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-   -   Trying to figure out what I want. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7768)

Handmaiden 03-15-2011 05:19 AM

Trying to figure out what I want.
And not really sure if I want to face what comes up.

So a little about me... I've been monogamous all my life. My family history is such that monogamy was held up as the sacred chalice, so I never even questioned it.

About 2.5 years into my longest monogamous relationship I kissed a guy I had serious chemistry with. I didn't have sex with him though I really wanted to. My relationship survived (I confessed) and I beat myself up over it for a long time. We went on to have children, then last year we separated after almost 12 years. It wasn't a great relationship, there was no passion, we were like housemates at the end.

I got together with a friend I've had for many years. He had intense feelings for me but I wasn't ready at that time. This time around it works wonderfully. The sex is amazing, the mind-spirit connection is fantastic. I love him so much and he loves me and it's very passionate.

And for some reason I can't stop thinking about wanting some freedom. I knew I jumped into a relationship with him too soon, because I was worried I'd lose my second chance with him (as he was pursuing an overseas relationship that was going to lead to him being over there for 3 months). I tend to fall into relationships before I'm ready for them, serial monogamy! At first that was fine, but I kept thinking I wanted some freedom to play the field after so long with one person. But I realised that was risky... as I don't want to lose what I have with my current partner.

We negotiated some boundaries, whereby I could have a little freedom to flirt and go slightly beyond that but not too much. I didn't act on it (mainly because I've had little opportunity as I have two young children and spend most of my spare time with my partner). Just talking about it seemed to be enough and triggered some awesome fantasies we shared. I have to probably say I'm a bit kinky and he's lovely enough to indulge me, and he quite enjoys thinking about me with other men but he's not sure about how he'd feel in reality.

All the fantasies though have made me think more about it. At first I didn't even entertain the thought of sex with other people as I couldn't see how it would be any good, but now I'm thinking about that. We're discussing that specifically and he is not keen on the idea of me developing a relationship with anyone else. He's worried this will destroy our relationship, and it would be tricky as I don't have much time to share around. My problem I guess is now I'm reading about polyamory and I know I'm more than capable of loving two people at once. I have in the past, I just didn't have relationships with both of them. Monogamy has been the default and I entered this relationship as a monogamous person. He thinks he wouldn't want to be polyamorous.

I don't want to hurt him or ruin what we have. I love him so much. But at the same time, am I going to spend the rest of my life feeling wistful, like I'm missing out on something? I don't want to pressure him into letting me have something he doesn't want. I don't know if sex is really what I want, as he fulfills me. But there are certain interests I have that he doesn't share that I would love to share with a romantic partner. I don't want to leave him thinking I might find the "perfect" man. As far as I'm concerned he is perfect for me. I just would love to explore the idea of adding someone else into the mix.

And the thought seriously scares me and confronts me and I am wanting to back away and not mention it again... but then I know I'll be regretful I didn't take the risk.


redpepper 03-15-2011 06:51 AM

It sounds like you know what you would like to try but don't know how to go about doing that without hurting your man... tricky. Really its a matter of deciding if it is worth seeing if your relationship will survive. It sounds like you have been very conscious of his feelings and the possibility of discovering something wonderful that he might not want to share with you. There is lots to learn yet, so I suggest taking your time... reading everything, talking about everything, and walking through the emotions that arise. At the end of the day it's your choice to take a step and see how you feel and his to allow himself to discover what your step brings for him.

Handmaiden 03-15-2011 09:48 AM

A friend of mine is having a party Sat night so we've negotiated that I can see what happens (within mutually agreed safety boundaries - sex is definitely something that could be on the cards) and then assess how things stand from there. He can relate to the idea of compersion obviously, so that was a helpful term to discover today! He's just very threatened by the idea of me falling in love with someone else, but some of what I'd like to do I'm not comfortable doing in a one-off situation.

I didn't mention that we've discussed having a baby together... and that for him there's no way he'd consider that if I'm looking at being in a polyamorous relationship.

