Possibly poly (partner's definitely mono.) Or am I just horny?

Mynotoar

New member
My current partner and I have been together for over 3 years (we've broken up twice but it's been 2 years since we got back together.) I started to think I was poly before I met her, and communicated that. She was initially "okay" with us entering into an open relationship (but it wasn't really okay.) I hurt her a lot in the process when I was experimenting and trying to find out what worked for me - it definitely wasn't ENM at all. I'm not proud of it.

Since we got back together for the second time, I've been practising mono, and I know for sure that she will never be comfortable with the idea of opening up. I know that I'm absolutely in love with her, and that we have so many things going for us - we know each other deeply and intimately by this point, have shared a lot together, and it would hurt us both deeply to be separated. And in most senses of the word, we're both happy together.

Yet.

I still feel a lingering sadness in the back of my mind. I usually ignore it, but it comes out sometimes and I feel low. I don't need to have another romantic relationship - I'm fine with the one - but I do sometimes long for sexual relationships with other people, even just kissing or cuddling another person, if not actual sex. I've had crushes on multiple people and felt sad that I can't act on them. Even when I don't have a crush on someone specific, I sometimes feel sad just when I see someone who I think is attractive on the street, because I know that if I knew that person, I could never act on those feelings.

I don't watch porn because we both felt that I was using it in an unhealthy way, but it also means I don't have any outlet for this feeling of desire for someone else. I don't even feel that fantasising about someone else while masturbating would be okay, because she would be hurt if she ever knew that I did, and I couldn't lie to her if she ever asked about it.

I love my partner and want to make this work, but I want to get rid of this sadness. I don't want to break up, so I want to find a way to stop feeling sad whenever I see other attractive people, and to stop wishing for sex with others. I've had these feelings with every partner I've ever been with to some degree, and it's been on and off for this relationship since the start.

I just wanted to post this in a poly-friendly place to ask for your advice and opinions:
  1. Am I really poly, or just horny?
  2. Is this desire for other people something that can eventually go away?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hurt her a lot in the process when I was experimenting and trying to find out what worked for me - it definitely wasn't ENM at all. I'm not proud of it.

Have you swung too far the other way from guilt over cheating or messing up or whatever last time? And are being super restrictive with yourself?

I've had crushes on multiple people and felt sad that I can't act on them. Even when I don't have a crush on someone specific, I sometimes feel sad just when I see someone who I think is attractive on the street, because I know that if I knew that person, I could never act on those feelings.

If you have made a choice to be Closed? You made the choice. So no, you cannot pursue others. You can admire them from afar, but you cannot pursue.

If you have changed your mind? You can either ask her for Open relationship and do it better this time. Or break up because THIS closed feels bad.

I don't watch porn because we both felt that I was using it in an unhealthy way, but it also means I don't have any outlet for this feeling of desire for someone else.

Was it porn addiction? Or something else?

I don't even feel that fantasising about someone else while masturbating would be okay, because she would be hurt if she ever knew that I did, and I couldn't lie to her if she ever asked about it.

I think fantasies are fine. I don't get why you hurt yourself (ex: no outlets, paint self into a corner). You don't have to lie if she asks about it. You could expect her to deal with the reality that you are human, you need SOMETHING, and yeah, sometimes you masturbate.

I love my partner and want to make this work, but I want to get rid of this sadness. I don't want to break up, so I want to find a way to stop feeling sad whenever I see other attractive people, and to stop wishing for sex with others. I've had these feelings with every partner I've ever been with to some degree, and it's been on and off for this relationship since the start.

I cannot answer for you. Only you can.

I don't feel sad in my Closed relationship. (Poly before kids, agreed to close while parenting, open to renegotiating when the last kid is out of here.) But in my relationship I can talk about my poly thoughts or feelings. We were open before, so open again is not a huge deal. I'm out to the kids, and to my main friends. Both of us can watch porn or fantasize/masturbate about whatever. We both know the other one finds people attractive in the world. He was just telling me it's funny but weird. He'd never actually date a coworker, but the ones he thinks are cute? Tend to be married to women already. And me? Over the years I've had crushes on and off. I'm not at a place where I can pursue, so I just enjoy a crush while it lasts. Sometimes I flirt with people for fun, he thinks it's cute/funny.

