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Old 08-22-2011, 11:05 AM
Longing Longing is offline
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Question Dh asks for poly after 12 years mono marriage

I'm lost entirely. What is an appropriate response? I listened to his request and told him I can't live that way. He felt attacked and wants me to just accept him wholly. In the past several months he's secretly created online dating site profiles. Made contact with a woman where he frequently travels for overnight work trips, then made plans to go to her for a weekend before I found out. The trip was cancelled, and her contact info deleted as well as his 3 dating site profiles. Later I went to get something out of his wallet and found a condom package that he cant remember how it got there. Last week I saw on his phones web browsing history some craigslist personals adds in a different town he travels to frequently. He says he only looks. Won't do anything.
He wants to be poly. Has for a long time.
It kills me to be monogomous to a man who is able to give himself wholly and freely to others leaving nothing special or unique between us that marks our marriage. I married him as a virgin. I have no desire to live polyamorously. Neither of us want to end the marriage at this point. But that means one persons needs will be elevated above another persons. What a recipe for disaster! I just don't know what to do or think or feel any more.

Last edited by Longing; 08-22-2011 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:04 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I'm going to ask a mod to move this to the New to Poly section. The Intro section is more for, "Hi, I'm X, I live in [part of the world], I am a straight mono woman married to a man, we have X amt of kids," type thing.

Welcome to the board. I'm sure you'll get lots of good responses.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:56 PM
CranberryStardust CranberryStardust is offline
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I wish I had some advice...but I am a newbie with bad luck so far. Just wanted to give you a virtual hug and say that I understand why you are feeling sad and confused. Doesn't sound like a fun situation or an easy one.

I will say that it sounds like he has made some steps without communicating with you and that concerns me. I have heard over and over on this site and truly believe that communication is hugely important when navigating these unique relationships. He has to be honest or it will never work.

Good luck. Don't do anything you are not okay with, it won't benefit anyone in the long run.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:29 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Yikes, a condom package that mysteriously appeared in his wallet? Combined with everything else, it certainly seems that if he's not cheating on you already (and he may well have) that he will end up doing so soon if things continue this way. That's not what poly is supposed to be.

Dan Savage, an excellent advice columnist for sex and relationships, often talks about the "price of admission", or the things we choose to accept to be with our partners even though that particular thing about them wouldn't be our first choice. Your husband has paid your price of admission -- monogamy -- for the last 12 years. He is no longer willing to and has offered a new bargain. The question is, are you willing to pay it? "No" is a perfectly acceptable answer. I'm sure you've made other sacrifices for the marriage over the years, this doesn't have to be one. But if your answer is no, it sure sounds to me like the other options are that he cheats in secret or you two divorce.

All that said, I can tell you that becoming sexually non-exclusive doesn't mean you won't share anything unique or special. I've been dating a married woman for almost two years and I've seen over and over how special and irreplaceable her relationship with her husband is. I could never take his place and not just because I'm a woman and he's a man -- I'm sure that other poly folk on here who are dating married people would tell you the same. Surely your marriage has lots of special things about it aside from sex?

If you do the thinking and soul searching and decide to try to make things work, though, your husband is going to have to commit to a much higher level of honesty and consideration than he's been showing you. He's going to have to agree to take things slow and put your comfort high on his priority list if you give him this concession. If you go into all this with a lot of unresolved issues or resentment between you it'll be a mess both for the two of you and for any poor women who believe your husband when he says his wife is "fine" with it only to find out that it's not true and they've been put in the unwanted position of homewrecker.

www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html has some great articles on jealousy and on poly/mono relationships. Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:32 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Sorry you are going through this...both of you that is. I am also monogamous and believe I can fully appreciate what you are feeling. BUT...I have also been a cheater in the past so I can speak with some experience about your husbands behavior. He got busted...plain and simple, you caught him and now it's desperation time. This is a very huge hurdle to get over when trying to engage in a mono poly relationship after trust has been broken.

Here's the big question - why do neither of you want to end the marraige? Is it because of finances, social circles, family embarrassment, children....or is it because you genuinely love him and he genuinely loves you? I don't mean love as in the room mate sense (I did that for several years hence my affair). I mean in the romantic partner sense.

Is your husband really polyamorous or does he just want sexual diversity and adventure? People who know about being poly and behaving in an ethical non-monogamous way are held to a higher standard than those who simply cheat and have affairs. Poly is potentially less damaging than affairs but it is also almost guaranteed to be way more work. And that is the main appeal of affairs...less work, more fun until someone finds out.

