please help a noob
I am a married straight man of 17 years to a woman I love very dearly. I have been smitten with her best friend since I first laid eyes on her 4 years ago. It was unlike anything I have ever felt when I saw her. Fast forward to today. Only a 3 months ago we began texting each other and very quickly fell in love. It seems we both had the same intense feelings for each other and revealing some of these just opened a flood gate. This other woman is married also for about 14 years to a man who is very much a push over and will do anything (it seems) to make her happy. He is one of the nicest guys I know. After she and I declared our love and affection for one another I asked her if she could approach her husband to the possibility of us dating with no expectation of physical intimacy outside of cuddling and kissing and some emotional intimacy (I really need to have her romantically in my life). Neither of our families had ever ventured into this arena before, however my wife has been very supportive and understanding, as she has known about my infatuation with her friend all these years. To keep things short, he agreed to us dating (to my surprise) and told me to keep things above the belt. However he also told me he was very sad and nervous about the whole thing but did not want to hurt his wife. I told him that if he wasn't OK with us he just needed to lay down the law and tell her no. He doesn't appear comfortable doing that. As a result he is now always glum and weird and nervous and paranoid about us even though we have been on our best behavior and completely open and honest with him. I have had hours of discussion, just the two of us, to help him understand my intentions and to confront any fears or insecurities he may have. Both families have kids and we love our spouses dearly so we are not looking to run away with each other. However he is such a damper on us and is so damned indecisive its driving me nuts and making it very hard for us to enjoy what we have. I fully expected him to tell me to fuck off or just give me the thumbs up, but this wishy washy stuff is infuriating to me. Its making it very tempting to pretend to break up and just start a good old fashioned affair to spare him his hurt feelings. Has anyone dealt with this? What do you do? I am in so deep with her (with lots of NRE) that I don't think either of us can bear to break it off at this point. Any help is greatly appreciated.
time heals .....
You will probably have to give him time... from your NRE perspective; lots of time.
My guess is he needs to assimililate his new "open" relationship and even if he knows intellectually that his wife isn't leaving him, his emotions tell him differently. Plus now he also has the hurt of thinking he's not good enough/man enough for his wife because she also wants to be with you. (Again intellectually he may know thats false but feelings say otherwise.)
He doesn't sound as if he's as confident as you, your wife or your wife's best friend; this is probably crushing to him! Try to put yourself in his much less confident shoes; feel it.
With the passage of time as you and you "gf" adhere to the ground rules, he'll find more and more confidence in the love his wife has for him and that she's not going to leave him.
You've changed the whole playing field; PATIENCE & understanding must be your motto.
I know how hard patience is; I am/is you! It's not easy but it will be worth it.
Thanks for the reply, I knew in my heart that was the answer. She is so special to me, I don't like causing strife in her marriage or being responsible for any pain he or she feels as a result of this. He is very important to me because he is very important to her, I have a lot of guilt.
means you're good... more than good
The fact that you recognize another great person, their strengths & weaknesses is what makes you so great! That you want to follow your heart in every way possible but also don't want to hurt anyone else is what makes you special and I would imagine is what both your gf & wife find attractive about you.
I so get that its tough!!! After a particular tough conversation with my husband when he was at a very low point I thought I'd Never get the time I felt I needed with my bf (other husband/primary really): I had those thoughts I'll have to go back to "my husband not knowing".... But after a day or two after that really low point conversation and asking my husband if he'd ever be ok with this: HE (my husband) set an "end date": a date to when I could start to spend a couple nights a week with my bf and we could move this open vee relationship to where I felt I needed it to be.
It's so hard when you crave for, long for, think every waking moment of that other new fun person you want to spend every mooment with....
And we also love our spouses and want them to feel loved as well. I'm so glad you understand and want him to feel comfortable and loved; you both/all deserve it! And with that attitude I have all the faith in all of you, you'll make it work and all wind up happier and healthier for it!
Health & Happiness,
thank you delphinius you really made my day.
First--paragraph breaks would make it much easier for people to read and thus offer help.
I read this as you asked a man for permission to screw his wife, he's agreed to it because he gives his wife anything she wants (and probably fears losing her or an underhanded affair if he doesn't agree), and now you're criticizing him for 'being a damper.' You not only want to screw his wife, you want him to shut up about his feelings about this so he doesn't infringe on your fun.
What can you do? As others have said, slow down, give him time to adjust to this major change in everything he likely agreed to and was promised at his wedding with this woman, and maybe show a little appreciation that he's willing to consider it at all.
Yes, I have dealt with having powerful feelings for another man while I was married and what I did, personally, was consider how that would affect my then-husband, and not pursue it because it would have hurt him.
The guy is such a downer the idea of a fake break up and good old fashion cheating to spare him ....really. Spare him gosh that's real kind of you both.
Real forward thinkers ....what happens when you get caught...who gets to explain it was for his own good. Even pushovers have break points.
How old are the kids ?
