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Old 10-01-2009, 01:28 PM
moonandstars moonandstars is offline
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I am new on this forum and just need some feedback and maybe new reflections. Tell me if you had similar experiences. i read some of the threads, and found out that beginners DO have problems. This is part of my story, and it is very long, sorry and thank for reading through it anyways :-)
I am finding myself thinking and thinking more amd more about my husband's way of being/becoming polyamorous. We are both very new to this, i.e. my husband gave me a book introduction as a discussion basis so I would understand what he wants to live. I read and after some discussions did not find it difficult to agree to this since the values expressed (openness, responsibility, communication, equality, loyalty) are a 100% mine. In practice however it is very different for me.
Just to get the picture: we have been married for 5 years and have two kids 2 and 3 years old - i think it is important to know the family situation in order to understand) and it is right, the emotional and sexual side of our relationship has cooled down a bit, which for me is not very nice, but understandable, since we are so busy with our small kids and the new house. (something that can and needs to be revived anyways).
Well, shorty after we had made up our minds to accept out marriage love, he revealed to me that his new love is his ex-girlfriend, who had always been a friend of the family. He had fallen back in love with her already before we had discussed the whole concept of polyamory. It took me about two days to not only adapt to the new polyamourous situation, but also to accept that this family's friend role has changed. i emailed her that although i accept the situation i am not yet ready to talk to her directly (she lives not close by anyways). I am defintely not ready for a meeting with all of us. (what for i wonder anyways- there are still to many issues between me and my husband - not her problem).
The problem I experience with my husband is that i really feel rushed into this. Whenever I have a problem with this new situation, I have the impression that it is my fault if the polyamory lifestyle does not work. I actually do not mind if it works or not, because I have the feeling that I am a real MONO woman (who knows what the future brings), but it really hurts when he tells me, that this does not work because I am not ready for it, and that I don't try hard enough and if he gets bitter and unhappy in a couple of years it will all be my fault (he doesn't say this literally like this, but the message is, your opposition makes me unhappy and i can't guarantee a happy marriage like this) . I have pushed him back onto the polyamourous road trying to make him understand that this radical change needs time for me, but that even though i have difficult times I do accept it.
What really makes it difficult for me is the fact that polyamory is about equality and responsibility in my eyes. I have told him, that given my work schedule, the children, his workschedules and administrational and household tasks, I am happy if I can make our relationship work (to be honest we it did suffer with all the work,and kids and house stuff), i would not even dare think of a second one (i am speaking purely timewise). If he can, good for him. The point is that I felt so lonely and neglected with the rest of the duties, that I did not see that free and equal relationship anymore. During my marriage and having become a mother, I grew into being the family organizer and communicator, a role which is fine for me but which is not the ideal I would have sought ten years ago. I got married late, had kids late, and my friends often make jokes about my freedom loving and communicative nature. Now, I have learnt that even in 2009 it is still a woman's work to be responsible for all the little things that come along in a four person family (laundry, shopping, paper work, kids schedules). And then all of a sudden he opens up this enormous perspective of equality and freedom, I said yes, knowing that I have to do my part of dealing with jealousy, and he had to do his part - giving me time to breathe by being more concerned about family stuff (it sounds so stupid, but i mean if you don't have a cleaning lady, bathrooms need to be cleaned even if you are not a maniac, and growing kids need new shoes at least twice a year - and don't forget about all the attention they need).
After some talking he finally understood that my problem is only partly about jealousy, but mainly about what I get out of our relationship/marriage even without polyamory.
So for me it is possible, but i have the impression he is having as many problems with this new life as I do (or even more), but assumed that it would all go by itself. I feel like I dont have the right to have problems with it and that he does not see his, because he wants that lifestyle anyways, so it is not his job to adapt to it. I guess he did not see the backfire thing. And it is not (anymore) about negoiting this for that, but about roles that are contradictory to me and I can't live both. For him there is only black or white: If i accept it, it means that i can't have problems with it. He doesn't want to deal with my worries and fears (well, he does, but it always ends up in "Now, tell me if I can see her YES or NO! I will respect your wish). My wish is that he just understands my life (two kids, a husband who travels, leaves at 7 comes home at 7 when things go fine, my own job etc.). Although I sometimes do get frustrated about this, I really appreciate my life, since all the "obligations" are my choice and I love my job, my family,my friends, my neighborhood etc.
So this is part of the story. Another part is that I need some explanation about the openness and communication. I have understood that polyamorous people love communicating and are open to other people, no matter if they are (potential) lovers or not. Now given the difference between mine and my husband's temperaments (I am a communicating extrovert, whereas he is a listening introvert) I can accept that he needs time to warm up with new people, but I just don't understand, why he finds it so hard to talk to my parents (different language, but both sides speak the other's language) or to our au pair girl or my friends (all communication goes through me). If this is about exploring people and lives, they are just there in front of him. I don't even ask him to give up that ex-girlfriend, but be open to who is there anyways. well, there is progress, but there is so much contradiction, that i sometimes wonder what it really is about.
So all in all, the whole polyamory has brought light into our relationship and lifestyle, but so far i can't help myself but see it as some sort of therapy to wake us/him up and learn what equality, responsibility and communication really is about. If it helps that is great. So on this forum i am not actually looking for advice but just to see if we as beginners are taking normal (quite unstable) steps and if there are perspectives that could open up a new helpful vision or similar experiences. Thanks for any comment. And if my husband is on the same forum, Hi dear, you must have recognized us, I think I did not say anything that I did not say to you, did I? I just need some external stabilization.

