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Old 08-31-2011, 02:25 AM
SelfDiscovery SelfDiscovery is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5

Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
It works for me to look at poly the way I do. It is an alternate viewpoint from ID'ing as hard-wired poly or mono, and if I say I am poly (which I don't really tend to say) I mean poly relationships are what I choose. I am more inclined to word it that I want to "live polyamorously." This may work for others, but it doesn't have to exclude anyone who wants a poly relationship but doesn't yet have one.

I just think the important part for the OP is to find out how to have what he wants in relationships, how to bring the kinds of relationships he wants into fruition in his life, and not to worry too much about whether or not he can "confidently" claim to be poly.
Thanks. That helps. I tend to dislike labels, as it leads me to focus on trying to grok the meaning of the label, rather than the situation. So, yes, I'm looking to move towards a situation where we are living polyamorously. There is still a label there, but it circumvents the self-label - not about me, but about my situation at present.

Originally Posted by Irena View Post
Whether it's natural for you to be in love with more than one person at a time (and my personal belief is that it's natural for most people, though not everybody) is one question; whether in your specific situation the risks of changing your marriage's monogamous structure are worth taking is another. From my perspective the second question is more important -- the first one will answer itself in time.
I'm pretty sure that the positives, thus far, outweigh the risks. Challenging the status quo never comes without risk, but more fully accepting who we are, and the essence of those who we share our lives with, that is (in my opinion) worth quite a great deal of risk. Change is scary, unsettling, and sometimes really fucking hard ... But if you're changing to something better, more open, with greater honesty and understanding, it is probably worthwhile.

Originally Posted by Irena View Post
I can say this: nobody's relationship is perfectly stable and healthy, not before trying polyamory, not during the opening-up process, not afterward. Polyamory will almost certainly bring out problems in your relationship you didn't know you had. I take that as one of its benefits, since it creates an opportunity to grow in ways you might not have done otherwise. The pitfall to avoid is using a new relationship to escape or evade the problems of the old one.
This part, I think, speaks to the root of my concern. Of course no one's relationship is perfectly healthy. I do think that the work DW and I have made towards opening up, so far, has been mostly good for us - we talk a lot more, we are more honest, and we can talk about really hard stuff, mostly successfully.

However, I am ... a little unsure what to think about the idea of using poly to escape or evade issues. On one hand, part of me thinks that, well, if the relationship were 'healthy enough', why would I even care to explore the possibility of adding others. Then, I think, well, I'm not really trying to escape issues with my relationship by adding someone else. I'm trying, instead, to more fully accept and embrace who *I* am (about me, not about my relationship... if that makes any sense).

Sure, at one point, our relationship was probably a bit co-dependent. Frankly, as long as it was in that state, there was no way I could even realistically pursue the idea of poly, as I/we were too caught up in a flood of self-inflicted drama to have rational discussions about how to move forward. This is something that I'm pretty sure I've worked through, and I know my wife is actively working on. I no longer need validation from anyone else to know that I am good, strong, capable, and caring - because I am those things for myself, first. It was this understanding that enabled me to take the first steps towards this, and open the topic with my wife.

There is probably a certain amount of sexual incompatibility between my wife and I - I have a fairly high sex drive, while she doesn't (though she does try really hard to keep up - its just one of those places where we don't quite mesh). Although my relationship with our friend hasn't progressed to that stage, as we are taking things really slowly while we process and move forward, I've found that a lot of the frustrations and challenges my constant low-level sexual frustration triggered have abated, by simply spending time with someone else and knowing that its a future possibility.

Neither of those, I tend to think, are motivations for going poly. I'm, perhaps, slightly more concerned about the second - if all I wanted were sex, there are other alternatives, which are, possibly, less difficult (at least on some levels) than poly - however, be that as it may, I know about myself that I simply cannot consider intimate physical relations without emotional intimacy. I have zero interest in recreational sex, FBs, or anything of the sort.

Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
Being mostly happily married and falling for someone new does not make you poly. That just get you a ticket for the ride. Getting in the trench and crawling in the emotional muck and coming out with your marriage Intact and happy makes you poly.

If you think you can do this intellectually, emotionally, and logistically....and get the spouse on board with the same then give it a shot.
Nice ticket. Its a challenge - balancing time, feelings, NRE, etc - while, at the same time, doing what I can to be supportive of my wife's challenges in opening up.

Originally Posted by River View Post
On the other hand, some people haven't any, or much, "emotional muck" to "crawl" through by now--at least not "emotional muck" about opening to loving others. Not everyone will experience poly as anguished and tormenting and ....
But some will.

I don't mean to disparage those who will experience anguish and torment in such a journey, by the way. I just wanted to point out that it needn't be so--for some.
For myself, it is in my nature to want to second-guess any choices, to try to be very clear, internally, that I'm doing the right thing. That is, probably, the biggest hurdle I've personally faced in this situation. My wife, on the other hand, has a lot of work to do in terms of processing and accepting, and I feel really bad for putting her through that - so, in a sense, I have a lot of work to do there, in terms of providing patience, reassurance, understanding, and support as I'm able while she feels what she needs to feel.
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