Can I handle polyamory?
My wife and I have been married for almost 2 years and living together for more than 3. We have a beautiful daughter who is about 22 months old. Our marriage and sex life could both be described as good! We are very talkative and nurturing to each other. I am absolutely devoted to my wife, who is without a doubt the most compassionate person I have ever met. I would never be unfaithful, and the thought of losing her is unbearable.
A few months ago, my wife started spending a lot of time chatting with people on the web. And it just so happens that she has many more male friends online than she does female friends. And most of them are between the ages of 16 and 19 (we are both 25). Of course her choice of friends makes me nervous, but her conversations are playful and not sexual or flirtatious at all, at least from what I have seen. She is not the kind of woman who would hide things like that from me.
One of her friends, who I will call "G", is 19 years old. They have been talking both online and on the phone for hours every day for the past three months, and they've become best friends. I thought this was a little strange, but also wonderful because until recently, my wife didn't have even one close friend she could confide in (besides me of course). Both my wife and I enjoyed sharing funny videos and playing online videogames with G. I started to think that G was a pretty cool guy, if a bit naive and immature. He even surprised us by sending both of us some fairly expensive Christmas gifts.
G is in a situation where he will soon need to move out of his mom's house and find another place to live. Since we are a poor family, my wife suggested to me "Why don't we have him move in as our roommate and he can pay a portion of the rent?" I was hesitant, but didn't think it was a bad idea. We both liked him (although I've never said more than a hundred words to him at most, I have heard a lot about him), it would mean more income, and to sweeten the deal he wanted to bring over a ton of movies and videogames, and promised to be the perfect roommate.
But before we could finalize the decision, my wife wanted to be prepared. She asked him a lot of hard questions to make sure he would be comfortable living with us. Not everyone is okay rooming with a married couple with a toddler, after all. During that phone conversation he admitted that living with us would be torture because he loved her and could never be with her romantically.
Soon after that conversation, my wife realized that she was also beginning to have feelings for G. She started doing a lot of research about polyamory and wanted to have an open discussion with me about it. I told her that I would try to be open-minded, but that only my closest friend could ever have the privelege of having sex with my wife. G was certainly not my closest friend; he had never even met me or my wife in person yet!
In spite of my uneasiness, the two of them continue to fall more in love (over the phone!) with each passing day. My wife really believes that this guy is just going to move in next month, we are all going to get along great, they will have passionate, star-crossed lovers sex all over my marriage bed, and he might possibly stay in our house forever and grow old with us. All sorts of wild hypothetical conversations have taken place, such as:
will we do a 3 person wedding.
who will sleep where on which nights.
How many more children should we have and which of us should be the biological father.
how exactly does one comfortably perform a double penetration.
I told my wife that all of these questions are EXTREMELY premature for a guy we don't even really know that well, but she says this is just how she gets when she is in love... she is in a hurry for things to reach the climax. I should know, because she had sex with me on our 2nd date and moved in with me forever after our 3rd date! And within a year she was pregnant with my child! Is this the sort of thing I can expect from her with G? because I don't know if I could bear to watch that.
I have endured all of this as a loving husband who is trying to understand WTF is going on and how my wife could possibly fall for somebody else, let alone some kid she meets online. We have talked about this for hours upon hours. I have cried my eyes out on several different nights and she has patiently consoled and reassured me each time with loving words and sex. I told her I want her to be happy, and I want to give G a chance because he's a nice guy (he reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age), but I just get assaulted by waves of fear and jealousy and anger. She has told me many times that she still loves me very much and that nothing will ever diminish the marriage we already have, that we will be together forever no matter what. She's told me that I have never failed to provide for her materially, emotionally, or sexually. It isn't even about the thrill of having two sexual partners. She is actually falling for this guy, and claims she has more than enough love for both of us. In time she says that I could love him too. But all I feel right now is crushing anxiety and doubt and how dare he have feelings for MY wife!
