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  #21  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:29 PM
jryyc1 jryyc1 is offline
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Oy, now people in this thread are challenging what I'm doing/done. Thanks, that's just what I need. Not. Let s/he who is without sin cast that first stone. There is NO exact science to how polyamory is done, and I'm in my own process.

Having fuck buddies/sexually open relationship (which str8 poly's seem to call "swinging," a word I find strange and linked to the 60s, but to each their own) has been OK with my husband. He has, however, always wanted a "don't ask/don't tell" situation. I'm aware that this is very common in the gay open-relationship world.

If you read my original post, you see that the intent when I met my boyfriend was NOT to fall in love with the guy; it was supposed to be a quick fuck. Alas, the chemistry between my boyfriend and me has led to more than that. I'm not here to be judged for that. Believe me, I'm getting enough judgement from my husband.

My exposure to "polyamory" has been through reading The Ethical Slut. I've tried to get my husband to study it, too. I know many people on this site aren't crazy about that book, but it resonates for me. Husband is starting to read it, but recently called it "propoganda," so there's obviously work ahead.

Because of Ethical Slut I began to realize that I could have more meaningful experiences with my fuck buddies, and as that happened I began trying to be more and more transparent with my husband.

When I introduced my husband to my boyfriend, the boyfriend and I were just beginning to realize that we were falling for each other for more than sex. So I believe I have done my best to be transparent with my husband about the boyfriend relationship. Husband seemed ok to call it "friends with benefits," which is another common gay-world term.

To me, that term also should work for us, and maybe still does. And as has been written, it's great to love your friends, and yes, love has many meanings. But "boyfriend" is cleaner, and really describes what's going on, at least for me. Boyfriend and I are, likely, in the "honeymoon" phase of knowing each other, which doesn't make any of this easier.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend's relationship with HIS husband seems to be so clean and easy, and his husband 100% supports him having a secondary relationship with me. But boyfriend is also pushing back at me...saying he doesn't want to be a homewrecker or forced into connecting with me in secret (which, btw, is not even a consideration for me) if my husband doesn't begin to accept the fact that I am living in polyamory. Ugh.

Ultimately, there is only one acceptible outcome in my view: that my husband somehow comes up to speed on the fact that I am able to continue as his husband, loving him fully while loving another man in the uniqueness of that secondary relationship, and that the two are not mutually exclusive.

How to get there, preferrably with relative speed, is the challenge.
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyAce View Post
Ok, i know i'm new here, but isn't anyone else having an issue with jryyc1 having a boyfriend before discussing this with his husband?
JohnyAce,

Jryyc1 described his relationship agreement as sexually non-monogamous but socially monogamous -- as these patterns are sometimes called. Had Jryyc1 described his relationship agreement as both socially and sexually monogamous, I personally would think and feel quite differently about his getting involved with someone else without talking with his husband about it.

Jryyc1 described a process of ... essentially..., falling in love quite unexpectedly with a "fuckbuddy" -- a sexual partner. Having outside sexual partners was an acceptable thing in the relationship. The falling in love part was an unexpected "accident," so to speak. And since that unexpected accident happened, Jryyx1 has simply been honest with his husband about what had happened, and let his husband know that he doesn't wish to sever his relationship with this other guy.

That all seems fair to me, really.

===

Now I want to say a few words about "fuckbuddies".

I do not believe sex is a form of "casual" recreation like shooting hoops or going bowling or going fishing.... And yet many people want to treat it as if it were a casual sport, a trivial play thing that doesn't and mustn't include our deepest, most soulful depths. (I'm at a loss to name it, since I can so easly be misconstrued. -- our soul, as folks have traditionally called it, our psyche, our most inward true and whole being....)

Nor am I an old fashioned prude who thinks one must essentially marry (monogamously or even polyamorously) anyone or everyone with whom one engages in sexual play. Sex may be "play" but it is serious play. Let's just say that it is always profound play -- whether or not we KNOW that this is so while we're engaging in it. Intense physical intimacy simply IS a form of "spiritual" intimacy; the soul and the psyche and the heart are always fully engaged -- whether we know it or not, whether we're conscious of it or not.

We are never half a person. We are always a whole person, and when we get under or on the sheets with someone, we're a soul encountering a soul. Even if we treat it as if we're just trivial pleasure machines.... We are NOT trivial pleasure machines. We're whole beings with hearts, hurts, wants, needs -- souls.

