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  #1  
Old 03-31-2014, 09:25 AM
ConfusedFeelings ConfusedFeelings is offline
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Question Gf doesn't want to try poly - any hope?

Hello!
I am new to this forum and hope I can find some advice here.
Sorry for my English, I am not a native speaker and not so fluent at it, but I hope I can still make myself understandable.

Me (24) and my gf (21years) have been together for 4 years. We've always had a great relationship, very good intimate sex, a deep "spiritual" connection, and a lot in common.
My gf is very attractive, usually a very open-minded, spiritual and self-confident person. She loves to sozialise and has also always been very adventurous in bed. I am more of an introverted average-looking guy, who doesn't socialize so much.
I've always been interested in having a poly-relationship, but have never told my gf of it. My gf is my first "serious" gf, and I really can't describe how much I love her. I simply cannot imagine not being together with her anymore, but we've had quite serious problems in the last months.

During the past year, my wanting for a open relationship and sex outside the relationship has become very much stronger. So I decided about 7 months ago to bring up the topic. I started "slowly", trying to introduce her to the topic, but I never really felt so positive resonance, so one time, I was very honest to her and told her "explicitely" that I have a desire to sleep with other women, or also eventually develop "more-than-only-sexual"-relationships with other women.
She was completely devastated about this. I noticed that she really tried to react "nicely", to show understanding, etc. but I feel like ever since I told her this, she's been going through immense pain and suffering, and I just cannot get through to her anymore. I feel SO bad about doing this to her. She didn't talk about it often, but I noticed that she VERY often cried secretly, and she has changed SO much every since. She was thin before already, but she just lost so much weight in the last month, and seems so depressive all the time, whilst she used to be a very positive person...

Our relationship has really gotten so much worse in the last months... She is distancing herself a lot, doesn't talk about her feelings... She says, she loves me too much to leave me but that this situation "destroys" her. She says she knows that I love her, and says she "believes that I can love several people at once without loving her less" but that she doesn't want that "kind" of love, and that it is against her nature. She has read very much about polyamory, many books, she's been to a psychologist... I have the feeling that she actually "wants" to become poly for me (so that she doesn't lose me), but is still more than hostile towards the idea. She finds the concept itself interesting, and has nothing against it "per se", but finds it "humiliating" for herself. However, she has so far never made an "ultimatum". I tried not to push too much either.
The thing is that leaving my gf would seem like the most stupid thing I could do. I have never met such a wonderful woman in my whole life before. But I STILL feel this desire for sex (and more?) with other women. I would like to tell my gf, that we can just stay mono, but I am afraid that in some years, my desire will just be too much and then I'll hurt her even more. Wouldn't it be better to end it now then?
And do you think there is any chance of making my gf feel more comfortable with the whole idea?
Does it even make sense to continue, or do you think that there are just people who cannot live with poly-relationships, no matter what? My problem is (and I admit that) that I kind of think of polyamory as a "superior" form of a relationship. I think of polyamory as such a beautiful thing and can't fully understand how it can cause so much pain for my gf. She says, it's not the jealousy she has trouble dealing with, but that I "desecrated" our sexuality, that a "bond" has broken, etc. Can anyone relate to that?

Thanks a lot for reading!
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:06 AM
london london is offline
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Your girlfriend has done everything she can to learn about ethical non monogamy, I believe she thinks it's a valid relationship choice but just not the right choice for her. In the absence of monogamy, she seems unable to give and receive the level of intimacy required for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

I can compare it to how I feel about having a romantic relationship with a woman: I completely understand that same sex relationships are as valid as heterosexual relationships in every way imaginable, I'm just not attracted to women. Sexually, maybe, but even a woman I found absolutely beautiful, inside and out, I simply could not feel romantically attracted to. So even a very attractive and highly compatible woman would not be able to generate the level of intimacy required to have a healthy relationship, regardless of how many of my needs she could theoretically meet. She couldn't meet one of my fundamental needs of a romantic partner, which is to be biologically male.