To me it sounds like you are alive and well and notice beauty in the world. Why beat yourself up over it?

If you plan on sticking with this partner in a Closed thing? Could loosen up some.

It's not cheating on your partner to fantasize about other people. It's not cheating to notice cute people around you in the world.

If to your partner these things ARE cheating? Then they may not have realistic expectations of you.

If you find being in this relationship is TOO constricting? You are sad all the time? It hurts here? Then you may have to consider parting ways.

Because you might love her a whole lot. But not even for her will you do stuff or stay in stuff that hurts you. You have to love you too.

Galagirl
 

3908

Member
Mynotoar,

I replied to your other post, but would like to add this,

there exists professional cuddling organizations, 2 of them are striving to make professional cuddling a legit profession.

www.cuddlist.com and www.cuddlesanctuary.com

I am interested in this, my wife still says no, but it is actually a compromise that I think is workable

being a professional Cuddler, I would get the non sexual physical attention I desire, I would help others who are touch deprived, and I could make 80$ an hour, all while not being in a relationship with any other woman but my wife.

maybe this would interest you? there are vids on youtube about professional cuddling, here are a short video and a longer example
perhaps if this is something you would like to do you could talk to your wife about it?



 

Mynotoar

New member
Hi GalaGirl, thanks for the detailed response.
Have you swung too far the other way from guilt over cheating or messing up or whatever last time? And are being super restrictive with yourself?
Well, it's not so much that I'm being super restrictive with myself, but that as a result of how I hurt her when I was messing around, I know for sure that she would never be willing to open up. We've talked about it a lot, because she knows that I still feel this sadness and wish to have experiences with other people, but can't see a future for us where we're open. So I've accepted being mono with her, because I think my only other choice is breaking up with her.

If you have made a choice to be Closed? You made the choice. So no, you cannot pursue others. You can admire them from afar, but you cannot pursue.

If you have changed your mind? You can either ask her for Open relationship and do it better this time. Or break up because THIS closed feels bad.
Yeah, I think that's basically where it's come down to: stay and accept, or break up. I guess I'm just wondering if my feelings are legit in the first place. If they're "not legit", that makes it easier to accept, you know? Then I can just think that I'm feeling something aberrant or abnormal, and try and find ways to deal with it.
Was it porn addiction? Or something else?
Yes and yes. It was porn addiction that led to me making some unhealthy and 100% not ethical choices. I've quit porn for about a year now. I kind of miss it, but I accept that she has a point in that it's what led me to fuck up.
I think fantasies are fine. I don't get why you hurt yourself (ex: no outlets, paint self into a corner). You don't have to lie if she asks about it. You could expect her to deal with the reality that you are human, you need SOMETHING, and yeah, sometimes you masturbate.



I cannot answer for you. Only you can.

I don't feel sad in my Closed relationship. (Poly before kids, agreed to close while parenting, open to renegotiating when the last kid is out of here.) But in my relationship I can talk about my poly thoughts or feelings. We were open before, so open again is not a huge deal. I'm out to the kids, and to my main friends. Both of us can watch porn or fantasize/masturbate about whatever. We both know the other one finds people attractive in the world. He was just telling me it's funny but weird. He'd never actually date a coworker, but the ones he thinks are cute? Tend to be married to women already. And me? Over the years I've had crushes on and off. I'm not at a place where I can pursue, so I just enjoy a crush while it lasts. Sometimes I flirt with people for fun, he thinks it's cute/funny.

To me it sounds like you are alive and well and notice beauty in the world. Why beat yourself up over it?

If you plan on sticking with this partner in a Closed thing? Could loosen up some.

It's not cheating on your partner to fantasize about other people. It's not cheating to notice cute people around you in the world.

If to your partner these things ARE cheating? Then they may not have realistic expectations of you.

If you find being in this relationship is TOO constricting? You are sad all the time? It hurts here? Then you may have to consider parting ways.

Because you might love her a whole lot. But not even for her will you do stuff or stay in stuff that hurts you. You have to love you too.

Galagirl

Sure. I don't have any close friends who are poly or ENM, so it just helps to share and get a perspective from others. I know that only I can make the choice, I just wanted to get some sense of whether I'm coming at this from any genuine desire for ENM, or if this is some feeling that I can control and get rid of.

