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  #1  
Old 06-10-2012, 08:39 PM
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SunsetMan SunsetMan is offline
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Default Mono with a poly (does that make us monopoly?)

Hi, I'm S.

I'm a 37 year old mono straight male
2 young kids from a prior marriage.

My fiancee is A.
She's 31 year old poly bi female.
1 child the same age as my eldest.

I expect to be a long term community member. I'm just starting out in a poly experiment and I'm a lot nervous, as some of you may have seen from my first post. I'm going to have a lot of questions and would appreciate blunt answers b/c I have no intuition to speak of.

I've been characterized as a 'leader' type of personality. She's a self-described 'right-hand woman'. We make a great team. There's an unbelievable amount of chemsitry and have similar life goals, lifestyles and recreation/vacation ideas.

In terms of values, it's a little different. I'm a mono, though and thorugh. I've had affairs in my prior marriagem the latest of which was with A. She's poly, though this is a new revelation to me.

3+ years and a mountain of drama later... we're engaged.

9 days ago from the time of this post, I learned that she's crushing hard and falling for on P, a mutual friend who lives 6 hours away and is a freqent online acquaintence.

I didn't flip out, trying to find my happy medium with it. I'm not sure if it's possible but I've gotten some great advice here and I have some soul-searching to do.

Anyhow, hello!
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:26 PM
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Greetings S,
Welcome to our forum.

Re:
Quote:
"Mono with a poly (does that make us monopoly?)"
LOL, well it doesn't make you "a monopoly," but it does make you a mono/poly dyad.

Mono/poly pairings are challenging, but I know it can be done; I know people who have done it. Communication is a crucial key in what will make the difference.

Also, whatever relationships A has, hopefully she'll keep an eye on that NRE (New Relationship Energy) factor, and put extra effort into her relationship with you (so that you don't get that "left behind" feeling).

Anywayz -- glad to meet you here.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:04 AM
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You see, it's those little gems of wisdom that makes me certain that I've come to the right place.

NRE never occurred to me. Please, continue to hurl the blatantly obvious at me

Truth be told, I'm having a hard time of it but I haven't really had time to examine my fears yet.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:19 PM
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Your experience on Polyamory.com may give you occasion to examine those fears. Note that not all fears are irrational; some are legitimate concerns about real inequities (or crossed boundaries) in a situation. But do a thorough self-analysis first, before figuring in the external triggers (and a fear/concern may be a mix of the rational and irrational).

Also remember that communication can always be improved: for more honesty, more clarity, and more consideration. It's always a good idea to work on/improve communication (both quality and quantity).

Can you describe your feelings, and the hard time you're having of it? Are there any triggers you can identify?
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:40 PM
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My fears, in no particular order:
  • That she truly IS poly. I really don't think she is because she never engaged in activity like this before me.
  • That she will leave me for P.
  • That she will ask me for an open relationship so she can explore this with P, and that I will not be able to cope with my emotions that come from that.
  • That she will ask me to explore a physical relationship with P for a short time, and that I will not be able to cope with my emotions that come from that.
  • That if those fears come to pass, how to tell my kids that they're losing a sibling. that will crush them, and the things that can crush them absolutely devastate my soul.
  • Also that I know beyond any doubt, that I will never be able to love anyone else in my life. I know that seems extreme and emotionally driven and very much so NOT rational.

All of these fears feel rational. I truly feel the cause for her 'cold feet'/freakout/self destruction stems from the pain I caused her during the affair I had with her and that my divorce is not yet final. (matter of a couple weeks, I should have the divorce certificate, but it's not final until then)

She needs some distance from me in order to get past that and this is a perfect way to do it. This might not even be conscious, but when I brought this up last night, she appeared to have a lightbulb moment.

So I'm concentrating on the positive, continuing to live our life together. I'm envisioning still marrying this beautiful, intelligent, wise, and gifted woman and that's the goal I'm working towards.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:46 PM
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I noticed a couple of self-trust issues in your list, when you mentioned you were worried that you might not be able to cope with your emotions. And there is an "A-trust" issue, when you mentioned you worried she would leave you for P. So, a couple of trust issues going on there.

