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  #1  
Old 09-29-2009, 08:27 AM
live4themusic live4themusic is offline
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Default My belief in polyamory may have destroyed the best relationship i have ever had.

I am coming here for help because I am pretty distraught over this situation. I have been seeing this girl (for the sake of this post, I will call her Mary) for about 5 months. I love her very much, and I believe she loves me as well.

We just started seeing a relationship counselor 2 weeks ago, because of our fighting and our relationship issues. The reason she gave me for not being able to remain in a relationship with me is the possibility that I might want to see other girls (which we talked about in the last appointment).

I have never cheated on her, or even expressed any interest in another girl as long as I have been with Mary. I did sleep with another girl while I was out of town within a month of dating, when it was still an open relationship. We broke up for a day, and I told her I would be willing to commit to not having sex with anyone else unless she was comfortable with the situation and I had her approval, and also, it was within the context of a romantic interest.

I haven't had any prospects in anyone I would be even interested in casually dating since then. In fact, it's extremely rare for me to connect with anyone the way I do with her. Rare as in, I've really only been in 2 other semi-serious relationships, and neither of those seemed as mature to me as my relationship with Mary has. I have a lot of points of compatibility that are important to me that are rare for anyone to meet.

Nevertheless, I have a hard time deciding that I could close myself off to the possibility of loving someone else just because I love Mary. I've told her this has nothing to do with her, that it's just the way I believe in relationships. She has told me she's not comfortable with this and we broke up today because of it.

I am having a really hard time accepting this situation. Should I compromise my beliefs in polyamorous potential in order to mend my relationship with Mary, or would that just be setting us up for disaster down the line? Should I just get over her and hope that I might one day meet someone else I could love as much as I love her (which at this point seems kind of hopeless to me)?

Please help me out because I don't know anyone who shares my beliefs in polyamory, and it seems like everyone my age in my part of the world is just really immature as far as relationships and emotions are concerned.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:45 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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It sounds like you can eithr have pain now or pain in the future. I have noticed that since monogamy is assumed, it is more likely for someone to go from monogamy to polyamory. It is rare to go the opposite. (Though it does happen.) It sounds like you have tried to make it work so she could be comfortable with the idea without putting too much pressure. However, it sounds like she doesn't like the long term concept.

All i can suggest is that you can try to get her to check out polyamory with an open mind. Maybe chat on a forum or find a good book. But if she thinks she will be unhappy, it may be best if it goes no further than it has. You are not limiting your love. She is just drawing a boundary and limiting hers.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:34 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by live4themusic View Post
I am having a really hard time accepting this situation. Should I compromise my beliefs in polyamorous potential in order to mend my relationship with Mary, or would that just be setting us up for disaster down the line? Should I just get over her and hope that I might one day meet someone else I could love as much as I love her (which at this point seems kind of hopeless to me)?

.
Going against your nature is definitely a road to disaster and more than one broken heart down the line. Do not deny your heart! Get over her in a romantic sense but if there was a good friendship there it would be worth salvaging wouldn't it?

Relationships don't have to be all or nothing. Lots of people survive break-ups and remain friends. Of course there are others that end peacefully and just drift apart and then others that are transformed from love to hate.

If she will be living in fear of even the possibility for you falling in love with someone else, it will be next to impossible for her to move forward. Make sure she is honest with herself when the moment of what next comes up. If she denies her heart disaster will also likely follow and you both could be a lot deeper in love.

Take care
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 10-09-2009 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:43 PM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
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BrotherMan, you have to be true to yourself. Mary has to be true to herself.

If you are truly poly-oriented (and only you can know this), and she truly cannot accept that aspect of who you are (and only she can know that), the choice becomes then, how much of yourself are you willing to repress for the sake of this relationship.

I cannot pretend to know what you should do, but I can say what I think I would do in that situation. I would take my broken heart and sadly walk away. I choose to be fully who I am, and I want my loved ones to be fully who they are, whether we are together or apart.

Whatever you decide, I wish both you and Mary the very best.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:17 PM
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greenearthal greenearthal is offline
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It sounds like she is truly, unfailingly monogamous. It also sounds like you have been extremely mature and open about your inclinations and desires (which are polyamorous).

So it sounds like the only place where you can exist romantically is back where you were, in a defacto monogamous relationship with you being open and honest about your polyamorous beliefs.

So, the real question is how long do you think you could be happy in a defacto monogamous relationship. Maybe you love her so much that you would actually be happy being a "polyamorous martyr" of sorts. Willing to be defacto monogamous for the love of a woman, but still being a polyamorous person and espousing a belief in polyamory. Or maybe you would grow bitter with that over time. Only you can really figure that out.

