Yeah, I'm totally sold on the idea. I'm positive this will fix any of the sexual issues in my relationship with my wife, and will probably help a lot with dealing with my unintentional jealousy toward any future prospective sexual partners. I already did and liked doing a lot of these things, but I thought it was all just connected to sex. Now that somebody has outright stated "you don't have to have sex," it feels like a weight has been lifted. If I can acclimate to this, and my wife can, too, then we can both be content and happy, because as long as I feel like I'm making that deep, physical, spiritual connection with my partner, sex doesn't have to even ever happen. Orgasms aren't that great, it's the mindgasm that I crave. The feeling of knowing absolutely and without question that you and your partner are together on the same path through life. I always found the idea of being asexual incredibly foreign and confusing, and possibly insane...but now I don't. I had all the pieces of the puzzle in my head, but that article showed me how they fit together, and now there's a nice picture where there once was an empty space with a bunch of bits and ideas floating around in it.
@Tonberry (what a frightening name) - I agree that forcing a mono to become poly would be wrong, and I agree that forcing a poly to be mono is wrong, but neither is really the focus of my original question. Mostly my question stemmed from the massive internal struggle I found myself in, and the most common question that came up in my mind is "how is this fair?" I find people attractive regularly. That's normal Human behaviour. We find one another attractive. And I often think about how great it would be to share a romantic bond with any of them. But do I act on these feelings? No. I don't. I think that I share many of the same urges, feelings, and desires as a poly individual, but I don't share the same social rules. To me, it's very easy to simply not act on these urges, and so I would ask myself why my wife couldn't just do the same as me and have them but not act on them. I mean, that's normal to me, why can't it be normal to her?
That was the logic I was operating on when I asked the question "why should the mono partner be forced to change?" The majority of modern (American) civilization seems to operate on the principle of "serial monogamy," where they act on these impulses (the same ones I have) and either cheat on their spouses, or leave their spouses for a new one. Being a responsible monogamous individual involves not acting on these urges and learning to focus on and be content with your current relationship, despite all the other attractive individuals parading around out in the world.
I deal with it every day, and I don't act on my urges, so what makes it fair for my partner to be able to have other partners, while I sit here being "responsible" and not having other partners?
I know that's not how it works, and I know I have a significant amount of social programming in the way, but I find the idea of being devoted to a single individual and living a long life together as best friends to be a very attractive method of living. My partner is my rock, my island, in a sea of chaos, and I am hers. That's romantic to me. I don't find it codependent -- in fact, I don't think of codependent as a bad thing at all -- I find it healthier than the majority of relationships I've ever witnessed or been involved in. And so it feels hurtful and unfair that my partner would want to abandon that and open herself up to other partners, other sources of hurt and pain -- destabilize the island. A social support network made up of family and friends (and friends who we consider family) is one thing, but multiple romantic partners is another. I just happen to find something objectionable in the idea of having multiple romantic partners. Dunno why.
Does the angle I'm coming from make any sense? Do you understand why I might have asked the question that started this thread? I have to learn to be okay with something that I am fundamentally not okay with. Therefore, I'm required to change. It would be okay if there was some kind of compromise that could be reached, but you can't only kinda-sometimes have romantic relationships with other partners, you're either in or you're out. It feels like two sides of a coin. There's nothing for her to give up part of while I give up part of this. She either has to give up entirely and let me win, or I have to give up entirely and let her win. There is no compromise to be had; I just have to suck it up and give up the rules and notions I hold dear. What's in it for me, you know?
In reality, I worked really hard to learn how not to act on my serial-monogamy urges. I am very proud of where I'm at, and it took a lot of courage and a lot of introspection and a lot of time alone, learning to be okay with just myself, before I could date anyone again and not be so dependent on the NRE rush that I go relationship-hopping. I think this is something to be proud of, something many women claim to want in a man. Something most men in modern society don't have the inner strength or wisdom to pull off. I went through my awkward teenage-to-early-twenties phase of relationship-hopping and threesomes/mini-orgies, and I came out the other side a wiser, more self-stable individual who doesn't need that anymore.
Maybe I'm really poly and I'm just in denial...which would make tons of sense, especially when it comes to how fervently my internal voice fights against poly. But I'm so socially awkward, and I find it REALLY difficult to not focus on just one romantic partner at a time, which is funny because the way I do hanging out with my friends is completely contrary to that. I can spend time with like ten people at once, and I'm perfectly comfortable. I think I'm a bit ADD, but I've never been officially diagnosed.
Anyway, I guess the point is that I'm afraid that if I try being poly, I will fail and end up hurting everyone involved, because I'm bad at relationships. I have a terrible memory, a tendency to forget names or accidentally call people by the wrong name, forgetting birthdays and special events and eye colours and what clothes we wore on our first date. You know, the usual stuff that ruins young/immature relationships. Oh, and I'm incredibly clingy. I treat my partner like my best friend, so I don't like to do things alone if I can help it. I like to include her with my friends and be included with hers whenever possible, though I do understand why that might not work out, and I can recover fairly gracefully from it.
I grew up and developed in group situations. I am friends with my mom's friends, as she is with most of mine, and I frequently spend time with multiple people as a group, rather than just hanging out with an individual at a time. I was raised with a group mentality of sorts. I abhor being alone, for I get depressed and even more awkward and even more clingy and constantly exhausted when I get too much alone time. And I talk really really fast when I've been alone for too long and finally get time with friends, or when meeting new people after being alone for too long.
So really, this whole thread started with an expression of my inner angst and fear relating to my uncertainty and insecurity. Maybe this self-description helps it make some sense?
Last edited by SimpleSimian; 03-03-2011 at 05:40 PM.