I too was raised in fundamentalist church (you made that comment on my intro thread). Talk about a compromised start, eh? I figured out when I was 13 that they were all crazy and I then stopped attending church. Yet so much of it stuck with me in my wiring and internal makeup. Though I did not “believe” any of it, a part of me still must of always felt that I would burn in hell should I misbehave. I may have been a boy scout anyway, but this just made it more so.
I went through 20+ years of adulthood being a real stand-up guy, happily married, etc. When I fell in love with my new friend who I now wanted very sincerely to be another partner and very important person in my life, I think the fundamentalist stuff reared its ugly head and contributed to a sense of shame that just compounded damage to my ability to think clearly. Ahhh! That “constant pounding from all sides”, as you say, it was powerful stuff!
I have thought about this a lot in the recent past, and so I just had to respond to your comment… So here is to freedom from all that!
Also, I notice you are active on this site. I appreciate your your caring and comments. And the last few days I have noticed an increase in people like me. People who are involved in a relationship in which there was/is some confusion, suffering, and/or the desire to explore and understand poly, all while not losing a loved on over it. That almost sounds funny, as the whole point is to gain loved ones, eh? But really, it has been very helpful for me to have exchanges here. And if there is one thing I would like to do is spare folks from making the mistakes I have made, as the hurt and pain I have caused the people I love is more than I would like to admit. Anyway, I enjoy your input and conversation.