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-   -   cant it be easier? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=699)

flakey 08-29-2009 05:29 PM

cant it be easier?
I am currently married in a monogamous relationship, though I am becoming increasingly unhappy. I still love my wife and even though she has flaws, I still find her an incredible person with many qualities, a beautiful soul. I have always been faithful for years, even living months away from her.

Problem is, she is very jealous, competetive with other females, terrified of me cheating on her, which exherts an unnecessary pressure on me, specially because I am faithful as probably no other man, and I feel like I have to constantly justify myself or be careful that she doesnt see me talking to girls or whatever. If im watching a movie that has a sex scene and she comes in the room, she is already all worried "Is this porn?!".

I told her many times that I wouldnt have a problem if she had something with another person, as long as the person had positive intentions. Nowadays guys are too crude.. But that this is all her decision, if and with who she wants to have sex/have a relationship, that she should do what her conscience tells her.

I believe in that cliche ¨if you love someone, set them free", and I live by it. I dont think I possess her or she posseses me. I think that more people can love each other without being a problem

But she cannot understand it, she says she could never say the same for me, she couldnt stand thinking of me being with another girl and so on.. She said she wouldnt want to be with someone else either.

The point is, I think she isnt necessarily monogamous in her essence either, but she was brought up to believe in, through culture, family and through tv (she always watched typical brainwashing romantic comedies where the myth of the perfect couple is always played). Together with social conditioning, I think the other main factor is a self esteem problem. If she was sure of herself, she wouldnt feel threatened by other women. Its all a pity because this all makes it a problematic relationship, even though exactly without this it would be amazing, because I see how beautiful she is inside and I wish she would see it herself also and be free.

She once, in a rare moment of personal liberation, said she wanted to be with someone else.. Not someone specific, but she would just like to experience someone else. I reiterated what I felt and if she wanted she was free, but her social conditioning of daily life turned her back into saying "I couldnt imagine being with someone else"..

So I think eventually im gonna have to separate from her, at least for some time, but I still will be open to having something throughout my whole life with her if she ever becomes less possessive. I would love to share my life with her, help each other grow, but not being attached and obligated to be only with her, plus all the unnecessary emotional trouble that comes from the unrealistic demands.

Im no don juan who gets all the girls, not the macho tough protective guy that girls normally want... So to find someone else, and on top of it, someone who is open like this, is gonna be tough... You guys think I stand a chance?

Plus, I've never even done this so I dont know in practice how it would work. I love women and am mostly interested in them, do not feel specially attracted thinking of men, but who knows im open to try it sometime if its someone with conscience.. Would love mostly to be with a few enlightened girls that are happy with each other also, but then again, who wouldnt? haha (but of course if they wanted to be with someone else, no prob by me)

What kind of relationship settings did you guys find to work? two couples? triad? more?

Isnt it nearly impossible to find people that meet all the usual criteria plus being poly? Or have more and more people become critical of monogamy?

sorry for the long post, its nice to be able to get this out :)

redpepper 08-29-2009 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by flakey (Post 5788)
Im no don juan who gets all the girls, not the macho tough protective guy that girls normally want... So to find someone else, and on top of it, someone who is open like this, is gonna be tough... You guys think I stand a chance?

Don't sell yourself short my friend. I would totally go for a guy like you. I like your "love them and set them free" nature and that you are able to keep your fidelity and not cheat. You sound very patient, loving and empathetic to your woman's needs. Nope, you would be a great catch!

I am much like your wife in that I was very jealous and protective of my husband. I love him dearly and know he is a great catch in a number of ways.... all of the ones that make you a great catch in fact. He has been very patient, yet persistent to the point where I have to tell him to "get out of here and enjoy yourself, I'm fine!" He thinks I am still struggling, which is better than assuming I'm not!

What worked for me was to hear over and over again what he needs from me and to be reassured over and over again that he is not going to leave and that he loves me and I am his number one. Most of all, why he feels like that. It took years and I still go through some doubts sometimes.... obviously he REALLY loves me or he wouldn't keep at it.

