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-   -   New here! Already need advice! (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48080)

OnTheCusp 05-30-2013 09:18 PM

New here! Already need advice!
 
I probably already know the answer. . . just hoping someone will tell me what I WANT to hear! :D

Long story--my husband and I have been married almost 16 years. It is a monogamous relationship. Or at least, it WAS, until he had two affairs. We are currently reconciled, and in a wonderful place in our relationship--honestly, it's better than it has ever been.

Our social group is very poly-friendly or poly-positive, whatever you want to call it. One couple we know socially is a man and his secondary girlfriend. I've never officially met his primary girlfriend. In the time I've known them, I've always found him attractive, but NEVER thought of him in any way other than just a friend of ours, because I've always been monogamous.

So after my husband's affairs came out, and I was learning to adapt to and process this new knowledge, this man and his girlfriend came to our house for a welcome home party we were having for a friend. After everyone had gone, my husband and I were talking about my self esteem, and he said, "Mike (not his real name) would fuck the shit out of you!" I didn't really believe him, but I did say that I thought Mike was "doable." My husband then said that if it was something I wanted to do, it would be okay, because I'd more than earned it, and if it made me happy and made me feel beautiful and sexy, go for it. He thought it would be kind of hot. (Just a note--my husband has NEVER been jealous.)

So I was having a conversation with Mike on Facebook the next day, and he was being very polite and appropriate. He did, however, make some remark about not being his normal flirty self with me until I knew him better. I told him to go ahead and flirt, because my self esteem had really taken a nosedive with the affairs, and I also told him I'd been given the go-ahead to have a fling of my own. Well. Mike came slightly unglued. He told me that that was NOT what I should have said to him, because he'd long thought I was quite desirable and often got tongue-tied around me. Got kinda flirty, but nothing too forward. We met for lunch and conversation a few days later, and that ended with a kiss. I told my husband about it, and he wasn't bothered at all. All he asked was that I not lie about seeing Mike.

Fast forward. Mike and I keep texting, planning to meet up for something a little more. We finally got together day before yesterday at his place, agreeing that we wouldn't tell anybody. We spent a lovely few hours together.

So here I am. I feel like I should tell my husband, because I don't like lying, and I think he'll be okay with it. I would very much like to continue this relationship with Mike, although I think it really is a finite thing--I don't see either of us looking at it as a long-term proposal. Maybe fairly intense for a short time, or very occasionally for a longer time. Make sense?

Anyway, the problem is that I'd like to continue, my husband is okay with it, and thinks hearing about anything we might do would be smoking hot. But I am NOT okay with him seeing anybody else, because I'm jealous as hell. Are there poly relationships where one partner is poly and the other isn't, but is accepting of it? I'm a huge hypocrite, aren't I? Ack!

london 05-30-2013 09:30 PM

Quote:

agreeing that we wouldn't tell anybody
Why did you agree to turn it from consensual non monogamy, something ethical and above board, to something that is basically infidelity. If it's an attempt to get revenge on your husband, as well as being an immature thing to do, I doubt it would work very well seeing as your husband is on board with you seeing other people. It might, however, backfire if he feels that that it was an attempt at vindictive behaviour and he finds that intolerable.

Quote:

But I am NOT okay with him seeing anybody else, because I'm jealous as hell. Are there poly relationships where one partner is poly and the other isn't, but is accepting of it?
Yes there are healthy non monogamous relationships where one or more of the people involved are monogamous, however, it's my personal belief that a rule in any kind of relationship should never be made with insecurity and/or lack of trust as the motivation for enforcing it. On top of that, I don't believe people who are in unstable monogamous relationships should attempt to open their relationships as a method of solving their problems.

OnTheCusp 05-30-2013 09:42 PM

Interesting! I really do have to weigh how much of what I've done is a revenge sort of thing. I think at first that's what it was, but at this point, what it's about is how nice it makes me feel. I'm thinking I should tell my husband tonight, just so it's all above board. I know if I kept it from him for any length of time, it would just be worse to eventually tell him.

I don't think this has anything to do with trying to solve our marital problems. We've really done a lot of work in therapy on what got us to that place where his having an affair was something he thought was the right thing to do. We both are working very hard at this, and he and I both believe we've got it right, this time.

So I guess I know the ethical thing to do is to tell him and get it out in the open and see what happens from there. I think the only thing holding me back from that is the off chance that he'll change his mind about being okay with it and then I won't get to be with Mike again, which was really, really fun.

I know I'm being selfish. And selfish was something my husband was when he had his affairs. I hate knowing I'm a hypocrite.

Marcus 05-30-2013 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OnTheCusp (Post 207364)
We finally got together day before yesterday at his place, agreeing that we wouldn't tell anybody

Quote:

Originally Posted by OnTheCusp (Post 207364)
I think the only thing holding me back from that is the off chance that he'll change his mind about being okay with it and then I won't get to be with Mike again, which was really, really fun.

You said your husband explicitly gave you the go-ahead to fool around with Mike; I am very confused about why you are sneaking around and lying about it.

