Mono-poly relationship needs support

Destannie

New member
Hello everyone. I’m 41 years old and have been in a marriage with my husband for 20 years. We’ve had some pretty hard rough patches over the last few years and have been to counselling. At the same time, I’ve watched him fall deeply in love with a young, exciting, beautiful and talented woman. It shook our marriage a lot because we weren’t on great footing when she entered the picture and a lot of ‘security’ for us has been wrapped up in a very strong monogamous view of relationships. But when we first met her (2 years ago), there was an instant sizzling chemistry between them. They were in contact daily and became very emotionally connected. My insecurities were burning me and he experienced a lot of guilt. He tried to downplay the relationship, trying to say she was maybe more like a sister. He seemed confused and I was convinced I was watching him leave me without him actually admitting it. But his feelings for her were so deep and the connection they had wasn’t just ENR and at the same time he couldn’t imagine life without me because we love experiencing life together. When he learned about polyamory and started reading into it, it started to make a lot of sense for us. This was last month. So as of last month my husband identified for the first time as poly. After a lot of dialogue, insecurities became obvious and easier to drop because we could see how they were connected to a relational form which was chosen for us. Now we want to shape and define our relationship(s). So the three of us are now moving forward in a mono-poly relationship and trying to work out logistics, etc. But since it’s so new, I struggle a lot with insecurities still. I’m here to find encouragement...support for the decisions that I am making which in my mind are loving, caring, supportive and giving room for our relationship to grow. But there’s still a side of me that screams in agony (“What woman, who respects herself, would ever allow herself to be in this situation? How can you say you’re ok with this?”) We each have a good friend or family member who supports us and makes sure we’re being honest with ourselves. Currently, none of us are interested in bringing other people into our constellation because this seems overwhelming and intense enough. My hope is that someone here might be willing to offer some anecdotes and advice which relate to my situation. Thank you.
 

Evie

Strong Woman
Hi Destannie

Good on you for giving polyamory (the practice) a go. I applaud your open mindedness and willingness to learn and grow together. It's not easy to undo a lifetime of belief in monogamy as the way to live and have a successful relationship so allow yourself some compassion for your own self along the way.

That's great you each have someone else to talk with.

I was that young woman, once. I discovered I had a remarkable connection to the man in a 20 year marriage. We had no resources available to us and everything fell apart pretty quickly when mistakes were made. I saw them once more, platonically, a few years later and they had made some really big changes to their lives and were living more intentionally than they had been. He and I stayed peripherally in touch over the years. She eventually convinced herself that I was the villain of the story, even though we were just three people trying to figure it out as we went along.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Greetings Destannie,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

If it would help, you are welcome to read my blog (the first few posts would probably be the most helpful to you), I am in a three-person setup like you (only mine is MFM rather than FMF). I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about my situation.

Polyamory is still very new to you, and while you are still operating on the assumption that you are monogamous (while your husband is polyamorous), you may find (in future years) that polyamory is something you want to explore for you too. Hopefully if that time comes, your husband will be as supportive towards you, as you have been towards him.

I encourage you to read and post as much as you can on this site, there is a lot you can learn about poly (and relationships in general) here. Don't flood yourself, just keep learning (and growing) a little at a time. I'm glad you could join us!

Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter"

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Welcome. Sounds like you are all trying to move forward in a way that honors each person in this constellation.

Currently, none of us are interested in bringing other people into our constellation because this seems overwhelming and intense enough.

That's being realistic. You have enough changes to adjust to.

When he learned about polyamory and started reading into it, it started to make a lot of sense for us. This was last month. So as of last month my husband identified for the first time as poly. After a lot of dialogue, insecurities became obvious and easier to drop because we could see how they were connected to a relational form which was chosen for us. Now we want to shape and define our relationship(s).

Fair enough. You are going to design your own relationships how you want to design them.

But there’s still a side of me that screams in agony (“What woman, who respects herself, would ever allow herself to be in this situation? How can you say you’re ok with this?”)

