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Old 10-06-2009, 09:36 AM
HoneyBee HoneyBee is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Default Poly-curious with a very confused BF

Hi, all

I'm new here and I just thought I'd try to get some opinions from any polyamorous people as to how I am dealing with this in my current relationship.

My bf and I have been together 2 years (today is our anniversary ) and we have a baby son. I am very much in love with them both . I am openly bisexual and was surprised at myself for falling so deeply in love with a man (I've always vastly preferred women), but I am happy nonetheless.

However, I feel that monogamy has always been something I've struggled with. I only heard of the term "polyamory" recently; in the past, I just shrugged the feelings off, as they made no sense to me. I championed monogamy and loathed cheating. It took me a while to realise that polyamory and cheating are NOT the same thing. Looking back, the only serious relationship I ever had, I cheated on him (thrice). After that, I had "friends with benefits" and "fuck buddies", but backed rapidly off if they showed any indication of wanting to be exclusive. My DP is the only one who has instantly made me want to commit.

I have spoken to him about this, after a year of struggling and hating myself for my feelings, and he was deeply confused. He comforted me, as my shame in what I was saying palpable, but he also confessed he was afraid I'd find someone else and take our son with me. Once he saw how devastated I was that he could even think that, he seemed to realise that I was not saying this as a way to back out of our relationship. Now, though, he's gone back to pretending I haven't said anything at all. If I bring it up and ask how he's feeling, he says, "I don't knoow. I dunno. I'm not sure." Which is fine, but I am worried he'll slip into his old habit of pretending he's okay when he's suffering. I like to check in...not to press him for answers, but to ensure his imagination isn't running away with him again. He will mostly talk about his feelings when asked, but won't offer them voluntarily. I've asked him to work on this.

So I'm not sure where to go from here. I don't want him to conveniently "forget" what I told him so that he doesn't have to talk about it (like he did when I told him I was bi), but I also don't want to drag him into something he's not comfortable with. Right now, I want to focus on us having time for each other and the baby...I'm not interested in diving headlong into finding another partner without ensuring we have a good communication system first. But how do I do so without seeming pushy?

Help and advice would be much appreciated
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:49 PM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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Maybe pointing him toward this community would be a good first step. This may sound elementary, but communication is THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT in making the leap into polyamory. Talk it out with compassion and understanding every chance you get.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:58 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Good points Damcat. You might want to try to point out the freedom of other relationships for your boyfriend as well. You never know..he might be poly as well! Win-win!

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Old 10-06-2009, 05:26 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Good for you giving it lots of time. It sounds like you have a ways to go to get open communication going. You are on the right track, just keep communicating like you want to be communicated to. Leading the way to a style of communication is all you can do. Telling him that you are communucating in a way that you want him to communicate is part of it.

My husband and I took a communication course (non-violent communication) before we got married and it has been invaluable. We use it often and it has shaped how we deal with everyone in our lives now. Sometimes when things get heated we remind each other that we are not being gentle with each other and do our best to get back to the techniques we have shaped to be our own. Perhaps this is something you could consider.

We took a parenting course about communication too and it was more of the same. We use the same techniques and methods with out son and he is growing up to be an excellent communicator. It is fascinating to hear him express himself to get what he needs now that he is older. Really, poly aside, I think all parents and relationship dynamics could benefit from some education in the communication area.... it really is the pillar that keeps a relationship of any kind grounded and strong.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:22 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Communication class would be awesome. maca and I are doing that right now-even after just the first one we made SO much progress that we were both shocked and our relationship instantly grew closer THAT DAY.

By class two (one week later) we were on cloud 9. We were able to express things to one another that in 11 years together we never managed to get across right and it was invigorating, enlightening, motivating and eye opening.

Class three is this coming Friday-I can't wait.

Also-I like the suggestion of inviting him to come on here and read. I joined, found threads that answered questions we were struggling with and emailed maca links. He read them, decided to join and a by Ceoli cemented for him the points he was missing.

He was very concerned about being "replaced" and he was worried about me "finding someone better". It never occurred to him that his position in our situation is actually less "risky" then the additional persons, until he read Ceoli's thread and he was devastated by how HE had treated that other person aready.

I think inviting him to join whether you acknowledge each other on here or keep it secret unto yourselves will allow him to see a little more of you, what you are saying about the situation what you want, what you are hoping/needing AND allow him to see what other people think/see/feel/need in those situations which will help him decide what HE thinks/sees/feels/needs.

And as I said in your intro-check out lovemore.com it has some great articles and lists to use in conversation starters and question/answers to consider.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:44 PM
Serendipity Serendipity is offline
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Posts: 10

All good suggestions!

I'll add that its important to figure out the things that make him want to pretend like the conversation never happened. What are the feelings the bubble up in him that make this all just easier to forget?

When you talk to him next, start by asking specific questions. Its one thing to ask 'how do you feel about polyamory?'. That can illicit any number of responses. But asking questions tailored specifically to his own concerns might help focus the conversation. "Does the idea of being non-monogamous make you feel like I'm trying to replace you?" "Does the idea of me dating other people make you think that I somehow love you less?"

Make sure to reassure him that no matter how he answers these questions, his responses are valid and important. Once you have some specific fears widdled down to their essentials, you can begin to address what the problems really are.

Tell him flat out that you're worried about him side-stepping the real issues here, and you want to be clear about all of it.

If he tells you "I'm afraid that if you date other people, you will leave me for them." That's a result of insecurity, and a real risk in any relationship (not just poly ones). You can help quell this one by saying that the whole point of Polyamory is that you don't have to chose. You love him, and for as long as you love each other, you want to always be free to express that. Think about WHY you might want to date other people, and when you explain it to him, make sure you illucidate the points that indicate how it doesn't involve replacing him.

You can say to him also that you have no desire to focus on anyone but him and your child right now, but loving freely is an important part of who you are, and that its best to talk about it now. Tell him you don't intend to seek out other people walking into your lives at the moment, you simply dont have the energy to handle it. This way it doesn't feel like an ultimatum to him, like the conversation can take its time.

In any case, I'm sure this is the kind of stuff communciation seminars can help walk you through. Its a daunting process at first for people who aren't used to breaking concerns down that deeply, and especially difficult for anyone who's ever blamed themselves for feeling a certain way. Like the other folks above, I highly recommend taking a class together on it.
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