Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Have we missed anything? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14052)

CountryLiving 08-31-2011 12:52 PM

Have we missed anything?
My husband and I have discussed this subject until we are blue in the face.
Finally we have taken the decision to do something about it.
We have tried to think how someone might feel joining us. As 16 years together it might be off putting? In all the time of being together, we have always enjoyed our own things. Away from each other, able to spend time doing things without having to have the other person there. Now as time goes on we think it would be wonderful to embrace another person in our relationship. For them to have their own interests which would be encouraged and interesting, but also to join either of us or both in our interests.
Whilst I am bi-sexual I am not bothered if another female who might join us has no interest in a sexual relationship with me.
We think it is important for the lady to have her own space, her own room, and bathroom, this to be shared within the relationship with what right now is my partner, a shared pattern of activity. Her time, my time, our time. Time when only she goes away with our male partner, times when I do, times when I go away and leave them to manage our area and life. Times maybe when she chooses to do the same.
Oh so many more things have come to mind. Are we taking into account the needs of a third person in our life? In our heads we are basically putting our life rules into action for a third person, is this correct.
Please can you tell us if we are thinking wrong, or giving too much thought to it - etc.:confused:

AnnabelMore 08-31-2011 01:35 PM

Hi Country, you've come with a great set of questions! Often, people try to do what you're doing and then come here for advice after there are big problems. Seeking more perspectives first is a good instinct.

In your situation, I would say the biggest thing to consider is that love is a tricky beast. It doesn't always do what you expect. Once you've let someone into your heart, and they've done the same, the results can be unpredictable. Moreso with more people. For instance, what if you find a bi woman... and as time goes on she falls deeply in love with you and vice versa, yet only feels friendship with your husband. Could you two deal with this? Would he be jealous and sad because it wasn't what he expected?

What if your new partner wanted to have outside relationships too, would that be a dealbreaker? If so, why?

The website xeromag.com is an amazing resource for common poly questions/issues.
http://www.xeromag.com/fvpolymistakes.html <-- Check out especially the bit under the header "Don't try to force your relationships to fit a predefined mold"

http://www.xeromag.com/fvpolydatingcouple.html <-- This may help you think things through from a potential third's perspective.

Obviously everyone has to start somewhere, but if you can, find someone who's been in a poly relationship or two before, they'll be more likely to have a realistic view of what they're getting into. And for goodness's sake, whoever you find make sure that she's mature, responsible, and has her issues under control. You may find someone you like a lot, feel giddy that you found what you want, then go too fast too quickly and invite her to live with you. Then, suddenly, a few months later you realize that there's this virtual stranger in your lives and in your hearts, and nothing is as simple to any of you as it seemed at the start. Go slow, spend lots of time dating your potential(s) first.

Good luck!!

AnnabelMore 08-31-2011 01:44 PM

One more thought, on the longevity of your relationship. It's both good and bad, mostly good. On the good side, hopefully after 16 years you two have a really solid relationship, with your issues well worked out and with strong communication and trust. As someone coming into an established relationship, I would be immensely reassured to know that it was going to be almost impossible for me to accidentally break them up because they were so solid.

On the negative side, it will be very hard for a new partner to feel like an "equal" in your relationship. Even 5 years in, your relationship with each other would be more than 4 times older than her relationship with you. The new person would likely have to struggle with feelings of outsiderness and separateness at times. This is part of why I ask the question about your new partner having one or more outside partners, because that freedom may help her feel less... well... less.

CountryLiving 08-31-2011 02:39 PM

Firstly thank you for writing such an indepth reply to both.
I can answer honestly in saying the answer is no for the other person to have another partner outside. You ask for the reason. The reason is we are enough of a relationship to share. I have already stated that we are both very individual people who happen to be married. We both need our space, and enjoy it so when we are together, with others. Not stifled in any way.
Would someone feel outside? Maybe I think that a trial run, maybe just a holiday with us first would be the way to go. Let them see us, come several times if they enjoy the space we have. This is not our relationship, but an extension and a new one.
What if a woman loved me more? Mmm well parents are often in the same place with children. No one likes to admit it but it happens. My husband has experienced me with other women, only that relationship - not including him.
Equally it could be that the woman adored my husband, but did not want to include me. That could happen too.
Life is not perfect, and by reading what you write I so appreciate where you are coming from, thank you for you thoughts, ideas, thought provocation.
Fact is my life is pretty full, I like what I do, my hubby is selfish too in his life, so we do have room to spare to share the bits we do, or not, and more. It would be so cool for someone to be the one who shared it all. The best of both worlds.
Thank you for giving me more to think about. Hope I have answered your questions.

