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  #1  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:10 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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Default I could use some advice

I'm new here. In fact I'm new to poly in general. It wasn't really my choice, but it has come up a lot in the last handful of years for me. I was very closed to the idea four years ago when my girlfriend at the time brought up to me. Now, I don't think it would have worked with her regardless. From what I can tell TRUST is a big thing in poly and that was what ended our relationship. I think she thought of it as a fix and that's not really what poly is about. At least from what I've ready and heard from others. So fast forward...

My current girlfriend of a year and a half is amazing. Challenging, mind you, but amazing. Being with a bisexual, sexually submissive, slightly neurotic, lyme disease suffering celiac has been an interesting road. But she has one of the biggest hearts and really is a partner in the true sense.

A little background on me... I'm gone a lot. My job normally takes me out of town for a month or two at a time. While away, I had agreed that a little bondage S&M play dates for her was ok. We set up the rules and made sure it was all above board and honest. That was back in January. So recently I was out of town for four months. One of the biggest away trips of my career. Now, I flew home once and she came over twice, so it's not like was didn't see each other the whole time. BUT that's challenging for any relationship.

So I guess she has been struggling with this. But not just with me. She has developed feelings for others in the past while in a relationship. She never acted on them, but she had them. They were what lead to her ending it with many past boyfriends. She loves me! I know that. And I love her. We want to spend a life together. But she is starring to realize she isn't wired to be purely monogamous.

I love this girl with all of my heart. When I'm away from her it's her that I think of before I sleep. She's a part of my conversation with colleagues. Everyone in my life loves her. I'm struggling with being ok with this. I lost my mother at 13 and I believe I have a few abandonment issues when it comes to women. This is bringing up ALL my insecurities. So here I am posting on a chat board to random strangers asking for advice. I've completely overshared. I'm not someone to normally does this. But I don't want to lose her. I know it's going to have to be me coming to grips with this. But it makes me feel less important and really, a little less loved.

So to those of you who have made this journey from being a fairly "normal" guy by society's standards to becoming more open, what was your journey like? I know everyone's is singular and unique, but I feel very alone right now. HALP!

Singing in Seattle
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:23 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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I'm sorry you struggle right now.

WHAT insecurities? Could you list it?
  • "If we open, ____ could happen. This is bad because then I would have to _____?"

WHAT needs could be met so you could feel secure again and let the insecurity go?
  • Needs met by you?
  • Needs met by her?
  • Needs met by both of you together? Behavior you could do together or stop doing together to help reduce your load?

Quote:
I know it's going to have to be me coming to grips with this. But it makes me feel less important and really, a little less loved.
Could you please clarify? WHAT is "it?" WHAT done by WHO makes you feel less important and less loved?
  • When she does / does not do (whatever action or thinking behavior), I feel less important.
  • When she does / does not do (whatever action or thinking behavior), I feel less loved.
  • When I do /do not do (whatever action or thinking behavior), I feel less important.
  • When I do/do not do (whatever action or thinking behavior), I feel less loved.
  • When we do /do not do (whatever action or thinking behavior), I feel less important.
  • When we do /do not do (whatever action or thinking behavior), I feel less loved.

It's hard to give you specific suggestions without specific info. But if you need help thinking it out, that's how I'd approach it.

Hang in there. You can sort this out. Take it one thing at a time.

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-02-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:36 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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I was trying not to post a novel but in doing so left out important details. While I was gone she developed feelings for two different guys. One she's known for years and is apart of a poly relationship.

I'm afraid for agree to including others into her life that I will mean less. Or that ultimately I will lose her to someone else. Of course, that can happen without being poly, but it's a concern. But here's the big fear. That's ultimately I AM a monogamous guy who isn't cut out for this and it will chip at my bit by bit. One of my best friend's marriage ended over this. He just couldn't deal with it after a several years.

I'm not sure about your other questions. My thoughts are still kind of spinning. I have to run out the door, but let me think about them and I'll respond later. Thanks for your reply though.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:50 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Could remember you are not your friend. You are YOU. Don't ADD to your own load fretting over what happened to him. That was his situation.

Let me repeat that back to you to see if I got it right. I could be wrong:
  • I'm afraid to agree date her concurrently with other people because then (she will decide? I will decide?) I will mean less (to her). Then I will have to ______?
  • (I don't know what to guess here. What would you put?)
  • I'm afraid to agree date her concurrently with other people because ultimately she will decide to break up with me. Then I will have to ___?
  • Handle feelings of loss?
  • Heal?
  • Start dating again later when I am ready?
  • I'm afraid to agree date her concurrently with other people because after trying it on I might find out that I AM a monogamous guy who prefers to be relating in monoship shape. Polyshipping it just not for me. Then I will have to ___?
  • Expect me to be assertive about meeting my needs?
  • Expect me to bow out of the polyship and deal with feelings of loss? Heal? Date again when I am ready?
  • Something else?
Most of those seem to revolve around fear of breaking up in general, fear of HER doing the breaking up, or YOU having to do the breaking up. Is that part of it?

It seems to go right to break up too. There's not stop in between for conflict resolution? How strong are your conflict resolution skills with her? Are they weak? Is that part of what ADDS to the fear?

Have you ever broken up WELL? Have all the break up experiences been horrible? Perhaps talking about how to break up well if it has to happen with her could help make it less scary so you can be less fearful?

Not that you WANT to break up, but if it has to be then HOW will you break up so it is a decent break up for both?

It's good you want to reflect on your willingness to participate and your ability to participate before jumping in.
  • Am I willing to participate? What blocks my willingness? Can it be changed in time? Or no?
  • Am I able to participate?What blocks my ability? Can it be changed in time? Or no?

