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Old 01-03-2012, 12:57 AM
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vanille vanille is offline
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Default Now He's Not Ready

Some of you may remember me. About a month ago, I posted a thread about my husband sleeping with a prostitute. After months of researching, we found ourselves in a limbo. We were ready to try something new, but neither of us had taken the first step. So after a lot of discussions, we agreed that he could sleep with a prostitute in Amsterdam.

It was hard at first. Really hard. But after a couple of weeks, I settled into the idea of actually being poly, instead of hypothetically being poly. And I like it. I don't resent him and I feel close to him still.

One of the things he said was that he struggled with the idea of me and another man. He figured he would be able to handle the idea better if he was the first to go. I agreed with it and let him go.

Now.. it's been a month almost and he's not ready for me to be with other men. He is okay with me dating other women. He simply can't handle the idea at the moment. It gets a little complicated since I don't work, he supports me while I go to school. It's an added greivance that he isn't comfortable paying for me to sleep with other men (as he puts it).

Okay .. he's not comfortable. I understand that. I'm not going to date men. I love him and if he asked me, I could be mono with him. BUT. There is this nagging in the back of my mind. I feel cheated somehow. I feel like we aren't equals. I feel like I sacrificed even though I knew it would be hard - but he won't do the same. I feel like I was brave and dealt with my personal issues. We've been together for ten years.. we haven't had a break in seven years. So neither of us has been with another person since. It was hard adjusting to the fact that it's no longer the case that I'm the only person he has slept with in seven years.

Part of me was a little excited to try something new. But I understand his logic and love him enough to be patient with him.

Can anyone give me some advice or insight? I'm not looking for validation for my whining about not getting everything I wanted. I'm just wondering if anyone has some thoughts on the issue.

ETA: I am only bicurious. So being allowed to explore with women is not a huge comfort.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:16 AM
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What does he mean, he'd be paying you to have sex with other men? Because you don't have any income? But it was okay to spend -- what was it, $100? -- on two prostitutes for him because he's the "bread winner" and it's his money? And it would be okay for you to be with a woman on his dime? Oh, of course, because that's a turn-on and he's a sexist who feels your being with a woman isn't a threat (a woman isn't like real person to have a relationship with, anyway, right?).

I would ask him if he is your partner or not, because if he sees everything so separately, there is a real problem before you even get into polyamory.

How would he be paying for you to go on a date with someone else? That makes no sense. Wouldn't your date be treating you, in most cases? Or is your husband going to keep track of how much gas you use and what laundry costs for you to see someone else? He needs to grow the fuck up. Do you have any money of your own (ie., from student loans)?

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Originally Posted by vanille View Post
Now.. it's been a month almost and he's not ready for me to be with other men. ... I feel cheated somehow. I feel like we aren't equals. I feel like I sacrificed even though I knew it would be hard - but he won't do the same. I feel like I was brave and dealt with my personal issues.
Yes, you were very very brave and it certainly isn't fair. Have you told him this? Doesn't he know what you went through when he was with the hookers? I mean, the first one didn't go well and you sent him back out to find another one, even though you knew you had issues to work out. Come on, where's his appreciation? In essence, he is abandoning you now.

It may be that, simply, more time is needed for you both to adjust. Find out what it is that is really bothering him. It's got to be more than just supporting you financially. I mean, you are his beloved wife and partner, not his pet.

Sorry if I'm coming on too strong, but this just really irks me after what you went through willingly for him, and with such a loving, open mind.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-03-2012 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:34 AM
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Maybe the financials will make more sense if I explain further. I quit working in March to become a full time online student. Now, my graduation date (and hence work start date) depend in how much time I practice on my court reporting machine. Since I quit working and we combined our finances, I didn't put in as much effort as I should have. Basically, we made an agreement that he would support me through school if I put in the extra effort to graduate early.

I didn't put in all of the effort I should have, and now he supports me completely still. He worked really hard to get out of school. He makes good money. There's a huge inbalance in terms of finances. We don't struggle, but that's because of his work and effort.