Keep at it, don't stop telling her what you need, even if you think she will break. It is very important to let her go in her jealousy and let her feel it, because there is an end to it and it does lesson. I let myself be in it, swim around in it's murky depths and allowed myself to feel it cover me like oil... it was terrible and very uncomfortable, but worth it in the end.... if she loves you then she will do the same I reckon.

Perhaps she should take a look on here and find some others to have this in common with?

XYZ123 08-29-2009 06:14 PM

Welcome to the forum.

I'm trying to understand. Do you feel you are genuinely poly or do you feel your wife's possessiveness is driving you away from her and towards a more open relationship? Would you be happy in a monogamous relationship with your wife if she would simply relax and let you make friends, talk openly, or (:eek:) watch porn?

Your wife may or may not be monogamous by nature. (Even mono people are capable of fantasizing every so often, though they wouldn't act on it.) But this is not the problem. The problem seems to be her possessive issue. And that usually comes from a self-esteem problem.

I used to be this way with my husband after alot of damage done to me by men in the past. Also, he was poly in the beginning of our relationship (we both were to an extent) and a two year emotional gutting involving a situation with his ex gf after we went mono severely hurt my trust in him. It took a very long time for us to work things out but we're happy and secure now. Does she have reason to be this insecure in your relationship. Has she been through trauma? Have you yourself done something to destroy the trust?

It sounds like you're nearing the end of your rope with this, but hold on just a minute before making radical life changes. Especially if you truly love her and want a life-long loving relationship. How willing is she to open up completely? Have you tried couple's counseling? There seems to be more underlying issues than just the poly/not poly one.

NeonKaos 08-29-2009 06:17 PM

I hate to sound like a cliche, but have you folks tried therapy or couples-counseling?

Fidelia 08-29-2009 09:10 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum. It sounds like you and your wife are really going through some "stuff." My heart goes out to you both.

My Flakey Friend, I'm going to give it to you straight: your wife is not ready to consider polyamory, and from your description, she’s not going to be ready any time soon. It sounds like she is struggling with some pretty hefty jealousy and control issues, which often stem from deep-seated insecurities and a lack of self-esteem. I urge you not to press the polyamory issue at this time. Rather, if I were in your situation, I would gently and lovingly insist my beloved address the insecurity/self-esteem/jealousy/control issues by whatever means necessary to move him/her toward better mental health, both for his/her own sake and for the sake of our relationship. Counseling and therapy might be very helpful, depending on the root cause(s) of the dysfunction.


Originally Posted by flakey (Post 5788)
So I think eventually im gonna have to separate from her, at least for some time . . .

I don’t blame you . I couldn’t live indefinitely under the conditions you describe, either. But give the matter serious thought before you take any action you can’t take back. Like my ol' grandaddy used to say, "Measure twice, cut once."


Originally Posted by flakey (Post 5788)
. . . because I see how beautiful she is inside and I wish she would see it herself also and be free.

but she has to be the one who does the work needed to see her own beauty. No one can do it for her. You can encourage her, help her, support her in the difficult challenge, but you cannot fix her problems. Only she can do that. I hope that you will help her and encourage her as she works to find her way to solving these problems.

You sound like an awesome guy. I hope your wife realizes this, and wants to do the work to be happy herself, and to strengthen your marriage. I wish you both peace and joy, whatever you decide to do.

flakey 08-29-2009 11:32 PM

Great replies, thanks a lot this feels very encouraging. :)

Ygirl, we never tried couples therapy, I doubt she would ever try, she's not into psychology (im a psychologist myself, and at first she seemed interested in my 'deeper' conversations but now sometimes it feels she's bothered: "too much philosophy for me" kind of comments), so I think she wouldnt go to one.. I think she would feel ashamed/bothered by the image of her going to some stranger to get council on her relationship, again the self-esteem issue.....

But depending how things continue to develop, I might at least suggest, its at least worth a try right?

RedPepper, kind words :) you are right one should try to reassure the other and be honest.. I have tried doing that throughout our relationship.. Unfortunately lately i've been finding myself thinking more and more about taking a break, about how would it be with someone else (not anybody in specific)... I wouldnt cheat on her, but I dont think its good for me or for her that I live in some inner conflict and pretend she can fulfill me completely..
On the other hand I also dont want give up too soon and then regret this later in life, but then again, I think if its meant to be then she will eventually understand it, maybe not now but at some point, and I will be open to her whenever that day comes

One thing I didnt mention before: I was her first and only man. So being with someone else would be a whole leap for her. I think, though, that it would do her (and our relationship) very good because she would get some perspective on the whole thing, maybe appreciate me more for who I am.

