"If I, instead, focus on the embodied experience of responsiveness and atunement, would this give my partner the security she needs?"
Maybe. Maybe not. The only one who can answer that is your partner.
True - and I think she can only answer this after she has experiences this, otherwise we're talking about some abstract thing.
IME? Some people don't know how to fill their own bucket up. They also don't know how not to punch holes in their bucket or stop kicking their own bucket over. They look to others to fill their bucket, which helps for a time because then they feel better.
The partner(s) might be willing to help be bucket fillers at first. But if it is chronic, like filling the never ending black hole of need? The partner's are going to burn out and/or get tired of that. It's not two way street relating.
Ultimately to change that dynamic, the person has to figure out how to self validate, be comfortable in their own skin, not go around kicking their own bucket over, etc. Be able to stand on their own two feet.
To me that's a basic skill. To know your own self, your own limits, your own preferences etc.
Agreed - and this has been a theme she has been working on. We call it "standing on your own feet" and there is a subtle energy of "leaning on me" when she somehow expects me to process/help/solve her emotional things. After initially being very empathic, I have been very strict on not enabling this co-dependency / enmeshment up to the point of being rude (my judgement, not hers). I think now I'm able to revisit empathy from free choice, instead from being out of guilt, habit or subtle emotional manipulation.
"Would this be a way to open up the relationship when I feel the desire to have more relationships?"
I don't think so. I think it would be a way to get along with your partner by meeting needs more effectively (if it is indeed, more effective. You could just ask your partner what their needs are.)
I've been polyamorous at the start, made a monogamous commitment after a few months, regretted it after a year or so, tried to bring it up once, she got triggered and I shut down, brought it up twice she got triggered again, then finally brought it up and said: "hey, this is me, and you have got to have this conversation with me instead of getting triggered and making it about your emotions". That point was 6 years ago. In the 3-4 years after, we had honest conversations and explored opening up, with well-known stages of:
- struggling with the idea that she is not enough when i enjoy somebody else
- not understanding poly at heart (as I don't really understand the mono at heart)
- she feeling guilty that she was too insecure to give me this
- making it a competition
- trying it out with a kiss in the club
When you are ready to ask your partner if they'd consider opening up the relationship? You ask if they are willing to consider. If you are doing stuff with some secret goal to get to poly? That may seem disingenous to them.
If you ask plain? She could consider then give honest answer. Because if what she wants is monogamous relationship and that's what she's happiest doing? And you are no longer willing to do that? Then you discover you have become incompatible over time. Each wanting different things. One can be kind about that, but I don't think there's any bending into pretzels over it.
Been there, done that - but with a different outcome. My wife felt quite some pressure (from herself) to make polyamory work as she understood how much it matters to me. But why should she be the one making adjustments to meet my needs? What is it that I hope to achieve with polyamory and can't I find other ways to meet those needs?
As it turns out, I can. Things Polyamory gives me, with their alternative:
- I can feel attracted to others without feeling guilty. (What about: feeling attracted, flirt, but don't act on it, and don't feel guilty for that?)
- I can have more intimate relationships (What about: having intimitate friend without no romantic of sexual component in it?)
- I feel more myself / free / independent (What about: solving enmeshment/co-dependency issues to be more myself in this relationship?)
- I like the different parts that show up when I am around different people (What about: having a life and friends outside this relationship?)
- I enjoy having romance and sex in my life (What about: rekindling passion in a longterm relationship by spending quality time with eachother?)
- I enjoy the excitement and adventure of meeting new people (What about: just do that, and not have it end in romance or sex?)
And while some of these needs might be much easier and quicker to fulfill with a polyamourous lifestyle, for now, I find it worth it to put in a little more effort and honour my wife's desire for monogamy.
And, to be honest, I wonder if polyamorous would really help me meet those needs quicker, as currently a lot of time and energy is consumed by work and kids, leaving little time for friends and dating. Polysaturated at one?