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  #11  
Old 08-07-2012, 03:49 AM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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Originally Posted by zuzzlefish View Post
Unsure of how to proceed, I feel as though I'm at one of the sharpest forks in the road I've ever come across in my life. My girlfriend of almost 8 months has expressed herself as being very monogamous and I've expressed strong feelings of polyamory, though I haven't made any action to persue these ideals. It has been a recurring topic of conflict in our relationship, though, more than anything, perhaps fuel for her underlying insecurities and fear of abandonment.
A recurring topic at eight months in? Ouch. That doesn't seem like very long, but then I'm a slowpoke when it comes to trust and intimacy.

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I have had thoughts of leaving the relationship many times but I'm unsure if it's simply a sense of attachment that is preventing me from moving forward to what I feel is an expression of my 'true nature' or if the strong bond and compatibility I experience with her warrants dropping the concept of polyamory and going with the flow with what is right in front of me at this very moment in time - but then is that simply inactivity?
Yes, you could well be so attached to her that you'd rather not pursue your other attractions. As humans, we are capable of a vast range of emotions and impulses, but we're also capable of choosing which ones we act on, except in certain cases of mental illness. Maybe we don't choose who we love, but we choose whether we screw them. And yes, if you are that attached, then you are perfectly within your rights to choose to be with this one woman for as long as it works.

That said, I've never felt that anyone else's desires ought to change who I am at bottom unless the choice to change is left to me. I talked about costs upthread. For me, the major social cost of being polyamorous, in a relationship I have no desire to end when I find myself attracted to someone else, is a shallower pool of potential partners. I was already picky. Now I may as well be on a quest for the Holy Grail. I accept this cost because I love my partner. If I stay with him, I recognise that I may never find a live-in primary sort of lover. If I leave him, I lose the second man who has ever understood me this thoroughly, who (unlike the first) loves me in return. I have that choice. He has told me over and over that I have it, that I'm not bound to him for life unless I want to be. Every time he tells me I have the choice, I tell him that I have chosen this.

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I'd like to add that the thoughts of leaving are not just related to the poly vs mono thing. As much love as she pours out of herself, she also pours out a lot of negativity. As much as I dislike labels, she has depression and borderline personality disorder. I try to refrain from judging as much as possible but even so, I often can't help but feel that I've just been drained mentally and emotionally after spending a while with her. Other times I feel uplifted and refreshed. It's a beautiful yet ugly rollercoaster.
I've been in her shoes, mental illness-wise. A lot of people left me. They were justified. I was hurting them. Once my head cleared enough to see it, I forgave them all. I couldn't help what I was doing; that didn't give me the right to do it. That gave my loved ones the right to tell me, "Cass, you don't see it, but you have to sort yourself out," and me a shot at putting things right. The people I did hurt and who did stay were... my parents. The other people I've kept from that time weren't in a position to get hurt, for whatever reason. I didn't lash out at them. They weren't part of my problem. They were somehow able to cope.

She may threaten to hurt herself if you leave. Take her at her word and dump her at the local ER for a night; it's not a long-term reason to change, but as a short-term deterrent, the ER is great! Also, if she means it, she's somewhere safe. You're not obligated to stay because she turns suicidal.

...you know, in case no therapist has ever mentioned this to you, or if you've never looked up her condition. I'll shut my trap now.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2012, 05:11 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Periodically I'll pop up with some poly wonderings, readings, or musings and mono DH shares the thoughts with me and that satisfies me. The exchange of ideas in calm fashion. That I am loved as I am, authentically. There's no panic or freak out on his end. He knew it going in and he's lived with me this long and he KNOWS I'm not going anywhere so he's secure with me.

He likes to yank my chain when I announce I have a new crush (I never tell the crush person though-- we are closed) and I like being teased and I like crushing from a distance. It's flirty and fun for DH and I and our bond is tight so we can enjoy that sort of titillating banter.

Maybe that's the partial crux in other marriages? The poly person is not free to be their authentic selves with the mono spouse? I'm not talking about free to date. I mean free to express their poly thoughts? And not have the spouse wig out and rage at them?

