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How do YOU compromise in a mixed relationship?

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anisotrophic
5 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

I think that what #metoo did was shatter the myth that all women are having 'happy sex'.

Please don't misread me here. My partner doesn't sexually desire me, nobody sexually desires me. I got the whole load of chores and being ignored for being a woman, but with a special bonus of "nobody wants to screw me either". 🎉

 

Metoo plays into a pre-existing narrative of male sexuality and female access-holding. It remains unclear what your point is, @KiraS, when you bring it up as instructive in some way while claiming to dislike gender stereotypes. As a phenomenon it had very little to do with gender within relationships, unless you simply mean that women face a crappy set of "choices", in general? Relationships and otherwise. We can point to a host of ways in which women struggle with professional advancement, too. (Damned if you do, damned if you don't? Skip the relationship, you'll still struggle professionally!) But metoo is about sex; chores and jobs have little to do with sex.

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KiraS
13 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

Metoo plays into a pre-existing narrative of male sexuality and female access-holding.

Only if you buy into the assumption that rape and harassment have anything at all to do with access-holding. They don't. And pointing out that some of us are survivors of sexual harassment and rape isn't supporting a stereotype. That movement has included a number of male and nonbinary survivors as well.

 

I think the people who actually do sex-only relationships are in a minority. For most people, sexual relationships are a package deal that includes building and maintaining relationships, families, and households. And my point is that in recent years there's been a growing discussion about the value of remaining single if you don't or can't get what you want out of relationships.

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Traveler40
9 hours ago, KiraS said:

And my point is that in recent years there's been a growing discussion about the value of remaining single if you don't or can't get what you want out of relationships.

I don’t see it as a value, but more as an acceptance. Everything in life is a trade off, but as humans, we generally seek connection. Being single used to carry stigma, but it seems that is slowly changing.
 

My lover has chosen to remain single. This happened across time, and I don’t think it was conscious.  He’s ridiculously handsome, intelligent, funny and has been a highly sought after romantic partner and lover. That, along with being successful and tied to his family by responsibilities allowed time to get away from him.  He does not regret never having married, but I think he lacks certain perspective because of it. 
 

It turns out that he was forever seeking real connection. He is amazing at being a “universal lid” as he’s adept at morphing to what his partner needs.  It wasn’t until me that he found a two-way fit. He “valued” his singledom for its freedom, but damn it was a lonely existence....

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AceMissBehaving
On 11/11/2019 at 6:04 PM, Sinking_In said:

Update: I've had my first polyamory experience, and I dare to say it was really good, with the promise of something ongoing. She was aware of my situation beforehand, as was my wife. It has literally been decades since I've been with a lover like this. I didn't realize how much I had missed it to be honest. I mean, I wanted to have it with my wife so badly, but to actually get to experience it again was amazing. That said, I am keenly aware that there is a distinction between my relationships. Of course, people are human, and emotions can happen, but my wife is my north star. We shared so many intimate moments this weekend, and she even wanted to make love (it's all safe-sex from here on out, and under all circumstances), and no, it didn't feel like "hysterical bonding" at all (I had come across that term in my research). It's like we're falling in love all over again. Things have been so positive, and everyone around us is starting to notice. I'm hoping it all continues along this path for quite some time, but time will tell.

I’m really happy this went well! My husband and I have been somewhat exploring the possibility of polyamory, it’s nice hearing from someone who’s tried it for themselves.

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Whore*of*Mensa
21 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

Please don't misread me here. My partner doesn't sexually desire me, nobody sexually desires me. I got the whole load of chores and being ignored for being a woman, but with a special bonus of "nobody wants to screw me either". 🎉

I know it's hard being a woman in a relationship. I don't know any woman who is happy in their marriage, probably because everyone has kids now and that's when women typically get landed with all the work and none of the fun...I’ve been a single parent for most of 17 years so being sexually desired hasn’t done me much good tbh. I don’t know what stage you are at but I hope you are happier now. You do speak in the past tense so I assume so.

