in mono marriage, realizing I'm poly

surfer

New member
Hi everyone, my dilemma seems common but I couldn't find any similar threads: I go back and forth between thinking I should stay committed to my monogamous marriage (no children involved), to thinking it's time to take the plunge into being poly.

My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, which breaks my heart, but so does the thought of leaving her, as we've been together several years and still very much love each other. Yet having to be mono the rest of my life (I'm in my mid 30's) seems difficult and lonely, I really crave more intimate and deep connections that I can get with my friends. So I'm feeling kind of stuck.

I know this is a poly forum, so I guess if any of you were in a similar situation you made the choice to follow the poly path, but I'm wondering how you reached a decision and if you ever have any regrets. Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice!
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Hi Surfer. I'm not coming from a similar perspective but just wanted to say that it is very important to be true to yourself. To me it is a health thing...will you be healthy if you continue to live monogamously? Will you're wife be truly healthy if she knows you are unfulfilled in your life? If I was in her shoes I wouldn't be.

Just my 2 cents

Take care
Mono
 

CielDuMatin

New member
Surfer, it's a tough one.

I have known a few poly/mono couples that have been in the situation of the poly person waiting for the mono to come to their sense and be poly, and the mono person waiting for the poly person to come to their senses and "settle down" with them. What I have seen in the past has not led to a terribly healthy dynamic, with each side pushing, sometimes subtle, sometimes trying to "force the issue".

But I think the commitment you have to not just walk away and try to make something work is admirable.

I think that initially education is the key. There are lots of misconceptions and assumptions about polyamory out there - make sure that these have been fully researched before any decision is made.

Eventually, the process comes down to comparing your "bottom lines". Could you be happy in a monogamous relationship? Could she feel comfortable with one of the very varied forms of polyamory that there are out there?

If not, then the tough thing to realise is that you have "grown apart" and that there are some fundamental differences that are going to get in the way of your relationship together.

This is far from an easy process for both of you, and I send positive thoughts your way.
 

JessieNY

New member
"My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, "

I am sort of in your wife's shoes. My husband wants to open the relationship to add another woman. It is hard for me due to my insecurities - I am trying to work through them to be a more loving caring person who is able to share not only her husband but myself.

Let me know how things go...it is a tough situation. I have mixed feelings and it would be nice to chat with you as you seem to be like my husband and I like your wife...maybe we can talk together and neutral parties to a similar situation.
 

StitchwitchD

New member
"My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, "

I am sort of in your wife's shoes. My husband wants to open the relationship to add another woman. It is hard for me due to my insecurities - I am trying to work through them to be a more loving caring person who is able to share not only her husband but myself.

Let me know how things go...it is a tough situation. I have mixed feelings and it would be nice to chat with you as you seem to be like my husband and I like your wife...maybe we can talk together and neutral parties to a similar situation.

I'm really curious about what the problem is, why it's difficult for you, because I'm trying to understand the other point of view. (I got involved with a man in an open marriage, and his wife couldn't deal with it, she'd never even considered poly, and I would really like to have some insight into what she could be afraid of, or what she hopes to accomplish by being functionally monogamous, other than having him be all horny and grumpy, me being all wangstful, and neither of us being as motivated to do housework as we were when she was okay with things.)

So, I keep trying to imagine situations that would bother me if the situation was reversed, and I keep failing to see how allowing us to have whatever kind of relationship would work would have a negative impart on her life.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
So, I keep trying to imagine situations that would bother me if the situation was reversed, and I keep failing to see how allowing us to have whatever kind of relationship would work would have a negative impart on her life.

Read some of my stuff and it will give you a little insight to what the other side could feel like. It is based on my personal feelings but I understand your frustration in not understanding. I can't truly understand why anyone in a happy connected relationship would open up their relationship BUT I accept that it is healthy and possible though....it's just beyond my ability to comprehend LOL!

Note - I understand it can be healthy and possible...just that it is not something I understand.....weird hunh..considering:rolleyes:

Hope things work out though, regardless. Health first my friends.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
My wife is not willing (or able?) to open up our marriage, which breaks my heart, but so does the thought of leaving her, as we've been together several years and still very much love each other. Yet having to be mono the rest of my life (I'm in my mid 30's) seems difficult and lonely, I really crave more intimate and deep connections that I can get with my friends. So I'm feeling kind of stuck.

