Ye people of much wisdom, I desperately need your help...
I imagine many posters here have had many experiences to draw from. I never really considered polyamory until just last summer. And the idea has been haunting me since. What I need help with is sorting my emotions out, as I'm too entrenched into my current situation to even think very straight anymore. I'm not sure if what I want is polyamory or just plain selfishness. And I'm surrounded by people who are more or less conservative in the sexual exploration department, which compounds my concerns even further. I need a different perspective, desperately.
I apologize for the length on this and the random shifts of tenses in my "narrating style." Typing this in the middle of the night. This is a pretty complicated mess. In order to keep this brief, let's assume I've tried many different angles to rectify my relationship issues, because I honestly have tried all kinds of things. I'm providing background on these issues because they are relevant to the polyamory question later.
Been married almost three years, and have been together all-in-all for five. We'll call my husband Y. When we dated, we had the NRE and it seemed like everything was perfect. He showered me with attention. We moved in together after one year. That's when the dynamic started to change. I was still in crazy NRE euphoria while Y just...became more reserved about our relationship. I still was oozing affection while he wasn't complimenting me anymore and he thought I was overdoing the sex thing. Now that he "caught me" and doesn't fear losing me, he became really content as if anymore effort was unnecessary. I've asked him if something was wrong with me and if an issue of mine was causing him not to pay me attention and he would always says there's nothing wrong. I am pretty much a tv and video game widow; those two things hold his attention incredibly. Even when he is not immersed in those two things he is not big into showing me affection except during sex (and even that isn't always so intimate either), in public or entirely in private. These patterns began a very big problem that has haunted us our entire marriage.
I brought up my concerns about his lack of attention to me about a week before he ended up proposing to me. He was so devastated that I thought he didn't love me that he apparently cried, because in the meantime he'd been excited getting ready to propose to me. We talked about the situation, and it seemed like we communicated and he was making better efforts so at the time he proposed I was optimistic that we'd be okay. However, he slipped continually into old habits, and other ones start to develop.
We start encountering sexual disconnects, like me wanting oral sex badly but he's not willing to give it because it squeaks him out. (He loves oral performed on him, however.) Also, he's awkward about kissing and rarely initiates it. Says it makes him nervous, even when we are alone. The two things that quite possibly turn me on the most he does not give, and I can't help but feel regretful about it to this day.
As our marriage approaches I ask myself what's to become of us. The whole idea of it not working out was petrifying. Since that conversation before we got engaged I've been convinced he loves me but sucks at showing it. He's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of guy and I'm very comfortable around him. He never has a complaint in the world about us, which makes me feel asinine for having woes about our marriage. We rarely argue. I can count the actual arguments on two hands. I wish we argued more, honestly; we'd be connecting better intellectually. Y's responsible in most regards, is fiercely independent like I am, so we compliment each other well in those regards. I'm comfortable doing my thing around the house and he is too. I do enjoy his kind heart tremendously and feel overall he's a really good person. From a day-to-day living perspective things really aren't that bad, but I'm ultimately left feeling emotionally unfulfilled. I hate myself for feeling this way because I do feel he's a good person who deserves nothing but honesty and commitment. He's content with the lack of intimacy, but I'm not.
Emotionally I need a fair amount of attention, and Y doesn't give it out unless I tell him there's a problem, in which case I can expect better results for about two weeks before old habits resurface. I've read relationship advice sites and told myself the puppy love stage died, that's all. Yet three years later I still feel like it went too much in the opposite extreme from what it was. I don't want a platonic marriage. I want something with romantic excitement and intimacy. So I begin to question if I'm even the marrying type, as I equate my feelings with wanting NRE all the time. Yet a voice inside always tells me that every marriage should have that intimacy and intellectual connection, that it's possible to achieve them in marriage beyond the NRE. A couple of months before the marriage, I told Y that as a child I always wanted to get married, that it was my dream, but that now I'm not sure if it was my dream anymore. I don't know if I understood it at the time but I basically did not want my marriage to become so inherently platonic as I've seen so many other marriages in my life become. He asked me in a very indirect and vague way if I didn't want to marry him. It wasn't that I didn't want to be with him, I just wanted us to be more than we were. His question scared me because if I said I didn't want marriage I could lose him forever. I do love him. I married him because I had hope our relationship still could develop into what I wanted it to be. Which is a painful battle when your husband doesn't have any complaints with the way things are and sees no need for improvement.
After we marry I go to school, thinking I need something to take my mind off these emotional problems and it would give me some direction for my life. Between that and work, time flew by substantially and Y and I had limited time together. I had several talks with him about making more of what little time we had to make our relationship more meaningful. His argument was that we needed more time together, so I'd make the time yet find the quality still was lacking. I told him we could make so much more out of the little moments and still be fulfilling, but he never grasped that idea. Simple things like welcoming me home with a hug and a kiss, or saying hi I missed you would have made a minute or two seem wonderful to me, not watching some movie for two hours or having another platonic restaurant date with no flirting. He always has his bubble with the tv and the video games, and it seems that no matter how little he sees me with work and school that he doesn't strive to make something of the time we have. Like he just accepts that I'm not around much so no point in worrying about it. Emotionally I feel pretty damn alone after a while of this. I start to have attractions to people at school who give me attention, but nothing serious comes of it.
That is, until we enter E, Y's best friend of years and years.
I knew E pretty much since the beginning of Y's and my relationship, and from the start E was always openly attracted to me. E told Y to take off a picture of me in my bathing suit off the computer desktop so E could keep his head screwed on straight. I didn't worry about his attraction to me because I was absorbed into NRE at the time and was confident about my relationship with Y. E pursued a relationship with another girl. He and Y sorta lived together in a simulation room mate situation for a month or two, then Y and I moved in together a few months later. E acquired the old apartment for two years along with a new room mate. During the majority of those two years Y and I had little contact with E because we were busy doing our own thing. E and his girl did not work out and he was heartbroken, and he had a big falling out with his male room mate. After two years E starts escaping to our apartment on the weekends while staying with his parents on the weekdays. We spend significantly more time around each other and I develop a little crush on him, but I don't think anything too serious of it at first. He's a flirt and would make comments about me off and on, and we had fun joking around.
About two years ago E asked me to ask my brother if he's looking for a room mate. I knew my brother would never agree to it, because E is a bundle of energy and can drive you crazy if you are not used to him. I was in a money crunch working limited hours while trying to go to school, so an idea popped into my head. My husband and I can save $200 a month by having E as a room mate. I asked myself if the crush would be a problem, and I decided I could handle it because I needed the financial relief pretty badly, and Y hopped easily on board with it. So E moves in.
I guess that's where I made one of my first really bad mistakes. Having him move in when I was attracted to him.
(Continued on next post)