Do you ever wonder... "Who taught me this?" or "Whose voice is this really? Mine? Or someone else's?"

Because sometimes children listen to parents, grandparents, whoever for so long it becomes like "automatic tape" inside their heads. So reflect on it.

Is that your authentic voice saying that? Or someone else's?

How you proceed might depend on whose voice that is.

Galagirl
 
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TXretired

Active member
Welcome. It can be daunting to wrap your head around that you are not being replaced. Keep talking with each other. While I love my girlfriend, I also love my wife. I don’t want to loose either. You are not alone. Many have and are still going through the same things you are. Jump in and participate. This is a great place to be.
 

under_moonlight

New member
Because sometimes children listen to parents, grandparents, whoever so long it becomes like "automatic tape" inside their heads. So refelct on it.

Is that your authentic voice saying that? Or someone else's?

How you proceed might depend on whose voice that is.

Galagirl

I totally agree with this, these questions are rabbit holes I ended up jumping down myself in the start of all this. I can't find it now, but there is a TikTok personality, polyphiliablog, that had a great short video about this that led to more questions surrounding why we feel monogamy is the default.

-Moon
 

Destannie

New member
Hi Destannie

Good on you for giving polyamory (the practice) a go. I applaud your open mindedness and willingness to learn and grow together. It's not easy to undo a lifetime of belief in monogamy as the way to live and have a successful relationship so allow yourself some compassion for your own self along the way.

That's great you each have someone else to talk with.

I was that young woman, once. I discovered I had a remarkable connection to the man in a 20 year marriage. We had no resources available to us and everything fell apart pretty quickly when mistakes were made. I saw them once more, platonically, a few years later and they had made some really big changes to their lives and were living more intentionally than they had been. He and I stayed peripherally in touch over the years. She eventually convinced herself that I was the villain of the story, even though we were just three people trying to figure it out as we went along.
Hi Evie. Thank you for replying so quickly!

That must have been so hard for you. I'm sorry that you went through that. Indeed one of the biggest fears that my husbands partner (is there a term for my relationship to her?) has had since we all met was that I would be hurt or jealous and would leave my husband. I feel we've been a bit lucky that even though we were going through rough times at the time we met her, communicating had otherwise always been one of our strong points. She became a catalist for us to start communicating again and vigorously to see issues and work through them. It was through this that I realized that a marriage certificate doesn't mean we're secure. Our intentional decision to stay together and work through stuff is what keeps us together (along with all sorts of other wonderful things of course). And problems that we may have as a couple aren't because of her. I've also realized that this also puts us all on a very even level. He loves and chooses us both.

There was a long time where we didn't get to see her because corona didn't allow us to cross borders. Now we're able to visit again and we're doing short visits....to get used to things. I think this is where I may have 'experience shock' and struggles with compersion. This week, for example, I have been sick, plus PMS is kicking in (my mood swings down, I become more insecure with all sorts of stuff) and I have some stuff in the next few days at work which are challenging for me. It's also her birthday so he's visiting her for the next 4 days. What do you do when you know the decisions are good ones (I have to do what I gotta do here at home, she gets his love and support during her birthday, and he gets to give her love and support as well as have a fun experience doing outdoor activities) when self-pity creeps in? It's always present. I'm fine today but was a mess yesterday. Any tips?
 

Destannie

New member
Greetings Destannie,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

If it would help, you are welcome to read my blog (the first few posts would probably be the most helpful to you), I am in a three-person setup like you (only mine is MFM rather than FMF). I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about my situation.

Polyamory is still very new to you, and while you are still operating on the assumption that you are monogamous (while your husband is polyamorous), you may find (in future years) that polyamory is something you want to explore for you too. Hopefully if that time comes, your husband will be as supportive towards you, as you have been towards him.

I encourage you to read and post as much as you can on this site, there is a lot you can learn about poly (and relationships in general) here. Don't flood yourself, just keep learning (and growing) a little at a time. I'm glad you could join us!

Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter"

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
Thanks Kevin!! I'm excited to be here :)
 

Destannie

New member
Do you every wonder... "Who taught me this?" or "Whose voice is this really? Mine? Or someone else's?"

Because sometimes children listen to parents, grandparents, whoever so long it becomes like "automatic tape" inside their heads. So refelct on it.

Is that your authentic voice saying that? Or someone else's?

How you proceed might depend on whose voice that is.

Those are really good questions!! I will definitely reflect on that and tell the others too. I think this is sort of why it causes conflict inside me because I know what I want, how I want to react, which direction I want to work towards if possible..yet the questions the nag me pull me another way...often down. Thank you!
 

Destannie

New member
Welcome. It can be daunting to wrap your head around that you are not being replaced. Keep talking with each other. While I love my girlfriend, I also love my wife. I don’t want to loose either. You are not alone. Many have and are still going through the same things you are. Jump in and participate. This is a great place to be.
Thanks TXretired. I look forward to exploring this site more. I can see there are a lot of resources and dialogues which can be enlightening :)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
What do you do when you know the decisions are good ones (I have to do what I gotta do here at home, she gets his love and support during her birthday, and he gets to give her love and support as well as have a fun experience doing outdoor activities) when self-pity creeps in? It's always present. I'm fine today but was a mess yesterday. Any tips?

To me feelings ensue after some kind of behavior. After action behavior or thinking behavior.

What actions are happening? Or what thoughts are you thinking? That leads to the self pity feelings?

Is it having to share his time and attention? After having had "dibs" on it for so long?

Is it something else? Poly hell worries? Working through core beliefs to discard "old tape" from whoever of the past and figure out what YOU yourself actually believe and not "old voices" telling you what you are supposed to do or believe in?

I could be wrong but it sounds like less poly hell and more core beliefs stuff here.

I think this is sort of why it causes conflict inside me because I know what I want, how I want to react, which direction I want to work towards if possible..yet the questions the nag me pull me another way...often down.

If you know what you want, what is holding you back from doing it?

Are you having a crisis of faith?

What exactly are the questions that nag?

It's ok to question to be sure you are making good choices. But after reasonable deliberation, you just get on with the decision, right?

Not sit there in "paralysis from analysis" overthinking, going round and round, etc.

Galagirl
 
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Destannie

New member
Is it something else? Poly hell worries? Working through core beliefs to discard "old tape" from whoever of the past and figure out what YOU yourself actually believe and not "old voices" telling you what you are supposed to do or believe in?

I could be wrong but it sounds like less poly hell and more core beliefs stuff here.



If you know what you want, what is holding you back from doing it?

Are you having a crisis of faith?

It's ok to question to be sure you are making good choices. But after reasonable deliberation, you just get on with the decision, right?

Not sit there in "paralysis from analysis" overthinking, going round and round, etc.

Galagirl
Hi Galagirl.

Thank you so much for this response! I looked up the two links on Poly hell and on Core beliefs to get a better understanding of what those were references to. The first was an incredibly accurate description of what we/I struggled with over the past few years. I can't express how much I wish I knew about polyamory when this all started. We would already at the beginning have been able to find support. But after having read the article and seen so much more clearly what we went through, I feel that I am mostly experiencing a sense of loss for what was, even though I'm sumultaneously excited about the future. I think the sorrow will take some time to ease. But I know we've grown, changed, and our values/beliefs/desires/etc. have also.

That brings me to the second article. Indeed, it is the beliefs of the culture/upbringing/religion I come from which no longer match up with the core beliefs I have. I left the religion I grew up with and thereby the structure it gave to my heart and mind as a young person. My husband and I moved across the world together and started a new life 13 years ago, thereby leaving my family and country and the structure it provided. Even though I've found a life and work here, I've always sort of felt that it was the structure of my marriage (and perhaps the institute of marriage) that was the only thing left that was secure. I am used to the idea of 'the two become one'. We lost our identities in each other. We did everything together. He is more social then I am, so my friends were his. Having our relationship take on a new form freaked me out. I felt like the world was falling down around my ears and there was nothing left to hold on to.