So if he is uncomfortable with "paying for my dates", I think it might actually stem from him knowing that there is a deeper issue at hand - that I did not live up to my end of the deal.

I am working hard now to fix that, but what's done is done.

ETA: Also, he was dissapointed in his Amsterdam experience. He says that if it's a matter of being equal, he wishes I would just sleep with some guy and call it even.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:52 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Do you know why he is not ok with you seeing other men? Insecurity, jealousy, feeling inadequate? He needs to be able to tell you why - and you need to be able to hear his reasons why. (That last bit can be hard.) If he needs some more time to get more comfortable with the idea, well that seems reasonable. A month is not a long time and, as you know from your experience, poly can be a difficult thing to wrap one's mind around. But if he never wants to allow you to see other men, ever, that is unfair - no matter who's paying.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:50 AM
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I have a mono boyfriend that has struggled with the same thing in terms of me having sex with other NEW men. Most men do, mono, poly or whatever.

Its hypocritical and an ultimatum for him to be changing up the plan now, but what do you do? I have struggled with that for years! You can read about how it panned out and is panning out in my blog.... this time last year (early December) was a mess! It might be a good place to start. Eventually you will just have to do it and see where it goes. Maybe agree with your date to go for a walk and a coffee or something cheap. Who says dates have to cost much. And who says you have to fuck someone just because you are on a date!

I think it might be helpful to set up the boundaries you could both follow. Talk about how it will pan out and don't back down from what you need to feel good and whole and have good and whole self esteem and self worth. Money shmuney, that is completely irrelevant. Its your turn girl. Go do it. You can date and see what happens no?
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanille View Post
...my graduation date (and hence work start date) depend in how much time I practice on my court reporting machine. Since I quit working and we combined our finances, I didn't put in as much effort as I should have. ... he supports me completely still. He worked really hard to get out of school. He makes good money. There's a huge inbalance in terms of finances. We don't struggle, but that's because of his work and effort.

So if he is uncomfortable with "paying for my dates", I think it might actually stem from him knowing that there is a deeper issue at hand - that I did not live up to my end of the deal.
This is real meaty relationship stuff the two of you need to discuss and work on. It's really not about poly. It's about feeling like equal partners - for him to not feel taken advantage of, and yet also to understand that sometimes things don't go as planned, and for you not to feel guilty or like you did something wrong by not sticking to the schedule. I can tell you are beating yourself up about it, and this is feeding into your insecurities (about your chosen profession versus his, about you not "working as hard" as you feel he does, etc.) and pissing you off because he's letting it feed into his insecurities about poly and being unfair to you. Don't let that stuff fester.

The one important element of any game plan is that the plan can change. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart. Let him know how sorry you are about not graduating early or when you had hoped. But tell him that he is not allowed to hold that over your head. Forgiveness means forgiving and moving on, not holding onto stuff and throwing in someones' face later on. Hash it out, renegotiate, keep talking. The poly is a separate issue.

And besides, remind him that just because you two chose to embrace poly, doesn't mean you are going to have sex with everyone you date. Poly isn't all about the sex, and you can start out going on dates without doing anything physical. While it is unfair that he doesn't want you with another man after you encouraged him to visit a hooker in Amsterdam, just because he felt the need to fuck someone other than you in order to find out if you were okay with poly, doesn't mean you have to run right out and do it too. It doesn't have to be tit for tat. You can take it in stages. Lots of poly people do that, slowly allowing for whatever they are comfortable with, kissing, petting, whatever - there's alot in between having coffee and having sex.

I think you two both need to be more gentle with yourselves and each other, and at the same time, be willing to own up to and call each other on your shit (issues). You may very well both need more time to proceed, and to do so slowly, but do it with eyes and hearts open.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-03-2012 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:11 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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If this is important to you, stand up for it. I think you were amazing to let him try things that made you uncomfortable. After dealing with my husband doing something like having sex with a prostitute in a foreign country, NO, I would not be all "oh sure honey, hamper my ability to get to know any other man in a non PG way", since that did not seem to be your agreement ahead of time?

