Not sure what I'm looking for... Beginner poly stuff

dryicex3

New member
I do not know the point of this other than i need someone to talk to/ i need to talk this out to get my own head straight and my best friend is currently dealing with things bigger than this and has heard enough of my endless musings. Its probably going to be a rant rather than a question.

My situation:

I am happily married. My husband is the best partner you could ever ask for and although he and i are very different people, we get along beautifully, work together, support each other and respect eachother.

For the entirety of our marriage (and plenty of time before it) he has known that i am bisexual. (Probably more pan but bisexual is how i identify because that was the word we had back when i was exploring). Surrounding that, we had talked many times about how I was unsure that i had fully explored my sexuality, and we had talks about how, regardless of sexual orientation and the physicalities of sexual intercourse, it seems rather naive to think one person will fulfill the needs of another forever. We have had talks about how there are shifts in needs over time, whether it be sexual needs, emotional needs, intellectual needs, etc. We are both children of divorce following cheating or accusations of cheating and agreed that if the other was feeling as if their needs were not being met or could not be met for external reasons by eachother, then it is permissible to have them met by another person, as long as it was consensual and no deceit was taking place.

My husband is also very aware that when i was younger i maintained many relationships at a time unless i was giving that up for someone who required monogomy.
Monogamy, for me, was a concession.

Our relationship had this built into the foundation, but i think my husband assumed that if this came up in any way other than hypothetical, it would be so that i could explore my attraction to women or nonmales. In some way, for some reason, this does not seem to threaten him. This, I know, has homophobia and toxic masculinity written all over it. He has acknowledged that is something he would work on and assured me that he believes I am bisexual and that lgbt relationships are valid. He doesnt compare himself to people of other genders, however, and his insecurities start with comparisons.

Fast forward to the recent past, where I have gone through some life events that have made me 1) examine the way i am using my time on earth and 2) aware of some suppressed emotions. I often like to intellectually examine my emotions, then validate or dismiss them, rather than feel them or allow myself to be encompassed by them. But after these life events, I am really feeling my emotions and allowing them a place in my life.

Over the course of some months, I have come to realize that I have feelings for a male friend(V). At first I thought it was just me picking up on signals from them. I told my husband this and he laughed about how obvious it was that V "liked" me. My husband said he trusted that V had my best interests in mind and wasnt trying to "steal" me away(We were fwb in the past.) I did not think it was obvious that he liked me (another friend also said it was so i guess im oblivious)and i carried on just feeling better that i had disclosed my observations to my husband. We continued our friendship and i told V about what vibes or signals i had picked up on. He acknowledged it, and said there would always be something there but he respected my marriage. A few weeks pass and I barely thought about this.

I'm not totally sure what came first but two things happened...my husband and I talked about an open relationship in his past and what went wrong/what he considered cheating...and I suggested we read some material and see if we can open our marriage.

I told him I'd like to casually date some nonmales, and that i would like a partner to fulfil some roles/power dynamics he isnt comfortable with. Neither of these things were news. My husband had some apprehension as things were getting less hypothetical, but was very receptive and willing to read. He had no immediate reaction that made me think he was closed to the idea. (We started with opening up, and then ethical slut). I finished both books quickly and moved to forums and looking for online resources and podcasts...and he dragged his feet.

Time passed again. My husband and I went away together on a romantic trip where we really connected and one night while we were drinking, the boundaries in his past relationship came up again and he provided that he thinks he wouldnt mind me doing things/having other partners...he only thinks who matters. Who it would be could bother him. But he couldnt articulate what he meant by that. I brought up some examples of people we knew, and some abstract examples about what would be okay with strangers, etc. The only pushback i got was V. I didn't know why at the time, but this bothered me. The fact that it touched a nerve upset my husband. We spent some time reassuring eachother and getting eachother onboard with what to do to move forward... we had some miscommunications that we cleared and the next day my husband read multiple chapters in Opening Up.

During this time I tried not to nag him to talk or read more. I'd mention the books or something but I wouldnt harp on him to talk or rush into things. I dont want to rush it or for him to feel pressured. But, over time I realized that I was feeling not only physical attraction but emotional intimacy with V. That explained why i had such an instant reaction initially. I told my husband about my emotional feelings for V and he was unphased. He said he understands that we have a connection and that he trusts that i won't do anything to hurt him so he was effectively unbothered. I continued to see V on a regular basis sometimes with and sometimes without my husband and it really was fine. My husband doesn't even have any issue with me seeing V unannounced.

