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Old 07-27-2012, 01:51 PM
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The10thDoctor The10thDoctor is offline
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Default Advice please...and hello!

Hello everyone! I am The10thDoctor. Hmm it was more fun than I thought saying that.

Anyway...I wanted to introduce myself and present my dilemma for advice. It will be long and there is a bit to explain. I am hoping there have been people with some similar experiences that can help.

A month or so ago I made a friend who is poly. I had never heard of polyamory before this. Not in this kind of context anyway. They were very patient with me and answered about a million of my questions on the subject. I had heard of Polygamy and of Swingers but they never really piqued my interest. The values are what got to me. The openness, honesty, transparency, non-possessiveness and most of all the freedom. The more I was told and the more I read about it the more I realized that I do most of this already. "Poly in the head" is what my friend called it. It just seems like a very beautiful way to live one’s life. It's something I want to do with my life.

I see a lot of events in my past that would have been made either a non-issue or would have been much easier to deal with if I had known about and fully practiced polyamory. I wouldn’t have felt so ashamed for having feelings about someone else. At the very least that won’t happen again.

I am currently married and in a monogamous relationship. My wife is a wonderful person who I love very much. But, she is not as open minded as I am. If I try to come at this subject with her in a straight line I think she would be deeply hurt. I want to be polyamorous but I don’t want to devastate her emotionally to do it. We have always had good communication and we are about as honest with each other as we can be in a mono relationship.

I have been taking a lot of what I have learned and have been applying what I can to our relationship. I have been encouraging her to tell me what she finds attractive about other men I see her looking at or are in movies and shows we watch. I have been telling her about some experiences my friend has told me about. I am trying to slowly and subtly bring about a poly way of thinking into our lives. My biggest obstacle will be getting her to realize that my or her feelings about other people won’t change how we feel about each other. The jealousy factor I believe it is called. This is what I need advice with. I have no idea how to attack this issue.

I consider myself Poly in theory but not in practice(ha ha). It has already helped my current relationship. It has already saved me from feeling ashamed.

I realize that true polyamory will most likely never be a fact for me. I seriously doubt she will ever really come around to a poly way of thinking. But that’s why I am here. I hope I can get some advice or some suggestions that will help my odds of success.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and any advice you can give.

Last edited by The10thDoctor; 07-27-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:43 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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I consider myself Poly in theory but not in practice(ha ha). It has already helped my current relationship. It has already saved me from feeling ashamed.
This is me. I grew up with a very strict religious background and therefore I tended to withdraw from people because I wasn't "supposed" to let myself get that close to anyone besides my husband... I was very lonely for a loooong time. Now I find myself with a large group of GOOD friends, many of whom are poly. While I have no desire to have sex with any of these friends (hugs and cuddles okay ), I'm no longer afraid to admit that I love and adore them, which was a big step for me.

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I realize that true polyamory will most likely never be a fact for me. I seriously doubt she will ever really come around to a poly way of thinking. But thatís why I am here. I hope I can get some advice or some suggestions that will help my odds of success.
This too is me. I have to keep reminding myself, I didn't change my way of thinking overnight, neither will anyone else. I spent over 5 years, even before learning about poly, trying to reject everything I'd grown up being taught and somewhat starting from scratch. Re-evaluating my religious beliefs, my politics, etc. I am so different from the person I was 10 years ago, it scares even me sometimes (in a good way). Change happens slowly and usually with a lot of resistance. Spend time in theoretical discussions with your wife, especially if your way of thinking has changed. I know my views have changed so dramatically, that I have to make a conscious effort to discuss things with my husband otherwise, he assumes I have the same beliefs and views that I did 20 years ago.

I'm kinda have a 5 year goal that starts with strengthening my marriage (which has seen some really dark times recently). I already know my husband is poly, even if he is in complete denial . He thinks things should be a certain way (he too has a very religious background) and has a habit of convincing himself they are, even if the facts in front of his face say otherwise.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:50 PM
RagingBibliophile RagingBibliophile is offline
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coming from the wife of a person similar to you, honesty is the most. important. thing. ever. I cannot stress this enough. My husband chose to lie to me while being in another relationship to "protect me", and it has been... bad. Give your wife honesty. sit down with her and say "Hey, this is how I feel. I still love you. I don't want to lose you over it, but I didn't want to lie to you." See what she has to say. That's at the point my husband and I are trying to get to, and lying made it a billion times worse. go from there. I'm not saying it will be easy at all, but at least it will be out there, and she'll thank you for respecting her enough to talk to her about it. Good luck.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:52 PM
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but I donít want to devastate her emotionally to do it. .
Hello -

You seem to care very deeply about your wife's feelings. That's a very good place to start. The only power you have is to be honest about how you feel about her, how you feel about others, and what you want in your own life. Your wife will process her feelings in her own way. How she does that is not up to you. Trying to steer how she processes her feelings is manipulative, even if it comes from your good intentions.

Tell her when you're ready to. Say what you want to say. Telling her how you feel will change things between the two of you. Both of you will feel the beginning of that change instantly. Neither of you will know where that change will take you, or how long it will take, until you get there. I'm willing to bet, in the long term, she will appreciate and respect you more for being honest with her now, than if you try to steer her feelings now to "make it easier" for her. Its going to be as hard or as easy for her as the way she processes her own feelings makes it. That's not up to you. If you try to soften or steer now, your true feelings will come out in future conversations anyway.

