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  #1  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:23 AM
badger24 badger24 is offline
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Question New Poly - Feel like our relationship has ended

Hi, Im looking for advice and guidance. I have been with my girlfriend/partner for six years now. My partner is very openly bisexual and I have always been very open and supportive about new ideas.
My partner has become more unsettled in our relationship and she said she wants a more open relationship so she can be herself. We have talked alot about poly relationships and she is now seeing another woman who I know well and she wants me to do the same. I have been quite happy to let her be open and myself not but she said she cant live with the guilt of her having this open relationship and me not.
So I have started taking interested in another woman and my partner is really excited for me especially as the woman I am interested in is like minded.

-Problem
The only problem is that I feel like my relationship with my partner has ended. I feel more lonely and isolated than I have ever felt in my life. I feel like have opened up a can of worms inside myself that cant be put away. I was content before and now when I meet people I think whether or not they are interested and not just see them as friends etc. I hate myself.
-Sex
Well that is better according to my partner but for me it feels like the kind of sex you have when you first start meeting someone. You know you could take it or leave it and there is certainly no love.

I feel like alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. Whats wrong with me? Most men would love to be in my position. Am I being pathetic and should I just go along with it.

I am new to this please go easy on me
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2012, 04:05 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I think you need to talk to your partner about how you feel your connection is weakening. You need to spend quality time together and work on the two of you. It's possible she's been lost in her new relationship and you've been feeling rejected.
On top of that, the fact that she wants you to meet someone else, if you are monogamous, must feel like a rejection as well, like she's pushing you away and hoping for someone else to take her place.

I don't think it's a good idea for her to decide that should should meet other people. It's your decision to make. Is it really something you want? Because if you don't, then it's not going to do you (or your partners) any good to force it.
She wants it to be fair? "Fair" is what meets the partners' requirements. It's not fair for you to have to be with someone if you don't want to. It would be more fair for you to have just her, even with the asymmetry.

If you ARE mono, then I suggest you look at some of the mono/poly threads. Also feel free to suggest she reads the forums too if it helps her.

You seem to care a lot about the relaitonship and want it to work and get better. It's possible, but you have to know what you need and want and work on that. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2012, 10:55 PM
badger24 badger24 is offline
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Thanks for your kind response. The big question is how do you know if you are mono or poly.
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2012, 02:33 AM
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Kommander Kommander is offline
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The simple answer is: If being with one person feels right, mono. If being with more than one person feels right, poly. However, nothing to do with relationships is ever simple, and if something seems simple, something is being overlooked. Although, breaking complex issues down into simpler pieces can be helpful.

Does being with one person feel right? Why does it feel right, or why does it feel wrong? Does being in multiple relationships feel right? Again, why or why not?

If it helps, make a list. Four columns. One person feels right, one person feels wrong, multiple people feels right, multiple people feels wrong. Write down as many reasons you can think of in each column. This probably won't answer the question completely, but it'll get you started.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2012, 03:31 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
The big question is how do you know if you are mono or poly.
Different people have come to their knowledge of themselves in different ways. There have been a number of threads on just this topic - along then lines of "When did you know..."

Some people feel that they are "wired" poly. Other people find themselves in poly situations and find that they do just fine (although they were also "just fine" in a monogamous situation) - "situational" poly? For myself the idea that you would find "the one" and magically never be interested romantically in anyone ever again always seemed rather inane (but that's just ME - I never was looking for "the one" to start with).

Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
My partner is very openly bisexual and I have always been very open and supportive about new ideas...
We have talked alot about poly relationships and she is now seeing another woman who I know well ... I have been quite happy to let her be open...
Kudos! This part is very good - sounds like you have been very supportive of her bisexuality and her polyness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
...and she wants me to do the same... and myself not but she said she cant live with the guilt of her having this open relationship and me not.
Ahhh - Here's the rub. Sounds like she is pushing you to be poly too so she doesn't feel guilty for "having her cake and eating it too". You have the right to explore your own feelings on the subject and decide what is right for you personally. You gave her full rein to explore herself - she really needs to do the same. She gave you the "freedom" to see other women (which is fair and right) - that is really good enough - it is up to you to decide what to do with that "freedom."

