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  #1  
Old 04-05-2012, 04:47 PM
Marvel Marvel is offline
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Unhappy Marvel's Tale

My history is this: my husband and I have been married over 20 years. I'll call him JN. We have three children, two are still at home. I have been a stay-at-home mom for most of child #2's life and all of child #3's. I have had some health issues that started after child #2 but before child #3. These issues have caused me to gain (and lose and regain) a fair amount of weight. our marriage has had its ups and downs but I don't think anyone would say that it has been less that a solid happy marriage, even me.

but then several months ago my husband sat me down and told me that he was pretty sure he is poly and told me that he wanted to be able to see other women to make friends and have sex if it worked out that way. He also mentioned having an interest in BDSM. I was shocked, and very upset. He went on to say that he knew he couldn't do the BDSM things with me, but that he wasn't seeking women just for that. I was crushed, I cried for days, couldn't eat or sleep. he kept telling me that he didn't want to leave me and that nothing was wrong between us.

and here it is several months later and we are still together and he is as sweet and loving as ever, but I can't shake the panic I feel whenever he wants to discuss opening our marriage.

I ask him why he doesn't just leave me if he wants to have all these other women, and he tells me it's because he loves me and doesn't want to live without me, it's just that he wants this too sometimes.

I am so afraid that he will leave me though once he finds someone else who is thinner and has fewer health problems. He tells me that's not true, but I feel it is. Our sex life has not dwindled away like others we know, even during hard times or when I was having rough spells. So I am very confused.

I don't want to lose him, but I don't know that I can share him this way.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2012, 05:02 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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Has he ever given you a reason to distrust him previously? If not, accept what he is saying as true. He came to you instead of cheating, he is being patient while you process, and he has stuck with you for this long that it's clear he loves you and wants to be there with and for you.

Some people aren't poly. If you can't share him that's fine. Don't blame your trust though. Find the real reason. You're either jealous or selfish or just don't believe that's how things work. All of those reasons are acceptable. Not believing the man you love when he tells you his feelings isn't and it will hurt both of you.
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Kyle: 27 year old male
Katie (rymmare): 25 year old female
Kids: girl: 5 years old, boy: 3 years old
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2012, 08:04 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Hugs to you - that feeling must be a little bit like dying, and my heart goes out to you. There is nothing easy about facing a poly situation when a) it's not something that you want and b) isn't even necessarily something that you knew existed.

Use this board to tell your story, share your feeling and journal. It's a safe place with tons of people who have been through similar challenges; maybe not identical to yours, but at the very least, some enough to provide you with compassion and sage words of wisdom during a difficult time.

I think the thing that you're realizing is that this isn't going away. Your husband has this idea in his head/heart/soul, and it fits for him. Now it's up to you how YOU want to proceed. If it is something that you don't want, that's totally okay - you may have to make the impossible choice of walking away from your marriage in order to honour the ideals that you hold around relationships. That is your right. As fucked up as this may sound, it's your husband's right to express, and ultimately get what he wants out of life as well - not against your will - that would make him an asshole (in my opinion, anyhow - maybe not in everyone else's).

You have SO many rights if you do decide to stay with him and open up your relationship with him. It is not an all or nothing thing, I don't think. You have the right to make agreements/boundaries/rules with him, you have the right to set limitations about how much & what kind of time he can spend with other women. I think it's all about perspective. If you come at it with the idea that you might lose him in the process of poly, everything about poly is going to seem like a threat. If you look at it as though it's ALMOST like a hobby - like bowling, with benefits - you might be able to start seeing it as an expansion of a particular part of himself.

Questions for you - why won't he have BDSM sex with you? Can you see yourself being poly with anyone else?

Share, process, and remember you're amongst friends here, even if some people are WAY more okay with things that you're not (yet, or maybe ever).
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2012, 08:59 PM
Marvel Marvel is offline
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Yes, at first it was a lot like grieving. I don't think I have ever felt such emotional pain. And thanks for the hugs.

The reasons he will not explore BDSM with me are because I have no interest in those activities, and he says he knows I would just be "going along", which would be a turn-off, and that he is afraid of hurting me, and sex with me for him is about gentle, passionate love-making. Therefore he feels he needs someone else who is into that and that he doesn't have a loving sex history with.

