I'm new here, and haven't introduced myself properly on the 'introduction' forum, for which i apologise. If i might beg the indulgence of a few moments of your time though, I'd like to explain my current situation, and how it came about, as i'm totally lost and in desperate need of some advice and support right now.
I'm 26, i'm a man, and i'm gay. I've been with my husband (legally married) for over 2 years now. We met online, and living so far away from each other, didn't meet face to face for the first 7 months of our relationship. Despite this, we were very much in love, and remained faithful to each other. After 9 months, i moved in with him, and we spent almost a year living together happily before i had to return 'home'. That was 6 months ago now, and apart from a couple of weeks over christmas (his very kind suprise gift for me) we've been physically seperated the whole time.
We're still happy, in love, and deeply committed to each other, and should be able to live together again soon once a few other non relationship issues are sorted out.
Several days ago i began to realise that despite the depth of my love for my husband, i have smooshy feelings for other guys. I find myself looking at a guy who's cute, charming, funny, bright..and feeling romantic desires beyond the merely physical.
At first i felt like i was being disloyal. Tentatively, I shared my feelings with my husband, but made a bit of a hash of it, accidentily implying i preferred someone else to him. He felt a bit sleighted, but i eventually assured him this was not the case. I am deeply in love with my husband, and have spent 2 years faithful to him, including the 15 (non contiguous) months we've spent apart. I was pleasantly suprised that he wasn't angry, and instead he asked me if i wanted a polyamorous relationship. I explained i wasn't sure, and had conflicted feelings. After a days thinking, i realised i did. I told my husband as much, taking great pain to explain to him that i love him and that will never change, nor will anyone ever 'steal me' away, as my own greatest fear is losing him. I was careful to explain that this, for me, is not something sexually motivated, and an 'open relationship' was not what i sought. Frankly, and as odd as it sounds, the idea of one is highly undesirable to me. For both myself and my husband, sex is inherently emotional.
He explained that he didn't like the idea of polyamory, and right now was opposed to it (and would be for the forseeable future), but that he'd be willing to sort of...decide depending how he felt, if and when i told him i had deep feelings for another man. I think he was actually really understanding about my feelings and request, and very reasonable about where to go from here.
Anyway, yesterday i raised the issue again as i had some questions playing on my mind, and we decided on a few basic rules. We agreed that I'd tell him when i developed feelings for other guys, that were more than just liking a guy, but before they were so serious that there was any risk of me doing something stupid (not that i would, but i understand his concern). We also agreed that we'd then decide together, what to do about my feelings, with me well aware that he might still not want me to act on my feelings. He did agree to consider it though, and i agreed to respect his feelings as well as my previous commitments to him ahead of any future 'loves' i might have. Which was fair enough. I don't want to hurt him, even if it means denying my feelings for other men, and besides: being in this relationship as monogamous before bringing up he issue of polyamory, i feel more than somewhat honour bound to respect my previous commitments.
He also explained that he wouldn't want additional partners, even if I did. In order to alleviate his fears of being replaced in my affections, I suggested that we embrace something i had read about called a 'Triad', a term you're all probably more familiar with than i am. My theory was thus: if we, together, take someone as a 'third husband', someone we both love and both desire, and who feels thusly about both of us, it'd alleviate my husband's fears, as well as mine own fears of having foisted upon him, something which i've only now, 2 years in, realised i want myself.
He seemed to warm slightly to the idea. He still maintains that he has no desire to engage i such a relationship at the moment, but he did explain that he would only consider such a thing if it were 'a very special guy'. I was somewhat heartened by this response, implying that, for the right man, he might consider a... 'triangular marriage' i guess you could call it.
The reason i've shared all this, is because this is obviously new territory for me. I have a lot of different feelings about all this. On the one hand, i feel strongly that i'm capable of loving more than one man, and that this is something i want to explore, and express. On the other, my husband is not as keen, if not absolutely opposed. I'm concerned about hurting him, and i meant it when i promised him that he comes first, and that i'd only proceed with his full awareness and permission. His offer to consider i come the time has made me optimistic. So too has his hinting that he might seriously consider it if it were to form a 'triad' with (in his words), a 'very special person', that was bound tightly by equally shared love, desire, and intimacy. I'm happy to wait until we meet such a guy, and feel far more relaxed about this option, as i think it'd be easier on my husband. (as well as being easier on me- the thought of sharing my husband with a man who i did not love, somewhat hypocritically, does fill me with unease) However, despite telling my partner i'd only propose an 'expansion of our relationship if it were triangular' i must admit that i still like the idea (if less so) of having a 2nd partner of my own.
