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  #11  
Old 07-11-2011, 09:18 AM
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sagency sagency is offline
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TRye, I also grew up in the South, so I can understand some of the conflicting emotions you have been feeling. (As evidence if that upbringing, your username reminded ne if the city of Tyre in whose shores Jesus preaches in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.)

Do I recall correctly that you are a mother? Ok, so let's look at that. You married hubby and bore him a child. When child was born, did you love the child? Yes? In order to love the child more, did you take love away from hubby? Did you love him less? No? So you love him as much as before the baby or more. Does this not already indicate that within you is the capacity for great quantities of love? When you had child #2, didn't your love and hubby's love grow?

You are right that it is a hard and scary thing to see this world that falls outside the safe boundaries we grew up with. Those of us conditioned with certain backgrounds will automatically question our worth as humans. This is part if the growth pattern. There is hope that you can stretch beyond the scary and plant roots not on the rock but on fertile soil.

It sounds like your husband really is looking out for you. How great a person you must be to evoke such devotion. Be proud of his love for you and the fact your do deserve it. As a devoted husband myself, do him a favor for me--let him adore you for your awesomeness and be glad. If you don't agree that you're awesome, too bad--it's his call to make,awesome wifey.

That said, your fear and conditioning has made a mess. Hubby has tried to help, and that's a good sign. Hiding your great love under a bushel isn't a fix. Covering your capacity for love hurt this new woman and seems to have upset your helpmate. There is, however, a solution.

Talk to your husband. I was terrified when I first tried vocalizing my feelings about polyamory, so I know all the "what its" running through your head. Your husband sounds nurturing and supportive, and that's a wonderful start. I'd bet he knows you better than you give credit. You may even find out that your poly nature is more news to you than to him.

You mentioned past mistakes for which you seem to carry guilt. Let it go. Hubby has you back and is right there with you. On some level, I wonder if thise scenarios were a nacent poly heart forming in your heart. In any case, now is a time for the both of you to grow, and you may grow together even as you grow to love others.

Once you've talked openly with your hubby about how you feel and what you fear, then comes the really scary part. Ask him what he thinks you should do. Yeah, it's scary. And it's your heart and head that have to decided. However, laying your worries at his feet and asking what to do is a huge sign of how essential he is in your life. He may not be poly himself, but he may be able to help his poly-prone wifey find the answer that heals her awesome heart.

Pax vobiscum. *hug*
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2011, 07:23 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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Originally Posted by jasminegld View Post
I'm going to make a radical recommendation, and send you to church. An atheist-friendly, Unitarian Universalist congregation. All the guilt and fear and loss of faith you are talking about -- these are things people deal with at church all the time. Find a UU church and talk with the minister. Or visit the online Church of the Larger Fellowship, if you don't have one close to you. Listen to the church's messages about treating each other with respect and encouraging each other, and take it to heart.

Most UU ministers know about polyamory. All of them know about guilt, fear, and loss of faith. It's their calling to minister to people who are hurting. Give one of them a chance to do so.

If you talk with a UU minister, you can tell her or him that Jasmine from UUs for Polyamory Awareness referred you. The minister might have heard of me.

Jasmine

Unitarian Universalist Association


http://www.uua.org

Find a Congregation
http://uua.org/directory/congregations/index.php

Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness
http://www.uupa.org
I am going to first thank you for your advice and clear up that my loss of faith is not an issue for me. It was when I was losing it but I am a happier and more fulfilled person now without it.

I know the basic premises of the unitarian structure and I know they would be inclusive of me. I still feel like it is not a path I want to walk. I have been reading a ton and continue to do so. It helps to have this forums and see similar stories from time to time.

I don't know why I somehow considered it impossible for me to fall in love with another without losing the love I had for my husband. Somehow I built up this whole structure of confidence and faith that has hurt a lot to shatter. It hurt far more than shattering my faith in a god. The guilt and shame are all my own. I cannot stand to hurt people I love. I knew it hurt him and I devolved into a paniky mess from there.

