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-   -   how to approach spouse over an open marriage (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46820)

zombiecupcake 05-13-2013 04:17 AM

how to approach spouse over an open marriage
Over a year ago I approach my husband about having an open marriage. He hated the idea and said it wasn't right for him and he felt like I didn't want him and he wasn't good enough.

Fast forward to now. We are stronger than ever, but I still long for an open marriage. I love my husband but I long for things he doesn't do (and admits is just not his personality) he's not a talker, he's not very emotionally available... I don't hold these against him and they aren't making me not want to be with him, but I truly want an open marriage. We have closed the chapter on us having anymore children. I'm not looking to find someone to replace him I just want to explore a new chapter in our lives.

I tried bringing it up in a vague way, saying how I had seen a show on it and what he thought. He said he thought each of us was too insecure and jealous. I told him I knew I wasn't, and he dropped the conversation there.

how do I discuss this with him without him looking at it as cheating, or even to a point where he isn't offended for me expressing that this is something I'd like for us to try... I have no idea how to just come out and say it without him feeling hurt like he's not good enough.

BoringGuy 05-13-2013 07:13 AM

You did come right out and say it, didn't you? A year ago? And he said he was hurt and felt like he's not good enough. He knows what you're saying now, too, and he still doesn't want it. Believe him. One of the things i can't stand is when people say "my partner said X. How do i know if they meant X or if they meant the opposite of X, or whether they are SURE that X is what they really mean?"

He SAID "X". Let X = X. f(x) = NO

What part of "X" do you not understand?

zombiecupcake 05-13-2013 07:19 AM

Because it wasn't a complete no, he said how he felt but said I could be open but not tell him about it. We never discussed it much after that because I felt hiding it was more of an affair and only created trust issues. We are in a much different place now, so I feel like it's a topic I should be able to discuss with him but I'm not sure how to approach it again.

kitkat88 05-13-2013 08:04 AM

When my husband and I started our polyamous relationship it was because I fell in live with my partner now. My husband was open enough to try it out because he didn't want to lose me, not that I wanted to leave, and he thought that it would be good to try. The biggest issue we had was that my husband felt like he wasn't enough and I told him its impossible for one person to meet every need that you have. Like with your husband not being a talker n such. My other partner is transgender and I treat her like a female. The things I get from her my husband can't give to me because he is male and because its not him.

The point I am getting at you need to be completely open about this, no beating around the bush. Then you need to explain that you are happy with him and don't want to leave him but you would like someone else that does things he does not. Try to be very logical with it, so that it can be clear. Maybe even ask your husband what things he would like that you don't do. That way you can make it a full circle to show him that there are things he would benefit/enjoy from other partner.

I am unsure how you plan on doing this if it happens, but the way my husband and set it up was that my partner started off as a secondary. My husband was number #1. In reality he still is, but my gf is now a primary like my husband but my husband always comes first.

I hope that helps :)

zombiecupcake 05-13-2013 08:38 AM

Thank you kitkat for sharing your experience. It's very helpful.

Well, the husband and I were laying in bed and he asked me what was on my mind and to be honest. Since h asked I felt like it was a good opportunity since he seemed like he was being receptive. I told him not to take it personal and it's nothing he does wrong and I love him but I still am interested in an open marriage. This is a topic we've discussed several times (before marriage and after) so it's not a new thing I just thought of. He expressed how he felt saying he hoped it wasn't something he did wrong. It's not at all. He said he's very open to the idea, even the idea of sharing a partner. We agreed we would sit down again and discuss boundaries and what is and isn't ok. He even went as far as being ok with another guy and knowing about it as long as he's respectful and understands the whole situation.

It was an awkward conversation to have but I'm glad we did. I really thought it would go differently and I'm shocked at how open he was with it.

kitkat88 05-13-2013 09:11 AM

That's wonderful! Definitely set boundaries and make sure whom ever you bring into this relationship understands it. My husband dated a friend of ours, how is like my sister. I left it up to him to tell her how this works, as I told my gf. My gf honestly is the one who told me about poly so her and I kinda made the guidelines and went over it with my husband. Either way, my husband wasn't always direct with his gf and it caused a lot issues. So make sure that who ever enters this relationship with you is well informed and kept in the loop.