Then, there is one fact which I think she couldnt admit to her family to be with someone else.. They have a very very close relationship, and her family really likes me.. She couldnt tell them she is into polyamory, so if she was with another man either she would have to tell them she ended with me, or she would have to hide from them.. So there's all this pressure on her side which makes it hard for her to open up to poly, (considering she would be into it)

XYZ123, its hard for me to answer your questions because as I mentioned, its still theory for me. But I think if it wasnt for her jealousy, I could maybe live my life with her only, repressing some desires here and there (which would not be such an issue because, as I said, im not a womanizer, only had a few women, so am used to being without anybody). But even though I could live with her without the jealousy, I still think that deep down I am poly (is that how you say? "im poly? "). I feel I have a lot of love to give, and that I could be good to more people (women..?), have some ethical deep relationship with others who would appreciate me and who I could appreciate. So it feels like missing out on these other forms of relationship is like missing some part of life. Who knows though, maybe in practicevwith more people the troubles just multiply ? hehe

as for the other question, no I have never done anything to lose her trust, on the contrary I think... so I dont think its really me the issue, it feels more like things she is projecting in me due to insecurities.

Fidelia, also thanks for your good wishes! You are right im trying not to press the issue but rather deal with her jealousy and general well being of our relationship for now.. We are moving together to a big city soon to a new life, so Im also hoping that this can help us also change our relationship for the better (and also regain the momentum in our sexlife which lately has not been so exciting). I also think that another possibility of improvement would be if she would meet a guy she was very attracted to. I think if she was actually the one to do something, then it would be a breakthrough, but I wonder if that will ever happen.

If not, well, then I think im gonna have to take a break.... I dont want to end the relationship way too late years from now and fighting after long of emotional stresses... I want to always have a good relationship with her (and everybody else), knowing when is the time to be and when is the time not to be, not end as enemies with grudges in the heart. It wont be easy to take this break, our lives have been very deeply interwinned for the last 5 years, but who said life was easy?

Once again, thank you all, I feel very welcomed here :) Any more input is of course greatly appreciated... In any case I feel like im gonna be chatting around this forum a bit more in the future :)

NeonKaos 08-29-2009 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 5822)
I'm glad you are strong enough to accept that perhaps you may have to seperate.

She sounds monogamous and it also sounds that your relationship started with the expectation of mongamy. I don't see her as possessive at all, I see her as simply expecting what she signed up for.

Best of luck

Yes, Mono, but the parts about being insecure if he's even TALKING to another female person and how she freaks about "is it PORN" suggest to me deeper, more pathological issues at work than simply "monogamy is what I signed up for".

MonoVCPHG 08-30-2009 12:08 AM

I deleted my comment because it was emotionally driven. I'm leaving this one alone :o

XYZ123 08-30-2009 01:07 AM

I've been working towards becoming a psychologist myself. Have my degree in Developmental and hope to get my @$$ back in school after this baby to complete a masters. My husband gets annoyed when I "psychoanalyze" him. But he has come to my therapist with me and found it very helpful to us as a couple. It may be easier for you to both talk to an outside person than it is for her to feel you're using you "head shrinking" (another of hubby's gem) on her. Don't give up on the counseling idea. If she knows it may be the last resort and she wants to keep you, she'll take it.

Beyond that, if it's time you take a break I can't fault you. I drove my husband crazy when I was that insecure and I don't know how he got through it. I wish you the best.

Quath 08-30-2009 03:59 PM

One of the things that is different about polyamory is the treatment of jealousy. It is to be dealt with at the source or else it will become too big of an issue. In monogamy, the symptoms are treated.

Like if you are reading porn and your wife feel jealous by the women in it, a typical eaction is to no longer read the porn (where you couldbe caught). The more poly approach is to talk about why she feels jealous and explain that you see her much differently than the women in the pages (or in a browser). Let her realize that she is not in competition with these women and some of the jealuosy may die down.

I wish you luck.

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