Well-what have I opened??
So here's the thing. Now that I've experienced love with another person-a different love built on an intense connection-I am questioning my relationship with FJ. And I feel utterly ungrateful and selfish. Is this just bound to happen with polyamory?
I have a blog up-so you can read my whole story from the beginning. Where I'm at now:
FJ and I started our relationship based on a mutual faith and fervor in that faith. I've changed-my beliefs are quite different now-and in some ways in contrast to his. This faith was what we had in common. Though we are very different people-it's what we fought for together. The activities we used to enjoy together revolved around this faith. He wants that still. I do not. At all. He says he loves me no matter what I believe, but I worry he will resent me because I'm no longer sharing that with him, and he needs that. I'm not sure he is proactive enough to do it solo-and I'll eventually be blamed for that.
FJ is a simple man. Happy to work, come home, have sex, go to sleep. His only hobby is listening to music. No matter what I do to encourage another hobby or interest that he could spend time on-he doesn't do it. Even hanging out with friends on his own. He just doesn't care to. I don't get it, because I thrive on social interaction and personal growth and development. I've accepted that's just his personality. But that leaves us little to talk about and it's unattractive to me. I want passion not only for me-but for life. We can chill together-laze about and relax without a problem. But I need very little time like that. It seems to be all he wants to do. I have said for years that I feel like I make him hang out with me. And even then-I don't enjoy going out with him. This is kinda a trigger for me because I said the same thing to my mom before she died. I always felt like I was forcing her to enjoy time with me.
I love FJ. We have an incredible history together. He supports me and encourages me to go after what I want. It seems like his whole life revolves around making sure I'm happy. Well-in as much that he gives me the freedom and support to do what I want-not that he's proactive in joining in or making an effort to get me and what makes me tick. He is a fabulous father. He is stable, kind, easy going and everything that I didn't have as a kid. But I want to experience life. I want to travel with the kids, go to the city, take road trips, go camping, be spontaneous, eat my way through the country, stay up until 3am, lose myself in an art museum, play games and give life my all. His idea of a good time is a couple of days in a cabin in the woods smoking his pipe. I enjoy that too-but I need more.
I don't want to leave him for MD-don't get me wrong. I love the touch of a woman-and find myself leaning sexually more to women right now than men. When I'm out and admiring a person-8/10 I'm admiring a pretty woman-not a cute guy. The connection I've experienced with MD is unlike anything I've experienced with FJ. It's easy to make that connection with her. She gets me. FJ and I have to work really hard to understand each other. I don't know that MD is someone I could be in a primary relationship with-but it has given me the contrast of being at ease with someone in my own skin for exactly who I am instead of what I have with FJ that takes a lot of work to even talk and hang out.
I love intellectual convos. Talking about world events, social issues, great literature, art....I can't do that with FJ. Especially not anymore that our worldview are so different.
Like it or not-I've changed after losing my parents. Where do I go from here? I want that life long love-probably more as a source of pride than anything. I'm a perfectionist and hate to "fail". But I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm seriously considering a separation. But I can't imagine doing that to my children. I have a lot of baggage from divorce in my family. Plus-it feels like my reasons are kinda lame. This man who would die for me, and is willing to sacrifice for me...and I'm just not happy with our "connection" and lack of shared interests. Is that immature and ungrateful or what?? Argh. Feeling really conflicted.
My suggestion: pause.
Stop trying to find an answer.
Because sometimes, oftentimes, if we stop pressing forward, stop struggling, the answer will come to us instead of us looking for it.
You have said you don't want to create the upheaval for your kids that a separation would create, so, don't.
You want this amazing love you don't have right now. Ok-so open yourself to the possibility of it coming at some point. Maybe with someone you haven't even met yet.
This weekend, I lost a friend. She died suddenly, unexpectedly.
I read all of the posts myriad people posted on her fb. People she had never met in person, people she had only met once, writing LONG, DETAILED stories of how she had shared her love, her passion, her strength, her hope, her enjoyment of life with them.
She touched people so deeply because she was confident in herself and didn't close people out because they weren't "everything" she hoped for or dreamed of in a partner.
My point in sharing this is; these things you bring up aren't "either or" issues.
This man, you love him. He loves you. He supports you in being yourself and doing what you need to do.
We all need this in our lives and too often people. Ever find someone like that.
It doesn't mean you can't dream of more. It doesn't mean you can't remain open to meeting someone who gives you passion and ease and comfortable etc etc.
But why give up one for the other?
Such a mono mindset there.
Maca is passionate and intense.
GG is much as you describe your guy.
Except Maca isn't social and GG is social (just not with my kind of people).
I could continue the list. But the gist is, just pause. Let things be what they are. Enjoy what you have, keep an open heart to new people.
LR-thank you for your response. There will definitely be no rash decisions here. And you are right-this is a mono mindset. I don't know that I'm not mono-I feel like this is situational more than anything. I can't say that I wouldn't be happy in a mono relationship. This is part of the confusion.
And losing my parents-both very suddenly-has made me feel like life is too short to be unhappy. I have a poor family history health-wise. Many of my family members haven't made it past 60. Today would've been my mom's 54th birthday. I tend to take stock of my life's decisions on days like this.
Instead of being pissed off that your husband is not like you, learn about him. He sounds like an introvert while your very much an extrovert. Your need to always be out "doing something", going places, busy, busy, busy likely pushes him to withdraw further (I do this). So, if he's sucking-it-up and hiding all his anxiety about doing things to make you happy, it's not surprising that he fights to withdraw from everything and neglecting himself in the process. For years all my hobbies were stashed away in a closet because all my husband's and kids activities put me in a mentally exhausted space, there was nothing left to do things I enjoyed, included finding friends and people that "I" could connect with - I was stuck with people I was "supposed" to be friends with (church, scouts, other parents, etc), which made the drive to be anti-social even stronger.
