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  #11  
Old 11-20-2011, 03:09 PM
rungsoftheladder rungsoftheladder is offline
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Ya, learning some of that already

I am way too optimistic about lots of this, which isn't like me because normally I border on the pessimistic/realistic view of life.

Not to sound like a member of congress and reserving the right to revise and extend my remarks, but maybe if I try to say it better.....

Foundation? No, that's too strong a word. Perhaps the foundation of the total strengths of our relationship is strong (with serious flaws), but that is not enough to leap into this.

Perhaps the prior conversations provide only a good foundation for all the talks we are going to have to have about all of our issues, not just where we go from here. That one I feel confident about. It is NOT a foundation for poly, its a beginning place for all the work needed to build a foundation, then move forward from there?

This is so helping me put many things in perspective, and assessing things for what they really are, and not just what I want them to be. Thank you all again!
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2011, 07:35 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Another suitable term would be "framework."

In other words, your loving relationship and trust in one another is a good foundation to build upon. But your conversations of non-monogamy, and the secrets you've both kept from one another give you a solid idea of where your current walls and doors are, like the framework in a partially-built house. But you can still say "You know what, I don't like that wall there, I want to tear it down. And I want to put in more windows to let in more light." (that would be an analogy to being more open and honest with each other)
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Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2013, 08:28 PM
rungsoftheladder rungsoftheladder is offline
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Default Full circle, or spiral.....(or, what a difference a year makes?)

So, it's been a year or so since I've posted here; I've found that reading articles and books and listening to podcasts has worked better than throwing my cares and concerns out in an anonymous forum (no offense)....but despite all the progress, there ARE times when the voices of experience carry extra value. So here goes.

There have been LOTS of ups with our journey so far, she continued to occasionally (every month or so), meet with her bf. I closed out my friendship with the girl I had seen, as that just seemed to be easier for her to process. I have met with 3 different women this year, two became physical, but none could overcome the difficulties in my schedule and the difficulty I had handling the guilt over what I was causing my wife to feel. We tried to play as a couple to see if that would change what we felt about being friendly and physical with others. There were some awesome experiences on that front for both of us!! She always was able to describe the experiences that she had that she felt positive about, and she was honest about the experiences she had that she felt negative about, and we have no problem talking about how she feels about what she experiences.

But to find out what she thinks about the experiences I have had? (even when we did it together) Only the negatives, and never any positives (until one statement last week--after I "quit" poly).

I learned lots each time she went out, whether it involved sex or not. Of course it was hard, and it was difficult learning how to process those things. My attempts to talk these feelings out WITH her often ended in disaster, and I was forced to learn that our communication styles were much more different than we had thought. It was easy for me to overwhelm her with questions, and she does not have the ability to process things I say and provide the feedback I was needing. We learned that I needed to address one thing at a time, and that I needed to provide her with time....often days, for her to process and provide any sort of feedback to me about it. By then, I would be willing to settle for whatever feedback I got, no matter how little, and I knew, by then, not to press for an exchange of thoughts about it. If it took that long to get what little I got, it didn't feel right to press for more. I DO recognize the effort and work that it took her to be able to provide that much. I am very introspective, and she is very much in-the-moment. That has been tough. Yet, I learned anyways, and while I was frustrated that I couldn't learn WITH her, I am proud that I came to understand her, and what she does, so much better. This is one of many reasons why I am glad we have done this!!!

My need to feel that she was ok with what I was doing is what has created the biggest backlash and unintended consquences. I know that it is difficult for her to see me date, or flirt, or do any activity that might introduce me to a potential new friend. It was difficult for me to watch her date, but it was more difficult to see that she had no interest in finding anyone else.....that she would certainly explore any opportunity that presented itself to her, but no more. She is an attractive young woman.....interest in her is natural, and she has parlayed that into a interesting experience once or twice.

But, since she could never articulate anything positive coming from all of the pain and irritation that my polyamorous curiosity created, I began feeling that what I did was nothing but a negative experience for her. Even those things we did together that had positives for her own experiences never translated into any sort of approval or interest in me having a good experience. Aside from a couple of things she found hot, I was left with feeling that it was all negative for her, and that there was nothing I could explore in the world of polyamory that would be positive for her.....and that I was hurting her for nothing, with no signs that any positive learning was happening, or would happen. Even the topic, or browsing online seemed to cause irritation with her, and there seemed to be nothing (except ceasing any poly activity) that would improve things.

I love her, and I don't want to hurt her, so, after months of trying different ways to see if she could articulate a single thing she found positive about my approach to poly, I decided there wasn't anything positive from her perspective. So I told her that I was done. Until there was some way that we could find a way for me to explore this in a healthy way for both of us, that I wanted a poly/mono relationship. I still consider myself poly and she knows that, but she is fine with me not having any activity outside our relationship. I am not willing to merely set aside all of what I have learned about the sources of jealous feelings, nor all of the positives I have found about her, and myself as they relate to her continuing to explore whatever interest she wishes. I get it, and I am proud of it, actually

It's just frustrating that I have failed to make my own experiences work in a way that is positive for my marriage. I enjoyed what I did, and I miss it already, but I just cannot see how I can do anything and live with the guilt at the pain she cannot work around. Is there a way to find a healthier way? or am I facing a significantly long (or permanent) return to a mono lifestyle?
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:34 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rungsoftheladder View Post
It's just frustrating that I have failed to make my own experiences work in a way that is positive for my marriage. I enjoyed what I did, and I miss it already, but I just cannot see how I can do anything and live with the guilt at the pain she cannot work around. Is there a way to find a healthier way? or am I facing a significantly long (or permanent) return to a mono lifestyle?
The pain she "cannot" or "will not" work around? Does she even have any real desire to work around it? Or is she satisfied to drop the guilt bomb, using it to make you stop doing anything that makes her feel icky?

Working around pain does not mean just looking at the positives and pretending the pain doesn't matter, or that the positives outweigh the negatives. It means looking into the face of the pain and learning to become desensitized to it. Sometimes, that isn't possible, no matter how hard you try. But one thing is certain, it will never happen if you don't want it to.

I'm never a fan of hypocrisy. If she wants the freedom to date other people, then she should suck it up like a big girl and deal with the feelings that come up for her when you do the same. Or, she should decide that she does not want to be in any kind of non-monogamy relationship, and stop seeing other people.
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-05-2013 at 06:44 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:19 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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So...she cheated on you almost from the start of the marriage. But wasn't happy to find that you were also cheating on her?

You two talked about open marriage but both decided to cheat instead, even knowing in theory you both agreed with open marriage?

She wants to continue having sex, boyfriends, whatever, while being assured that you're sitting home waiting for her?

Your life and decisions are revolving around giving her anything she wants and making any sacrifice for her happiness while she disregards yours...why?

You feel you have gotten some good experiences and personal growth out of all this. These women you dated, had sex with, and then dumped because your wife with her boyfriends didn't like it...did they also get something good out of it, or did they end up feeling used and/or like disposable toys?
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