked, and since then I've been feeling closer and closer to both of them. I love them both dearly, and they love me, and they get along, it's... incredible. I guess before I experienced it, I didn't think it could work that well...

I've already had a couple of arguments with Sean, but they barely lasted, and they're mostly due to the distance: we haven't met yet. We're hoping to before the end of the year, though.
I'm not sure how the long-distance relationship will, work, but so far it's wonderful.
Sean says he wants to "save himself for me" until we meet, as in, not start another relationship, which I think is very sweet of him, although I don't want to hold him up to it. I know how unexpectedly you can meet someone.

I still have feelings for T, but I'm in the middle of Sean-induced NRE so I'm more zen about it now. I'm still having some trouble believing it all. I'm very, very happy, and the best part is that both of them are too.

I wanted to share my story because it feels like a dream to me, although I'm sure it will seem familiar to a lot of you guys :)

sage 07-25-2010 07:04 AM

sounds fun and that it's poly working well :)

marksbabygirl 07-25-2010 03:03 PM

That sounds awesome.

Glad to hear its working out so well for you :D

Tonberry 08-08-2010 05:55 PM

I thought I'd give some news.

It's going very well. Ian is happy for me and we're more affectionate than ever. Sean is extremely sweet at well. We have set date nights, since I'm unemployed and have a lot of free time I get a bit needy and lonely, so having set dates with my husband and boyfriend allows me to just relax the rest of the time instead of missing them constantly, if that makes any sense.

As I said earlier, Sean works in the same company T does. They don't really work together much though, but still Sean has been trying to help things between the two of us. He wants to talk about me and see how T sees me, just to gauge the situation, things like that. They had a business meal and he took pictures and took one of him for me, it was so sweet.

I'm on a little cloud still. Everyone is so happy. I want to keep you informed but it's hard to find things to say when everything goes well :)

Tonberry 08-15-2010 04:50 AM

Little update.

Still going very well with both my husband and my boyfriend. Sean (my bf) is at a party tonight, invited by a woman he's been interested in for almost a year. That woman actually invited the both of us, as she didn't know we were in a LDR. She's know Sean is poly from the start so that's not an issue...
He really likes her and I hope things go well, but it's always hard to know... I can't wait for him to get back and give me all the details!

It was weird, when he first told me about her I was feeling a bit bad about it, but I realised that it was because I didn't want to feel excluded from his life and his story. Then he told me all about her and it switched to being disappointed I can't help him out more! He seems to really like her and she seems very nice. I hope things will turn out!

Tonberry 08-22-2010 01:31 AM

I am meeting my boyfriend in September! He got his passport and is driving from the US. I'm driving to Vancouver to meet him there for two days (he can't afford more time off than that).
I'm thrilled, we weren't sure he'd have his passport on time and the next opportunity would have been in December, when he's flying here (and meeting my husband, too). That is still happening but I'm glad I get to meet him before that!

It will be our first time meeting face to face, I hope we can make the most of these two days!

Tonberry 08-25-2010 07:47 PM

Today S told me that this relationship we have is the strongest he's ever been in :) He says he feels extremely loved and supported.
He also said than in his previous poly relationships (and he's had lots of experience with that), there usually was one "main partner", either him or another man, and the rest was more casual, closer to fuckbuddies. So he thinks it's great that even though I'm married, he feels just as important as my husband and feels that I love both of them and give my time and attention to both of them.
He also said he's feeling less neglected (he added immediately that he doesn't feel neglected at all) than in any other relationship he's been, including when he was mono de facto (but in a poly-open relationship).

It made me very happy. I too feel like we have a strong relationship. We've known each other for three months today and been together for two months in a week, so it's still fairly recent, but it definitely already feels like a long-term relationship, if I'm making sense.

He also says that he had always thought he couldn't have a serious, "real" relationship (non-casual) for at least one more decade because his job is demanding, and he thought he'd have to wait until he was promoted to a position where he'd have less woork hours, so he'd have more time to devote to his romantic life. He didn't think any woman would "stand for it".
But he's been feeling supported in his job rather than blamed for working too much and he seems so grateful for it.
For me, it's just normal, I want to support my men's goals and passions, and his career is important to him, so it's important to me. One of my best friends says I have the "Busy Guy curse", as in, I've always fallen for guys who are very busy, usually with their jobs but it can also be a combination of things (many activities, etc).
Because it's part of why I love them, it just doesn't make sense for me to blame them for it. Sure we don't get to spend that much time together, but in a way it's a good thing, the time we do spend is all the more special, plus I like having time for myself, too!

