So here I am.
OK, so here I am. In fact I bet my wife reads this. I wonder if she will know it is me. I need advice and help... I guess that's why we are all here. Here is some background, I will make it as short as possible. I would have to write a novel to fully explain my relationship with her.
I have been with my wife for ten years. We had a child shortly after we met each other. I married her almost three years ago because she is the most lovely person I have ever met and stayed with me through thick and thin. She is my bestest friend!
A couple of years ago my wife went on vacation with one of her friends and met a couple that were polyamorous. Needless to say light bulbs went off in her head and she came home and told me almost instantly that we should sleep with other people. I was shocked and did not react well. I felt completely intimidated and insecure and we ignored the issue for a while. Since Sept. of '08 we have had a great opening up. I told her about the things that I had been keeping from her including an emotional relationship with a roommate that we had. I have recently let go of the resentments that I kept from our past.
I thought that I was going to lose her when I told her about my lies. I fell into an insane depression of which I am slowly battling but am happily winning. We are now in deep talks about polyamory. She, I am convinced, is a polyamorous person through and through. Compersion comes from her so naturally that it is almost scary... definitely intimidating. I am trying to learn to deal with my jealousy and insecurity as these are the biggest hurdles that I have.
I believe for myself that I would not have a problem being with other people. It's actually quite appealing and not because I'm not getting things from my wife but because of what I am getting from my wife. I am bi and love meeting people, love being with people and love, love, love sex. It is easy for me to become infatuated with others I have just kept it to myself in the past. The fact that I think I could do it myself without a problem but that I have a problem with my wife doing it too makes me feel like a real selfish jerk. At least I realize it though, right?
She had come to me recently and told me of someone she felt very deeply for. I pushed her to talk to him about it even though it was still hard for me to deal with it. Nothing came of it (maybe it just wasn't the right time or person). The funny thing about it was that I didn't feel the way that I thought I would if it turned out the way it did. I was sure that I would feel relived... I wasn't. I was sad that he did not reciprocate her feelings. I was sad that he didn't see my wife the way that I did. She is the strongest and most amazing person I have ever met. That's why I married her. My wife was not too disappointed with the outcome, thank goodness. I was afraid she was going to be devastated. How she never ceases to amaze me.
I am having moments of complete horror at the thought of my wife with someone else and then feeling really happy that she could find someone who makes her happy. It's like Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde. Couple that with some depression and co-dependency issues and I'm sure that you can imagine the turmoil that I feel.
We are doing this together and we are talking about rules and the fact that I need to move slower than her. Baby steps baby! Sorry if this posting is too long.
Here are my questions. I am working really hard on this but how do I find compersion? How did you guys find compersion? How do I let go of my fears? I read all these statistics that say open marriages fail more often than monogamous marriages. I want my wife to be happy and I want to be happy as well. I want us to be our own individualistic selves but the thought that we are playing Russian roulette with our marriage scares the hell out of me. I said 'till death do us part and I meant it. Advice? I appreciate the warm, helpful and welcoming community that is poly. Thanks guys!
Heyla and very warm welcomes :)
as to your questions? well, at least for me, compersion didn't just happen overnight, it was difficult to "find", but what opened my eyes to it, was watching my closest friends and their spouses, whom are also poly, which has made mine and my hubby's intro to the poly world both helped and hindered. they are quite different from us and have a vastly different set of rules for their poly, but seeing them in person interracting with each other and their own loves, its truly a wonderful sight. that is what has made it a bit easier for me. I will try to get my hubby to come post in here as our steps into poly were harder on his side, he might be able to add some more helpful insight. some folks have compersion already, some of us have it sneak up on us when we aren't looking. it sounds like youve already had a taste, being sad cause your wifes interest did not return her interest. just keep talking and sharing, you will probably find it and feel it before you even realize it, its very natural to be happy when our loves are happy, give in to it and enjoy it.
as to the fears? we all have them if we're truly honest with ourselves, and I've found the best thing to do is simply sit and talk with your loves about any and all fears your having, its uncomfortable and can be intimidating, but often all these fears can be easily talked out if we just voice them and let our loves know whats bothering us. little small fears can turn into such monsters if let them sit in the dark and grumble for too long. speak up, get it out there, its often no where near as bad as we think it might be once its out in the open. keep talking, often this is said so much we must sound liek broken records, but you really can't talk to much, at least i haven't found theres such a thing as too much talking in poly. weather your starting out or have been poly for many years.
statistics to me are just that, a number on a piece of paper, that we really have no rule of thumb for considering we don't even know how many people made up the poll/census for said statistics in the first place. please don't let numbers on a piece of paper deter you from something you may want.
you sound very happy and determined in your current relationship, thats wonderful. you want to give poly a shot and hope its the right step? well, you won't ever know unless you try. keep the lines of communication open, no matter what happens keep talking. try not to worry so much. if its meant to be it will happen, when you both meet others whom are right for you. it may take awhile or it might happen rather quickly, keep talking about everything, and ask your wife to do the same. when your not even trying, its amazing how much natural compersion is already happening, just keep your eyes open to everything, your probably already feeling alot of compersion and just haven't realized it. just take it as fast or slow as you need to, and don't let anyone force you into more or less then you want. lots of luck :)
[I'll let one of the "Village Elders" take it from there...]
Since you felt sad that your wife was not able to work out a relationship with another is a good sign that you have compersion already. So maybe you just have to try to understand your other feelings to let the compersion flow through more easily. I found that I can feel more compersion the more I try to put myself in my wife's position. Compersion seems to me to have empathy at its core.
So maybe if you focus on dealing with jealousy, you may be able to handle the Dr. Jeckle & Mr. Hyde feelings better. For that you can try to find out if you are feeling insecure or envious. If you are insecure, what specifically is it you are worried about? Once you can have a strong grasp on what bothers you (like maybe you are worried that her other lovers will be better than you at something), then you can talk to her about it. She can reinforce what she likes about you.
Over time, you may be able to see better that she is with you because she wants to be with you. She is not fulfilling some old vow or just hanging in there. If she is with you, it is because she values something in you that keeps her there. She has no reason to leave you unless you are making each other miserable.
I think you have to be careful with some statistics on open marriages. For example, regular vanilla marriage has about a 50% chance of success. That is Russian roulette with a half loaded gun. I think polyamory has a big advantage over many other relationship models. It heavily pushes communication more than in regular monogamous relationships. (I have heard several stories of monogamous couples buying polyamous litature because it does a great job of helping people open up their lines of communication.)
I understand how my posting could make it look like we are talking about swinging and not poly but it is poly that we are interested in. We feel that our marriage is great and that expanding our love is like a compliment for it. I don't want to just jump in bed with people just because.
I have a friend I knew during high school that I have always had feelings for. I still have dreams about her. There was always some reason I could not further explore my relationship with her and now my wife has told me that I should go and do that. She likes listening to how I feel about her and the other people in my life. This person is not as close to me anymore, there was too much I was focused on in my life and I was not in the right place to do so. The thought of reinstating this friendship and making it more is very exciting to me. I'm just not willing to go and expand my relationship with this person if I can't fully allow my wife the same. I don't believe in double standards and I am working through this. That is why I am here!
Thank you to everyone who replied!
Good post Confused...I too was worried that you were just gonna be swinging. It sounds like you and your wife are on the right path, just keep plugging along. I'm sure you'll come out on the other side and see the light.
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