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Old 05-30-2012, 06:00 AM
Yumi Yumi is offline
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Default Exploring and Loving openly. Or trying to.

This will probably start with rambling. Not the best story teller, I jump around a lot.

I am mono and have been dating a poly male for almost a year, our relationship is open. He is married, and his wife is also poly.

I had never head of polyamory before I met the two of them almost three years ago, so I knew they were poly before really getting to know them and becoming friends with them - and getting involved with him. It has definitely been a learning experience with its upsides and downsides. One of the more consistent downsides for myself personally is seeking advice and simply talking about polyamory and different aspects - as they are the only two whom I know well enough to seek out for advice, however at times I find it more beneficial to get a perspective that is outside of the relationship.

My personality is that I don't naturally express my every emotion, feeling, or thought - or at the very least the majority of them; due to my upbringing. Which has been a positive with this relationship, because it has forced me to confront them and express them - lest he thinks that I don't care. On the other hand I simply feel overwhelmed at times in terms of the learning curve - as they have been poly for multiple years running and were before they took a break and went mono to conceive their child. So they have plenty of experience with dealing with the different aspects of poly, and I am still learning - and just when I think I am comfortable and establishing a rhythm so to speak, I am confronted with something else that I wasn't aware of. At times I think he forgets that I am relatively new, and myself I am not poly - I'm mono.

The both of us have busy schedules and we live about an hour away, though I'm moving in about two weeks. So spending time together is maybe once a week, or once every two weeks or once a month - very sporadic and very limited time; usually a handful of others. Because of our time constraints, time spent together is usually shared by the company of other people - so private time of just the two of us is rather infrequent.

There have been two incidences where they discussed and evaluated their current relationships with people and made changes or were going to - and I didn't find out about this (since it does concern me to some degree) days or weeks after the fact.

I know that he dates and has sex with other females, his wife has one girlfriend that I know of - and they do have threesomes occasionally. Though I identify as hetero for the time being - my 'boyfriend' and his wife have had a date with all three of us, and a couple of times we had a 'threesome', though here and myself didn't actively engage in sex with each other. This date was the direct response to me not feeling that his wife and I had connected as well as we could be, which he realized after her and I had spent time together, that he had felt like we were two ships passing in the night. As usually when him and myself spent time together we never really included her schedule into the mix, to allow for time for all three of us to spend time together.

I've read Ethical Slut, and have read threads on here - but for the most part it seems to be from the perspective of those whom are poly, and since I am mono it doesn't seem to translate entirely.


I have been wondering, what I suppose 'rights' do the mono's have when involved with a person whom is poly and in a relationship? It seems to me, that with this relationship - whether or not it ends from his side is entirely dependent on what they decide as a couple, and I don't seem to get a say or opinion in the matter - nor does it seem like I would be directly informed of their decision. I respect that they need to make decisions as a couple to keep their relationship healthy and the both of them happy - but it makes me feel powerless and at times.. like I'm perpetually waiting for the ax to fall.

Lately, he has gotten much more busy - and told me that he felt guilty taking social time from his busy schedule. I tried arranging for a time for use to spend time together, and his only suggestion was a party they were throwing - there seemed to be an aversion or unwillingness to spend time with me solo, without it being a 'kill two birds with one stone' kind of thing. The next day he showed up at a mutual friends house for game night - and it had me wondering.. what is going on? He has also gone on a date with another girl and spent time with another friend - both solo times. Again, it had me wondering.. is he not 'allowed' to spend time with me, if we aren't working on a mutual project together? I am very unsure how to bring this up without sounding accusatory.

Before I became involved with him, I did not think that I could ever feel deeply for someone again - my last committed relationship had my heart stomped to pieces. So when I became involved with him and developed feelings for him - it shocked me. It also terrified me, because I recalled the ending of my last relationship.

I am apparently not his type at all - well I am his type, ten years ago. Currently he is into 'ethnic' females, the best way I suppose to say it, and those whom tend to have a more boyish figure. I'm blonde and curvy.

One of my biggest problems I suppose with the entire situation, is trying to make the transition from a lifetime of mono paradigm to a poly paradigm. I also didn't heavily date prior to him, so my general relationship experience is not as much as his - he is also twelve years older than I. So like I said previously, at times I simply feel overwhelmed with new things and trying to navigate a new creek with no map, and no paddle on occasion either. Lost to put it simply. Prior relationships, we would be able to see each other whenever we wanted, and multiple times a week if we weren't living together. This, we have to schedule in advance, and I'm not sure what frequency is 'appropriate', because I'm still not sure precisely what our relationship is - we don't define as 'boyfriend/girlfriend', lovers I guess. When I like someone - love them, I like to spend time with them. So at times since I am unsure on the 'appropriate frequency' I feel like a nag, or needy, since I never feel like the few hours together when they do happen are enough. Which has made me think that myself branching out into other relationships would be a good idea, or at least an attempt at - however I am not sure if I am capable to handle that, without hurting someone.

