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  #1  
Old 06-07-2009, 04:39 PM
PorcelainPowder PorcelainPowder is offline
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Unhappy Am I Polyamorous?

I have been a serial monogamist since I was sixteen, but there has always been that undeniable urge to love more than one person. I have had several year-long or longer relationships, but never cheated.

About a year ago I dated the person I thought to be my "soulmate," John, but our relationship ended after a year because my inward feelings overwhelmed me. After John, I had about six or seven lovers before meeting Sébastien, my current boyfriend. It was very difficult for me to leave John, considering how much I loved him and how much I thought the two of us were meant to be, but I am proud of myself for breaking up, because as he considered himself very traditionally monogamous, I would've hurt him and denied myself.

When I am in one relationship, I tend to feel trapped, unable to exercise my sexuality, nurturing and creativity to its fullest extent. I discussed these feelings with Sébastien, and he seemed to be very understanding and allowing, and stated that he wanted to respect me but he was not interested in other lovers. We made a deal that I could have sex with women. Hallelujah! However, several nights later I met a girl to whom I was attracted, and who was also attracted and interested in me. I mentioned the compliments she had given me to S. and he reacted with jealousy. I went to a party with her two days later and we ended up sleeping together at my apartment. S. was furious, and I guess I expected it, but I wanted to do it, and I justified it in a very immature manner. I imposed polyamory on my boyfriend, which I regret doing. I have since told him I won't do it again. She was also hurt because I considered it just sex, seeing as how we were both in LTRs with other people.

I would like to understand how something like this can work. I am deathly afraid of jealousy, however. At 22 years old, I have just come to the point in life where I have accepted myself as an attractive and lovable individual. I was orphaned at 14 and after that lived with a very emotionally abusive, controlling, fundamentalist family for six years. I am still dealing with the fallout: guilt, self-hatred, anxiety, fear of rejection and abandonment, and depression. I was very jealous with boyfriends in the past, but have been trying to purge that from my life and have succeeded in ways I never thought I was capable of. I feel like with the right person it could work.

I don't know if my inability to stay happy in a monogamous relationship is just an outward manifestation of my own insecurity, a.k.a. my desire to be an object of attention. Honestly I think my denial of my poly nature is due to insecurity and fear of jealousy. My compliance with traditional norms is perhaps my way of keeping a secure relationship despite my own frustration.

Any advice is much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2009, 05:17 PM
StarGazer StarGazer is offline
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To the question in your headline- it sounds as though you are poly, although the insecurity is possible.


However, I disagree that what you had with Sebastian was imposed upon him. Sebastien said you could have sex with women. You discussed it, he gave hte green light- I don't see how that imposed it upon him. He could have said no, he had that choice- but instead he agreed that you could do it. The only person I see who's been wronged here is the girl who thought it was more than sex when it wasn't- and that's only if you lead her to believe it was.

You should try talking to your boyfriend about why he got jealous- see if you can work on that and fixing the problem while you're both calm. Jealousy is a big deal, and hard to handle, but many people can get past it. I've seen sites aimed at poly people for dealing wiht your jealousy that you might be able to show him. It's not an overnight hting, it' doesn't fix itself immediately, but if you can get to a point where he genuinely is okay with you being with other people (women or not), it might work out.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2009, 06:25 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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Why did Sébastien change his mind about being ok with you being with another woman? Was it that he was not as prepared as he thought he was? Did he think it was going to lead to a threesome? Did he start worrying about you falling in love with her?

Wanting to escape monogamy is not necessarily polyamory. Maybe you are just into swinging? But since you say you want to love more than one person, it sounds more like polyamory.

You could have some insecurity on top of all of this as well. Do you see yourself pushing away anyone when you get close to another person? Are you trying to run away from a serious relationship?
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2009, 06:37 PM
alphafour alphafour is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
.I have been a serial monogamist since I was sixteen, but there has always been that undeniable urge to love more than one person. I have had several year-long or longer relationships, but never cheated.
Serial Monagamy is the "moral standard" these days. Many Christians believe that it is immoral, and choose to assert certain verses of biblical text to justify it. I can argue the opposite point and will save that argument for another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
It was very difficult for me to leave John, considering how much I loved him and how much I thought the two of us were meant to be, but I am proud of myself for breaking up, because as he considered himself very traditionally monogamous, I would've hurt him and denied myself.
That was a noble gesture. Acting on his feelings instead of your own shows strong empathy. I am an empath, and I appreciate knowing other empaths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
When I am in one relationship, I tend to feel trapped, unable to exercise my sexuality, nurturing and creativity to its fullest extent.
You are capable of recognizing your own feelings. Typically that is the first recognizable trait of an empath. You might be one.

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Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
I discussed these feelings with Sébastien, and he seemed to be very understanding and allowing, and stated that he wanted to respect me but he was not interested in other lovers. We made a deal that I could have sex with women. Hallelujah! However, several nights later I met a girl to whom I was attracted, and who was also attracted and interested in me. I mentioned the compliments she had given me to S. and he reacted with jealousy. I went to a party with her two days later and we ended up sleeping together at my apartment. S. was furious,
I am sure you feel badly about his feelings, but he is the one who made and broke the deal. To allow your empathy for him to overcome the mechanics of the deal is the wrong usage of empathy. Such usage is classic of abuse victims. You are allowing yourself to be dominated by those empathic feelings, and setting yourself up to be a doormat. Don't do. Draw the line in the sand. Don't blame yourself or him. Jealousy is a natural extension of the monogamous morality. It is one the toughest obstacles of a poly.

