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  #11  
Old 07-16-2010, 04:51 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Originally Posted by SayYes View Post
This is interesting to ponder for me, because my relationship with my boyfriend has been minimally sexual, partially due to circumstance and partially because neither of us feels that it's a huge priority in our relationship. We're very physical, but the majority of the time I would say it's more sensual than sexual. In theory, we would be fine not being able to have sex for an extended period of time. And yet, I wouldn't be comfortable agreeing to those terms for our relationship (if they were externally imposed). I think more than anything, for me, being poly means that I love more than one person, and that I have separate relationships with them. In order to really, truly have a relationship with my boyfriend, I need to be free to express how I feel in a way that feels natural and organic, not laden with rules and specifications. Even if that turns out to rarely mean sex, were the option not there, it wouldn't feel like I was *really* free to have a relationship with him. That's the best I can do at explaining why it matters.
This resonates deeply for me, thank you!!!!! Again, kiddies are here so I won't be able to articulate more than that, but thanks!!

Christie
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2010, 05:02 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Originally Posted by EugenePoet View Post
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Yeah -- what Mono said. Treasure that guy.
Oh believe me, I do!!!!!!! I've said many times "you don't lose a man like him" (if you can help it of course).

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For me, what happens during sex is apparent in what happens afterwards: pillow-talk is, for me, an order of magnitude more intimate and loving than any other communication with a human being. Trusting another person with my body creates a connection that nothing else rivals.
I think this is huge! It is an amazing connection!

Quote:
But that's just me. I don't have any abuse history or sexual baggage to speak of. Your emotions are obviously different. And of course you gotta be who you are.
Yes, absolutely I do. One of the best things about "falling off the deep end", or however you would like to describe being hospitalized for suicidal ideation (wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy) is that it brings clarity to your life. That was the wake-up call I needed to know that I could no longer sacrifice myself, my well-being, for his (and this is more complicated than just mono/poly, but I don't think you need the details to get the idea). And let me be clear, he *never* asked me to. I know that it kills him that I made that choice.

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However, a difficulty may arise for you because what you feel about sex could be very different from what your significant others feel about it. For some people it's not about physical gratification but about a very deep, resonant connection.
Well, I'd say that it is mostly about that for me as well, so maybe I'm not understanding what you mean. Are you meaning that if I'm not able to be sexual? Well, knock wood, I've been nearly 100% better since getting out of the hospital.

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It's like two people learn to play all sorts of relationship music together. Light conversations and fun little tunes, serious discussion music, deeply emotional pieces. One way I think about lovemaking is that it's a particularly deep and satisfying music to make. If you get a lover who feels that way about it then they will want to learn that part of the repertoire with you. Not because they need to get their rocks off but because they want that deep emotional music.
Sounds like my style! It has to be more than just physical for me. The physical is mostly a means to an ends for me--it's about connection. Thanks for helping me to frame that!

Quote:
Unfortunately I don't know how you bridge from your feelings about sex to the kind of feelings I describe. Maybe just be aware that they exist, and that your lover(s) are asking you for something that you may not completely understand but which is very significant for them.
Oh no, I definitely get it and have experienced it many times, it's just that I got derailed for a long time (of my own making ). As I said, the connection is where it's at for me.

Quote:
I dunno. I may be off-track in my comments. I always worry that I've misunderstood. Good luck!
I very much appreciate your comments! DW and I don't fully understand it all, so why would I expect you to? Your comments have been very helpful.

Warmly,

Christie
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2010, 03:22 AM
DavidWebb DavidWebb is offline
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Seems really odd replying to my wife on here. Please know that this is not our only form of communication!
And I'm afraid I may come off harsher than I mean to in my forum posts. Make not mistake - Christie means the world to me. This is just me trying to figure this out. She is worth all the effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inlovewith2 View Post
Not sure I completely understand, Jade. But let me try--the issue here is, at the core, a mono/poly one. IOW, he obvee understands that sex is a product of love (for us at least), but what he doesn't get is why sex has to be attached to all of those that I love or care for (in a dating sense of course).
It's kind of answered in the original post...
Quote:
Originally Posted by inlovewith2 View Post
What I want is for him to know how amazingly important he is to me. I think to myself how I could stay with him if we never had sex again, but I'm afraid all he hears is that this indicates that he's not good enough. Quite the contrary, it indicates how deeply I love him.
What I hear is that a sexless marriage is ok, but sexless secondaries are not. Why?


