That 'initial' poly discussion
I'd like to start a thread that maybe will draw out some experiences and wisdom from others that may help many people get over that initial step easier.
This happened to be prompted by an intro post I just read and got me thinking. It's such a common struggle and is an area that is so critical to navigate as best possible if the prospects going forward can evoke as little pain and hardship as possible.
How do you open the discussion of what polyamory really is and how to live it with your SO who is either 'wired mono' (if this is real) or has just never had the slightest exposure to the whole thought train and philosophy.
I can only offer up my (my mate & I) experience as a starter.
Although I was 'always' poly minded - or a least since I took the time as a teenager to put some serious thought and study into what the word (and actions) 'Love' really meant. The monogamous model - to my naturally analytical mind - just was full of cracks and what appeared unrealistic expectations. Seemed doomed to struggle and failure in a majority of cases.
The fact that the girl that eventually became my mate was married to my best friend for a time before eventually being forced to deal with the connection we had, seemed to subject me to a 'test' of my theory. Test passed with flying colors. Never any real jealousy - just acceptance.
Now.............many years later, her first test.
Via a what most would call a 'swinging' connection (we dabbled in that a bit when the mood struck both being highly sexual people), a woman appeared who I discovered a strong connection with. Accompanied with the typical NRE etc. It became obvious that there was more there between us than sex.
At the point this was becoming obvious - my mate approaced me with the killer question.
"Do you love her?"
After a moment's consideration on what the correct answer to that question was, I decided that this was the time to cross this bridge once & for all. The answer was "yes". And this of course led to months of exploration of what that word REALLY meant. And a lot of painful struggle. Because of complication on my mates end, as well as new girl's husbands, we eventually had to have a painful break for the good of the masses (families, mates etc). Painful as it was, we both agreed it was the "right" choice for the greatest good.
You see, my mate, despite the open, free environment (sexually) we were raised in, was still very programmed about what the concept of 'love' meant between two people. The programming specified pairing as the only 'real' definition of what most refer to as 'romantic' love. In that model there simply was no space for more than two ! The concept that if there was anything less than lifelong infatuation (NRE) between two people, it meant the 'love' wasn't real. This was/is the foundation of that belief system.
Crash, smash ! Belief system is pieces. Crisis. Chaos. Pain.
It took time. And lots of learning & analyzing. Identifying the source of the belief system (programming).
But yes - we got there. So much stronger and so much more loved. Our relationship moved to a whole different level. Much clearer understanding of what our 'connection' REALLY is - and what it would - and should-mean to us in the future.
But that's our story..............
How have any/all of you shined the light into that dark tunnel with your otherwise unsuspecting partner ?
What words and resources have you used to explain what was a complex revelation to them that was so simple to you ?
Maybe this can help others yet to cross that bridge ?
I think that it depends on the circumstances….Wifey and I were having sexual interactions with women some time after our NRE came to a plateau. I was enjoying myself. One of our friends with benefits was at our house and I asked her just hypo if her family or spiritual beliefs would prevent her from being our girlfriend…..we talked about this at length (the three of us….) That relationship didn’t work because she wasn’t into women…”it was just Wifey” but really she was being with me through Wifey…but that is another story…..
Our current girlfriend our sweet sweet Nik….We just told her that if we was to ever have another girlfriend that she would be it she had already had some knowledge about poly because we had all been together sexually …she had just gotten out of a 5 year lez relationship and her and I had had a connect from our teenage days…so it just all fit…..we talked about how much of a challenge it would be and we ran with it…so far we have been through a lot but we are all very much in love with each other…and the bad stuff was all worth it…
Well, being in my situation, it's a difficult answer to answer. Unlike the two previous post, my husband and I have never previously discussed anything other than a "christian" lifestyle. A few years ago, I cam out and told him i have ssa's and was considering having a gf. We have been married 10 years but have been together since I was 15. He was shocked and has still not definatively answered the "question" or explained what he thought.
