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-   -   Hi. Let me introduce myself (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=473)

XYZ123 07-08-2009 08:25 PM

Hi. Let me introduce myself
 
Hi everyone. I've been reading posts on this site and similar for awhile now, but always too nervous (or in self-denial) to ever post. Well, I just hit my 30th bday and decided I'd rather get to be happy with me than be miserable always trying to fit some mold I don't.

Anyway, I have always known I had it in me to love, deeply and completely, more than one person at a time. For the most part my love stays on a friends only basis (platonic) but the feeling is so strong I am about the most devoted person many people know. I have exes and former "best friends" who still call me 15 years later simply because they always know I will pick up the phone and do what I can to make them smile. The problem always is, once these people find that significant other or the physical (with an ex) relationship ends, they tend to drift. And, while I understand this is the "natural" way of life, it tears me up inside because I can't detach like that and I can't stop loving them or even love them just a little less.

I identify myself as bisexual, but have always felt my primary, lifelong partner would be a man. And so he is. I've been with N for about 7 years now, married for 2. We have a beautiful little boy and a girl on the way. He told me early on he felt he was polyamorous but I did not understand it as meaning more than wanting sexual relationships with many people back then. We had an open relationship for some time, but when he asked me to take our relationship more seriously, I asked that it be closed and he agreed.

About two years ago we had serious problems in the relationship and I became very close with a male friend, whom I ended up cheating on my husband with. It wasn't to the point of sexual intercourse and, honestly, I did not even want anything physical from this man outside of a hug and a sympathetic shoulder. As had happened many times in my life, I gave into his physical advances because I was afraid to lose the emotional connection if I did not. This is not to say he forced himself on me either. He was a wonderful man. But when we got close and he felt my marriage was ending he wanted more. I felt guilty and confessed to my husband and he has since forgiven me. I'm not yet sure I'm capable of forgiving myself. Sure enough, when I told this other man I could not have a physical relationship with him though I loved him, he cut ties with me.

Soon after, with N's blessing and support, I began a loving emotional and physical relationship with another woman. He had dated P well before me and I had known her for several years. We were all comfortable with her and, for me and N, it very quickly blossomed into a deep love and a feeling of family and unity that we had been missing. She was, after all, his best friend. We had never been more honest and communicative. I learned he had resented me since I closed off our relationship. Not because he felt he needed anyone else sexually, but because he felt it limited the amount of emotional and physical affection he was comfortable showing those he loved. In fact, he did not want to be with P sexually at all, but did want to hold her hand, hug her, cuddle, make playfully flirty comments, etc. I finally understood what poly meant for him and realized that I had been all along and part of my issues in the marriage stemmed from the same buried resentment.

P burned us badly with her actions in the end and I am still hurting (but that is another story). I believe N is also, but he hides it I think for my sake. I had been closed to the idea of poly since, much in the way someone who had their heart broken by a partner may be closed to the idea of relationships for some time. I've also felt extreme guilt for having had sexual relations with P outside my marriage. I think it may have more to do with the ending than the sex and I'm working on that. But lately, and with our family now growing, I find myself feeling there's a piece or pieces missing somehow. I know I am deeply in love with N and our relationship has never been stronger. While I enjoy the company of other men, I don't feel a sexual desire for any but my husband. However, I fear getting too close to other men given my history of weakness in the face of their emerging desire. N does not want me to be with another man sexually, nor do I wish to be. What I feel is as if I'm missing my female counterpart, on both an emotional and physical level and more males simply on the emotional.

N suggested that after the baby is born we check out swingers clubs as a way to get back into my comfort zone and see what's out there in this lifestyle. Not that we participate in the sexual activities at these clubs, just that it might help me open back up to meeting people living an alternative lifestyle until I am ready, if ever, to seek out another woman. I'm unsure. The truth is that while I know now what I am and while I can absolutely accept anyone else for who they are, I still cannot seem to accept myself. It doesn't help that the one time I did and the woman seemed perfect I had my broken heart served to me on a silver platter. It also doesn't help that anyone I've tried to come out to (other than poly friends who NEVER seem to have functional relationships-the ones I know anyway) has ridiculed me, thought it was a joke, or been disgusted. I can't even think things around most of my anti-gay, anti-alternative lifestyle, anti-everything family (despite my parents being swingers and having their dishonesty nearly ruin their children and forever cause tension in their still failing marriage). Most of the time, except for N, I feel truly alone. And I feel I'm betraying him (even if he doesn't feel that way) by feeling just his love isn't quite enough for me.

