Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Introductions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 10:52 PM
SheepMusketeer SheepMusketeer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 8
Default Want to be poly; husband not so keen

Hi everyone,

I'm at the point in my life where I feel I know what I want, but I am struggling to get it, and it is difficult to know where to go next. It is great to see some like-minded people on here who've been through similar issues.

Here's the short version: been with my partner for 3 years; we married in August. In June I brought up the idea of opening up our marriage, having thought for some time that this was the way of life I wanted to lead. We agreed to try it for a while (sort of) but last month I was told by my partner that he couldn't cope with it and wanted to go back to our old life. Now I am unsure whether we will ever go back (to openness), and whether I will be happy if we don't.

Of course there are many details and nuances that complicate things. Here are a few:
- We don't currently live together. It may be that openness will become easier when we do live in the same house.
- I am relatively sexually (and emotionally) experienced while he has had few partners. I think this is one of the reasons he feels so jealous of me being with other guys, while I have no problem thinking of him with other women. In our 'open' experiment phase, he was allowed to sleep around while I could only meet guys for friendship.
- Although my initial vision of 'open relationship' was mainly focused around giving each other the freedom to have sex with other people, I have since fallen in love with someone else and realised that I do want emotional closeness with others too. (This was not unexpected. I fall in love with someone about once a year, it seems!)

I have felt a profound sense for some time that monogamy doesn't suit me and I don't understand why it is the default option for relationships in our society. I wish I had considered polyamory as a way of life much longer ago and hadn't waited until so soon before the wedding to bring it up with my partner. We have had some good conversations about it all (and also some frustrating ones!), but it's an idea that will take him a long time to come around to.

Anyway, happy to hear comments from others about my situation, or stories of others' attempts to reconcile their wishes with those of a monogamous partner.

-- Jane

Last edited by SheepMusketeer; 12-12-2013 at 10:53 PM. Reason: clarification
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-12-2013, 11:04 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Your partner has tried this and doesn't like it. You're right, it might be because he didn't date as successfully as you do, but it is also possible that he repelled people because they picked up on his discomfort.

Instead of trying to pressure him to change to this relationship style you seem to hold in such high esteem, consider what you accepting his feelings and wishes will look like. As much as he needs to acceot who you are, you need to accept him for him. If he is monogamous and requires you to be monogamous, can you sacrifice polyamory for your marriage? Could you consent to sticking to NSA/casual sexual relationships to prohibit emotional intimacy with others if he could deal with that? Would that be enough if it meant you could also maintain your marriage?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-12-2013, 11:27 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,086
Default

Welcome to the board.
Please feel free to lurk and browse.
There is a LOT of helpful information in "goldennuggets". Worth taking time to read.

Please be sure to read through the guidelines so you know what the expectations are.

The board is an open forum, where anyone can (and will) share their opinions. So keep this in mind if you post questions or seek advice. Any given opinion may not fit for your situation and that's totally ok. You can ignore any posts that don't interest you. You can also block any posters you feel a need not to continue reading.

If you encounter any spam or offensive posts, please report them. The mods will continue to do our best to address all reported posts in a timely manner.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please feel free to private message a moderator (of which I am one). We will do our best to help.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-12-2013, 11:35 PM
SheepMusketeer SheepMusketeer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 8
Default