As for seeing myself poly I honestly don't know. My husband has said that if we open our marriage that means it is open for both of us, but like I mentioned in my other post in the advice section, I have had some health problems that have made me very sensitive about my body. One commenter said that I should not worry about that, that there are men that like women of all kinds, but it's difficult. I have been with only my husband for so long, and happy to be so, I don't think I even know what it's like to flirt any more. Certainly since my health problems led to my weight gain I have put thoughts of other men out of mind because they just see an unattractive large woman I'm sure because they don't know what I've been through. My husband knows all that has happened to me, and he makes me feel secure enough to be myself. I can be sexy with him because I know he is not judging me.

We both have very close friends as a couple and separately who are like family to us so really it's not the wanting more friends to be to that triggers me it's the wanting to have sex with those new close friends that trips me up. We are each other's best friend and lover and we are married. if he becomes super close with some other woman who is into BDSM and starts having sex with her where does that leave us?

I guess I worry that being with another woman who likes the kinky things he wants and doesn't have body issues will change his thinking of me, that he will begin to judge me by her.

I have tried to think of it like a hobby, but it is hard. Free time is precious for us. He works a lot of hours in a demanding job. When you add time for his own activities that he already has, time spent with the kids, and time needed for things around the house, I am not left with much as it is. Now he wants to add another person into the mix?

I want him to be happy, I want to keep our marriage, but I am feeling less secure in our relationship than I used to.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:29 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Is he unhappy in your marriage now as it is?
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:12 AM
Marvel Marvel is offline
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Vin: He has told me that he is very happy in our marriage, that he loves me very much, and that my weight does not affect the love and desire he feels for me and has all these years. We had some hard times a few years ago when he, like a lot of other people we knew, was unemployed for a long time. It was hard on him as his family gave him a lot of crap and made him feel like he was letting me and the kids down. He has said that those times made him love me more because I stood by him when a lot of other women would have left.

We are quite close and still regularly have sex when other couples we know aren't or hardly ever.

I think that's why this has shocked me so much. I was to trust that nothing he feels for me has changed, but somehow hearing him say he wants to be able to have sex with others makes me feel like all the things he's told me were not entirely true, that he's been dishonest to me or to me and himself. I don't feel that way 100% of the time, but when I do, it hurts a lot.

I sometimes feel that he is saying what he wants to be true, that nothing or no one will come between us, because this is the ideal he reads about on boards and in books. What I find hard to take about this is that a lot of those people started the relationship as mono-poly/poly from the start. They do not have 20+ years, a mortgage, and three kids between them.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvel View Post
I think that's why this has shocked me so much. I was to trust that nothing he feels for me has changed, but somehow hearing him say he wants to be able to have sex with others makes me feel like all the things he's told me were not entirely true, that he's been dishonest to me or to me and himself. I don't feel that way 100% of the time, but when I do, it hurts a lot.
This comes as a shock to the system because when you enter into a monogamous relationship, you don't expect for it to be anything but that. Many people are led to believe that while their s/o may have wanted others before becoming exclusive, it's not expected to be the case once you're committed to one another. So don't feel like it's uncommon. It's not.

Pretty much why a lot of husbands get flack from their wives for looking at other women, because they're "not supposed to". There are bucketloads of things you're "not supposed to" do when you get together, much less married.

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Originally Posted by Marvel View Post
I sometimes feel that he is saying what he wants to be true, that nothing or no one will come between us, because this is the ideal he reads about on boards and in books. What I find hard to take about this is that a lot of those people started the relationship as mono-poly/poly from the start. They do not have 20+ years, a mortgage, and three kids between them.
I think you'll find the longer you're on this particular board you'll see the variations on life that people have. Quite a few of us have children, own houses, and have been together for decades. You're not alone; I promise.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:57 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvel View Post
What I find hard to take about this is that a lot of those people started the relationship as mono-poly/poly from the start. They do not have 20+ years, a mortgage, and three kids between them.
Oh, that's not true. There are plenty of people who were monogamous for decades and didn't know of any other way to be, all that time... until, for some reason, a light went on. And they still have a mortgage, raise kids, vacation together, visit family, and have jobs.


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Originally Posted by Marvel View Post
We are quite close and still regularly have sex when other couples we know aren't or hardly ever.

I think that's why this has shocked me so much. I was to trust that nothing he feels for me has changed, but somehow hearing him say he wants to be able to have sex with others makes me feel like all the things he's told me were not entirely true, that he's been dishonest to me or to me and himself. I don't feel that way 100% of the time, but when I do, it hurts a lot.
You don't have to feel like you've been betrayed. Many people never realized they could have multiple relationships and didn't give it a thought. For lots of folks, something simply triggered the idea. It could have been that they saw an article or news item that gets them thinking, or a friend confessed to having a polyamorous arrangement and piques some curiosity. Then when they learn about it, things start to click inside them and make sense. It feels right for them on a very visceral level, even though they never gave it a thought before. You don't have to assume that he's been lying to you this whole time.

