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  #21  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:18 AM
Lila Lila is offline
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Originally Posted by Phy View Post
I am really disturbed by the fact that he doesn't seem to be that much involved in the everyday things around your relationship. I mean, a child with such a serious disorder should fill your head completely! That there is room to think about something like adding more to this situation, seems really odd to me. Is he escaping from the situation by acting the way he does? All his concern should be with the unborn and your health.

Stay strong and stand your ground in regard to him working on your relationship first. It doesn't seem solid enough to withstand the rocky path a start into polyamory tends to resemble.
Thank you for showing concern, it's nice to have some confirmation that I'm not going crazy! I too am wondering how this could even be on his mind right now....I'm still half in shock that he's even mentioned it, but to be honest, with him, nothing surprises me lately! He said he just can't help how he feels and wants to be open about what's on his mind. What can I say to that? but yes I believe dreamy escapism is part of it...
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:58 AM
Lila Lila is offline
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Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
First, welcome to the forum.

I haven't been on here long, but my experience, so far, suggests you've come to a good place to find some of what you need. Here, I think, you'll receive sound (and sometimes stern) advice here, as well as understanding and compassion.

Others will have better answers - and better questions! - for you, but here's my take on it.

What, exactly, is he asking for? "Polyamory" can mean a number of different things. Does he want to find another woman to join you in a triad? Or does he want to be able to date other women on his own? It is even possible to be a "mixed" couple, in which one partner is polyamorous while the other is monogamous.

All sorts of things are possible, but the indispensable ingredient is the knowledge and freely given consent of all involved. That seems to be the rub, as you see it.

What do you understand "polyamory" to be? What you write here suggests that to accept polyamory would be to give up on your marriage: he wants you to consider polyamory, you say, but you don't want to because you still think your marriage can be saved . . .

For the record, it is possible to have a strong and healthy marriage in which both partners are open to close relationships with others.

You state here that the only alternative to polyamory, in your particular case, is emotional detachment or divorce. Is that your understanding of the alternatives, or something your husband has stated or implied? If your husband states it, did he intend it as an ultimatum ("poly or else!"), or are you just hearing it that way?

It might help to know more about the state of your marriage before your husband brought up polyamory. Were you already heading for a break-up? Or were you generally happy together and able to communicate openly and effectively?

If your marriage was in trouble, then becoming polyamorous will not, in itself, save your marriage. In fact, it could add a kind of complexity that would call for even more openness, trust, and effective communication than a solid monogomous marriage.

Certainly, one partner trying to pressure the other into polyamory won't help things, if the marriage is already going through a rough patch.

I think I'd need to hear from your husband directly on this.

Is the point of polyamory, for him, that he can find someone shiny and new to add variety and spice to his emotional and sexual life? (That's what's suggested by "a new 'dynamic'", at least as I read it.)

Or is it that he is really convinced that human beings are capable of close relationships with more than one person at a time, and he wants to do the hard work of cultivating that capacity in himself? (That's what's suggested by the language of having "more love to give," as I read it.)

The second option is more in keeping with the ideas of polyamory than the first, which could just an ordinary mid-life-crisis kind of thing.


Okay, you're jealous. That's not necessarily a bad thing in itself, and not really all that surprising, given the assumptions and expectations of our culture.

But what's underneath that jealousy? There are lots of threads on this forum about jealousy, how to understand it, how to work through it. I think they might be useful, even if neither of you follows through on polyamory.

For me, one of the most liberating aspects of polyamory is that it takes a lot of pressure off me and my wife alike: neither of us has to be everything the other could possibly want. If being with another guy brings her a particular kind of good experience I cannot provide - and we're not necessarily even talking about sex, here, but other kinds of activities and interests - then I can be happy my wife has found more ways to be happy. She and I still have a solid relationship, and there are things we can be and do for one another no one else can . . . but I am not her be-all and end-all, nor is she mine.

(Some folks in the poly community have coined a term for the happiness a person feels at the happiness of a loved one, even if that happiness comes from someone else: compersion. I don't much care for the term, but I like the idea it embodies. You might try a tag search of compersion on the forum here to find out more.)

This is really the crux of the matter.

You say your husband "asked" you to "consider polyamory". Again, is he insisting? Is there a tacit ultimatum that, if you don't, your marriage is over?

Or is it just that talk of polyamory makes you feel afraid, insecure, jealous . . . and so you feel as if you are being pressured, even though your husband is really only raising the possibility of thinking about relationships in a new light?

Again, it might be helpful to hear from your husband on this. If he's serious about exploring the possibility of polyamory, he could learn a lot by being on this forum . . . including advice on how to approach discussing it with you in a way that won't leave you feeling pressured!

For your part, it might be worth your while to at least learn as much as you can about the idea of polyamory even if, in the end, you choose to remain monogamous. At least then you'd have more of a sense of what your husband might be asking for.

