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-   -   Boundary Pushing (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17633)

ChloeJane 11-23-2011 11:27 PM

Boundary Pushing
My husband and I have been married for two years, together for five. We met as "lovers" (with our partner's permission) in sexless marriages, and ended up decided to turn our incredible spark into a long term relationship. We are both passionate, honest people with excellent communication skills - our relationship is far from perfect, but we have our eyes wide open as to who we both are - the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we love it all in both ourselves and each other.

A year ago, I broached the subject of having a threesome with my husband and another woman. I have always been bi-curious, and wanted to revisit it after some failed tries in highschool/college. He was turned on by the idea, and allowed me to start setting up on-line profiles; both of us were shocked when our third ended up being a close friend of mine who had her eye on us as a couple. After a few months of hot sex, it petered out - she got a girlfriend, we were very involved with setting up a new business, and it came to an okay end.

Missing that, I tried to find another third to no avail (this is when I heard of the title of Unicorn, and started to understand just how lucky we'd been) We opened up our relationship to another couple, and while they were great people, we just weren't into it.

So, I placed a well worded ad on CL, and found an amazing young woman who was open and curious. After a couple of dinners out, she came to our place for the weekend - we set the scene, but I made it clear that sex was NOT on the menu - no pressure from me, no way. It was a great weekend, and we drove her safely home... she txted me that she wished it had gone farther, and so our relationship began to unfold.

Fast forward two months, where we are spending most of our weekends in a threesome, living out scenarios that have always been in my dreams, but not in reality until now - an incredible dinner out, a night at the symphony, a swanky hotel room filled with crazy fantastic sex involving all three of us, cuddly sleep, an art exhibit the next morning, brunch.... it's like a dream! The sex is unbelievable, we're all having such a good time, and then, my boundaries start getting pushed.

Clear boundaries have been set by both of us as to what we're okay with/what we're not. Mine are: 1) No communication outside of me - I make arrangements, txt with her, set up dates, but my husband is not to engage in outside communication. 2) All three people have to be conscious and involved in order for any sex play to take place. Not too controlling, but still respecting our primary relationship, and keeping my heart/soul feeling safe.

So! We come across some boundary pushing right away. We all have great sex, go to sleep, and I can feel moving next to me... constant moving... I wake up, and see that they are just about to start having penetrative sex. At first I think, okay, I'll join in, it'll be fine, but my body is saying NO WAY THIS IS NOT OKAY, so I get up and go to the bathroom. I don't want to make a scene, but I am so uncomfortable and upset. We talk it out, and it's all cool - everyone understands this is a boundary for me, and we leave it at that. Next weekend? SAME THING. I do a lot of internal work - why is this not okay with me? Am I being jealous/insecure? And I think - no - we did not open up the relationship for us to have individual hot sex, but for us to have PARTNER hot sex, and this is outside of the boundaries that we have laid out. Again, huge long talks, great communication, and I'm feeling understood and heard.

This weekend, I'm trying to fall asleep, and my husband gets an enormous erection - it has been a long week, we've had a LONG and AMAZING session earlier in the evening, and I am so not there - I just want to sleep! So, he rolls over and starts up with her... AGAIN! I get out of bed and go to the spare bedroom, thinking... I should just get over this, and allow him to have sex with her, but again my body says NO WAY THIS IS NOT OKAY. We have another long communication session.

Today? Today I receive a txt from our lover asking me if I have changed my mind about my husband communicating with her outside of me. I say no, that I haven't, and she tells me that he txted her today out of the blue.

It's not that I'm not expecting for all of us to fall in love with each other - to be caught up in that delicious dopamine high of NRE. I'm not naive, and know that my husband will definitely love her - not as he loves me, but that his heart is already connected to her through great sex, fantastic experiences and time spent together being intimate and open with each other.

So why do I feel so disrespected? Angry? Like he is being totally immature and irresponsible about my boundaries? I feel lost, and about 75% of me thinks that I just want to end things.... although I know that's a cop out in some ways, and won't help us do whatever work is in the way for this to just work.

Yes, there are fears there - fears that this will damage our relationship, my trust of my husband to put my feelings first, feeling as though I have to push my boundaries just because they don't "fit" my husband's desires. But this all feels wrong - we had these laid out BEFORE we started this journey, and have revisited them so many times that I am honestly just feeling really lost and angry right now.

