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  #1  
Old 08-06-2012, 01:25 AM
cherrygirl cherrygirl is offline
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Default Changed my mind.

Hi. I posted here once 3 years ago about my boyfriend turned husband wanting to open our relationship and wondering why I wasn't enough. From then to now, things have changed in my head. I went from being staunchly against it, to wondering what it would be like, to feeling like something is missing in my life and I'm not as happy as I could be to actively wanting to pursue other relationships. Problem is the last time my husband and I talked about poly I told him if he ever brought it up again I was leaving. That was three years ago and it hasn't been discussed since. Our relationship has not been good for awhile and I feel it is because neither one of us are really happy with the arrangement I insisted on. I feel trapped. He feels like I'm controlling him. It has gotten to a point where I no longer want a romantic relationship with him, we are just roommates. I find myself thinking about other people I want to be with but can't. I know he does too, not because he has told me but because I've seen the effects of him spending too much time on the phone with someone he told me loved and less and less time with me. I know this is coming off as that saying "relationship broken, add more people" but I wonder if opening our relationship may help? I know he doesn't want monogamy and never did, he just did it to make me happy and now I feel like I don't want it either, so what can it hurt? I don't have specific questions, just looking for advice I guess.
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2012, 01:35 AM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Its time to start telling him exactly how you feel and how you've changed. It's time to ask him how he feels and really listen to him as he answers. Yes, starting this conversation will start to change things between the two of you immediately. I think you know that, which is why you're hesitating to do it. That's what the two of you need to do. Neither of you will know what changes will occur until you experience them. The best way to find and honor your own truth and his is to start talking.
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2012, 02:19 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So... have a conversation.

Make a time/space that is free of distraction for a few hours. Have a heart to heart talk.

State your changing self, and your new wants, needs, limits. Do the brave thing and ask --

Are we still good together? Are we over? Is it divorce? A separation? A change? How do we want to be now? When it ends? Still at death do us part or something else?

Like are we done completely? Or is just THIS configuration of a monogamous married duo over and it's time be together BUT to evolve into our next configuration together? Like sanely approached polyamory, swinging or some other ETHICAL non-monogamy?

Talk to me. Husband -- where are you at?


Clearly you aren't being your best selves in Limbo, and staying there doesn't move either of you forward toward your best selves -- together or apart. Don't fear the discussion. Just... love each other through it, and hopefully you can arrive at the place you need to be at.

An amicable parting if that is what it needs to be and still be friends.

Or the start of another adventure together on the next trip around the Sun. Still friends, still lovers, still married, but now something else too.

Boldly speak your truth. Even if at a whisper.

GL!
Galagirl
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2012, 02:48 AM
cherrygirl cherrygirl is offline
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So, I told him when he got up that I don't want a monogamous relationship anymore. He doesn't believe me. He said that he is worried this is just step 1 of me walking out the door or that I say this now but will change my mind later. I said "If I didn't want to be with you anymore, I would just say that."

So, now what?
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2012, 03:08 AM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrygirl View Post
So, now what?
First of all, I applaud you for having the courage to start the conversation. Now your job is to keep talking. Acknowledge his fears. Tell him what you're afraid of. Tell him what you want. Keep the conversation moving. This is only a guess, but the abruptness of your question, "Now what?" hints at how hard it is for you two to have a meaningful conversation. Get out of your comfort zone. Open your heart to him. Maybe he so used to not having meaningful conversations with you that he needs time to get used to what it feels like to have you actually talk to him. You're doing the right thing. Keep it up. Keep talking. If he gets mad, ask him why he's mad. If he ignores you, ask him why he's ignoring you. If he says he doesn't believe you, ask him what you can do to help him believe you. The more you open up to him the more permission he will feel to open up to you. It might take time for the two of you to learn the basics of having a meaningful conversation. You're doing the right thing. Keep talking.

Last edited by snowmelt; 08-06-2012 at 03:11 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2012, 03:10 AM
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Glitter Glitter is offline
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Have the conversation that GalaGirl suggested. Don't just say, "Hey, I want an open relationship", but actually sit down and discuss it. It took my hubby and I 7 years of talking about it before we were in a place to open our marriage. We've been so much better off being able to be honest with each other, about our wants and needs and limitations. So do it, talk to him. Have the long ass conversation that you so need. Nothing will change until to both talk about it
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2012, 03:21 AM
cherrygirl cherrygirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowmelt View Post
First of all, I applaud you for having the courage to start the conversation. Now your job is to keep talking. Acknowledge his fears. Tell him what you're afraid of. Tell him what you want. Keep the conversation moving. This is only a guess, but the abruptness of your question, "Now what?" hints at how hard it is for you two to have a meaningful conversation. Get out of your comfort zone. Open your heart to him. Maybe he so used to not having meaningful conversations with you that he needs time to get used to what it feels like to have you actually talk to him. You're doing the right thing. Keep it up. Keep talking. If he gets mad, ask him why he's mad. If he ignores you, ask him why he's ignoring you. If he says he doesn't believe you, ask him what you can do to help him believe you. The more you open up to him the more permission he will feel to open up to you. It might take time for the two of you to learn the basics of having a meaningful conversation. You're doing the right thing. Keep talking.
You're right, we don't really talk about our feelings. Neither one of grew up in environment where it was safe to do so. My mother wouldn't tolerate any dissenting opinions from my sisters and I and his mother would use anything he told her as ammunition to hurt him with. So, we carried that into adult life. The closer I get to someone, the less I can handle being vulnerable. He is just closed up period. I am therapy and have been for many years working on my issues, but he is afraid of therapy. Either way neither one of us are good communicators.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:54 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You wrote "Now what?"

