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  #11  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:11 PM
amk amk is offline
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The talk:

Last night, after taking a few days to basically write down every single concern and feeling (2 pages, typed) I have- both positive and negative -about opening our marriage, I asked my wife to sit down and talk.

Because I knew she has been feeling guilty for all the heartache I've been experiencing, I started by explaining that all the feelings/concerns I wrote vary in degrees depending on a lot of different factors. I asked her not to react, but just to listen.

As she read, she started with the negatives and I found that we shared several of the fears and insecurities that I had recorded. She made her way through, commenting here and there about what she thought and pointing out things she felt were false (things I shouldn't be fearful of).

The positives were probably best for last; it changed the tone of the discussion to a much more objective perspective for both of us. My wife seemed to understand that despite my fears, I was trying to understand her, even if I'm not ready to fully embrace polyamory. That seemed to be very meaningful to her.

I asked her what her intentions were for the near future and she told me she would not be moving forward with anyone until I was 100% comfortable and agreed to it. She said I was the most important person in her life and she would never want to lose me. Hearing this for the first time in over a year was probably the single most grounding thing I've ever experienced. It certainly diminished the fears I've been having. She also told me she would understand if I couldn't agree to polyamory and that she wouldn't leave me for that decision. This erased the pressure I've been feeling and I feel much more free.

I hope in the coming weeks and months to read as much as possible on this site and others and to create a dialogue with those of you who have experienced something similar. I'm trying to keep and open mind and understand what polyamory is and how it can be for a couple like us. I know many of the posts seem to imply that you are either poly or your not. Trying new things is interesting to me, but I still have reservations- I've been monogamous for almost 13 years.

Has anyone in a monogamous relationship had polyamory suggested by a spouse and eventually decided it was for them, too? What was the journey like?
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:37 PM
DsmEvolution DsmEvolution is offline
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Amk, i've been following you post and feel that I have something to finally contribute.

As to your question;

Quote:
Has anyone in a monogamous relationship had polyamory suggested by a spouse and eventually decided it was for them, too? What was the journey like?
My partner and I were monogamous for the first 10 years of our relationship (minus the one time I cheated on him). We had decided that after 10 years, we were ready to try bringing a third in to our bedroom. I could tell that for the last several years, he wanted to try being more open, but I was so afraid to do it after I had cheated. Then just before the beginning of last summer, we finally had a chance to experience something with other people. We ended up spending a couple days with another male couple and then, the flood gates were open after that.

Went spent about another 6 months only sharing experiences together which was fun and I got to see sides of him that I didn't realize I would find as exciting and amazing. After 6 months, we decided to start our solo experiences. It was a very rocky first couple of months and took a LOT more communication in those few months than we ever did in the 10 years leading up, but we survived it.

After a while, i've started to see his interactions with other men as not being a threat to us and our relationship, and that's opened me up to enjoying my interactions with other men.

I think the key thing to keep in mind is that your wife's and my partner's feelings for others do not diminish their feelings for us. From what you've said here, it sounds like she still loves you VERY MUCH and she's being very honest and respectful of your feelings and is willing to do this on your terms and time table. Sounds like you're a very lucky man.

This relationship style is not for everyone and it may not be for you after all, but I certainly do applaud your willingness to learn about it and find ways to integrate it in to your ideals, it shows how much you love her.

Keep your head up! This seems to be a great community of people here and can be a wonderful support center for you in this journey!
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:29 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amk View Post
I'm trying to keep and open mind and understand what polyamory is and how it can be for a couple like us. I know many of the posts seem to imply that you are either poly or your not.
Well, keep on reading - there is quite a diversity of opinion. Some people believe in that "wiring" idea, that one is either poly or not, while others don't. I look at polyamory as simply a structure for relationships, and a practice. As human beings, we have a wide array of choices in front of us, as to how we want to live our lives. We change and evolve and learn new ways of being throughout our lives, and it's just a matter of seeing what fits with who we are and what makes us happy and fulfilled.