That's where I am now. I am hoping my husband continues to read and talk to me. I would feel like i was dragging him over coals if i have to keep asking him to read... He has said he likes the readings and it feels like free therapy but hes struggling with facing insecurities. I just feel stuck though...Like there's not much more for me to do until he comes to me...for support or with questions or ready to talk. Is there anything left that i can do? How can i support him?


Sidenote: my sex life with my husband was never bad or boring, we have a libido imbalance but the sex has gotten more frequent and has gotten more spontaneous through all of this. Might be a silver lining...But im also worried my husband thinks that if we have more sex ill drop the subject of opening up. Thats not what i want. Even if I agree to no V, i ultimately want to open the marriage.




So long. Probably details no one needs. Enough detail to make me nervous about posting. Thanks for caring if you made it the whole way through!
 
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PinkPig

Well-known member
I have no experience opening a previously monogamous relationship so take what I say with a grain of salt. I did, however, come from a background of strict monogamy. When I started dating a man who is poly, years ago, it still required all the usual deprogramming and learning to sit with and work through my feelings.

I couldn't tell from your post how long it's been since your recent talks about opening? Are we talking a matter of just a few weeks, or months? Either way, it may help if you set regular times to check in with each other to see where you both are in the process. Or, if that feels too daunting, and/or it feels like he's dragging his feet, asking to set a tentative date for opening a few months out, could help. The goal is just to continue the forward momentum and prevent stalling. If it feels like he isn't making progress, an LGBTQ/poly friendly family therapist may be able to help him move through the process easier and more quickly.

I'm sure it may feel frustratingly slow at times but it's really great that you're taking your time and not rushing the v process!
 

dryicex3

New member
Hello, thanks for reading through!

The initial talks were years ago but nothing was set to actually open the relationship. Those talks were about our hypothetical future.

I brought up the idea of actually doing the work and opening the relationship almost three months ago. I dont think anything is going too slow as I didn't think that in three months time we'd be done with the work and ready for everything... I did think we'd have finished the books and hoped we'd have had some more practical discussions though. I am worried that he is not wanting to read or talk because if he stalls, it means he doesn't have to face conflict.

I haven't asked to schedule time to check in because I was afraid that would come off as me pressuring him. That is probably something I could do without overwhelming him or feeling like a nag. Its solid advice. Forward momentum is exactly what I'm hoping for.

Thanks 👍
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
That's where I am now. I am hoping my husband continues to read and talk to me. I would feel like i was dragging him over coals if i have to keep asking him to read... He has said he likes the readings and it feels like free therapy but hes struggling with facing insecurities.

That's fair. He's reporting where he is at with it.

I just feel stuck though...Like there's not much more for me to do until he comes to me...for support or with questions or ready to talk. Is there anything left that i can do? How can i support him?
Could ask him what you can do to support him on working through his insecurities, if anything. If reasonable and rational requests that you can provide? Like mow the lawn for the next 6 months even though its normally his chore so he gets some regular time to do this new work? Do it. If not reasonable or rational? Skip it.

And how about you let him do his stuff himself? Because not all the stuff is shared stuff.
  • There is HIS stuff, that is his responsibility. Only things he can do. Like work on his insecurities. You can't do that stuff FOR him. Mowing the lawn might help him have extra time, but actually working through it? He has to do it.
  • There is YOUR stuff, that is your responsibility. Only things you can do. He can't do that stuff FOR you.
  • Then there's "our shared stuff." These things belong to both and are a shared responsibility.
Sidenote: my sex life with my husband was never bad or boring, we have a libido imbalance but the sex has gotten more frequent and has gotten more spontaneous through all of this. Might be a silver lining...But im also worried my husband thinks that if we have more sex ill drop the subject of opening up. Thats not what i want. Even if I agree to no V, i ultimately want to open the marriage.

I don't get the vibe that you have put that plain on the table.

I could be wrong but it's like it's all "hinting" from the side that you both know it, but nobody says it out loud.

Have you said it plain like "I'd like to open the marriage. I'm interested in dating V. If V is too messy for you because V is an ex FWB and you prefer no exes, even if I agree to that, I still want to open the marriage."

Have you?

If you are trying to do prep work to eventually lead to open marriage, you both agree this is what you are doing right? Not just hypothetical? But actual prep work?

Could ask for what you need more direct and clear.

I think it is fair to set a check in time. Esp if he gets to pick it. You aren't a mind reader.

