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Old 10-04-2016, 04:00 PM
Krissy Krissy is offline
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Default Trying to understand

hello,

My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years, together almost 13. We have 3 kids, 2 of them together. We have been monogamous during this time. This past weekend he fully opened up to me about his feelings and identifying with polyamory. I am monogamous and only want or desire to be with my husband. There has been feelings of betrayal, hurt, confusion, of being lost, questioning everything, fights, me wanting to throat punch him (several times), and jealousy. After calming down some (okay a lot), talking to him, prayer, and thinking, I feel as if I need to understand polyamory more to be there for him and to give him what I can in this aspect. I have a million questions and concerns and have no clue what they are yet. We have boundaries we have to figure out and things we have to grow together and of course I understand there will times we will hit a brick wall but I feel as if I need to try for him, for our kids, and for our marriage.


Krissy
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:46 PM
sexyserb sexyserb is offline
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Krissy

I feel as if I need to understand polyamory more to be there for him and to give him what I can in this aspect. I have a million questions and concerns and have no clue what they are yet. We have boundaries we have to figure out and things we have to grow together and of course I understand there will times we will hit a brick wall but I feel as if I need to try for him, for our kids, and for our marriage.


No, you need to learn and understand but you are not obliged to try anything if you are not OK with it. You might want to read two books
"opening Up"
"More Than Two"

i suggest you do this BEFORE agreeing to anything.

You need to understand that just about any form of non monogamy only works in most cases with the total commitment of BOTH partners, and you are about to enter into something that definitely has the potential to end your marriage.

And understand these boundaries that you are talking about discussing have a tendency to go out the window once emotions get involved so included in your conversation should be how you are going to "re-negotiate" boundaries when issues occur.

I would also delve deeply into what has occurred that has made your husband suddenly 'discover" his polyamorous nature. if he already has a partner picked out or is talking to someone he is cheating on you to start out with.

You also may want to discuss with him on what his reaction will be should you decide you do not want to be the mono partner. many times men push their wives into non monogamy only to discover that when the shoe is on the other foot it is not so much fun and then all of a sudden they want monogamy again.

Should you become a participant he better understand you will have much more opportunity to engage in other relationships than he will.

I pushed my husband into non monogamy, and while he stuck around, he has never fully accepted it and it is on the verge on ending my marriage. if you can get 'all in" then fine, but you do not have to sacrifice your needs and wants just to satisfy anyone.

I think most of sensible folks on here will tell you to proceed with caution, especially since it is obvious this is a shock to your thought process.

Good luck to you.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:07 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am sorry you struggle.

Quote:
I feel as if I need to understand polyamory more to be there for him and to give him what I can in this aspect.
Ok. What does "be there for him" actually MEAN in this context? What exactly is your husband asking of you?
  • To (Open the marriage) so he can have other partners? (He could have other partners via divorce too. Opening the marriage isn't the only way.)
  • To be (Open to hearing about his inner thoughts and feelings) so you both can create emotional/mental intimacy between you? (That sounds reasonable in a marriage. If he doesn't share more of himself because he worries you are going to punch him in the throat if he does... there's stuff there to sort out.)
  • Or both?
  • Or something else?

And what is husband giving you, how is he there for you? What are you asking of him?

Are his requests of you reasonable, rational and doable?
Are your requests of him reasonable, rational and doable?

Or these requests incompatible or mutually exclusive?

If you need education, here's some starting links. They are "hub pages" that lead to other reading links.

http://practicalpolyamory.com/downlo...documents.html

http://www.kathylabriola.com/articles

https://www.morethantwo.com/polyhowto.html

http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/


But remember that your consent belongs to you. You don't have to participate in things just because husband wants to go there. You are allowed to say "No, thank you. Not for me. Where you want to go? I wish you well but there I cannot follow. So we need to talk about me getting off this bus first before you continue on your journey."

Quote:
I feel as if I need to try for him, for our kids, and for our marriage.
I might be reading this wrong. It's not totally clear. But I am concerned that you are thinking about consenting to participate in an Open Model you don't especially want for yourself just to avoid having to talk about breaking up so he is FREE TO pursue the open stuff he wants and you are FREE FROM doing things you don't want.

Like you want to "preserve the marriage shape" more than you want to "preserve the well being and health of the people."