Some of this, you need time and experience to lighten some of the worry loads. So I'd say the wise way to proceed (into poly territory) would be really slowly. This way A has some time to figure out where she really stands with respect to this polyamory thing (and you have a chance to directly observe how she approaches that).

There is perhaps even a bit of limerence going on here, as you are experiencing the fear of the loss of a relationship that seems to be "bigger than life" (and I guess it could be). Another reason to go slow on the poly front, so that your emotions don't race ahead of you.

How does A feel about all this? Have the two of you talked much about it?
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:48 PM
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I'm going to give you this from a poly-mindset perspective. I am in a reolationship with a monogamous person, so very much know where you are coming from - so my answers are NOT trying to put you down or disrespect your fears, just giving it from a poly-0wired perspective, since your gf self-identifes as poly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetMan View Post
That she truly IS poly. I really don't think she is because she never engaged in activity like this before me.
So how did she realise that she is poly? Is it posisble that she just hasn't acted on these feelings in herself before, because of the circumstances of her prior relationships? Only she can really answer these questions, though. I acted monogamous for a significant part of my life, before realising that it just wasn't me and that there was another way. People grow and change. Perhaps she has, too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetMan View Post
That she will leave me for P.
As a poly person, this absolutely does not compute. If she is poly then she doesn't have to choose one of you over the other - she can have both! She might well leave you, if your relationship isn't working, but it won't be because of her relationship with P it'll be because of your relationship. This is absolutely one of those "does not compute" when it comes to poly folk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetMan View Post
That she will ask me for an open relationship so she can explore this with P, and that I will not be able to cope with my emotions that come from that.
What emotions are going to come out of that? If she is poly and has fallen for P, then she will feel very constricted if she does not feel that she can have a relationship with both of you. I think that you need to understand a lot better what your emtions are going to be in connection with this. Post them here if this will help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetMan View Post
That she will ask me to explore a physical relationship with P for a short time, and that I will not be able to cope with my emotions that come from that.
If she asks, you can refuse. You can control what your own relationships look like, which ones you choose to have, and which ones you don't. She needs to respect that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetMan View Post
That if those fears come to pass, how to tell my kids that they're losing a sibling. that will crush them, and the things that can crush them absolutely devastate my soul.
Is this any different from a fear that the relationship won't work out between you in general?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetMan View Post
Also that I know beyond any doubt, that I will never be able to love anyone else in my life. I know that seems extreme and emotionally driven and very much so NOT rational.
You are monogamous. This is a very natural thing to feel as a monogamous person, and you should own that and be proud of it! Nobody should force you to ever love anyone else. They need to respect you and your relationship choices in the same way that you are expected to respects hers.

All of these fears ARE rational from your perspective - I have heard them all before, believe me. So much of the poly mindset triggers "but.. but..." reactions in a monogamous person.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:29 AM
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Time for an update, and I really do appreciate all of the help so far. This place has been invaluable! You people are amazing.

A and P met up a month ago, they started a physical relationship. Their sexual chemistry wasn't fantastic, but they want to hook up again. She's going out there again tomorrow for a weekend. Next weekend he is coming here (hotel, of course) for a night.

In the intervening month:
  • I got a fantastic new job
  • Went on Ativan
  • Went OFF Ativan
  • Lost said job (they decided against opening the position up after all)
  • Lost 25 lbs (I was 207, now am 182)... ok, this was more like 6 weeks
  • Gained a decent amount of muscle (I really like how I look!)
  • Bought my first cell phone in 10 years
  • Subsequently took it back and cancelled the contract
  • I am currently job hunting.

So... in a word: Chaos.

The odd thing is that somewhere in that maelstrom, I found a strength within me I never knew I had... I'll spare you the long version. It is a sorded tale.

But I've arrived at a place where I'm more ok with the idea of P and A having a physical/emotional relationship. I've backed off for now, to finalize my divorce (as of this second, it's final in 1 week and 3 minutes). Me and A are not having sex, we're sleeping apart but we still kiss, flirt and push some limits but that caused her guilt.

I saw an opportunity here. She's always had trust issues with me, since she and I started as an affair. I promised her that I would NOT have sex, oral, manual, etc... with her, until after my divorce was final AND not before A and P had an understanding in place. With the statute of limitations of X date (about 3 weeks from now).