Like many men, I have had idle fantasies about being with other women (I have only been with 2 women in my whole life), but in my fantasies my wife is also present. So the idea of having fun with a threesome or group sex has always appealed to me, but I don't know what it's really like since it has never happened. I never flat out asked my wife if she was interested in swinging/groupsex because:
1) I have yet to build any chemistry with another woman
2) I was afraid she would feel upset and think that she was inadequate in some way.
So of course, I expected that I would get to have sex with other partners also. That is only fair. But my wife insists that there should not be any casual sex! I am free to date another woman, but only if I genuinely have romantic feelings for her with the eventual goal of adding her to our poly family. Emotionally, I am perfectly satisfied with one wife! I made a promise to love only her forever and I meant it with every fiber of my being.
I don't know what to think or feel anymore. Both my wife and G have expressed concern for me and will do nothing to upset me. They want to take things as slowly as I need them to. They said he can start out as just a roommate, I can get to know him better, and things can gradually heat up from there once I am comfortable. But I know that they are probably going to be enamored with each other from the very beginning! By gradually they probably mean a week or two!! I tried asking for Veto Power to make myself feel more in control - basically that if he and I had any fights then he would be sent packing - but my wife doesn't want there to be any such things as primaries and secondaries in her poly family. She wants everyone to be equals, meaning even though I have been around for years, I am suddenly on an even footing with her new boy lover and don't get any more (or less) power or priveleges than him. When I did ask to be the primary she just gave me a disappointed look and calmly pointed out to me how unfair that would be to G.
What do you guys think? Am I just working through some temporary jealousy but this poly family could be a really cool thing if I give it a chance?
Is my wife crazy and I should tell this young man G to keep his distance from my apartment and my marriage?
Something in between those two extremes?
I apologize for me bluntness but....
I think this young man needs his own life. You definitely should not have him move in! Let him develop some life skills and relationship skills. He sounds like he is totally fascinated by the sexual side of things but really, what 19 year old guy isn't?
Your wife sounds like she is in the throes of New Relationship Energy which probably means she is thinking with her heart and vagina, not her head.
Seriously, we have seen people move into together who were much more experienced and they imploded because the fantasy is a fuck of a lot different than the reality.
If this is real they both should be able to pace themselves. I also get the feeling your wife may be entertaining the idea of you having other partners just to make it "more fair" for her to bring this guy into your bed. I wonder how she will respond if you hook up with a 19 year old girl and decide to fuck her in your marriage bed? Because that is the reality. She has got to be able to handle you doing the exact same things she will be doing with her young man.
Just the questions this guy is asking are raising huge flags!! They are so far ahead of themselves its unbelievable....Pace, pace, pace. He sounds immature and I think you will have serious regrets if you let this guy move in.
When your really in love you should be able to be patient...when your really horny it is sometimes more difficult...this guy sounds horny...does he have any real relationship experience?
Take care and slow down
What Mono said.
Plus, you guys have a KID. You can't have people moving in and out (either as a dirty pun or otherwise) at whim and expect that to foster a healthy environment for your child. You don't even know this guy. He could turn out to be a child molester, a thief, a mooch, whatever.
Don't do it. If you agree that your wife ought to pursue this, let him get his own place and get to know each other better before getting in a situation that you can't get out of very easily.
I apologize for the "what they said" post, but I wholeheartedly agree with Mono and YGirl. I want to underline what they said three times. You have rights, and you should be allowed to have a say. If everything you say you need to have in order to be comfortable is being vetoed, something is wrong. At the very least your wife is not fostering an atmosphere of trust.
And OMG, I underline the part about watching out for your child ten times. Responsible poly parenting is much the same as responsible single parenting--would you move in a woman you had never even met? How hard is it on the child if that relationship doesn't work out? And wouldn't you at least make sure your partner could be a decent parent before you put your child in close contact with them? Even a babysitter gets a better interview before you let them watch your kids.
You and your wife are a partnership! If you and her can not come to a happy middle ground then poly will never work for you and her.
I personally like to live on the wild side dive right in and figure things out
in the moment. That can sometimes work for me and other time not work and only give me a "learn from my mistakes" experience.