There are alternatives like agreeing that you can go on DATES with people who indicate interest (OKcupid.com etc can be handy, could be people who want to meet you, get to know you, but maybe it isn't as threatening as "oh hon, met this guy on the street who came onto me, thought I was hot, and wants to see me again) and you could actively choose to go on a date with somebody you think you have no romantic interest in but who might be a good friend (OKC's friend match % searches are pretty cool), maybe he would find that less stressful and be willing to talk through the feelings he has as they occur.

There are plenty of free or cheap things to do on dates, you can cook dinner or have dates cook dinner for you, although of course I don't think his argument that he'd be "paying" for you to date men is really what is bothering him, he seems to just be making the list of reasons why he doesn't want you to date men as long as possible so he can has lots of evidence to justify why he thinks it's a bad idea.

I dated my boyfriend a month (and would likely date anybody that long) before talking with my husband about getting the ball rolling on being sexual. Waiting gives us plenty of time to get to know somebody, and to discuss anything stressing us. I figure there is no rush to sex, and prefer to date people who feel the same (or at least respect that choice). I don't know how you see relationships unfolding for yourself timeline wise, or if you've communicated that well to your husband. He should understand that your goal is not at all the same as his - to fuck somebody to get it over with. So doing that would not mean you felt you were now "even"

I imagine your husband has some issues that are going to blow up for you soon, not sure if he's really being honest about what is bothering him, and if he isn't working on dealing with that, shit gonna hit the fan. Wish I had a good link/book to refer you to, especially since he has different desires than you (sex when is seems possible with hot chicks for a one night stand or whatever vs. sex with people who care about you) it seems like you still have a lot of things to talk about, and figure out why you are having problems/discrepancies being able to function in different ways with your different desires. Oh wait, read Opening Up by Tristan Taormino, discuss the checklists in there, etc.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 01-03-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:37 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
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Oh wait, read Opening Up by Tristan Taormino, discuss the checklists in there, etc.
I second this suggestion! I think Opening Up is a good one for you two. It is available as an e-book, too.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:12 PM
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I go with what RP said big time. I Really, really hate hypocrites...and he should have seen this day coming when he was walking the red light district. I Don't remember him saying that because of his experience and your reaction that he wanted to take this off the table at the time.

Sorry honey can't have it both ways. Time to do the work, read the threads, go to therapy...whatever it takes.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:45 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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A month isn't that long a stretch of time. You pushed yourself when you may not have really been ready, which was not necessarily advisable, and he's not obligated to do the same. But he IS obligated to be whole-heartedly trying if that's what this was all about in the first place. So, that's the real question, to me. Is he committed to following through with opening up, or is he unwilling to do the hard work, even if it takes him longer? It can be hard to tell the difference between someone who is stalling and someone who is working, but there should be signs, or hopefully he can just honestly tell you which it is?

"Also, he was dissapointed in his Amsterdam experience. He says that if it's a matter of being equal, he wishes I would just sleep with some guy and call it even."

Now THIS is ridiculous. "Equal" does NOT mean evening the score. Casual sex was what he wanted and you did the hard work to give it to him. If casual sex is not what you want, then offering it to you in no way makes things equal. And saying he's ok with you being with a woman is also just silly when that's not what you want either. Geez. The fact that he thinks it matters that he didn't like sex with the prostitute seems really egotistical. Like, if he'd enjoyed it and wanted more, THEN you should be free to have whatever you want, but since *he* didn't find it satisfying you're owed nothing?? What does that have to do with anything? Is what's ok or not ok for you to do solely based on what he enjoys?

All that said... maybe he really can't do this. Maybe he's not cut out for poly. Not everyone is. But I think all here are agreed that he should try and find out, for your sake, like you did for him with casual sex.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 01-03-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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