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  #11  
Old 11-09-2011, 07:23 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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Originally Posted by OhSnap View Post

I just want to clarify...



I have no interest in sexual gratification. Most people don't believe me when I say this. It gets a bit depressing.

If anyone has anything else to add, that'd be great. Have a good day/night.
I found some fascinating insights when reading about Tantric Lovemaking. The focus is not on orgasms but on the full physical, emotional, and spiritual presence of one another in the bedroom. It's lovely.

I admire your honesty and your resistance to something you do not see as a solution to your problem. It's cool that your wife is open to seeking solutions, and she cares about your needs. I must say, I encouraged my husband to seek out another woman. He resisted, then he finally caved, and all hell broke loose. We are probably heading for divorce. Stick to your truth and keep being honest. You say you "feel stupid for not seeing how this will make [y]our situation any better." If you can't envision it, there is no reason to force it, nor to feel stupid that you can't see it. Maybe reading some other people's true life stories here will give you some insight. Poly can be a beautiful dream come true for some people. For others, it only makes a difficult situation WORSE. Only you and your wife (with maybe the right counselor) can figure out what will work best for you.

It's great that you came here to at least do the research! That shows an immense love and an open heart right there.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2011, 11:23 PM
OhSnap OhSnap is offline
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Are you afraid that you will fall in love with the friend? You have equated intimate contact with emotional attachment so that maybe this is your fear.
I'm not really afraid. I just don't see how this will improve anything. If a start a romantic relationship with another woman and fall in love with her, I'll still be lacking in the intimacy department with my wife. That was the issue in the first place.

Thank you for the rest of your advice.

I just want to say that I can equate sex with nothing more than f*cking. Sexual gratification doesn't interest me.

Quote:
Tantric Lovemaking.
I'll educate myself on this subject. And I'll continue reading stories on this site.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2011, 02:25 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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This is a very sweet thread. It looks like your wife is afraid that you're hurtin' for it. But if you say you're not, you're not!

Hear that, Mrs. OhSnap? You can stop throwing twats at him now. He doesn't seem to be interested.

Also, Mrs. OhSnap, I'm very sorry that you've had to deal with such a lifestyle change. If you were active before, and now you're forced to be sedentary, that can be a real adjustment where you just don't feel like "you" anymore. I hope you are seeing a counselor or something to talk about the real grief you must be feeling for your "old life".
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2011, 04:00 PM
RSM RSM is offline
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Here is what I see from the situation you described. I will be rather blunt so no offense intended. Firstly my hat is off to you for being so devoted and loving to your wife, disability or not. Secondly, you stated you had a hard time relating your feeling or the situation with your wife, but you seemed to do a pretty damn good job of it here and if she is reading all of this then you have in fact told her. I find it rather ridiculus that she doesnt feel she can provide your emotional need to bond with her because she is paralized on one side. That isnt a physical or intimacy problem that is a psychological hurdle on her part. She feels less of a woman? Broken and damaged so she wants you to have what "she cant give" via a third party? Sorry but I call bullshit on that one. It is up to both of you to specifically say exactly what you are feeling, it doesnt matter if you blunder it at first. Communication is key, it is obvious that she is a very deep and meaningful part of your life and she should realize that you dont care about the physical sex, you dont want sex, you want her and that includes more, very much more than her body or what she can or cant DO for you. She has to tell you exactly what, why, when and how she feels the way she does. When tow people are as dedicated and love one another as it seems you two are you can deal with opening up the guns on these problems, you can't, nor should treat deep issues like a delicate glass menagerie but give them a kick in the ass. I doesnt mean you dont love that person or are thinking any less of them or the issue. Of course I say all of this casually, naturally there is more to it than I know, you know one another well enough to approach these things tactfully, and if you dont know ffs ask! Best of luck to you and her, you dont need a third, you need to trust each other.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2011, 04:59 PM
LittleSara LittleSara is offline
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Default Maybe SHE is the poly one

I just haven't seen that much discussion about your wife's sexual wants and needs...

I know she hasn't been able to "gratify" you in the same way and she seems to feel guilty about that and thinks this might be good for you... But if she is so persistent even when you make it very clear that you don't want this...

Is it possible that she wants a poly relationship for herself?

