I should have known!

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
I joined this community just a few days ago, looking for a place to learn about polyamory. I wanted to connect with people who embrace this lifestyle. I wanted a place to feel socially accepted in my choice to try it for myself. I was scared - I felt like I was risking loosing something important to me.

Then I had an epiphany. The support and compassion I've gotten from the few people I've talked to here, along with the same love and understanding from my wife, helped me to turn a corner. I realized that all of the negative emotions I felt when I thought about my wife having feelings for someone else were rooted in my possessiveness and codependence. For three solid days, I've been on cloud nine! I've been bursting with NRE, and it feels so good. Everything started to become clear, anything was possible!

I started to feel like the prodigal kung-fu hero, appearing at the temple gates in a snow white robe. I'm enlightened, I can do anything!

We've been talking about this transition for days, sharing our feelings and making plans to move forward, ever so carefully. Since I'm the one with the hang ups, the plan is for me to start thinking of myself as single again. Go out and meet some people, make some connections, and see that it doesn't make me love my wife any less. It all makes sense, and I feel so positive!

I was sharing my thoughts with my wife last night, and getting so high on the way I was feeling. I told her how I was feeling indestructible, and that I was going to be counting on her to keep me from jumping off the cliff before I'm emotionally ready. I feel ready! We had a solid plan, but I told her that the way I'm feeling right now, I'd be fine with her going out on a date tonight! I know that would be foolhardy in my fragile and rapidly changing state of mind, but I really felt it! It felt so good! And then it happened. She told me that she has already started feeling a romantic connection with someone in her rapidly growing circle of friends. She's been talking to him a lot lately, and this is why she brought up the idea of polyamory!

Betrayal!!!

I should have known.

They've been planning this the whole time! She tricked me into thinking that this was about MY happiness and fulfillment! She manipulated my emotions so I would be trapped into accepting her disloyalty! This isn't right!

I've felt these feelings before. I know how to push them down, put on a happy face, and play nice until I can feel numb to it again. I am actually well rehearsed at bottling up my pain and swallowing it whole.

I'm so confused! My acceptance felt so ... real! And now I feel like I'm right back where I started!

For anyone reading this and feeling concern for me, please keep reading. I am trying to make you worry - partly out of a need for attention, and partly because I'm an artist at heart. Inspiring emotions in others makes me feel like I am connecting, and that's important for me right now. A lot of the advice I've gotten revolves around openly communicating what I feel, as I feel it. It's good advice. I think you'll be happy to know that I listened!

I talked to my wife. I told her I felt betrayed. I told her I was jealous. I told her everything! I didn't hold anything back!

I know she didn't do anything wrong. In fact she did everything right! She caught feels, and then made the choice to not squash them down, as she has done in the past to spare my feelings. She set out to see if I could accept it. She talked to me about polyamory. She waited for me to accept the idea with my whole heart. And then, when she told me why she did it, that she and another were connecting and benefiting from their shared feelings, and when I felt my confidence pop like a soap bubble ...

She listened.

She validated my feelings. She sat with me while I cried and told her about everything that hurt. She explained why she did things the way that she did, and how she understands how I feel. She made me feel safe while I dealt with my emotions. I actually dealt with my emotions! I don't think I've ever done that before!

She knew this was going to hurt me. She knew it would scare me. She obviously wants me to happy, and she's really, wholly there for me when I need her! She's amazing! She's brave, honest, steadfast and strong! And most importantly, she loves me! She really, really loves me!

I should have known!
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
That's really great, Adam! (and yeah, polyamory will 100% force you to become more emotionally mature, like it or not. Ha!)
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
That's great. Men especially are brainwashed by our culture into bottling up most of their feelings. They are allowed to feel joy, hunger, anger and horny. That's about it. Fear and confusion and grief are seen as weakness, never to be acknowledged, admitted to, or dealt with. Well, you may deal with those by either isolating yourself, or getting very drunk. Then you can cry or overeat, or get in a fistfight to "get over it," without being judged too much.

Feminism and the crumbling of the patriarchy are showing us that true strength lies in admitting to certain feelings, and dealing with them, and moving on to more power and strength and maturity. I think of the difference between trump and Biden. The one is a fool, a blusterer, a bully, a universal embarrassment. The other is kind and brave and truly strong and compassionate, to himself and to others.

