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  #1  
Old 11-20-2010, 10:17 AM
Pantheist Pantheist is offline
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Default A long story

Hi everyone!

I seem to have found my way into a very tricky situation, and I very much need the advice of an experienced Poly friend. Since I don't have any of those, I found my way here. Unfortunately, the problem has a lot of moving parts. To get decent advice, I need to make sure you, my readers, have a clear picture of the problem. So, I'm just going to start at the very beginning and work my way to the present.

About half a decade ago, I was a happy and proud young man. I was both openly Poly, as well as Bisexual. I had two relationships going, neither serious, and had just started on a third. I was very good at following the poly code of ethics. All my partners new about the others from the very beginning.

Over the next six months, my partners drifted away, until there was only the third one left. She was young and extremely inexperienced with relationships. She was innocent, joyful, and amazing. She was also Heterosexual and Monogamous. I was totally in love, but I told myself I would still embrace another relationship as soon as I had the opportunity. She started dating me as Poly, and she would just have to deal with me being Poly again. The problem though, is that I didn't find anyone for a long time.

So, four years go by. I never did stumble across a partner, but I wasn't really actively looking either. Even though I only had one partner, I still considered myself Poly, and even though she was female, I still considered myself Bisexual. I have done my absolute best to nurture her self-esteem, and develop an atmosphere of complete honesty and openness in our relationship. As the years have passed, we've occasionally talked about looking for other partners, but she gets really nervous (and sometimes very upset) when we do. Aside from that, we live together harmoniously, and our relationship has been wonderful.

Then I meet someone. The new girl is Poly too. The NRE is intense, but I suppress it hard. I start really pushing the Poly agenda with my girl, I really want to date this new person. I know that my girlfriend would feel better about me being poly if she had other relationships, but she isn't interested in other relationships. So we develop a compromise. She argues that she would feel better in a poly relationship if she were Primary and the other relationships were Secondary. It's not how I prefer to do things, but I don't think it sounds impossible. I agreed. We decided to get married.

Now the marriage ceremony has been and gone, several months ago. The new person that I wanted to date has become a good friend of mine, and often sleeps over on our couch. The new girl has feelings for me in return, and has developed a strong friendship with my wife. My wife knows how I feel about the new girl, everything is out in the open. I have tried to breach the topic of Poly again, but wife insists she is still not emotionally ready. I respect that. I've been a very good boy. The three of us have dinner together, and talk, and share the events in our lives, and it feels intimate, but the new girl and I can't touch each other. No hugs, cuddling, kissing. Nada.

At this point I'm very frustrated. I don't want to keep pushing, but I'm worried that my wife is just procrastinating out of fear. I don't want my wife to just 'give in' and be torn apart by guilt and jealousy. I would very much prefer her to accept the situation and embrace it. I really can't imagine a more supportive, or more caring person to have as our first 'secondary'.

So now I'm looking into the future and trying to decide my next move, but I see the possibility for disaster everywhere. At the moment, I feel paralyzed. The closer I get to making everything work, the more dangerous the situation seems to become. I still love my wife very much, and I want to share the rest of my life with her, but every day I fall a little harder for the new girl, and this 'touching' gap might as well be the grand canyon.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2010, 02:25 PM
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Danny40179 Danny40179 is offline
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Sorry to hear about your situation Pantheist. You said that your wife was Mono from the start. Well, much as she got into a poly relationship with you, you got into a mono relationship with her. Lemme try and explain.

While she was with you, who was poly and with others, she herself never had the experience. You said that she was young and inexperienced with relationships. Remember that in her world all she was taught was that she would find the right guy and settle down and have 2.5 kids with a house and a white picket fence. Even though she didn't find all of that with you, when your other partners faded out of the picture and it was just you and her, I'm sure her mono wiring kicked in and she figured she got what she was looking for anyway.

She's never had the need to even begin to change the way she thinks because she's only been with you. You have experience with the lifestyle so you understand that it's very possible to be in a loving, fulfilling relationship with more than one person. She doesn't know that yet.

Has she done any research on the poly lifestyle? Maybe she should come here and see what it's all about. Get a feel for things on her own.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:37 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Ouch !

Oh dear..........

Snagged in the trap - all four limbs (marriage).
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but from what I'm reading marriage was seriously premature. She knew what SHE wanted - and got it. Out of your concern and love for her, you conceded. Now it's a lot trickier. She's holding the trump cards it seems because as much as you two may have flitted around the topic of poly, it was apparently all a game on her part. A game it seems she's won at this point.
I'm not wanting to paint her in a negative light really, as we only have your words and one side of the story. But the reality is, she has little incentive (at least far less) to do the work necessary to see if you two can have a successful relationship in a mono/poly configuration.

It seems all you can do is take some time for some deep soul searching and decide if you can be happy & content with just her - OR - force a confrontation ASAP. Time is your enemy now. The longer you let this linger the more difficult it's going to be to confront the truth. If you honestly believe that poly is your heart's truth, it cruel and unfair to continue to play the game, dancing around that truth.

Hard days ahead my friend. Hang in there.

