Seriously considering polyamory. How to decide? How to start the conversation?

Photosynthesis

New member
Hello!
My partner (let's call him Jake) and I have been together for ten years; we have a very good relationship. We bought a house last year and are thinking to start a family fairly soon.
I've thought about poly before and it did appeal but it didn't seem worth the risk to our relationship. This was pretty much his opinion too (I think?) but we barely spoke about it really. This was years ago.
I've thought about it again recently because I have been caught off guard by feelings for someone at work. I don't know if the feeling would be reciprocated but that's not the point - I'm not thinking about being poly so that I could be with that specific person, it's just that the experience has reminded me that I can have serious feelings for more than one person.
Basically, I'd like not to feel like a terrible person if or when I develop feelings for someone else. I'd also like the same for Jake if the same happened to him.
I think we might be a good fit for polyamory. I don't think we're insecure in our relationship. We don't have secrets and we're not the jealous type. Actually it's that 'don't have secrets' part that is another motivator for considering going poly. I haven't told Jake about my aforementioned feelings, because I wouldn't want him to think I felt any different about my relationship with him. I absolutely hate not being able to tell Jake how I feel.

So bizarrely, I am of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand, I think it would be awesome. I'd be free to develop new deep connections with people. If Jake wanted to meet other people, our relationship would be forever immune to the damage that seems to cause traditional couples. On the other hand, it's terrifying. I don't know what to expect. Would things change between me and Jake for better or for worse? What about children? Maybe I'm kidding myself and we would become jealous unhappy people? Is this whole thing just a crazy idea?

Neither of us have been in any other relationship before so it could be a big change for us.

I'm wondering how I can bring up the topic so we can discuss it. I want him to be reassured that if it's not something he would be comfortable with, then I'm not either. But how can you bring up this topic without the other person feeling inadequate, doubting if they're enough for you, worrying that you're only suggesting this because something is wrong?
 

Dagferi

Well-known member
I am going to be straight to the point.

If you are going to be starting a family now is not the time for polyamory.

Small children heck children in general take a lot of time, energy, and resources. NRE is a wicked drug and people do not always use the best judgement during that time. When my boys were little I did not have time to shower let alone date amd Butch is a hell of a hands on dad. Sometimes I feel like he is the better parent.

Moose and Squirrel are now 16 and 12. They are very independent now but they still need their parents. There are school events, homework, social events, sports, other hobbies that they need chauffeured to. Now they are older poly is harder than when they were in elementary school.

There is no harm in discussions with the your partner to see if it is a possibility in the future. But I would also do some reading of the suggested reading that is listed here on the board but also read some of the blogs here especially some of the older ones to see the pitfalls that can happen.

One fact that seems to be true is relationships where poly is introduced are never the same again.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
We bought a house last year and are thinking to start a family fairly soon.

Dagferi is spot on. Becoming a parent is OVERWHELMING in the easiest of circumstances. It ushers in an enormous amount of uncertainty, change and new emotion and that ride doesn't let up for many years. You cannot imagine the power of a baby until you have one in your life. Truly, this experience is engulfing and transforming like no other. When babies are introduced, the only way that poly seems to work is if the poly relationships are already long standing. If you're looking for advice, mine is that you'd want to focus on one enormous change or the other: either evolution into poly or creating kids. Doing both at the same time has not worked in any situation that I know of.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Basically, I'd like not to feel like a terrible person if or when I develop feelings for someone else. I'd also like the same for Jake if the same happened to him.
I think we might be a good fit for polyamory. I don't think we're insecure in our relationship. We don't have secrets and we're not the jealous type. Actually it's that 'don't have secrets' part that is another motivator for considering going poly. I haven't told Jake about my aforementioned feelings, because I wouldn't want him to think I felt any different about my relationship with him. I absolutely hate not being able to tell Jake how I feel.
I think you could walk your talk. If you believe you're not an insecure couple and don't have secrets, tell him about your feelings. Establish it as a norm to talk about your crushes and attractions - in a considerate manner, where you don't hide, but don't overload the other person either.
There are monogamous couples who do just that as part of their intimacy.

