I’m having a lot of feels today. And rather than stuffing them down as I normally do when it comes to this, because I’m afraid of causing problems or being seen as too emotional or reactionary, I’m going to process it (quickly – which is not my normal manner)…to avoid causing bigger problems later.

Yesterday, Mr. D was down. Very down. He hung out in bed for some time, but I didn’t want to force Him to have a conversation He wasn’t ready to have. Besides, if it was depression rearing it’s unwanted little head, I knew He might be telling me the truth when I He told me He didn’t know what was wrong and that there was nothing I could do to make things better.

Later in the day, though, when our “state of the marriage” talk came up (it’s our Sunday thing), we both brought up our “issues.” I was proud of us, because we really tried to be vulnerable and honest. I brought up my two concerns: 1) that He puts off our Sinful Sunday image and it makes me feel personally neglected and that he just doesn’t care about it, and 2) that I’ve been avoiding masturbation because I now have to ask for it as one of my “rules,” and it makes be uncomfortable to ask. I also mentioned that I feel not masturbating has been affecting my libido…that when I don’t masturbate regularly, I stop caring much about sex. We talked about both issues. He said he would work harder on Sinful Sunday and admitted that He just doesn’t know or what to photograph or how, so I told Him I’d try to give Him some prompts to get Him thinking. And we both agreed that me asking to masturbate was something I had to work on. It’s a legitimate rule because it puts me out of my comfort zone and forces me to be vulnerable to Him.

Then we moved on to His stuff. He was worried we were slipping back into old patterns because He felt He was doing all the sexual initiation. I explained I was holding off because of His low libido (which has been around for some time now). It wasn’t an excuse, though I have a feeling He thought it was, because He about shut down the conversation right there. Somehow, we saved it, though. And I promised to show more initiation and creativity now that I knew He was interested. I added that I was also ready for some more creativity and action on His part when it came to D/s.

He also, very tentatively, brought up His interests in branching out with other people again, and His fears surrounding it, given our history.

My stomach tightened.

Shit.

But, I breathed through it (remember those yoga teachings…breathe through the hard parts and find a place you can soften into it).

He was scared to bring it up, I could see that very plainly. But I could also see that it was necessary and important.

This is part of His being.

And resisting it is part of mine.

I listened to Him. I assured Him that we could discuss it…that there must be ways for us to make this work…for both of us to get what we needed.

Because this isn’t just about sex. If it were, that would be easy. I have no problem with Him sharing His body with someone else. Sex hasn’t been the issue. It’s sharing His heart. It’s going full “poly.” Something about it just takes my insides and twists them into an ugly, gnarled braid. It curdled in my stomach over the following hours and slithered into my dreams, turning them dark.

So what do you do, when one partner is truly “poly” at His roots and the other is truly “mono” at hers?

The big questions I have for myself is: Why is it so difficult for me to accept? Why am I willing to share His body but not His heart? What do I fear most?

Because, most assuredly, fear is at the center of this.

I mulled it and set it at the back of my mind for hours, and then I went to bed. He stayed up for awhile, as He didn’t have to work today, and I asked if I could masturbate. It comforts me and has a way of washing my chi like some sort of sex-magic acupuncture. But, the buzz and pressure just would not do get it done. I felt pent up and unable to release, and it pissed me off. I rolled over and cried…angry and frustrated.

I suppose I could have gone out to Him right then. He would’ve tried to get me off, but I didn’t want to put my unprocessed emotions on Him. I didn’t want Him to feel guilty…as if He were the reason for my irrationality.

I fell asleep and had dreams, none of which I can fully articulate as they were too abstract and cryptic. But I do remember that the essence was my stress over His wish to be with others and my unwillingness to let Him.

There are the standard worries…He’ll fall in love with her and love her more…she’ll be less difficult and He’ll find that appealing…she’ll be better in bed…she’ll be more fun…maybe He’ll leave me for her.

There are also fears like pregnancy…or maybe she’ll turn crazy and try to ruin Him or us. It happens.

Then there is the real unfairness…she’ll be new so she’ll be a draw…she’ll get the dates…the effort…the finest displays which He no longer has to give me…the wooing…the sexy talk online or by text.

