People have commented about how different needs can be met by different partners in poly. I have experienced some of this as well; poly has helped me to appreciate Alec more for who he is since I don't focus on what he can't give me. So that is a valid point. But I am not sure it is valid in your situation.
There is a difference to needind something in your relationship life, in general, and needing something from your partner, specifically. I made this kind of list earlier in my journal
Originally Posted by rory
What I need in partnerships in general:
- love; caring about and liking each other
- autonomy; space and support for leading happy and fulfilling lives outside of the relationship
- support in hardship
What I want in my relationship with Mya:
- I want to share everyday life and have our own routines: right now I feel good about this aspect since we usually skype every other day for several hours
- Regular physical contact (ideally more than we can now we're in a LDR): hugs, cuddles, kisses and sex
- About sex: I'd like to be able to have more, obviously, but I also wish to explore things together, and keep up the level of communication about it that we have established from the start
- Philosophical/analytical conversations
What I want in my relationship with Alec
- I want to continue sharing everyday life and again have our own routines: e.g. I want to keep in place for most days our habits of eating together watching dvds (dinner and/or evening snack; doesn't have to be every meal)
- Again, regular cuddles, hugs, kisses and sex
- I want to have space for of physical contact and non-verbal communication we have. I like to have many (even brief) moments of time alone together, but much of it isn't necessarily uncomfortable for other people (and not sexual in nature) and we can do some of it if the people are close enough and we feel comfortable, like if Alec's family is present. I'd like it if in time our poly-family was in that kind of comfortable place (but I will not try to force it, it'll come if it does).
- About sex: here communication often doesn't come naturally, since we had so many years of not talking much about sex. But I have started our heavy talks and made a commitment in my head to keep them up, since that's essential for our sex life to work (which, in turn, is essential for our partnership to work). My sexual preferences when having sex with a male have turned out to be really fluid, so expressing them needs to be done a lot. We have started to forge a broader common ground through communicating and exploring
, and I want to keep that up.
You see that the list of what I need in a partnership is longer than the one specifying what I want to have on top of that with my specific partners. It doesn't matter how much love or communication or connection or respect I am experiencing with my other partner(s), if even one of those things is missing in my relationship with one of my partners, it will not be sustainable.
I really like the analytical conversations that I have with Mya, which happen more rarely with Alec, so I would say that's a "need" that I've been able to meet through poly. But wanting to sit down regularly and analyse something to death isn't a need for me in a partnership
, but something I really enjoy doing in life. I can have a very satisfying partnership even if my partner doesn't enjoy that kind of thing, but rather likes to discuss concrete things in our lives.
Most of the things you list sound like things you really need in a partnership
. Doesn't matter if you have 10 other partners who make you feel loved and communicate with you and are present in your everyday life, if your husband can't do those things it may well be the end of your relationship with him. This has very little to do with your OSO or poly, other than your relationship with him is making you realise these things are something a person can have in a partnership. That you don't need to settle.
I think it's good that your planning to go to counseling. And it's good to go alone. You aren't keeping things from your husband by going alone, you're just trying to get things clear in your head in order to understand them yourself and to be able to better express them.