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anisotrophic
3 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

I know it's hard being a woman in a relationship. I don't know any woman who is happy in their marriage, probably because everyone has kids now and that's when women typically get landed with all the work and none of the fun...I’ve been a single parent for most of 17 years so being sexually desired hasn’t done me much good tbh. I don’t know what stage you are at but I hope you are happier now. You do speak in the past tense so I assume so.

I just gave birth to the youngest not quite a year ago, so parenting has a long way to go. But, my spouse has gotten better about sharing the burdens of chores and childcare. I wish it hadn't taken so many arguments to get things to improve, but it did eventually get there. And I have permission for "open" but can't imagine having the time for it! Oh well.

Being a parent is exhausting, I can only imagine how much work it is to do it solo!

The sense that women are better off solo, eh, it seems like a case of "pick your poison"? Sexism isn't just in relationships. And I think @Traveler40 has a thoughtful insight, that being happily single doesn't mean it's deliberate – but it is good to be happy with what one has.

@Sinking_In congrats and fingers crossed! I admit I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it would be good to be proven wrong on that. ;)

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Whore*of*Mensa
16 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I’m really happy this went well! My husband and I have been somewhat exploring the possibility of polyamory, it’s nice hearing from someone who’s tried it for themselves.

Not my business so please just ignore this if you feel like it, but I wondered if you’ve ever heard the other perspective - ie the asexual partner who is in an open marriage? I haven’t seen that here.

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Whore*of*Mensa
8 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

I just gave birth to the youngest not quite a year ago, so parenting has a long way to go. But, my spouse has gotten better about sharing the burdens of chores and childcare

That's good to hear. (also, belated congratulations..!)

 

8 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

Being a parent is exhausting, I can only imagine how much work it is to do it solo!

Parenting solo is fine if you have money and decent childcare - unfortunately those two things were impossible for me to access (always needed one in order to get the other).

 

8 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

The sense that women are better off solo, eh, it seems like a case of "pick your poison"? Sexism isn't just in relationship

Definitely is 'pick your poison' but I've done both, and I have to say I personally prefer to be single. A lot of women I speak to say that having a husband is like having an additional child to look after, and unfortunately that did turn out to be the case for me. When you 're doing all the work and on top of that you are getting complaints about sexual dissatisfaction..well, there really was nothing in it for me, to put it baldly. It is a case of ‘grass is always greener’

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Whore*of*Mensa

@Sinking_In sorry to have gone off topic! But it does seem difficult to isolate this one aspect of a relationship, when there are so many other compromises involved overall.

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AceMissBehaving
4 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

Not my business so please just ignore this if you feel like it, but I wondered if you’ve ever heard the other perspective - ie the asexual partner who is in an open marriage? I haven’t seen that here.

Not so much, and that’s one perspective I’d very much like to hear.

 

Right now we aren’t going down that road. While I’m capable of having a relatively casual romantic relationship with more than one person (which I until recently thought was the default setting for most people) my husband isn’t sure he is, and that’s something he would need for the sex side to click. So it’s on the table because I really do want him to have the most fulfilling life possible, but that’s it right now.

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Sinking_In

Okay, so another update: I've been able to hook up with my new sexual partner on 3 separate occasions, now, and in as many weeks. I had honestly forgotten what all-night-long, deeply-staring-into-the-eyes, can't-get-enough sex was like, and I had pretty much given up on it until now. That said, I need to have a talk with my wife. I believe she has been annoyed that I have been gone all night on all 3 occasions (I get home just after she awakens), though she has not yet been open to admit/ discuss it. I can understand her feeling, but I also have a feeling she is trying to be understanding, while at the same time grappling with what it means when I am out all night. She did say she would be open to polyamorous couples counseling, for MY sake, but I think I'll do it for her sake. I feel like this may have moved a little too quickly for her, no matter how cool she may say she is with it. I definitely can't let my newfound sexual experience interfere with my loving marriage. It would defeat the purpose of it, and ultimately I want to be with my wife. Who knew polyamory would be so complicated? Oh yeah, everybody. I'll keep working on this, and try to get some help.