Hi Surfur - and welcome !
It would be interesting to know what level of conversations you and your wife have had so far and what education she may have been exposed to about the theories behind polyamory.
It's really important for both (all) parties to understand what the various attractions/desires of a poly lovestyle are. When you use terms like "intimate & deep", they are terms that are too broad and are likely to raise more questions in each other's minds than they do answers.
I'd suggest you start by trying to find a couple very explicit examples to talk through and try to discover where a desire of yours could be met without presenting a threat to her on that same subject.
In our culture and it's current "default" of monogamous marriages, there's a certain theory & mindset that comes with it that implies that in order to have some ideal - or even successful - relationship, that two people should find within each other ALL the things that are important to us - or that failing that - the people should be able to remold themselves into something their partner desires.
To me, both those concepts are total fallacies ! By saying this I mean that they have been largely unsuccessful over history and are so because they are unrealistic & unnatural - go against reality & human nature.
This seems to often be the first barrier that has to fall. If you think that you are not satisfying your partner in some area of their life - and the expectations are that you SHOULD be able to - then this comes as a direct threat to your ego and self definition. That thinking has to GO !
I'd suggest addressing that first. If you can see through that to a deeper understanding of what being human entails the rest will be easier sledding.

GS
 

JessieNY

New member
For me I have insecurities about opening up my marriage because I feel that our marriage has a lot of issues in it that need to be worked on first. And I am insecure about him possible trading me up? If that sounds logical? I want to be able to be open minded and poly because I know that it would be a wonderful way to live always being surrounded by love! But I need to get over my personal issues with it. Plus I have been married for 10 years and now all of the sudden he decides he wants another woman. it is hard not to think negatively after all those years.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
For me I have insecurities about opening up my marriage because I feel that our marriage has a lot of issues in it that need to be worked on first. And I am insecure about him possible trading me up? If that sounds logical? I want to be able to be open minded and poly because I know that it would be a wonderful way to live always being surrounded by love! But I need to get over my personal issues with it. Plus I have been married for 10 years and now all of the sudden he decides he wants another woman. it is hard not to think negatively after all those years.
Hi Jessie,
Not to hijack the thread but it seems your post is worthy of addressing.
So that I don't repeat some material I already posted in this thread 2-3 posts ago, I'd refer you to that first.
That fact that you allude to issues already in the marriage could mean opening this ground could be either good or bad. If nothing else, starting to learn about it will make you both better communicators with each other and in more than a few relationships that in itself is at the root of many problems.
As to your mention of insecurities - please keep in mind that we ALL have them. There's always people who we may judge to be more or less than we are in some way. It's self defeating. All we can ever do is be the best "us" we're capable of being, and keep trying to keep working on that. But that's not to imply that we should change who we are to meet someone else's desires UNLESS it's in sync with our own desires.
So the exploration into poly is not rigidly tied to the outcome of your current marriage. Or your self perception. I think it could help both in the long run but that will be for you to decide.
Best wishes !

GS
 

DrunkenPorcupine

New member
Polyamory, at least in terms of sex, is part of my sexual orientation. I don't know if that's because I own and revel in the term/concept or if others feel that way.

So if you're poly and not sure how to approach it, I'd ask you a related question. Would you decision be any more or less difficult if you realized you were gay? Would a lifetime of hiding your true sexuality from others be fulfilling to you? And more so... would you consider your relationships as loving as they are now if in order to keep them, you need to hide something as big to you as your own sexuality?
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I've said this before: it sounds irksome to me when people speak of "opening up their marriage" or "adding another person to their relationship". It's like saying "here's the deal and you can join too". It sounds like you have a sports-team and you're looking for someone to play a particular position.

My husband and I are gradually hashing out the theory-versus-reality of having other intimate/romantic relationships besides our own and it in no way feels like we're "changing" our marriage (we got married for pragmatic reasons, although we do have sex and affection). If something is "missing" in one relationship, I don't think the answer is to try to fill the void with another relationship. I think it's about meeting a person or persons that you would like to have a relationship with and trying to fit that into your life. I don't go around thinking in terms of "my husband doesn't like some of the same hobbies as i do so i think i need a relationship with someone who likes X, Y, and Z." But, I am a bit of a misanthrope and don't make a point to meet people just for the sake of meeting people. I find more quality over quantity by just doing what interests me and if I make new friends, then that's like extra gravy. That was how i met S in the first place.
 

StitchwitchD

New member
For me I have insecurities about opening up my marriage because I feel that our marriage has a lot of issues in it that need to be worked on first.

Have you sat down and figured out exactly what those issues are and what needs to be done about them? Sometimes spouses who aren't comfortable with poly will point to the issues in their marriage as a reason not to be poly- and then do absolutely nothing to fix those issues, just keeping the marriage too broken to add more people.

And I am insecure about him possible trading me up? If that sounds logical?

Honestly, I don't see the logic. Why would he want to leave you for someone else if he can have both?

Plus I have been married for 10 years and now all of the sudden he decides he wants another woman. it is hard not to think negatively after all those years.

Can you think of it as he's been pretty happy all those years but maybe thinking about it, and now he's either feeling secure enough to actually talk about it, or maybe he learned more about poly and suddenly sees that there's a way to have exactly what he wants?
 

surfer

New member
from OP

Thanks for the comments and replies.

