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-   -   Advice - Other parties involved? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23322)

Curmudgeon 04-27-2012 10:17 PM

Advice - Other parties involved?
 
My husband and I have had an open marriage for nearly one year, at first it was rough, but we have dealt with a number of issues and things are working well now. I have casually dated a couple of men, but I have run into a conundrum with a man I recently met. I suspect I know what the advice will be, but am just hoping for an opinion from someone who may have dealt with similar.

I recently met this man and he told me he was divorced. We hit it off immediately and I am very attracted to him. I saw him again and while he was talking to a friend I heard him mention his "lady." I asked if he has a girlfriend and he replied that there are a couple of women he "hangs out with." I tried another approach and asked if any of these women had the expectation of monogamy with him, because if so I would not feel comfortable continuing. He assured me that I need not worry and all was fine (cause after all, I am the one that is married, not him). So, I'm wondering, am I being over the top for feeling uncomfortable if he has a girlfriend (FTR, I would be fine if he had a number of casual girlfriends, but anyone steady...concerns me)? If this is a legitimate concern should I call it off just in case? Thanks for any advice.

ViableAlternative 04-27-2012 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 134183)
FTR, I would be fine if he had a number of casual girlfriends, but anyone steady...concerns me

Why should him having a steady girlfriend make you concerned?

It's honesty you should be concerned about. If he has a steady girlfriend and is honest and open with her, and with you, then great. If he has a casual friend-with-benefits, and is not honest with her about you, or with you about her, then NOT great.

It's not the status of his relationships that should be of concern, I think. It should be his honesty and integrity, regardless of the status of ANY of his relationships that should be of concern. At least, that's what I think. Evaluate his honesty and openness about his other partners, and verify directly with them if needed, and judge and conduct your own relationship with him accordingly.

AnnabelMore 04-27-2012 11:37 PM

I don't know, the way you phrased his answer makes him sound a little evasive. I would ask him to answer the question straight in terms of what these women know/expect, and tell him you'd love to meet them if possible. If he's hesitant to be clear about anything on this topic, he's probably hiding something from somebody and us not trustworthy.

Emm 04-28-2012 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 134183)
(cause after all, I am the one that is married, not him)

Is that something he said? If so it might set off a few small alarm bells for me as it lets him compare your "cheating* on your husband" (big bad thing) with his cheating on his GF/FB/FWB (little bad thing) and make it small and forgiveable by comparison. I encountered the thought process many times back in my long-ago clubbing days when my "No thanks, I have a boyfriend" would be met with a "That's ok, I have a girlfriend too... so how about it?" as if two wrongs would actually make a right.

*"Cheating" used only to show the possible thought process, not to in any way imply that's what's going on.

Curmudgeon 04-28-2012 12:38 AM

I did feel like he was being evasive. Thank you for the advice to ask him what the other women's expectations are, I like that way of approaching it.

Do most folks do full disclosure with FWBs? I have a couple FWB, they know my situation and I fully expect that they are seeing other people, but we don't discuss our other endeavors. I thought that such a relationship comes with the expectation that it is not exclusive (necessarily). That being said, I am concerned about whether he would disclose the true nature of the relationships. Thank you for confirming that the status of the relationship is not the important part, I obviously do not meet married men unless the wife knows about me, and I was feeling uncomfortable if it was a girlfriend, but was questioning myself about whether that was extreme.

nycindie 04-28-2012 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 134183)
I asked if he has a girlfriend and he replied that there are a couple of women he "hangs out with." I tried another approach and asked if any of these women had the expectation of monogamy with him, because if so I would not feel comfortable continuing. He assured me that I need not worry and all was fine (cause after all, I am the one that is married, not him). So, I'm wondering, am I being over the top for feeling uncomfortable if he has a girlfriend (FTR, I would be fine if he had a number of casual girlfriends, but anyone steady...concerns me)? If this is a legitimate concern should I call it off just in case? Thanks for any advice.

I would not be uncomfortable if he has a serious girlfriend per se, but only if he has a serious girlfriend who does not consent to a poly arrangement. I take it that that is what you meant, not that you only want to date men who have casual fuck buddies. Anyway, if he is cheating on her with you, and being dishonest about it, that is a situation in which I would not get involved.

It does sound like he is being evasive, and putting up a bit of a smoke screen. To answer a direct question with "Don't worry, it's fine," is a douchebag move, I think. When I ask a question, I want a direct answer! Not some nicety meant to placate me. Furthermore, I agree with Emm. If he was the one who said, "Nothing to worry about. Besides, you're the one that's married, not me," it indicates to me that he does not have a clear understanding of what polyamory is, and again that's really a douchey thing to say to you.

If I were you, I would ask to communicate directly with his girlfriend to find out if she knows about you and consents to poly. If he refuses, then I think you know he's a cheater. At that, I would walk. If it is that he doesn't have more than just a few casual relationships, then it might be too extreme to want to meet them, but I would make sure he really has a grasp on what poly is, because you don't want to feel like you're dirty (in a bad way, like sleazy) when you're with him, or like you're doing something wrong. And it sounds like he could be a "playa" who sees things that way, especially a married woman who "fucks around." Know what I mean?

Curmudgeon 04-28-2012 01:21 AM

Yes, he pointed out that I am the married one when I was asking about girlfriends. I do not believe he understands my situation, however I live in a small, rural area and very few people I have discussed it with do truely understand.

Ideally I would prefer to find someone in an open relationship too. I had someone ask me to pick between him and my husband and would really prefer to avoid that kind of drama again. Thank you all for the clear-headed perspective on this, I was trying to rationalize it and it just didn't feel good.


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