Nox 05-13-2013 04:41 PM

The way it started for us was a conversation about levels of attention. My wife wants much less attention than I do. She'd rather curl up in a book than with me after a certain amount of time. Our libidos are just as skewed.

She knew I needed more than she could give with out stress, and the best way to do that is to let me have relationships. They started out as just online friendships and sex play, but twice it developed into deeper feelings.

I would suggest starting with your needs and go from there. Don't just assume that adding someone in is going to meet them. Do you need someone to return your affection? Do you need more sex? Do you need someone to be romantic? Do you just need someone to talk to intimately?

zombiecupcake 05-14-2013 04:51 PM

So, my husband came to me after work last night to discuss this situation some more. He said he couldn't get it off his mind at work all day.

We tried to discuss boundaries and what we were comfortable with. It seemed like we would discuss what we were comfortable with and then step back and then be unsure if we really were.

For instance, we both 100% agree'd we were OK sharing a woman. He's not ok sharing a guy, hes not interested in guys, but he didnt feel it was OK to share a woman but then me not to be able to have a relationship with another man... He did hint at a threesome with another man but he wouldnt be intimate with the man, just share me... i dont know. Im ok having a relationship with another man and sharing a woman together, but then im not sure if im ok with him having a relationship with another woman because he says it would only be a situation where it would be a one night stand at a party if he was drunk and he probably would only do it because he knew I was sleeping with another man at times.

Im not looking to be with multiple men, and I explained that to him. I guess Im not sure how to proceed from here. I want meaningful relationships, not as he put it, him having a drunken one night stand with another woman, and as I told him, if that was the case, im not ok with that scenario......

He says he was ok with the thought of sharing a woman together and me having a boyfriend on the side, but he worries he would get spiteful and then do the one thing im not ok with out of spite because he would be drunk and rationalize that since I had this other relationship, then having a one night stand was ok.

I guess what we got out of the conversation was we were ok with sharing a girlfriend, we always come first, if one of us is not ok with the situation at any given time we can say so and it all stops, our family comes first and we both always have a say in the situation because at the end of the day, we are #1. From there, we dont see to agree on the terms of relationships with the other sex individually... Hes ok with me having a relationship with another man, but im not ok with him thinking a drunken one night stand is ok but if he OKs another relationship with another man, I dont want that fear looming over me that hes going to have a one night stand with some woman. We did agree no matter what, we would NOT have relationships with previous girlfriends/boyfriends and not anyone from our very small town.

Im not sure how to proceed now. We agree'd to let it sit and think about it some more and come back together again. Honestly we are probably communicated better then we have as I feel like it has opened a ground were we arent afraid to discuss anything. A year ago my husband would have never told me he liked the idea of having sex with another woman. He would have lied and said "no honey, i love you and only you and could NEVER have sex with someone else". In the past few days, we have been able to say things to each other and honestly, not take it personally. We both know right now we are just opening up the lines of communication about everything which has felt WONDERFUL but we both know we arent acting on any of it because we havent agree'd to give it a go yet, we're still in the ironing out details and discussing out feelings about the whole thing.

Any words of wisdom and advice on how to proceed from here?

FullofLove1052 05-14-2013 05:13 PM

My one piece of advice: be cautious when it comes to sharing a girlfriend. Triads are complex. There are success stories, but even they will tell you that it was not easy, and they take work and patience. Do a search for the term "triad" and read the various threads to get an idea of some of the issues fellow polyamourists have experienced. It is rare to find a person who will love you both equally. It usually ends up with the shared woman being more into one of the two in the couple she is dating. *Enter jealousy and some other problems*

I am sure others have more to contribute.

pollyanna 05-14-2013 09:50 PM

for us, the most important thing is that we feel solid as a couple before we consider a third. If we're at all wobbly, we work on us and our communication.

we also steer clear of other women as my dh feels he might not be 'safe' with other women. He has a propensity to confuse sex with love and to form attachments rather quickly. We think it's best to just avoid that issue for right now.

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