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-   -   Confused and vexxed (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8359)

Ummagumma 04-01-2011 12:32 PM

Confused and vexxed
Hey all, I'm new to the forum, tho I've been lurking for a few weeks. I'm 23 and married for 2 years to the sweetest husband I could ever have. When we got married, I told him that I understood that people strayed and if it came to that that we could always discuss open marriage as we needed to. I always expected that this would apply more to him than me as we married young (and still are very young) and I knew that it may be something we would have to deal with when the time (probably) came.

I never questioned my monoamory until this year. I've recently moved to a new city and I'm doing my masters. My husband has had to work at night to support us and he loves his job. But I became very lonely, very quickly, as I have no close friends here and he was gone all the time.

For irrational reasons, I was very afraid he would meet someone new at his work and probably cheat on me. I felt like I was a crap wife because all I did was complain about how lonely I was and it would stress him out. However, over the course of a few months, with some ups and downs, and some extremely low downs, I feel like I've come a long way from that sentiment. I started to think, 'if he "cheats," so what?' I know he loves me, and I want him to have good life experiences and enjoy life as much as possible because it's so short.

So after months of pondering the meaning of life and other such classic notions of thought, I was finally in a good place again. I felt more confident, and less lonely, and I was more willing to reach out to people.

This is when I met my BF of sorts. We immediately had a strong connection and we find we are so alike in so many ways and we're really honest and open to eachother. Classic NRE, but I've quickly fallen intensely in love with him. I've always been free to be friends with who I please, and my hubby is very liberal with that and has no jealousy or trust issues therein. So this was fine for him that I had a new best friend, and he was so happy that I wasn't depressed anymore and seemed to have refound my identity and zest for life.

Things developed quite deeply for me and the BF and we eventually told eachother how we feel and we're totally pining for one another. I was very confused, and I still am, because I love my husband more than anything in the world and I think he is so sexy and that we are absolutely soul-mates (if you dig that shit). And I don't know why I feel like this relationship with the BF MUST be gratified. Yet, when I think of not having that kind of connection with him, I feel like I'm ..... lacking, or empty or something.

I also feel again, that life is what you make it, and it's all about experiences and the connections you have with people ect ect.

Given that the hubby and I have always had a very open and honest communication with eachother, and after much hinting as to my rapidly developing crush on my new BFF, I told him exactly how I was feeling, after I had researched a little bit about 'open marriage.' I would never cheat on him, but I couldn't help how I was feeling.

And the other part, is that I don't feel bad about this new relationship at all. Sure, I feel upset when my hubby is upset. But I feel like this is completely natural, I guess. And the BF is very understanding about it all as well. He is very concerned for my husbands feelings and for mine. He wants to be friends with my husband very much, but those feelings are not mutual right now. However, they have talked on occasion, so they know eachother and know alot about eachother through me and our other friends. My BF has also stated that he will never engage in a sexual relationship with me until my husband has come to grips and it ok with it.

At first my husband was completely understanding of the idea of an open marriage, given the rational often used in its advocacy. And we agreed that swinging is not really for us, but it's more about the deeper connection and having fun. We agreed there would have to be boundaries. And he was excited about it because he saw this as an opportunity for him as well.

But it got too real for him when I asked him to think about whether it would be OK if I took my relationship with my BF to the next level. Now my hubby is trying to cope with the classic emotions of jealousy, insecurity, fear of abandonment, envy ect ect (you know em all). I get that completely, and I don't want to rush him.

However, I do want him to look inside himself and try to see what the unconscious issues are for himself. We have definitely been too co-dependant most of our lives together, to a definite fault. I do believe that he sees this other man as a breach of that relationship, and that its shattering his world and view of me.

He struggles because he wants me to be happy and fulfilled, and he understands all the reasons he should be OK with this, and he believes them; yet, what he is feeling sometimes is very different.

He is very mad at me and at my BF sometimes. And he seems to concentrate on that fact alot. I worry that he doesn't want to try to be OK with it because he doesn't want to do that soul-searching. It's also making his heart a little hard. We are often communicating about this whole thing and he always feels more clear headed and much better when we do talk, so we do. I told him we can take a step back and go at his pace so he doesn't break. And he was happy about that. Again though, (and he's stated as much) I think he feels that if he defers this long enough, that it will be just a phase and that I outgrow it and move on and everything will be the same as before and the BF will eventually be out of the picture.

