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-   -   At an impass... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=506)

jewelsymom 07-23-2009 07:08 AM

At an impass...
 
I would love some advice with this. Thing is, my hubby will not talk about polyamory with me! He is putting up a wall that I have no idea how to get around. I adore and respect this man so very much and refuse to give up our relationship. He gets my flirting, my loving, my caring for people. He is happy to encourage me to make friends (men included) and just smiles about my flirty ways. But, he will not even talk about the more intimate details of my feelings. How do I I convince him that I need more? I am reading books and articles but I am looking for real, honest advice on this. We have such a fun and loving family - we adore each other and forever spoil and adore our kids as well. My love for others has come up every couple of years and I have to deal with this! How do I explain my need for more intimacy with others? When the conversation starts, it ends up in a fight.

Is there anyway to push through this and get a real conversation going? Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Love and hugs to everyone!

tigrrrlily 07-23-2009 08:40 AM

Maybe you could write a letter. But it sounds like he is very resistant to the idea. Also, maybe don;t use the words 'need more' which could label him inadequate in his mind - rather maybe 'need variety' or 'appreciate many humans' uniqueness'.

maybe you could ask him if he ever feels attracted to other people and let him do lots of the talking, and then take it from there.

Maybe you could also state baldly: "You seem very resistant to talking about what i am trying to tell you. What exactly makes you hate the idea so much?" Expect a lot of false starts, i doubt he knows exactly what it is he hates.

Quath 07-23-2009 01:30 PM

What happens if you were to focus on his perspective? For example, if you asked him if he would like to date other women, would he see that as something good? Maybe you could bring up a past love and ask how he would feel if he met her and you at the same time?

MonoVCPHG 07-23-2009 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jewelsymom (Post 3090)

Is there anyway to push through this and get a real conversation going? Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Love and hugs to everyone!

It sounds to me as though your conversation has got going and he is very clear that this is not something he wants.

He obviously loves you a lot, Jewelsymom. To me he has proven this simply by not leaving a monogamous relationship when he fully understands that you need more intimacy. I am always amazed at the strength in others to do this. Perhaps if he really faces this he worries it will be too much?

I wouldn't recommend sugar coating your reasons for needing to express love in a more intimate way. Eventually it comes down to simply needing or wanting more which you have already said yourself. Flopping back and forth will probably look as though you are willing to say anything to get what you want. If he can come to accept it based on the solid truth, then you can move forward with a sound foundation. It does sound as though he is very understanding and gives you a lot of freedom in all but a very focussed sexual way, maybe this is his boundary. Every one has them. Trying to find the balance between needs, wants and individual acceptability is often the challenge IMO.

There is no right or wrong in either of your positions. It may eventually come down to different wants and needs leading to different paths.

I hope you both find what you need to be fullfilled.
Take care

jewelsymom 07-23-2009 05:23 PM

Thank you for the helpful and kind posts. It is such a difficult conversation to start with my hubby. I will take my time and not get discouraged. No easy answers or solutions to this one!

River 07-23-2009 10:46 PM

Jewelsymom,

Is your communication with your husband otherwise good? Do you feel that he's able and willing to hear you and appreciate your expressed desires and needs, generally?

Does he clearly express his own desires, fears, hopes...?

How do you generally respond to these?

You say he has put up a "wall" on this subject. How does this "wall" feel to you? Can you tell him how that "wall" feels?

Maybe the two of you can create a small window in that wall, working together by allowing him to keep his wall up, only with a small window in it. Maybe you could say "Hey, I see we have a wall on this subject, and I want to respect your need for a wall, but I need you to try to open a window in the wall, however small."

A window opening can eventually become a doorway, over time. But that'll be more likely if you don't seem to threaten his need to maintain a wall. If you respect his wall, he may be more willing to open a window.

jewelsymom 07-23-2009 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 3140)
Jewelsymom,

Is your communication with your husband otherwise good? Do you feel that he's able and willing to hear you and appreciate your expressed desires and needs, generally?

