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Old 06-22-2011, 08:45 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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Default New, scared, and isolated

I am a happily married mother of two. There has never been any doubt in my mind that I love my husband and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I met him young and throughout out the chaos of adolescence that point remained the same for both of us. I always say that he taught me how to love myself by loving me so much. I really didn't know that I was worthy of the kind of love he gave me. I am not a perfect person. I have tested that love in the past but I have always been honest and very sorry for my past mistakes. In turn our relationship has grown ever stronger and I am pleased with that. ( I would like to blame the horrors of my childhood for the chaotic mess I can be sometimes but that seems trite so I will simply blame myself).

Moving on, last year I met a girl online. I am generally a very loving and highly empathetic person. We became friends quickly and I found it easy to love her despite having never actually met her in person (there are aspects to this strange relationship that I am not willing to divulge and this is one suffice to say I still haven't met her but she has seen me and I have done my homework on her so all that is on the up and up). So easy it was for me to love her and for her to love me early on in our relationship. I didn't think I was capable of being "in love" her though. I knew that she was falling in love with me. She was very respectful of my relationship but open and honest about her feelings as I was open and honest with my husband how my friendship was continuing to progress. I believe he knew I was falling in love with her before I did. Once I realized though all the love he taught me to have for myself fell apart. I felt a thousand different kinds of wrong that I could let myself fall in love with someone else. I felt wrong that I could maintain the love I had fro my husband and still feel this ever growing love for her. It was hard. It still is hard. He helped me through the worst of it by trying his damnedest to deal with jealousy and show me that I am not an abnormal fuck up. ( It is amazing the cognitive dissonance one has when they have faith. I long ago lost my faith in god but this was a loss of faith in the myth I had built around love. Polyamory was fine and good if that is what your partners wanted but it wasn't for us.)

Continuing on again (sorry about the tangents), I am learning to deal with the guilt and accept this is who I am. I don't know if I technically identify as poly because I have only ever been in love twice in my life. I probably am more a reciprocal lover than anything. F... I might be capable of falling in love with anyone who falls in love with me so I guess that might make me poly. Does it make it any less real if that is the case? I am learning not to think so. (damn these tangents) This hurts and is so f'n scary though. I live in the south and am looking for a teaching job, so it is hard enough coming out as an atheist much less tell everyone that I am in love with two people. It scares me too that my husband without a doubt is hard wired mono. His love for me s such that he doesn't eve find other girls attractive. I am absolutely everything to him. How do I show him how much he is to me? How does my love not feel cheaper when compared to his love? Most importantly how do we ever get past this elephant in the room. It used to be so much less complicated, this love thing. At least I perceived it that way. I wonder if it will ever be that way again.

I get so sacred all the time. I worry than any move I make with hurt someone I love. What happens if this happens to me again. I know I don't want it too but I can't avoid meeting new people. What happens if my gf and I find we are not actually that compatible in person. Will he think the love I had for her was a sham? So many questions and half of them don't make sense. So now I am here and trying to find a way to not let my life crumble before me. Sorry this was so long.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:05 PM
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Time will tell I guess. All you can do is take every moment for what it is and see where it all goes. Pace yourself, stay true to your heart, remain honest to yourself and your loves and communicate openly whenever possible.

It might help to read around here if you haven't already and see how others manage. Try doing a tag search for some interests. "Foiundations" and "lessons" might be a good start. Ither than that? Take a deep breath and realize you are not alone.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:45 AM
escapewheel escapewheel is offline
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Your relationship sounds a lot like how ours started. We were fifteen when we met twenty years ago. One of the larger things that I let go when I finally got right with things (I was the dyed in the wool mono) was the co-dependence. She and I are more like the best friends we were years ago rather than bound together Married Couple. Our love has actually grown with the addition of her BF into our lives. Shes happier, more of her needs and interests are met, therefor everyone is happier around the house. I even got a new friend out of the deal!
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:00 PM
RunBabyRun RunBabyRun is offline
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Smile Guilt and value judgements-doesn't sound like atheist thinking to me

TRye,

You mention that your husband is ďhard wired monoĒ but what Iím unsure about is if he has decided for himself that he is mono and only wants you OR if you mean that he is not OK with the poly thing and believes that mono is the only way and that there is therefore a strain in your relationship.

Your post resonated with me on several levels. I let go of my faith several years ago and now consider myself an agnostic with no spiritual notions. That was a hard transition at first but the poly transition was much easier. Biology just doesnít support the strict mono myth. Some people are mono and some are poly and that is a personal choice.

