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-   -   Borrowing my affection? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30355)

LovelyLove 10-16-2012 01:39 PM

Borrowing my affection?
I have been reading posts here for a while, and I have really enjoyed reading people's thoughts on many a dilemma. So now I will share my own and hopefully somebody will have some thoughts to share. It will be greatly appreciated!

I have been with my husband for 9 years, we have a great, stable, positive relationship, 2 small children, we are open and open-minded sexually, so far so good.

Earlier in the summer I fell in love with my neighbour. It was pretty much love a first sight, but it took a while to dawn on me just how deeply I felt for this guy. I had never considered opening up emotionally, I love my husband and feel very lucky with him and our beautiful children. But as it has been stated before, emotions can't be controlled. My husband knows everything that's going on.

Now, the guy I fell in love with, O, is a budding furniture designer, and he moved back home to his parents earlier this summer due to difficulties finding work and finishing uni and stuff, and now he lives with them in our street. I love the whole family, we see them all socially and they are lovely!

Nothing happened with O all summer until a couple of weeks ago. We had the whole family over for dinner, and O suggested we all go to the local beer festival. Nobody but I was up for it, so the two of us went. And we kissed. Passionately. All evening. I told him everything, about all my emotions, everything.

Then he came over for lunch today as I needed to sort things out in my head. He said that it is all too much for him. His parents living here (they don't know anything), my husband, our children. He said that he feels that he's being dealt a bad hand if we get involved and he gets emotionally attached and then I can go home to my husband every night (and he gets to go home to his parents :D). He feels he gets left with nothing but borrowed affection. I guess he is basically saying that if he can't get the whole package, then he doesn't want anything.

And I see his point.

He said he's still like to go out with me, like dancing and drinking beer. I said that I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off him if we did, and he said that he could live with that, with that lovely smile of his on his lips.

Is he right in saying that he is not getting as much as he deserves? That I cannot give him as much as he's worth? Is that what it is to be the second person in a V where there is a clear primary couple? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for having read this far! I really, really appreciate any thoughts!

OneloveVT 10-16-2012 01:59 PM

You stated that your husband knows everything. Is that completely true?
How does your husband feel about your new lover? Does he know that O wants you exclusively? How does he feel about that? More importantly, how do you feel about it? Are you willing to leave your husband for O?

LovelyLove 10-16-2012 02:07 PM

My husband knows everything. Everything. And he knows I am not going to leave him. O knows I am not going to leave my husband. Nobody wants anybody to leave anybody. O just feels he's getting a raw deal, I think, and wants to protect himself from getting hurt. He is not looking to have me exclusively.

My husband feels very secure in our relationship, and rightly so. I am deeply committed to him and our children. He knows that I am capable of loving lots of people - it's just never happened romantically before. He knows that I am not someone you put reigns on and control. He married me because I am unlike the rest of the crowd, he loves me for that. He's a rock. I cling on to him when things are rough. We are deeply honest with one another.

OneloveVT 10-16-2012 02:25 PM

I am happy to hear you have it all on the table. Possessiveness is a normal emotion that people can experience regardless of how well their more rational side processes it all. Passion is a very difficult thing to curb.
So would O be happier if you were able to have sleepovers ? To the outside observer it seems that exclusivity is exactly what O wants.
He might be saying he doesn't but deep down, he probably does but can't come out and say it. Otherwise why would he be withholding his affection now?

GalaGirl 10-16-2012 03:35 PM

I took the liberty of cutting out extra detail words. I am left with this:

He is basically saying that if he can't get the whole package, then he doesn't want anything. And I see his point.
He said he's still like to go out with me. I said that I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off him if we did.
He said that he could live with that.
Does that mean:
He is basically saying that if he can't get the whole package, then he doesn't want anything (in a romantic sense?).
But he's ok (sharing my body?) for pleasure.
And if so, are you ok with that? Is that the Share you are after? A good Sex Share like FWB? I thought you were after a full Romance Love Share?

(Not judging. You want what you want. But pointing out there needs to be more clarify conversation here so BOTH are on the same page. )

You are suffering a crush and sound like you want at least the potential for it to go out to a Love Share.

Proceed with caution. Crush is fun to feel, but it is not anything esp. of substance. NRE hormones giving you the "Wheee!" high. Enjoy it, but pay attention because it can cloud judgement.

I get no real sense on what kind of relationship he's offering you or what effort he's willing to put in to make that relationship tending mutually satisfying.

I'm getting "no string sex FWB" vibes here. Is that what this is? Is this what you would like? If so, great.

Not great to go there though if you want something else. What's he offering and are you even interested in signing up? You are offering a Love Share and he said NO. Would being with him in a FWB arrangement cause you emotional pain over time because you secretly want what you cannot get here? Is is better to nip in bud while it can end on a fun note?

