Quest For Understanding
Hello everyone, I'm new to the boards and the concept of polyamory. I suppose my main reason for being here is the pursuit of knowledge. Trying to understand it.
I think a nice little introductory story is in order
Well, my girlfriend and I have been together for 5 years, engaged for soon to be two years. Lately we've been in a bit of a rut, tied down and unable to really advance our relationship for several reasons. Coupled with that is the fact that for the past year and a half I have been working 60 hours per week and working on an engineering degree part time. Not only is that bad enough, but I have always had a tough time fully expressing my emotions. Rather than emotional thinking, I think almost purely in a mathematical way (I know that us a no-no in a relationship, but conditioning is hard to change). So communication problems began to show.
So the other day we had a bit of a falling out. During this she informs me she has been dealing with the thoughts and feelings that her heart belongs to one (me) but her body to be with multiple men (at this time, one other man). She has been dealing with this turmoil for years, she confessed. Now, I'm bright enough to know there is nothing I can blame her for her feelings. And although I acted at first like you would expect after being blindsided by this (insecurity, fear, resentment towards him), I have been thinking about it a lot and realize it is something I could accept, eventually. The idea of multiple partners in any sense has always seemed bohemian to me. Luckily, although I'm pretty conventional myself (monogamy, no fetishes to speak of), I have always had an open philosophical horizon. A serious advantage to accepting new ideas, in my estimation.
Now the down side to it all is that the situation between us got to the point where she had planned a secret rendezvous with the other man in question. However she couldn't go through with it and instead came home and told me about her feelings. Again, that is not something I can blame her for (existentialism) and the fact that she told me certainly outweighs the remaining negatives.
And I think this leaves us to where we are now. We talked all weekend and reconnected on many platforms (including a planned Holiday Inn getaway from our stressful housemates). Among the discussion has been me agreeing to allow her to explore her romantic desires with another (in time).
We are both extremely strong individuals; bright, clear-headed, intellectuals, etc. And our thinking styles are absolutely perfect complements to one another. In my mind, there is nothing we could not overcome.
But this is something I still do not fully understand. And that uncertainty breeds fear. So I will try to amass a healthy cluster of questions at some point and leave them to the supportive community I've seen here, my girlfriend, and even myself to answer. Hopefully, this research should help me understand why she finds this as an exciting desire. And hopefully this will help with my acceptance that this may be something she would like to include in our lives.
Who knows, maybe I might want to include it in my life.
So, while I try to come up with a list of questions, does anyone have general advice (already got 'go slow' and 'communicate') or questions to ask that someone new might overlook?
Well, that was actually pretty easy. :-)
I'm happy to say that after long thought, sincere communication, and hours upon hours reading what this great community has offered, my fiancée and I have agreed upon a first set of conditions that we both feel comfortable with in a new exploration of a polyamorous life. And I am surprised to find that I feel genuinely good about the experimentation we have been discussing.
I suspect the primary reason for my comfort with it is the knowing that this may make her very happy. I also find that our discourse has brought us closer together than we have been in months. The honesty and consideration for the other feels great!
I also like to think of the idea that I could meet a new friend and connect on nearly any level of intimacy without the hindering fear of worrying if I am getting to close. Now, there are certainly to be hurtles on the way through this journey, but I feel confident in our future.
Thank you everyone for the insight this community has brought me.
It looks like you are doing great. The best advice I can give you is READ READ READ.
Check out some books on polyamory and read them, get your girl to read them too.
We're both healthier now, my self esteem is the highest it's been in years and i'm losing weight daily. It's amazing how being happy and going with how you really feel can change your mood and your health!
Sounds like you have a good idea of how it should work for you, that's awesome! Good luck in the future!
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