GS
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:30 PM
Pantheist Pantheist is offline
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Thanks for the sympathy guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny40179
Has she done any research on the poly lifestyle? Maybe she should come here and see what it's all about. Get a feel for things on her own.
To be honest, no I don't believe she has. I have found videos that we have watched together, and sent her articles I thought she might like to read. We watch Sister-Wives together every week (before the season ended) and talk about Poly afterward. I've even heard her defend the Poly lifestyle to her friends, and recommend it when they talk about cheating. However, she is not self-motivated about looking for information about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit
Snagged in the trap - all four limbs (marriage).
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but from what I'm reading marriage was seriously premature.
This may be true, but it had been almost 5 years. At the time, I just assumed that if we had made it that far, we weren't going to walk away any time soon. And I still have no intention of doing so, regardless of the amount of work I have to do to make everything right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit
It seems all you can do is take some time for some deep soul searching and decide if you can be happy & content with just her - OR - force a confrontation ASAP
Well, it's been years, I don't think my ideas on Poly are going to change. It is only going to get worse for me. That leaves the confrontation route.

Years ago, when I was Poly and dating. I didn't live with any of my partners. Now my wife and I share a house, a bed, and a history. I feel that if I force a confrontation, and get what I want (and I'm sure she will give in), that she will feel invaded, defensive, and I know that I will be causing her ridiculous amounts of pain. I believe that she must come to the realization that she wants to be Poly by herself in order for this to have a happy ending.

This is the source of my paralysis I guess. Waiting for her to take the first step so that I don't hurt her (as much). Perhaps thats wrong, but I need a happy ending here, and I can't imagine any other route giving it to me.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:50 PM
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Somegeezer Somegeezer is offline
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"Years ago, when I was Poly and dating. I didn't live with any of my partners. Now my wife and I share a house, a bed, and a history. I feel that if I force a confrontation, and get what I want (and I'm sure she will give in), that she will feel invaded, defensive, and I know that I will be causing her ridiculous amounts of pain. I believe that she must come to the realization that she wants to be Poly by herself in order for this to have a happy ending.

This is the source of my paralysis I guess. Waiting for her to take the first step so that I don't hurt her (as much). Perhaps thats wrong, but I need a happy ending here, and I can't imagine any other route giving it to me. "

I think you're focusing there on your own happiness. You don't want it to end, because you'd be alone. But you don't have to have things fall apart. Communicating effctively is what you need to do. You need to tell her exactly what you feel and why. She must understand who you are. If she can't accept that though, then it's the harsh truth that one or both of you will have to be unhappy: Break up or deal with each others' lifestyle choice.
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:53 PM
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It sounds like you need to decide if its time to fish or cut bait. Its been awhile, perhaps its time to not take no for an answer and start talking about boundaries. Even if the boundaries are heavily weighed on her side, at least there will be some movement. Going at the pace of the one who is struggling the most is all very well, but there has to be movement, either deeper into poly or moving out of the relationship. It sounds like she knows some stuff, and supports other peoples poly, time to put her money where her mouth is and bite the bullet and try it. It sounds like you all get along with this woman and its an ideal person to try things out with.
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:45 PM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
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From what you've written, it looks to me like it's time for some direct and open communication with your wife.

Most of the issues are already on the table. Your wife knows you are poly and always have been, since the beginning of your relationship. You know she is not, or at least that she never has been previously.

She knows you want to develop your relationship with this new love interest. The new lady is interested and on board with the idea. Your wife has said she's not emotionally ready to move ahead.

The question then becomes: what does your wife need in order to become emotionally ready? Perhaps she needs to be better educated on polyamory. Perhaps she needs to do the internal work to address her fears, insecurities, jealousy, or whatever other issues have become obstacles. Whatever her needs are, y'all (the three of you) need to come together to make a plan to overcome the obstacles so you can move forward.

From what I've read here, you've shown respect, honesty and integrity from the beginning. It is not at all unreasonable for you to insist on some forward motion toward having your needs met too. She knew you were poly when she married you.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidelia View Post
She knew you were poly when she married you.
Somewhat in her defense..knowing someone is poly is far different that actually experiencing them ask/and or want to develop another relationship. No one can promise they will be ok or how they will react. Perhaps it's time to go separate ways. You might get happier but by the sounds of it she will end up miserable.

Just something to consider, not everyone is meant to be together or healthy for each other in the long run.

Hope it all works out
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:25 AM
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Knowing,understanding and accepting that ones SO is polyamorous are completely different. I KNOW and UNDERSTAND my bf is poly but I think full acceptance is a way off,and I'm on a journey of figuring out whether it is the right path for me. I do get on well with his secondary and I accept his relationship with her because I TRUST her and her motives. His previous girlfriend couldn't deal with the polyamory at all and that is why they broke up,she was mono wired,pure and simple.
Just my feeling but your wife needs to figure out HOW it would be safe for her to bring your new friend into the fold. If she is never going to be ready,then you may have to make a hard decision.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:10 PM
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There is no perfect solution here but one thing I think can help is baby steps towards what you want. You said that you are not allowed to hug your potential secondary partner. This sounds like a good place to start. It does not seem unreasonable to me to ask your wife to relax her boundaries on that one, it's pretty controlling IMO. Start off with hugs. Let your wife see that you can hug someone you have feelings for and don't immediately rush off to file for divorce. If all goes well, see if you can proceed to nonsexual snuggles when watching a movie together. If she can get comfortable with that, see where you are and what else she might be comfortable with.

NRE is pretty crazy and can compromise your judgement but don't let it make you forget to give your wife a lot of affection, attention, and reassurance throughout.

If, in the end, nothing works and your wife cannot accept your potential secondary as more than a platonic friend for you, then you have a woman you adore and want to spend your life with, and a really good female friend whom you can't sleep with. Not too bad. You can love someone without sleeping with them. I fully expect to be doing that down the road, when my mono secondary partner, whom I love, finds someone else to marry and have kids with.
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