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  #1  
Old 10-07-2014, 12:23 AM
exmormon1986 exmormon1986 is offline
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Default Poly-at-heart but monogamous in marriage

Iím having some major issues trying to reconcile how I feel right now. Iíve always believed that poly is the only relationship style that made sense but Iím currently married to a monogamous-only woman with two small children. I've always been poly-at-heart. In high school and college, I cringed at being in a "trial marriage" exclusive dating scheme. I never thought it was a good idea. I saw many people in absolute ruin over breakups and also so much politics. For instance, women will date another man just to make their ex jealous, men feel they need to compete with other men for the ideal mate which often leads to a confrontation. Relationships should be about mutual benefit, not politics.

I feel like I missed out on a chance to really explore relationships in these years. I had a few short flings, but nothing that lasted. I never really made a deep connection with another woman, and I think I never really have. My wife is nice and I enjoy being with her. I feel that life owes her more and I want to give that to her. But I'm not about to claim that she fulfills all my needs. Is it wrong to admit that? Poly is the only relationship scheme that has made sense to me. It's the only one that seems to be truly about making true connections without the pressure of "being the only one". Also, I feel that there are other women out there that could use my love and I don't want those women to be left out. There are so many lonely people out there. Isn't poly a great solution for loneliness, especially for folks that just can't fit the "one and only one" perfection that is required by monogamy?

My wife and I have talked about poly, before our marriage and during our marriage, and have each got a chance to really open up about how we feel. I donít think that she is all that willing to change her mind. When we got married, I suppose I was willing to change the way I felt, if it meant having children with this woman. She is really the best mother ever and I love her a lot. Our kids are beautiful and awesome and I want the best for them, especially to offer them two parents who stay together. My wife and I only fight about this one thing, the ploy issue. You see, even though I love her, I know that there are things that I need in life in order to have fulfillment, a woman who understands my ďout thereĒ thoughts on just about everything. My wife just doesnít seem to understand. She tries hard but it just goes over her head. I apologize to her if that sounds insulting but it's how I really feel. I know that she has had many painful experiences and needs healing, but she needs to understand that I do too. Perhaps, we could both use new, welcoming perspectives into our intimate lives. I really do love my wife and want to make her happy for the rest of her life and work toward our mutual benefit. I think poly could work, she just doesnít see it that way.

We may have gotten married too soon, before we had worked out all of our issues. Iím in the Navy, and when I got a transfer we rushed into getting married so that we could stay together. Without our marriage, we would have gone our separate ways and I would have been forced to live on my ship in a berthing with forty other menÖ yuck. Iíve never cheated on her, only had a long-distance ďemotional affairĒ with a female friend I had been writing to. Because, you know, itís hard being on deployment for almost a year and you have to seek out people who care. I know my wife cares and I care about her, we just donít click on every issue.

Itís strange, but I feel that if I could just feel understood by another woman, that I would grow closer to my wife. I feel that Iím dying inside, with nothing to look forward to in life but sacrifice for nothingóno growth or new experience. I am afraid I will spend the rest of my life waiting for fulfillment or regreting the past. Is it that wrong to want both relationship stability and new experience? Am I selfish for wanting more out of life?

I am planning on showing this post to my wife to let her know how I feel and to make an honest attempt to be open.

Thanks,
Robert P.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2014, 03:44 AM
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RichardInTN RichardInTN is offline
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I am in the same sad boat as you are, so I understand your pain.

I too am "Poly-at-heart but monogamous in marriage".
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:41 AM
billypi billypi is offline
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I'm in sort-of the opposite boat (no Navy pun intended). I'm monogamous, but currently in a relationship with a married polygirl. So... I know some of the things your wife is thinking. She's worried about having to compete. Insecure about not being good enough. Scared at her own feelings... what if she starts hating you? If she truly loves you, that thought alone would scare the shit out of her. And possibly, on some level, she's scared that it means she's expected to find someone else as well when she doesn't want to.

These are not easy things to overcome. And if you try to hard, it may feel like an attack; if change is going to happen, it needs to come slowly, organically, and from her own thoughts. It may not happen at all. It may only happen partially. But it can't be forced. She has to decide her own definitions on her own terms.

