Stuck on the end of a V
My wife and I have been in a poly relationship for about 5 years now (woot woot!) and I'm really happy she's getting to explore and get what she wants out of life, I'm her primary and we live together just us and it's more of a multi tailed "V" that a proper V. No worries there, I love her and I want her to be happy. My main issue is I have been actively looking for a girlfriend for years, since shortly after she came out as poly (I was ambivalent about monogmay for the most part before that) but it's been five years of looking and not finding anything.
I guess my feelings of longing and depression (guess it's not really depression just yet, but it's getting to that point) have been brought to the surface again because a friend of my Kim's (my wife) texted me out of the blue one day and said she had feelings for me. I think maybe she was just looking for something because her relationship with her husband is failing, but after a few days of talking to her on the phone and texting, she just stopped calling. Fair enough, I'm thinking she was probably just looking for something to feel good about, not that impressed but it's understandable so what the hell, I'm not upset with her.
I'm not really sure what I'm looking for here, maybe just some thoughts on how to deal with it all, but I'm starting to get fed up with being the end of a V and not having the opportunities my wife has had, and not getting to experience more love in my life. Kim loves me, but she has multiple relationships (two others nowadays) and she has demands on her time.
I'm trying not to feel resentment or jealousy that she's having a lovely poly life, but this isn't really what I signed up for. I've talked to her about how I feel, but there's not a whole lot she can do. This sucks.
I'm sorry you are in a place of "suckage".
It seems to me like you opened up your marriage with the idea that you would both explore and your wife has found those explorations fruitful and you have not had as positive of an experience.
You are not alone. In my brief months here I have heard a number of stories where wives have had an easier time finding new partners than their husbands have. (In this arena, it seems as though women are at an advantage.)
I don't have any great wisdom to add. If you were single, instead of married and poly, I STILL wouldn't have any great wisdom to add.
Here is what you have:
1.) You have a wife who loves you. Yes, she has other obligations/constraints on her time. Don't we all! Whether it is kids or jobs or whatever. Think of all the lousy, unhappy marriages you have seen - are you, deep down, glad that you have something so much more special than that?
2.) You have the freedom to pursue any opportunity that might arise with someone you are interested in (it might not work out, but you can rest in the knowledge that you are NOT a cheater, you are NOT a bad person, you are NOT abdicating any of your agreements).
It took me 19 years to run into someone that was worth the work that poly requires. (Granted, I wasn't actually "looking"...) My advice (such that it is) - enjoy what you have, pursue activities that interest you, cultivate friendships with interesting people withOUT being invested in the outcome...you may be surprised by who shows up in your life unexpectedly.
Deal with what? You do not specify.
Could it be...
1) The fact that nothing interests you in Dating land? That could happen single. What were your expectations there? What need is not being met? Is it reasonable/realistic?
2) Comparing your dating life to wife's dating life and feeling like she's more "successful than you" at it. So... why is it a competition with the wife? Who makes it thus? What's the expectation there? What need is not being met? Is it reasonable/realistic?
3) The fact that you have to schedule time with wife? What is the expectation there? Is it reasonable? Realistic?
It's hard to know what sort of support to try to give when I'm not sure what you are dealing with. Maybe a combo? Try to articulate better. What are you wants, needs, and limits? What needs are met/not met here?
You DO feel resentment. You DO feel jealousy. Alright. Accept this is what it is. What behavior ensues in these feelings? Can you change any behaviors to see if you feel better? Are you doing all page 5 things? Is she doing all page 6 things?
I sympathise with you completely. Not dating can make you feel as if you are stuck in monogamy whilst she is out being poly. It can also be really hard to cope with the loss of time and attention from your wife, especially after five years, when you have no other romantic interest to focus on.
For example, my GF is definitely the most active one in our V. She's got a good key demographic: she's mostly straight, looking for men, she's a Domme, looking for submissive boys... they are all over the place where we live. She has no trouble finding anyone. She currently has myself and her husband as primaries, plus an online submissive, plus a new submissive in real life.
I have a smaller demographic: I want to find gay or bi women, who are poly, who are kinky, who don't mind me only being around for three months as a time, as I live in two different countries. I currently have my GF and that's it. I decided not to date any more, to focus on some self-growth and to stop leaving a trail of broken hearts behind every time I leave the country. Like you, I've started to struggle with feeling mono/poly and I've started looking again... but I'm coming up with nothing. This is frustrating... but I'm starting to wonder if that's fate's way of telling me I don't need to be looking right now... that there is something else I need to do.