Chances are your wife has been having crushes or feels for others all along, and hiding them to placate your male ego. Sure, she has someone she's crushing on now. It's not a betrayal to get a crush. Humans do this naturally. It's not a sin, despite what the books of the bible say. They were written in a time when the patriarchy was first crushing down women and reducing them to the status of cattle. The times are changing, the tables are turning. Our equality is a good thing, which will create a healthier planet.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
I can tell you for a fact that you're right. She has had a few crushes since we got together, and felt the need to push them down, or even abandon the friendship, for me. She told me so straight away once we started discussing poly. That makes me feel so guilty, and so loved at the same time!
 

Evie

Member
For the longest time, a regular message spouted on this board was not to attempt to open a relationship with someone waiting in the wings. That this was starting off with cheating blah blah blah. But how realistic is that? For many, it's precisely when there's someone who we are drawn to that we start butting our head up against societal norms of monogamy. And so, the conversation begins.

Your wife abandoning past attractions, those friendships, and therefore herself is, to me, a martyrdom that is ultimately destructive. Communication, the route she has chosen this time, is ultimately constructive. Harder work for you, but then, you seem like someone who is capable of doing the hard work at this time in your life. There will likely be more tears as the emotional growing pains reveal themselves one at a time, but your wife (how about you pick a name to refer to her as) as you describe above, is certainly not abandoning you, au contraire, she is sitting with you through those most difficult of times.

You guys certainly seem on track to make this work. I really have everything crossed for you that you do.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
It certainly felt like betrayal in the moment. I had to dig deep to apply my rational thinking to such a jarring revelation. I fully expect more anguish in my future, but I'm worth it!

As a side note, I did talk to her about calling her my wife on the message boards. We're not technically married yet, but we do have plans for it, and calling her my wife, and me her husband, for the sake of brevity is something we are both comfortable with. That said, I'll think about picking out a pseudonym for her anyway. I'm obviously reevaluating what marriage means to me, though I thought of it as little more than an affectation before. I was never motivated to get married, except for making taxes simpler, and throwing a party to celebrate our love! Monogamy was in there too, though. I do have to be careful of what it is I'm trying to hold on to. If I can hold on to my self-respect, my dignity (once I've really found it again, anyway), I'll be happy with that!
 
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Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Things are getting better. And better and better! I didn't realize how bad it had gotten. I wasn't just stuck in a mindset that limited my personal growth, I was depressed! I've let my personal care and hygiene slip. I've put all of my passions on indefinite hold, cut myself off from friends and family. I had forgotten how to feel joy. I think I was forgetting how to love.😣

Today I feel proud of myself, and not because I'm making my wife happy, but because I made a choice to open myself up to change. Im proud that I have been able to embrace this new, old me without reservation. I'm actually doing this with my whole heart, not just deciding which of my behaviors I need to "fix." It's happening so fast!

I think that worries my wife. I think she's starting to examine the possibility that I'm just putting on a happy face and showing her what she wants to see. It's an understandable concern; I've confronted it myself repeatedly these past few days, and my doubts are thinner every time I do.

When I woke up this morning, I could hear my wife on the phone. She was talking to her new boyfriend - I'll call him Pete. It might be too soon for her to think of him that way, but I'd rather not restrict him the platonic box (in my head) by just calling him her friend. They are making a connection through their common experience of trauma. I was raised in a loving, traditional nuclear family. I've always been able to count on their support and acceptance. My wife grew up with a lot of psychological abuse, and it makes for some difficulty opening up and communicating with people. I've always tried to be there for her, to be supportive and understanding, but I can't actually understand. I don't have the life experience to relate. Pete does! He suffers from trauma issues too, and the time they spend together is really good for both of them. I'm so glad she can start to feel close to someone new, without my feelings getting in her way!

When I woke up, I felt a tiny jealous stab. It only lasted a moment, and I had nothing to base it on. The good feelings came back, and I was excited for her new relationship! I asked her if she was up all night talking to Pete. (She's actually in a nocturnal phase right now, so it wasn't even unusual) She hadn't been. She has other friends too, after all. But I think she was worried that I was asking because I felt jealous. I'm glad she makes me hold up that self reflection mirror. It's important for me to remain engaged with my mental state, especially right now.

