not poly yet,apparently. maybe next month.
i guess i write from a place of dissapointment right now. i have been exploring the concept of polyamory with my partner of 1 1/2 years, and we are deciding to table the discussion for now. she is just too upset and scared and not ready and it is all we talk about, overshadowing our whole relationship to the point where it doesn't feel the same. i myself don't know if it is for me or not, but i feel as though i need to explore it to find out for myself.
i was asked out two months ago by someone who i think is an actual decent, kind, interesting human being. i presented this to my partner at that time. unfortunate timing, maybe, as she knew i was interested in polyamory but we had not defined the parameters of our relationship yet. she freaked out, calmed down, freaked out, calmed down, etc, for quite awhile. then, she convinced me i should hang out with him and find out what his thoughts on monogamy were. he presented himself as a very open-minded person, being open to the idea of non-monogamy, and i then told him how much i liked him and what me and my partner were discussing, all with my partner's blessing. she wanted to meet him, and we all hung out together twice. she liked him, in a platonic way. she did have reservations, however, about the fact that we work together and have the chance to see each other in that environment all week. my job is temporary, for the record.
my partner and i both did alot of reading and discussing, rethought past relationships and how they could have gone smoother had polyamory been presented as an option, we began to define what would and would not be ok with us in our relationship as far as opening it up. we had some very important discussions about the intentionality of relationships, as opposed to just allowing them to slip into whatever form they do and then realize later it was a mistake. we did some very hard work together. my partner even gave her number to someone, and says that polyamory resonates with her on many levels.
a few days ago i offered that we put the discussion aside, however, because she has had panic attacks, and like i said, this topic is all we talk about, but nothing is getting better, and i would say her fear level is getting worse.she was hung up on the fact that we work together, but personally, i think that was only part of her issue. i think she is not comfortable with the idea in general, no matter where i know the person from.
i guess what i want to know is what i CAN ask of her in lieu of all this. what might be a reasonable time frame in which to bring this up again? is it a fair compromise to assume we can set limits on who is ok to date, or where we can meet people? my counselor says i am going to meet people where i spend most of my time, work is that place. what is a reasonable time frame to expect someone to know if they are ok or not with this, meaning when should i assume she is not and we have to figure out where the relationship goes from there? i don't want her to do this for me, i would want her to do this for us. and should i say something to my friend at work? i still feel very strongly for him, but he hasn't done anything innapropriate and i think he is just waiting on me, or for all i know, he gave up cuz it was two months ago that he asked me out. is it ok to hang out with him or will it be like leading him on? i feel as though i should forget about him.
any kind advice welcome. i feel very lonely in all of this.
Sorry to hear it's been a struggle so far. I have had the exact same thing happen with my gf at the time. She was open to it, and wanted to try it, but started harming herself (scratching skin open) during her sleep. It seems that sometimes even if a person wants to do something, the subconcious does not allow it. I know these are trying times, and you will need to find your own answers. Try to focus on eachother and the love you have, that is all that matters. The rest, go gradually, keep your partner first at all times. You don't want to loose her over this or have her constantly hurting. Baby steps - Love first.
When opening up a relationship, you can wrangle out the details in any fashion you see fit. If that involves restrictions on where to meet people or veto power over potential partners and so on, then that's what it involves. There's no requirement to be binary--everything goes or nothing goes--about your relationships! It's only going to work if everybody can operate with some degree of comfort and security.
As for the man who asked you out, well, why haven't you explained to him what's going on? He deserves the same sort of openness as your partner. If there is a potential relationship there, beginning it by not communicating what's happening is not a good start.
Being lonely is no fun at all… hang in there! I hope this kind of thing helps…
As far as what you can ask of her and what time frame? There are 2 basic and very smart poly rules that in the last couple of years could have spared my loved ones and myself a whoopin’ lot of pain and hardship;
#1) always be open and honest to everyone involved about everything, and
#2) DON’T DO ANYTHING unless everyone is accepting, good and comfortable with it.
Yes, #2 means you may not get what you want…
I think when we love someone, we are prone to give sometimes even more that we really are able to, and that is not healthy. Maybe your partner has been doing this? But she sounds like she is suffering, and so it is not caring or loving of you to let it go on, eh? So bravo to you for saying you want to put it aside for now! And assuming that you value this relationship, and that you DO NOT want to break up with her, the reasonable thing to do is to put the breaks on completely until she feels different. But above all, don’t take your partner and your relationship for granted. For me, in the chaos of falling in love with my friend, and then lying about it and then becoming increasingly detached, I took my wife for granted, and then I just fucked it all up real bad. My wife said “go ahead and be friends”, and I did that and more. She tried to be accepting and tolerant, but meanwhile had panic attacks, etc…. and Ijust kept doing what I did.... What was I thinking? (that is another conversation!) I care about her so much and yet I was able to do this, I was horrible. It was a really bad feeling for her (still is) that I, the person who loves her, could let her have panick attacts!
