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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 07:12 AM
seacucumber seacucumber is offline
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Default I'm in love with my bestfriend, do I tell him?

Hey everybody,

So, I am trying to sort out some feelings. My husband and I (Five years together total, Four married) have talked about my desire to open up our relationship. The impetus of our conversation came from me having feelings for another man, let's call him Mitch. I have always been open with my husband, let's call him Ted, entirely about what I'm struggling with and what I've been thinking about, so when these feelings for Mitch started to develop more than a year ago Ted was aware of it.

When my platonic love for Mitch grew into a desire for a romantic relationship recently I decided I needed to ask Ted if we could consider opening our relationship. Ted has no problem with us opening up our marriage, though we both agree that it will take some more time and talking to get to a point where we're both entirely ready. The problem is he doesn't think Mitch would reciprocate my feelings and doesn't think I should let him know what is going on because of how important Mitch's friendship is to me.

Some background on Mitch. We've known eachother since we were children, we've been best friends for years and years but never anything more than that. For a very long time I saw him as nothing more than sort of a brother. He's our son's godfather, and just as important, if not more imporant, to us than our blood relatives.

I've got this picture in my head of the three of us living together and raising our son together, this beautiful loving triad where Ted has the introspective alone time he constantly wishes for without having to worry about neglecting me, and I can go off and have the adventures he'd prefer to not be part of with Mitch. Where there are three loving parents for our son, Mitch clearly loves our son very much and our son loves him.

There have been times when I've wondered if he has been attracted to me, but who knows if that is just my mind tricking me into seeing what it wants to see. I also don't know how he feels about polymory at all.

I've got plenty more time before Ted and I are actually ready to declare ourselves emotionally ready for a poly lifestyle, but I, probably selfishly, want to clue Mitch into what is going on. I want him to know how I feel, keeping it from him seems like we're excluding him and pushing him away and hiding things.

Maybe the next best step would be casually bring up the topic of non traditional relationships and see where he falls on the issue. Though, knowing if he is open minded enough to understand and accept people who have poly relationships doesn't necessarily mean he'd want one for himself.

Months ago I remember Mitch talking to me about an article he had read. It was about how men are statisically more likely to attempt to transition from a friendship to a romantic relationship than women are, and how he completely agreed. He went on to say that women are always scared to lose the friendship, while men are more willing to take the risk in hope of achieving something more. It really strikes me that, while me might not have meant that to be directed at me, on some irrational level it feels like it was.

I just don't know what to do. He comes home in about a year after his military service ends (he isn't planning on re-enlisting) and I'm helping him drive cross country to do so. I want to know what my plan is by then, so I have plenty of time, but I also hate the idea that since we have no idea what could happen tomorrow or the next day, I don't want him to all the sudden die/ or have me die and him never know how I feel about him.

And I really do love him, I've loved him like a brother for year and years and years, nearly half my life, and now it's changed. It's this strong undeniable love, just like that I feel for my husband, and as strong as I feel for my son. If I do end up deciding to not tell him, it isn't just going to go away.... Really, if this were an alternate universe and I didn't have Ted or my son I'd pack up my bags pull out my savings and fly to where Mitch is and declare my love to him without hesitation.

This part of why I enjoyed the Polyamory series on Showtime so much, the triad on the show had a vaguely similar situation and it gave me hope.

TL;DR : I'm in love with my bestfriend, my husband knows about it and is fine with it, but isn't sure I should tell him because he might not reciprocate my feelings.

Have any of you been here? What did you do?
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:08 PM
CattivaGattina CattivaGattina is offline
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My boyfriend Primal has been one of my best friends for a few years. When I first met him we kinda friend-zoned each other (myself because I had an attraction to his wife as well and wasn't sure how to work out an attraction to both and Woodsmith and I hadn't opened up our relationship, himself because of the fact Woodsmith and I weren't open and he wasn't going to try to pursue a friend's girlfriend). Anyways, after knowing each other for four years things just started to progress. I informed him of my attraction to him, ditto him to me, Woodsmith gave us permission to start getting involved and then we were lovers for a couple of months before we told each other we loved each other not just as best friends but also as a relationship and it grew from there.

I'd recommend broaching the topic the way you have planned, starting off with just a discussion on what his thoughts on non-traditional relationships are. Then as things progress you can start moving closer to the topic of your feelings for him and see if he reciprocates.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:05 AM
seacucumber seacucumber is offline
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Thank you @ Cattiva, it's good to know other people have transitioned from very close friendships to romantic relationships without everything blowing up in their face.

I'm definitely going to work on telling him about it, now I'm just searching for the right way to bring up polyamory to get the conversation started.

Thank you again.
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2012, 12:56 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I am glad that you have a good idea of what you seek - so many folks don't really have anything this well-formed.

If you and your husband are still working things through, then it really wouldn't be appropriate to start talking to another about your specific situation. However if, as it sounds like, the two of you talk on a whole range of subjects, finding something about polyamory, whether it's an article you found that you found "interesting" or some celebrity who is poly and talking about it with him might at least give you some indication about his reaction. If it's an "Ewww, no way!" or a "Well, if it works for them but I could never do anything like that, monogamy is for me" then it gives you the answer you probably need without really exposing yourself.