Do not let him put any of this on you. Work with him if the relationship is worth it but protect your health. Be loving but don't be manipulated or convinced that your monogmay is wrong. Get counselling for both of you and seek out support for yourself - not just here, but real people to talk to.

Good luck
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:35 PM
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Ditto what AnnabelMore said.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
All that said, I can tell you that becoming sexually non-exclusive doesn't mean you won't share anything unique or special.
This is a good point to remember. And being emotionally non-exclusive doesn't mean your relationship with him won't be unique or special either.

It certainly sounds like he has cheated, was on the verge of cheating, or at the very least is giving himself the thrill of thinking about it by cruising the ads. We've only got one side of the story here, but on the face of it, his defensiveness doesn't sound constructive, to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG
Get counselling for both of you and seek out support for yourself - not just here, but real people to talk to.
Definitely take this advice. A supportive but neutral professional or two can often guide you through things that seem like an impasse.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:03 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Do not let him put any of this on you. Work with him if the relationship is worth it but protect your health. Be loving but don't be manipulated or convinced that your monogmay is wrong. Get counselling for both of you and seek out support for yourself - not just here, but real people to talk to.
Ditto what Mono said, but definitely this. The "real people" should be a marriage councelor.

Your situation is very similar to what nearly ended my marriage last year. The secrets and lies will have to be addressed, they can NOT just be swept asside nor excused. He will have work to do before he can earn back enough of your trust for you to be able to accept him for who he is. He may have figured out that he was poly a while ago, but he didn't bother to keep you informed as he came to his conclusions and in turn decided to keep it a secret and carry on behind your back.

I would tell him that you are not ruling anything out at this moment, but the two of you have a lot of work ahead to repair the damage of his secrets and cheating (and likely will discover also many issues that need dealing with) before you can accept what he is asking. You should also do a lot of reading here and the xeromag site. Talk to him about some of the things you are reading about. Start marriage counceling immediatley!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:41 PM
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There has been lots of good advice here. Have a look in the tags here under the search engine to see what stands out as a possible thread that could help. I suggest doing a search in the tags for "cheating," "lessons," and "foundations" for a start. It might help to hear other peoples stories and find out how they have made it work for them.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:11 PM
Longing Longing is offline
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Thanks everyone.
Dh and I both have individual counselors, though it has inadvertently helped our communication in our marriage, however it doesn't seem to be as beneficial as actual marriage counseling would be. We are looking into seeing a marriage counselor but so far it appears we will each have to stop seeing our individual therapists

I found The xeromag website before finding this one. It was nice to read through as most poly information makes the life style sound so intimidating to me. That site was helpful in providing a less scary look at the life choices but I still have so many emotions to sort through.

Regarding not wanting to end our marriage. We have three kids together for one. Also, our relationship is a very close friendship besides "just" a marriage partnership. I love him very deeply and feel that ending the marriage will also greatly (and negatively) affect my friendship with him. He has expressed similar feelings.

He says he will not ever pursue poly if I am uncomfortable. This is where I feel the most stuck. He has only recently learned the term polyamorous. Starting at least 8 years ago, he used erotic talk focusing on threesomes, foursomes, swapping, etc in our sex life. I played along because it got him excited and it was "just fantasy talk" - harmless? But then that turned into him looking for real people to bring into our bedroom, which real friends we could ask, who we are attracted to etc... Then I started getting nervous and problems first surfaced. It all went away then the fantasizing came back, then looking for people etc... It was January that he asked if we could open our marriage I agreed figuring it would be something slow we would figure out together. The next day he had craigslist profiles and within a week "sent" me to a mans house as a "trial". I was mortified. The man was a long time friend and didn't push me. In fact he just held me while I cried most of the night. I laid in another man arms crying that I couldn't have sex with him for my husband! I actually felt guilty! It was only a couple days later I asked for a divorce because I can't give this to him and he said he takes it all back and was sorry and it will not come up again, he only wants me etc etc. A month later I found out he had created 3 dating site profiles (in December!) met the one woman, planned on seeing her but hadn't met in person yet. A couple weeks after that was ended was when I found the condom in his wallet, that he can't remember putting there and then only about two weeks ago was when the new craigslist profiles were on his phone for a city he frequents for work.

I feel like I have to "accept" this because it will not ever just go away like he said. It's accept or divorce in my mind and I don't like my choices. it's not what I married into or choose for my life. I tried to go with it for him and couldn't. Failed miserably in fact! I'm just really at a loss that I am here again.

Thanks to everyone who has responded, and read this terribly long post!! I appreciate it!
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