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Old 11-12-2013, 06:57 PM
OliverOwl OliverOwl is offline
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Default Giving my boyfriend poly

Right. So, this is my first time ever posting in a forum like this but I could really use some advise.

Last month my boyfriend K told me that he wanted to try exploring polyamory because he realized his feelings for another girl, S. Well, what he actually told me was that he'd finally realized how he felt about me, and he did so by admitting his feelings for her. K and I have been in a relationship for just under 6 months. We met under very unique and trying circumstances but we managed to make it work. He is quite honestly the most amazing person I have ever met in my life.

When he actually brought up the term polyamory I was honestly shocked. Mostly because I did not expect him to know it (he hadn't, he'd spent a lot of term researching on his own). I was genuinely proud of him for doing such soul searching and admitting this to himself. That said . . . I don't know if this is something I can give him.

I want to, very badly. It's not a matter of trying to hold on to him, or make sure that he's mine; I don't feel like I own him anymore than he owns me. Of the two of us I was always far more open to alt sexualities and relationships, so the fact that I am the one with the blocks on this is really frustrating for me.

It might be easier if I just summarize the story of what's happened: about two weeks before K told me he wanted to explore polyamory he told me he wasn't sure what he felt for me, that we were moving way to fast, and that we should put some distance between us. This was when he said we should try an "open relationship". I cried but agreed, because at some level I really thought it could help. I knew how I felt about him so I wanted to help him figure out his own feelings.

At this point I knew how he felt about S. I knew the reason for wanting an open relationship was so that he could sleep with her and try and "get it out of his system", as it were. He never did. He knew how much it would have killed me.

Fastforward two weeks and he's telling me. I went into counsellor mode, detached myself from the situation and just tried to assure him that I was still with him, thank you for being honest with me, and at some point soon you should tell S if this is something you really want. He told her the next night, which honestly felt like a slap in the face. I get a day to accept this?

We tried for about three weeks. And by tried I mean they grew while I read every website and blog post I could, talked to every poly friend I had (quite a few, actually), and tried to rationalize my feelings. Things broke down because of me being unable my feelings of worthlessness.

In the end I had to tell him that I was planning on leaving him as soon as I was sure that his relationship with S was there to support him. He chose me instead. That should have made me feel happy. I had my boyfriend. All it really did was make me feel like I denied my boyfriend his happiness while at the same time hurting a girl I really liked.

We've become a lot closer since then but he's still pushing for a poly future. And as much as he assures we that we will go slowly, that it is our relationship that he truly wants, he still wants a relationship with S and she with him.

I want to be there to see the person I love grow and find himself. So I could really use some help on what steps to take or where to go. I feel so lost.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:20 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am sorry you are struggling.

Let me try to sum up. I could be wrong. But to me it sounds like...
  • You want to be in a monoship. You not not want to participate in a polyship. (which is totally fine! Everyone is allowed their own preference.)
  • BF wants to still date other people. Rather than break up with you (so you can be free to monoship and he can be free to date other people) he proposes polyshipping. So he can be free to date and you can be in something you do not want.
  • You agree to this. You try it on against your own grain, find it does not suit, and try to break it off.
  • He comes back to you. Still angling for polyshipping. Which is something you STILL do not want.

Quote:
In the end I had to tell him that I was planning on leaving him as soon as I was sure that his relationship with S was there to support him. He chose me instead. That should have made me feel happy. I had my boyfriend. All it really did was make me feel like I denied my boyfriend his happiness while at the same time hurting a girl I really liked.
I find it interesting you don't mention what you deny YOU when you take him back and stay in a relationship shape that does not fit you.

Could note you have been dating him only 6 mos -- and not every relationship is destined to be a long haul runner. That's what the dating time is FOR. To find the compatible ones. He's not compatible sounding in a fundamental way -- in what relationship shape you will practice together.

I think it could be healthier to accept that, be friends, and break off the romance. It will hurt for a while, I know.

But not everything in life is "win or lose." Some life choices are about which stinks LESS.

I think healing from a break up could stink less for you than continually pursuing something that just will not fly here with him. (Stinkage with an end point) vs (never ending stinkage.)

