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-   -   Another newbie (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23773)

dryaddreaming 05-19-2012 05:43 AM

Another newbie
Hello everyone,

I am a 44 year old female and have been married for ten years. My husband is 53 and we recently changed our marriage to an open relationship status. This was my suggestion. In the past, he has strayed a few times. He never lied and I was always able to deal with it. About six weeks ago, he started to seem restless again so I talked to him about it. After a couple of days, I suggested that we just change the relationship to an open marriage. I knew that one or both of us might become emotionally attached to someone else. I also talked to him about the possibility. I'm not sure he really heard me. At any rate, he did become attached to one of the girls he started seeing. And she has developed strong feelings for him as well. I was gone for about a week taking care of some family issues, and they had a bit of a honeymoon period. I dealt with my own emotional yo-yo-ing, and am trying to figure out how we are going to work this out. I do not want to keep them from having a relationship. It isn't the most thrilling thing in the world for me, but I am secure in the relationship I have with my husband and I want to do everything I can to keep anyone from getting hurt. This is my first time at the rodeo, so to speak, but I have already talked with his girlfriend on the phone and expressed a desire to have a face to face sit down talk, so we can come to some kind of arrangement.

I think that if we all sit down as adults and figure out what everyone wants and expects from this relationship, we can make it work. However, if anyone wants to give me a few tips on how to work it out, I sure would appreciate it.

I don't know what the terms of the types of relationships are. However, I am a bi female, he is bi curious and she is bi curious. I have currently put any dates I may have set up for the near future on hold so I can focus on this. I fully intend to continue to meet and date other people though, at least occasionally. I do not have any strong emotional attachments to anyone else at this time.

Anything else I haven't said, please feel free to ask me.


Knowledge is power and I hunger for knowledge.

Phy 05-19-2012 06:12 AM

I don't have some explicit suggestions for you, I just wanted to compliment you on the way you handled things so far. Such a calm, structured and clear start into things is admirable. You seem to have a good feel for situations and a strong basis you can count on. Wishing you luck on your way :) Sounds promising to me.

Cleo 05-19-2012 01:26 PM

Hi and welcome!


Originally Posted by dryaddreaming (Post 136172)
Hello everyone,

I have currently put any dates I may have set up for the near future on hold so I can focus on this. I fully intend to continue to meet and date other people though, at least occasionally. I do not have any strong emotional attachments to anyone else at this time.

I just wanted to respond to this. I know that everybody is different, but for me, it was actually helpful to be dating while my husband was forming a very strong and emotional attachment to his girlfriend (they've been together for 10 months now).
You say you want to focus on 'this', and by that I assume you mean your husband, the relationship with your husband, and his new relationship. My advice, for what its worth, would be to focus on YOU as well.. whether through dating or through something else that is truly and only about you and not about the other relationship dynamics.

dryaddreaming 05-19-2012 02:59 PM

First, I want to say thank you Phy, I am trying. I still have all the emotions, good and bad, that come with just being me, but I truly do want my husband to be happy. It isn't about putting my needs second, either. A lot of different thoughts and emotions went into my decision to agree to my husband and his girlfriend continuing their relationship with me still being his wife.

I also want to say thank you to you too Cleo. Your advice is good and I will definitely find something to focus on for myself. My life has changed a LOT in the past month, with my husband's new relationship being only one of many major changes. I do need to find something new to spend my time on. I have a few ideas, but so far have not pursued any.

AnnabelMore 05-19-2012 03:00 PM

"I don't know what the terms of the types of relationships are."

There are no standard sets of terms, per se, it's all what the individuals involved work out as being best for them and their relationships. This is a great website for understanding that perspective, as well as for good advice on jealousy: www.morethantwo.com

That said, there do seem to be several general patterns that people commonly fall into in your sort of situation:

- The unicorn hunters. The preexisting couple (you and your husband in this case) both start dating the new partner, and may expect that person to not date anyone else, move in with them, be into them both equally, etc. Nothing about this ever seems to go well, as it's just too emotionally volatile (not only are new relationships forming, which may not be given all the space they need, but the preexisting relationship is changing, which can be very threatening to the preexisting couple) and unbalanced in terms of power (notably, the new partner being burdened with impossible expectations).

- The serendipitous triad. Much rarer, this looks like the unicorn hunters model except that its development is not an expectation that anyone has going in, rather it's a dynamic that begins to naturally take shape, and it usually develops much more slowly. If things are lopsided (ex. the new partner forms a much stronger bond with one partner than the other) that's ok, and all members generally maintain their right to date outside the triad (although a poly-fidelitous or closed version of this type of relationship is not strictly impossible).

- The heirarchical vee. A vee is a relationship in which one person (the "hinge", in this case your husband) has two partners (the "wings", in this case you and his girlfriend) who do not have a relationship with each other (though they may be friends). In the heirarchical vee, the preexisting couple's relationship is given priority in terms of time and investment. This may simply be a function of necessity, due to commitments such as children, it may be a natural expression of where each relationship is at (the older relationship being more serious, the newer relationship being more casual), or it may be a conscious choice to position one partner as "primary" and another partner as "secondary". This model may have accompanying rules, whether implicit or explicit, that govern the functioning of the newer relationship. Broadly speaking, these rules can work when they are about practical things like time management, and/or when they exist for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the preexisting relationship (ex. "Only one overnight with the newer partner per week, because the hinge is needed at home for emotional support, help with the house, etc.), and tend to fail when they are about impossible to control things like feelings, and/or when they exist for the purpose of stunting the development of the newer relationship (ex. "Don't say "I love you" to the newer partner, or have PIV intercourse, or introduce her to your mom, because that would make that relationship too real, which is scary").

- The egalitarian vee. Similar to the heirarchical vee, expect that the two hinge-wing relationships are given equal time, priority, and investment. The newer partner may move in to a home shared by the preexisting couple in this model. The heirarchical vee may in some cases develop into the egalitarian vee over time, if allowed the space to do so, or it can be chosen at the outset of the newer relationship's formation. If an egalitarian vee is chosen as a relationship model without the full consent and acceptance of the preexisting wing, or when the relationship between the hinge and the newer wing is tumultuous, it can be destabilizing for the relationship between the hinge and the preexisting wing. Works best when the two wings get along very well.

Well, this was fun to write, I hope it was helpful. :) I may actually copy and paste this list into a thread in the general section for feedback.

Good luck!!

redpepper 05-19-2012 07:11 PM

You seem to be doing well! It sounds like a talk on boundaries would be a good idea at this point. Face to face discussion always seems useful to me. Nothing like seeing someone to make it real. You might want to look at some tags here on "boindaries" "lessons" "foundations." Lots of good stuff to read right here :)

dryaddreaming 05-22-2012 09:10 PM

Thank you Annabel for the definitions and thanks for the encouragement Redpepper. Hopefully this will work out. I don't know though. She seems to be fairly emotionally immature from the way she is acting at the moment and the whole situation is starting to piss me off a little bit. I want to be mature about this, but I refuse to play adult to teenage actions.

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