Nor does it mean that you are lacking as a partner. What people don't realize is that we want different things from different people. Poly means you can enjoy the smorgasbord. Just because a married person feels they want to be able to have relationships and be sexually intimate with other people, doesn't mean they are dissatisfied or would leave their spouse for any reason.

I had a date this week and the guy kissed me and told me he wanted to see me again. I had to stop and reiterate to him that I don't want a monogamous relationship (I had a sense he didn't really "get" it). I said to him, "I just want to make sure you understand that I already have a lover, and if we continue seeing each other, that won't change. I don't want to be exclusive with anyone, and neither does he." I said a few more things to clarify this for him, and then my date asked, "Well, how's it going with your lover?" And my immediate response was, "Great!" Because it is great. Wow, was this guy ever surprised. He did a double-take and said, "Oh." He actually slumped and looked sort of dejected.

The thing is, it never occurred to him that I would be on a date with anyone else if it was great with the guy I'm already seeing. I think that is where you are stuck. You are trying to find some fault, mistake, or flaw in you or your marriage that would have prompted this. And there really doesn't have to be any of that. It's hard to wrap your brain around, I know, but all I can say is that sexual desire is a tricky beast and that love is a part of all of us and has no barriers. It seems your husband wants friendships in which he can be emotionally, intellectually, and physically intimate, and to be able to try new things sexually that he knows wouldn't work for you. He need not set you aside to do that, and none of that takes away anything form what he has with you.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 04:30 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:38 AM
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LotusesandRoses LotusesandRoses is offline
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You say your health issues have triggered body image issues.

There are people I know who have colostomy bags who have fabulous sex lives. I know a lot of GI and GU issues can cause disturbances in body image, but I assure you, there are lots of people who are tender and understanding.

As for having a perfect body, I'd love to meet the person who has one. (Really, I'd LOVE to see that. ) I can tell you due to my own medical issues, I have some huge surgical scars. You know what most people say? "Neat."

Love is a lot deeper than a pair of size 6 jeans. I can't advise you in your marriage, but you deserve to have your body image under control.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:46 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Originally Posted by Marvel View Post
As for seeing myself poly I honestly don't know. My husband has said that if we open our marriage that means it is open for both of us, but like I mentioned in my other post in the advice section, I have had some health problems that have made me very sensitive about my body. One commenter said that I should not worry about that, that there are men that like women of all kinds, but it's difficult. I have been with only my husband for so long, and happy to be so, I don't think I even know what it's like to flirt any more. Certainly since my health problems led to my weight gain I have put thoughts of other men out of mind because they just see an unattractive large woman I'm sure because they don't know what I've been through. My husband knows all that has happened to me, and he makes me feel secure enough to be myself. I can be sexy with him because I know he is not judging me.
How sexy could you feel if you have two men not judging you?

And I know, believe me, how difficult it is to read what others say and think it might apply to you ~ especially when it's about body image. My health is crap (I have a genetic condition that makes my joints dislocate, at random. It's very painful and causes many other issues as well, including GI. At my heaviest, I was 75 pounds overweight). My problem is more that I feel like a playboy bunny on the inside...which doesn't in any way match what's on the outside. I just wanted to testify that your body image doesn't have a helluva lot to do with how other people see you.

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I guess I worry that being with another woman who likes the kinky things he wants and doesn't have body issues will change his thinking of me, that he will begin to judge me by her.
This is what prompted me to reply. I see a lot of folks say this. I haven't come to this from your experience. (I'm in a vee with two boyfriends who were previously exes, and I asked them for this) What it has done is made me love both of them more. For allowing it. For loving me anyway. I'm so much more tolerant of their flaws because I have both of them. In my case, they are also friends (the three of us have always been friends). But I will point out, I live in the (mostly) same mono culture as you, and it's been challenging, I think for all of us (probably me most of all).


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I want him to be happy, I want to keep our marriage, but I am feeling less secure in our relationship than I used to.
Of course you are! Your world as you knew it has turned upside down. Give yourself a break. And give yourself, and him, some time to show that it might not actually be upside down, it's maybe like adding a new room (or suite).
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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)
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