There's much more to living the poly lifestyle than just talking about feelings, and I don't really see you wanting all that complication. So let the crush subside, and - if you dare - practice being honest with your partner about that.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Photosynthesis,

You want to know how to start the conversation with Jake. I would suggest, something like, "Jake, I am very happy in our relationship and you're everything I could want you to be. In spite of that, I have been thinking a lot about open relationships and polyamory. Could we talk about that?" Then, hopefully Jake will let you know how he feels about it. If he is willing to learn more with you, start with Franklin Veaux's Poly FAQ. Then, if he is still willing to learn more with you, invest in the book, "Opening Up: a guide to creating and sustaining open relationships," by Tristan Taormino. Finally, if he is still willing to learn more with you, have him join this forum, and participate with you in the various threads and conversations we have here. There is so much to learn.

As the others are suggesting, I would say hold off on having kids until you have thoroughly discussed poly with Jake, and, if the two of you decide to do poly, hold off on having kids until you have thoroughly integrated poly into your lives. It would be incredibly difficult to try to figure out poly while simultaneously dealing with (an) infant/s or small child/ren. They're so much work. And polyamory will definitely change your relationship, whether for better or worse largely depends on how well you understand it going in. I encourage you to read (and post) a lot on this forum, so that you know of the pitfalls ahead of time. Also keep us posted on this thread as your situation evolves, so that we may give you updated counsel and advice.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be poly. Poly tends to be a lot of work, at least in the early stages, but it can be incredibly rewarding. I hope we can help you decide if poly is right for you.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

MayDecember

New member
...We don't have secrets...

I haven't told Jake about my aforementioned feelings

You have a secret hon, and you hate not being able to tell him about it. You have empathy for the potential hurt.

My wife was insidious. She started with porn, then webchat girls, strippers, sporting girls, and incessant urging for me to obtain a younger mistress.

It took several years, at least two before using the word "mistress".

I do not consider that I was manipulated deviously. She may not even have been clear in her mind in the beginning herself. I was her first boyfriend, she was a teenager then and over 30 now. She was insanely jealous in the beginning and now wants to be there, bossing us around in bed, lol.

So what I am saying is that a person doesn't have to go from zero to 60 in two seconds. From mono, buying property together, and starting a family - to poly with a work cohort.

There have to be intermediate steps, one of which is talking about it long before even any remote action is taken with someone else. I prefer bluntness. If you bring up Poly, he is going to zero in on this guy from work. Guaranteed.

So do you want to be in the position of concealing your motivation (notwithstanding your denials)? That's how he will read it if you spring the subject and then get defensive about the guy from work. He'll dig. You'll deny. I do not think this a good road to go down.

On the other hand, if you say that this guy at work is the kind of person that would trip your trigger, we have come right to the point. You can deal with this infatuation as a couple. Not because poly lives or dies upon this one person. But instead because it is potentially a great exercise in "what if"?

Work relationships are a danger to themselves, but regardless it is better to have the husband in on this kind of imagining. Establishing boundaries if he wants to. Urging you on if that's his fancy.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle.

Don't start a family til you sort yourself out.

Actually it's that 'don't have secrets' part that is another motivator for considering going poly. I haven't told Jake about my aforementioned feelings, because I wouldn't want him to think I felt any different about my relationship with him. I absolutely hate not being able to tell Jake how I feel.

That seems to say...

  • I think we're not supposed to have secrets in this relationship.
  • I don't want to tell Jake how I feel about my crush on my coworker (which makes it a secret.)
  • I can't tell him because Jake will think I feel different about my relationship with him.

I think you are basically upsetting your own self needlessly. Why are you not managing YOUR anxiety and your feelings? And leaving Jake to manage HIS feelings?

Additionally... Why do you have to tell your partner EVERYTHING? Not like keeping bad secrets or lying... but avoiding being one of those super enmeshed couples who lose their sense of self or individuality? Like they are "all couple" all the time?

"it's just that the experience has reminded me that I can have serious feelings for more than one person."

