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-   -   flagging belief in poly (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70011)

gorgeouskitten 05-19-2014 07:57 PM

flagging belief in poly
 
Hey all, haven't written a lot lately. A lot has happened in the last year. I am currently having issues with my own spouse (not about being poly) while after a yaer and a half, still very much in love with my boyfriend. Ive tried having both as primaries...and its hard, maybe too hard? When it comes down to it with my spouse and I being disconnected I'd rather have just my boyfriend, and maybe that's part of the problem.

Here is the thing, lately every poly couple I know is splitting up. My poly therapist is getting divorced, my friend who was such a big support and a swinger doesn't want to swing anymore after getting so jealous at her hubs last outing, my boyfriends marriage fell apart....honestly the list goes on. Im not sure I can/want to do this anymore. Being mono with the BF isn't an option...and I don't want to be with hubs (not right now anyway). It bothers be very much when my boyfriend dates. I fear I only became poly to avoid a crumbling marriage.

Any input on how I could still see poly as this great thing in all this?

jayt 05-19-2014 08:14 PM

How was poly so great to begin with?

When a relationship is not working, playing around with being poly does not fix it. I am poly because that is how my brain works, not because I want to sleep around. If you are wanting sex, then have sex... if you want relationships of any type, .. go do it... be honest... be trust worthy... be who you really are.

I am still polyamorus even if I am celibate.
I think those who are- love and affection monogamous, are still, even when they have plural sex partners.

gorgeouskitten 05-19-2014 08:29 PM

I thought it was how my brains wired too...but now im thinking, maybe only sexually. Its the multiples loves tripping me up.

Marcus 05-19-2014 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gorgeouskitten (Post 267831)
I thought it was how my brains wired too...but now im thinking, maybe only sexually. Its the multiples loves tripping me up.

Defining philosophies and worldviews can change, for some of us they change dramatically several times throughout our lives. Who knows, maybe the idea of poly was right on target for you when you were in that emotional place and you have found yourself in another and need to reassess.

I wouldn't read much into it but that... you are in a place of self-evaluation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gorgeouskitten (Post 267826)
lately every poly couple I know is splitting up. My poly therapist is getting divorced, my friend who was such a big support and a swinger doesn't want to swing anymore after getting so jealous at her hubs last outing, my boyfriends marriage fell apart....honestly the list goes on. Im not sure I can/want to do this anymore.

I don't see one thing having anything to do with another. It sounds like you are having doubts about wanting a poly association and are using the fact that you know of other non-monogamous relationships that are also not working as support for your doubts. I suggest focusing on what is or is not working for *you* and leave the relationships of the world to their own devices.

My experience is that relationships don't last for a lifetime. Mono relationships don't, and poly relationships don't. I suppose it's possible that someone meets another person, becomes romantic with them, and they miraculously grow in perfect unison throughout their entire existence and never break up or have to change the nature of their association fundamentally... but I'm not using that as a "common" example lol

sparklepop 05-19-2014 11:10 PM

Hi Kitten,

I try to look at poly in terms of the health level of each individual relationship rather than the act of being poly itself. I do think that of course there can be an overlap... losing yourself in one person can create damage in another relationship, for example. But if a relationship already has cracks, poly (like anything else) can either highlight the cracks or help to blend them together. I don't feel that poly itself helps a relationship, but the positive things that can come from it, such as increased awareness of oneself, communication, freedom, strength, etc. However, such things can be achieved in monogamous relationships too.

I really don't think that poly is a magic pill that will keep couples together. Most people I know are monogamous and I've seen most of them go through breakups and divorces. Breakups are about a lack of compatibility / giving up / being unhappy / something not working - I don't think it makes a difference whether one is poly or mono.

However, I do hear you and it sounds to me that you have struggled so much with jealousy that you are exhausted, perhaps scared, and perhaps not wanting to carry on facing what feels like an uphill struggle. I absolutely understand that.

After browsing through some of your old posts, I wonder if part of your feeling is that you are 'free' of hubby, Nudge is 'free' of his wife, who you seemed to struggle with and perhaps saw as the 'enemy' for a while there, and now you're seeing an opportunity to have each other all to yourselves? Though I also see that you say being mono with Nudge isn't an option.

