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Old 01-25-2010, 07:05 PM
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Phantessa Phantessa is offline
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Default Sharing your initial confusions and realizations

Hey all. I'm trying to figure out where I am and really what I want. If people don't mind sharing some of their early thoughts and debates when they began to wonder if polyamory was right for them. I'm especially interested in talking to people who were in long term relationships when they learned about polyamory and how you felt and reacted initially. Also, is anyone here choosing to stay in a monogamous relationship even though you feel like polyamory would be more you?

I'm married and I have been wondering if I am even built for this. It's funny that when we weren't married things seemed better. I'm sure I have other issues too, lol. I have these attractions and close friendships with male friends, not flirtatious at all. For example, a friend I can talk to about emotional issues when my husband isn't so good to talk to in that department (he's a fixer not a listener). I am aware some of these friends were or had been attracted to me in the past or present. I am perhaps overly cautious and careful not to cross any lines that I would consider flirting. Now, on the other hand, I can get jealous too. I consider myself extremely open with him, but he is not with me. When he hides things and I find out, it really bothers me. He does this less now, which is good. But, yeah I get jealous even if I ask for the information. I think that has more to do with my lack of self confidence more than anything. Anyway, these are some of my thoughts right now.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:44 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Can't answer your specific question. I knew I was SOMETHING, I found poly and finally had a WORD for it. It was a "no-brainer" that I had to tell my husband and he would stay or leave as he needed, either way I would continue to love and honor him as a person. He choose to stay-though with MUCH education required for him to do so. (you can read HIS thoughts, login is Maca).

As for what you NEED.
I HIGHLY advise that you go read "www.xeromag.com". Great articles. Also-start asking yourself questions and REALLY think about the answers.

WHAT is love?
WHO do you love?
WHY do you love?
WHEN do you love?
WHAT is relationship?
WHAT is marriage?
WHAT is "good" about you?
What is "BAD" about you?
How can YOU change the parts you think are "bad"?

Most people who are struggling to decide where to go with "poly" from a mono relationship are REALLY concerned about the SEX end of things.

Imho-that is the LEAST of the concerns. ANY healthy relationship requires GOOD communication skills (link to good thread in "golden nuggets" check it out too) AND honesty. But more then that healthy relationships require that both parties be CLEAR with THEMSELVES and each other about WHAT they believe and WHAT they want in their lives.
A mono person and a poly person CAN make a functional relationship, but ONLY if both of them are CLEAR about what they need and can find a middle ground.
Two people who are mono can "fake it" a bit easier-as there are less people involved to "catch on" to the b.s., but there is a reason why so many mono-marriages end in divorce, I would say it's got a LOT to do with them NOT identifying THEMSELF before they say "I do". (how can you say you WILL do these things if you haven't established the MEANING of these things, who you REALLY are deep down inside and where you intend to go with your life?)....
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:02 PM
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Phantessa Phantessa is offline
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Default Good questions

You're right, I really do need to sit down and really think about these questions, and then with him. I would say I'm just on the surface of these thoughts and have been for awhile, because of my own fears of the possible changes if I really do go there. Last year I just told myself, "Well, I'm having enough trouble with one relationship so I certainty couldn't handle another." Although, true to an extent it allowed me to push these thoughts to the back of my mind without really exploring them. I will try to push further with these questions, but part of me isn't quite ready to fully dive into this yet and I recognize that too. I wish it was as clear cut for me as it was for you early on.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:12 PM
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Do you read? I mean do you LIKE to read.

Check out some books.

Some of the "thinking" has NOTHING to do with romantic relationships PER SE. Its just growing.

I only JUST started it, but there is one page on my blog you might look at (it's my muffled thoughts on what we believe). It's messy-disorganized, as I said, I just started AND am teaching myself how to set it up.
But it can't hurt you to look at it www.lovingradiance.com, look at.. it's concepts we can live by... then polyamory I believe (I'm going from memory as I'm not logged in to that right now).

It's not too long either.

