So ... How Would You Approach This?
Hello from the Denver area. Have lurked for a long time without anything much to say, though I would like some input about my situation. Wasn't sure if I should put this in introductions or relationship forums...
I'm a happily married man, I married a wonderful, stunning, smart woman who has no jealousy issues and we are terrifically compatible. I won the wife lottery.
With that said, I have an overwhelming urge to share our love with a third or even a quad, I'm open to a man or a woman, but incredibly selective about the man (plus she's not really interested in anything but flirting with other men anyway).
We've had several discussions about swinging and poly lifestyles, and she has tried and once in a while plays but she's generally just not very interested. She gives me the freedom to go play and date whoever I like. I guess you could say we're a poly/mono relationship.
Now, here's the rub. I respect my wife, and I want to honor her at every turn. I rarely act on spending time with other women simply because I feel a sense of guilt. This is unwelcome, as she is typically very happy for me when I go out and play, happy that I get it out of my system and didn't have to involve her, happy with the added libido for days afterwards etc.
So, my strategy has been to try to involve her in some capacity, going to clubs/meetups together to get exposed/educated - just to get some assurance that we're on the same page. She has no interest in learning about the swinging or poly lifestyles, and just tells me to go have fun without her.
How would you indulge your urges guilt-free in my situation? Does it sound like I have a hang-up here? Should I not be participating in any lifestyle activities when I have her support, but not her cerebral engagement and understanding of the ideas and philosophies of swinging and/or poly?
I suppose the fact that she doesn't participate unsettles me, like I'm having all of this fun and she's just at home being the good wife...
I look forward to your thoughts... thanks
It sounds like shes more into something a long the lines of polygamy(polygyny).
Sounds to me like she is really just not interested and you trying to involve her isn't doing her any favors.
Some people aren't interested in more than one sexual partner or relationship. It's not your place to try to change that.
I would recommend you do whatever makes you happy and only feel guilty or worried if you see her moving from an "oh this is great - he gets to do what he wants AND I get to enjoy the after effects" place to a "he's more interested in pursuing other things than me" kind of place.
Yeah, sounds like a bit of a hang-up. I see no reason for you to feel guilty if she keeps giving you her blessing to be with other people. It does border on being a bit dismissive of her wishes to keep trying to get her into something she doesn't want, so there really is no need to push that on her anymore. Enjoy your freedom! And as long as you take her out on hot dates, too, and if she has friends and activities she enjoys, you going out does not automatically mean she's always just sitting at home.
This is a reallly reductive metaphor but anyway...
Think of it as a hobby that you thoroughly enjoy. Let's say model trains. You like setting up your trains, you like learning about how others set up their models, you go to the local model train meetup, you enjoy hanging out with other model train enthusiasts. It's all about the model trains.
Your spouse is bored out of her skull - model trains do not interest her at all. However she knows the joy and pleasure you get out of it and so does not mind that you turn your basement into model trainland. She understands why you need to hang out with other hobbyists and occasionally swap trains. She wants you to be fully yourself and accepts this as part of you. So she tells you to go 'whole hog' on the model trains. But she does not need to be a part of that scene herself. Your happiness is enough.
As long as she is truly accepting of your model trains, and you appreciate her, love her and respect her - which appears to be the case (awesome!), do not drag her to the model train shows or seminars. Let her knit or bake or weld - whatever gives her joy and pleasure.
Welcome to our forum.
The others have kind of already stated my take on your dilemma, especially opalescent who proffered what I thought was quite an apt metaphor.
I think your main problem here is, not your wife's lack of involvement, but your own struggle with guilt. What's at the root of that guilt? Is there some social conditioning you're running up against? Try to analyze your own psychology a little (in light of the points that have already been made in this thread). Is your wife really pining away for you at home? What's really going on here?
