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  #21  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:10 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Ask for what you want. If you want to be able to hang with this guy and it not be sexual then what do you have to lose asking for that? My bet is that you DO want more and that you think you can't have it.
Ok, yes. Maybe. I'm not sure. When I'm in his arms (much of our friendship has taken place on the dance floor) there are parts of me screaming for more of his touch. And yet, as I wrote before, I am happy to have this role apart from all the various women he has loved, the long time friend he hasn't ever slept with. He is an artist and made me this beautiful object, something he doesn't make for sale, something he has made only for the most special women in his life. I'm the only one he's ever made one for who was not a lover. (My husband knows this too.) I feel pretty certain that if I were not in another relationship, I would probably still not choose to have sex with him. At the same time, that very choice creates an electrifying sexual tension between us, it seems. I have told my husband that the way my friend looks at me and talks to me makes me feel sexy, and that it makes me more excited to be with my husband. He said that was good. Maybe my ideal would be to be able to enjoy lighter forms of physical intimacy with him, kissing and cuddling and verbalizing fantasies... My fear in asking for my husband's blessing in this is that he would say no (and I'm already telling myself no to it as it is), but that he would then feel uncomfortable with the two of us spending time together. I'd rather just deny myself those tidbits of pleasure in order to keep the love, the friendship.

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First of all you say this man is saying sexy fantasies in your ear, now you are saying it won't be sexual; then you say you had a good talk with your husband and started to be honest and now you have decided to keep him in the dark.
I can't say it won't be sexual. I do say we won't have sex. (Or touch each other sexually, or meet in secret, etc.) We have never had that intention, as he really likes my husband and knows my marriage makes me happy. When I talked to my husband the other night I assured him I would divert all the outside sexual energy (from loving anyone else) back towards him, and not have sex with others. I have the kind of imagination, though, that makes all sorts of encounters sexual to me -locking eyes with dance partners, especially, or even just watching a handful of repairmen at work in my house. There will always be sexual energy between us.

Is everybody concerned because I didn't tell my husband that I am in love with this man, or that I didn't tell him about the kissing and dirty talk? Or both? I truly don't think my husband cares to know whether or not I am in love and with whom. He is happy to know I am quite in love with him, and he knows he can ask about the rest if he ever wants to know. Does this mean I am not committed to honesty? Shall I say, "By the way, do you want to know if I am in love with anyone else these days, and who? You haven't asked." I can just imagine his answer: "Only if you feel like you need to tell me." I'll ask, if the consensus here is that I'm not being honest otherwise. He has treated this like my private matter, and as far as our day to day life is unaffected by it, I think it really is. But I would tell him if he wanted to know.

Confessing to the kisses, etc. is something I recognize I should do, and as I said, I'm working towards it. It will likely be weeks or months before I see my friend again, and I think I will be able have that conversation before then. I don't know how my friend will feel about me kissing and telling, though... and I think he should know my intention to bring it up, right?

He's not a dangerous man. He could probably have seduced me by now if he'd decided to try, but he respects the boundaries I've given him in times of better self control. He hasn't asked a thing from me. When something this big builds up for so long, and you throw us together at 2am in the midst of a sleep deprived week of a festival situation where we've been dancing (with each other and others) for hours night after night, and we still keep our clothes on at the end of each night, isn't that saying something? Now that I feel able to love him openly without guilt, I feel like resisting sex will get easier. There's an outlet for the tension now.

As for the girlfriend... I expect they are coming to an end of their relationship, and he seems to be just waiting for some little thing that will make her call the whole thing off. Bringing up his interest in another woman would certainly do the trick. I leave that to him to decide. Last year he started talking to me really regularly (email) all about how he felt about their relationship, and I tried to be an unbiased listener. I think because he had someone to spill to, he ended up realizing how he really felt and they broke up for a few months. (Ironically, our first fight came when I was sticking up for her point of view and arguing that he give her another chance.) Now he's talking to me about it again, and this time far more cynical about their chances of a future, and I worried that I was sort of enabling a break up by letting him vent, and told him so. He didn't think that was the case. Anyway, they are in a fragile spot and I'd rather stay out of the way. If they decide to stay together, then we can talk about how I do or don't fit into that. Meanwhile our phone calls and emails are not sexual in nature.

