Just starting off, and looking for pitfalls.
I'm a 44 yr old (as of this writing) heterosexual male (well, let's just say I'm about a 1, 1.5 on the Kinsey scale), married for nearly 20 years, 3 children, all grown.
I was involved in a poly relationship many years ago, before my wife. My GF at the time and I had a number of threesomes, both FFM and FMM, including one FFM that became a real relationship. I then managed to mess all that up by being, basically, a lazy unemployed bastard. Ah, youth...
My wife (Call her Mrs Wizzard) and I have discussed, over the years, the idea of converting our relationship to a poly one. We both agree that it makes sense, logically, but we've both been jealous of our time together - in the sense of being vigilant in maintaining what little time together we have. Between work and children, we've never really had the time, opportunity, or, frankly, inclination to do much else, and we love spending time together, so...
Now, the children are out of the house (well, one has boomeranged, but we think that's only temporary until he gets sick of our shit again). Mrs Wizzard told me, years ago, that she would be absolutely fine with my being involved with 2 specific other women. Fast forward to now, when we've moved nearer to one of them, Cookie, and feelings are... developing.
During the next "state of the union" conversation (usually undertaken either as pillow talk or during long drives) I am going to inform her that I think it's time for her and I to take our relationship to the "next level," that is to say, I would like to start a relationship with Cookie.
Cookie and I have discussed it ourselves, a while ago, and agreed that at the time, it just wasn't right. Mrs Wizzard's health wasn't good, and it felt like it would be kicking her while she was down. Furthermore, we lived, at that point, 1000 miles apart, and so it would not be just nipping off for dinner-and-a-cuddle, back in time to fix breakfast in the morning, but any relationship between us would have to involve actual travel. Now the distance has lessened considerably, and we're feeling very close emotionally.
Mrs Wizzard approves of Cookie greatly, to the point of joking about gay-marrying her. (And we all know that a joke contains elements of the truth.) My dearest hope is that we all fall madly in love with each other and just fall into one big love clump.
My greatest fear is that I would somehow lose both of them.
Thank you, GG, for the somewhat boilerplate response. Not that there's a problem with that. There's a reason those exist... And there are definitely some good things to thing about in it, even though I hate bulletpoints.
Let me be clear about a couple of things: First off, this isn't an attempt to fix my marriage, or because I feel I can't be happy unless I'm getting something else. I adore my wife, absolutely and completely. While we have our share of problems, they don't threaten our foundations one iota. The two biggest issues we face are financial, and I don't know anyone who isn't having their share of those, and, frankly, sexual. Due in part to her medical issues, Mrs Wizzard's libido has diminished greatly, while mine has, shall we say, not. Or, at least, only slightly from my heady days as a young rakehell.
But it's alright. We have our moments, more now that we have more privacy.
Secondly, Cookie and I dated many, many years ago, and have remained very close friends in the intervening 2 and a half decades. So much so that I was the man-of-honor at her wedding a few years back. Her husband, a very nice man who I never had a chance to get to know well, died suddenly a couple of months ago.
I think that it would be fair to say that she and I have always known that there would come a time when we would be together again. We were both so terribly young and inexperienced at everything back then. The fact that the chance is coming NOW is nothing more than happenstance, really.
I have always had a problem with stating clearly what I want, particularly with women. I used to say I'd never been rejected by a woman, because I never tried to pick them up. I guess I still do say that... But I'm working on that, where my wife is concerned, and with Cookie, too.
So, what I'm thinking is that I will talk to Mrs Wizzard first, of course. I'll say (perhaps in a more drawn out way), "Remember how we've talked about polyamory in the past, and, in fact, you've given me permission to be with Cookie? Well, I think things have gotten to the point with us and with me that I would like to pursue that. What would make you comfortable with this?"
Then, if she approve, talk to Cookie, and say, "We've talked, how do you want to work this?"
Am I missing anything?
1. I would definitely not choose the pillow talk option since you want to move forward not just have a conversation. I'd opt for the long drive conversation for this. As you know tired people do not have the best luck having big important conversations, and you don't want the day to wrap up with hurt feelings, on the off chance she has a reaction you do not expect.
2. Two months after Cookie's husband dies? That seems to not be the best timing. He died suddenly, not after a long illness, so that's going to take a hell of a toll. Each person has their own schedule to date again after that, but I would warn that I think so soon after has a greater likelihood to cause problems down the road, a chance that later she goes through a period of extreme guilt for jumping into a relationship so quickly.
I personally would also be somewhat repelled if somebody I saw as a friend and was interested in appeared to be being opportunistic - "your husband is dead, now we can be lovers!" Perhaps she has indicated she is ready or comfortable. Maybe you think that the comfort of your warm body is going to help deal with her grief, but that's not the healthiest kind to give right now IMO. Perhaps it is right for her, but I doubt you're being very objective right now, and she's in mourning, she cant be objective either.
