Poly and Spirituality Are One & the Same (for me)

Let me state up front that this wasn't always the case for me as I didn't know what poly was until a couple of years ago. I believe poly and spirituality and inextricably tied together. True love expects nothing in return. It simply is. It is not given in exchange for something in return. That is not love. It is not given because of something we will get. That is not love. It simply is because that is who we are at our core. Love exists regardless of what the other person does. It is simply who I am.

To not allow myself to love would be to deny who I am.

Secondly, I am a human being. I am sexual by nature. It is natural to have sexual feelings towards the ones I love and have attraction. Now don't get me wrong, this desire to express myself sexually is very tightly controlled by what I hope is a very strong awareness of other people's needs and societal norms. Simply put, most times my sexuality is not expressed outside my marriage because it would be less than ideal. I always allow my care and concern for people's well being to trump any sexual desire I have. This prioritizes love and sex for me. Love for everybody concerned is first and then sex may follow only if everyone involved is better off. Most importantly I do not judge myself for having sexual thoughts and feeling that might be considered "wrong" by societal standards, because if they arise from love, heck even lust, then there IS nothing wrong with those feelings. They are natural.

I however was not born poly. In fact it took a lot of spiritual work (read pain) to become poly.

Relationship wise I am a very traditional person. That traditional nature had me in a monogamous relationship with my second wife, who for many years has been more than a handful. There were many years of her inconsistent behavior, as a result of drinking and drug use, that constantly poked at my insecurity. For the most part my wife is an amazing person that when sober is incredibly loving and reliable. Yet the drinking episodes and questionable fidelity and abuse directed towards me wreaked havoc with my psyche.

While I never went to al-non, I had decades of sobriety and new how to work on myself. I knew I didn't want to get divorced, so the goal was to still be able to love my wife and take nothing personally. Quite a tall feat indeed, and I feel like I achieved the goal. The process of staying sober and becoming enlightened is to surrender attachments as the suffering becomes to great. My marriage was one of the greatest joys of my life, yet I simply had to reframe it and step away from it, attachment wise, yet still be present to love my wife. This simply destroyed any ego I had around my marriage. It destroyed my opinion of monogamy and it destroyed my ego.

In place of this very large void flowed love. I didn't expect it. I just think it is the natural result of letting things go and surrendering to life as it is. It is the natural state of a baby or a puppy. In that space I became love and it just felt natural to love. At that time some women came in to my life where love just seemed natural. The love I felt for these other women didn't detract from the love I had for my wife.

At that point I realized I was poly.

Several months ago, I disclosed to my wife that I believed I was poly. This was enough of a shock to that she has sobered up and made a decision to move forward with her life in a new spiritual way. It has also brought out a lot of her insecurities and jealously, but she is trying to work through it. Our relationship hadn't been completely mono, so this hasn't been too big of a leap, but love is more threatening for a woman, than just sex. I have made it clear that just because she is now sober does not mean that I will change. I will get divorced before I treat the people in my life that I love as disposable. But this is also why I didn't leave her. So if she were to force me to not communicate with those in my life that I love, I would get divorced simply out of principle. If my wife were to expect me to get back in the box of monogamy, that would simply mean my spiritual death. On the other hand I am willing to be patient as she processes this new reality. I realize it took me years to transition from mono to poly. I believe my wife will be able to accept me and allow my to be me. It is likely to be a slow and challenging process.

So the bottom line of my belief system is that we are poly at our core. Most people however have way too many hang ups, insecurities and social conditioning to even come close to realizing this. It might take a person hundreds of lifetimes to clear away the insecurities to get to their core of poly. While I believe that we are all poly at our core, we may express ourselves as mono, just because we might only have one love in our life at a particular time.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Re:
"While I believe that we are all poly at our core, we may express ourselves as mono, just because we might only have one love in our life at a particular time."

I suppose that makes sense. One other way I sometimes explain mono is, maybe it is like a polysaturation number. A polysaturation number is the number of partners a poly can have before all the available time/energy/resources are being used, and more partners could not be sustained. So, what if the polysaturation number is only one? Perhaps then we could call it a monosaturation number and use it to define monogamy for that person. Just a thought.

I don't know how I feel about poly and spirituality being the same thing. I guess it might be so for some. I personally don't put a lot of stock in the idea of spirituality per se, so maybe that's part of my problem.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your story, you have had quite a journey towards discovering poly.
 

Kajibabu

New member
Resonates

In place of this very large void flowed love. I didn't expect it. I just think it is the natural result of letting things go and surrendering to life as it is. It is the natural state of a baby or a puppy. In that space I became love and it just felt natural to love. At that time some women came in to my life where love just seemed natural. The love I felt for these other women didn't detract from the love I had for my wife. At that point I realized I was poly. Several months ago said:
Just love this feeling very much which resonates with mine... Babu
 

Al99

Active member
So the bottom line of my belief system is that we are poly at our core. Most people however have way too many hang ups, insecurities and social conditioning to even come close to realizing this. It might take a person hundreds of lifetimes to clear away the insecurities to get to their core of poly. While I believe that we are all poly at our core, we may express ourselves as mono, just because we might only have one love in our life at a particular time.