Again, I'm not perfect, but striving in the right direction. Bear with me, please.
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  #22  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:28 PM
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Bearing with you my friend, bearing with you. I will wait to see if there are other responses before saying anything else
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2010, 11:13 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Thank you redpepper. Your kindness brings tears to my eyes.

I just emailed my friend to request a time to talk about coming clean with my husband. The ball is rolling... slowly...
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  #24  
Old 07-25-2010, 11:55 PM
FormerUnicorn FormerUnicorn is offline
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I want to preface my remarks by saying that I applaud you for preparing to talk with your husband. It's difficult and I respect the bravery that you must find in order to do so. I think you will find that your complete honesty will be such a relief to you, even if the consequences may be difficult.

Just because he hasn't asked and doesn't seem to want to know doesn't mean he doesn't need to know. The difference is very important, especially if you are hiding something hurtful from him. Besides, the fact that you believe that your husband would be unhappy if he knew about your actions is the real indication that you're not being truthful and honest with him.

I wish you a lot of luck.
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  #25  
Old 07-26-2010, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FormerUnicorn View Post
I want to preface my remarks by saying that I applaud you for preparing to talk with your husband. It's difficult and I respect the bravery that you must find in order to do so. I think you will find that your complete honesty will be such a relief to you, even if the consequences may be difficult.

Just because he hasn't asked and doesn't seem to want to know doesn't mean he doesn't need to know. The difference is very important, especially if you are hiding something hurtful from him. Besides, the fact that you believe that your husband would be unhappy if he knew about your actions is the real indication that you're not being truthful and honest with him.

I wish you a lot of luck.
Agreed former, I would also like to add that one of my big lessons learned in poly is to never assume or expect anything, checking is always better. If I want something to happen or need help, I never expect my partners to know; why should they, they can't read my mind; I ask. The same with assumptions; I don't assume that my partner is not interested, doesn't care or knows what is going on; I make sure they know and check. With poly, everything has to be spoken, there should never be anything left to assume or expect, that way all cards are on the table and everyone is on the same page all the time. It means that there is no catching people up, no surprises, everyone has had a chance to figure out what is going on for them in light of a situation and everyone is on board.
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  #26  
Old 07-26-2010, 02:00 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Well, ok. I will ask my husband if he wants to know who I've fallen for, but if he says no, isn't it ok to respect that?

Meanwhile, my friend is on board with opening up about what happened between us (the kisses, etc.) and says he will "adjust to whatever needs to happen" with how we can relate to each other in the future. We will talk it over together first, in a couple of days.

Geez, you guys are inspiring me with all sorts of bravery. I trust my marriage will come out fine, but I do worry about what will happen with my dear friend. Plus there's that remote hopeful possibility that my husband would be fine with a certain amount of intimacy there, but it still wouldn't be able to happen if my friend continues with his girlfriend. (What if that influenced his decisions about their relationship? Yikes, I'd hate that!)

The last 2 days since bringing up polyamory with my husband have sure been spicy between us. He has been requesting and offering all sorts of lovely things in bed! And elsewhere!
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  #27  
Old 07-26-2010, 05:49 AM
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Woo hoo! Well that's something
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  #28  
Old 07-27-2010, 11:26 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Ok, we've had the talk. I expected some sort of big sense of relief and peace, but I don't feel that at all. It feels like there is now an enormous amount of work to do. I don't mean about restoring trust or clearing up misconceptions. More about figuring each other out.