Once again thank you for your suggestions. I wont write them off completely and I will continue to consider them.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2011, 07:46 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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Originally Posted by sagency View Post
TRye, I also grew up in the South, so I can understand some of the conflicting emotions you have been feeling. (As evidence if that upbringing, your username reminded ne if the city of Tyre in whose shores Jesus preaches in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.)

Do I recall correctly that you are a mother? Ok, so let's look at that. You married hubby and bore him a child. When child was born, did you love the child? Yes? In order to love the child more, did you take love away from hubby? Did you love him less? No? So you love him as much as before the baby or more. Does this not already indicate that within you is the capacity for great quantities of love? When you had child #2, didn't your love and hubby's love grow?

You are right that it is a hard and scary thing to see this world that falls outside the safe boundaries we grew up with. Those of us conditioned with certain backgrounds will automatically question our worth as humans. This is part if the growth pattern. There is hope that you can stretch beyond the scary and plant roots not on the rock but on fertile soil.

It sounds like your husband really is looking out for you. How great a person you must be to evoke such devotion. Be proud of his love for you and the fact your do deserve it. As a devoted husband myself, do him a favor for me--let him adore you for your awesomeness and be glad. If you don't agree that you're awesome, too bad--it's his call to make,awesome wifey.

That said, your fear and conditioning has made a mess. Hubby has tried to help, and that's a good sign. Hiding your great love under a bushel isn't a fix. Covering your capacity for love hurt this new woman and seems to have upset your helpmate. There is, however, a solution.

Talk to your husband. I was terrified when I first tried vocalizing my feelings about polyamory, so I know all the "what its" running through your head. Your husband sounds nurturing and supportive, and that's a wonderful start. I'd bet he knows you better than you give credit. You may even find out that your poly nature is more news to you than to him.

You mentioned past mistakes for which you seem to carry guilt. Let it go. Hubby has you back and is right there with you. On some level, I wonder if thise scenarios were a nacent poly heart forming in your heart. In any case, now is a time for the both of you to grow, and you may grow together even as you grow to love others.

Once you've talked openly with your hubby about how you feel and what you fear, then comes the really scary part. Ask him what he thinks you should do. Yeah, it's scary. And it's your heart and head that have to decided. However, laying your worries at his feet and asking what to do is a huge sign of how essential he is in your life. He may not be poly himself, but he may be able to help his poly-prone wifey find the answer that heals her awesome heart.

Pax vobiscum. *hug*
He knows me more than I know myself for sure. I have no doubts he would stay beside me through whatever path I choose even if I didn't choose him. But that alone scares me as much as anything else. What if I start to take advantage of his love for me? What if I already am taking advantage? I don't want to hurt him. I know it hurts him. I am not a sadist and I can't help but feel so selfish to ask him to be ok knowing I love another. It isn't something that he can wake up and just be ok with. He cannot empathize with me on this he can try to sympathize but he cannot wrap his head around how love works for me and how he can have the same if not more value to me as before. I can try and explain my feelings but it just dulls the pain for him. It doesn't erase it.

It hurts me so much to know that he is hurting. I tried to fix it the hard way but he doesn't like to see me in that much pain either. Things have been a lot better since my last breakdown and I feel moments of normalcy from time to time. I don't pretend to know where this is going but I am trying to find a way for us to be happy healthy and sane again. I can only hope that my needing this doesn't make me as selfish an it seems to me.

I don't know if I would consider myself poly prone at all. Perhaps poly sexual but not romantically inclined to attachment. I have only ever been in love twice and I resisted both but both people loved me so much that it was hard not to love them back. I on the other hand was fully capable of exploring sexual relationships without one iota of romantic attachment. It took me falling in love the first time to be able to combine sex and love at all. It took me falling in love a second time to realize how hard it is to not think sexually about someone you are in love with. I never had to prevent myself from enjoying the sexual side of love with my husband.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I appreciate them.
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  #14  
Old 07-12-2011, 06:08 AM
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sagency sagency is offline
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TRye, reading your story and your reply, I feel a lot of pain coming through your words. I may be removed from my time in the church, but there are parts of that experience that are true and valuable. For example, people are all inherently valuable. You are inherently valuable.