Do some google searches on introverts and it's very likely that you will see some striking similarities to your husband and it will give you a better understanding of him. Just because you don't "get" his way of relaxing and how he recharges his batteries, doesn't mean it's bad.
If I want to do anything "spontaneous" I have to spend a time getting into the right head space. For our anniversary one year, the plan was, get in the car an just go someplace - no plans, no reservations, no destination, except we packed minimal camping gear. I spent a month trying to get in the right head space for this trip. My husband learned years ago that if you just spring something on me, I will say NO, but give me a head up and a few hours to think about it, then very likely I'll be game.
First step, stop comparing your long-term marriage to your NRE and relatively new relationship. The two relationships are completely different, and they are both different people. You and your husband have children, extensive history, probably weathered a storm or two, blah blah blah, etc.
Those things like jobs, children, faith, etc. kept you distracted from the incompatibility with FJ. You have experienced something new: poly. Your views have changed. You are bored with the way things have always been. Many people do this and they blame their spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, or whoever. So what you are feeling is not new. It is just more apparent now that the distractions like a newborn baby, screaming toddler, hectic schedules, brand new job, etc. are no longer present.
My advice: Let go of the negative feelings that have recently crossed your mind. Let go of the pressure you feel to have to share the same interests. Let go of this notion that he still has to fill all of your needs including liking the things you like. Talk to him. Find out what he likes and is in to. He does sound like an introvert. You may be surprised. Maybe he thinks that relaxing is all you want to do after tending to children and helping to take care of the home. If he is like most people, I am sure there are things he would like to do and places he would like to go. There is a whole world out there.
If this is a need for you, seek someone--even just new friends--who share similar interests. If it is a romantic interest who does, great. Just remember that valuing and appreciating what you have with FJ and MD is very important. Find a happy medium.
Learn to appreciate and respect the fact that you have nothing or very little in common. The art of being different is learning to appreciate each other's differences and not harbouring resentment over it. You sound resentful and annoyed because he is not those things you WANT him to be, and it is not his fault or your fault. Learn to live with those differences by accepting him just as he accepts you and stop trying to change him in to what you want or need him to be.
Find other ways to bond and establish a connection. Present new ideas. Get creative. Surprise him with tickets to his favourite artist's concert. Surprise him with tickets to his favourite sports team game. Something has kept you two together all these years, right?
I have learned like your husband has that I can't just spring something on FJ. Right now, the way things go is that I am out doing things WITHOUT FJ, because I know he doesn't want to be out. I make a concerted effort to give him some time with me just at home relaxing, despite wanting to do other things, because I know it's what he needs to feel connected to me. I DON'T WANT TO CHANGE HIM. (not shouting, just bolded for emphasis). He is a perfectly lovely person, just the way he is. The crux of my issue is not who he is, but the connection we have. And believe me, he does not hide his anxiety or do things with me just because I want him to. But that's the thing-I don't want him to be someone different to please me-that does nothing to help with our compatibility, and will only lead to him resenting me and us growing further apart. Funny thing is, we even limit the kids' activities to foster his need to be home and decompress. I encourage him to have his own friends, his own hobbies, things outside of work, me, the kids, that he can enjoy. But he doesn't. Because he just doesn't need that like I do. And that's fine. My issue is that I find myself wanting a partner that DOES need those things, and can share a passion for life that I do with me. But again-is that a good enough reason? Can I live with a sort of half passionate life? Is polyamory the thing that will give me everything I need, or is it just magnifying the things I feel like I'm lacking in my primary relationship.
And, I only mention MD because that relationship has sorta stirred up new feelings for me, new feelings of connection that I can honestly say have never been in play for FJ and I. That's why I emphasize I wouldn't separate over MD....and I am not comparing them. I am also not oblivious to the fact that no one person can ever be everything I need/want wrapped up into one package.
The thing that has kept us together all these years has been the faith thing....a big thing. And that has fundamentally changed for me. So I'm left wondering what else do we have? A mutual respect for each other, a desire for the other's happiness, 5 beautiful children and a lot of history.
Your husband may well be an introvert. But he may also be someone who is just a homebody. The two (introvert and not adventuresome) are not necessarily connected. I'm introverted and am always exploring new things. But some introverts do prefer to try new things only on their terms and only occasionally. Other's advice on learning about introverts, accepting him as he is and loving his gifts are spot on.
I just want to point out something important.
NONE of what you mentioned as wanting to experience is any way dependent on another person, much less a romantic connection. You do not need anyone else to have that passion and zest for life you describe. It is already within you. (And I bet your husband will say it is one of the things that drew him to you.) Really all you need is a babysitter and you can go to the museum or get some friends together to take your kids on an adventure.
Your parents died suddenly (I am so sorry) and you are moving away from your original faith. You are reassessing who you are. This is a normal aspect of grief for many people. It is a good if painful and upsetting thing. You are figuring out who you are again. Just know that who you want to be is inside you, not with any one else.
Those things in common are huge things with which to build upon. And I understand that you may be ok being mono and this situation is situational. But whose to say that your perfect dream is t feasible without throwing all of that out.
Creative adaptation. Great concept. Look it up. It is what you need more than a precreated solution (like separation)
Opalescent: "Your parents died suddenly (I am so sorry) and you are moving away from your original faith. You are reassessing who you are. This is a normal aspect of grief for many people. It is a good if painful and upsetting thing. You are figuring out who you are again. Just know that who you want to be is inside you, not with any one else."
Yes this. Lots of reassessing. And my life (more than half of it) has been so entangled and identified by my relationship with FJ-maybe that is what I'm struggling with more than the perceived incompatibility.
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