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Serran
1 hour ago, Sinking_In said:

Okay, so another update: I've been able to hook up with my new sexual partner on 3 separate occasions, now, and in as many weeks. I had honestly forgotten what all-night-long, deeply-staring-into-the-eyes, can't-get-enough sex was like, and I had pretty much given up on it until now. That said, I need to have a talk with my wife. I believe she has been annoyed that I have been gone all night on all 3 occasions (I get home just after she awakens), though she has not yet been open to admit/ discuss it. I can understand her feeling, but I also have a feeling she is trying to be understanding, while at the same time grappling with what it means when I am out all night. She did say she would be open to polyamorous couples counseling, for MY sake, but I think I'll do it for her sake. I feel like this may have moved a little too quickly for her, no matter how cool she may say she is with it. I definitely can't let my newfound sexual experience interfere with my loving marriage. It would defeat the purpose of it, and ultimately I want to be with my wife. Who knew polyamory would be so complicated? Oh yeah, everybody. I'll keep working on this, and try to get some help.

Some couples have a no overnight without prior arrangement rule for it. Since sharing a bed is a big part of intimacy for many and losing that knowing it means they are with someone else for it is a big stress. So, say focus on your wife the day before and make it so she knows when to expect you home then next night. 

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Sinking_In
6 minutes ago, Serran said:

Some couples have a no overnight without prior arrangement rule for it. Since sharing a bed is a big part of intimacy for many and losing that knowing it means they are with someone else for it is a big stress. So, say focus on your wife the day before and make it so she knows when to expect you home then next night. 

 

This is definitely something we need to talk about, thank you.

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Serran
4 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

 

This is definitely something we need to talk about, thank you.

Yeah. Should probably go over the total ground rules tbh ... it's a good idea to do before you move to actually having sex with someone else but no help for that now. Talk about overnights, weekends away, etc. What if you develop real feelings  ? How much if  part of your life should a second partner be  ? Etc etc etc...

 

Every poly couple has different rules for how it works. 

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Sinking_In
3 minutes ago, Serran said:

Yeah. Should probably go over the total ground rules tbh

I think it might be up to me to put an actual list together, with her input of course. We discussed ground rules, but I think not in enough detail, and I believe her feelings have, can and will change regarding them. In this case, she SAID she was okay with it, but I FEEL she is not. I'm going to pump the brakes a bit, and revisit the ground rules and get into more detail before moving forward.

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Serran
9 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

I think it might be up to me to put an actual list together, with her input of course. We discussed ground rules, but I think not in enough detail, and I believe her feelings have, can and will change regarding them. In this case, she SAID she was okay with it, but I FEEL she is not. I'm going to pump the brakes a bit, and revisit the ground rules and get into more detail before moving forward.

There is a book that used to be suggested... more than two I think was the title. Had a lot of info on early pit falls and all. 

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Sinking_In
2 minutes ago, Serran said:

There is a book that used to be suggested... more than two I think was the title. Had a lot of info on early pit falls and all. 

Found it, thank you!

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Traveler40

Any input I have is anecdotal, but from experience, it’s best to take It slowly. It’s critical to be clear about every move you make. Each step should be based on an agreement beforehand until an expected rhythm is established. There were never any surprises nor liberties taken at the outset of our opening.  Things morph and your agreements will change naturally with time, but the communication during the early steps is very important. I like Serran’s advice as well.
 

My wind up to a full blown overnight was many months. An overnight denotes more than just sex in my mind as well. I recall fretting over what my husband would say about that, or if he would even allow it.  In the end, we fell into overnight as the alternative was dangerous: I was driving home exhausted in the wee hours of the night and almost fell asleep behind the wheel a few times.  My husband both saw and appreciated the danger and toll it was taking.  He’d stopped demanding I be home by 5am or whatever it was and wanted me to spend the night by that point for safety.