I think a lot of us can feel your pain. There are many people here who, to varying degrees, relate to being surrounded by poly intolerance. Maybe you feel so strongly about polyamory that you eventually want to live in Seattle or San Francisco or some other community where poly-friendly attitudes are easier to find.

Again, only you can tell you how strongly you feel in one direction or another.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:25 PM
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I am having a really hard time accepting this situation. Should I compromise my beliefs in polyamorous potential in order to mend my relationship with Mary, or would that just be setting us up for disaster down the line? Should I just get over her and hope that I might one day meet someone else I could love as much as I love her (which at this point seems kind of hopeless to me)?

I feel compelled to respond. I compromised my beliefs for my now husband 11 years ago. It HAS been a disaster. I love him, he loves me. We have children and we're both great parents. But in giving up such an integral part of myself I lost something that made me the vibrant woman he fell in love with. Here we are 11 years later in counseling, wondering if we can salvage our relationship and step one was me accepting that I CAN NOT be a monogomous person in my mind just because he wants me to.

It wasn't enough for him that I agreed not to practice poly relationships, he wanted me to stop FEELING that they are ok, BELIEVING that they are ok. I couldn't-so I quit talking about it and ultimately quit talking about a lot of things-because my views on LOTS of topics were affected by the poly beliefs I hold and vice versa.

Ultimately it has caused resentment. Now he's stuck deciding if he can deal with the REAL me and we already have 11 years of responsibilities behind us-so it's not as easy a break if he decides he can't.

I would advise that it's NEVER a good idea to compromise anything that is integral to your personality in order to be with someone. Sometimes love IS NOT enough. You can love someone and not BE with them and sometimes that is preferable!
Compromises should be limited to things that don't destroy your basic self. If you start breaking down your basic self you are also destroying the person that the other person loves and it's just one huge boiling disaster!
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:18 AM
live4themusic live4themusic is offline
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Thanks to everyone for their input.

I have gotten more comfortable with the situation and am hoping we are going to be able to remain friends for right now at least.

I have considered myself polyamorous for the past 4 years, but never actually put it to practice, i've never dated more than 1 person at a time. But it's still the principle of it for me. I don't know if I could give up on that possibility.. that nagging suspicion, that maybe, MAYBE i'll meet someone else who I love the very same way I already love this person I'm already with. Considering I have only felt romantic love 3 times in my life, and when I am already with one girl I end up spending so much of my time with her I am partially closed off from the rest of the world, it seems unlikely I would meet someone else I might be interested in seriously while in an already serious relationship.

Now, sex, that's a COMPLETELY different matter. I am much more likely to feel a strong sexual connection with a much greater scope of women. At the same time, that's something I can ignore if I'm happy in a relationship and focus on pleasing and being pleased by the person (or people if it ever came to it) in the relationship I am in.

I'm seriously considering making the first move, offering up my polyamorous ideals for another chance at a relationship. But while I'm single again for now I'm determined to enjoy some casual sex at the moment, while I make sure I'm completely ready to make this kind of commitment.


LovingRadiance, just out of curiousity, what exactly was the start of the discontent between you and your husband? I mean what brought you to counseling in the first place? What convinced you to try a sexually and romantically exclusive relationship? Do you think if you had stood your ground then you would have been able to stay with your now-husband in a nonmonogamous relationship? Was the happiness you've enjoyed with him worth the potential happiness with other people you may have missed out on?

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I may still have to learn the lesson you've learned at the cost of 11 years of your life the hard way though. Like I said I'm still deciding, and am determine at least to take advantage of the situation to indulge my sexual wild side, but I'm seriously thinking I could very well be happy in a permanent monogamous relationship.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:32 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by live4themusic View Post
LovingRadiance, just out of curiousity, what exactly was the start of the discontent between you and your husband? I mean what brought you to counseling in the first place? What convinced you to try a sexually and romantically exclusive relationship? Do you think if you had stood your ground then you would have been able to stay with your now-husband in a nonmonogamous relationship? Was the happiness you've enjoyed with him worth the potential happiness with other people you may have missed out on?

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I may still have to learn the lesson you've learned at the cost of 11 years of your life the hard way though. Like I said I'm still deciding, and am determine at least to take advantage of the situation to indulge my sexual wild side, but I'm seriously thinking I could very well be happy in a permanent monogamous relationship.
Whew-lot of questions. Bare with me while i try to answer sensibly!