And that may be true, but I don't want to let this phase pass without completely experiencing it before it's over, if it ends.
I'm not sure if I identity with polyamorous actually, I feel like this has been a total fluke. I didn't mean for it to happen, and it's never happened to me before. I said as much to him, because I don't know whether I will feel this again someday in the future, and I definitely can't see myself pursuing boyfriends (girlfriends), as I don't really feel I need to in a sense. I'm just really confused with my identity right now and I know he is too. We've been on a total whirlwind for the last month or so.

He is definitely monogamous, I think. I would encourage him to have other relationships if he liked, but he's not into it. I've also encouraged him to read and post on the boards here. He says he will look into some, but so far he feels as though the boards are biased, and that there are no true mono people here (as the monos are in relationships with polys) >.> This is something else that makes me think he just doesn't want to deal with the issue. Yet he wants me to be happy, he loves me, he trusts me (well mostly I suppose). I feel like this could strengthen our marriage by tenfold, and I know he is trying to get there. He knows how its supposed to go, but it's been very hard for him and I feel for him. He has also made a few strides and I'm very proud of him. For instance, he says he is completely OK with me being in love with another man, it's just the sexual part that makes him feel insecure and whatnot.

Yet at the same time, I'm feeling torn. I get frustrated with him, and that makes me feel guilty because I know this is a two way street with regards to communication, understanding, love and compassion. I wish I could help him more, but I know he needs to help himself and find himself deep down and deal with whatever it is that goes against his logic and compassion for me and for us.

This is soooo long and I apologize. It's been crazy.

I'm sure the only advise anyone can give me is to take a lot of time and communicate openly and often. But any other sentiments that may be useful from you all would be much appreciated. :o

FlameKat 04-01-2011 03:39 PM

If it really is a phase and you push your hubby into it... that will damage your relationship.

If its real, it will last, love doesn't die overnight... and if you are poly, then likely there will be others. Give your hubby time to come to grips with everything going on for you... do the work you need to do to understand yourself - so when he asks questions that are hard to answer now - you can answer them honestly and as concisely as possible - you can't expect him to do the work to accept this change, unless you do the work too.

Other than that - big hugs... I hear you.

Carma 04-01-2011 06:23 PM

For only 23 you are very insightful.

I think it will help mostly to keep reading on the forum, to see that you are not alone, nor is your husband, and that there ARE success stories. Maybe I'm trying to convince myself, but my poly life is going really great right now! And my husband went through a lot of what yours is going through.

I fell in love with an additional man, then we discovered polyamory. It was the only way to make sense of my heart's desire. The best thing was when my husband grew in friendship with my boyfriend. (They are my real-life Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!) Now I feel we are a real triad -- sexually we are a V (both men are straight), but it is definitely a 3-way love.

Keep reading, keep loving, keep thinking creatively, you'll make your way. Welcome :)

redpepper 04-01-2011 08:57 PM

So he is excited about the possibilities that could occur out of this yet he thinks he is more mono than those here because they are with polys? That makes no sense to me. Wouldn't it be that the monos here are more so because they have had their mononess challenged and know for sure due to the struggles they have been through?

It seems that so far you are doing everything right. You just need to be patient and let everything take its course. If I were in your position I would keep at them in terms of creating a friendship. I would listen to your husband and reflect what he says back to you so he knows you heard him. Lastly I would enjoy what you have and be grateful. In time, things change in terms of emotions. Eventually there will be movement one way or another.

Ummagumma 04-01-2011 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 74139)
So he is excited about the possibilities that could occur out of this yet he thinks he is more mono than those here because they are with polys? That makes no sense to me. Wouldn't it be that the monos here are more so because they have had their mononess challenged and know for sure due to the struggles they have been through?

I think he was excited at the very beginning before it got too real for him and he got scared. I think he just felt liberated initially, really. And that's great. I hope we can get back there someday.

As for the mono business, I'm confused by what he means as much as you are. I think he is just as confused, as well. On the one hand, he completely agrees with this lifestyle, but he has thus far self-identified as completely mono, and he is definitely struggling with that fact. He just doesn't know how a mono and poly person could be together. He is having a hard time facing his pain, for sure. He has been very focused on the broader aspects of this whole 'conundrum' rather than taking a good hard look at what the deeper issues must be. That's ok. I know in time it will come. I just wish I could help him out and ease his demons.

