Hi, I'm new and I have quite a few questions.
I am sorry if this isn't the place for this post or you've heard all of this before. Let me know if I should post elsewhere.
So, I am married for 2 years to a wonderful man. Near the beginning of our relationship I mentioned polyamory to him and he was shocked, hurt and not willing to consider it in any way. He tried to reason with me about how completely impractical polyamory is and that it would end up tearing us apart.
At that time the relationship was still so new and exciting and I had never experienced anything like it, so I hoped that it would be enough to sustain me. Of course, I was also terrified of losing him. so we married.
About a year into the marriage I started to get the itch so strongly again and I brought polyamory up to him again. This time I insisted that monogamy is probably as unrealistic as polyamory is, and that wanting to share myself with others is always going to be a desire of mine.
I could see how much just discussing it hurt him. It is simply not in his nature to be non-monogamous. He told me out of desperation that he would let me try polyamory, but I know I could not do it to him. It would slowly start to destroy him and I would rather leave and spare him the horrible pain....
ugh... this is terrible. The guilt is unbearable. But I don't know how to stop wanting this.
I honestly wish I could. I wish I could turn this desire off and not know what I am missing. Is that possible??? I know that sounds silly, but I feel my need to explore does fluctuate as my hormones do, and I do have a hormonal imbalance that causes higher than normal testosterone levels.
I'm sorry if that sounds insulting to the lifestyle. But I do wish I could just live a more conventional monogamous life. Mainly because I feel there is more potential for hurting people and complicating life with the lifestyle. I know there are also immense rewards...
Even if I decided to leave my husband and start a new life with poly partners, i don't know if I will ever have the stomach for it. I'm just very sensitive and I don't have a high tolerance for drama and all the negotiating about time spent and boundaries and all that makes me exhausted just thinking about it.
I guess what I want to know is if it's worth it? I'm sure it's different for everyone. But do you think that there is an inherent chemical and hormonal difference in poly people compared to mono people? Or is it something else and should it just be embraced at any cost?
I would suggest taking a step back and reflecting on what it is that you want. You said you got "the itch"... you've got the itch for what? Casual sex? A long term loving relationship with a new partner? Jumping out of airplanes?
Either way, the afore mentioned fear-fear-agony-fear-pain seems like it's going to force you to pick between what you want and placating your hubby.
Your relationship(s) will function however the people involved in them want... whether monogamous, swinger, polyamorous, etc.
if you know you can't live like that
you might have to leave him. Most people make the mistake of getting the ball rolling first, and then letting their SO know after the fact, if you haven't taken any steps to start seeing other people you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.
I also wouldn't assume just yet that he will never be accepting of non-monogamy as I believe not many spouses take the first talks well, especially if the first talk is reveals something wherein they feel betrayed. Not having that working against you is a good thing. I believe how you bring it up (the words you choose to discuss the topic) and the events that lead up to the talk are very important. It's hard for me to believe that any person in a committed relationship has never had a fleeting thought about sex with another person. So maybe ask him if he is honestly claiming that because for some people (actually a lot of people) denial is much easier and more convenient than dealing with the truth. If he can't at least admit that he fantasizes about it sometimes but it's not something he could ever do, then at least you know that continued talks won't be a waste of time.
There is no point in talking with someone in denial, it will likely start an argument and if he is coming from a place of denial, logic and reason aren't going to phase him. If you read around the boards you'll see denial lets people avoid any and all the unpleasant parts of a relationship and it happens in both monogamy and non-monogamy. Some non-monogamists require it to see other people, most often in the form of "don't ask, don't tell" and the second most popular is an inability to meet your lover's SO.
It may be time for a serious talk, because at this point with him being devastated when you haven't done anything but share how you feel with all your cards on the table and nothing hidden (which you should proud of yourself for being able to do) and his reaction in turn leaves you feeling horrible, then somethings got to give.
Keep in mind though, what you are experiencing is normal for relationships in general. That "itch" is inevitable and sometimes a person only figures out what they really want, until after they lose their spouse. If that's the case with you, maybe spending a couple months separated would give you clarity. There is a big difference between feeling like you can't be with someone and actually not being with them. And the world doesn't end or begin with either monogamy or poly.
Like you, I married young after dating a while. The guy wasnt perfect, but dating is hard and he was the best thing to come down the pike for me.
I met him when I was 19 and he was 21 and 2 1/2 years later, we married. I had secret poly thoughts (even tho this was the 1970s and we didnt have the concept).
I tried to hide my feelings for others, to "protect" him, but it never worked. He always knew when I had a crush. He had low self esteem and was extremely jealous, even if I had a celebrity crush that was no actual "threat" to him.
Finally after 20 years together, the poly movement came around and he thought a 3some would be nice, since I was bi.
However, unicorn hunting is stupid and it didnt work out. Finally, he and I split and divorced and now I've been happily poly with a partner I found 3 months after my ex and I separated.
So. tl;dr be true to yourself! My ex was great in many ways, we did share many values, but the pain of having unfulfilled poly feelings for decades (and living under the cloud of his jealousy 24/7) really sucked!
Thank you very much for your responses.
Marcus, I realize my post wreaks of fear and I don't believe in living a life based on it.
I am also just coming to understand how very co-dependent my relationship with my husband is, and that is the cause of a lot of pain already.
Neither of us has a single friend in the world except each other and we spend most of our waking hours with each other apart from work. In the last few years we've both broken off long friendships for healthy reasons (we were just growing up and growing apart from some people). However, neither of us have really put ourselves out there to meet new people. As a result, we both put a lot of unhealthy demands and expectations on each other.
I have specifically not put myself out there because I know that I fall in love with my friends, and I often find myself wanting to take my friendships to the heights of intimacy. That is what I really want.
He has been disappointed in the people he's met thus far. But we live in a small town and he hasn't been as proactive as he could be about friends, instead opting for the comfort and familiarity of time with me.
So we have a lot of work to do just trying to find a healthy balance in that way. I think knowing that I am not the only person he has to count on in the world will help to relieve some of my fears for him over time. And will also relieve some of the frustrations we take out on each other.
Dirtclustit, yes, I know my husband has fantasies about sex with other women, but he has told me that actual sex with other women doesn't excite him, that it would feel like a betrayal to our marriage, even if I didn't feel that way about it.
But again, I agree it's much too soon to say that because we've not taken any steps to meet people and he may just change his mind depending on the quality of friendships he develops.
I love how loyal and protective he is of what we have, but I think he needs to put more trust in the love I have for him and know that nothing will ever change that for me. I'm not sure if I can ever make him see that, though.
Magdlyn, you highlight my biggest fear: unresolved feelings for years and perhaps some regret over what could have been.
I am going to give this relationship the best that I have, but if it doesn't end up being enough for my husband or me, I capable of making difficult decisions when I need to.
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