thanks you for ideas and reflections
moonandstars
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2009, 01:49 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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I think this is a good forum for airing out how you feel and trying to get other perspectives. It sounds like you are on the right track on focusing on communication. You are within your right to say what you like and dislike. It does not sound like you are being unreasonable.

I think it is good that you see the prroblems being between you and your husband. It would be very easy to blame the girlfriend.

I think in this day and age, parenting/household chores should not be so one sided. However, some people are better at some things than others. When my wife was working, she would come home and cook, and I would do the dishes. I would wash the clothes and she would clean. I think it is fair to look at available time and divide up the chores. But we should allow for preferences.

Your other issue on extrovert vs introvert communication is a problem I have heard of a few times before. I think you have to work on drawing the person out more. Ask questions and wait for an answer. Maybe get them to write down their ideas. Communication is a skill you gain through practice. So try to encourage them to practice. They will still be an introvert, but they can express themselves better when the times comes.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:17 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Overall, I would say this is all about him. "Let me go and enjoy myself with other woman and don't bug me about it." Doesn't sound like he is looking to build a healthy poly relationship. Sounds like he wants to "play around" with your consent.

""Now, tell me if I can see her YES or NO! I will respect your wish"

Say "NO!". Call him on this question and see what he does..does he communicate or does he push blindly? If he doesn't communicate tell him to do a little reading about poly before he chooses to invoke the word. It's a lot of work and by the sounds of it, you are the one who does all the work there...I doubt he is ready.

I feel for you
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:58 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Overall, I would say this is all about him. "Let me go and enjoy myself with other woman and don't bug me about it." Doesn't sound like he is looking to build a healthy poly relationship. Sounds like he wants to "play around" with your consent.

""Now, tell me if I can see her YES or NO! I will respect your wish"

Say "NO!". Call him on this question and see what he does..does he communicate or does he push blindly? If he doesn't communicate tell him to do a little reading about poly before he chooses to invoke the word. It's a lot of work and by the sounds of it, you are the one who does all the work there...I doubt he is ready.

I feel for you
Mono
Mono, I was thinking the same as you yet again, but decided to leave all the work of typing it out to you

It sounds like the husband is saying "I'm going to do this whether you like it or not. If you want to leave, leave. If you want to stay, deal with it. But don't make it MY problem."

To quote from my favorite emo-rap song:

"It's not that she wanted to have the cake and eat it too; she wanted the candles lit, a gift, and a fucking balloon."

Except I would put "he" where it says "she".
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:08 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Mono, I was thinking the same as you yet again, but decided to leave all the work of typing it out to you



".
I'm a typing madman!! What song is that?...not to go on a tangent or anything but I'm curious. I just got rid of cable and music is huge to me! I'm liking the no tv thing.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:19 PM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
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Hello, Moonandstars (and your husband, too, if you're lurking ), and welcome to the forum. I'd found many wise, helpful and compassionate people here, and I know you will too.

First, I want to say that I think you are being AMAZINGLY openminded and accommodating with your husband's desire to transition from monogamy to polyamory, and I salute your willingness to venture into these unknown waters.

As someone recently pointed out to me, opening a marriage is a BIG DEAL, and the partner asking for the change must be willing to move at the other partner's pace.

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
Well, shorty after we had made up our minds to accept out marriage love, he revealed to me that his new love is his ex-girlfriend, who had always been a friend of the family. He had fallen back in love with her already before we had discussed the whole concept of polyamory.
So your husband was cheating on your marriage, at least emotionally, and wanted to renegotiate his agreement with you after the fact, so that he "can have his Kate and Edith, too." I see this as a serious red flag, that your husband may not be committed to the level of loyalty, honesty and personal integrity that successful polyamory requires. If that had happened to me in my marriage, I would have SERIOUS trust issues around the disloyalty that reveals. But perhaps you don't; so, moving on.

