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Old 11-28-2011, 11:16 AM
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vanille vanille is offline
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Unhappy Back and Forth

How do you deal with the back and forth feelings associated with polyamory? Some days I am excited, and some days it breaks my heart. We haven't even dipped our feet in the water yet. There are too many thoughts rushing inside of my head.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:31 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Is there something particular that is bothering you, on the days of heartbreak, or is it sort of like free-floating anxiety? Is it fear? Panic? Grief-in-advance?

I'm in more or less the same situation, having not really dipped my feet in the water - though my wife has dipped hers, a bit. From my perspective, I know it can be hardest to deal with emotions that aren't really attached to anything concrete.

My own tendency is to treat them as curious psychological facts about myself, not as facts about the world or about the actual state of my relationships. With a little detachment, I can use feelings of fear or anxiety or hurt as indicators that something needs to be addressed, and often that I need to discuss something with the other people involved.

When I've had bouts of anxiety about the choice to open our marriage, that tells me I am, at that moment, still thinking in terms of monogamy, that I'm grieving the loss of an older kind of normality, the safety of conventional expectations. I've left the path of least resistance, and the path was comfortable. Leaving that path is scary!!!

What I have done!?!?!?

Then, I remember to breathe. I remember the solidity of my relationship with my wife - a relationship that is much better as a constantly-renewed choice than it was as a culturally enforced habit.

I remember not to panic.

(There's more than one reason for my choice of an icon for my posts . . . )
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 11-28-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
When I've had bouts of anxiety about the choice to open our marriage, that tells me I am, at that moment, still thinking in terms of monogamy, that I'm grieving the loss of an older kind of normality, the safety of conventional expectations. I've left the path of least resistance, and the path was comfortable. Leaving that path is scary!!!
This rings true for me, as does your entire reply.

I've been in a mono relationship for almost ten years and while trying poly is exciting, shiny, and new... sometimes it just hits me - this is not comfortable. Like a rubber band stretched too far, I want to retract into our normal shape.

We are in traveling in Europe right now. He goes to training all day for work .. and he's developed a "crush" on a girl there. This is the first time we've ever discussed something like a crush. He asks me how I feel and what I feel comfortable with him doing ...

I just don't understand how I can support the idea of polyamory, and even look forward to it for both of us - but for some reason have trouble accepting this. Just a few weeks ago, in the States, I was on board - he was the one who wanted to slow down. Now we have switched. And he is so enthusiastic and excited, that I can't stand to let him down. Part of me wants to be happy with him, be excited with him ... chat like best friends and disassociate myself from this relationship he is forming with this new girl.

I honestly think most of it is a lack of self-confidence. I'm not physically where I want to be... and I know the kind of girls that he is attracted to... and it hurts to know that I can't measure up. So then I think, if I get in shape and look how I want ... then maybe I won't feel like second best? But why should he have to wait on me ... Aghhh
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanille View Post
We are in traveling in Europe right now. He goes to training all day for work .. and he's developed a "crush" on a girl there. This is the first time we've ever discussed something like a crush. He asks me how I feel and what I feel comfortable with him doing ...

I just don't understand how I can support the idea of polyamory, and even look forward to it for both of us - but for some reason have trouble accepting this. Just a few weeks ago, in the States, I was on board - he was the one who wanted to slow down. Now we have switched. And he is so enthusiastic and excited, that I can't stand to let him down. Part of me wants to be happy with him, be excited with him ... chat like best friends and disassociate myself from this relationship he is forming with this new girl.
Well, this is something more specific.

The bottom line is this: it's okay for you to feel differently about poly-in-practice than you do about poly-in-theory.

This isn't helped by the fact that you're overseas, away from your usual routines and support network. You are bound to feel more vulnerable than you otherwise would, in part because you are more vulnerable. I mean, can you even speak the language?

It seems to me you need to communicate that feeling of insecurity and vulnerability to your partner, not as a way of shutting down his interest in another woman, and not as a way of laying a guilt trip on him, but simply as an expression of what you need.

You are going through a double (at least!) upheaval, and need more reassurance than you otherwise might need. Go ahead and ask for it.

Quote:
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I honestly think most of it is a lack of self-confidence. I'm not physically where I want to be... and I know the kind of girls that he is attracted to... and it hurts to know that I can't measure up. So then I think, if I get in shape and look how I want ... then maybe I won't feel like second best? But why should he have to wait on me ... Aghhh
Wait. This is a body-building competition?

I don't know anything, really, about your partnership but, after 10 years, I would think it was based on something more than physical attraction. You have 10 years of shared experience, 10 years of working off the rough edges, 10 years of dealing with everyday practical stuff.