You need to realize how much work it could require to overcome jealousy, and then decide if the change in your moral code is worth the effort.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
I have since told him I won't do it again. She was also hurt because I considered it just sex, seeing as how we were both in LTRs with other people.
If it was just sex, then it really isn't poly, IMO. It is swinging, and that would actually be a different argument that Sebastien could have with your affair. You certainly need to understand that a good poly relationship is with two or more significant others, and can be an LTR. You almost become a family, but for the legal restrictions. NSA sex is NSA sex, not poly; IMO.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:11 PM
PorcelainPowder PorcelainPowder is offline
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StarGazer, thanks for your reply. You are right that perhaps I had the right to have sex with her, seeing as how he agreed. The problem was I knew he would be jealous considering his reaction to her compliments, and I did it out of opportunism. I did not lead the girl to believe it was more than just sex. She had told me her boyfriend gave her the green light to have sex with other girls as long as it didn't include a goodbye kiss because that was too intimate. I complied.

Quath, those are all very good questions. I don't see myself pushing away the other partner, but I have never tried a poly relationship so I'm not sure how I would react. Things did change when I slept with the other girl, I felt less close to him, but I think only because I knew that our monogamy was preventing me from spending time with her...because she genuinely did like me and I didn't want to have the temptation.

alphafour, thank you for the kind words. I am an empath, in fact, that is very observant of you. I only know perhaps two others like me, so it is likewise nice to hear from you. I do agree that NSA sex is NSA sex, but when you agree to be in a strictly mono relationship, polyamorous relationships are out of the question...so my inward feelings might not reflect what is occuring in my life. However, it's possible I'm just a swinger.
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2009, 12:37 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
Quath, those are all very good questions. I don't see myself pushing away the other partner, but I have never tried a poly relationship so I'm not sure how I would react. Things did change when I slept with the other girl, I felt less close to him, but I think only because I knew that our monogamy was preventing me from spending time with her...because she genuinely did like me and I didn't want to have the temptation.
Yeah, that is tough. When you think you could love someone else but felt restrained, it can cause some resentment. It also sounds like your boyfriend may be a little insecure. He probably feels that if you do love someone else, you will love him less. You can try to convince him that this is not true to try to ease his jealousy.

I wish you luck.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2009, 02:20 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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It appears from here that neither you nor S are ready for a serious relationship. You both lack a sense of boundaries and responsibility for yourselves.

S assented to you fucking women. He then got jealous when you found one attracted to you and got angry when you actually fucked her. That speaks to an immaturity that prevents serious, healthy relationships.

You, after having told S that you desired women and having acted on that then decided that you needed to further justify that in some fashion. That speaks to you lacking the maturity to take responsibility for your actions; if you had accepted full responsibility, you would have felt no need to justify anything further.

Having two people not ready for a serious relationship together isn't a recipe for success, I'm afraid. And the personal issues you mention that you have yet to get a handle on are likely to cause problems in any relationship you enter.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:54 AM
StarGazer StarGazer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorcelainPowder View Post
StarGazer, thanks for your reply. You are right that perhaps I had the right to have sex with her, seeing as how he agreed. The problem was I knew he would be jealous considering his reaction to her compliments, and I did it out of opportunism. I did not lead the girl to believe it was more than just sex. She had told me her boyfriend gave her the green light to have sex with other girls as long as it didn't include a goodbye kiss because that was too intimate. I complied.
That is a tough situation. He had given consent, but was clearly uncomfortable with it. It probably would've been better to try and address the jealousy and find out if he was genuinely okay with it or just saying he was before doing that.

As SeventhCrow pointed out- it'd've been even nicer of he'd had realized it himself, and was open enough with his feelings to talk to you about it rather than get angry when you did exactly what he said you could do.

Quote:
alphafour, thank you for the kind words. I am an empath, in fact, that is very observant of you.
I don't know if I am or not- how do you tell?
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:04 AM
alphafour alphafour is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarGazer View Post
I don't know if I am or not- how do you tell?
It is typically a self realization of how you can feel the feelings of others. Some people liken it to mind reading, because you start to pick up on the feelings beneath the words. You have to visualize going through the pain of others. It believe can be acquired through training. Mine came from spiritual contacts and the realization of training I had previously recieved from counselors and mentors. In her case, it may have come from the abusive treatment she recieved as a child. Such shocks can trigger deep inner reflections.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2009, 05:25 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by alphafour View Post
If it was just sex, then it really isn't poly, IMO. It is swinging, and that would actually be a different argument that Sebastien could have with your affair. You certainly need to understand that a good poly relationship is with two or more significant others, and can be an LTR. You almost become a family, but for the legal restrictions. NSA sex is NSA sex, not poly; IMO.
Couldn't agree more my friend. If this is about getting to have lots of friends with benefits or one night stands I also don't see this as poly. For me poly involves real feelings with depth, not just saying, "I can love more than one person" and using poly as a way to justify having multiple sex partners.

I don't think this is a poly question. I think it is an open relationship agreement issue. You had an agreement, he was not clear on his real feelings, you chose not to address his jealousy concerns and the other girl got hurt because you were not up front with your intentions around sex.
Hope this doesn't sound harsh, but is the way I see it.
Take care
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