I don’t get that stuff most of the time, because He’s already courted me, won me, and been with me for years. I get the comfort and the relaxation…the inside jokes and connection. I get Him on the couch…the random smack on the ass…and all the boring married stuff that draws people to affairs because they are more exciting than marriage. And that makes it feel like a competition. I’ll have to work hard to be more exciting…and even if I am, I’ll still the known. (And believe me, I’ve heard the explanations from poly people, and I get it…that it’s not a competition and that a person can love more than one person in different ways.) I guess I just grew up on the dream that I’d be someone’s one and only. This sort of shatters that fantasy…and I am forced to find (or make) a new fairy tale. It isn’t impossible. It’s just not what I planned.

In our conversation yesterday, He said He was craving new pussy. He also said He was afraid of bringing it up because things were going so well.

And I’ve done with the information exactly what he feared I would…blown it out of proportion, I’m sure.

I can easily understand how someone can love more than one person. I’ve even been in situations where I could see it in myself…the ability to do that. It just challenges everything I was ever taught about relationships. I’m struggling to see how it will work and how I will fit into it and how our relationship will (or won’t) change because of it. Really, it’s speculation, because I have no idea, really. It’s all well and good to be prepared, but if I think myself out of even rationally giving things a try, for his sake, then I don’t think I’m being fair to him.

However, I also have to be honest about my feelings…the anxiety, the fear, and the worry…because it also isn’t fair to bring someone else into the mix when I am not a 100% willing participant.

Where do I stand as of this evening? I guess I feel it makes sense to stay honest. I’m not saying no. I’m saying I need to be eased in and allowed to process it openly, like this, every step of the way.


Now…I know that all the poly folks are going to jump right on here with advice and warnings and encouragement…and the mono folks are going to caution and give their own kind of advice. What I’ll say before anyone does that is that every relationship is its own. We all have our own demons and angels. We all have our own paths and hiccups and mistakes to be made. I just want to share my mental and emotionally processing in order to possibly help others who are in a similar situation. Please don’t suggest that we go our own ways or tell us that this will never work. Helpful suggestions are welcome, but please judge not what you do not really know. Please and thank you.

44 Replies to “Processing Emotions about Polyamory”

  1. I smiled when I got to your last paragraph as I had wanted to comment to show support, but had no idea what to write as I have no advice or suggestion at all. What I do feel is that it is honest and brave of you to share your feelings with us in the way that you do with each other. I think I would have the same fears as you and wonder if people are either stacked to be poly or not as I know other people who can process things so differently to the way that I think I would. Surely the honesty and openness you are sharing with each other has to be at the heart of working your way through this, as you would with anything. I hope that your fears ease off and look forward to hearing how you both navigate this as a couple. missy x

    1. That’s my plan. I’m trying hard to be openly vulnerable and to not closet my feelings or emotions, especially when my reactions are negative. Sharing them here has the double possibility of reaching others who may have similar emotions or reaching others who may have some excellent advice.

  2. Wow, I can’t imagine how hard this must be. To feel pinned between yourself and your husband. I’m not poly, so I really can’t offer any help on how that would work. I do have friends who are. My husband and I were just discussing how hard it must be to balance the beds of 3 (or more) people in one relationship. It can be hard enough to get two people to agree, lol! Love is not the question, I know there enough love to go around, but needs, desires, life habits, future goals and growth. I had never thought of it like you described it, that some are poly at heart.
    My only advice would be to really talk about it a lot with your husband. I’m sure you know this, and are doing it. But I think that’s the only way you both find peace. Talk though each step, each new mood, each up and down. Eventually something will come to the surface, probably with both of you.
    Hope this helps. 🙂

    1. That is pretty much the plan…the process every emotion and every hiccup. He is very perceptive and I am trying hard to not to give in to knee-jerk emotions…rather I am attempting to slow down and really get to the root of how and why I am feeling a certain way. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, or even that I will end up accepting everything that makes me uncomfortable…but at least I will not walk away from it.

    2. Reading this was difficult.

      I need to learn how to process it without reaking down.

      If my Dom told me They’d be “craving new pussy”, I’d question my adequacy as Their partner and shut down completely because I’m already insecure as it is. Even if I want to talk about it.

      This is not a thing that’s happened to me so I can speculate my reaction to be that.

      But I also want to make it work so I suppose communicating my fears and anxiety to Them would be the best advice I’d give or follow for myself.

      I know relationships require compromise, and I want to be able to compromise. I’d need to understand Their thought process first.