I'd put people before shape. You are "people" too. Do not subsume yourself to the relationship shape.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-05-2016 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:15 PM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexyserb View Post
you need to learn and understand but you are not obliged to try anything if you are not OK with it
...
you do not have to sacrifice your needs and wants just to satisfy anyone
This is perfectly true.

There are also well functioning poly-mono relationships, at least a few on this forum. I am quite happy in mine for the moment, although it has been a rough path.

More then two is a webside as well. It may be a good start, I started there. Look through it, and make sure your husband does too if he hasn't, so that you two at least get a similar understanding of polyamory
https://www.morethantwo.com/

Take your time. Look up the concepts, sort through your feelings so that you know what is true and what is prejudice, get an understanding what your husband actually wants/expects from polyamory. Take a close look on the relationship between the two of you and see if there are problems to work through first.

If you have specific - or even general - questions, that's what the Poly Relationships forum is for. We'll be happy to help.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2016, 12:31 AM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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I would join in urging a great deal of caution.

I would also disagree with GalaGirl regarding "the marriage shape," as though it were some arbitrary invention imposed on you.

Think of it this way: you currently have a functioning partnership, a household that includes three children. Whatever you do, you have a responsibility to your children and to one another to keep that household functioning.

You may also have community connections you hope to maintain, at church, in your town, in other areas of your life, that support your household and help you to function well together.

Paying too much attention to what either one of you "needs" or "wants", as though that is the main or the only consideration, puts everything else at risk.

Does it seem plausible to you that your husband can go off and pursue other relationships - serious, intimate, committed relationships - while at the same time maintaining your household as a functioning whole, living up to his responsibilities to you, the children, and your place in the world, and maintaining the ties to your community that sustain you and your household?

Since you live - as I gather from his thread - in Texas, I suppose that maintaining community ties would depend critically on him being "discreet" (that is to say, furtive) lest those community ties be severed . . . but then he would have to lead a double life, and you would be in the position of having to enable him in that without being able to confide in anyone in your local community.

That is likely to distort a lot of relationships: his relationships with others with whom he is intimate - and I speak from experience on this - his relationship with you, your relationship with the community, your relationship with your own children.

Please avoid the trap of thinking that all of this is just about the needs and wants of your husband, or your own needs and wants. There is much, much more at stake than that.

There may be a way to maintain functioning households that are consistent with the ethical practice of non-monogamy, but I suspect the conditions that would make such an arrangement possible are available only to a very few people and that only under very special circumstances.

Where you and where I live, at least for the foreseeable future, monogamy may be the only game in town.
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 10-05-2016 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:04 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I would also disagree with GalaGirl regarding "the marriage shape," as though it were some arbitrary invention imposed on you.
I don't think marriage is some arbitrary invention. I think marriage is a serious commitment.

But sometimes people marry too young or they change over time. The marriage is no longer what they really want. But they keep trying to keep the marriage going to "save face" or "avoid divorce" or "for the kids" or some other reason other than truly wanting to be together in a marital union with this partner.

Maybe they try to use poly as a bandaid -- to help them endure a marriage they no longer really have heart in.

If my spouse no longer really wanted to be married to me but was sticking just to maintain the look of the thing? That's not healthy for him. That's also robbing me of opportunity to have a spouse who really wants to be there with me. Not great for me. The marriage is being continued... but at the expense of the actual well being of the people within it. Like just going through the motions.

I'm just saying to think this out carefully. Not just agree to Open the marriage for the husband's enjoyment or so the kid's don't experience divorce.

Her well being counts too.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-05-2016 at 01:16 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2016, 01:59 AM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I don't think marriage is some arbitrary invention. I think marriage is a serious commitment.

But sometimes people marry too young or they change over time. The marriage is no longer what they really want. But they keep trying to keep the marriage going to "save face" or "avoid divorce" or "for the kids" or some other reason other than truly wanting to be together in a marital union with this partner.
Maybe so, but it's far from clear that's the situation here.

Krissy, it seems to me you and Jeremy really need to dig into what it is that prompts him to see polyamory as his "path", something for which he seems to think himself destined.

What he says is this:

Quote:
For the most part it has been a healthy marriage, but I've always felt out of place. I love my wife dearly. She is a great woman and a wonderful mother.
What does that even mean, "out of place?"