My initial urge was to assuage any guilt she might be feeling. She might think I feel wounded or hurt. Then I caught myself. If she feels guilty, that's something she has to work through for herself. I assured her that I still feel great about where we are, and reminded her that she can call me any time to talk it out. That's all! I have my own doubt shadows to banish, and just knowing that she'll always find the time to listen when I need to talk is enough!

I'm ready for my next step. When I introduced myself here, I was keeping myself at arm's length. I was only here to study, to learn about the poly lifestyle. I was afraid of coming across as lecherous predator, just looking for an opportunity to get my jollies on the side. It really shows how ignorant I was about polyamory versus the rest of the ENM umbrella.

Everything is different now. I'm feeling confident, attractive and free! Im not just open to new relationships, Im ready to seek them out! I love falling in love, and it's so easy for me! I used to see that as a weakness; a dangerous compulsion that I had to keep locked up for just one person at a time. Oh man, I just realized that that one person has never been myself! 😢 Well, maybe not never, but certainly it's been too long!

I'm back on the market! I know a lot of guys think they're a catch, and I know how they feel right now. I'm completely full of myself in this moment, and that feels right today. I don't feel like a narcissist, or an egotistical douche. I feel like flying! Come fly with me!!! 🥰
 

Rob_46

New member
I joined this community just a few days ago, looking for a place to learn about polyamory. I wanted to connect with people who embrace this lifestyle. I wanted a place to feel socially accepted in my choice to try it for myself. I was scared - I felt like I was risking loosing something important to me.

Then I had an epiphany. The support and compassion I've gotten from the few people I've talked to here, along with the same love and understanding from my wife, helped me to turn a corner. I realized that all of the negative emotions I felt when I thought about my wife having feelings for someone else were rooted in my possessiveness and codependence. For three solid days, I've been on cloud nine! I've been bursting with NRE, and it feels so good. Everything started to become clear, anything was possible!

I started to feel like the prodigal kung-fu hero, appearing at the temple gates in a snow white robe. I'm enlightened, I can do anything!

We've been talking about this transition for days, sharing our feelings and making plans to move forward, ever so carefully. Since I'm the one with the hang ups, the plan is for me to start thinking of myself as single again. Go out and meet some people, make some connections, and see that it doesn't make me love my wife any less. It all makes sense, and I feel so positive!

I was sharing my thoughts with my wife last night, and getting so high on the way I was feeling. I told her how I was feeling indestructible, and that I was going to be counting on her to keep me from jumping off the cliff before I'm emotionally ready. I feel ready! We had a solid plan, but I told her that the way I'm feeling right now, I'd be fine with her going out on a date tonight! I know that would be foolhardy in my fragile and rapidly changing state of mind, but I really felt it! It felt so good! And then it happened. She told me that she has already started feeling a romantic connection with someone in her rapidly growing circle of friends. She's been talking to him a lot lately, and this is why she brought up the idea of polyamory!

Betrayal!!!

I should have known.

They've been planning this the whole time! She tricked me into thinking that this was about MY happiness and fulfillment! She manipulated my emotions so I would be trapped into accepting her disloyalty! This isn't right!

I've felt these feelings before. I know how to push them down, put on a happy face, and play nice until I can feel numb to it again. I am actually well rehearsed at bottling up my pain and swallowing it whole.

I'm so confused! My acceptance felt so ... real! And now I feel like I'm right back where I started!

For anyone reading this and feeling concern for me, please keep reading. I am trying to make you worry - partly out of a need for attention, and partly because I'm an artist at heart. Inspiring emotions in others makes me feel like I am connecting, and that's important for me right now. A lot of the advice I've gotten revolves around openly communicating what I feel, as I feel it. It's good advice. I think you'll be happy to know that I listened!

I talked to my wife. I told her I felt betrayed. I told her I was jealous. I told her everything! I didn't hold anything back!