Maybe something like

""Husband, you know I ultimately want to open the marriage right? I need reassurance that this is just normal taking time to digest and not like foot dragging. I don't want to pressure you, but I do want reasonable, regular check ins. I didn't think that in three months time we'd be done with all the work and ready to just open the marriage... but I did think we'd have finished reading these books in 3 mos. I also hoped we'd set a time for more practical discussions on a regular basis.
When could be a good time to check in and set some regular appointments to talk about what we read and some practical discussion?"

I don't know if this article helps you any.


I think it is fine to talk your time talking. Def good to do the prep work and consider and not just jump in willy nilly.

But again... you aren't a mind reader. Neither is he.

And if your need is regular talks? Ask for what you need plain.

Galagirl
 
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dryicex3

New member
Thanks for the reply :)

I am aware but appreciate the reminder to allow him to own HIS stuff. My nerves are saying he's not doing HIS stuff ... But I could be totally wrong. He might be taking his time and doing a lot of work. This is really one big reason I think we need to check in. I'm going to get over my fear of being 'naggy' and ask for a check in.

I briefly looked over the attachment and think it will be very useful. It was nice to see "foot dragging" bullets...it is reassuring to know this isnt a unique thing.

Your suggestion for what to say/how to approach him was nice and got to the point without feeling pushy. I think the most helpful thing you suggested was to let him pick the time to discuss things though. It will make him feel empowered and in the drivers seat. That is a good suggestion!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad it helps some.

My nerves are saying he's not doing HIS stuff ... But I could be totally wrong. He might be taking his time and doing a lot of work.

Glad you see that. Your nerves or anxiety or whatever it is? That's your emotions. You don't know what he's actually doing without asking him.

This is really one big reason I think we need to check in. I'm going to get over my fear of being 'naggy' and ask for a check in.

Maybe that's your area to work on then while he works on his insecurity?

Dealing with your emotional management and thinking.

Cuz if you think he isn't doing the work without asking? It's letting your nerves/anxiety being in the driver seat.

If you don't ask direct for what you need from fear of seeming naggy? You are letting your fear be in the driver seat.

You are not your thoughts or your feelings. You are a PERSON who sometimes does some thinking, and sometimes experiences emotions.

How about YOU be in the driver's seat instead of anxiety or fear?

Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello dryicex3,

I think the best thing you can do at this time is to ask your husband to pick a day and time when you and he will talk about where you are on the opening marriage thing, and about what (if anything) needs to happen in order to move (or keep moving) the process forward. It will help if your husband feels like he has some control over part of the process.

When the day and time he picks arrives, you may want (for one thing) to talk to him about how he feels about you dating men (not just women). Point out that his current reservation constitutes an OPP, and is somewhat dysfunctional. Ask him what he thinks he can do to start moving past that.

Schedule the talk to last no longer than one hour, so that neither of you gets overwhelmed. Include in the talk a query about when the two of you can discuss these things again. This, too, let your husband control this part of the process.

You just need a way to confirm that things haven't dragged to a halt. You don't know what work your husband is or isn't doing to move things forward. Having a scheduled talk about it will help.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Like there's not much more for me to do until he comes to me...for support or with questions or ready to talk. Is there anything left that i can do? How can i support him?

My read on your situation may be off, but It sounds like you guys are pussyfooting around each other, trying not to hurt each others feelings. I get that it seems like the "nice" thing to do, but it also sets up misunderstandings and resentment. If you really don't care and are perfectly happy to wait around for your husband for an indeterminate period of time (up to and including the rest of your life), then don't hassle him about it and leave it alone. If the reality is that you are already at the station and you're holding your non-monogamy ticket, stop addressing the situation like he has all the time in the world and limitless leeway.

If you were just cool with waiting around indefinitely I don't think you'd be here asking us how to get your husband to hurry the hell up. So what I want you to do is dig deep and be brutally honest. Up until this point no damage has been done, but the problems that can come from leaving things unsaid can cut right to the bone and be very difficult to recover from.

Sidenote: my sex life with my husband was never bad or boring, we have a libido imbalance but the sex has gotten more frequent and has gotten more spontaneous through all of this. Might be a silver lining...But im also worried my husband thinks that if we have more sex ill drop the subject of opening up. Thats not what i want. Even if I agree to no V, i ultimately want to open the marriage.

It is common to link the desire to build a relationship with a new person, because the relationship with the old person is shit. If this is the case, then the relationship with the old person needs to be adjusted/dissolved, the solution is not to inject a new person into the problem.

