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-   -   Greetings from TN (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35399)

learninginTN 12-19-2012 03:20 PM

Greetings from TN
Hello, all. I am a newbie to this lifestyle, although I have lurked in these forums for years. Here's my history.

My wife and I married 15 years ago. A few years after our marriage we started playing around with a couple that my wife had been friends with since High School. She had actually had a few sexual encounters with the husband during high school/college. We all hit it off really well, and eventually we starting separate room swapping. We would do a lot of FMF threesomes. Occassionally we would do same room play. We did this for about 3 years. Then our kids were born and we stopped this play.

A few years after our kids were born my wife had an affair. This hit me really hard, because it was so out of the blue. I confronted her about it and she lied and covered up as much as she could until I had definitive evidence. Then she was very remorseful and agreed to marriage counselling. We did this for about a year and gradually got over this and life resumed.

About a year ago we both decided we missed the kind of play we did with that first couple, and we joined a swinging website and started exploring the swinging lifestyle. We had some great times with a few couples. Eventually my wife mentioned that she missed a lot of the separate room play we used to do, but that is not very prevalent in the swinging community, so we decided to open our marriage. She has since had at least four FWB's, and I have had one (it's much more difficult for guys to find FWB's than girls).

A few months ago she mentioned that one of her FWB's she started developing feeling for, and vice versa. He is separated, about to finanalize his divorce. I have thought about polyamory for a long time. I could see myself loving another woman, if I found the right woman.

Right now I'm dealing with wife's NRE, which includes seeing him a couple times a week and almost non-stop texting. I'm trying to be mature about it, but this is all new to me. I'd like to think she'd deal with it well when I meet a lady I feel the same about. I haven't met the guy yet, and she's been hesitant to introduce me to him, saying she's got to find the right social environment, and that just the three of us having dinner or something would be too awkward. I don't think it would, necesarilly, but sh'es agreed to invite him to a party we're hosting in a few months.

Any advice from any of you veterans? I'm not entirely sure the best way to proceed with this lifestyle. Have I made any mistakes? Anything to look out for?

paradigm 12-21-2012 07:55 PM

Personally, I like to be friends with everyone. Not that hard. You don't have to try to be bestest buds, and that's kind of odd if you don't know someone well. My advice, clarity, respect, and icommunication.

I don't truck with not knowing people, there's no excuse unless someone's just not ready to be an adult that can reason and work together. That actually weeds out a lot of potential disasters. Cooperation not competition.

kdt26417 12-22-2012 06:23 AM

Hi learninginTN,
Welcome to our forum.

I agree with you that it's important for you to get a chance to meet your wife's new boyfriend. I am glad she has agreed to a time and place where it will happen. Hopefully you and this other guy can get together (presumably on a platonic level) more often after that initial meet-up at the party.

I think it will take some time to establish the kind of poly life you really want, so exercise patience. Communicate a lot (and practice getting better at communicating).

Ask your wife for extra time with just you and her if you need it. Often when people get caught up into NRE, they don't even notice how it's affecting their pre-existing partner.

Read many threads here, and post many thoughts and questions as they come to you. At the moment, you seem to be proceeding in a pretty sound way.

Glad you're aboard,
Kevin T.

learninginTN 01-02-2013 04:07 PM

Well, now things have taken an ugly turn, and I really need some good advice from the veterans. After we got back from our cruise, my wife immediately asked to spend two straight nights with guy, which I reluctantly agreed to because she had been with me for seven straight days. My attempts to have sex with her have been rebuffed, with her telling me she doesn't "feel it" with me right now. I told her it's not right to have sex with a guy she's known for a few months and not her husband of fifteen years. She says we need to work on some things, and I suggest marital counselling, to which she reluctantly agrees. Then I suggest we stop this polyamory and open-marriage stuff until we get our own problems resolved, which I undertand is almost a necessity in this type of things, and she refuses to stop.

Now she had decided to start sleeping in our guest room, because she doesn't want to "send me the wrong signals".

How to best proceed? I want to salvage our marriage, not just for my sake but for the sake of our two young daughters.

paradigm 01-02-2013 05:25 PM

You need a poly friendly counselor stat, brother. Because right now you threatened her inadvertantly by wanting to stop the poly (aka end her other relationship). I know your intentions are good, but her opinion of what you suggest will be colored. Don't let it offend you. If you really want to save it, compromise....you'll agree not to shut her down if she agrees to see q counselor with you and work on realizing that her feelings are not competative....you don't have to be in the doghouse because she likes this guy and is having sex with him. But, if there's something wrong, she can't just ignore you and hope it goes away by running off to the NRE fantasy land. You're adult, you have to be able to do both, and its not easy.

Go to a counselor, talk. Make sure she knows you are worried about you two....its got nothing to do with guy. But it does hurt when it feels like she's not addressing her responsibility to your relationship

Appologize (she may feel threatened by needing a counselor)
I hope she decides to work as hard as you seem to be. That's what it takes sometimes.

Good luck brother.

kdt26417 01-02-2013 08:23 PM

The thoughts/advice paradigm imparted are good; pay heed to them. There is merit in the idea of putting the poly relationships on hold in order to work on the original relationship, but, it's also hard to put any (even a poly) relationship into reverse; it's much easier to keep it moving forward. So, sympathize somewhat with your wife and shoot for a compromise. Maybe she could just slow things down while you and she work on your relationship.

It's really rough to have your sex life put on hold, especially if it's not on hold with the other guy. How long has this been going on, that your advances have been rebuffed? It sounds to me like she has some kind of deep-seated issue or resentment that is blocking her feelings toward you. A good poly-friendly counselor is definitely needed. It's good that she agreed to that, even if it was with reluctance.