That's fine.

Basically, I'd like not to feel like a terrible person if or when I develop feelings for someone else. "

Why are you telling yourself you are a terrible person just because you get a crush on someone? You can feel attraction to others in Life. Life is long and you are ALIVE. Having those feelings doesn't mean you have to pursue them or jump their bones or something. You just happen to notice beauty in the world.

Why does that have to be a horrible or terrible thing? :confused:

Considering doing poly so you don't feel guilty noticing people and having crushes? That doesn't seem to take into account if either of you REALLY wants to be doing poly and have the skills to do it.

You almost sound like you want it for a bandaid to help you not feel guilty about stuff you don't actually have to feel guilty about. Where did you learn this feeling guilty thing?

So bizarrely, I am of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand, I think it would be awesome. I'd be free to develop new deep connections with people. If Jake wanted to meet other people, our relationship would be forever immune to the damage that seems to cause traditional couples.

WHAT damage? HOW would it make you immune?

On the other hand, it's terrifying. I don't know what to expect. Would things change between me and Jake for better or for worse? What about children? Maybe I'm kidding myself and we would become jealous unhappy people? Is this whole thing just a crazy idea? Neither of us have been in any other relationship before so it could be a big change for us.

Then skip it. Don't do stuff that brings you terror.

Instead learn to be ok being a human being who feels the full range of human emotion, and be ok being a person who notices beauty in the world. Noticing someone is attractive and crushing on them a bit doesn't mean you have to ACT on it, and noticing doesn't mean you love Jake less.

I'm wondering how I can bring up the topic so we can discuss it. I want him to be reassured that if it's not something he would be comfortable with, then I'm not either. But how can you bring up this topic without the other person feeling inadequate, doubting if they're enough for you, worrying that you're only suggesting this because something is wrong?

What do YOU need to be reassured on?

What's with you trying to do his emotional management FOR him? Why are you so fearful?

If this is your partner, why can't you just tell him what's on your mind without worrying how his reaction will be?

Is he in the habit of blowing up at you when things come up? Are you afraid to be your authentic self around him?

Galagirl
 
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Photosynthesis

New member
Super on point here people, thank you so much. I'll try and summarize what I'm hearing, the main points:
* New baby & new poly : terrible combination. That makes complete sense. Agreed.
* Do some reading.
* It doesn't have to be a sudden change, it could be gradual.
* either way, it's always going to be a permanent change to a relationship.
* As a completely separate and distinct thing to thinking about poly, I need to process and accept the having of a crush. I need to decide if it's good to talk about or fine to keep private, as some of you have mentioned each option. I think this is really the crux of it.

Points related to that:
* from Tinwen: I could just straight up tell him. There are monogamous couples who do this, it could be a norm.
* from MayDecember: If I bring up polyamory before mentioning my crush, that could be a recipe for disaster. He'll make the connection and then wonder why I was withholding this pretty relevant information.
* from Galagirl: I don't have to be completely merged into one relationship personblob. Not every couple tells each other every little thing and that is okay. Also, noticing other people isn't a crime to feel guilt about, and I don't need to manage other people's emotions-that's their job. Also, I have to take care I am not conflating polyamory and being-able-to-talk-about-crushes; the former is not a bandaid for the other.

All great points. Now to answer some of the questions/ clarify some things.

The worry about bringing it up is definitely empathy, not him 'blowing up'. He has literally never done anything remotely like that. Why can't I tell him 'without worrying how his reaction will be? ' Because I care about him and don't want to hurt him.

Why am I even considering something that terrifies me? Because since of the greatest experiences in life are things that are terrifying at first.

Where did I learn the guilt from? I don't know. Probably society in general, you know we're always fed this very monogamous narrative and it's always the 'bad guy' who wants someone else.

Some more information - you mention noticing beauty - it's not that. I am comfortable 'noticing beauty' and saying as much to Jake, we can both appreciate a nice butt etc. Hot bodies is one thing. The kind of attraction I'm talking about here though is focused on personality.

I'll keep thinking.
 