I definitely need advice. I have talked about it with our third, and she validates my boundaries and feelings, and was the one who came forward to let me know that he txted her today - wanting to keep me in the loop, and keep things honest and open.

cagedbutterfly 11-24-2011 01:41 AM

I am very new to the Poly-scene but I have had a couple of threesome situations.

From my point of view, the fact that he keeps trying to start things up with your third could mean that he has strong feelings for her.

Is he allowed to have sex with her while you are involved in group dynamic?

You say that you were exhausted and had great sex.. Is it possible that they weren't 100 % forefilled by the group sex, and wanted to engage in one on one action?

3 times is not only pushing your boundaries, its obviously hurting you and pushing your paitence. They are both not listening to you and thats a big problem in my opinion.

Have you spoken to your husband about his contact with the third?

Is there any specific reason that you are the go between for this situation and they are not allowed to contact each other?

nycindie 11-24-2011 03:37 AM

It isn't a good sign that your husband kept giving you lip service about complying and went ahead and did what he wanted anyway, but maybe he thought that since you were sleeping in the same bed, it still counted as you being there. As farfetched as it may seem to you, many times we think people understand what we want and that they heard what we said, only to discover they interpreted it differently in their own minds.

It also sounds like he is not comfortable with your boundaries (which do seem quite unrealistic) or they just do not work well for him, but he is perhaps afraid to ask for some renegotiation. I am not excusing what he did, but I can see why he would be hesitant to speak up. You want to call all the shots and be in charge of both his and her desires and activities. Reality appears to be proving that your ideas about what is acceptable may not be satisfying to anyone but you and your need to be in control.

From what you wrote, it seems like she is respectful of your wishes, but is kind of in the middle with no say about what she wants. She's sort of trying to make both of you happy, while he is doing what he thinks threesomes are all about -- you're all in bed together after a nice night of fucking but he's got another hard-on, you're asleep and she's responsive, so why not enjoy the person who is there and not have to worry about waking you up and getting permission first?

If you must insist that you only have sex when all three of you are present (and awake), why not experiment in being a little more lenient? Perhaps you can just watch them a few times, or just hold her hand and stay connected in some way while they fuck, if your body isn't feeling like participating. You can be included in the sexual dynamic without taking part in every single physical act.

To me, your rule about him and her not contacting each other directly is rather controlling and appears to indicate a big fear on your part, of losing control. It's okay for him to put his dick in her but not send her a text? Can you see how that logic may not make much sense? From my perspective as a single woman, I just figure I should be able to communicate directly with anyone who sticks his dick in me, whether he's married or not. Otherwise, I'd feel like a hooker having someone setting me up with a john. It will get old to her pretty quickly to be used that way, I am sure.

Do you not trust your husband, or her, or either of them enough to allow for some conversation outside of when you are all together in the bedroom? Surely, if they want to get together they would come to you for scheduling. What are you afraid of if they meet together without you? I pose these questions so you can ask them of yourself and examine why it is these fears or insecurities have prompted you to impose such heavy-handed and unrealistic rules on the situation.

In addition, you say you want it to be only a Two Plus One situation. Time and time again, we have read posts here from couples, and the women they play with, who have found out that such an approach is not only difficult, but rather disrespectful of all the individuals involved. The fact is you and your husband may be married but you are also two individual, autonomous human beings. Interacting with someone as if you as a couple is one entity is just a falsity, because you aren't one entity; you are two people who happen to be married and in partnership with each other. Your libidos and wishes are not always going to be the same, and totally synchronized with each other. The woman you found to be with is an individual with her own rights, wants, needs, and desires. She is not an appendage nor a toy, and neither is your husband a robot who can turn his desire on and off to make sure you aren't offended.

The reality is that you are NOT Two Plus One, you are all One Plus One Plus One. The way you want your threesomes to play out is in a manner that most people would object to. If you truly want this to evolve into meaningful poly relationships among the three of you, perhaps you can loosen up some of your boundaries and learn to trust a little more. Most people act in a trustworthy manner when they know they are trusted, and are not held back by such a tight leash. But they will rebel when they feel they are not trusted. However, he needs to step up and take responsibility for disregarding your wishes, at least by explaining what his thought process was. And he should be able to ask for some shifts in the boundaries if they are not to his liking, before pushing past them, and without being afraid of upsetting you.

Whatever you do, it will be important for all THREE of you to sit down and discuss what each of you are comfortable with, so you can negotiate and agree on boundaries together. Then make plans to revisit the discussion in a few months to see how everyone is doing. When you mentioned talking things over, it sounds like you only talked with your husband and left her out of it. And then she's just supposed to accept whatever you decide. That is just plain not nice, and disrespectful of her. I wish you well as you move forward.