Because it's like... if my mono DH says he loves me, all of me, just as I am? How much all of me is he really loving if I cannot even express my polyside thoughts to him -- my life partner? Without him having a conniption? I don't want to leave him. I don't want to betray our agreements. But I do want to be able to talk to him about my inner self, my ideas, my crushes, my STUFF. Doesn't he want to know me? All of me? Or does he just want to love a sanitized version of me that meets his approval or is easier to digest? Who does that leave me to talk to then to create emotional intimacy and bond and all that other good married stuff? Cuz he's the one I'm married to?

For us in marriage, the mono DH OPENS up to share poly thoughts, ideas, books, etc. The poly wife CLOSES to a polyship of 2. That's been our happy medium place and it satisfies. If we choose to Re-Open later, it's coming from an informed, "been here before" type place and years of talk. We've agreed that if both are not on board, it's fine to carry on as just as we are. I'm not lacking anything. Because I can be authentic in my relationship with him and he doesn't bat an eye. Just staying Open to each other even if not ever opening up to Another again. And it so satisfies me. I love him how he is loving me how I am.
Thank you, GG. This I can understand. I've had crushes on two people at once and massive, huge, overpowering, long-lasting crushes on others while married. I never would have considered myself 'poly.' Of course I didn't even know the word. But my now ex-husband was very threatened by this, even though I never would have considered acting on it.

So to many here 'being poly' means simply having crushes on or falling in love with more than one person at a time. But not that you must act on it to 'be your authentic poly self?'

I've had this conversation with BF and he very much feels poly is a lifestyle choice, but there again, I think he's equating 'poly' to actions, whereas some here are equating 'poly' to a feeling.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2012, 05:34 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So to many here 'being poly' means simply having crushes on or falling in love with more than one person at a time. But not that you must act on it to 'be your authentic poly self?'
To me polyamory is the ability to love more than one at a time. But I don't have to ACT on it. My fav button is "Bi, poly and I STILL won't sleep with you!" I could be SINGLE and poly and not act on anything at all.

The desire for only one person to love romantically at a time to me is "monoamory." I think there are some people internally wired for mono- and some wired for poly-. Just like some people are wired for fast or slow metabolism or whatever trait. They just come wired how they come.

A polyamorous wired person could choose to be in a monogamous relationship structure. A monoamorous person could choose to be in a "V" structure. They both could choose to be celibate for all we know -- and still be polywired or monowired. Just not actively seeking a partner.

I mean, mono DH sees cute people on the street -- and he don't run over to them to jump their bones just cuz he saw them! He is a monowired man in a closed married rship!

Why would I jump their bones just cuz I'm polywired? Sheesh. I am in a closed married rship!

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-07-2012 at 02:09 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2012, 01:46 PM
beegorski beegorski is offline
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Originally Posted by Josie View Post
I know several people that considered themselves gay or straight their whole lives and then found their one exception to the rule.
Josie, thanks for posting this- even though I am one of those people you're talking about with regard to sexual orientation (my center of gravity is very much women though I'm currently in a closed poly relationship with that ONE exception) I hadn't thought to express polyamory that way and I think you're on to something there... my current partner is perhaps closer to the mono end of that spectrum though hangs out in the middle while I feel much closer to the poly end. It feels satisfying to think of it that way and I appreciate your insight
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2012, 03:08 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I've had this conversation with BF and he very much feels poly is a lifestyle choice, but there again, I think he's equating 'poly' to actions, whereas some here are equating 'poly' to a feeling.
What about the actions of a MONO in a mono-poly relationship?

The expression of polygamous relationship structures are wide and varied -- V, triads, quads, tribes, etc. THAT is structure to me.

The expression of polyamourous wiring -- that's wiring. I can totally be in a 2 person rship and feel happy, loved, and content if I am allowed expression of my polyside. I don't NEED to have another lover. I NEED to be understood and loved like I am. Not keep a part of me stuffed down and hidden because... my spouse can't handle me talking about things?

What kind of wimpy spouse did I marry? Where just talk is threatening?

The saddest things I see? The situation of a mono spouse and a poly spouse who comes into poly awareness AFTER the marriage. Maybe the poly spouse was too scared to share this side of themselves BEFORE the marriage. Maybe they come into awareness after the marriage. Maybe they are in a serious rship but not married. Whatever.

But if the ethical poly person turns to mono partner to share Vulnerable Things -- isn't that what you are supposed to DO?

