Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-23-2014, 06:05 PM
elsa elsa is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Unhappy I don't know that I want to be poly anymore

Hi. I found this site while searching for help on this issue and joined since I don't have anybody I can talk to about this. My best friend deals w/listening if I bring it up but is obviously annoyed and all my other friends are mutual friends w/my husband and always run and blab anything I tell them even if it's in confidence.

I've been in a serious committed relationship with my husband for 9 years and married for 1. We've been open/poly with our relationship for about 5-6 years of that time. *I have a few issues here so please bare w/me if I seem to be rambling and kinda get thoughts jumbled I'm having severe anxiety and have been crying for a few days off and on now*

When we first decided to open our relationship we had lots of talks and ground rules were set. He didn't want anything but sexual encounters, no emotions or relationships involved for him. He knew that I'm an overly emotional person and would likely develop feelings for anyone I was involved w and completely understood as long as I came home to him. I did have several relationships w/both men and women over the first few years, none of which lasted very long because they were not anything I was really looking for. He has only made out w/1 girl and slept w/my best friend *with my consent and sometimes with me involved* I haven't had another relationship or even interest in anyone in over 2 1/2 years.

I recently came across personal ads he's put out looking for relationships. In specific "a best friend with benefits or a partner to share his interests with." He's never once told me he now wants a relationship with someone else. He has made it clear on more than one occasion, out of the blue, without me bringing anything up and when conversations haven't even been in that direction that he could never go back to being monogamous. I'm hurt he's never opened up to me and told me he wishes to have an actual relationship w/someone else now. We've had long emotional talks about our feelings and needs and he never brings it up. We don't have a lot in common but I've tried to show interest in things he does and have even enjoyed them on occasion but none the less I will try things and indulge his interests whenever he gives me opportunity but most times he doesn't even ask or mention things. He tries on occasion to do things he knows I like as well which means a lot to me but I never get the chance to do it for him.

Recently we've started going to poly meet up's in our area and have made a lot of new friends in doing so. This is where my biggest issue comes in to play. He's not really made any connections w/ppl but there seem to be a lot of ppl interested in me. I've even agreed to go to dinner w/someone we've made friends only to find out after agreeing that said person was interested in me and this was a date not just friends spending time together. While she's a lovely person, I'm just not interested. I'm not interested in any of these ppl even though I have a lot in common w/them and do find them attractive. I have no desire to be w/anyone other than my husband. I've come to realize he's all I need and desire. I've recently hit my sexual peak being in my mid 30's *he's 29* and our sex life as of late has been amazing! He's joked before saying "why can't I find someone exactly like you" which makes me think...I'm exactly like me! I think one of his reasons for wanting a relationship so badly is because he sees his best friend w/3 to 4 ladies now and is envious that someone who is not nearly as attractive as he is and is kind of a jerk to his ladies has so much luck.

I don't want to be in an open/poly relationship anymore. I'm hurt that he doesn't share feelings with me. I'm hurt he won't let me share his interests with him. I feel so lost and empty right now. I can feel a real ache in my chest. I don't think I'd be as upset if he still just wanted the sexual encounters since we had a 3some w/my best friend for his birthday a few months ago and I was ok w/it. I don't know how to tell him this because I feel guilty I've had success and he hasn't had any. What do I do?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-23-2014, 07:03 PM
LadyLigeia LadyLigeia is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Utopia
Posts: 23
Unhappy Awwww...

I'm very sorry that you are in a difficult place right now.

Unfortunately, there's no other way to handle this situation other than with candid communication. It'd probably be a good idea to sit down and express your feelings in a way that doesn't seem like presenting an ultimatum or out of the blue. That's really all you can do, unless I'm missing something.

The best case scenario: He agrees to be monogamous with you or at least confines his polyamorous relations to solely sexual encounter.

The worst case scenario: He doesn't agree with you and continues to pursue relationships which involve more than strictly sexual attraction, but I'm confident that you already know that. This also makes me wonder about the possibility of him developing what you might consider to be an emotional affair because he'll still be sleeping with people who he's attracted to and he'll still be pursuing people who he's interested in and if there is an emotional attraction, a bond will develop. There are many more elements to sexual attraction than that and what could develop is an emotional relationship which remains untitled, all while they are banging. Would you want him to only have casual sex partners with whom he shares a continuous friendship or no connection at all? I know you said that he's slept with your best friend, but that is obviously a person you know and trust. (*I'm not saying it can't happen but it's unlikely to if your friend is loyal and so is he.) Regardless, remaining silent about it will not help.