He told me that it is unfair how much he likes me, I don't know what that means, and after he explained I still am not sure of the meaning.

At times, I question whether or not this is truly for me. I love him and care for him deeply. I also love and care for his wife. However I want to be at least a top ten priority in someone's life, and while I appreciate he feels comfortable telling me about his other girls, or experiences with other girls - it brings up the green monster of jealousy - which I keep to myself. I've actively been trying to get to the bottom of why I get jealous, but mostly I just feel terrible and don't get very far.

Another point to add, is that they both identify as hippies and are both quite social and share their love openly. I am pretty much the opposite, though have been trying to be more open with my emotions and feelings.

Long blog post.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2012, 01:07 AM
Bricklie Bricklie is offline
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Oh sweetie, I’m sorry you’re in such a position. When you’re in a relationship of any kind, mono or poly, it’s perfectly ok to communicate when you don’t think you’re getting enough time and attention. You say you worry about “nagging” and I completely sympathize. But you can be proud of the love that inspires you to want more of this person than you are getting. You can be doubly proud of communicating your needs. One way to get around the feeling of naggings is to phrase your needs simply and directly, maybe writing it out, like you did here.
In your writing I can see your pain and your good will. It seems like you’re entangled with a couple of somewhat chaotic individuals. As a secondary in a relationship with someone 11 years my senior, some of the best advice I got on this forum was to go do things that interest you. “Well, HE interests me and THAT’S what I want to do,” was my response at first, but it really is good advice. In a chaotic love-space that can get foggy with emotion, it’s important to use the time apart you’ve got to cultivate a relationship with yourself
Wishing you the best of luck.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:26 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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There are quite a few mono people who are members here, so you are not alone. Perhaps a few of them will respond. One mono member, Sage, hasn't been here in a while because her life has gotten quite busy, but she actually wrote a short e-book for monos in poly/mono relationships and used to have it available on her blog. She's taken the blog down, but she did share a Mono's Bill of Rights she had written once. Maybe you will find it, or some of it, helpful:


Quote:
Originally Posted by sage View Post
The Mono Bill of Rights
  • We have a right to complete honesty and full disclosure.(this doesn't mean we need details, or to be told everytime there is a text or phone call. I hope everyone here understands the difference?)

  • We have the right to know that our safety, and the safety of any children we have is taken seriously. This includes physical, emotional/psychological and sexual safety.

  • We have the right to meet, or at least communicate with our partner's other love interests if we choose.

  • We have the right to respect from our partner's other partners, for them to respect our relationship with our partner and not seek to harm it, and for them to respect and adhere to mutually agreed-upon protocols and boundaries.

  • We have the right to expect that polyamorous relationships are conducted in such a way that respects the financial structures existing in our relationship with our polyamorous partner, e.g. where joint funds are limited money should not be spent taking other love interests on vacation.

  • Where our partner's ability to maintain other relationships relies on us taking on extra responsibilities we have the the right to expect a corresponding amount of time be given to us by our partner for ourselves and any interests we may have, e.g. we are not stuck at home and used as a babysitter while our partner is off dating, unless they recipericate.

  • We have the right to expect that our normal emotional relationship needs will be met by our partner as well as extra support to help us cope with the added pressures of being in a poly/mono relationship.

  • If we are interested in trying out another relationship for ourselves we have the right to do this, with a person of EITHER sex, and we have the right to expect our partner's support in this, just as we have supported them.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 06-05-2012 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:05 AM
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Emm Emm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yumi View Post
I respect that they need to make decisions as a couple to keep their relationship healthy and the both of them happy...
Has he said this? I made the same assumption about B2 and his wife, then based a whole lot of my behaviour on that premise. When I actually spoke to him about it I found that I'd been tying myself in knots trying to stay out of the way of his relationship with his wife for no good reason. It turns out that the two of them are secure in their relationship and don't feel it needs to be "protected". That meant the things I did in order to make myself appear non-threatening were unnecessary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yumi View Post
Prior relationships, we would be able to see each other whenever we wanted, and multiple times a week if we weren't living together. This, we have to schedule in advance, and I'm not sure what frequency is 'appropriate', because I'm still not sure precisely what our relationship is - we don't define as 'boyfriend/girlfriend', lovers I guess. When I like someone - love them, I like to spend time with them. So at times since I am unsure on the 'appropriate frequency' I feel like a nag, or needy, since I never feel like the few hours together when they do happen are enough.
This was a prime example of one of the problems caused by my assumptions above. I felt I was a low priority in his life because I usually only got to see him once per week and when he did suggest doing something on a different night he often cancelled. I felt that asking him to make more time for me would be seen as too needy or an attempt to sneak out of my designated Tuesday night timeslot (which would, of course, be on some level a threat to his marriage and which therefore must be stopped), and that to complain about the ever-changing non-Tuesday plans would annoy him. He was astonished to hear my concerns when I brought them up, explaining that he preferred to make "maybe" plans and cancel if stuff came up than to arrange something at short notice if he had unexpected free time. He hadn't thought that I was moving everything else in my life around to free up that "maybe" timeslot and agreed to take a different approach. Even though I mostly still only see him on Tuesday nights, knowing that I'm allowed to ask for more and that when he says he has time for me he means it is all I needed.