AnnabelMore 11-24-2011 03:51 AM

I 1,000% agree with everything Nyc said. Spot on.

AnnabelMore 11-24-2011 04:32 AM

I'll add just a couple of thoughts of my own...

- It's not ok for your husband to continually disrespect your boundaries. He needs to provide a clear explanation for *why* this happened. Did he misunderstand, was he just horny, did he think it was unfair? Why did he text her when that was clearly counter to your request to him? If he's trying to go behind your back that is NOT ok and needs serious attention. On the other hand, if he just wanted to say "hey, sorry things got weird the other day", that just seems human.

- Some rules make sense in theory but don't work so well in practice. It doesn't excuse your husband's repeated overstepping, but it might be that these rules just don't make sense in practice. It may be helpful to think about *why* you want these rules. What are you afraid will happen if the two of them text, or if they continue fooling around in bed while you're there even though you've decided you're done? Are there other ways to either break down or work around these fears?

- It sounds like the third is in a really tough position and has done her best to respect you, I hope that you appreciate that and endeavor to work things out such that you don't just drop her because that's easier than sorting things out with your husband. Being unceremoniously dropped when the couple discovers that things are more complicated than they thought is one of the main reasons why bi poly women shy away from anything that looks like a "unicorn" role. That stuff hurts. :(

redpepper 11-24-2011 07:32 AM

Sorry, I haven't read what others have said here, so there likely will be some over lap in what I say.

In a nut shell, I think your boundaries are WAY too restrictive at this point and its time to change them. Having sex all together, not communicating out side of the triad and all that just doesn't work for the long haul and just breeds co-dependence as far as I have seen. You are not three people in a unit of one, you are all independent people that have independent lives and relationships. You with him, her with him, you with her AND then all of you together.

It might just be that she loves him more. It might be that he loves her more than the idea of all of you together... this happens. A LOT. In fact almost always in triads. No biggy, just go with it and change the boundaries. It could be that you and her will not be intimate any more or less, and they will be more, who knows... you won't know until you let go of the control over this I don't think.

This is a very common situation. You are in good company. It is the usual scenario with unicorns coming into a relationship. They are there for a short time and then things shift. It can last if there is an adjustment of expectations, assumptions and boundaries that might mean a whole different type of relationship dynamic. Perhaps a vee would be better. This is where it usually ends up anyway.

Who knows, maybe things will work out if you put your foot down. I'm sorry you feel hurt. That is a tough one.

I suggest doing a tag search for "unicorns" "triads" "lessons" and "foundations" and anything else that looks interesting and see what you learn about others in order to see where you could go next with this.

ChloeJane 11-25-2011 01:50 AM

Boundaries are there for a reason.
When my husband and I began our threesome journey, neither of us were new to polyamory. I have dated two men simutaneously numerous times throughout my life, and have experimented with all kinds of fluidity and rules; sharing a man with a gay man where we had different nights of the week, but none of us living together, having a lover's apartment in a different city where I would spend weekends with a lover while my primary went away to play in bands and have fun of his own. There are lots of different situations and dynamics that are offered in polyamory, and I don't see boundaries as "controlling" so much as I see them as "contractual." All involved parties agree on what they're comfortable with, and revisit them as relationships mature.... no? I don't believe that there is an "ideal" that we all have to force ourselves into - each person, and each situation is unique.

When my husband and I decided to open our relationship up, we did so with very clear rules that we had both decided upon before entering into it. These rules were made because we didn't want to open up the emotional side of our relationship, or our marriage to a third, but because we were looking for a lover. Largely, this lover was to satisfy curiousities on my part around being with another woman and my husband was truly supportive of this and had deep rooted curiousities around threesomes. The first couple of times we went to bed with a third, he completely sat back, and waited to be invited into the mix. His exact words were "I will only participate as much as you are comfortable with." Our relationship blossomed under that safety and freedom to say "enough" if one of us reached a wall of some kind. There was great communication, and a friendship between all three of us, but the heart of it was mindblowingly hot sex.

In this particular relationship that we find ourselves in now, we are taking things to a whole new level of romancing, wining, dining, and getting to know each other. It's a lot of fun. The rules that you might see as excessively restricting or controlling are rules that we agreed upon before entering into this relationship to maintain our own emotional boundaries within the relationship. Not because I think that my husband is a robot, or our lover is "like a prostitute being hooked up with a John" (both of these statements are pretty intense, btw) or because I'm an overbearing control freak, but because these are the things that BOTH of us agreed upon after a lifetime of polyamorous situations to draw upon.

