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-   -   Confused (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3884)

confusion 10-05-2010 04:27 PM

In a nutshell, I don't know how I feel about all this. My wife is attracted to a man that was my best friend for years. She just recently came out with this attraction (couple of months ago). I'm cool with them talking although it seems weird for a person like me that grew up with the notion that marriage was supposed to be with one other partner. I've always been told that in marriage you only get 80% of what you want and need and some people that get selfish and try to get the other 20% elsewhere will, in the end, only have that 20%. Anyway, I don't really have a problem with her talking to and seeing women. That makes sense to me in a way. A woman can provide her a type of relationship/intimacy that I, as a man, can not.

The talking to my friend, that's not so bad. But any time I think of her having sex with another man it makes me physically sick and totally turns me off. Just thinking about it now makes my stomach turn just a little. I guess, too, I'm disappointed because this man isn't exactly the type that will remain faithful to "the relationship" (he's always juggling several women) and he doesn't see women the way that most people do: As people. So, I'm wondering how to deal with all this. She is much happier and more sexually adventurous when they are talking and when she's thinking about the polyamorous lifestyle so that is good, at least. I want her to be happy. That said, what about me? When we entered into marriage and subsequently had our son, I never dreamed that in a million years I would even be in this situation. If she's changed that much in two years it makes me wonder what is next.

Any advice?

Derbylicious 10-05-2010 04:48 PM

Take things slowly would be my advice. It looks like there are a couple of issues here, I see that in the long run that your wife's feelings are very much at risk with this friend of yours. If he has a history of not treating women as people there's a good chance that she's going to end up hurt.

What is the issue that you have with your wife having sex with another man? If you can work though the reason why sometimes you can come to peace with it. After all you say that you don't have a problem with her having a sexual relationship with a woman.

It seems to me that she's not changing so much as discovering things about herself. Since she loves you she's coming to you and talking to you about it. Keep on talking about things and take baby steps. Neither of you have to get to the place that you're totally ok with a full blown second relationship overnight. It could be that she's chosen this guy as a first person to explore these feelings with because there isn't that expectation that it's going to be a long term thing with him. Figure out what you are comfortable with, the things that make you a little uncomfortable and the things you can't deal with right now. challenge yourself to try to push your boundaries on what you're a little uncomfortable with. Chances are that you will become more comfortable with things as they happen. Best of luck


confusion 10-05-2010 11:20 PM

Thank you for the reply. Baby steps seem to be a good start. I, too, worry about her feelings getting hurt. I've known him for fifteen years so I know him pretty well. Even she kind of bounces back and forth between talking and not wanting to talk to him. It's probably the newness factor that keeps her talking to him. I'm fairly sure of what I'm comfortable with, slightly uncomfortable with, and outright not cool with at this point. I'll still keep reevaluating my feelings.

I'm a very rational, logical person so feelings are troublesome.

I'm still trying to grapple with why the thought of the sexual aspect of him and her is so disgusting and threatening to me.

Again, thanks for the reply.

redpepper 10-06-2010 12:14 AM

Oh boy do you sound like Mono :D. He struggled with my sleeping with other men too when we first began and it's been 20 months now. Perhaps doing some reading of what he went through at the beginning would be helpful. Or at least sending him a PM about it? He could at least support your worries.

I can imagine that it would be very hard for many people to come to terms with the fact that their loves want and do have sex with other people. I would suggest that perhaps you look at what sex means to you... do you feel that it is a ways to increase a bond and connect? Or is it just a fun activity? Is it different with different people and how can you have fun or connection without sex? Then ask her what her opinion is... if she is bi then she will feel similarly about sex with men AND women. How can you use what you know about yourself in terms of the differences you feel there are in such a way as to re-think your dilemma?

confusion 10-07-2010 05:59 PM

Thank you for the replies. I still have several issues with this, though. Ok, let's just pretend for a second that this guy turns over a new leaf and is honest to everyone involved and starts treating women like people... Not likely but we'll just say that's what happens. And say my wife and he start some relationship outside our marriage: I have an obligation as a father to think of my child because (although I'm surely biased in this situation, no doubt) I feel I have to be the rational one and wonder, "What is my son going to say in ten years if this is going on?" And also, I don't want other people (ie. those that did not bring him into the world) being his mother, father, etc. The man I mentioned in the parent post pretty much sees the world and issues (race, politics, relationships, etc) in a completely, diametrically opposite way from myself.

And you all have to admit that when a person that is monogamous enters into marriage, they probably would not have entered into it if they knew that down the road all the vows and feelings that it began with would be discarded, at least at large.

This is me thinking aloud and trying to get some input, as well. It isn't meant to be offensive or upset anyone, by the way.

MonoVCPHG 10-07-2010 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by confusion (Post 47724)

And you all have to admit that when a person that is monogamous enters into marriage, they probably would not have entered into it if they knew that down the road all the vows and feelings that it began with would be discarded, at least at large.



Derbylicious 10-07-2010 06:41 PM

On the bright side of having people in your child's life who don't see things as you do will teach him that people have different opinions and will (hopefully) teach him to think for himself. Your son isn't going to think anything, regardless of what happens, because however he is brought up will be his normal. I'm so glad that you're putting the needs of your child first. I had a lot of the same worries about my kids. I wanted to give them a nice "normal" life. But so far they seem to be happy and well adjusted and taking it all in stride. My 4 year old understands it as "some of your friends are more like family". As long as everyone is being respectful and there is some stability for the children I think all is well.

As for entering into a marriage as monogamous, I think you're right, if you're not poly and didn't sign up for this then it's an awful lot to ask that you accept it. There are a lot of people who wouldn't have entered into the marriages that they are in, for a variety of reasons, if they had a crystal ball.

As people grow and change things about their marriages change too. Sometimes it brings people closer together and sometimes it tears them apart. There is no easy or instant answer for you. Be very clear with you wife what you can and can't handle right now and leave things open to discussion and revisit where you are at least once a month. If neither of you are able to move from where you are then it's time to re-evaluate staying married.

confusion 10-08-2010 12:29 AM


Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 47729)

Maybe I should pm you with the some of the absolute craziness that goes on inside my head...

MonoVCPHG 10-08-2010 05:58 AM


Originally Posted by confusion (Post 47794)
Maybe I should pm you with the some of the absolute craziness that goes on inside my head...

Feel free :)

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