      1. It’s hard to explain a person’s tone…but for my Husband to say this, He doesn’t mean disrespect. And I don’t take offense. He just likes the feel of the hunt and the excitement of the new. It doesn’t take away from how He feels about me. I have always been most important.

        Way back when hHe first suggested swinging, I did question my adequacy, but we’ve had enough conversations about it since then that I’ve learned it doesn’t have anything to do with how He feels about me.

  3. Such a deep, thoughtful and heartfelt post. Honesty can be difficult. And scary… Both your honesty and his. Navigating non-monogamy within the bounds of a newish or re-establishment of a D/s relationship can also be…well. Tricky.

    I am not going to presume to give you advice here. As you say, I don’t know the intricacies, the history, the ins-and-outs of your relationship. And boy do I know that what works for one person/relationship may not work for another. I will say I have been poly for a long time, and sometimes, honestly?, in spite of “knowing” I am poly-at-heart, it’s not easy. For me – the supposedly poly one. I feel all those things you talk about. So those feelings are not the purview of the monogamous. Those are natural feelings.

    My relationship with Adam is what I’d called poly/monogamish, in that he doesn’t seek out relationships and has told me he’d be perfectly content with “just me,” even though I have other lovers/playpartners. So it *can* be done. Successfully. But it takes a lot of work and desire to make it work – on both our sides. And sometimes…yeah, it just doesn’t. 🙁

    Please, feel free to reach out of you’d like to talk. I think you have my email; hit me up on Twitter if you want (tho I am sometimes neglectful of interactions there); I’d be more than happy to share other means of communication if you’d like. Obviously I am on the “opposite” pole of this discussion, but as I said, I am familiar with many of the feelings you have shared. Regardless, my thoughts are with you, and good for you with sharing things that you need to here. This (should be) a safe space for you to share. I admire your courage and vulnerability.
    Jade recently posted…#AtoZChallenge – X is for XXXMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Jade. I actually thought about you and your relationship when I was processing this, because I know you are making a similar situation “work.” mean, we are all human, and emotions get in the way no matter what sometimes, but I know it can be done if everyone involved is committed to making it work.

      I’ll get in touch if I need some advice…or a little “talking out of the tree.”

  4. Oh Brigit, I related to so much of this. The part of me that has made peace with ‘some’ elements of poly was shaking my head and saying it doesn’t work like that, and the part of me that is still a little bit mono was nodding right along with you. So I felt you on all kinds of levels here. Your last paragraph is spot on, we are all different and each relationship works differently.

    For me polyamory was terrifying, in fact, any level of non-monogamy was until I talked the hell out of it. I had to be really, really clear on situations I just wouldn’t be open to. Not because I was being petty but because they would negatively impact my well-being and mental health. I also had to make it very clear what kinds of non-monogamy I was open to and what I absolutely couldn’t imagine being part of. None of this was about telling him he couldn’t do it, it was about telling him I couldn’t. I appreciate our situation was different as we aren’t married, but having been married and had situations in that context I can say the conversation wasn’t any easier because of our personal situation.

    I found consuming resources on polyamory was my saving grace, I heard and read things that put my fears into a new light and helped me make sense of them. Poly Weekly podcast was my main one, but also multiamory. I also found More Than Two (the book mainly but also the website) to be the main factor in me being about to see how I could move forward with elements of non-monogamy myself. Oh coming back to here to add I also love Poly.Land.

    Lastly a lot of the fears I had, many similar to yours, melted away when we met people who he fancied and I could see they were awesome people. For me knowing the person, seeing them as human and not as a figment of my imagination really helps me. When I think there’s a chance of him meeting someone knew and they are unknown all those fears rise to the top again. Again everyone is different on this and I know some folks do not identify with me on this one, much preferring not to meet other partners. For me, though it is crucial, whether it’s just sex or could be something more. I need to see their realness and find the things he likes about them because I don’t need to fuck them myself or fancy them at all, but I do need to appreciate them as a person and be excited for him to know them.

    I think what I’m saying is less, ‘do it my way’ and more ‘be brutally honest about your way’ and keep being honest. I wish you all the best with this, opening myself up to non-monogamy has at times been one of the most heart-wrenching and tummy churning things I’ve ever done, but on the flipside, it has also been incredibly endearing and has made parts of me grow I never even knew existed.

    Floss xxx

    1. Thanks, Floss…for all those amazing resources…and for your support. It’s always good to hear that it’s not me just being irrational and unreasonable and closed. this is just a set of human emotions being felt in response to something new.

