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-   -   Very Confused (Long) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3470)

Cryptoboy 08-14-2010 06:43 PM

Very Confused (Long)
 
So my wife and I are new to polyamory (never head that before, right?) ;) We've been swinging for about 3 years now and that's how we got brought into it (currently, as well as a year or so ago). We had a brief experience about a year and half ago with a couple that was starting out which ended in a disaster (basically the guy was telling us both two different things and trying to push us apart.) So as you can imagine, we shied away from anything along those lines.

Well we moved to Vegas back in Feb, and after some adjustment, started looking for swinging couples to have fun with a few months ago. We typically prefer more of consistent thing, never really looking for people to 'notch our bedposts', but people we could have fun with more than just sexually. My wife and I are both highly sexual, and (wrong or right), it's an important part of both our relationship as well as our other experiences.

So we meet this couple towards the end of May, and all four of us had a strong connection. The guy (D) started asking S (my wife) about polyamory, and of course it made us a little nervous based on the first 'experience'. We got past it and continued letting things proceed.

Well things continued to get stronger and stronger. We booked a suite for the weekend with them (probably one of the most amazing weekends ever, from a sexual and emotional standpoint), had them over alot, went to their place, introduced them to friends/family (which we've never done with a swinging couple). About a month ago right before we all started travelling (for work, separately going home to visit our familes, etc), D and S admitting they had loving feelings for each other. I was having similar feelings towards J (his wife), but we hadn't expressed it at that point. My normal feelings would be jealousy, but this time there wasn't any of that.

We all do our travelling, and J and I talked several times a day (she was in KS and I was CO). I even went to go see her at the airport in Colorado Springs, and as she hugged me goodbye she said she loved me. This was about a week and a half ago. S and J were both home before us, and had the "green light" to both hang out as well as physical, which they did and it was cool (at least on my side, when you read further we wonder if J wasn't as ok with it as she initially let on).

After we all got home last weekend, that's when things started to sour. We were all looking forward to a great reunion as it were, and the one time we did see them, she (J) was obviously not wanting us to be there, or do anything. Most of this past week she's been barely responsive, and flat out not interested in sex. Thursday she and her husband had a long discussion, and what basically came out of it was that she wants to pursue a relationship with a woman (completely independent of D). She also basically wants for the four of us to remain friends, but the sexual side, while not off the table, is not to be the norm. So basically the love she expressed for me last week was more of a friendship love (not sure how to put that).

As you can imagine, I'm crushed. I've only opened up and expressed my love for 3 people (my ex-wife, current wife, and J). While I have cared for the other women in our swinging experiences, nothing was like this for me. My wife, while she still has feelings for D, doesn't really want to pursue it anymore either because I'm hurt (and she's hurt too; she was feeling pretty close to J, first woman she ever fully had sex with, and was basically told she wasn't lesbian enough). The four of us have said all along that it's more or less an all or nothing thing; if someone isn't happy, that we all work to address it or the situation would change. Well that has happened but J still wants us around - almost like she wants her cake and eat it too.

My point? No clue really. I guess I'm just looking for some constructive criticism (already had my heart yanked out in the past 24 hours, so I can deal...lol). The logical thing would be to cut and run I guess, but the emotional side is torn. Part of me wants to continue, at least for my wife and D, because they have been happy (especially my wife, which has made it good for us too), but I'm not sure if I can and watch it be one-sided either (given how this is ending up - looking at least).

So am I being selfish? Is she (J)? Was this just too complicated a situation from the start? Should I just take what I can get, and hope for the best?

gwendolenthefair 08-14-2010 07:05 PM

Here are some thoughts of mine, in no particular order:

1. I have noticed that an awful lot of bisexual poly people only want ONE partner of each gender. It's quite possible that J. was one of those, was more interested in the relationship with your wife, and went along with things with you so she could make things happen with her. And then, when your wife wasn't her ideal sex partner, she moved on to someone else.

2. J. should not have told you she loved you if she wasn't feeling romantic love towards you. That was wrong, and cruel.

3. There may be things you don't know about the relationship between D. and J. One of them may have gotten upset at the emotional pace of the relationship in one of the pairings, and wanted to back off. One of them may be having sexual dysfunction. Their marriage could be rocky. J. could be having a sexual identity crisis. It's impossible to say what might really be going on. My husband and I dated another couple for a few months ourselves, believing their relationship to be solid, and then their marriage imploded in their next quad experience with some friends of ours, and our friends' relationship was a casualty too.

4. Quads are one of the trickiest poly relationship dynamics because so many things need to work. I would love to have a successful one myself, but I think it's a long shot.