MayDecember

New member
Why am I even considering something that terrifies me? Because since of the greatest experiences in life are things that are terrifying at first.

Hahaha! That is exactly how I feel about it. No guts, no glory.

At the same time, if we want to jump out of planes, then we do our research and practice, eventually going solo with a parachute. Instead of blowing a hole in a 737 and jumping out with an umbrella.

This isn't for everyone, but my wife will alert me in the grocery store to eye candy. It would not be possible for me to deny an attraction to someone. She knows exactly what turns me on, or off.

This work associate - would your husband know if you described him accurately - that you would automatically be attracted to him? Mine would!

It suggests an interesting question about whether you have already felt you needed to shade things, or not talk at all about this work associate.

The cheater's bible is clear on this: if miss hotty whorehouse is your secretary then you describe her as a ghoul to the wife. If your wife shows up at work, then miss HW is a temp. The ghoul was out that day.

There's boundaries my wife has set down, from years of discussion. I cannot do her sister, lol - and that was for many years something her sister would have been thrilled to do. I hid a brazen attempt from my wife for about a decade. Before my wife started pushing poly.

There was more than one attempt, there were many. But one over-the-top, topless attempt. Ignoring her was lesson enough, I figured - and I could think of no good coming from telling my wife. Not for a second did I consider it. Eventually her sister gave up, and unrequited love dies.

So there is an example of a secret I kept from my wife. I know both of them well enough that they will never speak about it. There is nothing to be gained by it.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
The worry about bringing it up is definitely empathy, not him 'blowing up'. He has literally never done anything remotely like that. Why can't I tell him 'without worrying how his reaction will be? ' Because I care about him and don't want to hurt him.

I think it is ok for him to have his OWN reaction/response to something without you having to "pre-manage" it for him. When you do that it is almost like you try to make the world around him cushy "so he won't get hurt" when from another perspective it's like you saying "I don't think he can cope on his own."

Not the same thing.... but I like eggplant. My spouse thinks it is gross and squishy. Is me saying to him "I really enjoy this eggplant dish" me doing something horrible TO him? Hurting him? Nope. It is me expressing what *I* think or feel.

Is his honest reaction of "Ew. Eggplant. Glad you like it but not for me!" him hurting me? Nope. It's him expressing his own self and how HE thinks or feels.

Some more information - you mention noticing beauty - it's not that. I am comfortable 'noticing beauty' and saying as much to Jake, we can both appreciate a nice butt etc. Hot bodies is one thing. The kind of attraction I'm talking about here though is focused on personality.

For me a person's personality is part of what makes them beautiful. I don't see the difference between saying to my spouse "X has a cute butt" and "X has a great personality." I can say to my spouse "I think X at work has a cute butt and a great personality and great humor. I'm really attracted to that" and my spouse can go "Yeah, I think they are cool" or "Nah, I don't see it" to whatever their reaction is.

But I'm not sharing that information to hurt my spouse. I'm sharing my opinion because I would like to make my spouse aware of the things I'm into so he can know me more.

And they can have their own opinion and have the things they are into or not into. I'd like to know them.

That's why I ask... if you don't want to share this crush thing? You don't have to. You don't have to tell partner EVERYTHING and be one personblob.

But if you DO want to share that info? But then stop yourself from worrying about how he will react?

How's this figure into that? :confused:

Why am I even considering something that terrifies me? Because since of the greatest experiences in life are things that are terrifying at first.

If sharing with him is causing you so much fear... well... face the fear/terror and share anyway and risk being vulnerable/more authentic with your partner about what attracts you to others. Risk getting to know each other and how each one ticks more deeply.

That doesn't mean just run off to do poly. That means... share more with THIS partner. Get to know each other on those levels too.

Galagirl
 
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Photosynthesis

New member
Would he know who I find attractive? That's an odd one - he knows what kind of people I like. I have loads of male friends. Almost all my friends are male because I'm in a male-dominated field. I sort of collect friends then bring them home, I'm the social organizer. Jake's friends are almost entirely my friends that I have introduced to him. In general he likes the people I like.