If you see he is suffering, and that he perhaps is agreeing to do something his heart is not in... why do you choose to continue it? :confused:
It is better to stick with what you have -- honest suffering with him knowing what is going on. That's the price of admission right now. If you guys want to work on it, then it can perhaps be improved in time as he gets used to the "new normal" and comes to see/realize nothing horrible has happened as a result.
But choosing to lie to him that you break it off, but then really continue it behind his back? Right now he may be struggling and suffering. But he's not being betrayed. Don't do that. It's not flattering to you to choose that kind of behavior.
Better would be that you suggest your GF address her and her husband's trust/secure issues. Make sure she's not neglecting her spouse or you your own wife as you both are in the NRE phase of things.
On your end YOU be a trustworthy person and let him get to know you in time and get over whatever fears/insecure he may be worried about. Don't STOP being trustworthy just because it is not fun for you to watch him struggle. When you got involved with her, it is not her as a single woman. She comes as a package -- her, her spouse, her kids. More people is more wants, needs, and limits to balance in healthy relationships.
Could that help get the conversation going?
Thanks for the constructive criticism. You're right, and I knew that before I wrote the post. I know that an affair is worse and its not what we are looking to do, its just something we say sometimes out of frustration. I will look at that link. I indeed have tried to address every concern, fear, and insecurity with him. The fear of sex, the fear of abandonment, however he is approaching it from a biblical morality (out of conditioning) and I told him that if he only tries to understand it from that viewpoint then we are at an impasse as there is no room for logic or flexibility when the bible is involved.
Note you can flip that statement to apply to you though:
"If you only try to understand it from that viewpoint, we are at an impasse as there is no room for logic or flexibility when the Bible is not consulted for guidance."
It's like you speak Spanish and he speaks Italian. You can fuss at him for not speaking Spanish, or he can fuss at you because you don't speak Italian. Or you can both choose to step back and trying to see if going to the Latin will aid you any. Try to find common ground, common language.
When you dismiss the tools he has to work with as illogical or inflexible (Bible among them), how does this help feed his secure bucket? Or show that you are a compassionate, trustworthy person? Or does it cause him anxiety in making him wonder if you will also dismiss his feelings and limits and requests too? If your goal is to get him to settle down fastest -- how does your behavior help you achieve your goal?
The Bible says a lot of things, and there's a lot of different kinds of relationshipping within the stories of the Bible. But it doesn't matter -- this is not Bible studies.
This is a relationship model he has chosen to be in.
He doesn't have to try to understand it if he wasn't in it. But in having chosen his behavior? To be in it? Now it is on him to do the work required. You guys could sit to talk about your expectations, fears, and how you will/will not support each other in "learning the new normal."
If he has chosen to go where his heart is not in? From a place of fear or insecure or whatever? He has not chosen self-respecting behavior for himself.
That you choose to be in relationship with him as your metamour? That's on you then -- this is the price of admission to date her. She comes with a metamour of this color that you must learn to deal with. Can you be in relationship with someone who does not respect themselves? Does he plan to work on this?
That she chooses to date with a husband of this color? That's on her then -- that's the price of admission to date you. She must learn to deal with him.
And him? He chooses to be in polyship with you both? Then he must learn to deal with himself.
Going somewhere you really do not want to go because you are afraid of "losing your wife" is not self-respecting behavior because it goes against his belief system. Since self-respecting behavior is what feeds the self-esteem bucket, he's feeding his own "insecure bucket" by choosing behavior like that. Does he see this?
Being a leaf blown about by the wind in his life -- being an effect in his life -- that leads to feeling helpless and again -- feeds the insecure bucket. That "nothing" in his life is within his control.
That's not being a cause in life -- being the captain of his own ship. Captain may choose to do a lot of things -- put the sail up to catch the wind, take the sail down, make good decisions, make poor judgement calls -- but they own their choices. That feeds the secure bucket -- because whatever happened? Alright. There I chose to go, I choose this for myself, I am in charge of ME and my well being. "I can handle it... whatever IT is. I will find a way. " That's a whole other kind of attitude -- one that DOES feed the "secure bucket" inside.
I suppose you could ask him if he is a leaf or a captain. There his Bible background/beliefs may or may not be a comfort to him as he weathers this new part of his life and his decision to participate in it.
There are many stories in the Bible about endurance and dealing with people. Hello, Mary -- pregnant teen woman having a kid out of wedlock and dealing with people! Hello, Noah! Dealing with people while he builds his crazy ark, then dealing with crazy flood!
I don't know where he's at in his faith development process on the Fowler chart, but if polyshipping with you and her also includes a stage change for him -- well, that's on you too. Do you want to date her and deal with a metamour who is experiencing the stage 3 to 4 faith development stage? Or 4 to 5? Or whatever leap he's doing in his spiritual health?
It could be like dealing with a metamour with diabetes (physical health thing) or a person with memory problems (mental health thing) or grieving (emotional health). You've got a dude with a spiritual health thing happening.
Could take your poly people as they are. That is the price of admission here right now.
What do you want to DO about it? What sort of feedback do you most need? Like how to endure yourself in this? Or how to help her support him? Or.... what's YOUR need right now? Since you want to be in relationship with her under current conditions?
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