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  #361  
Old 04-11-2014, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by HazelEyes View Post
I have seen some other posts on "coming out" but that is not the same question I have. What I really want to know is... how did you decide or realize or know you were polyamorous? What led to you becoming polyamorous? Were you feeling dissatisfied with only one relationship?

I guess it is a little confusing to me how there is the notion that in order to become polyamorous, your existing relationship should be solid and in good condition in terms of communication and conflict .... but then, why would you want another relationship? If you are satisfied with your primary relationship, why seek another? What is the motivation?

I am currently married and "poly-curious" and have been considering polyamory for quite some time. My husband has been open enough to listen to me discuss my feelings and thoughts about it, but he is not keen on the idea. So ultimately I feel I will need to decide if it is something that I really want/need and understand that I could potentially risk losing the marriage. I don't know if I want that or not, but it's ok because I'm not in a rush to decide. For right now I am just exploring my heart and mind, and ultimately I want to make the best decision.

While I think my marriage is generally good, I have to admit I do feel dissatisfied at times and like I want something else... a different experience, a different kind of stimulation for my personal growth... and also of course for my own joy and pleasure... and I am just trying to understand all of this within myself, and hoping to gain insight from others. Any responses are appreciated!
The simplest way I can put it is: why not?~

If you feel like some thing is what you "need" or "want" and you feel very strongly about it: then go for it!~ ^o^

That is your personal life, you make it happen.~

There are always more possibilities than we may be able to see at the moment we think about them.~

You may want to think about that.~



Love,

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*Believe in yourself, you can do anything*!~ ^_^

Appreciate every thing, every thing is precious.~

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  #362  
Old 04-11-2014, 04:40 AM
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Re (from HazelEyes):
Quote:
"I have seen some other posts on 'coming out' but that is not the same question I have."
Okay, I will not address any questions about coming out.

Re:
Quote:
"What I really want to know is ... how did you decide or realize or know you were polyamorous?"
I think the deciding moment for me was really when I admitted to a married (not to me) woman (not my wife) that I was attracted to her. (It was already obvious to all that she and I cared about each other. Her husband was already jokingly calling me her boyfriend.)

Re:
Quote:
"What led to you becoming polyamorous?"
Oh many things. I think in the most broad strokes, it was my exodus from the (Mormon) church that empowered me to change my thinking about a great many things -- including marriage and monogamy. Once I had decided I'd had enough of the old traditional ways, the stage was set for me to find myself in a polyamorous situation.

Re:
Quote:
"Were you feeling dissatisfied with only one relationship?"
Well, sort of. I was not getting along with my wife as well as I should have, and it had (little or) nothing to do with her/us being monogamous. It was more that I was distancing myself more and more from the church and from conservative values -- and to be honest I think that actually scared my wife. The fact that I was changing. Which in turn angered me, because then I couldn't share with her, like I wanted, what I was learning. She didn't want to hear the words I was trying to say. Those words were too (scary and) painful for her. Tragic situation (and then she started showing signs of Alzheimer's. Oh dear. That didn't help).

Re:
Quote:
"I guess it is a little confusing to me how there is the notion that in order to become polyamorous, your existing relationship should be solid and in good condition in terms of communication and conflict ... but then, why would you want another relationship? If you are satisfied with your primary relationship, why seek another? What is the motivation?"
My motivation was a change in ideals and values. It was a dissatisfaction, not so much with the marriage I had, but with the church I'd been a slave to for over 35 years. With its culture and its values. I wanted to divorce myself from that culture and those values. As part and parcel of that, I became prepared in my mind to fall in love with someone new -- and to not fight it when it happened.

But that's just my story, and I think there's a larger answer to your question. I think that (many? most? all? don't know) humans have a built-in/genetic tendency to fall in love (or at least want to make love) with multiple partners. Conventional wisdom is that Homo sapiens is a naturally monogamous species, but more recent wisdom has turned that old paradigm on its head. For a specific look at what I mean, read the book "Sex at Dawn: how we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships," by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. Ryan and Jethá argue that humanity's seeming monogamous tendencies are the result of dysfunctional social imperatives -- not natural genetic inclinations.

