Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-21-2013, 04:28 PM
Sabriana Sabriana is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 15
Default reconnecting primary after another partner? :(

My husband had sex with his new partner and I had intimacy not resulting in sex with my new partner last night.

I feel an incredible amount of closeness to my new partner afterwards. i feel his skin against mine every time i close my eyes... i feel his lips on my shoulder, my breasts, my leg... every time i brush against something or the air hits me. i'm pretty much on cloud 9 about it.

I didnt ask for details about their interaction and I dont want any. The problem I'm having now, is that I feel kind of... distanced? from my primary. He wants to reconnect after last night, and I just dont want him touching me. I want my new guy to touch me. Obviously I cant say that to him because it would hurt him, but I dont want it. I dont want to kiss, to hug, to be touched by his hand....

I'm hoping that will fade in a day or two or that I'll find a way to understand it. Has anyone else experienced this? I feel a lot of guilt about feeling this way, but its how I feel. My husband and I have not always been on the best terms regarding poly. I had a boyfriend and he was hurt by the amount that I loved him (and never told me until the very end), and in the end I left my love for my husband's comfort (among other more logical and very valid reasons) a year ago. Then he had someone and during their relationship he lied to me and broke agreed upon boundaries over the remaining year on atleast 3 occasions...

I'm confused. Not sure why I feel this detachment Is it because I feel this overwhelming new attachment to my new guy? Or is it because of him being with another woman after he hurt me so much with the last one? I just dont know.

**edit** Sorry just wanted to apologize for not introducing myself before making this my first post. I have not posted here before but was desperate to find feedback from people who might understand and yet wouldn't be read by others in my circle.

Last edited by Sabriana; 02-21-2013 at 04:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 04:48 PM
Malfunktions's Avatar
Malfunktions Malfunktions is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NB, Canada
Posts: 203
Default Validity!

You were hurt and healing that injustice is hard. As much as people think they can move on it doesn't always happen. Also, do u think that knowing he's had intercourse relations with another woman while you refrained of intercourse with your new guy could be adding a hint of jealousy? Are you thinking you should have just gone all the way? It's normal. Those are called human feelings! Everyone is conflicted with strong emotional attachments to new and exciting avenues!
Fear not! You are not alone. And no I don't mean the aliens are coming.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 05:01 PM
Sabriana Sabriana is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 15

@Malfunktions Thank you for responding. Things with myself and my new guy just kind of progress at a slower rate. The first time we split off for seperate dates, he and I drove around for 5 hours, way into the early morning, and did nothing more than talk (which was amazing! hard for me to feel that comfortable with someone) and 2 quick kisses. That same night they'd stripped completely naked, grinded all over eachother, both got off twice and did everything they could short of switch body fluids or have sex. It would have been easier for THEM if i'd had sex with my guy, maybe easier for me and my husband, but not easier for my new relationship. (if that makes sense?) because it wasnt right. I spent the first hour just awed and amazed at how good his skin felt and how he looked without a shirt on. i savored every experience and every moment and we just were in a better spot only doing those things.

So more of a conundrum, but not one I know that I would have changed just to make things better in another relationship at the risk of cheapening the amazing experience and resulting connection itself.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 05:31 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 138

Welcome to the forums. Sorry you're a little confused and guilty. Part of what you're dealing with is NRE (New Relationship Energy) with your new partner. The NRE makes you bond with your new partner and that can make you feel as if he and he alone is the one for you, and can make you blind to the needs of your primary. That's why you see a lot of advice to people in the grips of NRE to make a conscious choice to make sure they are at least giving their primary some of that energy.

Your situation is more complicated because of the hurt involved. Your primary lied and crossed boundaries. Is it possible that you need to slow down on the polyamory until these hurts are better healed? Have you and your primary worked on these issues and worked to improve the openness and honesty between you?
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 05:34 PM
Phy's Avatar
Phy Phy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 651


It could be both. Your partner hurt you and you lost your trust, of course you feel disconnected and insecure around him. You definitely need to work on this and tell him what is going on right now.

And you are totally lost in NRE with your new guy. That's normal as well. Additionally to this emotional state your new partner didn't hurt you yet (I guess) and it's just all new and shiny. It's impossible that you won't see him in a brighter light than your husband.

I would regard those two relationships seperately. The relationship with your husband needs work! Do the work and try to reconnect, but for this to happen he has to earn your trust first. The relationship with your new partner is just that: new. Start slowly, see where it goes, try to not compare him to your marriage and try not to think of the relationship of your husband too much. That's no gamescore the both of you try to achieve and settle. Take your time and try to solve each matter in the given context.

Good luck
Facts: 30, female, bi, v-type relationship with Sward (husband, straight, mono) and Lin (boyfriend, straight, mono), poly-fi and co-primary.

