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Old 07-01-2012, 03:21 AM
butterflywaterfall butterflywaterfall is offline
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Default Very confused and unsure what to do

Hi all. I am finding myself having quite a dilemma. I am very new to the whole poly world and am having a difficult time.
My bf, W, travels a lot for work and has been gone more in our relationship than he has been home. And when I say travel, I mean halfway around the world. We video chat and email as much as possible and weíve been able to get through a lot that way.
W has always been very open sexually and has told me how he has been involved in threesomes in his previous relationships. He was very interested in us having one and I was very nervous about it, but had thought about it for a very long time. What woman hasnít fantasized about having every part of her satisfied that way? He asked me to find someone I felt comfortable with joining us when he got home the next time. I had no idea what I was doing. I had had a discussion with one friend at a point about it so I thought maybe heíd be interested. W said I should sleep with this man because it was clear I wanted to. Yeah, I did. So we finally got together. It was nice but not earthshattering. W was okay with me sleeping with this man on occasion if I really, really needed to have the release. The other man has been a friend of mine for a long time and we always had this flirting thing going on, despite his being married. We got together another time and I had video on so W could participate somewhat since he was far away. It was ok, but the connection between this man and I was too dangerous for my tastes. Iíve been in an affair before and I didnít want to do that ever again. This was putting me exactly where I didnít want to be. I love and value his friendship more than the sex and I donít want to be a party to ruining his family life.
So, I found someone else. I was on this forum looking around and ďAĒ pops up on an IM and asks me how Iím doing. A is poly. Weíve known each other for about four years but havenít seen each other for two of them; just chatting online. He was game immediately. I didnít realize heíd been carrying a torch for me. I still donít get why men feel that way about me. W encouraged me to see A and make sure I would feel comfortable with him sexually before we all got together. A was good with that. I went over there and I put the video on again so W could participate. Heís not a voyeur but since heís so far away felt more comfortable being a part of the encounter. Well, it went great. It was really, really nice. I was only going to see him that one time before W got back home but the tickets got messed up, the whole nine yards and his homecoming was delayed a bit. Meanwhile A started texting me on a regular basis. He would say good morning, call me beautiful, ask how my day was going etc. W said he was Ďhookedí on me. It was a bit unsettling; I wasnít expecting that. I did see him again before W got home, although W wasnít thrilled about it. We didnít have sex; we just watched a movie and talked, trying to figure out the particulars of the threesome-when would it happen, what did A want from all of this, did he have expectations, etc. In all that talking, he admitted he was in love with me. I realized I was beginning to have feelings for him as well.
I told W about all of this; we have been very honest with each other about everything. Wís biggest statement to me this whole time is that I not only have to be honest with him; I have to be honest with myself. That is a new challenge for me. I am honest with W but I donít know if I am always honest with myself about what I want, what my desires are. He is encouraging me to figure all of these things out. At the same time, he is scared that I will love A more than him and tell him I want to break up. I donít want that. I want to marry W and be a family with him. A has a gf aside from me so I wouldnít want to be with him anyway; I donít think Iíd ever really be his primary.
So recently W told me he was very hurt and depressed to find out that I had feelings for A. I donít want him to feel that way. He doesnít want me to be in a relationship with A. He thinks itís fine for me to be friends with him and we can share in a threesome on occasion, but he doesnít want me to have two relationships. At least, if I am going to have two relationships, W canít be a part of it. He says if I want them both, if I want poly, then he will be a lover to me but that is all. I am floored. I am depressed. I was starting to feel like maybe I wasnít crazy and maybe thereís something to being poly and maybe my feeling in love with two men was okay. I feel hurt because if W hadnít suggested I do these things in the first place, I wouldnít have done them. I wouldnít have chatted A up in a way that said I wanted to sleep with him. I wouldnít have had sex with my other friend. I would have just waited for W to get home and saved camera time for our own private naughtiness. I donít know what to do now. I feel like my thoughts and feelings on the matter have been subjective based on what W has been thinking or feeling. Iíve got to figure this out for myself and I am not sure how.

Sorry this is so long...I've got a lot more to say but I've got to start somewhere! Thanks for reading if you made it all the way to the end!
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2012, 05:47 PM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflywaterfall View Post
I didnít realize heíd been carrying a torch for me. I still donít get why men feel that way about me.
I really recommend that you explore this, as getting to know who you are. Not so much because you need to know what they're doing, or what's going on inside them; but because it's helpful to know, deeply, intimately, who you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflywaterfall View Post
W encouraged me to see A and make sure I would feel comfortable with him sexually before we all got together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflywaterfall View Post
I told W about all of this; we have been very honest with each other about everything. Wís biggest statement to me this whole time is that I not only have to be honest with him; I have to be honest with myself. That is a new challenge for me. I am honest with W but I donít know if I am always honest with myself about what I want, what my desires are. He is encouraging me to figure all of these things out. At the same time, he is scared that I will love A more than him and tell him I want to break up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflywaterfall View Post
I donít want that.
[QUOTE=butterflywaterfall;141688] So recently W told me he was very hurt and depressed to find out that I had feelings for A. [QUOTE]

Perhaps he should not have encouraged you to get involved with this man, if he was not wanting you to have feelings. Perhaps he should have stated that up front.

