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Old 02-17-2011, 06:41 AM
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Default Hello everyone! :D (long post)

Hi there! My name is Kris. I've lurked here and there on the forum for a bit now and decided to finally join and join in!

A little about me and my relationships:

I'm partnered/married to my wonderful mate Shawn of 6 years. She and I were each others first loves and have been through many ups and downs together. I've always know I was nonmonogamous but did not fair well in expressing those needs and wants the way I should have in the beginning of our relationship. This led to an emotional affair which became somewhat physical before she found out. I almost lost her over it. Since then we have worked out a lot of things and have been poly in one way or another for the last 3 or 4 years or so. We have tried it where it was only sex, either casual or with close friends, but noticed that it was lacking the deep emotional connection and bond we are both capable of creating and both desire with others outside of our marriage.

So then came my first real relationship with a secondary partner, B. She ended up causing a great deal of discord in my relationship with Shawn, pitting one of us against the other, lying, cheating on me with a close friend, manipulating me into giving her more and more time and attention until my primary relationship was on the verge of breaking. After several tortuous months I finally broke it off altogether and for a long time was content to focus solely on my marriage.

But before long those same needs for poly resurfaced again for both of us. This time it was she who took another lover, Rose. Rose lives with a married poly couple as an arm of a vee with the husband being the hinge. They are a wonderful couple and we have all become close friends with their relationship proving to be very informative and encouraging (the married couple, Logan and Dawn, have been together 12 years and Logan has been with Rose for the last 6 months but has had many other successful relationships during his marriage-- Dawn is mono but very supportive). Rose and Shawn have been together about 4 months now and I could not be happier for Shawn to have found someone else to love and to love her. I have never been one for jealousy and very much believe in and practice compersion in my relationships. Rose and I have become close friends and I am hoping to have her in our family for a long, long time.

The biggest trouble we are having right now is with my newest relationship, which is literally tearing us apart. I met Jase a little over two months ago at a local fetish group. Originally we had only planned to be play partners and keep things casual as he is married and was not looking for any kind of emotional relationship at the time. Very, very quickly things progressed into a full blown I-love-you-and-can't-live-without-you situation. And without ever intending to or even realizing that's what was happening at the time I suddenly had a second primary relationship.

Shawn is not okay with this. Not thinking I would ever find anyone I loved as much as or more than Shawn I had assured her I was only looking for either sex, casual dating, or a completely secondary relationship with her as the only primary. This idea very quickly got thrown out the window when I met Jase. I love him more and more everyday and our bond has grown at such an impressive speed and amount that it's almost unsettling for us, let alone Shawn watching from the outside. She is ready to walk, unable to cope with seeing me love another so fully and intensely.

I am now at a loss. I want so badly to keep my marriage *and* my new relationship but I feel like we are never gonna get to a point that Shawn can be comfortable sharing me so completely. Reading some of the success stories on here has helped a lot with keeping my hope alive but I am very afraid I will have to choose between them. And although rationally my brain tells me it's an easy choice-- your six year marriage over your fledgling two month relationship with a married man. But my heart can not bear to let him go...

To complicate matters even more the man I had the affair with in the beginning of our relationship is still a big part of my life and holds a large part of my heart. We tell each other we love each other (in a more than friends kind of way) and have been intimate several times over the years when our lives have allowed for us to be together. Shawn has slowly come to terms with my love for him and has accepted the fact that he is a part of our lives. He just married a completely monogamous woman however and she is severely restricting any contact I am allowed with him, even just as friends. I am feeling his loss keenly on top of the stresses with Shawn and Jase and my mourning and longing for him is not going over well in my current relationships.

I have much to consider. I truly just want to be able to love who I love freely and openly and share in my lovers' joys in their other relationships as well. I want so badly for everything to work out. Hopefully these forums will help me in my struggles and decisions.

ket
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:45 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Welcome to the Forum.

I have no doubt there'll be some stuff around here you could use to advantage your relationships.

Cheers.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:47 AM
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Thank you! I hope so!
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:01 PM
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Hi Kris/Ket. Are you female? I get that you are bisexual. You've had male and female lovers and now are "in love with", infatuated, in new relationship energy with a man.


Never say never, huh? You just assumed you weren't capable of loving another besides your wife, despite your love for the man you had an affair with for whom you still hold a torch.