My husband has had that "freedom" for the past 20 years and never felt particularly inclined to act upon that. That's okay - it's there if he ever wants to use it. I have to trust that he makes his choices for his own reasons - he is a grown-up. (We've talked about this - he is not against the idea - if the perfect girl happened to walk into the house he wouldn't say "no" - he just has zero interest in seeking someone out.)

My boyfriend has also had that "freedom" for as long as we have been together. I was urging him to find a "real" girlfriend(i.e. not married - someone that he could build an independent future with). I finally realized (not too long ago, in fact) that the "freedom" also must include the freedom to NOT pursue other relationships if he doesn't feel so inclined. I can choose to invite him into my life - he can choose to accept or decline that invitation. I can invite him to pursue other women - he can choose to do that or not.



Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
So I have started taking interested in another woman and my partner is really excited for me especially as the woman I am interested in is like minded... now when I meet people I think whether or not they are interested and not just see them as friends etc.
OK. So these might be argument that you can be poly if you choose. You can take interest in other women, you see other people as potential partners.

The question is - Is this because you feel that your relationship with your partner is over? (In which case you might be a mono who is looking for the partner who comes "after") Or do you see these people as potential partners "in addition" to your current partner? (potentially poly)

Remember that just because you see these people in a new light (potential partners) does not mean that you have to act on that - there is no deadline here. I found that when I got together with Dude, my eyes were opened (again) to the myriad of possibilities. I had gotten used to my rut and forgotten (temporarily) that the world was full of interesting people. I started REALLY LOOKING at people. Still haven't felt the need to act on that in any way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
The only problem is that I feel like my relationship with my partner has ended. I feel more lonely and isolated than I have ever felt in my life. I feel like have opened up a can of worms inside myself that cant be put away. I was content before... I hate myself.
There are actually two problems that I see here:

1.) relationship with partner - WHY do you feel it is over? Because you are each seeing other people? Because you feel that a connection that was there is gone? This, to me, is a problem independent of the whole poly question. Do you two need to work on your own relationship? (I think yes) Do you need to set aside time each week for just the two of you reconnect? Do you need to go to couples counselling?

2.) relationship with self - WHY do you hate yourself? Because you find that you can develop an interest in women other than your partner? Is this some societal conditioning kicking in? (just askin') From what you have posted you have done nothing wrong - you supported your partner in her bisexuality and polyness. You sought the attentions of other women AFTER she encouraged you to. You were upfront with those women (from what I can see - since she is "like-minded") about the situation. So where is this coming from?


Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
-Sex
Well that is better according to my partner but for me it feels like the kind of sex you have when you first start meeting someone. You know you could take it or leave it and there is certainly no love.
Sex. See, thing is, everyone has different stuff that they deal with about sex. I, personally, am fine with sex that doesn't have all that emotional BS attached to it - I like it! (Even with my husband - I don't need/want every encounter to be dripping with "significance" - too much pressure...). Maybe she like the uninhibited feeling of just being able to be "greedy." (I may be projecting here... - but I do like "first start meeting someone" sex - you, obviously, feel differently)

So what do you think is missing for you? What does she think makes it better for her? Can some compromise be reached? "Significant sex" on some instances, "just fucking" in others...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
I feel like alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. Whats wrong with me? Most men would love to be in my position. Am I being pathetic and should I just go along with it.
Welcome to the roller-coaster! You are not pathetic, there is nothing wrong with you - you are human. We experience things, we feel things, we get confused. There is no "most men" - there is a stereotype that is irrelevant. You are not "most men" - you are an individual person making his way along his unique path through life. Sometimes the road gets bumpy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
I am new to this please go easy on me
Stop. Breathe.

There is someone on here with a sig line along the lines of: "It will all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end."

Actual advise: SLOW DOWN. Digest. Process.

You don't have to be poly if you don't want to. You can be poly and not act on it for a while. You do not need to try to do things in a certain way to make your partner more comfortable if it makes you uncomfortable. You can support her while not pursuing the same path - you are different people, you may come to the same destination by a different road - it's OK.

Just my (really long) two cents...

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 06-07-2012 at 03:39 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2012, 04:26 AM
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LotusesandRoses LotusesandRoses is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
[...] she said she wants a more open relationship so she can be herself.
Being in an open relationship, or any type of relationship, does not make a person "him/herself." Relationships do not define us, or they shouldn't.