As much as I am for exploring my own sexuality, relationships in general, and the prewritten ideals that people place overtop of any manner of relationship, I also know what works for me, and what doesn't. I don't believe it's necessary to overrun every boundary that exists in a person in order to have a polyamorous relationship; every couple has different "rules" and those "rules" are in place for specific reasons. For me, it's not about striving for a place inside of me where I'm just okay with everything and anyone doing anything. It's about finding a place where all parties are having a wonderful time, feel respected, have great sex and clear boundaries in the "game of love" that we are all engaging in.

We had a long talk last night, and it was a good one; we touched on a lot of issues, and revisited all of our boundaries as a couple again, even writing them out so that we could add to them and change them as needed. My husband is an anarchist from way back; he has always bucked convention and balked at rules - ANY rules, even rules that he makes himself. He likes to bend/break them to see what happens, and in the mix of all of this, I kind of forgot that about him. We talked about the fact that if he did want to text her, that he should have talked with me about it first; not because I am some kind of weird gatekeeper, but because that is the promise that we had both made to each other. It would have given me the opportunity to do personal inventory, reflect, and share my feelings with him. What he did was wrong, and disrespectful, and he recognized it, took responsibility for it, and apologized to both of us for creating unecessary drama, and for putting our lover in an uncomfortable situation.

While there very well may be expansion and relaxation of these boundaries over time, but the most appropriate way for that to happen is in talks about the boundaries; not in the heat of the moment, and certainly not with our third there. She is a law student, and has a lot of stress in her life; our role in her life is to provide her with a fantasy-escape from her real life. She is not looking to be with both of us emotionally, and has made that clear to me as well; my husband is a delicious, respectful, gentle and primal sexual force in her life, I am a cerebral connection that offers her a deep friendship as well as a delicious foray into bisexuality for her. What we have going is an amazing thing, and part of the reason that it works so well is BECAUSE there are rules and boundaries in place.

I respect each and every person's journey into polyamory, but each of us have to be careful that our own needs and desires don't supercede respect, honesty or trust within any one of our relationships. Good communication is the hallmark of good relationships; rushing, boundary pushing, betraying promises and acting out of selfishness do not do much for successful relationships of any kinds. If any of our pre-agreed upon boundaries are no longer working for any of us, to be it should be worked out in a discussion BEFORE it happens, wouldn't you agree?

As for my fears? My fears lie in the fact that my husband would be willing to be dishonest with me. Not of losing him to our third; I would never hold him to me in any way, shape or form. Not of losing control; he and I co-create boundaries and rules, and our relationship in general. I fear that selfish sexual power has the power to overrun good communication, respecting each other or pushing each other to places we're not ready for, or comfortable with. I suppose if I was a wide-eyed silly girl, it would be different, but I am an emotionally responsible, honest, intensely sexual, connected and capable woman with an equally complex giving person. Staying equal and open during this opening of our love is of the utmost importance to both of us, and I am pretty proud of the good work that we're doing when we're coming up against roadblocks.

ChloeJane 11-25-2011 04:38 AM

I just tried to post a reply, but it said that my posting had to be approved my a moderator.... is that normal?

SchrodingersCat 11-25-2011 05:52 AM

I'm curious about the motivation for your boundaries, and whether you intend them to be permanent or just temporary until you are more comfortable with this lifestyle. If they are temporary, what are you doing to work beyond them and remove these restrictions? If they are permanent, how do you rationalize that this will work in the long term?

I especially don't understand why your husband and the other woman aren't allowed to communicate without you. That seems extremely insecure.

While I can understand why you think that only-threesome-sex makes sense in theory, I don't see it as being remotely practical. Clearly, your husband's and this woman's sex drives are higher than yours. When you're tired, they're still ready to go. You met this girl with the intention of pursuing this relationship, but they're only allowed to do anything when you're in the mood. When they are both horny and you just want to sleep, what are your honest expectations? Are they supposed to lie there and just dream about it? Go to the bathroom separately and masturbate? Pressure you into having sex when you're not in the mood?

SchrodingersCat 11-25-2011 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by ChloeJane (Post 112584)
I just tried to post a reply, but it said that my posting had to be approved my a moderator.... is that normal?

I've never heard of it, but perhaps there was language in your post that was questionable without more posts under your boat?

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