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  #1  
Old 08-03-2016, 09:15 PM
monomax monomax is offline
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Default mono/mono relationship -> poly/mono relationship

Hi everyone,

I am completely new to this forum, so let me briefly introduce myself.

I am a male in my 30's, and have been married to my wife for the last 5 years. She is in her 30's as well, but she is 5 years younger than me. Both of us are heterosexual. We have been together for the last 7 years. I must say I have been blessed on many aspects of my marriage as we do have plenty of common grounds (e.g., we like traveling) even though some of our interests can be also different: (i) I am a scientist, interesting in playing tennis, photography (a lot) and music, while (ii) She is more interesting in social sciences, she is more spiritual than me (I am absolutely not), she likes dancing (salsa, bachata), languages and culture.

I would say our relationship has been for the most part very stable (sexually, financially, etc.). Maybe one major issue has been that thus far we have been unable to conceive (we tried for at least 2.5 years). The desire of having a kid has been most likely higher for her than for me (a lot of my/her friends have had kids or are about to have kids) and it seems that she has been quite frustrated by the "unfairness" of the present situation. Part of it is my fault as it might not have been my biggest priority even though I realized more recently that it would be a beautiful thing to have and raise a baby and having a growing family together.

In the last six months of so, she was able to find a job around where we live, which means much less commuting, great company, still good paycheck, and more time for her to develop her hobbies (mostly dance), which is a very positive thing. Since then, she has grown a bit more frustrated with me as I have apparently not given her enough attention on several levels (sex, emotion, talk and listen). The last semester had been pretty stressful for me as I was also teaching a graduate course level, which sucked up a lot of my free time. A large part of it is true, and based on our conversation last month, I have taken serious notes, and realized that some of my behavior had to change. In other words, I am aware of those issues, and I agreed with a majority of her complaints. I think a better communication from the time she felt neglected would have been more helpful. Anyway, what's done is done, and what interests me is the present and future, and the well being of our relationship. During that same conversation, she also introduced the concept of polyamory, which made more and more sense to her (she has apparently read a lot in the last six months, so she is way ahead in that direction than I am). Obviously I was confused, which I believe is pretty normal based on my experience (I have never been involved in any polyamory relationships. Same with her, so that would be new for both of us).

A couple days ago, she came to me, and talked more seriously about polyamory, as she seems more and more interested in exploring this practice. Obviously, there is a conflict as our relationship started as mono/mono, but she is not against a poly/mono relationship. I believe I am not ready to "dive" into that direction yet, but maybe (yes, I said maybe) I am willing to be open minded, and make some serious adjustments (being mentally prepared is a must though) to accomodate her needs. Most of those needs are concerned with emotional aspects (even though I am trying to accomodate those needs, but I realize it may not be enough). Other than that, she has not been too explicit. She claims that she does not have anyone in mind at this time. Obviously we must talk and agree before going to the poly/mono direction. Communication is of paramount importance, and I am very aware of this.

So at this moment, my feelings are somewhat lukewarm, and I am quite possibly confused with the whole idea. As being the mono part of the couple, I still need to process the concept, and time to process is absolutely necessary. I am not sure whether I feel comfortable with the idea of my wife being/spending some time and more importantly being emotionally involved with somebody else (most likely another man, I do not think she is interested in women, but who knows at this point?). The last part of that sentence is important, as I do believe that sex can be detached from emotion, and our sexual needs may widen over the years. In that sense, I might not be against the idea that someone may have sexual desires for other people (human nature). The emotional bond with somebody is however more problematic to me.

Short story, you might get the impression that I am rather confused with the present situation, and you will be right. It does not mean I will in the future, but I am seeking out for any advices from people who may have had similar experience (whether the experience has been successful or not), or from polyamorous folks who are content with their polyamory life.

I am looking forward to getting some feedback.

Cheers,

M.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2016, 10:33 PM
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Spork Spork is offline
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Hm.

Well, poly life has its challenges and its rewards. I'll start by stating that I've always been confused by the concept that a partner having sex with someone new isn't scary, but having feelings with someone new IS.

