Well, I'm sitting here in the sun, trying to suss out what my therapist just told me today, after numerous visits with her, sharing my conflicts within and feelings about relationships: I'm poly. And, I don't really know how to feel about this revelation.
I'm 34, female, and in a monogamous relationship with my favorite dude in the world. I have historically been a serial monogamist, who is completely invested in long-term (often 5+ years) relationships until it dawns on me that something major and important is missing-- be it the butterfly feeling, or the sense of autonomy from a couple-unit, like a self-identity thing. I usually end up sabotaging the relationship by cheating. This does not make me happy, for sure; it makes me feel like an awful person, even though I know I'm actually caring and giving to the amazing, beautiful partners I've been lucky enough to get. And, fortunately, they have been forgiving to me, because they know me well, and we remain friends, mostly.
Well, guess where me and sweetheart are at: 4 and a half years. I was getting torn up about this inside, so I went to therapy over it, because I definitely don't want to lose this beautiful gem of a man, and I think that may have been a really good thing. I told a lot of secrets that I couldn't tell anyone else. And today, she said that.
I'm bi, and sweetheart and I recently discussed opening up the relationship to me having sex with other women. That's been a few months, and I still haven't made any moves. Partly because I'm scared of hurting my love's feelings. Partly because I've developed this sincere crush on friends of mine who are a monogamous couple, and I think about them all the time. (I would love to be in a quad with them, but WHOA! Big change!) And, partly because I just don't want to "have sex with a woman;" I want a deeper relationship than that (hence the hook-up-with-friends thing, probably). So I've just been pressing down on these feelings, and it's kind of caused me to act inappropriately at times. It's made me feel like it's a big secret I'm keeping from my partner, because I've been scared to communicate about it, and he doesn't really want to touch the subject. And I don't want to have any secrets from him! Not only does that make me feel depressed and guilty, but it also makes the inappropriate behavior pop up unexpectedly, with an emotional effect that I can't really tell friends about.
But my idea of loving relationships between friends and family and anyone else is that honesty and communication need to be open and ever-present, or it sours and cancers the whole deal. And I haven't been good at it lately. And not everybody holds those values up as much as I want them to. But, from what I can tell,
Poly People Do!
When friends and lovers aren't forthright with me, I end up feeling like I missed out on an opportunity for learning and adventure! And I'm so dense! Communicating my wants and needs has always been a challenge for me.
In certain ways, I feel more conflicted about polyamory, and more scared, than I do about monogamy, despite the fact that I know monogamy is ultimately not right for me. Societal expectations have put me in this mindframe. I want to be not scared anymore, and I think I'm going to need your help, Poly Community.
Thanks for just being here and posting your stories.