And the mono partner blows a gasket and unloads abuse and crazy on the Vulnerable poly partner? For what? For just coming to the Loved One with a Vulnerable?

I don't see how THAT helps any to move the relationship forward toward a happy medium where both can coexist in harmony. All that does is shut the poly person off from nurture/support at the quarter they need it most. And then things REALLY can go haywire.

I always wonder what sort of foundation the relationship/marriage has if just talk can blow it apart. And what the poly person is supposed to do. Pretend they don't have polywiring? Where do they go to express it? Are they happy knowing they are married to a mono partner who is supposed to love them who actually... only loves some of them -- the parts that are "acceptable" only? Is the mono partner happy knowing about this side of their poly person now? And knowing deep down that they wish they never knew it because they rather NOT love the whole person and now have to live knowing this darker side of themselves?

Trying to ignore or sweep it under the rug -- that sort of thing just makes walls.

It can become very lonely in there -- and it's strange to feel lonely inside a relationship when your Loved One doesn't even want to deal with talking about much less loving a part of you that does exist. When you start to feel unloved in your relationship? That's no good at all. It leads to all kinds of trouble.

I ended an rship with a BF NOT because he was mono or because I couldn't be happy in a mono rship as a poly person. But because he denied me my personhood, he only wanted to love a sanitized me, he didn't want to talk about my polyside and give me a small space to express it (just in talking to him!) and because he was so insecure he was a drain. So. Cut ME off from partner love, nurture and support but suck me dry? Ugh. I grew sad, lonely, then later tired and bored. I left. And not to leave him for another like he always feared. I left him to be ALONE because he was not partner to me. He was a black hole of need I could not fill or satisfy. I was less lonely ALONE than with him.

I asked DH the other day if I make him nuts when I ask him all sorts of poly weird and he just laughed and stroked my hair. "I love you. I love you making me nuts. I don't love some Idealized you. I love YOU you. That is the you I love, and that is the you I NEED."

And this satisfies my Soul. And I'd follow him to the ends of the Earth just to keep living in the Heaven that is him. I have never been loved so completely, faithfully, and understandingly. Open or Closed or Upside Down even... You can bet your ass I'm not letting THAT one go without a fight! I adore my DH.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-07-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2012, 04:11 PM
Josie Josie is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I can totally be in a 2 person rship and feel happy, loved, and content if I am allowed expression of my polyside. I don't NEED to have another lover. I NEED to be understood and loved like I am. Not keep a part of me stuffed down and hidden because... my spouse can't handle me talking about things?
I really like this way of thinking and I think a lot of more mono-wired people would perhaps be better at accepting poly if it were expressed this way.
A lot of mono people seem to think that having another lover is a NEED and so they are not enough. Whilst the real NEED is to simply be able to express your polyside and to be loved for that side too. I think this can cause a lot of misunderstandings. I've been in a poly relationship for over a year now with neither of us having much luck with finding other partners but it doesn't mean that my partner isn't satisfied because he's only with me at the moment, he doesn't NEED to be with more than one person to be happy in a relationship, he just needs the option and to express it.

It's funny, I had always identified as mono in the past, but by your definition, I was kind of behaving somewhat poly before I knew I was. In mono relationships I have always had to be able to express attraction and feelings for other people to be able to feel comfortable in my relationship. It never really occurred to me to act on them - because that wasn't part of the relationship agreement - but I always needed to express it.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2012, 08:05 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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To me, a mono/poly relationship is already a compromise. It's not "the poly person can have outside partners so they win" vs "nobody has outside partners so the mono wins". Because to me, the equivalent of not allowing the poly partner to have other relationships is forcing the mono partner to.

When the poly partner is allowed outside partners, and the mono partner is allowed not to have any, then both parts are compromising, the way I see it.

Do I want to date someone who is mono? Not if I can choose! I wouldn't want to be their only partner, be pressured to be their everything, be resented for loving more than just them, and not have metamours to rely on. Nor being able to share some common poly things, such as talking about the people we are interested in or discussing poly news/networks, etc.

If a partner insists that I don't have anyone other than them, it's not a decision I made not to add partners, as could be the case if I was polysaturated or wanted to care for children or a relative or something. It would be something they decide for me. It would be them controlling who I'm allowed to love.
And as heartbreaking as it would be, I couldn't stay in a relationship with someone like that. Because they wouldn't let me be myself.

