Open Marriage...Starting Anew
You may or may not remember, but a little over a year ago I joined this forum. My husband revealed that he was having an affair...had been involved with S for some time. We had just had twin boys a year prior to his confession so our relationship was definitely strained. To make long story short...he explained to me that he has been poly all his mature life. He has always maintained two women since he could remember. The issue though was that his main girlfriend never knew about the other woman' but the other woman always knew the truth. The same was true with me (his wife)...i did not know, but S did know all about me, etc. One thing though is that he didn't understand that there was a such thing as poly until S introduced the concept to him.
OK, short and sweet. S understood poly and wanted to meet me if I was willing build from there. You see my husband had made it very clear that was not going to ever leave me for anyone. So being with him meant she could not have him without sharing him with me.
I agreed to meet her, but because of the deceit and betrayal and shock....our poly lasted only two months.
It is a year later and I find myself missing some aspects of the poly we had.....so we have decided to open the marriage. It was my idea has I did enjoy things. We are not talking poly, just an open marriage. This means he is free to have a 'sex only relationship with another woman.
I am so excited, but afraid that I won't be able to handle it when the time comes. I feel confident that I will be just fine....but fantasy and reality are two different things.
So that is where we are now, I just wanted to say hi....and give you all a bit of information on our relationship.
Hi welcome back.
What aspects are you missing? I thought that you were fairly miserable during your first go round.
I thought you were mono....did that change?
Thanks for the welcome Dingedheart...
You are right I was miserable then...extremely miserable (WITH happy moments mixed in). It was SO MUCH learning that my husband had built a sexual/intimate relationship with another woman, S, behind my back and I had NO IDEA. We had married with vows of monogamy. So my mind set was just that...MONOGAMY. I felt SO betrayed, so hurt, shocked (scared that S would pry my husband from me)….all those insecurities, jealousy issue, hit me at once…and I had never really heard of Polyamory back then.
My husband wanted me to know like S did, he stated that there were times he almost told me but was afraid he'd lose me....he wasn't happy hiding it. When he learned about poly, he decided to let me know. You see he never really got caught, I had thought something was going, but it was just a thought...he chose to tell me one day.
My husband admitted immediately that S was brought into the whole thing the wrong way. How could we build something positive when the foundation was so negatively built. I hated her for knowing I was at home struggling to keep our family and she had him. I hated him for that too. She was married at the time and her ultimate goal was to have him for herself....part of the reason she divorced her husband was in hopes to start anew with mine. It was ONLY after he made it clear that he was not leaving me that she decided she'd rather share than lose him.
I also had just given birth to my twin boys, so I was not at my best emotionally, phyiscally, mentally, etc. So was spiteful because he was absent from home when I needed him the most, when his twin boys needed him too. Having twins is very challenging and difficult, especially when you are caring for them alone.
I don't know what I am, I DO KNOW monogamy is NOT a problem for me. That said, there were positive times within those two months.
The aspects I enjoyed:
(1) it seemed to greatly boost our sexual/spiritual/emotional connection. We were more intimate and connected, he was even more attentive towards me and happy.
(2) having another woman around made me more in tune with myself as a woman, I began to focus on myself and what I needed from him as a woman and how to stay healthy, feminine, nurturing, ect.
(3) I enjoyed the threesomes, he did a great job of pleasing both of us....and was very caring and loving and selfless.
(4) this seems kind of odd (to me even), but the thought of him sexing with another woman is a turnon for me (I could see myself advancing to even watching as I grow more comfortable with things).
(5) Lastly, the open honesty....many relationships don't get to a place were poly relationship do when it comes to acceptance and honesty.
So here we are again, this time our foundation will hopefully be stronger. I am NOT agreeing to a three-way relationship…but I somehow seem at ease with him having a sexual relationship/friendship with another woman. What are your thoughts?