So, I feel very happy in my relationship with S, all the more because of how happy he seems to be.

Tonberry 08-28-2010 02:33 PM

When I came out to my husband (as poly) he had a hard time understand that it wasn't about his being inadequate.
Later, he accepted that I still loved him just as much, just had more love to share (it helped that I didn't have anyone in mind at the time).
Later, when I feel in love he supported me all the way...
And told me he started feeling a bit envious. Not of my boyfriend, of me. He wanted some of that NRE too...
Talking about it I realised there is a woman he likes, too. He had mentioned being attracted to her at the time he still identified as mono, saying my polyamory made him realise he was allowed to be physically attracted to other people (I was like wow, really? I never stopped being attracted to other people! lol).
Now he seems he has developed deeper feelings for her. He really, really likes her and is starting to talk about her more and more, feeling like he's allowed to. He's very grateful to me for being supportive and allowing him to talk about it (yes, he is a lot about my "allowing" things. I guess he's used to being repressed or something?)

So, at this date he identified as a switch, relationship orientation-wise. As in, he still thinks he would have been happy all of his life having a mono relationship with me (and he never had anyone at all before me, either, so that would have been "real" monogamy right there). I believe him, I was always poly inside and would never have been able to be mono all of my life, but I think he would have been fine not even knowing about other options.
However, he feels a poly lifestyle also works for him, so in short he's actually not a wired mono. (Hence the "switch" label).

I'm very excited and thrilled. While I really didn't want to pressure him or force him to be poly, I do think it's easier when you're on the same page. I also worry less about neglecting him now that I know he will have, at least potentially, other women in his life.
He invited the woman he likes (a coworker of his) for supper in two weeks (next week is when I'm spending the weekend with my own boyfriend in Vancouver, by the way, so the weekend after that). I can't wait to meet her.
It's all complicated because they work together, and she's technically higher up than he is which makes it even trickier. But I want to at least get to meet her and make her feel comfortable around me, and if my husband could flirt a bit with her around me, at least she would be able to see it's okay...

We're going at it very slowly, but it's great seeing him so happy. I was very happy with my own NRE but on the back of my mind was a worry he was getting the short end of the deal, and now I don't have to worry about that anymore ^_^

Ragabash 08-29-2010 12:56 AM

I might as well add my two cents in, seeing as this is also my story (I'm Tonberry's husband, for those of you who haven't seen the intro thread).

It's been summed up pretty well, and yes, as she pointed out I do have some anxiety issues about feeling what I'm allowed to do and feel* that I'm trying to work through.

The situation with J (the coworker I like) is a little more complicated than she describes, because my job has strict rules against employees dating. So while I'm not going to hide that I like her or that I'm interested, I'm not going out of my way to advertise it either. If something did happen it would have to be known only to the three of us, but we'll see what happens when it happens.

*I was the favorite target of most of the bullies in my various schools, so everything I did was under scrutiny looking for some way to use it against me, and the school administration generally either ignored or subtly encouraged it. There are times it's stressful to admit that I'm a fan of a musician, let alone something as big as feeling attracted to someone or living an unconventional lifestyle.

Ragabash 08-30-2010 05:22 PM

It's not much of an update, but between Tonberry and I we've planned out the menu for when we have J over for dinner. I'm naturally fretting over how to make a dinner to make a good impression without having obvious romantic overtones, because J doesn't know I'm in a poly relationship.

As the menu stands, it's going to be:

(I should note that Tonberry is a vegetarian and slightly allergic to milk, thus the lack of meat or milk)

Greek salad with homemade tofu feta
Garlic bread

Plat principal:
Pasta tossed with spinach, olive oil and romano beans

Green salad with balsamic vinagrette

Homemade berry crumble

I'm thinking I'll also get a bottle of red wine to serve with it as well, and possibly make some soy lattés to have with dessert as well, I'll have to think about that.
A lot of the menu is being planned out with foods J has mentioned at times craving or enjoying, espeically the garlic bread. I made some once at work and she liked the fact that I don't skimp on the garlic. She also loves pasta, thus the main course.

Comments and suggestions are quite welcome, though. The dinner isn't for over a week, so I have plenty of time to fret and make changes.

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