And no, lol, I haven't described work guy as a ghoul. He's actually met him.

(Oh and there's nothing especially problematic about work guy in terms of work - he's not my boss, I'm not his boss.)

I didn't get the eggplant thing at first but when I re-read I think I'm getting it...
I guess I was kind of imagining liking-other-people as an action that I was taking that could cause hurt. You can't stab someone then be like 'handling your pain is your problem, not mine'. So I didn't understand how you could suggest I stop worrying about how he might take it. But, maybe it's more like liking eggplant? (I mean, not quite, but...yeah) it's not something I am choosing to do, it's just how I feel. What I choose to do about it (and how I choose to talk about it) is the action. Hmm.. Food for thought.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I could be wrong. Here are my impressions.

But, maybe it's more like liking eggplant? (I mean, not quite, but...yeah) it's not something I am choosing to do, it's just how I feel. What I choose to do about it (and how I choose to talk about it) is the action. Hmm.. Food for thought.

I believe a person experiences stimulus from the environment. Or does some thinking behavior or action behavior. Then some feelings ensue.

  • If it feels nice, they keep on being around that stimulus or doing the behavior.
  • If it feels yucky? They can get away from the stimulus or change the behavior and see if new feelings will ensue.

Problem: Right now you tell yourself that you having a crush is horrible and bad. (thinking behavior)

Result: You end up feeling guilty.

New Response: You may have to change your mind and do new thinking behavior. You may have to decide that merely feeling some attraction is not a big deal. It happens. It doesn't automatically mean you HAVE to pursue the crush. It doesn't mean you love Jake less. It's just you experiencing some emotions right now. Fun feelings or ugh feelings -- emotional weather will pass if we let it.

Problem: You worry about your partner will take things badly. You think if he DOES take it badly, it is your fault/you did it to him/you hurt him. So to avoid that, you don't share things you seem to want to share about yourself.

Result: You feel bad not sharing. It also circles into the "we don't keep secrets" thing, and then you also feel bad that you are "keeping a secret."

New Response: You may have to change your mind about that.

a) You can decide you are NOT obligated to share everything when you are in a couple. Not that you are doing bad things or keeping secrets or being dishonest. Just that you don't have to be an enmeshed couple personblob. You can have some personal privacy. You can be your own individual self. AND be participating in a relationship.

b) If you DO choose to share more of your thoughts and feelings with your partner, and risk being more emotionally and mentally intimate with them? You can ask if he's up for a talk. If he consents? Then you share. That is you sharing about yourself through the talking. You are not raining verbal abuse on your partner like you are doing mean talk TO him.

  • If he doesn't want to know? He can say "No. I don't want to do a sharing talk. "
  • If he is willing, but not right now? He can say "yes, but not this minute. how about Friday?" and work out a good time with you.
  • If he's happy to hear it right now? He consents. You can share. And you learn he is willing to cultivate deeper emotional and mental intimacy with you.
  • If he has a cow just from you sharing things about yourself? Well, he has a cow then! That is HIS emotional response. That is not you doing things TO him. That is HIM having a cow after he consented to hearing some stuff. He didn't have to say yes. He went there of his own will. You did not foist it on him.

I guess I was kind of imagining liking-other-people as an action that I was taking that could cause hurt.

  • I like my mother.
  • I like my kids.
  • I like my husband.
  • I happen to have a small crush on a guy at church right now.

My spouse knows all that. Nothing doom happens.

You could embrace this thought....


Why am I even considering something that terrifies me? Because since of the greatest experiences in life are things that are terrifying at first.

and bravely tell your partner what's on your mind and actually risk becoming more emotionally and mentally intimate with him. Scary at first, but possibly a more rewarding relationship dynamic with him.

Or you could decide not to do that right now and be ok not telling him that stuff at this time.

Both are valid. But pick one, so you can have some relief from all this worrying.

I could be wrong, but right now you sound like you are making your own anxiety clouds. Doing circle stuff. Making a firm decision may feel better.

