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  #11  
Old 02-04-2011, 06:19 PM
preciselove preciselove is offline
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Originally Posted by angeleyes View Post
Wow. I know *I* sure wouldn't want some man thinking he was going to "fully educate" me so that I could be "converted"... which I guess is why I stick with wimmin :: raised eyebrow ::
What's wrong with raising the veil of ignorance? There's nothing inherently wrong in my mind with growing into something better, but to each their own.

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Originally Posted by angeleyes View Post
Maybe before worrying so much about "educating" this womon to whom you are married, an alternative would be to explore *together* what it means to live life in a more natural sense, rather than defaulting to the culture of mainstream society (which seems to be disintegrating, anyway). Be willing to have an open mind *yourself*, and I think you'll be more likely to encourage that kind of thinking. Look into what it meant to live in pre-agrarian foraging society. Eventually y'all will make your way to some of that "Sex at Dawn" stuff that's over on another thread.

I hope that helps =-)
Sounds interesting, I'm somewhat similar in thoughts with you on society.

Though of course in a real anarchist society you'd need some frontman gorilla to protect you as women typically are physically weaker than men and don't present much of a threat deterrence. Without some form of protection service many weaker people would be taken advantage of. But I'm sure you know this and have it all worked out, you just have to convert a man through education.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by preciselove View Post
watch movies with her that have these concepts in them. , .
I think this is a very practical and cautious way of bringing up the idea. Don't let your enthusiasm blind you to the potentially huge impact this could have...maybe positive, maybe not. Some questions cannot be un-asked.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2011, 09:15 PM
angeleyes angeleyes is offline
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What's wrong with raising the veil of ignorance?
There is nothing wrong in raising the veil of ignorance. I can raise my veil, and I trust you and everyone else can raise their own veils. When someone else decides to touch my veil, it angers me because I consider it presumptuous.

Here, you've asked a question, and so I've answered. If people want to share thoughts, experiences, and personal opinions, that's always appreciated. I may hear how someone else lifted their own veil and decide to do the same, or I may decide that I'd rather lift my veil differently. The issue for me is in the presumption that someone else knows better than I do what it is that I need.

... which is why I'll trust that you can figure out anything wrong about your presumptions about "real anarchism," preciselove ;-)
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2011, 09:17 PM
onivel onivel is offline
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Default How to tell her

Well, this is my first message on this board -- I (and my wife *T*) have been lurking and reading for a couple of months. This may belong more in the introductions section, but....

For what it's worth, I find your situation very, VERY similar to my own -- I've been married for 15+ years to a wonderful woman. Our marriage was and is still rock solid. For over 17 years we have both been monogamous and faithful to each other without any desire to find someone else.

Then *J* came into my life. Ironically, it was my wife who introduced us over a year ago. During the ensuing year I became friends with her and as time passed, more and more attracted to her. I thought that the feeling was mutual.

Early last December it finally reached a point that I could no longer just ignore my attraction to her and for a few days I tore myself up inside to the point of making myself sick. Luckily, my wife and I have multiple friends who are poly. After a long talk with one of them and spending time reading this board, I 'manned up' and told my wife of my feelings for *J*. Then I asked her to consider opening our marriage and allowing me to tell *J* of my feelings for her.

This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was very afraid of the damage that I was going to do to my marriage and the amount of hurt that I was going to inflict on *T* in the process. She had a pretty understandable reaction: shock, hurt, fear, jealousy, anger, you name it. BUT. She was also understanding and relieved that I trusted her enough to tell her of my feelings. There was some comfort that I trusted her enough to tell her rather than cheating on her. After a couple of weeks of talking and soul searching, she gave me her permission to tell *J* and see where it lead. Unfortunately, I had misread *J* and she didn't feel the same way. Looking back, this was probably for the best.

At this point in time, my wife and I have taken a step back and are very slowly and deliberately examining the possiblity of opening our marriage. This time, we're not working under an 'iminent threat'. Nothing has been decided. We're reading these boards and the recommended links/information. We're reading recommended books. We're lucky enough to have a number of close friends in active poly relationships who are willing to share their experiences and 'coach' us if necessary.