YKWIM? Could think about letting it go. You are NOT "less than" just because you have different preferences. If you are busy thinking "less than" thoughts in your head beating yourself up? You could not do that.

Quote:
We've become a lot closer since then but he's still pushing for a poly future. And as much as he assures we that we will go slowly, that it is our relationship that he truly wants, he still wants a relationship with S and she with him.
Being pushy is not loving and kind behavior. YOU are the one who decides your (willing/able) to participate. Not him.

Quote:
I want to be there to see the person I love grow and find himself.
And you cannot do this as a friend while still respecting and honoring your own preferences?

I think you could take a time out to calm down, and then you could reconsider from a cooler head. Because I think you breaking up the first time was the way to go in this case.

Not from the lens of "giving my BF poly" but from the lens of "what can I give myself for my own best healths?"

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-12-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:35 PM
OliverOwl OliverOwl is offline
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GalaGirl - Thanks so much for the reply. You're largely right in your summary with a few key differences (that I probably did not explain very well). One, K wants to date ONE other person - someone who had assured me when we started dating was only a fling he'd had before he met me and that while he was attracted to her sexually he was not interested in a relationship with her. Two, he really hasn't been "pushing" anything, per say. All he's done is be honest with me about his needs. He's never offered me an ultimatum or anything like that.

Up until this point I can't say I've ever really had a functional long-term relationship. Serial monogamy for six years with severe lack of communication doesn't really count. I finally have the chance at one and I am finding that I just can't give it to him.

Maybe I'm just "mono-wired" (which is a term I learned about 5 minutes ago) and can't accept my partner being "poly-wired". I don't want to leave him, it would kill him. This is his first look into poly and he has no support net at all.

I know we'd both be strong enough to survive a break-up (everyone is) but I just really want to try.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:38 PM
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SouthernGal SouthernGal is offline
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In that case, tell him you need some time to think about things and get to thinking. I forced myself to visualize everything I thought my DH would do with another partner, paying closer attention to figure out what bothered me. It took me a while because I'm the slow and steady type. You might be surprised at what does and doesn't bother you. Then you can analyze what bothered you and why. That's when communicating with your bf comes in. Tell him"when I think of this, it makes me feel like ___" and ask him to help you figure out how you can feel better about it. Just take it as slow as you need to. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:55 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverOwl View Post
I don't want to leave him, it would kill him. This is his first look into poly and he has no support net at all.

I know we'd both be strong enough to survive a break-up (everyone is) but I just really want to try.
If the bolded part is literally true, you have infinitely worse problems to deal with than deciding to try poly or not.

I am seeing very little about what trying poly would do for you. I get you want to be a good partner and support your boyfriend on growing and learning. But questions like this need to be answered for yourself, not for anyone else.

What do you - just you - not you and him - want?
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2013, 01:28 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I agree with Opalescent.

This may be hard to hear, but I mean it kindly ok?

You are struggling with your WILLINGNESS. You are not "joyous yes" about it or strong in desire for polyshipping. I only see strong desire for "Not lose my BF."

You are questioning your ABILITY. You are not sounding strong skills for polyshipping here.

One could BECOME willing and able, and I see that you want to. But at this time you have no actual plan to do so in your intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, you have no support plan from your potentials to help you, and no plan for what to do if that attempt folds because it fails to meet your needs/his needs/meta needs.

In short? You are thinking about participating in a polyship not from what YOU want, YOU need, or YOU desire for yourself but from fear of loss. This is good foundation/ increases odds for success / helps minimize future emotional upheaval (ex:jealousy freak outs) HOW?

If you really want to go there, I suggest you read more about poly

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/do...documents.html
http://www.kathylabriola.com/articles
http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/
http://www.serolynne.com/polyamory.htm
http://www.morethantwo.com/

and have serious conversations with your people. Perhaps this post could help you with starting that conversation.

Take a true assessment of yourself and your potential partners
  • personality
  • preferences
  • skills
  • willingness
  • ability
  • strengths & weakness
  • plan for how to terminate if the experiment goes wrong.

Then you could be making this decision from a logical, informed place and not from a sad/fearful place.

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-13-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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