Young, Married, Dating a Monogamous person - kind of
I've debated about actually signing up and writing anything here. But I have found myself on Google and searching for advice and just interesting things to learn about polyamory, especially as it pertains to my situation. I read a lot of things written by mono and redpepper.. But I really don't know if there's anything that I found by searching tags that really represents my problem specifically.
So, I decided maybe it would be beneficial to others if I wrote about my situation. Or maybe I could get some one else's opinion...
My situation: I am 22 and married to an amazing person. It is entirely and completely a healthy relationship that features respect (this is a big deal to me), communication, effort, and appreciation. I may be young, but I am mature enough to recognize the beauty of being with someone that mutually loves me and shows it by these things.
My husband and I frequent a store a lot. This one guy works there and .. many years before I met my husband I gave him my number. He had a gf at the time and never called me back.. but anyway, it's always been a really funny story to tell my husband and friends about when we pass by him at this store. My husband started teasing me that he was my "boyfriend" and sometimes we would go there just to see him. It's always been silly and fun and a joke.
This joke went on for quite some time. Eventually we were married and our exploration into other things was starting to come through. I met a girl that I liked a lot a year before and we hit it off. A year later, which happened to be right after my husband and I were married, we all had a night of fun together. My husband started playing around with the idea of maybe inviting this "boyfriend" of mine to the situation. But it was always hypothetical.
The part that turns from swinging to polyamory, which is something that we are new to, is the part where I became friends with this guy that works at the store.. and started to develop feelings for him. We didn't partake in anything physical for quite a few dates. The dates and the communication that we engaged in were the best dates (besides the ones I had had many years ago with my husband) I have ever been on. Not because we did anything particularly exciting.. but because we just had an awesome connection.
We had a lot of common interests and just life styles in general. We started spending a lot of time together. He would come over and spend time with me and my husband too. He's met a few of my friends. We've gotten to know each other very well.
As this was developing, I was staying in constant communication with my husband about my feelings. He was very sweet and understanding of it all. And the two of us have grown closer together because of the experiences we've had regarding this situation. We know we need to be honest and open with each other, especially if we involve another person. We have to be sensitive to his feelings as well.
So at this point that I write to you, things have progressed so much that we have told each other we love one another. This is scary though, because of this big huge elephant in the room. The elephant is that this "boyfriend" is monogamous. And he is hoping to get a girlfriend.. and get married.. and have kids. He wants very badly to be with me, yet at the same time, knows I can never fulfill all of his needs. He can't bring me home to meet his family. He can't tell all of his friends. He can't social network up his new relationship, or explain to the world his huge smile..
When I say can't, I know he techincally COULD. But it is hard. I am 22, so is my husband. My "boyfriend" is 25, almost 26. He wants to settle down sometime soon with a girl, live together, get married yadda yadda. I respect this very much, at the same time it is quite a struggle. I know on one hand, that maybe we should just let it go, knowing that it will never amount to anything. On the other hand, despite my feelings being hurt at "when he meets someone new and can no longer see me the same" I think its worth it. I enjoy love and creating memories. I want to do this while I am young and am able to do it.
The problems I see here in my situation I don't see in other situations. This is because this boyfriend is not 40 something, divorced, and has no interest in having kids. He's young. He's never been married. he wants kids. He wants his OWN life. Etc. He's very monogamous. Doesn't want to develop feelings for more than one person. Doesn't think he can. Prefers monogamy. All things I respect. But what does this mean in terms of the situation we have now.
Well, we talk about this at least once a week. This subject has driven us crazy. We really want to be together and neither of us wants to go without seeing the other and spending time. We both know it's almost impossible not to have feelings for the other, and show it.
We both have families that would not respond well to it. My husband's family would be mortified. My best friend is my husband's sister.. So I can't really tell her about any of this. I do have some friends that I have been able to confide in. I almost find it weird how much I cannot just "come out" to the world about this. It feels like it should be so normal, so typical. I should be able to share that I love someone. and someone else. etc.
