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Old 05-16-2012, 01:57 AM
Adam Adam is offline
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Red face Looking for info, advice and resources

Some background;
My wife and I have been married for 8 years now, with 2 amazing children. Our marriage has been "traditional" and happy.
My wife's close friend has in the last year or so been on a life adventure with school and romance, and recently discovered the poly life and her affinity for it. She and my wife were chatting the other night, sharing views on philosophical topics of love, etc. and things kind of have gone from there.
So, my wife feels it's something we should talk about, if just to start the dialogue. She wants to give me the opportunity to explore life more (I'm a recovering introvert) and we both want each other to not feel obliged to turn down opportunity simply out of fear of hurting the other.
This whole concept has been a bit of a roller coaster for me I admit, and originally I couldn't even think of my wife entertaining thoughts of another man without serious jealousy, but after a good long conversation with my wife's friend (who I'm friends with too), it's become clear to me what that jealousy is. I know it all stems from my own insecurities, and knowing that has helped me realize that my wife's love for me is not conditional, and she has so much to offer the world, who am I to squander the influence she could have on the world? There's no limit to love, right?
So, I realized this is precisely how she feels too, only I've never been with anyone but her, so she feels almost guilty in a similar sense denying me the experience, etc.

So here's where my head is spinning a bit. I love my wife, and nothing's going to change that. My wife loves me, and always will. I can feel happy for her happiness, even if it comes from someone else. However, part of me feels that she's mostly wanting this to be something for me, which would make me feel selfish if it were only one-sided. I feel a lot of excitement at the thought of simply not feeling guilty about wanting to emotionally connect with someone outside of my marriage but don't know where this whole thing goes from here. I know my wife and I have a lot more to discuss, and some relational ground rules to lay, but I want some context for the conversation. I've started reading "Sex at Dawn" and perusing a plethora of sites and forums (like this one) and am open to any and all recommendations, advice and feedback.

To close, I'm not sure I nor my wife are poly, but it's an exciting proposition that we're starting to consider. I completely understand and identify with the content in "Sex at Dawn" regarding monogamy as a societal creation and can see poly as a more natural course that's more in line with human nature.
Thanks for sticking through my long-winded intro, and I look forward to future conversations here
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:37 AM
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Hi there

It seems to me you are starting out at a great place. Your belief that love can be expansive is typical poly theory. Your thoughts on jealousy being about your insecurities are very insightful for someone starting out. Good for you.

I would suggest discussing boundaries along with rules. Discover where you may need to compromise. Check the threads on "boundaries" by doing a search in the tag section. Also have a look at threads with the tag "foundations" and "lessons." They could be helpful too.

I think that opening a marriage needs to take a really long time. She needs to put her mind to a place of being with someone else and so do you. Don't do it for your spouse, do it for you. Remain considerate of them, but be the best person you can be for YOU first. I have noticed that monogamous relationships have taught us that we are owned by our spouse and that we have no autonomy from them (generally speaking that it, not all). Learn how to think, feel and be autonomous from each other before stepping out into putting yourself out on the dating platter for others to take a taste of (its a war out here! ). You'll be glad you did I think. You'll need a strong relationship with yourself when it comes down to it. Just as much as a strong relationship with your spouse. Find some like minded friends out there in the community. It seems to help to start with that.

Check the sticky on "recommendations" for more resources... Opening up, ethical slut, love without limits, the five love languages... All good books. But there is so much more.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:40 AM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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I have not read "sex at dawn" but I feel like I need to. my status as polyamorous has been more of a return to something I once had and tried to give up to fit in. it's a far more comfortable fit for me, but not perhaps for my "FWB", so I have to tread carefully and consider his feelings as I go, although he's long been convinced that we would go our separate ways. my feeling is we don't necessarily have to, that we can still enjoy our relationship without sacrificing others. I guess we'll see.

I've had a very graphic metaphor in mind since I realized I could love more than one, and that's of my heart being ripped in two for no reason. I maintain that I'm actually more like Doctor Who, who has two hearts. I don't have to divide a heart to give a whole heart to two separate partners (yes I know that the metaphor breaks down with more than two partners, but let me indulge my inner geek!).