I've had friends, people I would not classify as anything else, with whom my emotional connection and investment was FAR greater than anything I've had with my former spouse, and most of the lovers I've had.

I've had friends who would never be "more" where I think I was at least somewhat in love with them.

Casual sex on the other hand can have serious consequences that are very real, such as STIs and pregnancy. What is the risk in emotional connection that you are uncomfortable with? And understand...that is fairly common, so while I question it, it's reasonably "normal." Maybe that's why I question it.

The most typical thing I've seen described in poly-land that applies to this is, you do not necessarily stand to lose if your partner loves another partner. A parent can have multiple children, without giving all the love to one and none to the rest, or diminishing love given to one because a new child is born. A person can love multiple pets. If anything, it takes the pressure off of you to be EVERYTHING she needs, in order to be happy.

I have not seen much success in relationship models where a couple opens but the husband (it's often but not always the husband) says, "You can have sex but no feelings." We call that legislating emotions and it normally fails. You'd be back here in a few months or years upset because you AGREED that she wouldn't develop feelings and she broke the rules and got attached. Feelings happen. Sometimes when we don't plan for them.

Love is infinite, it is not a scarce resource.

What is finite and therefore deserves negotiation, are things like time, money, space, etc. And how happy you will be in this, should you undertake it, will depend on a multitude of factors. You won't get an answer that sounds like "poly works" or "poly doesn't work." For some it works great, for others it doesn't. Just like mono marriage and every kind of relationship ever.

I've been doing poly for about a year. It's been a beautiful experience for me, it's helped me grow and it's helped me learn 100 amazing things about myself and others and relating. You should advise her to do her homework, do lots of reading, and seek (if possible) local poly meetups or discussion groups. Keep the lines of communication open and make sure your bond is strong. Another common mistake people make is "relationship broken; add more people." If you have serious issues that aren't resolved (especially in the realm of communication) then you're in for a rough road.

Personally, my biggest challenge has been time. There have been a few others, and at least in one of my four individual relationships, communication is a huge one, too. But these are people behaviors, not indicators of whether poly does or doesn't "work." If that makes sense?

One last point to mention: Some of the happiest and longest lasting poly relationships I've seen in my real life community and here, have been V shaped with one woman and two men. The men not necessarily involved romantically, but like brothers or best friends. Seems that those kinds of bonds with men can be VERY strong and that model can work very well.
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Zen Sadist mid 50's, M - Sadomasochistic Top, Lover, Partner

Analyst, Fire & Hefe My poly quad for approximately a year, until about July 2016. I still consider them much-loved friends.

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  #3  
Old 08-04-2016, 06:19 AM
Leetah Leetah is offline
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Welcome Monomax. While polyamory might be a good match for your wife I can't help but feel that only giving you a month to try to change long time ways of relating is kind of rushing things. Have the two of you seen a counselor for advice/mediation on how to get each of your needs/wants filled?

As to the emotional attachment problem, I empathize as my guys tease me about how much attention I like to have. On the other hand my husband has a number of very close friendships and likes to go out regularly with his close friends to do things that are not so much my cup of tea. This is something that was a bit hard for me when we started out but now I encourage it as it just makes his life and emotional state so much better. Does your wife already have intimate friends? If you are not jealous of them then you have a good start on being OK with polyamory.

Leetah
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:12 PM
CutiepieKitty CutiepieKitty is offline
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Personally I don't think poly should be entered into without both parties fully into it even if only half of the couple are going to be having sex with other people. It is something that either works for you or it doesn't but trying it while desperately not wanting to is something I cooonstantly warn against! Mono is just as good as poly. I can't and don't enjoy mono relationships. My friends would loathe being poly. No partner should ever bully you to convert though. That is most definitely not acceptable.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:59 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi monomax,

Based on your initial post, there are a couple of links I would recommend for you:
You can also do searches on this forum, for "mono," "mono/poly," things like that. And if you have any questions you can post them here. In the meantime, make sure you keep the communication channels open between you and your wife.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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