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-   -   in traditional relationship, would like advice (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68916)

corporalunicorn 02-14-2014 05:39 PM

in traditional relationship, would like advice
 
Hello, I am currently in a traditional monogamous relationship with a absolutely wonderful woman who I am totally in love with. She is also very much in love with me and we are both very happy with the relationship. I recently read the first few chapters of a very interesting book on polyamory and It started to make me think more about monogamous relationships and my compatibility with them. I have only been in one other serious relationship besides the one I am in now, and I have always been completely loyal and pretty honest with my partners but I have always found that the idea of being with only one person was manufactured, unnatural and never really made too much sense to me. I have become much less jealous in the recent year, but I still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with feelings of jealousy. I have never been as satisfied with a relationship as I have with the one I am in now, but I still feel as if I am missing out. I currently have a much higher sex drive than my girlfriend, she goes to great lengths to take care of my physical needs but I feel like I am putting a burden on her and our relationship because of this. I certainly have interest in other women but I would never go behind her back. I find it hard to be completely honest with her about my feelings about other women, as I feel it would hurt her and erode her well found trust in me.

My girlfriend is much more sexually experienced and has been in many more relationships than I have, she is 25 and I am 31. I am a little wary about her past and it does evoke feelings of jealousy sometimes but I feel like I am gaining more control of these feelings over time. She is a spectacular woman, the kind that, when single, enjoys hunting for men to satisfy her desires. She has told me before, that being so serious about our relationship makes her nervous and I have told her the same thing. When she is single and free, she has a much higher sex drive, when she is in a serious relationship she says it becomes less about sex and more about other forms of intimacy. I understand this, but I have a feeling that perhaps monogamous relationships stifle her, much like in the way I feel stifled. She is also very loyal and fiercely jealous of me. We were casually dating for a few months at the start of our relationship and allowed to see other people (which neither of us did) but when one of my friends, who was obviously interested me, kissed me on the cheek in front of her my girlfriend decided she wanted to become exclusive, which I agreed to. I feel like this was a reaction to her feelings of jealously and perhaps not what she really wanted out of our relationship.

I feel like my feelings of jealously have been steadily evolving over time, and one of the things my girlfriend loves the most about me is that I am not jealous of her guy friends and past boyfriends. She has told me how wonderful it feels to be with someone that allows her to be free after having jealous and controlling boyfriends in the past. She gives me a lot of latitude as well, and we both trust each other, although I feel like I trust her and give her more freedom than she does me.

I am very confused and I have many questions, like am I polyamorus? Could she possibly be polyamorus? How do I talk with her about this without upsetting her? I feel like my control over feelings of jealously are to the point where I might be able to be in a poly relationship, but how do I know for sure? I know that her feelings of jealously are not compatible but how could I help her grow so that someday she might be more compatible with polyamory?

I don't want to ruin my relationship so I know I need to be careful and take things slow. I feel like not only could I accept her being with other men, but that it would make me happy to see her free. I want her to have the same complete fulfillment that I long for and the happiness and health that comes with it. I am in no rush to change things, but I feel that in order to keep us both happy our relationship will have to evolve at some point and if it does I want to know how best to facilitate this change so we can remain happy together for a long time.

Hopefully some of you have been through the same thing and have some constructive feedback for me, or perhaps some questions which I would be more than willing to answer if it would help you with giving me guidance.

Thanks in advance!

WhatHappened 02-15-2014 01:55 AM

I don't really see 'polyamorous' as something people are, for the simple reason that I think most people can fall in love with multiple people, given the right people. Rather, I see 'polyamorous' as a relationship style. So to me, the real issue for you is to study the ins and the outs of such a style, and discuss it with her.

london 02-15-2014 06:21 AM

No, she seems far too jealous and possessive to successfully navigate polyamory.

SchrodingersCat 02-15-2014 06:23 AM

The easiest way to break the ice is to "stumble" upon a video online about polyamory and watch it with your partner, and then ask what she thinks about that kind of relationship style. Introducing it as a hypothetical / abstract notion lets you test the waters without putting pressure on her to "say the right thing."