It doesn't sound like you are trying to inject a new person into the fold to try to somehow fix your current relationship, but this "if I'm getting plenty of D from my husband, it may appear that I don't need D from someone else" fallacy can cause confusion. I recommend moving away from allowing this kind of insecurity game playing into the mix.

While it doesn't work for everyone (so I'm told), my personal approach is to frame my relationships as being entirely independent of one another. Granted, all of our life events impact how are relationships play out, but I do not build in the misunderstanding that my association with X is somehow reliant/linked to my relationship with Y.
 

dryicex3

New member
I'm really appreciating everyones replies. No ones really telling me anything I didnt know, but being blunt about some of this is actually helping me.

I agree that leaving things unsaid can end up causing damage. Im not really the kind of person who is able to do that anyway. i'm going to stop worrying and just say my piece as gently as i can while still asserting my needs.

Thanks again :)
 

dryicex3

New member
Hello dryicex3,

I think the best thing you can do at this time is to ask your husband to pick a day and time when you and he will talk about where you are on the opening marriage thing, and about what (if anything) needs to happen in order to move (or keep moving) the process forward. It will help if your husband feels like he has some control over part of the process.

When the day and time he picks arrives, you may want (for one thing) to talk to him about how he feels about you dating men (not just women). Point out that his current reservation constitutes an OPP, and is somewhat dysfunctional. Ask him what he thinks he can do to start moving past that.

Schedule the talk to last no longer than one hour, so that neither of you gets overwhelmed. Include in the talk a query about when the two of you can discuss these things again. This, too, let your husband control this part of the process.

You just need a way to confirm that things haven't dragged to a halt. You don't know what work your husband is or isn't doing to move things forward. Having a scheduled talk about it will help.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
This is all very constructive! I was worried that posting here wouldnt be helpful or I'd regret sharing so much detail about my personal life, but the focus on helping me move forward is so amazing.

Thank you!
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
You have said you didn’t want him to rushed or to feel pressured. COULD that have set the wrong expectation ?

Is it possible it could be a bit of both foot dragging and pre mourning the loss of his marriage. The more he reads and learns the more dreads the complexity and change ?
 

Marcus

Well-known member
i'm going to stop worrying and just say my piece as gently as i can while still asserting my needs.

I think that is a blueprint for building the potential for flourishing. Relationships can get messy and feelings can be hurt when a pair aren't lining up perfectly, but putting our shoulder into being constructive like this gives us the best possibility of a healthy outcome.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Is it possible it could be a bit of both foot dragging and pre mourning the loss of his marriage. The more he reads and learns the more dreads the complexity and change ?


Either that or quite possibly he's more comfortable with Theorycrafting™, rather than actually doing. In essence, more comfortable with the philosophical discussions of poly, rather than the actual practice of it.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Either that or quite possibly he's more comfortable with Theorycrafting™, rather than actually doing. In essence, more comfortable with the philosophical discussions of poly, rather than the actual practice of it.


I think that’s a real serous possibility. I’d Definitely make that a topic for discussion which could be nonthreatening.
 

dryicex3

New member
Either that or quite possibly he's more comfortable with Theorycrafting™, rather than actually doing. In essence, more comfortable with the philosophical discussions of poly, rather than the actual practice of it.
I think he's definitely more comfortable with the philosophy. There is a lot to unlearn and even when you believe in the philosophy, it doesn't mean you won't feel all of the feelings that society has deemed correct for you to feel (insecurity, jealousy, envy, etc) in monogomy. Something for us to consider.


I think I'm going to stop replying to this thread until at least we sit down to talk though. I dont think me spinning my wheels and rehashing this is helping me anymore. Without inputs from him, its meaningless overthinking.

Thanks again for everyone who took a look and offered any insight or advice!
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
I think he's definitely more comfortable with the philosophy. There is a lot to unlearn and even when you believe in the philosophy, it doesn't mean you won't feel all of the feelings that society has deemed correct for you to feel (insecurity, jealousy, envy, etc) in monogomy. Something for us to consider.


I think I'm going to stop replying to this thread until at least we sit down to talk though. I dont think me spinning my wheels and rehashing this is helping me anymore. Without inputs from him, its meaningless overthinking.

Thanks again for everyone who took a look and offered any insight or advice!


it is definitely a lot to take in. My only other advise is to communicate, communicate, communicate, and when all else fails, communicate.

I wish you both peace and good luck in your journey.
 
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