So I didn't understand how you could suggest I stop worrying about how he might take it. But, maybe it's more like liking eggplant? (I mean, not quite, but...yeah) it's not something I am choosing to do, it's just how I feel.

What I choose to do about it (and how I choose to talk about it) is the action. Hmm.. Food for thought.

Yup. You are experiencing crush emotions due to an attractive coworker in the office environment. You didn't hire him. Not in your control that he showed up here. You feel the attraction you feel.

What you choose to do about that crush or how you choose to talk about it and to who? Those are your choices.

If you could turn your feelings off and not be having a crush? You could have done it already. But you can't actually turn your feelings on and off. So you are posting on a forum about coping with the crush.

I'm telling you having a crush is fine. It's not a big deal, it will happen. It doesn't mean you love Jake less. It doesn't mean you have to leap into doing poly. It doesn't mean anything but that you find coworker attractive and have crush feelings. It's usually a bad idea to get involved with co-workers, and you aren't actually in an open relationship from the sound of it. So don't let anxiety get you carried away "what if-ing" all over the place. And don't jump into anything like cart before horse or getting ahead of yourself.

If what you want most is to be able to talk to Jake without feeling guilty or like he's gonna feel hurt or have a cow? Well, that confidence is grown by DOING. Risk actually talking to him about your vulnerable stuff. And finding out how he actually reacts or responds. Rather than worrying he will do this or that? Find OUT what he actually does.

So you can RELAX on this kind of thing next time.

You worrying about him worrying... that's not cool. It becomes circle anxieties for you.

And you are also over overstepping like trying to do his jobs for him. He can do his own worrying. Each person could carry their own baggage.

Galagirl
 
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WhatHappened

Active member
Actually it's that 'don't have secrets' part that is another motivator for considering going poly. I haven't told Jake about my aforementioned feelings, because I wouldn't want him to think I felt any different about my relationship with him. I absolutely hate not being able to tell Jake how I feel.

So bizarrely, I am of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand, I think it would be awesome. I'd be free to develop new deep connections with people. If Jake wanted to meet other people, our relationship would be forever immune to the damage that seems to cause traditional couples.

Apparently you do have secrets from each other.

Keep in mind, having feelings and acting on feelings are two entirely different things. I think most married people develop attractions and feelings for other people. Most of them realize this is fairly normal and it doesn't mean they have to pursue that person and act on those feelings.

Your relationship is not 'forever immune' to the potential damage that may come from either of you forming relationships with other people.

I'm wondering how I can bring up the topic so we can discuss it. I want him to be reassured that if it's not something he would be comfortable with, then I'm not either. But how can you bring up this topic without the other person feeling inadequate, doubting if they're enough for you, worrying that you're only suggesting this because something is wrong?

You can't really control how he feels. I think most people are going to feel that there's something wrong when their spouse says, "I want to meet, date, and have sex and relationships with other people."

All the advice you will get on that matter isn't necessarily going to change what is a fairly natural human response.

Just keep in mind, once you introduce the topic, it's a door that doesn't easily close.
 

MayDecember

New member
Would he know who I find attractive? That's an odd one - he knows what kind of people I like. I have loads of male friends. Almost all my friends are male because I'm in a male-dominated field. I sort of collect friends then bring them home, I'm the social organizer. Jake's friends are almost entirely my friends that I have introduced to him. In general he likes the people I like.

And no, lol, I haven't described work guy as a ghoul. He's actually met him.

Odd? You did not address the question really and that's the answer.

My wife points out the hotties for me in the grocery store. She serves up porn for us to watch together. A work cohort would take a nanosecond to evaluate sexually. We would speak to it directly between ourselves at the earliest opportunity.

If your husband is unaware, then you guys do not communicate on this level. It is not a put-down and the vast majority of couples don't. I would have been joking with my wife about hoping he has a big one and can run marathons.

It does not mean we want to have sex with the people in the porn clips we watch. We're bored with them after one viewing. Likewise with a fleeting shopping center hottie or a work associate...

It is no more significant, noticing tight pants on a perfect bum, than what color someone's shirt is. Just data.