I'm sorry this post is so long but I've had alot in me for a very long time. Any tips or words of wisdom or just advice on how to break my own barriers and accept myself would be appreciated. Also, anyone with children who can let me know how the poly lifestyle affects them would be wonderful. That is one of my biggest fears due to both my parent's treatment of myself and my siblings and my son's pain when P was finally out of the picture.

(One more thing. I also suffer a mental/emotional disorder which, naturally, causes me to forever second-guess everything I do, even if I am the same person at the core. The actions and consequences frighten me.)

River 07-08-2009 10:49 PM

XYZ123,

I'd really like to read your post, but find it difficult to read large blocks of text with no paragraph breaks. Could you please click on the Edit button and edit your post so that it has paragraph breaks? If you have any trouble doing so, let us know, and we'll try to help. Thanks.

Mark1npt 07-08-2009 11:04 PM

XYZ.....you have a lot on your plate. The biggest obstacle I see however is that you are not happy with or at peace with yourself. I assume that because you have a mental disorder, as you state, that you have been or are under some sort of counseling/treatment for it. Surely they are addressing this major issue with you. It is imperative that we be able to love ourselves in order to love others. Keep working towards that goal if you can.

XYZ123 07-08-2009 11:56 PM

I added paragraph breaks. You were right. Even N couldn't read it!

XYZ123 07-09-2009 12:04 AM

My biggest issue is the problem I have accepting myself. Part of this stems from never having been accepted for who I am-other than by N. Which is why I am so deeply in love with him.

My parents attempted to raise me to believe homosexuality was wrong. I don't believe it. I was engaged once and tried to explain to him who I was. He responded by doing all he could to break off every one of my friendships because, since I told him I believed I was bi, EVERY person in my life threatened him. Breaking that off was the first step in asserting myself.

I am not working through being poly in therapy as of yet. I do deal with the fallout from the relationship with P and with the issue of feeling incomplete. I have yet to delve into being poly. As I said, I've been in denial. I see my therapist this week and, yes, I believe I should start dealing with this identity. Thank you.

I have bipolar 1 disorder (commonly known as manic-depression). Sometimes, even when I'm ok with who I am, I just don't like myself. It's part of the condition.

Quath 07-09-2009 01:28 AM

I think you may be harder on yourself than you need to be. People get broken hearts all the time in regular monogamous relationships. So it is natural to also get that behavior in poly relationships as wel. It sucks, but it doesn't mean that you did anything wrong.

All you can do is learn from it and try not to repeat any similar mistakes in your next relationship. It is a different form of relationship that many people are not use to, so naturally people want to criticize it.

MonoVCPHG 07-09-2009 03:15 AM

Welcome and I hope you find exaclty what you are looking for. Be easy on yourself, you're only human:)

DestinyWaits 07-09-2009 07:26 AM

I read your post and wanted to let you know, I have 2 children who are normal, well rounded, teenage boys. Both live normal, active, teenage lives and the fact that I live a poly lifestyle has not effected them adversely in any way, as a matter of fact they have grown to love one or two of my former partners. When my husband and I meet someone we want to be with we let that woman know up front that our kids are important to us and then we see how she is with the children. Now, here is the hard part, if for some reason the children don't take to the woman or her to them you gotta be strong enough to let the other person go...their needs come first.

Like you I too was raised that homosexuality was bad (thank you mom and dad for moving me to the Bible Belt) and it took my finding a very understanding man who helped me understand that what I was feeling was not bad but just a part of who I was. At first I was afraid that my needing to have the companionship of another woman would hurt him in some way but he helped me to see that it in no way hurt him and he has even helped me find a partner and we were doubly blessed when the 2 of them were able to form a relationship too.

It will all work out and if someone doesn't understand you or puts you or your lifestlye down remember that most people are afraid of that which they don't fully understand.

XYZ123 07-09-2009 12:14 PM

Thank you all so much. It's been so hard trying to balance my capacity to love others with their capacity to reject me for that very ability to love. No wonder this world is full of so many lonely people.

I have no intention of acting on these feelings just yet. Right now getting through this pregnancy and the first few months of our new child's life is first and foremost and that's enough of an adjustment in itself. But I intend to stick with the boards here in the hope that, if and when we're ready to open our hearts to someone new, my mind will also have opened up to accepting myself for it.

redpepper 07-10-2009 07:07 AM

welcome!


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