First post - Confusing Dynamics
This is my limited experience with polyamory. I'm curious to hear an objective opinion on the matter.
We are in our mid twenties. I was a husband of 3 years with a six month old son. We were monogamous, living in the country in a cabin I built by hand. We gave birth to our son by ourselves in the bathtub. Some would call us hippies. I call myself self-sufficient. Anyway, "Jennifer", my wife, explained to me one day that it has always been in her nature to want to have multiple partners, that she couldn't be happy having sex with only one person for the rest of her life, and that she feels that having the freedom to express affection in a responsible way to whomever she wills, is the best path for her. With extreme reluctance and tooth pulling, I accepted this. I worked hard to get over my jealous feelings and possessive behavior. She went on dates, had sex with other men. I even watched it happen. Do that which disturbs, to understand all facets of life, right? Then, at the same time, we both met people that we fell in love with. She met "Mark", and I met "Nancy". At this time we are also living with my best friend and "spiritual life partner", "Michael". Then I got fired from my job. It was a huge turning point. We wanted o go out and experience the world. Travel. We felt done with the rat-race and wanted to rebel in the face of the monogamous society we'd grown up with. At this time, Nancy bought a school bus that had been converted into a cozy little home. We jumped on the opportunity and have been living out of it ever since. So there we were, all of us trying to accommodate each others feelings and desires. Sleeping situations were a nightmare to figure out. No one was happy, so Jennifer went to Mexico with Mark to travel and be away for a while. This left me with my best friend and Nancy to take care of my son on some 65 acres of wilderness in the country. Then a few months later Jennifer made her way back to Oregon without Mark, as he stayed in Mexico to travel more. This is where shit hit the fan. In this temporary polygamy, she didn't feel special anymore. My time had to be split. My affection split. I was constantly walking on egg shells, and unsuccessfully at that. It was dramatic and uncomfortable for everyone involved. So, Jennifer left again for California. Now, in retrospect, she feels that it was a mistake to open our marriage, and that she wants to be with me as a life partner that considers her primary. She now says she wants monogamy and has learned her lesson. With half bitterness and spite due to the crap I went through in the beginning of our relationship, and half staying true to the path that I, WE, set out on, I could not commit to monogamy again just for her sake. It's ironic and sad to feel like you are losing the love of your life over philosophical ideals of freedom.
that sucks. unfortunately your basic situation is not that uncommon.
you don't seem to be asking any questions, so i am going to tell you in short order what my first thought was upon reading your post:
"Just wait 'til this guy's wife meets the next guy she wants to get with. Suddenly it's gonna be all, 'But - but i was HURT and CONFUSED because i had just lost MARK [that's was the other guy's name, right? Mark? ipod, lazy, etc...], and I had to share YOU with someone ELSE [can't remember the other lady's name], and I had no one to BE with while you two were together, etc. etc. and i just didn't know what else to DO. But now I'm older and wiser and i won't change my mind again. I just NEED to TRY once more... I KNOW that with the RIGHT PERSON this can work... etc."
Of course, by "the right person", she means the right person for HER. If YOU were to find another girlfriend and jennifer's relationship goes south again, it's gonna be all, "Wah! I have to SHARE you! I don't WANNA!" again.
I'm also concerned about her parenting. She just up and leaves her infant son while she goes gallivanting around Mexico with her boyfriend? At this point, the child will have started to bond with Nancy. Sure, he'll get over it, he's still young. But Jennifer can't just keep coming in and out of his life on her whims. A child needs more commitment and stability than that.
She seems to have problems living with the consequences of her decisions. You don't get to just blow up everyone's world, and then when the dust finally settles, come in with a leaf blower and mess it all up again. She needs to pick a path and stay on it. I would just tell her that this situation is of her own creation, and that she needs to learn to accept that you're with Nancy, and that she can either join in the party or go off on her own path. BG's probably right that as soon as she meets some new person, or just plain gets restless, she'll be trying to change the rules a third time. You have the choice whether to allow that or not.
My first thought was that asking for an unbiased opinion regarding poly on a poly board was probably not going to work. We're all biased. :)
I agree with the other posters.
It's a bizarre irony that my stepbrother is going through similar. His wife wanted to open the marriage when SHE was interested in being with other men, but when he found another woman she went bonkers-and now they are divorcing.
As the person who asked to open my marriage (after a whole lotta f'ing up on my part);
I've always felt it's also my responsibility to set the tone of TAKING RESPONSIBILITY TO LIVE UP TO GIVING THAT WHICH I HAVE REQUESTED.
It's not always easy.
Last winter was a nightmare when my husband attempted to start a relationship with a brat. (if you want the long version-there's a thread all about it). His previous girlfriend of 2 years had been no problem-this one was a brat.
HOWEVER-it was still my place to ATTEMPT to work with it. It did reach a conclusion-his concluding that she was a brat and that wasn't going to fly. But-it wasn't my place to tell him I was done with monogamy over all of that.
I think she has some decisions to make and my first concern would be what the hell is she doing galavanting around the world without concern for her parental duties.
I have kids. I am poly. I don't allow my romantic aspirations to be an excuse for neglecting my duties.
THAT INCLUDES working with my spouse (or ex spouse if it came to that) in regards for caring for our children. PERIOD.
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