Introduction. Questions. New to Polyamory. (Long)
So, I'm new to the forums, and to polyamory, so I thought I'd start by sharing my story and then follow up with some questions/issues I have afterwards to see if anyone can offer any input/advice.
Who are we?
I am a 28 y/o strait female living in Chicago (Zia). My husband (Ran) is a 22 y/o strait male originally from the Netherlands who now lives here legally. My boyfriend (Kata) is a 23 y/o bi-curious male from Scottland.
The roots of everything that has been happening lately start back in 2003 or so. I had joined a text-based role-playing game (non-sexual - think Dungeons and Dragons except online). Kata was one of the first people I met on the game, and we were always very good friends. He would sometimes disappear for long periods of time due to being in university, though. I'd miss him terribly, and always try to get him to come back and play on the game with me again. His character and mine were in a relationship at the start. Ran joined the game about a year later, and again... we started off as really good friends through the game and then real life kind of got involved and he was gone for a while.
My previous relationship ended in late 2004/early 2005, so I was single for most of that summer. Ran came back to the game around that time, and we started spending a lot of time talking. We grew really close, which ended up spreading to our characters as well. I probably should have had some idea about my polyamorous tendencies when my character didn't want to give up one guy for the other, but I had always been raised to follow the one-guy-one-girl morality. It broke my heart when my character left Kata's character, and it never did sit right with me afterwards. I felt as if I had done something terribly wrong.
Anyways, fast foward a bit. Kata went on haitus again from the game, finished up one degree at uni and went on to start dating a girl locally. He had cared for me, but hadn't said anything because he was still young and wasn't sure what he wanted and wasn't sure I even felt that way about him. (I found this all out later.) I started getting more involved with Ran. Wet met for the first time in February of 2006 in the Netherlands. We talked on Skype all the time, and he came to visit me that summer. As the last weeks of summer started getting closer, I was finding it harder and harder to face the fact that he'd have to go back home. We struggled with the pain we had both had to deal with from our last seperation and what we knew we'd have to deal with again and again. After he got home, I proposed the one thing I knew I could do to bridge the distance. I asked him to marry me.
We spent the next year going through immigration. We did a fiance' visa in the fall of 2006. Got approved in January of 2007. Got married in April of 2007, and then applied for his green card. It's been two quiet, happy years, and he finally got his permanent (10-year) green card this past spring. And then things started changing...
I found that I was missing Kata more and more, so I messaged him on AIM and tried to get him to come back to the game again. He'd always come back for me, time and time again, and I knew I could get him to come back and talk to me again. Not too long afterwards, I was sitting at home and Ran poked me to get on the game. Kata was having trouble with his girlfriend, and we were still his closest friends so my husband and I talked to him about relationships, about love. He wasn't sure he'd ever been in love before, or at least not the kind of love that you hear about in love stories. Throughout it all, we told him that we cared about him, and that no matter what, he could always talk to us. He decided that his relationship with his girlfriend wasn't working out, and thanked us for being there for him.
We all started growing closer after that. My husband encouraged a big group skype (chat) session with a bunch of people from the game. At first, it was just me and Kata talking. I found it was really easy to talk to him, which is strange because I'm usually really shy. The others soon joined us and I ended up kind of fading to the background as others talked. The next day, I asked if I could just talk to him instead of with the whole group. So, we started talking, and we really haven't stopped since then. We've had a day or two here or there were we weren't able to, but otherwise, we've talked every day since late June.
I found myself growing more and more in love with him, which was very confusing. It all went against my previous world-view. I had friends who were polyamorous, and had no issues with the concept, but I always felt it wasn't for me. I had a happy, fairly stable relationship with my husband. We had our few issues, but I wasn't actively looking for anyone else. Still, I knew I was flirting with him. I knew I was falling in love, and I knew I had to be honest with the both of them about it. So, I told Kata, and then got up and told Ran. Ran wasn't surprised. Apparently he'd known for long time that I had a thing for Kata, even before I really knew. He seemed okay with things and Kata was overjoyed at the fact that I loved him, and he felt, for the first time, that he really loved someone.
