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-   -   How do you not feel replaced (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42483)

bennie 03-12-2013 03:08 AM

How do you not feel replaced
 
I know there's no one like me. She knows there's no one like me. 5 years of marriage, and the whole time a dysfunctional sex life because of my PE. Been in therapy, starting again with a new one, but now it's in the context of her actively seeking other partners, and wanting our sexual relationship on hold. She identifies poly, and this would come up whether or not we had a healthy sex life together. But as we don't, I can't shake the feelings of plain old inadequacy, both with her, or in contemplating pursuing other relationships for myself.

I'm scared that I won't be able to digest this. I feel like opening our relationship is something I _could_ do, but at this point don't feel strong enough either with us, or with myself to do it.

GalaGirl 03-12-2013 03:20 AM

How about instead of fearing feeling replaced, you spend energy cultivating the opposite? Do behaviors that you need to do in order to feel intimate, loving, close? You have a condition to deal with (PE) but does that mean you cannot share loving gestures? Loving talk? Loving feelings?

Could focus on what you want rather than what you do not want.

You could also say to your partner...
"Hon, I feel like opening our relationship is something I _could_ do, but at this point don't feel strong enough either with us, or with myself to do it. Could we discuss how to solve these other issues first?

I'm scared that I won't be able to digest feeling of inadequacy, both with you, or in contemplating pursuing other relationships for myself.

I need support in this area from you. I would like you to__(what?__
  • Read things online with me?
  • Reassure me?
  • Create agreements and boundaries we both can feel good about?
  • How we plan to handle conflict resolution when unforseen happens?

Could you be willing to help me in that way? For the next (Month? Three mos? Longer?) before we revisit the question if we are on better footing now to Open Strong and not Open Wonky?
You guys could read "Are You In Poly Hell?" together and talk about dealing with feeling displaced, demoted, intruded upon, etc.

You guys could read about jealousy:

Making Peace with Jealousy in Polyamorous Relationships (esp page 5 and 6 things)
Unmasking the Green Eyed Monster

Here's more to read:

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/do...documents.html
http://www.serolynne.com/polyamory.htm
http://www.morethantwo.com/
http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/
http://www.kathylabriola.com/articles

Could demystify it so the fear lessens by learning more and forming how YOUR agreements would be like and what open model you are seeking together.

HTH!
Galagirl

bennie 03-12-2013 03:43 AM

Thank you Galagirl. Your responses are always treasures.

Something I sort of left out above is the order of things. We began talking and considering opening a year ago. At that time, and until recently, there was no talk of putting us on hold. It's like she's just run out of desire for me, and is looking to fill it back up, while trying to reassure me that "we" won't be lost in the process. But the dwindling of us, and her distancing, is the exact opposite of reassuring.

GalaGirl 03-12-2013 03:50 AM

Have you told her all that? In that way?

That "The dwindling of us, and your distancing behaviors such as (list), is the exact opposite of reassuring. Could you be willing to reassure me?"

GG

bennie 03-12-2013 03:58 AM

I'm really not sure.. So much has been said. But something close. She'll correct me if I haven't.

And by dwindling, I do mean specifically our sexual life. Our friendship is strong. Our lives are stable/stablizing. But I have a messy inner house, and my sexual being likes painting with loud colors on my emotional walls. Getting those problems to pipe down enough to enjoy the rest of the place is.. challenging.

doxyflower 03-12-2013 07:51 PM

Wifey chiming in...
 
It isnt that I have run out of desire...just that our sexual dynamic has become so painful for both of us I have felt that to perhaps put it on hold and get it healthy again while we work through these other things might be best. That said I DO understand that without ANY physical intimacy between us his feelings of rejection seem even greater than before. I want to support him working through this fear. I feel like I need to be careful though due to some codependence issues in our marriage. I want to make healthy choices and not step into "caretaker mode." I am trying to learn how to be loving and supportive and cope with his tendency towards emotional drowning. It breaks my heart to see him hurting...

StudentofLife 03-12-2013 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doxyflower (Post 190431)
It isnt that I have run out of desire...just that our sexual dynamic has become so painful for both of us I have felt that to perhaps put it on hold and get it healthy again while we work through these other things might be best. That said I DO understand that without ANY physical intimacy between us his feelings of rejection seem even greater than before.


Hi doxyflower,

What you wrote really struck a chord with me. I don't want to be overly nosy, but if you felt okay with it, could you maybe expand on your thoughts above? You managed to put into words something I have been struggling with for quite a while now, and I'd love a chance to talk to you about your experiences and thoughts. If not, I understand, it's very personal.:)

learninginTN 03-14-2013 04:40 PM

My views are obviously tainted by my own experience of dealing with polyamory while not having sex with my spouse. And it SUCKS. Big time. We had a good sex life for 13 years or so, so our situation is very different than yours, but I still wrestle with these ideas of being displaced, demoted, etc. And in my case I'm about to toss W to the curb, not just for the no sex, but for many other reasons. If you have a few hours to spare, read my thread for a not-so-pleasant read.

I can feel from your initial post your fear. And who knows, with enough understanding, study, introspection, etc. you might learn to be OK with a setup wherein your wife has sex with others but not with you. But consider this: If you feel inadequate and threatened before you guys even open your marriage, how do you think you're going to feel the first night you're lying in bed alone while thinking about your wife having sex with another guy?

AnotherConfused 03-14-2013 07:26 PM

I've also been struggling with a dwindling sexual dynamic with my husband, alongside a very exciting one with my bf. Before having a bf I thought I was just sexually broken, no libido. Now I realize it's far from the case. Having another person to remind me that I am a sexual being, and make me feel good about myself sexually, has been great. It also helps me see the differences between what works and what isn't working. I've been giving my husband more specific feedback about things we can change in the way that relate that will increase my interest in sex with him. Whereas I used to just forget about sex.

One thing that makes it work better for my husband is that I don't have oral or PIV sex with my bf. Sometimes that's mighty frustrating, but we get creative and have good times, while my husband feels like he still has that important part of me to himself. It's enough for me to feel like I'm keeping my sexuality tuned up. Could the two of you reserve something that you only do together? It could even be tongue kissing.


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