5. Getting put on the shelf just sucks, and I'm sorry that happened to you.

jkelly 08-14-2010 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cryptoboy (Post 40028)
The four of us have said all along that it's more or less an all or nothing thing; if someone isn't happy, that we all work to address it or the situation would change. Well that has happened but J still wants us around - almost like she wants her cake and eat it too.

I think that I'll defend J a bit, at least on this point.

It's important for people to ask for exactly what they want in relationships. If what J wants with you is a friendship (or a friendship with occasional benefits), she wouldn't be doing you any favours to pretend otherwise. And there's nothing wrong with trying to renegotiate dynamics. You're suggesting that what she wants doesn't work for you, which is fine, but she shouldn't be faulted for being clear about what she can and can't offer right now.

Also, people's feelings are often mutable. People meet, get involved, and then things stop working well or feeling right for one person, sometimes suddenly. I understand that you attach a lot of importance to declarations of love, but not everyone does. It's totally possible she was expressing a connection she felt that had developed in those two and a half months, but that she is either no longer feeling or she feels she needs to back away from. As Gwendolyn suggested, there could be all sorts of things going on that you don't know about that are influencing her feelings and thinking.

I'd encourage you to let the relationship between your wife and D develop, if it's making them happy and working out. You may find that in time things sort themselves out into a dynamic that works well for everyone.

Cryptoboy 08-14-2010 07:35 PM

Thanks Gwen. My wife and I kind of wonder if your #3 part had something to do with it. It seemed to start getting a little weird after my wife and D first expressed their love was blossoming (J was starting to get down, but we were assuming it was just being apart from her hubby, as well as us). I'll admit it wasn't super easy for me, but I knew they cared for each other, and everyone seemed happy (and I trusted D, which I rarely really trust men), so that made it a good thing. I knew (at the time), while J and I hadn't hit that level, that we both had very strong feelings for each other, but both of us tend to be more reserved about admitting that (of course, looking back now, maybe I was way off).

Their marriage appeared to be stable (in some ways I almost thought it was more stable, as they seemed to be a comfort level in the swing lifestyle as newbies, while it took us a few years to really get to the comfort level we are now).

They're still saying that we are the couple they want to be with and have a relationship with, just basically that she wants to attach another relationship (with a women, and independent of the four of us, or her husband). I guess it would've been easier to figure out if it would be either they want to be with us fully, or not. If it had just been our regular swinging experience, it would've been easier to say good luck and we'll hopefully get to spend time together.

Cryptoboy 08-14-2010 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkelly (Post 40032)
I think that I'll defend J a bit, at least on this point.

It's important for people to ask for exactly what they want in relationships. If what J wants with you is a friendship (or a friendship with occasional benefits), she wouldn't be doing you any favours to pretend otherwise. And there's nothing wrong with trying to renegotiate dynamics. You're suggesting that what she wants doesn't work for you, which is fine, but she shouldn't be faulted for being clear about what she can and can't offer right now.

Also, people's feelings are often mutable. People meet, get involved, and then things stop working well or feeling right for one person, sometimes suddenly. I understand that you attach a lot of importance to declarations of love, but not everyone does. It's totally possible she was expressing a connection she felt that had developed in those two and a half months, but that she is either no longer feeling or she feels she needs to back away from. As Gwendolyn suggested, there could be all sorts of things going on that you don't know about that are influencing her feelings and thinking.

I'd encourage you to let the relationship between your wife and D develop, if it's making them happy and working out. You may find that in time things sort themselves out into a dynamic that works well for everyone.

I don't disagree with you on that. While hard to hear, it's better to have that put out and clarified, and not try to hide/avoid it. What makes it hard is coming up with that a week after saying she loved me. The declaration of love was/is something that is tough to admit/say for me, but it also was for J too.

One part (kindof a big one) about my wife and D's relationship was involving the four of us. While J and I were both travelling for example last week, S and D hung out every day and they did have sex a few times (which didn't bother me, and J said she was ok with. Not sure if that was true based on how she was when she got home). While they both had fun, they both agreed that it wasn't complete without the four of us there (for the sexual part).

My and my wife's relationship is also based on a level of even-ness. Right or wrong, that's what we determined early on what worked best for us. Whether it was with finances, twizzlers in the bag, swinging, it was about being equal for us. We never took one for the team as it were in the lifestyle; if one of us didn't like the other, then we moved on. Like I said, right or wrong, that's how we work, and it's worked for 9 years that way. I haven't said to her not to continue the friendship, and she should continue training with him (he's a personal trainer also), and if they want to hang out that's fine (as long as it doesn't interfere with his family or ours). The continued sex part is uncertain.

