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Old 03-01-2011, 05:43 PM
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Default Did your comfort with poly come gradually or in an epiphany?

For those of you that struggled to come to terms with polyamory, particularly those opening up an existing mono relationship, did your comfort with it come gradually or all at once in an epiphany kind of moment?

I had a really interesting experience a couple weeks ago watching The Kids are All Right (warning spoiler alert). I'd really been struggling with insecurity and fear after my husband and I opened up our relationship a couple months ago. Even though we'd talked a lot about and and I was intellectually comfortable with the concept, when faced with the reality of him being with other women I experience a lot of crazy-making emotions. Anyway, back to the movie.

In seeing a lesbian couple composed of two very different women on screen, I somehow finally "got" that it's possible to be attractive as a woman in different ways. (Warning feminist rant forthcoming) I often feel like we are bombarded in the media with the message that there is only one way to be an attractive woman--long hair, thin, big boobs, graceful, feminine, etc, etc. And I'd been feeling insecure about my husband's new dates because it felt like he was saying they measured up to that ideal better than I did. There was something about that movie that made me truly realize that he could be attracted to two different women for totally unique reasons. It probably wouldn't have taken me that long to come to that realization if he was dating a man, because it's easy to see how someone of the other gender can provide something you can't without it being at all a shortcoming of yours.

Helping that message along I think was seeing how Jules relationships with Nic and Paul were very different and both good for her in different ways (ignoring the cheating aspect for the moment). I really liked Paul and kind of wanted them to be a happy little triad in the end.

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie, but I don't think it's particularly amazing or even poly-friendly. There was just something about the characters and story that told me something I really needed to hear in that moment. Since then, I've been surprisingly comfortable with my relationship. I'm not freaking out with he leaves on dates, I'm not obsessing about her, I'm not feeling really scared and stressed out. I had this epiphany moment where most of my fears were laid to rest and I can see clearly that I'm not going to be replaced and that my husband's interest in others is in no way a threat to his love for me.

Did other people who struggled with polyamory at first also come to grips with it suddenly? Can you also identify key moments like this? Or was it a more gradual process of relaxing boundaries and gaining confidence? I've often had these epiphany moments in my life when struggling emotionally--I wonder if it's just a trait I have or if this kind of journey is common.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:18 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Well, my story about poly is an abrupt change. However I came from non-monogamy.

Polyamory was a giant kick in the teeth for me. The realization I could love 2 people really was a lot of work for me. In the process of realizing the woman I loved would never love me. It was a double whammy. It was a very abrupt, one day I was screwing her with my wife, the next day I realized I loved her, and the day after that I realized that really kind of sucked.

I think its related to my trait of remaining blind to some things. I am not a ... lovey dovey person outside of those in my circle. (small circle too) so I may not have recognized the possibility of it because I just didn't believe it. Ironic for a man who was surrounded by hippies most of his life... I just thought they were all full of shit (sorry my dear wife)...

Now I am in a position to love more than one person and I am comfortable and confident in that love.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:07 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I had an epiphany moment when I realized that polyamorous was what I was.

Then, I had a "getting used to sharing" couple of moments when Maca started seeing other women.

What I found was that the one who met me the same day she first met him (arranged on OKC) and was willing to be upfront and friendly with me from the get-go, left me with few insecurities at all.
In fact, them using our bed and being in our home, her being there for him (with my whole family) at the hospital (I was out of state) when my mom nearly died, etc didn't cause me any issues.
EVEN THOUGH she and I almost never talk, when we do it's ALWAYS friendly, open and caring.

The lady who came across as conniving and controlling... that one created a fury in me that was unmatched by any other but his ex-wife.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I had an epiphany moment when I realized that polyamorous was what I was.
This is me too. Although back in the day we just called it non-monogamy. I was so freakin' excited! Jumping around, my mind blew up. My wife at the time was not as excited and we eventually ended our mono poly relationship as a result and I married our then boyfriend PN. I was basically relieved that I wouldn't have to cheat and lie any more (I never did on the wife btw).
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I had an epiphany moment when I realized that polyamorous was what I was.

Then, I had a "getting used to sharing" couple of moments when Maca started seeing other women.

What I found was that the one who met me the same day she first met him (arranged on OKC) and was willing to be upfront and friendly with me from the get-go, left me with few insecurities at all.
In fact, them using our bed and being in our home, her being there for him (with my whole family) at the hospital (I was out of state) when my mom nearly died, etc didn't cause me any issues.
EVEN THOUGH she and I almost never talk, when we do it's ALWAYS friendly, open and caring.

The lady who came across as conniving and controlling... that one created a fury in me that was unmatched by any other but his ex-wife.
I can SO relate! I do NOT like Breathes' former fwb so had problems with them going out together (except for concerts, weddings, etc. since there was no chance for anything more to happen). He had another at one time whom I adored so didn't have a problem with them going out.

As for the OP: for me it was a bit of both. I was comfortable with the IDEA of many loves, his flirting & being flirted with, doing things I don't enjoy. The problem came when sex entered the picture.

The epiphany came when he told me that he CHOSE to come home to me each night after a date. It wasn't because he felt obligated to, it was because he WANTED to!

I still had problems with the former fwb, up to the time he told me there wouldn't be any more sex or BDSM play between them, but they were more because I can't stand her & she scares me, not because of jealousy or anything like that.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:20 PM
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It sounds like it's pretty typical then to have a moment or two where everything falls into place and you go "Oooohhh!" It's interesting to hear everyone's experience of that moment. I'm curious to see if I'll have an "I'm poly" epiphany. I've been holding off on pursuing any additional relationships until I felt like I was comfortable with sharing...and not a crazy basketcase that no one would want to date. It's all fairly theoretical now, and I've realized while being on the other end of things that often a theoretical/abstract notion of poly doesn't prepare you for your reaction to the real thing.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:10 PM
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Epiphany for me, gradual for my wife. To me it's as though all-of-a-sudden I knew I wasn't damaged or broken anymore. For her it seems like it was a door to a whole new world she walked by every day and only now opened.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:35 PM
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For me it was more of a gradual realization, culminating in a serious of events that ended my marriage, and has made me happier than I've ever been in my life.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:55 PM
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I think epiphany for me right at the end. The moment I realised what polyamory was and that it had this name. But I always felt it there inside me. Just never had a name for it and always tried to push it back. But now I realise who I am and won't let anyone take that from me.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:18 AM
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It gradually came about.
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