Best of luck to you. It's a hell of a position, for both of you, but it can work out. If you do show her this post, and she wants to talk to someone in sort-of the same position, she (or you) can PM me. I won't take sides, just sort of try to explain what I've gone through.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:44 AM
Candiedlove Candiedlove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exmormon1986 View Post
Our kids are beautiful and awesome and I want the best for them, especially to offer them two parents who stay together.
God, I hope you have more to offer them than "staying together." I've read divorce forums and plenty of kids are basically, "Dear God, but I was grateful when my parents finally admitted they were wrong for each other and split up." Kids can tell when you're staying together for them, and not because you're happy and fulfilled. And they really don't like it. At least a good amount of them don't. They're just annoyed they have to live with two parents who fight.
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Newly poly, but never monogamous

The "polyship":

Me 28F,
Sam 39M, my partner
Jen 38F, Sam's fwb & my friend

The former players:
Candi 41F, Sam's and my fwb/emphasis on the "f"/light on the "b"
Felycia 29F, Sam's and my fwb?/potential girlfriend
Leana 29F, Sam's and my girlfriend
Charlene, Sam's ex-wife
Paul, Charlene's boyfriend
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2014, 12:03 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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For someone who's mono-at-heart, polyamory can be scary as hell. Instead of seeing it as "My husband has a lot of love to give and wants someone *in addition to* me to share it with, and to share things with that he and I don't have in common," she may be seeing it as "I love him and he says he loves me, so why does he want another woman? Why am I not enough for him? How can he love two people? What if he leaves me for her?" etc.

I was fortunate when I came out as poly to Hubby. He's mono, but he's read a ton of science fiction in which characters were part of polyamorous relationships or group marriages, so he at least understood the concept and comprehended how it could work *for some people*. He's also very logical, almost Spock-like in the way he analyzes things, so he was able to generalize from "parents love more than one child, people care about more than one friend, etc." to "KC can love more than one man without it taking away from either of us or from her kids."

But most people don't think that way, and for someone who's mono, hearing that their partner wants an additional relationship can feel like rejection or like a slap in the face, as if their partner is saying "You aren't good enough so I need someone else to pick up your slack."

Be gentle with your wife. Be patient with her. Find books or online resources and ask her if she'd be willing to read them. Tell her over and over that this is who you are, and that you've tried your best to be monogamous but it feels as wrong to you as having an opposite-sex relationship would feel to someone who's homosexual. Tell her that you don't intend to love anyone INSTEAD of her, but in addition to. Point out to her that nearly everyone has more than one friend and is able to devote time and attention to all their friends, and that for someone who is polyamorous, romantic relationships work the same way.

She might never be able to accept that, and if that's the case, you will have to decide whether to stay married even though you aren't being true to yourself, or to leave her so you can be who you really are. And while I understand the idea of wanting to give your children an intact home... kids know when their parents are miserable. You wouldn't be doing them a favor by giving them an intact home where you aren't allowed to be yourself and your wife resents you for who you are.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:16 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
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I was in polyamorous relationships throughout my early and mid-twenties. At age 26, I met Arlo. During our early years together, we had threesomes with my ex boyfriend, I had a girlfriend for one summer, he was ok with it. He did freak out when I went to another country to be with an old flame, but I figured it was just too soon in the relationship, and down the road he'd relax. Eventually, I had no lover but Arlo, we moved in together, and we married. I thought Arlo would never force monogamy on me, though at the moment, I didn't mind behaving monogamously.

After we married, he started saying things that warned me he was not comfortable with non-monogamy. I protested sometimes, but didn't want to rock the boat, there was no one on my radar I absolutely had to have. I managed to stay monogamous for over a decade, then, at the age of 40, hello, mid-life crises! I just couldn't anymore, and someone was on my radar hardcore....I went to Arlo, told him I needed to open the marriage. First he said no, we're divorcing, but then he relented. He tried to allow an open marriage, we tried a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which frustrated me and didn't seem to help him much. Jealousy and pride undid him, and two years later, we are separated, leaning towards divorce.

Somewhere, in the back of mind, I always thought there'd be a loophole. Some part of me thought "Surely, no one expects me to only have sex/love with this one man for the rest of my life. I mean, I'm not even heterosexual!"