In addition, he is worried he won't be able to accept how I'm feeling towards my bf with regards to a sexual relationship. I'm aware this will change down the road, in some way at least. I've encouraged him to come to the boards because I think he will identify with many other people here. I will continue to do so, but I feel and understand his skepticism. Time, love and compassion will heal wounds, certainly.

And you're right. I cherish what I have with him. He has been sweet and as understanding as possible in this process given the circumstances. :)

Thanks to the others who also replied. I appreciate your perspectives and your willingness to read that very long story. :o

MonoVCPHG 04-01-2011 09:50 PM

The idea that a person cannot be mono if they are with a poly is not that uncommon. In our local poly community there are people who consider me poly for this reason. It comes down to what a person considers monogamous. Some people see monogamy to be a function of relationship dynamic..1 with 1, where others see it as an internal orientation similar to sexual preference...1 only loves 1. There is a big difference between the two. I am going through a transitional phase of what it means to be monogamous myself.

Don't beat up on him too bad for this idea...there's no harm in it unless he misses out on valuable experiences of people in his situation.

Anneintherain 04-02-2011 06:30 AM

I don't know how big of a city you are in, or what poly support might be out there (and I'll leave it to more experienced people like RP and Mono to give you useful advice) but when I first started, meeting poly and poly friendly people was VERY helpful. Just for boardgames, BBQs, and cuddle parties, the chance to meet like minded people was very helpful, and I imagine might make somebody who was not so sure if they were comfortable or not get a better idea of some of the benefits of having a support network like that - OR if they were not interested.
Good luck to you, I know you feel like you MUST see what is up with BF, but you did marry your husband for a reason, so I imagine you care about him enough to take it slow and let him know you want him to feel as loved as you want to be yourself. From past experience I know if one person isn't ready, things can backfire in a very bad way if things progress too hastily.

redpepper 04-02-2011 04:02 PM


Originally Posted by Anneintherain (Post 74299)
I don't know how big of a city you are in, or what poly support might be out there but when I first started, meeting poly and poly friendly people was VERY helpful..................

take it slow and let him know you want him to feel as loved as you want to be yourself. From past experience I know if one person isn't ready, things can backfire in a very bad way if things progress too hastily.

Wise words spoken here. Go at the pace of the one who is struggling the most and then some. There is nothing like being told by someone that used to be struggling that you should get going on a date because its been way too long that you have spent time with them. It can eventually be like that, when trust builds and things normalize more and more.

Ummagumma 04-02-2011 04:22 PM

Thank you for all your wise words. I will definitely be considering all that you have brought up. I'm also going to encourage the two of them to get to know each other a little bit more and see how that goes for now.

As for poly groups, I don't know if that's something I would be comfortable with, and I know for sure that my hubby wouldn't. I don't know where I stand on the notion, really. I am what I am, which is to say that I'm in love with two men, and that's all. But I don't think that a polyamorous lifestyle is necessarily for me on the grander scale of things. Know what I'm sayin'? Yet, I've been thinking a lot about these things lately, so who knows. I'll keep that piece of advice in the back of my mind at least. :)

BlackUnicorn 04-03-2011 09:43 AM

Ummagumma, are you saying that you are poly by accident and not by 'choice', as it were, meaning you don't really identify as polyamorous and thus with the poly community?

While I think that it is a perfectly valid place to be in, going to a poly meet just might help to take of bit of the mystery around the lifestyle away. The people there are normal and nice and pretty functional (well, there is a higher than average concentration of Neo-Pagans/gamers/vegetarians/BDSM folks but you get the big picture :p). One thing why I recommend people to check out their local group is that by just patrolling this board, you might think polyamory is all about high-strung emotional drama and processing. And then you go to a meet and see that struggling/transitioning mono/poly couples are actually just one side of the story, and there are a lot of people who are perfectly cool with their partners having additional partners. I think it's a bit similar for a gay boy coming from a small town to the big city and seeing perfectly nice and normal people who share the same gender identification cuddling and kissing each other. Just to see that you can be poly and perfectly functional and happy.

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