Originally Posted by PolyKat
When first being introduced to the possibility of a mono/poly relationship, what was your reaction to the thought of another man being intimate (from glances and hand holding to oral and penetration sex) with your love? At this point, my fiance's stomach turns to knots when he thinks of it, so I'm not yet pressing to get a glimpse inside of his head.. so I wanted to ask you.
Hello, I'm Gray's mono husband. Our relationship has only recently become "actually poly", though rather open since we were dating. (details available in our intro threads)
Some have mentioned old, chauvinistic concepts of possession and not wanting to share "your" woman with anyone else. I never really had this leaning, but did have to work through some preconceptions over time.
To start, I never had problems with Gray touching, hugging, etc., other people. She was very outgoing, and she enjoyed contact with people she was close to. The next step, perhaps, of hand holding, also wasn't any issue. Except (at the very start) when she wanted to hold my hand in public. I was so shy at the time, I didn't want the attention or people looking at me I guess. (Same for us kissing in public. For a bit, at least)
As to her kissing others. Even at the start, my only objection was that if others saw they would get all busybody and bother us, and I didn't want to have to deal with misguided interlopers.
Beyond that, we went in stages and negotiated at each step. Once in a while, she would push a boundary a bit, stretch a definition, but never far and not often. We would discuss it, refine definitions, and move on.
Originally Posted by PolyKat
I also wonder how each man got past their issues, beyond the, "I love her so I learned to [insert life lesson here]." What was the initial disgust about? Where did that feeling come from? Why does the thought of such things hurt? What made it hurt less? What realizations did you have to come to? How did the two of you communicate and work through things? How long did it take (understanding that each person is different)?
For me, it wasn't so much about "I love her, so I will learn to tolerate". It was that I felt such a connection to Gray. Such a multitude of connections, really. Physical connections involving, well, the physical. Mental connections involving sci-fi, anime, trivia and math and so much more. Connections of the heart involving shared interests and values. Many of these connections were shared with others. Connecting over trivia, for example, is pretty common.
The ones shared just between us, though, were precious, some more than others. I didn't want to lose those connections, or dilute them, weaken them, however you want to phrase it. The "big" physical connection, for me, was PiV.
I never felt disgust, but I did feel fear about losing these connections, or just that they would weaken. So, the progression of our relationship has involved me confronting why I valued a particular connection that was just between us, when our connection would not be any weaker should she also have a similar connection to someone else. Part of it is that she showed at each step how she could maintain all these connections. I haven't really tried, and never had much interest in trying, to maintain all these connections to other people. Perhaps it is just my mono brain, I don't know. Perhaps I could, if I tried. All I know is that she can, and that I trust her to talk to me if she fells something weakening in our relationship, just like she trusts me if I have concerns. All along, we talked with each other. About what we wanted, what we felt about the current stage of our relationship, about all sorts of things. I can't tell you how we communicated, we just talked. She was very good at making sure I talked.
Besides the actual communication that was achieved, I think these talks were very important to the overall journey because they showed time and again that I mattered to her, I wasn't being replaced, and I was on this journey with
her, not an outside observer.