London, thanks for your quick reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
Your partner has tried this and doesn't like it. You're right, it might be because he didn't date as successfully as you do, but it is also possible that he repelled people because they picked up on his discomfort.
Yes, I wouldn't be at all surprised by that. It is already difficult as a man to meet up with women, and I think he found it awkward telling new partners that he was engaged/married. Conversely, I found the whole process of actively seeking people in open relationships (via OkCupid) exhilirating and met some wonderful people during that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
If he is monogamous and requires you to be monogamous, can you sacrifice polyamory for your marriage?
This is a question I've been asking myself in the past few weeks, and I'm really not sure that I could make this sacrifice. I feel like I'd be denying a part of who I am. And I don't want to become someone who cheats on my partner, but I think that might happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
Could you consent to sticking to NSA/casual sexual relationships to prohibit emotional intimacy with others if he could deal with that? Would that be enough if it meant you could also maintain your marriage?
I would like to say yes; this would certainly be a big step forward. I have had NSA relationships, and Friends with Benefits, in the past and think they are wonderful things. I also think that removing sexual tension with people does a lot to prevent the 'falling in love' 'having a crush on someone' feelings. However, I will also be emotionally intimate with people, because that's how I am. I can restrain myself from having sex with those people who I feel would be emotionally problematic, but I would still want the freedom to have those close friendships.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-13-2013, 02:59 AM
friskyone4u friskyone4u is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Major city Eastern USA
Posts: 56
Default Husband Not So Keen

It appears to me that you have gone ahead and established an emotional relationship with another man BEFORE you have given your husband any real opportunity to digest, discuss, and agree. You are also basically saying that you will probably not be able to resist cheating if you do not get what you want on your terms. To me, this does not seem like a recipe for success.

I suggest you put your NRE on hold or end it for now. Your husband may grudgingly accept having it shoved down his throat because he loves you for now, but eventually he will resent you.

The fact is , despite what some on this board say, that men will always have a much harder time meeting poly partners on websites because any woman who posts will be bombarded with guys who want to bang her without a care about her marital status. There are only a small percentage if women who will accept this.

You would be better off trying to convince him to swing with you so that he has some input and sense of control of his relationship and is not being given ultimatums. You would be able to fulfill your need for multiple sex partners and not be as threatening to him.

Hope it all works out
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-13-2013, 06:10 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Quote:
The board is an open forum, where anyone can (and will) share their opinions. So keep this in mind if you post questions or seek advice. Any given opinion may not fit for your situation and that's totally ok. You can ignore any posts that don't interest you. You can also block any posters you feel a need not to continue reading.

If you encounter any spam or offensive posts, please report them. The mods will continue to do our best to address all reported posts in a timely manner.
Is this something we're saying to everyone now or was it because I posted first?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-13-2013, 07:04 AM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is online now
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 4,360
Default

Heh, I think we're saying it to everyone now.

---

Hi Jane,
Welcome to our forum.

I see that you have some difficult choices to make on the road ahead, and alas I'd be hesitant to state that I know the right answer. You'll have to decide whether you can abide by your husband's wishes in such a way as to please both him and you. A gift not freely given isn't much of a gift, to the giver or to the receiver.

It's possible that some of the answers you seek might be found in the Life stories and blogs board. You'll have to have a look and see what you can find.

I'll try to post more on this thread in response to various posts. Hope you can find some tidbits of wisdom that will help you in your decision.

Alas that polyamory isn't for everyone! This is far from the first time that I've heard of someone agreeing to a polyamorous situation at first, but then changing their mind later. Obviously, our emotional responses aren't very predictable, even to ourselves.