If he really is trying to pressure you into something you don't want, though, then there are deeper communication and power issues in your marriage that might call for counseling.

This is a very important postscript. You've got one very big life change coming up - and believe me, I know the difference a second child makes!! - so this seems an especially bad time to be considering the possibility of another major life change. . . especially one that (on the face of it) goes against much of what our culture teaches us about love and marriage.

If your husband is serious about polyamory, and if he's serious about your marriage, it seems to me he should be willing to put off deciding anything about opening up until after the child is born and your life together has restabilized, at least a little.

(If he's pressuring you, or is determined to be polyamorous right now, with or without your consent, then, again, that's a much deeper problem.)

In the mean time, you might benefit from exploring the ideas discussed in these forums and in the broader literature of polyamory - there are threads that provide links to other resources. Even if you ultimately reject polyamory for yourself, I think the ideas discussed here are useful in building and sustaining healthy relationships of any kind - especially ideas about honesty, communication, and consent.

EDIT: Wow! Five or six replies appeared while I was writing this! I hope it's still relevant. Again, if your husband is serious about polyamory, you should get him to join this conversation. We might be able to offer better advice if we could get his perspective, as well.
Hi, to answer some of your questions, I have no doubt that “it is possible to have a strong and healthy marriage in which both partners are open to close relationships with others.” But unfortunately we are not operating from a strong and healthy marriage it has been suffering badly since my son arrived but we just haven't taken any action. You ask what I understand "polyamory" to be?” I have looked at various relationship modes in one of the links he sent to me (link below) I have some understanding of the different ways intimate relationships can work, yes, I think a sort of triad is what he thinks he wants.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.ne...-relationship/

I could not tell him I accept the idea polyamory (it's not for me) or even that I'd think about it because if I gave him any incling that it'd be OK then there would be no incentive to fix what is broken with us first, which as I believe and have read in the replies here, would be essential in order for it to work. I feel that he would likely jump ahead and start dreaming of and planning his new relationship! Yes, someone shiny and new to add variety and spice to his emotional and sexual life sounds about right from my perspective, he longs for change and excitement, but his response would indeed be that he is convinced that human beings are capable of close relationships with more than one person at a time. Not so sure that he realizes the hard work that would go into cultivating that capacity in himself. If his heart was overflowing with LOVE I'd not need to keep reminding him not to be so short tempered with our son!

Yes he discussed the alternatives to polyamory, namely either emotional detachment or divorce, because he doesn't want a fling (I wish!) but something deep and meaningful. It wasn't poly or else, but he saw few alternative options as I have said, detachment or divorce. I don't want any of those things. So I encouraged him to consider working on what we have (though it's not much!) but I think counseling would help if he is willing....
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2011, 10:25 AM
Lila Lila is offline
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Yes, time is certainly running out for me! I agree there is avoidance issues and lack of "feet firmly on the ground" It's such an odd time for this type of discussion that I guess I was blindsided even though I could tell something big was coming...I have my Mum around but we don't speak about personal things, we are not that close. Certainly there is no-one else I can share this with other than on this site, I came here in desperation but I also feel it's the best place to get advice on this subject. thank-you!
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  #24  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:26 AM
lifetake2 lifetake2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lila View Post
Thank you for showing concern, it's nice to have some confirmation that I'm not going crazy! I too am wondering how this could even be on his mind right now....I'm still half in shock that he's even mentioned it, but to be honest, with him, nothing surprises me lately! He said he just can't help how he feels and wants to be open about what's on his mind. What can I say to that? but yes I believe dreamy escapism is part of it...
No you are not going crazy.

It sounds like your husband is under immense pressure, and right or wrong has decided 'poly' will distract him from the realities of work, finances, a marriage he has decided is stale, and ultimately having to live with the future of a Trisomy 13 baby.

However, if he has agreed to wait till Spring, and is willing to hold to that then you have time to focus on you, the baby and your marriage. If come Spring, he is still sure this is where *he* intends to go...then you have to decide if it is right for both of you or not. In the interim I would focus on what is on your plate now, and possibly suggest he find someone to talk to about what is going on (friend, therapist, ppl here, etc) as he has a lot to process before even he is ready to make this decision.

Hugs to you & the little one
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  #25  
Old 12-07-2011, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lila View Post
He said he just can't help how he feels and wants to be open about what's on his mind. What can I say to that? but yes I believe dreamy escapism is part of it...
Don't let him get away with this one. He may not be able to control how he feels, but he'd darn well better be able to control what he does and says.

It may be that one goal of therapy or counseling, for him or for the two of you, could be to help him get some critical distance from what he feels and wants, to help him find out what else is going on that may be causing him to feel this way, and so that he doesn't let his feelings, however strong, disrupt his existing relationships or distract him from his present responsibilities.

It may be that your husband has fallen head-over-heels in love with the idea of polyamory. The idea itself is shiny, new, and exciting, and seems to offer the prospect of him finding a woman who is shiny, new, and exciting.