Then, once you have things sorted through with your husband, and if you got a positive reaction from Mitch, you can considered mentioning it.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2012, 02:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Ted has no problem with us opening up our marriage, though we both agree that it will take some more time and talking to get to a point where we're both entirely ready. The problem is he doesn't think Mitch would reciprocate my feelings and doesn't think I should let him know what is going on because of how important Mitch's friendship is to me.
Sort you and Ted out first. You have to be SOLID before you actually Open.

Quote:
I've got plenty more time before Ted and I are actually ready to declare ourselves emotionally ready for a poly lifestyle, but I, probably selfishly, want to clue Mitch into what is going on. I want him to know how I feel, keeping it from him seems like we're excluding him and pushing him away and hiding things.
You'd be jumping the gun if you and Ted are not ready TOGETHER to go there.

Mitch is your friend right now. Your friend not missing anything out not knowing you and your husband's personal, private business. Like you guys are thinking about Opening up.

Your husband already has expressed his feeling that he does not think it appropriate to tell Mitch at this time. He's not ready for Mitch to know, he's not ready for it to go there.

So wassup with that? You want to disregard your husband's feelings on this one?

Quote:
And I really do love him, I've loved him like a brother for year and years and years, nearly half my life, and now it's changed. It's this strong undeniable love, just like that I feel for my husband, and as strong as I feel for my son. If I do end up deciding to not tell him, it isn't just going to go away.... Really, if this were an alternate universe and I didn't have Ted or my son I'd pack up my bags pull out my savings and fly to where Mitch is and declare my love to him without hesitation.
And if you feel that strongly, it will keep and still be there in a year's time.

Thing is you DO have Ted and your son. You are NOT a footloose single. You care for your own 4 buckets of mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health. You help care for Ted's 4 buckets and your kid's 4 buckets. You are tending to 12 buckets there, and want to commit to yet ANOTHER person's 4 buckets? Have Mitch to tend too?

That's great -- but running off to pick up 4 more buckets to tend and knocking over all of Ted's in the process? How's that being a good poly partner to ALL your polypeeps?

Chill. You will get there. It's normal to be excited and all twitterpated. But again... if you feel that strongly -- it's not gonna run out or go anywhere. You can walk. You don't have to run. Life is long.

You've known Mitch this long in your life -- he's not going anywhere.

Relax.

Hang in there.

hugs
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-23-2012 at 02:20 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2012, 03:49 PM
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I think it is a bit wrong-headed to focus so much on Mitch when you and your husband are considering opening up. Do not bring it up with Mitch yet. That is a huge step with many potentially complicated ramifications, and you need to focus on the impact of poly on your marriage, first and foremost. Whether the additional person you may become involved with is Mitch or not, poly will be an enormous change to the dynamic between you and Ted. Try to take your personal feelings toward Mitch out of the equation and just look at your marriage - where it is strong, what needs examination, any issues lurking, fears, dreams, hopes, etc. I know you feel like you are being cautious and realistic, but you also seem to be fantasizing a lot and it comes off as a little pie-in-the-sky.

I think you may want to ask yourself whether there is a little bit of escapism tangled up in your newly romantic feelings for Mitch - anything you think he could "fix" or substitute for Ted in some way? Opening up requires shining a bright light into all the dark corners and looking at one's motives and fears with brutal, radical honesty.

It is a good thing you have some time before Mitch comes home, and don't worry about whether or not he knows how you feel. You and he have been close all these years - you have loved each other all this time and I am sure he already knows.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:39 PM
seacucumber seacucumber is offline
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I'm sorry if it came off as if I was about to go throw myself at Mitch right now. As much as I want to, (and that's probably where the confusion came in because boy do I want to), I know that's a bad idea. It was more a question of if I ever should, I might want to but that doesn't mean it will be a good idea.

I am, however, trying to discuss polyamory with Mitch but not on a personal him/me/ted sort of basis, just on an intellectual/philosophical level. We have a lot of political discussions, and debate ideas frequently so it isn't the strangest thing we've ever discussed and probably won't clue him in. Ted and I both think that's perfectly fine, it not only gives me someone to talk to who isn't Ted. But we can kind of gauge how Mitch feels about it.

I just wish that we could include him in the process, however unrealistic that is. We aren't going to, but I wish we could. We've always been entirely transparent with him about the things going on in our life, so not telling him is really hard for me.

Ted and I are still talking, definitely working on getting through everything we need to, not that there is a magical list of all the things we need to work through beforehand. And it seems every time we get through one thing another thing we've got to work through becomes apparent.