Also, what kinds of interests are these? Recreational or sexual?

It's unfortunate that this is messing you up. I hope you feel better and everything works out.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:00 PM
SNeacail's Avatar
SNeacail SNeacail is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Near Disneyland
Posts: 1,611
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by elsa View Post
I don't know how to tell him this because I feel guilty I've had success and he hasn't had any. What do I do?
STOP! Your success in getting sexual partners has nothing to do with the fact that the two of you can't communicate. So drop the guilt and deal with the actual problem, which has nothing to do with who can get laid more often. This is a communication issue.

Start by saying exactly what you have said here: "I'm hurt that you won't share your feelings with me and I'm hurt that you won't include me in you interests." More than likely, he is going to respond back with the fact that you have shown no interest in the past, so he quit trying or such. I know from experience, it absolutely no fun to be doing something when you know your partner is there only out of obligation is likely bored and not enjoying themselves.

The two of you together have to agree to try and avoid making assumptions. When you start to "assume" his actions mean something, stop and get clarification. Tell him straight out that him seeking a "relationship" behind your back has you scared.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:08 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,079
Default

I'm sorry you are hurting.

Since you already feel uncomfortable? May as well go for it and communicate straight up. (Stinkage with a purpose and hope of relief once it is cleared up) is better to me than (indeterminate, never ending stinkage.) Could go for the least stinky!

I don't know if this helps, but maybe something like...
"Husband, when we first decided to open our relationship we had lots of talks and ground rules were set. You didn't want anything but sexual encounters, no emotions or relationships involved. You were ok if I developed feelings for anyone I was involved w and completely understood as long as I came home to you. That is the standing agreement.

I recently came across personal ads you put out looking for relationships. In specific "a best friend with benefits or a partner to share your interests with." That sounds like emotional relationship to me. Are you now seeking emotional relationships?

If so...
  • Were you planning to discuss this with me at some point after posting the ad to update our agreements?
  • Were you planning to change the agreements without letting me know at all?
  • Did you know my actual preference is for you to discuss changes to agreements beforehand?

I desire emotional connection to you. When you are off seeking that emotional connection elsewhere in ads while joking "why can't I find someone exactly like you?" I'm exactly like me. I am here already. I feel taken for granted.

I need you (as my husband) to consider me, give opportunity to share emotional connection as spouses, and keep shared agreements. If they need to change, I need you to come to me FIRST and make me aware and renegotiate so I don't have to experience stumbling upon it that way again. I did not enjoy that.

In future are you willing or not willing to do those things so I can enjoy peace of mind? What sort of behavior can I expect from you in future? "
I get that these things also bug you:
  • him mentioning never wanting monogamy again
  • you feeling bad he doesn't get as many date offers as you at meetups.

But those are other separate things. Since the main thing that bugs you at this time seems to be the personal ad discovery leaving a bad taste in your mouth, could focus on solving one thing at a time here and ask what his intention was and what kind of behavior you can expect in future so you are not caught unawares again.


Quote:
I don't want to be in an open/poly relationship anymore.
Fair enough. Stop dating other people.

Could ask if your husband is willing to stop dating new people. If he has current partners it is not kind to ask him to dump them, but you could ask if he's willing to not be adding more on.

Quote:
I'm hurt that he doesn't share feelings with me.
Quote:
I'm hurt he won't let me share his interests with him.
What does those two things have to do with being in open/poly relationship? The prob is him not relating to you in the way/frequency you would like. That could also happen in a monoship. You could be in a monoship with him and he's still not sharing feelings or sharing interests with you in the way/frequency you like.

Could directly address what you really want solved here -- ask him if he's willing to change his behavior so he does share his feelings more often with you. And he does invite you to share his interests more often.

