My name is Alice, I am female, heterosexual and aged 25.
I am married to a 32 year-old man who is currently my only relationship.
As far as I can remember, I have always been polyamorous. I thought it would change when I met "the right one", but I only ended up meeting "the right ones".
I am feeling a greater need for support and hoping the community here will provide it. First I should explain my situation:
I first talked to my husband about "seeing other people" about... one year and a half to two years ago. At the time it felt like the biggest problem he had with it was the idea that he wasn't adequate, wasn't good enough, and that I would leave him. We talked about a few rules and he seemed to feel better about it. He said he thought it would be hard at first, though.
About six months ago we talked about it again. However it seemed to focus on swinging - something I am not really interested in.
He himself barely ever showed an interest in being with other people, although he recently said he was warming up to the idea.
I think a new good, long talk is in order for several reasons.
a) I want to make sure he really is fine with it. It seems that one-way polyamory exists but the idea that he might be forcing himself and accepting only for fear of losing me scares me. Also, I feel it is "not fair", in a way. I want to be 100% sure he understand all the implications and that he is genuinely fine with it.
Also, I want to make sure we can work on his self-confidence issues. I don't want him to ever feel like he's "not good enough" for me. I feel it needs to be sorted out before anything serious happens.
b) I want to re-establish rules. While some rules we had were only normal (protecting ourselves, being honest with any person about the fact that we are married and that our spouse is aware of the relationship), some made me uncomfortable (some "rules" were a bit too close to "don't ask, don't tell". While it might feel like freedom, it also feels like cheating.)
A complication that has occurred is that I am developing feelings for another man who I have met online. I feel the need to be completely honest about it, while on the other hand I fear it might make his self confidence issues worse and they should be focused on first. Also, I haven't told that other man about my feelings and I have no idea how he feels about me. At this stage, we are merely friends, and if anything happens I would want to take it very slowly.
That other man knows that I am married, but doesn't know I am polyamorous. We thought it wiser not to advertise it too much, both because of social pressure and because the first friend we told about it seemed to think it meant we "could have sex with anyone", and was pretty insistent in "getting some", which was bothersome.
One of the things I want to talk about with my husband is how early to mention a potential partner. Should we mention someone as soon as we're attracted to them? After we've told them we're attracted to them and they reciprocated? Somewhere in the middle?
It might seem a bit "silly" to tell my husband about it if it always remains at the stage of friendship. On the other hand, I don't want to lie to him.
Well, this is becoming a very long post so I'll leave it here from now. I am very happy to have met this community and I hope to get much insight and advice from everyone here