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Old 07-09-2012, 06:15 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 833

Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
WhatHappened, I especially appreciate your perspective, being so similar to C's experience.
I'm so glad. I hoped I didn't come across as critical because I definitely don't mean to be.

I think in the beginning I was able to see things clearly this way: I could never be enough, so eventually this will have to stop. But a month or so ago he mentioned that his ideal would actually be a poly arrangement, after all. (Even though the likelihood, as you said, is very slim.) He wouldn't want to give me up if his partner didn't require it.
This is sort of how I feel. I really am not sure I want to step into this world of polyamory more than I already am. I didn't go out looking for it. But at this point, I'm in deep enough that I would be happy if a situation arose in which I could have the full package deal with someone and yet not lose my BF. ...but I realize the chances of that happening are very slim for several reasons.

In fact just yesterday or so he wrote that he wished he already had a partner, so he could ask her about opening their relationship. And then my husband seems to have recently expanded his comfort zone a bit, and I started wondering, "Do we want to grow this relationship, and see where it takes us?"
It may be that bit by bit, things will change so that it becomes possible, which would be wonderful. There are mono secondaries here who seem completely happy--but it takes a lot of factors working together just right.

It seems in your case, WH, being a monogamous secondary is definitely not satisfying.
Funny thing is, I wouldn't say I'm dissatisfied. For many reasons, this situation suits me very well. I have a very full life and busy schedule with two jobs and children and activities and friends. I'm less than a year out of a divorce from someone who lied and cheated and was emotionally abusive--I'm in no rush to date or have a boyfriend and don't think it's wise so close to all these events. I don't think my kids need a new man moving into their lives this quickly on the heels of their father moving out--besides which xh would accuse me of cheating before the divorce, which is absolutely 100% not true (I had no clue until 3 months after it was final that BF felt this way about me), but my kids would be thrown into doubt. I'm content having a great deal of time to myself to work through things emotional and financial.

I have all of that.

And yet, I have a dear friend, too, a boyfriend if you will, who builds me up, admires me, encourages me, takes me out, respects me, etc.

I wonder about C though. I know he has this mental image of a "full time partner" but the fact is, his life is way too busy to accommodate anyone full time ...he keeps saying he hasn't managed to adjust his habits yet to reflect his priorities, and that he really does want to spend more time with me. He just can't fit me in between camping in the desert with his guys friends...
It sounds like things may gradually change, both in the situation and in his own mind and willingness to move into a poly lifestyle. But in the meantime, again from my experience, I can tell you why I would behave much the same way with BF. I don't do it to that extreme, but I'm more prone to waiting for him to call, and not rushing to call back immediately. I make sure I keep my own life and my own friends. I make plans with my own friends.

I do it because, no matter how much the situation suits me now, I am well aware that in two years or five, it may not suit me at all. I expect there will come a time when I will want a full-time partner. I fear coming to a point where I'm deeply in love with BF and it is painful, rather than peaceful, to be going to bed alone every night while he is with someone else. It seems foolish to invest a lot of time and energy building a bridge to nowhere...or worse yet, building a bridge to a place where he and I are even more emotionally invested and will both be hurt even worse when it ends.

I do it to maintain balance. BF would agree, and in fact was the first to say to me: the problem is rarely between him and a 'vanilla' girlfriend (which I very much am), but between a married and single person because there is such an inherent imbalance, because one person's time is full with two or more partners and all the resources and emotional support they bring; while the other person is left half the time at least to live life on their own, to find emotional support elsewhere.

As one example of this--BF is almost always with either her or me. He always has someone there and available to talk to if he's had a rough day. When I've had a rough day, I rarely call him because I don't want to interrupt his dinner or date or home life with his wife.

For this reason, I pull back from investing too heavily in him or relying on him too heavily, both things that would build our relationship.

He has no kids to care for, and needs no help with bills, and I feel I've been a fairly consistent emotional support -we email or chat online almost every evening about the events of our day, and often throughout the day. We don't have sex (yet?) but what we do in bed he says has surpassed anything he has ever experienced with anyone else. (It's pretty awesome.) I think if I were to be able to have sex with him, and eventually go along on a trip now and then, that's about all the "partner" he could handle anyway. He says I have a point. He's definitely thinking about it. Yesterday he wrote, "I sometimes wonder if I could go on in life without you," and I got all choked up.
That's very touching. :-) I, too, talk to BF almost every day, although usually only once a day at this point. Maybe things will gradually change. Maybe the thing to do is be patient and see how it's able to evolve for both of you. (It's sort of what I've been doing.)

I just don't want to feel disposable.
I would guess that he doesn't see you as disposable at all, although I can see how you would feel that way. Again, offering what insight I can from my own experience, I feel much like (I think) C does; I feel I need to go find a full-time partner, quick, now, before I fall in love completely with BF and find myself miserable because I can't be with him, etc. Yet I also worry about BF. He's very heavily invested emotionally. I worry about hurting him, and yet I feel we've worked ourselves into a corner in some ways where someone is going to get hurt. I just feel stuck in a situation I didn't ask to be part of (although obviously I've gone along and said yes every step of the way he's invited--because I like him and enjoy his company so much).

I very much don't want BF to ever feel disposable. It's not how I regard him. And yet I just feel at this stage that the situation is so inherently flawed, it can't possibly last forever as it currently is, and someone is going to go through a great deal of pain when it ends, quite possibly both of us. I kind of feel like I'm flailing and scrambling to get out of a net that's slowly tightening, and yet it's a net I don't really want to get out of. I don't want to hurt him, I don't want to be hurt myself. I just feel that as pleasant and wonderful as it is right now, I don't really see how it can end on a happy note for both of us.
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