Fast forward again. It's been four months now. I've talked to Kata nearly every night, and we've grown so much closer and so much more in love in the process. He came in to visit me last Saturday, and all the worries about if we worked as a couple in reality floated away. He and my husband get along well as friends. They kick the crap out of each other on video games and hang out. It almost seems perfect, except for the looming fears that keep cropping up for me...
I'm so terribly afraid of the day later this month when Kata has to go back to Scottland. I'm very, very attached to him, and I've gone through long-distance separations before. I know just how much it hurt me whenever Ran left to go back to the Netherlands. I'm worried just how much my heart will break when I have to let him go at the airport. And I feel so very stuck and helpless. I'm married. I've used up the one route to immigration that I could. Kata can't afford to come here on a student visa, and a work visa seems like such a long-shot to me. I'm worried that the only option that will remain a possibility in the future is to divorce my husband, marry Kata, and do the immigration thing again (Yes, it's possible.) But I think that it would probably mean the end of my relationship with my husband. He is okay with things as they are, but I don't know that he'd be willing to go through a divorce so I could have Kata in my life permanently. I'm really not sure what to do, but I'm not jumping to any conclusions right now. We've got some future trips planned... I just need to see how long I can hold out with the distance. I just don't know that I'm strong enough to do it for long.
The other issue mostly has to do with my family. They don't know, and I'm afraid to tell them. Kata already told his parents. I'm not sure that my parents would be okay with it, but I think they would be more open minded. My brother and his girlfriend are very judgemental. I know for a fact that they would take issue with things. At the same time, I know it's something that -has- to come out sooner or later. The trips back and forth, the fact that I'm not a good actress or liar and I'm sure it's starting to become obvious that Kata is more than a friend... I just don't know what to do.
And lastly, my husband... He says he's okay with things. He says he likes it that Kata makes me happy. But sometimes I really have trouble telling what he's actually thinking. Kata is very open with me, and tells me what he's thinking/feeling. Ran, on the other hand, is far more internal. He usually won't say what's on his mind. So I'm left trying to play guess-work or asking, which sometimes gets him confused because he doesn't know what I mean by my questions. He's also very strait, so he's not sure how to handle having another man close by him, even if that man is paying attention to me. I wish I knew a way to get him to open up and talk to me more, because it's not just about the poly stuff either. We had a major fight in fall of last year, and I kind of feel like things changed since then. He doesn't seem quite the same person anymore. I still love him, and I still want to be with him and I appreciate his willingness to go through all this, but... I worry that if he's not talking to me anymore, that it is only going to make maintaining that relationship that much harder.
Hi Zia & family,
Well, you're young so first off - be kind to yourself & stay open. Relationships of ANY type are seldom if ever "effortless" and you are starting out dabbling in a type that's even more difficult.
Take a deep breath - keep you head clear - and try to avoid emotionally driven thinking/reactions.
A couple foundational thoughts here may be of some help to you all.
1> "Love" comes in many forms. Not all loves are equal in intensity or reciprocation. Accept that.
2> Little in life is permanent. Regardless of how much joy or pain any particular situation brings to our lives, we have to acknowledge going in that it may, or will likely, not last forever. Drink in the joyfullness while it's present and know down deep that in the worst case it will leave you with warm memories to cuddle with at other times in your life.
3> It's been said that there are only 2 rules in life.............
a)Lessons will be presented
b)Those lessons will be repeated until they are learned
Be comfortable in the fact that in whatever choice you make - a lesson will be learned. Open to the lesson. Try not to have it repeated.
4> You may or may not believe in or embrace the concepts now popularly known as 'synchronicity'. The concept that things that circumstances appearing to us in our life are there for a reason, and that there is some underlying thread that we need to follow for our own evolution as a person. Some will say this is the "request we published to the universe" and that this is the response to that request.
Regardless of your beliefs, it has been, and is, an established fact for many, many people and sometimes is the only way to stay sane (?) when all the life choices are presented to us. You have to learn to breath deep and go with your "gut".
Your concept of a (at least temporary) divorce for the purpose of obtaining legal citizenship for your SO, while technically feasible is fraught with risk. These are the type of things that spread the horror stories that make many people shy away from attempting such a lifestyle in the first place. Drama & complexity - nobody wants it. Be careful.......