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  #11  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:14 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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hi lunshbox welcome....your now in the deep end of the pool.

I got here under similar circumstances a few months ago. There are lots of folks here that given lots of time and energy to helping those of us who are struggling. They have years and years of experience to draw from.

I would caution you and your wife to explore this more thoroughly than anything you have done before. Once you go through that door things are going to change and there maybe no going back. I'm not saying it is going to be negative or bad but things as you knew them will change.... if you and your wife don't like a lot of change then this may not be for you.

I think it might be a good idea to ask member who have gone down this road if 5% increase in happiness would be worth all the pain, and skull gnawing that is a result. Her 5% could cost everyone else including her 20-60% happiness in the short term. Right now my daughter and wife are at each others like a couple of pit bulls and I think it revolves around my daughter suspicions of her mothers outside relationship or affair, boyfriend.

I also think no matter how you feel today never remove the possibility of yourself having outside relationships. The reason I say this is during all the hypotheticals she can see things from all points of view. I don't believe that we "human" can control these matters of the heart. That said I believe no one can guarantee how they are going to feel once they fall in love and have a relationship....I was given similar assurances at the start....not sure how I would describe what those mean to me today. Good luck and ask as many questions as possible before going forward. Better to be sure this is something very important to her than some curiosity or whim.

Trust your gut..... D
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:18 PM
EpsilonLyr EpsilonLyr is offline
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Hey it speaks strongly of your bond with your wife and of your character that you are already thrusting yourself headlong into figuring this polyamorous thing out after being approached with it just a short time ago.

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Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
There have never been any outward signs that she felt this way. She is very good about hiding certain feelings and it usually takes some work to dig them out of her. But this was completely-out-of-no-where, blind-siding material. She said that she hadn't told me yet because she was scared that I would a) hate her and b) leave her.
I can see some parallels between your situation and mine, except that it is flipped. I am a hetero male in a 6year relationship with my wife who is strongly mono-oriented and I have just begun the delicate and frightening task of expressing my poly feelings. It is scary and world-spinning and painful on both sides. Perhaps your wife is going through some of the same things I am. On the one hand I don't want to hurt my love of so many years, but on the other hand I've felt this pull inside of me to seek out emotional relationships with other women. It's at times been so strong that it caused me intense guilt and emotional pain. And since we live in a society that doesn't try to understand or embrace love without heavy restrictions, so often people with poly leanings feel as if they must hide. In fact, many people here still haven't "come out" to their friends and family for fear of the consequences, despite the fact that they might be incredibly happy in their arrangement.

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Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
I felt like she had lied to me because we have talked about it a few times since our friends came out and we both were, at least in words, on the same page. We have always had an honest relationship, sometimes perhaps too honest.
I can tell you from experience that even when I was having poly feelings over the years, having strong amorous feelings for two people at the same time, that I had no idea what poly was and still adhered, ideologically, to the common ideal that one person may only love/be with one single person. Maybe she has been hiding this from you all along, but perhaps on the contrary she is simply figuring it out herself.
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Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
I just don't know if it is something I can do. I agree that denying a major part of oneself is a sure route to unhappiness, but which person has the right to the happiness when there is no compromise? It is either we go through with this and she is happy and I am miserable or we don't and she will never be completely happy and I will constantly feel like I stopped her from finding true happiness.
I can see why you feel that it comes down to your happiness or hers and that you are at an impasse so far. Hopefully the two of you can hash things out and decide what you as a couple can and cannot compromise on. There are so many compromises to be had. Being poly can mean anything, not just having multiple sex partners (probably a redundant statement on my part). And you pointed out that you like to keep things planned... dare I say structured ( I agree!)... many sources relate that the most successful mono-poly relationships involve a lot of rules, understanding of boundaries, compromises, and above all, communication. The rules are up to the persons involved. It's all up to you both. But hopefully she won't be putting too much pressure on you to go along with this. It sounds more like you are going above and beyond to figure this out on your own.

Anyway it sounds like you are going to read some highly recommended books and of course there are excellent resources here and around the web... all of which will help you better than I could.