I would very much like to explore polyamory. My wife doesn't have any real desire to do so herself and can't see finding a partner for herself either, but she is willing to try to understand this change in me. She's doing some serious soul-searching to see if she can accept this. We have started discussing what we would be comfortable with and how things could work if we decide to open up. How long will this take? Dunno. As long as it takes.

The above is fairly long winded, but having been in very similar shoes, I offer the following bits of advice -- most of it is a rehash of wisdom that you can find all over this board, but it's definitely worth repeating.

-- Do NOT cheat on your wife. Even if she doesn't like the idea of nonmonagomy at all, trust me: She'd much rather hear that you have an attraction to another woman than find out afterwards that you have had an affair. Your odds of a 'good outcome' are much better if you're honest with her and don't destroy her trust in you.
-- Be prepared to reassure her that it's nothing that she's done (or not done). It isn't that you don't love her any more or any less. You aren't trying to replace her and in fact she can't be replaced. And I don't mean once. Continually.
-- Be honest and open. This is a recording.
-- Be prepared to "date" your wife again. Come to think of it, you should regularly "date" your wife regardless of whether she's willing to consider nonmonogamy or not.
-- Be prepared to be fully open and communicate with your wife on a level that you've rarely (if ever) done before. I can attest to this -- whether *T* and I ever reach the point of opening our marriage, our relationship is actually much stronger that it was before. We are closer and have talked more in the last seven weeks than we have in the previous seven years. I won't get too graphic, but our sex lives have also dramatically improved as well. All of this is a GOOD THING (tm).
-- If your wife is willing to at least consider the idea of opening your marriage, be prepared for this journey to take a lot of time and effort on BOTH of your parts. Your biggest temptation will be to rush and "push" her. Even knowing that this is not a good thing, I've fallen into this trap a few times. *T* and I are still in the middle of this process -- we have our good days and our not-so-good days.
-- Understand that as hard as it was for you to even tell your wife of your feelings for another woman and then broach the subject of nonmonogamy, it's going to be even harder for her to process. Be understanding, be sympathetic and BE PATIENT. Reread this point ten more times; I'll wait until you're done.
-- Read this board and follow the good advice and learn from others here.
-- If your wife is interested, show her this board -- read it with her.
-- Read Sage's blog -- www.polyamorouspeople.com. It's been incredibly helpful to a lot of people, including my wife and I. Also, get her ebook. (Sage -- a kickback would be appreciated here.... )
-- Take Redpepper's and Sage's advice to heart. They know what they're talking about. I know that I'm forgetting to mention at least a dozen others by name here, but you'll find out very quickly who they are...
-- Open, by Jenny Block and Opening Up by Tristan Taormino are excellent books. *T* is currently reading Open and will be reading Opening Up as soon as I have finished it.


There are probably another hundred or three things that I've learned but am forgetting to mention here. Good luck. And yes, it *is* worth it.

Last edited by onivel; 02-04-2011 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Repairing a few glaring grammar mistakes.
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2011, 05:53 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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I think you might have said this, but I did want to ask... does your partner know that anything about non-monogamy? Is she the type that gets jealous easily, or is easily hurt if she feels she has to "share" you? Those things may color your approach... but even if she is this type of person, I would be thoroughly honest regardless, to be fair to her. I don't think you would want her to "hide" things from you, right?
Nope, she is pretty traditional in terms of "one S.O. at a time" rather than sharing a person with someone else. Also I can easily describe her as competetive by nature, which isn't a huge leap from jealousy. I have never tested this jealousy, having basically no close female friends in the city we live in. So I imagine she is going to have trouble understanding all this. On the plus side, we sort out our differences pretty well as long as everyone is in the mood to talk calmly. I am certain I will tell her but it is going to have to wait a bit due to some other issues she is dealing with right now. I certainly can't expect a good outcome by bombarding her when she's already stressed! Thanks for your input.
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  #16  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:38 AM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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First, thanks to all. Onivel, I can really see the similarities between our situations. All the way down to the fact that your *J* was the catalyst for change, and yet she didn't pan out as an intimate relationship. Well mine probably won't either. I certainly would welcome my wife exploring this if she felt compelled to explore poly too. It's only fair to give her the freedom I would seek, and yet I am sure she wouldn't. So we are in the same boat and I take your suggestions to heart.

