Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:48 PM
Zenchild Zenchild is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 14
Unhappy Explaining My Poly Needs to a Mono Partner

As someone new to polyamory and still exploring this possibility for my life I was going to pose the question of how one would know for sure that you're poly. After digging through quite a few threads I came across a comment by someone that resonated with me.... "Poly is about relationships and love, not about sex. I even go a bit beyond that and say that being poly is about being open to many loves and once you've opened your heart and mind, you're poly."

I've most definitely opened my heart and mind. So yes i'm poly, and saying this and understanding it brings such calm to my heart.


What I'd appreciate from other members here on the forum is input on how to share this need with my husband in the most compassionate way possible. Seeing other people in an open marriage is something we discussed many years ago tho neither of us pursued others at the time for several reasons...and polyamory was not a part of these talks. Over the years the topic disappeared and I felt stuck in trying to making things work for just the two of us (a problem i've been working through with my therapist). I've reintroduced this topic in a very general fashion but he was dismissive of it saying that being older and quite focused on his work now he only wants to be with me.

So now i'm unsure how to tell him that while I respect his choice I need to explore this path. Of course I love my husband deeply and I don't want an ultimatum where I have to choose one or the other, but I need to at least talk with him about what's going on and see if we can find something that works for both of us.

The big motivation in a lot of the soul searching I've been doing is that I've fallen quite deeply in love with a friend of mine. (As a side note my husband does not know my friend personally as I met him through a social event circle that the SO doesn't participate in.) I just don't know how i'm going to spring both things on him at once...my need for him to accept me as poly AND that there is already a 'new' person I want to possibly bring into my life. I just don't think I can hide this from him anymore.

By nature i'm a caretaker of my partners/friends/family and I always lean towards doing things for them, making sure they're comfortable and often ignoring what I need for myself. Over the past eight years I can see how i've choked down feelings for others now and then for the sake of protecting my partner. Now i'm heading towards that place of shutting everyone out and i've already been struggling with feeling lost to myself, and I cant take it anymore. I'm done with playing a role of someone else in MY life.

Part of me feels that to some degree he'll be open to supporting me in this, but I'm really uncertain how he'll respond to the fact that there is someone new already knocking on the door so to speak. It's killing me to think how much this might hurt him, but I know that I need to be honest as well.

Any advice?

Last edited by Zenchild; 05-07-2010 at 10:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-07-2010, 10:55 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
Custodian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: new england
Posts: 3,221
Default

When this happened with me, I felt comfortable enough and confident that the "other guy" was not a threat to my marriage to say "Hon, I might as well just come out and tell you that I am in love with you and Y." Of course, he had kind of suspected that there were feelings brewing because I had been talking to the other guy nonstop on the phone and not keeping it on the DL. I should also add that he already knew I'm freaky and I was already "allowed" to get involved outside of our marriage with women.

Long story short, if you have a stable healthy relationship with your partner it probably doesn't matter HOW you do it (and if your relationship is NOT stable and healthy you have no business adding more people to it). Just remember to be kind and listen to what he has to say and give him a chance to take it all in. Sometimes it helps if you take a shot of your favorite 80-proof before you go ahead...

Last edited by NeonKaos; 05-08-2010 at 12:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-08-2010, 12:47 AM
Lemondrop's Avatar
Lemondrop Lemondrop is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
Posts: 305
Default

Speaking as the "mono" partner who found out months down the road that Easy was in love with Asha before he talked to me about poly, it doesn't make it easier to accept. I spent a long time feeling used and that they manipulated me in order to get what they wanted. I also spent too much time not feeling wanted for myself, like Asha had used me to get to Easy and I was extra. There was actually a period of time where I had a bag packed and I was ready to leave so that Easy and Asha could be together.

I don't know if it would have been easier if Easy and Asha had talked to me about how they felt before I agreed to be poly, or if I would have felt blackmailed. I think you need to talk to your husband about being poly right now, before you go any further with the other guy. You can afford to be friends with the other guy for a while longer for the sake of your marriage. If you can't afford it, then maybe you should take a closer look at whether you still want your marriage.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-08-2010, 04:01 AM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenchild View Post
"Poly is about relationships and love, not about sex.
Just a heads up that may not represent the opinions of many monos...but it does mine. If my ex wife had of said this to me because she fell in love with someone I would have simply said, "great..I'm glad poly isn't about sex..So you won't need to have it with him and that's cool. Enjoy your friendship."

Don't try to skirt the pivotal role sexual intimacy plays in the fulfillment of the relationship you want to pursue. Poly without sex is just a friendship in most of the mono peoples' eyes I know. It is to me.
__________________

Playing the Game of Life with Monopoly rules.
Monogamy might just be in my genes

Poly Events All Over
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-08-2010, 04:44 AM
Zenchild Zenchild is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 14
Default

Thanks so much for the comments so far...much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemondrop View Post
You can afford to be friends with the other guy for a while longer for the sake of your marriage. If you can't afford it, then maybe you should take a closer look at whether you still want your marriage.
I guess I did not make this clear but I've stopped most contact with my friend, which btw was never more physical other than hugs and hand holding because I wasn't about to go down the road of having an affair. We are JUST friends though I wish it could be more. In fact i'm working on coming to terms with the fact that my husband may very well ask me to let go of that connection and move forward with a clean slate (ie. perhaps see other people but not this particular person). I'm not sure how I feel about that yet, other than the thought is incredibly painful...but i'm open to considering that as well as discuss any and all options for 'agreeing' what boundaries we need.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Don't try to skirt the pivotal role sexual intimacy plays in the fulfillment of the relationship you want to pursue. Poly without sex is just a friendship in most of the mono peoples' eyes I know. It is to me.
Yes, sex IS important and most definitely will be part of this discussion. I prefer to not really go into detail on that aspect of things here on the boards but I'm all ears if anyone wants to share.

