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)
-   -   I'm so confused (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1121)

Nevins 11-03-2009 05:21 AM

I'm so confused
My wife and I have been together for nearly 6 years. When we got together she was a virgin, but I had been with 3 partners before her. About a year ago, she had sex with my best friend while I was in the next room. I was supposed to just listen, but couldn't help myself and walked in on them and tried to join. She completely stopped what she was doing as I touched her and the sex stopped. I have never felt so hot in my life. To kind of "even" the score, she allowed me to have sex with her cousin that flew in from out of state a month later.

After me being with her cousin, I developed feelings towards her and told my wife. Once I revealed my feelings, she told me that she had secretly gone behind my back and that she had already had sex with my friend prior to that night. Shortly afterward we found out she was pregnant and thought that my friend was the father. Thank God that he wasn't, but this ruined our friendship because he told his family he was going to be a father and then it turned out he wasn't. And her cousin left to go back home 2000 miles away.

We took a break throughout the pregnancy and remained faithful to each other until just recently. Now our son is 3 months old. As soon as my wife was able to be on birth control again, she decided she wanted to open things up again. She started talking to another one of my friends and we all hung out together and everything was fine until recently. About a month ago, we were all partying together and drinking at home. I invited a female friend to come over. My wife's friend and her had passed out drunk leaving me and the female together. My wife walked in on me and her in the living room and sit there and watched. She was so turned on by this but didn't join or say a word.

Two nights ago, my wife decided it was her turn. Her friend came over and we watched scary movies for Halloween. When it got late, I allowed them to go to bed while I slept on the couch. She told me I could listen from the next room, so I did comply. Right after, I was overcome with jealousy and we argued the next day after he left. I told her I didn't want them seeing each other anymore, but later that day I found out her cousin is moving here within the next week and wants to see me again. My wife told me that she is OK with this as long as she can still see her friend, but she admitted she now has strong feelings for him, and he for her as well.

I am comfortable with the sexual part of the open marriage we have. I just don't know if I can handle her having feelings for another man. I don't know if I can handle having feelings for her cousin, which I do. I think I'm in love with her cousin, we have been talking on IM for the entire time my wife and her friend have been talking. How can I love 2 people and remain married?

LovingRadiance 11-03-2009 05:30 AM

Oh dear lord.


These are things that need to be in place for polyamory to work. (IMHO)

What's with the "you can listen but not be in the room". It's almost like a sick and twisted dare...

I think more info would help in getting any productive suggestions.

Mark1npt 11-03-2009 05:32 AM

Lot of stuff here Nevins......some good, some maybe not so. It (love) can be done. IMO, there must be love for poly to come into play. All the other stuff you describe is just lust, fetish or swinging......not bad things, but not accurately described as polyamory, IMHO......others will surely chime in...enjoy the forum.

rolypoly 11-03-2009 07:14 AM

Sorry, but the first thing that screams out at me with your post Nevins, is safety!!! Your wife thought your best friend was the father. This makes me wonder, were they protected? Tested? She wants to reopen the relationship now that she can go back on birth control. Unprotected?

Just be careful...

In my 20s, before I even knew there was something called polyamory let alone that this could be me, I would find avenues for my sexuality in similar ways to what you're describing. It never felt good because it lacked the openness and maturity that my poly relationships have now. It felt shallow.

This may not be your experience, in which case, go forth and do whatever fancies you. My experience has been that a solid base in honesty goes a long way! If you're worried about jealousy when it comes to your wife having feelings, I'd suggest the best thing is a lot of conversation. Also, an agreement within which you both feel safe. (ie: you are allowed to interrupt your wife and her lover if you start not being able to handle it).

BigGuy 11-03-2009 07:06 PM


Originally Posted by Nevins (Post 10990)
How can I love 2 people and remain married?

By choosing to do so.

All the skills that are required to make a monogamous relationship work are the same skills that are required to make polyamorous relationships work.

Communication - Talk, talk and more talk. Learn effective communication skills. Don't try to read other people's minds and don't assume they can read yours.

Radical Honesty (with yourself and others) - You can't be completely honest with someone else until you are completely honest with yourself. Choose to be honest always, even if it makes you look bad and when you don't want to. Be tactful, but always be honest.

Self Reflection - Nobody grows older without accumulating baggage. Learn what your baggage is and work on yourself to get rid of it.

Negotiation - All relationships are about give and take. Learn how to negotiate honestly and fairly.

Balance Assertiveness with Accommodation - Everybody has a selfish side and an altruistic side. Learn to balance the two. Ask for what you need/want in a relationship, and at the same time, accommodate the needs/wants of the other person. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the win/win solution, but never give up until you find it.

Loving two people and remaining married can be done, because it has been done before. Is it the right solution for you? Only you will be able to answer that question.