Also-just use the search feature here, type out a word that you have in your mind, see what threads pop up.
There is a GREAT thread on communication-link in the "golden nuggets" section. There are actually A LOT of links in there (thanks to Ygirl) for different VERY interesting and helpful threads.
Just browse it-might help get you thinking "outside of the box".
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantessa View Post
You're right, I really do need to sit down and really think about these questions, and then with him. I would say I'm just on the surface of these thoughts and have been for awhile, because of my own fears of the possible changes if I really do go there. Last year I just told myself, "Well, I'm having enough trouble with one relationship so I certainty couldn't handle another." Although, true to an extent it allowed me to push these thoughts to the back of my mind without really exploring them. I will try to push further with these questions, but part of me isn't quite ready to fully dive into this yet and I recognize that too. I wish it was as clear cut for me as it was for you early on.
I can't help you with early thoughts. I didn't want poly. My experiences with poly people from a monogamous standpoint were mostly negative for probably about 15 years. A couple of years ago my husband and I started getting very close with a married couple who were friends of ours. Things got closer and closer and more intimate until one night the wife said, "I want to see you people when you're old." Whether it was as friends or lovers was up to us--up to me, really, my husband stating that he would not be polyamorous without me. I was scared, confused, and a bad candidate for poly. I found that I loved them and wanted an intimate relationship with them. So we went ahead with it, and we've had a fairly rough time because none of us knew what we were doing, especially me. I could write a book on what NOT to do, though!

I'm a little worried that you might be looking for another relationship because your marriage isn't working, just because of some of the things you said. You definitely need to be clear before you move on. Also, if you intend to keep your current relationship, I **highly** recommend that it be stable and everyone comfortable before you do **anything** else. We found cracks in our marriages that we didn't even suspect were there after stepping into polyamory. Of course, the up side is that poly teaches you methods of communicating and looking at yourself that are highly beneficial to any marriage, or even any individual who's interested in self-growth.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:32 AM
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Phantessa Phantessa is offline
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Default Continuation

Hey, thanks for the new responses. I'm a student, so honestly reading is not my favorite thing right now. But, I read through some of the suggested links you mentioned LovingRadiance. I read some of them with my husband too and we're re-opened the discussion about this. Although, he said the cat was probably thinking "Are they really having this crazy conversation?" and I'm pretty sure that's more what he was thinking.

Lemondrop, I do feel like he and I have a solid relationship. I can't imagine my life without him and if he cannot come down this road with me then I would stop. He is 5x's any other man I've ever met in my entire life and the only person to ever really get me and appreciate me. Even discussing some of the ideals in polyamory, they do match with how we think. Like truly wanting the other person to be happy.

It's interesting to hear people say they just knew when they heard about polyamory that it was them. Honestly, I fought against the concept and still do to some extent. I put the idea of a monogamous partner on a pedestal, the one and only knight in shining armor come to rescue me for all eternity. I still like the ring of that, but it's not the reality. I find myself searching mentally outside our relationship for connections with others. At first, I thought someone was wrong with me. I wonder if I'm not built for monogamy. I question whether or not I ever want to have children too. All these things that go against everything I've been taught as a woman. I've never been anything but monogamous. This is my only real and serious relationship I've ever had. I get the sense that I need something more. But, I don't really know what I'm missing. Before this my longest relationship was two months and that was serious at all. Anyway, rambling my thoughts away more. I still have more to read, more questions to come, and more to discuss with him. Thanks for the responses so far, it helps me process my own thoughts and helps to hear what others experienced and are experiencing.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:48 AM
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I keep thinking (while reading your posts) that maybe the issue isn't "polyamory" vs "monogomy" so much as a need to re-identify what rules make a relationship.