 

Separately, we started with dating only, which was requisite to my opening sexually. Perhaps that defaulted us to taking it ultra slow which was the right way to go for all parties involved.

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Sinking_In

So my copy of More Than Two arrived today, thanks to @Serran advice (I've also ordered Opening Up). I've read a lot of content already, and I'm certain it has already been very helpful. My wife wanted to follow a "don't ask, don't tell" approach as mentioned in the book. She wants discretion above all else. My staying out until 6am each night was not discrete enough for her. I get that. I understand now. As @Traveler40 mentioned, the "overnight" requires more time to evolve, if at all, and I may have jumped into this a little too quickly, and a little too brazenly. Ideally my wife wanted me to handle this "on my own time", so that no time is taken away from family, and no one would suspect this is our arrangement. My problem is, that leaves little more than lunchtime booty-calls. I don't see such a thing being sexually fulfilling, nor sustainable, so I have to take a step back and reevaluate. I will continue to read, get some more perspective, and get a little more help (therapist). I count myself incredibly lucky to have a wife as patient and understanding as she is, and so I'll double my efforts.

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Serran

You could pick up a "hobby" officially like once a week and go to the "hobby", if it is discretion she wants. Not overnight, but would give you an excuse to spend time out of house without anyone being suspicious. 

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Whore*of*Mensa

I really want to ask a question...I'm going to do it and hope that it doesn't cause offence. Trying to work out why I am so curious...It's because I feel that it might affect me in terms of decisions I may have to make. I also feel somehow emotionally invested in the plight of your spouses...I can only think this is because I relate to them on some level. I am sexual, but only just...I rarely feel desire and so have struggled to meet the needs of a partner in several different relationships. I explain my reasons here so that you can decide whether you wish to answer or not, please do just ignore me if don't wish to answer. 

 

So, my understanding is that sex for a sexual is:

 

1. a physical need; something necessary for good health

2. an emotional need; something necessary for self esteem - the need to feel sexually desired

 

I find it fairly easy to understand these things. I think that I could come to terms with a partner seeking these things elsewhere, and feel happy that these needs were being met. 

 

However, what @Sinking_In and @Traveler40 seem to be saying is that meeting the physical need and the emotional need is not enough - sex and desire are not all they want. They also need these things to take place within a loving relationship. 'Lunch-time booty calls' would not be satisfying. It seems that the relationships grow and escalate, as all relationships do, the sexual partner becoming a bigger and bigger part of life as you fall in love. This doesn't seem to be something that is avoided, but something that is actively sought out.  

 

How does the asexual partner then not fade into the distance? If you need to have a loving relationship with someone else, how can this not replace the relationship you have with your asexual partner? How can they be anything but second best? If you have sex and desire, and love, with the second partner - what does the asexual partner offer in addition to this? Other than parenting your kids...? (I don't say this flippantly - I know it's a strong bond. My husband had been married before, and was still close to his ex-wife - he would have long conversations about their son, spending hours on the phone to her, still meeting up at school functions, and so on. I could accept this because I knew that it was right and that it was important, but I knew he wasn't 'in love' with her any more. However, the respect that he showed her was something that attracted me to him).

 

I understand that you can be close to people for different reasons. The parent of your children is always going to be a huge part of your life, and should be. Maybe you will always love them, even if you are not romantically involved. Is this how it feels for you? Are you keeping them around for convenience, for the good of the kids, while you have the freedom to fall in love again?

 

It's not that I even think this is wrong, it's just - do your partners understand this? Is this the role they want to take?

 

Or have I completely misunderstood? I hope that I haven't said anything bad here, these are just my thoughts and my understanding from reading what you have written. If it causes offence please tell me. I'll delete it...and I'm sorry. I'm trying to find a way forward for myself. 

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anisotrophic
51 minutes ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

How does the asexual partner then not fade into the distance?

I can only speak for myself and it’s not a full experience, but...

 

I feel in love pretty hard 2+ years ago, and it’s been unreciprocated (or unreciprocate-able given circumstances). It's been ok, that person is a friend. But because of that, I don't really know.