3. Have you already actually already been physically involved in any way with Cookie during your marriage Wizzard? I get a feeling that perhaps you may have to some extent.
But I'm not talking about it as tho I'd be headed up there this weekend. More of a "Ready when you are."
2. Your statements suggest that both of you being interested in dating is current not past tense, backed up by you saying now that it's "Ready when you are" as opposed to "We haven't talked about it for a few years but are you still interested?"
3. Haste. If it hadn't been a current topic, you'd likely be more worried about your friend losing her husband and how she is doing than focused on getting the party started (regardless if she's already had other sexual partners since).
4. You said Mrs. Wizzard had given you "permission" to be with Cookie. I think perhaps you mean "She said if we agreed to open up our relationship, Cookie is one of the two people she was OK with me dating at that time" and not "She said she was OK with Cookie years ago, so even though we never actually confirmed being open, it's OK if I've stepped over the boundaries with Cookie since my wife likes her a lot" However over the years I have seen a lot of people grab the statement from a partner "X is OK if Y happens" and take artistic license to rephrase that into a much more self serving "X is OK even if Y doesn't happen because __________ "
5. I'm a pessimist :rolleyes:
Anyway, if you have been less than honest about things that Mrs Wizzard would want to know and be devastated to find out later, I suggest coming clean about them before you go any further, from personal experience on both ends that is the better and more loving choice to everybody involved. Hopefully that isn't the case, but as LOTS of people move from mono to poly with either dabbling or full out drowning in cheating, it would not surprise me.
Sorry, I was in a rush earlier.
I would use that sheet as a tool when you talk to yourself and self assess. Then again when you talk to Mrs Wizard. Then again as a tool when you talk to Cookie. Then again as a tool when you talk in TRIO. Pass and repass to make sure all are on the same page.
Nobody ever died from going slow and deliberate when opening up a marriage. ;)
Especially when you say this --
Each one of you could take a pass through that checklist and assess your individual fitness in each of those areas. Then the fitness of the group working as a team.
I won't copy over the detailed things but the general categories with some thinking points for you (I do not expect you to answer ME. I expect you to talk to your sweetie.)
1. Lack of Poly Education
2. Lack of Basic Intimate Relationship Skills
3. The Kid in the Candy Store Syndrome
4. Hunting Ducks where the Ducks are and where they are not
5. Various ways we jump the gun
6. Letting guilt, fear and jealousy get the best of us
7. Worries about poly parenting
8. Failing to get what poly demands of us all.
Hopefully you will have a good talk.
Whatever the outcome ("YES, we are ready" or "Maybe we need more prepartion work" or "No, let's not go there at all"), sharing with your wife is hopefully a good thing.
You may need more than one talking session here. Every group is different. It could take more than one pass to ID potential weak points and iron out wrinkles.
Sorry for the long delay in replying.
And, btw, I was lazy when I started calling my wife Mrs Wizzard. It's now annoying me. So I'm changing it to Nanny, for reason that are amusing to me, if nobody else.
Anne - Without replying point by point (because I am in a bit of a rush), I will say, yes we were. When we had the discussion about it (I want to say about 7 years ago), we kissed, probably less than 2 minutes, no tongue. Call it somewhere between a quick peck and a full on makeout session. And, when I told Nanny that Cookie and I had talked, I did tell her about the kiss. So, I'll give you 3/4 points for correctness, the 1/4 point deduction is for the assumption that it was on the sly.
There have been indications that Cookie's marriage was poly, although I haven't out and out asked about it. But that is obviously on the agenda.
I am indeed going slowly and deliberately, trying to get all my ducks in the proverbial row. Just to be clear, I don't expect to have things resolved or any decisions made by the end of the month, or even the end of the year. Much less actually start anything beyond endless talking.
GG - good call on the weak links. I will put my addled brain to work turning over what I know of Nanny to see what obstacles in our relationship I can find. Even after nearly 20 years, the woman manages to surprise me with her grace and intelligence... maybe not daily, but weekly.
I obviously know more of, and have more control of, that side of the situation than I do of Cookie's.
Ha! I'm really glad you were honest with Nanny...I will say it seems odd to me that if Cookie's marriage was open you didn't know it or discuss it as you seem like you've had a long term close friendship? Or I guess I'm wondering why if it was poly dating wasn't right then but you think it is now, if something has happened in your life to make you feel it's the right time.
Anyway, I wish you much luck, I find it really admirable that you and Cookie didn't go ahead with things when Nanny was having health problems, although I wonder if Cookie is in the same place you are right now (oh timing, it's always an issue isn't it?). I hope you manage to put your thoughts in order and are able to clearly identify and convey what you want and hope for, and I hope you get it too!
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