what is is all really about??
I am new on this forum and just need some feedback and maybe new reflections. Tell me if you had similar experiences. i read some of the threads, and found out that beginners DO have problems. This is part of my story, and it is very long, sorry and thank for reading through it anyways :-)
I am finding myself thinking and thinking more amd more about my husband's way of being/becoming polyamorous. We are both very new to this, i.e. my husband gave me a book introduction as a discussion basis so I would understand what he wants to live. I read and after some discussions did not find it difficult to agree to this since the values expressed (openness, responsibility, communication, equality, loyalty) are a 100% mine. In practice however it is very different for me.
Just to get the picture: we have been married for 5 years and have two kids 2 and 3 years old - i think it is important to know the family situation in order to understand) and it is right, the emotional and sexual side of our relationship has cooled down a bit, which for me is not very nice, but understandable, since we are so busy with our small kids and the new house. (something that can and needs to be revived anyways).
Well, shorty after we had made up our minds to accept out marriage love, he revealed to me that his new love is his ex-girlfriend, who had always been a friend of the family. He had fallen back in love with her already before we had discussed the whole concept of polyamory. It took me about two days to not only adapt to the new polyamourous situation, but also to accept that this family's friend role has changed. i emailed her that although i accept the situation i am not yet ready to talk to her directly (she lives not close by anyways). I am defintely not ready for a meeting with all of us. (what for i wonder anyways- there are still to many issues between me and my husband - not her problem).
The problem I experience with my husband is that i really feel rushed into this. Whenever I have a problem with this new situation, I have the impression that it is my fault if the polyamory lifestyle does not work. I actually do not mind if it works or not, because I have the feeling that I am a real MONO woman (who knows what the future brings), but it really hurts when he tells me, that this does not work because I am not ready for it, and that I don't try hard enough and if he gets bitter and unhappy in a couple of years it will all be my fault (he doesn't say this literally like this, but the message is, your opposition makes me unhappy and i can't guarantee a happy marriage like this) . I have pushed him back onto the polyamourous road trying to make him understand that this radical change needs time for me, but that even though i have difficult times I do accept it.
What really makes it difficult for me is the fact that polyamory is about equality and responsibility in my eyes. I have told him, that given my work schedule, the children, his workschedules and administrational and household tasks, I am happy if I can make our relationship work (to be honest we it did suffer with all the work,and kids and house stuff), i would not even dare think of a second one (i am speaking purely timewise). If he can, good for him. The point is that I felt so lonely and neglected with the rest of the duties, that I did not see that free and equal relationship anymore. During my marriage and having become a mother, I grew into being the family organizer and communicator, a role which is fine for me but which is not the ideal I would have sought ten years ago. I got married late, had kids late, and my friends often make jokes about my freedom loving and communicative nature. Now, I have learnt that even in 2009 it is still a woman's work to be responsible for all the little things that come along in a four person family (laundry, shopping, paper work, kids schedules). And then all of a sudden he opens up this enormous perspective of equality and freedom, I said yes, knowing that I have to do my part of dealing with jealousy, and he had to do his part - giving me time to breathe by being more concerned about family stuff (it sounds so stupid, but i mean if you don't have a cleaning lady, bathrooms need to be cleaned even if you are not a maniac, and growing kids need new shoes at least twice a year - and don't forget about all the attention they need).
After some talking he finally understood that my problem is only partly about jealousy, but mainly about what I get out of our relationship/marriage even without polyamory.
So for me it is possible, but i have the impression he is having as many problems with this new life as I do (or even more), but assumed that it would all go by itself. I feel like I dont have the right to have problems with it and that he does not see his, because he wants that lifestyle anyways, so it is not his job to adapt to it. I guess he did not see the backfire thing. And it is not (anymore) about negoiting this for that, but about roles that are contradictory to me and I can't live both. For him there is only black or white: If i accept it, it means that i can't have problems with it. He doesn't want to deal with my worries and fears (well, he does, but it always ends up in "Now, tell me if I can see her YES or NO! I will respect your wish). My wish is that he just understands my life (two kids, a husband who travels, leaves at 7 comes home at 7 when things go fine, my own job etc.). Although I sometimes do get frustrated about this, I really appreciate my life, since all the "obligations" are my choice and I love my job, my family,my friends, my neighborhood etc.
So this is part of the story. Another part is that I need some explanation about the openness and communication. I have understood that polyamorous people love communicating and are open to other people, no matter if they are (potential) lovers or not. Now given the difference between mine and my husband's temperaments (I am a communicating extrovert, whereas he is a listening introvert) I can accept that he needs time to warm up with new people, but I just don't understand, why he finds it so hard to talk to my parents (different language, but both sides speak the other's language) or to our au pair girl or my friends (all communication goes through me). If this is about exploring people and lives, they are just there in front of him. I don't even ask him to give up that ex-girlfriend, but be open to who is there anyways. well, there is progress, but there is so much contradiction, that i sometimes wonder what it really is about.
So all in all, the whole polyamory has brought light into our relationship and lifestyle, but so far i can't help myself but see it as some sort of therapy to wake us/him up and learn what equality, responsibility and communication really is about. If it helps that is great. So on this forum i am not actually looking for advice but just to see if we as beginners are taking normal (quite unstable) steps and if there are perspectives that could open up a new helpful vision or similar experiences. Thanks for any comment. And if my husband is on the same forum, Hi dear, you must have recognized us, I think I did not say anything that I did not say to you, did I? I just need some external stabilization.
thanks you for ideas and reflections