Right now, I have a poly partner, and I haven't had anyone else since separating from my husband two years ago. But I'm poly, and that means I'm allowed to, and that freedom is worth everything. It makes the difference between a happy and an unhappy relationship. It makes the difference between feeling miserable for not being allowed to ask someone out, and feeling free and fulfilled because I have that option - even if I decide not to take advantage of it.

It would hurt me because they would want to control not just their end of the relationship, which is their right, but mine too, and they would feel entitled to it. And that's just a completely different state of mind than mine. It's fine if you have control over an aspect of someone else's life that they want you to have control over, as in mutual monogamy. It's not if it's against your will.

I would only ever be able to date a mono person who is fine with my being poly, for whatever reason. Of course, because they're mono, I'd be scared that they'd just leave me when someone else comes along, but I guess that's a risk I'd be willing to take if I really liked them.
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  #18  
Old 08-07-2012, 10:41 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I REALLY appreciate where this thread has gone-I hope the OP is gaining some useful insight-I know I am.

GG you did an exemplary job explaining precisely what I've been missing and craving and needing and trying to ask for -throughout this whole marriage, including while I cheated and while we've been poly.

Thank you.
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2012, 03:37 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josie
It never really occurred to me to act on them - because that wasn't part of the relationship agreement - but I always needed to express it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonberry
It makes the difference between feeling miserable for not being allowed to ask someone out, and feeling free and fulfilled because I have that option - even if I decide not to take advantage of it.
Bingo.

I feel like this...

Even if polyme chooses to be in a closed polyship of 2 for whatever reason right now? I have the choice. I can talk about it. I can think about it. I can choose to not exercise it. If I did? And wanted to go there? I know he'd try to work with me, and calmly rewrite our agreement to a new agreement for how to best be together. Because he understands, knows and loves ALL me. There is nothing hidden here.

I understand how he is wired and would work with HIM back. So he can feel safe in all his buckets too -- mind, heart, body, soul. Why would I go make his life hell by shaking up his emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health all willynilly? I love him! I will treat him in loving ways, not cruel ones!

Right now it is not the time -- I have kid and eldercare and my own chronic patient stuff -- I am not FIT to be seeking a new lover. I don't NEED a new lover. Would it be fun? Sure! But this is not the right time, nor the right place in my life. Husband is all I need and want as husband. And then some. Because I know how rare it is to find someone who will love you for you -- all of you, just how you are.

I don't have to hide these feelings or thoughts -- I can talk about how I feel any damn time I want with my husband. My dreams, wishes, desires, thoughts, secrets... and he doesn't bat an eye. He's secure, he loves me, he understands my wiring, and he is compassionate about all my things. He will offer me support and nurture.
  • That I am upset over my father's mental health and sad on it -- my mother is losing her husband, we are losing our dad. It's called the long goodbye for a reason.
  • That I get driven bonkers by kid stuff even though I love the kid -- it is MADDENING at times.
  • That I love him dearly and I worry about all this eldercare and kidcare stealing from our couplecare time.
  • That I sometimes yearn to get to experience a new love relationship unfold into something meaningful.
  • That my joints hurt and I worry about my endocrine labs.

Whatever it is -- he will listen, support, nurture. I feel valued like a complete person.

I have the RIGHT to his support and nurture. He's agreed to our rights and responsibilites, and he holds up his end of the sticks. I hold up mine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance
GG you did an exemplary job explaining precisely what I've been missing and craving and needing and trying to ask for -throughout this whole marriage, including while I cheated and while we've been poly.
Glad it helps you. It is hard not to receive support/nurture from your partner. The relationship needs tending and feeding or it will wither.

zuzzlefish, I hope you get what you need from your relationship and your partner. Or move to a space where you can seek it if this particular relationship has run its course and you come to find that the two are not well suited after all.

Because where ELSE can the poly person go to get support and nurture and understanding from partner if not the partner?!

Hang in there.

hugs,
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-08-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-08-2012, 03:56 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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GG-
that was precisely why I had an affair-because I craved SOMEONE loving me for who I was.
Not the right solution (learned a lot since then).

But I didn't know the right solution-I only knew that I NEEDED to be safe, and I wasn't safe if I was loved "in part".

It's a struggle.
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