Polyamory,Non-Monogamy,Open Relationships. Discovery and Defining where I fit in.
Without the huge long backstory of who I am, who we are (couple), and what we are developing right now-I am interested in learning more and although unable to put a label on who I am or feel like, or want in relationships-how do I learn the terminology, or varieties of poly/non-monogamy/open relationships so I can better understand myself, and my increasing desires to have a full loving life with my husband but also him and I exploring outside of our somewhat traditional marriage.
Any book recommendations out there? I have recently picked up "Opening Up" and I am really enjoying it. For the first time in my history I feel I, and we (my primary partner/dh) are trying to be more authentic in who we are, what we want, what we need, and what we value. I feel excited discovering YES I have been denying this aspect of my self and it has been detrimental to my relationships and sense of self. I am hopeful, excited, and want to be able to better define "this picture" in my head. Not having multiple husbands all equal. Having my primary person that I love, care, respect, and would do anything for. But, for him or I to develop caring relationships, friendships who have a deep caring, respect, loving , sexy fun private life...
My partner feels he could just get some of his needs met casually (sexual, that I am having some hangups about) but cherishes friendships, caring, respectful, considerate lovers as well. He is currently seeing someone on a casual basis and has developed into, through communication (I have not met the other person) a respect for eachother (myself for who she is (and excitability obviously), and this other person having respect for me, caring regardless of knowing me...It's hard for me to put into words. This feeling of a whole circle of love and support. It feels warm, it fills in these gaps that I feel we were having, it interests us both, and makes our relationship better. It helps our communication and it's genuinely the best thing that has developed in my life-understanding that this is more like who I am and constantly denying the want and need for loving outside of a marriage (TBD of the rules, circumstances, etc) has been really affecting my self-esteem.
Anyhow, any advice on helping with this journey of self-discovery and putting a few words to describe what I am visualizing or feeling would be helpful. I am a visual person so I have trouble putting the "right words" out there. Any books, websites, forums that might prove useful? Even anything to find out what I might be interested in sexually? Am a complete novice here, it feels like.
We do have children and I know that discretion at this point in my life is vital. Perhaps in time I will feel I can own who I am but until then, and until my confidence develops around it-I think I need to keep it discreet so hard for me to say "Hey, monog. friends...thinking I want to have a bf on the side" hehe.
Thank you for listening to my super long novella here. Looking forward to any responses or pm's :)
@theresnoquestion, you're in a good forum to start. Try the "Golden Nuggets" page sticky. You'll see a thread on book recommendations there. http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1830
Also try tag searches for any terms that interest you. I think you'll be surprised at how many words are used as tags. For example, you could try to search the term "children." ("Search" is the sixth from the left drop down option on the first darker blue bar across the top of your screen.) I hope that helps.
Aaand, 7 entries down from the first entry by Neon Kaos on the Master Thread (the link I included above) is nycindie's compilation called "Threads about determining if polyamory is for you, and how to discuss it." Good luck!
I am poly, I can love more than one
I enjoy swinging, but really only with people I know now a days, previously, I liked to pickup in bars with my wife, swinging.. maybe, but unstructured.
I enjoy bdsm with strangers, but not sex
So many options within that non-monogamy umbrella.. :)
Any book recommendations out there? I have recently picked up "Opening Up" and I am really enjoying it. For the first time in my history I feel I, and we (my primary partner/dh) are trying to be more authentic in who we are, what we want, what we need, and what we value. I feel excited discovering YES I have been denying this aspect of my self and it has been detrimental to my relationships and sense of self. I am hopeful, excited, and want to be able to better define "this picture" in my head. Not having multiple husbands all equal. Having my primary person that I love, care, respect, and would do anything for. But, for him or I to develop caring relationships, friendships who have a deep caring, respect, loving , sexy fun private life...[/quote]
Good choice. Of all the books on non-monogamy it was by far the best one. Covered a number of options, and pitfalls in enough detail to get a feel for what you like. (google the author, she is rather famous especially on the self help sex scene)..
Also, ignore a lot of the politiking that goes into non-monogamy too. Poly is a good example of where people mix up relationship structures with definition. Poly is simply the ability to love more than one. If you are a swinger, and you love more than one person.. you are still poly.. maybe not the mold thats expected but still poly. :)
Enjoy the ride, the nice thing about non-monogamy are the choices involved. Stay safe and enjoy.. and respect your partners.
Its kind of like family friendly people. When you have kids, you tend to want friends who are family friendly.. non-monogamy friendly is the same thing.
I would also recommend being very clear when you start finding partners. Kids.. aren't always a popular fit in non-monogamy. They interfere with peoples relationship & time expectations. So this is one area you have to understand and explain your boundaries clearly. And stand by them if anyone tries to start pushing you around.
Welcome to the party :)
General, overly-simplified thoughts
Happened upon your post and thought it might be something I could contribute some general thoughts to to help keep focused. Major non-traditional lifestyle changes can be a real tempest, and it's easy for it to get / seem to be out of control.
Some guidelines to keep in mind............
1> Adopting a poly lifestyle will bring ALL the same conflicts and challenges that a "poly" (multiple) anything will ! And at the root of it, these aren't conflicts born of poly loving etc but just born of human nature and the laws of physics ! As humans - we can't TRULY multitask - to any effective degree. When we try, we come up with plans and ways to juggle, compromise, sacrifice some stuff along the way. Only 24 hours in a day regardless, and only so much emotional, sexual, whatever energy available to get spread around.
Keep this in mind :)
In theory it often gets sold otherwise but in reality, anyone who has ever attempted poly anything has run headlong into the wall before long. I suspect you can look back on your own instances of this :)
2> In poly loving circumstances you have two components to manage. The sexual piece and the emotional piece. I just tend to bundle the 'emotional' piece in with the physical constraints like time, attention etc.
The sexual piece - depending on your culture and upbringing is often the scariest but in actuality, the easiest to settle into. Once you and partner(s) get past the programming that having sex with anyone is anything more than just that - having SEX (like having dinner), as long as safety is not compromised - that's a cake walk. It's often not nearly as difficult (and sometimes not as thrilling) as you expected LOL
Balancing all the time and emotional considerations is a real bear. Just remember it in the context of having too many friends, too many jobs, too many kids, too many hobbies etc etc etc. Eventually something will get sidelined. Or you will get super=-stressed and have a breakdown lol. When HUMANS feel sidelined they don't like the feeling much and soon trouble will start. If you look around here I think you'll find some excellent threads on Communication.
So that's really what it boils down to - a grand over-generalization. Think about your resources (time, energy, money etc) and how you will be able to reasonably spread them out. And then ask yourself - AND the potential recipients, if that will be enough. You may be surprised at what you discover compared to the dream/fantasy.
Hope this makes some sense..................... there's endless details that could be added/discussed on each of these points.
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