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Old 03-16-2012, 05:10 AM
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firehaus firehaus is offline
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Question Living. Learning. One Day at a Time.

I am looking for information, suggestions, and learning about peoples' experiences with their poly choice.

I'm here not by my own choice but that doesn't mean I have been "forced". My wife of 11 years came to a realization a few months ago that she needs something else/different/more in her life. She told me about this only one month ago. She needs more "connections". I am not entirely unfamiliar with this need but I experience it in a different way, for me it is almost entirely sexual, for my wife it is for relationships not unlike hers and mine. We have a deep friendship, respect, love, and desire for each other which is why I'm here.

I've had friends and we have friends now who practice polyamory but I can't say that I have ever talked to them about it. I accept it because it works for them and that's enough for me. This situation with my wife is not entirely a surprise either.

Before my wife and I met she had been in a relationship where her partner lied and slept around a lot. As it turned out possibly passing on some STDs in the process. One day she found out about his lies and it altered her. She was really hurt by this and when I met her she was strictly monogamous. When I met her I was looking for marriage. Our sexual histories are fairly different in that she has had only 4 men in her bed and before our marriage I had many many more than that. She is now 39 and I am 48 and we have a 4 year old son all of us living in a suburban house. I have always encouraged and supported her life choices. Many of these choices take her away from me, but if she is happy then I am happy. She still feels a certain wanderlust to get out and explore the world (which I have always found odd since she hates to fly anywhere). So I am not surprised that one day she realized she may have made life choices based on incomplete experience. Partially this is where we start to run into trouble.

She already has two potential new partners in her life, both men, who she has known for a while. One of these men is married and he and his wife are poly. The other man is not married or poly but otherwise unattached. I know both of them. She tells me she has not yet had sex with either of them and she is not even sure that is where things are going. But for me this means I may have very little time to adjust to this new situation for us. I will also add that I am simply not in the same space. I am not looking to expand my partners. While I am not completely against her needs but at the same time I feel pressure because this thing may move fast (faster than I think she thinks it will).

A concern for me is that she is looking for additional serious relationships while I am not. I am fulfilled in my emotional relationship with her and with my son so while she is out pursuing her thing I may want to pursue something different.

I find my wife very sexually attractive and would happily make love with her every day, but I/we find that often there isn't the opportunity (for a variety of reasons that might take too long to put down in words here). In fact over the past couple of years we have not very often been together intimately (and yes this was related to her new feelings, not understanding them, but other issues as well). I had already been feeling so distracted by this absence of frequent intimacy that I was seriously considering having a sexual affair or affairs to help me feel "normal" so I could function day to day (going without sexual interactions is not normal for me). I'm thinking that she will be busy and unavailable in the other relationships while I'm needing a partner to fill my sexual appetite.

So there you have it so far.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:44 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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What exactly do you mean your not against her needs? Are you ok with her having other intimate partners. Is she ok with you having the same?

Have you done any couples counseling...since the loss of intimacy.

Do the 2 of you go on weekly dates?

Has your wife done any reading here on what to expect?

My gut feeling is if you have 1) intimacy issues to start with... and 2) reluctant spouse the odd of this working out smoothly are really low.

Is she home alone a lot...with large amounts of free time to invest in 1-2 other relationships? Time becomes a big factor.

I suggest she and you read as many stories here as you can to get an idea how things can go.....once started it's really hard to unring the bell.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:36 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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I feel like I just read a story about my life. That was uncanny.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:05 PM
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It seems fairly common for two partners in a monogamous relationship to want different things, ie. either sexual only or a loving relationship, when opening up to polyamory. I would say that being aware of this from the start is a good thing. We have seen so many stories of couples who say they want the same things and then finding out differently when more people are involved feels like a slap in the face. So, good for you. Breathe.

As to feeling like things will spin out of control too quickly for you, well, here is where negotiations begin. It doesn't have to go like, "Honey, this is what I want, so deal with it," and then suddenly she's in bed with someone else. It would be more loving, respectful, and easier to handle if it goes like, "Honey, this is what I want." "Okay, I'm open to it, but let's talk about how that will work for us." "Okay, what do you need to feel comfortable?" And so on.

If you feel like you can consent to being in a polyamorous marriage, then ask her to sit down with you and hammer out what you each would like to get out of it, what boundaries need to be respected, and how slowly you would like to move. Ask her for her patience in making this huge change. You could also invite her to come here and have an account to get feedback from this community as well as voice her needs, wants, and concerns.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:02 AM
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firehaus firehaus is offline
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Smile A Little More. Thanks.

Thank you dingedheart and I appreciate your comments. Helping me think and feel my way through this.

The "loss of intimacy" more or less occurred over the past 2-yrs. During the last year my wife had some medical issues that really made her lose interest in any sexual activity. The year before that she was when she started feeling something was wrong with her, with us, I felt it too. We would talk sometimes but never quite figure anything out.

As far as couples therapy I tried this in a previous long-term relationship and it accomplished nothing. I recently discovered a book that debunks everything that I remember doing in couples therapy. We are both reading through this book and working on the tasks. The book is called The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work by John Gottman.

I haven't had the conversation with my wife about what she expects. We have definitely been talking (more on that later). I am feeling that maybe I jumped ahead a little making assumptions, but a poly life choice is still in the picture.