Thoughtful post. I do believe that almost everyone is capable of loving more than one person at a time - certainly in non-romantic, non-sexual terms, for example parents and siblings. There may exist the rare individual who is so extremely narcissistic that they can love only themselves. (Even though many are undoubtedly accused of this from time to time, I suspect that it is actually quite rare).

In terms of romantic/sexual love, my experience and belief is that most (perhaps almost all) adults are capable of having a romantic love for more than one person at any given time. I would suspect that the majority of adults in this era have experienced this at one time or another by the time they reach middle age (many will earlier). The decision to act on the need for multiple loves - or not - is, of course, the essential difference between monogamy and polyamory.

In terms of spirituality, my own personal belief system suggests that relationships of all types provide the greatest opportunities for spiritual development. In general, my experience is that both the parent-child relationship and long term romantic partnerships are the most challenging, and consequently provide the greatest opportunities for spiritual development. By extension, the involvement in multiple romantic relationships simultaneously provides even greater challenges and opportunities for spiritual development. Consequently, like yourself, there are probably many who experience spirituality and polyamory as necessarily intertwined. I, also, would be among them.

Just a couple of thoughts on the subject. Al
 
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OnTheTrek

New member
In terms of spirituality, my own personal belief system suggests that relationships of all types provide the greatest opportunities for spiritual development. In general, my experience is that both the parent-child relationship and long term romantic partnerships are the most challenging, and consequently provide the greatest opportunities for spiritual development. By extension, the involvement in multiple romantic relationships simultaneously provides even greater challenges and opportunities for spiritual development. Consequently, like yourself, there are probably many who experience spirituality and polyamory as necessarily intertwined. I, also, would be among them.

:cool:
 

MayDecember

New member
Relationship wise I am a very traditional person.

G'day Captain Underpants. Colonel Jock Strap here, lol.

"Traditional" depends on who we are talking about and how far back in history we are going.

I wanted to cut to the quick here. Poly rises to the level of religion for you. No problem. Many religions don't just tolerate or remain completely neutral on it, they practice poly as an integral part of their religion.

To varying degrees, some of them are doing sex acts as part of the "service" or ceremony which is clearly wrong. They could be fishing or shooting pool, something productive.

But you just seem to count it as part of everyday "spirituality". Not that it should interfere in important week-end hobbies.

That traditional nature had me in a monogamous relationship with my second wife, who for many years has been more than a handful. There were many years of her inconsistent behavior, as a result of drinking and drug use, that constantly poked at my insecurity. For the most part my wife is an amazing person that when sober is incredibly loving and reliable. Yet the drinking episodes and questionable fidelity and abuse directed towards me wreaked havoc with my psyche.

Yo. That is some pretty heavy stuff there, Captain.

While I never went to al-non, I had decades of sobriety and new how to work on myself. I knew I didn't want to get divorced, so the goal was to still be able to love my wife and take nothing personally. Quite a tall feat indeed, and I feel like I achieved the goal. The process of staying sober and becoming enlightened is to surrender attachments as the suffering becomes to great. My marriage was one of the greatest joys of my life, yet I simply had to reframe it and step away from it, attachment wise, yet still be present to love my wife. This simply destroyed any ego I had around my marriage. It destroyed my opinion of monogamy and it destroyed my ego.

In place of this very large void flowed love. I didn't expect it. I just think it is the natural result of letting things go and surrendering to life as it is. It is the natural state of a baby or a puppy. In that space I became love and it just felt natural to love. At that time some women came in to my life where love just seemed natural. The love I felt for these other women didn't detract from the love I had for my wife.

At that point I realized I was poly.

Several months ago, I disclosed to my wife that I believed I was poly. This was enough of a shock to that she has sobered up and made a decision to move forward with her life in a new spiritual way. It has also brought out a lot of her insecurities and jealously, but she is trying to work through it. Our relationship hadn't been completely mono, so this hasn't been too big of a leap, but love is more threatening for a woman, than just sex. I have made it clear that just because she is now sober does not mean that I will change. I will get divorced before I treat the people in my life that I love as disposable. But this is also why I didn't leave her. So if she were to force me to not communicate with those in my life that I love, I would get divorced simply out of principle. If my wife were to expect me to get back in the box of monogamy, that would simply mean my spiritual death. On the other hand I am willing to be patient as she processes this new reality. I realize it took me years to transition from mono to poly. I believe my wife will be able to accept me and allow my to be me. It is likely to be a slow and challenging process.

So the bottom line of my belief system is that we are poly at our core. Most people however have way too many hang ups, insecurities and social conditioning to even come close to realizing this. It might take a person hundreds of lifetimes to clear away the insecurities to get to their core of poly. While I believe that we are all poly at our core, we may express ourselves as mono, just because we might only have one love in our life at a particular time.

oof. I feel like I got the one-two-three punch here and am reeling. What happened again?

