So, a few of you have responded to my intro post
and to my post
describing an aversion to the incredibly broad "poly label." You have no idea how much that kind of supportive, honest discussion means to someone so new and lost. Or maybe you do. Either way, thank you.
So, short version: DH and I are an up until recently mono couple and there's a potential romantic-ish relationship for me in the person of my openly poly best friend, CG. DH, for the time-being, has no desire to look for partners himself.
I have another issue that's surfacing, and I don't know how exactly to work through it, or with whom, so I figured I'd start here. DH and I were in a pretty closed relationship, physically, where both of us had one or two friends with whom we were very emotionally involved. These relationships weren't romantic, but they were years-long and serious...the three a.m. rush to the airport kind of friendships. As I've never been a particularly snuggly or physically affectionate person (save for with DH), he has mirrored me in that regard even though his nature is much more sprawled-on-the-couch-with-a-pile-of-people in its physicality. He knew I didn't like that, though, and so didn't engage in it except when in caregiving mode (rocking a friend with cancer to sleep, for example, or letting her cling to him on our sofa. All sanctioned by me).
Partially in response to all the soul-searching and giving he's doing on my part in this whole adventure, I agreed to a few months of weekly dance events with him, including a few classes. It's interesting to see him in close physical contact with other people, especially people he doesn't know, since in 15 years I haven't ever seen that. I'm not jealous, except at the though of him dancing with CG, which they both seem mildly confused by but are willing to respect. However, this new level of physical contact coupled with an ongoing discussion about what kind of communication DH needs and what kind of physical intimacy boundaries he would like me and CG to respect in our relationship leaves me with a very discomforting thought:
I would suck at this in his shoes.
Yes, I know he's said he has no interest in finding "others" for himself, and that even if he were, that discussion would have to happen after things between him, me and CG got settled (or more settled). But as he's done some pretty intense searching about what he would and would not feel comfortable with in regards to her-and-I, even much further out than she and I have discussed in an effort to stay ahead of the game, I feel like this is something I should at least give a cursory pass.
And my stomach ties up in knots. I don't want him to love anyone else. I don't really like him touching anyone else. I suppose the hand-holding and couch-piles aren't so much of an issue, as that's no more contact than the dancing, but I guess because those are not person-specific they don't bother me as much. Just the thought of him having sex with someone else leaves me near tears (partially, I suppose, because he never has, and so I consider that a part of him that is "ours" somehow).
Am I being utterly unfair in this? Does this make me a terrible person?
(CG is back in town today, with a list of vetted poly-friendly shrinks. DH and I have been batting individual/couples therapy back and forth for a few months as a good preventative measure, and figure it's worth going for that reason alone...all the more so with all of this going on, so yes, I'm going to do that, too).