Scared and confused.
I neglected to read the sticky at the top of this forum regarding what constitutes an intro. Please move to the appropriate forum.
I think I'm polyamorous.
I am one of those people who, due to the beliefs imposed upon me by the church, waited until I was married to have sex. I was always taught that sex was some magical thing that brought two souls together as one. I wanted that, so I waited. Because of this, I never allowed myself to explore my sexuality. I never got to discover who I was sexually until after I had married.
I've always been one to be on the friendlier side with women than men. With women I can open up and be myself. With men, it's the complete opposite. All of my closest friends are, and have always been, women. The relationships I form with them are, for a select few, far stronger than your normal friendship. I have crossed the bounds into love with them and openly tell them so.
After having been married for several years, I find that monogamy isn't the lifestyle I'm best suited for. I do enjoy being married and love my wife very much, but the idea of limiting my love to just one person for the rest of my life isn't appealing to me. I have come to realize that for that select group of lady friends, I feel just as much love for them as I do my wife. The select few, as well as my wife, have been in my life for years and years. You can't know someone for the better part of a decade or longer and not develop feelings for them. I'm sorry. You just can't.
I've been researching alternative lifestyles for I'm guessing a good year now. Swinging appealed to me because it seemed that was what I wanted. It wasn't though. I wanted more than just casual sex. I wanted an actual relationship. I say I think I'm polyamorous because I have deep, meaningful relationships with these women. We talk often. We share. We seek advice from one another. And yes, we flirt. The only difference between these women and my wife is that I'm legally bound to my wife and I'm only having sex with her.
The only thing that keeps me from sleeping with these other women is respect for my wife and her wishes. To her, marriage is meant for one man and one woman, to be monogamous, for ever and ever. Period. One is to only have feelings for his or her spouse and no one else. I've been with her for over a decade and try as I might through all those years to supress my feelings, I have failed.
I'm not saying I want to go out and have sex with other women; I'm simply saying I have strong emotional ties to them and I'm tired of denying it. I'm tired of telling my wife I'm "just friends" with this woman or that woman. I want to be able to tell her the truth. However, if I tell her the truth, I fear she will leave.
I came across polyamory around the beginning of the year and the more and more I read into it, the more it seems to fit the lifestyle I secretly live. To make things fall into place for me, a friend popped up out of nowhere just this past month and revealed her polyamory to me. This was completely out of the blue and unsolicited. In talking to her, I have been able to further reinforce my stance on the issue.
This new friend expressed interest in sharing with me and I agreed. Not in the sense of "hey, come over and screw me" but "hey, here I am. Just letting you know". She's interested in pic swapping and having mutual masturbation sessions over webcam, but I declined. When I told her that I wanted to build a solid personal relationship with her and let things evolve as they may, she surprised me by completely agreeing and telling me that's exactly what she wanted. In the meantime, I'm treating my friendship with her just as any of my others with those of the "select few". And we're both happy with that.
My problem is, I believe I'm a polyamorous man stuck in a strictly monogamous marriage. I'm not going to do do anything behind my wife's back because, as I said earlier, I have too much respect for her to do so. I wouldn't want to be cheated on, therefore I refuse to cheat on her. Should she give me permission on the other hand, well that's a different story.
I've tried to bring up the subject before by dropping hints here and there, but she's the type that just doesn't get it unless you spell it out. We were joking around once about who she was texting at such a late hour (it was her brother-in-law asking about our schedule for the weekend so we could see our niece and nephew) when I asked "who is that, your boyfriend?" She turned around and joked back "yeah." I forgot what else was said, but I ended the covnersation by flat out telling her that I didn't care if she had a boyfriend. The look she gave me was one of both being puzzled by my statement and "yeah, right". At least I got it out there in that sense.
I honestly, truly don't care if my wife were to see other people. It doesn't bother me a bit. And while I'm speaking truthfully, it wouldn't bother me to see her make love to another man. My only caveat is that he not be "just some guy" but someone that she has true feelings for. One of the "select few" has expressed interest in being with me should for some reason my wife and I split. She shares exactly the same views I do about polyamory and desires to live that life with me. I know, because of my wife's beliefs, that it will ultimately be the end of my marriage.
What do I do? How do I come out? Do I risk opening up and telling my wife what's going on with me and possibly losing her or do I continue to keep it all in and spend the rest of my life living a lie and denying my true self?
Confused and scared, somewhere in America.
Wow, my own story parallels yours in so many ways. Closer friends with women than men, those relationships often growing to a feeling of romantic love, not wanting casual sex (although I wasn't often self-aware enough to tell just WHAT I wanted). Not caring if my wife was with another man, even wanting her to be.
Your situation is much better than mine presently, so I will offer some of mine as a cautionary tale. I felt the way you do for many years, but I was committed to monogamy with my wife, and tried to set up defenses to keep me from being tempted to cheat.
I stopped spending time with women I thought could turn into close friends (because the temptation to become lovers might be too hard to handle).
I stopped sharing my poly desires with my wife. It was clear that it hurt her, and I resolved to just grit my teeth and bear it.
These things were my own ideas, done of my own volition, and I didn't share what I was doing, or the reasons for doing them, with my wife. Looking back, I can't believe how stupid I was.