If it is basically a "healthy" marriage, and both of you see marriage as a serious commitment, then it's not something to be thrown away (in divorce) or seriously jeopardized (through a lopsided and secretive "opening") just because he's always felt kinda weird.

Feeling kinda weird about things is, quite honestly, just part of being a human adult in the human world.

Sometimes, when you make a serious commitment - and especially when children are involved - you just have to kinda suck it up, do what needs to be done to uphold the commitment and to be true to the "great" and "wonderful" people to whom you have bound yourself.

And you may tell him I said so.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:00 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hi Krissy,
You mentioned prayer as one of the things that happened in between your having been totally against polyamory to now considering it to "make your husband happy." I will be blunt and say that I just hope you haven't bought into the mistaken notion that a good and obedient Christian wife's most important duty is to please her husband and make him happy, even at her own expense. If that idea is part of what convinced you to try poly, then I hope you will consider that that is just patriarchal nonsense promoted by those who would twist the words in the Bible for their own satisfaction.

You don't have to agree or consent to anything you don't want. You shouldn't have to sacrifice your own happiness and peace of mind for your husband to be happy. You can say "No" to opening up your marriage and let your husband pout about it and have a tantrum. Each person's happiness is an inside job, not dependent upon others. Besides, he has a duty to you, as well - as your partner, not your boss.

If there is one tiny sliver of doubt in your mind, or of fear, disgust, disappointment, betrayal, and/or any question of your value and self-worth as you consider polyamory, DON'T DO IT. Instead, seek counseling and get to the root of why now, why your husband has suddenly confronted you with this, and how soon he expects to be able to develop another relationship with someone else. Do not give in to pressure. Take your time, even if it takes five years, before giving your final answer. Consenting will drastically alter your relationship in ways you cannot begin to fathom after only one weekend of talkinking about it. He made a commitment to stand by you as your partner when you got marrried - the very least he can do is be patient and humble while you examine the bomb he dropped in your lap.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2016, 04:25 AM
Krissy Krissy is offline
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Thank you for the resources. I will definitely have to read them. Yes I am making it a very big point to proceed with caution. He is aware that it may come to a point (when he either finds or looks for another partner) that I am not as open about it as I thought. I honestly can't say how I would react until the time comes.

I would never actually throat punch my husband (or anyone else for that matter). I felt like it this weekend but I could never actually follow through, I was just extremely emotional. When he told me about his feelings, he expected me to also explore his feelings for myself knowing that I had no need or desire to be with anyone other than him. He had come in with that he wanted to become swingers. After 13 years of being monogamous together and having an "agreement" that there would be nobody else, he came to me wanting to change that "agreement" and for me to be completely open minded to it. I tend to be a VERY stubborn person so as you can imagine this was not the greatest idea on his part. We are taking small steps to see what works for us with as little uneasiness or resentfulness as possible from the other (if that is possible). My expectations for him are mostly to stick to our boundaries and what works for us. To give me the respect I deserve as his wife and the mother to his two daughters in this aspect and to talk and be open with me. I have my strong holds and the things I know I could never compromise on without giving up a part of myself and what makes me who I am. I am right now just trying to understand things and what he is feeling. He is trying to figure things out for himself as well since this is something he has felt for a long time but bottled up for our relationship and my ideals of a marriage. Our marriage will always be first and we have talked a lot about what this means for us. I understand feelings can at times get in the way of boundaries but we will deal with that if the time comes. Being there for him is just (for now) not asking him to ignore his feelings and to try to understand them. Talking to him about it and my feelings. We are still in our marriage for ourselves. We aren't in it for the kids or to save face. I am still very much in love with my husband and he is me. If we weren't I would have left when it got to the point I didn't. He is too much to deal with otherwise. lol

Nycindie, No that is not what I think at all. Just prayer to help figure things out for myself with what was thrown at me without sacrificing who I am and what I need. I typically have a strong opinion on things in my life and am trying to go about this in a different way. I am not a submissive person and it takes a lot for me to delve into something I feel is not for me.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:35 AM
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I think it's great that you are at least looking at this in a manner that is considerate of your husband's feelings. Too many people don't realize that is what loving couples do. While in the end you may decide against it, at least you are giving it careful consideration.
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