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Old 06-25-2014, 05:02 AM
MisterC MisterC is offline
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Default Does the pain of bad first experience ever go away?

Has anybody here (particularly men whose first experience was your wife with another man) had a really bad first poly sexual experience and it still turned into something good. I have and it felt like my world was destroyed. He does not seem like a bad guy but the experience and the emotions keep flashing back. It's been 5 days since it happened and I have been able to get very little sleep and have had to force myself to eat. The times that I feel okay with things are getting longer but she is going back to see him tonight and I felt good all day about things but now that she is leaving to go see him I am feeling all of it in full force again. I want to believe that a better life can come of this and that I can work through these feelings until they are gone but if they don't go away I know this will destroy me. We had considered it for years now and believed it would be so enriching to our lives and the only negative thing I could think of was perhaps time management. Has anybody been in this situation and gotten through to something positive?
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:20 AM
Asparagus Asparagus is offline
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I'm not sure I'm there yet , but I'm working on having my partners' going off being a good experience, and a lot of it has to do with looking at what I need while it is going on. What information do you need from your partner before and after about what is likely to/did go on? Do you need them to check in with you about how you are doing before and/or after? What sort of preconnection/reconnection do you need- physically and emotionally? What sort of reassurance?

For me, feeling bad happens because one of those areas did not happen in the way I need it. I can do poly a lot more easily and better if before and after I get reassurance that I'm important, physical contact (even if it's just it's texted kisses, due to distance), checking in on how I'm doing, and a sense of what is expected to happen and a rough idea of what did. I can 't if that doesn't 't happen. My partners seem to need less of that. Each person is different. But you may find it gets easier if the situation is set up for success for you in terms of your connection/ knowledge needs being met. And the pain may diminish if you know what needs to be different, are able to verbalized that to your partner, and have her on board with changing things.

Good luck !
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:30 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Yes and no.
It doesn't stop being so painful when it crops up. But it crops up less and less frequently as time passes.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:11 PM
drinnt drinnt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterC View Post
Has anybody here (particularly men whose first experience was your wife with another man) had a really bad first poly sexual experience and it still turned into something good. I have and it felt like my world was destroyed. He does not seem like a bad guy but the experience and the emotions keep flashing back. It's been 5 days since it happened and I have been able to get very little sleep and have had to force myself to eat. The times that I feel okay with things are getting longer but she is going back to see him tonight and I felt good all day about things but now that she is leaving to go see him I am feeling all of it in full force again. I want to believe that a better life can come of this and that I can work through these feelings until they are gone but if they don't go away I know this will destroy me. We had considered it for years now and believed it would be so enriching to our lives and the only negative thing I could think of was perhaps time management. Has anybody been in this situation and gotten through to something positive?
Mister C, I feel ya buddy. I cut my teeth in this regard as a swinger. Our last swinging relationship turned poly for my wife and the other guy. It was made harder by the fact that I did not have chemistry with his wife so that was a real added stressor.

From what you are writing I can tell two things. Yes, I really can get that from the language you are using. First - you want this...I can tell. You still believe in the amazing doors it could open for you. Second - this will pass for you. I'm a firm believer that when entering poly everyone has a VERY UNIQUE personal struggle that they must journey through. How can we not after growing up under our societal conventions. You WILL find your way through it. The POSITIVE that will come of it is the huge personal growth gains you will get for YOURSELF for having gone on the journey.

Sounds like you are on the right track. Sounds like jealousy is not a huge issue...just doubt, insecurity, maybe a little loneliness. Keep focused on that "something positive". It's out there. You're headed right for it. One day you'll look back, not too far behind you and say "Wow! I have come a LONG way." The world will never look the same.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:21 PM
MisterC MisterC is offline
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Thanks Asparagus. I went into things with no preset boundaries because I didn't want to stifle things unnecessarily and wanted to set them as needed. Your reply helped me to better understand the boundaries I need. Particularly time and meeting needs for connection. The times seem to take longer than I anticipate and I end feeling hurt and alone. Clearer time frames from her would definitely help. How do you make sure that your need for meaningful connection is met? Its taking a toll on me so completely that I'm afraid I will lose my brand new, best pay ever and no overtime job. That would probably put us in the darkest time of our marriage as I'd have to go back to insane hours for less pay and no connection.

Thanks lovingradiance your words. Have you found a way to manage those feelings or do they continuously wear you down even though they are less frequent?

Last edited by MisterC; 06-25-2014 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Wrong name
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:32 PM
MisterC MisterC is offline
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Drinnt, your words mean a lot to me. I needed to hear that because I have been seeing how powerfully earth shattering and gut wrenching this journey can. Its made me wonder is this really a good thing for anyone or is everyone just coping by eventually numbing themselves?
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:47 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi MisterC,

I'm not a man, but my 'wife' sleeps with men, if that counts

I can tell you that I found her first time excruciating. I used to wonder exactly the same thing as you: will this ever get better? Around 2.5 years have passed since then, and I can definitely tell you that it should get easier.

Perhaps a little of it is numbness. You become accustomed to certain things. For instance, I used to feel the insecurity monster crop up every time my GF was messaging with a new guy or going on a first date. These days, if she's messaging with a guy I'm like "meh, whatever".

