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Old 02-03-2011, 06:14 AM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Default How do I tell her?

Hello, and thanks for reading/replying.

Days ago I didn't even know what polyamory was, but I already have a lot of respect and admiration for those of you who have nurtured such complex, beautiful, and at times stressful relationships as those I've read about here. I was hoping to share my dilemma with you. It may not be unusual, but it's been giving me hell.

The story:

My wife (let's call her Sofia) and I have been together for six years, married for two. We took it slow, lived together, talked things out. We are very compatible. People around us believe we are exquisitely happy together. In truth, we are... most of the time. But twice now, another woman has walked into my life and spun my world out of control. I'm not talking about lust. It's something much deeper than that. I have feelings for these women. They are special to me. I still think about them fondly today, even though nothing ever happened between us. I never cheated or even tried to go out with these girls. It's just a lot of guilt and frustration that I never tell Sofia about. I just swept it under the rug and all is supposedly forgotten.

Fast forward to last November:

It happened again, the 3rd time. When I met this woman, (Emily) the sparks were flying right away. It was completely unexpected! I didn't go after her, it just... happened. But Emily feels different from the others. It's not just some infatuation for me. And I am certain she feels the same, though it must be confusing for her to be interested in a married man. I see Emily for two precious hours every Monday at work and I am in heaven. We talk and talk. I can just FEEL the connection between us. Honestly, I couldn't escape this even if I wanted to (which I don't). I look forward to those precious few hours all week. I believe I am falling for her. All last month was miserable. I questioned my marriage, wondered about divorce. How could I keep doing this to myself? Finally I told it all to a good friend. He had helped me last time. I cursed monogamy, asking why people can't share their love and why we have to force ourselves into these restrictive social contracts that so often don't work! And he said, "I wonder if you're polyamorous." To which I replied, "poly-what?"

It was an awakening. I've done a good bit of research in the last few days and it led me here. I am confused. I believe I'm in love with two women. I think of Emily all day and dream of her at night, wishing that I could just act on the feelings we have share... and in the morning I want to reach out and touch Sofia but I hold back because of the guilt I've been programmed to feel for having "non-monogamous" thoughts. It is damaging an otherwise happy marriage. If only I could openly share my love with both of them, I would be happy. But I am afraid that neither would understand or be willing to entertain the possibility.

What do you think?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:03 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Yup. Sounds like you might be poly. Congrats on starting the journey.

I would suggest looking into this because its come up over and over again, not because of the woman you see once a week. You seem lost in nre and what could be at the moment and I think it wise to get your ducks in a row before going down that path. This for the sake of your narriage and for this woman.

First off there is the task of telling your wife. That could put a damper on your feel good situation with this woman for awhile. Depending on what she is like, she could become very concerned and emotional. Make sure you are ready for that.

Some sources of info and some knowedge behind you might help. At least in building your confidence that you are okay. Why not start there and give it some time. Or you could tell her right away and do the work together. It depends on how the two of you opporate together really.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:09 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpsilonLyr View Post
..... I believe I'm in love with two women.

I think of Emily all day and dream of her at night, wishing that I could just act on the feelings we have share... and in the morning I want to reach out and touch Sofia but I hold back because of the guilt I've been programmed to feel for having "non-monogamous" thoughts. It is damaging an otherwise happy marriage. If only I could openly share my love with both of them, I would be happy. But I am afraid that neither would understand or be willing to entertain the possibility.

What do you think?
Hey Epsilon,

Well, I think you are definitely infatuated and fantasizing like crazy ! <smile>
Happens all the time to a lot of us

It may well be that you DO see/feel the call to being poly. In so many aspects it just makes sense and 'feel' right/normal.

But time out for a reality check.

We do feel this 'connection' to people at times. And when we do it's a message that SOMETHING is there for us. But it's not ALWAYS 'love'. It can be many things (including growth and wisdom) and there can be some potential there. Despite the obvious attraction and bells going off, you probably know very little about the intimate details of this girl. Her life, her views on many things, her history etc. All that has to come out before you can determine whether she is the type of person you'd respect and learn to love.

As to her or your wife not knowing and understanding about polyamory - you're likely correct. And either or both of their reactions is.........probably sketchy. New concepts that break cultural rules usually are.
But that IS something you can do something about ! From what you've explained about your views and feelings I think it's time for that cat to come out of the bag. Does it mean anything will progress with this particular girl ? Hard to say. But if this feels right to you it's going to keep surfacing in your life until you deal with it. Maybe now is the time to start.

You might open the discussion (along with supporting resources such as books, online such as this forum etc) with your mate by explaining much like you did here. Explain the connections in the past and that you had passed up potential opportunities because of your commitment to your marriage and cultural values. But that it always bothered you and you questioned WHY it had to be that way - because it doesn't feel natural to you.
I wouldn't bring up this other girl just yet. That could be intimidating and sabotage the discussion/education process. I'd wait until sufficient information was out there and openly discussed.
If after some reasonable discussion it's apparent that your wife is rigid in her views you will be in a position to make some hard decisions. But explore first before you assume

Good luck. Keep us posted.

GS
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:48 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post


I would suggest looking into this because its come up over and over again, not because of the woman you see once a week. You seem lost in nre and what could be at the moment and I think it wise to get your ducks in a row before going down that path. This for the sake of your narriage and for this woman.