At this point we both want to meet other people too though. We're not models or anything like that, but we've never actually had to search for new couples on the sites; we've always been messaged first. Plus for Labor Day we are going to LA to spend the weekend with a couple we've known for awhile (and if we had both stayed in AZ might have turned into a relationship).

redpepper 08-15-2010 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cryptoboy (Post 40028)
Should I just take what I can get, and hope for the best?

Sorry, I haven't read anything that anyone else has said, so if there are repeats, please excuse me.

as for the above quote? Well, I have noticed that this is a common theme with swingers that find themselves "falling in love" with those they swing with and find themselves at the door of poly. I don't think it's bad or anything, just an observation.

From my experience and what I have read on this forum and experience elsewhere, there seems to be a rush when people are sexually compatible that those people seem to think is for keeps. Maybe its the serotonin rush that one gets that makes people feel all in love? or maybe it's for real. Chances are it's a bit of both.

I have no doubt that this woman that you expressed your love to loved you in the moment... she got off, got connected and felt love. The thing is, when reality struck, she was done and moved on. There is nothing wrong with that, but it hurt you. Note to self, be more cautious next time.... "take what you can get and hope for the best" would be the answer here perhaps, or maybe you are really poly and want/need to pursue something more real.

just another thought, you don't know them well, chances are that you don't really know what goes on in their relationship. You only caught the good stuff... also, why shouldn't she have other lovers, this woman, if she is poly or the like then she would be more than able to have other love interests and it not influence how she feels about you.

Cryptoboy 08-15-2010 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 40082)
Sorry, I haven't read anything that anyone else has said, so if there are repeats, please excuse me.

as for the above quote? Well, I have noticed that this is a common theme with swingers that find themselves "falling in love" with those they swing with and find themselves at the door of poly. I don't think it's bad or anything, just an observation.

From my experience and what I have read on this forum and experience elsewhere, there seems to be a rush when people are sexually compatible that those people seem to think is for keeps. Maybe its the serotonin rush that one gets that makes people feel all in love? or maybe it's for real. Chances are it's a bit of both.

I have no doubt that this woman that you expressed your love to loved you in the moment... she got off, got connected and felt love. The thing is, when reality struck, she was done and moved on. There is nothing wrong with that, but it hurt you. Note to self, be more cautious next time.... "take what you can get and hope for the best" would be the answer here perhaps, or maybe you are really poly and want/need to pursue something more real.

just another thought, you don't know them well, chances are that you don't really know what goes on in their relationship. You only caught the good stuff... also, why shouldn't she have other lovers, this woman, if she is poly or the like then she would be more than able to have other love interests and it not influence how she feels about you.

We've gotten close to another couple before, but there wasn't that same type of connection that occurred here. Actually we're still friends with that couple and are going to see them in LA for Labor Day now.

I guess what makes this difficult too is that it's not really off the table. If would be one thing if she was just flat out saying she only wanted to be with her husband and this other women she might eventually meet, but that's not the case. From a couples perspective, they only want to be with us along those lines. As she put it, she wants us to be friends first, and still wants the four of us to hang out, and if we get charged up, then we can all get it on. No pressure of having to have sex every time we would all hang out (which we've talked about before, but the majority of the time the sexual energy is so charged up we all would end up jumping each other. Even when we tried just meeting in public, we still ended up back at our house the few times.) I'm just not sure how to go from something that started off as a sexual friendship and started to blossom into more than that, to just a friendship with the occasional hook up.

As far as the relationship with my wife and D, because I've been so upset she's been ready to call it off. I told her I certainly don't want that to happen, and want her to continue to talk with him (again he's also her personal trainer), and if they want to hang out like before (they'll meet up for coffee or a slushy at Sonic for example a few times during the week, have gone shopping together, movie once, etc.) that's fine too. The sex part of it (either the two of them solo - which isn't as good as the four of us together, or we talked about a MFM threesome) is off the table for the moment, but since D & J are struggling in some ways with their relationship, that's probably best all around.

You make a good point redpepper, we don't know their relationship, and maybe it's not as strong as it initially appeared. As far as the other lovers, if she is really poly (and to be honest I don't really know if I or my wife are still), and if it doesn't influence how she is or feels about be, then it might still work out. Keep in mind that (as I described to my wife yesterday), it was kindof like getting hit with a brick on Friday, so I was kindof numb, and yesterday it sunk it and I was trying to deal with it. I don't get upset all that often (truly upset at least), and it freaked me out as well as my wife yesterday. I went through a whole range of emotions yesterday; from f--k them, they can rot in hell, to let's go find someone else to show them, to the why is this happening to me, you name it, it probably crossed my mind at some point. I'm not saying it's not painful still, but it'll be easier to deal with and understand as my emotions get back to normal.


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