QUESTION: I don't know if the other question didn't make it to you or you didn't have a chance to get to it. I looked at "monogamish" and nope, that's not where we're headed. Actually, I'm good with the emotional aspect of polyamory, I understand loving more than one person, but the romantic/sexual aspects are where I hit a wall. Especially the sexual. I really have a problem with my husband, the man I love and have loved for almost a quarter of a century, having sex with other women. This is why "monogamish" doesn't make sense to me, since it seems to be mostly about sex and that's the part that I'm not dealing with well. Plus Rick has said he's not much into casual sex, he's more interested in building relationships. I don't mind him having female friends, never bothered me. I'm quasi-okay with him romancing and dating other women. I'm queasy at the thought of him making out with other women. My mind shuts down at the thought of him having sex with other women. I feel like I'm losing so much of our relationship in this transition, I just want one thing that's special, one thing that's only shared by the two of us. I know it's unrealistic and it's not fair to him and his future girlfriends, but it's where my heart is right now. I don't want to give up everything. So how do I deal with this? How do I become okay with going from being his only love to one of his loves? How do I go from knowing we have this wonderful special bond that's just between the two of us, to knowing he's sharing that with someone(s) else?
Just when I think I'm through mourning our marriage, I lose something else to mourn. I really do want to be okay with this for Rick's sake.
ANSWER: Two things I believe:
1) That love is not one thing that we share among all the people we are involved, like as if it was a finite thing that you need to divide by the number of people you relate to. No, love is not a thing, love is a verb. Love is something you do. He can love someone and yet love you More. I know that by experience, by all the literature about it, and by the comments of all the other Poly people I know.
2) You guys have the most important thing necessary to make a Poly relationship(s) work: Honesty.
Just add a little bit more patience and hope to it, it is not that difficult. Watch how it flows and always be reassuring to him, as much as you are honest about your own desires. But be patient. Time is on your side.
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QUESTION: I believe in #1, I have very dear friends I love, and I know he does too. But then you toss in the romance, the "falling in love", and sex, and things seem to get really muddy. We've talked about when he comes home from a date, I don't know how I'm going to react. I don't know if I can handle him touching me after I know he's been with another woman. He doesn't understand why that's a problem for me, and I've tried to explain it to him that it will probably feel like I've lost another special aspect of our relationship. I'm terrified, with new bodies to explore, he'll be bored with mine and lose interest. I am very monogamous, if I'm not getting physical intimacy with him, I won't be getting it at all. I'll never pressure him for anything he doesn't truly feel, and I'll do my best to not burden him with guilt (you can't force feelings you don't have, right?) How do you get over the pain of kissing someone you love knowing he's just been kissing someone else? How do you reestablish the intimacy you lose when they come back from having sex with someone else? I know these probably don't make sense to you, but they're very real questions for me.
As the depth and detail of your questions goes further, the amount of progress that we are making is becoming minimal. So let me suggest we change course by giving you a little bit of homework. I want you and Rick to read two books. The first is "Mating in Captivity" by Esther Perel, and the other is "Stumbling on Happiness" by Dan Gilbert. Please read the books slowly, individually, and think about what they say quite a bit. Observe how it affects how you think about your situation. You are at a turning point in your life where you need patience and guidance. I believe these two books will help now.