The only thing you can reasonably ask of your partner now is whether sex is her main issue, emotional connection, or both. You see, as much as I need my partner to be biologically male, there is some flexibility. My current partner is biologically male, but also a bisexual switch who is often a slutty transvestite called Emma. He's also my Daddy though. It gets weird when he's my Daddy and Emma at the same time but sometimes weird is good

If she could to handle you having sex with other people but no emotional attachment, that might be a viable compromise. The only problem is that you do have a desire for more intimate relationships with other people, so you'd have to really make sure you stick to No Strings Attached encounters at play parties and swinging clubs. It's very hard to control your emotions, particularly feelings for someone else, and if you already want to have feelings for other people it's even more challenging. So if she did agree to you having "just sex " with other people, you'd actively have to avoid creating situations where you could develop feelings. Random, casual sex is usually the way to go. But this often isn't enough for people desiring non monogamy.

If she has a problem with sex as well as emotional connection, then your need for ethical non monogamy cannot be met in this relationship. If this is the case, the decision you need to make has to be monogamy or polyamory. Not girlfriend vs rhetorical poly tolerant person. I say this because you need to choose what relationship style you are most fulfilled by over the long term rather than what person. People die, leave, move, etc.

Few people find when they examine themselves that they are alright with emotional connection but less okay about sex. This does leave options open for you to have a romantic but non sexual relationship with other people. To do this successfully, it's pretty vital that all three site down and really work out where the boundaries lie. I think it would be pretty hard to find a balance where everyone feels their boundaries are respected and they are also meeting their need for intimacy.

Last edited by london; 03-31-2014 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:15 AM
tenK tenK is offline
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I can totally empathise with your girlfriend's feelings here, even though our stories are very different. I think a key thing for you to remember here is that although she has had seven months to get herself acquainted with the concept of polyamory, you in your own words, have always been interested in it. You have had (possibly a life-)time to think about it, weigh it up with your internal feelings, and choose it as a relationship structure that you think could a) work with you as an individual, and b) work with you and her as a couple. She hasn't had this luxury of time and space to process this: do not underestimate the size of the asymmetry that this brings. Of course you are comfortable with it, and might feel it's 'superior' (it's really not though…I hope you understand that deep down).

In addition, you have been able to freely ponder your feelings to the situation for years, with no pressure to actually 'go there'. Your partner is not only new to the idea, but also under pressure from you to make some kind of decision. That can be incredibly overwhelming. She probably also feel like she has no real 'choice' at all right now. She's trapped in a lose-lose situation. She either accepts you/this against her own instincts, or she walks away from your relationship altogether. Notice that you feel the same way - you feel either you have to insist and make her unhappy, or you unilaterally end things now to protect her. I urge you not to do that. Give her, and yourself, a chance to work through this.

I know for myself, even though I was intellectual open to the concept of an open relationship, when my partner actually made it clear she wanted that for us I felt deeply hurt. I can only imagine how much worse it might be if you weren't even familiar with the concept beforehand. I began to reassess our entire relationship. It all felt like it was founded on a lie, or at the very least, a fundamental inconsistency/incompatibility between us. Everything I though I knew about her was called into question: could I even be sure we meant the same thing when we said 'I love you' after that? It felt like a kind of betrayal. Even though I knew my partner didn't know she wanted a poly relationship when we first got together, I still had a feeling that if I had known from the outset, I would have chosen to never get involved with her or to limit how involved I got. That she had somehow done a bait and switch on me, and that by simply wanting to explore connections with other people she was both denying the power of OUR connection, and devaluing US as a couple. It didn't matter to me that none of those feelings were founded in reality - they couldn't be rationalised with.

Of course, I shut-down on her emotionally (I still do at times when things get rough). Being detached was the only way I could handle what I perceived as a total rejection of me and the life we had been making together. From my perspective, there was nothing wrong with what she and I had. I was content, we were moving in a positive direction, we were in love and making plans for our future. Then all of a sudden, she is telling me I'm not enough for her anymore (note: she wasn't telling me this), she is telling me she is unhappy with our relationship (note: she wasn't telling me this), she is telling me that she has decided how our lives will be from now on (note: she wasn't telling me this), and so on.