Beyond that, my hangups are:
- 37 years of only knowing monogamy
- we struggle with intimacy our entire 15+ year relationship (due to the reasons in the op), but now it feels like it's all 'hey I am poly'... so some guy can come along, woo you for a couple months and now you're locking lips with him.
- that physically sickening feeling thinking about some other guy being with you... holding you... touching you... etc ETC (it has been good to join the forum in this regard to read others have the same reaction)
- worrying about others hurting you
- projecting my feelings on to you. for ex. when I tried dating and any time I was close to kissing her, I recoiled thinking not only would it be weird to kiss someone else, but it would be... well... Wrong. So, yeah, I know I project that to you... how does it not feel wrong to you to be with someone else?
- oh, and let's not leave out Mr. Jealousy

I could keep going, but I think I'll stop there. Anyone, feel free to point out flaws in my thinking. That's what I'm on here for... to start to challenge all of these mono notions to see which ones I might be able to get past, if at all.

-DW
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2010, 04:24 AM
SayYes SayYes is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidWebb View Post
What I hear is that a sexless marriage is ok, but sexless secondaries are not. Why?
For me (and I may be strange for this, but I do feel like I relate to a whole lot of what Christie is saying), either a sexless marriage or sexless other relationships would be potentially be okay if the lack of sex was not externally imposed. If my boyfriend said "I am not interested in ever having sex again, but I want to continue our relationship and don't want anything else to change," I would be fine. I would stay with him in a heartbeat. However, if my husband said "you can continue your relationship with your boyfriend, but you can't ever have sex with him again," I would have a serious problem with that. Decisions made by the people within the relationship are not the same as what is enforced on them from outside the relationship. To me, this is not about how important sex is or isn't, but about how much freedom people do or don't have to function as autonomous adults within their relationships. Christie might not feel the same way I do, but in my version of poly, I need to be able to offer myself as an autonomous individual in my other relationships in order to feel like I'm being fair to that other person. I would not be comfortable making myself available for relationships on any other terms.

My husband and I have had issues with intimacy in the past, and I think that he went through a lot of the same things you're feeling with regard to "how can she be so content with so little sex with me, and then want to go out and sleep with other guys?!" I can't speak for him, but I can totally understand how that can feel confusing. In our situation, being poly has really improved our sex life (with each other) rather than being a strain on it, and a lot of my hangups to do with intimacy had really been the result of feeling too controlled and not able to be myself. Freedom with other people=feeling more freedom with my husband=sex feels less compulsory and comes a lot more naturally. I don't know if that's typical, but it's been great for us.

Good luck to you working through all of this, it's clear you're really trying hard to process everything and deal with your feelings constructively!
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2010, 04:54 AM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidWebb View Post
- we struggle with intimacy our entire 15+ year relationship (due to the reasons in the op), but now it feels like it's all 'hey I am poly'... so some guy can come along, woo you for a couple months and now you're locking lips with him.
Franklin of xeromag discusses this here: http://tacit.livejournal.com/291799.html. I found it useful to read when I was thinking along the lines above.
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  #16  
Old 07-17-2010, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidWebb View Post
What I hear is that a sexless marriage is ok, but sexless secondaries are not. Why?
huh? I have never heard that. Why would there be a guideline that says that? It's all about deciding for yourself what will be. Deciding between partners what will be. I don't see why one could not have a partner they have more sex with over another. Or even no sex over another. Primary or secondary alike. What difference does it make?
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  #17  
Old 07-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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Erato Erato is offline
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Hey Christie