Quote:
We have talked alot about poly relationships and she is now seeing another woman who I know well and she wants me to do the same. I have been quite happy to let her be open and myself not but she said she cant live with the guilt of her having this open relationship and me not.
Has she explained why this makes her feel so guilty? A poly person isn't more or less poly based on a number of partners.

Quote:
-Problem
The only problem is that I feel like my relationship with my partner has ended. I feel more lonely and isolated than I have ever felt in my life. I feel like have opened up a can of worms inside myself that cant be put away. I was content before and now when I meet people I think whether or not they are interested and not just see them as friends etc. I hate myself.
Are you lonely because of your partner's actions? It sounds like you're feeling sad because you feel like you're betraying your partner. I promise you that we all have a capacity to love more than one person; that's the wonderful thing about being human. What are you worried about happening?

Quote:
-Sex
Well that is better according to my partner but for me it feels like the kind of sex you have when you first start meeting someone. You know you could take it or leave it and there is certainly no love.
Our partners definitely influence our sexual styles, so maybe she's bringing a few habits from her other partner home with her. If you feel like she's less affectionate, however, maybe you should try turning up the romance. Try cuddling more, being more attentive, being a good listener, et al. There are lots of cheap date options: You can have a picnic together or go swimming. (I'm sure there are lots of other things, but I'm brain dead at the moment.)

Quote:
I feel like alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. Whats wrong with me? Most men would love to be in my position. Am I being pathetic and should I just go along with it.
If you work on this for awhile and explore it, you may find it's not for you. And that's okay, too. And maybe the relationship can survive, and maybe it won't, but I can assure you that you sound like a good man, and a good catch, whether you find yourself poly or mono.

Last edited by LotusesandRoses; 06-07-2012 at 04:49 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2012, 07:51 AM
badger24 badger24 is offline
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Default Thanks !

Hi LotusesandRoses, JaneQSmythe and Xared thank you for your response, they must have taken ages.

I think the thing I'm struggling with is the change. I have been with my partner for 6 years now and things have been more or less the same (not suggesting that's a good thing). I have gone from being with her most of the time to about half now. I also feel like the balance of the relationship is very (can I say) unfair. I am her emotional support and her partner (also a good friend to me) I'm sorry to say gets all the fun. I guess that's because she is starting out on this new path and It does feel like that at first.

I think I need to pick myself up and stop worrying so much. Since this all began I have let my partner take the lead. I think I have let her do this so much that I have lost all sense of control (tumbling Alice feeling). I will have to get a firm idea of what I want (that can be flexible in the future).


Thanks again, you are all such lovely people.
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2012, 08:38 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badger24 View Post
I have gone from being with her most of the time to about half now. I also feel like the balance of the relationship is very (can I say) unfair. I am her emotional support and her partner (also a good friend to me) I'm sorry to say gets all the fun. I guess that's because she is starting out on this new path and It does feel like that at first.
This is where you need to be proactive and ask for what you need. You cannot be the one who is always the rock, or the stay at home partner taking care of all the mundane things, while all the fun and romance goes elsewhere. Poly people talk alot about setting boundaries but the mono partners of poly people have every right to set boundaries, too.

I am a solo (single) person and last year I was dating a married poly guy. He and his wife have an agreement that they give each other the same amount of time for hot sexy dates that they have with other people, so that their time spent together wasn't always about the house repairs, paying bills, etc.

Sounds like you need to step up and establish time for yourself that will always be respected so you don't feel like it is always (or too often) being co-opted by her time with the other person. Do it now before things get out of control. Scheduling and time management is a big deal in poly. And then use that time to romance her, and do fun things.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2012, 08:15 AM
turtleHeart turtleHeart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
He and his wife have an agreement that they give each other the same amount of time for hot sexy dates that they have with other people, so that their time spent together wasn't always about the house repairs, paying bills, etc.
That sounds much healthier. My general goal is that, if anything, hot sexy time between a primary couple should increase as they venture out into other relationships.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2012, 05:45 AM
Dreamy Dreamy is offline
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A friend of mine feels mono by default, and could be happy that way, but he got involved with a poly woman. He was open minded and willing to learn to accept her OSOs. He went through some discomfort over the years, but now he has embraced it just fine, and has his own OSO.

However, some people adapt to it, and some don't. IMO it is more common for someone to try and it decide to be mono (with someone else who is mono). Some monos stay with the poly partner, but they don't have their own OSOs.
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