Basically, no matter what she said or how she said it, I was hearing something different, something that fit the particular insecurities and paranoias that were in my own head. It's therefore really important, I think, to try to get to the root of her fears, because you have to understand each other. You need to communicate - really communicate - exactly what you both mean. You need to understand how she interprets your words through her emotional filters, and she needs to understand how you really feel, and how her reactions are also painful for you. How your honesty is a sign of your faith in the strength of your joint relationship, not a sign of how little you value it. I think until you both really get each others point of view in this, progress will be hard to come by.

On that note, whilst it's great that she's delving into research mode and trying to get her head around what open relationships or polyamory is, be careful! You need to be reading this stuff *with* her. At one point I found myself feeling utterly despondent from reading other people's stories of how they manage their multiple serious loving relationships; how to be 'good' at poly; what the 'rules' are, or even that there should never be any rules at all. The internet is full of wisdom and advice about how to make things work, how to feel better, how to live your life. The only problem is - it's all about what works for THOSE PEOPLE WRITING IT, and it's not written for the person who is secretly wishing this would all just go away. What was missing, was how my partner actually felt about lots of these issues, and realising that we were still a team and capable of finding our own way was a major turning point. It turned out there was no point me getting wound up trying to imagine what it would be like if my partner fell in love with someone and wanted kids with us both: because that's just not what she wants. Had she been reading this stuff with me, she would be able to say 'huh…that's interesting…but I find the concept of having two primaries and sharing a house to be completely terrifying…no thanks', and then - by magic! - that's one big worry of mine gone in a nano-second!

In short, you need to get her to talk about her feelings more. And keep reaffirming your love for her in every way you know how. You can't do anything in particular to make her feel more comfortable with the idea itself, but you can make her feel comfortable discussing her fears and worries with you, make your relationship with her more solid, and then just see if some of those fears can't be overcome. Of course some people are never going to be ok with this - and that's ok. But right now, I would argue that neither you *nor* her know if that is the case for her or not.

For me, the main things that have helped me to feel able to open our relationship are: a) feeling secure in my partners love for me; b) seeing that she is willing to go slow and work with me to find solutions that work for both of us; and most importantly, c) finding something of value for *myself* in having an open relationship (for me that started just with wanting to not be so dependent on her for self-validation and to tackle my own self-esteem issues…and that has slowly evolved into me wanting to enjoy sexual/emotional relationships with others, and actually share parts of this journey with her). It's not going to work if she's doing this 'for you'. It's really not. She needs to get something positive from it too. But before you get to that, work on the basics. You need to both understand how you see each other and the situation. Let go of the notion that one of you is 'right'. It's perfectly possible to see the same thing different ways, and it's more important at this stage that you understand each others differences - and can accept them - than trying to bring each others viewpoints into greater alignment or change each others minds. That can maybe happen further down the line, but it starts with knowing yourself and your position, and her and her position.

It's painful. It's scary. I wish you both luck.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:08 PM
Hoyam Hoyam is offline
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Well i have been posting here recently with more or less the same question.

Interesting discussion i find is if you van 'make' somebody poly or not. My husband compared it, like london, to if u are attracted to men or women. I see london making nuances in that comment as well, unlike my husband.

But, for me, being in your shoes (wanting my husband to become poly), i question that a lot.my study contained also sociology and human behaviour. My opinion is monogamy is the most common way of living, allover the world. With reasons that are not from this time (check any site about biological and sociological aspects of monogamie). But, since people realy need to fit in, it is normal this behaviour still is pleasing everybody. Nice to fit in. Behaviour doesn't change as fast as the original reason for this behaviour.