What you have to understand is that poly is really big on communication and respect for partners feelings. She is only thinking about herself "she doesnt want to do that" "She says it would be unfair to him" all this shows that she is not considering your feelings. You asked about veto power and she said no...but it seems like her words,wants and desires are more on the dominate rather then the equal side.
Sounds like you are willing to compromise and "TRY" as long as your feeling are being heard and common sense is being used IE you don't move in with someone before you have dated them that is ass backwards.
I would suggest you and your wife help him find a place to stay and go hang out in a platonic fashion before you jump to moving in. I wouldnt be surprised if this guy annoys the crap out of your wife after hanging out. Its one thing to understand and deal with a person from a distance but you are working in a entirely different solar system when you are dealing in person or living with someone.
bottom line "Moving a person your house without knowing them BAD IDEA" As a man I don't want people I don't know or trust around my kids nor my wife obviously if this is not a thought that has crossed her mind then she is crazy or like mono said "Thinking with her Vagina"
If this guy was still living with his mom then this probably means your wife will be replacing his mother. Cooking cleaning laundry paying bills ...etc he needs to be on his own an learn to do this things before a relationship can happen with anyone for that matter.....
Last year, my husband and I fell in love with a woman we met online. Initially, I was the one with feelings. He started off telling me he couldn't even imagine having a crush on another woman, let alone loving one, because I gave him everything he needed. He wasn't wrong about the latter part, but he did ultimately fall in love with her.
It was a long distance relationship, and the circumstances under which we met led to it being emotionally intense. We moved in together after three months. I do not regret that decision.
I struggled a bit, though, with accepting that my husband loved another woman, particularly given his original position on the matter. I loved her, too... but he readily admitted to me that he could never handle me with another man. Not that I'd want another man, anyway. The idea of any man who isn't my husband touching me makes me nauseated... but I digress.
I have a couple of points I want to make. One is that, in our case, I was romantically involved with the third person, and it was STILL very, very hard at times. If you aren't truly poly - and it certainly doesn't sound like you are - a poly relationship can hurt. A LOT. Now, there was a period of time in which what I got out of the relationship shared between the three of us made it worth fighting through my insecurities/jealousies and the hurt.
They tried to avoid hurting me. They never did anything intentional. But in these sorts of relationships, with the complexities, hurt is much harder to avoid.
You will hear the term "compersion," if you haven't already. It means that one partner is made happy by knowing his partner's relationship with someone other than him brings the partner happiness. I've experienced compersion, but it's not a simple concept, and it can be part of a myriad of emotions. I've been truly happy for my husband and girlfriend about things they've shared... but I've also had my own mixed feelings at times about those things.
This is a complicated lifestyle. I would definitely not move this guy in, primarily because you have a young child. Let him move near you, if you decide you want to let your wife pursue a relationship with him. Give everyone time to know each other... to see how he is with your child. To see if he and your wife even have the same feelings for each other when they're together in the real world.
I wish you the best...
Yep - I vote with everyone else here.
SLOW DOWN !
Nobody in the group has big loads of life experience let alone real experience in this matter. And as everyone noted - you have a little one involved here too.
Your wife has been doing her "homework". That's a good thing.
But - and I think you both can connect with this - it's ONE thing to read a book about something complex and understand it totally at some fundamental level.
It's quite another thing to actually practice it.
Small steps first.
Get to ALL know each other better (live and in person)
Experiment with some sexual alternatives. Go home when finished !
Keep communicating every step of the way - openly & honestly.
Repeat the phrase NRE......NRE 50 times a day :)
Look back in 5 years and see what you've learned that WASN'T in the book !
Love each other fiercely.
Reading does not equal knowing (wow that's been coming up a lot this week).
Also-rushing doesn't make it work out better. Usually the other way around.
My bf has been a GOOD close friend for 17 years. He has supported me in raising my children for that whole time (the oldest is 18) and has put in his time proving his value to my life and willingness to not try to replace my husband.
AND STILL we have plenty of issues.