It may be true that you only became poly to avoid a crumbling marriage. It's ok if you did. You were trying what you wanted to try at the time. I've come across various OKCupid profiles on my trawls where the owners of the profiles have said that they have tried both mono and poly and would consider either in the future. For them, it depends on trying things out.

I do empathise with your poly struggles. Poly can be difficult for me too, so I understand.

I can't be an advocate for poly and I can't be an advocate for monogamy. In past monogamous relationships, I have experienced a lot of cheating and mistrust. I was plagued by jealousy when I was mono. Having the 'security' of monogamy meant nothing in the end. In poly, I struggle with control, jealousy and insecurity. What that tells me, however, is that the problem is with me, not with the relationship model I choose. If I want to trust a mono or poly partner, I have to work on my own trust issues, and so forth. I think it's about knowing your own boundaries. Just food for thought.

Whether you continue to be poly is really down to you and you alone. You have to ask yourself what, if any, values ring true to you about poly. For me personally, it's about possession - I just can't believe in owning another person by controlling their heart. It's their heart, not mine. I certainly don't feel like I was born poly or am 'wired' that way. My GF on the other hand believes that she was born to be poly and that she's wired that way. It's different for everyone.

Also, I feel that whether poly or mono works is down to how well two people work together. For instance, I find poly tons easier when I have a partner who is extremely empathetic, sensitive, kind, committed, honest and wants to spend quality time together. On the other hand, I find poly extremely difficult if I have a partner that doesn't consider my feelings (different to bowing down to my feelings), that lies or omits, that can't balance well, that lacks empathy, and that doesn't care about quality time together because they are chasing the new person. Do you feel like your boyfriend offers practically everything you want in a partner, but feel stuck because he wants to be poly? Do you struggle with poly despite him dealing with it wonderfully?

Overall, there is nothing at all wrong with deciding that you don't want to be poly any more. If you do, or are unsure, I would suggest thinking about what you identify with in poly, perhaps reading some books (I really like Polyamory Roadmaps - I'm not a fan of Ethical Slut) and articles, and give yourself time to think it through.

SchrodingersCat 05-19-2014 11:12 PM

Maybe you're just noticing all the poly breakups because of your headspace. It's not like all the monos are doing such a bang-up job of it either...

My question is... why the attachment to poly identity if you don't feel it's working? Poly is just a label. There's no point getting attached to a label if the associated behaviour and feelings don't flow naturally.

Focus instead on what you'd like out of life, what your needs are. Then look at strategies to meet those needs. If poly makes sense as one of those strategies then giv'er. But either way, just do what feels right for you.

icesong 05-20-2014 01:18 AM

It sounds like you're falling into the "just because the relationship is ending means it was a failure" trap. I see poly as being true to who you are and open to opportunities, not as a mandatory "I must have relationships with other people" nor as a "superior way of having a relationship".

It's possible that you and your spouse are done, but it's also possible that you and your spouse are just entering a new relationship phase. Only you can answer that. But at least in the context of poly you have the freedom to answer that without the "I have to end this before trying anything else" catch 22...

bookbug 05-20-2014 02:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 267841)
Maybe you're just noticing all the poly breakups because of your headspace. It's not like all the monos are doing such a bang-up job of it either...

My question is... why the attachment to poly identity if you don't feel it's working? Poly is just a label. There's no point getting attached to a label if the associated behaviour and feelings don't flow naturally.

Focus instead on what you'd like out of life, what your needs are. Then look at strategies to meet those needs. If poly makes sense as one of those strategies then giv'er. But either way, just do what feels right for you.

I have to agree with Schroedinger. I have never labeled myself mono or poly. I would probably label myself "whatever works." (AKA as INTJ in some circles. :p). What it sounds like to me, is that whatever is going on right now is not working for you. You don't have to commit yourself to a label or specific configuration. So may be focus specifically on the details. What is working in each relationship and what isn't.

GalaGirl 05-20-2014 03:35 AM

Quote:

I'm not sure I can/want to do this anymore.
Well, your willingness to participate is allowed to change/evolve over time. Nobody is static.