I'm looking for anyone's thoughts or opinions on what i've written about so far, as well as any advice or tips people might have on how to move forward. I'd like to try to convince my husband to be more amenable to the idea of polyamory, especially the triad idea which i feel would help both he and I feel less insecure and jealous about the idea of sharing the other. Should i even try to convince him, or should i give him space? Should we seek to become a 'triad', or does that have it's own problems which i haven't yet considered, and should i instead seek to reassure my husband while seeking to have a 2nd partner myself wheher he does or not?
I'm fairly lost right now, and unsure of what to do, and say, and where to go both myself and as a couple, from here. My husband is the only person i've told, and i'm in desperate need of some support and advice. My husband has been marvellous about it all, reaction with understanding and an open mind, while being honest about his own feelings. Even so, i still feel 'alone' in the sense that he does not seem to want this at the moment, and so i'm struggling with my polyamorous feelings not only in the context of my marriage, but also as an individual. I thought that, on this forum, someone might be able to relate to my situation.
All comment, thought, opinion, advice, and tidbits of wisdom would be *mightily* appreciated.
Thanks for reading.
PS: i'm so very sorry for the length of the above post.
From what I have seen, triads are very hard to maintain because it is hard for everyone to feel the same about each other. People change. Feelings ebb and flow. And if it doesn't work, it can be explosive.
I think what works well, is for each relationship to work itself out without being forced. Maybe your husband will just be good friends with a new boyfriend of yours. Or maybe they will be lovers. But I would advise not to force it and just let it happen.
It sounds like you are doing some good communication so far with your husband. Keep that up. He sounds like he is trying to be open minded and wants to see a more concrete example before he can fully decide on how he feels.
I would suggest reading some polyamory books. They are good at helping people deal with jealousy and communication (two biggest areas of polyamory).
You can look for any local polyamory groups. Maybe your husband will want to go to one as well since there are quite a few monogamous people involved with polyamorous people.
Quath! You didn't suggest that he do some reading on here! Sigh.... my job, I know... on it.;)
I suggest that you do some reading on here in order to become familiar with what poly experiences others have had, what works, what doesn't... there are some great threads if you do a tag search for "lessons" and "foundations" to start...
I was wondering a few things about your story. When are you going to move to be together? Is this marriage always going to be distant, or are you eventually going to be in the same place, live together forever kind of thing? That would make a huge difference to where this poly experience is going I think... if you have no future plans for move closer then I would think poly could work really well for you, if you intend to move to be together, then I would suggest waiting and working your ass off to get to the same place before taking on another lover... complications could arise if you were to leave this new lover behind etc etc... lots of drama could go on there.
The other point is, and Quath touched on this too, is that prescribing a version of what poly is on each other is dangerous and can be disastrous... people generally do a lot better in poly if they decide what it means to themselves personally, have a description of what poly is to them. Creating a triad and expecting that you have the same taste in men and that everyone will love each other equally is a lovely thought, but not very realistic it seems. Finding a separate partner that is a good friend/metamour to your husband would be more realistic... still, wonders never cease to amaze. Never know.
Lastly, what of his relationship life. Would you be okay with him finding a partner other than you? This sometimes can really help make or break a decision, because what you want/need should not be yours alone I think... he is entitled to the same no?
Thanks for the replies Quath and Redpepper.
Yes, we're going to be living together again, hopefully within a few weeks, and will then do so permanently. I would be reluctant to look for another partner while my husband were not present, as i think it'd make his feelings of insecurity worse. I'm basically planning (if emotions can ever be restrained by plans), to keep a lid on my feelings for a few months at least, and not act on them, to give my husband time to feel settled in his new home, and for us to re-adapt to living together.
The triad...i as much admitted to my husband that the 'sides of the triangle' might be uneven, ie, the three of us might have different levels of closeness and intensity. If i sat my husband down and said i was in love with someone, i'd probably be more into him than my husband, but i i felt it might be better if they at least got on really well with each other, and felt very close even if in a more...good friend/fondess way, than a madly in love way. The mutual 'availability' in a physical sense suggestion was designed to try and help that feeling of closeness and stop jealousy.
I do see, however, that you're right, and it's probably never going to be completely equal emotionally or physically. I mean, you never know, but it's unlikely, i do agree. Rather than try to force things, as you said, do you think we'd be better if I just tried to ensure that any future additional partner i had, was someone who got on well with my husband?
If i took an additional partner, of course he'd have the right to also do so. I'm ok with it i theory, though it's easy for me to understand my partner's worries because i share a lot of them. The idea of another man 'with' him does make me jealous of my husband's physical 'attention', and his loving someone else would make me feel insecure about possibly losing him. I think those worries *might* be lessened if 1-i were also in an additional relationship, and 2- if his other partner were someone i was emotionally close to myself, someone who i had a 'best friends' relationship with.
