Feel a bit like a moose (very long intro, sorry)
I was going for a clever title, but this actually works really well for me. (Canadian gal with two blokes going on at the moment, rather like antlers!)
I'm 24, female, bi and have been married for 5 and a half years to a fantastic guy (26) with one son (4.5 years). My husband and I have always joked about being open, about being with other people, but as we were both quite conservatively Christian it was most definitely just joking around. Lately, however, that has changed.
Neither one of us really claims the Christian title any more. I'm fully agnostic (with atheistic leanings) and he's as agnostic and open as it seems to be possible to be. There's been so much growth between us and individually. Which I suppose is the point when people suggest that you not get married too young.
The difference I've seen between us as opposed to other 'together young' couples in my vicinity (all of whom have split up) is the communication and honesty we have.
It may take us a while but eventually we tell each other everything. In fact, my husband has always been the first one to hear of any new people I think are attractive, etc, and he's always been able to tell me the same.
So here's the saga. I first got into the idea of polyamory back in September, when a couple propositioned me at a staff party. My husband, upon hearing about it, gave the reaction of "why didn't you go"?
He had told me earlier that month that he'd been feeling as though he'd trapped me (and himself) into this marriage by thinking he was so wise when he was younger, and then when this proposition happened it was a huge shift. We started reading up on poly, started talking about it and discussing what we would want from it all -- that we would want to get along with each other's other partners, etc.
He even named a friend of mine that he could see me being with. A friend that I've known over a decade and definitely have felt attraction toward.
Since then, however, the following problem has arisen: I get to see my friend once a month (generally speaking) as we live a distance away from the city and don't go in all that much. But as my husband suggested, this friend has become another lover, and now my husband is very down about it.
It isn't very often, and i've been trying (and learning) to keep the NRE to a minimum. I try to be reassuring, and helpful, and the last thing I want is for my husband to feel horrible about this.
He acknowledges that it's likely envy - he wants it too, but we're in such a small place with girls that he doesn't connect with (or want to) and he feels a bit like it will not happen for him - that I "get" to go off and do these things and he is "stuck" at home while I do it.
whether that is actually the case or not (i always have other things going on that are taking me into the city overnight) is irrelevant - his feelings shouldn't be diminished. He feels how he feels.
The problem is that I can't seem to help. I have no idea what to do to make this easier for him. I think things will be better when we move in the fall - all 3 of us in our family (husband, son and myself) are hopefully going to be going to school in the city in the fall - but what can i do until then?
TL;DR: New to polyamory - both spouses consider themselves poly but only one has found a metamour (oh whoops, edit: i have a paramour. gosh this terminology is hard to keep straight!), now feels guilty that the other hasn't. Suggestions?
Welcome to the forum.
Oh it's definitely me that feels guilty for having what he doesn't.
But thank you...
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
~ Buddhist Proverb
It seems to me that you are facing in the right direction. I agree with ImaginaryIllusion about having patience. It is something I am having to learn myself. As long as you are facing the right direction, keep walking and sooner or later, the companions you seek, will meet you on the same road. :)
So I could see that you might be feeling guilty about having a paramour (Lover) while he has yet to find one.
It's also not uncommon for guys to take a long time to find a lover...especially if they're already involved. It's a rare woman indeed who will even stick around long enough to entertain the notion.
Patience, patience, and more patience.
Cure his jealousy
The answer to your problem is more affection, constant affection. My wife has 3 lovers and I don't have any. I don't really want any at this point, because in the past it has caused her great anxiety. I used to be jealous too but now I revel in her happiness, and the 3 other men are a safeguard, I suppose, about any one becoming all-consuming. The way we combat any occasional jealousy on my part is that she gives me constant reassurance that I am the love of her life. Her polyness has only deepened our relationship. We have incredible sex and she always put me first (for one thing, we agree on the time of her dates and she always asks me first if they are OK). She hopes to get to where I am with a lack of jealousy but I am in no great rush for her to. I'd rather play golf-- I even play with one of her boyfriends -- than rush into another relationship. Different strokes I guess.
Well, seems you guys are approaching this sensibly. AND you have properly identified the envy issue, which is always going to be lurking around the corner as circumstances change for either/both of you.
It's OK to be envious ! The key is to call it out and not let it take control. We often are going to be in positions where someone is in a better position than we are, and then we will be in a better position than them or someone else. That's just how things work.
But things change. And they especially change if we take some positive action that will move us in the direction we wish to move. It doesn't happen overnight. And sometimes we start from a position of disadvantage (him being male in this case - more often than not a disadvantage in poly potential).
But you're together in this right ? A team ?
Empathize with his position. Try to do what little extra you can while he's working towards finding/building something for himself too. And you can help in this. Nothing wrong with initiating some contact with other girls you think he'd click with - and preferably you also.
But it's harder in this area and he needs to develop patience. The worst thing is probably to go on some massive 'search' mission which will often just lead to more frustration and envy ! Just go about life, get in social situations as much as possible and see what comes your way. With a new, OPEN outlook.
No longer does he have to turn his head or shut off potential connections because he's in a relationship. The door is open for more.
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