But, given the fact that most people live like this, i won't say it is right or wrong. Besides, i have lived like this till one year ago. Any feeling or action towards another man should be killed immediately, was my opinion. So i won't judge right or wrong. My question is can you make people poly? Spending a lot of time in the caribean i noticed how normal it is to have more sexual contact with different people, how normal it is to have children with different partners, how they are legally monogamous but living different. Also, spending a lot of time in a muslim country, i see how acceptable it is for a man to have more than one wife. If a man comes home suggesting a second wife it is more common and even legally possible to do so. So, is it a fact that there are just more muslim men than women born poly? Is it a fact that in the caribean are more born poly than in my country? or is it just what they have been thought (made) by their invironment? Me, i believe they have been made that. Everybody is a product of what they have experienced in life.

But... If somebody growing up one way can turn himself into something else is the next question. How strong is the power of the socialisation/feeling what is right and wrong? And how is the balance between the diffeculties of letting that go versus what will it bring?
Me, i was/am hoping that my husband finds me a reason to try to see if he can go down that road of letting go en build something new. Also i am/was hoping that what it gives is bigger than what it costs. But, in the end it is up to him.
The hard part for me is accepting that i have to solve my own issues and not expect my husband to do that for me.
Reading your post i read a little bit of what i do also: hoping for somebody else to change so your problems are solved.

I think u have to check with your girlfriend if she still has room to think about it, maybe even together in therapy to find your way, but if she doesn't the hard decision is up to you.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:37 PM
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No, you can't do anything to make her accept polyamory any more than you can make her accept a new religion. Worldview is a tough thing to adjust and it can take some people a very long time (if ever) to come to a different way of thinking.

All you can do is be kind, answer her questions as best you can, and clearly express your viewpoint. If you're honest and genuine with her, you will have done all you can do... the rest is up to her

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
Me (24) and my gf (21years) have been together for 4 years... She says, it's not the jealousy she has trouble dealing with, but that I "desecrated" our sexuality, that a "bond" has broken, etc.
The illusion of control and assumption that our relationships will continue down the same path they began are powerful. They are also irrational.

This idea that there is some mystical "bond" to be broken or "desecrated" leads me to believe that there are quite a few childlike assumptions piled onto your relationship. You guys are both very young and she was *very* young when you first hooked up. Am I right in assuming that you were her first romantic relationship?

As we get kicked around a bit in life through the years most people come to understand that these concepts of "meant to be together" and "soul mate" (this sounds like what she's working with) might be fun - but aren't related to reality. Love is a way to describe a widely varied set of emotions, hormones, and behaviors... it isn't made of magic.

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The only problem is - it's all about what works for THOSE PEOPLE WRITING IT, and it's not written for the person who is secretly wishing this would all just go away. What was missing, was how my partner actually felt about lots of these issues, and realising that we were still a team and capable of finding our own way was a major turning point. It turned out there was no point me getting wound up trying to imagine what it would be like if my partner fell in love with someone and wanted kids with us both: because that's just not what she wants. Had she been reading this stuff with me, she would be able to say 'huh…that's interesting…but I find the concept of having two primaries and sharing a house to be completely terrifying…no thanks', and then - by magic! - that's one big worry of mine gone in a nano-second!
Funny, I would have never considered this but it's so true. A wounded bird with a newly poly partner would probably be crushed with all of the different scenarios they find in poly/open articles. I disagree on some level or another with just about every statement about poly I've ever seen so I couldn't imagine what that might be like for someone who is straight up terrified of the entire prospect.

With this in mind, the whole "mono coming to understand your poly partner" issue might be better approached as a school project with a child (I don't mean that to be rude). The mono partner gets some info, ponders it for a bit, and brings it to the poly partner with a "I read that the right way to do poly is to have ranks and structures like primary/secondary... is that how you see it?" Then it can be discussed within the context of how THEIR relationship might look.

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Originally Posted by tenK View Post
a) feeling secure in my partners love for me; b) seeing that she is willing to go slow and work with me to find solutions that work for both of us; and most importantly, c) finding something of value for *myself* in having an open relationship (for me that started just with wanting to not be so dependent on her for self-validation and to tackle my own self-esteem issues
I would agree that I don't find either poly or mono to be inherently superior to one another. Having only one partner at a time versus several doesn't necessarily mean one set will be happier or healthier than the other. However, what you've said here I believe is a demonstrably superior way of relating to other people.