Maybe you want to think about pitfalls and handling jealousy together:

Labriola: Poly Hell
Labriola: Jealousy
Wagner: Pitfalls
Wagner: Jealousy

Maybe that changes your "willing and able" some.

But before all that you could figure out what YOU are. Since people sometimes use words differently, I give you my definitions. You could determine which of the pairs is more "you" at this time.

LOVE SHARE
  • Monoamorous (desire or capacity to share your love with only one person at a time)
  • Polyamorous (desire or capacity to share your love with more than one person at a time)

SEX SHARE
  • 1 partner sex (desire or capacity to share sex with ONE lover only)
  • Polysexual (desire or capacity to share sex with more than one lover, not necessarily group sex)

RELATIONSHIP MODEL
  • monogamous shape (desire to participate in a relationship model with ONLY 2 people in it. Married or not)
  • polygamous shape (desire to participate in a relationship model with more than 2 people in it -- married or dating or whatever it is.)

So at the end you ought to have (3) words to describe you -- for your preferred way to share love, share sex, and what relating shape it comes in.

She could do the same.

Then you can determine if you match up or not and if you are
  • staying the same shape but continuing richer for having had the conversation and knowing each other better
  • changing shapes and continuing in a new way (ex: open to poly, break up and be friends, etc)
  • no longer continuing at all in any shape (ex: break up and never speak again.)

If the bottom line is that you have no desire at all to go there, and you know this NOW? Rather than putting it off letting her know you could be up front about right now. Limit reached. No. Not willing to participate in a polyship with your GF. It isn't your thing, and that's totally fine.

Discernment may be hard to FEEL. But sorting yourself out is just sorting yourself out in your thoughts and what you want to do next.

Let yourself calm down first if your head is spinning. Do your self care. THEN go about sorting yourself out from a cool headed place. You can do this!

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-02-2013 at 10:31 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2013, 10:39 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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"But before all that you could figure out what YOU are"

But I think there lies the crux of my problem. I'm NOT sure if I'm cut out for a Polyamorous relationship or not. It's not been something I've aspired to. I know a lot of our views are shaped by experiences and society around us and I'm willing to entertain the possibility. But it's very scary when you're the one being asked to travel the greatest distance.

Of course my friend isn't me but we have a lot of similar views. Of course his experiences are his and specific to him, but it's hard not to have some of that play in my head when I had a front row seat to the pain it put him through and tearing apart of his family. Most relationships fail for multiple reasons and I'm sure there's a lot more to it that just the poly issue.

She and I have had several conversations about this. They have been very good and very open. I'm just looking for more info from people who may have went through this from my side. I'm looking for some reassurances that it gets better. Because right now it's rough. It's been basically two weeks since this all came up. I've been doing some reading and research, but wanted some human stories.

You're getting a very fresh emotional expression from me right now. It's not all rational and it's not at all figured out. But I expect others have dealt with that before. I just feel VERY alone and not really able to discuss this with many people. So I turned to google and found you.

Bottom line, I love this girl. I know if we go down this road and it doesn't work it will devastate me. I have waited quite sometime in my life to find a true partner. I hate to think it's a perfect match expect in the one way I might ultimately need but have no way of knowing at this point. But that's life.Only way to the other side is going through.

All I know is I'm willing to take this journey but it scares the hell out of me.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:10 PM
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SouthernGal SouthernGal is offline
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I feel you. I felt the same way. I was always afraid of being left or of not being loved as much as I loved my partner. It took me a while to get past my fears and didn't really until I spent some quality time figuring out exactly what I was afraid of and talked to him about it. A lot. I had to work on my fears myself, and even started seeing a counselor to help with that, and he spent time reassuring me and helping me adjust between us. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it and ask her for help as well. You'll be amazed at how much her loving willingness to help you will make a difference.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:10 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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I have to point out the logical fallacy. You are afraid if you open up the relationship, you may lose her. What makes you think if the relationship stays closed you won't?
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:34 AM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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bookbug, again, I'm not talking straight logic. But let me thread the needle of my thought process just a bit for you. It's not that I couldn't lose her in a "closed" relationship. My past experiences have proven my ability to become single. My fear comes from inviting someone into what feels like a safe space and having to trust that they won't steal her away. That they won't undermind me and our relationship. That they are enlightened and want us to succeed. It feels a bit like letting the wolf into the hen house. Again, I'm not saying that everything I'm feeling is me at my best or pure logic. But it is based on some of my personal experiences.

So a "closed" relationship feels safer because there's just one person to deal with. Of course life is always messier and the devil is in the details.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:40 AM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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SouthernGal, thanks! It helps to hear. I know she's worth the risk. It's still just a bit new and scary.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:54 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillSing View Post
bookbug, again, I'm not talking straight logic. But let me thread the needle of my thought process just a bit for you. It's not that I couldn't lose her in a "closed" relationship. My past experiences have proven my ability to become single. My fear comes from inviting someone into what feels like a safe space and having to trust that they won't steal her away. That they won't undermind me and our relationship. That they are enlightened and want us to succeed. It feels a bit like letting the wolf into the hen house. Again, I'm not saying that everything I'm feeling is me at my best or pure logic. But it is based on some of my personal experiences.

So a "closed" relationship feels safer because there's just one person to deal with. Of course life is always messier and the devil is in the details.
That is not a completely illogical answer - which is why I asked the question, btw. In opening up, you would have to trust in your gf's ability to manage more than one relationship. Has she thought about the practical application of doing so? The devil IS in the details. It is a lot more complicated than knowing she can love two people at the same time. The daily grind can be demanding, and because she is the hinge, a lot of responsibility would fall on her.

The other issue is trusting her not to choose some guy who is cowboy - someone looking to make a mono woman out of her. (Doesn't sound like she would be interested in that scenario given her history.)
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