From there, if she seems at least a little bit receptive, you can tell her exactly what you've said here, in whatever language is comfortable in your relationship.

An important thing to remember is that you've been thinking about this for a while, but you're just presenting her with the idea for the first time. So be patient and allow her to mull it over at her own pace. You've been consciously dealing with jealousy issues, whereas she's been in a comfortable monogamous mindframe where she could just ignore those feelings rather than deal with them.

Some people never fully get over jealousy, and that's perfectly fine. What's important is to take accountability for your feelings, not to blame them on someone else, and then learn to just be at peace with them. For example, everyone has bad days. When I'm feeling down, I don't try to change the way I feel, I just try to be conscious and aware of what I'm feeling, what events may have triggered these feelings, and what thoughts I'm having that caused me to react to these events in that way.

SchrodingersCat 02-15-2014 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhatHappened (Post 259754)
I don't really see 'polyamorous' as something people are, for the simple reason that I think most people can fall in love with multiple people, given the right people. Rather, I see 'polyamorous' as a relationship style. So to me, the real issue for you is to study the ins and the outs of such a style, and discuss it with her.

I see it as both. Some people are only comfortable in monogamous relationships, so these are monogamous people. Some people are only comfortable in polyamorous relationships, so these are polyamorous people. Some people can go either way depending on the partner, so these are like the poly version of bisexual.

By analogy, you can identify as a homosexual person or a heterosexual person, and that will dictate what kind of relationships you'll have. But if you're bisexual then you can have homosexual relationships or heterosexual relationships.

GalaGirl 02-16-2014 03:55 PM

I think you need encouragement. I could guess wrong.

My suggestion? Control you temper.

Take simplest path. Print your post. Give it to her. Tell her you feel scared for her to read it but you have a need to be understood and want to share inner thoughts but please be gentle with you cause it was hard to go there and speak your truths if even at a whisper.

Then stop worrying about her emotional management and fearing that she will not control her tempers. You either trust her or not to treat you well. If she wigs, ask her why she is making it be about her? When you ask for a moment of her time to talk about something on your mind, it is about you. She can have her turn later. Could she be willing to keep it on you? Needs a time out to get her own tempers tamed first? Dare to talk openly and honestly.

You control your own emotional management. Right now you are letting fear temper get the best of you. Learn to control your temper.

Anger temper is not the only temper. Express your feelings but control your tempers when you relate to loved ones. One controls anger temper and does not shout or punch. One controls fear temper and does not sell a loved one short and not allow them opportunity to know you when you want to be known and understood because... It feels scary being out there nekkid emotionally.

If she has poor temper control, one does not sell loved ones short and not give new opportunity to exercise that skill and grow. In normal relationship... I am not talking about abusive ones. You are her partner and there to help her grow into her best self. As she is you. You do not withhold opportunity for her to exercise weak skills and grow stronger.

Most important...You also sell yourself short when you do not step up to the occasion and risk experiencing non-doom and loving treatment. Are you serving your need to be understood and be loved as you are or serving your tempers when you do that holding back behavior?

Other people in this life might be willing to sell you short. That is not reason or excuse for YOU to sell you short.

You cannot ruin your relationship by speaking openly and honestly in it. That behavior helps support healthy relating, not destroy it.

That is my advice to you. Express your feelings. Both risk learning to control tempers. Meet your own needs.

And the need for your shared relationship to be healthy and strong .

Play ball, dude. Don't bench yourself! Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get the one . :)

Galagirl

happytovee 02-16-2014 08:24 PM

If she is jealous when a friend kisses you on the cheek, I cannot imagine her getting to a point of truly being ok with poly.

Ariakas 02-16-2014 09:42 PM

does she have the potential to be poly.. sure
does she have the potential to be non-monogamous (a far more flexible and inclusive term)

some of what you said raised some red flags. Here are some of my thoughts and points.