My Blog
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 05:37 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,511

Hi and welcome,

Why is it obvious that you cant tell your husband that right this minute you dont want his touch and that you want the BF touch ??? Maybe he feels the same way and wont be particularity hurt or upset ...AND it's the truth.

Honesty is a critical component in poly relationships no matter how painful some things are to hear.

Wouldn't you want to know if he was forcing himself to be intimate with you?? Doing mind tricks to be able to perform....

Last edited by dingedheart; 02-21-2013 at 05:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 06:22 PM
Sabriana Sabriana is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 15

@learninginTN we should have worked through this before moving forward. We had actually decided to focus on US instead of outside relationships this year after having had to ask our third to move out in a really unpleasant situation, and decided to just have fun together. So he sets up a double date for us with a friend and her husband. (hey wife, we never hang out with other couples, why dont we ask y & z if they will go have dinner with us?) Somehow, within a matter of days of that discussion, my primary fell for this girl and she fell for him (they'd been talking for months already but I had thought it was platonic), and her husband had apparently liked me for quite some time that I hadnt been aware of. I wasnt prepared for this but I like them and was hoping to make it work. At first I felt like being with the husband was like a... "have to"? because my husband and his wife were together, and I was pretty resentful of that... but the more I talk to him, the more I like him for him, and inspite of the situation, not because of it. I really never expected to have "NRE" issues with my new guy, because we've both gone really slow as far as dating without much intimacy, prior to last night.

I guess I just dont know how to tell my husband that I dont want him right now... and I dont think its just because I had a good night with my guy as much as the fact that he was with someone else and I've withdrawn from him about it. I was afraid that I would not be able to handle it, that I'd have some severe emotional response and want to pummel him or something (not that i'd actually DO that, just figured that amount of anger). I thought I'd call an end to the whole thing if i couldn't handle it... but i dont feel that way. i feel almost... numb to them being together. Not happy about it, not sad about it. Just seperated from it... the only thing I feel like I need a break from is the unwanted attention of my husband.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 02:38 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,511

Is your husband aware of the forum and or your involvement here?

Why not invite him to read this thread?

Also there are several threads written about this reaction of not wanting to sexual with a spouse after the intro of a new partner ....not sure how you'd find them but there out there....and you're not alone.

I would warn against doing things out of obligation....or as some here have suggest fake it til you make it. Unless you exceptional at faking it ....it could create its own negative spiral.

Last edited by dingedheart; 02-22-2013 at 02:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 03:22 PM
Sabriana Sabriana is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 15

My husband is not on this forum at all that I'm aware of, although I talked to him last night about this whole thread and my feelings.

I guess I could have just searched the past threads instead of looking for a personal take on things and I hope that was not out of line. I looked but I did not look really hard, because I was trying to understand it myself.

I told him that I feel very distant from him, that I didnt want him to kiss me, or touch me, but I asked him to do those things with me last night anyways, thinking that I could just move through it and the distance would dissapate. Instead, he touched me sexually and I just (completely unexpectedly) burst into tears. I had been so busy trying to be "ok" with things, that I hadnt even figured out what I was feeling to begin with. (so much with being good about 'faking it' huh?) I was totally in shock. I cried and we talked and talked and then we had sex, I had an orgasm, and yup..cried again. I am someone who VERY seldom cries so the whole thing took me immensely by surprise. I'm still feeling a little less good about being with him than I wish I did, but better overall. It ended up not being about the new guy at all, but about him being with someone again after he hurt me. The second he touched me I had a flash of him with his new girlfriend and it hurt...way more than I could have ever anticipated. (and I've been poly with him before this)

I wish I was over him hurting me already. Its getting old even for me.

Last edited by Sabriana; 02-22-2013 at 03:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2013, 04:04 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 467

Hi Sabriana,

I just wanted to add a little to your thread, if you wanted to read it.

A few things struck me:

You both slept with a new partner, for the first time, on the same night? Presumably a scheduling thing, or with the idea that it would be easier to cope with jealousy if you were both distracted in your own NRE?

I do think that it's a good tactic. But I also think it can have pitfalls.

Not only do you have to deal with your own cloud-9 buzz and coming back down to earth, back down to your relationship... you also have to deal with subconscious or very obvious stress about your partner's poly event. That's two different kinds of emotion swimming around inside you. I do think that it can work very well to arrange dates on the same night... but it helps if you do that when you are in a position to be ready to re-bond afterwards. Otherwise, you may enter a pattern of increased bonding with the new partner and negative bonding with your existing partner.

I think maybe there are a few issues to breakdown here:

Touching Boundaries

Everyone is different.

After being on a date myself, I want to connect to my primary girlfriend - chatting, hanging out, holding, kissing, sex - whichever of these feels good. Not always sex - not often, actually.