After researching the LGBTQ community and knowing what i was looking for, another married women to have a relationship with and not just play or swing with. I decided i wanted someone who would eventually meet my daughter and my husband, maybe go on vacations with us and be "family". my daughter would treat her like an aunt etc. i would do the same for her family. So I realized, this sounds poly. So i started researching polyamorous ny. and joined as many groups as i could find and trying to learn as much as possible.
I'm a straight forward person so I totally told him, right away I was considering a poly lifestyle. He still hasnt said anything but i fully intend on this. I am open and honest.. soo i just flat out told him. but currently i'm still in "limbo". I think he thinks because i haven't had any interactions with anyone who's poly OR bi, it's not really going to happen. I think he's put it on the back burner, but we'll see.
this probably didn't provide the desired outcome some may wish for, so maybe my method of just flat out telling your so isn't the best, lol.
I flat out told him.
But it was after I'd had an affair.
I HAD explained my understanding of love to him-which is different than his MANY TIMES prior to that.
He already KNEW I was in love with GG before this came to a head.
I think my way SUCKED.
Ironically-in going through old letters (from 1992 to current) that GG saved, I was talking ABOUT this lifestyle from that point on. But I didn't know what it was called. I thought there was something wrong with me.
I went into a LOT of detail explaining to GG that I just couldn't be his woman BECAUSE I "knew" he would want a wife, family, white picket fence and I knew I just could NOT commit to that.
I figured out I was bi in 1992 or 1993. I'm not sure WHICH-I could go look it up, but it's not important.
I honestly gave in to marriage because Maca gave me an ultimatum. It was dumb. I shouldn't have. It was devastating for BOTH of us and many other people too.
I DO love Maca.
I DO believe we are meant to be together.
But by giving in to his ultimatum for marriage-I compromised my beliefs, "sold my soul to the devil" so to speak. It ruined me. After years of falling apart, I got low enough to have an affair and couldn't seem to drag my ass out of the quicksand sucking me down.
When I finally figured out that the key to getting out of the quicksand was to lay flat and still.... I wrote Maca and letter explaining (we do better if we write, read, think, then talk) and waited for him to read and talk to me. He got shitfaced drunk and passed out.....
The rest is blogged on here.
I was raised that telling the truth up front is always a hundred times better than getting caught in a lie. so i didn't tell him right away. I couldn't even understand why i was attractive so sexually to this lady. after researching and speaking with other lgbt women, married women, and bi's i realized oh jeez, i really was attracted to her. it was funny to think i couldn't believe i was attracted to her...lol. I shocked myself!
anyway, i think the positive thing of doing it this way and being completely upfront about what im researching, thinking, planning, as created a tiny little bit of trust. but its still a slooooow process for us, i guess. luckily for the "adjustment period" there's noooo poly ladies married bi ladies anywhere near me...lol....so it hasn't come up...beyond my attractions for some straight women..lol.
very interesting. wow.
I'm a huge promoter of upfront, honesty.
Learned the hard way. :(
I can't remember exactly... We had a number of discussions over about two years (I think), until in the end I met someone, and everything was more concrete and simple then.
It helped a lot that he fell in love with someone else too after a point, and switched from "I don't think that would ever work for me" to "wait, I'm poly too!"
It was hard at first though. He did take it personally. I think the fact that we stayed together showed him that it wasn't about him. Meeting someone helped him understand my feelings, too, so that was really good, even if it didn't turn out in the end.
Monogamy is so strongly programmed and anything different so strongly condemned in culture that I think it's unrealistic to have "the talk" with anyone you're seriously monogamously dating and expect a positive result. I've tried that--- many times, dating someone, deciding to get serious, and then having "the talk." It has not worked. If your partner doesn't know anything about poly already, and has never thought of venturing into unexplored romantic territory themselves, and a serious partner starts talking to them about it, it will feel to them that they are being broadsided.
I tried having mono relationships after college, but they were not for me, and "the talk," no matter how it was approached, was death to what should have been serious relationships. So I made a decision not to date anyone who wasn't already poly or otherwise responsibly nonmonogamous, or at least have the talk before any dating occurred (and then only if the other person seemed genuinely interested in the idea). I wasn't willing to settle for monogamy, and I saw that I was hurting people by having relationships with them when their expectations were so radically different. This policy worked out well so far.
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