Since you are an atheist Iím assuming that like me youíve set aside the religious notions of strict rules. But, you still seem to be influenced by them. If you are feeling guilt over something that is biologically defensible then youíre being ruled by someone elseís notion of right and wrong. Perhaps your husbands? Guilt, in my opinion, comes from two places...one is some outside source that lays down rules and if you buy into that system you feel guilt when you donít measure up to it. The other form of guilt comes from your internal set of values.

For example, I do not believe that ďmoralityĒ is universal. Some religions teach that sex with anyone outside of your spouse is a sin but other religions/cultures donít have the same prescriptions. So while I donít have a list of moral vs. amoral acts, I do have a personal code based on my preferences, experience, and decided the kind of human being I want to be.

When I feel guilt I ask myself if itís influenced by an outside source or if itís because I have violated one of my own personal values. If itís the former, brush it off. If itís the latter, figure out whatís really important to you.

As far as your statement about feeling that your love is in some way ďcheaperĒ than your husbands because you are poly and he is mono, well, this strikes me as mono thinking. There is a quote in Cormack McCarthyís book The Road that says, ďEach the otherís world entireĒ. Itís a beautiful quote (the context is not romantic) but it demonstrates our romanticized notion of love. Our culture (outside source of values) tells us that all-consuming passion for one person is what true love is.

One of the most valuable things Iím learning about the poly lifestyle is that you donít have to choose....itís not either/or.....you do not have to rate your love against his love....they are both different and valuable and have special meaning to both giver and receiver.

Let yourself off the hook. If your husband says he loves you, says he wants to be mono with you but that he wants you to have the freedom to be poly then for Peteís sake, kiss the man, have passionate sex with him, and then go enjoy your other relationship.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:10 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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I am still reading. Last couple of days have been really rough. Knives and all things dangerous have been at the forefront of my head. I was torn between trying to go back to the happy uncomplicated life I had before I fell head over heels for my gf. My husband keeps me alive through this. It is so fucking hard. I asked him to help me love myself again. I forgot how. It is strange to be bathed in the love I am bathed in and still have so much contempt for yourself. It is strange to know what love is in the brain and how it came to be and still ache for that time where you believed in soul mates. I miss feeling like my world was right side up.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:19 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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@runbabyrun. I am using my phone to reply and it makes it difficult to quote text. I have been an atheist for a number of years and I know my thinking in this matter isn't very skeptical. I haven't believed in souls for a long time but it was hard not to view my relationship untouchable. I still view it that way. My husband wont leave me for this. He will support me through it. I am the weak one. I can see how it hurts sometimes and I break. My empathy for him makes me panic and I try and tear myself in two to try and fix this. The past week has been so hard for me dealing with it all that I am considering seeing a shrink soon. It will take money I don't have but I can't keep hurting myself this way since I have children. I haven't been filled with so much self hatred since I was a teen and the volitlity is very similar between both. So very hard to love yourself sometimes even when you are surrounded by people who do.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:30 PM
jasminegld jasminegld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRye View Post
I felt a thousand different kinds of wrong ...( It is amazing the cognitive dissonance one has when they have faith. I long ago lost my faith in god but this was a loss of faith in the myth I had built around love. ...) ...I am learning to deal with the guilt and accept this is who I am. ...it is hard enough coming out as an atheist ...I get so sacred all the time.
I'm going to make a radical recommendation, and send you to church. An atheist-friendly, Unitarian Universalist congregation. All the guilt and fear and loss of faith you are talking about -- these are things people deal with at church all the time. Find a UU church and talk with the minister. Or visit the online Church of the Larger Fellowship, if you don't have one close to you. Listen to the church's messages about treating each other with respect and encouraging each other, and take it to heart.

Most UU ministers know about polyamory. All of them know about guilt, fear, and loss of faith. It's their calling to minister to people who are hurting. Give one of them a chance to do so.

If you talk with a UU minister, you can tell her or him that Jasmine from UUs for Polyamory Awareness referred you. The minister might have heard of me.

Jasmine

Unitarian Universalist Association
http://www.uua.org

Find a Congregation
http://uua.org/directory/congregations/index.php

Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness
http://www.uupa.org
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:18 AM
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sagency sagency is offline
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TRye, I also grew up in the South, so I can understand some of the conflicting emotions you have been feeling. (As evidence if that upbringing, your username reminded ne if the city of Tyre in whose shores Jesus preaches in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.)

Do I recall correctly that you are a mother? Ok, so let's look at that. You married hubby and bore him a child. When child was born, did you love the child? Yes? In order to love the child more, did you take love away from hubby? Did you love him less? No? So you love him as much as before the baby or more. Does this not already indicate that within you is the capacity for great quantities of love? When you had child #2, didn't your love and hubby's love grow?