Thanks for your time.
 

Mynotoar

New member
Mynotoar,

I replied to your other post, but would like to add this,

there exists professional cuddling organizations, 2 of them are striving to make professional cuddling a legit profession.

www.cuddlist.com and www.cuddlesanctuary.com

I am interested in this, my wife still says no, but it is actually a compromise that I think is workable

being a professional Cuddler, I would get the non sexual physical attention I desire, I would help others who are touch deprived, and I could make 80$ an hour, all while not being in a relationship with any other woman but my wife.

maybe this would interest you? there are vids on youtube about professional cuddling, here are a short video and a longer example
perhaps if this is something you would like to do you could talk to your wife about it?



Hi 3908. It's an interesting idea. I'm fairly sure that this is something my partner would not be on board with - especially given that the Covid risk now is not going away any time soon. To be fair, until the pandemic completely disappears, I would have the same reaction if she was considering it, as we're both so careful about risk. But I think it would make her jealous still, for me to be intimately cuddling someone else.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Your feelings are your feelings. There are no bad feelings. You can't make feelings go away. You can only repress them. They will still be there.

Humans are not naturally monogamous. No animal is. No human is actually mono, even if they say or think they are. That is why we do get crushes, read romantic books about other people's relationships, watch movies that contain other people's romances, watch porn, get crushes, cheat, swing, practice polyamory, on and on. That's why young people are able to "sow their wild oats." (Even if they are expected to "get over" that desire, and "settle down," at some point.)

You know that throughout the huge majority of society, we did not practice monogamy? It's actually a new concept in the greater picture of human history. If you consider that humanity has been around for 1 million years, and we have only been trying to practice monogamy (for women only) for about 2000 years, and monogamy for men for a lesser time, you can see that trying to live mono goes against the grain. It's a cultural economic scheme imposed by capitalism and the patriarchy. It's not natural, real, or particularly healthy for men, women or children. (I won't go into the benefits to society of a degree of openness, but they are real.)

Try reading the book Sex at Dawn, for a better perspective on this. You're not sick, you're not a pervert!

I thought I was a sick pervert, even evil, because in my long mono marriage, I'd get crushes, and my ex h told me he didn't. In the last decade of our 30 year relationship, he admitted he wanted to undress and fuck every attractive woman he saw, ever. He lied to "set a good example" for me. Ugh! It caused a breech in our intimacy and trust. With all the therapy we did, he finally admitted it. But it was too little too late. The damage had been done. We broke up (for this and other reasons). He had low self esteem and lacked confidence and always feared some other man would take "his" wife away. He created a reality where the more jealous and insecure he was, the less attractive and desirable he seemed to me.

I wish we could have at least been able to talk about noticing attractive people on the street (like GalaGirl and her h), or to admire certain celebrities, without him going into a tailspin and "punishing" me in various passive aggressive ways.

I'm sure it would be possible for you to find a partner eventually who could live with your feelings of attraction for others, and admit to her own feelings of attraction as well. Unless she's some kind of asexual, she has those feelings too.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Mynotoar,

I think your feelings are legit. It's not natural to force yourself into a monogamous box, when deep inside you are nonmonogamous. People in your situation usually don't fare well. They end up cheating, or resenting their partner, or both. In order to stop feeling sad, while not breaking up with your partner, you will have to become monogamous, deep down inside. Can you do that? or will you always feel sad whenever you see a beautiful woman?

Maybe you just need to resign yourself to feeling sad. You did say you're happy with your partner in most senses of the word. Maybe she's worth burying your nonmonogamous feelings? If so, maybe the thing to do when you see a beautiful woman, is, to remind yourself of why you are choosing to be monogamous. Why it is worth it to you. Kind of a, count your blessings, type of approach. It's hard to change your feelings, I hope you can do it.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Mynotoar

New member
Your feelings are your feelings. There are no bad feelings. You can't make feelings go away. You can only repress them. They will still be there.

Humans are not naturally monogamous. No animal is. No human is actually mono, even if they say or think they are. That is why we do get crushes, read romantic books about other people's relationships, watch movies that contain other people's romances, watch porn, get crushes, cheat, swing, practice polyamory, on and on. That's why young people are able to "sow their wild oats." (Even if they are expected to "get over" that desire, and "settle down," at some point.)