GroundedSpirit, I agree with you that using "terms that are too broad" can confuse things even more, I've definitely made that mistake in the past. I guess reading and posting on this board is good practice at being more specific. :)

YGirl, it's interesting that you and your husband don't see having other intimate/romantic relationships besides your own as changing your marriage. I can see how that could be true, not sure it's true in my case but not sure exactly why. Need to think more about that!
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
YGirl, it's interesting that you and your husband don't see having other intimate/romantic relationships besides your own as changing your marriage. I can see how that could be true, not sure it's true in my case but not sure exactly why. Need to think more about that!

I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said it that way. I was thinking about what I said and the way I said it as I was getting ready for bed last night, but I was too tired to log back on the computer and edit my previous post.

Of course it "changes" our marriage - or I should say, our relationship. People are always in a constant state of change, and so are relationships. I meant that it doesn't need to affect us for the reasons we got married. The reasons we got married were so that he could be my legal next-of-kin in case something happens. We did not get married so much because of our relationship as because of the pragmatic benefits. Yes, we love each other, but that would be so whether we have/had the piece of paper or not. I think of the marriage as non-synonymous with the relationship - I was in a marriage of convenience when I was in my 20's so the guy could get a green-card, and I tend to think of it more as a business arrangement with society.

If that makes more sense?
 

JessieNY

New member
Stitch...i guess my problem is with he is allowed to open up to another relationship as long as it is a girl but I am not allowed to involve another man if I wanted to. Which I do not but it would be nice to know that it isn't just one sided with my husband. Also, our relationship is strained...immensly..it has been for a year or 2 now....i can only see adding someone else at this time would only make matters worse because I feel unattended to by him now - we don't go anywhere hardly, i have to beg him to watch a movie with me...and i can't remember the last time we had a date or he bought me a gift - he does not believe it holidays,birthdays etc...but if i forget his birthday gift it turns into a fight. He says he is not the gift giving type a guy - well fine then at least spend time with me and give to me emotinally. that is why i thind adding would only hurt our relationship also hurt someone new. I can't imagine someone wanting to feel as i feel in teh current relationship. I am sorry to ramble on but I fail to see how adding someone at this point would help matters.
I do try to talk to my huband about how I feel but it is no use... he says this is my world and my house and if you dont like it leave. So what is that all about?! I am not entitled to my feelings or opnions?
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I am sorry to ramble on but I fail to see how adding someone at this point would help matters.
I do try to talk to my huband about how I feel but it is no use... he says this is my world and my house and if you dont like it leave. So what is that all about?! I am not entitled to my feelings or opnions?

RED FLAG!! You are totally right on all accounts and don't let anyone tell you different. Adding to a clearly strained relationship is not healthy. Sounds to me like he wants more for himself, and gave you one very big ultimatum.
Poly relationships need a solid foundation, trust, communication, negotiation, and respect. Your relationship does not show signs of any of these in regards to his attitude and already neglectful treatment of you.

You need to seriously look at why you are with him in the first place..maybe his ultimatum is the healthiest choice?

Sorry for the bluntness.
Take care of yourself
Mono
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
RED FLAG!! You are totally right on all accounts and don't let anyone tell you different. Adding to a clearly strained relationship is not healthy. Sounds to me like he wants more for himself, and gave you one very big ultimatum.
Mono

Yeppers - I/we are with mono on this one ! Our sympathies go out to you !
He needs a wake up call in a big way. If there's really any love for you in him, someone needs tell him that he's on the verge of losing it. And if that happens, rest assured that there are other people out there in the world that will embrace you in a far more loving & respectful way !

Keep us posted.

GS
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
he does not believe it holidays,birthdays etc...but if i forget his birthday gift it turns into a fight. He says he is not the gift giving type a guy -

He doesn't "believe" in holidays or birthdays, but gets mad if someone forgets his.

He is not the "gift-giving type" but he is the "gift-receiving type".

Seems to me that women should be lining up out the door and around the block to get with this swell one.

What a catch.

[/sarcasm]
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
I do try to talk to my huband about how I feel but it is no use... he says this is my world and my house and if you dont like it leave. So what is that all about?! I am not entitled to my feelings or opnions?
Yikes...
I've been with my wife a similar amount of time. While we sometimes have fallen into patterns where someones needs occasionally get neglected. Fortunately we fight good! :) There's a cycle that'll kick in where we can talk about these things and we each can ante up to make changes as required to resolve these things (for her this has included some similar requests as yours about needing time and attention). This is something that served us well before and during our marriage up to this point, even before we started talking about opening it up.

Your bit above that I've quoted frankly blows my mind. If I made a comment like that, I'd probably be sleeping in a tent in the backyard faster than the 8 seconds that a rodeo bull gets to buck the rider! :eek: And it'd be more exciting to watch too, I'm sure...at least for the neighbors.
 
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