Quote:
Originally Posted by inlovewith2 View Post
...I tend to be a very open person by nature (a strange juxtaposition with my difficulty trusting to be sure), and I feel like sometimes these details are important to give others enough info in order to best respond...
Wow, we're a lot alike, hehe! I'm a survivor too (though I don't consider mine to be all that bad but I do have a tendency to downplay it, maybe it's denial? Not sure.) and I'm strangely open despite trust issues. I think sometimes I'm too open and it confronts people with how honest I am! I'm still trying to figure out a middle ground, hehe.

As for your relationship with DW and the sex issue, well, you were in a place of great suffering and he stuck with you through it. I commend you both: you for working through it and him for supporting you.

I think, from what I can say from recent experience with my man, that there is some healing which needs to happen. You're not responsible for making DW all better, I don't mean that, but if I were you I would try to be as reassuring as possible. I've recently figured out it's less about "understanding" or "making him understand" as it is about being understanding of each other.

If he only had one leg and you were asking him to hurry up the stairs (or down them) to you, would you be as patient as possible? I'd go so far as to say that I would want to be there on the stairs with him offering a shoulder (and I'm not implying you're being un-supportive, please know that) and silently encouraging him to take each step at his own pace. I know I can't take the steps for him, I can't carry him, but I can make him feel supported and safe while he deals with those scary things lurking in the back of his head. He waited for you, right? He now needs that patience.

Hello DW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Webb
- we struggle with intimacy our entire 15+ year relationship (due to the reasons in the op), but now it feels like it's all 'hey I am poly'... so some guy can come along, woo you for a couple months and now you're locking lips with him.
Have you forgiven yourself for the lack of physical intimacy in those years? I can't read your mind, or tell you what you're feeling, but it sounds to me like you have residual blame - like you wanted to fix the relationship faster but could not. Maybe I'm projecting as that's a thing I tend to do from back in my actively co-dependent years. I'd also be asking myself, were I you, if I had forgiven my partner for the struggle she went through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidWebb
- worrying about others hurting you
This shows me how much you love her. Being supportive of her building relationships (when/if you can be) means giving her the freedom to make her own mistakes on who she relates to. If you want to be able to get to a stage where you can do that then it might be good to remember that you can trust her judgement. I'm not saying you don't but it's something to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidWebb
Anyone, feel free to point out flaws in my thinking.
I don't know if you meant it that way but I read this as a little undermining of your views/opinions/feelings. Your post to me read as feelings - pure emotion - some desirable emotions and some which you perhaps would prefer not to feel. No one can be wrong when they speak of their "feelings". All your feelings, fears, desires, anger, all of those are valid and you have a right to feel whatever you do feel. Feelings can't be right or wrong they just are. I like to try to think of it as helpful or useful feelings and feelings which I find harm me or which I don't enjoy.

The bottom line is what you do with them. Do you use them to attack the feelings/actions/desires of others? i.e. When I implied that my partner was wrong for feeling possessive of me because I felt threatened by his feelings. Or do you forgive yourself for the ones you don't want to feel, explain them to the one who needs to know how you're feeling if you can do so calmly or work on them with someone else you trust if it's too explosive to talk to your partner about it?

I'm not a therapist or expert or anything, so feel free to take what you like of what I have said and leave the rest, I'm just sharing what has worked for me and what I'm only just coming to discover.

Bah, massive post! Hopefully there was something coherent/useful in it for someone.
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  #18  
Old 07-17-2010, 11:23 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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[QUOTE=Erato;36433]Hey Christie



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Wow, we're a lot alike, hehe! I'm a survivor too (though I don't consider mine to be all that bad but I do have a tendency to downplay it, maybe it's denial? Not sure.)
Most survivors do; it's a coping mechanism. It all sucks, no need to compete ;-). In all seriousness, there actually are some pros to it if you look hard enough.


