When swinging became poly
This is my first post. I was on the swinger boards today and thinking to myself "I'm in the wrong place...most of this stuff just doesn't apply to us anymore!" So here I am.
My wife and I have been together for 13 years, married 10. Two years into our relationship we entered the swinger community but didn't play until 2 years in. We've had our share of partners over the years, and by that I mean 3 or 4, all couples...but never really got into the casual sex aspect of it. We were always looking for more committed friends with benefits.
Well, earlier this year we met a couple and clicked with them IMMEDIATELY. Within a month we had become exclusive, seeing each other every other week at the least. Each week it seemed we kept expanding our boundaries until we found ourselves splitting off into swapped couples 100% of the time we were together, even sleeping together and going on separate dates on select evenings. When we went on vacation together we swapped for pretty much the whole vacation but hung out together a lot as a foursome.
It didn't take maybe 3 months before we were all saying "I love you" because, well, it was undeniable. We are truly in love with our swapped partners and they with us. Us two guys get along very well and the girls have a way to go at deepening their connection and are working on it.
So I guess comes the realization now after 6 months that we are NOT swinging any more. We ARE in a four way relationship. Some days it sure feels just like a relationship with jealousy, hurt feelings, miscommunications and apologies. All with an amazing connection and unbelievably stellar chemistry. We tag all three bases: emotional, physical and mental connections. We're not "out" with our families and are still very discreet around people from our circles. But despite that we have a blast wherever we go and whatever we do.
The challenge we are just starting to face now is ACCEPTING that this is a four way relationship...it's not what we were looking for...and it's what we HAVE. No one wants to stop, sometimes it's hard and we want to grow and learn from our early mistakes. This weekend we are going to have our first four way conversation from the context of this being a relationship on how to speak our minds when something is upsetting us IN THE MOMENT and not try to "put on a smile" and have it ruin our weeks when we return to our spouses. Surely I'll have plenty of need of advise as things move along!!!
So here I am. Coming to a new board to see what I can learn about this new and wonderful...also tricky at times...horizon that is rising before me/us.
If you share my story...
By the way...if you can relate to my story and have had a similar experience or are going through a similar situation...I would REALLY love to hear from you via a reply!
Welcome to the forum and yes I agree that you are in the right place.
I am responding to your post because my wife and I are in the same situation with another couple. We did not start as swingers mind you but that doesn't matter anyway. Your current situation relates to ours almost exactly. Dates, overnights, statements of love... between secondaries. Yes its a lot of fun and very challenging emotionally at times.
If you wish to chat further please message me directly. I came here to learn from others in the same situation. There aren't that many compared to other configurations but I have made a few great contacts.
Welcome to what I hope will be a new home for you!
I am a bit complementary to your situation. I identify as poly, but have just started exploring 'the lifestyle' in my area. My interest is to broaden my social group, and where I live, many more people identify as swingers than poly.
I find the two types of open relationship are closely related, though I speak more out of reading than anything else, having not attended any swinger events yet. I'll have to let you know what I find out!
Welcome to our forum.
I have not been a swinger and went straight from monogamy into a polyamorous situation. But what we do have in common is that polyamory "happened to me;" I hadn't "planned to try it out."
Polyamory requires lots of learning and communication, so definitely study the various threads on these boards, post, and learn as much as you can. You're still in the very early stages of your poly relationship and there is lots of NRE (New Relationship Energy) going around to confuse the feelings of insecurity that sometimes arise. You might want to do a search or tag search here on "communication."
The four of you will want to get to know each other even better, understanding each other's hopes, fears, wants, needs, etc.
Hope your stay on Polyamory.com is a fruitful one.
Thank you for the replies and warm welcome. I very much appreciate your support and encouragement. I will be reading up more on the forum and look forward to learning a lot from the path many of you have been on for quite a while. I'm in a whole new territory now and quite honestly finding this forum creates a whole new context for our budding relationship.
Keep us posted on how things are going. I'm wishing you guys well.
So here's an update on our quad relationship.
This past Friday we all got together for the weekend again. It was an exciting day because for the first time we were all going to talk about how we wanted to handle dealing with relationship / emotional issues as they came up.
To me, there were a few powerful distinctions that had to be made.
First - For 6 months we have been in what was quickly looking like a struggling swinger relationship. Getting together, having fun...wanting all of the fun but not willing to upset the fun to talk about serious emotions...only to have them "blow up" when we separated and turn into a week of "conversations" to get back to that "good place" we thought we needed to be in all the time.
Little did we know what started as a swinger relationship had grown into a full-blown, budding poly relationship with all the characteristics of a quad relationship. Things that needed to be openly discussed, managed and accepted.
So the relationship itself was way out of integrity...acting one way and treating it like another way. No wonder we were struggling whenever issues came up - we were all afraid to deal with them lest we "bring the party down". In the swinger world, if you run into issues you simply find another couple. That wasn't an option so we had to accept the TRUTH. We are all now in a poly relationship...and we need guidelines to manage it...together!
Second - When things come up for one of us - we needed to be able to step up and say "hey, something is bugging me that I don't want to turn into a whole big deal by NOT talking about...I would like to share it now and get it behind us." What was happening was if someone was mad they didn't want to ruin the party...so they held it in. But holding it in took it's toll and came out through smart remarks or other ways which was...awkward at times. Not to mention the little "doggie bag of issues" we'd take home to our marriages which really put a crimp in reconnecting with our spouses after our weekends with our other partners. So we made agreements to 1) responsibly speak up when something is bugging us and 2) accept and support each others emotions if/when someone does bring something up.
I admit I was nervous at how it would go down as NONE of us ever saw the poly aspect coming and it was very scary when we were not dealing with it as such. So we had a great talk. The four of us accepted the nature of our relationship - that of a "four way marriage" of sorts and it's poly nature. We made agreements to speak our minds, be ourselves and accept one another.
The weekend that followed was amazing. All sorts of comfort and communication opened up. It's almost like we all gave each other some grand permission that had been missing all along and were free to explore within the boundaries we had redefined. A sense of security set in to replace the anxiety. My girlfriend and I had a lot of deep, serious conversations through the weekend and sexually connections were deepened where I thought it was impossible for them to get any deeper.
We did have one issue come up over the weekend where one of us needed to speak their mind about something that was bugging them. That person did. The rest listened. The world is still spinning. Amazing!
So...it's official. We're poly now!
That's awesome news Steve. You four "took the poly bull by the horns," so to speak, and all that emotional stuff that seemed so scary from the swinger angle turned out to be manageable after all. From your post and description, you guys are approaching communication in exactly the right way so far. Doesn't mean you won't run into bumps in the road, but at least you all have the freedom to really open up to each other, in every way.
Polyamory isn't always an easy way to go. But in my experience and from what I've seen, it's usually very worth it and richly rewarding. So, carry on, keep reading, posting, learning, sharing. I have quite a good vibe about the future of your newborn quad.
Great story that you shared. Thank you.
One of the things I have learned over and over again in my relationships is that talking sincerely is rarely as damaging as I ever expect, and *not* talking is almost always more damaging than I expect.
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