You ability to keep doing it can also change as resources change (ex: time, money, energy) and willingness changes.

Quote:

Being mono with the BF isn't an option...
WHICH mono? Monoamorous with your BF? Or monogamous?
  • because he doesn't want to Close?
  • Because you don't want a divorce?
  • Other reasons?

Quote:

and I don't want to be with hubs (not right now anyway).
  • Is this chronic or more a feeling that will pass once you solve whatever the problems are that you are having right now together?
  • Are you inclined to wait and see or not?

Quote:

It bothers be very much when my boyfriend dates.
  • Is it because you want more attention/support right now from BF as you face problems in the (you + husband) layer?
  • Or because you prefer to relate in a Closed relationship at this time and not deal in new metas?
  • BOTH?
  • Something else?

Quote:

I fear I only became poly to avoid a crumbling marriage.
  • Do you mean you have come to understand/know this consciously at this point in time and credit polyshiping with bringing it to light?
  • Or do you mean that you knew it all along but are more ready to "own" it at this point in time?
  • What would you like to do? Do you want to end the marriage?

Quote:

Any input on how I could still see poly as this great thing in all this?
What stopped being great about poly for you? :confused: You do not articulate.

It's part of the price of admission to relating with other people to risk that you will change, feelings will change. So will all the other players -- you do not exist in a silo. The shape of the relationship (monoships, polyships, etc) doesn't really matter. In all of the shapes -- the individuals can grow together or can grow apart.

I think could be sensitive to the relationships around you that are drawing to a close right now, and not noticing those that are thriving or just starting out. But THOSE relationships are not YOUR relationships, so could focus on dealing with the ones you have to deal with.

Without know what your purpose is in relating with these folks -- it's hard to give better feedback. But I'm very sorry you are struggling right now and I hope you feel better for airing out a bit.

Hang in there,

Galagirl

gorgeouskitten 05-20-2014 02:50 PM

All of your answers were so incredibly helpful and supportive I want to quote and reply to each one! I am so very glad to have people on this board. I want to try to hit some of the questions I can without boring you all.

I agree with everyone I need to figure out what I want with or without each man and I don't have to go, im poly! or im mono! cause maybe how I identify is about the relationship I'm in and not who I am. I also agree with you all I shouldn't be down on poly cause other people are divorcing/closing, cause I alos know plenty of mono relationships falling apart. Actually I think Nudge's was before they were poly (and mine too).

TO answer SPARKLEPOP's question: Do you feel like your boyfriend offers practically everything you want in a partner, but feel stuck because he wants to be poly? Do you struggle with poly despite him dealing with it wonderfully?

Yes and no. My boyfriend is good about relationships...but when I felt better with hubs, he would work with me to set boundries and guidelines that made us comfortable. Nudge wont do that, he will say his dating will not infringe on our time together but I can ask for nothing else. Could we not see other people while we are bothing straightening out our marriages? I haven't asked because with him, I always fear I can not pin him down on anything.

Yes, reference to old posts...always had an issue with his wife, he sees why now (though I have nothing to do with their demise)

GALAGIRL: Id take monoamorous or monagomous with BF (cant spell today). Well, I have kids...he doesn't. it cause a big gap between us. Also I think we'd both be a long way from an actual "split" with our partners. but if he asked me to move in with him....would I? Probably. but im not positive. He also says he has a bad taste in his mouth right now for mono

You hit the nail on his head with not dealing with new Metas (re BF dating). I had such a bad experience with his wife...I cant handle other women coming into his life right now. And because we have nothing but words binding us together, I don't feel entirely secure. My therapist even agrees I give him more security than he does me. lol

I think I new I was using poly as a bandaid. My spouse and my troubles go far back...many years. His depression mostly...we've almost divorced twice already and this stand off is time number 3. I don't know if I want that to end....I don't feel very romantic with him, but I care for him, I enjoy his friendship, and raising our children together.

My BF I don't want to loose at all. after a year and a half im so freakin in love with him. I do feel guilty Ive let that surpass my marriage but I was already more into him than my spouse when I asked to be poly.

Again, thanks to all of you <3


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