And I was just talking to my wife about this as I write you. She made the point about how the water just keeps going under the bridge, and then things about your previously wonderful and life affirming trust is broken. This should give anyone in a good relationship a real stomach ache.
And I agree with SeventhCrow, you should be open and honest with your friend. Your friend would probably want to know all the facts, the better for him to know how to choose, act, be supportive, and remain your friend. My friend, I left her in the dark on some details, as I feared I would scare her away. When she found out much later that I was not including her with the facts, she was right to resent my choices. She genuinely cared about my wife and family, and she was having her own hard-enough time making the right choices for herself and us. But this just compounded it, made it all worse. Be totally honest with your friend too. May you always be at least friends.
It sounds like you are smarter and more along a healthy poly-way than I was at such important crossroads. I offer the above in the spirit of being supportive, as I get the lonely feeling. It is nice to have found sites like this to talk. I hope this helps!
I am very sorry to hear you are going through this. The one thing I can say is I had to break up a 5 year relationship because the person I was with would not allow me an open relationship. It was heart-breaking but I had to do it for myself at the time. I hope that you can work out a good compromise and stay together. take care.
Hey, Blackdog... was enjoying reading your post but found it very challenging because of the lack of paragraph breaks in your formatting. I think we're able to edit our own posts and I'd like it if you could insert paragraph breaks so your post will be easier to read. Thanks.
I presume from what you have written that you're bisexual. (That may be reading too much in, since some polaymorous folks apparently have intensely romantic
yet non-sexual relationships with lovers with whom they don't get naked and wriggle.)
I, myself, am bi-, so if you're bi-, well we have that in common.
I'd say you should go ahead with your exploration of friendship with the guy who asked you out. There is *never* a reasonable excuse for a partner wigging out and being so controlling that he/she prevents you or anyone from exploring profound friendship. Period.
Out of curiosity, what sex are you?
You don't have to rush into anything between the sheets with this friend.
I hate to admit it, but sometimes I am the person having the panic attacks. Not so much any more. but when our girlfriend first came into our lives the physical attraction was very strong from the start between my husband and her. I instantly felt threatened that I would be replaced by her or someone else.
I was insecure with my own self worth. I felt like he is such a great man, how did I manage to get him and then thoughts like: what if he falls in love with her and leaves me? Or what if he likes the way she treats him better than I do and leaves me? Or she says she isn't going to take him from me but what if he decides he wants to leave me no matter if it's for her or someone else he hasn't met yet?, raced through my mind for the first month on our poly relationship. It was only the open, honest communication that saved the day.
We talk about everything together and have worked out most of those initial issues that ac cured when we really began being poly. I had to really embrace the fact that being poly really does mean being in love with multiple people that you are devoted to and not meeting people to replace the one you have. I still have some tiny bought s of insecurity and have to be reassured by my loves that I am wanted and not a third wheel. We each need one on one time with each partner in turn, beyond just having us all in bed together. She is truly a friend and a lover to both of us and I don't have the fears of him not wanting me any more and leaving me.
I could have lived without enduring the initial panic I had but I have learned from it. I know what it's like to want to do something and then emotions get the best of me and cause me to panic. It's been a journey for me and I like to think I'm much more mature and better able to handle the challenges that come with this lifestyle.
First of all, table the new partner you're considering. Walk away from that. It's like the sword of Damocles hanging over your relationship. Your current partner can't be expected to have a reasonable discussion about anything under those conditions.
Second, tell your partner about this. Tell her you're walking away from that, and tell her why. Reassure her that you do not hold this against her or blame her in any way. (Do I need to say that you actually shouldn't hold it against her or blame her? Because you shouldn't.)
Third, spend as long as it takes talking about this in a no-pressure environment. Make it pure theory. There's not an outside lover waiting to be brought into the situation. There's not even anyone you have in mind. It's all about what she feels, what you feel, what each of you wants out of the relationship. Define your parameters. Let this take as long as it takes. Don't fixate on it, or focus on it, or let it consume you. Bring it up occasionally, and if she needs to think, let her think. As long as it takes. No pressure.
It took my wife more than seven years to be okay with an open relationship, and almost six months to establish exactly what we wanted and needed from each other. We couldn't have lasted that long if I had pressured her, or lined up prospects to jump into my bed the second I got a green light. Indeed, she claimed to be onboard a couple times when she really wasn't... just to see what I'd do. You have to recognise when your partner isn't really onboard, and keep waiting.