Handmaiden 03-17-2011 03:44 AM

Lots of discussion last night. He said he can see the value of it for older people, past babymaking age... he said he would basically want to be monogamous from when/if we conceive a baby until that baby is 3 at least. I can understand and appreciate that and sought an answer from him on whether he would be willing to discuss polyamory when we are a bit older. I outlined my concerns that now i've opened my eyes about this that if i fell in love with someone else I might be forced into an impossible choice. He can't understand how you can possibly be intimate with more than one person, but I said I think it would be fairly natural for me. It's all hypothetical anyway at the moment. He was expecting to to reveal to him that I am polyamorous but I've said I still have no idea, and that if I don't act on it then I can't really label myself at all. I think I have the potential to love more than one person at a time, but for now will respect that he isn't ok with sharing me like that. Now I just hope if I get some casual action on the weekend that I come home clean... of course I would use a condom but I've never had so much as crabs...

nycindie 03-17-2011 03:58 AM

Wait a minute... he's not okay with polyamory but is okay if you get laid this weekend? I'm confused.

redpepper 03-17-2011 05:10 AM

I don't understand the rational behind it being okay for older people. By that I am thinking he means people on a different stage of life than you two are... am I right? There are women I know who are younger than me and grandparents already, so age really plays no bearing... anyway, I digress...

He isn't going to be there this weekend? He knows you will be having sex with strangers, but isn't okay with you being in love with another? He said he doesn't get that people could be intimate with more than one person, yet he is okay with you going to this event? Ya. confused also.

Shouldn't following your heart when someone shows up be open for at least discussion? What if you meet someone at this party and have sex and find you are the type of person that becomes connected through sex. What if you want to see them again and fall in love.... It seems there are some possible scenarios that need to be discussed before this weekend no? What is it about having a three year old that makes a difference in terms of starting a poly relationship dynamic? Poly families can be an awesome way to raise children. It sounds like you are moving forward, but that there are some pieces missing in your communication.

Handmaiden 03-17-2011 06:12 AM

It's a long story I guess... and a bit convoluted. He gets turned on by the idea of me having sex with other men, in fantasy. He had a previous gf where he let this happen. He does say in reality he might just feel jealous but it (the fantasies) has definitely led to some amazing sex. He said me going and having a one night stand with someone does risk our relationship but he thinks it's worth the risk, once. (It also turns me on to think he might get jealous and channel that into a passionate bdm session too). From there we can only assess how we both feel. He wants to share the experience vicariously. For a few reasons he's not really big on one nighters, whereas I've had a few in my life (mostly craptacular to be honest, but they were when I was rather young). I know I don't just fall in love through sex, although it does make it happen faster if it is happening (as long as the sex is good anyway!)

He feels threatened by the idea of me being in love with someone else, that I'll end up leaving him because he's rather insecure about himself. Sex isn't so problematic for him where there are no feelings involved, he knows he doesn't own my body.

I don't want to railroad him into anything, and the fact we are talking about it means it's in his head now and he'll think about it occasionally, and challenge himself. He's like that. He understands me falling in love with someone else could be problematic. But I guess we'll cross that bridge if we come to it. I actually can't believe we've gotten this far...

redpepper 03-17-2011 06:53 AM

thanks for explaining a bit more handmaiden :)

Handmaiden 03-17-2011 08:54 AM

Not a prob... I know it seems a bit strange that he's ok with the one but not the other. In reply to the age of the child... basically I have had two kids already and both times I've been consumed by child-rearing for the first 2 years... so realistically I wouldn't have the time or energy for more than my first relationship (unless both were happy to nurture ME without receiving much in return!). My libido also disappears for a LONG time. So I think he's thinking along practical lines there.

BlackUnicorn 03-17-2011 11:03 AM

Hi and welcome, Handmaiden!

I can relate to the issue with very young children. Kids are a handful, no doubt about that. Having a poly dynamic INTO which children are born can be absolutely amazing, but establishing a stable poly dynamic, starting from dating, with small children is a challenge, both emotionally and time-management-wise.

One thing that comes to my mind is that please don't go into having a child with this man if you feel that the poly issue is still out in the open or unresolved in an unsatisfactory way. He might wish that with child-rearing and nesting, your thoughts on opening up the relationship might go away, and they could for a while. They might as easily resurface though, and both of you need to ready for that if you are proceeding with the baby-making plan.

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