Newbie's Blog: Understanding Being a Mono Secondary


New member
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I’m planning to use this as a space to process all of the new information and emotions I’m discovering now that I’m in a relationship with a poly man. I’m hoping it will have a generally positive tone—but who’s to say? Until a couple of weeks ago, I had spent months on the most intense emotional rollercoaster of my life. The highs were days of wonderfully intense happiness that made my friends want to slap me (NRE, I guess?). But the lows were nights of intense jealousy, fear, uncertainty, sadness, anger—the whole gamut. Now I kind of feel that I’ve reached some sort of equilibrium. I still have a million questions, uncertainties, fears, etc. But I’m also just very happy. We’ll see how long this lasts… :)

My writing tends to be long-winded (sorry in advance! :eek:), so I’ll tell my story in pieces: I chose the screen name “newbie” because I am one in a lot of ways. I married shortly after college after waiting until marriage to have sex (yes, I know that’s incredibly naive). Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that my (now ex) husband had virtually no interest in being physically intimate with me. So just having a sex life still feels relatively new. Being in love is also new. On some level I loved my ex-husband and the boyfriend before him. But being truly, deeply in love—I didn’t know I was capable of feeling this way until now. And of course, being part of a poly relationship is also uncharted territory for me.

As for what brought me to this forum, I've laid it out in more detail in the New to Polyamory section (I'm sorry--I would include a link, but I don't know how). The short version is that I'm a mono woman in a relationship with a man (who I've been calling A) who is in an open marriage. This is relatively new to him too, so we're kind of stumbling through this together.

As predicted, this has gotten long, so I'll wrap up. :) My current thought/struggle for today is knowing that, no matter how much I'm incorporated into A's life, to the outside world his relationship with his wife will always be the legitimate one. And my relationship with him will always be seen as illegitimate on some level. Or alternatively, I may always have to hide the true nature of our relationship from most of the people in my life. That makes me sad. How sad? I don't really know right now...
Yay, you made it:)

I think you're right to reserve judgment of your feelings about things. You can never really know how you feel about something in advance. You just have to be where you are now and right now it seems that the benefits are out weighing the negatives for you.

And stop apologizing, this is your blog it can be as long and as rambly as it needs to be if they don't like it they won't read it, or we'll skim it, no biggy :)
Sad and confused

Things aren't quite so calm and happy today. Two things are kicking around in my head right now. The first is that A and I discussed polyamory for the first time. I was surprised and happy to hear that he had heard of the term--but then I was disheartened to discover that he doesn't think that term applies to our situation (this is a relatively easy fix, though--he hasn't researched the idea much, and there's a lot of info in this forum that can help with that discussion). But I was even more disheartened to hear that his wife apparently doesn't like that label. I know that labels don't really matter, but I was so thrown that I haven't tried to discuss this any further yet. I thought I had finally found a way to understand our relationship and the overall situation. But now I feel like I'm back at square one, where I don't know the rules, and I don't know what to expect. If what we're doing doesn't fit within the definition of a polyamorous relationship, then what is it?? I know this is something I need to discuss further with him; no one here can answer this for me right now. I just feel a little shocked and defeated right now and needed to vent...

The other thing is meeting his wife. The good news is that when I brought this up with A, he told me that they had discussed this, his wife wanted to meet me, and they are just waiting for me to feel comfortable enough. That was a huge relief. But in the process of chatting about that, he casually mentioned that his wife thinks I should be comfortable enough at this point to meet up with him at their house. Maybe this makes me weird, but I have never been inside his house. I live alone, and in the beginning of our relationship, it just made sense for him to come over. Once things began to get serious, and I had to adjust to the idea of actually being in love and maintaining a relationship with a married man, and deal with all of the jealousy and insecurity that arose as a result, the idea of being with him in their house and sleeping in their bed felt like it was just more than I could handle on top of everything else. Am I alone in feeling this way?? I know I'll eventually need to get over that, if we're going to try to have a long-term relationship, and I really have made progress in that direction. But isn't it ok for me to adjust slowly and not push things? Or am I being paranoid and weak? I know A wasn't trying to push me--he was just trying to show me that his wife really is accepting of our relationship. But it still hurt. I feel like I'm trying to so hard to be open and adjust to this new way of approaching things. I feel like sometimes they forget that, even though I entered this relationship with eyes wide open, and we've all have had to make adjustments, our circumstances are very different. I didn't come from the same starting point as they did--one of having already embraced the idea of having multiple relationships. Plus at the end of every day, they have each other to go home to. I don't have that. And while I know I can talk to A about anything, when it's our relationship that is causing me pain, there's only so much I'm able and willing to discuss with him. A lot of the time, I have to process things alone. And I'm fine with that. But in light of that, it hurts when I feel like I'm expected to be further along than I am. Even though I know that's not what he was trying to say...

Anyway, right now I'm just sad and confused.
Hi Newbie

Of course you have the right to go at your own pace!
I think we have to be very careful not to get too hung up on the details of conversations when one of the parties isn't even present. Firstly you don't know that she actually said "you should" she may have said "you can". One word can make a huge difference, it can be a bit like a game of Chinese whispers. And even if she did haven't you ever said to someone "hey you should come round for dinner one night"? Secondly I think whatever happens with this relationship it is going to be really healthy for you in learning to be assertive. Just because she's his wife doesn't mean she suddenly holds any sort of power over you to do things you're uncomfortable with. And I'm sure she wouldn't even think that she does.

As far as the labels go. Yep...been there had that. Some people are happy to wear a label because it helps us understand ourselves and what's going on around us. Others feel like they are being put in a box. OSO can't get her head around the difference between polyamory and polygamy for goodness sake and she hates labels as well. Even Z is still playing with the idea, I think he likes to think of himself as totally unique in the whole world. It really helps to keep a bit of s sense of humour about the whole thing. I'm the mono and the only one who really sees the polyamory in our situation :)
It might be obvious to point out, but I want you to remember that going over to their house to meet his wife is completely different from spending time alone with him in their house and having sex in their bed, and that it's okay to feel differently about the two things.

On another note, while I think you may eventually be comfortable being in their house, it is completely okay for you to have the personal boundary that you don't ever want to sleep in "their" bed. Bedrooms can be such personal spaces. I'm very open, but unless I'm invited in by all parties I do not like even hanging out in people's bedrooms, let alone getting intimate there.

I think you're doing great. Keep talking, keep thinking, and feel free to PM me if you just want a sympathetic ear.
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