Honesty is always best.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:12 PM
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The10thDoctor The10thDoctor is offline
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SNeacail: Thanks this is my plan so far. I am prepared for it to take a long time. I have no illusions about that. It helps to know there is someone in a similar situation. I hope it goes swimmingly for you!

RagingBibliophile: I completely agree honesty is the key. Its one of the things that attracts me to polyamory. I do want to do that eventually. There is no worry of me having an outside relationship without her consent. When we got married I promised her I would be faithful. Unless she releases me from that promise one way or another I will be.

snowmelt: I'm not trying to manipulate her per se. I want her to consider the facts and come to her own opinion on them. Her having an educated fact based knowledge of it before hand will make the discussion easier when it does happen.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:14 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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My husband chose to lie to me while being in another relationship to "protect me", and it has been... bad.
This had to do with CHEATING, and I call BULL SHIT, just as I did with my husband. He didn't lie to "protect you" he lied to save himself from looking like an ass and having to deal with the consequences of his stupidity. he lied to protect himself. Trying to make poly work after or because of an affair is 100 times harder and comes with shitloads of baggage and mistrust.

The10thDoctor sounds more like he wants to make a long time life change with his wife at his side, and has no intention of doing anything to jeopardize their relationship. It is NOT manipulative to have theoretical discussions and open up debates on a subject and then slowly approach re-arranging you life to fit your needs. However just dropping the bomb on your partner that you NEED to live a life that goes against everything she signed up for when she took her marriage vows, is just cruel.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:01 PM
RagingBibliophile RagingBibliophile is offline
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This had to do with CHEATING, and I call BULL SHIT, just as I did with my husband. He didn't lie to "protect you" he lied to save himself from looking like an ass and having to deal with the consequences of his stupidity. he lied to protect himself. Trying to make poly work after or because of an affair is 100 times harder and comes with shitloads of baggage and mistrust.

The10thDoctor sounds more like he wants to make a long time life change with his wife at his side, and has no intention of doing anything to jeopardize their relationship. It is NOT manipulative to have theoretical discussions and open up debates on a subject and then slowly approach re-arranging you life to fit your needs. However just dropping the bomb on your partner that you NEED to live a life that goes against everything she signed up for when she took her marriage vows, is just cruel.
EXACTLY. thank you. Thats why I said, just be honest with her and go from there and build it according to your dual needs. Because now everything is soured for me because of how he went about it.

Also, honey, I knew it was bullshit, hence the quote marks. That is what this person needs to NOT do.

Your wife is your partner, and when you still love her and want her with you, you take the time to work out compromises.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:40 PM
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The10thDoctor The10thDoctor is offline
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The10thDoctor sounds more like he wants to make a long time life change with his wife at his side, and has no intention of doing anything to jeopardize their relationship.
This is it exactly.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:13 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I wish that I had your self-knowledge when I started down my "road to polyamory". I could use some timey-wimey trickery to go back and do that properly the second time around.... You have quite a few things going for you, and I applaud you for your approach.

Here are a few things I see:
* You have decided that your marriage is more important to you than having multiple relationships. I deliberately phrase it that way rather than saying "not being poly", because you have decided that you most definitely are poly, and are choosing to not act on it, respecting your marriage vows with your wife.

* You have done a lot of reading and thinking before doing anything. So many folks have a "gut feeling" and end up "falling into poly", which invariably causes massive crises and the ensuing heartache.

* You care so deeply about not hurting your wife. You'd be surprised (well, maybe you wouldn't be) how many people allow NRE (New relationship energy), the promise of it, or the desire for it, to completely blind them to their current relationships.

* You have learned about what a relationship means, and are applying it to your current relationship. Again, this is something that so many forget in their rush to find someone new.

There are probably more points, but kudos to you so far.

One way of bringing up the topic is not to make is about you or your relationship. If you have friends who are non-monogamous, they can be a great example. Or you can find some sort of news article about a polyamorous celebrity that you read about. Carla & Nicolas Sarkozy, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, if you're feeling more scientific, Erwin Schroedinger the founder of quantum mechanics, Eric Schmidt (founder of Google) and Kate Bohner, Tilda Swinton and so on - I'm sure you can find an example that would fit your purposes. This way you can gauge you wife's reaction...

Another person I was talking to who I didn't know so well was talking about alternative relationships (she meant same-sex), and I said that as far as I was concerned, as long as folks were happy I didn't care if they were same-sex or non-monogamous. Her instant reaction was that same-sex was fine, but that monogamy was non-negotiable for her. Pretty good sign that I didn't need to bring up the concept of polyamory to her.

None of these involve lying, which is a good thing. If she asks you about it, you can answer something like "it certainly sounds like an interesting idea, but I would imagine that it would take a lot of work to make it function properly", and so on. If this goes well, it will open up a conversation about all these thoughts that you have been having about how relationships could work, both monogamous and polyamorous. If you get shut down with an "ewww no!" then you know that there's no point in going further.

Does this make sense?
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:28 PM
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Hi 10th Doctor,
Welcome to our forum.

There's a good link to a post on another site: http://polyamoryonline.org/smf/index...sg9230#msg9230

It may give you some ideas about how to approach this with your wife.

I'm glad you could join us here,
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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