So when Jryyc1 and his "fuckbuddy" found themselves, rather unexpectedly, encountering a "soul" dimention in their fuckbudy-ing, I think to myself! Oh, thank the Goddess!! (Or goddesses, or whatever.) This means they're on a journey toward conscious wholeness, the realization of the true power of touch and encounter, and of sex.

If they keep it up, and I hope they do, they'll soon lose all interest in "fuckbuddies". I certainly have! I'd rather have lovers, and have the love part of the term "lovers" be bright and real and known to me. I don't think all loverly relationships have to be a sort of marriage. I don't think every loverly relationship has to last for years and years in order for it to be real, valid, nourishing, healing.... I have no problem with even one night encounters. Duration has little to do with the power of this magic -- But most good things like to continue, somehow.

If sex and touch can have the power to set our essential, innermost essence ablaze with startling wonderment-warmth, we should treat it as sacred. And, really, all this means is that we are treating others and ourselves as sacred. As whole. As holy. (And I use 'holy' here in a very non-traditional, non-religious way -- but only 'holy' suffices.)
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Last edited by River; 09-24-2009 at 03:02 PM.
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2009, 04:58 PM
jryyc1 jryyc1 is offline
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Thanks River. Helpful. Your earlier thoughts about "does he truly know I love him" and your comments about fuck buddies and lovers (above) are really powerful.

A lot of things going on here. My husband wanders quite long-faced through the days right now. That's hard. It pulls me down, too (we both work from home offices). He IS reaching out to some friends who, perhaps, have navigated similar waters. Unfortunately they're out-of-country for a couple of weeks, but hopefully that will eventually help.

I am reaching out too--lunch yesterday with a very open-relationship friend (past "friend with benefits" and maybe resumed in the future) and got some good insight from him. Coffee today with a friend who's in a 3-way relationship...strangely facing a bit of judgement from him, but I value his wisdom.

Then date-night tonight with my boyfriend. This will be a huge test, for sure. My husband is well aware of where I'll be. I believe that I must simply continue to live and act as normally as possible--and that includes building a closer friendship with my boyfriend. After all, the word "friend" is part of boyfriend. Big goal tonight is for boyfriend and me NOT to wallow in the problem, but just hang out and enjoy, fuck if we feel like it, or just eat pizza if we don't.

I'm going to dig through the threads of this site and try to find more info on people who have struggled, and eventually succeeded in accepting/celebrating polyamory, from my HUSBAND's viewpoint. I'm sure some of them must be on here. I realize it must be much easier for me, since I'm the one who tumbled into a secondary relationship.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jryyc1 View Post
My husband wanders quite long-faced through the days right now. That's hard. It pulls me down, too (we both work from home offices). He IS reaching out to some friends who, perhaps, have navigated similar waters. Unfortunately they're out-of-country for a couple of weeks, but hopefully that will eventually help.
Jryyc1,

Can we at least give you a fictitious name, a psudonym? It's hard calling you Jryyc1 while being so intimate -- and, anyway, I like you.

I don't know how good and open communication is between you and your husband. But I fear that unless the two of you can now deepen in trust, in love, in faith in one another, in enthusiasm about the challenges you are collaborators in facing..., things could snap, could fall apart.

I urge you to be at your best, and give your best, with your husband at this time -- and to encourage and support his best.

Your old relationship patterns should be understood as in great flux. Each day will have to be new, and on its own terms. You're both rushing headlong into the unknown. You're both greatly challenged by this -- and somehow you have to get to a place in which you are both treating each other as allies and collaborators and mutual support in these changes and challenges you're facing/entering.

Yes, spend time with your new boyfriend -- but, if he will welcome it, spend yet more time with your husband. Do everything you can to communicate--and demonstrate--to your husband that you are 120% there for him, that you do not intend to leave him, that you want to grow with him, ... whatever is TRUE about the love you have with him. Let him know -- if it is true -- that the two of you are solid. That he rocks your world. Provide him with no reasons to feel threatened or abandoned. Moreso, encourage him to TALK about, and to feel -- to express his feelings, his insecurities, his fears.... Help him to open up to all of that, and welcome it all, and in doing so put the expressed fears to rest in a comfortable and safe place that the two of you creatively manifest together. Ritualize it, if necessary. Make a ritual up -- be silly, if necessary. PLAY! Serious play.