I should point out we have very close friends who are poly, as well as friends who are in open relationships simply for sexual reasons, AND other friends who are happily 'unmarried' life partners and child free...as we are child free. These concepts are not totally new to him but I understand we'll BOTH need baby steps moving forward with this.

Last edited by Zenchild; 05-08-2010 at 07:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-08-2010, 07:07 AM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenchild View Post

I should point out we have very close friends who are poly, as well as friends who are in open relationships simply for sexual reasons, AND other friends who are happily 'unmarried' life partners and child free...as we are child free. These concepts are not totally new to him but I understand we'll BOTH need baby steps moving forward with this.
That experience should bode well for you. Just knowing poly exists and seeing it will make things smoother I imagine...at least in describing what it looks like

Take care
__________________

Playing the Game of Life with Monopoly rules.
Monogamy might just be in my genes

Poly Events All Over
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-08-2010, 12:59 PM
capricorny capricorny is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sub-ultima Thule
Posts: 65
Default Adaptation is not only up to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenchild View Post
Thanks so much for the comments so far...much appreciated.



I guess I did not make this clear but I've stopped most contact with my friend, which btw was never more physical other than hugs and hand holding because I wasn't about to go down the road of having an affair. We are JUST friends though I wish it could be more. In fact i'm working on coming to terms with the fact that my husband may very well ask me to let go of that connection and move forward with a clean slate (ie. perhaps see other people but not this particular person). I'm not sure how I feel about that yet, other than the thought is incredibly painful...but i'm open to considering that as well as discuss any and all options for 'agreeing' what boundaries we need.




Yes, sex IS important and most definitely will be part of this discussion. I prefer to not really go into detail on that aspect of things here on the boards but I'm all ears if anyone wants to share.

I should point out we have very close friends who are poly, as well as friends who are in open relationships simply for sexual reasons, AND other friends who are happily 'unmarried' life partners and child free...as we are child free. These concepts are not totally new to him but I understand we'll BOTH need baby steps moving forward with this.
I beg to differ here. Poly without sex can be much more than friendships, and as many swingers are acutely aware of, soul mating can be far more threatening to an existing relationship than physical mating. And - if your life partner stops having sex with you because of physical constraints, but you continue that activity with a metamour - your life partner doesn't instantly become "just a friend", as opposed to the "real poly" sex partner, does he?

And in this case, that aspect may possibly be used as a stepping-stone. It' would of course just be stupid to try to conceal that you are, ultimately, after the "real" thing, but if your husband cannot even accept that you are very close to another man _without_ sex, there is little use to go any further. That path could, possibly, have involved swinging, which seems like a dead end in this case.

I think you both need to come to terms with the fact that you have different needs and orientations right now. You have to adapt to each other in order to just not simply grow apart, and that adaptation is not only up to you. Even though the concepts and practices are not new to him, I think it is reasonable to move very slowly forwards at first. Making it clear that some things are going to change over time now, no matter, but that he can have a huge influence on how.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-08-2010, 03:30 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New England USA
Posts: 1,231
Default

Hi Zenchild,

Well, it seems to me that one of the basic understandings (and therefore topic of discussion) about human nature revolves around the fact that different people need various levels of intimacy in there lives to feel good. By intimacy I'm in no way referring to sex although that may or may not come as some part of the package.

But it's just this feeling of connection to other human beings. Closeness.

Different people seem to need and thrive on different levels of that. Other people seem to be more interested in throwing themselves totally into something else - be it work, a social cause, family, etc.

You see to be one who needs that intimacy in life. That should be no cause for concern as long as it's clearly understood. May it be a shocker ? I suppose that's possible, depending on the level of deep communication you have shared over the years with your SO. A lot of times these deep inner things aren't really shared and discussed. Until a certain tension builds or a circumstance surfaces. In your case it seems both may have happened at the same time (?).

The key thing is that in a loving relationship, one would HOPE that you would desire to support each other in a quest for what has deep meaning in your own lives as well as the meaning the relationship holds. We all need both. Although "together", we are still unique individuals with different needs & preferences in some parts of our lives.

It seems that understanding and acknowledging this is the first step to wonderful, respectful and loving relationships. That's the "intimate" part.

GS
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-08-2010, 04:49 PM
MonoVCPHG's Avatar
MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Redpepper's heart
Posts: 4,742
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorny View Post
Poly without sex can be much more than friendships,.

Little hi-jack here...sorry

If there are phyisical constraints or perhaps even the presence of asexuality in a relationship I totally agree. Otherwise, I don't recognize any difference between deep friendships that almost all people experience whether they are monogamous or non-monogamous, and what would be described as a poly relationship if it didn't include sex.

I think there is a thread on this somewhere.....OK back to your originally scheduled programming
__________________

Playing the Game of Life with Monopoly rules.
Monogamy might just be in my genes

Poly Events All Over
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-08-2010, 05:01 PM
capricorny capricorny is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sub-ultima Thule
Posts: 65
Default Different notions of friensdship, simply

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Little hi-jack here...sorry

If there are phyisical constraints or perhaps even the presence of asexuality in a relationship I totally agree. Otherwise, I don't recognize any difference between deep friendships that almost all people experience whether they are monogamous or non-monogamous, and what would be described as a poly relationship if it didn't include sex.
.....
Sure, you have well have that notion of friendship. But, mine is somewhat different, and somehow I feel pretty sure about it being right _for me_, though it will take a lot of time to fully explain. It's rooted in different philosophies, I think :-)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mono/poly

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 07:32 PM.