Eventually, I became friends with women I knew in an online game, and suddenly I found myself cheating on my wife. Consumed by love for my new partner, feeling a greatly increased sense of love for my wife, and hating myself, really HATING myself for cheating. No physical contact, but still an emotional and sexual betrayal.
It sounds to me like you are closer than you realize to cheating.
I certainly wish I had managed to talk to my wife about this; I still really haven't, and she's now my ex-wife. Its only since our divorce that I really understood myself to be poly, and not just an asshole who couldn't keep his dick in his pants.
If I had talked to her, I strongly suspect that our marriage would have ended anyway: she was mono, I was poly, and we both couldn't be happy otherwise. But I could be completely wrong. I can't go back and find out now.
Even in the worst case scenario, if I had talked to her and our marriage had blown up, it would have been better. Better for my own self-esteem, better to have avoided the wasted years we both had in a marriage that had lost its romance, and better for our future relationship as friends. Better to not have hurt my wife so badly.
But your situation is not mine, so I'm not offering advice exactly, just my personal regrets.
Good luck man.
Hello and welcome to the forums,
After really seriously talking to my partner about the fact that I am poly-amorous, and that's not some temporary flight of fancy or side effect of our current situation, and since he's come to start to accept it about me; I've started to feel I could accept that he's mono!
It's bizarre, the more that I accept him and focus on my love for him, the more I feel that I might be okay, at least for now, with just him. The more that I feel that I might be happy with just him; the more comfortable with me having other people he is.
I recommend, if you really want to be with your wife (which it seems to me that you really do) try not to think of it as her forcing monogamy on you. Neither of you may believe in divorce (I have no idea) but lying is also a big no-no in the church, I thought?
As for how to bring it up: I recommend gently with lots of reassurance. The worst thing you can do is say that you need more and not explain that it's not that she's not enough or doesn't satisfy you in some way. I think that was my partner's biggest fear: that he wasn't good enough.
If you value your relationship with your wife then you need time to let her get to know about you what you've just discovered about yourself. Adding other people to the equation (and I'm not assuming that you were going to run into anything) was one of my mistakes with my partner. It was hard enough for you to accept being poly, right? Imagine how hard it'll be for her!
I wish you all the best with it all.
I'm new here, but I come at this from the spouse that has finally realize my dh is poly, even if he can't admit it to himself yet. I also have had to de-program myself from some of the unrealistic "church" teachings.
How is your relationship with your wife? Is she your best friend or have you tranfer that honor to another lady? If you are having trouble communicating, fix that NOW (get a marriage councelor if you have to).
How is your sex life with your wife? Is she willing to be adventurous and try things the "church" wouldn't necessarily condone? If she can't get kinky, I don't see her being able to accept multiple partners. That may just take time.
Do NOT share personal information about you wife, including detail of a fight with the other ladies. This is a serious breach of trust. Your wife should always have more information on your life than anyone else. Having to call your husbands g/f(even non-sexual) to get his schedule really sucks.
I may have more to say later, but I'm typing this on the blackberry at the football field.
I guess a better phrasing would be is she is willing to try new things and things that may seem strange to her?
I take issue with the poster above who says, you are already cheating on your wife since you think she wants you to have feelings only for her. People can't control their emotions. You can't say, 'I will not be jealous' or 'I will not develop romantic feelings for this woman' or 'I will be happy as a mono'. You can control your actions tho, and you are doing so. Good for you.
I think that to betray someone, you have to DO something vile; you have to DO something more than thinking something or feeling something.
When my wife and I came out about being poly, I was a bit surprised by who was OK with it and who seemed to be bothered by it. A couple of the people who I thought would be closed minded were OK with it, and a couple I thought would be cool were a little bit judgmental.
If you talk to your wife about this, she may surprise you and be calmer about it than you fear. Or it may be close to your worse case scenario. However, right now you can talk about these things from a superior position than if you had done something vile and already betrayed her. You can say, 'I have these feelings' and then be totally honest when you say, 'I have done nothing to be ashamed of'. Telling her is just being honest about how you feel - which is courageous.
Right now you have something very good, and talking to your wife will risk that. If you don't tell her, you are hiding something important about your relationship from her and setting your self up for a certain amount of unhappiness down the road. But quoting the Larry Niven parable, "I might die, the King might die, or the horse may learn to sing". (The horse singing in this case would be that your wife brings up wanting to be poly.)
Ultimately it is your choice. Only you know how you feel, and you can estimate how your wife will react better than we can. Only you can estimate the risks and advantages of the various acts you can take.
However, what ever you choose to do, I salute your courage and hope things work out well for you.
Warm regards, Rick.
I never said he was doing anything wrong, sorry if it came off that I implied such, as I do not feel that (especially for poly people) this is a realistic expectation.
My point was that I feared my partner felt this way too but, when I actually talked to him about it, it turned out that this wasn't his expectation at all. He gets feelings for other people too but has no desire to pursue it, unlike us poly people, so the reason he feels hurt is not that I have those feelings but that I want to act on them. He's coming to accept that I will always want others and we're working on what we want in terms of what I/we do with those desires.
No problem, I misunderstood what you were saying.
Warm regards, Rick.
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