I am sorry your wife is so jealous of your new lover. I don't get when poly people have a serious secondary, yet still get all bent out of shape when their primary also finds a secondary... It's hypocritical. I am sure you wife sees this but it's still hard to make the adjustment. Seeing one's primary all starry eyed in NRE can be difficult. I'm dealing with that now. Ask her how she can share her heart with 2, but still love you deeply. IMO, now my gf has a second love, our relationship is more balanced. I havent been fully in love with anyone besides her in our 2 year relationship, but I have sure been "in like" and had NRE several times.

It just takes lots of talking about fears. Since some of your former relationships caused distress with your primary relationship, getting you 2 close to breaking up, be sure to take things w Jace as slow as possible, date your wife, compliment her, keep making her feel special. She must fear losing you to the new guy.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:36 PM
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Hi Magdlyn!

Thanks for the welcome. I am female and pansexual (I prefer to base my attraction on the person not the gender). I hear you about going slow and treading lightly for Shawn's sake but it's hard sometime when you're starting a relationship. All that NRE is easy to get swept up in. I'm trying to be considerate but I'm having issues being patient. I need to focus my attention on being more present in my primary relationship and noticing when I'm pushing too hard and then figure out what I really *need* instead of just desperately *want* to be happy.

It's easier said than done though...
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:54 PM
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Yes, NRE can make us do some crazy things. As we become more experienced in poly, we can learn to temper those feelings for the new person out of respect for the primary partner. You may now feel like you have 2 primaries, but of course, we all idealize a new partner in the early months.

When my ex and I first tried poly, it was a disaster. He fell deeply into NRE with a single woman (she was supposed to be our unicorn, but wasnt interested in me that way after all). He almost immediately told me he wanted to move her in as a second wife, and how wonderful that would be for me to have help with housework and the kids. Um, no. I barely knew this woman, but I did know she'd never been in a decent LTR, had no experience with childcare and was on 3 anti-depressants.

It all seemed to make sense to him, to move her right into our home, but it sure seemed cray-cray to me. When he and his gf had been together a few months, he bought her and me the same rose and box of candy for Valentine's Day... he'd known her a few months and had been my husband and partner for over 20 years. This was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I demanded their sexual relationship end, tho I allowed them to remain friends.
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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

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:45 PM
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After looking at common definitions of a primary relationship I don't think I should label him as such. We do not share our day to day lives with each other. We do not live together or share life's responsibilities. Unlike Shawn and I we are not committed to each other through a 30 year mortgage, 2 car payments, 6 years of debt, etc. We do not share pets or children. Perhaps it is only the strength of our emotional and spiritual connection that has me considering him more than a secondary.

I'm not sure where the amount you love someone weighs into their status in your poly relationships. Does calling someone secondary mean you love them less than your primary? Or does it only denote the lack of tangible physical bonds, such as finances or cohabitation? Are these things each person is meant to define within their own concept of poly or concrete meanings determined by the community at large? It's definitely something for me to consider.

I've never been one to enforce labeling of myself or others though so perhaps its best to just say I love who I love and they mean to me whatever I choose them to mean.

Oh my I seem to have strayed off topic some. I'm good for that.

Thank you kindly for the warning to not let NRE blind me to Shawn. I have been guilty of just that. I do not want to slow my burgeoning connection with my new lover but at the same time I do need to consider my marriage more before jumping head long into things as I have been doing.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:11 PM
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Hi Kris / Ket!
I copied out your post to read at home (I only get 2 or 3 days in a row each week to connect to Internet). When I stored it on my USB memory stick, you hadn’t had any replies yet. By the time I post this, I expect you will have had, and maybe you’ll have read some of the things that I now write, already written by others. If you’ve already clarified some of the points that I raise here, my apologies.

First of all, thanks for joining in! Sharing our experiences helps us all. I myself only started contributing a few weeks ago, and the feeling of warmth and encouragement from other members is so good to have.

Secondly: how much I feel for you!

Thirdly, I hope that I don’t come across here as believing that I have all the answers. I don’t. But I have some questions for you... and some things for you to think about.

