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Old 01-16-2010, 01:46 AM
konekochan konekochan is offline
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Default Dealing With Trust Issues

I'm not exactly new to Poly. When I was younger I had read about it and thought it sounded like me (even though I wasn't dating at the time). Then I got older, started having relationships and did what was expected of me (staying mono). It didn't help that I had dated boys from very traditional backrounds, and my last boyfriend had some serious trust issues to the point where we broke up (he claimed I cheated on him, which never happened).
I have been with my current boyfriend for over four years. We are really happy together and are planning on getting married in a few years. We've always been really honest with each other (so when someone tried to tell him I had cheated on him, he didn't even listen to them).
As much as I love him, I was starting to feel trapped. I had been talking to a friend of mine online and we got very close. Both being in mono relationships we'd talk about if our SOs weren't around we could get together. I thought why can't I be with both? After being mono for so long, I felt guilty thinking this way.
I actually re-discovered polyamory online and realized it wasn't a phase or anything when I was younger (as I had forgotten all about it when I actually started dating). I was so happy to find out I wasn't alone. I almost thought it would be so easy to get my boyfriend to understand since he's always been open to new ideas despite his more traditional upbringing.
He isn't opposed to the idea in the way most people think. He doesn't think its cheating or "wrong". He's afraid I'll find someone better and leave him. He thinks that he isn't good enough for me. I've tried to tell him I would never leave him, but he can't get past the idea of me abandoning him.
I know he'd let me do anything I want even if he wasn't happy with it, but I could never do anything to hurt him. I love him dearly and I just don't know what to do.
Any advice?
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:17 AM
StitchwitchD StitchwitchD is offline
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Why would you leave him if you can be with someone else without leaving him?

I just really don't get the logic there. Sure, if you've got 2 relationships, and one is miserable and not working, and the other is great, then it's going to be a little easier to end the non-functional relationship than if you were mono and ending your only relationship would mean you'd be completely alone and have to go back to dating and all that. But if you've got 2 relationships and they're both good in somewhat different ways, then why would you want to end a relationship that's functioning well? That'd be like amputating a healthy limb just because you've got another one.

If anything, being monogamous means that if you start developing an interest in someone new, then you have to choose between staying with your SO or exploring the possibilities with the new person. I guess the only way the "but you might leave me for someone new!" thing as a reason to stay mono makes sense is if A) there can be only one! and B) you can only develop feelings for someone if you are pursuing the relationship.

A) is countered by any contact with people in poly relationships.
B) is countered by....pretty much any love story where the people didn't start out looking for a relationship, but ended up falling in love anyhow.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:31 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by konekochan View Post
He's afraid I'll find someone better and leave him. He thinks that he isn't good enough for me. I've tried to tell him I would never leave him, but he can't get past the idea of me abandoning him.
Hello Kone,

Well, the positive thing about this is that you're talking NOW - rather than later (3 kids, a mortgage etc).
What he's exhibiting is pretty natural insecurity for everyone. It's a good time to also analyze what your own reaction would be were the tables turned. That's got to happen too eventually.
So keep talking, dig deep and do it together. This will bring all sorts of issues to the surface that may have lain dormant for years. Now's the perfect time to have them come out. You'll both learn lots of important things about each other.
You have to get past this anyway because otherwise you're possibly headed into captivity (his fear of 'abandonment'). That's not supportive of a healthy relationship and will tank it eventually anyway.
Better now than later.
Polyamory can have great rewards but you need to know it's also a lot of work for everyone. Don't be in a big rush and blinded by the potentialities. There's a variety of aspects of living poly that will differ dramatically from a mono lovestyle. Sex, affection, resources (time, emotions etc) are all things that have to be talked about & analyzed. Communication skills are paramount as, although they are important to all relationships, because of the complexity of poly relationships communication failures tend lend more danger to more people.

Polyamory is far from some new & exciting option. It's a path traveled by far more people than most would expect. The one positive part of this is that there are a wealth of people & resources out here in the world that by nature are happy to help you sort it all out and make the best decision for yourself.

Keep looking & learning and feel free to approach anyone here with any and all questions you may have. Take your time.

Good luck !

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:12 AM
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Seasnail Seasnail is offline
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That's how I felt when my partner proposed Poly to me, too. He gave me the space to confront my feelings and fears before we moved on to trying it out, and I am really grateful for that. I needed to see positive examples of how Poly relationships suceeded in the long term, and I needed to hear stories of how other couples worked through the transition to a positive space.

Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:48 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Perhaps the feelings of abandonment stem from somewhere else? Some unresolved issues from his past?

Nothing like poly talk to bring up everything.

It might be helpful to be sure you know what you want for now. Be honest and set some time lines that feel right for you. It sounds like this is something that needs sorting before you get married, so there is a time line for instance.

Baby step, there is no rush if you want to do it right as far as I'm concerned. Build a good foundation of respect, honesty, openness, empathy and tons of love and the rest will unfold. Make sure you sharpen those communication skills. You will need them!
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:50 PM
Ilove2men Ilove2men is offline
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My fiance had/has the same fear as well. What we boiled it down to is where we are now in our relationship and where do we want to be.

Currently, I am completely committed to him and I have no desire or need to be without him. I love him dearly and I choose to have him as a life partner. (which after months of cummunication it can feel like my feelings are not being heard or they are less important than his fears and assumptions and can be very frustrating when I try to do everything I can to make him feel safe and loved)

Currently, deep down he knows this about me, but he is still worried that my feelings could change. He has swirls of what ifs that take a toll on him from time to time. (which he tends to pull back from our relationship emotionally, which only adds to his fears of him not being good enough and me leaving him)

And where do we want to be, we both want a happy, strong, and secure relationship together for the rest of our lives.

So how do we get there from where we are? Time, patience, complete honesty, and care for one another... and a whole lot of faith and team work.

He focused quite a bit on the bond I have with my other and reacted with jealousy and fear. But now what he is doing is focusing on our own foundation. Putting all he can into our own bond so that way he knows he's done all he can to make our relationship healthy. he's using that fear as a positive now and letting go of the control caused by his fears. He is also breaking down the guard he put up out of fear and not only asking for what he needs to feel secure, but also allowing me to meet those needs.

And I am here listening to every irrational fear. Even the ones that seem a little insulting (he should know me better than that kind of thing) because he needs to give them a voice and I need to hear what my love is going through so I can be more understanding.

The thing is, no one knows what the future holds. What I do know is Im completely content in my relationship right now, but had a small taste of how damaging fear can be to a relationship.

Its important to remember that fear is completely normal and its also very important to remember that if you let that fear take control of you and your actions you will sabatoge yourself and will cause great pain to the ones that mean the most and you very well could be the one to cause exactly what you are scared of in the first place.

So now we are on more solid ground with the fear and all that's left is the fear of the unknown. Weve done and continue to do all we can to tame the beast and as I go on my first date this weekend (which is out of state so it will be overnight) we have our boundaries set (all 3 of us) and now we will all be supportive of what this date means for each one of us, but also staying honest about how its effecting us personally. Its a huge leap of faith for my fiance, but we have gotten to a point where he was ready to make that leap (his idea for the first date). Im so proud of him and his bravery and trust in me only brings me closer to him and makes me love him more and more.

Last edited by Ilove2men; 01-19-2010 at 05:10 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:13 PM
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Lemondrop Lemondrop is offline
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I'd just like to add, be patient and reassuring. It doesn't hurt for the person who's afraid to hear that you have no desire to leave them. I'm almost a year into our poly relationship, but I still need the reassurance sometimes. It helps to know that I can ask for the reassurance when I need it.
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