It is my belief that some (many? most? all?) humans do not have an "enough switch." They have a "very very good" switch, but not an "enough switch." So a guy can say, "I love my wife, I love the life I have with her, and yet ... I can't help noticing how lovely this other woman is." He is not feeling an urge to replace one woman with another. He is feeling an urge to love two women.

Not that you couldn't point a finger at me and say, "See? Your marriage was on the rocks! That's why you were looking for another woman." And I couldn't prove you wrong. I can only tell you that this is what I believe. Humans are a largely, if not entirely, non-monogamous species. The modern social order has pressed us into a monogamous mold, but 10,000 years ago you'd have probably seen a lot more sharing of partners among humans. Circumstances were different back then.

Your experience is yours. You may find that non-monogamy isn't worth it in your life, and that's okay. Plenty of people manage to live monogamously their whole lives and be happy. Because even if there's no "enough switch," there's still a "very very good" switch. And we're all mortal. We're all limited in how much we can experience. Polyamory doesn't free us from that limitation.

Re (from Post #352):
Quote:
"Especially for those in a mono relationship with a partner who wanted to remain mono, how did you arrive at that decision?"
I'm afraid I only fit that bill to a limited extent. Because my wife came down with Alzheimer's, she was ultimately unable to make a fixed/coherent decision about whether she could stand to have a poly husband. The truth is, I ended up being a husband in name but a caregiver in practice.

So if you're asking how I decided I'd live polyamorously in spite of my wife's monogamy, then I guess the answer is that it didn't hurt my wife for me to do it, given that she was unavoidably unaware of what was going on. She basically regressed to the thinking level of a little child. Complex relationships such as marriage and polyamory had lost their comprehensive meaning to her. She was just glad that I was still with her, to be her friend and to help take care of her. Not what I'd call a happy ending to a fairy tale story, but it's the hand that life dealt us, and we tried to play that hand in such a way as to not hurt one another (beyond what life itself was already doing).

I know that mono/poly couples do exist, and it's my understanding that people simply talk out their differences, and negotiate a set of rules and boundaries they can both live by. That's how someone might get the green light to go ahead and live polyamorously. But even without the green light, they can still like polyamory and believe in it.
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  #363  
Old 04-11-2014, 09:46 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by HazelEyes View Post
I guess it is a little confusing to me how there is the notion that in order to become polyamorous, your existing relationship should be solid and in good condition in terms of communication and conflict .... but then, why would you want another relationship? If you are satisfied with your primary relationship, why seek another? What is the motivation?
I'm not sure I understand the question. Do you need to be dissatisfied with your relationship to want another one? This isn't assumed for other things. "I'm gonna get another cat!" "Oh, you must hate your current one!". Or "I'm hoping to become friends with so-and-so" "Oh, I thought your friendship with (other person) was going well! I guess I was wrong!"

The idea that because a relationship is happy, healthy, and working well, you will never need anyone else ever is pervasive but dangerous. Even monogamous people still have other important people/things in their lives. They still have emotional needs that they fill in friendships... Should people not have friends anymore if they have a partner? After all your partner should be your best friends, people say.

Anyways, I had feelings that I was nonmonogamous, but didn't think of it that way. I had been told so much that when you find "the One", you don't want anyone else... I figured I had never met "the One", that I wasn't really in love. Then I met someone and was in love, and I knew I was in love for sure, but nothing changed on that front. I still worked the same way, my emotions still worked the same way, and I thought of the idea of monogamy as constricting and stressful. I had nobody else in mind at the time, and I was happy with the relationship, aside from that. Once it stopped being monogamous, I felt free and able to be myself.
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  #364  
Old 04-11-2014, 05:34 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by HazelEyes View Post
I guess it is a little confusing to me how there is the notion that in order to become polyamorous, your existing relationship should be solid and in good condition in terms of communication and conflict .... but then, why would you want another relationship? If you are satisfied with your primary relationship, why seek another? What is the motivation?
Basically... Same reason people have more kids.