You are right that it is a hard and scary thing to see this world that falls outside the safe boundaries we grew up with. Those of us conditioned with certain backgrounds will automatically question our worth as humans. This is part if the growth pattern. There is hope that you can stretch beyond the scary and plant roots not on the rock but on fertile soil.

It sounds like your husband really is looking out for you. How great a person you must be to evoke such devotion. Be proud of his love for you and the fact your do deserve it. As a devoted husband myself, do him a favor for me--let him adore you for your awesomeness and be glad. If you don't agree that you're awesome, too bad--it's his call to make,awesome wifey.

That said, your fear and conditioning has made a mess. Hubby has tried to help, and that's a good sign. Hiding your great love under a bushel isn't a fix. Covering your capacity for love hurt this new woman and seems to have upset your helpmate. There is, however, a solution.

Talk to your husband. I was terrified when I first tried vocalizing my feelings about polyamory, so I know all the "what its" running through your head. Your husband sounds nurturing and supportive, and that's a wonderful start. I'd bet he knows you better than you give credit. You may even find out that your poly nature is more news to you than to him.

You mentioned past mistakes for which you seem to carry guilt. Let it go. Hubby has you back and is right there with you. On some level, I wonder if thise scenarios were a nacent poly heart forming in your heart. In any case, now is a time for the both of you to grow, and you may grow together even as you grow to love others.

Once you've talked openly with your hubby about how you feel and what you fear, then comes the really scary part. Ask him what he thinks you should do. Yeah, it's scary. And it's your heart and head that have to decided. However, laying your worries at his feet and asking what to do is a huge sign of how essential he is in your life. He may not be poly himself, but he may be able to help his poly-prone wifey find the answer that heals her awesome heart.

Pax vobiscum. *hug*
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:46 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagency View Post
TRye, I also grew up in the South, so I can understand some of the conflicting emotions you have been feeling. (As evidence if that upbringing, your username reminded ne if the city of Tyre in whose shores Jesus preaches in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.)

Do I recall correctly that you are a mother? Ok, so let's look at that. You married hubby and bore him a child. When child was born, did you love the child? Yes? In order to love the child more, did you take love away from hubby? Did you love him less? No? So you love him as much as before the baby or more. Does this not already indicate that within you is the capacity for great quantities of love? When you had child #2, didn't your love and hubby's love grow?

You are right that it is a hard and scary thing to see this world that falls outside the safe boundaries we grew up with. Those of us conditioned with certain backgrounds will automatically question our worth as humans. This is part if the growth pattern. There is hope that you can stretch beyond the scary and plant roots not on the rock but on fertile soil.

It sounds like your husband really is looking out for you. How great a person you must be to evoke such devotion. Be proud of his love for you and the fact your do deserve it. As a devoted husband myself, do him a favor for me--let him adore you for your awesomeness and be glad. If you don't agree that you're awesome, too bad--it's his call to make,awesome wifey.

That said, your fear and conditioning has made a mess. Hubby has tried to help, and that's a good sign. Hiding your great love under a bushel isn't a fix. Covering your capacity for love hurt this new woman and seems to have upset your helpmate. There is, however, a solution.

Talk to your husband. I was terrified when I first tried vocalizing my feelings about polyamory, so I know all the "what its" running through your head. Your husband sounds nurturing and supportive, and that's a wonderful start. I'd bet he knows you better than you give credit. You may even find out that your poly nature is more news to you than to him.

You mentioned past mistakes for which you seem to carry guilt. Let it go. Hubby has you back and is right there with you. On some level, I wonder if thise scenarios were a nacent poly heart forming in your heart. In any case, now is a time for the both of you to grow, and you may grow together even as you grow to love others.

Once you've talked openly with your hubby about how you feel and what you fear, then comes the really scary part. Ask him what he thinks you should do. Yeah, it's scary. And it's your heart and head that have to decided. However, laying your worries at his feet and asking what to do is a huge sign of how essential he is in your life. He may not be poly himself, but he may be able to help his poly-prone wifey find the answer that heals her awesome heart.

Pax vobiscum. *hug*
He knows me more than I know myself for sure. I have no doubts he would stay beside me through whatever path I choose even if I didn't choose him. But that alone scares me as much as anything else. What if I start to take advantage of his love for me? What if I already am taking advantage? I don't want to hurt him. I know it hurts him. I am not a sadist and I can't help but feel so selfish to ask him to be ok knowing I love another. It isn't something that he can wake up and just be ok with. He cannot empathize with me on this he can try to sympathize but he cannot wrap his head around how love works for me and how he can have the same if not more value to me as before. I can try and explain my feelings but it just dulls the pain for him. It doesn't erase it.

