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Old 04-29-2013, 01:31 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Default looking for a fresh perspective

Please forgive me if this is covered somewhere or if I have posted incorrectly. I have never done this before and I am finding it overwhelming. I will try to be concise.

My partner and I agreed to an open relationship. I had reservations at first but it seemed to work out fine. I had no jealousy issues; things weren't impeding on our life together. We were getting ready to go to an event where play was a possibility and where polyamory was widely practiced. I brought this up in discussion. I said I was comfortable with our open relationship but I could not understand how people managed poly relationships. I specifically said I did not want a poly relationship. My partner also said he did not want one, that his plate was full already.

We went to the event (which was a several day event) and was approached by someone for play. All was going well. I noticed they seemed to click more but I figured it was because of the style of play they enjoyed. We continued to communicate after the event and even visited each others' homes (a relatively short drive). It wasn't long, however, before I realized that there was more to their relationship than just play. I asked my partner about it and he said that they did not have a relationship. After some more discussion he finally admitted they had a relationship. He, however, did not see how this was any different from before and would still not call it poly.

I'm not sure exactly what he told her but she was under the impression that we were both poly and that I was OK with things. When she realized that that was not the case she offered to step back (but not completely exit) and let us work things out. As he and I discussed things he told me not to make him choose because he could not. It was too late to back out. I told him I would try to make this arrangement work but I did not like it.

For the last nine months I have been trying to make this arrangement work but I still do not like it. I have learned some things about myself that I realized I needed to change. There are aspects of our relationship that have gotten stronger because of this. Yet, I still feel like my heart has been ripped from chest. I still feel like I have lost him. I still cannot deal with the emotional turmoil. He, on the other hand, seems quite beside himself and boasts that he has two girlfriends.

I have been trying to decide if I should somehow keep trying to make this work or if I should go my own way. Neither option is what I want. But what I want I can't have. Usually I am able to calm and center myself enough to find direction but in this case I'm just as torn as I was in the beginning. I am not able to pin point exactly what bothers me so badly, what I want to change. Since I'm unable to do this I don't bring it up because I know the topic only exasperates him (and his partner). And when I don't say anything he assumes all is well. But all is not well and I don't know what to do about it.

I realize that this is my decision to make. I am not asking for direction. I am simply wondering if someone has a fresh perspective for me to consider. I am interested in the opinions of someone from the outside with a poly perspective that can maybe explain my partner's actions better than he is able to. Perhaps I'm simply missing something. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:50 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You sound like you have summed it up well. You've even tried it on for 9 mos already and still feel the same -- polyshipping is not for you because are not "polyamorous" or "monoamorous and poly-friendly."

You sound like you are monoamorous (love only one) and polysexual (willing to have several lovers.) So this configuration is not one in which you thrive.

Quote:
I have been trying to decide if I should somehow keep trying to make this work or if I should go my own way. Neither option is what I want.
There's two kinds of freedom. The freedom TO and the freedom FROM.

There is no " I want the freedom TO do X" here because you do not want to do either option. So the decision then is about "I want freedrom FROM."

When you look at it that way? If what you want is freedom from being in polyship -- which option is the path?
  • Staying in the polyship with him and her.
  • Leaving the polyship.

Maybe that change in perspective could help with your emotional management?

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-29-2013 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:16 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Galagirl,

I like the distinction of "freedom to" vs "freedom from". With that perspective in mind I guess what I want is 'freedom from' my emotional "hang ups". Logically this can work. My brain understands the poly concept. I am not uneducated in the principles. (I am not implying that you are insinuating this. I am just making a statement.) The 'reason' side of me wants it to work. I love my partner very much. I want him to be happy. I know that he loves me too. I just can't convince my "feelings' that this is working. So with that in mind, is there a way to catch my feelings up with the intellect? After nine months I'm starting to lose hope. I'm starting to believe that I am indeed mono- whatever you called it (I liked those distinctions too) and that this arrangement will not work because of that. Thank you for your input.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:21 AM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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You're struggling because your partner cheated on you and now crows about what he got out of doing so. It might come off like he is bragging about something others might feel ashamed of - hurting their partner with lies.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:39 AM
conflicted conflicted is offline
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Vinccenzo,

Yes I 'feel' like he cheated. Yes I am wounded by his gloating. However, he is not malicious and I don't think he ever intended to hurt me. I think he fell in love before he realized the situation had changed into something different than what we agreed upon. One cannot help falling in love. What I am struggling with is how I respond to that. I want him to be happy, therefore I do not want to impose 'limitations'. However, I cannot ignore my own happiness. I am also struggling with his inability to see things from my perspective. It's like we've lost our ability to effectively communicate.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:37 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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When you say "play" do you mean sex?
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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