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-   -   "The Rules" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48614)

ployshyguy 06-10-2013 11:10 PM

"The Rules"
 
Brief intro: my wife and I were both poly-curious, you might say, several years ago. I decided to go with it, she decided she was more comfortable remaining monogamous. However, we decided to stay together. She decided she was comfortable with me as I am, and could be comfortable with a multiple relationship IF it fell within certain parameters.

Lately, I've begun to feel like the parameters we set up are setting me up for failure in any other relationship. The biggest problem is the "don't date anyone you met through my family or through our religious organization".

The thing is, between work and spending time with the family, the only people I generally meet are either people I met through her family (we live near where she grew up, nowhere near where I grew up) or through our religious institution. The only two potentials I have right now are one of each.

I know the real solution is to discuss my dilemma with my wife, but any opinions or advice would be helpful.

CattivaGattina 06-11-2013 01:26 AM

You have no interests outside of family and your religious organization? Honestly I would look at that first as to why you don't have any hobbies that you do that could help you meet other people.

Outsider 06-11-2013 01:48 AM

What purpose does that rule serve?

london 06-11-2013 11:26 AM

To stop their non monogamy from being outed. Thought that was both obvious and not uncommon. Join okcupid, OP.

GalaGirl 06-11-2013 01:27 PM

How about asking wife for the OTHER side of the limitations?

You CANNOT date from family / church type connections. You CAN date from..... where? Online dating like OKC? Singles events/mixers? What if you met the person bowling but it turns out they ALSO go to your church? They get tossed out?

How comfortable is she with you dating really? Or are these parameters in place not to just minimize you guys being "outed" but to minimize it happening at all?

I think dating a KNOWN person who is less likely to be a nutjob than some total stranger is better. Because I've been casual friends already for a while doing those activities and I know how they behave/carry themselves somewhat.

Maybe you guys could read resources together? This is just one link.

Something has to end for something else to begin.
  • Either you change these "no family/church connections" parameters (that ends) so that you can meet people within those zones to date. (something can begin)
  • Or you change your time management (end spending time only at work/family functions) to free up time to be in another zone to meet someone there.(something can begin). Take up lessons of some kind that you like -- tennis, music, whatever it is.

You have to make a space for something to arrive into. Not just the emotional space -- which is seems you guys have done somewhat.

But space in other areas of life too.

Galagirl

LadySFI 06-11-2013 02:26 PM

Didn't I see someone tag an actual Poly dating site on here some time ago? Can anyone tell us again what that is? Could that be an option?

I understand her not wanting you to date someone from those places if she is trying not to be outed. Maybe she is okay with it, but doesn't want to have to explain to everyone you know why her husband has a date.

YouAreHere 06-11-2013 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 209128)
How comfortable is she with you dating really? Or are these parameters in place not to just minimize you guys being "outed" but to minimize it happening at all?

Perhaps the "date outside this social circle" rule is an attempt to minimize any potential "messiness". Friends are a known entity, which makes the initial dating easier, but when/if things go bad, it has a lot of potential to drag other, mutual friends into the quagmire (with such things as perceived loyalties) as well. Family just makes that mess even messier.

You won't know until you talk about it more. If it's frustrating you, talk about it. Maybe you can find places where you can go looking (OKC, other avenues) with your wife's help.

ployshyguy 06-14-2013 12:11 PM

Thanks for ringing in, everyone. sorry for the long absence. A lot of you were spot on, I think. We had more of a discussion about this a couple days ago. my wife is very concerned about being "outed" although I am quite open about being poly, so in a lot of ways it's already known to most of the people I've mentioned.

How supportive is she, actually, of my dating? The problem is, that changes. One moment she'll say she's supportive of me and accepts this as a part of who I am, the next she'll say this is really hard for her to deal with but she wants to work on it. Neither one of us want to end the relationship.

As to hobbies, unfortunately I'm a very solitary person. I do have hobbies, but they don't get me meeting too many new people. For example, I write, I sew, and I teach sewing to one teen student. I have time for more activities, I guess, I just need to get up the nerve to commit to meeting more new people.

In some ways being poly is not a very natural fit for me, in that I'm quiet, a little shy, and have never done well with dating. So the odds are somewhat stacked against me to begin with, even without removing two of my social circles. But the main reason I hold on to it is I can't stop developing feelings for and attractions to other people. I keep hoping one of them will work out eventually, even though it's not very likely with the way things currently are in my life.

LovingRadiance 06-15-2013 12:44 AM

From my perspective-
It sounds like she's got a fear of "what if" regarding you dating. Of course-there's no way to know what if-until if happens.

But-my husband had similar issues and at times I've struggled with similar as well.

My first suggestion is-FIND A POLY GROUP SHE will talk in. There's several facebook groups and there may be one in or near your area. If she meets other poly people she can be friends with-that can be supportive of helping her work through her fears as they crop up around this-that will help A LOT.

Also-consider attending one of the poly camps that happen all over the world. Even if you have to plan it for 2-3 years out, start putting money away and get on their email lists so you get updated info as it comes out.

Spend more time TOGETHER-going to social events that "mix it up" THAT ARE NOT PART OF THE TWO GROUPS SHE YOU CAN'T DATE FROM. For example, a dance class that teaches some sort of dance where people switch partners. Activities where she can get used to seeing you socializing with other women AND she is socializing as well. It will help her see that your interest in her isn't diminished by attention from other "potentials".

Finally, and most people struggle with this advice-but it is still my personal advice; get rid of the closet-and do it with her around.
Talk about open relationships with other people-AND her. Not just when she isn't around.
There's a mental set that says "Everyone will think...." but the truth is that most people don't take time to think much of anything when they find out someone else is in an open relationship. Primarily because they don't really give a damn about SOMEONE ELSE'S relationship.
The more she see's that people DON'T CARE-the less she will feel the need to "hide" AND the less fear she will have that if you DO meet someone else-suddenly the world is going to look down on her because of it.

ployshyguy 06-15-2013 04:00 PM

Recently, the situtation has changed slightly. My wife has decided that the family issue is more important to her, and she's willing to give on letting me explore relationships with people from our temple (I'm a member of a very progressive LGBT friendly synagogue). I'm not sure anything is likely to come of it, but it feels good to know she's willing to look at my perspective, and I can give on the other issue. BTW, the other issue was never about dating members of her family (which I've always accepted as a no-no); it was more about the freedom to date people I knew through her family, such as their friends, exes, etc.

From more discussion, I've found that she's really concerned about how the situation looks. She accepts the idea that I'm interested in other people, and she's been okay with me going on dates before, but she's afraid of her personally being "outed" (she's not poly oriented, just supportive). She also feels that other people will look negatively at her, as if my being poly were somehow an indication that she couldn't do any better. It's all wrapped up in her self-esteem issues.


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