Dating is something we really desperately need. We are aware of that. We have trouble accomplishing this because we have no family nearby, our friends are mostly also with kids, and our available pool of sitters is mostly young so they usually can't stay too late and no school nights. A few times during summers my wife's parents will visit overnight and give us a night or two out.j

I won't exactly disagree with the assessment that "...you have intimacy issues..." but I don't think can be put that simply. I have intimacy issues with men. I'm not into broadcast sports, playing sports yes, watching them on TV no. I either end up with geeks who I don't quite fit in with or with artists. Call me an "Arts and Science" kind of guy. I find that I can make friends with women more often than I can with men. The two men my wife has in her circle of friends are definitely her closest friends, closer than the women she is friends with.

My wife does work from home, so this gives her some extra time that I do not have but there is not really a big difference in the amount of non-work, non-childcare time we have. It is mostly how it is distributed. She gets little breaks here and there to communicate, have a lunch with someone, etc. I work a day job and manage a small team so I'm busy all day.

I haven't invited my wife to learn more about poly, I suspect she hears quite a bit from her friend who she already loves as a friend and is already living the life.

I left something out in my original post, and it is important, but it didn't seem to fit in. Since my wife spilled her soul to me about a month ago, and we began talking about this, we have actually been having really warm loving sexual encounters with each other. So even though I feel that there is a certain elephant in the room there is also a lot of optimism. My wife and do deeply love and care for each other so I feel that no matter where we go we will remain friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
What exactly do you mean your not against her needs? Are you ok with her having other intimate partners. Is she ok with you having the same?

Have you done any couples counseling...since the loss of intimacy.

Do the 2 of you go on weekly dates?

Has your wife done any reading here on what to expect?

My gut feeling is if you have 1) intimacy issues to start with... and 2) reluctant spouse the odd of this working out smoothly are really low.

Is she home alone a lot...with large amounts of free time to invest in 1-2 other relationships? Time becomes a big factor.

I suggest she and you read as many stories here as you can to get an idea how things can go.....once started it's really hard to unring the bell.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:37 PM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehaus View Post
Dating is something we really desperately need. We are aware of that. We have trouble accomplishing this because we have no family nearby, our friends are mostly also with kids, and our available pool of sitters is mostly young so they usually can't stay too late and no school nights. A few times during summers my wife's parents will visit overnight and give us a night or two out.
If your friends are mostly with kids, couldn't you trade nights? One night you take theirs and have a giant slumber party for all the kids; and next week they take yours? That way you don't have to pay a sitter, and everybody gets a date night, and even the kids get to have fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehaus View Post
My wife and do deeply love and care for each other so I feel that no matter where we go we will remain friends.
That is really sweet. I'm glad to hear your optimism.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:02 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Clarification:
What I meant by intimacy issue was the loss of intimacy over the past 2 yrs between the two of you.


It sounded like this idea (poly) was born out of replacing thing lost (sexual intimacy in your case ) and or a mini mid life crisis ( wanderlust and expanding her sexual and relationship experiences ).


If you don't date each other now ....how would you and she date others? Use each other as built in babysitters? That distance you had will likely grow with that plan.

Is your wife OK with you having other sexual partners? Is this her answer for your sexual needs being met? Has this been discussed in these terms ?

The spill over effect is quite common ...a happy and free wife makes for more action at home as well .....in some cases...not a given. And if you don't care who or how she got that motor running then this could be a good thing for you. Also her knowing that you're being sexual with other women might change the way she views you ...wake something up. The ladies here can comment on that. Does the thought of your man having sex with another woman arouse any desire or emotions ...see's him with a sexy eye, lusty, competitive, love, etc.? that would help in the spill over effect. I know some guys get turned on by the thought of their wives being with other men.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:42 AM
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firehaus firehaus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
If your friends are mostly with kids, couldn't you trade nights? One night you take theirs and have a giant slumber party for all the kids; and next week they take yours? That way you don't have to pay a sitter, and everybody gets a date night, and even the kids get to have fun.
This has been attempted and it doesn't work out. Because we seem to be unique in that we are the only ones without nearby family there is no incentive for the other couples to participate in this arrangement. We ask about it, they say "sure" but there never seems to be a time. In other words they are already getting their dates in but we don't. Somehow we will figure this out we've talked about and realize how important it is for us (happy parents will be better for our son too).
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:57 AM
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After all my wife's feelings and desires came into the open a couple of weeks or so ago and I accepted her feelings (her need to have the option to love others while keeping our relationship) our sexual desire and frequency has been wearing us out. Ultimately I want us both to be happy. I think of it as us both being on a train, we are going to the same happy destination, but we may be doing different things both together and apart while on the journey.

My wife's desire is to be able to love as needed. Yes, she has two men who she loves but that doesn't mean they are in the same place. One is in a poly relationship that takes a route my wife says she is not interested in. The other, even if he loves my wife, may not be able to love her the way she wants while I am still her primary. So for my wife this may not be expressed immediately it may happen for her at some later time (or tomorrow who knows).

I confess that my initial post was probably the result of a panic, filled with anxiety I needed help. Expressing my panic and concerns did help a little but the responses from those deeper into this helped even more. My wife and I keep talking about our concerns and feelings so things in some ways have never been better. I expect I will have issues going forward but they seem more manageable now.

But yes, a certain amount of my panic was the result of: We hardly date or sleep together now and if you're going to be sleeping someplace else then we'll never share our souls and bodies again.

Last edited by firehaus; 03-19-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:52 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehaus View Post
The other, even if he loves my wife, may not be able to love her the way she wants while I am still her primary. So for my wife this may not be expressed immediately it may happen for her at some later time (or tomorrow who knows).
How would she want to be loved by this other partner? Whats her vision for all this?


Whats her response to your last paragraph? How does building 2 separate outside romantic relationships help improve dates and intimacy in the so called "primary". Who's using the word primary you or her? Could that mean different things to each of you? Has that ever been discussed?
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