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-   -   I am so confused. Please help? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12393)

ohthatgirl 07-20-2011 09:04 AM

I am so confused. Please help?
My husband and I have recently begun talking about and thinking about swinging. We have had a few very limited experiences. However, in the last month or so, he's met a woman (married) with whom he has really hit it off.

He has admitted to having strong feelings for her, but has also said that if I am too uncomfortable with the situation, that he will end contact with her. I don't want to do that. I want him to be happy, no matter what that entails (I think). But I do have concerns, and the more I read, the more this is starting to look like a polyamorous situation.

She is married and her husband is fully aware of the amount of time they spend together, and is okay with it.

The one time my husband met her, they got physical. He lied to me about it for a few days, and then came clean. I haven't forgiven him, but I am working on it. Her husband is fully aware of their physical interaction, their desire for one another, and the four of us have a basic level of physical attraction, though her husband and I seldom speak with one another. I have not met either of them IRL, only via the internet (webcam, email and text messages).

That said, when the four of us do meet up, it is understood that the four of us will engage in sexual relations, to some extent. I am somewhat excited about this, as I do find the girl fairly attractive.

I guess...I'm not sure how to proceed. How do I get okay with his new relationship? I am still very interested in "swinging," - it's very easy for me to separate sex from love in that structure. I should also note that I do not *want* to be in love with anyone else. That is not what I'm looking for in a sexual partner at all.

My husband and I continue to enjoy a very solid, strong and loving relationship. He is my hero and my heart, and I know that he feels the same about me. I have NO concerns that he will leave me for her, or anything like that.

How do I get okay with this situation, and how do we help each other through this? Am I totally in the wrong place here?

Your advice is very much appreciated. Thank you. :)

Magdlyn 07-20-2011 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by ohthatgirl (Post 92898)
I guess...I'm not sure how to proceed. How do I get okay with his new relationship? I am still very interested in "swinging," - it's very easy for me to separate sex from love in that structure. I should also note that I do not *want* to be in love with anyone else. That is not what I'm looking for in a sexual partner at all.

My husband and I continue to enjoy a very solid, strong and loving relationship. He is my hero and my heart, and I know that he feels the same about me. I have NO concerns that he will leave me for her, or anything like that.

How do I get okay with this situation...?

It's not clear what you aren't OK with.

As it stands now, you're a swinger, your h is poly. He has feelings for another sexual partner, you want to keep feelings separate. You 2 haven't done much swinging tho... it's possible you could fall in love with another sexual partner as well. Then what?

GroundedSpirit 07-20-2011 01:41 PM

Hi Othatgirl,

Well - one of the most common philosophies associated with "swinging" is the no emotional connection rule. But I will tell you that for many that doesn't work - because it's against our nature. We're designed to connect with people on some other level than physical. That's why there are so many horror stories associated with 'swinging'. Some mange (with difficulty) to succeed, most don't (if they were all honest about it).

So it's good you are thinking this through first !

My suggestion - just go forward carefully and be aware things can change. Focus on the sexual aspect if you want but make no assumptions. On the other hand, making it a love quest often fails also - so don't go into it with some big agenda. Just treat people as people and let things develop as they will.


ohthatgirl 07-20-2011 04:29 PM

I guess I'm just struggling with jealousy, although he is very supportive, caring and understanding. He is making a huge effort to make sure I know the depth of his feelings for me.

He also encourages me and his girlfriend to talk to each other, and we do and have a friendly relationship (though it is somewhat hampered by my shyness).

Your last point is well taken. We have discussed the "what if" scenario a lot, and he says he thinks about it all the time - what if the shoe were on the other foot, and I was having the same kind of relationship with another man/woman/couple - would he be okay with it?

He likes to think he would be. I'm not so sure, but I guess we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there.

Thank you for responding.

sagency 07-20-2011 05:17 PM

GS's comment to go into things with an open mind and no agenda is good advice for almost any poly or potentially poly situation.

A question you might want to think about is why a poly relationship and a swinger relationship provoke different responses.

After a lifetime of mono programming, a common feeling is that emotional relationships are bad because a person has a finite amount of love within them. Therefore, any giving of love to another means a reduction of love for you. Basic poly thinking is that this is completely incorrect.

The example I use is two people who meet and marry. Do they love their parents less once they marry? If they have a child, do they reduce their mutual love in order to provide love to the child? Or is the capacity to love something that can grow?

While the capacity to love may increase, the hours in the day do not. Time management will be important. Worry more about time management than loving capacity.

Assume little; communicate lots. Best of luck.

