Easier said than done... and girl talk
Hi folks. I haven't posted in a while but I have been reading posts. I figured I didn't need to start a topic unless I really needed some outside views. Well here's my question. I have heart failure. No worries, I'm working on getting better. My primary and I have been together for over two years. We discussed getting married last summer(before I got sick). We planned (not really planned but told ourselves we would get hitched...) to get married sometime this summer (2010) if all went well and we still liked each other. Well summer is almost over, we still like each other and our polyness is doing well. We both have relationships we are working on outside of our union. My guy has been getting to know a girl he met two years ago at school and I am actually making progress with a man I have known for five years. Everything is great. Well, everything except my medical problems and this new issue I have. I don't have insurance, never really had it. My guy and I have been paying my medical bills as they come.
If I were to marry my guy I would have coverage. Not sure how much but definitely more than none. Last month I was hit with a new problem related to my heart. We both looked at each other and said "hey, being married could really help with the insurance problem". So I am planning on going to the courts within the next month or so to become Mrs. My Guy. Now, before you get worried, we do love each other very much and we have been living together almost as long as we have been dating, so no worries about 'rushing in' and 'do they know what they are getting themselves into?'. We actually never cared about being married before because we didn't feel the need to do so. This last year has shown us how we can make that little slip of paper work in our favor (and I'm totally turning into a girl about it all. I get giggly just thinking about any type of wedding plans because it's been stamped into my female brain :p )
My problem is my outside relationship. Poly, for me, has been a long emotional trip. It started about five or six years ago... because of this one boy. I was in a mono relationship when I met him. We became friends slowly. I always had feelings for him from the moment we first met. He also felt the same. He was just too young and I wasn't completely settled with myself. I knew we could not be together at the time. There was also the issue of my anti-poly partner. He was open to my poly ways but only verbally. We could talk about all he wanted but when I tried to get the ball rolling he would lock up and things just didn't last.
Well, the boy and I grew apart for a while. I moved across the country and he had his own life to live. Here we are years later. He's older, I'm (dare I say) wiser, and we still have the same strong feelings for each other. This boy has been against any poly ideas in the past and that was fine with me. He was young (still is) and he needed to experience things his way before he could understand me. I was never pushy or mean to him. I kept my distance when he needed it and we both dealt with our feelings the best way we could.
I have been in contact with him again. Since he is older he has gotten used to me being with my current guy. We skype and chat during the week and he is getting comfortable with the idea that my my guy will not kill him just because he likes me (my ex hated this boy because he knew how I felt about him and the ex was never nice to him). My guy likes the boy well enough. They haven't really gotten a chance to meet. The boy and I have decided to finally meet again (it's been three long years since I've seen him in person).
In October I will make a trip to his town. He lives a few hours away. We are both very excited about it. It will be the first time we have been left alone since we met. Also, it will be the first time the boy has a chance to freely express his feelings for me. He knows how my guy feels and he knows that "I'm allowed" to be with him. I'm not cheating on my guy by being with him.
As I mentioned before the boy is young so all of this poly stuff is still new to him.
Okay after all that back story, here's my question: The boy will have some problems with the idea of me being married to my guy. How do I talk to the boy about this with out scaring him away... again? Almost two years ago when the boy found out about my guy and I he got upset with me. He did not know I was dating again until he read it on that evil thing called facebook. He thought that I'd get into a relationship with him once I was free from my ex. We didn't talk for a few months because he was upset and I was tired of holding his hand and trying to hide things from him. I learned that I had to be open to him completely if he was ever going to get to know the real me. Since then, in the past year and a half we have been talking more and working on our relationship. I finally feel as if we are getting somewhere.
I don't want to mess it up again. I know that if I could get the boy to understand that a slip of paper saying I'm married to one man is not going to change our relationship, he would be able to handle it better. But how do you tell someone this? Easier said then done.
And my guy mentioned that I should tell him soon. To avoid another problem like the one I had two years ago... after the boy found out about me dating again. I know telling him now is right, but how can I make it not hurt and confuse him?
any advise... have you guys dealt with this before?
...and if you have any questions shoot. I know it's a long confusing story.
My perspective may be somewhat different than many. I guess we'll see :)
But I picked up a couple clues from your post that I think are important.