I never would have thought I would be polyamorous. I am not someone who has known for years. But I think it has a lot to do with the fact you just have to meet the right people. I would never look for a boyfriend just to have one. I have made a real connection with someone, and I feel lucky. I feel that it is so unique. I feel like it's special. In my perfect world it would all work out...
I guess my overall question is... What should young poly people do when it comes to marriages and kids? Telling family members? It some how seems easier when you're older.
I don't like having to be weary of people seeing us, holding back on pda, and not properly telling the people I care about - everything that's new in my life. Or exciting. Or amazing.
Thanks for your time,
ps. This "boyfriend" is incredibly respectful of my husband, and has made it very well known that if he in anyway causes problems between me and my husband, we would prefer to step down and just be friends or whatever my husband was comfortable with. He cares a lot about my husbands feelings towards everything.
Well... it's tricky. I realise he can't marry you for real (although you could have a marriage-like relationship, and even a ceremony, as long as it's not a legal ceremony), and I'm guessing the issue is that you don't want kids at this point, or would want them to be your husband's?
Otherwise, it seems to me he could settle down with you... But I guess there is the thing with everybody else. I think the reason a lot of poly people are older is that it can take a while to start letting go of "what will other people think?"
I've found that I'm much happier being out, even if it was in bad conditions and I've lost friends over it, than I was when I was hiding it from people. But depending on your situation, being out could of course be very hard and have terrible consequences.
I think it's a bit silly though to wonder about that... he hasn't met anyone (else) he wants to settle in. Does he want to leave what he has for something he might never get anyway? Hopefully, he won't grab the first woman who says "yes".
Then there is the issue of, will he be too attached if you stay together? Will it be harder to break up? Is it better to just end it now since you know it's not forever?
Well, a lot of people's relationships don't last forever and that doesn't mean they weren't positive relationships. I broke up with my husband a few months ago, but I still have fond memories of us together, and our wedding was one of the best days of my life.
It might also be worth wondering about his reasons. Not saying he needs reasons, but getting married, having kids, having a house, etc, are kind of the model we're shown everywhere, and a lot of people want that simply because that's what they see. And then some of them do it all and wonder why they're not happier. Or even, why they're miserable, in some cases. So I'm not saying he's lying or doesn't know what he wants or anything, but sometimes when you don't think about what it is exactly you're looking for, well you end up not getting it. If he wants a family, he can also get it by having you guys. And it would be sad if he broke up with someone he loves and has a great relationship with to marry and have 2.5 kids and then never feel fulfilled.
But if we assume he can't find what he wants in this relationship, and that he will definitely meet someone who can bring him what he wants, I would still suggest to enjoy what you have now. In the past, I have spent time worrying about the future or wishing for things, and I forgot to actually enjoy the good things I had. I know it's cliché, but sometimes it's really true, you don't realise you're happy if you don't stop to look at it.
In the end, though, I think what you really need to do is make a decision and stop at that. You could argue about it forever and it could damage your relationship. Pick something - breaking up or staying together until he meets someone he thinks is worth is - and then do it right away and don't look back.
If you choose to break up and are both miserable, then get back together and pick the other option, and don't question it anymore: you'll know breaking up wouldn't work.
If you pick to stay together, don't talk about it anymore, don't have the same debate over and over again. You've already decided. If your relationship breaks apart, then you'll know it didn't work and you can break up then, and not look back.
I think right now, you might be too worried about which decision is "the right one" to realise there might be no right decision, but that the wrong thing to do would be not making one at all.
Pretty much what Tonberry said :)
Do you really have to think so much at this point in time? Really, is there a goal or time frame for your boyfriend to get married and have kids?
If not, why not just enjoy what you have now with the knowledge that things will likely change. If he is truly monogamous and wants what most other monos do ....the spouse and children being the most common, then eventually he may have to stop seeing you to become appealing to a mono woman. That is the sad thing of being mono; we say good bye to one love to embrace another. Sad but true...love is not a choice.
