Cheers Sexy Peeps!
A comment just came in from a recent popular blog post of mine Why Do Polyamorous People Get Married? The comment is filled with pain and the commenter is seeking answers. I was about to write a reply in the comment section, but realized that the best way to serve this hurting individual was to dedicate an entire blog post to this person’s question. One of the reasons that I would like to do so is not only to more directly help others that may be dealing with a similar situation, but so that the polyamorous community can chime in here and also offer their advice and warm, supportive thoughts to this commenter.
Here is her dilemma and question:
Okay, I’m the weirdo here. Monogamous, married 21 years, recently polybombed by my spouse, two profoundly handicapped daughters who we both love dearly, divorce is not an option. I really don’t know what to do with the shattered pieces of my marriage. I love my husband and honestly believed we had a great relationship, great marriage. I thought we were happy and good together, and then I get his handed to me. He doesn’t want to lose what he has, but it isn’t enough to keep him happy. I guess I’m not good enough or exciting enough for him to want to be faithful to me. I’ve known some couples where one spouse can’t remain faithful, but the other still loves them and doesn’t want to leave. They’re humiliated, hurt and sad, but resigned to make the best of it. I always felt sorry for them, I just never imagined I’d be one of them. So now, I’m trying to find information on how to accept this and keep it from crushing me. How do I let him touch me knowing he’s just come from his other lovers? How do I handle knowing he’d rather spend time with his other lovers instead of staying home with the girls and me? Please don’t suggest I get my own outside lovers, I am monogamous to the core. I know none of this makes sense to people who are poly, but maybe you know someone like me who found a way to be okay. Any help would be appreciated.
First, I want to tell you how sorry I am that you find yourself in such a nasty, uncomfortable and hurtful situation. I feel for you and where you are finding yourself. And I also applaud you for having the strength to seek answers, and choose personal growth as a way out of your pain. It takes a certain type of person to do so, and it also takes courage and some healthy self-esteem. So please pat yourself on the back for your fortitude, and ability to take positive action. You go, girl!
Second, to address your question to the best of my ability, here are my thoughts:
- You are not a weirdo – We are all human, and there are many more monogamous people than there are polyamorous people here on earth. So WE are the “weird” ones if we must use that term. And everyone is welcome here at Loving Without Boundaries, as this is a supportive community. I am trying to create answers for people seeking them, and create awareness that we have choices. There is no right or wrong way to “do” relationships.
- I do not know the details of why your husband chose to have other lovers, or if he did this behind your back, thus was cheating and being unfaithful to you without your consent. I am guessing by your pain and your words that that is the case. But in terms of YOU feeling “not good enough or exciting enough for him to want to be faithful to you”, for truly polyamorous people who have the ability to love more than one person (and want to do it preferably ethically and “above board”), that fact that your husband desires and can love another does not take away from his love and desire for you. Love can be unlimited if we let it. Time is finite. Love is not. One metaphor that I like is love is not like a checking account, whereby loving more than one person, it takes away from the others. As an example, I love my husband and my boyfriend profoundly. My love for my boyfriend does not take away from the love that I have for my husband. It CAN work like that (that doesn’t mean that it always does, but it CAN). I would suggest that you have a lengthy, heartfelt discussion with your husband where you ask him some direct questions to help you find answers about where his head and heart is at. Two books I can suggest here are Non-Violent Communication (so that you can talk to your husband about painful issues productively without him feeling attacked), and I Need Your Love, Is That True. The latter is a game changer book that can help you reframe the way that you look at things, as well as help you work on your own emotion management, and your self-worth as you go through this process. Both books are listed under my book section here on the blog for your easy reference.
- My last suggestion is to find people like yourself going through the exact same thing, so that you both have a support group, and can find more answers to your burning questions around this issue. One group I can suggest is called “Mono/Poly – The New Game!” on FetLife. You can join fetlife.com anonymously if you wish, and join the group. Then you can read the discussions that are going on as well as start your own discussions to get feedback, answers and much needed support. Here is a description of the group:
This group is for mono people in relationships with poly partners, poly people in relationships with mono partners, individuals who identify as somewhere in between mono and poly, and allies, support professionals and other interested parties.
We are here to explore how mono folks and poly folks can have healthy relationships together, and how we can each understand our relational orientation or ways of relating more fully. This is a support group, and will be moderated as such. This is NOT a place to debate whether mono/poly can work. If you insist on your right to criticize our relationship style as unworkable, you will be banned mercilessly.
I am addressing the polyamorous community now: kindly chime in here if you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for our friend here. She needs your help. Please take a few moments to offer your support, especially if you have experience in this arena.
Commenter, I wish you much success with your marriage and this situation. I am sending you much love and support, and hope you find your way on your journey. I know and understand what it’s like to find yourself on a path that you did not foresee for yourself. You will get through it! Have faith!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)