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  #31  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:51 AM
turtleHeart turtleHeart is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
Now my husband says he will be fine with me going on overnight trips, so long as there is no sexual intimacy.
Have you and your husband agreed on what counts as sexual intimacy and what doesn't? For some people that might be limited to PIV sex with everything else being up for grabs, for others it could be a foot rub or anything you'd feel odd about a babysitter doing with your child.
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  #32  
Old 11-28-2012, 05:13 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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I guess I don't really see any option that isn't going to be sad. Our lives are intertwined, after almost 15 years together. We support each other. We are a family, with our daughters. We have worked hard to remodel, landscape, and create a home that reflects our joint desires. There is so much that we would lose if we parted ways, the grief would be enormous. The impact on our daughters would be devastating. We really do love most things about the life we have created with each other.

I think the least painful path is to keep looking for the best compromise between his mono dreams and my poly ones. I was hoping we had found something that could work, but now it isn't working, and we have to try again.

Do you realize most or many of your past descriptions of your relationship with your husband center on the longevity and friendship and material stuff. The house ...decor choices or similar taste in decorating ... investment in landscaping. Are you consciously or unconsciously phrasing it this way? Love is never high on the list or mentioned ....or at least in regards to him. ( Disclaimer ...I haven't gone back and read every thread and post ...going from memory and this thread) I do invite the fact checkers....not that I have to

ARE YOU in love with him ?

Is he in love with you ?

If you didn't have the kids or the house what would each of you do ? I think you should both play out this hypothetical in therapy.

Last edited by dingedheart; 11-29-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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  #33  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:47 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by turtleHeart View Post
Have you and your husband agreed on what counts as sexual intimacy and what doesn't? For some people that might be limited to PIV sex with everything else being up for grabs, for others it could be a foot rub or anything you'd feel odd about a babysitter doing with your child.
We worked out an agreement regarding my relationship with L (long time friend to whom I am romantically attracted) that allows hugs and kisses but not touch that is intended to arouse. So that is my husband's definition of "no physical intimacy". Our agreement for the past year has been that C and I could touch in any way except PIV or oral sex. Sometimes I think these restrictions just cause more creativity and excitement. If we'd been having sex the past year it might have become more routine and less exciting by now. Now we have to try to channel our attraction through even more challenging modes of expression, which is bound to bring us closer together, I think. We'll brush each other's hair, write erotic poetry, and dance.
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  #34  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:03 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
Do you realize most or many of your past descriptions of your relationship with your husband center on the longevity and friendship and material stuff. The house ...decor choices or similar taste in decorating ... investment landscaping. Are you consciously or unconsciously phrasing it this way? Love is never high on the list or mentioned ....or at least in regards to him. ( Disclaimer ...I haven't gone back and read every thread and post ...going from memory and this thread) I do invite the fact checkers....not that I have to

ARE YOU in love with him ?

Is he in love with you ?

If you didn't have the kids or the house what would each of you do ? I think you should both play out this hypothetical in therapy.
He and I share many of the same desires when it comes to home and family. I love our home and family. I love him. I am not always "in love" with him, but the feeling does come back from time to time. I don't really want to live alone, nor do I want to live with any other man. My husband is the man I want to share a home with. I guess some of it could be seen as material, but there is also an emotional significance when we harvest fruit from trees we planted together a dozen years ago, or cook in the kitchen we created out of shared ideas and inspiration when we remodeled it together.

Part of the appeal of polyamory, for me, is that when I can enjoy intimate connections with more than one person, no one has to satisfy all my emotional needs. I can love my husband so much more for who he is if I am not resenting the things about him that don't fulfill me. He does fulfill me in many ways -just not all the ways I seek.