Taking responsibility for ones own emotions and actions is a huge step toward living in reality versus living in a cloud of emotional responses and co-dependency.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:40 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry you guys are struggling

Finding out that you value different things in different ways is part of dating and getting to know each other deeply.

You guys have done all you can. You have some core beliefs/core values that do not line up. Neither of you is "bad" or "wrong" -- it's just that you want different things at this point in the journey. If she does not want to polyship because it's just not her thing? You must accept it. She must accept it. Then you make your next choice for yourself:
  • You continue with the want to explore polyship. Price of admission? You guys break up so she is free to seek a monoship and you are free to seek a polyship.
  • You continue with the want to remain with her in a monoship. Price of admission? You give up the want to explore polyshipping.

It might FEEL hard, but the choice on the table is pretty clear.

Do NOT accept her "trying it for YOU so she doesn't lose you" -- when you both know at this point that it is not for HER. The temptation may be there -- but don't do it just to avoid "having to break up." That's not a reason to stay together.

If you stay together because you WANT to be with her and are willing to give up the want to explore polyshipping, that's another thing. But don't have her going against her own grain. That's a good way to grow resentments later.

You say you have been together 4 years and she's 21 and you are 24. I think if you are going to break up to explore poly, best to do it now while young. It hurts, because breaking up always does. But if this is where you are at? It's where you are at.

Quote:
The thing is that leaving my gf would seem like the most stupid thing I could do. I have never met such a wonderful woman in my whole life before.
And that is wonderful. But remember you still have the rest of your life to go. Life doesn't stop at 24.

Quote:
But I STILL feel this desire for sex (and more?) with other women. I would like to tell my gf, that we can just stay mono, but I am afraid that in some years, my desire will just be too much and then I'll hurt her even more. Wouldn't it be better to end it now then?
Yes. If you want to be free to see other people honestly? End it now. Become free to see other people.

Quote:
And do you think there is any chance of making my gf feel more comfortable with the whole idea?
No. You cannot MAKE people feel anything. At this time she has read, gone to counselor -- and concluded it is NOT for her.

Quote:
Does it even make sense to continue, or do you think that there are just people who cannot live with poly-relationships, no matter what?
People want what they want. Some people do NOT want poly. Could be respectful of that.

Quote:
My problem is (and I admit that) that I kind of think of polyamory as a "superior" form of a relationship.
This is your belief, and that's fine for you.
Quote:
I think of polyamory as such a beautiful thing and can't fully understand how it can cause so much pain for my gf.
Because she is not YOU. She is her. She is allowed to choose what she wants for HER. It is just not for her.

Quote:
She says, it's not the jealousy she has trouble dealing with, but that I "desecrated" our sexuality, that a "bond" has broken, etc. Can anyone relate to that?
I think she means she's mourning a loss. And worried about a new loss maybe coming up (breaking up.)

Her idea of your shared relationship and her idea of you, and her idea of a shared future to get her were one way. A certain picture of it in her mind. Now that picture is lost because you have updated her on things you feel/want to explore, etc. So it wasn't like she thought, and she will have to digest that. And determine what the NEW future picture ill be.

You are allowed to pick the things for YOU -- and it is good that you shared them with your partner. But if it reveals a mismatch then you guys could talk and sort it out. If your want to explore is greater than your want to be in a monoship with her -- the best thing to do is to break up and be friends. Talk about how you both want to be as exes.

If she started dating you at 17, if you were her first lover or among her first lovers, if you were the first "serious" partner... I could see where she might have extra feelings of sadness to process. The "first anything" is hard, so if this is a combo of first lover, first serious relationship, first serious parting... there's a lot to digest there. But whatever the background... Only you can determine what you want more at THIS point in time.


If you want to stay, stay and give up the want to date others. But since you are posting about it, I am guessing you lean toward exploring?