This whole thang of polyamory has so many burrs in it. It has probably been going on for millenia, but in our modern culture some of us are only beginning to talk about it openly. There’s very little tradition of education in polyamory that we can take advantage of (so that – for example - many people confuse polyamory with promiscuity or swinging). And only relatively recently have polyamorous people started hammering out some kind of code of ethics. (e.g. It’s not polyamory if you’re not honest with all your partners. It’s not polyamory if they don’t consent.) There’s a certain potential for hypocrisy – as there is in sexual relations in general and indeed in every facet of life. One of these hypocrisies is: “I'm allowed to have whatever relationship I want [however deep, however strong, however much love or time is involved] but you are supposed to keep any other relationships you have strictly low-key, secondary to ours... by a big difference!”

One of the ruling tenets of polyamory, surely, is to throw jealousy out of the window. And yet, jealousy has been so ingrained in us (as a vital part of “TRUE” love) that we drag it back in through the door.

You write: “We have tried it where it was only sex, either casual or with close friends, but noticed that it was lacking the deep emotional connection and bond we are both capable of creating and both desire with others outside of our marriage.” [I have added the emphases.]

But it seems to me that Shawn gets just the relationships she desires (with you and Rose) and you’re actually happy about her relationship with Rose. But she won’t let you have the [deep] relationship you desire / need with Jase.

You write: “Reading some of the success stories on here has helped a lot with keeping my hope alive but I am very afraid I will have to choose between them. And although rationally my brain tells me it's an easy choice-- your six year marriage over your fledgling two month relationship with a married man. But my heart can not bear to let him go...”

I'd like to pick up on several points in that paragraph:
a) “Some of the success stories on here” travelled a pretty rocky road before their happy endings. Some were surely on the point of throwing in the towel... but decided to try again to resolve [together] their difficulties.
b) “I am very afraid I will have to choose between them.” Why? Why is it up to you to make the choice? I don’t mean why are you allowed to make the choice, but why is the onus on you to make it? Frankly, I personally think that Shawn is the one being hypocritical here, and if you decide to give up Jase – or “tone down” your emotional involvement with him – Shawn is going to be able to say “But it was Kris who decided to give up Jase!” And personally speaking, it sticks in my craw to enable hypocrisy to win.
c) “But my heart can not bear to let him go...” Where does Jase stand on all this? Is he jealous of your strong bond to Shawn? Is he demanding that he become your primary and that she slip into second place?

Shawn started out having problems accepting your polyamory. [I may well be being unfair to her: maybe she was upset with your having an affair behind her back... which I can fully empathise with.] Later it seems that she embraced it for herself and to her own advantage (her relationship with Rose)... but not completely. She’s still lugging around that jealousy. But let’s repeat that first sentence: “Shawn started out having problems accepting your polyamory.” She changed. So she has the capacity to change. Don’t give up hope.

Talk fully and honestly with Shawn. Tell her that your love for Jase doesn’t threaten your love for her: that Jase isn’t about to oust her from your heart, or relegate her to second place. (DON’T say this unless it’s true!) Personally, I think that it might be a good idea to ask her to read the responses you’ve been getting here, so that she’ll be able to consider the whole thing from outsiders’ points of view... but you know her better (some people wig out when they find out that their emotional lives have been aired) and will have to make that decision yourself.

Finally, a question for you (and you don’t have to be honest with me, but be honest with yourself): If Shawn’s bond with Rose were so strong that it became another primary [primary, secondary, terciary... why can’t we just put no limits at all on Love???], would you have trouble dealing with that? (Or might it give you “bargaining power” in your attempt to get her to accept your bond with Jase?) Imagine giving up Jase and then finding that Rose becomes as important to Shawn as you are...

I hope that it works out for you... but expect rocky roads. Not all the World is asphalted. (Thank Goodness!)

A polyamory hug,
J

p.s. Having typed all the above out at home, I find that you've had some replies since the last time that I was on-line. I have some questions (I'm new to the terminology): What are NRE and unicorns?
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And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
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I'd rather have a broken heart / Than have a heart of stone.
- from "Boundless Love (A Polyamory Song)" by Jimmy Hollis i Dickson
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFarFromRight View Post
. I have some questions (I'm new to the terminology): What are NRE and unicorns?
NRE: new relationship energy, limerance, infatuation

Unicorn: usually, a bisexual female interested in a relationship with an established couple, who will love and lust for both of the couple equally.
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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

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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