After my girlfriend has been on a date, I often want to close up. I definitely hate the thought of having sex with her. Sometimes, I avoid interaction with her, because she can carry a lot of visible arousal and excitement that scratches at my insecurity triggers. I'd often rather wait until the following day. That's just how I am.

Her husband, on the other hand, always wants to have sex with her after she's been out with someone else. Especially if she's had sex with them. Sometimes, my girlfriend likes this too. Sometimes, my girlfriend really doesn't want this.

In time, I'm sure you will figure out what *you* want simply regarding the touching thing.


The other obvious element here is:

Are you still attracted to your husband? Are you still in love with him? Do you still enjoy sex with him?

If so, your reaction is likely to be down to the point above (touching/personal space/cloud 9 private time) - OR - the point below.

If the answer is 'no', obviously there might be something here you need to look at. For example, that you are actually preferring your new guy to your husband, for whatever reason, that you will either want to work towards re-balancing, or work towards understanding and coming to a decision point.

Trust and Hurt

There is a cycle of resentment here.

You fell in love with a boyfriend - husband felt hurt.
You then dumped boyfriend - you felt resentment.
He then got a girlfriend - did you feel resentment about that?
He then lied and broke boundaries - revenge or bad behaviour caused by his own resentment about how *he* felt you treated him in the past?
You are now wrapped up in NRE with boyfriend - deep-seated resentment about the way husband treated you? Having your head turned by someone who seems so much better, someone who hasn't hurt you? Subconsciously punishing hubby by withdrawing?

You said yourself that possibly, the reason you recoiled at his touch was because you felt betrayed yet again, you had flashes of him with another woman.

I wish I was over him hurting me already. Its getting old even for me.
Hurt takes time to heal and so often, we go looking for new relationships before we are really there yet in our existing one. How long has it been since he broke the boundaries with his ex and then started seeing this new girl? How long before you started dating your guy?

How are you and your husband working on your own relationship? How much time and attention are you each giving to your new relationships? Are you each letting yourselves emotionally hide 'inside' other people, instead of facing each other?

I ask because I went through this pattern myself last year. My girlfriend dated like a maniac last summer and I felt that her behaviour during the first year of our poly relationship was hurtful. So, I threw myself into dating other people. I didn't realise it at the time, but I was trying to distract myself and, in a very subconscious way, punish her by saying "fine, you want to go out and break our boundaries, do whatever you like - watch me do it too".

I actually went and put myself on a poly dating ban for about 5 months, starting in the Fall just gone. I stopped looking online, stopped seeking other partners and forced myself to be 'single' in terms of partners outside my girlfriend. It helped so much. Instead of a constant whirlwind of each of us dealing with our own NRE, emotional spikes and lulls, jealousy, insecurity, balancing, nurturing, etc, we just focussed on one thing at a time. She started a relationship with someone and we worked through that slowly together, whilst I remained on my self-imposed poly ban.

Being on the ban helped me to deal with my past issues regarding her behaviour, my hurt, any resentment, etc. It helped me to focus on our relationship and be able to better re-focus her attention. She wasn't distracted with jealousy over my relationships - so she only had to deal with the balancing and nurturing side of the poly coin. 5 months of this and she has become more honest, patient, warm and caring than I've ever seen before.

I started to feel secure and strong in myself and in her love for me again, and so, I am now going to slowly start looking for dating potentials again.

Incidentally, in terms of resentment cycles and hurt...

Like you, I had ideas about how my girlfriend had hurt me in the past. I too broke up with lovers because of her. (not because she forced me - but because it all got too much for her, and for myself). I realised, through conversations with her, that she had her very own list of ways that I'd hurt her in the past. Things I hadn't even thought about. If you can accept that humans do hurt other humans at times without realising it, or being equipped to stop it straight away, it can be easier to move on from this and avoid continuing the cycle.

GalaGirl once gave me an analogy of poly being like a waterbed. If it's rocky between the people already on it, adding extra bodies is only going to make it wobble all over the place.

Overall, I'm not suggesting you each break up with your other partners - you're already invested now. But, it would be worth doing extra work on your own relationship. Making time (or more time) for dates together, perhaps even poly marriage counselling for a short while to help iron out the kinks. Recognising when you feel the pull of NRE and using that feeling as a flag, telling you to refocus on your existing relationship. Perhaps, if either of your outside relationships end, consider a 3-6 month period of only one of you continuing to date your existing other partner, so that you can deal with one poly-related issue at a time until you are in a more healthy couple environment.

If you start looking at the *cycle* of resentment, rather than what *he* did to cause *your* resentment, it might start to help you to gradually let go of the hurt and reconnect in the right way.
Me: 32f, evolving

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha

Last edited by sparklepop; 02-22-2013 at 04:11 PM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:24 PM.