I'm not sure what exactly she is physically able and not able to do, but maybe having another person around would benefit HER in some way that you are not considering...

Would you be open to letting her explore seeing others? Maybe even using online dating chats, or meeting people who are in a similar physical condition as her?

You seem to be a very sensitive person so maybe she's afraid that bringing this up will make you feel guilty or inadequate... and since you seem like such a great partner, that's probably the last thing she wants!!

Feel free to dismiss this suggestion heartily, haha, but... it seemed to be an ignored face of the diamond.
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Last edited by LittleSara; 11-11-2011 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Adding another idea...
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2011, 08:48 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by OhSnap View Post
I'm not really afraid. I just don't see how this will improve anything. If a start a romantic relationship with another woman and fall in love with her, I'll still be lacking in the intimacy department with my wife. That was the issue in the first place.
I'm a firm believer in the notion that polyamory is not a way to repair troubled relationships. You're nail-on-the-head with the idea that going outside the marriage will do nothing to improve circumstances between you and your wife.

I agree that it sounds as though her issues are more psychological than physical. Unless it causes her some kind of discomfort (i.e. some joint/muscle disorders can make cuddling painful, some nerve disorders can make gentle caresses feel like burns or scratches), there is no physical reason why you can't hold her, have her lay with her head in your lap or vice-versa, and even get naked and just feel each other's skin against the other (on her good side).

Someone else suggested tantra. I think it's worth looking into. You would probably want to find an experienced teacher, especially with her condition. Tantra is about moving energy through the body's channels, and I'm not familiar with how a stroke would affect those channels. I'm guessing quite substantially, though.

As for missing sex with your wife, unfortunately that may just be something you have to overcome emotionally. She may never be able to do that, but that doesn't mean you can't be physically intimate in other ways.
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2011, 08:52 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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I agree with LittleSara--my first thought was that your wife might be the one desiring a poly relationship. Maybe SHE has been harboring feelings for her friend? Maybe she's dreaming of a committed threesome relationship?

Or, alternately, maybe her friend has been harboring feelings for you, and your wife knows it and wants to let her friend be with you?

Regardless, the biggest benefit of polyamory that I can think of is that, if there were more than two people in a marriage, there would be more than one person sharing the burden of caring for the spouse who is ill.

When I see a spouse shouldering the whole burden of caring for their very ill partner, that's when I tend to think, "Monogamy is not enough for the demands of real life."

By the way, please don't forget to tell the friend that you actually are not at all interested in a sexual relationship with her. The subject had already been broached with her, and she was open to the idea, right? So she might be hurt if you don't follow through. Please tell her what you wrote here: You don't miss sex, you miss sex with your wife.

And now a totally different interpretation:

Here's what I think. I think your wife is not able to be EMOTIONALLY intimate with you right now (let alone physically intimate). And I think it's perfectly reasonable and okay for her not be able to provide you with emotional intimacy right now.

Your wife is experiencing physical disability, mental changes, personality changes, emotional changes, (probably) fears of mortality, fears of being a burden on you forever, and a whole lot of other stuff I can't even imagine.

Perhaps she simply needs to be emotionally and psychologically alone to deal with all of this?

Especially the personality changes--she has no idea who she is now. She needs to get to know herself, on her own, before she can provide you with the emotional intimacy you crave.

We tend to think that emotional intimacy is always good and always necessary. We feel that if people have a problem with emotional intimacy, they need to deal with it and fix it and learn to communicate better.

That's not always the case. Sometimes people need to go through something on their own, internally. I think that can even sometimes be healthier, more realistic, and better proof of psychological resilience and self-sufficiency.

This is a bit of a grim example, but I'm reminded of the Jewish tradition of being alone on your deathbed--the practice of turning your face to the wall in your final moment, to be alone with God. (I'm not Jewish, so forgive me if I totally got that wrong). That is meant to be a deeply religious moment, but as an atheist I always interpreted it as the need to be psychologically alone, to find peace with yourself.

On a much less extreme note, I have a chronic jaw condition that causes me pain periodically, and I prefer to withdraw and be alone when I'm having a flare-up. I just can't stand to see people upset at how much pain I'm in--it's hard enough just managing the pain myself. Having someone trying to help me DOESN'T help me. I can get through it better when it's just me and my body and my mind.

