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Old 08-16-2012, 09:10 PM
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Default Frustrated with polyamory

I need some insights from my fellow poly friends. I'm essentially trying to figure out if I need to separate/divorce with my wife, and I'm torn on it. Here's the back story:

I've always been extremely monogamous. Once I met my wife-to-be, I didn't notice other women, even if they were flirting right in front of me. I was happy. My wife and I did everything together. We were inseparable, and I believe it was a few years before we even spent our first day apart. I saw us as one, soulmates, meant to be together. We've been married 20 years and have two wonderful children together. We've had our fights, as everyone does, and we've had our rough patches, but it's been a wonderful 20 years together. She's my partner and love.

And then she fell in love with someone else, but still loved me as well. That's when I first found out about polyamory. It was crushing, and I couldn't imagine how it could even happen. At the same time, I saw how happy she was, and how this type of relationship helped make her even more "whole", more self-confident, and I was happy about that. I never blamed or judged my wife for wanting this... instead I saw it as part of who she is, part of her sexuality, and I loved her, so how could I do anything but support her in this journey?

Since then, I've come to see polyamory as a wonderful alternative to monogamy. I accepted my wife's OSO into our family, and the three of us get along great (in a poly "vee" type of relationship, with my wife as the fulcrum, i.e. I'm friends but not romantic with my wife's OSO). I see my wife's OSO as an equal partner in our family, co-primaries, etc.

But of course, the relationship with my wife changed dramatically. We still love each other, but we're no longer "two peas in a pod". Love may be limitless, but time isn't, and I find myself lonely for long periods of time when she's out with her OSO. Plus, there's a certain quality that's missing in my life, and I can't quite put my thumb on it... something about being cleaved to my wife, being "partners in crime" (my apologies if you're sick of that overused expression), building our life together... just the two of us against the world. Now I feel more like a roommate in my own house and (when her OSO is over) the secondary in the relationship. I'm becoming more independent... do activities that I like (sailing, hiking, etc.) on my own rather than the two of us together, and I miss her.

In order for this to really work long-term, I feel like I need an OSO myself, someone not just to spend time with but also to build that same type of close partnership that I used to have with my wife. Someone that I love and adore, that loves and adores me, that wants to spend time together, have adventures, and build a shared life together... be something serious and meaningful.

But I can't find anyone. Everyone I meet that wants a serious relationship has been monogamous, and all the poly either (1) eventually want us to be mono together, i.e. they were cowgirls or (2) wanted a casual side relationship, a FWB+varying level of relationship type of deal. It would be easier to find someone if I was only interested in casual relationships, or even just flat out "cheating", but I don't want any of that.

And so that leaves me in my current conundrum. I love my wife and don't want to leave her. I also don't want her to leave her OSO (because they're great together, and I feel compersion for her)... I know it would crush her to leave her OSO. But I'm also lonely, and even if I weren't, I'm still missing important relationship qualities in my life.

I feel selfish to even thinking about leaving my wife, and I would be very happy if we could build a more balanced poly family together. I'm not against polyamory in principle, and I recognize that it can be wonderful... but as a guy, I feel like I'm treated like a disposable person by many of the women out there, maybe precisely because I'm married. As such, it feels like the only real chance I have for building the type relationship that I want is through monogamy, which means leaving my wife, and that option seriously sucks.

Therefore, I'm reaching out to everyone here for help, advise, even just moral support. I really want this to work, but I'm so frustrated.
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