AnnabelMore 07-20-2011 05:26 PM

You don't have to open up your marriage, period, and you can also choose to give yourself more time... if thinking of your husband being in love with another woman is too much for you right now, you probably shouldn't open up just yet, in fact, as there's every possibility that'll happen. There's also the fact that he broke your trust and it takes a little time to recover from that. If he wants this to work long term in the least messy way possible, it might behoove him to step back and give you more time to heal, learn and process, no matter how much he likes this woman.

There are some great essays on jealousy at this site -- http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html -- check 'em out, do some reading here, don't let yourself feel rushed!! I worry in part because you don't sound super excited about the foursome... you say you find her "fairly" attractive... and being in a sexual situation with other people, where there's pressure to participate and you're not necessarily totally into it, plus still dealing with fear and jealousy issues and then facing the reality of maybe seeing that loving, so-into-you look in your husband's eyes when he's with this woman and you guys are all together? I could be wrong, but it sounds like a powderkeg.

So, again, my one major piece of advice -- take is slow! Best of luck. :)

Carma 07-20-2011 07:42 PM

Our marriage became a V last October. I fell in love with our neighbor, and it was either stop loving him (I tried, in vain) or get a divorce. Luckily we did some creative thinking and found a third option -- poly.

So ours started with love and then opened to sex.

My husband has recently formed a relationship with a woman that started out as flirting and sexy texting, and is now getting physical. He says it will only be sexual play -- no intercourse -- and that he does not want to fall in love with her.

For me, the love came first, and if it hadn't, I wouldn't have had any interest in the physical relationship.

I have a hard time with my husband's new relationship -- is he using her? Does he not care about her feelings? What if she falls in love with him? Frankly, I think I love her more than he does, already (!) because although I have not met her, he has shown me her pictures and told me about her, and I feel like she is my friend, already! I care about her and I don't want her to be just some cheap thrill for him. BTW -- He is NOT the type of guy to "use" anyone -- he is a wonderful, devoted husband who has been 100% faithful to me for 12 years. I am confused to see him entertaining the idea of a loveless sexual relationship. And sad for him. Did I force him into this? I feel somewhat responsible. :( But -- maybe it will grow into love for him. Then again -- maybe he really can't be poly. If he falls in love with her, maybe he will choose to leave me. I guess I'm a little scared. But if the end result is that he is in love with her and he is happy, how can I selfishly deny him that opportunity? I don't rule the world.

Isn't it funny how poly attitudes can be so different?!

redpepper 07-20-2011 09:04 PM

If I were you I would leave them to it and step back from any involvement other than friendly. There should be no requirement to fall into their sexual energy and besides, it seems to work better to take things really slowly.

If this is hard for you, you haven't even met them and you are confused as to what you are even embarking on, then why rush? Let them get to know each other in the context of you being around with them, get to know her and get more settled into the dynamic before adding you being sexual with them. You might find you are creating more pressure than need be and that really you don't want that kind of involvement along the line.

Do a tag search here for "jealousy" "swinging" and anything else that looks interesting.

AnnabelMore 07-20-2011 09:13 PM

Hey, just wanted to respond quickly to you, Carma. In my experience, sex without love can be a wonderful thing! I've had sexual friendships in the past that were just that and nothing more, and I wouldn't have missed out on some of them for the world! Nobody has to be using anybody as long as the people involved are honest, respectful, and kind in their interactions. If one person does feel more than the other (I have this situation now with my metamour... I love him, he is happy with just friendship and sex) it's up to that person to decide whether the situation is healthy for them or not. That's not to say the person who feels less has no responsibility -- they should step back from the situation if they see that the other person is hurting or not thinking clearly. But don't assume that sex w/o love is always unbalanced or that even if things are unbalanced that that means it's damaging.

Carma 07-21-2011 05:53 PM

Thanks for your response, AnnabelMore. My BF is not "in love" with me either, so isn't it funny that I put such weight on it for my husband? I love my BF but I know he is in the relationship as a friends with benefits, temporary arrangement. I'm perfectly ok with that, so maybe my husband's new girl will be, too. I'm a little afraid she could turn out to be a cowgirl, but up to this point I have no reason to suspect that. He's been very clear with her that he has no intention of leaving his wife and family.

Poly does challenge things, doesn't it? I'm learning so much, and redefining my previous ideas about love and sex.

I'm also having to walk the walk, now that my husband is developing a relationship of his own. It's harder than I thought, to be on this side! :o I think I have to remember that he has a right to his own relationships, too, and I don't have to be sticking my nose into everything. I can trust in love. Okay, EXHALE!

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