 

I can say I was blindsided by it: I never fell out of love with my partner. I loved (and still love) both.

 

I think the fact that our relationship (15+ years now) was very established was... very different from the emotional distraction/shift that might've occurred when a relationship is a lot more new.

 

I do think many or most people are wired to focus on one partner at a time, but there might be more ability for that to expand when one partner is highly established.

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Traveler40
4 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

It seems that the relationships grow and escalate, as all relationships do, the sexual partner becoming a bigger and bigger part of life as you fall in love. This doesn't seem to be something that is avoided, but something that is actively sought out.  

Hmm, I think this is a bundling of two critical points which makes it not quite accurate.

 

1. I actively sought to love my lover from the outset.  I NEEDED to love him to bond sexually and fully. I wanted it all, including deep sexual exploration and that is born from trust.  
 

2. The result of having found that and more, was my lover becoming an ever larger part of my life.  
 

By swapping that order as stated, it creates a sort of sinister intention which is false.  The point is that sex is a fundamental need for the overall mental, physical and emotional well being of sexuals. Additionally, for many, love or deep caring is a requirement of the bonding experience we seek.

 

You are correct, it can put the ace partner behind and, in some cases, they are unlikely or unable to ever catch up. That relationship void (zero intimacy) can never fully be filled. However, as always, these things are situational, depend on the parties involved and can’t be generalized.

 

@anisotrophic seems to have a deeply engaged and empathetic partner who gives of himself to love them and meet them part way. On the other hand, my husband lacks both empathy and the ability to participate with me sexually.  
 

We made it quite far on his empty promises and my hope for years, but the total desertion eventually did me in. That’s how it felt anyhow.  Frankly, if my husband had been the least bit tactile, we could have possibly made it without opening. The aro/ace combo seems to me to be the most complicated in mixed relationships as it truly leaves the sexual party high and dry. 
 

As a sexual partner, our options are to remain celibate, adhere to a mutually agreed upon schedule of intimacy, open the relationship or split up. That’s it.  If the option is open, it’s up to the sexual to define what that might look like given their specific needs.

 

In my case, I need to love the man I couple with. After such a sexual detente , I also wanted it all in every which way.  I needed to leave no stone unturned and searched for a partner in crime that understood me, cared to participate in that journey and cared to do that FOR me, not simply with me.  Deep exploration of self requires love.

 

Where my spouse has stumbled, has been in not maintaining what we have to the degree he once did.  The original connection is vital to keeping the primary relationship  in place.  That is critical for any relationship really.  Work at it, engage in it and sustain it, because if you don’t, then the lover may just win out in the end. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t and practice showing empathy for each other. 
 

Lastly, my situation is just that, and I never forget why I married my husband. Those reasons are as real today as they were way back when. I suspect many who open, including me, never want to take that route. It’s simply the last resort...

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SithEmpress
5 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

How does the asexual partner then not fade into the distance? If you need to have a loving relationship with someone else, how can this not replace the relationship you have with your asexual partner? How can they be anything but second best? If you have sex and desire, and love, with the second partner - what does the asexual partner offer in addition to this? Other than parenting your kids...?

I think your question boils down to how open/poly relationships work. I know people who don't understand how a monogamous partnership would work, though they understand it's the norm. For them, though, it wouldn't work. My poly friend is much more satisfied with her multiple partners than she ever was with having just one.

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Serran
10 hours ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

I really want to ask a question...I'm going to do it and hope that it doesn't cause offence. Trying to work out why I am so curious...It's because I feel that it might affect me in terms of decisions I may have to make. I also feel somehow emotionally invested in the plight of your spouses...I can only think this is because I relate to them on some level. I am sexual, but only just...I rarely feel desire and so have struggled to meet the needs of a partner in several different relationships. I explain my reasons here so that you can decide whether you wish to answer or not, please do just ignore me if don't wish to answer. 