However, other things also change over time, and this helps with insecurity:

- self-work, improving your own self-esteem, etc.
- building trust through 'proof of the pudding'
- the 'dating half' of the couple learning how to balance and communicate better, be more compassionate, etc.
- learning your own triggers and how to avoid them

Poly can be a wonderful thing. One of the most wonderful things that I find is, I have to be perfectly honest, the freedom to date others yourself. When you feel that love for two people, it's amazing. When you enjoy the freedom to experience NRE with others, it's amazing. I've found that the insecurity lessens once you've experienced the dating side yourself. For me, at least, I realised "Ohh... so this is what it feels like. This doesn't change the way I feel for GF at all." Some people also experience genuine compersion (happiness for their partner over dating, etc.) too, and that can be a benefit of poly.

In terms of communicating your needs, I'd say that's always a good thing to do. As long as you remember to state needs ("I'd really love to have one date night per week with you") and not controls/rules ("You can't see this guy more than once a month"). How you do this will depend on the communication style between you and your wife. If she's extremely compassionate and empathetic, bring it up when you see the opportunity. If she gets stressed out, or you might have a tendency to swamp her, weekly check-ins can be a good method.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:56 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterC View Post
Thanks lovingradiance your words. Have you found a way to manage those feelings or do they continuously wear you down even though they are less frequent?
Primarily my husband was the one who struggled in regards to poly. But-through a LOT of deep conversations over the last 4 years, we've concluded that what he struggled with was VERY VERY similar to what I struggle with in my depression and anxiety (which isn't poly related).
The answer is:
6-12 months can go by now without those feelings coming up & when they do come up, they are MUCH MUCH shorter lived (hours versus weeks).

The BIGGEST thing we have both found is that the "solution" to managing them "in the moment" is to acknowledge we are having the feelings and then work through them.

One thing that has helped A LOT with that is both of us understanding that emotions do not = actions. Just because I feel insecure, doesn't mean you are doing something wrong (or that I am). Just because I am hurting doesn't mean you hurt me.
Feelings are like weather and they change. Sometimes predictable, sometimes unexpectedly.

So we "breathe through them" together.
If he says he's feeling insecure, I respond with "how can I help" and usually he says "I need a hug" or to cuddle or sometimes sex.
If I am feeling insecure, he asks me how he can help and I tell him. Usually I need to cuddle or take a bath together.
If one of us is struggling with remembered issues; we say so and we talk through why it's not an issue any more.

But-most importantly, we don't try to pretend that we aren't feeling whatever it is we are feeling. We accept those emotions and we share them. We share the good, we share the bad and we work on learning what concrete actions we can take as individuals for ourselves and for each other to help minimize the "bad" ones.

Yes-it gets easier.
I can't say *when* in your case-everyone is different.
It took us 14 years as a couple to get to the point where we could communicate properly for managing emotions & it took us 3 years into poly before we could address poly-specific issues in a healthy and functional way.
Hopefully it won't be that big a struggle for you. We are both hard-headed.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:23 AM
MisterC MisterC is offline
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I don't know if I am in compersion yet but my primary and her bf are at a concert together tonight and I feel okay. I don't want to vomit, scream cry, hold onto her for dear life, etc. I have had major breakthroughs today! I am so fortunate/blessed to be with such a compassionate person as her. She has constantly engaged me and explored what I was feeling tirelessly. I thought I might become such a burden that she would start to ignore me and kill our relationship but she said something that was extremely difficult for me to hear and possibly for her to say: that I have been codependent since i got out of college, we moved and I started work full time. I have been exploring that because I had only a limited understanding of what it is and why it's not healthy. I am an anarchist and believe in cooperation and community etc. and that people do best in smaller tribe-sized groups with trust and connection who can fully depend on one another. So when confronted, I thought how can co-dependency be a bad thing really? It's like cooperation to it's ultimate conclusion right? Why shouldn't we define ourselves by each other? So wrong. It was a subconscious defense that I leaped over pretty quickly to see who's behind the curtain. Turns out the all-encompassing, inescapable, dreadfully powerful thing I was experiencing was just a projection from a little guy called codependence.

And another thing: I have started to rediscover who I was before I fully surrendered it to the world of work. I saw in her new BF someone who had done many of the things that I have wanted to do in life but didn't in order to become the good husband and father archetype. At first this may have been some twisted way of trying to emulate him and attract her back away from him (I did at one point even feel an attraction to him which might have been another unhealthy mechanism at play although I have been bi-curious all of my sexual life and pleasing her and another guy at the same time has been a fantasy we have explored but never fulfilled) but now I am realizing how I never got to explore some of my most passionate interests which I now feel able and open to doing. I feel okay for the first time in a long time and am loving it! It's not just a distraction, its real! When I heard others talk about codependence, I thought they were just throwing a pejorative at weaklings who can't hang with the big dogs of poly. I would encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, etc. starting in this way of life to examine what codependence is and what's going on behind it. Some of the hurts of that first experience may be legit, but the reason it felt like my world was destroyed was because it was. It was a world based on an unhealthy way of loving.

One last thing that helped was our shared spirituality. I have had clear and lucid totally conscious experiences of connection to what I call universal consciousness. When I cannot connect with it we use the medium of the tarot deck and it has always guided us right and we got reassurances through about 2 or 3 readings that this would enrich our lives and take us to new levels of joy and fulfillment. WHICH IS NOT WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR! I wanted to hear that we should call it off. There was no way to twist the guidance we got and I put my faith in the guidance of the universe which has brought myself and us down a path of love and fulfillment in many aspects of our lives.

Thank you thank you a million times for all of your support and if you'd like I can post a follow-up thread later on.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:33 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Mr C, how's it going?
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