Some people who say they are "wired poly" still have all kinds of difficulty and drama making it work, while others who say they just fell into it or decided to try it out are enormously successful and satisfied with it.

Some people look at poly as mostly a way to have more sex partners, while others find themselves in a conundrum of having fallen in love with more than one person, and still others decide it is right for them in order to expand the love in their life.

There are so many ways one can wind up "here" and so many reasons why it can or cannot work for any particular person. It all depends on what you put into it, and it sounds like you and your wife are both kind, thoughtful, loving people who are willing to explore slowly and not rush into anything. That is a great first step!
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:15 AM
amk amk is offline
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So, after all the positive things that happened last night, I feel like I really lost it with my wife tonight. The cumulative stresses of what my wife told me, combined with a severely strained relationship with my mother currently produced a vulnerable and irrational series of thoughts that came out in verbal obsession about everything that's going on.

Not a very attractive quality, i know. My wife demonstrated some patience, but then she just lost it on me and told me to "suck it up". I wasn't ready to hear that kind of "tough love" from her and I broke down. Of course, she was frustrated with me and offered little in the way of comfort.

This is so damn hard. I wish I had someone to talk with and I feel very alone in all this. I feel like I'm failing at trying to be understanding. I think I could handle any other kind of adversity, but seem to lack the strength to face my best friend's callous attitude right now.
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:07 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is online now
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Just breathe.
We all have those moments.
Maca was in your shoes.
He has since found he's poly. He's my DH. Feelfree to pm him.
Or me.

Hugs
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  #16  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:07 AM
Love2Bake Love2Bake is offline
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You sound so broken. Its sad. I want you to please remember one thing. It really does not matter how good of a friend/lover/spouse you are, this isn't about you. Your wife will desire additional partners because that's just how her brain works. I know it feels impossible but at least try not to take this personally.

What seems devistating at first often ends up being the best thing that ever happened to you. Maybe you'llne look back on this one day as being a turning point in your life. One you're evermore grateful for. Best wishes, OP!! : D
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  #17  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:00 PM
Daysleeper Daysleeper is offline
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You've received some great advice here already regarding opening your marriage and managing your feelings. My concern is a little different. It sounds as though you and your wife have had a difficult year.

It's possible your wife's desire to be with other men has caused the problems in your marriage, but it is also possible that it has not. Are you so focused on this information that you are overlooking other issues? Think back to when you and your wife were at your roughest patch in the last year. Did your wife talk about being unhappy with finances, inlaws, family status, loneliness or something else? Were her concerns addressed and resolved? Were your concerns addressed and resolved? Or are these other issues just in the background now?

Since your wife is willing to wait awhile, I might put some energy into resolving preexisting issues rather than focusing completely on this one. Even if you both decide that non monogamy sounds wonderful and perfect for you as individuals and as a couple, there will be rough spots in the beginning. Working through other issues as a couple will strengthen your relationship, give you a greater sense of security and restore trust, making the transition easier.

If you think other issues are causing significant dissatisfaction in your relationship, I'd tell your wife you don't want to lose focus on those things, that you want to try to work on these things while you learn about and consider opening your marriage. If you think opening the marriage is the only serious conflict between you, please disregard this message.
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  #18  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:02 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Hi and welcome,

Is your wife a member here yet ? If not I'd suggest that first.

If she cares about this working out with the marriage intacted there is plenty of this she needs to learn as well. This isn't going to be you doing all the learning and changing.....or sucking it up.

Plenty of threads and advice for her to read.

You might want to start thinking in term of deal breakers and work backwards.

Good luck D
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  #19  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:39 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amk View Post
but then she just lost it on me and told me to "suck it up". I wasn't ready to hear that kind of "tough love" from her and I broke down. Of course, she was frustrated with me and offered little in the way of comfort.
I'm going to give you my own version of tough love. I'm going to give you the facts. The relationship you had with your wife before she told you she is poly is over - period. You cannot get that relationship back.

Neither you nor your wife know where your relationship with each other is going. Accept that for now.