Let me take a moment to parse your recent reply, and maybe we can shake some thinking loose so you don't feel so much pressure:

"I have no doubts he would stay beside me ... even if I didn't choose him."
The funny thing about love is that we can feel love even when it hurts to do so. Maybe he's a saint; maybe he's an idiot; maybe he's somewhere in between. Whatever the case, he loves you, and that's a good thing.

"What if I start to take advantage of his love for me?"
Isn't the hallmark of love the willing supplication to the whims of another? Of course love allows us to have dominion over others--advantages--that normal folks do not have. That's the nature of love. BUT if he's choosing to let you have that power, if he's knowingly and willfully offering what you get, how are you taking anything? You can't steal from a man that which he gives you.

"I know it hurts him."
Many things in life hurt. As we age, aches and pains show up. Yes, there is a potential that this change has caused some pain, but you might be missing some important details. First of all, you may be overly concerned with how much hurt he has. It's good to be concerned, but some hurts are small, and some are large. Try not to imagine a splinter in the paw is a more than it is. That said, some pains go away with time. While he may show hurt now, it's just as likely that the hurt is from the change from old acceptance to new acceptance and not a reflection upon what the new acceptance is. It may be that it's the adjustment that hurts, not what the adjustment is.

Consider how he might be feeling right now. He's obviously paid close attention to you over the years. He saw that this person was important enough to you that he tried to mend the bridge you tried to burn down. To him, seeing you separated from someone who is important to you may be more painful than any thought of you with someone other than him.

In my own life, my primary is a mono. She knows I adore her. She asks about women who are important to me because she knows I value their health and well-being. She understands that no amount of love I feel for them would ever take away from my love for her. The last strictly mono relationship I had before biting the bullet and embracing my poly nature was with someone who was very mono. We cared greatly for each other and stayed friends after we separated. When she met the man she would eventually marry, she and I would occasionally have intimate encounters. Shortly after the last time we were together like that (as feelings for this new man built), she announced that she thinks she finally was beginning to see how a heart could hold love for two people without taking away from either one. Your man is going through growing pains just as you are. It sucks, but it's part of the process. It gets better. He may remain a lifelong mono, and that's ok. And there's nothing to say he can't be a happy and healthy mono with a happy and healthy poly.

"I tried to fix it the hard way but he doesn't like to see me in that much pain either."
I've tried to fix things in my own hard ways, too, and I have the scars to prove it. But fixing implies broken, and you're not broken; you are what you are. I have found that my own comfort level with who I am and my poly nature directly impacts the perceptions of those around me (in so much as that nature comes up). Sometimes we cause ourselves pain because we try to bend in ways we weren't born to bend.

"I have only ever been in love twice and I resisted both but both people loved me so much that it was hard not to love them back."
The funny thing about having a heart than can hold multiple loves is that it can be scary. I'm glad that someone broke through your fears. Be conscious and considerate with your love absolutely, but don't be afraid or run from it. You sound like you're in a phase of transition. That always feels scarier than it is. Talk to your husband. Proactively share your feelings about him and about your new love with him. Coming from veteran poly folks, he need not be afraid that you will love him any less. And being able to embrace your nature more completely may allow you to love each other even more.

All the best to each of you.
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:39 PM
TRye TRye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagency View Post
TRye, reading your story and your reply, I feel a lot of pain coming through your words. I may be removed from my time in the church, but there are parts of that experience that are true and valuable. For example, people are all inherently valuable. You are inherently valuable.

Let me take a moment to parse your recent reply, and maybe we can shake some thinking loose so you don't feel so much pressure:

"I have no doubts he would stay beside me ... even if I didn't choose him."
The funny thing about love is that we can feel love even when it hurts to do so. Maybe he's a saint; maybe he's an idiot; maybe he's somewhere in between. Whatever the case, he loves you, and that's a good thing.