  • O is ok enjoying your favors (kissing, making out) and going out with you to social things solo

  • O does not want exclusive.
  • O does not want to deal with parents knowing.
  • O does not want to deal with "him getting too emotionally attached." (So is that his way of saying he's not planning on a Love Share here? No love for you?)
  • O does not want to deal with your hubby/kids. Esp if they take your attention away from him -- "borrowed affection?"

Since he declines your offer of a Love Share -- What sort of relationship is he offering to have with you? FWB? Sex with no strings attached? Is he a cowboy looking to break you guys up? Is he poly clueless? Some clarify is needed. Could ask him to tell you more clearly what he DOES want from the potential relationship then if not a Love Share.

Then you can see better if you want to sign up or not. Then you can more clearly decide:
  • What is in the interest of YOUR best health?
  • Explore this guy and what he is offering you because it aligns with what you want?
  • Or put him back in the water because the offer does not interest you and does not align with what you are looking for?

I'd take him at face value. He says he does not want "borrowed affection." I would assume positive intent, and then change my behavior accordingly to respect his limit. NOT flirt with him. NOT date him. I would just say "Ok, let's keep it clean. Let's stop it here where a nice time was had and nobody is hurt or goes too deep. Let's just choose not to go deeper there. I'm not looking to hurt you or hurt me trying to make a thing that won't fly take off."

I don't like dealing in vague. I want to know what's for sale here before I buy in. He comes across too vague.

Try to see him without pink rosy glasses. Get the clarify and verify on what he DOES want from a relationship with you and determine if you are even interested in what he has to offer.


dingedheart 10-16-2012 04:34 PM


Is he right in saying that he is not getting as much as he deserves? That I cannot give him as much as he's worth? Is that what it is to be the second person in a V where there is a clear primary couple? What are your thoughts?
It depends on what a person wants. He sounds like he knows what he wants and what he'll settle for and wont settle for. He's saying he deserves to be the sole focus of someone romantic energy not a once week secret date night.

Lots of people have a hard time being the secret mistress or Mr-tress :D

How old is he ?

YouAreHere 10-16-2012 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by LovelyLove (Post 159712)
Is he right in saying that he is not getting as much as he deserves? That I cannot give him as much as he's worth? Is that what it is to be the second person in a V where there is a clear primary couple?

It's right if it's right for him.
If he wants exclusive affection out of a love relationship, then this relationship cannot give him what he wants, overall.

The question is, if he's willing to still to do date-y things, what does he want for this relationship, and will it match up with what you want?

OneloveVT 10-16-2012 06:01 PM

This looks like it does not work for O and he has tried backing out. He is tempted when it is there but it reads like the words "raw deal" keep coming up. This means it is simply not his ideal situation but is physically attracted.
O might be trying to look at it holistically and seeing that the emotions and logic of the entire relationship with you is out of balance for his needs.
So take it for what it's worth. If your husband is cool with you playing with O in a NSA situation then play with O to the level he puts forth comfort with.
Maybe lay off the Love part. NRE is powerful and can cloud things as GalaGirl stated above. Pace yourself and all parties should keep their emotions in check.

LovelyLove 10-16-2012 06:21 PM

You guys are amazing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I need to read through the posts more closely and mull. Then I'll get back to you :)

AnnabelMore 10-16-2012 10:44 PM

Well, it all depends on how you look at it. Let's look at loving time/focus/commitment like food. You can't offer him a full meal that you'd be cooking together, just a snack. Still, a snack can be a wonderful, very enjoyable thing, it can help someone get through their day, and it's not like a person can't keep hunting for someone to collaborate with them on a full meal just because they've got a friend with whom they share a delicious snack. On the other hand, if they really, really, really like that snack and are super attached to the idea that food should be eaten in meal form... it could be pretty damn frustrating to have just a snack. Of course, still other people are farmers who make their own food, and don't need more than the occasional snack with others (in case you lost the thread of the analogy, I mean solo-by-choice poly people there).

So, by offering him a snack, and being clear that it's not a meal, you're in no way shortchanging him -- you don't *have* to offer him anything, after all. It's up to him to decide whether a snack of a relationship would be more delightful or more frustrating. He's not borrowing the snack from your husband -- your husband has his own meal of your time/love/energy to content himself with. What you're offering would be a different, special snack that would be just for the two of you.

I've probably taken this analogy far enough, but you get the idea.

There's one more thing to consider, actually -- maybe it doesn't have to always be a secondary relationship. People do, in fact, occasionally develop *two* primary partnerships. I'm not saying you should go into this, if you two decide to give it a try, with that expectation, by any means -- it would take time, be hard, and depend on lots of factors, like how well he gets along with your husband and kids. And it would mean eschewing the closet, at some point anyway. So, it's a long shot. But it seems like it'd be a good idea, if you haven't already, to talk to your husband, and look inside yourself, and decide whether you think that could ever be on the table. Heh, not that I meant to continue the food analogy any further (y'know, "on the table").

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