Sometimes emotional intimacy is just too much of a burden to keep up, or too much of a demand to ask for.

There's really nothing wrong with that. Especially since it will probably get better eventually, with patience. Be there for your wife, help her physically, and stop making emotional demands of her. She's dealing with her own emotions right now--she doesn't need yours on top of that.

I don't mean to sound harsh. But it does sound like your wife feels she can't meet your needs right now, but that it's not really your sexual needs (which aren't that important to you), it's your emotional needs she can't meet.

Maybe you would consider developing emotional closeness with the friend, so that you have someone to talk to intimately, maybe even do non-sexual things with like cuddling or even just going to the movies, to help yourself cope better?

Some poly people have more intimate (non-sexual) friendships than mono people do, simply because in traditional monogamy, you aren't really supposed to be deeply emotionally intimate with anyone besides your spouse. But that puts quite a burden on one person, doesn't it?
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2011, 09:40 PM
gleegirl1203 gleegirl1203 is offline
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I really don't have anything useful to add to this thread. But I wanted to say how inspiring your love for your wife is. Reading through all of this, the love you have for her is very evident. It's truly heartwarming how much you care for her. Best of luck to you both
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2011, 10:23 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post


We tend to think that emotional intimacy is always good and always necessary. We feel that if people have a problem with emotional intimacy, they need to deal with it and fix it and learn to communicate better.

That's not always the case. Sometimes people need to go through something on their own, internally. I think that can even sometimes be healthier, more realistic, and better proof of psychological resilience and self-sufficiency.

This is a bit of a grim example, but I'm reminded of the Jewish tradition of being alone on your deathbed--the practice of turning your face to the wall in your final moment, to be alone with God. (I'm not Jewish, so forgive me if I totally got that wrong). That is meant to be a deeply religious moment, but as an atheist I always interpreted it as the need to be psychologically alone, to find peace with yourself.

.......

Some poly people have more intimate (non-sexual) friendships than mono people do, simply because in traditional monogamy, you aren't really supposed to be deeply emotionally intimate with anyone besides your spouse. But that puts quite a burden on one person, doesn't it?
MR, some of the best food for thought I have ever read on this forum. W.O.W.

OhSnap, hope things are going ok for you today.
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2011, 02:37 AM
OhSnap OhSnap is offline
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Thanks Michelle. I also agree with RSM, we have some communication issues.

Quote:
I just haven't seen that much discussion about your wife's sexual wants and needs...

Is it possible that she wants a poly relationship for herself?
She says that she has no interest in sex. Our counsellor believes that it is more psychological than physiological. Although, she has lost most of the sensitivity on both sides of her body, so the physiological issue is still there.

About 10 minutes after I read your message, I said "OhSnap's wife, are you doing all of this because you want a poly relationship for yourself?"

The answer was "no". Maybe her feelings and her words don't match, and if this is the case, than I'll just have to wait until she is ready to open up.

Quote:
(i.e. some joint/muscle disorders can make cuddling painful, some nerve disorders can make gentle caresses feel like burns or scratches)
There are physiological factors involved. It doesn't hurt when I touch her. But she does suffer from occasional aches just from day-to-day activities. It can be a pretty amazing mood-killer when we are trying to get intimate.

Quote:
I agree with LittleSara--my first thought was that your wife might be the one desiring a poly relationship. Maybe SHE has been harboring feelings for her friend? Maybe she's dreaming of a committed threesome relationship?

Regardless, the biggest benefit of polyamory that I can think of is that, if there were more than two people in a marriage, there would be more than one person sharing the burden of caring for the spouse who is ill.
Our friend actually visits us frequently enough that we may as well be in a threesome (that was a joke, I'm not good with jokes). She lives about 5 minutes away. Our children also make time to help. I agree with your POV anyway. If our friend moved in, things would be easier. My wife is largely independent however, and as I said before, she can be a bit stubborn.

Quote:
Here's what I think. I think your wife is not able to be EMOTIONALLY intimate with you right now
That's largely the crux of the matter IMO. She's alone throughout most of the day. And I don't mean "alone" in the literal sense. While I'm at work, her mother, our daughter, and some of her housewife friends visit daily, and for hours at a time. I mean "alone" in the sense that she prefers her space. She likes to withdraw into her shell, so to speak.

So I guess that I'll just have to wait?
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