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
The problem I experience with my husband is that i really feel rushed into this. Whenever I have a problem with this new situation, I have the impression that it is my fault if the polyamory lifestyle does not work.
Again I go back to the point that he is asking you to make a HUGE change in your life, which will impact on you, your marriage, your children's lives, and well, potentially every other area of your life. It is natural and right that you should want to move slowly and carefully. You have every right to slow the train down. He may be wanting to speed up the process because he's already got a new lover waiting. That's a problem he created for himself by moving forward on a new relationship before the relationship between the two of you was ready for it. Do not let anyone push you into anything you are not ready for.

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. . . but it really hurts when he tells me, that this does not work because I am not ready for it, and that I don't try hard enough and if he gets bitter and unhappy in a couple of years it will all be my fault (he doesn't say this literally like this, but the message is, your opposition makes me unhappy and i can't guarantee a happy marriage like this) .
If the situation is truly as you describe, I hope he will re-think this position, because it puts much too much of the responsibility for the successful or failure of the new paradigm on you, which is not fair or reasonable, and reduces the possibility for success immensely.

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I have pushed him back onto the polyamourous road trying to make him understand that this radical change needs time for me, but that even though i have difficult times I do accept it.
I'm going to reiterate my first point, that you are being AMAZINGLY openminded and accommodating and I salute you.

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
What really makes it difficult for me is the fact that polyamory is about equality and responsibility in my eyes. . . . Now, I have learnt that even in 2009 it is still a woman's work to be responsible for all the little things that come along in a four person family (laundry, shopping, paper work, kids schedules). And then all of a sudden he opens up this enormous perspective of equality and freedom, I said yes, knowing that I have to do my part of dealing with jealousy, and he had to do his part - giving me time to breathe by being more concerned about family stuff . . . After some talking he finally understood that my problem is only partly about jealousy, but mainly about what I get out of our relationship/marriage even without polyamory.
It sounds like the two of you are making progress toward a partnership of equals, or at least putting it on the table. Terrific!

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
So for me it is possible, but i have the impression he is having as many problems with this new life as I do (or even more), but assumed that it would all go by itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
For him there is only black or white: If i accept it, it means that i can't have problems with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
He doesn't want to deal with my worries and fears (well, he does, but . . .
I hope he, and you, and his gf, see the error of those assumptions. It's a huge change in your lives; of course there will be problems to work out. And poly generally takes much more personal investment in terms of communication, sharing and ongoing relational activity than monogamy. But it's worth it.

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
. . .it always ends up in "Now, tell me if I can see her YES or NO! I will respect your wish).
Until you are comfortable and truly ready to proceed, and no longer feel pushed or rushed into making these changes in your life, when you are pressed for a yes or no answer, the answer should be NO.

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
So this is part of the story. Another part is that I need some explanation about the openness and communication. I have understood that polyamorous people love communicating and are open to other people, no matter if they are (potential) lovers or not. . . . well, there is progress, but there is so much contradiction, that i sometimes wonder what it really is about.
I am very much about observing people's actions along with thier words. When someone says one thing but does another, you can trust what they DO over what they say. People can say anything, but actions reveal the heart.

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Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
So all in all, the whole polyamory has brought light into our relationship and lifestyle, but so far i can't help myself but see it as some sort of therapy to wake us/him up and learn what equality, responsibility and communication really is about. If it helps that is great.
It certainly sounds like you've identified a number of issues to be worked on. Good for you! Keep those lines of communication open and flowing, and you can find your way forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonandstars View Post
So on this forum i am not actually looking for advice but just to see if we as beginners are taking normal (quite unstable) steps and if there are perspectives that could open up a new helpful vision or similar experiences.
There is no "normal" polyamorous relationship; each one is special and unique all unto itself. But if you'll do a search of the forums, I think you'll find some similar stories, and similar challenges.

Best of luck to you, Moonandstars, as you make this transition. Trust your instincts. Listen to your heart. Talk and talk and talk some more to your husband and to his new gf, when that's appropriate.

I wish for all of you peace, joy and much love.

Last edited by Fidelia; 10-01-2009 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:54 PM
moonandstars moonandstars is offline
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Thanks you quath, mono, ygirls and fidelia for your responses. you are great, it is the first time i am talking to "experts"I feel very relieved getting your opinions and I finally feel really "validated" (if that is the right expression). Thanks for telling me I am amazingly openminded.I feel so and it is very important to me.

Some of you suggested to just say NO, when the YES/NO questions comes up. well, i actually don't want to say NO unless it comes from himself. I want him to make his decision and all the work that comes with it, because I DO believe it can be benificial. And if it does not work, i want him to find out for himself and reach his own limits. It is part of my nature/character that I feel very reluctant to impose my lifstyle/opinion on others ." live and let live" suits me far better.so far I am open and strong enough to just see where it leads us and do my emotional work (with your help-thanks). I trust myself enough to stop the train if it really gets too much.