For instance, having close friends who fill a need...
That isn't "against the rules" of a monogomous relationship. Each friend I have fills a different role in my life. I trust Em when it comes to issues with the kids, or health, I would ask MS if it were about ADD issues, I would confide in S when it came to religious or spiritual feelings/thoughts/issues...
My husband is a CRITICAL component in my life, but even as such, he can't be EVERYTHING. He's not an "expert" in EVERYTHING.
Much as you don't expect to call on one professor about EVERY class you have (you would contact the professor of each class-as they are the expert in that topic yes?),
well likewise you can't expect one person to fill every single roll in your life either.
You sound like your MORE looking to find "permission" to have fulfilling, dynamic, close meaningful relationships to fill the different interests in your life.
That CAN be polyamorous, but it doesn't have to be per se.
Do you see what I mean?

I wonder if you really need to work on figuring out who YOU are?

See-Maca, one of the struggles he had/has sounds similar to what you are saying (if only you aren't saying it quite so point blank). He was so worried about what everyone else would think, that he created a whole life around "doing it right".
But "right" is "in the eyes of the beholder" just as beauty is. It's subjective. Depends on who you are, where you are and what the circumstances are.

Polynerdist suggested Maca read a book (which I read out of sheer curiosity and interest) called "Living Happily Ever After" by Marsha Sinetar (not a poly book, just a book). Anyway-one of the key points she makes is that in order to be TRULY happy and fulfilled in our lives we have to reach that level of maturity where we seek ourself instead of trying to hide our self behind a facade that meets someone else's standards.

The "having kids" part really got me. Who says you have to want to have kids? That is such a personal choice. My sister LOVES LOVES LOVES children, but has none of her own. I have four and she is a HUGE part of their life. She's a second mother to them (by their words). But she found the HAVING of children so disgusting and disturbing, the changes in her body (not size, but lactating and internal changes) so disturbing and upsetting, she really just doesn't want to go there. It freaks her out (no she's not a "young-un, she's 34).
Is there anything wrong with that choice? HELL NO. She's a WONDERFUL "mother" to my children, it makes her happy, it makes them happy and it makes the world a better place for all of that happiness.

You sounds so confused about what YOU want vs what you think you SHOULD want.

This is your ONLY LIFE. You're an adult now, it's time to figure out who you want to be instead of focusing on what someone else might prefer you to be.
You don't want your headstone to say "here lies a person who fulfilled all of someone else's dreams."
You know what I mean?
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantessa View Post
Hey all. I'm trying to figure out where I am and really what I want.
Welcome to the club! If ever you feel like you've got it all figured out, I'd be very surprised!

Quote:
If people don't mind sharing some of their early thoughts and debates when they began to wonder if polyamory was right for them. I'm especially interested in talking to people who were in long term relationships when they learned about polyamory and how you felt and reacted initially.
That would be me, I guess.

I have known that I "wasn't like the other children" since I was a teenager. Trying to explain to my girlfriend that yes, I had this very good female friend and yes we would cuddle and kiss, but that was all, and yes, I cared for her and that this was perfectly normal... well, let's just say that it didn't go over very convincingly...

I struggled for many, many years trying to reconcile what I felt with the idea of being monogamous - you know the stunning wife, 2.3 kids, dogs, living in a nice cottage in England somewhere..... that was what was expected of me - hell, that's what I expected of myself. But I didn't feel it. Skip years forward and I had all sorts of eye-opening experiences on the relationship front, both personally and witnessing things with my friends. I became very disillusioned with a whole bunch of things, and turned some of it on myself.

I did some foolish things in what was pretty much self-loathing - self-destructive things (like job, relationships). Discovering the word was the keystone for me that opened up doors. It was found by my partner (who is still my partner, over 15 years later!), and it made me realise that maybe this wasn't me bring "wrong", and that maybe, just maybe, I might have found something that I could feel was me. I had to make some pretty hard decisions about the fact that I wasn't going to be conforming to anybody else's norms any more, and we had to spend a lot of time repairing the damage that I had done to our relationship.

But we have come through, due in great part to the commitment that we both feel towards each other and our relationship.

So I never really sat down to work out if it was "right for me", it was more a "Heck, so THAT'S what I've been feeling all these years! Can we really make this work?"
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