I don't suggest that you should necessarily be willing to wait seven and a half years for your partner to get on board. But be aware that your partner needs to come to this in her own time. If she's not ready, pushing and pressuring her will not make her ready. Whatever she wants and needs to be okay with this, that's the price you have to pay for it. Maybe the price is too high. Maybe it's "cheaper" to stay monogamous. Maybe it's cheaper still to end that relationship. But in the end, each of you still has to pay what the other asks... so it's a good idea for both of you to really know what that is before you sign on the dotted line.
cats dead screeching
or nails across a chalk board is what some of the advice given sounds like, so I figured, since the dates are all off anyway, might as well offer another point of view
just in case someone other than the OP comes reading through and thinks "Hey that sounds like my situation, maybe trying what those forum people said will work for me?"
Since technically, the OP never did come back and post again or even read any responses, technically my response will be just as non-affecting as the others
for the OP
for any future readers I should point out that good grammar doesn't always equal sound advise.
Perhaps this will help (because it really is always situational)
While I do subscribe to the "exponential backoff" technique, it is not something that is a permanent route to take, is intended to be a remedy to keep couples together during the transition and after in regards to the opening up of a previously monogamous relationship.
I would stress that it is not meant to work for every couple, what it is intended to do is prevent transitioning couples from doing irreparable damage during the transition. From my perspective, many relationships that do not survive could have actually made it through, and my advice is geared towards keeping those relationships intact, than are capable of remaining intact
because once you and your SO have decided non-monogamy is a avenue you are going to use during this journey of life, there is no point in suffering through trying to go down this road together, if you don't have the right tools to come out together on the other side
you might as well break up now and save yourself the agony
just make sure you keep your eyes open and observe, because you can learn a lot from other people's mistakes, and the first thing you'll notice in real life is, that poly people are not any more knowledgeable about what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship than your run of the mill mono
so don't go buying into anybody's patented system.
In general, a SO will not deal well with non-monogamy sprung on them when you already have someone in mind. And that is not something that you will be able hide, but that shouldn't really matter as if the relationship you are already in is really healthy enough to survive the monogamy to non-monogamy transition, your SO will know about all your crushes because people really do share their lives with their spouses or bf/gf as that is what people who care for and enjoy each other's company, do.
So to those of you who bring up "poly" after the guy at work asks you out, just know that you can pretty much kiss that potential "other" good bye, as it will cost you your previously existing relationship.
Blackdog however, from their writing, has informed us that they had been discussing polyamory for over a year.
This is not a case of springing polyamory on your partner because you met someone that you think you like, or worse that you just want to fuck, because if that is the case you had better inform your partner that it is just about sex in which case "casual sex" is what you are looking for,
in any event, you need to do some serious thinking about what you know you want in your life, because if you are not sure and you cannot be 100% completely honest with your partner, trying any form of non-monogamy will destroy your relationship, doesn't matter if your just a glory holer or want to be sister wives poly, when you love someone or someone is in love with you, any close friendships outside of the relationship will tend to cause problems, often it doesn't even need to include a sexual aspect, dishonesty is enough by itself to destroy any serious relationship.
Take however long you need to figure out if you need to be unrestricted in your love for others, and if you are sure you need to be in any kind of an open relationship (even if it is only with two people and no more) you need to be blunt with your girlfriend, and ask her if it is because of work, or if it is the whole idea and she will find a reason every time
If she says really does want to go down the non-monogamy road, and she seriously is having panic attacks even when you are very patient, considerate, and always practicing loving caring behavior, then she needs to see a counselor and will probably need a prescription for valium, because if that doesn't work you will need to respectfully end the relationship
Personally I find that most people who should first try being honest with themselves before pretending to need valium, but most are adamant they are living as honest as they absolutely can, and to be honest, very rarely is it the case that they are being honest with you, which translates to you having to leave them if you want to have healthy relationships
Decide whether you need to be intimately involved with more than one, but do it responsibly, if she can't handle it you will have to decide to give up intimacy with others, or else leave her, but either way, if you practice honesty, whatever you choose will be the right answer.
I sense sarcasm CDark, if so, why?
So Dirtclustit, it seems from your post that you're perfectly aware that this is an ancient thread, and pretty much all the participants, including the one you're most directly responding too have long since moved on,....
So in case anyone else comes along and reads this thread, this is known as Necroposting, and unless there's going to be extreme value added or a really compelling reason to do so, it's not recommended.
The thread was well enough as it was. Let it rest. On that note.....LOCKED.
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