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Old 12-10-2012, 02:49 AM
Maddy Maddy is offline
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Default Probably not a new story...considering polyamory, uninterested spouse

Hi All,

Just sorting things out for myself and though this might be a good resource.
I've had polyamory on the brain for a while now. Thought about discussing it with my husband before but never acted. As of late I thought I didn't want to open the relationship and then try to find someone, but that if someone came into my life that might be of interest I'd act. Well, the universe acted fast on that one and a flirtatious friend of mine moved back here after he had left the state. We hung out with some mutual friends and I thought we could just be friends for a while...He made it clear in our first visit that he wanted to date me and "wished" I wasn't married... and so I thought "oh crap, now I have to talk about it." haha. My husband is not a very emotional person (to say the least), he works A LOT and is also somewhat ADD. We've had this discussion of "needs" for years (Married 3, living together 6.5) and it's just never really changed. I think part of the decision to try poly was resigning myself to the fact that -after lots of work (including some therapy, though it was brief)- it was pretty clear he couldn't give me what I needed (mainly on an emotional front, also dates and simple things) and it makes sense that if I want him still as my spouse and still have these needs, we could open up the relationship...Less pressure for him, more satisfaction for me.

Well, I bravely forged ahead and had that convo...it did not go well. He was "broken open" if you will, suddenly has a lot of emotions he's never had and is pretty clear that he isn't interested in being poly, or "sharing" so to speak.
After years of me turning myself into a pretzel, reading, hoping, accepting, resenting, etc. with little to no movement on his part I'm exhausted...and NOW he "changes." He still is sort of passive in all of this- more than I'd like him to be. I have to decide how I feel about being poly- since I've never done it I don't know...and I'm not sure I can know without trying...yet I can't try, without it being cheating at this point. I haven't seen said love interest since, but I'd like to. The initial NRE was awesome. I limit texting because it ends up crossing (unestablished) boundaries and I really don't want to hurt my husband, nor feel guilt for the rest of my life by acting. I thought there was no reason to do something "stupid" when we could have an "adult conversation" about it first. But basically he sees it as "My wife wants to date other people to save our marriage." and "If you want to date other people then that's a sign it's over."

I don't really know where this leaves my marriage yet...turns out the only feeling that isn't quite going away is the interest in poly. I tried to set it aside and just kept having DREAM after dream about the other person or a friend navigating a poly relationship etc. Also, I'm not really interested in a serial monogomy situation- I don't see the potential love interest as a potential husband, or replacement- I'm not sure it would work but as a secondary partner...as a new person to walk my journey with for however long that lasts- yes. He has something to offer me I want/need.

I'm starting to feel strongly that we walk with different people throughout our journeys for various reasons, to help us grow etc...to be our mirrors and in this case I've long outgrown the reasons I needed my husband initially and I've invested a lot to try to move forward. I'm also not ready to say it's over. Why should I have to? :/

PS. I have a couple of poly friends I've consulted and I've already read the ethical slut in it's entirety...The only thing I haven't done is taken us to therapy yet, because frankly I have plenty of resources in that way for myself and I'm just tired of being the initiator. Sure it makes sense that since I have the insurance that covers it etc. I'd make the call, but really?
He's made some effort, but whether it's "enough" remains to be seen. I'm also well aware of the idea that being poly can shine a light on the relationship gaps and that it requires a large amount of communication.

Last edited by Maddy; 12-10-2012 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:40 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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It may be this new person IS your secondary. But is this husband not the husband?

You sound like you are at a time of discernment for yourself here.

Don't start something new (New guy) til you are done with the old (marriage problems.) It's easier to cope with one thing at a time.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-10-2012 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:01 AM
Maddy Maddy is offline
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Thanks. I guess I've been thinking I need to figure out how I feel about being poly instead of sorting out the relationship first- since he sees it as waiting to find out if I want to date. I don't have motivation anymore (at the moment) to put additional effort into making the marriage work- but I do have motivation to see if we can make it work for me to be poly...if that's all the motivation I need then I guess at least it's something to be a catalyst to create movement. It might sound selfish but I've spent so much of myself trying in this relationship that I'm just spent, so for now it is what it is.

I'm open to hearing any other feedback, or related experiences etc. I just noticed I didn't really leave a question speficially.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:10 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I've spent so much of myself trying in this relationship that I'm just spent, so for now it is what it is.
Again... if this marriage is dead, end it. Then go ahead and poly date free of baggage.

I am not making light of your situation by any means. I know it's not a fun place.

But it's like -- offering yourself as a dating partner with pending baggage (crazy marriage stuff) vs offering yourself as a dating partner that is baggage free. (marriage stuff already dealt with and no longer looming.)

GG
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:07 PM
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DarayTala DarayTala is offline
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I would agree with GalaGirl. It really does sound like you've put so much effort into the marriage for so long with nothing in return, that you are just completely burnt out on it. It seems that while I'm sure there are reasons you are with your husband, that he also very much is not suited to you in a few ways.

