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Old 06-03-2012, 01:31 AM
Katrpillar Katrpillar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Default Read the book! What's the harm?

Hello, I can understand your upset. When you think your relationship is happily moving along and your partner says they would like to change things there can be a whole bunch of emotions that are sometimes hard to define. I can also understand how vulnerable you may feel in a new city with no network of your own (been there too). If at all possible try to get out and meet people/friends.

Originally Posted by RainbowBrite View Post
I told her that I didn't want to purchase that book because I didn't want that kind of relationship.
If you discovered something new to you that you thought was important and possibly self defining and you wanted to share it with your partner would you like them to blankly shut you down with no ability to even discuss it? Do you only expose yourself to ideas/people that fit in with your current world view for fear that you might change your mind?

I understand that you are scared of your partner leaving you or being poly but by refusing to even consider or read about topics that are important to HER you are sending a strong message. What she wants/needs/thinks is not important if it doesn't fit your view. I read about many struggles from folks whose partners refuse to just talk with them about poly and it is heart breaking. They often say that their partner really doesn't know them deeply because they won't bother to communicate with them. It keeps partners at a distance from one another. I don't think this protects the relationship at all in any healthy way.

You may not ever want an open/poly relationship and that is ok. If this is true reading a few books or listening to how your partner envisions a poly/open relationship working over the course of several months still won't change your mind. The effort you put in to see where your partner is coming from is what is most important I think. You don't have to agree to make any changes at this point. By talking and discussing the topic you will get to know your partner better and her you. The more you know each other the more secure you will feel about the standing of your relationship. The worst thing that can happen is that you discover you are incompatible. This is ALWAYS possible no matter who you are or what type of relationship you have. This may be sad for you both but it is really good to discover so that you each can seek what you really need and want in life.

Would you really want a partner that doesn't want what you want out of the relationship? Or is unhappy just to make you happy?

When my DH first introduced Poly to me (after 12 years together) I was not down with it at all. No way, no how!!! But I realized that if this was something that was so meaningful and important to DH I had to AT LEAST go through the mental exercise of figuring out what exactly DH was asking me for, who he was (now), and if I could imagine a scenario that might work for me too. While I "wanted" monogamy I discovered in time that I didn't "need" it. He really wanted to be my life partner (and already was), raise our family, be there for me, grow old, etc... but he did not want to be sexually exclusive. I also realized that for me the value and and beauty of monogamy completely disappeared the moment I was aware that my DH didn't want it. I did not want to force my partner to be mono. I wanted him to want to be mono with me but he really didn't. I had to come to grips with that. I was also able to figure out what my specific concerns were and my DH was able to understand me and offer up different ideas. I came up with ideas too. We went back and forth for a while with no pressure to make ANY changes. It took a 1-2 years for me to be ready to open up our relationship.

It's scary to think you might not be compatible long term but avoiding the issue will definitely NOT help the relationship and may in fact speed up the separation process because your partner will not be able to talk openly and honestly with you about what is going on inside her. Sure, moving and being exposed to new ways of conducting relationships may not be what you had in mind. This may have speeded up the process for your partner becoming aware of her interest in polyamory but I promise you (from my own experience) that not knowing about poly does not keep you safe from your partner having/developing feelings for others. That happens regardless of whether you've read poly books or not.

At least polyamory resources promote honesty and transparency within relationships. Good thing she's not friends with folks who are cheating left and right on their partners otherwise she might be tempted by a different set of skills. Start slow- reading a few pages or a chapter. Keep track of any reactions you have and talk about it. Take breaks as needed. Knowing and learning about poly gives you both a framework to communicate about these difficult feelings. I found that the relationship skills that I learned from considering a poly relationship model was well worth the effort. Even if in the end I decided poly was not for me. You may find that what you both want out of your relationship has a lot of overlap and that being open isn't as scary or divergent from what you have now as you originally thought (my experience).

If what you want is long term relationship stability I suggest that you do entertain your partner's request seriously. Anything less than that can damage the strength of the relationship and lead to growing resentment and discontent. Right now her options are be mono with you, be dishonest, or end your relationship. It sounds like she is trying to be honest with you and I think that is a great foundation to start with. Is being in a mono relationship MORE important than being with your partner? I suspect you may not know yet. There are a lot of shades between monogamy and open/poly relationships. Figure out what the options are and why your partner is interested before you make a final decision.

Good luck,

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