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Old 11-10-2011, 01:27 AM
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joedad85 joedad85 is offline
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Default I talked to my wife tonight

Maybe writing this will help me process my thoughts and emotions…

Tonight I told my wife that ideally I would have more than one love in my life. She took it surprisingly well and even managed to make a joke, something along the lines of “You mean I get to have two men now?” Later, she said she didn’t really know what to think and would need some time to digest it all.

Her initial thought was that it would only be a matter of time before I no longer wanted to be with her. The example she used was “What if I met a rich man that could take me on all the expensive trips to foreign countries that I wanted? Wouldn’t you be worried that I wouldn’t come back?” To which I replied, “Why wouldn’t you come back if you loved me?” She didn’t have much of a response to that and just said that perhaps she wouldn’t feel like she needed me any longer.

I tried to reassure her that I loved her and that no one could replace her in my heart. “Think of all the years and experiences we’ve had together!” I said. She acknowledged that but then reiterated her previous statement that I would eventually tire of her if I had someone else to love. “I can see the progression already,” she said. “You would start out as friends but your feelings would grow stronger. Soon there wouldn’t be any place for me in your life.”

We finally agreed that we both needed to have some time to process our feelings. She is now upstairs in our bedroom, focusing on paperwork for her job. I’m sitting in the living room, hoping that she isn’t crying silently, thinking that her entire life has been shattered.

What comes next? Only time will tell.

If you have any advice please feel free to offer it. I didn’t want to have this discussion with my wife, but I could no longer keep my needs suppressed, twenty-one years is long enough, and I had promised her that I would always be honest with her.

Thanks for reading this.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:34 AM
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vanille vanille is offline
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The concept of having enough room reminds me of something I read. The issue was believing that love is measurable. Some people treat it as though you have 100 "units" of love. If you only love me, then I get them all. But what if you love two people? Does that mean I get 50 and she gets 50? Or worse 40/60?

Love is not quantifiable. You can love them both (or more). It will just be in a different way.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:53 AM
Openman Openman is offline
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I think the most important thing in life is to live with integrity. That means living from your deepest core. Telling your wife your honest feelings is an act of love, no matter how hard she takes it.

I recently told my wife the same thing about three weeks ago. It was a huge burden off of our marriage. I feel "clean" in a relationship for the first time in my adult life. I no longer expect my wife to give what she can't give and can appreciate even more deeply what she brings to our marriage.

I am lucky. She met my feelings with kindness and love and I am now free to pursue relations with other women. My wife has no interest in other relations, but she is free to if she chooses.

It is true, I think, that love knows no bounds. And when you truly love someone, you want them to be happy and thrive.

Stay true to yourself, no matter how fearful you are of the consequences, or the pain you may both feel. It took us about a full week to process the change. I'm sure when I start dating or seeing someone, it will be still more work, but the process is underway and can't be stopped now. I feel more confident and honest than ever, and at the same time, more capable of truly loving my wife!

The other bit of advice is to be as kind and tender as you can when you convey your feelings. Give it time, let it play out, good luck.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:10 AM
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@vanille

I am in complete agreement with you, but my wife doesn't share that opinion. She is convinced that I will find someone to take her place.

@OpenMan

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I feel sick to my stomach now, after talking to my wife but the conversation needed to be held. I just hope things go as well for me as they are for you.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Openman View Post
I feel "clean" in a relationship for the first time in my adult life.
I totally get this feeling. Its a hard one to describe. Even if things are difficult and go array its that feeling (part of it is integrity I think, maybe some honesty, awareness of self, compassion...) that I look for in all conversations... with that I know that the path I am on is the right one for me, even if it is not the one I thought I would be on or wished I was on.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedad85 View Post
She is convinced that I will find someone to take her place.
At this point, she is only able to see things as a monogamous person would. That is, she thinks that if there is another love interest in the picture, eventually you will have to choose one or the other.