River 11-03-2009 09:09 PM


Originally Posted by BigGuy (Post 11069)
.... Self Reflection - Nobody grows older without accumulating baggage. Learn what your baggage is and work on yourself to get rid of it.

I want to pick a nit here. I think "get rid of it" is an unhelpful approach. When we go to war (so to speak) with some part of ourselves (so to speak), we often only make that part of ourselves grow stronger, rather than diminish.

We can "work on ourselves," but those who have the most success in doing so usually begin and work on something other than a war footing. When we flat out reject or refuse some part of ourselves, it's just going to do battle from the underground, where we're not terribly conscious of it. If we, instead, take up an attitude of open and accepting curiosity toward our "stuff" -- "baggage" -- (habits, emotions, fears, etc.) we'll see more intimately and intricately why we have these habits, emotions, fears..., and often they will soften up and ease up with familiarity. But only if we're willing to be patient and not to go immediately for the jugular. The "parts of ourselves" have their own story, their own feelings, their own will-to-live. They may be willing to transform, if treated kindly, but they're probably not going to take nicely to outright war.

BigGuy 11-03-2009 09:49 PM


Originally Posted by River (Post 11089)
I want to pick a nit here.

Good points!

Nevins 11-04-2009 12:38 AM


Originally Posted by rolypoly (Post 11031)
Sorry, but the first thing that screams out at me with your post Nevins, is safety!!! Your wife thought your best friend was the father. This makes me wonder, were they protected? Tested? She wants to reopen the relationship now that she can go back on birth control. Unprotected?

Just be careful...

Safety is always first. The paternity situation arose from a broken condom and it couldn't be helped, plus a missed pill. The question of who was the father was because of us having sex within a couple days of each other and I never wear a condom with my wife. I am the father, thank God. Now she is on birth control, Mirena to be exact, which is probably the most effective since she doesn't have to worry about taking a pill now and it lasts up to 5 years. We always make sure to use protection or we don't do anything at all.

I've been tearing myself apart trying to sort through my feelings the last 48 hours. I love my wife, and I believe I also love her cousin. I revealed this love before she left to go home in January after her and I being together, and hanging out for nearly 2 months and only having sex twice. We lost touch for about 5 months, but I thought of her every day. Now she is moving here to be near her family. We have been talking online for the last 2 months, which is how long my wife and her boyfriend have been talking. Her cousin also revealed to me she also has deep feelings towards me. My wife and her boyfriend developed a very close friendship over these last 2 months, and I've overcome the jealousy of them spending so much time together. Only recently on Halloween night did they have their first sexual encounter. As far as her saying I could listen from the next room, well we haven't actually asked her boyfriend if I could be in the room or join yet, we are working our way into that. And for my wife being present while I'm with her cousin, well she can watch but I don't believe there will be a threesome there of course because she is family. I don't believe we will ever be in a quad situation.

So my situation is not based on sexual encounters, although they may happen from time to time. I like spending time with her cousin and my wife likes spending time with her boyfriend. We are only seeing one person each, although I had the one encounter with the lady a month ago when we were drinking. That wasn't planned, it just happened. I guess some would call this an open marriage, although I'm not sure if I would call it that or polyamory, since all of this is new to me. Of course I have no one to talk to about this because my family is religious and wouldn't understand, and neither would any of my other friends.

ImaginaryIllusion 11-04-2009 03:31 AM


Originally Posted by Nevins (Post 10990)
How can I love 2 people and remain married?

I think there's plenty of people around here better suited to offer some specifics on how Poly works...and the tools you can use for that.

I wanted to offer my 2%x$1 about your question above.

Basically this comes down to basic assumptions. I'm guessing that if your family is fairly religous you were probably brought up in the monogamous mindset. There's a set of assumptions that go with that...like there being only one true love. If you love or want someone else, then you don't love your spouse. If you were truely in love, there'd be no need for anything else.

One way though this particular quandry...challenge everything! Everything you think you know or have been taught to assume about marriage. There's some great resources around poly sites & even the threads of this forums about that. And basically it comes down to what you've already done...you've fallen in love with another...and you are still married...and still in love with your wife.
For me this took a lot of time...and I had the benefit of not having other relationships (other than my marriage) crashing around me while I worked through it. I'm talking months to years.

I'd like to expand further...but I'm liable to rant...and I'm not sure if this is the kind of advice you're looking for....and I need to crash, since apparently my ability to string together a proper sentence is suffering.
But the long and short is this...any story, though, proverb, commandment, parable, movie, song, etc...anything that says that you can love only one person in life...ask it...and yourself, WHY? And seriously challenge it...don't take "Because I said so" as an acceptable answer.


Mark1npt 11-04-2009 02:09 PM

Agreed, some things you just have to question and set your own path.

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:15 AM.