Married couple confused, feeling stuck
This is an introduction post, as well as a vent/help us post. (My wife is posting her story below). And I was watching Food Network when trying to pick a user name.
A legitimate poly lifestyle first was brought to my attention about 11 years ago (at 16). I was reading a fiction book series, in which a whole society of people lived in a way where a most men have two wives, but also the wives have a special relationship amongst themselves as well. Most of the time this was just a sisterly thing, deep emotional connection and love for one another but not romantic, but a few cases of romance as well. At the time, the only time I'd ever really heard about multiple wife scenarios was from poor media coverage around the extreme cases polygamy farms using religion as justification for older men to have a bunch of young wives. While other friends of mine reading the book thought it was weird, and could never work, it always stuck with me as something I'd really like, but never thought people did it in the real world.
That feeling sat on the back burner for a long time. Meanwhile, I lived the normal mono lifestyle, fell in love with the most amazing woman I have ever known, and got married. We have been married a little over 4 years now.
When I started to re-read the books again (about 1.5-2 years ago), it kick started the curiosity I had initially, and soon I couldn't stop thinking about being in the type of relationship that was common place in the book. I started to search on the interwebs to see if this was something people actually did, or if I was just being stupid. After reading enough to realize that, yes, people do live this way (and similar ways) and it had a name, it started to root itself and not become a curiosity, but a lifestyle I really wanted, and know would make me the happiest. This was really solidified this summer when my wife's sister stayed with us for awhile. While I don't have any feelings for her sister other than just the in-law friendship, just the dynamic of how our household was working when she was here, the two of them sharing their moments together, and the times when all three of us were together and I was the man taking care of them, I knew that I would be the happiest in a poly relationship with 2 women, in which they also had a special connection.
There have been a few ups and downs in our marriage, but we've both been growing so much as people, and growing together. Lately, I feel we've gotten so much better about expressing how we feel about each other, and about all that is troubling us. We've gotten to be much more open and upfront. It was in these long talks we started in the last year, with all out venting and laying everything on the table, and doing a bunch more research, that I finally became comfortable enough to tell her about the poly lifestyle, and how i felt about it.
The incredible woman that she is, listened to it all, let me get it all out, wrote down questions, and asked them when I was done, and was overall just amazing in how she accepted me for who I am, even though she essentially believes this is not right for her. We talked about pros and cons, how it might affect each of us if it were something we pursued, but it rather quickly came down to a no. She is not comfortable living this way. There might be a chance in the future, but not now.
Since that initial talk, we hadn't really discussed it much. I was afraid of bringing it up to much. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to convince here into a lifestyle she doesn't want to live. I was afraid that bringing it up would just push her further away from the idea incase there was a chance she would change her mind. We did talk again once for a short amount, I had to know how she'd been processing everything I laid on her a couple months ago, but it still came down to the same conclusion.
The not discussing it, however, was causing everything to just build up inside me, and I started getting depressed, there was this part of me I couldn't talk about with the woman I love. We've been spending the most time apart from each other since we got married this last month, due to a number of individual trips we've taken, and this last week and a half has been especially hard on me. Already feeling like I haven't been spending enough time with her, I had to fly out for 2 weeks for business. When I feel lonely and depressed I do a lot of
thinking, and the whole poly issue was number one on the brain. A couple of days ago, it all came out, I couldn't NOT talk about this anymore, and for the last few days my wife and I have resumed discussions over the phone until I can get back home. While we were talking, she started looking up things on her own and found this site. We've read a number of posts, and I am happy to see such a community on the web with a lot of great advice, stories, and other resources.
After talking every night for the last five days about this, my wife and I are both confused on where to go from here. Neither one of us can bear the thought of losing the other. I feel as happy as I think I could be while being in a mono relationship, but I don't think that I will be truly happy, no matter how much I love my wife and she loves me. And as of right now, she would not be happy if I/We were to add another person.