First off there is the task of telling your wife. That could put a damper on your feel good situation with this woman for awhile. Depending on what she is like, she could become very concerned and emotional. Make sure you are ready for that.
A heavy case of NRE? ...I can believe that. And telling my wife is going to be the hardest part. Opening up and telling her. My natural impulse is to sit and internalize it all, rather than share what I know she doesn't want to hear. But you are right. I can't keep doing this. I've ignored this pattern in my life since I was 15 and it ain't healthy. I'm excited to change that, if I can. More to say later but must go to work. Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:57 PM
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sage sage is offline
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Hi

Check out my blog www.polyamorouspeople.com. I started it up for myself to cope with a partner who is polyamorous and found that there are lots of people out there that need help meshing poly and mono. Sometime forums can be daunting for "the stunned" (people whose partners inform them they're polyamorous. My blog seems to help, especially the early posts when I was also struggling.

Good luck, it's a process but it can work.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:43 AM
polycouple polycouple is offline
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I know this sounds trite, but it has rung true in many instances in my life; Sometimes the more afraid I am to do something, the more I know I need to do it. Telling your wife may be difficult. It may even have devastating consequences, but telling your wife is the first step towards you leading a more authentic life.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:20 AM
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greeneyes greeneyes is offline
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Default one n00b to another...

Helloo there... I know that I'm just sort of dipping my toe in the water with all this stuff, and most of y'all have a lot more experience here, but I have to say that I would ask first how the dynamics in the current relationship are, before advising...

I think that honesty is definitely the best policy. For myself (as someone with a partner who's recently sort of been at the helm of our relationship going in a non-monogamous direction) I would want to know if there were any immediate interests in other partners, if this were an influencing factor on my relationships foundations being "rocked," as it were.... some folks might not feel that this is actually what happens when a person "comes out" as poly, but I think it might be a common feeling for folks who had their mind sort of "set" on a monogamous relationship and then that changes relatively suddenly...
I would DEFINITELY want to know if any actions were being planned. I think if my partner were to leave things out (deliberately) I would feel like I were being deceived. If she tells me up front it will possibly hurt but at the same time it 1.gets the hardest part out of the way more quickly and 2. would let me make a fully-informed decision about what kind of actions I want to take going forward to prepare/acclimate myself to what is going on.

I think you might have said this, but I did want to ask... does your partner know that anything about non-monogamy? Is she the type that gets jealous easily, or is easily hurt if she feels she has to "share" you? Those things may color your approach... but even if she is this type of person, I would be thoroughly honest regardless, to be fair to her. I don't think you would want her to "hide" things from you, right?

I think, and I hope I'm not off base in sayin' this ('cause I *am* a n00b in this world), that there's a chance that if you want to proceed, come out as poly in a healthy way with informed and enthusiastic consent on all sides, then slowing waaay down might be a good idea...
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:26 AM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post

But time out for a reality check.

We do feel this 'connection' to people at times. And when we do it's a message that SOMETHING is there for us. But it's not ALWAYS 'love'. It can be many things (including growth and wisdom) and there can be some potential there.
Hmm can you expand on this thought? Are you referring to this becoming a friendship between me and the new girl? I could easily see that happening; it would be the least intrusive option, though I'm sure the temptation will still be there. Honestly I've never tried to make female friends since I met my wife. That would be interesting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post

From what you've explained about your views and feelings I think it's time for that cat to come out of the bag. Does it mean anything will progress with this particular girl ? Hard to say. But if this feels right to you it's going to keep surfacing in your life until you deal with it. Maybe now is the time to start.

GS
You have a point there! I guess at this point I don't believe there could be anything between myself and the new girl... what are the odds that I plucked another poly-curious person out of the air just as I am discovering it myself? Couldn't really expect either my wife or I to be ready for something like this anytime soon. At the very least, it has gotten me thinking.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2011, 06:58 AM
preciselove preciselove is offline
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What you describe with these other women I'm sure nearly every man has felt at some stage whilst in a committed monagamous relationship. So you're not special in that regard, it's simply that most mono people do nothing about it (or cheat) because that's how we are raised.

The best way to start educating your wife is to watch movies with her that have these concepts in them. Start with Summer Lovers, then move to Vicky Christina Barcelona. See how she reacts to them. Then maybe start documentaries containing the concepts. I wouldn't tell her yet that you've had this "great idea" until she is familiar with the concepts. Easier that way. Converting a mono woman could take a year or two before she is fully educated on it and able to participate.

Last edited by preciselove; 02-04-2011 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:14 PM
angeleyes angeleyes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preciselove View Post
...Converting a mono woman could take a year or two before she is fully educated on it and able to participate.
Wow. I know *I* sure wouldn't want some man thinking he was going to "fully educate" me so that I could be "converted"... which I guess is why I stick with wimmin :: raised eyebrow ::

My thoughts are more along the lines of my partner, greeneyes, although I'll also mention that I'm a little disturbed by her describing me as "at the helm." We did come to a point in the discussion where I felt I did have to say, "look, you don't own me, my body, or my sexuality." But there are some mitigating factors here... First, we are Anarchists, so strongly against "ownership" in a general sense, not just when we want to get our rocks off. Secondly, declaring my sovereignty did *not* mean I immediately went to work on exploring what that meant with other people. Just because I have a "right" to do something does not mean that I stop caring about how my every decision (sexual or not) affects the person who is most important in this world to me =-x

Maybe before worrying so much about "educating" this womon to whom you are married, an alternative would be to explore *together* what it means to live life in a more natural sense, rather than defaulting to the culture of mainstream society (which seems to be disintegrating, anyway). Be willing to have an open mind *yourself*, and I think you'll be more likely to encourage that kind of thinking. Look into what it meant to live in pre-agrarian foraging society. Eventually y'all will make your way to some of that "Sex at Dawn" stuff that's over on another thread.

I hope that helps =-)
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