Last edited by Emm; 06-05-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:15 AM
Yumi Yumi is offline
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Looking back I probably should have specified single-mono rather than simply mono.

Thanks Bricklie. Most of my time is spent between work and school, so during the school year my time is pretty limited in terms of spending time on personal hobbies. Though I do try and go on a hike and spend time outdoors as much as possible when I have a chance - since those are perhaps two of my favorite things to do. I do find writing things down to be a help, in regards to organizing my thoughts - because sometimes when I try to vocally express them they simply come out in jumbles.

Thanks nycindie!

Emm, he hasn't said it specifically - but that is what I have interpreted from a couple of conversations. The first time that I know of where they discussed the future of their outside relationships; he said that they discussed if they were something they wanted to continue with and be a part of. At that time there had been three of us spending time with at least one or both of them in a span of a couple weeks. Her boyfriend at the time had spent a week with them, and a gal friend had spent time with them also for a week; and I had spent a couple of hours with him during this time span - I can't precisely remember if she was there or not. Naturally(?) they compared the time spent with the three of us, or it struck them. The gal friend was cuddly with both of them, and the boyfriend was chatty with him while snuggling with the wife. This was during the first month after him and I had gotten together, so things were still new and I didn't know the wife that much. Basically my interactions with the both of them, weren't as ideal in comparison to the other two - so they questioned whether or not it was something to continue on with.
About a month or so ago, he told me that I scared his wife. She thought that if he was going to replace her with anyone, that I would be the type of person that he would do so with. He told her that she was irreplaceable, and I concur. I would not want that, and he doesn't either. I don't think that I have necessarily limited my behavior in terms of trying to not be threatening - though I have made an effort to be genuine at all times. Because I know that she has had issues in the past with at least one of his relationships; because the girl he was dating at the time was nice to her and befriended her - then when things didn't work out; the girl never spoke to her again. So I believe the girl essentially tried to get on her good side, simply to be with him I suppose. I think perhaps that is why it has taken his wife and myself a bit longer to really get to know each other and spend time hanging out; because I want/ed to like her simply for who she is completely independently of her tie to him. Though I have found at times it to be hard, because I know how much he cares for and loves her, so it is hard not to care for her because I care for him; compersion.

We had a discussion about the majority of the things I posted about in here, and something he said was that they do try to not have a negative impact on the relationships of the other.

So yes, a couple of days after I wrote the first post we had a conversation about most of the things I was wondering about and struggling with. I think that perhaps one of the biggest hurdles to me struggling with talking to him about it, is that I wasn't sure what our relationship was. Was it casual, serious.. etcetera. If it was just casual, then are these the types of things you even discuss? I felt much better after having the discussion, and still feel good about it. I think also that a large part of it, was that I really didn't know where I fit in, I didn't know what my place was in his or even their life. He said that he never thought I came across as nagging or needy when trying to arrange a time to spend time together, and that if I did come across like that - he would simply say so and say he needed some space.

He understood where I was coming from in my concerns and fears and struggles. He has worried about time, in regards to having quality time with his wife, and recently he has been having the same worries with myself. He also has worries about slipping into monogamous behaviors and relying on him for certain things, which I worry about as well. He reassured me that if something is bothering me, to simply say it or let him know that I want to have a conversation with him about it - and he'll make time for it, as well that I am safe doing so. I felt very safe communicating with him about fears and worries.. and it was very nice to have the conversation, even though at times it was a bit uncomfortable - because we made the promise at the beginning of the conversation to be honest with each other, and to be honest with ourselves. I think being honest with ourselves can at times be tougher than being honest with others. He told me that at this point in his life, he would like me to be in his life for a long time; I feel the same way.