Well, it was a long three day weekend for me and my wife, very therapeutic. I couldn't get on here and share my thoughts and questions at the time, for obvious reasons. But it was a strange and amazing thing. Just absorbing these poly concepts and encouragement has lifted a lot of guilt off of my shoulders. I was able to just relax and enjoy being with her. Why? Because it was o.k. to have feelings for more than one person without utter self loathing. Not that I suddenly thought either of us could function in a complicated mono-poly poly-poly whatever relationship, magically, tomorrow. But at least I am encouraged to be honest without guilt. It's not evil. It's not 'mental cheating' as people have started calling it... how insane! They presume to restrict our very thoughts now???

So what's next? I am exhilarated, but nervous to say anything, to say the wrong thing, to hurt her... all of it! But there's another problem. A big reason why I should be hesitant to tell: because we all work together. I'm an idiot and I failed to point that out when I started this thread, but it changes things a bit, does it not? It wasn't intentional, I was trimming down my first post (can you believe it was longer??) and I took it out. But there it is. So even if I try to tell my wife about my situation, I risk all manner of wrath, awkwardness, and confusion being misdirected at this poor woman who doesn't deserve it when really it should be reserved for me. The three of us are working in the same place for at least another six months. I hate to drag her into this. But............. it ultimately doesn't change what I have to do. It just affects how I do it. I'll keep doing my homework here and elsewhere (Sage's blog) in the meantime.
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:41 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Personally I wouldn't tell her. I would work on the poly stuff first and keep the other woman at bay. Let the six months ride out and see where you are at when its over. Quite often these things dwindle and then there was no reason to cause drama. I would just let it go for now... at the very least. I am glad you are excited and NREing on poly, but take it for what it is and see where it goes with your wife. The other woman was the catalyst, but not necessarily the second woman of your dreams... why complicate it. In six months if you still feel for her, then maybe its time... by then you will have learned some stuff and be more settled in what this poly shit means to you.
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2011, 03:28 PM
angeleyes angeleyes is offline
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It's funny, last night my partner was asking about a sexual relationship from my past from before my gender transition (when I was living as a man, rather than as a womon). I hadn't talked or even thought much about it in a while, but it was probably my most significant experience in terms of exploring an ongoing relationship with more than a couplehood.

So like you, I was the "husband" at the time, and then there was the womon I was married to at the time, and the womon we were dating. My partner and I were discussing last night what had gone wrong and how the relationship had ultimately fallen apart. Part of it was circumstance, but there was also jealousy. My conclusion (some ten years now after the fact) is that I played a significant, yet unrecognized role in destroying everything by my attempts to "manage the situation."

Raised as a middle class, white "male" in the culture of American suburbia, I was so entrenched in a culture that was conditioning me from birth to "manage" and "administer" the world around me that it was a condition I was completely oblivious to. IOW, what is the ocean to a fish who has never been out of it? Having recognized the condition, I can't even say that I try to avoid it, since that would almost be a kind of management in and of itself. I just recognize management for how I see it: authoritarian.

I won't have to live with the decisions you make, so I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do. I'm just going to say that I trust you can figure it out, if you let go of your ideas of "should" and focus more on observing what "is." I don't try to work out long term strategies any more, I don't scheme, I don't try to say everything perfectly, I let myself fuck up, I let myself apologize for fucking up, I let people see me as human, I let people see me as they need to -- in short, I don't seek to interject myself into the situation. I let things "work themselves out," although I also recognize I am one of those things working itself out.

Life is complicated and sex is a very complicated aspect of life. The more I try to "figure it all out" consciously, as if there are 5 steps or 12 steps or 11,342 steps that can be written down and committed to memory, the further I get from "truth." Learn from these wimmin and develop your *respect* for them (and their intuition), love will follow the respect, and then feelings of love will lead to acts of love.

I'm sorry to sound all Deepak Chopra, but if you just get your idea of how things "should" work out of the way, you may find that what needs to happen will come much easier.

