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Old 11-27-2012, 05:01 AM
Rynn Rynn is offline
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Default New here, and new to the concept of polyamory

Hello all I've just joined after many, many months of lurking and reading all the fantastic advice on here. I've been considering an open marriage for some time now, but still feel a bit confused so I was hoping for some advice.

My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years, together for 8. We have one child and are currently in a monogamous relationship.

We both work... a lot. I work 6 days a week, and so does my husband who is in the military (I'm in the reserves but have a full time job too). We work opposite shifts and time together is limited, but we always make the most of it. We love each other very deeply and trust each other implicitly. This time next year the military will part us and we will live on opposite sides of the country and see each other about once every 2-4 weeks. I don't ever want to lose my husband, but I would like us to be able to have connections with other people. With the lack of time and intimacy we have, although we make the most of it when we have time off together, when we don't have time for each other we can often get snappy with one another as we both feel neglected.

I'm a pretty open, trusting person but my husband can sometimes get a little jealous so I worry about how he'll react when I bring up an open marriage. I don't want to hurt him, and equally I don't want him to think that I only want this so I can have sex with a whole bunch of other men. In fact, that hasn't even crossed my mind yet. I'm at the 'I'd like to go for coffee and see how things go' stage.

I've always been incredibly loyal to my husband, but I've never felt monogamous. I've never cheated, or so much as looked at another man. However, my husband has had three affairs in the time we've been together. The last affair was nearly two years ago and was the longest, lasting almost a year. If I'm honest, the physical connection never bothered me about my husband's affairs, it was the fact he lied to me about it all and it was a huge secret that nearly tore our family apart. Now, two years on we have an incredibly strong relationship, much stronger than before because we both put in 100% effort to fix it, and it was a lot of hard work.

So here's the issue. My husband obviously needs something outside our marriage, which I'm ok with. I just need the openness, trust and truth. However, I don't want him to think I'm only suggesting this so I can sleep around. I love him, I don't want to hurt him in any way. I could never cheat or do anything without his knowledge.

I'm just not sure how to broach this subject and try and show him the positive affects it could have on our relationship.

So I guess, in a long winded way, I'm asking how you broached the subject with your significant other and what reasons you had for opening up your relationship.

I'm sure it's been asked a hundred times before, but I appreciate any advice.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:34 PM
Rynn Rynn is offline
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I'm terrible at keeping things to myself when something is on my mind so I spoke to my husband last night.

I have brought up the subject four or five times in our marriage but it was just passing talk and we've never had a serious conversation about it.

He was shocked at first, and as predicted thought it was a way for me to sleep around. He said the cynical side of him thinks I've lined someone up and just want a green light to cheat, which couldn't be further from the truth. I don't know of anyone I would be interested in as I work so hard and I'm very devoted to my family right now. So it was hard at first to discuss polyamory with him.

We talked for a couple of hours I think and it ended with him saying that he would read more into it but had no idea where to start. I don't think he realises how common polyamory is and that there are books and websites dedicated to this subject.

The conversation ended with him saying that although he will look into for him, he's not ready to "share me" with anyone else and he doesn't want to be hypocritical but he isn't sure if he will ever be ready to do that. I spoke to him about how we can have openness, rules and boundaries and go at his pace as he is the one unsure.

So I guess we'll just take it from there. I was a bit surprised by how shocked he was as it's been brought up before and he did get quite defensive. He's been interested in swinging before in the beginning of our relationship but I'm not interested in the sexual/one night stand thing.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:39 PM
riftara riftara is offline
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Sounds like you off to a good start. An open and honest conversation, then lots of research for both parties.

I hope it goes well for you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:47 PM
Rynn Rynn is offline
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A frustrating talk last night; I guess this is all part of it. He wanted reasons for this lifestyle and every one I have was shot down. I tried to explain that he's thinking 100 steps ahead to me sleeping with other people and full relationships when all he needs to do for now is read into it and maybe meet someone for a coffee then see how he feels. I know he's the more insecure in our relationship, how do I make this easier for him?
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:21 AM
Rynn Rynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riftara View Post
Sounds like you off to a good start. An open and honest conversation, then lots of research for both parties.

