Reaching a compromise with a mono boyfriend
I met my current boyfriend while I was in a monogamous relationship with another man. He and I instantly became best friends and were virtually inseparable. We kept our friendship entirely platonic for well over a year, but the emotional attachment we felt for each other was frankly undeniable. When I became single, it did not take long for the two of us to start sleeping together (really, just sleeping - there was no sex or anything else for a long time). We trust each other about everything, because we are each others' best friends. If there is such a thing as soulmates, he is undoubtedly mine.
Throughout all of this, I have been struggling over my feelings for a mutual friend of ours. Although I recognize that a relationship with this friend would not be as whole and complete as the one I have with my current boyfriend, it still hurts to have feelings of love and affection on which I cannot act. This friend feels the same way, although he admits that he respects just how special my current relationship is. But it still hurts to be around him.
A short time ago, I heard about polyamory and began reading into it. Bam! Everything clicked. The fact that I have feelings for this friend does not in any way subtract from the love I have for my boyfriend. I know this, and even my boyfriend knows this, as he indicated when I confessed everything. He told me that he had been aware of my feelings all along, and recognized that it didn't mean that I don't love him as much as possible. However, when I tried to discuss the idea of opening our relationship into a polyamorous one with this mutual friend, my boyfriend became hesitant. He wants me to be happy, but admits that it makes him very sad to think about me becoming emotionally intimate with anyone else. For him, part of what makes our relationship so special is that we're the only one for the other. I understand that, and I agree to a certain extent: he is the only one for whom I will ever feel this attached.
I guess what I'm looking for is advice. Breaking up because he is not "wired" the way I am is not really an option I am willing to consider right now. I love him very deeply, and if this hurts him too much, I will settle into monogamy and leave it alone. But what I would really like is to reach some sort of compromise. How do you propose a polyamorous relationship with a monogamous "soulmate?"
P.S. Sorry for the length and purple-y prose. Apparently, it is nearly impossible to write about love and emphasize its depth and meaning without resorting to words like 'soulmate' and 'attached.'
Do some reading on here fran, there is a lot to learn and your journey will be enhanced yet your own.
Personally I don't believe in compromises for the long haul. I don't think they are healthy when we can have what our heart desires and all of our needs met. We should always be working towards that I think.
Of course compromise is important when starting out as others have to catch up to us and us with them, but if you have a goal in mind and so do they then that is what should be worked on.
I would suggest talking about your goals and thinking about them with complete honesty and openess. That will show you where you can start working together or not. If he can see how your idea of relationship would be good, give him a chance to dwell on that and make it his own. This is where compromise comes in, as man number two can wait. There needs to be an understanding that things need to change as time goes on, but also be fluid and have the space to morph into what works.
Poly love does not go away generally, if he can't do it, then its more healthy for you and him to move on and find someone who can.
I have been your boyfriend (a female version). Does that make sense? I left an unhappy marriage, found my soulmate and also found him to be polyamorous (even when he didn't realize he was), so we've addressed many of the issues you're looking at. It's been a two year journey and at times during that journey I would have agreed with Red Pepper about both going for what you really want.
We've stuck it out and we're winning!! I agree with RP in that it is important not to compromise what's important to you long term but that is actually a really interesting concept. The more I drilled down the more simple my goals became. I wanted a passionate, beautiful, healthy, honest relationship. I had all those things and it seemed wrong to "send it back" just because Z is poly. The poly component, when looked at in relationship to everything else was small, it was my reaction to it that was big.
So together, we worked me through it. While hanging out on this forum and the mono/poly yahoo group I found that this is quite a common issue and I've started a blog www.polyamorouspeople.typepad.com about how we worked through it.
So have a look on that and then if I can be of any specific help let me know.;:)
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