AnnabelMore 08-31-2011 03:13 PM

You're very welcome!

I'm going to ask a little more about the outside partners thing. Please don't feel attacked -- obviously only you really know your situation, and I'm not trying to tell you you can only be happy if you follow my incredible advice or anything like that. :) My interest in talking about it more is based on having too much time on my hands, my own experience dating a married woman, and having read many other stories here of similar/related situations.

Let's say you meet a lovely woman and she falls in love wih one of you but not the other as I was posing as a possibility earlier (this is very common, as falling in love with one person can be a rare enough thing, much more so two at once). Let's say it was your husband. Now he has his wife of 16 years and a new girlfriend (because it's not like they'd know for sure they wanted to get married right away, right, maybe not for a good long while?), you have your husband of 16 years, and she has a new boyfriend. Can you really say for sure that would be enough? Why should he get two relationships and her just one (even if she considers you a close friend, which would be ideal)?

Let's say it's you she falls for. She likes your husband but doesn't feel the same deep spark with him. Or maybe he and she are in love at first but that fades, while you and she stay in love. Yet what if after a while, she realizes she wants the love of a man, children, etc. Would you dump her? Could you, if you loved her and she was a wonderful partner in all other respects?

You say that your husband has experienced you with other women. I take that to mean you've had dating and/or casual affairs outside of your primary relationship. Why would a new partner be denied that? Is there an issue of fear here? Or of control?

I guess what this question comes down to from my perspective is this. You guys have had a life together, and you are creatively figuring out what will work best for you and what you want for your future. It sounds like perhaps your desires and needs have changed over time. I would encourage you to assume that any new partner would want that same opportunity, rather than being told that you guys were able to decide to look for outside love when you realized you wanted it and could have it without hurting your existing relationship, but that she does not get to ever have that same privilege because you should be enough and it has been decided in advance.

Again, just my two cents!

redpepper 09-01-2011 05:09 AM

By the sounds of it, what you seek is a unicorn...

This is thee most common goal of a couple. There is lots of information on this forum about it if you do a tag search for "unicorn."

First off, it sounds like your intentions are good and you are being considerate of what a unicorn might need.I commend you on that... most unicorn hunters that come here would do better with a puppy they "own" than a human being that has just as much rights and freedoms, complexities and emotions as they do.

There are many reasons that finding one is just not common.... first off, this is your first go around and experienced poly unicorns are not generally favourable to newbies. Why? Because they have usually been hurt and used....

Finding a unicorn is like finding a needle in a hay stack. And one that lasts? Near impossible. Like a unicorn they are illusive and only come out when least expected.

From what I have read there is usually some kind of reason that a woman would want to "join" a couple... from what I have read here they seem to have a kid that needs more adults in its life, they are broke and need a place to stay, are disabled of suffering from an illness and need taking care of, they are submissive and need a master to take care of them, or they think its an awesome idea because they are in love, never got enough love in the past and think this is how to get it... only to find that its hard work, NRE ends and they are gone.

So! They are all really good reasons for a unicorn to want to be with you. If you are aware of the reasons, are okay with the reasons, vow to be true to them because you are have an agreement; fill your boots.... if you think that some woman is going to be okay losing her independence, be fine to barrel through 16 years of knowing each other before she came along, will love and cherish you both evenly forever, then you might want to look again at whether or not this option is for you... because all that is unlikely. Just being realistic here.

There are options however.... if I were a unicorn hunter, knowing all that I know, I would start by making sure that I am independent, have my own friends and life and own finances and people to talk to... I would then have a good long talk about letting the dream go and seeing what kind of friends can be made TOGETHER... not separately and then thinking it might be good to slip someone in later and expect them to love the other partner just because you do... Then I would let it go, go about making some new friends, dating separately, finding loves, get some experience and see what happens....

the number one thing that I have noticed about successful unicorns triads is that they were friends first, had some experience in poly before and it just happened.

