Err, hey everyone.
I'm not sure what to say, so I'll just see what comes out.
I'm a 29yo, bisexual, and non monogamous guy. I'm married to a monogamous guy.
I first realised i might be non monogamous a few years ago. The initial impetus was some dis-sastifaction sexually due to our radically different drives and tastes. I loved him, and enjoyed what we did, but it didn't feel like enough. As i pondered the alternatives, i realised the problem wasn't that i wasn't that my relationship with him wasn't good, but that i felt that a single relationship might not be enough for me. I wanted to be open to not only wider sexual experiences, but also, potentially, additional romantic ones.
When it really began to play on my mind, i sat my then fiance down and told him everything. I explained how i felt, how i might not be monogamous. We discussed it at length, and he was actually pretty great about it. We agreed that i would be honest and open about my feelings, and he'd have the power of veto over anything that came along because i loved him, and would never sacrifice my existing relationship for another. He also explained he was monogamous, and wouldn't find additional partners, even if i did.
We got married. Nothing happened on the 'extra marital front' until about a year ago. Since then it's just been hookups, not relationships.
My husband is fine with a sexually open relationship, but he seems averse to romantic involvements, and I'm worried that if i ever fall for another person, my husband will veto it. I got kind of crushy on this one guy and my husband got irritated whenever i mentioned his name. To be fair, i mentioned him alot. I tried to reassure the hubby that the guy doesn't even seem to like me, and if he did, i'd be honest and my husband would have veto, but i'm worried it's confirmation he wouldn't accept another romantic partner. I
To top everything off, I'm an immigrant, and i'm terrified that even telling someone else i'm non monogamous, let alone adding another partner to this relationship, would jeopardize my marriage. And as an immigrant, i have no friends i can even talk this over with. Ugh.
I joined the forum because i really need people to talk to, to share with, to get advice from because right now i'm just some lost, confused guy who's not entirely sure what's going on, or where to go from here.
I am glad you were able to come out as non-monogamous to your husband. However, it's important to get him to understand you want romance as well as sex with other partners. And vetoes are tough. If you fall for someone and your h vetoes him (her?), what will you go through? What will the new person go through if they are also in love with you?
Best to get that all worked out. Does your h feel afraid you'd leave him for another if you were in love?
Vetos tend to be a bad thing long term. Some people use it short term as a crutch to help their other partner along. It is better to go with an idea where you agree to work through issues as they arise. Your partner will have to realize that other relationships are not a threat because non-monogamy doesn't force a choice of partners.
I think it is good to talk through possible scenarios. That may help your husband mentally prepare and work out issues before they arise.
Also be aware of NRE and try to damp down your enthusiasm. My wife once asked me what she should do if she noticed me doing things with my girlfriend that I would not have done with her due to NRE. I told her to mention it to me so I could be more aware of what I am doing. My goal is to keep her from having to mention it.
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.
It sounds like you are somewhat isolated and in need of someone to talk to. Polyamory.com is a bustling site with a wide range of people you can turn to. I'd suggest checking out our various threads and boards, to see what type of help you most need.
I'm usually good about keeping up with the intro board so whatever you post in this thread will always be good for a response (and usually will be on other threads and boards also).
It seems to me that you'll have to have a conversation with your husband about romantic relationships, as it'll almost certainly come up sooner or later. Best have that conversation sooner, before any outside romance has any chance to develop.
You should also be aware that often mentioning a new love interest to your monogamous husband is likely to cause your husband to have pangs of anger, irritability, and/or insecurity. Nobody likes to think they're being replaced by someone else, and it can feel that way if it seems to your husband like that someone else is all you ever talk about. It is indeed an NRE problem, and you must be very careful that your husband isn't sitting on the sidelines while your new love interest becomes your new star player. Pay close attention to your husband's needs and make sure you mention (and tend to) him at least as often as you do anyone else. When you're crushing on someone new it's all too easy to neglect your husband without realizing it.
I only state the above because I myself made that mistake when my monogamous wife was still with us. In my perception I was just sharing my all with her, which meant if I was strongly attracted to someone new and felt like rhapsodizing about them, I'd share that with her also. I rationalized that this was a way of acting loving towards my wife. However, I was not putting myself in her shoes, and as a result I almost ruined my marriage with her. You cannot be too careful when feelings strike for someone new, even if the new someone isn't returning those feelings. Don't let yourself grow inadvertently insensitive toward your spouse, as I did toward mine. Your husband will need lots of extra attention during this time of transition.
I think that if you do a search (preferably tag search) for NRE, you'll notice that many other people have also made the same mistake that I made.
I hope that we'll be able to help you, with any and all of the challenges you encounter as you try on this new model of loving people. It'll make a big difference that you can turn to Polyamory.com for advice and support.
Good luck and good love,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)
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First of all, thank you to everyone who replied, for your kind welcome, and helpful advice.
Firstly: Quath and Kevin T, you were right about NRE.
I mentioned in my original post that i was crushing on this guy at work. Lets call him 'C'. I spent weeks going on and on about how wonderful i think he is, how much i love his voice and his hair and all that stuff. Then about 2 weeks ago i found out that, due to work schedules, I probably wouldn't be seeing C again, at least not regularly. I came home fairly unhappy, and sought comfort from my Hubby. But he snapped at me, something along the lines of "I'm not going to comfort *my* husband because he's crushing on some guy from work". I began to worry he wasn't open to my being romantically involved with other people afterall.