Here's an interesting site I found that breaks things down pretty well, although I haven't exhaustively investigated it, the info might be helpful.
Polyamory for the Monogamous
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:28 PM
onivel onivel is offline
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For what it's worth, my wife (Taiel on these boards) and I are going thru something similar - there is a thread in the introductions section. Except I am the one who, as BlackUnicorn phrased it, 're-evaluated' and asked to open our marriage. We also have a number of poly friends in various 'models' of relationships.

We started to seriously discuss opening our marriage about ten weeks ago and are still doing so. Like you, Taiel is having a very difficult time understanding why I feel a strong need to do this. Your reactions of shock, sadness, anger, hurt and confusion are completely understandable and normal; you have had the equivilent of an emotional bomb dropped on your head.

The best advice that I can offer (from my limited experience) is:
1) Do not make any hasty decisions -- take your time and TALK with your wife. She needs to be patient and be willing to take as much time as necessary. Her biggest temptation may be to push you faster than you are comfortable with -- I know that I have that impulse; I try to control it with varying degress of success. You BOTH need to be onboard with whatever you decide.
2) READ SAGE'S BLOG: Polyamorous People -- it'll be of tremendous help. Also, get her ebook. (Sage should really consider giving sales commissions .... )
3) Ask your wife to read these boards with you. Discuss what you find here.
4) "Opening Up" is a very good book to read. Other books to consider are: "Open" by Jenny Block and "Love Unlimited: The Joys and Challenges of Open Relationships" by Leonie Linssen and Stephan Wik. Both are available on Amazon. I have read the first two and have ordered "Love Unlimited..." (I received a strong recommendation from a poly friend).
5) Search for (and read) posts by "MonoVCPHG". He's a monogamous guy with a poly partner and he gives very good advice.
6) Anita Wagner has a very good guide on how to successfully open a monogamous relationship here.
7) Yahoo groups has a group dedicated to support of monogamous people in committed relationships with poly partners. It can be found here.

Advice for your wife:
1) Be prepared to reassure your husband that it's nothing that he's done (or not done). It isn't that you don't love him any more. (Or any less). You aren't trying to replace him and in fact he can't be replaced. And I don't mean once. Continually.
2) Be prepared to regularly "date" your husband again. Come to think of it, you should regularly "date" your spouse regardless of whether he's willing to consider poly/nonmonogamy or not.
3) Be prepared to be fully open and communicate with your husband on a level that you've rarely (if ever) done before. I can attest to this -- whether Taiel and I ever reach the point of actually opening our marriage, our relationship is actually much stronger that it was before. We are closer and have talked more in the last ten weeks than we have in years. This is a GOOD THING (tm).
4) Understand that as hard as it was for you to even tell your husband of your desire to open your marriage, it's going to be even harder for him to process. Be understanding, be sympathetic and BE PATIENT. By far, the most difficult part will be being patient and not pushing. You have essentially asked your husband to throw out a lifetime's worth of 'training', turn his world upside down and then put the pieces back together. This is going to take some time. Reread this point ten more times; I'll wait until you're done.
5) Yahoo groups has a group dedicated to poly people with monogamous partners here.

I wish the both of you the very best.
-- Oni

Last edited by onivel; 02-24-2011 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Removed a couple of typos
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:46 PM
Lunshbox Lunshbox is offline
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
Just getting my head out of the idea that monogamy(emotional and physical) was the only RIGHT way to live has been such a huge relief to me. I don't quite understand it, I don't have any interest in dating, nor do I (or my husband) have any potential prospects, so it's not about my need to add someone else. I think it is more about allowing myself to just be and allowing my husband to make friends and connections with others in a way that is natural to him, without feeling like I should be jealous.

Not sure what your wife was thinking, but the idea of finding a "unicorn" (either gender) for a triad with myself and my husband does have great appeal, even if it is completely unrealistic. Makes for nice fantasies though .
Thank you for your response. See, I am actually not opposed to the idea of polyamory. I think it can work and it does work. I just don't think it is right for me. When I say it isn't right for me, I mean that it isn't the kind of relationship I want to be involved in at all. I would never say that wouldn't change and that I would someday like and enjoy being poly. I know it is a lot to demand of anyone, especially since I have never demanded anything from anyone, but the kind of relationship i am accustomed to (accustomed is the right word) is monogamy on the part of both partners. I know that I am still not getting some aspects of polyamory through my thick skull. Hopefully that will change with time.