As an example, if the opportunity to present itself comes up in conversation (it finds you, not the other way around), you could try just saying something to your significant other such as, "sweetheart, you know I would never be unfaithful to you, but you know _____ that we work with, and I really think she's awesome. I wanted to say something because I hope that's ok, and I wouldn't want the two of us to be too friendly and then you either had to wonder or else have your feelings hurt."
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:39 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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I'm sorry to sound all Deepak Chopra, but if you just get your idea of how things "should" work out of the way, you may find that what needs to happen will come much easier.
As an example, if the opportunity to present itself comes up in conversation (it finds you, not the other way around), you could try just saying something to your significant other such as, "sweetheart, you know I would never be unfaithful to you, but you know _____ that we work with, and I really think she's awesome. I wanted to say something because I hope that's ok, and I wouldn't want the two of us to be too friendly and then you either had to wonder or else have your feelings hurt."

Very thought provoking post. Been mulling over it for a few days. You've taken bold steps to take 'control' of your life (Ok, bad choice of words but I couldn't help myself!! ) and that's admirable. I agree with you on the overall point: I am, as you once were, very much entrenched in this society's norms. It's hard not to be, isn't it? And I'm surrounded by others who are either happy with this lifestyle or pretending. The same fear that keeps me from being honest is working its collective power on everyone else too. I remember a sociology teacher using the term sanctioning. Society will tend to its proverbial garden with a trim here, a prune there, and everything just looks so nice and proper, doesn't it? Oh and never mind the weeds, we'll take care of them soooon enough : ) Must be why so many people are forced to keep such secrets I guess. So we seek to control our environment all the more when we feel out of control, as I increasingly do on various fronts in my life. This is just one. Am I doing the right thing? If I could wholeheartedly take your advice, that question would be irrelevant. It wouldn't be about right or wrong. It just is and I either do something about it or not. I have to believe that opening up to her will ultimately strengthen us. Ultimately I am persisting in this for my own well being.

I should clarify that I'm not going to say "hey guess what, I want to be with this other person and you at the same time." But I'm sure you knew I wouldn't be that direct. I'd be more inclined to lead into it the way you described though I have reservations about revealing any affections for someone else yet. At any rate, she deserves to know what has been burning inside me, regardless of whether she will like it. Of course it's all easier said than done but the seed is germinating.

And I get that a lot of people will conclude that I'm moving pretty fast with all this, which is probably true.
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2011, 12:37 PM
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Here's my problem with the whole "tell her bit by bit," "only give her so much information," "don't tell her anything until...?" approach: I believe it puts the person from whom you're withholding the information into a non-consensual position.

She didn't decide to be with a person who couldn't simply be happy with her. She needs to know what is going on so that she can make informed decisions about her own life. I understand that these kinds of things often develop over time, and that one doesn't always know in uncertain terms what is going on, but honestly the FIRST time you had feelings for another person you really should have talked to her.

What is going on, until some sunlight disinfects the situation, is a power-play. You want to control the flow of information in the relationship so that you may experience the best outcome. Your partner right now doesn't have an opportunity to look at the facts for herself, and decide *for herself* what is best for her.

I'm not trying to shine a bad light on you- you sound truly perplexed yourself. I wish I had known a lot sooner what the whole truth of my situation was- I don't know that I would have made any different decisions, but the opportunity to do that would have been there. Now, I have built a history with a woman I love dearly, and I am *put* into a tight spot I didn't decide to be in. I don't think my partner was tricking me or trying to deceive- she just left out information that she thought I would find unpleasant.

Now, in my case, I am not leaving because I see that my partner has been sacrificing expressing her desires in her own way and she has done that so that I would not be hurt. I feel like I have to at least try and face some of my own fears before I can say I want to go it alone. I don't know how it will turn out. I have been thinking all night.

I'm sorry if this is untimely and you have already resolved your issue, I have just been chewing on the best way to word my thoughts. You will have to put some trust into your partner and let her have the space to make her own decisions eventually. It is in better faith to be up-front than it is to try and "groom" her to accept what it is that you want, or to drop hints. One of these days, it is very likely that you will have lamented and thrashed about and you will act on one of these love interests- and she will not only be within her rights to terminate the relationship at that point, she will have a very valid reason to never trust you again.

If you are honest, and you speak to her before anything else happens, she might have more trust in you than you ever imagined. (Then again she might not. But in this case, it's my opinion that you are the one who has the burden of taking a "leap of faith.")
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