The only advice I could give you is to STOP BEING DISHONEST. See if that helps :rolleyes:

OnTheCusp 05-30-2013 10:43 PM

I think part of the reason we've been secretive is because Mike isn't sure my husband is REALLY okay with it, I guess.

I think I'll tell.

Vixtoria 05-31-2013 02:20 AM

This makes no sense to me. "Hey I know you said your husband is okay with us seeing each other but I'm not sure so instead of asking him or talking to him for verification I'd rather we just keep this secret from everyone okay?"

Um, no.

Also, there are poly/mono relationships that work. However, coming from a stand point of opening our marriage after an affair and going from mono to poly/mono, I can safely say I have NOT seen it work with it's mono/poly because someone is not ALLOWED to be poly.

If he had an affair then yes, there's a lot of trust to rebuild there, and I get that! (I was the cheater and had to do it, still working on it honestly) However, saying you aren't comfortable with it NOW is different than I can't trust you so you dont' get to ever!

Some of the things that helped us with rebuilding trust were:

Transparency - yep, that means talking about everything. If one of us was uncomfortable telling the other something it was probably something we REALLY need to tell so we do. It also meant that my emails, ims, phone calls, all open to him to view and go over if he wants.

Research - going over books together and going over the check lists in some of them, discussing pitfalls others list, and situations made it easier. Oh yes, after double digit years married to suddenly be discussing safe sex in such detail was weird at first, but worth it!

Counseling - can not stress this one enough. We did much of it between the two of us but still five years later we are going to see an actual therapist to keep things running smoothly and make sure we are good on past things that hurt.


Whatever rules you two come up with for now, are for now. It doesn't have to be forever. If you can't trust him now, totally understandable. However, that's something to fix, to work on, not just say you can't and won't ever.

AnnabelMore 05-31-2013 02:36 AM

Yeah, Mike needs to get his ethics in order. As the person here who's versed in poly, and as someone who knows your marriage just went through a rough patch, the LAST thing he should be doing is encouraging you to be dishonest because he thinks your husband might not be ok with things!!! Just, really not cool, Mike.

Tell your husband asap, hopefully no harm was done. You don't want him getting it in his head that sneakiness is how you two roll, so it's ok for him to be sneaky in the future, do you?

As for mono/poly relationships, sure, they happen, but that really only seems workable to me if the monogamous partner is naturally monogamous. If your husband wants to be with other people, and you deny him that option while taking it for himself... yeah, that's not gonna end well at ALL. Either he'll lie to you, as he's done in the past, or his resentment will poison your relationship over time.

Magdlyn 05-31-2013 12:24 PM

There is a lot of reading to be done here on the topic of jealousy. Also on the morethantwo website.

You made a bad mistake! He gave you his blessing to fuck Mike but then you did, and didn't tell him, before or immediately afterwards? Gosh.

There's no lying in Poly! Lies of omission are just as bad. Be an adult, tell your h the truth, and work on your trust and jealousy issues so that you can both manage polyamory properly. See my sig.

Dirtclustit 05-31-2013 04:39 PM

After everyone else already pointed it out
 
I am sure you fully understand why it isn't smart to have any aspect of dishonesty with your SO, especially after you two had done all the work to make sure you had permission, there really is no point to not following through and disclosing the info.

There are many reasons why secrets in general tend to bring a lot of unnecessary pain into relationships. Once there are secrets, it takes an awful lot of self monitoring and constant reflection to make sure that you aren't treating him unfairly because of underlying guilt. I know that sounds fucked up since you were the one cheated on and you did have permission but just didn't follow through with disclosure, and everything will be fine after you tell him, but I just thought I would point out often overlooked ways that secrets do damage.

It's hard enough to be consciously aware of the real reasons I get upset. If I am running late for work, I find myself getting upset at cars who aren't in a hurry like I am. But the real reason I am upset is because I didn't give myself enough time to get to work, and it's all to easy to fool myself into believing it's the guys only driving 29 in a 30 zone that's the "real" problem when nothing could be further from the truth.

Not being able to be honest, letting secrets exist, stuff like that often sets people up for angry interactions with the people they are supposed to be loving. Sometimes the real reasons for all the conflict is never recognized

Honesty is the only way to create smooth sailing in your relationships

YouAreHere 06-02-2013 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dirtclustit (Post 207477)
If I am running late for work, I find myself getting upset at cars who aren't in a hurry like I am. But the real reason I am upset is because I didn't give myself enough time to get to work, and it's all to easy to fool myself into believing it's the guys only driving 29 in a 30 zone that's the "real" problem when nothing could be further from the truth.

Yup. I know I have issues in my relationship, but I also know I have to work on them, or I'm not pulling my weight.

Honesty is the only way you can do this. Otherwise, you never have the opportunity. Everything is great, until... hahaha.. hohohoho... uuuuuuhhhh... Um.

Seriously, some of the stuff I was worried about my partner/metamour were worried about? Not big deals to them. MY big deals. Not theirs. People are different. If they ARE big deals, then you ALL need to work through them. If not, then... hey... not a big deal, but you'll never know until you talk.

Talk til ya puke is our motto. It's gotten messy but it's never been wrong for us. (Oh, my poor foot...)


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