Then I asked her (a 106 lb hottie whom I've never been able to resist) to TRY to convince me to have sex with her. Timidly, she started making passes and got bolder. I'll admit, we came about as phyisically close to it as possible, but I held true to my oath. She even admitted later that if we had started, she would have been ok with it.

I realized that my figuring was twofold. If she and I did break down and have sex, it would cause ruin to her exclusive relationship with P. (theyre exclusive for the time being, he knows it's temporary) It would also ruin her trust of me, and... this is an important part: I thought of those things in that order.

I realized that it was more important for me to protect her relationship with P, than it was to keep my word.

Because I love her and I don't want to see her hurt.

As a result, she's seeing things a little better now. We went skydiving for the first time, too.... and she parted company with a lot of negativity from our past. That, paired with her newfound trust (although not COMPLETE trust) in me, she's starting to realize that we do indeed have a stonger connection/relationship now than ever.

In conclusion, I've taken advice from here... dragged my fears into the light and looked at them:

Quote:
That she truly IS poly. I really don't think she is because she never engaged in activity like this before me.
She is poly, of that I'm sure. Her feelings for P are strong and one day they will tell each other that they do indeed love one another. I'm not afraid of that. If this thing with P does end, she's certain that I am enough for her. The only reason this started in the first place is because my divorce was keeping her distant from me. Maybe it's an excuse, but I don't think so. A and P started as innocently as possible and for that I'm grateful to both of them.

Quote:
That she will leave me for P.
Still a real fear but you're right. It doesn't compute. She wants to have us both. The only way this happens is if I give her an ultimatum.

Quote:
That she will ask me for an open relationship so she can explore this with P, and that I will not be able to cope with my emotions that come from that.
This has come to pass, and while it continues to be hard, I am beyond coping. I am accepting.

Quote:
That if those fears come to pass, how to tell my kids that they're losing a sibling. that will crush them, and the things that can crush them absolutely devastate my soul.
As before, she and I only end if I give her an ultimatum. So the power for this to end rests solely in my hands.

Quote:
Also that I know beyond any doubt, that I will never be able to love anyone else in my life. I know that seems extreme and emotionally driven and very much so NOT rational.
Still true. Sorry ladies, I'm mono and I like it. I just happen to be head over heels in love with my soulmate, who seems to be a one-time poly.

The greatest part about A and me is that we can talk and are completely open and honest. If I ask something, no matter how personal, she will respond. (sometimes with a caveat: Make sure you want to hear the answer before you ask) but the option to know is always there. She can do the same with me, and we often do.

At times it's a bit emotionally draining, so we've become accustomed to backing off and having alone time when one of us needs it. (whether we like it or not) We don't go to bed mad/upset. And we're working through the trust issues... not quite there yet, but definitely on the right track.

This has come upon me a lot faster than it did for A and P. They both admit that this has been hardest on me. That might change.

Before school starts up again, we've discussed returning she and I to primary and reinventing OUR relationship post-divorce. P mentioned that he would prefer exclusive but he's open to poly but honestly, I don't know if P can handle LRD and being secondary. There's some undeniably incompatible territory that we're going to encounter when NRE wears off.

He really wants kids, she can't really give him that. She could have the surgury undone, but with a 9 yr old (and a promise to said 9yr old never to have more kids), and her stage in life right now? Her desire to travel...

Those things, the distance... and me being accepting of this situation. I don't really see P as having much chance. I actually feel a little bad for him.

And that makes me feel sad for A because her heart is going to suffer another blow when he does bow out. I just don't want anyone to be hurting any more, including myself.

And yes, that WAS the short version!
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:05 PM
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Sounds like things are better between you and A. Sorry for her sake that it's not looking as hopeful with P.

Keep the communication flowing, and I believe you will come out alright in all of this.

Sincererly,
Kevin T.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:14 PM
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SunsetMan SunsetMan is offline
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Yes, things are a lot better for A and myself. Right now she's enjoying what she has with P, for as long as it lasts... I think deep down she knows it can't work but something within her compels her to move forward with him anyways.

I'm starting to understand that. She initially did this with me during the affair we had. It took her about 9 months to start moving on and about a year to end it (which never REALLY got to happen, b/c I did man-up and leave)

Hmm, more food for thought. Thanks!
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