I know she didn't do anything wrong. In fact she did everything right! She caught feels, and then made the choice to not squash them down, as she has done in the past to spare my feelings. She set out to see if I could accept it. She talked to me about polyamory. She waited for me to accept the idea with my whole heart. And then, when she told me why she did it, that she and another were connecting and benefiting from their shared feelings, and when I felt my confidence pop like a soap bubble ...

She listened.

She validated my feelings. She sat with me while I cried and told her about everything that hurt. She explained why she did things the way that she did, and how she understands how I feel. She made me feel safe while I dealt with my emotions. I actually dealt with my emotions! I don't think I've ever done that before!

She knew this was going to hurt me. She knew it would scare me. She obviously wants me to happy, and she's really, wholly there for me when I need her! She's amazing! She's brave, honest, steadfast and strong! And most importantly, she loves me! She really, really loves me!

I should have known!
Your store sounds a little like mine
My wife told me that I should go out and have fun meet ppl, I tried to introduce a FLR and she wanted nothing to do with it.
she stated sending me articles about kink and I should feel free to be adventurous .. she keep on asking me if I was thinking about it, so I told her if I aloud to go out so are you .. her eyes almost popped out of her head. So I started reading about open marriages, and poly came up. We were talking and she new everything about open marriages , polyamory . She has been on two dates already, she says there in a friend zone.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
That does sound pretty similar. I have the good fortune that my wife was poly before we met, so she's a great guide to help me navigate these waters. She also wants to make sure that I make some connections before she starts being more intimate with hers. It will feel less wierd for me once I really experience my own freedom, and then come back home to the same love I cherish from her! Have you thought about how it will feel when her other relationships start to move beyond "the friend zone?" Does that sound exciting or dreadful? "Both" is a valid answer, too! I'm making great progress with myself, so I want to help others out as much as I can. I know my situation is unique; everyone's is! But I feel like I'm taking to it like a duck to water, and if any of my experiences can act as a guidepost for others, then I'm here to help!
 

3908

Member
Adam,
Welcome to the board. I have struggled with numbing emotions for many years as the result of being sexually abused by my foster mother.
Finally in 2009 I started recovery and began to work on the abuse, after a few months, I started feeling, various feelings, not just numbness.
Today I can cry about a wide range of stuff, and its ok, i let it flow.

as for poly, I think I was before my wife and i met 10 years ago, i think I was around 2003, then i called it swinging...never tried it.
I brought poly up with my wife but she has been against it. I even told her I don't mind if she has a boyfriends. long story short, she is now ok with me being friends with one of her female friends.

stick around the board, there's plenty of good people here with lots of poly experience :)
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
My boiling euphoria has finally settled to a simmer,, and I can see now that it was shielding me from fully experiencing all these difficult emotions. That spooked me for a minute. It was kind of like Dumbo dropping his magic feather. I felt exposed, and mistaken. I felt the weight of the effort I would need to invest to deal with my emotions. I think this is when the real work begins.

I think I want to dissociate. I want to take all the pieces of me that that feel like I'm losing something dear, and give them a name of their own. I want to say that he is the one with these hang ups. He is the one who feels like he owns my wife. He is the one who has to break up with her! I honestly don't know how healthy that would be. I don't want to distance myself from what I'm feeling, now that I'm learning to confront it and take away its power. I want to fully accept what I'm feeling as part of who I am!

It already feels like that part of me has a voice of its own. It's a seductively cruel voice - irrational and persistent. It peddles in half truths and vengeful narcissism. I feel it whisper sour nothings in my ear. It tells me that I'm fooling myself, that I'm still an insecure, codependent monogamist at heart, that I can't do this and I shouldn't even try!

I have a hard time loving, ir even accepting that part of myself. But I know I have to embrace it. It's like cuddling with a cactus! I think that voice will always be there, no matter how much I try to banish it. I just don't want it to have such an effective influence over my emotional responses.

I made a connection with someone early this morning. I had just finished doing battle with the green-eyed monster. I had won the battle again, but I felt pretty drained by it. Then I got a message from a new friend, and it filled me back up! I had no idea how important it is to have people in your life that you can connect with. It seems so obvious now, but I really isolated myself as a monogamist. It makes me wonder if most monogamists do this, or if I was just particularly emotionally stupid!