I don't think I could go back. as much as I am in love with each of my lovers for their very different qualities, neither could fulfill me. I don't feel bad about that and I don't want either of them to feel badly, either.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:45 PM
Adam Adam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychomia View Post
I've had a very graphic metaphor in mind since I realized I could love more than one, and that's of my heart being ripped in two for no reason..
psychomia;
Here's how I've come to internalize and understand love;
Love is an emotion, and as such is non-physical (not built of matter - don't get all "chemicals in the brain", etc). It exists (I do not refute it's existence for it being non-physical) on a plane that is outside the boundaries of our physical world (you can translate this into whatever faith you desire), and as such is infinite.
Example: in 2005, my wife gave birth to my son. Before this, I thought my love for my wife was the end-all be-all of loving "with my whole heart". I was proved wrong, and my love shifted to encompass my son (note; it did not split or detract, it expanded). Then, a year ago, my wife gave birth to my daughter and the same happened again. Each time, my love expands to contain all those I love, and the love I feel for one is unique, as each person is unique.
Now, if love is infinite (as I now believe), it cannot be divided. Half of infinity is still infinity. I relate this thought experiment as thinking of my love as a bag with infinite capacity. When I add an item to the bag, it's capacity never diminishes.

repepper;
Great info, and my wife and I are in a slow conversation building towards setting boundaries and talking more seriously, not that we're looking to start trolling bars or anything
I want to make sure that, were an opportunity to arise, she would not hesitate to get to know someone, simply for fear of hurting me.

psychomia;
I hope this is not too brash or insensitive, but I find it interesting to note that you are self identified as poly and have aspergers. Do you tend to not accept a paradigm or such solely based on societal acceptance? You should read "Sex at Dawn" I think, it might help answer some questions for you. It is certainly changing the way I think of monogamy and societal norms.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:41 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Adam, that makes me think of the Grinch and his heart growing three sizes, which I think is quite apt, but my inner geek really likes psychomia's Dr. Who comparison too!
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:24 PM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
psychomia;
I hope this is not too brash or insensitive, but I find it interesting to note that you are self identified as poly and have aspergers. Do you tend to not accept a paradigm or such solely based on societal acceptance? You should read "Sex at Dawn" I think, it might help answer some questions for you. It is certainly changing the way I think of monogamy and societal norms.
brash? insensitive? I'm not sure what you mean

you can feel free to ask whatever you want. I put it out there for that reason.

I do not accept paradigms solely on societal acceptance because I believe that society is, for the most part, led by a few who decide what our moral values should be. "society", for comfort, tends to buy into morality without question. I prefer to analyze a belief and decide if it's valid for me or not.

the reason I was mono and straight for a long time is because I got married and involved with a very patriarchal and misogynistic cult. I was gaslighted regularly by the man I was married to, and was constantly shamed by the cult leaders and after a while I lost the will to fight or even live. it was easier to do what they wanted. it took years to heal from that. it's a strange thing for a person like me to end up there... and it didn't happen in a day or it wouldn't have happened at all. it was mostly a result of my naivete and inability to know when someone is lying to me.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:15 AM
Adam Adam is offline
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Originally Posted by psychomia View Post
I do not accept paradigms solely on societal acceptance because I believe that society is, for the most part, led by a few who decide what our moral values should be. "society", for comfort, tends to buy into morality without question. I prefer to analyze a belief and decide if it's valid for me or not.
Good lord, too true.
Sounds like you had a rough start to finding where your place in a relationship should be.
I mentioned the disclaimer because I seriously do not want to offend, but I recognize and appreciate that your brain works slightly different than the majority of people (I'd often say better...). Because of this, it does not surprise me that you have seen things for what they are and accept your own paradigms based solely on their own merits. Chances are, you're far more rational and logical than most, which is awesome. Too many simply follow the herd (which is fine for some, I guess...), but I'd rather not be a zombie sheeple.

So, from your perspective on things, do you have any general tidbits outside of the default list of do's, don't and warnings I see here? I have the feeling that, based on our very firm foundation in our relationship, my wife and I are in a good place to explore our emotions in the context of being poly, and should be able to do so without (much) pain or jealousy.