Heck no on the moving 'em in so fast. And sure as hell not moving someone in with my babies who I've never met face to face and spent enough REAL LIFE time with to ensure my babies TRUE safety...
It seems quite unfair to me that your wife has decided exactly how she wants her polyfamily to be constructed without actually consulting you or taking your desires into consideration. She's allowed to move some guy in and you don't have veto power, and you're also not allowed to casually date? I don't think you guys should have to subscribe to the exact same version of polyamory. I mean, sure, in a perfect world you'd want the same things, but you're both individuals! She should be more willing to compromise... After all, she's asking quite a lot of you, and awfully fast!
I am the kind of person who falls in love easily, and who moves in quickly, and I still feel like this is a bit sudden. You might have him come stay with you guys (or at a hotel) for a weekend so you all can meet up before you have him just move in. Your wife might decide after spending a fully 48-72 hours with him that he has obnoxious habits, or there's no real chemistry... I've done the long distance-to-in person thing before, and just talking is different that spending time with someone. I was completely head over heels for some guy I met online a few year back, and it felt like the feeling was mutual. After about a month of living together, though, his feelings began to fade and I was crushed. Your wife might even experience something similar. You guys are all pretty young (I'm not trying to sound cocky -- I'm 24 myself) and feelings that seem like they'll last forever can sometimes change easily. Especially this younger outsider... You were a 19 year old man once yourself... I'm sure you know what I'm getting at ;)
I'd say you guys should at the very least talk a LOT more about what you BOTH want before you rush into anything.
Things seem unfair
Back in March I was on here crying about how my wife had fallen in love with another man and asked me to let him live with us. People gave me some very sound advice that I did not listen to. So here's the situation now.
(S) and I have been married for two years and we have a 2-year-old daughter. She became friends with 19-year-old (G) after meeting him in a videogame chat room back in November. They moved their conversations from the web to the phone and were talking for several hours a day. I wasn't too jealous of that because I'm partially autistic and talking to my wife for several hours would be a chore for me. By March she was confessing to me that they had accidentally developed feelings for each other, and from there we had many long and tearful discussions about polyamory. She was never insistent or pressuring to me and promised to end it if I said the word. In the end, I decided that I loved her and trusted her so much that it would be okay for G to move in with us; with the understanding that if anything at all went wrong, I was going to send him packing.
In May, G was caught and arrested while trying to shoplift a stupid little piece of jewelry or something from a Hot Topic so he could mail it to S. He was put on probation for a year. However, at my wife's urging I wrote several very eloquent letters to officials in Georgia and had his probation transferred to our residence in Illinois.
In July, I signed the lease on a more expensive 2-bedroom apartment so that G could have his own room. I sent him $100 to cover his moving expenses since he was unemployed and had no money. He packed up all his belongings (mostly videogames and manga) and his parents drove him all the way from Georgia to our home in Illinois. They were really nice people and seemed to be weirded out but accepting of G's choice to live with us.
It was a difficult adjustment, but I was surprised to find out that G was much more disturbed by polyamory than I was. It seemed like he resented the closeness that my wife and I had already built with each other. Since moving here he has been very quiet and moody, but I'm told that is just the way he's always been. We would get along really well when playing videogames together, but then whenever I was affectionate with S in front of him, G would silently leave the house and not return for half an hour. And he refuses to talk about his emotions saying he will deal with them himself. G is a sweet guy, and he seems to take care of S and my daughter pretty well, but in most ways he's pretty pathetic and depressing. If S were not in love with him then he is not the kind of guy that I would be friends with let alone live with. I hope that it's just because he's young and needs to grow up some.
G knew when he moved here that he was going to be responsible for some of the finances. One of the only silver linings for me in all this was the idea that he would be lightening my workload. However, it has now been about 2 months since he moved in, and he has only applied for about 5 jobs, and only because I kept reminding him that he needed to get a job. He has not paid for anything, except that he bought himself some Star Wars miniatures with money he got from his grandparents in a birthday card. In fact, I have paid for them to go out to dinner and a movie once. Because of all the emotional stress we were going through, S said that the two of them needed that. G says that he will try to help out financially by selling his plasma, but that will only earn him $40 a week at best, and he has to pay his P.O. each month with part of that money. I know that we are both going to college now and have student loans, but he can at least work part time. I know I will be.