Have you read 'Opening Up' or 'The Ethical Slut'? I confess, I have not, but they are highly recommended in these forums. I think it's pretty silly that people expect people they love to have sex with others and not have feelings resulting. Some people can. A lot of people cannot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflywaterfall View Post
I donít want him to feel that way.
Same as above. People have feelings. I have lots of feelings I'd rather not have, but I have them just the same. I hope that my loved ones will recognize that feelings are just feelings and they don't mean anything. They don't mean I'm going to run off, they don't mean my behaviour will necessarily change, or be dictated by my feelings. I just need to feel them. And I need to allow my loved ones to feel their feelings, just the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflywaterfall View Post
Iíve got to figure this out for myself and I am not sure how.
Well, yes you do. And I would hope that either of them would be able/willing to help you. I know sometimes I think I'm all alone in figuring something out, when I should be letting others help me.

You do have here to type it out!

I'm so sorry you're hurting over this. I have confidence you will sort it.
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and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2012, 07:19 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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A very difficult situation - thank you coming here and sharing it with us. Things like this are very good to help others see that their situation isn't the only one like this.

You are not the first person I have heard of whose partner said it was ok for them to be with another, as long as it was only sex, and then been surprised and upset when sex and love cannot be separated.

This is definitely a case of "be careful what you wish for" - personal growth, and encouraging a partner to discover themselves is an important part of good, healthy relationships, in my opinion, but sometimes it can mean that incompatibilities between folks can surface.

It is sounding very much like you are poly in your wiring - you don't see the contradiction in loving more than one person and being in full relationships with them. He is ok with exploring sexuality, but can't handle it when there is love involved - this is (from my limited understanding) more typical of a swinger mindset.

I think that it is great that you have found this part of yourself that you didn't know about. It may end up meaning that the two of you aren't compatible for a relationship. I don't see why you should be the one that has to sacrifice your personal growth because he can't handle the way you have grown, after encouraging it so hard.

Please feel free to talk more about what is going on, and your thoughts. My only request would be that you put a little more white-space on your future posts - it would make them easier to read.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:02 PM
butterflywaterfall butterflywaterfall is offline
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Thank you both for the advice! This is certainly not easy.

W has pretty much said that if I decide that I am poly, he will not be in a relationship with me. He says he is not judging me, he will be my friend always but he can't be that way. Sigh.

I still don't know what to do but I am thinking a lot.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2012, 06:45 PM
butterflywaterfall butterflywaterfall is offline
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Default still working on it...

I think W was most upset with himself about all of this. We had a huge discussion about it over last weekend and he admitted that he was acting out of his own fears and insecurities when he suggested I find a sex partner. I had told him I could wait for him.

Now, he already knew of my interest in the first man I slept with; he encouraged me to have sex with him to sort of ''get it out of the way" because he didn't want me always wondering what it would be like to have sex with him; after all, we'd danced around it for four years, always flirting, hugging, teasing, but never acting on it.

W thought this man would be safe for me, but he realized that it wouldn't work because of my guilt attached to his being married. He also lives about an hour and a half away so it's difficult to get to spend any time with him even on a platonic level.

W is now kicking himself because he knowingly ignored my needs and tried to 'force' his agenda on me. He says he wasn't trying to force anything but I still don't think I would have acted on anything if he hadn't been so insistent. I know I will always love this other man, and now I do love A. Would I have acted on my feelings? I'm not sure. I guess I feel less guilt because I did talk to W about it first so that is good, right?

There's no way to know for sure what I would have done otherwise. I know I am wired to fall in love. I love being in love. I love being loved. It feels powerful and amazing and incredible. Yet I still feel unworthy of it and I don't get why men fall for me the way that I do. W has tried to explain it. Maybe someday I'll get it. I'm working on it.

I am learning more about poly and what it means. Hopefully when W gets home we'll be able to sit down and talk about all of this and what it means for the future. I don't think my being poly means we can't be together. I've just got to find a way to quell the panic in him.


Did I do ok with the white space?
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:54 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Thanks so much - MUCH easier to read!

