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  #11  
Old 09-09-2009, 08:56 PM
XYZ123 XYZ123 is offline
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Before I put in my two cents, I needed some clarification. Are you practicing POLYAMORY or SWINGING? In polyamory there is a deeper connection than sex. It involves multiple loves who share in your life as well as your bed. The attachments are primarily emotional and the sex, while tied in, is often secondary. Swinging is more of a relationship open to outside sex partners but not deep emotional attachments. You may be casual friends, but usually not deeper than that.

The party you described sounded like a swingers party, especially being this woman was touching your husband's genitals and this was somehow not a crossing of a boundary. Also you describe her as not available to a relationship with your husband.

I'm confused as to where on this spectrum you fall. Can you explain what you meant when you said you were polyamorus?
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2009, 02:35 AM
JuneBug JuneBug is offline
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I am Polyamorous. I dislike casual sexual encounters. You are right - this new group of people sounds a bit more like swingers, though many of them call themselves poly. the popular phrase is 'friends with benefits'. My partner used to feel more like I do: we only had serious relationships with others. He has explained to me that we had that rule when we were younger, in order to protect ourselves physically and mentally, but now that we're dealing with people in their 30s and 40s who are safe and generally mature, it's not the same issue. I'm not sure I'm explaining that point as rationally as he makes it sound, because I still disagree with it. Especially in light of what has just happened.

Also, I completely botched the 'she's married and not available for that' comment. I was reacting to what YGirl was saying when she said it sounded like they deserved each other. I was thinking, 'well she can't run off with my partner and go be rotten bastards together because she's married and is going to keep her husband primary'.

I'm sorry that I'm doing a poor job of explaining everything. My head is so clouded and confused right now. He and I have done a lot of talking and there is so much surfacing that it's startling. Damage he did to our relationship, damage I did to our relationship .... I'm not sure we'll survive but we aren't going down easy. There are a lot of issues to overcome, and lifestyle disagreements. I thought it was easy sailing after we'd made our original rules--tweaked them here and there over the years--but I don't want him to become a swinger, and I think he's feeling trapped and a need to sow his wild oats (not just sex, but crazy parties and drugs and acting foolish). That makes me really sad and feeling inadequate.

He says he feels lost and doesn't know who he is anymore, so I guess if he's going through some iteration of a mid-life crisis, that would explain wanting to do something drastic. He's helped me through my crisis; I'd like to help him through his, but I don't know where to start. I guess that depends on whether he thinks he still wants me or not.

btw, he did tell the other woman that what he'd done with her was cheating. Her response was, 'I am sorry I was a party to that, but I wasn't a knowing party'. ie, "It's not my fault so I'm not going to feel bad". I guess it's not, but I had hoped for more solidarity from her. I guess I was hoping she would punish him with her anger too. He didn't like that I said FOR REAL he can't do anything with her while we're figuring this out. I told him he didn't get Forgiveness AND Permission; he couldn't have both. THAT he understood. (That was me practicing not being a doormat)
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2009, 03:11 AM
XYZ123 XYZ123 is offline
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Ok. No need for apologizing for lack of clarity in your state of mind. It's understandable. I just thought it would be easier to ask so we could better relate to/advise/offer support.

First, (and I should have said this before) this situation just plain sucks and I am so sorry you are left hurting. I can't imagine how I'd feel if my husband pulled this on me but it wouldn't be good. He acted selfishly and I'm sure your heart is breaking, years of love before or not. In fact, probably more so because of the history.

Before I address him, though, I would like to address the woman in this situation. This group DOES sound like swingers and not truly poly people. When you and your husband entered the party and she flirted with him and casually touched his genitals in front of you (even worse if either or both were naked) and neither he nor you reacted negatively, I'm sure she saw it as a green light. If she is a swinger, you were attending the party, she touched him intimately with no repercussions, and you then left them alone (and he did not tell her of your feelings) she really didn't do anything wrong. Not looking for an emotional attachment and not having been chastised for her attention to him and being left to her devices, she reacted to the situation she believed she was getting herself into. I still believe you should talk to her, not as an enemy, but as a fellow victim of his cheating. Make it clear he is not allowed to be with her again, nor ANYONE else while you work out your relationship. If you do this in a non-offensive way she may actually help keep others from being involved with him as well as stay away herself.

Now, for him. I can give you the perspective of someone who has been a cheater. A couple of years ago my husband and I went through quite a bit of drama, both external and internal to our relationship. We ended up to the point where we were alternating between indifferent and outright hostile towards eachother. At the worst of it I had a male friend whom I trusted and confided in. He made it clear that he had deeper feelings for me. I did not want to be involved with this other man. But, having no attachment to my husband and not wanting to lose the one I had to the other man, I cheated on my husband. It was entirely out of selfish need for the affection and attention I felt I wasn't getting. I soon realized I had nothing left to lose when we started talking divorce and I confessed. For the first time in years my husband and I really talked. For the first time in years I saw emotions in him other than resentment, anger, and indifference. We realized there was still love there and it was worth working at. About two years later and we are happier and more stable than we have ever been. But it took effort and desire on both parties to make that happen. And time. Your husband may have any reason for going through this period in his life. But if he is willing to control himself, communicate, and seriously work on the issues and you are willing to give him that chance and work yourself, this sad experience can be a catalyst for a major change for the better. But BOTH of you have to be willing to make this work, so continue to not be a doormat please. The differences in relationship philosophy seriously worry me as well as your suspicion he just wants to party without caring about the consequences. He needs to remember you have a relationship and what he does affects you. So you get a say in it. Marriage is not a dictatorship-no relationship should be. If he can't understand that...I'm sorry, but my only advice is to let him go destroy himself if he must, but do not go down that path with him.

I wish you well and hope everything works towards what will ultimately make you happiest.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2009, 04:04 AM
JuneBug JuneBug is offline
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XYZ, thank you so much! That was really helpful and I sincerely thank you for sharing so much personal information. I'm glad you and your husband had a happy ending. I hope mine is willing to work toward that too, but I know he's still undecided. I know what you mean, about talking more honestly than ever before. He is kind of a wreck right now too, but he has had more time to get used to the idea of us not being together, seeing as he 'checked out' awhile ago. He says he WANTS to stay together, but is not sure we CAN; that we'll continue to damage each other if we don't fix our communication problems. I agree, but don't think it's insurmountable. A lot of work, yes, but possible. I am holding out hope, and I still see a glimmer of hope in him that maybe will grow. But you're right - only if we can agree on relationship styles. I want to repair the relationship so badly that it's very easy to lose sight of those warning signs. I can't let him take me down with him.

I don't have any experience with swingers, so your explanations made a lot of sense. I feel naive. It explains a lot though, and now I know.
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