I go social dancing. Everyone knows that if you only ever dance with one partner, your dancing will be very slow to improve. You may actually build in bad habits that make you difficult for others to dance with. You will probably get bored. If you dance with many different partners, you will be constantly learning new steps, perfecting your physical communication skills, expanding your repertoire, honing your own personal style, and of course, having a rich and interesting social experience. This is what I want in life.
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  #35  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:20 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post

I go social dancing. Everyone knows that if you only ever dance with one partner, your dancing will be very slow to improve. You may actually build in bad habits that make you difficult for others to dance with. You will probably get bored. If you dance with many different partners, you will be constantly learning new steps, perfecting your physical communication skills, expanding your repertoire, honing your own personal style, and of course, having a rich and interesting social experience. This is what I want in life.

This is a much better rationale/explanation of polyamory than the "many favorite foods" or "more than one child" analogies. The reason, I think, is because it describes a comprehensive and inclusive growth process instead of simply saying you love people or things "equally but differently". I never quite bought into the whole "equal but different" line.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 11-28-2012 at 08:22 PM.
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  #36  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:36 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
He and I share many of the same desires when it comes to home and family. I love our home and family. I love him. I am not always "in love" with him, but the feeling does come back from time to time. I don't really want to live alone, nor do I want to live with any other man. My husband is the man I want to share a home with. I guess some of it could be seen as material, but there is also an emotional significance when we harvest fruit from trees we planted together a dozen years ago, or cook in the kitchen we created out of shared ideas and inspiration when we remodeled it together.

Part of the appeal of polyamory, for me, is that when I can enjoy intimate connections with more than one person, no one has to satisfy all my emotional needs. I can love my husband so much more for who he is if I am not resenting the things about him that don't fulfill me. He does fulfill me in many ways -just not all the ways I seek.

I go social dancing. Everyone knows that if you only ever dance with one partner, your dancing will be very slow to improve. You may actually build in bad habits that make you difficult for others to dance with. You will probably get bored. If you dance with many different partners, you will be constantly learning new steps, perfecting your physical communication skills, expanding your repertoire, honing your own personal style, and of course, having a rich and interesting social experience. This is what I want in life.
You write beautifully of what you see in him, love him for and why you want to be with your husband. And about what you see polyamory as offering you the chance to learn and grow while appreciating your husband for who he is. It is clearer to me why you stay in this difficult relationship.

But I was struck by something in Dinged's question and your reply. Would your husband respond with something similar to the same question addressed to him? (Minus the poly bit obviously.) You've wrote elsewhere in this thread that having a normal, respectable, mainstream wife and mother at his side is important to him, is what he wants. It's obvious to me that you will never, ever be that normal wife for him. Are you what he wants out of life? You can fit in what you want around him. You are trying very, very hard to do this. Can he do the same? Accept his not normal wife for who she is? I am skeptical that either of you can get what you want out of life - especialy when what you want lies in almost completely opposite directions - without one or both of you completely giving up your self, your souls in the process.

Also, your situation reminds me of my own in one respect. It seems to me that you associate your husband with home. I mean the physical experience of living together but also the emotional aspects of creating a home with someone else. Your husband is your home in a literal and emotional sense. I too thought of my ex-wife as my home. Wherever she was, that was my home. I learned that this sense of home is not enough to sustain a relationship. I did not want to break up because I associated home and her so strongly that I could not separate them in my head and heart. It has been my experience that this sense of home is a crutch to ward off fears such as the fear of being alone. It substitutes for love, for passion, for depth.

Perhaps for you, it is enough to sustain the relationship. But I have discovered that I carry my own 'at home' within. It's been hard and I have not enjoyed it. But I feel that any future committed relationships will be deeper and stronger because I no longer invest that in others.
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:31 AM
Maddy Maddy is offline
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AnotherConfused, thanks for sharing this experience...

NYcindie- Thanks for this-
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There has to be a true partnership where each person gives of themselves and creates a space for the other to shine fully with the light of who they are, and to be the best they can be, as well as living as fully as they can and striving for their own full potential. It's just not enough to love someone if a working partnership isn't there. Yes, keep working on the issues in therapy, but consider that the alternative, as scary and terrible as it may be to even think of splitting up, could be the key to your freedom and happiness. For both of you.
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  #38  
Old 12-19-2012, 10:05 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Little update...