Sounds like you have open paths of communication and are exploring your feelings. Self-awareness is a powerful thing, and you are going down that road. Wherever it ends you up, you will more than likely both feel like better people for it.
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http://www.thebirdcage.org/

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2012, 05:41 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Good for you for leaving the cheating situation. You don't want to be a party to someone's dishonesty and contribute to his wife's betrayal. Theonly way that could work is if he gets honest to his wife about you and they open their marriage for you to be in relationship with him. But if and until that happens, best for you to stay away.

Now, as for W - he is being an ass. Plain and simple. He pushed you into what he thought was poly, but clearly he is only okay with passing you around to be used for your body and not "letting you" (as if it was actually up to him) have emotional involvement and perhaps even love someone else. That is more swingerish than poly.

But whom you share your heart and body with isn't up to him, hon. This is your life, and it sounds like you get much more respect from A than you do from W. So, perhaps this is your wake-up call. Perhaps your relationship with W is not the bliss you thought it was. Ouch, I know. It sucks when reality hits that hard, but this is your chance to take a stand and figure out what YOU want, without putting yourself in uncomfortable situations just to please someone who only sees you in a limited way, as someone who meets his needs but shouldn't have her own.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 07-07-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2012, 11:39 PM
butterflywaterfall butterflywaterfall is offline
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Default no swingie!!

Yeah, W was definitely more into a swinger sort of thing than poly. That was his past experience with other partners.

We have essentially tabled the discussion until he comes home and until then I am trying to figure things out for myself. I've had some great discussions with a new friend on here and that has done wonders to sort my thoughts out.

I know that I am hard wired to love. When I was with my ex-husband, I loved him very much. If I had known about poly, could have accepted it and practiced it at that point, I'd probably still be married to him. Well, maybe. I still love him. I am glad now that we don't live together but I will always love him. I still buy him birthday presents and go to family get-togethers with his family and our children and it works.

This married guy who is one of my best friends: definitely in love with him. I can, however, keep it platonic and just be his friend, which is what the relationship needs to be. Doesn't mean I wouldn't take a bullet for him because if it came down to it I absolutely would.

W, despite his 'being an ass' (yeah, I agree with that!) has been overall the most loving, caring, supportive man I've ever been with. I think if he wasn't 7000+ miles away right now, all of this would have played out a lot differently. Anyway, that's not how things happened. At this point he is doing everything he can to understand where I am coming from now. He's doing a lot of reading and trying to see things from my point of view and not his own. That make me feel a lot better. I think we're always going to have conflict but we can figure it out, hopefully. I love him so much; I want this to work out for both of us. Maybe it won't, but we're sure as hell going to try.

Now, A, on the other hand...he's got a gf who knows all about me and is also learning about poly. Despite him telling me that we were two separate and distinct relationships, she's definitely the primary. That's fine. He's backed off big time, saying he'll love me and be there for me any way I need him to be, as little or as much as I want. I do love him. He's sweet, he's kind, he's very mellow, calm. My life is very chaotic and when I'm with A I don't have to think about all of that; I can just 'be'. It's beautiful. When I'm not with him though, simple communication can be so sporadic it's maddening. I don't know if it's because he's trying to give me space to think or because he's busy or doesn't want to see me or wtf is going on. I'm trying to talk to him about it. We'll see where it goes, if it goes anywhere.

So we're up to four men I love for four completely different reasons. If I'm not poly, I don't know what the hell else I could be! Now to impress that upon W without him freaking out. I'm realizing just because I love these men, it doesn't mean I have to act on that love in a sexual nature, or as a relationship more than friendship. It's all a huge learning process, isn't it?

There'll be more to follow, I'm sure... Thank you for your help!!
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2012, 12:39 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm glad you are sorting things out.

Quote:
I'm realizing just because I love these men, it doesn't mean I have to act on that love in a sexual nature, or as a relationship more than friendship. It's all a huge learning process, isn't it?
Yup. You don't choose to feel this way or that way. You feel what you feel when you feel it. It just burbles up.

What you CAN choose is how to respond. You can choose to REACT or choose to ACT WITH INTENT.

So no... just because you feel you are love doesn't mean you have to act on it.

I know not everyone in the world is poly, but that doesn't mean you have to date EVERY poly person that comes into view either just because they ARE poly. Just being poly doesn't guarantee it's a love match. And just because it might be a love match doesn't mean your polysaturation point is not already at max. *shrug*

GalaGirl
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2012, 07:04 PM
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loveboston loveboston is offline
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Default Empathy and Compassion

Iím very impressed with the way the people on the forum in general and on this thread are showing love and consideration to each other and here to BW. It helps me to know Iím in a safe place.

Iím touched deeply by BWís dilemma but havenít the foggiest idea how to comment appropriately.

I hope BW keeps us all up to date so we can see her through to a hopefully happy conclusion.
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