Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Introductions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-10-2012, 01:40 AM
Steven Steven is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Question Very new here - and looking for your opinion

Hi

I'm not sure that it's really appropriate posting to this forum, as it's my first time here! But I have been poly almost all my adult life - without admitting it - so although this forum is new to me, who I am has been a constant for over 20 years now. Here's the catch - I have never acted on my poly beliefs. I have, for my whole life, been monogamous.

I know that must sound wacko - does to me too - but I can't explain it any other way. I am married, one child plus 2 from my wife's former husband whom I have raised these last 13 years. I was married before, for nearly 10 yrs. Quit that because, well, I couldn't put a word to it (didn't know that polyamory was an option. I thought I was just a freak.) but I wanted other loves in my life, not just one. And like a guy trying too hard to be monogamous, I fell in love right away after leaving my first wife. I have had no other relationships other then the 2 women I married (have not even dated other people). So to sum up, I've been living in monogamy continuously since the age of 19.

Please don't judge me as weak for not having come out earlier in my life. I'm definitely not a weak person! But I have always taken it upon myself to prove (to myself and to the women in my life who are role-models for me) that I am NOT a typical pig/jerk male. I've accomplished this by trying to make monogamy work, and that has come at the expense of being who I really am.

I could blame not coming earlier on the Leave-It-To-Beaverland beliefs that western society rams down our throats. But that's not being honest. I have no problems rejecting many of our cultures pressures, and have been very successful in my life because of that. In retrospect, I don't think living monogamously has been a mistake, just a side-path on my journey. And now I'm simply further along my path in life.

However, I have never been fully honest with my wives about who I am - which is unfair to both of them - so now I have a choice to make. Do I continue to lead my life of monogamy, which makes her happy but not me. Do I leave her to embrace this life (we have an 8 yr old child - so this choice isn't a good one!), or do I *somehow* try to explain to her who I am?

When I say "never been fully honest" with my wife, what I mean is that she knows I'm very interested in being intimate with other people, but she has assumed (and I have not protested enough) that this means Swinging. She has actually volunteered to try swinging, and she hopes that a few random-sex experiences will be all that I need to 'cure' my need for more sexual experiences. But when the topic comes up, I have come up with excuses to avoid actually doing the swinging-thing, because it's just not me. It's not about the sex with other women (or men), which is something she can just (barely) accept. For me it's about the closeness, the bonding and deep love that comes with a long-lasting relationships. The learning and growing. And me loving another woman or man is not something she will handle well at all! I have told her, in the past, that I don't believe in monogamy, but this has fallen on deaf ears. I'll tell her, wait for a response, and get nothing. So it is difficult to continue a conversation when you're not sure of your spouse's opinion on the matter - and she has made it indirectly clear that this is not something she wants to talk about.

So now I'm at that crossroads. Do I hurt her by saying (as compassionately as possible) that I'm simply living only part of my life? Or do I just shut-up, give up on the chance of real happiness in my relationships, and move on? Maybe take up a serious hobby, run for office (lol!) or spend more time in my business.

Can anyone relate to this? Sorry for being so long-winded. This is years and years of supression coming out (and I've edited this down to a fraction of what I want to say! )

So please let me know what you think about what I have said, thank you!

Last edited by Steven; 03-10-2012 at 01:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-10-2012, 04:59 AM
StreetRacer StreetRacer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 26
Default

Welcome Steve! New here too
Your story does not sound wacko at all though, actually it might possibly be a familiar situation for many here! (and not here)
I personally think you making the step and coming to a place like this shows that you have made a step in your own mind, which I think seems important. I'm not quite sure what to tell you about your wife, I think it's pretty cool that she was open to swinging, I think it means a big step for her, however I'm not sure that she will ever be truly poly either, but I would just take it slow now and play it as it goes, I don't have a "next step" for ya though, wish I did. Hope this helps and good luck dude!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-10-2012, 07:40 AM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 699
Default

Hi Steven,

Welcome to the forum. Fascinating for me to read your post. It made me think much of my dad. I have heard him (not very often, but oft enough for me to remember) complain about monogamy, that it's the price to pay for having the girl. I think that part of him is pretty happy for me. I know he's enjoyed seeing me rebel against tradition throughout my life.