I'm "satisfied with my husband" but that doesn't mean I'm "satisfied with monogamy." Basically, it comes down to "because I want to and I can." Tons of "monogamous" people meet someone with whom they click, and they feel that spark, and they think "wow, if I wasn't married, I could totally get into this person." Well, even though I'm married, I still can.

In my case, I don't "seek" other relationships. I'm satisfied with life, in general. But that doesn't mean that if some awesome opportunity presents itself, I'm just going to say "Oh no, that's ok, I'm good." Things can always get better.

More than anything, it comes down to respecting my need for autonomy and self-expression. I don't "need to be poly" but I need to not be told what to do and how to live based on other people's ideals. I don't see anything inherently unethical about non-monogamy -- I'm not lying to my partners, I'm not cheating on them, I'm not manipulating them into agreeing to something they don't want. When I started dating Gralson, I was very upfront that I don't do monogamy. So accepting that was a precondition to being with me. After we started getting closer, we temporarily closed the relationship to really establish ourselves on firm footing, but always with the understanding that it was temporary. That was the NRE phase anyway, so neither of us had much of eyes for anyone else at the time. That period ended up lasting longer than expected due to life changes that required us to re-establish ourselves several times within a few years, but eventually we reached a stable point where I became once again open to dating other people. Gralson isn't polyamorous... he's barely "amorous." But he likes the freedom that if he wants to go bang some chick, he has my blessing. TBH, I think more than the actual desire to do anything, he just likes rubbing it in to the other married guys he works with that he's actually allowed. Him and some guys went to see strippers, they were all on the phone telling their wives they were just at the country bar drinking beers, and he was on the phone telling me about the moves the girls had. So more than anything, it's about freedom.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 04-11-2014 at 05:46 PM.
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  #365  
Old 04-11-2014, 07:09 PM
1UtahPoly 1UtahPoly is offline
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Hazeleyes

My first advice would be that YOU only have to make this decision to go down this journey. You will be giving something special, incredible and sacred, Yourself.

Q: I have seen some other posts on "coming out" but that are not the same question I have. What I really want to know is... how did you decide or realize or know you were polyamorous?

A: I still don’t know, I guess we will have to give it a try. You could say we are doing it now, my wife has a very special man friend, and we have been in this friendship for around three years. It has been wonderful.

Q: What led to you becoming polyamorous? Were you feeling dissatisfied with only one relationship?

A: I could say a little dissatisfied, maybe spice up our relationship, the other thing me and my wife have all ways done everything together for 38 years and we have not had to many friends our family was number one! I think it would be fantastic if we found a long term partner (female) that they could become very good friends! Someone she could talk with, girl stuff… You should understand that.

Q: I guess it is a little confusing to me how there is the notion that in order to become polyamorous, your existing relationship should be solid and in good condition in terms of communication and conflict .... but then, why would you want another relationship? If you are satisfied with your primary relationship, why seek another? I am currently married and "poly-curious" and have been considering polyamory for quite some time.

A: First I have to say it is very confusing, even to me a male! No one can answer that question, but you!!! I don’t really know myself? OOoo Yes, I believe your relationship HAS to be rock solid!!! You should ask yourself, is the grass really that green on the other side of the fence? What if your journey turns out bad, don’t give up on what you have, but try to make what you have even better.

Q: My husband has been open enough to listen to me discuss my feelings and thoughts about it, but he is not keen on the idea.

A: I would continue to be open and discuss your feelings and thoughts. Ask him to try it, don’t jump into bed right away, let your husband see you around your new male friend, talk, dinner, play a little, touch, kiss, see how he will REALLY react, then slowly move to the bed room. , can he handle it; if he gets jealous it will come out quickly. Really can you handle it! That will be a big question….. Will you be able to handle all the attention of two men?

Q: What is the motivation?

A: The unknown, excitement, can you remember the first time you two met and each step you took on your journey of 13 + years? Now it is a new journey of three.

