not sure where to post this it's everything from story to blog to poly relationship center! feel free to let me know!
I only first heard of polyamory 6 years ago, though my whole life I have always loved many people at the same time and they had always loved other people too. Over the years this has become normal for me but at first I thought something was wrong with me.
From the beginning I always had really 'strange' relationship patterns, I'd have bf or gf I was non-sexual with; a secret lover or fuck friend (most of the time someone who was cheating on their gf/bf); and a BFF I was secretly in love with and wanted both a relationship and sex from but i just wore this longing on my sleeve like a mustard stain afraid of the effects of outing my woes.
I spent 10 years on and off with the father of my children, DD, and this is where things started going bad for me. we didn't know anything about polyamory. we had a baby. I lost interest in sex. He blamed me and wrote it off as me just not liking sex. He lied, cheated, then lied again, we broke up, we got back together again, we broke up again, we had other lovers, we slept together, i slept with his friends and he slept with mine. it was bad... even if it sounds like fun :/
Through out this period and even up until recently, while platonic and co-parenting together, the thing that has triggered me the most has been the abandonment i've felt due to boundaries placed on our interactions due to other relationships he's had with monogamous gfs and lovers. He had a lover at one point who wouldn't have penetration with him because she had a bf but once she learned that her bf had cheated on her she started having penetration sex with DD, and she asked him not to have penetration sex with me. he complied with her request and it resulted in big time resentment. things like this happened a lot over the years. deals DD made me make with him after our breakup about bringing dates home while I had the kids (we lived apart) or letting my lover drive our shared car, he broke them all and I felt super betrayed every time. he dated a couple women who were really jealous and they would tell him they weren't comfortable that we saw each other, crossed paths or went to the same parties. he complied. even my dad left me for another woman when she made him choose. all this has seriously compromised my ability to trust my connections with people... to say the least...
After DD and I broke up, i had a personal revolution. I found out that in fact, to my surprise, I still LOVED sex and affection! I starting making new friends, lovers and hearing and reading about open relationships and polyamory and a couple years down the road I find myself excited to be only a few weeks away from a vacation. my first sexcation ever! a queer rampage with a whole month away from my kids with dates planned on the east coast, down south and the mid west. and then I meet him. 3 weeks before I leave. Let's call him SM for silent and mysterious... a super babe, way younger than me, I instantly fall for with who instantly falls for me, i get non stop gifts, affection, massages, we create together, we build things together, we make things together. was have so much fun all the time, we hardly sleep when we're together.
I don't know what got into me. I should have run. haha...
He never wanted to talk about sex. I love and NEED to talk about sex... and sexy things. all the time. or i block up like a backed up sewer. He wasn't comfortable telling me what he likes or doesn't like in bed. didn't want to talk about any of his previous relationships or mention any names, didn't want to hear about mine. this was private. his communication was alien to me. gestures, not words... he needed more space than I did, less sex than i did, i had to learn everything his way and sometimes it upset me, we talked about it and it always made things better.
when i asked what he thought about open relationships he didn't even answer. I later found out that the lover he had before me was non monogamous, had terrible communication skills, absolutely no boundaries and it had gone really badly. I learned this from her, once we finally met years later.
I was head over heels in love with this guy, so i tried monogamy but left for my long planned sexcation anyways... feeling... a bit... strange. awkward and tense to say the least. all my dates flopped from the east coast, down south to the midwest. not surprising, it was total self sabotage!
When i got back from my trip, I would bring up open relationships with SM from time to time, send him articles, links, lend him books. Then one day, a year and a half later, SM says he's ready. I was so excited. We talked about it, what we wanted, what we were afraid of and decided we would give it a try.
The next step was to ask someone out on a date! He comes back 2 days later and tells me he has a date... I should be happy for him, right? but I felt a bit set up. was I getting cold feet? ha, so typical...but wait, how did he do that so fast?! my mind races back to the past year and a half of agonizing no-touchy sleep overs with friends and my ruined sexcation, how painful monogamy was for me and how all that hurt was for nothing! i felt tricked! but i should have be happy, ha. I KNOW!! that's the worst part! later i find out she's monogs. but interested anyways... so i'm like, ok. at least she's open to it. he sets up a meeting for us at a PARTY a month or two after they start dating. she gets too drunk and is hanging off him from 9pm to 3am. I can't even talk to him. He is defensive. I am upset. the evening goes bad. really bad.