Again, WELCOME his expressions of fear or insecurity regards your caring for this other man. Do not defend against these expressions of feeling. Do not feel threatened or hurt by what is unreal in these expressions. Look deeply, with tenderness, into the situation, his pain, his fear..., and empathise. Open your heart to it all. And LOVE HIM in it, as this.

It is not only he who is being challenged, and will be challenged, by these transformations and potential transformations. You will have to go through your own intense challenges. You may find that you have some resentment toward him for this or that. Perhaps you resent the lack of erotic intensity in your relationship? (Or...?) If this sort of thing goes unexpressed it can build up and grow toxic. But if the two of you can become allies in these challenges, collaborators in mutual healing, you'll be amazed at what can happen! New, and bigger joys than you may imagine. Bigger love than you could dream.
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  #25  
Old 09-24-2009, 06:11 PM
jryyc1 jryyc1 is offline
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Thanks River. You've obviously been through a lot of thought on all this in the past. Truly appreciated.

Just call me JR if that's easier.

My husband is a quiet guy; a processor. That makes things like this very challenging...he has to collect information, process it, and then make his decisions. It's hard to get him to process on-the-fly, which is what I'm good at.

I'm trying to behave as normally as possible, including hugs, sleeping-snuggling, little kisses--things we've always done. We spend TONS of time together, just like always. He, of course, is questioning, "but is it quality time?" However, I sense he suddenly thinks those things are patronizing. He's a very deep person, and does not wear his heart on his sleeve. I'm the exact opposite.

I'm ridiculously scared. In some ways I feel I've done irreparable damage to our relationship, and that my belief in openness and honesty has totally backfired. It makes me wonder if I can ever feel safe again, too.

An easy answer from friends is likely to be, "just dump your boyfriend." But that wouldn't negate the fact that I've learned I can have intense feelings for more than one person, call it love. Plus, unless my husband gets his head and heart around all of this, there will forever be his fear that every man I meet is a potential threat.

I don't want threats. I want a husband, and "friends with benefits," and yes, a boyfriend for as long as he and I choose to spend time together.

River, your quote "whatever is TRUE," is really confusing. At a time like this, it seems the mind begins to play tricks, perhaps in its own effort to mitigate damage. I'm doing my best to breathe, focus, keep my job going, thrive, and love everyone...including myself.

Last edited by jryyc1; 09-24-2009 at 06:13 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #26  
Old 09-24-2009, 06:30 PM
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I'll call you JeRY, until you urge me otherwise. Why? I was JRM in here for a while, and now I'm just River, but it'll take time for that to settle without confusing folks -- and they may mistake JR ... bla bla bla....

It isn't that I've thought about all of that so much as that I've lived my way through it, and learned from the living of it. I LOVE sex, but for me sex is much less important than loving and being loved. Sex WITH love is GREAT! Bla bla bla.

It may be that you don't want to get down and dirty on a public forum, so I'm happy to offer to assist off-forum, if you'd like. But there are parts of all of this stuff that hasn't been laid bare in here, I'm sure. For example, your description of your husband and you as having almost no sexual life together, his lack of libido/eros charge (apparently?).... And your description of yourself as much more interested in sex.

But, deep down, I think what you want is LOVING sex -- not just sex. And I wouldn't be surprised if there were not, somewhere in your psyche, some resentment toward your husband for his lack of ... what? erotic enthusiasm -- toward you?

I may be way off the mark ... but, honey, he's being dragged over the coals, and your turn's gotta be not so far behind. That's just how this shit works. I know -- I've been married twice -- for a cumulative of almost twenty years! (though at different times!).
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:35 PM
jryyc1 jryyc1 is offline
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Hey River--will contact you privately.

Meanwhile to anyone else who's following this thread: Husband and I had a huge, powerful, no-holds-barred conversation today. Much is being sorted, and will continue to be sorted for a long time to come (a lifetime, perhaps). But for now, I feel we have stepped back from the precipice.

Will update publicly when there's something to tell. Thanks to all.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:47 PM
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JeRY,

Have just now sent reply to your private message. Please confirm receipt. Uncertain of technical glitch with software.... Take your time to reply, otherwise.