Sometimes it is 'easier' or 'more fruitful' for our partners. It's generally easier to find eager straight men than it is to find women. That can be hard. The best thing we can do, though, is to look at what we have and look at the opportunities within that. I've stopped thinking that to 'be' poly, I have to be dating other people. I AM poly, because I am sharing my girlfriend with other people and I support it and am still here. So now, instead of continuing my quest for another lover, I'm looking at it more like "I'm in a poly relationship - that means if I do come across someone I connect with, I am free to explore it". That gives me hope and some peace. I know that if I was mono, I would be forced to deny any future potential.
Ways to manage it:
It sounds ridiculous... after five years, you've probably done a lot of this. But... filling your time? Focussing on yourself? Every time I am not dating and my girlfriend is, I learn to become stronger, more independent, more self-sufficient. It's painful, yet feels good in the longrun. And, the cherry on my sundae is that I do have a girlfriend, who I love more than anything. You have your wife too :)
How about other ways of getting interaction, like online? I play in Utherverse, which is like Second Life, but kinkier, and these connections really take the edge off for me when I feel lonely.
The other thing is looking at your interactions with potential dates. Ask yourself honestly - after five years, are you chomping at the bit? Could you be coming across as too eager, too needy, too pushy, with new people, because you're so excited? Warning signs that this might be an issue are things like... always texting them first, continuing to contact them even if they haven't replied, being too strong with the wordage too soon ("you're amazing" "I could fall for you" after a couple of weeks, etc).
I do have one final thought. How is your wife in terms of 'overshare'? I've asked my girlfriend to keep details of her other pursuits away from my ears for a while, because I'm currently going through a tough time. She carries on blurting stuff out anyway. Over the past few days, she's told me about how much she laughed with her new guy on their date, the beach walk they had in the rain, whether she should take condoms to their date, how amazingly stunning his house is, how they had a 'nice private goodnight' in his bedroom, asked me for help picking out her date outfit, how easy and fun it is to be with him, how her biceps hurt today (i.e. after spanking him all night), how much of a rush she was getting from Top High, how she had rough sex with her husband in the morning, what she told him during sex, what he did to her, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Too. Much. Information.
Now... normally, I like to hear about her and her husband (not so much about new dates). I am aware, in myself, that I cannot handle it at the moment. We are in an LDR with 3 months together, 3 months apart. I have realised that when I am feeling neglected / loss of something / unfulfilled, envy starts to spike. I'm not having sex with my GF at the moment, because we're apart. Envy is spiked. I'm not having romantic time with her, because we are apart. Envy is spiked. Every time she tells me something, envy is spiked. This is starting to go from envy about other people being with her to envy about ME not having someone else. Why do I want someone else? Well, at the moment, it's because my needs are not being met. I feel lonely in my primary relationship; which is exasperated by the fact that her time is focused on others. It has started to make me envious that she is having these experiences, because I'm now wanting them, as a distraction from the void that I feel in our relationship.
What I mean is - I am poly in the sense that I am open. I do not NEED other relationships. When I am with my girlfriend, when things are good, sex is good, love is good, my desire for other relationships is way, way, way less urgent. I'm still open, but do not crave it. When things aren't good, sex is non-existent, she doesn't make time for me, or doesn't seem excited by me, I crave other relationships much more and feel MORE bad about struggling to find them.
So... my question to you is - is anything else going on here? Is it five years of no other dating that's getting you down, or is something triggering your envy? Do you feel lonely in your relationship? Do you feel neglected at all? Is your wife considerate? Are there any little niggles here that are getting you down and making your almost mono/poly feel worse? Does your wife make time for you, as well as her other relationships? Or is it purely, one hundred percent, that you want to experience other relationships?
I'll try some analogies that come to mind in trying to define the issue.
Imagine you were single. Your single friends had loads of dates, but you had none. Would you feel similar feelings of resentment? Possibly. What do you think would help there? Probably the last thing you would consider is ending those friendships to not have to feel the feelings. Talking to your friend about the feelings, and have them support you would maybe help some, but you would only bring it up once or maybe a few times. Definitely not regularly or every time your friend tells you about the date they had.
Another example. You and your wife both have jobs, which are just fine. Both of you feel you'd like to move to tasks that are more rewarding and challenging. She gets a promotion, and suddenly has the dream job you both wished for. She shines in her new job, which takes more of her time, but she is happier than ever. Meanwhile, years go by, and you're stuck in your old job. It is still just fine, but you feel resentful that you haven't got the break your wife got. Also, the extra hours she dedicates her new job lead you to have more time by yourself. What to do here?
With the feelings, to an extent you need to understand why you have them and accept them. You can't stop feeling resentful just by wishing you didn't. However, I think it is important to clarify to yourself what is a relationship problem and what is your problem. If you manage the feelings as a relationship problem, I think that will harm your relationship with your wife.