But polyamory means having more than one AND choosing both. Or three or four. You wouldn't go to a buffet and put only one thing on your plate.

There is no need to choose because different people relate to different aspects of ourselves and satisfy different needs. Having more than one love doesn't mean any is better than the other, although the depth and longevity of your marriage will probably be held more dear than any others, but other relationships would just be different and satisfy you differently. Maybe you can put it to her that way, or invite her to read this thread so she can add her side, ask questions, etc.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:05 AM
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I believe that "growing apart" is something that happens when any relationship has run its course. If it's going to happen, it will happen whether or not your are sharing your love with other people.

It's been my experience that responsible polyamory brings energy and excitement back into the older relationship, rather than take away from it.

That, of course, is completely counter-intuitive to people who grew up in a monogamous world. Usually when monogamous people start to see other people, it's after the first relationship has already started to break down, and it's usually a hidden affair happening behind the spouse's back. So then people blame the affair for ending the marriage, when I think it's often the other way around: the end of the relationship led to the affair.

The only way to accept this is to see it first hand, and that can be tricky. You've taken the first step and now it's largely a question of patience and communication. Go give your wife a hug.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:23 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Joe,

welcome, and buckle up for the ride. I wouldn't necessarily disagree with what the others have said I would say that there is plenty of evidence here to support your wifes fear.

I listened to all the same words and arguments and I'm sure some or most were true when spoken but things change, feeling change,the dynamics change, the place you occupy in her heart could change. I heard plenty of stories in which a person convinced spouse to become poly only to find out they themselves couldn't handle it...or the spouse left them to be with a more compatible partner. The law of unintended consequences lives and works this circus everyday. I think there are risks that just can't be calculated or planned for...which also makes the game of love so much fun.


People here like to have it both ways. "I can't help it I fell in love. Its just LOVE ... I didn't mean to, even tried not to but I did ...I fell head over heals and here we are". "Do you mind if we talked time split. New lover and I ok for now with the way things are so you can get comfortable but long term I/we are thinking of something closer to 50/50... just puttin that out there so you know what to expect ...have I told what a great job I think you're doing handling this and how much I love you". Couple that with I'm going to go out and find and develop romantic relationships that will include sex but I will manage them (time, space, intensity, money ) to preserve our marriage (primary relationship).

"what happens if you don't manage things well ?" "that's why we have the list of boundaries that I will "try" to adhere to so that won't happen.
Think expansion, freedom, joy.... doesn't that feel better?


good luck D
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:01 PM
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Love is not quantifiable. You can love them both (or more). It will just be in a different way

I have some experience with this one...it was one of my main concerns when my husband and I decided that this was what we wanted. For years, I have been his whole focus, and he has been mine. Now, room has to be made for another person, a woman no less, that no only occupies part of our time, but also our hearts. It took a while, but I finally got that although my husband and I love each other so much, and we also love our girlfriend, there is plenty of room for each of us to love each other and no one gets slighted, or worst of all, left behind.

I know what your wife is feeling, and if given enough time to think and reflect with a lot of patience from you, she might even get to where this will not be her mindset.

I wish you both luck, and can I just say, kuddos for finally having the talk.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:03 AM
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When the time is right do what I did for my girlfriend. Show her this site so she sees she is not alone in her feelings. I had been trying to figure out how and when to introduce my girlfriend to the site. Finally things came to a head and we were discussing how she had been feeling. I pulled up the web site set the laptop in front of her and said here are hundreds of other people that know what you are feeling and know what you are dealing with and what your going through. After letting it sit in front of her for a few minutes I moved it and we continued the discussion. That discussion went on for several days off and on.

She started reading things on here and we started reading threads and posts together. it has helped and she is now comfortable and posting responses and still reading. I have seen a huge difference in her and she has come so far just in the last 2 weeks since I showed her the site. Things are still going to be difficult at times but as long as we are willing to take the time to put in the work and truly listen to and talk with each other the 3 of us will make it just fine.
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