It hurts me so much to know that he is hurting. I tried to fix it the hard way but he doesn't like to see me in that much pain either. Things have been a lot better since my last breakdown and I feel moments of normalcy from time to time. I don't pretend to know where this is going but I am trying to find a way for us to be happy healthy and sane again. I can only hope that my needing this doesn't make me as selfish an it seems to me.

I don't know if I would consider myself poly prone at all. Perhaps poly sexual but not romantically inclined to attachment. I have only ever been in love twice and I resisted both but both people loved me so much that it was hard not to love them back. I on the other hand was fully capable of exploring sexual relationships without one iota of romantic attachment. It took me falling in love the first time to be able to combine sex and love at all. It took me falling in love a second time to realize how hard it is to not think sexually about someone you are in love with. I never had to prevent myself from enjoying the sexual side of love with my husband.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I appreciate them.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:08 AM
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TRye, reading your story and your reply, I feel a lot of pain coming through your words. I may be removed from my time in the church, but there are parts of that experience that are true and valuable. For example, people are all inherently valuable. You are inherently valuable.

Let me take a moment to parse your recent reply, and maybe we can shake some thinking loose so you don't feel so much pressure:

"I have no doubts he would stay beside me ... even if I didn't choose him."
The funny thing about love is that we can feel love even when it hurts to do so. Maybe he's a saint; maybe he's an idiot; maybe he's somewhere in between. Whatever the case, he loves you, and that's a good thing.

"What if I start to take advantage of his love for me?"
Isn't the hallmark of love the willing supplication to the whims of another? Of course love allows us to have dominion over others--advantages--that normal folks do not have. That's the nature of love. BUT if he's choosing to let you have that power, if he's knowingly and willfully offering what you get, how are you taking anything? You can't steal from a man that which he gives you.

"I know it hurts him."
Many things in life hurt. As we age, aches and pains show up. Yes, there is a potential that this change has caused some pain, but you might be missing some important details. First of all, you may be overly concerned with how much hurt he has. It's good to be concerned, but some hurts are small, and some are large. Try not to imagine a splinter in the paw is a more than it is. That said, some pains go away with time. While he may show hurt now, it's just as likely that the hurt is from the change from old acceptance to new acceptance and not a reflection upon what the new acceptance is. It may be that it's the adjustment that hurts, not what the adjustment is.

Consider how he might be feeling right now. He's obviously paid close attention to you over the years. He saw that this person was important enough to you that he tried to mend the bridge you tried to burn down. To him, seeing you separated from someone who is important to you may be more painful than any thought of you with someone other than him.

In my own life, my primary is a mono. She knows I adore her. She asks about women who are important to me because she knows I value their health and well-being. She understands that no amount of love I feel for them would ever take away from my love for her. The last strictly mono relationship I had before biting the bullet and embracing my poly nature was with someone who was very mono. We cared greatly for each other and stayed friends after we separated. When she met the man she would eventually marry, she and I would occasionally have intimate encounters. Shortly after the last time we were together like that (as feelings for this new man built), she announced that she thinks she finally was beginning to see how a heart could hold love for two people without taking away from either one. Your man is going through growing pains just as you are. It sucks, but it's part of the process. It gets better. He may remain a lifelong mono, and that's ok. And there's nothing to say he can't be a happy and healthy mono with a happy and healthy poly.

"I tried to fix it the hard way but he doesn't like to see me in that much pain either."
I've tried to fix things in my own hard ways, too, and I have the scars to prove it. But fixing implies broken, and you're not broken; you are what you are. I have found that my own comfort level with who I am and my poly nature directly impacts the perceptions of those around me (in so much as that nature comes up). Sometimes we cause ourselves pain because we try to bend in ways we weren't born to bend.

"I have only ever been in love twice and I resisted both but both people loved me so much that it was hard not to love them back."
The funny thing about having a heart than can hold multiple loves is that it can be scary. I'm glad that someone broke through your fears. Be conscious and considerate with your love absolutely, but don't be afraid or run from it. You sound like you're in a phase of transition. That always feels scarier than it is. Talk to your husband. Proactively share your feelings about him and about your new love with him. Coming from veteran poly folks, he need not be afraid that you will love him any less. And being able to embrace your nature more completely may allow you to love each other even more.

All the best to each of you.
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