I'm having an email conversation with a woman whose man wants to have another woman in his life. But this man won't allow her to have another man in her life. She's trying to come to terms with this situation.
I think I'll direct her to this forum and thread. And want her to be clear that she can be totally anonymous, her identity kept secret. (I promise!)
Hopefully, she'll talk with you all here ... and thus my voice won't be the only one in her consideration of her situation.
What would you ask her?
What would you say to her?
The first thing I would ask, are some questions for further clarifications. As her husband seems to be really demanding and inconsiderate. I don't know if you left that out, but is he working on this? Does he get how unfair the situation would be? It's one thing, if someone just doesn't want to have other partners or if he is told to not have other partners while his 'one and only' is doing as he pleases.
Why does she want to come to terms with this? Because he would end the relationship if she wouldn't? Because she regards his request as reasonable? Does she hope that things will change after some time? Does she even have the desire to form additional relationships? Or is this about theoretically having the opportunity. And is this about relationships from his side or does he want some physical outlet? Would it make a difference for her?
Well, I have had my share of this problem for sure. My thoughts seem to have been similar to her husband's. (If I interpret the situation right.) When things were really fresh and I still confused, I couldn't imagine a case, where I would have been in the shoes of my partner(s). It was the first entry on my blog with some real poly content.
Nowadays I have come to terms with this. Theoretically at least, I don't know how it would be in a practical situation. I guess, I would have some troubles coping at first. But I don't feel that uncomfortable thinking about a case, where one of my partners may be with another partner as well.
I know quite a few relationships that are more than happy with a one-sided arrangement like this - and as far as I am concerned, if everyone is happy, then there's nothing wrong with it.
HOWEVER, if it's something both of them want to try, and he wants her to agree to him having someone else but she wants to and isn't allowed to, then that is hugely unfair, a double-standard and hypocritical.
If he isn't going to give you want you want, then you shouldn't be granting him what he wants - this has to be fair.
What reason is he giving for wanting this but not being able to give it to you?
I agree that relationships can have double standards and still work, but that's only when the double standard really reflects what both of them want.
If she has absolutely no interest in seeing anyone else, and it doesn't bother her for him to do so, and it would bother him for her to date, then there's no reason to force her out into the dating scene. But if that doesn't describe their situation, then it can be problematic.
They need to identify what they individually want and need, for themselves and from their primary partner. Start there.
a) Apparently, she IS (at least theoretically) interested in another relationship. From River's opening post:
b) I'm a bit leery of backing up "If he isn't going to give you want you want, then you shouldn't be granting him what he wants". I agree with it as far as it goes, but it seems to be too much "tit for tat" revenge: "If I can't have an ice-cream, I'll throw your ice-cream on the ground!"
I would suggest having serious talks on the subject, trying to get her man to see the gross injustice of his posture. But if he insists on that point, I'd be even more rad than "You're not allowed to have what I can't have". If it came [comes] to the crunch, I'd say: "You're a self-centred, unjust bozo, and I don't know why I've stayed with you this long. So... bye bye!" Easier to say than to do but these selfish hypocrites get my back up!
Thanks, all, for your contributions here.
The woman mentioned in the opening post dropped our email conversation after I basically told her that, as I see it, her guy isn't treating her well -- and to such an extent that I encouraged her to consider moving on.
She never explicitly said that she wanted to have another man in her life, but did make it clear that that would be unacceptable to her guy, who is clearly looking for another woman and wanting his gal's support in that. I suppose it's possible that she doesn't even want another man in her life, and that the subject only emerged into conversation because he is actively seeking another woman.
His attitude and expectation seems pretty self-centered to me, and may even represent
a throw back sexist thing where "a man should have more freedoms than a woman" (as the story went). I'll probably never know the details of their situation, however.
[If you're reading, gal in question, I truly wish you the best.]
I totally understand this. This is the type of situation I want. My husband wants to have a relationship with another woman, but does not want me to have one with another man.
I don't seek another partner, so this arrangement is ideal for us.
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