You know that throughout the huge majority of society, we did not practice monogamy? It's actually a new concept in the greater picture of human history. If you consider that humanity has been around for 1 million years, and we have only been trying to practice monogamy (for women only) for about 2000 years, and monogamy for men for a lesser time, you can see that trying to live mono goes against the grain. It's a cultural economic scheme imposed by capitalism and the patriarchy. It's not natural, real, or particularly healthy for men, women or children. (I won't go into the benefits to society of a degree of openness, but they are real.)

Try reading the book Sex at Dawn, for a better perspective on this. You're not sick, you're not a pervert!

I thought I was a sick pervert, even evil, because in my long mono marriage, I'd get crushes, and my ex h told me he didn't. In the last decade of our 30 year relationship, he admitted he wanted to undress and fuck every attractive woman he saw, ever. He lied to "set a good example" for me. Ugh! It caused a breech in our intimacy and trust. With all the therapy we did, he finally admitted it. But it was too little too late. The damage had been done. We broke up (for this and other reasons). He had low self esteem and lacked confidence and always feared some other man would take "his" wife away. He created a reality where the more jealous and insecure he was, the less attractive and desirable he seemed to me.

I wish we could have at least been able to talk about noticing attractive people on the street (like GalaGirl and her h), or to admire certain celebrities, without him going into a tailspin and "punishing" me in various passive aggressive ways.

I'm sure it would be possible for you to find a partner eventually who could live with your feelings of attraction for others, and admit to her own feelings of attraction as well. Unless she's some kind of asexual, she has those feelings too.

Hi Mags,

Thanks for sharing your story. I looked up the book Sex at Dawn - it seems like an interesting idea, although it also seems to have attracted a lot of criticism from scholars. In any case, I'm wary of any broad conclusions about whether the human race as a whole are inclined to being poly or mono either way. From those I know in happy marriages and happy poly relationships, I can at least anecdotally say I know people who are happy in both camps. But who knows?

For myself, I think you're right in that the feelings will not disappear, but can only be repressed. Knowing my partner, I don't think she'll ever be that way. I just hope I could find happiness in repressing my feelings, because I really don't want to end this.

Equally though, I would not want to find out that it's unworkable after 30 years of marriage. That must have been really tough. Hoping you're in a better position now with your relationships.

Myno
 

Mynotoar

New member
I think your feelings are legit. It's not natural to force yourself into a monogamous box, when deep inside you are nonmonogamous. People in your situation usually don't fare well. They end up cheating, or resenting their partner, or both. In order to stop feeling sad, while not breaking up with your partner, you will have to become monogamous, deep down inside. Can you do that? or will you always feel sad whenever you see a beautiful woman?
I really hope I can. Currently going through CBT to try and work through this and figure out a way. I just don't want this relationship to end. Equally, I'm scared for the future, and I can't see it because I know that the unhappiness will keep cropping up unless I either nix this desire or feel fully free to live as I choose. And as the latter isn't an option in this relationship, I'm working on the nixing.

Maybe you just need to resign yourself to feeling sad. You did say you're happy with your partner in most senses of the word. Maybe she's worth burying your nonmonogamous feelings? If so, maybe the thing to do when you see a beautiful woman, is, to remind yourself of why you are choosing to be monogamous. Why it is worth it to you. Kind of a, count your blessings, type of approach. It's hard to change your feelings, I hope you can do it.
Thanks, this is helpful advice. I will try and keep this in mind.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I just hope I could find happiness in repressing my feelings, because I really don't want to end this.

Equally though, I would not want to find out that it's unworkable after 30 years of marriage.

I really hope I can. Currently going through CBT to try and work through this and figure out a way. I just don't want this relationship to end. Equally, I'm scared for the future, and I can't see it because I know that the unhappiness will keep cropping up unless I either nix this desire or feel fully free to live as I choose. And as the latter isn't an option in this relationship, I'm working on the nixing.

I feel sad reading this. Like you are choosing to try to bend yourself into pretzels and square peg/round hole. :(

I guess you could give it a try for a year, but if this still sucks?

Do the brave thing and end it so she can find her monogamous Sweetie. (Because that is not you.) And you can find your Poly Sweetie (because that is not her.)

Sometimes the most loving thing one can do is to let go.

Galagirl
 
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