Yes, I do definitely think that Mitch could give me things that Ted can't, but that isn't the basis of my attraction to him and I don't think my feelings for him are any form of escapism. However, it is really freeing to know that when there are things that Ted can't provide for me that I don't have to either go without or try to change his mind but instead have the possibility of finding them elsewhere, but that wasn't what started this. We've struggled with that in the past, I'm much more adventurous than he is in all parts of my life, I want to travel all over while Ted prefers to stay where we live, I want to kayak and ski and learn to scuba dive while Ted would prefer to read a book and do long complicated math problems in silence, sexually I want a lot that Ted isn't interested in, we have lots of different interests and not always needing to be the one who provides fulfillment in the others life is going to give us freedom to explore parts of ourselves that we might not have otherwise had chances to.

Anyway, what started it was when Mitch came home for a month of leave a year ago and we actually go to see each other again after two years of him being stationed overseas. I started having dreams and a weird attraction I had never felt for him before, and from there I began thinking about it and trying to figure out why I felt that way and talking to Ted about it. And somehow, those feelings have morphed into a new kind of love than what had previous been there. The way he plays with my son, the conversations we are able to have, the way he inspires me to look at things with a different perspective. The way people fall in love still doesn't make much sense to me, I understand some of the hormonal and chemical reactions that take place, but the social aspect puzzles me, so I can't really explain concisely how it all came about.

As for fantasizing, yes I do that, I'm a bit of a crazy romantic optimistic idealist. I'm bound to see this as better or worse than it really will be until it gets here, but that is true for every part of my life and while I have been working on it for years it seems to be deeply entrenched in my personality. And, at this point I'm really not so sure it is a bad thing or something I want to change about myself.

I wish it were easier to get everything across in a few short paragraphs on the internet. Thank you everyone who has offered advice, I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seacucumber View Post
I'm sorry if it came off as if I was about to go throw myself at Mitch right now. As much as I want to, (and that's probably where the confusion came in because boy do I want to), I know that's a bad idea. It was more a question of if I ever should, I might want to but that doesn't mean it will be a good idea.
I don't think anyone here was confused or thought you would throw yourself at Mitch tomorrow. You made it very clear that Mitch is far away and you are trying to take your time to figure it all out. But the fact remains that all your rumination and inner wrestling seemed very focused on Mitch, Mitch, Mitch.

It is always a bit amusing how a person will take the position that people are confused or not seeing things clearly when the answers they get aren't the ones they want.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:35 AM
seacucumber seacucumber is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
It is always a bit amusing how a person will take the position that people are confused or not seeing things clearly when the answers they get aren't the ones they want.
That really isn't what I was expecting to see in a response..

I'm sorry if I am mistaken, but it felt as if I was being misunderstood and hadn't, perhaps, included enough information.

Trust me, Ted and I are talking. Talking all the time, and part of what we're talking about is Mitch. I'm not ignoring Ted's feelings, I'm not going against his wishes. We're working through this the best we can together, and the main topic of discussion (but not the first or only topic) at the moment is if/when/and how to tell Mitch. Remember we've been talking about this for a year we're not starting from zero, it might not all have been specifically about opening up, but why I'd have outside attraction, if he has ever had outside attraction, what we can do to strengthen our relationship, what we want out of life and how we can achieve that, if we should remain together, the things we feel we're missing, what options we have, the things that bother us and make us angry, insecurities, flaws, what we think we're gotten to work, and what we need to change. I'm not saying we're perfect or 100% ready, but we're not in a big jumbled mess of emotions and lack of communication. And, literally, right now is the happiest we've ever been.

If you have ideas for things we should be discussing instead I'd love to hear them, we're struggling finding new questions to ask. Right now we're mostly focusing on Mitch, how we'd go about actually navigating the seas of polyamory and what our comfort zones are, and how people in our lives would react if we were to transform our relationship into a polyamorous one and how best to deal with that.

I still feel like I'm not getting everything across, but I'm sorry if I am coming off poorly or entirely misunderstanding the point you're trying to make. And I'd hope that my possible shortcomings don't make it impossible for me to be a member of this forum as I'd really like to have other poly people to talk with and be able benefit from their advice.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:18 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
And I'd hope that my possible shortcomings don't make it impossible for me to be a member of this forum as I'd really like to have other poly people to talk with and be able benefit from their advice.
You are fine, you are welcome to be here, you made an account, you are a member. Tada!

People will share their impressions in general in the attempt to give feedback. It comes across loud and clear that you have a huge Mitch crush right now. Several have noticed and commented to the effect of "You have a big Mitch crush right now. Make sure you and Ted are solid before going there" in their own style/manner.

Even me. I acknowledge you are all twitterpated. Whee! It's fun to feel. Pace yourself. That's about it.

It's easier to reply if the person states what kind of support it is they want besides just general "lend me your ear" type support.

You say this specifically...

Quote:
If you have ideas for things we should be discussing instead I'd love to hear them, we're struggling finding new questions to ask.
I reply thus... Have you been through all these? I think it's great that Ted and you are talking things out. Keep going!

http://www.morethantwo.com/
http://www.serolynne.com/polyamory.htm
http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/do...documents.html
http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/

HTH!
Galagirl
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