      Thankfully, we have years of love and learning to communicate behind us. We’ve hit rock bottom together and risen, and I think we are pretty committed to making sure that whatever we do doesn’t ruin what we have.

      I’m sure this won’t be the last time I write about it…

  5. I can’t really add too much more to what has already been said. I’m definitely not in any position to give advice as my relationship/s are still in the baby stages. I’m poly but my SO is not nor will he ever be. So I guess I’m poly/mono as well. I love my men with every fiber of my being and both love me. Neither of them have any other partners and consider themselves monogamous with me. So yeah completely confusing and quite difficult at times. It’s not all flowers and sunshine but it is still quite lovely when it flows.
    The fears are rational as we have all had them at some point whether we are poly or mono. So thank you for being so honest and open and sharing these intimate thoughts with us.

  6. I have no advice. I know nothing about polyamory. I do know my Queen and I fantasize about it but I don’t think we will ever try it. For all those fears you listed and a few more. But we do have fun with our imaginations.
    I hope you and your SO work out a solution that works for you both.

  7. I know this can’t be easy to write or even process, but I am awed and amazed and so happy for you that you did it. Because like you said, simply staying honest about how you feel is the best way forward. And I recognize that fear you described. I had it too when I first realized that JB is so damn polyamorous, and I didn’t think I was or could be or that I could handle it. Whatever way forward the two of you figure out will be right for you, and I think the process of figuring it out can be a way to grow even stronger together…

    1. That’s what I am hoping…that this is simply a new way to grow and be together. I think every “storm” we weather only brings us closer together in the end.

  8. I can not add to the helpful comments you have had so far but will say I would be feeling exactly the same as you but wanting to work through it. I have researched Poly, written about it and do so the advantages. It seems a more honest way of living. But I have to say you two do appear to have a great communication line between you. What ever you decide that should help – good luck xx

    1. Thanks, May…it’s the communication that makes or breaks us. In the past, I have kept a lot of things to myself to “make Him happy.” It did the exact opposite in the end, so I am really making a concerted effort to be up front about things and to try to get to the bottom of negative emotions quickly, since sometimes they are nothing and sometimes they are something. It doesn’t mean everything will be easy, but it means they will be honest.

  9. OK so I could write a whole blog post in response to this and I might actually when this current crisis is over I will try to come back to it but in short….

    I totally hear you about the asking to orgasm thing, it has been a rule we have had for a long time and if I am truly honest it has never really worked that well for me. I have tried to find that subby place in my head where asking should tick a box but mostly I find myself avoiding asking because the moment I do it takes the heat out of it all.

    As for the poly thing….. Well that is a huge subject for me but basically the truth is I am a ‘truly poly’ person and he is not. I don’t have an answer for you when it comes to uniting those two people. I have tried ‘giving it up’ and being mono but long term the truth is that it is not working for me. We all have our challenges and this one is definitely a big one for us but I do know that I need to be honest about what I want and the type of person I am.

    Mollyx
    Molly recently posted…Want it soMy Profile

  10. I find the whole poly thing really difficult. Initially I was the 2nd sub in a poly relationship and it didn’t go or end well. That might have been because of the person she was, but on the other hand I know I was jealous. It would be worse now.

    In terms of orgasms I don’t ask to masturbate, partly I expect because of needing to ask.

    Relationships can be difficult to navigate at times can’t they? But has already been said communicating is the only way.

    1. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has trouble processing this. It makes me feel like less of a jealous skitz.

  11. I love the absolute honesty in your post, Brigit, the way you showed your vulnerability and are sharing your thoughts. I have no advice for you, no experiences to share, but I do believe that keeping an open line of communication with Mr. D, sharing your thoughts and fears with him, will be the best course of action.

    Rebel xox

  12. I felt this article, I am poly at my core but my wife is steadfastly mono, it causes arguments any time the subject comes up. You are approaching a difficult issue honestly and with an admirable level of maturity…

  13. I’m not going to offer advice because I feel the same way as you. I want to open up and explore, I just don’t know how. So hugs of solidarity from me.

  14. I don’t really know what to say except I’m glad I read this. ? it’s well said and thoughtful (as always) and I relate in spirit if not in specifics. Even though your post is about worry, there is something very calming in the way you approach it.
    Lexy recently posted…put your hand in mineMy Profile

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