Q: So ultimately I feel I will need to decide if it is something that I really want/need and understand that I could potentially risk losing the marriage. I don't know if I want that or not, but it's ok because I'm not in a rush to decide. For right now I am just exploring my heart and mind, and ultimately I want to make the best decision.

A: Yes, ultimately it’s your decision! I believe you need to take it very slow, communicate with your husband, and have him help you find the right person for the both of you in your new relationship. Again you have to ask yourself, is the grass really that green on the other side of the fence?

Q: While I think my marriage is generally good, I have to admit I do feel dissatisfied at times and like I want something else... a different experience, a different kind of stimulation for my personal growth... and also of course for my own joy and pleasure... and I am just trying to understand all of this within myself, and hoping to gain insight from others. Any responses are appreciated!

A: I think EVERYONE is dissatisfied in their relationship at some time, I believe it is normal. We become complacent, taking advantage, not willing to work / communicate on our relationship. We all desire different experiences, stimulations and personal growth, joy, pleasure and happiness.

Sorry for going on, but Man, this could go on (LOL)…
But one thing I do want to say!
I wish you and your husband the very best!
Don’t give up on what you have….. 

1UtahPoly
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  #366  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:29 PM
HazelEyes HazelEyes is offline
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
Do you need to be dissatisfied with your relationship to want another one?
That's a good question, and I appreciate you asking it for it has prompted me to self-reflect ... Since I am married to a man who prefers monogamy (and am currently monogamous), I suppose I feel that if I were to initiate any sort of non-monogamy in our relationship (even if just for myself), I would need to have a strong need or reason or justification for doing so.

I do think that I would be happier if polyamorous... but of course, this is purely hypothetical at this point since I have not ever been in a polyamorous relationship (though have known several people who were, and have been thinking and reading about it for years).

I guess I am sort of confused at the notion of "being dissatisfied with monogamy" vs. being dissatisfied with my monogamous marriage. If all I have is my monogamous marriage, then how would I distinguish whether my vague sense of dissatisfaction is related to monogamy, or to this marriage?
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  #367  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HazelEyes View Post
I guess I am sort of confused at the notion of "being dissatisfied with monogamy" vs. being dissatisfied with my monogamous marriage. If all I have is my monogamous marriage, then how would I distinguish whether my vague sense of dissatisfaction is related to monogamy, or to this marriage?
I'm speculating, but I think what is bogging you down is monogamous ideology. In a monogamous marriage (sexually and romantically exclusive) there are lots of things that can be changed without dissolving the association but monogamy itself isn't one of them. The idea that one person can somehow meet all of your romantic needs, desires, and whims is pervasive, and necessary for an ideology like monogamy to make any sense. So there is a kind of built in all-or-nothing attitude when entertaining the idea of polyamory, naturally lending itself to "what did I do wrong? why does she want someone else now?"... because the assumption is that the marriage now needs to be abolished.

Where we are having a communication breakdown is that you are talking to people, most of whom do not have this all or nothing approach to romantic relationships. There is nothing keeping me from doing exactly what I want with whomever I want and I don't need a reason to do so other than "because that's what I want". I'm not functioning under the assumption that one person can or should be able to fulfill my every desire and I don't participate in relationships which insist that this should be the case.

So to me, this idea of dissatisfaction being needed to prompt change doesn't make any sense while the idea of changing the status of your association with your husband *without* dissatisfaction doesn't seem to make sense to you.
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  #368  
Old 04-11-2014, 09:02 PM
Sphynx Sphynx is offline
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at this point in my life it is purely a wish, it is always something I wanted, since I have in the past fallen for many people at once, but I am cooky so I don't even have 1 partner letalone 2 or 3 or more lol
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  #369  
Old 04-11-2014, 09:13 PM
HazelEyes HazelEyes is offline
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First, I just want to say thank you for the lengthy, open, thoughtful, and insightful reply. I appreciate the time you took to write it.