Sure, your partner may not have a crush on you, but a crush is just a kind of neurochemical addiction: he gets a little high from the thought of the possibility of intimacy with a particular woman, so he thinks of her a lot, sometimes to the exclusion of other things.

Crushes tend to run their course in 12-18 months after which either there is something more durable on which to base the relationship or there just is no relationship.

My point is, you and he are well beyond that point, now. Think about and talk with him about all the things that make your relationship work on its own terms.

And bear with him through the turmoil of having a crush, especially if his interest is not returned. It's not for nothing it's called a "crush". If it goes sour, he may need some comforting.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:18 PM
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Thank you. I am already feeling better. I do feel uneasy and vulnerable out here. I'm in Holland, where I can't speak the language (though most can speak English). He is surrounded by people all day, while I spend a lot of the day alone in a hotel room doing school work, until we can meet up after his classes.

I know I'm being petty. This is NRE we are talking about, and I need to constantly remind myself that while NRE is awesome and fun ... what we have is wonderful in its own way - ten years is an accomplishment. It's amazing that we still love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together.

As for the looks .. it's a petty jealousy. I know he loves me for more than what's on the outside. Plus, he goes out of his way to tell me how beautiful I am anyway to him.

I'm being silly.

He is excited about this girl. He's also excited about perhaps visiting the Red Light District once before we leave Amsterdam. Part of me is ready. Part of me isn't. And part of me understands that when we get home, things are going to go back to being hard for him - he has not had any luck in finding anyone interested in him back home. So, while he is patient and wants to go at my pace, I know he's a little extra excited simply because of our location.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:35 PM
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I would maybe suggest reminding your husband about NRE because it really sounds like that is playing a part, how long are you in Europe for?

And for me , my wife has concerns about her shape as well she has put on a few pounds that she doesnt like but she is much more than that to me. And I have told her that.

So I might say let him have his fling, if it's really poly the other woman will know about you, and maybe you should meet her.

It can be quite 'lonely' in a place you are not at home for.

As far as the red light district we did that many years ago, we did not partake in anything there but it was an eye-opener.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:47 PM
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We leave Holland this Saturday for England, where we will be staying with some of my family. I'll feel a lot "safer" I think when we get to England, as the opportunity to go out and date will be eliminated until we go home (a week after that)

He would really like me to meet her. I've been stubborn though. Part of me is scared that he only wants me to meet her, just so that I can be the one to explain our poly relationship. He said she backed off a bit when he said he was married, and he just doesn't know how to go further with her. He also has the added burden of having to be careful ethics wise, because this is another employee. But he also says that she still seems interested, just very hesitant. But I can't imagine sitting with her, being so shallow and petty (me) and hating every minute of a dinner.

I've thought it would be better to date independently, and invite to meet each other when the time is right. I don't like the idea of us appearing as one entity and not two separate people.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:00 PM
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lol!!! You are cuter than him! (no offense to him, just saying he is lucky! haha) Dont worry about it too much as long as you are continuing healthy habbits.

I agree with what hyper-skeptic said about having many opinions about polyamory-in-theory and poly-in-practice. Every situation is different, since the way poly relationships grow depends on what preferences each person has. Every 'in-practice' experience is a micro-cosm of possibilities.

Also, In my opinion & my experience, you should stretch like a rubber band. !! Good. Keep on your toes! Keep trying to better yourself every day, not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, emotionally (like you said with the self conciousness). I have found that interacting with more people will put you in situations that may not have come up in a 2person relationship. This will test your boundaries & cause you to think! Which turns out to be wonderful. You will look back & say, wow, look at how much better I know myself, look at how much better my partners know me, & I know them inside out...

Anyways, good luck with the strange feelings, it can be weird at first since there are not really many people to talk to about it. Sex & relationships are a taboo thing to talk about in general, & even embarrassing to talk about with family, so if you need a friend to chat let me know
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:05 PM
polyq4 polyq4 is offline
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Default You may be right

If it's another employee I would tread really carefully. That's a dynamic that cAn go sideways very quickly, I would also agree with the meeting requirement. He needs to devise if this is going to be a quick fling or more. If its just a quick fling (translation fu*k) that would not define my definition of poly.

Then it's up to you. The other option is to keep him busy for the rest of the week, plan some things to see/do. Then this will be all over. Just thinking out loud.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by polyq4 View Post
As far as the red light district we did that many years ago, we did not partake in anything there but it was an eye-opener.
On our first day here, we did a two hour guided tour of the district. It was very eye-opening. But yes, he would love to "partake".
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