There are resources on this forum, and elsewhere in the literature of polyamory, about something called "new relationship energy" (NRE). It's the surge of excitement and delight at the beginning of a new relationship that can distract from and so do damage to existing relationships.

Well, your husband may have NRE for the idea of polyamory, which is keeping him from seeing you, your pregnancy, your marriage, and even polyamory itself clearly. There are lots of ideas here for how to handle NRE and prevent the damage it can do. Recognizing it for what it is - a neurochemical addiction, not a moral imperative - is a good first step.

I'll say again that it might do some good for your husband to spend some time with this forum, and even to participate in this thread. If nothing else, he might come away seeing more clearly just how vulnerable all of this makes you feel - which is something he very much needs to see now.
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 12-07-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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  #26  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:00 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Anyway, I said I can't agree to this right now because then what would be your incentive to work on OUR relationship? NONE!
Yes, that, and my signature sums up the main problem with this. He isn't appreciating you, he isn't working on your relationship. Besides waiting until April, he should be taking you out on dates, talking through problems, and doing the hard work to make you happy and comfortable.

The way he acts in the next several months is going to set the tone for if there is any chance for poly to be successful if you decide you are open to it. If he starts dating somebody else and is ignoring you but hanging on their every word and romancing them while (possibly) ignoring your newborn (let alone that the time to start a new relationship really isn't when you need to be at home with your wife and baby, making sure you're there to take care of them when your partner is exhausted).

I really hope he will pay attention to what you're saying, and if you could find a poly friendly counselor, they might be able to ask some sensible questions he'd actually listen to instead of glossing over your feelings due to his dreamy ideas about how poly will fix everything.
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  #27  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:51 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by Lila View Post
He feels that he is half dead and needs other forms of emotional expression, to start living again,
Tell him to get his ass to the doctor and get his testosterone level checked. Total testosterone level and free testosterone level. If he's not feeling like himself, there may be a medical reason.

(And low testosterone can become a hellish experience if not treated.)
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  #28  
Old 12-08-2011, 01:25 AM
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RadiantHeart RadiantHeart is offline
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From what I can see you are getting some good advice from many of the members here . . .

I have been married for nearly 8 years in a mono-relationship, and my husband and I are just now exploring polyamory/polyfidelity. I can tell you that making the leap from a mono-relationship to a poly-dynamic takes more than just the decision of one person. Sure the person desiring poly needs to have their feelings respected, but not if it creates a toxic situation for the person they are already with. A leap from one-to-many, or even from one-to-two, needs to be discussed and agreed upon between the two of you and not something that you should "just accept" because this would be a selfish act on his part and a disrespect for the love you have together.

That having been said, with all the problems you have been experiencing it seems that he is responding to the issues in your relationship like a child with a broken toy: "its broken so I want a new one". You cannot have a healthy new relationship and maintain the old if the old one is broken. If he doesn't want to address the hard issues in your marriage when he has you, kid/s and one on the way . . . what says that he will be able to handle the rough spots that might form in a poly-dynamic?!

I know that you mentioned that he doesn't want to cheat but chosing a poly-lifestyle to try and circumvent "cheating" is not a good idea under ANY circumstances. Poly takes more than just the idea to have another person in your love-life - it is a mindset and intent that takes effort, honesty (with others and yourself) and exploration into the limits of each person's capacity to love (which is different for everyone). If he goes ahead with his desire for another woman when you are not on board or approving, HE IS cheating because you desire monogamy from him. Just cause you know about it will not make it any less hurtful . . .

Also, he may not want divorce because of the kids but not wanting to fix the problems in your marriage and just allowing them to fester WILL HURT the kids eventually anyway. By staying together in a "go nowhere" hurtful situation the adults will be making a toxic situation for the kids to grow up in. If you have sons they will see that it doesn't matter what a woman says because a guy can do what he wants, and if you have daughters you teach them through example that it is okay to be hurt by a man and that fidelity doesn't exist . . . your kids learn from the situation that marriage doesn't work and their own relationships later on will reflect the fighting and yelling that you do with your husband.

If he won't budge to heal your marriage and you do not want another woman in your marriage, then I can only see divorce for you. I know it sucks. I know it is not the most ideal choice but if he will not help you, then it is all you have. You cannot save your relationship alone - it takes everyone involved . . . whether that means two people or seven.

Much love and peace of mind to you, my dear. I hope you are able to sort things out and get into a healthier situation - for you, your kids and your husband. <3
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  #29  
Old 12-08-2011, 03:14 AM
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Polyamory: Before you love someone else, you gotta love the one you're with.

Serial Monogamy: Love someone else, when you don't love the one your with.



What is your husband really trying to practice here?
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2011, 03:19 AM
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Lila, since your husband is into research and reading about polyamory, I think it would be good for him to come here to this forum. Can you tell him you got some feedback on the situation and invite him to register and take part in the discussion?
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