So if you have gotten to a place where you want to explore poly and this is not a place where GF is willing to go with you? Could do the decent thing. Accept a limit reached and break up with her cleanly. Express sorrow, but keep moving forward. Strive to be good exes at least, if not good exes and friends. Mourn the loss, heal, and then start dating again from a fresh start place.

Hang in there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-31-2014 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:25 PM
ConfusedFeelings ConfusedFeelings is offline
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Default Such a complicated thing :/

Wow, thank you a LOT for all these replies... I've been in a lot of forums, never got so sophisticated answers... thank you!!

@london: It's both, sexual and emotional. She says it's completely okay for her that I have sexual fantasies with other people and that I feel "attracted" so someone else, that really doesn't seem to bother her. BUT what would bother her is if I actually had sex or would be in a romantic relationship with someone else.

@Marcus: Yeah, indeed she was very young when we got together and she still is very young. She has had quite some sexual experience before we got together, nothing serious though.
She is a very spiritual person though and has always been, so I cannot really say if this "mystical bond" thing is a childish thought or rather her general way of looking at things.

@tenK: Thank you for this very long and helpful reply... it really helps me understand my gf more!

My girlfriend thinks that my main reason why wanting a poly-relationship is that I am looking for self-affirmation and want to boost my ego because I have had quite some problems with building up more self-esteem.

She's never been a jealous or "possessive" person at all. When I go out and come home late, she never asks any "suspicious" questions, she's more like "Oh I am glad you had some fun!"
She doesn't mind me flirting with other women. Actually, she even encouraged me in the past to do so and sozialise more, flirt etc. to become a bit more self-confident. She didn't even have a problem with me being in Australia for 3 months, in the 2nd year of our relationship.
I know that a lot of my friends had issues with their partners sneeking around behind their back, not trusting them, being jealous etc. - a problem which I really never had with my gf... so, all of that sounds as if my girlfriend would have some "potential" to be open to the concept of polyamory, but for some reason... she isn't that at all.

I just really start to feel like I am ruining my girlfriend's positive character.
She recently said that she feels "emotionally raped", like I am trying to make her do something that "breaks" her...

@Hoyam
Thank you for your reply! I read your thread also, it seems like we're really in kind of a similar situation. As far as I understood though, your husband agreed to try poly for a few months, right?
Well, if I think of the situation with my girlfriend right now, I think if I actually made this subject more "real" - not only talking about it in theory, like now, but introducing her to a new gf of mine, she'd leave me. Even though she says leaving me is the last thing she wants.
She says she wants me to be happy and if a poly-relationship is really what I want, then she might even support this, but definitely not as my girlfriend, but as a "normal" friend and that she feels like this is "dangerous" for her.


I think what really upsets my girlfriend is that (she says) she only finds monogamy-hostile articles nowadays. She can't stand being called "possessive", insecure, unevolved etc. and also when I try to talk with her about insecurities (that might cause her disliking of polyamory) she insists that this is not the reason for her decision...
She feels like being treated like a "insecure" person who just needs some help to "grow personally" and then automatically wants polyamory. I actually DO understand why she feels insulted by this way of handling it.
I've been giving this a lot of thought myself... a lot of articles on non-monogamy (and also in this forum) say that the wish for monogamy mostly comes from insecurities, from society-rules etc.
I don't know if this is true, but at least it makes my girlfriend furious. She says she feels labeled and insulted through those definitions and I'm afraid that makes her dislike the concept even more.
Does anyone know a book/article where both concepts are discussed a bit more neutrally? That'd be great!