 

So, my understanding is that sex for a sexual is:

 

1. a physical need; something necessary for good health

2. an emotional need; something necessary for self esteem - the need to feel sexually desired

 

I find it fairly easy to understand these things. I think that I could come to terms with a partner seeking these things elsewhere, and feel happy that these needs were being met. 

 

However, what @Sinking_In and @Traveler40 seem to be saying is that meeting the physical need and the emotional need is not enough - sex and desire are not all they want. They also need these things to take place within a loving relationship. 'Lunch-time booty calls' would not be satisfying. It seems that the relationships grow and escalate, as all relationships do, the sexual partner becoming a bigger and bigger part of life as you fall in love. This doesn't seem to be something that is avoided, but something that is actively sought out.  

 

How does the asexual partner then not fade into the distance? If you need to have a loving relationship with someone else, how can this not replace the relationship you have with your asexual partner? How can they be anything but second best? If you have sex and desire, and love, with the second partner - what does the asexual partner offer in addition to this? Other than parenting your kids...? (I don't say this flippantly - I know it's a strong bond. My husband had been married before, and was still close to his ex-wife - he would have long conversations about their son, spending hours on the phone to her, still meeting up at school functions, and so on. I could accept this because I knew that it was right and that it was important, but I knew he wasn't 'in love' with her any more. However, the respect that he showed her was something that attracted me to him).

 

I understand that you can be close to people for different reasons. The parent of your children is always going to be a huge part of your life, and should be. Maybe you will always love them, even if you are not romantically involved. Is this how it feels for you? Are you keeping them around for convenience, for the good of the kids, while you have the freedom to fall in love again?

 

It's not that I even think this is wrong, it's just - do your partners understand this? Is this the role they want to take?

 

Or have I completely misunderstood? I hope that I haven't said anything bad here, these are just my thoughts and my understanding from reading what you have written. If it causes offence please tell me. I'll delete it...and I'm sorry. I'm trying to find a way forward for myself. 

A person who is poly or poly flexible by nature will be able to maintain both relationships without the other suffering. A person like me who would lose feelings for one as the other grows (because I am incapable of romantic feelings for two people at a time, as one turns romantic the other falls to platonic) would be unable to do it and the asexual partner would fall off and become just a friend. So, depends on the people. Some people are capable of maintaining multiple relationships, some aren't. Some aces are OK becoming the QPR platonic live in while the sexual partner has a romantic relationship elsewhere. Just depends on the two involved if it works or not. 

 

 

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Whore*of*Mensa

 

12 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

I do think many or most people are wired to focus on one partner at a time, but there might be more ability for that to expand when one partner is highly established

Yes, I can see that. Actually I don't think that my husband ever stopped loving his first wife, they met young and were together for 16 years. They had become mostly platonic, after having a child (I think this is something that happens to many couples). But, as to whether he could have another relationship while still with her - pretty sure she wouldn't have agreed to it, and I couldn't have coped with that. They weren't together when I met him, anyway. 

 

9 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

Where my spouse has stumbled, has been in not maintaining what we have to the degree he once did.  The original connection is vital to keeping the primary relationship  in place.  That is critical for any relationship really.  Work at it, engage in it and sustain it, because if you don’t, then the lover may just win out in the end. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t and practice showing empathy for each other. 

@Traveler40 thank you for replying. What you say does make sense to me, in terms of what you need as a sexual, that's a bit clearer to me and I think that I can understand it. 

 

As regards the quote above,  when I thought about it I realised that I would probably find it difficult to sustain the original connection once I could see my partner falling in love with someone else. I imagine that my immediate, defensive (probably sub-conscious) reaction would be to detach myself emotionally; I'm not sure I could cope otherwise. Also, I would never be able to handle feeling as if I was in competition with another woman (probably some hangover from my childhood and being unfavourably compared to my sister!) - I think that might just send me over the edge. I would become an insecure mess, which I already know is the quickest way to drive people away...As you say, it depends upon the individual; these are my own characteristics. 