This night was epic and monumental in our disaster history and set the tone for future dates. I was hurting that night and should have cancelled. Something shitty had gone down the same day with DD and his jealous gf and I was feeling triggered, abandoned and I needed my partner in a bad way but couldn't communicate this because I wanted to respect the meeting SM had planned for us.... This night hurt me, hurt our relationship, hurt SM. His date was too drunk to notice anything. He said he would never invite her while we were out together again, i said maybe just give it a bit of time, but a week later, SM warned me that he'd invited her to an event we were organizing together. WHAT????? haha... Seriously? NRE make people do crazy things! They dated 5 months until she left town.
this was 2.5 years ago. since all this started, his communication has gotten way better though it's still hard for him. we have been together for 4 years now. and since that first person he dated, he has been interested in 3 other women. all of them monogamous with no other lovers. he says it's not a priority for him since it doesn't change anything between us. none of my beeswax, he tells me... ok, fair enough, but it makes me feel insecure. bad experiences. ... how can we learn to trust again? and would anything have been different if any of these people in my life had been non monogamous?
so, none of SM's dates have lasted or 'gone anywhere' and he is frustrated, blames it on our boundaries (nobody too close, take things slow, no other primary partners, spend extra time together) and feels like he needs more spontaneity, more privacy, fewer constraints isn't sure he wants to be in a primary relationship...
he never goes out, only meets people when i invite him out which causes problems because we end up not spending time together when we're out and usually he wants me to go home alone so he can hang out with other people. He doesn't see this time as special. I am mostly stuck at home with my children so he doesn't understand the novelty of getting out together and having special time together outside of the house, outside of the projects we have together... he is happy having special time with me at home while my kids are sleeping. I don't feel like this is special time.
None of my dates have lasted or 'gone anywhere' either and i blame our boundaries too I have a couple long distance lovers i see VERY rarely and I feel too restricted and frustrated by our boundaries to feel comfortable dating anyone! I also need spontaneity and not have limitations on my level of commitment in my relationships so to me it seems clear that we need to renegotiate our boundaries. We have outgrown them. Or at least some or most of them...
But what if it's not just the boundaries that are the problem?
What if you're just afraid to trust someone?
Boundaries are the starting place for negotiations, to support you as you learn to walk, correct me if i'm wrong.. but it's almost like we haven't learned to walk yet. I'm afraid of what might happen since it doesn't appear that I trust his 'poly'tics or his capacity to be accountable in the way that i need him to be towards our dates and our time together.
I hear this alot on this site... being stood up because you're gf/bf has NRE, your gf/bf texting someone on special time with you. all the hurts of feeling like an old rag. are boundaries the solution? these rules seem like they are specifically made to be broken! It seems like it's the biggest problem in polyamory! followed by time and energy management, correct me if I'm wrong!!!
so what can we do to rebuild trust!?
I heard that a fullfilling relationships gets around 20 positive exchanges for every 1 negative exchange...
so every time we inadvertently hurt someone...
bring them chocolate at work 4 times, give them 8 massages, take them out 3 times, do them 3 favors you know will knock their socks off and make them 2 breakfasts in bed... ???
that sounds good to me actually...
anyways. so we're in big time transition mode right now. have any of you ever gone from monogamous to open and then to poly?
feel free to share your wisdom and your experiences...
I'll keep y'all posted
Wow, what an opening! It sounds like you have experienced many things both in monogamy and non-monogamy.
If you and SM are both chafing over your current boundaries, then yeah I think it's a good idea to renegotiate them.
Rebuilding trust can probably be helped along by increasing the quantity and quality of communication that you and SM do with each other. You have to let him know when you are feeling insecure and need an extra text, favor, hug, night out together, whatever it is you need.
I went right from monogamous to poly but learned many things the hard way along the way. I guess most people have a rough go of it when they're just trying poly for the first time.
Thanks for starting this blog, I'll keep an eye on it.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"