Hmm, I've been reading a lot in this forum today and I'm starting to realize, or, to accept that the possibility that me and my girlfriend will ever have a poly-relationship is probably converging to Zero... I love her really much, I don't want to harm her. I read a lot in forums and saw that quite a few couples with the same problem still stay together for years, without this problem being solved...but I really feel that this isn't healthy for my girlfriends happiness... So maybe, it's just up to me to make a decision, or? Cause she already took one, or at least it seems so.
I am so afraid of breaking up with her, and then realizing that this was the biggest mistake of my life and that no relationship can ever be as fullfilling as with her. And I unfortunately have the feeling that exactly this would happen...
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
She is a very spiritual person though and has always been, so I cannot really say if this "mystical bond" thing is a childish thought or rather her general way of looking at things.
One problem I have with coddling this mystical view of reality (the one relevant to this thread) is that it makes having a discussion rather pointless. Instead of discussing the actual problem with your realization that you are not monogamous you instead end up trying to negotiate terms like "emotional rape" and "desecration of a bond"... things which are made up and have no actual parameters in reality to be discussed. So the entire discussion is unraveled and there is little hope of progressing.

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Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
She's never been a jealous or "possessive" person at all. When I go out and come home late, she never asks any "suspicious" questions, she's more like "Oh I am glad you had some fun!" ... so, all of that sounds as if my girlfriend would have some "potential" to be open to the concept of polyamory, but for some reason... she isn't that at all.
Within the confines of an emotionally and sexually exclusive relationship that would seem to be non-possessive. However, that is merely because she was certain that you were going to respect the assumption of exclusivity. Once this exclusivity is up for discussion her entire outlook has changed and she is coming apart. Would a person who is not jealous or possessive be completely undone by the concept of you having sex with and being in love with another person, certainly when she has explicitly stated that she knows it won't impact your ability to love her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
I just really start to feel like I am ruining my girlfriend's positive character.
She recently said that she feels "emotionally raped", like I am trying to make her do something that "breaks" her...
In order to emotionally grow, most people need to come to the realization that they are responsible for their own emotional health. She is currently showing signs that she doesn't know how to deal with her own emotions and insecurities and is trying to get you to do it for her. It's very common, you'll see a great deal of this if you read around on these forums. A person who is not used to taking responsibility for their emotions is going to hit this stumbling blocks when they encounter challenging situations like this. Hopefully she will grow from the experience but that is all WELL outside of your control.

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Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
She says she wants me to be happy and if a poly-relationship is really what I want, then she might even support this, but definitely not as my girlfriend, but as a "normal" friend and that she feels like this is "dangerous" for her.
I am not sure if she actually means this or not, but the statement couldn't be more reasonable. If the two of you want polarized things out of a romantic relationship then it makes perfect sense to adjust the nature of your association.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
I think what really upsets my girlfriend is that (she says) she only finds monogamy-hostile articles nowadays. She can't stand being called "possessive", insecure, unevolved etc. and also when I try to talk with her about insecurities (that might cause her disliking of polyamory) she insists that this is not the reason for her decision...
She feels like being treated like a "insecure" person who just needs some help to "grow personally" and then automatically wants polyamory.
Totally valid criticism of how many poly centered articles/books are approached. The great stumbling block (there are others, but none as prevalent) to a poly association is possessiveness stemming from insecurity. It's not an attack on people who relate this way, it's just an observation.

On the other side, mono centered articles are thick with terms like "selfishness". I am polyamorous because I am independent... I am selfish in that I insist on my freedom. I am, in fact, selfish in my approach to how I set boundaries regarding behavior I will accept in my life. While their use of "selfish" is intended to belittle, they accidentally get it correct.

The difference between the messages from the two types of articles is that I am not ashamed or put down by identifying that I am selfish when it comes to my own life, but very few people are comfortable with having the fact that they are insecure pointed out.