Quote:
I think the deciding moment for me was really when I admitted to a married (not to me) woman (not my wife) that I was attracted to her. (It was already obvious to all that she and I cared about each other. Her husband was already jokingly calling me her boyfriend.)
It is interesting that you say that as it sounds somewhat similar to my experiences. For about the past 10 years or so, when in longer-term monogamous relationships at least, I have tended to develop crushes outside of my relationship. I always assumed it was natural or normal, especially for a person (me) who is often friendly and flirtatious. Years ago, I was very strict about keeping all others "at an arm's length" as a safety precaution to ensure nothing bad would happen. Over the years, though, I have lessened how strict I am with that... not on purpose, but it has just happened that way I guess. At times I have had close male friends and/or some instances of 'excessive flirting' that have upset my husband. It has become progressively worse over time and I don't want to be a cheater/liar/bad person, hence my interest in polyamory as an alternative. (It feels odd writing this...because 5 or 10 years ago, I NEVER would have predicted I would feel this way!)

Quote:
I think that (many? most? all? don't know) humans have a built-in/genetic tendency to fall in love (or at least want to make love) with multiple partners. Conventional wisdom is that Homo sapiens is a naturally monogamous species, but more recent wisdom has turned that old paradigm on its head. For a specific look at what I mean, read the book "Sex at Dawn: how we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships," by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. Ryan and Jethá argue that humanity's seeming monogamous tendencies are the result of dysfunctional social imperatives -- not natural genetic inclinations.
I totally agree. I just heard that book being mentioned in the PolyWeekly podcast and I am definitely interested in reading it. I have watched TED talks and read articles of a similar nature, and these have influenced my philosophies quite a bit.

Quote:
Your experience is yours. You may find that non-monogamy isn't worth it in your life, and that's okay. Plenty of people manage to live monogamously their whole lives and be happy. Because even if there's no "enough switch," there's still a "very very good" switch.
Yes... I feel like it is worth it for me, but I have more figuring-out/deciding to do in terms of whether it is worth the risk of losing my husband (who isn't interested in polyamory). I am taking the time to explore, reflect, etc. because I don't see it as a light decision. I came here to read, learn, observe, and ask questions...and your response has been helpful. So again, thank you.
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  #370  
Old 04-11-2014, 09:27 PM
HazelEyes HazelEyes is offline
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Hi Marcus, thank you for replying and offering insight. I appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
I'm speculating, but I think what is bogging you down is monogamous ideology. In a monogamous marriage (sexually and romantically exclusive) there are lots of things that can be changed without dissolving the association but monogamy itself isn't one of them. The idea that one person can somehow meet all of your romantic needs, desires, and whims is pervasive, and necessary for an ideology like monogamy to make any sense. So there is a kind of built in all-or-nothing attitude when entertaining the idea of polyamory, naturally lending itself to "what did I do wrong? why does she want someone else now?"... because the assumption is that the marriage now needs to be abolished.
You may be right to some extent. As I am "mono-married but poly-curious" perhaps I am having that internal shift/struggle. At least intellectually, I completely believe that it's almost silly to think that one person can meet all of our needs romantically/sexually. I guess I am struggling with some guilt over feeling like I want something that makes my husband sad to even think about.

Quote:
Where we are having a communication breakdown is that you are talking to people, most of whom do not have this all or nothing approach to romantic relationships.
For the record, I did not perceive a communication breakdown... just continued communication. I suppose you could say it's the same thing. That is an interesting point, though, and I appreciate that you shared it.

Quote:
So to me, this idea of dissatisfaction being needed to prompt change doesn't make any sense while the idea of changing the status of your association with your husband *without* dissatisfaction doesn't seem to make sense to you.
Hmmm... I suppose I feel that way as a result of feeling guilty that I want something that saddens my husband. So it seems like I need a "good reason" to insist upon trying a different lifestyle together.

Again, thank you for responding insightfully and openly. Although I have been thinking (occasionally) about a poly lifestyle for years, only recently have I done so with more intention and focus... so I still have a lot of "work" to do.
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