And then you answered yourself. First step? Learn to be better communicators.

Practice on each other, with friends, family. Because I can tell you polyships just ain't gonna fly if the communication skills are weak. So amp your communication skills in knowing and stating your wants, needs, limits. Even my kid is learning this on baby conversation like "Where should we go to dinner?"

"I really want mac and cheese. I need to run around after. I have a limit -- I do not want to go to sushi because we ALWAYS do that lately. Let's give it a break!"

How are your conflict resolution skills? Do you solve life problems well when they come up? Does one bucket fare better than another -- mind, body, heart and soul type problems. Some people don't like to deal with the heart problems. Or the soul problems. Other hate doing the body problems and going to the doctor for a check up!

You can read book resources like "Ethical Slut" or "Opening Up" and do the exercices. Opening Up has some online work sheets -- maybe start there if you need help navigating the conversation along til you get hold of the books?

Read online like morethantwo or http://www.serolynne.com/polyamory.htm Do the exercises in the book, find ways to try things on safely in mind and heart even if not quite ready in body and soul.

But yay! You did a brave thing, he's trying to absorb it, and work it with you. Take your time. Strengthen what you have first. There's no hurry to Open.
And even if you never open up to Another, isn't it better to do this work? To be more authentic and open up to EACH OTHER? And love each other more fully than this... limbo flat thing that leaves you both unsatisfied?

Over here? When we were all single? I was the hinge in a MFM "V" -- and the mono boys signed on to my polyship and we flew it a while and it was sweetness and light. Even when it landed back to Earth due to circumstances beyond our control. School, work, finances, etc. added limitations and we agreed it best to part. We're not anywhere close to going there again with my health and my eldercare for my aging parents and raising a child -- we recognize the TIME limitation right now. It is just not a good time to reOpen.

But we do the mind/heart work again -- to prepare for another time later. And in the meanwhile enjoy the greater bond/intimacy between us. I hang out on the forum a lot more lately to brush up MY communication with strangers who do not know me or my vocab short hard. Just to prepare, in a safe way, by sharpening that skill. Give someone a leg up and answer questions how YOU would do it if it were you. Hopefully it helps them with a new POV and it helps YOU think about the realities of poly.

For the time when you are ready to go there mind, heart, body, and soul, and with your DH full on board in his heart, mind, body and soul.

Just take your time. You will be ok.

hugs,

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-06-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2012, 12:26 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrygirl View Post
You're right, we don't really talk about our feelings. Neither one of grew up in environment where it was safe to do so. My mother wouldn't tolerate any dissenting opinions from my sisters and I and his mother would use anything he told her as ammunition to hurt him with. So, we carried that into adult life. The closer I get to someone, the less I can handle being vulnerable. He is just closed up period. I am therapy and have been for many years working on my issues, but he is afraid of therapy. Either way neither one of us are good communicators.
Resolving this is the next step for both of you, not finding other people to be intimate with. It sounds like real communication feels threatening to both of you right now. You need to get to a place where really talking is fun and feels good. Eventually, that place may not be with him. It won't be if you do the work on you and he doesn't want to do the work on him. Start the work between the two of you anyway, to give it a chance. Do the work because you want to be happy, not because you want to be poly. The real question is always "what do I need to do for myself to be happy". If, when the two of you are able to talk openly and easily, you discover poly is what you want to do, then go for it. I think part of the reason you want poly right now is to get relief (escape from) from your relationship with your husband - the place where everyone is afraid to talk. That feels stifling. Keep in mind poly is about multiple meaningful relationships, not relief.


It is important to understand your priority needs to be the relationship you have right now with your husband. That means your next step is to work on yourself until you get to the place where you know if this relationship will resolve and work for both of you, end altogether, become a friendship, etc. From there, you'll be able to see more clearly if poly is where you want to go. If you try to go there right now from the relationship you have right now, you won't be clear about what you really want, and the new relationships you find will be made of the same stuff this one is.

Last edited by snowmelt; 08-06-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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