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Old 02-28-2014, 09:51 PM
PolyNorCalFam PolyNorCalFam is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Northern California
Posts: 8
Default I feel for you

I feel I understand. I feel very much the same in my marriage. The biggest difference fof me being I did have an open marriage. I had a girlfriend my husband and her husband were all involved, but their jelousy end it and now I'm living a life knowing my hubby is monogomous. Swinging fine, shareing love nope. It's been very hard daily for me being shut off from something I feel I need. We have two young children and one on the way. He wins for now. But I can honestly say I don't know what life will be like 5 years from now. Because my husband whom I love, cannot meet all my needs. I wish you the best in your pursuit of happiness. -Cari
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:51 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,342

I'm sorry you struggle.

Would you feel happier in the marriage if he would talk to you about your poly side? Not (open up the marriage.) But (open himself up to hearing about that side of you and provide safe emotional space for you to express that all out in)?

If you need more support processing your feelings and want to try counselor again -- bring a copy of this and seek a poly-friendly counselor for yourself. If you cannot express to spouse at this time, perhaps you would feel better being able to express to a poly-friendly counselor.

It seems like such a false dilemma to me, the assumption that you can have a happy marriage OR be non-monogamous but that both is unattainable.
You are married to your husband. At this time? You can have a monogamous marriage with him or be non-monogamous without him. It is what it is.

"Happy" is where you find it. If you are unwilling to accept he has no polyship desire at this time, then you probably are not going to be happy with each other in marriage. Pushing his buttons on it is not going to make him EAGER to polyship with you.

You already state you are not happy cheating on him. And at this time you wish to continue the marriage. So could accept your current limitations as part of the price of admission -- at this time there is no polyshipping here.

I just wish I could get my head around what it is that seems so impossible to people (including my husband who has tried to express it but it always comes down to "it's just not how it's done")
  • Because not everyone wants to polyship or deal in multiple loves or the intensity that sometimes brings. Just because you want something doesn't mean your partner does.
  • Because resources (human and nonhuman) are limited -- time, money, transportation, etc.
  • Because there's not always easy for people to find role models or resources to learn HOW to relate in polyship well. More than before certainly, but access is another thing. Pitfalls can happen from not being well prepared before leaping. So can poly hell.
  • Because they are not on the same page for what open model relationship they want to practice together or how they agree to be together in it.
  • Because not everyone has the intrapersonal skills or interpersonal skills right off the bat or the willingness to grow them. Being able to see the other guy's POV is a vital interpersonal skill -- one you state you are having trouble with right now.
  • Because people have core beliefs that make polyshipping hard to deal with.
  • Because society is set up to be monoship friendly, not polyship friendly. (ex: tax breaks, custody laws, etc)
  • Because not every set of family/friends/community is supportive or willing to be supportive of the polyshipping persons. (At best, they avoid. In some cases, hello job loss, custody battles over kids, property damage, assault, or hate crimes.)

I think you or others could probably add to the list. It doesn't mean it cannot be done, but like everything else, it comes with a price of admission. HOW it is done will vary for every person. Some people don't want to go there because it is a lot of work, and/or its a price they don't want to pay right now.

Everyone can choose what they are up for and what they are not up for relationship wise. There is nothing wrong with either monoshipping or polyshipping. Your husband is not up for polyshipping at this time. He wants to monoship. Could accept his position at this time, and process your disappointment in appropriate ways.

It's your call really -- what do you value more at this time? Being with him and paying the price of admission (monoshipping) or being free to polyship and paying the price of admission (not be with him romantically)? You state the marriage.

So it's about HOW to be in this marriage then so you can be happy within it.

Back full circle --- if the core thing for you at this time within the marriage is wanting to be understood as having a poly side that wants expression? Could ask him if he's willing to Open up to hearing those things from you if you are willing to be in a Closed marriage. Meet each other half way. See if that serves you both better marriage wise.

It is hard to be married to a partner who doesn't want to know all of you -- or that a whole other side of you exists. Could not pull away from each other -- lean INTO it. Could create the emotional intimacy required so a mono-poly Closed marriage CAN have a shot at "happy."

I could be wrong and totally off base, but that's my suggestion for you for you to consider.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-01-2014 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:41 PM
friskyone4u friskyone4u is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Major city Eastern USA
Posts: 59
Default I Don't Know Where To Turn


Looks like your husband was more "experimental" , or at least to seriously discussing it, until the kids arrived. I think part of that may be now with the added responsibilities of children, he may feel he has more to "lose" by taking a chance on any kind of non-monogomous relationship. There is no "normal" or 'not normal".
I agree with those that say you should have therapy because if you feel strongly and continue to be unfilled, eventually you are going to cheat in one manner or another. You may find that you are actually able to live monogomously, or you may not.
If you keep pushing your husband too much, he is going to get defensive, followed by suspicious, and it can go downhill from there.
Nothing wrong with discussions about it, IF he wants to discuss. A lot of men think they can handle the wife or partner with other, and find when the real world happens that they cannot handle it. From what you describe, it might be easier to start your husband off with talk about "swinging" first, because that might make it less threatening if you establish firm ground rules about no emotional commimttment, which if the children have caused his gravitation to monogomy, might be causing his reluctance to even seriously talk about it now.

Good luck
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:05 AM
Joy Joy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3

I can't thank all of you enough. Just to be able to have this discussion and talk openly with people who aren't immediately rolling their eyes or thinking I'm a slut is so nice.

