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-   -   can you overcome mono/poly differences? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4230)

booklady78 11-16-2010 06:35 AM

can you overcome mono/poly differences?
 
I'm struggling with this big time and I don't know where to go from here.

I've read several posts on this, but can't seem to find what I want/need to help me understand.

I understand that insecurity about a relationship can make mono's struggle with accepting their poly partners.

My bf readily accepts the pre-existing relationship I have with my husband as it was already established before he came into the picture.

I love both of them, very much. I don't view my bf as secondary but as co-primary. He lives in the basement suite of our house, giving him his own space while being able to be a part of our lives.

My bf doesn't believe in the term "I love you" and due to depression/medication he says he doesn't feel "love" or an emotion that strong for me. He cares about me, he's very affectionate and I definitely feel that he cares about me through his words and actions.

But I'm left feeling somewhat rejected, loving him but not feeling loved in return, struggling to understand his mental state and just to make things interesting, I want to explore "friends with benefits" as I learn and grow sexually.

My husband fully supports this idea, but my bf does not. He feels very threatened by the idea of me having casual sex with someone else, for fear of it becoming a relationship that I can't sustain.

We've talked about it and there doesn't seem to be anything I can say or do to assure him of how much I love him and that he won't be replaced. I'm confident that I can select sexual partners that I can keep things casual with.

I've done what I can to assure him how I feel. I don't want to turn this into "Well, you don't love me so you have to let me screw other men" because that's not what this is about. I'm not trying to pressure him into finally declaring his love for me. I genuinely want to explore my sexuality, learn and grow, which was a driving motivation in the first place when hubby and I decided to be poly. I don't want this to turn into resentment on his part, he just doesn't seem willing to tell me one way or the other. If he would just come out and say "I don't want you to sleep with anyone else" then that would go a long way to resolving this for me. But when I try and bring it up, he just gets hurt and angry and doesn't really speak his mind. I get uncomfortable with being the cause of his hurt feelings and we go around in circles.

*sigh*

MonoVCPHG 11-16-2010 06:48 AM

Sorry to hear this Booklady :( I'm not sure what to say. I'm a lot like your boyfriend when it comes to accepting pre-existing relationships but not new ones. I have no issue with saying I love Redpepper though..hell, I wear a ring on my wedding finger to show people I am "taken".

I don't know how to help really. Maybe he feels he is somehow saving face in his mono mind and in the eyes of other monos by withholding those three words. I get that. Maybe he doesn't expect this to last and is afraid to say the words. I still have a nagging thought about the sustainability of how me and Redpepper express our love. I still wait for the other shoe to drop but I am happy and move forward because I know we will always be connected as family. Nothing we build will be wasted. That's where my strengths and resolve come from.

Can you ever truly overcome mono/poly differences? In my opinion...it all depends on the kind of poly dynamic and what the person's idea of monogamy is. Do I think a mono will can become consistantly happy with a completely fluid open poly partner that they truly love?...not in my opinion. But I can only speak for myself.

Hugs :o

redpepper 11-16-2010 07:00 AM

I'm not going to read what Mono said until I post as I have some ideas from reading what you said and may come back afterwards if I think of something after reading Mono's.

I wonder if he would really prefer you explore some of what you want to explore with him but is having a hard time managing to get to it, due to his health. Perhaps he is aware of that, but feeling inadequate as a lover and therefore struggling to request it of you?

Maybe it's time to shake things up again and see what happens... he might not be saying no or yes, one way or the other, because if he felt connected and close to you (in love) then he would be okay with your exploration and would be willing to let you get out there as a way to enhance your sex life together...

I guess what I didn't read in your post was much on what he has said and more on what you want. What you desire and are feeling rather frantic to have by now... understandable, but perhaps backing up and getting him out of his shell about it would be fruitful...

just a thought...

redpepper 11-16-2010 07:06 AM

Mono, the difference here is that I am completely fulfilled... (as we have been through a million times before).

We have incredible sex, I have done my sexual exploring for now (most of mine is now internal), I don't require other lovers sexually, and you are not depressed and struggling with any issues health wise that would make you feel and act less amorous.

Booklady has a different situation and has different circumstances as a result... there is no comparison. I feel for your struggle booklady.... I hope you find some resolve.

MonoVCPHG 11-16-2010 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by booklady78 (Post 52703)
He feels very threatened by the idea of me having casual sex with someone else, for fear of it becoming a relationship that I can't sustain.



*sigh*

Another thought about how a mono mind can work.. specifically mine. His hesitancy is bare minimum a sigh that he truly cares about you. When a mono shrugs and looks at you and says "sure, you can do whatever" that's when you need to worry about how they feel about you. I think I might have been able to open up the relationship with my ex wife towards the end. Why, because I didn't love her the way I used to. My intimate connection with her had faded and I fell in love with some one else so I didn't value that part of our relationship the way I used to. I didn't need her intimacy but still loved her as a person, friend and family.

Just rambling

Just thoughts

MonoVCPHG 11-16-2010 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 52708)
Booklady has a different situation and has different circumstances as a result... there is no comparison.

K Bbay :)

redpepper 11-16-2010 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 52711)
K Bbay :)

coming down to smack your ass and do nasty things to you now as a result. grrrr :mad:

sorry booklady. :D carry on....

vodkafan 11-16-2010 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 52710)
wife towards the end. Why, because I didn't love her the way I used to. My intimate connection with her had faded and I fell in love with some one else so I didn't value that part of our relationship the way I used to. I didn't need her intimacy but still loved her as a person, friend and family

Mono , that bit is something to scare a mono shitless. :eek: That is just the way I hope my wife does NOT feel.

booklady78 11-17-2010 06:31 AM

You guys are silly :P
Thanks for the laugh though, I needed that ;)

I've had a talk with my bf after leaving the issue alone for a couple months and he's much calmer about it now. No anger or hurt, just talking about the practicalities of it. He would like to see how he feels after I actually do anything, kind of hard to judge a "hypothetical" situation. He's mainly worried that I'm going to get used or hurt somehow. I assured him that I wasn't going bar hopping, that my intention was to explore with people I trusted.
I liked his expectation that I must report back to him with what I learned ;)
As this is very much about learning for me.

Thank you so much for all the support. It seems that whenever I voice something on the forums, the support and advice I receive gives me the resolve and confidence to voice things in person. That has been invaluable to me and I truly do appreciate it <3

rpcrazy 11-17-2010 02:43 PM

I used to not believe in love...now I've transcended that idea and realized that it's not that love doesn't exist, it's just that most people don't really know what love actually is, compared to all the other aspects of relationships dynamics.

In any case, I would suggest going over a few behavior changes for your relationship(you and your b/f) and doing a bit of research:

1. How to express general positive feelings onto another person
2. Making others feel important
3. Validating your own existence

He may not feel like believe in the "idea" of love, but the fact remains that given he cares for you he already loves you. The more your relationships grows, the more opportunity you both have to let that love grow between the two of you.

Good luck!


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