But I'm learning that I actually come through these panicky feelings and after reflecting and talking about things, I do indeed make decisions and move on them. I can have periods of paralysis from analysis, but they are fortunately shortlived. Some recent actions: I've signed up for an evening class, and I've committed to a climbing club, in order to actively make an effort to make friends by getting involved in activities I love outside the home and work. This will build my sense of self, apart from my husband, so I'm more comfortable doing things on my own or with other people that aren't my husband. He is also aware that I am on this forum and I've asked him to read it, so we can talk about things that come up. I joined a poly group on Facebook in our country so we can maybe meet up with people who are caring and understanding of this lifestyle and it's challenges. We've contacted a therapist for ourselves, so we can have professional support as we go along. And lastly, we've also talked about finding a therapist whom all three of us can meet with to help work through the rough waters.

I am feeling hopeful. I know there's no garantee of how this particular threesome will work out as the years go by, but I know that all three of us are changing into people who are more aware of our beliefs, more intentional about who we spend time with, why we spend time with them, and what we want in life and love.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad it helped some.

It sounds like you are actually in pretty good shape.

A crisis of faith could be a religious one, or it could be simply a big shake up of core beliefs.

We all change over the years. Who we are and what we wanted in our teens is not who we are and what we want in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. While there's certain things about us that don't really change, there are some things that DO change. And once in a while? There's a change of mind or change of heart because of a core belief shift. That's different than that smaller changes like hair color or moving apartments, or new jobs.

I feel that I am mostly experiencing a sense of loss for what was, even though I'm sumultaneously excited about the future. I think the sorrow will take some time to ease. But I know we've grown, changed, and our values/beliefs/desires/etc. have also.

I think that is to be expected. The "old normal" is gone. The "new normal" is not quite here yet. So there's this transition time/space to live through. And sometimes that transition is going to feel WEIRD. And that feeling weird IS normal.

Even though I've found a life and work here, I've always sort of felt that it was the structure of my marriage (and perhaps the institute of marriage) that was the only thing left that was secure. I am used to the idea of 'the two become one'. We lost our identities in each other. We did everything together. He is more social then I am, so my friends were his. Having our relationship take on a new form freaked me out. I felt like the world was falling down around my ears and there was nothing left to hold on to.

And there you go. That was the core belief in bold.

Your behavior revolved around that belief.

Maybe too much. Because it was not sounding like healthy interdependence if you neglected your individual selves in favor of being some kind of CoupleBlob joined at the hip.

Now maybe you have changed that core belief from " My marriage is the only thing that is secure in my life" to "My marriage is important to me" and "I create my own security and life balance." Perhaps those new beliefs will serve you better moving forward.


But I'm learning that I actually come through these panicky feelings and after reflecting and talking about things, I do indeed make decisions and move on them. I can have periods of paralysis from analysis, but they are fortunately shortlived.

Sounds like you are doing better with your emotional management and emotional resilience.

Some recent actions: , in order to actively make an effort to make friends by getting involved in activities I love outside the home and work. This will build my sense of self, apart from my husband, so I'm more comfortable doing things on my own or with other people that aren't my husband. He is also aware that I am on this forum and I've asked him to read it, so we can talk about things that come up. I joined a poly group on Facebook in our country so we can maybe meet up with people who are caring and understanding of this lifestyle and it's challenges. We've contacted a therapist for ourselves, so we can have professional support as we go along. And lastly, we've also talked about finding a therapist whom all three of us can meet with to help work through the rough waters.