River
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  #29  
Old 09-25-2009, 06:30 AM
JonnyAce JonnyAce is offline
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JeRy I apologize if you thought i was being judgmental, I was in no way trying to be. I obviously misunderstood the series of events you described, most likely b'c I work nights, and was very sleepy when i read your post. (not that that is any excuse) I'm very happy to hear that you and your husband had a good long talk, and that you have made progress. Again I apologize, as I think this forum should be a place of support, not judgment.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Now I want to say a few words about "fuckbuddies".

I do not believe sex is a form of "casual" recreation like shooting hoops or going bowling or going fishing.... And yet many people want to treat it as if it were a casual sport, a trivial play thing that doesn't and mustn't include our deepest, most soulful depths. (I'm at a loss to name it, since I can so easly be misconstrued. -- our soul, as folks have traditionally called it, our psyche, our most inward true and whole being....)

Nor am I an old fashioned prude who thinks one must essentially marry (monogamously or even polyamorously) anyone or everyone with whom one engages in sexual play. Sex may be "play" but it is serious play. Let's just say that it is always profound play -- whether or not we KNOW that this is so while we're engaging in it. Intense physical intimacy simply IS a form of "spiritual" intimacy; the soul and the psyche and the heart are always fully engaged -- whether we know it or not, whether we're conscious of it or not.

We are never half a person. We are always a whole person, and when we get under or on the sheets with someone, we're a soul encountering a soul. Even if we treat it as if we're just trivial pleasure machines.... We are NOT trivial pleasure machines. We're whole beings with hearts, hurts, wants, needs -- souls.

So when Jryyc1 and his "fuckbuddy" found themselves, rather unexpectedly, encountering a "soul" dimention in their fuckbudy-ing, I think to myself! Oh, thank the Goddess!! (Or goddesses, or whatever.) This means they're on a journey toward conscious wholeness, the realization of the true power of touch and encounter, and of sex.

If they keep it up, and I hope they do, they'll soon lose all interest in "fuckbuddies". I certainly have! I'd rather have lovers, and have the love part of the term "lovers" be bright and real and known to me. I don't think all loverly relationships have to be a sort of marriage. I don't think every loverly relationship has to last for years and years in order for it to be real, valid, nourishing, healing.... I have no problem with even one night encounters. Duration has little to do with the power of this magic -- But most good things like to continue, somehow.

If sex and touch can have the power to set our essential, innermost essence ablaze with startling wonderment-warmth, we should treat it as sacred. And, really, all this means is that we are treating others and ourselves as sacred. As whole. As holy. (And I use 'holy' here in a very non-traditional, non-religious way -- but only 'holy' suffices.)
This is beautifully said River. I read it to my husband specifically as it resonates with our journey from "swinging" (I could talk a lot about this term and all it entails and have many times on here... why do you think I am not one any more )to "open" to "poly." Sex is very much a spiritual and soul connecting thing. There can be damage done when we are not aware of that. The media doesn't help as it promotes a casual approach to sex and creates sex objects for us. Thank you for this beautiful piece!

Having said that I realize it is very much a part of male gay culture to have "fuck buddies." The fact that it is not straight culture does indeed make it slightly different, although I know plenty of straight people in marriages where they do the same thing. It can be called "swinging"... but is also called "open" in some circles.

I find it fascinating that when I identified as Lesbian the culture tended to be opposite to our male counter parts in the form of "Lesbian bed death." It was not okay to be with others, but was totally okay to be co-dependent and miserable for the most part, until another came along and the uhaul was rented all over again.

Anyway, I digress....
I feel for you jryy1, I hear your fear in your posts. This is really big!
I know you are leaving the forums for now and I can understand that. I am sure that talking with River will be helpful. You seemed to have developed a rapport with him. Please remember that you are not alone in this. Gay, straight, whatever,....there are many of us that have done major processing and had our lives up turned dramatically. Some long term relationships have ended and some have grown stronger and have been recharged. I hope the latter is the case for you. But, what will be will be. One thing is for sure and that is that you will know yourself better and love yourself more and will reach a depth that you have only just begun to touch on. That is very scary, very real and incredible at the same time.

Good luck on your journey. I certainly look forward to hearing your news should you see fit to give it. If you think you could benefit from our wisdom again I am sure you will ask for our opinions when the moment arises.
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