I'm still trying to grasp the breadth and scope of my epiphany. Is it like this for many mono-to-poly converts? I've browsed some of the other posts on this forum, and I see a lot of toxicity and grief. It seems like so many people trying to turn the page are stuck on something that I came to grips with really quickly. That's a new feeling, like survivor's guilt. It's also a source of doubt for me.

Today, I'm going out to spend time with an old, dear friend. We might go out somewhere, me and my wingman. We might just drink some beers and play Magic for hours on end. Who knows? I'll be taking some time to enjoy my freedom, and that's the important thing!

I don't think I could go back to monogamy if I tried. I don't like the person I was when I was binding myself with the idea. Maybe I could deal with my emotions more effectively now, but I would also feel like a jailor, and a prisoner! It's time for me to start getting my secure feelings from my liberation instead of my captivity. It's time to keep moving forward, and it always will be!
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
At least if it's healthy Polyamory. Some people never grow past their toxicity.
Ok fair! I’m a bit of an eternal optimist on that one I suppose.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
It seems like so many people trying to turn the page are stuck on something that I came to grips with really quickly. That's a new feeling, like survivor's guilt. It's also a source of doubt for me.
Don’t forget that people come to boards like this specifically because they’re having issues, and often start posting less once they work them out. Like, this pattern is prevalent enough that every poly discussion group I’ve ever seen has specific threads occasionally just to highlight happy stories / moments, so it doesn’t feel like the entire polyamorous experience is nothing but drama and traumatic moments.

I had no idea how important it is to have people in your life that you can connect with. It seems so obvious now, but I really isolated myself as a monogamist. It makes me wonder if most monogamists do this, or if I was just particularly emotionally stupid!
I think it’s pretty typical in a lot of ways. I mean, I don’t usually like to stereotype by gender but there _is_ a pretty persistent pattern in the world that men, especially, put all their emotional needs on their partner to handle. And nonmonogamy isn’t the _only_ way to fix this isolation, but it is _a_ way to identify it, sometimes.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Today I am starting think that I might not post in my blog every day. My relationships with people are starting to heal, and I'm feeling less desperate to decry my rapidly evolving state of mind. I'll still try to keep up with it. I think it will be useful for me to able to review my progress from time to time. But for the first time in several days, I'm actually wondering what I should blog about! I guess I should just keep expressing; I'm sure something useful will float to the top and surprise me every once in a while!

So, my night out with my old friend was great! It was first time in years that I was able to go and do what I felt like, without feeling like I was neglecting anyone! We went out and bought a dart board on a whim, drank some beers and put a few dart holes in his living room wall. We talked about my new lifestyle choice, and he's really supportive. He actually has some poly friends he wants to introduce me to! It was refreshing to see that my best friend was not going to judge me, even though I knew he wouldn't.

Later last night, or rather early this morning, I had a great conversation with a new interest of mine! I felt like talking with her was easier than it had been, now that I'm not so drunk with euphoria. We talked about some common interests, touched on my emotional progress, and just enjoyed each others company for a while! Like a real, personal Interaction! I've missed that! I have no idea how this going to progress, and that doesnt bother me one bit. I like where I am today, who I am today.

I'm starting to feel the urge to get back into my interests and hobbies. Family life will always make it a challenge to find the time, but I want to seek it out again. I don't have any plans for today, so I might string up a guitar, or whip up some spaghetti code or something. Let me see what the day brings my way!
 

tdh

Member
Today I am starting think that I might not post in my blog every day.
Right not is a good time not to make arbitrary rules for yourself but to find and work on what you need.

Also do not forget, you will being going through excitement (unknown, new possibilities) and a grief cycle ( morning what you lost or think you lost) for a bit. This can create a level of internal confusion and it is hard to find the middle road if you choose to look for it.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
I think I want to properly introduce myself to anyone keeping up with my blog. Yes, I see the introductions board, stop pointing! I did that one as an intro to my situation, and I think that's fine there. If you're reading my blog, either you're just bored, or you're curious about me. This might read like a personal ad, but I'm not trying to use my blog for solicitations. I need be introduced to myself again, and this feels like the right place for that.