One of the things he has wondered about, and we've had this discussion previously on at least two occasions is that we have never fought, never argued. We deduced that this was perhaps due to there being physical distance between the two of us, in that we live in two different towns. So if we are annoyed at the other person, the distance helps in dispel it - since we don't spend multiple days together in each others company constantly. He claims we are headed down the bullshit road, I think his phrasing was. Because he thinks it is worth our relationship to get into an argument, or have a bullshit moment. Because in his previous relationship experiences, if someone he was with expressed bullshit behavior and tried to get in an argument, if he could get away from it he would and just say 'cya'. but if he didn't have any other choice, then they would get into an argument about it. The hypothetical situation being that if I dropped by his house unannounced and I simply walked into his house and saw him making out with a girl on the couch, and essentially flipped out. A very unlikely hypothetical, but hypothetical none the less.

I am glad that I chose to write the first post, because it made me realize that while yes it is good to simply get it out - it is more important to discuss these things with him.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:55 AM
Yumi Yumi is offline
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I really should keep up with this more often. Would save time on trying to summarize six plus months of activity.

I will go with the more recent.

My lover P whom I have been in a relationship with, got into a new relationship with B at the beginning of November. She is moving into the house that he shares with his poly/primary wife S, this weekend. Due to B's triad family deciding to separate about two weeks ago. There are other people whom live at this house that they share.

My first reaction to this news, was a bit of fear, as well as interest in how it would play out. Given that two of three of his lovers would be co-habitating with him. It also has become a situation where S and B are now dual-primaries to P. At times I feel like the odd one out of the party.

I have struggled with trying to openly communicate with P about issues that have arisen with his new lover B - in that I felt she was not respecting the relationship that P and I have, by way of extending her stay at his house, into P and I's time together.. or arranging a 'booty call' when she knows that P and I are spending time together. However I can't truthfully place all of the 'blame' on her, for I feel that P had not established healthy boundaries with B, and therefore allowed her to affect our relationship that way. I essentially felt very disrespected, and P was not hearing me when I was trying to communicate this to him. He finally realized it, and about a week ago told me that he had a conversation with her about boundaries.

Other things had gone on, to lead to my feelings being hurt. Which led to a couple of conversations between myself and P about our relationship. Expectations and other aspects of it. Sometimes though, I feel there are too many labels floating around to get a good grasp on it.

Through all of this, I have felt much more connected with his wife S, and love her dearly - even though we haven't spent any explicit time alone together, or more time than usual together. I think it came about, because by expressing my concerns and hurt feelings to P, it showed her that I was simply more than stoic - that I was actually human and had insecurities.. and wasn't perfectly okay with everything.


This last Saturday, a party was hosted by other poly-folks in the area. It was a fantastic party. I felt unbelievably free to be myself, and to fully take a leap into exploring poly for myself. I had a bit of trepidation about the party prior to attending, because in comparison P, S, and B and other people that I know who were going to by there - I am SHY. So I went to this party with the notion that I was going to serve myself and my needs. Not that I would be selfish or disrespectful to anyone else, but that I was going to have fun, and make sure that my needs and desires were explored when appropriate. Spin the bottle was played twice, kind of corny - but it was completely consent based by all participants. At first I just kind of wanted to play, but was too shy to actually take the leap and join in - for being a spectator is more comfortable than potentially kissing strangers. However a friend of mine gave me a little push, and I joined the game. I had a lot of fun, and was able to connect with a lot of people.. spin the bottle can be a good ice breaker.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:29 AM
Yumi Yumi is offline
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This last Wednesday went over to P's house after work, for a 'booty call'. We haven't had much intimate or alone time in just over two weeks. We usually get together about once a week, whether group activities or one-on-one time. It was a fail in regards to the nature of the visit. When I got there, he had just received a text from his girlfriend B - essentially she was betraying his trust. He got angry, confused, frustrated - the first time I've seen him show that emotional set. None of us there understood what she did, without rehashing the entire thing - she essentially was on an ego trip. Both P and B are 'alpha' personalities, and it appeared that she was trying to exert and command all control over this one thing. Which as far as I know her, seems to be the complete opposite of her core beliefs and ideals.

So that took up almost four hours of dealing with it, and trying to figure out what precisely was going on. Then he got sick, his stomach started cramping.. he was feeling nauseous. It was all around bad news. I felt really bad for him. I made sure he had water, made sure he was warm enough with blankets.. attempted to make him relaxed by rubbing his back. It was hard, because he was sick and just completely out of it - and I know from personal experience, sometimes when I am sick, I just want to be left alone. Sometimes it can be easier to suffer with the sick feelings by trying to sleep through it. So he wasn't precisely communicative about what he needed/wanted in terms of does he want someone around helping him with things and trying to make him feel better. Not that there was necessarily anything that I could do - other than try to give him support and keep him hydrated.

Part of me was thinking 'I hope I don't catch whatever he has'. Another part was thinking 'ahh, failed booty call'. While the majority of me was 'what can I do to make him feel more comfortable'.
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