 

9 hours ago, SithGrinch said:

I think your question boils down to how open/poly relationships work. I know people who don't understand how a monogamous partnership would work, though they understand it's the norm. For them, though, it wouldn't work. My poly friend is much more satisfied with her multiple partners than she ever was with having just one.

 It's true, we are very much conditioned to expect a mutually exclusive, romantic relationship. I have to admit there were times in my marriage when I thought that my husband could do with two of me, and I could do with about half of him, as his needs were basically too much for me. I cannot say the thought of a poly relationship did not enter my head...But there is emotional baggage that comes with it, and maybe that's greater if you started in a mutually exclusive relationship.  I think that there is a difference between entering into a relationship in the knowledge that it is open/poly, and entering into an exclusive romantic relationship then trying to change it. 

 

4 hours ago, Serran said:

A person who is poly or poly flexible by nature will be able to maintain both relationships without the other suffering. A person like me who would lose feelings for one as the other grows (because I am incapable of romantic feelings for two people at a time, as one turns romantic the other falls to platonic) would be unable to do it and the asexual partner would fall off and become just a friend. So, depends on the people. Some people are capable of maintaining multiple relationships, some aren't. Some aces are OK becoming the QPR platonic live in while the sexual partner has a romantic relationship elsewhere. Just depends on the two involved if it works or not. 

That makes perfect sense, thank you. I guess this is something you can't really find out unless you try?

 

I'm really grateful for these replies; this has given me a lot of food for thought. 

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Serran

 

Quote

That makes perfect sense, thank you. I guess this is something you can't really find out unless you try?

 

Mmm. I knew I was monogamous / monoamorous from the get go. I can't even find someone else casually attractive when dating someone. But, I did have someone come out as poly that I dated. And I tried to be open to it. But all it did was make me unable to stomach even kissing or hugging with them. 

 

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AceMissBehaving
21 minutes ago, Serran said:

 

 

Mmm. I knew I was monogamous / monoamorous from the get go. I can't even find someone else casually attractive when dating someone. But, I did have someone come out as poly that I dated. And I tried to be open to it. But all it did was make me unable to stomach even kissing or hugging with them. 

 

This is really interesting to me because I’ve always been able to be romantically interested in multiple people, and just assumed that was the same for everyone.  I thought people just picked wether they wanted a poly or monogamous relationship.  It never crossed my mind that some folks were wired one way or the other.

 

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Serran
22 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

This is really interesting to me because I’ve always been able to be romantically interested in multiple people, and just assumed that was the same for everyone.  I thought people just picked wether they wanted a poly or monogamous relationship.  It never crossed my mind that some folks were wired one way or the other.

 

Some (probably most) are wired to be flexible and then values play in for which way they go. But, for me, it has never even been possible to be poly. I don't find others romantically or aesthetically attractive if I am with someone. No crushes or "ooh look at that person", no "man he/she is hot", no thinking of the person beyond totally platonic, no butterflies or I wanna be spending time with this person, nothing. I belong 100%, mind, body and soul to the person I am in love with. No one else even registers in that way. And if I happen to start to register someone else that way, then then the relationship I am in is failing badly and that person ends up ... well, kissing them feels like I am trying to make out with my mom (ew gross). 

 

I call myself a vole among swans since most people seem to choose monogamy rather than it being their natural state, with casual attraction to lots of people at once, whereas I just literally couldn't do it even if I wanted to. (Voles being the only true monogamous creature I know of in science and swans were hailed as monogamy symbols until it became widely known they are socially monogamous and sexually open)  

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Whore*of*Mensa

@Serran this is horribly selfish, but I feel I might be OK with poly if I was the one with more than one partner - but not the other way around! (but it would all be basically platonic for me, so it's not quite the same) I think there does need to be a balance of some kind in the relationship; a feeling of things being equitable, otherwise it feels as if there is a power imbalance. Maybe my need for 'fairness' causes problems, I'm not sure. (again It probably all comes from my competitive relationship with my sister growing up!!) Other people might not feel this - but it seems like a fairly natural thing to feel?

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