Fun data. It is nice not to suffer guilt-trips and shame over something attractive. If you see a cute pair of boots, does that mean you want to steal them? Do we have to infer evil motives? Of course not.

Not having that openness means the first time your juices respond to something, it begins building in secret, and that's potentially a problem.

It depends on how much you are around this guy from work or how much you could fall into being around him if temptation calls.

I could never hide a titilation from my wife. But even if I could it would alarm me if I did not have her counsel on any decision to flirt with intention to bed. She is a real good judge of people. Other women.

One way to think about this is how relieved your husband may be to know that you came to him so that you could deal with this together.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I was married to a guy for over 30 years. My tendency to get crushes often and hard, was a difficult problem for us. I am hardwired poly. Back in the olden days, pre 2000 about, it was uncommon to admit to crushes. Modern polyamory didn't exist. We didn't have internet to easily learn about things. There was one book, The Ethical Slut, just came out. Heinlein had suggested a type of group marriage, but it wasn't seen as practical. Just sci fi fantasy. Jealousy was thought to be healthy, and an indicator of "true love." We were supposed to "forsake all others," right?

(side note: when god tells Eve to obey her husband and keep herself only to him, he doesn't tell Adam to obey Eve and keep himself only to her. This was because the ancients realized poly loves and poly sex was going to happen. But only for men. Because women could get pregnant by another man. So a man could have several wives, he could have several concubines, he could go to the temple and bang the sacred sex workers. If they got pregnant they could abort or raise the child in the temple.)


I'd try to hide my crushes, but my ex would always pick up on it. Hell, he imagined I had crushes on men I wasn't even attracted to! Oddly, he knew I was bi, but he didn't seem to care about my being attracted to other women, except to occasionally sarcastically ask me if I was a "big ol' lesbian."

So, yeah, I tried to hide my crushes, to placate my ex, to deny the reality, because there would be jealous angry fights when he suspected something. Even though I never once cheated, I never even kissed another guy.

And when I'd ask for compassion, he'd deny and deny he ever even looked at another woman. For decades he denied. Finally in our last years together in counseling, he admitted to mentally undressing every woman he saw anywhere. When I asked why he'd denied it, he said, he was trying to set a good example for me. Of course this backfired! I did feel like I was evil and he was the good one. He was pure, I was trash. It drove a huge wedge between us.

Yes, "his emotional management was his to deal with." But he'd punish me passive-aggressively when he suspected a new crush. And despite this one problem, we had a good marriage, we were well suited in many ways, our sex life was often good or even great, we had dozens of interests in common, we shared views on religion, on parenting practices, etc., etc. So we carried on with this bone of contention between us. The proverbial elephant in the room.

Finally we opened our marriage in 1999. Sadly, he found someone and fell in love. And since he was mono at heart, he then fell out of love with me. I found I was too busy with the kids to search for another lover. And I didn't like it when, after 3 months, he wanted to move her into our home and be my sister wife! I asked him to stop having sex with her, and he did. She didn't live nearby so their relationship was mostly by email or phone. But 8 years later, our kids were older, teens and early 20s, and he and I finally called it quits. His gf came running into his arms. I was free!

So, it's not all as simple as GalaGirl seems to make it out to be. Each situation is different. There are infinite configurations of how things work out between people.

But to simplify it all, I only wish I could've had what Tinwen suggests: being able to admit, while mono, that one is attracted to another, but doesn't plan to break up the couple and pursue them, or any other crush. My ex believed I wanted to leave him and go pursue Johnny Depp, for goodness sake. I'm like, he has a partner and lives in France! He still believed every time I got a crush it meant he, himself, must be lesser than them. He didn't see, when I explained, how similar the men I crushed on were to him. Whether they were friends, acquaintances, or stars. I mean, when I got a crush on Kurt Cobain, it was partly because he looked exactly like my husband had at that age, and they were both sensitive musicians, etc.

