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Old 03-01-2011, 05:43 PM
detritus's Avatar
detritus detritus is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 34
Default Did your comfort with poly come gradually or in an epiphany?

For those of you that struggled to come to terms with polyamory, particularly those opening up an existing mono relationship, did your comfort with it come gradually or all at once in an epiphany kind of moment?

I had a really interesting experience a couple weeks ago watching The Kids are All Right (warning spoiler alert). I'd really been struggling with insecurity and fear after my husband and I opened up our relationship a couple months ago. Even though we'd talked a lot about and and I was intellectually comfortable with the concept, when faced with the reality of him being with other women I experience a lot of crazy-making emotions. Anyway, back to the movie.

In seeing a lesbian couple composed of two very different women on screen, I somehow finally "got" that it's possible to be attractive as a woman in different ways. (Warning feminist rant forthcoming) I often feel like we are bombarded in the media with the message that there is only one way to be an attractive woman--long hair, thin, big boobs, graceful, feminine, etc, etc. And I'd been feeling insecure about my husband's new dates because it felt like he was saying they measured up to that ideal better than I did. There was something about that movie that made me truly realize that he could be attracted to two different women for totally unique reasons. It probably wouldn't have taken me that long to come to that realization if he was dating a man, because it's easy to see how someone of the other gender can provide something you can't without it being at all a shortcoming of yours.

Helping that message along I think was seeing how Jules relationships with Nic and Paul were very different and both good for her in different ways (ignoring the cheating aspect for the moment). I really liked Paul and kind of wanted them to be a happy little triad in the end.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie, but I don't think it's particularly amazing or even poly-friendly. There was just something about the characters and story that told me something I really needed to hear in that moment. Since then, I've been surprisingly comfortable with my relationship. I'm not freaking out with he leaves on dates, I'm not obsessing about her, I'm not feeling really scared and stressed out. I had this epiphany moment where most of my fears were laid to rest and I can see clearly that I'm not going to be replaced and that my husband's interest in others is in no way a threat to his love for me.

Did other people who struggled with polyamory at first also come to grips with it suddenly? Can you also identify key moments like this? Or was it a more gradual process of relaxing boundaries and gaining confidence? I've often had these epiphany moments in my life when struggling emotionally--I wonder if it's just a trait I have or if this kind of journey is common.
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insecurity, new to poly, personal growth

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