Your gf, for example, very likely is responding this way because she is insecure. It's not mean to say that but it certainly provokes an emotional response. I'm not trying to bad mouth your girlfriend or make her out to be a bad guy, I am just trying to encourage you to view the situation realistically and not through a rose tinted filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
I am so afraid of breaking up with her, and then realizing that this was the biggest mistake of my life and that no relationship can ever be as fullfilling as with her. And I unfortunately have the feeling that exactly this would happen...
I encourage you to think about this motivation. This is more of the "soul mate" or "destiny" talk which isn't representative of actual reality. You can't see the future and you are better off not pretending that you can.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2014, 05:53 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
I think what really upsets my girlfriend is that (she says) she only finds monogamy-hostile articles nowadays. She can't stand being called "possessive", insecure, unevolved etc. and also when I try to talk with her about insecurities (that might cause her disliking of polyamory) she insists that this is not the reason for her decision...
She feels like being treated like a "insecure" person who just needs some help to "grow personally" and then automatically wants polyamory. I actually DO understand why she feels insulted by this way of handling it.
I've been giving this a lot of thought myself... a lot of articles on non-monogamy (and also in this forum) say that the wish for monogamy mostly comes from insecurities, from society-rules etc.
I don't know if this is true, but at least it makes my girlfriend furious. She says she feels labeled and insulted through those definitions and I'm afraid that makes her dislike the concept even more.
Does anyone know a book/article where both concepts are discussed a bit more neutrally? That'd be great!
I don't know of any truly neutral. The non-monogamous world (and monogamous) have their zealots. It has always felt like justifications. If I am this way, you must be that way for (x) reasons.

She has to decide two things in this journey

1 - Can she be non-monogamous
2 - Can she accept you being non-monogamous

You have to decide things as well

1 - do you have to be non-monogamous or is this something that doesn't have to happen for your happiness
2 - Can you deal with the time management of being someone primary... while they may not be yours (as in, you are her primary and only.. she is not yours.. how do you time manage that if she wants time with that)..

Throw all the reasons (pros and cons to monogamy vs non-monogamy) aside. These are simple facts. Some people can in fact work past whatever is hindering them and be monogamous with non-monogamous partners. Others cannot.

I don't believe monogamous people are insecure or that, that is their reasoning for avoiding non-monogamy. I think its a bullshit line used by non-monogamous people to justify all sorts of behaviours when confronted with monogamy.

In the end, can she and will she adapt to your "need".. or can you adjust your "need" and not be non-monogamous? if not, then the relationship can't last.

Non-monogamy is already a lot of work, with lots of people and feelings and time management.. I am not sure I could do it with someone who is monogamous.

Quote:
I am so afraid of breaking up with her, and then realizing that this was the biggest mistake of my life and that no relationship can ever be as fullfilling as with her. And I unfortunately have the feeling that exactly this would happen...
Thats not a reason to stay with someone.. just saying.

Quote:
so I cannot really say if this "mystical bond" thing is a childish thought or rather her general way of looking at things.
Look up anam cara. The belief you can be soul "mates" with multiple people. Friends, family etc. The simple spiritual connection to those people you do feel a stronger bond to..
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2014, 08:23 PM
Longshoreman Longshoreman is offline
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Originally Posted by ConfusedFeelings View Post
I am so afraid of breaking up with her, and then realizing that this was the biggest mistake of my life and that no relationship can ever be as fullfilling as with her.
There's a lot of emotional energy caught up in this statement, and it may really be clouding your judgement. It might be a good idea to look at it very carefully.

"No relationship will ever be as fulfilling..." But the relationship is not fulfilling and you're tied up into knots because you are unfulfilled. I'm not saying that your relationship doesn't have lots of great things going on, but be careful to not over-shine it.

You've mentioned struggles with self esteem, and it's here, too. Perhaps you don't have confidence that the future you could craft a happy and fulfilling life. You don't think that another wonderful woman, one who is poly, could adore you. There is little reason to believe this; the future you will be wiser, more mature, more capable, and have more to offer than the you of four years ago. Don't sell him short.

You, like your girlfriend, feel that somehow you are each others' soul mates, and you'll wreck your life it you let her go. Life is more flexible than that. Really.

Now, please don't read this as a suggestion to break up with you're girlfriend; I'm not saying that at all. What I am saying is that you may want to de-toxify and de-absolute-ify the way your system is viewing a breakup. Once you can see the possibilities clearly, you can engage the problem from a position of strength rather than overwhelming fear and twisted self-distortion.

You may come up with some very creative and genuine ways to engage in the issue once you've freed up all that emotional energy.

Last edited by Longshoreman; 03-31-2014 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Typo
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