I also thought, as I read, that if I were your wife, and I heard the statement, 'I don't believe in monogamy,' from a man who stood up, presumably in front of friends and family, and took vows with me, I would hear something along the lines of 'I'm unhappy with this marriage and thinking of not being married.' I would tend to hear that very loudly.

If you really want to live poly, honesty is a really important thing to practice. Why not practice that where you are? If you can't be honest with her, how are you going to be honest with the next one (or two or three)?

So ya, if you're looking for opinions, I think you should tell your wife all of who you think you are. Who you are is different than how you behave. You can tell her you're poly and still choose to live monogamously with her. You can still take up a serious hobby or sport. But you'll be honest, and you'll know that she's with you because she loves who you are and not some fantasy you're projecting.

However, the method of telling is important. If someone said to me they were 'living only part of my life,' I'd be very unhappy that person spent 13 years with me, faking it.

I encourage you to do lots more research about telling, opening up, etc., before you have that conversation with her. There is tons of information in these forums. There's a sticky thread with good books, and though I haven't read it, I see folks recommending Tristan Taormino's 'Opening Up' for situations much like yours.

I think it's great you've found these forums, and you're able to write out many years' suppression!
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-11-2012, 07:15 AM
Steven Steven is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Thumbs up

Thank you guys for your advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
Hi Steven,
I also thought, as I read, that if I were your wife, and I heard the statement, 'I don't believe in monogamy,' from a man who stood up, presumably in front of friends and family, and took vows with me, I would hear something along the lines of 'I'm unhappy with this marriage and thinking of not being married.' I would tend to hear that very loudly.
I don't know why I didn't think of that. Acknowledging my lifestyle shouldn't start with miscommunication. I do want to stay with her if it's possible and if she's willing stay with me after I tell her who I am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
However, the method of telling is important. If someone said to me they were 'living only part of my life,' I'd be very unhappy that person spent 13 years with me, faking it.

I encourage you to do lots more research about telling, opening up, etc., before you have that conversation with her. There is tons of information in these forums. There's a sticky thread with good books, and though I haven't read it, I see folks recommending Tristan Taormino's 'Opening Up' for situations much like yours.

I think it's great you've found these forums, and you're able to write out many years' suppression!
I downloaded Tristan's book from Amazon and have started to read it. But what I really need is what you, and hopefully others, in this forum can help with. And that's advice from those who have been there and experienced it before me.

Normally, I just go for things in life, without much thought, and usually that works well. But this is different. If I'm not completely honest, or if I'm too blunt with my honesty (too much honesty too soon) I could damage my relationships (wife, kids, friends). I don't think I've been confronted with something that is so delicate before, I feel out of my element.

Slowly slowly I guess, one step at a time.

Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-11-2012, 07:59 PM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 699
Default

Nice.

For me, it helps very much to know, and be certain of, what I want communicate. Even when what I want to communicate is uncertainty.

This came to regarding something else, but I think it applies. I have physical challenges, and I have special parking tags. I appear quite healthy. This can cause distress to some strangers and even people who know me, but not well. I have many friends with my same condition and they get quite miffed at people's ignorance and lack of understanding and support. I rarely have a problem with strangers or friends. I believe that this is because I am very clear about what my condition is, and what I need to do to manage it.

When someone sees me in a wrist brace they often ask if it's carpal tunnel. Elevator people. I spiel my sound bite, cheerfully: no, I have a condition that makes my collagen defective and my joints have a tendency to dislocate at random.

So, because I'm clear about who I am what I need, that's usually end of discussion.


Even when I don't know what I need, I can be clear about communicating that, too. "hunny, I'm feeling lost and confused right now and I'd like to just talk it out, if you've got some time."
(that works especially well for me as my boyfriends would prefer I get to the point)

Baby steps are good progress.
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:46 PM.