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Old 02-18-2011, 02:37 AM
SallyJay SallyJay is offline
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Default Humbled & Enlightened

Hello all!

So this is my first experience with poly.

My husband and I swung (is that the right word?) with another married couple (L and S) a few weeks ago, and that event was bracketed by intense emotion on either side. Among the four of us excitement, nervousness, jealousy, lust, and communication abounded. It was so promising. Everyone was checking in with each other constantly, and we were all happy to be on this adventure together. Cue the sex.

Afterward, communication plummeted. Though I had a great conversation with L the next day, he was pretty silent after that. It was particularly stinging given how great he had communicated with me beforehand (mostly though phone and text). To make matters worse, my husband got swamped at work immediately after and told S he wouldn't be available to her for a few days. So both us ladies were feeling pretty rejected.

The nature of the relationships is this: My marriage is better than ever. Discussing poly has helped us work through TONS of issues in our marriage and with ourselves. Though it's been painful (and sometimes literally: my husband broke his hand punching a closet when I first broached the subject with him) we wouldn't change it for anything and would never go back to the way things were.

L and S are very close, almost co-dependent on each other. I don't use that label as a judgment; I think it's something they freely admit.

My husband and S have a FWB vibe going. They were *game* for this because of L and I, but genuinely like and respect each other and have had their own fun along the way.

L and I had a strong, immediate attraction to each other. We got caught up in the NRE, and forged a close emotional bond quickly.

In the aftermath of the bad post-sex communication, I tried to articulate to L that I needed to hear from him more often, and see him one-on-one occasionally. Though we had gone on one amazing date together before "the event", I started to get the sense that this was going to have to be a package deal with him and his wife and that he would not be available for a closer emotional relationship with me. To be fair, we had discussed what we wanted from this before and realized there may be some incompatibility, but we were blinded by the NRE, and brushed it aside.

So I broke things off with him last week when it became clear he could not meet my needs. After talking to his wife and trying to see his side of things, I decided to not be so rash and we decided to give it another shot. We were clearer with each other about what we wanted. However, I again got days of silence from him and I realized this truly wasn't going to be what I wanted, I broke it off again. Last night we had a very ugly exchange and now I'm very sad and confused. I know I made mistakes and am trying to figure out what it all means.

So, I'm starting to realize I'm in it for the emotional bond just as much, if not more than, the sex. I really want to learn from this experience, because I truly believe in polyamory and want to get better at it. It's been hard to switch from being in a relationship with one person to feeling like I'm in one with three. God, the exponential complications!

Basically, I feel humbled and enlightened and could truly use the support and wisdom of this community.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:44 AM
JenAgain JenAgain is offline
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Hi SallyJay.. and welcome!

I'm pretty new here myself, just started poking about the poly thing about 5 weeks ago. It's been an amazing, albeit stressful, and emotional journey!

I've had some of the same setbacks you have granted my OSO is a single male so that's one less person to have to work with. I had this idea of what I wanted in my head and when he wasn't ready to offer that to me, I wanted to give up.

The one thing that has been the most so far, is to try not have so many expectations. Take it a day at a time. Enjoy what you have today, not what you think you want tomorrow.

It doesn't make it a whole lot easier, but it does help with the let downs.

Good luck, and I hope you find some answers here! I did!
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:13 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Hi SallyJay. So this new relationship is hetero? You and L, your husband and S? Or is there supposed to be some girl on girl action between you and S as well? I dont know if everyone in your quad is straight, or bi, or what.

Package deals are the hardest thing to do in poly, imo. Each person needs to work out how attracted they are to each of the other 3. There is no guarantee that all 4 will equally love and desire all of the others.

My gf and I always get our own lovers. We have no desire to share a lover in any serious fashion. I know some married couples think that sharing a lover or another couple will reduce jealousy, but from what I've seen, it can actually increase it when feelings are not 100% reciprocal between all parties.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:34 PM
SallyJay SallyJay is offline
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Yes, sorry, I should have been clear. Both hetero marriages and hetero sex. The idea of a threesome between me and L and S has been floated, but I've been there before and it's not what I'm looking for right now.

Thanks for the words of wisdom. I think my expectations have been a little out of whack. Just looking for a happy medium between minimal and constant communication.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:09 PM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
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Hi, SallyJay. Welcome.

Sorry you're hitting some rough patches. Sounds like things were looking promising for a while.

But in all fairness, if the relationships y'all had mutally agreed to pursue were based on swinging, where the emphasis, generally speaking, is on sex and not on emotional connection, it's not surprising communication dropped off with your lover after that. The goal had been accomplished, and the "event" is passed.

And when the cloud of NRE lifted a little, your needs for communication and emotional connection came more to the forefront. That's perfectly okay. But you can't expect people to anticipate and meet needs you yourself had not fully realized, much less communicated clearly and negotiated. From the swing perspective, it sounds like everyone got what they asked for. It just turns out you needed something more.

You say there had been signals of incompatibility which y'all had disregarded due to NRE. Ouch. I hate when I do that; seems like I always regret it later. So okay, you made the decision to "cross that bridge when we come to it." And when you got to the bridge, it didn't span the river. Rats. It goes that way sometimes. Sorry.

So your new lover couldn't or wouldn't meet your needs. Doesn't make him a bad guy, just the wrong guy for you in an ongoing romance. Just as it doesn't make you the villain, either, for signing on to swing and learning you need polyamory instead.

My advice to you is to apologize to him for your part of the ugly exchange, acknowledge and own your part of the problem, thank him and his wife for a wonderful adventure, and leave it at that.

Take some time to mull it all over. There are a lot of valuable lessons you can draw from this experience. Before you take another shot at romance, have a good long look inside yourself and get as clear an idea as possible about your real wants, needs, and desires. So that you have a better chance of finding the right partner(s) next time.

Good luck to you as you move forward. Be strong, SisterWoman. Better days are coming.

Last edited by Fidelia; 02-18-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:48 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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The first thing that comes to my mind when I read your initial post is the issue of distinguishing between needs and wants. If you look at those things you say your need, is there anything that is actually more of a want? Maybe getting clear about that, and what you would be willing not to have, would help in handling the dynamics. I don't know why, but that's what stands out to me regarding your situation.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2011, 06:53 PM
SallyJay SallyJay is offline
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Good point, nycindie (and I love your tagline, BTW). I've realized that some communication is a definite need for me. I can't just go weeks or even a long stretch of days without talking to someone with whom I'm involved. It's good to realize that and know to be up front about it next time.

There has been more to my story since I last posted here. To sum up, S found out that L had not been straight up with her about the nature of his earlier communication with me; that missing piece had led to her not having a full picture about his and my relationship. I think she understands now a bit more why I was so upset at the communication drop off.

We're all somewhat shell shocked at this point, but still talking. Getting some good perspective.
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