Your marriage is important and you should always give it your best. Make sure your wife doesn't feel neglected. But think of this: It makes sense to believe her when she says she's okay with your poly activities. Do you doubt her at her word? It almost sounds like you're trying to get her to attend various poly events as a sort of way of "getting evidence" that she's really as on board as she says she is. But I would submit to you that she's responsible for her own honesty, and that your part in that bargain is to believe what she says.
So if she says she's happy in the marriage, she's okay with your poly stuff, and she's not interested in her getting personally involved ... believe her. If she comes to find that she feels differently later on, she can let you know at that time. But it's not very useful to try to cross that bridge before you get to it, especially since you may never get to that bridge at all.
From your description, she sounds like an easygoing, generous, open-minded person who can handle your poly nature (without having to get involved). Don't let your panic button get the best of you! Things are probably fine.
For what it's worth, hope it helps,
Ah, been a while since I've posted but this thread was something I couldn't resist (plus, computer is working again, yay!)
I'm in the same boat as the OP. My wife has decided she's not interested in this lifestyle, or at least not interested in pursuing it. She's open to it, if it happens naturally, but that's pretty rare.
Anyway, I want to do this and I want her to be a part of it. I can't force her into it and I'm not trying, but I get this sense of guilt when I want to and she doesn't. It's frustrating. So I get it.
I don't have any good advice to give other than "If she's truly letting you do this and you're not ignoring her, then stop worrying". If she's using it to trap you "I can't believe you went and had sex with another girl" then that's a problem. It sounds like it isn't. So stop worrying.
Hello everyone, update to the situation...
Life got pretty hectic for a bit there but I wanted to say thank you to everyone for your advice. A little irritated by the judgements that I was trying to force my wife into a lifestyle, when I made it clear I was seeking a cerebral understanding. Overall though the criticisms were constructive and allowed me to look at my situation in a different light.
Since I posted this, I've met a gorgeous woman, and we've spent a lot of time texting/talking and hung out a couple of times. Last weekend I stayed the night and our relationship is really flourishing...
I've spent much time talking with my wife, especially when my new interest and I started to experience a deep emotional connection forming. I was extremely nervous about hurting my wife's feelings with the idea that it was becoming more than physical. When I told her about it, expecting her to tell me to call it off she was THRILLED to hear it and actually told me she'd like to see what it was like if I actually fell in love with someone! I was pleasantly surprised at her level of compersion and love for me.
I'm still very cautious and being as considerate as possible to both women. It's to the point of paranoia though, where I am overly concerned with how each feels by the unavoidable crossovers (texting/conversations with one while with the other etc.). It got to the point where I wanted to call it off but after some frank discussions with my wife I feel very comfortable moving forward.
So far, the limited time resources have been a bit of an issue. Fortunately both women are very sweet girls, so I feel like they'll likely be able to comfortably talk with one another at some point so that can be mitigated. They're both separately very nervous about meeting each other, though. I would imagine that's 100% normal.
Anyway, we'll see what happens. There are a lot of issues to be worked through, and with life's demands I'm not entirely sure I can hack it. Fortunately both of these women are as adamant about communicating as I am so we're consistently making sure we're on the same page.
Interesting twist: my wife is mono, this new girl is mono and didn't think she'd ever be in a situation like this; but the way we make each other feel is rare & special to both of us so we're agreeing to cautiously moving forward. I can see some potential issues with both women perceiving a hierarchy of love, which I don't see. I'm going to have to stretch my empathy to understand that dissonance.
Anyway, very happy man here :)
You're a good guy, it seems, but do not text one lover while with another unless it's an emergency. It minimizes jealousy. Check your phone when she's out of the room, but if you're chatting with one, focus on her. The most important woman is the one you're with at that moment.
You're in two good relationships. Live it up. :)
Welcome in my shoes :) I felt so reminded of our start when I read this. Just stay as cautious as you are, it will help, but don't forget to give yourself a break from time to time. Otherwise you will endure nervous burn-out syndroms. Good luck.
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