"What if I start to take advantage of his love for me?"
Isn't the hallmark of love the willing supplication to the whims of another? Of course love allows us to have dominion over others--advantages--that normal folks do not have. That's the nature of love. BUT if he's choosing to let you have that power, if he's knowingly and willfully offering what you get, how are you taking anything? You can't steal from a man that which he gives you.

"I know it hurts him."
Many things in life hurt. As we age, aches and pains show up. Yes, there is a potential that this change has caused some pain, but you might be missing some important details. First of all, you may be overly concerned with how much hurt he has. It's good to be concerned, but some hurts are small, and some are large. Try not to imagine a splinter in the paw is a more than it is. That said, some pains go away with time. While he may show hurt now, it's just as likely that the hurt is from the change from old acceptance to new acceptance and not a reflection upon what the new acceptance is. It may be that it's the adjustment that hurts, not what the adjustment is.

Consider how he might be feeling right now. He's obviously paid close attention to you over the years. He saw that this person was important enough to you that he tried to mend the bridge you tried to burn down. To him, seeing you separated from someone who is important to you may be more painful than any thought of you with someone other than him.

In my own life, my primary is a mono. She knows I adore her. She asks about women who are important to me because she knows I value their health and well-being. She understands that no amount of love I feel for them would ever take away from my love for her. The last strictly mono relationship I had before biting the bullet and embracing my poly nature was with someone who was very mono. We cared greatly for each other and stayed friends after we separated. When she met the man she would eventually marry, she and I would occasionally have intimate encounters. Shortly after the last time we were together like that (as feelings for this new man built), she announced that she thinks she finally was beginning to see how a heart could hold love for two people without taking away from either one. Your man is going through growing pains just as you are. It sucks, but it's part of the process. It gets better. He may remain a lifelong mono, and that's ok. And there's nothing to say he can't be a happy and healthy mono with a happy and healthy poly.

"I tried to fix it the hard way but he doesn't like to see me in that much pain either."
I've tried to fix things in my own hard ways, too, and I have the scars to prove it. But fixing implies broken, and you're not broken; you are what you are. I have found that my own comfort level with who I am and my poly nature directly impacts the perceptions of those around me (in so much as that nature comes up). Sometimes we cause ourselves pain because we try to bend in ways we weren't born to bend.

"I have only ever been in love twice and I resisted both but both people loved me so much that it was hard not to love them back."
The funny thing about having a heart than can hold multiple loves is that it can be scary. I'm glad that someone broke through your fears. Be conscious and considerate with your love absolutely, but don't be afraid or run from it. You sound like you're in a phase of transition. That always feels scarier than it is. Talk to your husband. Proactively share your feelings about him and about your new love with him. Coming from veteran poly folks, he need not be afraid that you will love him any less. And being able to embrace your nature more completely may allow you to love each other even more.

All the best to each of you.
Thank you for your reply. It gave me a sense of valence I needed. Things are going pretty well right now. I have had moments of feeling normal that I greatly missed. Part of that is getting to have some really great talks with my husband that didn't center around my guilt. It feels so good to talk with him about our current book or what blog post we saw. I have missed those conversations. They are a part of who we are and I thought I lost the beauty of our casual conversation.

I don't see the distance anymore when I mention her name. I don't know if he is really good at hiding it now or if he really is healing with this. I hope the latter.

I have laid off the incredibly intimate conversation with my gf. I think slower is definitely the path I need to go. She understands completely. When I first told her I was in love with her she said we can't have a relationship. She didn't want to ruin my marriage. She values what my husband and I have a great deal and is prepared for this not working but we all want it to now and that is progress.

The worry I have about taking advantage of his love is that I worry that I am manipulating him. That is not the person I want to be. I don't want to guilt him into decisions. I am afraid I am doing that.

Thank you for your reasoned post. It helps a great deal.
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