Shyly Waves Hello from FL...
I believe I might have blown my personal-story-wad in the "brief intro" page, lol. I guess I am just very excited about finding the site, and having (hopefully) some folks to share with about what's going on in my life.
I am lucky to be blessed with M, my partner of 3.5 years. In just the past month and a half we have opened a dialogue about non-monogamy.
When we got together and decided to "be a couple," I spoke to her about one of her online profiles which mentioned polyamory as one of her interests. At the time, she stated that a polyamorous relationship was not what she was looking for, though she would not rule it out if it was an issue or requirement for a prospective partner. She had mentioned also that she had been in a previous relationship which had attempted to "absorb" another person into it and that had presented with a lot of problems.
I was clear, also, about my relationship-boundaries and was honest about my need for a monogamous relationship in order to feel safe. At the time, we both agreed to monogamy.
For me, monogamy's always seemed like the "easiest" way to avoid pain in a relationship. I understand that it's a workaround, in an intellectual sense, and I have said that "polyamory looks good on paper" but that I didn't think I could hack nonmonogamy in real life, due to my "sexual issues" and anger issues which weren't a problem so much at the beginning of the relationship but relatively recently have "come to a head," so to speak. I've been living with this cognitive dissonance for many years, to be honest.
I have been in counseling for several years now (it began with a bipolar diagnosis at the age of 22, which after more years of therapy has been changed to PTSD, so I'm dealing with that) for issues emanating from traumatic experiences (childhood and adult.) It's pretty personal, and it's hard to talk about so I'll just leave that there for now. I have a very sensitive "trigger" in a lot of ways and jealousy triggers are particularly intense. Again, I know that jealousy is never rational, and it's about fear and dread and loss. It's just SO INTENSE sometimes that it makes it difficult for me to function properly, and we have had in-depth discussions about my trust issues (which again are rooted in PTSD and childhood & adult trauma).
Some folks can have a jealousy-inducing situation happen and can work through it relatively quickly. What I've learned about myself is that it has this ricochet effect, and it can hit me if I smell something, or hear certain sounds, or feel certain kinds of touch- sometimes even the timbre of someone's voice can send me into a full-blown panic attack and develop extreme paranoia that lasts for days. I can't sleep, my mind races and I have so much anxiety that I will randomly burst into tears or do really quirky and scary things that make no sense, get into arguments.
The sex trauma has also made physical sexual intimacy very complicated for me. I've had difficulty over several months due to this, and not wanted to initiate or engage in sex very often at all, where as my partner has expressed desire to increase the frequency of our sex.
About 6 weeks ago my partner and I engaged in a conversation that I thought was purely theoretical, but since have found out that it was much more of a pressing and practical issue for her, about the inherent "oppressive" nature of monogamy, of its political implications, and about how it really would be better if the world functioned differently, or were differently organized sexually. We had the conversation and it came up a few more times but I did not realize then that she was trying to "feel me out," or see if I would come out and say that we could "dissolve" what she termed a contract which left me in "ownership" of her sexuality. She ended up speaking with a friend of hers, who is active in the poly community, and they came to "confront" me about it (though in a very sweet way, I must admit.) At that time she very clearly told me that she wanted to have the option of having sexual intimacy with someone if she was not able to do so with me. She says that she is not looking to partner with anyone at this time, and she is not actively looking for other lovers. She describes what she wants as the ability to express her love for other women without fear of reprisal from me.
I want to be understanding if she finds love outside of our relationship and I want to be open to love, myself, should that happen. I understand that it's illogical to think that a person can only love one person at a time. I've understood this for a long time, intellectually.
I am very interested in hearing positive stories of people who have transitioned from mono to poly. I want to live a happy life where I know that the way that I am loving my partner is the best way to love my partner. I want to get through all of this and come out stronger for it.
I come to this forum because I believe that the people here will not be as judgmental as folks who believe that monogamy is the "one true way." I don't think I have ever believed this myself. Sometimes I feel like I am such a coward. I don't want to be a coward.
I hope that this isn't too much of a heavy trip for a first post.
I think that this is all that I can write for now. If folks have any threads they can steer me to that might help, that would be appreciated.
Thanks all, and hope you're having a wonderful Saturday evening.