Does he clearly express his own desires, fears, hopes...?

How do you generally respond to these?

You say he has put up a "wall" on this subject. How does this "wall" feel to you? Can you tell him how that "wall" feels?

Oh My! I read this reply and it really struck me. These questions are really tough for me to answer. This intrigues me. I have never asked him to understand the walls he puts up. I just assume he knows he's doing it and how it can be hurtful. However, as we all know, when you assume, you make an Ass out of U and Me. Thank you for the awesome suggestion. I hope the conversation is good for both me and my husband. Might open up some things we didn't even know were there!

JM

River 07-23-2009 11:12 PM

JM,

A lot of us had pretty poor teachers and roll models for interpersonal communication in "romantic" relationships, and in life generally! I know I did!

Fortunately, with patience and courage, we can learn "advanced skills" in these areas with study and practice!

There are lots of books on the subject, some good, some only okay, and some not good at all.

It's difficult to learn a new way of being with someone with whom we have long ingrained habits, and it's always best if both partners decide, together, that it would be good to improve their communication and mutual respect and kindness toward one another.

If you meet resistance to this, take it easy and breathe and relax... don't get out the big guns! You may both be caught in a style of relating and communication which no longer works for both of you. Changing something like that can take time, and may even require facilitation from a councelor.

I'm no expert(!), but do take time to grow in your own awareness of your needs while building your own knowledge of better communication skills.

We're here for you, with all of our own limits!

River 07-23-2009 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 3140)
"Hey, I see we have a wall on this subject, and I want to respect your need for a wall, but I need you to try to open a window in the wall, however small."

Why did I suggest a window for a wall, even a "small" window?

I suspect that the subject about which a wall was put up by your hubby is felt as either overwhelming, frightful, or deeply troubling for him. I'm trying to empathise with that feeling -- which I suggest you also do.

Why? Because, in my status as yet another "mere" human (I'm not a god or Superman!), I'm also given to feeling threatened or fearful about things which, upon careful examination, ought not to trouble me as much as they actually do. If someone expects me to "get over it" all at once, I might react with a yet firmer wall than I previously put up! But if someone who is challenging me to open up a bit ... lets me work at it a bit at a time, starting small and easy, I can handle that. I feel less threatened if they are willing to work with me as I work with my own fears or resistances.

If your hubby steadfastly refuses to open even a small window in his wall to communication with him, he's not being fair to you!

Why? Because you are a partner in this dance, and he would be refusing to dance with you. He'd be disrespecting your need to talk about something that matters to you. That's unkind, and steadfast unkindness is never a good basis for a happy relationship. But he can be forgiven if he has difficulty opening up! Few of us are able to be open about EVERYTHING, all of the time.

Obviously, he'll probably be more willing to discuss challenging things when he's not feeling overwhelmed about other things in his life, so try to bring it up when he's feeling strong, light, happy. Talk with him about it in a way which allows him to feel empowered rather than as a victim of a demand, etc.

You have a right to at least hear him express why and how he feels about the proposal that you open things up. And know that his feelings are not set in concrete! He can change his mind, after reflection. But he may not.

I think it would help you to understand the difference between what folks call "jealousy" and fearful insecurity. If I'm jealous of someone, I want what they have which I ain't got. That's a lot different from feeling insecure about my lover/wife/husband sharing deep and even sexual intimacy with another, which is the main fear mono- types often have. That fear isn't necessary, of course. But knowing that is a learning curve process. It takes time!

jewelsymom 07-24-2009 04:53 AM

A conversation
 
JRiver,

Thank you so very much for your incredible words and advice. We got a conversation going tonight. It was rocky at first, but we pushed through. It is wonderful to talk to my hubby on a deeper level - commitment, jealousy, anger, and fear. Like I told him, "Hell, we could be alive and married for the next 100 years!" We have to talk about and deal with all these things at some point. Why wait? He really is amazing and I am thankful for him everyday.

Thank you again for your beautiful words, JRiver.

JM


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