Plus, it is important to me to accept him for who he is, not what he is conformed to becoming. We'll see though :-)
I just wanted to say for me personally it was a little bit of a shock that you stayed with him. Just the way you described it for me was a major red flag for "cheater". Hearing that he was that way he entire mature life made it sound a lot worse.
As for staying with him. If you want to open up the relationship for him (and not yourself which I couldn't do, just my opinion), I would suggest honesty. Be honest with him. Tell him you would like to open your relationship up.
I personally find that purely sexual relationships are a myth for long term sex relationships. Feelings develop over time in my experiences (I've been burned before).
Opening up the relationship is something you have to decide for yourself. You seem to understand it pretty well. There might be some advantages for you to do that but I would still stress that you make absolute sure and talk it over with your husband that this is definitely what you want.
After you figure that out, test the waters. I personally do not find dadt(don't ask, don't tell) relationships very easy to work so I would personally have to have my partner inform me about at least some minor details and above all else, I would HAVE to meet his sexual partners myself.
Now that could cause jealousy if you're not used to it. I'm not advising you that you have to. I'm just stating that in my personal opinion, I would HAVE to know the other women. Even if it was just basic little things of chit chat at a coffee shop.
I hope you guys have a good open, honest discussion and I hope your relationship remains strong.
Sounds like you've been through quite a lot, grown some, and much of the trust that was lost a year ago has been rebuilt. I hope that's the case, as it'll make what you're proposing easier (maybe even just possible).
I agree with PolyGamerGirl that purely sexual relationships are somewhat harder to maintain in real life than in our imaginations. Our biochemistry fights us here every step of the way. Sex (and orgasm) are literally designed to bond us closer together.
Your husband's history also points to a need for other relationships, not just other sexual partners. It is important for him to reflect on his life's experience to determine how strong that need for emotional connection actually is (difficult for some of us males). I know that this was key to my realization that I was poly. I reflected on my history and found that it wasn't random sexual dalliances that were satisfactory in the least. Instead, I found that I emphasized longer term connections. If he's similar, the causal restriction will fail on one of two counts.. (1) he'll be miserable or (2) he'll inadvertently make strong emotional bonds without being to stop it. Maybe both.
Accepting him fully would include accepting that aspect of his needs as well. A relationship of mine that recently ended was impaled on this very issue. She had much less struggle with my sexual connections. But, couldn't integrate the idea that I might becoming emotionally connected to another.
It is difficult to manage keeping things casual. Perhaps swapping out partners before emotions begin to develop. But, that presents other risks. Also, emotional connections develop at different speeds with different people. Neither you nor he can accurately predict ahead of time when that might occur. Breaking things off after that emotional connection has developed is a recipe for bringing more pain in your life than necessary.
I wish you well in navigating through this.
PolyGamegirl - yeah, I am surprised we are still here too at times when I think about how bad things were for me. The reason we are still together is mostly because of him.....he fought to make things right between us again. Fought to undo what he had done.
MindfulAgony - thank you for your thoughts and sharing your experiences. I am currently at peace with my decision. Somehow I just am not worried at this point I time. We have communicated many times over since the last poly experience. Being honest about our needs, learning to be open with one another.
We will just do what I have read you all do....continue to talk and work the kinks out as they present themselves. If we come to a place where we cannot agree that may mean we must go our separate ways :(
For now,I'm content excited and ready to experience growth. There is no success without some failure along the way....we may fall (like we did before) but we'll get back up....I hope lol
Your right though, restrictions may need to be adjusted....thanks for the awareness.
I think it's great that you've swung 180 on this. And that you enjoy the subtle mental competition, and spillover effect. Do you plan to find a partner?
Hey, how are the twins?
Twins are great....they're 2 yrs old now, and full of energy. I may find a partner in while, I'm currently 9 months pregnant and content with my hubby. I'm really into being a good mommy and wife. But as time progresses and the kids get older, who knows.
Thank you for asking Dingedheart. :-)
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