Not sure what to say?
Hello. I am struggling with how to approach the conversation with my partner about becoming poly. I was married for 16 years to the same man and during that marriage I cheated. I left the marriage 7 years after the incident. Now I have been in a relationship with a very loving man for 5 years. I always wanted to have the discussion with my first husband about polyamory but we were both raised in a very monogamist family, my parents have been married 45 years. I do not want to loose this man that I truly love but I think we should have this talk. He had a open relationship in the past but when the conversation comes up during a casual conversation with friends about having a polyamorous relationship he just laughs and says "no, no, no".
I'm not sure how to approach this in a honest, "this is what I really want to talk about" way with him.
Does anyone that has been through this have any suggestions on a way to make this go well or atleast better than I'm imagining?
Patience is the surest, but slowest way
and it all depends on the individual. Some people automatically and adamantly refuse to even consider it, so the first mentions might need to be handled extremely delicately. Most reasonable people can at least consider it, or entertain the thought without actually attempting to practice a form of non-monogamy.
If you meet resistance, the surest way is to not actively pursue other intimate relationships, but pursue close friendships with others, friendships that are not forged with the intent of the relationship eventually becoming sexual. Friendships with people whom are "your kind of people" meaning the type of person you would desire to form strong bonds with. The type of true friends you can confide in and the closeness being based on the fact they are trustworthy.
Those seem to be the friends whom you might "stumble backwards" into polyamory with.
However they are also the kind of friends most people never are blessed by becoming having those types of relationships, the invaluable true friend. They are not a dime a dozen.
If your spouse is honest with himself, he will be able to recognize that he can be susceptible to at least brief moments of attraction or lust towards others, even though it is not a good idea to run with every instance of those emotions as to do so would be careless unless you are single. To run with every lustful emotion is careless, even for polys. Acting on casual lust, is more a swinger type mentality.
Working on fully sharing your thoughts with each other will elevate the closeness or intimacy in your relationship with your spouse. Just being able to discuss casual attractions and lust that you would likely not ever act on is level of intimacy that most marriages never reach.
If you were to foster a deeper connection with your spouse by working towards more fully sharing your life -- regardless of your intentions to practice polyamory -- is in my opinion the surest way to transition into non-monogamy. Spouses with that heightened level of trust, that strength and closeness, that extremely intimate and more complete sharing of yourself with your loved ones is what can make non-monogamy come easy
So sometimes the best way to start, is not bring up sexual relationships with others, but first get him to open up and be comfortable discussing detailed sexual interactions with you.
You would be surprised how many people attempt to be non-monogamous yet the sex acts they envision in their fantasies, they are too embarrassed to discuss those very acts in detail in the context of it happening with their spouse.
They cannot even bring themselves to descriptively talk about it, yet act surprised when their relationships implode or explode, which sounds like denial to me.
that's already way too much information, so a lot of it may be irrelevant, but if something helps, it helps.
hopefully something will help you
Could keep it simple when you request a moment of his time.
"Could you be willing and able to have a conversation with me about polyamory and if that could be something you and I explore or not? I'm not saying we go off to practice polyamory. I saying... could you be willing and able to TALK and have that sort of conversation with me? I would like to know where you stand on that."
Then see if he is willing and able.
And if not willing or able -- ask if he could explain what blocks him from having intimate conversation with his partner -- you.
Because his willingness to TALK about (cookies, golf, polyamory) is one thing.
His willingness to (bake, hit balls with a club, "do" poly) is another.
Welcome to our forum.
A post I chanced across many moons ago had some really good insights about this kind of dilemma. Here's the addy: http://polyamoryonline.org/smf/index...sg9230#msg9230
The man you're with doesn't yet seem to realize that polyamory is a very serious/important topic for you. You need to think of ways to break it to him gently that, "Honey, this polyamory issue is really important to me."
Sometimes simple, respectful honesty about what's going on with you and your feelings, combined with a humble request for him to consider it, is the most effective approach. But remember, even if he says yes, and you meet a new partner, and get all excited about them, you might get too carried away and constantly tell your original partner how wonderful the new partner is, and not even realize that you're neglecting your new partner. Be careful. (I know I'm talking about something that would happen after he said okay to polyamory, but.)
I hope you'll find the best way to approach him with the subject that will work for you and him. Keep us posted on that.
I posted a similar thread a while back, and then managed to bring it up but kind of badly.
I just blurted everything out and didn't consider how much time we would have to talk about things or how much we would want to talk about it.
Because my partner and I have different work schedules, he works days I work evenings, there hasn't been as much time as would be ideal for discussions.
On the plus side we both agree that just talking about this sort of thing and the level of openness required has made us feel so very close in way that we hadn't for some time.
My partner said that once he got over the initial feeling of being punched in the stomach, that he feels like his brain works in a completely different way now and he can interact with me through a much more satisfying and open way. So many times in past he and I didn't say or do things because we imagined we might hurt each other etc., and it could be that behaving in that way, while with the best intentions, just led to us slowly building up walls and barriers between us.
It's still not all just yay 'I have a new and open mindset' he still feels a bit shocked and frightened at times.
Try and make it so that you have lots of time available for you to talk, but of course don't let a lack of time stop you either I guess. And try, try to be nice. Initially my parter was all 'I'm not interested' and that was the end of the conversation, this made me feel so upset, angry and cut off it was really hard not to become emotional/hysterical/mean, but we both managed.
We are still very much at the talking about things stage rather than doing, there have been good and bad bits so far and there will no doubt be more.
We had the "Polyamory Talk"
I want to thank everyone for the post. They helped me form a way to have the conversation in the right way.
We went to dinner after I put the post up about what to say. I approached the conversation about his views on his life when he was living a swinger lifestyle. Having the conversation about the pros and cons of a swingers lifestyle opened the door for me to talk about Polyamory. He had watched a documentary with me on The Life Of Polyamory and he knew what the lifestyle was entailed. He said he is open to making the change to Polyamory.
We have always been very honest with each other about how we feel, what we want and how to achieve our goals in whatever area of life we are pursuing.
Our life is very laid back and simple, easy. We rarely have any confusion or commotion about anything. I am very vibrant and outgoing, he is quiet and easy going. We like reading the Sunday paper over coffer or a cup of tea and having discussions over what's happening in the world today.
We both have children that are very important to us.
His marriage failed over a cheating wife and mine failed because of all the things we had done that we couldn't take back, we both made mistakes.
We met each other almost six years ago and honestly fell in love at first sight. He says I came out of nowhere just for him. I caught myself staring awkwardly at his eyes. We couldn't deny how hard it hit us. We went out a week after we met and we have been together ever since.
Glad your initial talk went well to assess his willingness to talk about poly in general. :)
Could keep talking abot "HOW to do poly" over a series of talks if that's where you both want to take it.
Yay! He was totally cool with it. Congrats and I hope you guys keep that sweet commincation going. :D
If you deliberately seek out close friendships with the kinds of people you could see yourself having an intimate relationship, you're at risk of having an emotional affair.
Besides, if you're polyamorous and you feel the need to be able to pursue other romantic relationships, then close friendships will be a poor substitute. It's like someone giving you a hamburger when you're craving steak. It might be a really awesome hamburger with all your favourite toppings, but if it's steak you want, then 100% pure angus ground beef just won't cut it.
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