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Polyamory and emotions

(180 Posts)
Orcsies Mon 03-Aug-20 20:21:52

Long time lurker, first time poster - please go easy on me.

I have recently (a few months ago, known him for longer) entered into a relationship with a polyamorous man. He was very upfront about the way he conducts his relationships and even though I am currently his only partner, for many reasons more to do with my own situation I am a secondary partner - we do not and have no plans to live together, have children, buy a house etc., but we have a commitment to each other in terms of time spent together, emotional support, sharing, feelings.

It has now come to the point whereby he will very likely soon spend the night with someone else. Again, we have spoken about this and logically I am fine with this - it is just sex and even if there were more to it (which he would definitely tell me - an important part of this kind of relationship is constant communication) I am under no threat from her with regards to his emotions or his commitment to me. I have a key to his house and I have met his family. He is a good man.

That is the logical part.
Here is my issue. This is my first polyamorous relationship. I have in the past gone through a lot of abuse in other relationships and have subsequently developed a fair few insecurities. I know that these insecurities are my own issue and I can trace each one back to its origins. My partner is supportive and reassuring whenever we discuss my feelings (something very new and unusual for me).

I know that, with time and a lot of work on my part, I will be okay - not only with him having sex outside of the relationship, but also when the time comes for him to take on other partners. Of course, I have the same rights.

But in the meantime, I do not yet have the time to develop those securities before he will sleep with this woman. I don't want to make him wait - after all, my issues are deep-rooted and will take many months if not years and I knew what I signed myself up for.

So I need strategies: strategies to become secure enough in myself and to overcome my feelings of jealousy and anxiety around the whole thing. Any thoughts on this, experiences and help greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
noego Mon 03-Aug-20 20:36:01

You're not strong enough emotionally for a poly relationship. And TBH, in fact I'll be blunt if he knows about your insecurities he shouldn't be putting you through it. It is quite simply cruel.
Only someone who is strong mentally and secure about themselves should contemplate a poly relationship if the circumstances are right for all involved.
It seems that you need to work on yourself OP before considering this type of relationship.

velourvoyageur Mon 03-Aug-20 20:40:45

OP perhaps I just don’t know enough about poly relationships, but is it really a question of emotional strength? Perhaps monogamy is what suits you best and you would encounter too much self-resistance if you were to try this. Or perhaps you and noego are right and it is a matter of insecurity. But have you and DP discussed the first possibility at all, or is he framing it all as an issue on your end?

Ginger1982 Mon 03-Aug-20 20:42:55

Why in God's name would you want to be in this kind of relationship where you basically have to force yourself to accept the very intrinsic nature of it? It makes no sense!

TheStuffedPenguin Mon 03-Aug-20 20:43:14

Yes you DO need a strategy to remove yourself from this situation . Already it is creating stress in your mind ....

I am under no threat from her with regards to his emotions or his commitment to me
How can you possibly tell this ?

My partner is supportive and reassuring whenever we discuss my feelings (something very new and unusual for me)
I bet he is ....

I know that, with time and a lot of work on my part, I will be okay

He's really done a number on you ...

SoulofanAggron Mon 03-Aug-20 20:45:24

He is a good man.

Hardly anyone is willingly involved with someone who's a bad person. They all think they're with a good man. There are a lot of charmers around. He might even think he's a good man, but not be- even most bad people probably don't think they're bad.

Just keep an eye on how he treats you and makes you feel. If anything he says or does makes you feel unhappy, tell him and if he won't/doesn't change it then end it. If he says or does something that's absolutely awful, end it immediately.

SoulofanAggron Mon 03-Aug-20 20:50:46

I do not yet have the time to develop those securities before he will sleep with this woman

Why not? If you're a priority for him he'll wait until you're ok with it. But I really have the feeling you'll never be 100% ok with it- which is fine, it's not a defect in you. Most of us wouldn't be happy with it. It's not necessarily because you have issues, or even if you have, it's not for you and that's ok.

Embracelife Mon 03-Aug-20 20:54:15

Why do you believe it will be just sex with someone else but not just sex with you? Polysmory implies loving more than one person.
Not loving one while sex with another. So you need to be ok with that or thank him for the good times and move on to monogamous relationship

SoulofanAggron Mon 03-Aug-20 20:57:50

Only someone who is strong mentally and secure about themselves should contemplate a poly relationship

@noego Do you think most people involved in polyamory are strong mentally and secure in themselves? That's not my experience when I've come across/heard about them. And a lot of them aren't happy with either the polyamorous set up, their main relationship, or both.

There's a lot of coercion/manipulation, like with the OP. She doesn't want it but her lover is trying to make her go along with it.

AWiseWomanOnceSaidFuckThisShit Mon 03-Aug-20 21:00:18

You can't do this, neither could I or any woman I know. You have the same "rights" but I'm betting you won't use them. Get out.

noego Mon 03-Aug-20 22:59:07


I'm a Relationship Anarchist.

The definition of Polyamory is the ability to love more than one. But no to the detriment of one of those in the poly relationship which is what the OP is experiencing.

L8Bloomer Mon 03-Aug-20 23:00:20

Why on EARTH would you put yourself through this hell?

L8Bloomer Mon 03-Aug-20 23:03:34

You say ''my issues are deep rooted''.

Are your issues the fact that your sleep walking in to this bullshit? I agree he's done a number on you.