Let me be clear where you are not:

The wife hurt you for a long time. Therefore you walled her off. You got a girlfriend. It shocked the wife into shaping up, but it's too late, the poly cat is out of the bag.

It doesn't even need to rise to the level of religion to understand that. People have limits. You did not come to your wife and say: "if you shape up, I will go back to monogamy but for now I am seeing other women for intimacy".

That isn't what happened. I don't see what kind of bargaining position a person can be in when drugs and abuse are involved, these are serious lifelong issues. I am a 28 year non-drinking alcoholic.

I had a very short career because my parents had prepared me by taking me to Ala-Teen and Al-Anon, my Dad was in AA for a while, we knew it was genetic. There is a spirituality concept, a "higher power" proposition in that program, but I never bought into it. I figured I could just not drink on my own will power, and that was absolute fact from the day I made the decision.

Nevertheless, your spirit is shot when you are on booze. Your spirit is shot when you are under incessant emotional abuse. A hollowed out shell.

People are sicker, feel depressed, and die sooner when their spirit is shot. You want to be alive and uplifted.

Poly does that for me, too. I kind of see it from the physiological aspect, being driven by DNA. Yes, of course. Well-laid people have rosy cheeks and bright faces, don't they?

It's good to be alive!
 
MayDecember, I think you get it. In short I am somebody that got sober at 19 and now at 57 has 38 years of sobriety and 38 years of spiritual development.

My wife who I love dearly, put me through the ringer, but rather than let it bring me down, I built a beautiful life of connection and love. I am out of the box and not jumping back in. Over a year ago, it became clear that she either sober up and comes along or I would be gone, because I essentially already was gone.

She chose to sober up and come along for the ride.

And yes, you are right it is good to be alive! :)
 
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ElMango

New member
So, I think I get what you're saying.

I think that for me, I view it as more like...despite the flack I may get for this, an aspect to sexuality. Like, you are inherently somewhere on the poly-mono spectrum just like people are inherently somewhere on the LGBTA+ spectrum.

So for me, it wouldn't tie into really spirituality-save for my spirituality would have to support my sexuality/poly,
 

Evie

Active member
I admit I'm in two minds about poly and spirituality.

On one hand, the ability to love without attachment and ego driven meaning is a thing that many spiritual paths, including ours, discuss favourably. Adam and I aim to grow old together, but recognise that that does not preclude others from also growing old with us in whatever relationship shape that ends up being. Being able to explore any interpersonal connection without restrictions brought about because of traditional marriage, to give and receive romantic love among many albeit in a zigzag relationship shape (our current preference), and to share sexual pleasure as an expression of such love and connections seems very connective with the divine.

And then, on the other hand, I am intensely aware that when I have another full time in-person partner, I find that my energies are not conducive to effectively doing the spiritual work with my husband that we excel at when our relationship shape is as a couple. To be a little blunt, during the last in-person extramarital relationship I had, my role as soror mystica of my husband was compromised. I felt it, and I felt it was a disservice to our progress in the work. I may feel differently in the future, but that was my last experience. As we progress in the work, that which is unnecessary to our spiritual lives naturally falls away. Right now, I don't know if that means the traditions surrounding monogamy, or the desire for more connections that poly enables. Perhaps it is both, depending on the stage of the work we are at.
 
I admit I'm in two minds about poly and spirituality.

On one hand, the ability to love without attachment and ego driven meaning is a thing that many spiritual paths, including ours, discuss favourably. Adam and I aim to grow old together, but recognise that that does not preclude others from also growing old with us in whatever relationship shape that ends up being. Being able to explore any interpersonal connection without restrictions brought about because of traditional marriage, to give and receive romantic love among many albeit in a zigzag relationship shape (our current preference), and to share sexual pleasure as an expression of such love and connections seems very connective with the divine.

And then, on the other hand, I am intensely aware that when I have another full time in-person partner, I find that my energies are not conducive to effectively doing the spiritual work with my husband that we excel at when our relationship shape is as a couple. To be a little blunt, during the last in-person extramarital relationship I had, my role as soror mystica of my husband was compromised. I felt it, and I felt it was a disservice to our progress in the work. I may feel differently in the future, but that was my last experience. As we progress in the work, that which is unnecessary to our spiritual lives naturally falls away. Right now, I don't know if that means the traditions surrounding monogamy, or the desire for more connections that poly enables. Perhaps it is both, depending on the stage of the work we are at.

Evie, You sound like you are VERY aware of the pros and cons regarding how poly aids or impedes your spiritual growth and that of your marriage. I give you a virtual high five..

Might it be that it would take the right extra marital relationship that might be compatible with your marriage goals? One that aided in the learning and advancement of your marriage.

An extra marital relationship that is synergistic with your marriage just might just be really hard to find?

Thanks for your insightful words.
 

Evie

Active member
Thank you!

I'm sure it's just a wording thing, but I'd never expect another relationship to advance anything in my marriage. But I'd like to think that it would advance my own relationship with my higher self and not impede any of the spiritual work I do with Adam. It's a tall order alright.
 
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