My name is Adam. I'm a reckless flirt and great communicator. I love to write prose, poetry, and music. I'm a craftsman by trade, and a hobbyist programmer and 3d artist. My favorite role model is Jean Luc Picard. People tell me Im smart; it's usually their first impression of me! I like to think about anything and everything, and the more it stretches my brain the better!

I love to make a woman feel special, and I love falling in love! I thought that was dangerous before. I thought someone was bound to get hurt if I wasn't careful with my feelings. And I think I was right. Monogamy was toxic for me. I would latch on to people, and expect them to either latch on to me or send me packing. There was no middle ground, except for the dreaded "friend zone." That place was a midden heap where I would throw my feelings to rot. It was a place of no opportunity allowed.

I think I'm chasing the dragon. I'm hooked on NRE, now that I'm not afraid of it. I'm feeling frisky, confident, and forward. I'm jumping in head-first, and I've already started crushing on someone!

I was hoping to talk to her on whatsapp last night, but it's probably going to be several days before I get my chance. She, I'll call her Jen, is very busy with life right now, and she has other relationships that will probably need her attention more than I, when she has the time. I am aware that I may be forcing myself a little bit, but she's not the only person I'm going to make a move on. She's just the first one to really get my attention, and I feel like foolishly rushing in! <sigh> I'm probably going to scare off a lot of fishes with my exuberance, but Im not into containing myself right now.

I have no idea how to have a LDR, and that's going to be a very important skillset for me to learn. I know there's a lot I can read about it, but I'm more the learn-by-doing type, when that's an option. I hope I'm not being reckless with other peoples' emotions by just going for it when I feel it, but then I think that it might not be an issue if everyone involved is honest. And poly. That would help, too!

Tell me why I'm crazy, or wish me luck!
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
It's amazing how quickly time flies by when one is enjoying one's self! Einstein was right! I'm feeling terribly charming and amorous lately. I think I might have spooked Jen. 😁 I came on pretty strong, and she let me down easy. The attraction was there for me, and we connected on some nerdy stuff, but she isn't looking for any new romantic interests right now. Totally fair! She's extremely busy, and emotionally wrung out. It was really nice of her to take some time to talk to me about it, and I'm looking forward to knowing her better!

I know that I'm feeling my freedom for the first time, and that's probably going to encourage my appetite for a little romance. I am looking for a chance to fall in love again! My fear of it is evaporating with every breath!

I'm getting to know myself all over again. And it turns out I have a jealous streak. When I decided that I was going to seriously explore the idea of polyamory, I thought that I would have to change that about myself. I think that's why I felt like I was losing something dear to me by giving up monogamy. My jealousy was a piece of me! I spent some time with my jealousy. We talked. I wanted to know where it was coming from. I don't really think of my partner as my property, do I? I decided I don't. The jealousy remained. It insisted that I'm supposed to be thinking of her as my other half!

Wait.

That's it.

When I make love with a woman, it's not enough for me to just have my fun and enjoy it for myself. I want to loose myself in her arms. I want want to feel that barrier between ourselves fade as I cross her threshold. It's a form of ego disillusionment, and losing youself to something is blissful. Loosing yourself with someone you love is downright rapturous!

I learned nearly twenty years ago, when I first felt the ecstatic joy of oneness with the universe, that you cant carry that s*** around with you all day! I had to learn to walk around like a normal human person, invested in the material world, or I wouldn't have gotten my bills payed!

My point is, I'm comfortable feeling possessive in the throes of passion, because how could I not feel possessive of someone I see, in that moment, as an extension of my self?

I just need to learn to keep it in the bedroom.

Thanks for reading, I love you guys!
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
And yet here is the mind blowing thing: you can be totally possessive, or totally owned (because possession must have a mirror right?) and _still_ believe in multiple relationships with different dynamics. Artist 100% owns me in some specific dynamic or on some specific level, and I think a reciprocal part of him is mine. If I put words to it, I think there’s a part of me Knight can/does possess too. Neither of those facts make me any less available for anyone else. Neither of those things make the other less real.

(And none of what I just said is kept in the bedroom, though it’s not 24/7 in the way others might understand it. )
 
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