Originally Posted by surfer
My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, which breaks my heart, but so does the thought of leaving her, as we've been together several years and still very much love each other. Yet having to be mono the rest of my life (I'm in my mid 30's) seems difficult and lonely, I really crave more intimate and deep connections that I can get with my friends. So I'm feeling kind of stuck.
Hi Surfur - and welcome !
It would be interesting to know what level of conversations you and your wife have had so far and what education she may have been exposed to about the theories behind polyamory.
It's really important for both (all) parties to understand what the various attractions/desires of a poly lovestyle are. When you use terms like "intimate & deep", they are terms that are too broad and are likely to raise more questions in each other's minds than they do answers.
I'd suggest you start by trying to find a couple very explicit examples to talk through and try to discover where a desire of yours could be met without presenting a threat to her on that same subject.
In our culture and it's current "default" of monogamous marriages, there's a certain theory & mindset that comes with it that implies that in order to have some ideal - or even successful - relationship, that two people should find within each other ALL
the things that are important to us - or that failing that - the people should be able to remold themselves into something their partner desires.
To me, both those concepts are total fallacies ! By saying this I mean that they have been largely unsuccessful over history and are so because they are unrealistic & unnatural - go against reality & human nature.
This seems to often be the first barrier that has to fall. If you think that you are not satisfying your partner in some area of their life - and the expectations are that you SHOULD be able to - then this comes as a direct threat to your ego and self definition. That thinking has to GO !
I'd suggest addressing that first. If you can see through that to a deeper understanding of what being human entails the rest will be easier sledding.