Good luck and just enjoy each other for now :o
Can you just enjoy the relationship for what it is now? He may eventually find that monogamous partner to settle down with and yes it will hurt and yes it will be hard to get over, but why torture yourself with the what if's now? There is always the potential for a relationship to end. I think it's better to enjoy what you have. Be realistic that it might not be forever and be open to letting your relationship change as the situation requires. Since there isn't anyone else on the horizon at the moment just be and enjoy what you have.
I really enjoyed reading your story. Its heartfelt and I feel nothing but hope that things work out so the three of you are happy.
I am 24 and married. My wife is mono and we have a 3yr old son. She accepts me as poly and I am sort of 'poly-single.' But I am happy because she lets me be me.
Just because someone has the goal of getting married and settling down to raise children doesn't mean that he should only be looking for candidates who would fulfill that role of wife and mother. That puts lots of pressure and obligation on every potential partner... ecch. Why can't he have relationships that are fun and easy and satisfying for what they are, as they are in the present? Enjoy what he's got now and not worry about the future. It's not like you would be fooling yourselves into believing it is something else. See it for what it is and enjoy every second. We only ever have this moment. No need to postpone joy now just because there's something else we want later down the road.
As for coming out to people, you will do what you see fit when and if it feels appropriate, and safe to do so. I would say be careful not to tell those who would sabotage you with mean or hurtful remarks while everything is so new and on shaky ground. Other than that, it's nobody's business unless you feel compelled to tell them.
I don't know what the others have said as I haven't read yet. I might be back to add more in a bit, but I wanted to let you know that life does not end after kids and house and marriage and over 30 (or whatever age seems old)... it keeps going and you will have a richness to your experiences that you don't right now at your age. Your age is amazing in that there is so much to do and so many options... later the options are still there, but the priorities have changed and some things lose their luster. It's hard to explain. The amazement need never have to leave though... its a choice to be amazed at lifes possibility.. I think quite often people are afraid of it and their own potential and decide to suppress their amazement or excitement. That is another story. sorry, getting off track :o
What I am trying to say with this is that you don't know what will happen. Just as you never thought this guy would EVER be in your life, he is. You don't know what will happen if you let him go; so that he can do what he thinks is his destiny. It sounds like he needs to hold on to what he thought was the best choice for him... by staying with him, I think, you are keeping him from the course he has set and a major course at that. He deserves to be free of a poly situation if his goal is to be monogamous and married with kids. The only one that can do that for him is you... by walking away.
By setting him free he may just come back to you. Maybe not soon, but at some point. He may be back after wife and kids one day. It happens far more often these days that marriages don't work.
He may just find that he would rather work out how to achieve his goals with you by his side. You may find that you could raise a kid or two together one day... all of you. Or maybe you will find that being his close friend and companion and occasional lover is a good place for you while he embarks on a marriage and kids.
All of this is possible if you all decide to embrace it all and not apologize for who you are and what relationship dynamic you create. The joy of age is that one seems to develop a back bone in these areas and there is no backing down from what one wants to do in life.. Perhaps this is why you think that it seems to be easier with age? Its not easier I don't think, just everything tends to be clearer as to how to achieve ones goals. The determination level goes up some how. This is my experience any way.
The main message I want to convey is that you can create what you want? Deciding what you want for yourself is the first step. Then ask your husband and this new man what they want... this is how negotiation starts. It takes time and patience. You have LOTS of time at your age and stage ;). Poly relationships are like moulding clay... you can create what works for you, it just takes thought, creativity and keeping at it.
Early on in our relationship I had brought up the whole wife and kids thing, and my boyfriend expressed that this is something that he'd like to do sometime in the indeterminate future. He also says I make him happier than he ever thought possible. He's not looking for anyone else right now. Who knows if that will change.
My husband (who is 28 so could easily have more kids if he wanted them) and I already have a child and he does not want more.