Obviously i have slightly conflicting feelings about it. I want additional partners, and would obviously not deny him them, and frankly he and I have always shared a double edged sense of titilation and jealousy when discussing our atractions to other men. Which, btw, is somehting we often do, usually without any trouble. I'll say i find a guy hot, he'll do the same. We even sometimes share more than that minor observation with one another, but that said, like him, i am somewhat ambivilent when the shoe's *actually* on the other foot. If i'm totally honest, when he said he didn't want other partners i was slightly relieved, but felt too guilty to say "well i still do". As i explained to him at the time, i didn't feel good about the idea of leaving my husband on his lonesome however many nights a week to spend time with an additional partner, and liked the Triad idea cause it seemed fairer.
When i suggested the Triad, i think his interest was slightly peaked, prettty much giving me a minimum condition with his 'very special person' comment. I also gave him an example of someone we might both like (who's not a viable candidate) and he admitted that, as i know, he's really sexually attracted o them, but that it'd have to be more than purely physical to work.
I think i may have stoked his interest in either he triad, or maybe, should i ask to deviate from that, having his own partner. If that were the case, i'd have to ride that wave when it hit me.
Maybe i need to work on my own jealousy? Maybe i need to discuss wih him what might occur if the situation were reversed, how i'd feel, and the possibilities in terms of having other partners. I know i'm selfish, but i think I'm glad he's less enhusiastic about having other partners himself, and i'm much more at ease with the idea of him being close friends with my additional partner, and satisfying any desire he has for variety with them if they were 'game' for that (which doesn't seem to be too great, he's sexually as well as emotionally very monogamous, my husband, though obviously he does have desire for other men).
Well...i have some more to think about. Thanks so much for the advice and comments so far. My husband is away today, and we won't be 'chatting' online or on the phone until tomorrow, so i'm really glad for your help in the meantime.
PS again: sorry for the awful spelling, etc. I wrote this earlythis morning before work, and my 'T' key has broke, hence all the missing or extra 't'ses, lol. I've cleaned up most of them i think.
Hello and welcome, Inbetweener!
So take all this intensity of emotion and then imagine a situation where somebody is saying beautiful and loving things about someone you also love. Or you see how happy being with someone makes your partner. Are you there yet? That's compersion, or the opposite of jealousy, for you. For me, compersion is the foundation of metamour love (metamour is a person who is a partner to your partner but with whom you don't have a romantic relationship yourself).
I know a few metamours who have more or less seriously considered becoming partnered themselves, but decided the time was not right atm. At the moment being the keyword. Very few things in poly are set in stone, and the same people can drift between friend/metamour/partner status multiple times in their lives. I feel an awesome tenderness and concern for my metamours, and want to know how they are doing as often as I want to hear about my partners, and I am (ATM!) physically not close with any of them. There is a strong sense of responsibility that follows from you realizing that being in a relationship with this person, everything you do affects everyone else who is also in a relationship with your partner.
The one thing about unicorns is that not all of them are super-interested in being a sexual resource to one partner in order to alleviate their jealousy issues, without getting any emotional feedback in return. Triads don't alleviate jealousy; they can exponentially expand jealousy issues! Just think of how instead of just one person, you now have two people to be totally jealous of, and they are getting it on without you.
There are good blogs in the Life Stories section on triads, two that I have personally perused through are The Story of a Secondary by AnnabelMore and A Life Alien to Our Own by TeamD79. Read these two together, they offer quite a fascinating account of how a (potential) triad situation might look like from the point of view of the existing couple and the unicorn.
That is a really good idea to see how you and your partner settle. It could just be that you are in dire need of some company from someone close and connected to you in the way he is. Never know right?
Is it possible that you need some close friends rather than other lovers? Or a lover that is not sexual? I just wonder because it seems that your interest might be more on the side of closeness than sex... just a thought.
Yes, metamours being able to get along makes everything go more smoothly for sure. Even better if they like each other and spend time together. That all adds up to better communication, and more stability it seems...
I know i've been fairly 'all over the place' in my posts. My confused feelings have been made a lot worse by the fact that yesterday and today my husband's away seeing to something. Today, though, we've been in contact, and i'm feeling more secure, and i've been pondering things i hadn't pondered before, due to all the wonderful, helpful, and much appreciated replies.
"So do you have already someone in mind to pursue polyamorous dynamics with? If so, the situation becomes a whole lot more complicated."
