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-   -   Not sure how to feel (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37537)

Villo 01-16-2013 09:15 PM

Not sure how to feel
 
How did you handle the first time your spouse told you they were in love with another person? We've been married three years and together for nine. No kids. Started exploring open relationships and polyamory because of BDSM. She wanted to be able to be physical with other people in her play. Now she believes her orientation is polyamorous. The guy she's with is really nice, but has not told his wife that he is in love with my wife. So many things going through my head. She basically has said accept her for all this or leave. I do love her and want to keep my marriage. I don't want to be dramatic about it, but I just don't know how to feel. My mantra so far is just let her do what she wants and if it comes down to me not wanting this lifestyle then I'll be honest with her. So confusing...

skyfire322 01-17-2013 08:20 AM

I went through a similar situation as you, Villo. It isn't very comforting when things start off weird. My girlfriend and I were monogamous for five years, and then started exploring just two years ago. At first, I was against the idea, but after research and thinking, I started to accept it more and more. I think (for me, so I can't speak for anyone else here) setting a few ground rules is a good way to start, just so you can both meet in the middle. To give you one example, my girlfriend and I agreed that it shouldn't be an excuse to sleep with anyone they want. If she is attracted to someone, and something happens, have the respect to say something about it BEFORE anything happens.

There are three main things that MUST happen in a poly relationship. Trust, respect, and communication. These three things are crucial to keeping a polyamorous relationship strong. Even if one party has the tiniest doubt, it should be mentioned to the other parties involved. I personally don't like the "If you don't like it, tough cookies. I'm doing it anyways." That's a big stress in and of itself. I personally believe that once you vent, and lay everything out on the table, a lot of that stress will be lifted off your shoulders, and you put the ball in THEIR court. "What's meant to be, is meant to be."

Keep your chin up, Villo! PM me at anytime if you need to vent. :)

GalaGirl 01-17-2013 02:02 PM

This part
Quote:

My mantra so far is just let her do what she wants and if it comes down to me not wanting this lifestyle then I'll be honest with her.
Is very sane/generous of you. I hope she appreciates that. It is also self-respecting because you are prepared to honestly tell her "Not for me" if it gets to that place.

This bit...

Quote:

She basically has said accept her for all this or leave. I do love her and want to keep my marriage. I don't want to be dramatic about it, but I just don't know how to feel.
...sounds less than supportive from her depending on HOW it was said. You seem upset/confused, so I assume the way she said it was.... off?

Maybe you could ask her for a clarify? Something like...
"Hon, I love you. I do accept you as you are. I don't want to be all dramatic about it, but could you see where this changes our life? Calendar management, time spent with each other? Practical stuff is going to change here. I want to get a handle on it all.

I'm going to need some digestion time and support from you in the adjustment phase. I'm prepared to talk, sort it out, and try to support you in the adjustment phase. I don't find an adjustment phase strange or feeling a bit lost during it unreasonable in the circumstances.

But telling me to "like it or leave" like that feels like you not valuing me. Or my willingness to be here in a new thing with you and learn it. Or my willingness to be a partner in creating this new thing where your wants and needs and limits will be respected. And my wants and needs and limits will be heard and respected too.

When you say "like it or leave it" I feel like I'm just along for the ride to you and not a valued partner. Is that how you mean to be? Did I misunderstand? Am I not communicating my questions and concerns ok? "
Just so much easier to get the clarify, if she's willing to give it. Maybe she's all anxious and she reacted or something? It's early days and there is lots to sort so go easy and breathe. You can sort one baby step at a time. You don't have to do it all in RUSH.

Could these two help in your talks?

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im..._Polyamory.pdf
http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im...lationship.pdf

Hang in there.

Galagirl

AnnabelMore 01-17-2013 04:21 PM

I don't have much time to comment at the moment, but I wanted to say that there are some great essays and tips at www.morethantwo.com that you both may find useful. Best of luck!

Villo 01-17-2013 08:38 PM

Thanks everyone. Your words and resources help a lot. Taking this slow and communicating everything is the way I'm going. I want to get to a good place with this and even explore it more myself. It's just a lot right now and with no sounding boards personally this was a great help.

Marcus 01-18-2013 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 178747)
...sounds less than supportive from her depending on HOW it was said. You seem upset/confused, so I assume the way she said it was.... off?

The "I'm going to live my life, if you want to be a part of it you need to be on board" conversation can be a tough one. This includes if she said it in a VERY constructive and emotionally sensitive fashion.

However, that type of statement in my life is absolutely paramount. CV told me once that the only real deal breaker he will not overlook in his relationships is someone demanding that he leave IV (presumably to become monogamous with them). Everything else is technically negotiable. He went on to clarify that they need to be more than "ok" with his lifestyle. If they are simply enduring the fact that he will not be monogamous with them, that is not enough.

In order to be in an intimate and romantic relationship with someone our core worldview on interpersonal relationships need to be compatible. Meaning, I live my life by right (not permission) and anyone who is going to be an integral part of my personal life needs to be able to embrace this part of me. It is such a fundamental part of how we relate to other humans that it can't simply be something that is endured or ignored. My autonomy is sacred to me and if someone cannot be completely on board with that... they need to hit the road.

Trying to explain that to someone I have been monogamous for a number of years is going to cause some hurt feelings, no matter how I say it. But in the end it is a fundamental truth and it is better to get it out in the open early.

Villo 01-20-2013 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 179105)
The "I'm going to live my life, if you want to be a part of it you need to be on board" conversation can be a tough one. This includes if she said it in a VERY constructive and emotionally sensitive fashion.

...

Trying to explain that to someone I have been monogamous for a number of years is going to cause some hurt feelings, no matter how I say it. But in the end it is a fundamental truth and it is better to get it out in the open early.

Thanks Marcus. I realize I can't compare what we have to what she has with her friend. What we have was built over a longer period of time and lots of experiences with each other. In the end I am happier with her, and if this is what she needs to do to be happy now, then I just let her explore it. I've told her I'm not happy with the fact that she loves someone else now, but its important to her. The fact that I don't have immediate feelings that everything is over kind of shows me that I could be OK with living this way. It's nothing that we figure out today but through time.


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