While I'm not sure if I'd consider having kids with my boyfriend if circumstances were different, I am 42 years old and find the health risks at my age unacceptable, so it's not on the table. He is 32, so I would think he'd be in a bit more of a hurry than he is, but he seems as happy as he claims to be, so I'm not going to argue.
My boyfriend is content right now to just live in the moment and enjoy what we have. Still, it's going to be in the back of my mind. Am I denying him something? Am I holding him back?
But I'm not going to leave him or anything. I think that would be really presumptuous of me. If I make him happy and he wants to be with me and doesn't want to look for anyone else, I'm not about to argue. We've talked about it, and he's gone from definitely wanting the wife and kids route to being kinda vague about it.
So, he might meet someone and decide to settle down, or we might just carry on like this. I can't predict where it's going and am happy to go along for the ride. My boyfriend knows that if he decides to move on, I will mourn him but I will support his decision.
You guys are really young. You have plenty of time to figure these things out. You have options you haven't even thought of yet.
My advice is to just give it time. Let your boyfriend know that you support whatever will make him the happiest. Whenever we love, some amount of pain is inevitable.
He's a big boy, he can figure it out for himself.
Okay, so I may need to clarify that I am all for enjoying the moment. I see that in typical monogamous relationships there's a road map of marriage and kids. In poly situations there definitely is no road map. I like the idea of letting things naturally transition to whatever may take course. If that means we become friends when he moves on, or if that means he ends up deciding to get more serious in our relationship.
I wrote the parts of uncertainty because I have to live in his world of cants. Of course I see the option of long term life time commitment and maybe even kids, but in his world those things "should" be with someone else. He would have a harder time dealing with family and friends than I would. But these Are things I respect. If I sign up for something. I can't complain. I am supportive of his monogamous lifestyle and desires.
When we last discussed it, we did come to an agreement. He was starting to act a little different. More guarded. It was a few days after telling each other we loved one another. I asked him to open up about his feelings And not to worry about my feelings. I wanted him to be comfortable letting me know his feelings and concerns regarding the situation.
We eventually landed on just continuing and letting things naturally transition when he meets someone he thinks is appealing to date seriously. In the mean time, I told him I don't want guarded, held back feelings. He understood that and is happy to let us both feel these natural feelings of love and happiness while we spend time together. I enjoy this opportunity to spend moments of my life, however long, with him. I think this whole thing is worth it.
:-) I know I am young and that time will have me realizing that there is no cookie cutter situation in any relationship. During all of this, my main ingredient to keeping both relationships happy is having fun together.
Thanks for the replies!
And redpepper. I could walk away, but it just doesn't feel right. There are a few ways that I think my presence in his life has been very positive. I think it had encouraged him that he wont be lonely, since he has been the past year, and that there Are people out there that he can connect with who will love him for him. Its a good lesson even if obvious. ;-)
Oh and I wrote this from my phone so excuse typos!
I forgot to add that I feel the age thing is harder being so young for a few reasons.
One is that while I am still a student and starting out so new in life, the support of my parents is important. Coming out to them might mean losing the relationships I have with them. Am not saying this would be easy at any age, yet I find that if I had children in the picture and my parents were not in my life, I'd be limiting my kids from knowing their grandparents. I don't know, I feel like at this age we depend on our parents support and guidance through things I've yet to experience. Kids being on of them, but also buying a house and just things you'd call and ask them about in rough times.
To be 40 and have most things figured out and squared away... you don't depend on your parents as much.
I might make this clear though, in my particular situation, i already feel very independent from my parents and would be willing to sacrifice my relationship with them if it meant being true to myself... but my husband and boyfriend could not so easily live without their parents acceptance. My boyfriends mom died when he was 10 and has abandonment issues. He clings to what family he still has..
I am by no means rejecting that there is life after 40 lol. I understand that You could almost have to start all over at any age and be just as lost. I guess it just seems easier in a sense, like maybe maturity has made it easier to be independent... i am not sure.
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