Good luck and hope you'll be able to get things sorted out.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-13-2013, 11:05 AM
SheepMusketeer SheepMusketeer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by friskyone4u View Post
It appears to me that you have gone ahead and established an emotional relationship with another man BEFORE you have given your husband any real opportunity to digest, discuss, and agree.
That is true. It came somewhat out of the blue; when I first brought up the idea of open relationships to my partner (I'll call him M) I felt like I was in a very good emotional place - not wanting to be with anyone in particular and without strong feelings for anyone outside our marriage. It has been unfortunate that I've fallen for this other guy while I'm still trying to sort things out with M, but it's hard to apologise for it because it wasn't something I could help. D (the other guy) started working with me in September so we saw each other frequently and formed an instant close connection. (NB I have never dated anyone I've worked with before!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by friskyone4u View Post
You are also basically saying that you will probably not be able to resist cheating if you do not get what you want on your terms. To me, this does not seem like a recipe for success.
It does not, and I need to find a way that it wouldn't come to that. I want the opposite of cheating: I want to be able to be completely honest with my husband about everything and feel that he accepts me for who I am and not for some angelic image of me that he might have had. One of things that attracts me about open relationships is the emotional honesty that accompanies it, and I would love to have this more than anything else. During our relationship I have already fallen in love with someone else (not acted on) and had crushes on people, and all of this I felt I had to keep secret because I thought that he would feel threatened by it. We had some very wonderful open conversations over the summer which I felt were making our relationship stronger. Now that M has closed our relationship again, I feel he's closed the emotional openness door along with it and I feel once again that I can't talk to him about how I feel for fear of hurting him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by friskyone4u View Post
I suggest you put your NRE on hold or end it for now. Your husband may grudgingly accept having it shoved down his throat because he loves you for now, but eventually he will resent you.
It is at least on hold over Christmas because D is back in the States for a month. D and I have also talked about keeping our distance when he returns, though as we have to work together it won't be easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by friskyone4u View Post
You would be better off trying to convince him to swing with you so that he has some input and sense of control of his relationship and is not being given ultimatums. You would be able to fulfill your need for multiple sex partners and not be as threatening to him.
We had conversations about swinging at the beginning of all this. But it's really not the form of open relationships that I want. It's not that I have a desire to go out and meet new people for sex (although that can be fun); I want the freedom to be able to follow my relationships with others wherever they may lead. If I have sex, I want it to be with people to whom I have formed some kind of attachment and have a personal connection with, and that seems much more unlikely in a swinging sort of scenario.

It is difficult at the moment to think of a compromise which would satisfy both of us - perhaps there isn't one until he gains the security of living together with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by friskyone4u View Post
Hope it all works out
Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-13-2013, 11:14 AM
SheepMusketeer SheepMusketeer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 8
Default

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your reply too. And please let me know if this thread is better moved to a different section of the website.

You're very right to say that the gift of an open relationship has to be freely given in order for it to work. After many months of using all the best arguments known to man in favour of a non-monogamous relationship, I have realised that logic will never work and that he has to come to these conclusions independently in order for them to mean anything.

There is some hope - he is certainly excited by the thought of being able to follow his sexual desires with others in a way that he wouldn't be able to with me. But he is struggling to reconcile this with his desire that I remain his alone. At heart I believe it is his insecurities which are the cause of the problems, but I don't know how to convince him that me seeing other people will not result in me loving him any less. I know there are no quick-fix solutions to this but I also feel a need to know that one day they will be fixed and I can have the life I want.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-13-2013, 02:09 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,848
Default

I am sorry you struggle. You seem to have a lot going on. You could take it in smaller steps.

Let me take the liberty of lifting a few sentences up:

Desired Outcome:

"I want to be able to be completely honest with my husband about everything."
emotional honesty -- "I would love to have this more than anything else."
Your behavior:
  • "I had to keep secret because I thought that he would feel threatened by it."
  • "I feel once again that I can't talk to him about how I feel for fear of hurting him."

How does your behavior support what you want? How are you being emotionally honest when you keep things hidden or held back? How is this you doing your side of the job? So you both can share "completely honest abour everything?"

It is possible to be honest. Any time. You don't have to be in a polyship to do it. You also do not have to be participating in a polyship to BE polyamorous.

If what you mainly want is closeness, connection, openness, honesty with your spouse? Could go for it.

It seems you do not want to deal with his reaction. His emotional response is up to him. What do you fear?
Quote:
We had some very wonderful open conversations over the summer which I felt were making our relationship stronger. Now that M has closed our relationship again, I feel he's closed the emotional openness door along with it.
Have you ASKED if he's willing to keep open the "emotional openness" from summer, even if the relationship configuration goes back to closed at this time?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-13-2013 at 07:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

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 04:50 PM.