Turns out yeah, I WAS expected to only have sex/love with one person for the rest of my life. I'm sad my marriage is ending, I miss Arlo. But, on the other hand, something inside me is blissfully screaming: "I'm free! I'm freeeeeeeeee!" So, OP, perhaps you'll be like me: monogamous until you can't be monogamous anymore.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:11 PM
Candiedlove Candiedlove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBunny View Post
Turns out yeah, I WAS expected to only have sex/love with one person for the rest of my life
Well, that IS kind of the point of marriage. My partner married, not thinking he'd ever want another significant relationship, maybe just some casual flings on the side. Thought he needed marriage to create a family.

But you really don't.

We'll probably have a commitment ceremony and wedding ceremony. But aside from tax benefits, there's really no point to marriage unless you want only one person as your lifetime partner.
__________________
Newly poly, but never monogamous

The "polyship":

Me 28F,
Sam 39M, my partner
Jen 38F, Sam's fwb & my friend

The former players:
Candi 41F, Sam's and my fwb/emphasis on the "f"/light on the "b"
Felycia 29F, Sam's and my fwb?/potential girlfriend
Leana 29F, Sam's and my girlfriend
Charlene, Sam's ex-wife
Paul, Charlene's boyfriend
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2014, 03:16 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candiedlove View Post
But aside from tax benefits, there's really no point to marriage unless you want only one person as your lifetime partner.
It isn't just tax benefits; there's durable power of attorney, probate (if not married, having a will is HUGELY important), inheritance, health insurance, etc. that all have certain default actions if you're married. If you choose not to marry, then setting those actions up require some legal paperwork.

Not impossible, but still wanted to point out that there are reasons outside of taxes.
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2014, 08:09 PM
Candiedlove Candiedlove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
It isn't just tax benefits; there's durable power of attorney, probate (if not married, having a will is HUGELY important), inheritance, health insurance, etc. that all have certain default actions if you're married. If you choose not to marry, then setting those actions up require some legal paperwork.

Not impossible, but still wanted to point out that there are reasons outside of taxes.
True. Taxes, legal benefits. But you can have those outside of marriage. It's just more work.
__________________
Newly poly, but never monogamous

The "polyship":

Me 28F,
Sam 39M, my partner
Jen 38F, Sam's fwb & my friend

The former players:
Candi 41F, Sam's and my fwb/emphasis on the "f"/light on the "b"
Felycia 29F, Sam's and my fwb?/potential girlfriend
Leana 29F, Sam's and my girlfriend
Charlene, Sam's ex-wife
Paul, Charlene's boyfriend
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2014, 01:11 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi Robert,

Let us know (if you're willing) how your wife responds after you show her your post. Maybe if she's not willing to tolerate poly (yet), she'd be willing to get a Polyamory.com membership for herself. She can voice her concerns here and get help and responses from various people. If she doesn't want a membership right now, maybe she'd at least be willing to lurk and read some of the threads. We tend to fear the unfamiliar, and reading what poly people (and the monogamous people who love them) have to say might help her feel like polyamory is more of a familiar thing to her.

On the other hand, maybe she'll just say, "No way," and stomp her foot, and after (x) years you'll find yourself saying, "Well, I'm going to practice polyamory. I hope you'll support me and stay married to me, but if you feel like you need to divorce me, I'll understand."

Re: the children ... are unique individuals and I can't predict how a divorce would affect them. But remember that no matter what you do, you are setting an example for your kids and they are watching you closely. Perhaps it's not all that great for kids to learn that, "People should stay married no matter how unhappy the marriage makes them." Something to think about.

There is nothing wrong with you having polyamorous desires and wants and needs, but on the same token there is also nothing wrong with your wife having monogamous desires and wants and needs. It's not about who's "right" or who's "wrong" here. Neither of you are wrong. You are just trying to figure out how to make each other happy without driving yourselves to drink.

You seem to feel that you have a happy marriage, and I don't think that being poly automatically means you can't adapt yourself to monogamy -- and experience growth and new experience within monogamous bounds. If you want your wife to change her way of looking at things and realize that even though she's monogamous, she can adapt herself to a polyamorous situation -- then you need to be willing to look at the other side of the coin and see how that kind of compromise could apply to yourself.

The other posts here have good advice and feedback. Now you just need to start (re-start) the poly discussion with your wife. Be careful not to flood her. A little here and a little there is enough for starters. And, if you'll keep us updated, we can continue to offer suggestions.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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