To ME, 'marriage' is largely (if not completely) a legal contract, and should be treated as such. The reasons you mention (primarily) hint at the fact you recognize this also. Your need of insurance coverage (given your condition) and considering marriage as one possible way to obtain this realistically is not unethical in my mind. If your SO and you are completely on the same page regarding this then it makes sense to me. But I would also suggest you take it one step further and put together a good pre-nup agreement you both are comfortable with as part of this. It's well worth the minimal time & effort required. And it can give you both a stronger sense of comfort knowing that you have ironed out some of the potential dirty laundry in advance.
As to the other love (?) interest. I think you used a key word (multiple times).
The term 'boy'. And it sounds like he is exactly that.
My thought is that you can't be risking your health & happiness by trying to have your cake and eat it too - especially if the cake isn't 'done' yet.
You may have to decide to toss that back in the oven and see about testing it later. Not smart to suffer malnutrition - or worse - waiting for the cake to rise to the need.
And if you need more sustenance I'm sure there's a numbers of 'bakeries' not far away where the cakes are ready.
Make sense ?
Somebody mentioned handfasting in another thread, and this made me think of a possible solution to your issue.
In my mind, the problem with poly and a marriage certificate is, only one relationship can have that piece of paper around these parts. The handfasting ceremony, in contrast, can be used for however many people you are committing to. For myself, once I've found someone I'd like to 'marry', I would like to consider a handfasting ritual as being the 'real marriage', and the legal marriage to me would be solely about the benefits (and drawbacks) of the legal status.
You are worried about the boy in your life feeling shut out by the marriage certificate. This type of handfasting approach might ease that fear.
And as a side note, there's a bit of danger in marrying for the legal benefits unless it's crystal clear that both of you really are choosing to marry to demonstrate your commitment. I had two friends who married for citizenship. They were involved, and they may have chosen to marry for real in another year or two. But I think it was very hard for them both to let their relationship keep progressing naturally once they were legally married, and this tension seemed like a key reason behind their eventual breakup. Your situation sounds a bit different, so this may not be applicable.
And for that matter, I won't be surprised or offended if this whole post sounds like crazy talk to you! ;)
I think you're going to have to bite the bullet and tell your boy, gently but firmly, that you're getting married, that you are doing it intentionally and with a lot of forethought, and that you are doing it NOT ONLY for the medical benefits but also because you love your guy and want to be committed to him. Explain poly, if you haven't already, and reiterate that you love your boy, too, and that your relationship with him won't change. I think you're going to have to take the chance that he will run away again. I think that it's really important that you get those benefits, as medical bills can quickly pile up! And really, it's kind of misleading your boy to let him think that you aren't committed to your guy, like you might be misleading him by not telling him that you intend to marry your guy, whenever that marriage might be planned.
Thanks so much for the feed back. I know I need to do the right thing and tell the boy. Also, GS, the pre nup idea is something that I totally forgot about thanks for that. I will need to take care of it this week. Me and my guy are commited to each other and ready to take our relationship to the next level so I am really happy about getting married. I spoke with the boy last night. I asked how he was feeling about things (our reatinship/friendship) he told me that he wasn't sure but he does understand my choice to be poly. He mentioned not wanting to change me and forcing me to be unhappy by choosing him and a mono relationship. I told him that I also did not want him to change for me. I let him know that if he finds a nice person to be with that he should take that chance and stop waiting around for me because I'm not going back to my old mono ways. We both agreed that we have a better understanding of each other now. I'm not worried anymore that he'll run off and not be my friend anymore. On a side note I asked him if the fact that I am going to be poly and stay with my guy will be a problem if I want to come visit him (We are both sure there will be sexually stuff on a visit). He told me it wouldn't bother him and he'd be just fine as long as my guy is okay with it (he is). I guess we are taking baby steps. At least I can say that I've been completely honest with him this time around. He doesn't have any false hopes. We may only end up being good firends (again) ad I'm okay with that. Oh, and for groundedspirit, here's some ages: I'm 28, my guy is 38, and the boy is 22. I met the boy when he was 16. We have spent all these years going back and forth with our feelings, each of us trying to make things fall in to place. This is the first time things have actually been enjoyable for him, me, and the other people involved (my guy).
So, thank you again for the help guys.
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