The conversation did not go at all where I thought it would. He did not express jealousy, anger, suspicion, hurt, etc. He felt only concern, for propriety, for our family, for my life's aspirations (which was so odd I am going to explain below). He did not want me to tell him who I love, but I started talking anyway (about my feelings for my friend, etc.) and eventually said I'm sure he knew who it was. He did.

He agreed it was right that I told him, but he still didn't want to know. He doesn't like that it will feel awkward for him now, being around my friend. I asked him to clarify the boundaries -that I can love someone and do nothing, or at the other extreme (which I wouldn't want) have sex or run off with them, but somewhere in the middle of that range is a place we can feel comfortable. He really. did. not. want to talk about that. I offered that I wouldn't have sex and wouldn't share personal secrets about him or us. He added "or our kids" but since my friend is one of my best sources of parenting advice, having raised a daughter who was challenging in all the same ways as my oldest, I asked for specifics there, and he couldn't really think of anything about our kids I couldn't share. He said no picking up diseases, but that kind of went back to no sex.

He said "nothing physical" and I said dancing is physical, holding hands is physical, so how about no sexual touch. Later I asked him about kissing and he said, "I don't want to answer that." I know I should always ask and not assume, but I couldn't get a straight answer, and what I assume is this: he does not want to say yes, because he doesn't feel it is appropriate to allow his wife to kiss another man. He does not want to say no, because he doesn't think his objections outweigh my happiness. Well, the closest we came to settling the whole question is that yes, I can still see my friend, and no, we won't have sexual touch (I told him the sexual energy is not something that will go away at will), and the grey area between is a matter of my discretion, but he really doesn't want to be informed. By that I mean he said explicitly that he does not want to be told what goes on. I also asked that he let me know his emotions that might come up in the future.

What surprised me the most was that the only part of the conversation that had me alternating between tears and anger, was when he brought in "aspirations." I was asking some question to do with sexual energy, and he comes back with "There is more to life than this," and clarifies with some comment about my having been high school valedictorian and is this what I want to be doing with my energy? Loving, developing relationships? And it turns out that he (very highly compensated, well respected achiever in a big corporate environment) does not feel like he has made his mark in the world, and he can't understand why I am not similarly driven to DO something with myself, and not sit back enjoying life as I do. This infuriates me, because I have spent the last 8.5 years pregnant (twice), breastfeeding (6 yrs total) and raising our two young daughters full time, and at the same time, earned my master's degree and started a private school 6 years ago that has continued to grow. I direct it singlehandedly, from the marketing to the payroll -I even do my own corporate taxes. This is me, having no aspirations.

So his whole big concern with me having another man to love is that I will put emotional energy into that relationship, and it will keep me from achieving anything important. What kills me is that I think happy human relationships are what's important. I think life is about finding your happiness, in a way that helps others be happy too. He thinks more on the level of Nobel prizes, or inventing Google. I think he will never be satisfied with himself, and now I question whether he will always be disappointed in me. I love my husband immensely, but I just can't get my mind around this drive, and the way he can dismiss human interaction as a distraction from greater purpose.

Anyway, I guess I'm relieved that everything is out in the open now (and I called my friend to catch him up on it all too), but I feel sad that we have such an enormous difference in priorities. I feel like we are successful in every sense of the word: we are in love, we have 2 gifted children, we have more money than we know what to do with, we have our health, we are respected in our careers, we have friends and neighbors who like us, and our berry bushes are producing like crazy. I am happy with my life. He feels like a disappointment to his parents (one of whom is dead, so how can we argue with that?). And now he has a wife who is wasting her potential on silly things like love.

Is it no wonder I like to spend hours talking with my friend? He seems to come from the same planet I do.

Thanks again for encouraging me to bring this out in the open. I guess the journey has finally begun.
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  #29  
Old 07-28-2010, 03:39 PM
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Good call Redpepper
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  #30  
Old 07-28-2010, 08:42 PM
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Thanks for sharing this. You've made yourself vulnerable which is usually not easy and certainly is always a gift for others. Good luck with your journey
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