Not really. There isn't a guy who i could start aother relationship with. That said I have had feelings for a couple of guys. I've not shared this with my husband, as nothing can come of these feelings, and i don't want to cause him any undue stress while we're seperated. I will tell him though, once we're together again in (hopefully) a couple of weeks.
"The one thing about unicorns is that not all of them are super-interested in being a sexual resource to one partner in order to alleviate their jealousy issues, without getting any emotional feedback in return"
The moment i re-read that part of my post, i knew it seemed so callous. It was meant to explain a sort of...contolled, friendly setup, but it came across as totally 'using' the person, and that is something i truly don't want to do. I'd certainly never ask someone to do that.
"Triads don't alleviate jealousy; they can exponentially expand jealousy issues! Just think of how instead of just one person, you now have two people to be totally jealous of, and they are getting it on without you."
The more and more replies i read, the more and more i'm beginning to regret suggesting the Triad thing. I think i might have been hasty and naive to imagine this idealised 'communist relationship utopia'. It was intended to help my husband with his fears, but you make a point that really hit home with me. If i might be jealous of /threatened by my husband having anoher partner, then how would i react to having to share two people i loved?
"So take all this intensity of emotion and then imagine a situation where somebody is saying beautiful and loving things about someone you also love. Or you see how happy being with someone makes your partner. Are you there yet? That's compersion, or the opposite of jealousy, for you."
That, also, is not an angle i'd considered. This truly is complicated isn't it? lol.
There was a guy, about a year ago, who was obviously 'into' my husband. They knew each other through a forum on a shared interest they had. This guy would drop not so subtle hints about it like...inviting to meet my husband for a 'friendly drink' or adding him on facebook while claiming he didn't have one to other forum members. My husband, naive and endearing as he is, failed to notice till i pointed it out to him. Obviously, i felt threatened by this guy. I was in a monogamous relationship, and had lived with my husband just a few months upto that point. The odd thing is though, despite my intense dislike of the guy, i found myself not bothered by the fact he liked my husband in and of itself, only his disrespectful and relentless pursuit of him.
I'm beginning to wonder, i light of your post, whether i'm actually 'jealous', or rather just scared that my husband might leave me if we opened the floodgates, so to speak. I mean...we have a very relaxed attitude to expressing attraction to other guys. Treading carefully so as not to break the sexual content rule... we both enjoy hearing when the other likes other guys, even our friends. He'll even send me pictures sometimes saying "Oh, i was watching tv and saw this guy and thought you might like him" We take great care to do it in a way that's respectful, reassuring each other so that there's no hurt feelings.
However, i doubt he'd want to be with another man, both because of his nature and the fact he said didn't want additional partners. The Triad idea was, actually, his *2nd* choice of the ideas i discussed with him, and the simpler 'V', with me having the 2nd partner, was his preferred choice before i suggested Triad as a 'fairer' idea.
Redpepper, there is definately a sexual aspect to this. It's not my main moivaion here, but ...put frankly, i've a much higher sex drive than my husband, and though i have never and would never cheat, i find myself not only strongly attracted, physically, to oher guys, but also strongly desiring to *act* on those desires. Not just in the conventional way, but like...a real and deep desire to have a sexual relationship with another guy. I have no complaints about my physical relationship with my husband, and don't want 'more' or 'better', just...i have intense feelings both sexual and emotional for other guys sometimes, and i really want to express those feelings.
When my husband and i talk again tomorrow, i think i'm going to share everything you've all said to me. Not by directly quoting you, i mean the points made, and ideas raised.
I think i might explain my second thoughts about the Triad idea, as potentially way more explosive, and ask if he's still ok with the idea of seperate 'extra partners'. I'll explain how i've thought about being in his shoes, and why i think i might be ok with it afterall, and if he believes it's something he could be positive about if i ensured that i paid him extra attention and ensured he didnt feel 'threatened' by the additional partner. I'm also going to share with him my feelings about my sexual need for another partner. I don't want him to feel 'inadequate' or like i'm being shallow in my desire for another partner, but RedPepper, you've made me realise that i can't downplay it simply to spare his feelings because although it's not my main reason for sugesting this, it does play a part.
Thank you all for bearing with me, my confused rambling, and long posts, lol.
You've no idea how grateful i am to you all.
Once i've spoken to my husband, i'll be back to share and probably peser you all for more advice, hehe. I really do appreciate it. This is such a...crazy time for me right now, and you're all such a massive help right now.
Oh, and Redpepper, there is definately a sexual aspect to this
Got it, there's a sexual aspect. You said it twice so I'm thinking it must be important! Heh.:D
|All times are GMT. The time now is 01:55 PM.|