As you said, the redflag was up, when he was already emotionally engaged with his exgf in some sort (without her actually knowing it), when we discussed the concept. So, yes, there are trust issues, but we have dicussed this, and he sees the point and feels sorry and quite bad about it. but there are some trust issues that need to be healed, you are right, we both know about that and are hopefully working on it on both sides :-).

and there goes another point, quath said that introverts need to be asked questions and take time to respond and mono replied that it seems that i am doing all the work. And i guess this is the raw spot: I am EVEN responsible for him to communicate to me. This is where i really feel that I have have so much to deal with for myself in this new situation and i have to facilitate communication if I want "news" from his side. I actually do want to communicate, but sometimes I get so tired of "facilitating" communication where i just want to get news where the other person emotionally stands. without asking, just because it is natural to speak about it or just because i am worth talking to without asking a hundred questions.

Quath mentioned that housework should be divided, according to time etc. i actually don't mind doing more, if as you said I like it (i mean i would not complain about more free time, but some things just need to be done),but in this new situation I don't see why I should be delegating, both are responsible, so both have to act without one reminding the other what needs to be done. He keeps forgetting things, so I keep reminding him, even his kids birthday, which is really hurtful, but apparently a big problem for him as well (I have already wondered whether it was some brain problem, but he is quite intelligent on other sides, so that can't be it). but again, yes, you are right i want him to do the thinking work , which means that he is really implied in what is going on in that house and family.

thanks for being on the forum and this nice welcome!
moonandstars
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:21 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quath mentioned that housework should be divided, according to time etc. i actually don't mind doing more, if as you said I like it (i mean i would not complain about more free time, but some things just need to be done),but in this new situation I don't see why I should be delegating, both are responsible, so both have to act without one reminding the other what needs to be done. He keeps forgetting things, so I keep reminding him, even his kids birthday, which is really hurtful, but apparently a big problem for him as well (I have already wondered whether it was some brain problem, but he is quite intelligent on other sides, so that can't be it). but again, yes, you are right i want him to do the thinking work , which means that he is really implied in what is going on in that house and family.

thanks for being on the forum and this nice welcome!
moonandstars
This might seem off the wall-but has he ever been evaluated for ADD? Seriously? Only more recently has it been established concretely that ADD is an issue in adults as well as children-but the symptoms are different. A NUMBER of the things you speak of SCREAM ADD to me (I am ADD as is my husband and 3 of our children). I read your words about having to remind him about things "that should matter to him" already and feeling like it should be important enough for him to be doing it.... well it could be he's just being self-centered. I certainly don't know him-but... well it kind of feels to me like maybe he's ADD and simply doesn't know it.
Most people in my life aren't aware that I am ADD. I have GREAT coping mechanisms, do great at work, am very intelligent, thoughtful and caring. But I have to make sure EVERYTHING is on the calendar-or it doesn't exist, including date nights with hubby (sometimes that makes me FEEL stupid) and if I am busy, stressed, nervous, I tend to lose the ability to be truly considerate and have to be reminded. However-these are things that if you can identify the CAUSE of the behavior (for me it's ADD) it's much easier to work on fixing it. For me I make sure to NOT over schedule myself-because if I do-well I'm a B****.... but if I keep my schedule predictable and fairly calm-I do fine. ....
Anyway-could be totally off base-the rest of your post-I liked the other suggestions!

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:26 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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This might seem off the wall-but has he ever been evaluated for ADD?
The problem with this is that some people find out they have ADD and then that becomes the excuse for their irresponsibility: "Aw shucks! It's that pesky ADD acting up again!"

I don't know the OP, but from what she wrote it looks like he has just gotten used to having her do all his thinking for him about mundane stuff he just can't be bothered with because it takes away from the energy he has to devote to his extracurricular activities.

In other words, the OP has THREE kids, not two.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:34 PM
moonandstars moonandstars is offline
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Thanks for the ADD hint. we have discussed that as well. I checked out a self-diagnosis check list, which indicates at what point one should react. there are some obvious symptoms as you said, but some are just clearly against it (he can be sooooooo organized at work). but the whole calendar thing is true - time is very abstract for him. but maybe this really needs to be taken a closer look at. but isn't it also a "fashion" to diagnose ADD?? i might be mistaken, but at school all of a sudden so many kids are ADD. but you might know more about it (but that is not the topic here).

AND YES, you say it: I have THREE kids. well,to be honest we have a new au pair (who is so helpful), but who needs integration, so I am actually responsible for FOUR (in some way). :-)

moonandstars
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