Monogamy didn't work either.

C and I tried to turn our relationship into a "friendship" in which we are still in love. We found ourselves back struggling with how to get any time together that wasn't impossibly squeezed between other things (since C lives 5 hours away). My husband recognized the difficulty we had with this before and consented to letting us take overnight trips once a month again, providing there was no physical intimacy. We planned a ski trip, but I injured my foot a few days ahead, so what we had was two days cooped up in a beautiful ski lodge. C splurged for my Christmas present, and got us a room with a fireplace. You can guess how this ends.

It wasn't that I was too horny to keep my promise to my husband, but rather that the promise itself felt like such a horrible idea. I felt like my husband was this negative presence in my head, interfering with a relationship that has already been established and is very meaningful to me, and has really nothing to do with my husband. We had no problem sticking to the boundaries that we have been operating under for all these months (no oral or PIV sex) but removing all the rest of the physical ways in which we are used to expressing our affection for each other felt way wrong.

I told my husband, of course, once I was home. I had no idea what to expect. We actually ended up having several good days in a row together where we really focused on being kind and loving to each other, followed by a counseling session that stirred up all sorts of nastiness. That took a few days to process, and now we are back to trying to increase the love between us.

As for polyamory, my husband is going to do his best to tolerate it, and he wants me to do my best to mitigate his suffering, both by making the overnights and visits as infrequent as I can bear, and by making sure he isn't reminded of them in between. (C gave me a recipe book for Christmas, and my husband asked me to keep it out of sight.)

So we've tried monogamy, and I can't do it. My husband is willing to keep trying (my) polyamory for as long as he can bear it. If it gets to a point where he'd rather not be married to me, then I guess that's where we end up, but I will try to keep it low key so he doesn't reach that.

Another big development is that C is condo shopping in my town. He wouldn't move here, but it would give him a chance to spend more time here, which could mean getting together during the work/school day or on my dance nights out, and that could make longer stretches between overnight trips easier to bear. I'm hesitating to tell my husband because I think he may suspect C is trying to set up house with me, but if it becomes a sure thing I will not want to keep it a secret. It does feel like it adds a couple hundred thousand dollars of seriousness to our relationship, but C insists it's something he was considering even before we met.

I'm feeling hopeful that we might be finding the balancing point. We're definitely continuing to discover the tipping points!
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Married to a monogamous man 15 yrs, mother of 2, dating C 3 yrs, and in a romantic friendship with L more than 20 yrs
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  #39  
Old 12-23-2012, 04:36 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Watching for tipping points is a really good idea but what about flash points?

Are you mentally prepared for that.


Whats the plan for News Years Eve this year? Is that a sensitive topic for your husband or is that minor crap in comparison to recent events.
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  #40  
Old 12-24-2012, 06:34 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I've been reading this thread with interest and relating so much, since I experienced much of the same.

One thing you said, how your libido died for your husband when he wouldn't accept your polyamorous nature... yep. yep, yep. My ex didnt even accept I was bi, or outgoing, and would even get insanely jealous for the silliest things... if I talked "too long" to a guy at a party, if I danced with someone, even if I got a celebrity crush.

But however, like you, we had the large house with our renovations and fruit trees and gardens, the kids, even a huge teepee in the side yard for his spiritual group meetings. I gave it all up because I literally felt like the bird in the gilded cage. And I didn't regret it! We tried. We did couples therapy many times over our 30 years together, and individual as well. We even tried poly together, but it all came out wrong. Breaking up was the best thing for me. Not for him. He lost all the domestic comforts I bring. And the awesome sex. I brought my domestic skills and sexual skills to my own small cute apartment and never looked back! He has a gf too, but did struggle, as he told me, after our split. But, hell, he was depressed before! And jealous as well. At least my poly relationships are not in his face now.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

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