As for the unicorn, i haven't brought that up with my wife. I would be more open to that than anything else at least to start. But I agree that it is probably completely unrealistic.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:13 PM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Unicorn hunting is not completely unrealistic, but just hard.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:17 PM
jasminegld jasminegld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onivel View Post
... Yahoo groups has a group dedicated to support of monogamous people in committed relationships with poly partners. It can be found here.
This group has amazing people and resources. Monogamous partners of polyamorous people talk about the realities of their lives, both good and bad, success stories, cautionary tales, tips for better outcomes. Please do take advantage of what this list has to offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onivel View Post
... Yahoo groups has a group dedicated to poly people with monogamous partners here.
This group from the perspective of the poly partner is just as valuable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
When I say it isn't right for me, I mean that it isn't the kind of relationship I want to be involved in at all. I would never say that wouldn't change and that I would someday like and enjoy being poly.
It's not an either/or situation. It is possible for a monogamous person to thrive in a relationship with a polyamorous partner.

Go slow.
Talk to lots and lots of people in the poly community.
And go slow.

Jasmine
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:03 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
So do I go against every fiber of my being and open our marriage to make her happy? Do I become bitter and resentful of her because she "forced" me to do something that I would never ask of her ( know this is up to me, but like many have said, feelings are valid if they effect your life that much)? I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would never stay in a relationship that made me unhappy. The kicker is that I have fallen in love with her so hard and deep that I am not sure I would ever be happy without her. A Catch-22, as it were. Do I tell her I can't do it and then have the knowledge that for as long as we are together that she will never be completely happy? She has said that she could never leave me, but she also told me that she could never be poly.

I am stuck and I don't know what to do. Help me.
it sounds like its all way to soon to decide anything. 4 days is only, well, 4 days! Some of us have taken years to figure where we are at. Its the journey, not the destination.

I'm glad you are reading some stuff. I suggest you do a tag search on stuff that interests you. There are a lot of things to become accustom to and change your mind set about in order to comprehend what goes on for poly people. Especually those in mono poly relatuonships. If that is in fact what you are thinking. I saw "unicorn" somewhere in here... I confess, I have not read everything... You might want to do a tag search for that if its crossed your mind.

Anyway, others seem to be giving you some thoughts... Good luck.
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:25 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
It is either we go through with this and she is happy and I am miserable or we don't and she will never be completely happy and I will constantly feel like I stopped her from finding true happiness.
Okay, deep breath. You don't know that you will be miserable, and she doesn't know if poly will make her happier.

Not trying to push you in any direction, just pointing out something I see frequently here. New people come and say, "I could never, because it would make me feel so ____." But the fact is that that is just projection. You never know how you will feel until you are in a situation and feeling it. Or you could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy and drum up the feelings you think you should be having without really being with what is.

You both could be very surprised (if you do choose to explore a poly path).

The thing to do is not necessarily set up some protection against possible future unpleasantness, but see where you are right now. I think it's premature to spin off into what the future will be. Your wife, for right now, is just beginning to look at these thoughts she's had and now you are aware of them. Go slow, read those books you ordered, continue talking, try not to predict what will happen. Don't force anything before you're ready. You are both in a really good place -- it is obvious you care about each other.

Welcome. Gently now...
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:53 AM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Originally Posted by Lunshbox View Post
All in all, I have always been monogamous. I may not have stayed with some people very long, but I have been monogamous none-the-less. Honestly, and I feel that I can be honest here and get honest answers in return, I feel that her asking me to have an open marriage is the same as her asking me to not be attracted to men and to be completely straight. It is so against my nature that I don't think I can do it. Then she tells me that she can't do it without me. So do I go against every fiber of my being and open our marriage to make her happy?
Can you open the marriage but not be open yourself? If you love her and she feels this undying need, and you don't. Could you share her? (I know that sounds possessive... just using an example)

Quote:
Do I become bitter and resentful of her because she "forced" me to do something that I would never ask of her ( know this is up to me, but like many have said, feelings are valid if they effect your life that much)? I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would never stay in a relationship that made me unhappy. The kicker is that I have fallen in love with her so hard and deep that I am not sure I would ever be happy without her.
Are you unhappy? If you can deal with the emotional upheaval you may be able to find happiness with her open.