You should sit down with her and share your feelings, such as how you feel about not being able to sleep with her, and again, try to work out a compromise. Remember, when you talk to her, you must be careful not to infer any guilt or accusations, lest she tighten up like a defensive fist. There is something going on with her that hasn't been spoken yet. We're just seeing the symptoms.

Sorry you are going through with this. Sometimes poly takes the lid off of problems that would have otherwise remained forever hidden. There is a chance you and she can grow closer, if you approach the problem carefully.

Please keep us updated on how things are going.
Kevin T.

learninginTN 01-07-2013 05:22 PM

Thanks for all your help. We've arranged to do counselling with a poly-friendly counsellor. This person is far away, though, so we'll have to do it via Skype. Which I think is fine. We live in pretty small, conservative area.

My wife's behavior began to change a lot five years ago after our girls were born. She would get stressed out to the max all the time, and began to take meds for depression. She is also somewhat Bi-Polar, and took some meds for that, too. She would often scream and slam doors, and would continue to occassionally spank even though she knows my objection to corporal punishment. She would occassionally curse, too, in front of the children, and on really bad days would say things like "Being dead has got to be better than this", and "When you girls whine it makes me want to stab my eyes out!". She would often scream at the girls right in their faces.

After she had her affair in late 2010 we attended counselling. Over the course of a year things got much better. The primary things I objected to about the affair were not the sex, but the deception. She hid the emails, texts, etc. from me until I stumbled upon them, and even then she increased her deceptive methods until I was able to I was able to do enough detective work to find out. Only then did she fess up and agree to counselling.

About a year or so ago she was the one who suggested trying swinging. After our previous experience with that couple she had known since high school (a very positive experience that ended when our girls were born), I was actually excited about the prospect of trying it again, this time a little more formally by joining a popular swinging web site. We had a few encounters, one of which didn't go anywhere, and another that worked out pretty well. Usually, as is the case in the swinging community, we did same-room swapping. One particular couple also enjoyed separate room swapping, so we did some of that with them. Eventually my wife decided she didn't much care for the same-room play, only the separate room play, saying she just felt uncomfortable being watched. We talked about this for a while and decided instead of being swingers to open our marriage to take on friends with benefits.

This worked out a good bit better for her, as it is about ten times easier for women to find FWB's than it is for men. She had about four FWB's, and then one in particular she started seeing much more regularly (about twice per week). She then admitted she had started developing feelings for this guy. The non-stop texts between them continue even now. That's when we started discussing the idea of polyamory. I agreed to try, even though I don't currently have a partner (although I could see myself falling in love with another).

The last few weeks she has been getting colder and angrier. In addition to not wanting to have sex with me, and moving into the guest room, she has talked incessantly about how she "doesn't feel the same towards me", and talked about wanting to take a vacation with this other guy, and not wanting to take vacations alone with me. She says she wants me to talk about my feelings, but that usually ends up with her yelling and cursing at me. When I questioned her about wanting to go see him at 2:00am on New Years night after we had been out partying with other friends, she got really angry and talked about how she can do what she wants when she wants. When I remind her that she is treating this new guy a LOT better than her husband of 15 years and father of her children, she says things like "Our marriage is only on paper! Get used to it!", totally ignoring how our marriage is a commitment she made and the 15 years of mostly good times we've had.

I feel her relationship with this guy is clouding her judgment and is leading to a lot of this "re-writing of history". Complicating things are the fact that she earns a LOT more than me ($175,000 vs. $50,000), and the fact that two years ago she got bariatric surgery to lose weight, and now she's thin and I'm not. She also got a breast augmentation (that turned out great, BTW, not very fake looking like a lot of those out there). I almost feel like I've been used during those tough years of the children, enduring the night-time wakings and diaper changes and tantrums, and those lean years when she was going to grad school when we got by on only my income. I loved her through all that, even when she weighed more than me. I sort of feel like now that she's "new and improved", she's tossing me aside for a better model.

I'm sorry for the rant. But I think it's been therpeutic.

learninginTN 01-16-2013 09:15 PM

The last few weeks I've been using the 180, from Michele W. Davis's "Divorce Busting" book or website. And I've noticed a change. My wife is less angry, she's starting to be more polite to me, and she's even said "I love you" a couple of times on the phone. She's still staying in the guest bedroom, but she's finally agreed to let me meet her new partner, and (to her chagrin), he has asked to meet with me alone, because he thinks our discussion will be free and more frank than if she were there. Which is very possible.

I'm going to the gym now, losing weight, taking Ballroom dance lessons, and being more proactive in trying to find dates.

kdt26417 01-17-2013 04:06 PM

Wow, that's great to hear. Sorry I missed your earlier (#7) post; I don't know how that happened. Sometimes important posts slip through the cracks around here, so it is wise to "ping" your threads. :)

You've certainly endured a lot over the years, and have worked hard to maintain a positive attitude. Perhaps she is developing a bit better of an attitude too. NRE can blind people sometimes.

Thank you for your updates. Please continue to let us know how things are going.

learninginTN 01-21-2013 01:23 PM

Not much has changed since my last post. We decided to take marriage counselling from a counsellor in California via Skype who not only has had a lot of experience counselling poly folks, he's also been a poly person himself. I hope it helps. I'm getting awfully frustrated with W spending so much time with her guy, yet sleeping in the guest room and not having sex with me at all.

On the dating front, I had a blind date with a lady on Friday night, but it turns out she's cheating on her husband, and was unattractive to boot. I don't want to involve myself in that kind of thing. I think in the future I'll make sure I've at least seen a photo of the person before agreeing to a date. That way I don't waste the time of either of us.

Currently using SLS, match.com, OKCupid, and AdultFriendFinder.

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