CountryLiving 09-02-2011 10:25 AM

Thank you for your reply.
I guess we can only say and do as we feel, it would be bizarre for either of us to treat a person as you describe Redpepper. Totally alien.
We think as years go on all of us have baggage that come with us. Neither of us are on our first relationship. Valueing who you are in your own skin is very important to both of us, and we delight in each others plans, hobbies etc. Sharing some, but not all - why force a partner to share an interest they have no interest in?
So the name is a Unicorn, mmmmmmmm the magical beast that only exists in stories.
If someone comes along all well and good, maybe just to visit take a break, get to know us. Not only that but for us to be totally aware too. That would be our choice, not to jump in with two feet. Going for a paddling and testing the water first would be best for all.
Should someone come with issues, well join the gang of the rest of the world. Stay for a while and move on. Life is like that sometimes, maybe taking a break and recognising their needs whilst in a safety net is what they needed.
I think our biggest challenge will be finding someone who loves the great outdoors, in the middle of the sticks, with few speakers of our own language, planting, digging, growing, bottling, feeding, watering, getting out into nature and seeing it in all its glory.

nycindie 09-02-2011 11:03 AM


Originally Posted by CountryLiving (Post 99971)
. . . the answer is no for the other person to have another partner outside. You ask for the reason. The reason is we are enough of a relationship to share.

Maybe for you, you two are enough. But you can't know in advance that a person would be satisfied with only the two of you, just because you think there shouldn't be any need for more. I think wanting to be faithful to the two of you is something that could only happen after a period of trust has been developed, not a rule you can decree before she gets to know you.


Originally Posted by CountryLiving (Post 100292)
Valueing who you are in your own skin is very important to both of us, and we delight in each others plans, hobbies etc. Sharing some, but not all - why force a partner to share an interest they have no interest in?


Originally Posted by CountryLiving (Post 99957)
We think it is important for the lady to have her own space, her own room, and bathroom, this to be shared within the relationship with what right now is my partner, a shared pattern of activity. Her time, my time, our time . . . Are we taking into account the needs of a third person in our life? In our heads we are basically putting our life rules into action for a third person, is this correct.

Wow, making rules for someone you haven't even met yet. What if she wants to have a say in how the household is run? You have a big fantasy, and it seems like you want to have everything figured out in advance. But life doesn't work that way. I think you're being rather unrealistic, and many of the reasons why have already been covered by other posters. I just think, it's far-fetched to think that someone will just want to take a trip with you as a "trial run." That sounds rather like a "mail order bride" expected to just automatically fit into place. Personally, I would probably want to be dating someone and getting to know them for a few months before I go on any trips with them.

Wouldn't it seem better to develop friendships and see if there is someone with whom you feel comfortable cultivating a possible romantic relationship with? And let it happen slowly and naturally?

CountryLiving 09-02-2011 12:13 PM

I wrote a rather long and indepth reply to you mail, without using quote lines.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately the site timed out.
Don't presume you know anything about us by a few lines written.
I think if the right person comes along they will see by how we are and what we believe in as a pair as to whether it suits what they believe in too don't you?
Living in the real world is something we do every day - thank you.
Asking questions, and perhaps posting suggestions is a way of learning what others think, that is what I did for us as a team.
Whilst the word trial and - also holiday (you omitted that bit) was written. It is better to see if you are suited over time, than to bowl in and find that it was a huge mistake from the beginning. Maybe the other person would have to make big changes to take the plunge, isn't it better to test the water by paddling, than to drown out of your depth in stupidity and selfishness?
Where we live would not suit all, this person should she exist has to be looking for something specific too. You have no idea about our living situation, and the reality of this 'other' actually being able to have an extended relationship other than the one we would share, let alone find one.

BrigidsDaughter 09-02-2011 12:35 PM

What if your unicorn doesn't want to live with you? What if she already has her own house, life, friends, etc. and just wants to be in a relationship with you (one or both of you) without all moving in and living under someone else's rules as an independent thinking adult. I think it would be different if you were all starting a triad at the same time, but moving into an already well established household might be a bit much for some one. Is it a requirement that she live with you?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:54 PM.