Tell him ''this is not for me, I'm going to say good bye'', because clearly, it isn't for you. And I don't know many people who'd be ok with this. Maybe if you felt nothing for him it could work.

ButteryPuffin Mon 03-Aug-20 23:07:51

Why do you think it's fair that you are going to have to do 'a lot of work on yourself' to cope with the relationship, whereas he can just do what he feels like and you don't feel able to ask him to even wait?

Cherrygirl3 Mon 03-Aug-20 23:09:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Iflyaway Mon 03-Aug-20 23:11:52

an important part of this kind of relationship is constant communication

Sounds exhausting to me.....

Honestly OP, I think you are setting yourself up for heartbreak. But that's just the thoughts of a monogamist.

Bunnymumy Mon 03-Aug-20 23:13:43

This isn't the relationship for you.
I'm sorry but after an abusive relationship you need stability. Not something that can fuck you over and hurt you at any which time.

Maybe he isnt a bad guy but be aware, a lot of abusers will literally tell you they dont want commitment from the offset yet act like you are together, make you fall for them and then BAM they like someone else suddenly and you aremy allowed to have a problem with it because they 'told you from the offset what they were like'. Its a con.

Even if this is not the case, this fella is not for you. You dont want the same things. You dont want to see other people as well do you? So you shouldnt have to fit into a box of his making.

It isnt about developing securities. You are not ok with his relationship so why are you trying to change? You two arent suited. That's literally all there is to it. But you've been so used to 'compromisimg' for abusers in the past that now you are stuck in the habit. You should never have to change yourself to be loved.

You feel jealous, anxious and insecure - this is not a happy way of living. You can choose a different path.

Iflyaway Mon 03-Aug-20 23:15:55

Not only exhausting...... he sounds obsessed with himself and his dick.

Dullardmullard Mon 03-Aug-20 23:17:45

How are you second when he doesn’t have a first?

Poly all discuss the dynamics of their set up.

If one doesn’t feel right they don’t go ahead as far as I’m aware.

Is this him thinking he can sleep with as many woman as possible claiming a poly set up as that isn’t how it works.

cravingthelook Mon 03-Aug-20 23:26:13

Having been in polyamorous relationships, it doesn't sound like you are ready for this. That's ok, you may be intellectually ok with the concept but not emotionally ready for what that actually means.
From my discussions on the dating threads polyamory isn't something well understood or considered a positive relationship choice on mumsnet.
It can be a tool for control, I'm not doubting that but my experience is that it's not.
All partners need to be on the same page. If it true polyamory it is about feelings not just sex. If it's just sex it's just non-monogamy.
You need to have a realistic conversation with him. Polyamory or any non-monogamous relationship is all about trust and honesty. If you can't tell him then or you think he won't wait/work through it with you then it isn't right.

FindingNeverland1 Mon 03-Aug-20 23:52:29

Cut your losses now or regret it later.

This isn't for you. Save yourself a whole heap of emotional stress... and time.

KnitFastDieWarm Mon 03-Aug-20 23:59:36

I’m in a very happy and stable non-monogamous relationship. in my experience you either are ok with it (on a real gut level) or you aren’t - it’s almost like a sexual orientation, it’s part of your intrinsic makeup. You can’t (and shouldn’t) try and MAKE yourself ok with it to seem ‘accepting’.

Go and find a nice man who wants what you want. Don’t change or compromise yourself for anyone!

MsDogLady Tue 04-Aug-20 00:42:11

It sounds like you are tying yourself in knots to please an entitled manipulator.

feistyoneyouare Tue 04-Aug-20 00:56:02

I must be getting old shock When I was young this new thing they call "polyamorous" had a few other names - slag, tart, cheater, player etc. etc.

Two words: educate yourself. And don't make such nasty judgements of things you don't understand. Poly is consensual, so it isn't cheating for a start.

OP are you sure poly is right for you? The way you describe this situation I'm not sure this relationship will make you happy. If it's going to involve developing coping strategies, that sounds like it will cause you a lot of heartache. Maybe take some time away from it to think it over?

Orcsies Tue 04-Aug-20 00:59:05

He does not manipulate me. There is no coercion. No power plays. I recognise those, goodness knows I've lived them often enough.

He is trying to work through it with me. Patient, loving, caring, making sure I am okay, but he does not compromise on the bits that are important to him and polyamory is. It is not just about sex, he is also looking for a primary partner, but life circumstances mean I can't be it. My choice, he would happily have me as his primary partner, but we are at different life stages and I am not looking for a live-in relationship with any of the goals associated with it.

Yes, they are my issues. My insecurities, he does not bring this up, but addresses any of my questions, thoughts, worries. He is there when I need him.

In principle I am happy for him to be poly, I am still quite ambivalent about how I feel about having more than one partner, but it's nice to know I can within the rules of the relationship.

We have discussed it all at length, before we set out in this relationship. We both love each other and we are committed to one another, just not in the way most couples are.

Right now, what I need is strategies to work on myself. I have had a few bad knocks recently. Nothing to do with him, all outside stuff.

I am going to work through how I feel. The jealousy, anxiety, insecurity. They are all normal emotions, but all can be addressed. I guess what I need is more short-term, because i know that, in time, I'll be okay.

So, other than keeping busy, any ideas?

OP’s posts: |

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