Quote:

I have never been as satisfied with a relationship as I have with the one I am in now, but I still feel as if I am missing out.
Good thoughts. So, in the end, the only thing you can do is decide for yourself if becoming non-monogamous will make you happy.. you also need to decide if msising out, long term, will make you resentful. You then need to figure out what you need to do.

Quote:

but I still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with feelings of jealousy.
Another good observation about yourself. And good to understand. Jealousy I have found comes from two places from my discussions and experience.

1 - fear of losing something
2 - projecting a want...

Number 1 is the easy one, number 2 is tricky, but the gist of it is simple. You want to bang more people, you feel limited because of insert limitation here, you then project that feeling on your partner.

Quote:

I am a little wary about her past and it does evoke feelings of jealousy sometimes but I feel like I am gaining more control of these feelings over time.
You might want to get a little more introspective about this. Why do you care. Past is past. As you get older you will find less and less partners with less experience than you. My wife has 3x the partners I have had.. she stayed with me haha..

Quote:

She is a spectacular woman, the kind that, when single, enjoys hunting for men to satisfy her desires.
Quote:

. When she is single and free, she has a much higher sex drive, when she is in a serious relationship she says it becomes less about sex and more about other forms of intimacy
Normal reaction is too generic a term. But this all reads relatively normal. I have a good number of female friends who match your descriptions... and are very monogamous (unfortunately for me) Don't take those snippets and assume anything.

Quote:

I feel like this was a reaction to her feelings of jealously and perhaps not what she really wanted out of our relationship.
Relationship lesson number 1 - communicate.. ask her.. don't assume. And then trust her communication. If she fails to communicate her actual desire to you, thats he problem. But you can't assume this is true otherwise it will eat you up.

Quote:

She has told me how wonderful it feels to be with someone that allows her to be free after having jealous and controlling boyfriends in the past. She gives me a lot of latitude as well, and we both trust each other, although I feel like I trust her and give her more freedom than she does me.
The level of douchbaggery perpetrated by partners out there who suffer from jealousy knows no bounds. Again this is relatively common. Monogamous people quite happily flirt and communicate and even mimic dating habits while monogamous. It just happens to go again all the things that some groups of mono-pushers believe to be true.

I think its awesome you have that trust, but again its non and indicator of non-monogamy.

Quote:

I am very confused and I have many questions, like am I polyamorus? Could she possibly be polyamorus? How do I talk with her about this without upsetting her? I feel like my control over feelings of jealously are to the point where I might be able to be in a poly relationship, but how do I know for sure? I know that her feelings of jealously are not compatible but how could I help her grow so that someday she might be more compatible with polyamory?
Only you know if you are poly. Only you can control you. If you are poly.. then you need to figure out how to make that work with your partner.

Only she will know.. you could help expose her to it to see if she is, but don't assume she is. I don't find anything you have indicated to be a poly specific set of traits. So I wouldn't put the cart before the horse.

You don't control jealousy. You learn to accept things that happen without expectations. If you think you have control of jealousy, you could end up hurting yourself. At least in my opinion.

You can't help her grow, she has to grow. You can provide information I suppose, but in the end, these are all individual journeys, we just end up growing together or splitting apart. Not that different than monogamy actually. Stagnation of one partner can be the death of a mono relationship.

[quote]I don't want to ruin my relationship so I know I need to be careful and take things slow. I feel like not only could I accept her being with other men, but that it would make me happy to see her free.]/quote]

does she want the freedom or do you?

So those are a lot of broken responses. But the gist of my message

1 - you can only control and understand yourself
2 - You cannot control the other outcomes or questions
3 - You cannot guess at your partners intentions, personality, want, needs etc. They need to tell you. And if they can't... don't cator to them and try guessing, ask.

With your post, I don't know if either of you are poly or non-monogamous.. you need to have those discussions together. Thats your starting point.. :)..

good luck..


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