I struggled! I went to counseling for 3 years, and we did marriage counseling many times over the years. We got married too young, we grew up together and finally grew apart. It wasn't too late. We broke up, I was single, there were internet dating sites, and the universe had another partner ready for me right away. And she's poly. And we both date others. I just didn't want to end this on a sad note!
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Hello!
My partner (let's call him Jake) and I have been together for ten years; we have a very good relationship. We bought a house last year and are thinking to start a family fairly soon.

Are you and your partner married ?? This might not seem like a big deal to some people but that legal entanglement does make a difference when things get difficult and you can’t just walk away.

I've thought about poly before and it did appeal but it didn't seem worth the risk to our relationship. This was pretty much his opinion too (I think?) but we barely spoke about it really. This was years ago.

What over the yrs has mitigated those risks ?


Basically, I'd like not to feel like a terrible person if or when I develop feelings for someone else. I'd also like the same for Jake if the same happened to him.
I think we might be a good fit for polyamory. I don't think we're insecure in our relationship. We don't have secrets and we're not the jealous type. Actually it's that 'don't have secrets' part that is another motivator for considering going poly. I haven't told Jake about my aforementioned feelings, because I wouldn't want him to think I felt any different about my relationship with him. I absolutely hate not being able to tell Jake how I feel.

The problem I see is how the original relationship foundation was layed and the comfort it provided. The expectation of or belief of how it’s been.
I think if you’re serious about this you need to share your poly leaning way way before starting a family because after really creates headaches on both sides of this.

Do you think your partner will he turned on by the thought of you with another man ? Are you turned on by the thought of him with another woman ?

So bizarrely, I am of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand, I think it would be awesome. I'd be free to develop new deep connections with people. If Jake wanted to meet other people, our relationship would be forever immune to the damage that seems to cause traditional couples. On the other hand, it's terrifying. I don't know what to expect. Would things change between me and Jake for better or for worse? What about children? Maybe I'm kidding myself and we would become jealous unhappy people? Is this whole thing just a crazy idea?

You need to read this forum going back yrs to see that you might think you’re immunized form a specific type of damage but opening up to all sorts of other damage.


Neither of us have been in any other relationship before so it could be a big change for us.

It would / will be a big change no matter what.

I'm wondering how I can bring up the topic so we can discuss it. I want him to be reassured that if it's not something he would be comfortable with, then I'm not either. But how can you bring up this topic without the other person feeling inadequate, doubting if they're enough for you, worrying that you're only suggesting this because something is wrong?

Having been on jakes end of that conversation it’s rather impossible to not think that you’re not enough or there is something lacking in the relationship. BECAUSE that’s actually the truth. Some people need more ...want more etc, etc....it’s just a fact and it’s just a hard reality to shallow.
 

MayDecember

New member
he admitted to mentally undressing every woman he saw anywhere. When I asked why he'd denied it, he said, he was trying to set a good example for me.

We want you to know we already killed him. He suffered in ways too horrific to put into print.

Justice cried out for vengeance over such a manipulatively abusive lie.

Seriously, thanks for your testimony. He wanted to get away with it himself and guilt-trip/shame you for yours.

dingedheart - good catch about married or not. Agree.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
We want you to know we already killed him. He suffered in ways too horrific to put into print.

Justice cried out for vengeance over such a manipulatively abusive lie.

Seriously, thanks for your testimony. He wanted to get away with it himself and guilt-trip/shame you for yours.

This post confuses me. I do not understand what you are responding to (or the point that you appear to be trying to make - are you disagreeing with Mags pointing out that people can be hypocrites?).

dingedheart - good catch about married or not. Agree.

Again, confusion:confused:. "Good catch" implies that dingedheart found something incriminating that implies that the OP was trying to dupe us in some way. As opposed to "Good point" which would indicate, to me, that you would agree with dingedheart's sentiment that "marriage" IS a big deal to some people and makes "just walking away" more difficult.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
This post confuses me. I do not understand what you are responding to (or the point that you appear to be trying to make - are you disagreeing with Mags pointing out that people can be hypocrites?).

I think MD means he and his wife are angry at my ex's hypocrisy and discussed ways to torture and kill him for this crime.
 
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