I don't know what he actually does but if he goes bowling every Fri nite, ask if you can come along with him on 2nd and 4th Fridays. Or bowl Saturday. You know... TALK. He's not a mind reader. If he doesn't think to ask you, YOU could ask him out. It's a two way street. You are allowed to go "Hey, I miss ya. How about we go bowling together Saturday?"

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-23-2014 at 10:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-23-2014, 11:40 PM
elsa elsa is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Default

First thank you everyone.

My problem w/him not sharing his interests and relating to poly is the ads are specifically looking for partners to share his interest and emotions with when I've gone out of my way to ask him to share w/me. I've asked him "hey do you wanna do *such and such* tonight" and him responding w/you won't enjoy it which leads me to say "I want to do this w/you because I know you enjoy it and knowing you're having a good time is enough for me to be happy." That's why he does things every once in a blue moon w/me that he knows I'll enjoy but when I try to do the same thing for him he just shoots me down and goes back to his computer.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-24-2014, 12:09 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,288
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by elsa View Post
. . . he just shoots me down and goes back to his computer.
And then what do you do? Stand there staring at his back a few seconds before walking away? Or do you challenge him? Do you say, "No, please don't turn away from me, I'm not finished talking about this," and not let him end the discussion that way? If it's important for you to talk about with him, you need to let him know. Do not accept his dismissal of you! Tell him how much it hurts that he doesn't want to share things with you and gives up on you so easily.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 01-24-2014 at 12:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-24-2014, 12:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,079
Default

When you say
"I want to do this w/you because I know you enjoy it and knowing you're having a good time is enough for me to be happy"
are you able to see how that could read like

" I don't love doing this. I do this thing I dislike for you anyway"
to him? That might make YOU feel happy. But that doesn't mean participating in that way makes HIM happy. Nobody wants to feel like an obligation, a chore, a burden, or beholden. Kind of a turn off!

You keep saying you want him to share his interests with you. But you don't actually share the interest! He knows it. So it is impossible for both of you to share an interest that you have no interest in.

How about adjusting your vocab and ask him about his interests?

"I want to be able to ask you about your interests, and would love to hear you talk to me about how you feel about (insert hobby)"
That's more what you are after right?

Even better... go deeper. Why do you want to hear him talk? What need would that fulfill for you? Are you able to articulate what your need IS?
What word(s) would you pick from a need inventory list to answer that?

I'm going to guess your need is to feel closeness with your spouse and to know your spouse. (I could guess wrong.) But I think part of the problem could be learning to articulate your needs to him in words he understands.

How about not getting sucked into that circle conversation by changing how you ask the question? That way of asking has not been successful for you in the past anyway. So could change your way of asking and articulate your need more clearly.
"I love and miss you. I need closeness. Could you be willing to go out on a date with me so we can reconnect by chatting, sharing time together, and be close again?"
1) Ask if he wants to go on a date with you. Get his willingness first.
2) Ask what day looks good. Get his time frame down next.
3) THEN figure out what you both want to do together that you BOTH like on the date. Do you guys KNOW what you both like to do?

Maybe that approach could serve you better?

I'm hoping changing your approach yields results you like better. He jokes about finding someone "exactly like you" so he does indeed like you! Just having communication challenges maybe?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-24-2014 at 03:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-24-2014, 02:24 AM
elsa elsa is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Default

Thank you so much! This actually helps a lot and I never thought about how I was approaching since I felt like I was doing what he was doing towards me and my interests. I'll def think about how I approach things and try to articulate in a way that may seem more involved and sincere.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-24-2014, 01:42 PM
elsa elsa is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks you so much everyone! I was having such a hard time opening up and I ended up writing a really long letter to him. He read it this morning before he went to work, told me how relieved he was I finally opened up to him, gave me his "you're so cute when you worry" face, hugged me tight, kissed me sweetly, told me how much he loves me, and said we'd talk when he gets home from work.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-24-2014, 02:10 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,079
Default

Awesome! WTG!

You were willing to try changing your behavior from (thinking thoughts that upset you but saying nothing) to (ARTICULATING your thoughts to him to seek clarification from him.)

He provided reassurance, and now you can enjoy feeling reassured, and look forward to a deeper conversation with him later. The change in your behavior served you better.

You rock. And I hope the conversation late is productive.

GL!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-24-2014 at 02:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:42 PM.