It's been an eye-opener to see a few people talk about not "pushing" him, which I didn't mean to do but now realize i may have been. We've cycled through resentment, defensiveness, and suspicion and are in a good place now as far as communication and honesty go, but we have a tendancy to talk about it, then things get sad and awkward for a bit, then we settle back into the usual flow til it comes up again. But I think about it daily. I have specific crushes I think of wistfully, and general longings I'm aware of always, but I think he still keeps hoping I'll just get over it. I didn't think I could, really. But maybe as has been suggested here, just having him accept that about me would go a long way toward feeling the need to act on it.

Thank you, all.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:37 AM
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idealist idealist is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Deep South
Posts: 545

One of the things that Richard and I did when we entered the lifestyle was to create a bunch of boundaries- rules and guidelines that we put in place and were committed to them. Living a poly lifestyle was my idea and he had never considered it before had no experience whatsoever, so I slowed myself down and entered at a rate that he was comfortable with.

I was the one that wanted this, so I took charge of the situation. We started as swingers and started having "meet and greets" with other couples. It didn't take long before we were meeting couples where he was attracted to the woman and the fact that they were open to being sexual with us (within their own certain boundaries) was what started opening him up to the whole idea.

So- that's how I convinced my partner to enter into a poly lifestyle and we have not looked back- going into our 5th year as poly..... No regrets!
The key to life is in being fully engaged and peacefully detached simultaneously and authentically in each moment.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:46 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 14,974

Greetings Joy,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

Book recommendation: "Sex at Dawn: how we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern relationships," by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. Read it yourself, and then ask your husband to read it if he'd be willing to.

When you get done with that, you might also find this second book recommendation to be helpful: "Opening Up: a guide to creating and sustaining open relationships," by Tristan Taormino. Again, read it yourself first, and then ask yourself if it's something your husband would want to read and if you think he'd benefit from it.

The point in reading these two books would be to establish that *responsible non-monogamy is a valid option for many people.* It's not to prove to your husband that he's wrong in being monogamous. It's just a way of asking him to consider another perspective.

It's also a way for *you* to not have to feel like you're crazy just because you desire non-monogamy. It's not wrong, pathological, or abnormal to have non-monogamous desires. Lots of people have them, as the existence of this site attests.

The advice/feedback the others have shared with you on this thread has been top-notch. I just want to add those two books to the equation. Again, start with "Sex at Dawn," and then move on to "Opening Up." That's my recommendation.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how things are going.
Kevin T., "official greeter"


There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

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Old 03-01-2014, 09:52 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 476

Ah, yes. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Boy, did I hear that line a few times back when my husband and I nearly separated over this issue. Though I was terrified to lose him, I didn't back down when he resisted. I made it clear that this was important enough to me that I would walk out of our marriage if I had to, and if he couldn't work with me towards a new way, we were doomed. It wasn't exactly an ultimatum, but I did make it clear 1)that I loved him and wanted to stay in the marriage, but 2)I was unlikely to be happy in the marriage without some measure of openness.

I was so frustrated by how many people automatically took his side and said I was supposed to suppress such desires. Or others that said I should scrap the marriage and go search for some hypothetical partner(s) who wouldn't expect monogamy. I was faced with a lose-lose situation: leave my loving marriage, or give up on being truly fulfilled relationship-wise.

Luckily, my husband did some soul-searching, and agreed to give it a shot. Since then, we've BOTH had to make compromises and step out of our comfort zones. It is certainly not perfect: I'd like LESS rules and more openness, and he'd love for me to just forget the whole thing and decide monogamy is the way to go. But, our marriage feels stronger than ever, we communicate more and fight less, and there is no longer talk of separation.

Stay honest with yourself and your husband, and hopefully the path will reveal itself. We're rooting for you!
Female, bi-amorous, mid 40's

on the spectrum between monogam-ish and poly-amorous

LDR Melinda, lesbian, early 30's
FWB Hal, straight, mid 40's
dating Joel, straight, mid 30's
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:07 AM
friskyone4u friskyone4u is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Major city Eastern USA
Posts: 59


Seems to me you are getting two types of advice. One thought, expressed by "Love Bunny" basically says that if you want to have an open relationship you basically just have to give your husband an simple choice either you get what you want or he can leave. If you choose his course make sure you arer prepared for the worst possible scenerio. In her case, they apparently separated over it but got back together. There are no guarantees that will be your outcome. This option seems much more risky but only you can decide that.
The other option, I think expressed by Gala Girl is to keep talking in a non demanding way and see if things change over time. That way seems to give you more of a chance to maintaining your relationship with your husband at this time.
Non-monogomy cannot succeed in the long term if one of the parties feels that were threatened or coerced into it. My wife wanted to have sex with other men, and I was open to swinnging with certain boundaries that we both agreed on. I was fine with her doing anything she wanted, including sex with multiple partners, as long as the boundaries, i.e. no emotional committments, were kept. This worked for a while and then she wanted to change the rules to stop swinging and move towards I guess what you could call polyamory and wanted to start dating without me around or even knowing what was going on, claiming that was more fulfilling and exciting for her. Eventually, I had enough of that, I had never agreed to that and told her if we did not go back to our previous agreements that our long term marraige was over. My point is with no compromise and honoring agreements it is not going to work.
As others have said,it is what it is, you have two choices, go slow, talk, compromise, or tell your husband what you think you need and that that is the way it is going to be. Only you can choose.
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