Originally Posted by IcySiren
I was speaking hypothetically and he was speaking accusingly. He didn't understand why I would need to experience the feeling of a "new love" again or why the type of love we have isn't enough for me.
I want you to listen to the gentleness in my voice when I say the following: Be honest with yourself. You were "speaking hypothetically", but it must have been obvious to him (as you have made clear in your opening post) that you're really interested, that you "just want to date other men". By "speaking hypothetically", do you mean that you have nobody in particular in your sights just yet?
I'm going to try to put myself in your husband's shoes. 2 alternative scenarios:
a) My wife of 11 years - the mother of my daughter - you come to me and (tearfully?) confess that you've fallen in love with another man... but that you think that I'm "wonderful. [You] don't want a divorce. [You] just want a connection with [this] other man." You wouldn't leave me or our daughter for ANYTHING or ANYONE. But...
I [your husband] think: "What's this other guy got that I haven't got? What's so special about him? Why am I not enough? What's wrong with me?" But - on the other hand - I remember what it's like to fall in love. I might even have fallen in love myself sometime in the last 11 years. But - for the sake of our marriage - I controlled my feelings. And I'm glad that that I did! Because you and our daughter mean the World to me. And now it's time for you to control your feelings for this other man...
b) The scenario is basically the same, only there's NO other man that you've fallen in love with... yet. But you want permission to be on the look-out. So remove the "What's this other guy got that I haven't got? What's so special about him?" But there still remains the "Why am I not enough? What's wrong with me?" And there's this really funny
feeling of "Either she has
found somebody else and she's hiding that from me... or (Heaven help me, even worse!) there is
nobody else but she's decided that I'm not enough anyway..."
O.K., IcySiren, it's time to make clear that I'm committed to polyamory. I'm just trying to imagine what it must have been like for your husband.
This part is hard. Many on this board have been through this, and I don't think that you'll find half-a-dozen that assure you that "it's a cinch to get your long-term partner to accept the idea the first time that you talk about it". What you CAN take heart from is that many on this board have been through this. And that they did
get through it. It takes patience. It takes work. It takes compassion. It takes carefully, lovingly convincing your husband that there ISN'T anything wrong with him.
Some people find the following analogy useful: "Apple pie is my favourite dessert. I am absolutely crazy about apple pie. I mean that I think that I'd GO crazy if I could never eat apple pie again. But now and then, I like to eat chocolate ice-cream. You know what I mean?" [Some - those into 3somes - take the analogy even further: "You know what would be heaven
? Hot apple pie with a scoop of chocolate ice-cream on top!!!"]
Originally Posted by IcySiren
What to do now? Am I being selfish to want more in my life?
I have trouble with these words "selfish" and "childish". According to the on-line version of the Oxford Dictionary:
: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
I personally believe that it's healthy
to be "concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure"... as long as that "one's own personal profit" includes "one's own well-being". One SHOULD be deeply concerned about one's own well-being. But "selfish" is generally understood to mean "concerned excessively
with one’s own personal profit or pleasure no matter how much others are affected".
Going by a definition of selfish as "looking out for Number 1", you could be classed as selfish. But if we specify "looking out for Number 1 no matter how much others get hurt", I'm sorry, but I don't think that you qualify. It's up to you to convince your husband of this...
As I've written, it's not going to be easy. Take heart from the 2nd quote in my signature.