Quote:
and I'm strangely open despite trust issues. I think sometimes I'm too open and it confronts people with how honest I am! I'm still trying to figure out a middle ground, hehe.
Sounds like we do have a lot in common!

Quote:
As for your relationship with DW and the sex issue, well, you were in a place of great suffering and he stuck with you through it. I commend you both: you for working through it and him for supporting you.
He is awesome and I'm not bad myself!

Quote:
I think, from what I can say from recent experience with my man, that there is some healing which needs to happen. You're not responsible for making DW all better, I don't mean that, but if I were you I would try to be as reassuring as possible. I've recently figured out it's less about "understanding" or "making him understand" as it is about being understanding of each other.
Yes, we have much healing that needs to happen. From my depression, from the infidelity, and from the loss of what we thought our marriage would always be.

Quote:
If he only had one leg and you were asking him to hurry up the stairs (or down them) to you, would you be as patient as possible? He waited for you, right? He now needs that patience.
ITA. I'm not the most patient sort, but I'm developing skills in that area. I'm actually not in any hurry and the partner and potential partner involved are both being fantastic. DW deserves more than just patience.

I'll leave the DW section to him

Thanks as always for the feedback!

Christie
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  #19  
Old 07-19-2010, 05:54 PM
rabbit rabbit is offline
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ILW2, your experience reminded me of my own recent experience with my fiance and our (now ex) girlfriend. We thought and talked about it a lot and I think one of the reasons was a difference in levels of comfort. When I am with my fiance I am the most able to be vulnerable because I feel safe. It's kind of backwards from how I expected it would be, but I think since I know I am safe with him, I allow myself to feel fears/flashbacks etc around him. With our girlfriend, while I was comfortable enough with her to have sex with her, it wasn't the same kind of super safe environment because she was a new person. There was of course all the NRE and accompanying excitement / anxiety that comes with a new partner and I think that can temporarily block out the tendency to have those negative feelings because you can only feel so many things at once. Unfortunately it does seem unfair to my fiance who has helped me get to the point where I am, but it is because I love and trust him so much, and trust that he will not hurt me when I am in a vulnerable state, that I can show that part of myself around him. (It turned out that our girlfriend was very negative and unkind about the things I did open up about, but that's another story)

Anyway, it sounds like everyone involved is doing a great job communicating and I wish you all the best.
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  #20  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:10 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidWebb View Post
What I hear is that a sexless marriage is ok, but sexless secondaries are not. Why?
I am surprised I missed this thread. I think I can understand this. and it seems to related to

Quote:
Originally Posted by dw
we struggle with intimacy our entire 15+ year relationship (due to the reasons in the op), but now it feels like it's all 'hey I am poly'... so some guy can come along, woo you for a couple months and now you're locking lips with him.
- that physically sickening feeling thinking about some other guy being with you...
I wonder, do you also feel like you have put in the time, work and energy to help heal the original sexual problems, only for someone else to reap the reward of all that work?...I might be jumping to conclusions here so please slap me if I am way off base.

The "getting used to partner" getting physical with someone else is something we all have to struggle with eventually. You have to find a way for focus on her happiness and want that joy for her. With how much patience you have had through the tough times, you must be incredibly strong and patient.

Quote:
- worrying about others hurting you
I talk about this often and its one of the things I think people find the hardest. She has to own any hurt that occurs to her. She has to learn to deal with it and fix it. You can't own that hurt or the possible hurt. All you can do, and should be required to do, it support her and offer her strength. Its a fair thing to be concerned with, hopefully the tools are there to deal with the pain.

Quote:
- projecting my feelings on to you. for ex. when I tried dating and any time I was close to kissing her, I recoiled thinking not only would it be weird to kiss someone else, but it would be... well... Wrong. So, yeah, I know I project that to you... how does it not feel wrong to you to be with someone else?
No everyone is going to feel like you and you can't expect it. Quite simply, don't expect them to. People have different levels of intimacy and comfort. Thats something where "personal" boundaries are individual.
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