"Suck it up" is an ultimatum that tells you to give her what she wants "or else". She said that in a moment of anger, so it is the way she really feels. The "or else" is usually losing something. You already lost something - the relationship you used to have with her.

The only question you need to ask yourself (not her) is what works for you. Does it work for you to be married to a woman who gets initimate with other men, if there is the opportunity for you to be intimate with other women? If your answer is yes, that does not make you a good, more valuable person. It is just the way you are. If your answer is no, that does not make you a bad, less valuable person. It is just the way you are. Place no value judgements on your answer. When you find your answer, accept it with your heart open.

Your job is to stand up, take a deep breath and reevaluate your life until you find your own answer to that question. You are asking yourself this question. You are not asking your wife this question. This question is all about you.

Reevaluating your life is a task that will require your direct attention, and a lot of inner strength. Feeling sorry for yourself will make reevaluating your life harder.

Your wife has given you a very focused opportunity to reevaluate your life. Do not pretend you can give her what she wants (poly) and everything will go back to the way it was. It will not. You are now moving in a new direction that either includes an intimate relationship with her or does not. If you leave that direction entirely up to her by focusing your attention on what you are no longer getting from her and how bad you feel about it, you will have a more difficult time moving forward with your own life.

Decide for yourself how you want to move forward. Daysleeper gave you some very good advice, but you will not be able to use it if you spend your time feeling sorry for yourself. Dingedheart suggested bringing your wife to this board with her own account. This board has a lot of good people who can give her the benefit of their thoughts and experience.

Stand up, take a deep breath, acknowledge the mono relationship you had with your wife is over. Ask yourself how you want to move forward, and if that moving forward includes an intimate relationship with her or not. It does not have to. If you want a mono relationship and she wants poly, then the intimate part or your relationship with her needs to stop.

Do not make the mistake of placing yourself in a poly relationship with her just to please her and try to "preserve" the marriage, if you do not truly want it. Doing something that does not work for you just to please someone else never works. If you try that, your marriage will fall apart anyway. It will fall harder when it does fall than it would have otherwise, and will be more painful for both you and your wife. It's time for you to be strong enough to begin the process of looking at your own life so you can decide how you want to live, given the options you have.

Last edited by snowmelt; 12-07-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-07-2012, 10:12 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Look, you both have a lot to digest here. That is understandable. If you guys could do it and solve it on your own, there wouldn't be this struggle. That is understandable.

If you have come to find you have nobody to turn to and you have cultivated no other close friendships to share your joys and burdens with in Life -- perhaps that's telling you something here. Your wife is not your best friend from among many friends. Your wife is your best friend from being the ONLY friend.

That is a hard burden on both -- you have no other support system when the fit hits the shan. She has to be your everything even when she herself is not at her best.

What if the issue were not poly? What if she were in the hospital with a stroke? Where would you go for support in that hard time? Why can't you go there in THIS hard time? Sometimes the spouse is NOT the guy. Or rather, not the ONLY guy.

How about accepting that you are each too close to the issue for comfort, you both are under burden right now, and both are better off seeking a third party person like a counselor? Minister? Who do you guys normally see for big stuff processing? Either to talk to independently of each other, as a couple, or BOTH? Loads shared are lighter.

She's got to process her own stuff, not process hers AND guide you through yours. Her reaching a limit that day on that verbal spew? That doesn't mean she's abandoning you. But I could see her saying "suck it up" like "sheesh! I'm dealing with hard things here too! Everyone put their own oxygen mask on first! Stop acting out at me! I hurt too! Suck up your own part of coping! Everyone cope!"

You both could be emotionally flooded.
http://portlandrelationshipinstitute...l_Floodin.html

If that happens, don't metaphorically pee INWARD on each other in the relationship and escalate tension. Pee OUTWARD to de-escalate tensions and lower the volume/stress. To others who can help and support in appropriate ways.

How are your conflict resolution skills with wife? Strong? Weak?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-07-2012 at 10:20 PM.
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