I now realize Hubby acted that way because I have indeed made hm feel "sidelined". Like you said, Kevin, i thought of it as sharing, when it was really just insensitive 'rhapsodizing' about someone new. Even without the returned feelings needed for a relationship, it was pretty much 'NRE'.
For all my worry about Hubby accepting poly, I hadn't thought about the feelings that would actually lead him to accept, or reject, a new relationship, and a new person.
So i had a talk with him, and apologised for the way i'd behaved. I went on to explain how I was worried, and asked him if he was still ok with my being non-monogamous.
Magdlyn, you were right: Hubby explained that he wasn't against poly per se, but the reason he snapped about C is because he's scared that i might love C, or someone else, more than I loved him, and maybe even leave him for them. Probably because i'd been so enthusiastic about C in the weeks before. I reassured Hubby that i wouldn't leave him, and he said he knows that, intellectually, but that the heart don't always match the head.
I mentioned that the veto thing was, long term, untenable, because it'd hurt me, and the other person, if he vetoed a relationship. He said he wouldn't care about their feelings, only mine, which raised a red flag. So I pointed out that i would care, because i might love them the same as i loved him. Then i was, probably for the first time, frank about what i wanted in my future. I talked about, for example, if me and C had hit it off: How would Hubby handle me asking to date C, or how would he feel if C wanted to move in with me/us? How would he feel seeing C at the breakfast table, or me giving C a kiss goodbye in the morning?
I've never been so blunt about it before. I normally try to be less 'in his face' about it, but i think the vagueness adds to his anxiety. Having concrete situations to consider might have helped him get his head around it more easily, since he surprised me by saying that, in that event,he'd want to meet the person, and if he was going to share such a big part of his life with them, he'd have to like them too. I said that, although people are different and don't always get on,iy was fair enough to expect them to at least not hate one another if i wasn't to wind up leading separate lives with each of them.
Like i said, me and C is probably never going to happen. But you never know with love. For all I know, I might bump into the next special person tomorrow at the grocery store, or mall, or whatever. If it happens, i want to be able to navigate it so as to build a new relationship with the existing one intact.
So thanks for the welcome and the advice. It's so wonderful to have people with experience who can point out when i'm doing something crazily self destructive. I'll probably be bothering you all again on other sections of this forum for more advice in future, and hopefully making some friends.
Sounds good. I appreciate your taking my advice in the spirit intended, which is not always easy if it's not something comfortable to hear. Once Hubby has good solid reason to believe that his needs will be met, and that he won't disappear from your life and heart in preference to someone else, I think you'll find he can be surprisingly open to this polyamorous idea. Continue to work and communicate with him and I think you'll be fine.
As you look around at our various threads and boards, I think you'll get insights, and new questions will occur to you as well. That's all a part of what we're here for. The Life stories and blogs board may be a particularly interesting place to start. But there's likely to be hidden gems awaiting you in each and all of the boards. So have a look around, feel welcome and be at home. Indeed you are among friends.
Glad to hear your latest talk with Hubby went well. I hope that trend will continue.
I can relate to you very well. I am also fairly newly "out" and married to a monogamous man.
With my first relationship outside my marriage, in fact, this woman was the reason I opened my marriage, I made similar mistakes to yours. I was utterly head over heels for this woman. Like you, I didn't want to keep anything about my new love from my husband, though he told me he did not want to hear about it. This became an issue especially when my relationship with this woman started to turn ugly and spill over into every aspect of my life. I mean, hubby is who I always turn to when I have problems, so it seemed natural to me to cry on hubby's shoulder when I was in pain over my lover's behavior. He resented this, as he was still struggling to accept my desire to be with other people, to then have the burden of dealing with my unrequited love for another woman=totally unfair to him.
After I untangled myself from unloving woman, husband and I had many long talks about how we can possible make this work so we can both be comfortable in our marriage. He has been adamant that he doesn't want to know anything about my outside relationships. If anyone comes along that I have feeling for, say to the point where I want to spend nights with them sometimes, I am to tell him "There's someone in my life that I want to spend more time with," and that's that. He doesn't want to know who it is. I am not to invite them out when he's around (he works long hours, usually nights, and he is rarely part of my social life anyway.) They are not to "interfere" in his life or our marriage.
I understand this is his way of trying to control/minimize the impact of my relationships outside our marriage, and I worry it is unrealistic to think I can compartmentalize so totally. As of now, its a non-issue, as I don't have strong feelings for anyone, and I've had no problems keeping my mouth shut about either of the guys I dated after I broke up with my girlfriend. But, like you, I have concerns that husband is hoping this is just a phase/mid-life crises, or he believes no one will ever come along who I develop real feelings for and who feels for me back.
We've only been doing this for a year, so I'm hoping there will be some relaxing of his resistance as we continue to talk and grow. Or, who knows? Maybe I'll learn that no one compares to him (so far, honestly, no one does) and settle back into monogamy. For now, we are both taking it as it comes.
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