Now you are trying to do better and more balanced living than before.
  • Be you, yourself, as an individual.
    • I've signed up for an evening class, and I've committed to a climbing club so I'm more comfortable doing things on my own or with other people that aren't my husband
  • Be you, as part of a couple with your husband.
    • spending time with just my husband doing things we like together (<-- didn't read it, but safe to assume you do this?)
    • We've contacted a therapist for ourselves, so we can have professional support as we go along.
  • Be you as part of a polyship with this grouping of people who try to get along.
    • I am on this forum and I've asked husband to read it, so we can talk about things that come up.
    • joined a poly group on Facebook in our country so we can maybe meet up with people who are caring and understanding of this lifestyle and it's challenges.
    • we've also talked about finding a therapist whom all three of us can meet with to help work through the rough waters.
Husband will still have to do his own individual things and his couple things with his other partner. Just like that partner has to do their individual things and couple things with him.

But on your end at least, you sound like you are shooting for better balance on all your levels.


I am feeling hopeful. I know there's no garantee of how this particular threesome will work out as the years go by, but I know that all three of us are changing into people who are more aware of our beliefs, more intentional about who we spend time with, why we spend time with them, and what we want in life and love.

Glad you are taking rational, reasonable actions to aim for the new future you want, and that doing these behaviors ensue in hopeful feelings.

Like feelings founded on REAL things, and not just "hoping from the sky" and doing nothing.

You actually sound in better newbie shape to me that some posts I read here. Good for you! :)

Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I noticed you keep saying "WE have gone to visit her, WE do this and that." I am not sure why you are going along to visit HIS partner. You could start thinking less as a borg and more as individuals. I think you are beginning to see that. Our culture really brainwashes us to get married and become a unit, 2 people who are no longer 2, but somehow 1. This really does not reflect reality. It doesn't need to be "US against the world."

My partner and I are really close and super in love, but after 12 years our relationship is still really fresh because we are poly and we each give each other space to be ourselves, either on our own, with friends or with other lovers. We never take each other for granted.
 

Destannie

New member
I noticed you keep saying "WE have gone to visit her, WE do this and that." I am not sure why you are going along to visit HIS partner. You could start thinking less as a borg and more as individuals. I think you are beginning to see that. Our culture really brainwashes us to get married and become a unit, 2 people who are no longer 2, but somehow 1. This really does not reflect reality. It doesn't need to be "US against the world."
I understand what you mean. In fact, it was my last therapist who said the same, and encouraged me to figure out who I was, what I wanted in life, etc. She said she was surprised that hubby and I had lasted so long because the expecatations of 'being one' was unrealistic. But I can see I still haven't quite slipped saying 'we' for everything.

In regards to visiting my metamour, it's not something I do every time they want to get together. He often goes to see her on his own. But we do enjoy being together as three sometimes. Currently as short visits which only last a few days, with activities we know we all enjoy (biking, hiking). I think, though, I have this tendency to move in the direction of 'us against the world'. Because even now, as a v-shaped constellation, I get the idea that we should become a tight-knit family. And my metamour is someone who generally needs a lot of emotional support, so she also has this idea. And my husband would, of course, love if we could be like a family.

This reminds me of an article I read recently, "Thirteen Mistakes People Make When Trying Polyamory" (https://www.nonmonogamyhelp.org/thirteen-mistakes-people-make-when-trying-polyamory/) This particular topic is # 8.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Try your best to detangle. Yes, sometimes you are a couple with the hinge. Other times you are you, the indvidual. You can't be a CoupleBlob joined at the hip all the time.

I think aiming for "basic polite" is realistic. The same basic polite you would to do the grocery cashier, the bank teller? You could do with a meta and expect the same basic polite back. One usually is not best friends with the grocery cashier or bank teller. You kinda see them around regularly, maybe say "Good afternoon" and "How's it going?" as you do your errands. But you aren't best friends and they don't come to your birthday party nor you go to theirs.

Makes life for the hinge easier if the metas can manage at least that much if they happen to cross paths or want to attend something important to the hinge like a special birthday, graduation, or work award ceremony thing. But it's ok not to hang out with metas regularly.

If all the people want to hang out together more than that? Or the metas do want to become friends? OR they all want to practice kitchen table poly That's fine too so long as the people want it.

One cannot force friendships or KTP to happen though.

Galagirl
 
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