Originally I had said that I would feel more comfortable if they waited at least a week to have sex. That really bothered S and she kept trying to tell me how I was being controlling and I should let go of my jealousy. By the time he arrived she had already got me to agree that they could do whatever they want. So they had sex immediately after G arrived while I went for a walk with my daughter. We had made an agreement that one of us would watch the baby while the other two could have sex undisturbed in another room. But whenever me and S started to head for the bedroom, G would have a nervous breakdown and S would consequently become too upset to want sex. On my side of things, I was very calm and courteous and let them have sex every evening. I only got sex about every other day, and only after G had fallen asleep, and I was told to make it quick. During sex I could feel that he had already been there, and it was a little arousing but also made me feel distinctly like a secondary. I expressed these concerns to S a couple times but she just started crying and apologizing profusely with little or no change in behavior the next day.
Before G moved in, I purchased condoms and divided them into two bags, and gave one to him when he arrived. But my wife disapproved of the condoms because she says she is slightly allergic to them. She believes in natural family planning (rhythm method) even though the month before he arrived, she confessed to having falsely predicted her ovulation days. But you know where this is going... I later found out that no condoms were used, and that they probably conceived the first night they had sex. Now she is almost 2 months pregnant. She says that she is 99% sure that G is the father but won't tell me how she could possibly know that, since we were both not using condoms.
Actually, several months ago she mentioned something about how being uncircumcised makes a big difference in successful conception. Even before he moved in she had been asking me to look at websites about circumcision, and telling me that my member is "mutilated" and that uncircumcised is better at pleasing a woman, better in every way. It made me cry, and it made her cry to see me get upset about it, but she kept urging me to do some sort of restoration. Finally I had to ban the subject from my house for my own self esteem. But it's not easy knowing that she prefers his.
So now S is pregnant. She has hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme and persistent morning sickness. She feels so sick all the time that she spends most of every day in bed, and it's likely to stay that way until her third trimester. Now all of a sudden neither G nor myself are getting any sex at all for a long time. The three of us are miserable all the time. S is throwing up close to 10 times a day. I go to work full time while G tries to keep her fed and hydrated so she doesn't die. When I come home from work, my toddler is running naked through the house. A potted plant has been dumped out in the kitchen, the garbage is overflowing, all the dishes are dirty, there's food stains on the carpet. G notices that the DVDs on the bookshelf are not organized correctly. He carefully alphabetizes them. Then he goes back to his pristine bedroom to play more videogames.
Did I mention that my wife doesn't even sleep in the same room with me anymore? I upgraded our bed to a king size pillow top mattress so we would have plenty of room, even to co-sleep with the baby. Then I gave our old mattress to G because he didn't have anything to sleep on. But she says that the new mattress is "too soft" and she read that it's bad/dangerous for pregnant women to sleep on pillow top mattresses. So she ALWAYS sleeps in G's bed, and I am always sleeping alone in my room.
When I came out to my parents about our polyamory, they were shocked and disgusted and threatened to stop talking to me until things changed. They said all kinds of horrible things about my wife and I ended up swearing out my parents in her defense. After several weeks of no contact I just recently started to mend relations with my parents/family, who have decided to be more accepting of our poly lifestyle. But it's certainly difficult for me to say that this is a great lifestyle when so many things seem to be going against me lately. Meanwhile, my wife has not told anyone in her family yet and she will probably delay telling them as long as she can.
Based on what you've read, you could either say that I'm the most amazingly tolerant and supportive husband ever, or that I'm being walked all over. Personally, I'm convinced it's the former and that a lot of these issues are just temporary ones. But then I'm an optimist and I like to believe that people can change and grow if they apply themselves and believe in something. I believe in the love that my wife and I share because she tells me "I love you" every day, and I see it in her eyes and feel it when she embraces me.
|All times are GMT. The time now is 01:51 AM.|