I'm looking forward to getting my wife on here btw, so she can add her $0.02 as well.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:46 AM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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thanks for being so considerate

and you're right, my brain is different. I find irrational emotions distressing. sadly, we all have them... even me! I was never shown how to use my rational mind to handle situations that other people intuit their way through, so I'm actually a late bloomer but at this point in my life I'm quite happy. I'm blunt and sometimes speak without thinking but I'm also honest and kind, and I feel that if someone can't accept those qualities as a package then I have no room for them in my life because I'm not going to change into someone else.

as far as the default list of do's, don'ts and warnings, I have found this site extremely helpful as I came here in a great deal of distress over my situation and I don't really have anything fresh to add. I can just say that I feel that one of the most important things to do, as is so often pointed out, is to communicate and to keep on communicating. I don't think I can ever assume the status quo is "it" and we'll all live happily ever after. life is dynamic and fluid (which I really hate sometimes) and it stands to reason that our relationships will be as well as we change and grow and familial needs change.

ok, maybe one thing I can add although I'm sure it's been discussed many times... never share details about sex that would make your wife feel inadequate. I say this because I'm multiorgasmic and my lover told his wife, which elicited a remark from her about having to "work for it" that I feel could have sprung from feeling like she was being compared. I was annoyed at my lover and told him to never say things like that to his wife again. when I was married I hated sex, my ex was an oaf in bed and constantly hurt me, so I feel like I paid my dues and now I finally get to have all the fun I missed, PLUS it involved a lot of mental exercise after I was divorced to go from having a handful of orgasms with my FWB (who has been my only lover until recently) to having dozens. I didn't just get lucky. I wasn't born like this, and I sure don't want anyone resenting me for it, especially the woman my lover is married to.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
...I'm not sure I nor my wife are poly, but it's an exciting proposition that we're starting to consider.
It should be exciting! Yes!

It's great that you feel that way and are exploring poly together with lots of discussion and research before dipping your toes in. Less damage control that way. I don't think enough people or couples out there take the time to fully examine and talk about it beforehand, and then they wind up with lots of hurt feelings to deal with because someone jumped in too fast or without establishing boundaries. Tristan Taormino wrote an awesome book called Opening Up that you may like, and she has some excellent checklists you can use to determine if/how you want to incorporate polyamory into your lives, and how to set boundaries. You can download them here: http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/

I also wanted to say that you don't need to "identify" as poly people in order to embrace polyamory. It can be simply a structure for relationships that you want in your life. I personally approach it as a practice, but I identify as neither polyamorous nor monogamous. To me, those words apply to relationships, not people. My point is that there are a gazillion ways to conduct ethical non-monogamous relationships, and it sounds like you are in a good place to look at how you can make it work for you.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-19-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:33 PM
Adam Adam is offline
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Originally Posted by psychomia View Post
ok, maybe one thing I can add although I'm sure it's been discussed many times... never share details about sex that would make your wife feel inadequate. I say this because I'm multiorgasmic and my lover told his wife, which elicited a remark from her about having to "work for it" that I feel could have sprung from feeling like she was being compared.
Great bit of advice there. I must say however that I am more likely the one to feel inadequate, as I am working through some personal insecurities.
Kudos on the multiple orgasms though, something I as a man would love to experience

My wife and I have, over the last several days, had some very deep, very open and very amazing conversations. I love her so much more because of what has blossomed out of this exploration, and I feel I am coming to love myself more as well.
As I've explained to my wife, the most freeing aspect of this adventure is the realization that I don't have to repress my affections or shy from intimacy with anyone outside of our marriage, regardless of any physical aspect of the relationship.
We've discussed boundaries, and explored our potential emotions in circumstance x, so I think we're in good shape with taking things slow.
It's all very, very exciting, and I love the thought of being true to who I am, and having my lobster (Friend's reference) be so very supportive and excited about that too.

Side note: we live in the CNY area (New York state) and are always looking for new friends. If you're anywhere near to local, I or we would love to chat over a cup of coffee

Thanks for the responses, all the advice and suggestions have been taken to heart. I am so glad such a resource is available ^_^
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