But, in look at your bi-sexuality. If poly is that rooted in a persons core then how do you explain how lots of people love multiples but don't act on them.

Just because you are bi doesn't mean you have to bang men and just because she is poly, she doesn't have to be poly.

I use these examples, not to discourage you but show you there are still options. Unless you want a 1 for 1 situations (shes open you are open) type of deal, then that starts to get messy.

Quote:
A Catch-22, as it were. Do I tell her I can't do it and then have the knowledge that for as long as we are together that she will never be completely happy? She has said that she could never leave me, but she also told me that she could never be poly.
Is this to protect her own feelings? If she is open, you are open, so it feels justified? It might be something for you both to consider. How far does the 1v1 go. We see lots of couples come on here and other sides saying the girl won't date until the guy does. That quickly creates resentment as it hands over control to the more uninterested party

Quote:
I am stuck and I don't know what to do. Help me.
You are doing the right things,asking questions. Looking around and researching. Its a good way to find that base foundation for your relationship to open up.

However... as much as you are doing this as a couple, you are doing it as individuals too. You have a right to say no for yourself... while she says yes to the same topic. You might just have to find boundaries that work for both of you

good luck

ari
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:46 AM
Lunshbox Lunshbox is offline
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Dingedheart

One of the things that we have talked about is not going into this blindly. I have to know she has done her research and she has to know I have done mine. I have asked her some questions already that she said she hasnít thought about yet which are very serious issues in my opinion. A lot of my reservations are due to her telling me that this is a curiosity and that she very well may try it and not like it. That coupled with the 5% increase in happiness is a little stressful.

I would never count anything out. I have always been very logical when it comes to actions that I take and understanding that nothing is ever counted out. I am just as unsure as she is, I just have more reservations about it. I think one of the problems is that the only person she knows that is poly never tells her the negative aspects of it. She only talks about the positive, which is fine, but not very realistic.

I agree that this had better be something important to her. Because if it happens, regardless of the outcome, everything is going to change and nothing will be the same again. Thatís not to say it is good or bad, it just is. Thank you for your advice

EpsilonLyr

Thank you for the link. I have been reading through it this afternoon. I have had some free time this week since my wife has the flu. I have had to stay home and take care of her and make sure our daughter gets back and forth to school. Anyway, this has given me a lot of time to do research.

I really do want to understand the pull that she may be feeling or understand if that is what she is actually feeling. I donít think either one of us know what we truly want. I will say that one of the hardest aspects for me so far has been the emotional rollercoaster of going from feeling like my marriage was stable and I had actually settled down (I had a very tumultuous love life until I met my wife). Now itís like everything has been taken apart like a puzzle and I have no idea what the picture is supposed to look like when I am done putting it back together.

Onivel

Thank you very much for that advice and the links. They have all been bookmarked and will be read. The one thing is that if we decide to do this then I have to do it as well. If we get to that point then I have to know if it is something I want to do too. Itís just the process of realizing I am not in a settled-down relationship and I have to go back into dating mode that I have to get over.

BlackUnicorn

I think it would be worth a shot. It helps that we live close to a city so it shouldnít be hard to at least find a community.

Jasminegld

Slow is the only way I can go at this point. Thank you for the recommendation.

RedPepper

I agree that it is too soon. I think I am over-analyzing things right now. I donít expect this to be an overnight deal. I do appreciate the words of encouragement.

Nycindie

I know. I am just looking at my options right now. It is very possible that we will both love it. I would not discount that possibility at all. I am just at the point now that there are a lot of questions that I have and a lot of baggage I need to get over before I could move forward.

Ariakas

That is one thing I am not sure of yet. I understand that I do not own anyone. I am not sure if I can get to the point of being able to give up the valuable time that we have together.

I would never ask for something in return if she does something. What I am trying to understand if this is something that I also want. And to be honest, my wife came into my life at a very special time. I am not sure if I would even want to be with another woman. As of right now, I am very unhappy, but my unhappiness stems from the current level of upheaval in our relationship. Dealing with this issue and the current anxiety problems I am having is very difficult.

I never really thought of this becoming a one for one situation. I hope that doesnít happen because I donít want to be forced into doing something. But as far as she has told me, she would be happy just going out with someone regardless if I do or not.

Thank you all for the well-wishes and advice. It has helped me tremendously. You are all good people
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