Ask yourself honestly if you are willing to live with him in a mono relationship for the rest of your lives and not have a lot of your needs fulfilled, and continue to do all the work when work needs to be done between you two. If the answer is no, I would recommend telling him that. Lay down exactly what your needs are, specifically how they are not being met, the time frame in which you would need them met to agree to stay (whether this be him changing to meet all of them or accepting you be poly if you will want that regardless, whichever you would need), and what you will do if nothing changes. I would also recommend you not go forward with anything new until this is settled. Managing more that one relationship is hard, especially when one is in a rough place, or if one is being done unethically. Ask your friend if he will wait until you sort out whats going on with your marriage either way, and then see where things go.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:51 AM
Maddy Maddy is offline
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Thanks, yes I think it has been at that place for a while. I've been aware that I may be accepting a certain level of engagement from him for the rest of our lives- sometimes I've been okay with that, sometimes not. Of course the hardest part is me coming 'out' re: wanting to try poly was a wake up call for him, now he wants to try etc. but I feel, yes, burnt out.

New dude, is fairly understanding, though he may be moving back to the midwest soon and so that might end up mute. We'll just have to see. He also doesn't want to be the reason I leave my husband, understandably so, nor can I reasonably leave "just" for someone else, not to mention there are clearly other things/issues there that I need to make the decisions on.
Hard stuff...but I think I'm coming around to STARTING to sort it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarayTala View Post
I would agree with GalaGirl. It really does sound like you've put so much effort into the marriage for so long with nothing in return, that you are just completely burnt out on it. It seems that while I'm sure there are reasons you are with your husband, that he also very much is not suited to you in a few ways.

Ask yourself honestly if you are willing to live with him in a mono relationship for the rest of your lives and not have a lot of your needs fulfilled, and continue to do all the work when work needs to be done between you two. If the answer is no, I would recommend telling him that. Lay down exactly what your needs are, specifically how they are not being met, the time frame in which you would need them met to agree to stay (whether this be him changing to meet all of them or accepting you be poly if you will want that regardless, whichever you would need), and what you will do if nothing changes. I would also recommend you not go forward with anything new until this is settled. Managing more that one relationship is hard, especially when one is in a rough place, or if one is being done unethically. Ask your friend if he will wait until you sort out whats going on with your marriage either way, and then see where things go.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:30 PM
Maddy Maddy is offline
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Well, I'm separated. So far I feel happy and relieved...not good signs for my marriage though. The thing I think I have to sort out is whether I wanted to try poly to "save my marriage" or because I wasn't getting my needs met in my relationship....or if it's something I really want to try myself.

How does one figure such a think out? haha.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:52 PM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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I find your story interesting. I cannot say I have all the answers, but can give you a few thoughts from experience.

- No marriage is perfect, and no one person can give you everything you desire,..... Even in the darkest moments, I know that ultimately, if I left my spouse, it would be because circumstances said I had to, not because I wanted to. If I didn`t possess that ultimate feeling of 'wanting' the person, then I would know it was over. Sure there are the many times I feel the need to be alone, and away, and to not have my spouse near me, but something still keeps me anchored.

^^^ With those feelings, comes the fantasy of being invested in something new, and refreshing. The reality for me, was that a poly relationship felt like double trouble. An extra spouse to deal with. So all the pressure was doubled. Be cautious on the poly investing you do, if you think there might be a potential that you were interested in it as an escape. I think 'timing' is everything, and self-awareness. Unlike some other advice, I DO think it's ok to not be at the best spot in your marriage, and date.

AS LONG, as you have that self-awareness, that you can share with those who are involved with you. ( So that you attract the right kind of people, and they don`t feel hood-winked.) Sometimes, dating others, makes you appreciate your spouse and their faults a whole lot more. The grass is not always greener elsewhere.

I think trying poly-style relationships are something of a 'pandoras box' issue. Once you roll it around in your head for awhile,....you will end up trying it.

Like learning anything else, you will fall, flail, flouce around, and make mistakes with it. You will also learn and grow from it. Some people learn and keep going with poly, finding it very rewarding life-long. Yet others learn some lessons, and move away from it.

You just never know.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:08 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Well, I'm separated. So far I feel happy and relieved...not good signs for my marriage though. The thing I think I have to sort out is whether I wanted to try poly to "save my marriage" or because I wasn't getting my needs met in my relationship....or if it's something I really want to try myself.

How does one figure such a think out? haha.
I think you could be mixing things that don't need to mix. You could sort it out one layer at a time.

1) You are in a monogamous marriage and currently separated. Do you want to continue the marriage or not? Knowing the expectation here is monogamy? Look inside and just answer that part.

2) If not wanting to be in this monogamous marriage, and the terms of your marriage agreement cannot be changed so you can be married but ethically nonmonogamous? End it. He's not up for poly. You have the right to have your romances in the shape you want. So does he.

3) Be free to date. Seek a new ployship. Or seek a new monoship. Whatever shape relationship... One where your needs ARE met.

Poly is not going to save your marriage. Opening what is already broken just applies the cracks. If your needs are not met in the marriage, check if you have requested that those needs be met in a clearly communicated way. Is spouse willing to met the needs? Are they specific? Reasonable? Realistic? Doable?

If the main need is a conflict of core values that are not likely to change like he def wants a monogamous marriage and you do not? Neither wants to change or is able to change a core belief/value? The only way to keep those values and be healthy then is to not be married to each other. Try to be friends instead.

I know this is hard. Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-20-2012 at 04:03 AM.
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