I hope it goes well for you.
Thank you, I appreciate that.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:13 AM
Daysleeper Daysleeper is offline
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I don't know that it's such a bad thing for your husband to be looking into the future. If he's sure he won't be comfortable with you having sex or seriously dating someone, wouldn't you like to know that now?

Try to think of yourself as discussing a possibility with him, rather than trying to convince him to do something. Remember to listen. It will be obvious to him if you don't really listen to him, acknowledge his feelings and address his concerns. You don't want to start your poly life in a place where he feels unheard, unimportant or powerless.

It seems like you think he should agree to being poly because of his past cheating. To you, only the lying hurt. He may have experienced the worst guilt about the sex rather than the lying. He cheated when he shouldn't have, but that doesn't mean he ever thought non monogamy was a part of the life he wants. He might be more like the guy who has trouble avoiding the dessert cart but knows he doesn't want to be unhealthy. Sure, he may eat three pieces if chocolate cake, but that doesn't mean he is willing to commit to exploring an unhealthy lifestyle. The only way you can find out is if you listen to him.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:04 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I personally abhor hypocrisy. In your shoes, I'd be telling him "there's no way we're going to explore this possibility for you if we don't explore it for me also."

He doesn't own you so he cannot "share" you. You can share yourself. You choose to share yourself with your husband. It's your choice, and only yours, if you choose to share yourself with someone else. Did you have any choice when he shared himself with those other three women?

Now, that's all about me being defensive. So let's move onto your situation. You've been lurking here for months and you say you've never really felt monogamous. So is it fair to say you're pretty comfortable with the idea of polyamory?

For your husband, this is all new as of two days ago. He grew up in a society where monogamy is the expectation, and cheating is frowned upon but generally accepted as normal. What you're presenting to him is a huge mental shift. He'll need time to get used to the idea.

It would be great if he could read Opening Up. It presents a lot of different forms of consensual nonmonogamy in a format that's accessible to regular people. If I remember correctly, I think one of the interviews is even a military couple not unlike yourselves.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:44 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daysleeper View Post
If he's sure he won't be comfortable with you having sex or seriously dating someone, wouldn't you like to know that now?
Even if he says now that he'd "never" be comfortable with her having sex with another man, there's no way he or anyone else can know that for sure. People grow and change, as evidenced by SO many stories here. Just like "I'll always love you" and "I'll never lie to you", while those statements may have the best of intentions, they aren't guarantees and shouldn't be thought of as such.

15 years ago when we first started dating, MC never DREAMED I'd be sleeping with someone besides him (neither did I!). Even as little as 2 years ago, keeping PiV sex just between us was still the agreement.

It might be helpful to know that he doesn't think he could ever be comfortable with you having another partner (though I agree with previous statements about "sharing" and if he can, you can) so you can enter into this aware of the restrictions and hopefully not grow to resent them. Then any other progress he makes will be a pleasant surprise!
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:37 AM
Rynn Rynn is offline
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Thank you all for the time you took to give me advice on my situation. So far, 6 months later, nothing has changed. I still feel the same way but my husband doesn't want to talk about it anymore. I guess this is just too far outside his comfort zone and I'm unsure of where to go from here.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:54 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rynn View Post
Thank you all for the time you took to give me advice on my situation. So far, 6 months later, nothing has changed. I still feel the same way but my husband doesn't want to talk about it anymore. I guess this is just too far outside his comfort zone and I'm unsure of where to go from here.
It can literally take years of talking before any actual dating happens. Has there been any movement at all in what he thinks he might be OK with? I know that for me unless I can say yes to something without any reservations I will say no. That doesn't mean that there isn't any internal movement though and that I'm not working towards a yes. Could that be what is going on for your husband as well?

Good for you for bringing up the discussion before you had someone specific in mind who you want to date. Poly is a lot of work even before you start dating other people. Find different ways to approach the subject.
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