Partnerships are about support, so it is the right thing to do to talk with her about your feelings and let her support you. However, when it is one's actions that are the source of bad feelings to one's partner, supporting your partner is often quite taxing. Just like with friends, you wouldn't want to step on their date-stories with your bad feelings, and would have limits to how much support you seek from them - a romantic relationship is also give and take, and you need to balance the support she needs to give with also supporting her and having limits around how much you unload on her.
It is cool she is able to listen to you without feeling like she has to fix it, and it is good that (if?) you don't expect her to fix it. Because just as it would be completely unreasonable for you to wish she quit her new, amazing job just so you wouldn't have to feel like such a failure, it would be equally unreasonable for you to wish she dumped the other guys for those reasons.
I think it would help you some to try to learn, with time and practice, to frame it differently. If you had searched for a new shiny job for 5 years, and were feeling like shit about it all, what would you do? Quit the job search? Take a break? Change your circumstances? Give it less of your energy? Try to accept that it just might not happen for you? Try to find other things you enjoy?
Maybe it's time to accept that this is your life for now. Maybe, at some point, you find a partner and things will change. But this is your life. It's not on hold until you get there. So, how do you live like this and be happy? How do you change your perception or your situation so that you are more happy and satisfied and less resentful? What kind of things do you want in life? How can you pursue them? What do you want to focus on and what do you not want to dwell on? What kind of life do you want to lead, yourself? Not what you want your couple-life to be like; but what you want your life to be like? Figure it out and start moving towards it. :)
A few thoughts...
You're not "stuck" in a Vee. You willingly chose this. If you want things to happen for you, you need to be proactive. Just because that woman friend of yours stopped calling for a few days, doesn't mean you can't call her and ask her out. Don't be timid.
Have a dating profile on OKC or elsewhere? If so, is it updated regularly? Getting out and doing activities you enjoy, where you can meet people? Make sure that, when your wife is out with her other loves, you aren't just sitting home waiting for her. Got any poly groups in your area? If so, and if the people that attend seem welcoming and appealing, get active in one. Don't know if you have kids, but make sure you get a babysitter so you aren't always the one at home. Go out and meet people - the more opportunities you create, the more potential for success.
The other thing is, are you getting as much time with your wife as you need? You say she has limited time because of her other two loves, but is there some imbalance there that could use adjusting? Do you have a special day or days set aside just for you two, where it is sexy and romantic and not just the drudgery of chores and bill-paying? Do you get along with your metamours? If so, can you have any group outings? I don't mean group sex, but stuff to do together, like picnics, dinners, events, so that you won't feel so left out.
Remember that it is not a race, you don't have to find an additional partner in order to feel equal or even or fair. Your happiness in your relationship is an inside job and shouldn't depend on circumstances. Perhaps you are having trouble meeting women due to a vibe you might be giving off that says you want a partner of your own just to keep up with your wife and feel like it's all fair and even, rather than meeting someone and pursuing them simply because they're cool and you find them attractive. Don't make "being properly poly" your goal. You might be putting the cart before the horse. Have your goal be to meet people who excite and interest you, and then get to know them and see if there is a connection that can lead to more.
Hi and welcome.
I am a woman... so I can't personally fully relate. But many guys here have your problem.
Are you on ok cupid? Read our thread her titled, your latest okc messages. This will teach you how to write a GOOD profile and how to message women in a way that makes you seem attractive and irresistable!
Perhaps you're already on okc and your profile sucks. Maybe you're guilty of scattering generic one line first messages to women.
Men who have good profiles and read women's profiles and comment on the profiles get good responses. Most men just look at a hot pic and send a message: your hot want to chat?
OK, next point.
I was separated from my husband in late 2008. I was not looking for a serious partner after having been married for over 30 years (I'm no spring chicken!).
However, in early '09 I joined okc and by late January met and started to fall in love with my gf. We are still together.
I wanted a male partner as well. It took me 3 YEARS (despite being a rather attractive, horny, loving WOMAN) to find me a good guy. Goddamn, did I kiss a lot of frogs. I must have dated 30 men in those 3 years. Had some fun, some good sex, some laughs, learned a lot about my kinks, BDSM... but no one really worked out.
I'd been out of the dating loop for over 30 years... so just dating was fun enough, though getting my heart knicked a few times wasn't! However, finally, in January of this year, I met my bf. Woohoo!
This summer he came down with Lyme disease and was quite ill and unable to get together much, so after having had a 7 month break, I went back to to okc. Well! I ended up dating one loser after another, shit, it fucking sucked. Now bf is all better and I am glad to be staying away from okc again.
Anyway, my point. Make sure you are healthy in body and mind. Interesting as well as interested. Make sure your okc profile is fantastic and your first messages are wonderful and enticing.
Or, like NYCindie said, join a local irl poly group. Or any kind of hobby group.
And make sure you and your wife have a strong primary relationship, and she isn't neglecting you for her secondaries!
Good luck, dude! Chin up!
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