The START of discontent in our relationship... honestly it was there from the beginning in a way. In the beginning while I was honest about myself-he was in the midst of what ended up being a 9 year custody battle for his son. A child I love as well (and have ended up raising too). Having a polyamorous marriage would certainly not have helped him win that battle, but being married-ironically-did. So there was discontent there from the beginning-but it was "for a good cause" so to speak and there was so much more.
His ex was hooked on some heavy drugs (they both used during their 9 year relationship). She had a bad habit of selling herself for her drugs and he was emotionally very fragile when we got involved. I felt it was REASONABLE to "give him time" to get over his emotional issues. We have known each other for 21 years or so, we have been together 11, so I knew his situation, his son, his life etc before we got involved-and he knew mine reasonably well.
Unfortunately as I said-his custody battle ended up going 9 years into our marriage. He started "running away" to out of town jobs and anything at all to get away from the stress leaving me with his emotionally destoyed son. I love hte boy-but he needed serious psychological care-and I wasn't legally able to get it for him. The ex-wife tried to kidnap my kids (twice). A whole load of crap.
As years dragged on I did have an affair (about year 3) and then we seperated for a year.
Things have improved bits at a time in the years since. But the last straw leading to counseling was his inability to appropriately communicate-and my unwillingness to continue to subject myself to a relationship with someone who didn't respect and love me (or himself) enough to work on self improvement and getting over his past.
So we started counseling-which is amazingly changing his view on many things as he realizes how much of life he's missed out on while hiding from his own past.

I adore my husband-and no I wouldn't give up the good things we've experienced or have NOW. But I still think I would have been better off standing my ground then... I guess it's all .... perspective.
Anyway-I could have had a happy loving relationship with him even if I stood my ground, and I don't care about the possible loves I missed-because I don't know them. But I don't know that I could have lived with knowing I caused him to lose custody of his son to a drug addict who never could care for the boy... And I don't think he could have handled it at all. He just wasn't ready for that. He may not be still-time will tell. He has time to consider what he can or can't do and as I've told him-if he says "sorry honey I love you but I can't do this" then we will seperate as friends. I could never hate him. He will always have a treasured place in my heart whatever he decides.

I HOPE he finds that he CAN handle a poly-relationship. But I am not counting on it. Either way-I love him and always will. But I have to be fully honest about myself-to myself and everyone else as well. I am in fact fully honest about it to the people in my life as well. I don't broadcast that we HAVE a poly relationship-because really that would be a slap in the face for him while he's trying to get used to the idea. But everyone who knows me knows I am poly by nature. ....

did that answer your questions? I hope that helped some. I have had a heck of a confusing life and don't mind answering any questions-just don't always know HOW to express it all without writing a book!
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:28 AM
live4themusic live4themusic is offline
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As a matter of fact, that was a very helpful post. Thank you LovingRadiance

I still don't know my position on the matter, but it seems like we all have to find what we are comfortable with. Some people may be polyamorous by nature, most of us may be monoamorous by nature. Maybe there is also an in between. Maybe I can find comfort in a monogamous relationship, and maybe Mary can find comfort in a polyamorous relationship, if we set the right boundaries.

While I think I could be comfortable in any kind of poly relationship, I think the one the resonates most strongly with me is where the entire relationship is treated as one cohesive unit, which is supported by the individual relationships within it rather than supporting them. I guess what I mean is, I could see myself in a relationship with 2 other people, if both of them also were comfortable and wanted a relationship with each other. If a girl I was involved with wanted to bring a guy into a relationship, for example, I would really feel most comfortable if it was a guy I could see myself loving as well (although I am 99% not sexually attracted to men, I would definitely think myself capable of expressing affection and love with them in nonsexual ways -- if it was one of the rare men I would even consider some limited sexual relationship with possible then even better). Similarly, if I was in a relationship, I would feel most comfortable bringing another girl into it if my current partner(s) also felt the same way about them.

So I'm hoping I can offer the following concession: I would be willing to get back with Mary in for all intensive purposes a monogamous relationship with a couple caveats: if either of us meet someone we believe we would both be capable of experiencing love with we discuss the interest amongst ourselves first. After both of us have come into contact with the person of interest we could consider dating them individually or as a couple if we are both interested in that person. Otherwise, neither of us will act on any interest in anyone else outside the relationship at any point.

Does this sound reasonable? Does this sound like the kind of thing a primarily monogamous person would be capable of? Obviously I will have to ask her this, but it seems to me that it's a fair agreement on my part because if she is not also interested in whoever I'm interested, all she has to do is tell me and I won't pursue them.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:41 AM
JonnyAce JonnyAce is offline
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"if she is not also interested in whoever I'm interested, all she has to do is tell me and I won't pursue them. "

i think the one problem with this concession, is that if she truly is wired monogamously, then she might not even allow herself to be interested in someone else, so you might get stuck where she's constantly turning down prospective partners.
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